Otter News

JANUARY 23, 2020


Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week begins on Monday, January 27th! Lessons will be taught by Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One Prevention Specialist, Tina Curran. Each lesson will focus on the following by grade level:

Kindergarten: Concepts of escaping from fire environments; knowing the sound of a smoke alarm; match & lighter safety.

1st Grade: Don't play with matches & lighters; have smoke alarms on every floor; get down, get out and stay out; make a home escape plan and practice it; know your local emergency number - 911.

2nd Grade: Water safety is the focus using the American Red Cross "Longfellow's Whales Tales" - swim with a buddy; be cool, follow the rule; look before you leap; reach or throw, don't go; don't just pack it, wear your jacket; calling 911.

3rd Grade: Disaster preparedness is the focus - what is a disaster; how to assemble a disaster preparedness kit; what to do before, during and after a disaster.

4th Grade: Gearing up for safe bicycle riding, skateboarding and in-line skating are focus for this grade level - how to stay safe while riding bikes and any other non-motorized transportation; how to keep safe by making the right choices; applying safety concepts to our lives - why it is so important to protect our brain; basic traumatic brain injury prevention.

5th Grade: Introduction to first aid and dealing with emergency situations are the focus - accessing 911; how to act in emergency situations; choking; shock; bleeding.

NEW Car Seat Law

Keeping up-to-date with Washington’s Child Restraint Law helps ensure you are correctly using the right seat for your child’s age and size. Following these requirements greatly reduces the chances of death or serious injury in a crash. Your child’s safety in the car requires the right seat, used the right way, every time. These requirements to Washington’s Child Restraint Law take effect

January 1, 2020.

Kids Heart Challenge

Please see flyer for Kids Heart Challenge Information. We encourage you to make your donation online ~ Thank you!

Pioneer Elementary STEAM Open House

All elementary families are invited to see what’s being planned for Peninsula School District’s new magnet STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) school, Pioneer Elementary. A STEAM Open House is planned for Wednesday, January 29, 2020 from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Henderson Bay High School located at 8402 Skansie Avenue in Gig Harbor.

At this event, families will experience learning activities around a STEAM unit; take away information and resources to understand more about Pioneer Elementary, including the school’s vision and design principles. Students and parents can also talk with Principal Stephanie Strader and meet the initial Core Team of educators who are invested in the design of our new school.

This is an open house event, so you attend any time between 5:30pm - 7:30pm. Kids are encouraged to attend! Questions? Please call 253.530.3500.

Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy - Please VOTE BY FEBRUARY 11, 2020

The Peninsula School District will ask voters to approve a three-year Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy, to replace an expiring levy that was approved by voters in 2016. The replacement levy accounts for 18% of the District’s annual budget.

State and federal dollars do not fully fund day-to-day operations, so the District must rely on local residents to make up the difference. The levy funds many critical areas, such as teachers, nurses, para-educators, counselors, custodians, music, athletics, extra-curricular activities, safety and security, special education, highly capable, and preventative routine maintenance projects. Athletics and extra-curricular activities are fully funded by levy dollars.

The current levy will expire in 2020, so this will not be a new tax. The replacement levy must be passed by voters to continue the programs listed above. The levy is for a fixed dollar amount and the District cannot collect more money if property values increase. The estimated levy tax rate is $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Please remember to vote by February 11, 2020.

More information is available at

2020 Levy

YMCA Mid-Winter Camp

When: February 18th through 21st (Closed Feb 17th, President’s Day)

Location: Purdy Elementary School

Time: 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM

Cost: $50 per day / $176 for all 4 days

Registration available by school offices and due by January 31st, 2020; Mail - YMCA Childcare Business Office, 3330 Kitsap Way Suite A, Bremerton, WA 98312; Fax (360)627.9047; Scan and/or email - Payment is due by February 12th.

Questions? Please call (360)813-1813. Camps are also offered at all YMCA facility branches. Please visit

Inclement Weather

Please remind your student to wear a coat, gloves and/or hat to school. We send all students outside for recess and our weather can be cold and wet. If you're in need of a coat for your child please contact our school counselor, Mimi Mathews, at 253-503-1130. Thank you!

PTA Information

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Winter Weather Information For Bus Riders

In preparation for winter weather, please review information about emergency bus routes:

  • What are emergency bus routes?
Emergency bus routes are predetermined routes that our buses drive when necessary, for example, when we experience snow or ice, it prevents school buses from getting to every usual bus stop.
  • How will I know when emergency bus routes are used?
The district will announce emergency bus routes via SchoolMessenger, the district website (, the district emergency phone line (253-530-1088), and on local TV and radio stations.
  • How do I know if my child’s regular bus stop is affected by emergency bus routes?

-Emergency route maps by school are posted on school homepages.

-Emergency Bus Route and Safe Zone flyers are distributed via Thursday folders (elementary

level) and available in every school office.

-Ask your child’s bus driver about their emergency route and recommended safe drop off/pick up zone for your family.

  • What time does my child need to be at the safe drop off/pick up zone?
When emergency bus routes are used, please have your child arrive at the safe drop off/pick up zone at least 15 minutes prior to your regular (or two hour late) bus stop pick up time in the morning. In the afternoon, please allow for a 15 minute window for drop offs at the safe drop off/pick up zones.
  • I’d like to receive a text via phone and/or email when emergency routes are used.

The only way you will get a personal notification, if we use emergency bus routes, is through the phone number/email you’ve added to your PowerSchool account. Make sure your contact details are updated for each student in your family. You can watch this video to learn how to access your PowerSchool account.

Still have questions? Call the Transportation Office at 253.530.3900 or email

Don’t miss out! Update your contacts to receive weather updates! Not sure how? PSD has a guide for you!

Upcoming Events


  • Friday, January 24th - Staff In Service, No School
  • Monday, January 27th through Thursday, January 30th - Fire Prevention Week
  • Tuesday, January 28th - Artondale Dine Out - Round Table Pizza, 4pm-8:30pm; PTA
  • Tuesday, January 28th - PTA General Membership Meeting @7pm, Round Table Pizza


  • Tuesday, February 4th - Artondale Dine Out - Panera Bread, 4pm-9pm; PTA
  • Tuesday, February 11th - REMEMBER TO VOTE!
  • Monday, February 17th through Friday, February 21st - Mid Winter Break, No School
  • Friday, February 28th - PTA Family Movie Night - Angry Birds 2, 6pm-8pm
The Peninsula School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Inquiries regarding compliance and/or grievance procedures may be directed to the District’s Title IX and Compliance Officer, Dan Gregory, at (253) 530-1009, email or the Section 504 and ADA Coordinator, John Yellowlees, at (253) 530-1081, email address: 14015 62nd Ave. NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332.