Fife Public Schools

A Message from Superintendent Alfano

April 2, 2021

Dear Fife School District Staff and Families,

I wanted to reach out to everyone prior to spring break and wish you a relaxing and safe week! I also wanted to follow up with you regarding my last communication.

Last Thursday, Governor Inslee held a press conference in which he updated the social distancing guidelines for classrooms, reducing the number of feet that students can be safely separated in a classroom from six feet to three feet. While this is great progress in getting more students back into our classrooms on a more regular basis, he also affirmed that the existing requirements of students’ social distancing of six feet while eating, attending certain classes like PE and choir, and in other large gathering areas remain in place. This last part has made it difficult for all districts to work around because of the capacity of furniture, limited eating spaces, and other staffing/scheduling issues.

I spent this week working with our district leaders and building administrators, especially our elementary administrators. While our work sessions were very productive, we have not solved all the issues to be able to announce a definitive date for more students to return. We are very close, and it is my hope that after spring break we can focus on our elementary needs and have more information for you then.

I want to be very clear, Fife, like surrounding districts, is working hard to meet the needs of our students while also maintaining a safe learning environment. During this time when more and more people are eligible to be vaccinated, we are also seeing a slow but consistent rise in the number of cases in our county each week. We will continue to monitor this data while we also plan and problem solve for more students to return. Our number one goal is to keep all students and staff safe. Second, we are focused on our students that need our support the most. At the elementary level, this would include students who receive support services in LAP and/or Title I reading or math, students who receive special education services, students in transitional housing circumstances or in the foster care system, and students who are English Language Learners.

I thank you for your continued support and patience as we work thoughtfully through these scenarios. After we return from spring break, you will hear more from me and our building principals. I will also be in contact with our board members each step of the way, updating them accordingly.

Again, I wish you all a relaxing spring break. More information will follow in the coming weeks.