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State of the District Nov. 4 Graphic

Dear PSD Staff and Families:

Here are some important updates for this week.

In-Person Learning Update

Last week the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department received funding for a school screening and testing pilot concept. Read more here. Peninsula, Carbonado, Eatonville, and White River school districts have been asked to join the health department in pursuing this pilot. We have formed a task force of staff and community members to explore what this partnership could mean for expanding in-person learning for those families who choose that option in our district. Please check for updates from the task force.

While we are working with the health department on this testing pilot, we will continue to run our in-person learning programs for our Kindergarteners, 1st graders, and some select small groups of non-K-1 students, including those in special education programs. We have invited those choosing in-person learning for 2nd grade to begin coming to school on Thursday, Nov. 12.  

Thanksgiving Break Meal Kits

PSD is offering free meal kits for children up to age 18 for Thanksgiving Break, Nov. 25 - 29.  

The meals kits include breakfast and lunch items and will be available for pickup at 1 of 3 locations on Nov. 25: Evergreen ES, Purdy ES, or Gig Harbor HS. Complete this survey to pick up a meal kit. 

Superintendent Search Survey

PSD’s Board of Directors hired consultant firm Northwest Leadership Associates to conduct the search for PSD’s next superintendent. Dr. Art Jarvis will retire from the district on June 30, 2021. The firm is asking staff, families, and the community to take the survey below to learn about personal qualities our community would like to see in PSD’s next leader.

Survey responses are confidential. Results will be presented at a future board meeting. Learn more about the search process here.

Elementary STEM Curriculum Adoption Preview 

After a year of collaborative work, piloting, and reviewing data, the Elementary STEM Adoption Committee has recommended STEMscopes as our new K-5 classroom STEM curriculum. Prior to final board approval, we are providing our school community an opportunity to preview the curriculum and provide feedback. 

Please preview materials here. Toward the bottom of the page, there is a link to a feedback form. We will also host a virtual Q&A session with K-12 STEM Instructional Facilitator, Ashley Ortenzo, on Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. Questions and comments can also be submitted by email. We look forward to hearing your feedback.

Resiliency During Crisis Web Page

Since our routines were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to face the intense challenges of loss, uncertainty, and stress which have many impacts on daily life. PSD Counseling has established a web page that includes resilience strategies and support resources.  

Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula Suicide Prevention Coalition

The Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula Suicide Prevention Coalition will pay for any adult or high school aged community member to take an online Living Works: START suicide prevention course. This training is self paced and will provide the skills and confidence to identify suicide risk factors, and know how to connect those who are struggling with resources. 

You can become part of the solution to making our community more suicide safe. To reserve your space, complete this survey. Questions? Email PSD Lead Counselor Becky Maffei ( or Coalition Coordinator Bob Anderson (

Upcoming Network Outages

Please be aware of upcoming network outages which will impact service to resources from the district network.

  • Friday, Nov. 6 from 10:00 p.m. - 5:00 a.m. - PSD will have no internet access for state K-20 upgrades
  • Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 14-15 - PSD will have no network access to the district as we must replace our firewalls.

Both of these outages will render the portal, Powerschool, and Destiny unavailable. All other services will be accessible as they are hosted outside of PSD. As the portal will be unavailable, you can access our services directly with links to their sites. Below are direct links to some common services: SchoologyGoogle DriveZoom.

Highly Capable Testing Referral Notice for Grades 1-8 

Highly Capable students are those who perform, or show potential to perform at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Parents, school staff, and community members may refer students to participate in the district’s annual Cognitive Abilities test to see if they are eligible for PSD’s Highly Capable Program. 

Referrals can be submitted from now through Feb. 12, 2021 using this form. Please visit our website for more information.

Thank you,

PSD Leadership

  • PSD