March 22, 2021
Dear Puyallup Staff and Families,

Based on recent studies regarding physical distancing between students in classrooms, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released new guidance for schools on March 19.

Assuming all masking, health screening, and other counter measures are in place, the recommended minimum distance between students in classrooms is now 3 feet in elementary schools, and 3 feet in secondary schools when community transmission is not high.

Highlights of the new guidance:

     • Revised physical distancing recommendations to reflect at least 3 feet between students in classrooms and provide clearer guidance when a greater distance (such as 6 feet) is recommended.
     • Clarified that ventilation is a component of strategies to clean and maintain healthy facilities.
     • Clarified the role of community transmission levels in decision-making.
     • Added guidance on interventions when clusters occur.

Puyallup School District has been a leader in returning students to safe, in-person learning environments as soon as possible. Expediting vaccines for educators has enabled our district to host two vaccination clinics, providing opportunities for all PSD employees and eligible family members to be vaccinated.

Vaccine distributions, combined with this new CDC guidance, may result in guidance changes at the state level. As we wait for information from the Department of Health (DOH) and our local Tacoma Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD), we will evaluate our current status of classroom environments, health and safety measures, staffing capacity, and logistics to determine where we may be able to increase in-person instruction for hybrid students.

We are so thankful for the continued patience of students, staff, parents, guardians, and our community as we work and heal through the challenges of the pandemic. Thank you for your support. We promise to work diligently as we plan for academic and wellness recovery for this school year and next.

Sincerely,

John Polm
Superintendent
Puyallup School District