School reopening update

School reopening update
Posted on 12/18/2020

The following message was sent to Tahoma School District families on Friday, Dec. 18:

Dear Tahoma families,

When we reached out on Wednesday to share the new guidelines announced by the governor, we promised that we would be in touch soon with another update. We have begun reviewing the changes, and continue to do so as we plan how to safely return more students to buildings in the new year.

Since March, we have operated in a fashion that is normal for Tahoma -- with representatives from all stakeholder groups in the room, including students, parents, staff, School Board directors and members of the Tahoma Education Association and Public School Employees of Washington. It has been, and continues to be, a partnership.

We appreciate the stance of our School Board, which is that our district should follow the guidance of health officials during this public health crisis.

We agree with some of Gov. Inslee’s points, including the fact that we should bring cohorts of students back, carefully, slowly and safely. Because some families have changed their minds since our last survey in September, soon you will receive another commitment survey from us, asking whether you would like your child (or children) to remain in the remote learning model or return to school for in-person learning in a hybrid model. After we receive that data and have time to work together in January, it will take us a number of weeks to finalize class assignments, schedules and other details.

When we return, we will follow health recommendations including wearing masks, maintaining six feet of distance, frequent handwashing, thorough cleaning and increased ventilation. Students will stay in cohorts at school whenever possible. Students and staff members will stay home when ill, and, when there are positive COVID-19 cases, we will follow the guidance of health officials regarding quarantine.

The governor’s announcement this week does affect some of the factors that we are considering in our planning. However, our focus remains the same as it has since March -- on the safety of our students and staff members, and on providing the best possible education for each of our Tahoma students.

In partnership,

Mike Hanson, Superintendent

David Aaby, TEA President

Ruthie Mackie, PSE President

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