Superintendent Bahr Newsletter

December 2020

Happy Holiday Season


Dear Eatonville Community,


This weekend I sat down to write this December newsletter, as I have so many years before. However, this is a year like no other in recent times for this nation and the world. My heart was sad and my thoughts serious as I opened up my Grandmother Edna Hong’s book “From This Good Ground,” and struggled to put my thoughts down on paper.


We are facing a winter season that is distinctly dangerous and uncertain where even a family dinner has been deemed to be too much of a risk for some. As I looked through the book, I saw something in the chapter “The Love of Creatures” I’d never noticed before. On an illustration in blue ink, my Grandmother had written, “My kid sister Eleanor.” I looked twice. I was flabbergasted! I thought I’d read this book before but I had never noticed this. I eagerly flipped through and on another page noticed, “This captures her strong will and strong sense of humor” in Chapter 2, “Mother, The Mineral in my Soil.” How grateful I was now and in that moment was also humbled.


My Grandmother passed away when I was in my 20’s. She represented kindness, an intense love of nature and the Lord. Her love of children, animals and my Grandfather have been values that I in turn have kept throughout my life and hopefully have passed to my own children.


This month it is my sincere wish, that although we are not able to gather together as in the past, we still take the time to notice all that we are thankful for throughout this winter season.


Leaves dropping from the trees, the winter wind and cold combine to force a sense of hibernation, slowing down, and becoming focused on what is important. This pandemic has increased the sense of prioritizing what matters from family, loved ones, good food, security and safety.


My Grandmother’s notes to me, unnoticed for decades, ignited a deep feeling of connection and love. My Why has now become my own grandchildren: Koryn-the dancing little 2-year old warrior, Jansen, the cheerful, inquisitive 3 ½ year and presidential Lincoln born during the pandemic with a sparkling smile and disposition.


Experiences such as these teach the lessons that life is precious and ever changing. We will, as a world, find a way out of this pandemic. And hopefully soon, we will be able to resume more “normal” lives. But until then, may we cherish our loved ones. May we notice what and who matters. May we educate our children the very best way we can even in difficult circumstances. May we be kind to each other. May we be thankful for each other.


Please know that all in Eatonville School District are attempting to find a way through this difficult time with a “Strong will and a sense of humor.” Because from this good ground it is an honor to serve this community.


Have a Blessed December and Holiday Season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Sincerely,


Krestin Bahr,


“Nana” and Superintendent

My Grandmother

My Why: My Grandchildren

Have you taken our Distance Learning Parent Survey?

Click here to complete the survey that was released on 11/20.

Rising to the Challenges of a Pandemic: A Conversation with Experts

Join the virtual event, brought to you by Alaska Airlines

Please join us for a conversation to learn from trusted experts about COVID-19 testing, vaccine development, safety measures, and much more. Guests will have the opportunity to ask questions and get access to an interactive panel with our partners and world-renowned experts from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine. Topics will include the latest research on vaccines and strategies for protecting ourselves and each other. The conversation is hosted by Luke Burbank of "Live Wire" and brought to you by Alaska Airlines.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. PST Add to calendar


  1. Click here to join the online virtual event.
  2. If you currently have the Teams application installed on your device, select "Open Microsoft Teams" and you will be automatically placed into the event.
  3. If you don’t have the Teams application, select, "Watch on the web instead.""

Preschool Learning in Action

Covid Testing Pilot Information

Covid Testing Pilot Launches November 30th

Dear Eatonville Community,


We are pleased to be able to share information about our participation in the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s (TPCHD) COVID-19 school-based testing pilot. This program will operate in the Eatonville School District between November 30th through December 18th. We hope to continue testing in January 2021.


This pilot program model is supported by the work done by the Institute of Disease Modeling (IDM) which has produced a recent report that says, with school-based countermeasures (masks, physical distancing, hygiene, daily wellness checks), routine diagnostic screening of asymptomatic people can have an impact on reducing transmission. In other words, we keep doing what we are already doing, plus adding diagnostic screening for COVID-19, and we are looking at a safe way to continue in-person learning.


Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is purchasing the tests and providing the staff to administer the tests. There are no costs to the Eatonville School District for participating in the pilot.


Live Discussion with Dr. Chen, November 30th at 4pm

Eatonville School District will host a live discussion with TPCHD Health Director, Dr. Anthony Chen on Monday, November 30th at 4:00pm where he will share information about the testing program. Parents and staff are encouraged to watch live, and a recording will also be available afterward.


Please check the TPCHD website for details and frequently asked questions about the testing program.


If you would like to submit a question for Dr. Chen, please complete this Google Form by Friday, November 27th at noon. We will compile all submitted questions and provide them to Dr. Chen ahead of time.


All interested stakeholders may stream the meeting live on Monday, November 30th at 4:00pm by clicking this link.


Weekly Antigen Testing for Students and Staff

Voluntary rapid antigen testing will take place once a week at three schools within the district.


School Testing Sites


Drop in anytime from 9:00-3:00pm at any of the locations. No scheduling necessary.

  • Columbia Crest A-STEM Academy - Mondays from 9:00am-3:00pm

  • Weyerhaeuser Elementary - Mondays from 9:00am-3:00pm

  • Eatonville Middle School - Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays from 9:00am-3:00pm


Beginning the week of November 30th for students and staff only who wish to be tested.

We’ll test once a week until Winter Break. The rapid antigen test we will use is a mid turbinate nasal swab. Results are available in about 15 minutes and it is 97.1% accurate on positive results and 98.5% accurate on negative results.


