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HRBA Families:

This has been an interesting (and stressful) 24 hours. Yesterday, information came out from the Health Dept regarding their recommendation about school openings in the fall. Around the same time, Pierce County public schools announced their decision to go with remote learning. I was hopeful that, because we are a small school, we could still weather the storm and open as planned for on-site instruction in the fall. As I write this, let me be clear, a final decision about on-site vs remote learning has NOT been made, but I want to tell you that it seems unlikely that we will be able to have full on-site instruction at the beginning of the school year. This could change and we are hoping to announce a final decision by the end of next week, but I wanted to share the information that I have received as of today. Here is the letter from Dr. Chen at the Tacoma Pierce County Health Dept:


Dear Private School Administrators:

We all understand the importance of quality education, social-emotional learning, addressing food and special needs, parents’ need to work, and so many other critical issues. However, it is of utmost importance that we protect the health of our students, education professionals and school support staff. At this time, I do not feel we can do so if we open schools for onsite instruction in September.

Please see this letter for complete details.

We also published a blog today to help share this information with all Pierce County residents. You are welcome to use this blog—Remote learning recommended for Pierce County—to help you share information with your communities.

We wanted to share this information with you today to help you with your planning. We remain open to supporting any joint communication efforts that may help your districts communicate with your communities in the coming days.

We will forward this email to your Public Information Officers.

Sincerely,

Anthony

Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH
Director of Health
Office of the Director
(253) 798-6411 o • achen@tpchd.org


A copy of the letter can be found at: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WATPCHD/bulletins/2973cb5


As a school, we must look at a variety of issues surrounding the COVID infection rates. I am currently in conversation with the Pierce County Catholic schools, as well as the Archdiocese of Seattle's Office for Catholic Schools. We want to do our very best, with the science and data made available to us, to keep students and staff (as well as our families and our greater community) healthy. We also realize that most children do better with on-site instruction and are aware of the challenges to their social and emotional well-being when they are not with us at school. In addition, parents need to work and that means that they cannot have children home, unattended. There are so many issues to consider and this decision is not an easy one. I would like to ask you to take this brief 5 question survey on the topic: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/63CYT97


I plan to have a final decision by the end of next week, as I know that parents and staff all need to plan. I just wanted to make sure you have the most current information and an opportunity to share your thoughts as we proceed. Please know that, as a private school, we retain the flexibility (around this matter) that is not present in public schools. We are able to pivot as soon as the circumstances change and feel that we are more likely to have students on campus for periods when the public schools will not.


Again, please take a couple of minutes to complete the survey and do not hesitate to contact me with any additional thoughts or questions. Please know that I am aware of how challenging this ever-changing circumstance is for all parents (and our staff). We are doing our best to keep our community healthy and learning. We WILL weather this storm, but we will need to be flexible and that can be hard and frustrating. Hang in there. Stay healthy, stay safe, and wear your mask!


Blessings,

Katie Dempsey

Principal

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Job Opportunity for Dual Language Speakers

The Tacoma Pierce County Health Dept is seeking people for their Contact Tracing/Case Management jobs. If you are interested, here is the link for more info. Thanks for forwarding, Carrie Hernandez:

https://seeker.worksourcewa.com/jobview/GetJob.aspx?JobID=218779898&JobTitle=Case+and+Contact+Investigation+Team+Member&isjs=2&q=contact+and+case&rad_units=miles&pp=25&nosal=true&vw=b&setype=2&jsrdt=37%2f18%2f2020+08%3a37%3a21&pade=&jpt=1