• FAQs: Move into Stages 4 & 5  |  January 2021


    For the In-Person Hybrid model, are we able to select which 2 days our child goes to school? 

    We recognize families have varying schedules. In doing our very best to accommodate diverse schedules, we're accepting requests if you have a specific 2 days (T/Th or W/F) that works best for your family. We're unable to guarantee, however, that we can accommodate everyone's request. You're welcome to make your request through your child’s school.

    For families who chose the In-Person Hybrid model, when will we be notified what two days of the week our child will attend school?

    On Jan. 12, families of K-2 students can expect to receive a message indicating whether their student is on the Hybrid A schedule, the Hybrid B schedule, or in Full-Time Distance learning.

    • Hybrid A students attend school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
    • Hybrid B students attend school on Wednesdays and Fridays.

    Middle and high school students can expect to receive a message the week of January 25. Families with multiple children will be scheduled on the same days of the week.

    What will distance learning look like at the elementary school?

    A distance learning academy is being developed for elementary students using District teachers. Distance learning teachers will be communicating with students and families on class Zoom times. For an in-depth view of the new distance learning instructional model, watch this video and view the schedule at-a-glance to learn about some minor changes to the model and what to expect moving forward.

    What will distance learning look like at the middle and high school? 

    Most students at the middle school level will be scheduled into a distance learning academy using District teachers. In some cases, concurrent teaching may be necessary based on the actual class and number of students enrolled. (Concurrent teaching is when a teacher is instructing both in person students and distance learning students at the same time.) Middle school students can expect some re-rostering of teachers for second semester.

    Distance learning students at the high school level will experience concurrent teaching. For this reason, students should expect to Zoom throughout the regular school day. Routine schedule changes and balancing the number of students in classes will happen prior to the start of second semester.

    Will students have a new teacher when schools finalize plans for transition to in-person learning?

    In order to accommodate all requests for in-person and distance learning classes, teacher changes will be necessary. This will impact in-person and distance learning classes at the elementary and middle school level. The number of changes is dependent upon the number of families who are selecting distance learning as their preferred learning model as well as the number of teachers who are unable to return to the classroom in person due to high-risk health concerns. Every effort is being made to minimize teacher changes. Students at the high school level will experience routine schedule changes.

    What will school look like for elementary students in the In-Person Hybrid model?

    Click for the elementary model at-a-glance: Family Version | Student Version

    What will school look like for middle and high school students in the In-Person Hybrid model?

    Students will attend all 6 classes each day. Teachers will prepare students for their asynchronous work while they are in class. 

    For the In-Person Hybrid model, what is the bell schedule for days at the building? 

    • Elementary: It depends on whether your school is on a late or early start schedule. The start and end times are the same prior to COVID.
      • Early Start Elementary: 8:25 a.m. - 3:10 p.m.
      • Late Start Elementary: 9 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
    • Secondary (middle and high): 7:25 a.m.-1:35 p.m. 

    View a list of all bell schedules.

    Why are secondary schools ending at 1:35?

    In order to provide support for students who are in the concurrent distance learning model as well as for asynchronous students, an Academic Support Time is being built into the school day Tuesday through Friday. Teachers will be available for a 45-minute Zoom session to answer questions and offer additional support at the end of each day. Links to this session will be available through each teacher’s Google Classroom.

    Will there be teacher office hours on Monday?

    All teachers (elementary, middle, and high school) will have an hour of office support each Monday. Links to these sessions will be available through each teacher’s Google Classroom.



    Do all students and staff need to be screened for illness each day?
    Yes. Both the state Department of Health and Labor & Industries require students and staff to receive a health screening before entering a school.

    Are temperature checks a required element of screening?
    Yes, the state requires that the mandatory screenings include a temperature check, which will be taken upon entering buildings.

    Can students use a face shield instead of a cloth face covering?
    Yes, students may use face shields as an alternative to cloth face coverings. If used, face shields should extend below the chin, to the ears, and have no gap at the forehead. A drape attached to the face shield is required.

    Are face coverings required all day?