Any positive test would require a second test to confirm the positive, which would be a PCR test, but also a mid turbinate nasal swab. The follow up PCR test would occur free of charge at the school location following any positive rapid antigen test. People with positive tests are usually notified sooner (usually within 48 hours) than those with negative results (5-7 days).


Questions and Answers

Below are a few questions and answers about the testing pilot. You can find more information at the TPCHD website. More questions will be addressed during the live discussion with Dr. Chen on Monday, November 30th at 4:00p.m.


What is the benefit of the testing pilot program?

This program, combined with other pilots will provide districts and health jurisdictions with valuable data to help inform decisions in the future for the eventual safe return of students.

Accessible testing free of cost for students and staff members. This will cut down on school days being missed by students and staff who may be experiencing symptoms not caused by Covid. It will also catch asymptomatic cases which will prevent the spread of Covid in our community.


When will students and staff be tested?

Students and staff will be tested weekly starting the week of November 30th. Parents may drive their child to a testing location if your child is currently not attending in-person. High school student athletes are also welcome to attend one of the three testing sites to get tested. While waiting 15 minutes for the results of the rapid antigen test, students are encouraged to wait in a vehicle if they are visiting the site location.

A signed permission form will be necessary for each student being tested. The permission form only needs to be signed once and will be in place for the duration of the testing pilot.


What are the dates of the testing pilot?

The pilot will run from Monday, November 30th through Friday, December 18th, 2020. In January 2021, we hope to have the pilot continue.


What happens with the information? How is my child’s privacy protected?

Tacoma Pierce County Health Department and Eatonville School District nursing staff and the District Office Team would have access to the rapid antigen results. If a child or staff member tests positive, we would work with TPCHD to administer the PCR test. If a student tests positive, parents will be contacted immediately. The student testing positive will be sent to an isolation area until a parent can pick them up.


Who will perform the test?

A registered nurse or other certified medical staff member performs the test.

What if my child is in remote learning and/or attends a school not listed as a testing site?

Any student or staff member who attends/works at a location that is not a testing site can get tested at any site during the testing hours between 9:00am-3:00p.m.


Can I be present when my child gets the rapid antigen test?

No. We do not allow visitors at our school facilities to limit the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, we can’t allow parents to come into the buildings for testing either.


What if I don’t want my child to get the test?

Each family can choose what’s right for them. You will need to complete a consent form for your child to be tested. We are hoping for 100% participation, or close to it, of the students and staff who are in the building. If participation rates are too low we will not be allowed to continue in the pilot.


What’s the difference between a PCR test and an antigen test?

A PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests look for the genetic material of the virus. People with positive tests are usually notified sooner (usually within 48 hours) than those with negative results (5-7 days).

Antigen tests look for proteins that are part of the surface of the virus. Antigen tests can produce results in 15 minutes.

PCR and antigen tests in the school-based testing pilot use a small cotton swab that collects matter at the entrance of the nose.


How is this funded?

Pierce County was able to use CARES funding to purchase tests and PPE. They are providing us logistical support and manpower. No money is coming through the district.



This is an amazing opportunity. We GET to bring students back into our buildings to access testing. Around the world, we can see many countries successfully opening schools. However, most of those countries have prioritized schools. Citizens have willingly stopped gathering, have participated in safe practices, and taken other actions to create a scenario where students can safely return to in-person learning.



This important work will help us ensure safe learning and work for every student and employee during these difficult times. We are grateful for our local health professionals who have partnered with us this year.

Click here to submit questions to Dr. Chen.

Join us on 11/30 for a live session with Dr. Chen regarding the testing pilot.

Live Discussion with Dr. Chen, November 30th at 4pm

Monday, Nov. 30th, 4-5pm

This is an online event.

Eatonville School District will host a live discussion with TPCHD Health Director Dr. Anthony Chen on Monday, November 30th at 4:00pm where he will share information about the testing program. Parents and staff are encouraged to watch live, and a recording will also be available afterward.


Please check the TPCHD website for details and frequently asked questions about the testing program.


If you would like to submit a question for Dr. Chen, please complete this Google form by Friday, November 27th at noon. We will compile all submitted questions and provide them to Dr. Chen ahead of time.


All interested stakeholders may stream the meeting live on Monday, November 30th at 4:00pm by clicking this link.

Click here to stream Dr. Chen's Community Meeting.

Monday, November 30th from 4:00-5:00pm.

Click here to view more about Covid Testing in Schools

The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department just launched a webpage on their website regarding the Covid Testing Pilot Program. The site includes an overview, frequently asked questions, forms, and a graphic of the testing process.

Picture Day is Coming Soon

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Winter Break Dates

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Mental Health Resources

As we stretch into more than nine months with Covid-19 in our community, we realize that this brings many challenges to our mental and emotional health and well-being. As our holiday season can look vastly different this year, this can bring even more challenges. We know many are struggling with depression, unemployment, poor health, and fear.

You are not alone! There are many resources available to help. Here are just a few:


Meet our Counselors

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Grab and Go Meal News

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This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click this button to read the full Non-Discrimination statement.

Free & Reduced Meal Application

Originally “Free & Reduced” forms were due October, 15th, however, there has been an extension. Meal forms are now accepted throughout this school year.

We strongly encourage all parents/guardians to submit a Meal Application.


Please follow these steps to complete the form electronically:


1. Go to the district website https://www.eatonville.wednet.edu/

2. Scroll over the “Families” box at the top of the page. Click on "Skyward Family Access."

3. You should now see a login page. In the drop down menu towards the bottom, make sure you click on family/student access.

4. If you do not know your Login ID and Password, please check with the secretary at your child's school.

5. On the left blue bar in Family Access, click the section titled, "Required Data Collection 20-21 School Year."

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Decision Tree Guidance for Reopening (updated 10/16)

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