FAQ

Decision-Making

1.  How is the Puyallup School District making decisions about reopening in the fall?
 
The health, safety and well-being of students, staff and families continues to be our top priority. We are fully committed to providing each student a full year of learning. In accordance with guidance from the Washington State Department of Health, the District is taking a careful, flexible and science-based approach to reopening.  (7/17/20) 
 
2.  Who is involved in the decision-making process? 
Our planning is a collaborative effort among our 70+ taskforce members, feedback submitted from nearly 12,000 parentslabor partners, District administrators and department leaders. A complete plan will be submitted to the School Board for consideration on August 3.  (7/17/20) 



Reopening plans:

1.  What are Washington State’s guidelines for returning to school in the fall? 
The state provided guidance to school districts in early June about how to safely reopen schools in the fall. The guidance is clear that our priority is to get students back in the classroom, but school will look different than it did before. The health and safety of our community comes first, and we are adjusting the way school works so that we can protect the health and safety of teachers, students, and families, while also providing the best possible environment for teaching and learning.

2.  What is Puyallup’s plan for face-to-face instruction in the fall?
With the combined efforts of 70+ taskforce members, and feedback submitted from nearly 12,000 parents, the recommendation was provided to the School Board to move forward in focused planning for a Hybrid A/B Schedule Instructional model.  This model would allow for 2 days of in-person instruction, and 3 days of continuous (distance) learning each week.

Our goal in this model is to provide as much face-to-face instruction as possible to as many students as possible. We are evaluating various options for younger learners in grades K-3 to receive in-person instruction that would allow for more than 2 days of instruction.

3.  Am I able to keep my child home in a full continuous (distance) learning model until a vaccine is found? 
Yes.  The District will offer a full remote learning option; Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0.  Families deciding on this plan will need to let the District know by July 20 so we can best support your child during this time.  Similar to P4, our homeschool program, children participating in the full continuous (distance) learning model are considered Puyallup School District students. 

4.  How has Continuous (Distance) Learning improved?
Valuable feedback was received from families.  Common concerns were consistency across schools, common expectations and similar experiences across grade levels.  Going into 2.0, our goal was to streamline communication and standardize common tools.  Parents and students can expect:

  • • Clear expectations and instructions
  • • Enhanced online materials (with no need to print)
  • • More engaging activities
  • • Better accountability system for students to get work done
  • • Consistent and reliable schedule with all assignments for the week ahead sent on a specific day
  • • All classes will use Schoology, our District’s learning management system
  • • Schoology will be the access point for all parents/guardians linking them to all instructional materials, assignments, due     dates, and communications. 
  • • Social-emotional awareness will be embedded into all in-person and virtual instruction
  • • Technology training for families

5.  Why isn't the Puyallup School District just bringing all students back and operating school as normal?
Per the Washington State Governor, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, school districts may offer in-person instruction to students if health and safety requirements are met. Complying with distancing requirements for over 23,000 students presents many challenges. The District is looking at the square footage of each instructional space and determining the most reasonable number of students that could attend class and be on campus. 

6.  What preparations are being made for students who receive special education service?
We are prioritizing options for face-to-face instruction for students receiving special education services. Face-to-face instruction could be more than two days a week depending on students' individual programming needs. 

7.  I have more than one child in the District and coordinating schedules is important to me. 
Will the District work with my preference to coordinate school schedules?
The District will take proactive measures to coordinate school schedules for siblings. That said, we understand families have various needs. When selecting the Hybrid A/B Instructional Model in the ‘Choose your learning model survey’ please indicate your priority for your family in the survey.


