New guidance from health department in light of low COVID-19 cases

Posted by SBLSD on 9/4/2020

Below is a joint message from Pierce County superintendents acknowledging new guidance, announced just hours ago, from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and what that means in regards to a gradual transition to in-person learning. 

It's good news for all of our districts and students that COVID-19 cases continue to drop. We want our students and staff back in school as soon as it's safe to do so and we have the health and safety protocols in place.

I know this will bring a lot of hope to many of you and also specific questions about SBLSD’s timeline and plan. Please stay tuned for more information. 

Have a great weekend and wonderful first day of school! 

Laurie Dent, Ph.D.
Superintendent

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This is a message from the following Pierce County School Districts: Bethel, Carbonado Historical, Clover Park, Dieringer, Eatonville, Fife, Franklin Pierce, Orting, Puyallup, Steilacoom Historical, Sumner-Bonney Lake, Tacoma, University Place, and White River. 

Now that some of our districts have started school remotely, there has been a lot of speculation about when schools will reopen for in-person learning. 

Today we received new guidance from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department which shows that Pierce County has now transitioned from the high level to the moderate level of COVID-19 infection.

Between now and Sept. 21, districts will be monitoring data and developing transition plans. None of our districts will bring students back before Sept. 22.

Once a district decides to bring students back to school, they may need at least two weeks of operational transition time before they reopen their doors at the elementary level.

The districts will continue to monitor county trends and work with public health officials to determine when secondary students may return in the future.

With Labor Day weekend before us, we are concerned that the positive trend of reduced infections could relapse with the long weekend’s activities. We want to encourage all residents of Pierce County to continue to wear their masks and observe social distancing standards while they enjoy the weekend with their friends and family. 

Tom Seigel
Bethel School District

Jessie Sprouse
Carbonado Historical School District

Ron Banner
Clover Park School District

Michael Farmer
Dieringer School District

Krestin Bahr
Eatonville School District

Kevin Alfano
Fife Public Schools

Lance Goodpaster
Franklin Pierce Schools

Dr. Tony Apostle
Orting School District

Dr. John Polm
Puyallup School District

Janel Keating Hambly
White River School District

Dr. Kathi Weight
Steilacoom Historical School District

Dr. Laurie Dent
Sumner-Bonney Lake School District

Carla Santorno
Tacoma Public Schools

Jeff Chamberlin
University Place School District