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Moving Forward Together 2020-21 School Reopening Update

Greetings PSD Families,

We are writing to share an update on our school reopening planning process.

The Peninsula School Board agreed with the district’s recommended framework to invite all students back to classrooms for a five-day week on September 8, aligned with guidance provided by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and Pierce County health officials about what it will take to reopen schools in the fall. Between June 23 and July 3, families in the Peninsula School District (PSD) responded to a survey asking for their thoughts about going back to school in the fall based on two choices: on-site, in-person learning or full remote learning.

Families were also asked to share their concerns about sending their children to school in the fall and how they feel about their children riding a school bus. Review the survey questions here.

The Data
We received 4,270 responses to the survey. Of those, nearly 71% indicated they are interested in coming back to in-person learning and approximately 22% are undecided. Of the undecided families, many preferred to have full remote learning provided by PSD staff. About 7% told us they will choose remote learning, homeschooling or another education option. 

Some of the concerns shared by parents include the requirements for face coverings, keeping spaces disinfected, and making sure that students readjust back to classroom or school life.

Additionally, some parents told us they are worried about putting their students on the school bus with the proximity to other students, and they will likely be driving their children to school rather than utilizing transportation this coming year.

Next Steps
Given the information received from families, we will make appropriate space throughout the district to safely accommodate those students who want to return to schools for in-person learning five days a week. We will also offer a robust teaching/learning model for those families who choose remote learning. Whether on-site or remote, students will be fully engaged in school with lessons, assignments, feedback, and grades.

The district’s focus now is developing how these options will look for our students and staff this fall. District leaders are working this week and next in teams for in-person and remote learning at each grade level, school schedules, transportation, health and safety equipment, cleaning and hygiene, and personnel. Our goal is to provide enough details about our reopening plans by the end of July so that families can feel even more comfortable with their choice for school in the fall, especially for those who responded to our last survey as ‘undecided.’

Fall Registration
A reopening plan will be presented to the PSD school board for their approval on July 23. Following this meeting, families will be asked to register for school in the fall and commit to one of the two options for the start of the school year on September 8th. We will ask for a commitment of a semester/trimester so we can plan more completely, including the staffing of both in-person and remote learning, prior to the start of the school year. A registration notice will be emailed to all families using the contact details currently in parent portal (PowerSchool) accounts. Please go here to review your current contact details and make any necessary changes so we can communicate with you. Registration will open on Monday, July 27 and will remain open through Wednesday, August 5. In addition to email, a registration notice will be on the district’s website and shared on social media. School personnel also reach out to families who don't register so we know the requests for every student.

Planning for the Safe Opening of Schools
Our goal is to provide as much information to families as possible so they can make the best decision for returning to school in the fall. As with most things in the past few months, our best laid plans may need to change based on factors out of our control. Please know that if there are changes in regulations regarding COVID-19 at the State or County levels, we will adjust our plans appropriately and communicate with you promptly about any changes.  We acknowledge that the planning is difficult for everyone right now, but we are driven by our desire to do what’s best for the students, staff, and families in the Peninsula School District.

Thank you and best wishes for the rest of your summer! 

Please see the School reopening timeline July 9.pdf  

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