Fife Public Schools

A Message from Superintendent Alfano

October 2, 2020

Dear Fife Public Schools Community,

First, let me state I hope all is well with everyone! Even though it was not an ideal way to begin the school year, I would like to underscore I am happy with the progress made by our staff and students during the first month.

This past Monday, at our regular school board meeting, our directors agreed that beginning our transition to the hybrid learning model for our K-3rd grade students in October was too soon in light of the recent data released by the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department’s (TPCHD).

Case counts of COVID-19 in Pierce County have risen each of the past 15 out of 16 days. The result is a rise in the key numbers used to measure the community spread of the virus. The case counts per 100,000 people has been treading upward, and yesterday it hit over 75/100K, which is the high limit mark as determined by the Washington State Department of Health’s Decision Tree matrix on page 5.

Because of this, Fife Public Schools will not begin our transition to hybrid learning any sooner than November 2, 2020. However, please know this date will also be subject to being pushed back depending on the health data in our county as presented in the future.

To follow up, we will review the most current data in mid October and give at least two weeks notice before we transition to hybrid learning for K-3rd grade students. As stated in previous communications, once our K-3rd grade students have transitioned back to school on their modified schedules, our 4th-5th grade students will follow, followed by 6th-7th grade students, and finally our 8th-12th grade students. The schedule and details of the secondary schools have not been established yet and won’t be until we know when our elementary schools can return to in-person learning.

Again, we will communicate the transition schedule with more concrete dates when we have it. After our mid October data review, we will also communicate our most recent thinking.

To close, I know the start of the 2020-2021 school year might have been frustrating for you - both staff and parents - and it certainly is not ideal for student learning. However, we are working non-stop to improve instruction every day and plan for a safe return. Your patience and support have been immensely appreciated, and on behalf of our team of leaders, including our school board members, I say thank you! TOGETHER we are Fife, and TOGETHER we will get through the coming months in a positive and productive fashion.

Look for more communication coming from my office in mid October. In the meantime, our school leaders will continue their weekly communications with you.

Be safe and be well,

Kevin Alfano - Superintendent