Technology

1.  Will computers be provided to all elementary students?
Yes.  Empowering Puyallup is a District initiative that provides equity and access for all students.  Beginning in the Fall of 2020, computers will be available for all students in grades K-12.  Schools will communicate and schedule distribution times prior to the first day of school on Sept. 3.  In addition, information on Puyallup’s Protection Plan will be updated for families. (7/24/20)

2.  When will computers be distributed?
Schools will communicate computer deployment dates and times to families prior to the first day of school.  (7/24/20)


3.  My student is having trouble with their laptop. What do I do?
Call EdTec at 253-841-8600, choose option 5(8/20/20)

4.  My student can’t open a program (Schoology, Flipgrid, etc.). What do I do? 

Call 
EdTEC at 253-841-8600, choose option 4, or Use Family University on the District Website.  (8/20/20)

Health and Safety

1.  Will my child be required to wear a face covering all day when they return to school?
Yes, children who otherwise do not have an underlying health condition and/or known disability will be required per the Washington State Governor, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to wear a mask while attending in-person instruction at school.  If you’d like tips on how to help your child become comfortable wearing a face covering, read information from the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

2.  What happens if my child does not have an underlying health condition and/or known disability and refuses to wear a mask while attending in-person instruction at school?
Schools will be taking steps to educate students on safety compliance, implement positive behavior interventions, recommend alternative face coverings when appropriate. Only as a last resort would a student be excluded for refusing to wear a face covering.  Students who are unable to consistently wear a face covering due to identified sensory, behavioral, or other disabilities will not be disciplined or denied access to educational services as a result.

3.  What are the enhanced cleaning protocols in the schools?
There will be an increase in the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting at all schools that will focus on high-touch areas in classrooms and restrooms, including common surface areas like door handles, counters, desks, and light switches.    

4.  Do all students and staff need to be screened for illness each day? 
Yes. Both the state Department of Health (DOH) and Labor & Industries (L&I) require students and staff to receive a health screening before entering a school. DOH and L&I follow guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which allows for health screening (temperature checks, to be performed at home before school and on-site. (7/17/20) 
 
5.  How will the District keep students safe during lunch? 
We are reviewing lunch plans that would limit gatherings and potential mixing of classes or groups in cafeterias and communal spaces.  We are considering having students take their meals outside or in the classroom.  We are also reviewing how to manage the flow of students to reduce crowding at handwashing sinks, food vending areas, etc.  (7/17/20)

5. My student is struggling emotionally. We need help!
Contact their school counselor, or c
ontact the Pierce County Crisis Line at 1-800-576-7764.  
For more resources, check http://kidsmentalhealthpiercecounty.org/youth-mental-health-resources/ (8/20/20)

Classes

1. Who do I ask about my school’s activities? 
Call your student's school. (8/20/20)

2. My student is struggling with homework. Help! 
Have your student visit their teacher’s office hours. Contact your student’s teacher by Schoology messaging or by email. Contact your student’s counselor by email. (8/20/20)

Communication Home

1. What can I expect from my student’s teachers? 
Teachers will update Schoology for the following week by Fridays. This allows families to plan/work ahead for the following week. 
 (8/20/20)

2. What can I expect from my student’s school? 
Principals will send out a newsletter every Friday using a common template. (8/20/20)

Schoology Gradebook
1.  What does “incomplete” mean?
Your student did not finish or turn in that assignment. It doesn’t raise or lower the overall grade. (8/20/20)

2. What does “missing” mean?
Your student did not turn in that assignment. Missing is the same as receiving a zero in the gradebook. (8/20/20)
 

Transportation

1.  Will students be able to take the bus?
The District will provide transportation.  Students will be required to wear face coverings on the bus.  To increase ventilation, windows may be lowered.  We will clean buses between runs and do our best to provide space among students. 

 

Choose your Instructional Model Survey (Family Update sent July 14)

1.  I did not receive a survey link.
Families identified as the 'primary contact' in eSchoolPlus will receive a Learning Model Survey link asking them to select one of two learning models for each child(ren).  If you did not receive a survey link, please check your junk email folder first.  If you need assistance verifying primary contact information in our student information system, please contact our Helpdesk at (253) 841-8600 and press option 3. 

2.  Can I make a change to my child’s learning model selection?
Changes can be made via the survey link through Monday, July 20 at 4 p.m.  Due to space restrictions and social distancing requirements at school, we are asking parents to select their learning model option for the semester and/or trimester.  If a family indicates a preference to return to the Hybrid model at the end of first semester (end of January), we will evaluate those requests by looking at available space at winter break (December).    

