Fife Public Schools

A Message from Superintendent Alfano

January 2, 2022

Greetings, everyone, and Happy New Year!

I hope you had a restful and safe winter break. While the break has been good from a restful standpoint, our community has seen a rise in COVID cases similar to our surrounding communities across the state and the nation as a whole.

Over break, the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) has monitored this new situation and met with school districts to reiterate their current recommendations. As such, they are not recommending school districts return to remote learning at this point in time. We have followed the TPCHD’s recommendations since this started over 18 months ago, and we will continue to do so in 2022. They are recommending that schools continue with their current mitigation strategies including masking, contact tracing, quarantining, and getting tested if you or your children are experiencing any flu- or cold-like symptoms.

While working over break, it became obvious that we might run into several incidents of short handed staffing in our schools until this current wave of increased cases subsides. While we are planning to be in person as a school district, there could be instances where a classroom or even a school is closed for a short period of time. All of this is dependent on the situation, and these decisions will be made in consultation with TPCHD.

For now, the TPCHD wanted us to remind you of a few things to start the new year:

  • If you or your child are showing flu or cold symptoms, please get tested. You can contact your child’s school or visit one of the testing sites. Starting on January 3rd, the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup will be a testing site. Visit the TPCHD website for more information regarding testing.
  • As we navigate cases in our schools, please be understanding if you are contacted during the contact tracing process. Our office and nursing staff are working hard and following the directions of the Washington Department of Health (DOH) and TPCHD.
  • According to our health officials, research is clear that getting fully vaccinated will help in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Finally, and in addition to the latest Omicron information, I am glad that - for the most part - the latest weather incident took place while school was out of session. However, we are still very early in the winter months and other storms/cold weather could be in our future. As always, our staff will be monitoring the weather and roads closely each morning. Should we need to start the day late or cancel school for the day, we will communicate with you via FlashAlert email and phone calls.

I was able to drive around the district this afternoon to check our bus routes. All of the main roads are clear, but several side streets and especially our roads in unincorporated King and Pierce County are still pretty icy. We will hope for plenty of rain tonight with continued above freezing temperatures and we will reassess those roads in the morning. In looking at the forecast, we may have more snow later this week, so please be prepared for possible schedule adjustments on a short notice, if needed.

Thank you, and I will see you soon!