FALL into School

Preschool-5th, Welcome Back

We are so excited to be able to invite you back! This will be an amazing year, one of a kind. We have planned for safety and health as well as excellent academics. There is nothing like an in-person classroom and our teachers have worked really hard to navigate this fall into the next hybrid phase.

Eatonville School District elementary students enrolled in any of the district’s three elementaries may start to return to school in-person at the end of the month, if Pierce County continues to meet COVID-19 targets set by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and state Department of Health. Preschool through fifth grade students will “Fall into learning” with a fall kickoff theme to welcome students back into the buildings.

This next phase is called the hybrid model, in which students learn two days in their school and three days at home with Wednesdays continuing from home using the current “Wednesday Distance Learning Schedule.”

Please be aware we are requiring all students to wear a face covering, all day. The face covering requirement is a state mandate that we will adhere to. Our district will be following all safety and health guidelines from the Department of Health.

The timeline for the hybrid model is provided below, however, may change based on COVID case numbers.

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    • September 28th: A Group attends half day in person, in the morning - no live instruction in the afternoon to allow teachers to prep. School hours on a half day: 9:00am-12:30pm.

    • September 29th: B Group attends half day in person, in the morning - no live instruction in the afternoon to allow teachers to prep. School hours on a half day: 9:00am-12:30pm.

    • October 1st and October 2nd: B Group attends full days

    • October 5th and 6th: A Group attends full days

    • October 8th: B Group attends full day

    • October 9th: No school - State Inservice Day

Why will students come back to school in cohorts two days a week?

Health and safety requirements mandate schools to maintain six feet of social distancing in classrooms. While the physical size of classrooms varies from school to school, classrooms aren’t large enough to accommodate all students six feet apart. Each teacher in grades K-5 will see half of their students in person on Monday-Tuesday and the other half on Thursday-Friday.

What days do the two different groups attend in-person?

Typically A Groups attend Mondays and Tuesdays while B Groups attend Thursdays and Fridays.

Parents should refer to the calendar for the month of October specifying exact A and B dates.

September & October Calendars

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When will parents learn if their child has been placed in A or B group?

Parents will be informed of their child’s grouping at 3:00pm on Monday, September 21st from their child’s teacher via email.

Please know we are grouping siblings together and working through coordinating siblings who will be returning in the secondary level.

School Schedule

As we shift to hybrid, students will be on campus from 9:00am-2:30pm. It is important for parents to adhere to having their child in building no sooner than 8:50am.

We will strictly enforce students not leaving their parent vehicle or bus until there is a visual signal from school personnel at 8:50am.

Additional Dates Parents Should be Aware of

  • September 18th: There will not be live instruction this afternoon to allow teachers to place students in A/B groupings.

  • September 24th: There will not be live instruction this afternoon to allow for planning.

  • September 25th: There will not be live instruction this afternoon to allow for planning.

What does my child do on the non-in person days?

Teachers will send home plans for the days students are not in class. These plans will include supplemental materials to extend the learning that took place in the classroom.

Student Chromebook

Kindergarten - fifth grade students may expected to transport their chromebook and charger to school on in-person instruction days. Parents may want to purchase a protective case or sleeve and stylus for their child's chromebook.

How does this impact Preschool?

Preschool resumes to in-person instruction, Monday, October 5th.

Preschool students will remain in their originally assigned Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday program. Preschool hours are 9:00am-2:30pm. Please contact our Special Services office for Preschool specific questions.

How does this impact Special Education students?

  • October 1st: K-12th Grade Self Contained students begin to attend four days a week: M, T, Th, F

  • October 5th: K-5th Grade Resource Room students begin to attend four days a week: M, T, Th, F
  • Your child's Special Education teacher will inform you of specifics.

What if families don’t want their children to return to school in person?

Families who don’t want to send children to school in person may enroll them in the Elementary Virtual Academy (EVA) or Mount Rainier Parent Partnership (M.R.P.P.). Please complete the Transfer Request form to initiate this process.

Food Service

Through December 31 all students will be offered a free breakfast and a free lunch every school day. When students are released from the bus or vehicle at 8:50am students may pick up their breakfast from the building's designated area.

Please stay tuned for updates to our Grab & Go food pick up program.

When will bus routes and times be available?

A timeline for bus routes will be released no later than September 23rd.

School Supplies

Please refer to the original supply list on our district website. If you have specific supply questions please connect with your child's teacher.

When can we anticipate 6th-12th grade returning to in-person instruction?

Approximately 21 days after the K-5 students, return possibly mid-to late October. Students in grades 6-12 could return to in-person learning two days a week, in the same hybrid model as K-5: either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday in-person. They’d spend the other three days learning from home.

Why can kindergarten through fifth grade students return two days a week?

In his guidance to Pierce County school superintendents on September 4th, Dr. Anthony Chen, director of health for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department listed reasons for a phased-in return to in-person learning starting with the youngest children. His reasons included:

  • Youngest learners are at a critical stage in their development.

  • Youngest learners struggle the most with distance learning.

  • Younger students appear to have milder cases and lower transmission rates of COVID-19.

Eatonville School District relies on guidance from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Washington State Department of Health to determine when schools can return to face-to-face learning. TPCHD uses four factors to consider going to in-person instruction:

  • The 14-day case rate per 100,000

  • The trend in percent of COVID-19 tests that are positive

  • The trend in new cases of COVID-19 by day

  • The trend in hospitalizations because of COVID-19

Get current information on how the county is meeting health department targets for going back to school in person.

We’ll provide you updates on moving to the hybrid model. If COVID case numbers change, it will impact our decision to open. We will continue to follow the protocols for monitoring community virus outbreaks.