Fife Public Schools

A Message from Superintendent Alfano

January 15, 2021

Dear Fife Public Schools Community,

On Monday, January 11th, our school board members convened and reviewed the district plan to move forward with hybrid learning for our students. The board also reviewed the new K-12 metrics and toolkit which was designed by the Washington State Health Department (DOH) with the intention of assisting school districts with their transition to in-person learning. As has been the case, and continues to be the case, the health and safety of our students and staff remains our top priority.

After concluding our study session on Monday, several board members toured schools located in area districts to look at classroom setups and hear from both administrators and nursing staff. While we still do have a few items to put in place, we are confident those will be taken care of in the next two weeks, and we can begin the transition to hybrid learning in February.

A staggered transition is recommended by the DOH. The transition timeline below is an overview of how we plan to stagger our transition for the families who have indicated “hybrid ready” as their choice of learning modality for their students.

In addition, the recommendations for middle, junior, and high school students are different from K-5 students, so as we progress in the transition, a few key metrics need to be hit in order to continue. This is an important point, especially for our 6-12 grade schools, and more details will be shared as we move forward.

Our planned timeline is as follows:

  • The week of February 1st - Kindergarten students return in A/B hybrid cohorts (included in this transition is time for one-to-one parent/student orientations)

  • The week of February 8th - 1st and 2nd grade students return in A/B hybrid cohorts

  • The week of February 15th - 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students return in A/B hybrid cohorts

  • The week of February 22nd - 6th and 7th grade students return in A/B hybrid cohorts (if case counts in Pierce County are <350 cases/100K)

  • The week of March 1st - 8th through 12th grade students return in A/B hybrid cohorts (if case counts in Pierce County are ~200 cases/100K)

Later this evening you will receive another email. This email will be specific to your choice in our most recent survey and your decision on hybrid learning or remaining in the remote learning environment. This email will also contain details regarding the cohort in which your student(s) will be placed, either A or B, if applicable to your choice.

If you have selected to keep your student in remote learning for the remainder of the year, information regarding this learning modality will be communicated to you as well.

Please know that moving from one cohort to another or moving from one classroom to another will be very difficult, if not impossible, because of the class size limits and other social distancing requirements we will be implementing. Simply put, requests to principals for changes can not be honored at this time.

I am sure this second email will create many questions in your mind. Please be patient while our building administrators communicate the specifics surrounding their school and the logistics regarding schedules, safety protocols, class assignment changes, etc. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will answer all of those questions.

If we have learned anything these past 10 months during the pandemic, it is that things change fast, but the solutions to the new challenges take time to solve. Please be patient while we update our website with hybrid information. Before the end of January, we will be publishing our updated reopening plan to reflect our current changes. This will include updating our website page called “Reopening Central”.

More information will be coming soon. Thank you for your continued support during this unprecedented time, and thank you for the trust you have shown. Together we will get through this!

Be well,