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State of the District December 16, 2020 Graphicc

Dear Peninsula School District Community,

It’s amazing to see that the end of the year arrived so quickly. We want to thank you for the support and patience shown these past 10 months. We had successes and some challenges, yet despite it all, we continued the necessary work that must be done to ensure the safety and educational needs of our students.

Update on the COVID-19 School-Based Testing Pilot
We are in our third and final week of the school-based antigen testing pilot and are very pleased with how it’s been going. If you haven’t seen this yet, Purdy Elementary School published a short video about what the testing program looks like at their school. The most common phrase students and staff use when asked how it felt to be tested was, “It tickles!” 

Last week we increased testing access by adjusting schedules and opened a new testing location (Goodman MS) for students and staff. We had an increase of 11% (56% participation for students from week 1 to 67% participation for students from week 2).  Staff participation remained steady at 83%. 

Share your thoughts about the COVID-19 School-Based Testing Pilot
Whether your child participated in the COVID-19 School-Based Testing Pilot or not, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TCPHD) wants to hear your feedback. This is an opportunity to communicate your feelings about the testing program and its potential impact on returning more students and staff to in-person learning in our district. Take the survey

Continuation of School-Based Testing?
We are all interested in learning about the plans for continuing the antigen testing pilot into the new year. TPCHD is evaluating the program during the last two weeks of this month and they will share their assessment in early January. As soon as we learn the details about the possible continuation of the testing, we will share that information with you.

Meal Survey
PSD’s Nutrition Services Department is asking for survey assistance in planning free meal kits for the upcoming winter break. Complete the survey here.

Due to the length of winter break, there are two pick up dates to pick up meal kits: December 22 to cover 7 days and again on December 29 to cover 6 days. Families are invited to pick meals up on both days. Find more winter break distribution details in the survey introduction.

PSAT Canceled for January 26
In recent years, PSD has paid for and provided PSAT testing during the school day for all students in 10th and 11th grade. Because the PSAT can only be administered in-person, we are not able to offer testing during the January 26 test date. 

Students in 11th grade will have the opportunity to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship program through an alternate method. More information from the scholarship program is expected about this alternate qualification method in February.

Winter Break
There will be no school for winter break from Monday, December 21, 2020 through Friday, January 1, 2021. Most schools and district offices will be closed during this time. 

Thank You, Families
We want to say a special thank you to our families who have made their homes their child’s school this fall. We know many of you have been trying to work at home while dedicating time and effort to support your children. We have been amazed by the flexibility, tenacity and creativity that our students have shown as they have navigated this new and different way of accessing their education. It could not have been possible without you.

We look forward to seeing all of our staff and students, whether in-person (K-1) or remote, on Monday, January 4. Wishing you safe celebrations and healthy holidays. 

Sincerely,
PSD Leadership

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