    Face coverings are required the majority of the day, except when eating lunch and during recess. Disposable face coverings will be provided for all students who don’t have one upon entering the school building. The face covering requirement does not pertain to those with a verified exemption.

    Are face coverings required to be worn at recess and lunch?
    No, face coverings are not required while eating lunch or during recess. Social distancing standards during recess have already been in place using the recess program, Playworks.

    How will you enforce the use of face coverings?
    Schools will take several steps to help students comply with the state’s face covering requirement. Steps could include educating the student on the safety requirement, recommending an alternative type of face covering and consulting with the parent/guardian. Mitigating factors for individual students will be a factor when addressing face covering usage. 

    What’s the protocol if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID?
    If there’s a suspected or confirmed case, we will partner with the Tacoma-Pierce Health Department. As our local public health expert, they will take the lead on response activities, of which depend on a variety of factors, including any specific scenario as you mentioned. We will communicate the plan immediately to families.

    What happens if COVID-19 case counts dramatically increase or if there’s a COVID-19 outbreak?
    The District is strictly adhering to the Department of Health’s metrics to determine when we can begin and continue in-person learning. If COVID-19 case counts rise to a level that’s outside of what’s allowed, we will contact the TPCHD.    
    Depending on the scope of the outbreak, as defined by the Department of Health, students and staff in either a classroom or an entire school will quarantine for 14 days and switch to distance learning during that time.The District will work with the health department to determine the level of closure needed.

    Which COVID-19 case counts should we be looking at?

    The District goes by the 14-day case counts in Pierce County. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department updates the Pierce County COVID-19 Data Dashboard each afternoon.


    What changes can I expect to see in the school buildings? 

    • Temperature scanners inside main entrance doors
    • Increased hand sanitizer stations inside main entrance doors, in food distribution areas, inside entrances of doors coming in from recess (elementary)
    • Signage reminding distancing
    • Use of face coverings worn by staff and students
    • Increased attention to cleanliness
    • Student seating in classrooms will be further apart, 6 feet
    • Smaller class sizes
    • Some spaces in the buildings not usually used for instruction, may be used while we are in a hybrid model

    Will you offer bus transportation? What will riding the bus look like?
    Yes, the District will offer bus transportation as usual. Per state guidelines, students and the bus driver will be required to wear face coverings. To increase ventilation, windows may be lowered. Students will be seated to comply with social distancing as much as possible. Guidelines allow more than one student per seat.

    How will meals work?  

    Breakfast and lunch will be available at school, or students may bring their own food from home. Breakfasts and lunches are free to all students at all grade levels. For children not receiving meals at school on any given day, we will still offer the free curbside meal service for pick up at these designated sites.

    At elementary schools, students will have only one lunch choice. January’s menu follows what we’re offering curbside. For future months, we will post both an on-site menu and a curbside menu. At secondary schools, there will be at least three daily meal choices.

    At the elementary level, lunch will be delivered to each classroom, where students will eat at their desk. Secondary students will eat lunch in the school’s cafeteria or other common spaces. Tables will be set up 6 feet apart. Face coverings may be removed while students eat. Hand Sanitizer stations will be located in the food distribution area.

    Will the District offer childcare? 

    Yes, we will continue to offer childcare services for children ages birth to 5. There are no free or additional childcare services for healthcare workers, first responders or uniformed service members.

    Will there be before- and after-school care?
    At this time, the city of Bonney Lake Recreation Program will not be able to offer its full scope of services. The District is working with the city to expand offerings.

    Are visitors allowed inside buildings?
    Yes, but on a limited basis. Visitors will be limited to only an emergency need or contracted agency staff who work directly with students for educational purposes. All visitors will complete an in-person health screening, including a temperature check with a thermometer.

    Families are allowed to drop off emergency items (medication, food due to dietary restrictions, personal hygiene items, etc.) a half hour before and after the school day.

    Are students able to use their lockers?
    No, based upon recommendations, locker use will be suspended for the time being. Students will be allowed to carry backpacks.