Updates for Secondary

  • 2/25/21

    High school student/family webinars cover safety, expectations, schedules


    High school in-person learning set to begin March 9; hybrid, distance reminders


    In-person learning for high school estimated to begin March 9; updates for distance learning


    High School (Hybrid and Distance learning)


    Middle School Hybrid Update

    High School (Hybrid and Distance learning)


    Schedule Update for Middle and High School Families

    Please click your selected learning model below to learn about the updated schedule for your student(s):

    Middle School Hybrid
    Middle School Distance Learning Academy
    ALL High School (Hybrid and Distance Learning)


    Schedule Announcement for Secondary Families

    Please click your selected learning model below to learn about the updated schedule for your student(s):

    ALL Secondary Hybrid Families
    Middle School Distance Learning Families
    High School Distance Learning Families


    This week, we’ve enjoyed the excitement of welcoming K-2 students back to our buildings for In-Person Hybrid Learning. As the District is glad to keep our youngest learners in this safe setting, we’re also looking ahead to when we can expand this opportunity to other grades.

    Since the state’s release of new metrics for K-12 in-person learning last month, the District continues to carefully and closely monitor multiple points of measure relating to the gradual return of additional students by grade level. 

    Based on current COVID-19 case rates, we’re unable to bring middle and high school students back for in-person learning in early February. 

    Today, Jan. 21, the 14-day case rate per 100,000 Pierce County residents as of six days ago is 421. In following the state Department of Health’s metrics, we need to be at 350 cases or lower to bring back middle school students. The target rate to return for high school students is even lower at about 200 cases per 100,000 residents. At this point, based on trends, we’re not confident we’ll meet this threshold in time to begin in-person learning as was tentatively planned. 

    While COVID-19 case rates seem to be widely known and understood as one metric to gauge a return to in-person learning, the District also looks at these measures that span all grades and COVID activity levels as outlined by DOH

    • Test positivity rate

    • Trends in cases and hospitalizations

    • Ability to limit transmission in the school environment

    Our top priority remains the safety of students and staff, with a commitment to complying with state guidelines. Despite the pause in bringing back secondary students, families will still receive their child’s schedule early next week, confirming their learning model, hybrid group and second semester schedule. 

    We will continue to monitor metrics closely and reassess our ability to bring back middle and high school students on a weekly basis. We will keep families informed with further information on Thursdays regarding timelines.

    If your child currently participates in a District self-contained special education program, you will receive an email from our Special Services Department.


    Important items to note and points of clarification:

    • This is only a PAUSE and only at the SECONDARY level until COVID-19 case counts and other state-defined metrics allow for in-person learning. Once metrics change to meet state guidelines, we will begin the transition to in-person learning by grade level.
    • This pause affects only middle and high school students who selected the hybrid learning model. This DOES NOT affect grades 3-5. There are different metrics for different grade levels.
    • As a reminder, here are the state-defined metrics. Note that COVID case counts are different for elementary, middle and high school as follows:
      • Elementary: Greater than 350 cases per 100,000 residents
      • Middle: 350 cases per 100,000 residents
      • High: Below about 200 cases per 100,000 residents
      • These metrics were created by the state Department of Health and approved by the governor. School districts did not make up these metrics. We’re abiding by guidelines developed by health experts to help keep our staff and students safe and healthy.

    We will update families every Thursday on our ability to bring students back. Our next update will be Jan. 28 to let you know if we can reopen on Feb. 9. In the meantime, secondary students will attend distance learning classes as they are now four days a week with asynchronous learning on Monday.
    It’s not our intent to cause frustration and we apologize for any confusion. To stay up to date on information regarding in-person learning, make sure you read our family messages sent via email and also found at bit.ly/SBLSDFamilyMessages.