3.  Will I receive a survey link for each child?
Yes.  A separate survey needs to be completed for each child in your family. 

4.  My child is part of a Puyallup Digital Learning Program.  What instructional model should I choose for them?
Families of students associated with our Puyallup Online Academy (POA) grades 6-12,  Puyallup Open Doors (POD) ages 16-21 years of age, or Puyallup Parent Partnership Program (P4) grades K-8, do not need to respond to the survey. After the survey concludes, PDL students will be identified and individualized learning plans will remain as usual.  

5.  My child is a Running Start student.  What instructional model should I choose for them? 
Part-time Running Start students should select hybrid A/B option and the full-time running start students should select the Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0 model.

6.  If my child starts with the Hybrid 
instructional model initially, can we pull them out mid-semester and switch to full time online learning?
Yes, you may request that your child switch to full time online learning at any time. (7/17/20)

 7.  If we find that the full time online learning model is not working for our child, are we able to switch to the Hybrid instructional model? 

Due to space restrictions and social distancing requirements at school, students who choose to start the fall in our full time Continuous (Distance) learning model would be required to remain in distance learning for at least one semester.  If a family indicates a preference to return to the Hybrid model at the end of first semester (end of January), we will evaluate those requests by looking at available space at winter break. (7/17/20)   

The Arts 
1.  
What are plans for the arts, such as band and choir? 

The district is currently working on plans to ensure social distancing requirements in all classes, including art programs. Since band and choir are considered higher risk for the spread of COVID, greater physical distancing between students in larger spaces is being analyzed. (7/17/20) 


Sports

1.  What are the plans for sports?

High School Sports  
 
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Executive Board took action to eliminate the option of starting fall high school sport practices/tryouts in August. Now, the earliest fall sports will start is Sept. 5 for football, and Sept. 7 for other fall sports. 

 We anticipate updated information on all high school season start and end dates for the 2020-21 school year will come on July 21 at the next WIAA Executive Board meeting. Currently, a statewide committee is tasked with considering and prioritizing all options as they prepare to make a recommendation to the executive board on July 21. The athletic directors in the South Puget Sound League and the West Central District are communicating about options to proceed once more information is received from the WIAA.  

Summer activities will not start for high school athletes until Pierce County reaches Phase 3, and only then with restrictions in place to keep students and staff healthy. The normal ending time for summer activities (when a school coach can work with students on sport-specific skills) has been July 31, however, the executive board has extended the deadline to Aug. 16 to allow for makeup of time lost to school closure.  (7/17/20) 

 Junior High School Sports
The earliest that practices would start for our junior high school sports would be September 7. The athletic directors and principals of the Puyallup Athletic League (PAL) will make a determination about the start of sports using the high school seasons as a guide.  (7/15/20)



In the coming days and weeks, greater detail will be provided on additional aspects of fall planning. Questions we are working to share more information on include, but are not limited to, what is below.  

School Logistics

• 
How will drop-off and pick-up work?

• 
How will classrooms be configured to maintain physical distancing?

• 
Will there be changes to visitor/parent volunteer practices?

• 
Will there be before and after school care?  


Physical/Emotional Health
 

 

• What will your protocol be if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID?

• 
Where will students be able to go if they are feeling anxious or worried?

• 
What will happen if my child takes their facemask off because she can't breathe, health issues?

• 
If a student arrives at school with COVID symptoms, but no parent is present, what happens?


Instruction


• 
What will the District’s grading and assessment policies be?

• 
What’s an example of a typical day of online learning in the Hybrid model?

• 
Are secondary students switching classrooms each period or are they staying in the same class with a different teacher coming in to teach them?

• How will shared materials be sanitized? 

• Will elementary students have Music, PE, and/or Library? 

• How is the District handling transfer students? 

• What is the plan for preschool students? 


 


We know there are many questions about how schools will reopen in the fall. While we may not have all of the answers right away, frequently asked questions recently published by OSPI may help. 

We will continue to publish additional questions and answers over the summer as our work evolves.