Fife Public Schools

A Message from Superintendent Alfano

November 1, 2021

Dear Fife Public Schools Community,

Thank you for helping us navigate the start of the school year and engaging with our students and schools. The first week of August, I gathered with our district and building administrators at our annual leadership retreat. One activity on which we worked individually, and then together, was the development of a “6 word mantra” that would describe our mindset for the school year. It was interesting to hear the different mantras that our administrators came up with.

The example I gave to our administrators was, “Big challenges create the biggest opportunities.”

Those six words were meant to inspire our team and give us hope that - together - we can overcome challenges and turn them into learning and growth opportunities.

As you may recall, in early August, we were just hearing about the new COVID-19 Delta variant. The mitigation requirements at the time were minimal, but as the month of August progressed, so did the mitigation requirements in our region and state. Then in September, things were close to where we left off in June with mitigation requirements in our schools. I tell that story to say we are currently navigating a very complex system that is still creating unique challenges, and we are responding as quickly as we can to turn each challenge into an opportunity for our staff and students.

Last month, I spoke about some of those challenges and how proud I am of our staff for finding the opportunities within. That still holds true today as we move into the month of November. Most likely you have received a phone call from one of our staff members as we are engaging in the massive challenge of contact tracing. This work is a huge time commitment and has challenged our schools. However, we are seeing good results, and the data is proving that the spread of COVID-19 in our schools is very low. Yes, we are still seeing isolated cases, but for the most part, those cases are coming to our schools and not the result of spread within our schools.

This is good news, and in working with Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, we will be seeing adjustments made soon to the contact tracing requirements. This will result in fewer calls home from our staff. With fewer calls home, we are going to need families to assist us. If your child is showing any sort of flu or cold symptoms, we need your continued assistance. The first step is to keep your child home and call your child’s school and/or doctor. Testing is the next step and can be done at the school or at any testing site in the region. The next step will be dependent on the test results received. For complete information, please access our COVID-19 Safety Plan and Guidelines for Returning to School.

As always, I hope to see you out at one of the many activities our schools are facilitating this winter. To close, I’d like to thank all the veterans in our community and schools for your service as we honor you on November 11th.