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State of the District January 22, 2021 Text Graphic

Dear Peninsula School District Community,

It’s been quite a week in the Peninsula School District! After recognizing the extraordinary life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we welcomed our second graders back for in-person learning and officially opened the new Pioneer Elementary building. Here are a few other items for you to know this week:

COVID-19 School-Based Testing
We are pleased to share details for continuing our COVID-19 School-Based Testing Program in partnership with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD). TPCHD has provided us with 10,000 EverlyWell self-administering COVID-19 testing kits for in-person staff, which should last until the end of the school year.

Who Will Be Tested?

  • Staff who are working in-person on school or district campuses may choose to voluntarily be tested. 

  • Select groups of students will be able to voluntarily test beginning in February. More details will be shared as plans are solidified.

Why is the Testing Process Changing?

  • TPCHD no longer has access to rapid antigen tests and could no longer sustain the staffing provided during the pilot. 

  • PSD was offered EverlyWell as an alternative because it requires less staffing and is more sustainable. Although it’s a different testing process, we believe it will also allow us to quickly identify and isolate cases of COVID-19 on our campuses to protect the health and safety of our staff and students. 

Pioneer Elementary School Opens its Doors
PSD opened its first new elementary school in 34 years on Tuesday, Jan. 19! Pioneer Elementary School is the first school completed of four elementary construction projects, and six projects overall. Pioneer was made possible by the passage of the 2019 bond for school construction to address extreme elementary overcrowding and other emergent infrastructure needs. Pioneer Elementary School students and staff have been housed at the Henderson Bay High School building near the new building site located on Skansie Avenue in Gig Harbor. Here are scenes from the first day for current in-person students. An upcoming virtual tour video will be shared at a later date. 

3rd-5th Grades to Start Hybrid Learning Feb. 4
PSD announced yesterday that it will begin the 3rd-5th grade hybrid AM/PM in-person learning model on Thursday, Feb. 4. This will also include 2nd grade students at Pioneer Elementary and students who participate in the Peninsula Accelerated Classroom Enrichment (PACE) Program, as those students learn alongside 3rd graders in those models. Remote learning will continue for families choosing to continue with that platform. You can read more about 3rd-5th grade hybrid learning on our website

Grades 6th-12th Hybrid Learning
We continue to wait for a date to start hybrid learning at all of our secondary schools.

At last week’s meeting of the PSD Board of Directors, Assistant Superintendent Dan Gregory presented the secondary hybrid learning plan and took questions from board members. This video excerpt of the board meeting shares more about the secondary hybrid in-person and remote learning models. Timestamps of covered content topics are outlined in the video description. Watch it here. Read more about 6-12 hybrid learning on our website

Superintendent Jarvis Testifies in Olympia
Dr. Art Jarvis was asked to testify last month at the Washington State Senate Ways and Means Committee regarding the status of K-12 schools. The Ways and Means Committee is charged with reviewing and making recommendations for the state’s budget. Watch an interview with Dr. Jarvis about what he shared with lawmakers.

School Board Reorganizes
Last month the PSD Board of Directors held its annual election of officers. Board Policy 1210 requires the board to annually elect a president and vice-president of the board. The board elected David Olson, who had been serving as vice president for two years, as president and Lori Glover was elected as vice president. Other committee assignments will be confirmed at the next board meeting.

As president, Olson will, among many things, preside over board meetings, manage deliberations, and serve as spokesperson of the board with the media and public. These roles are up for election annually to help share the workload and not overburden individual members for an extended duration. 

We hope you have a nice weekend.

PSD Leadership

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