Staff COVID Resources
This page will serve as a for staff as we plan and prepare for changes during the 2021 school year. This page includes contact information for district and site COVID leaders, planning team updates, timelines and additional resources.
- Hybrid Planning February 11, 2021
- Hybrid Planning February 4, 2021
- Superintendent Update February 2, 2021
- Hybrid Planning January 28, 2021
- Superintendent Update January 22, 2021
- Hybrid Planning January 21, 2021
- Superintendent Update January 20, 2021
- Return to In-Person Learning Guide January 20, 2021
- Staff COVID Vaccine Update January 18, 2021
- Superintendent Update January 15, 2021
- Hybrid Planning January 14, 2021
- Hybrid Planning January 7, 2021
We will host another vaccination clinic at FPHS on Wednesday, February 17. A drum line has been requested to play during this event. Carolyn will talk with the high school band director to see if having the drum line there is feasible.
A second-dose clinic will be held on March 3 at FPHS for those who received their first dose on February 3 at FPHS.
We have asked to host a private vaccination event for FP staff and families. This event would be timed so that it occurred when most of our staff and families would qualify to receive the vaccine. We are considering using buses on a Saturday to transport families to the vaccination site. Pierce County Emergency Management (PCEM) would run the event for us. Then toward the end of the day, it would open up to the general public to make sure that all doses were used. Katie will let us know more once she receives an answer back from PCEM.
- This week Katie was able to update all elementary safety plans and put them on the website.
- We are waiting for more information related to quarantine requirements of people who have already received both vaccine doses.
- Katie provided guidance about managing social distancing within the schools.
- We are exploring rapid testing and talking with other districts who have used it. False positive and false negative results are possible using this testing system. There are a lot of pros and cons to rapid testing on site. Other districts are reporting that it is not necessarily beneficial.
- WHS has started a conversation about an outdoor prom event at the stadium with the theme, “Don’t dress up, just show up.”
- We are clarifying our message about quarantine requirements related to out-of-state travel. More information will be provided to staff soon.
We have seen an increase in inappropriate Zoom bombing by students recently. Teachers can now mute all students and then unmute them as each student is appropriately identified by the teacher.
We brought 1st and 2nd graders back this week.
We are planning for 3rd through 5th graders’ return. We have about 6 classrooms of remote learners per grade level. We expect to begin in-person instruction for these grades on February 22.
We offered a professional development series on Wednesday and again on Friday. We can help with setup next week as well, if needed.
We appreciate the teachers who have allowed others to observe their hybrid teaching sessions.
The student attestation can be received in languages other than English. Erin and Jerry are looking into how families initially select an appropriate language other than English. More information will be provided soon.
Thank you to Earle and Brent who have organized observation visits to other secondary schools that are currently using hyflex learning and managing student attestations.
Dear FPS Team:
Last week, I had the opportunity to welcome back some of our Kindergarten students for in-person learning. For many of them, it was the first time that they had met their teacher, their classmates and set foot in their classroom. Their excitement was absolutely contagious, and our staff was nothing shy of amazing!
At the same time, I know that some of you are concerned about the current plans to bring more students back for in-person learning. Some of you have questions about health and safety, instructional practices and the planning process.
One of the most challenging elements of this pandemic for all of us is the increased need to make decisions about things that we have never encountered. Behind each decision lies a series of challenging questions: Which science and guidelines beyond our state and local health departments should I consider? How much input should we gather before making an informed decision? How do we balance the importance of physical health with social and emotional health? This list goes on and on.
While there will never be full agreement among our 1,100 staff about how our decisions will best serve students and families going forward, I have no doubt in my mind that each of us are asking these challenging questions in service to our students, community, colleagues and profession. For this, I am incredibly grateful. Throughout this process, I hope we can continue to learn from one another and our experiences, remain open to change, and consider solutions that will ultimately make us better.
Thank you for your continued persistence and flexibility during these challenging times.
Transportation: Tim was driving today, but it sounds like transportation went well on the first day of school. We do need to look ahead and plan for transportation adjustments on March conference days.
Nutrition Services: We had a few small bumps with food delivery, but the kids received their food at school and at the meal sites. All in all, it was a good first day of school.
- We have not heard any significant concerns about the attestations, except that a few parents did not have the necessary technology to complete them. Schools assisted those parents who needed help before school started this morning.
- Our kindergarteners are doing great with masks. We are regularly reminding them about social distancing. The kids understand standing on dots.
- We met with middle schools to work through lunch area options that meet safety requirements.
- Ford was inspected today and is ready to go. Site visits for the other secondary schools are in process.
- We are working on getting more staff and student face shields to meet accommodation needs.
- Katie and Brandy are updating their safety video.
- Brandy reported that so far we’ve had no confirmed COVID cases that were traced back to our district workplaces.
- Further discussion about reporting of staff and student COVID cases will happen soon.
- More information will be coming soon about COVID vaccine clinics scheduled at FPHS.
- We did PD for 1st and 2nd grade teachers around pacing and instructional materials.
- School supplies were distributed to schools for K-5 (crayons, markers, white boards, etc.) so kids don’t have to share.
- We are prepping for conversations with grade 3-5 teachers and GLFs regarding the instructional model. We’ve got some ideas for meeting common instructional goals.
- We are closely monitoring families’ choices of remote and in-person instruction. The trend is that more families are choosing in-person instruction. We will allow change as we have the capacity to accommodate changes.
- We are outsourcing transportation to YMCA daycare for now.
- The Rainier View staff greeted kids with doughnuts this morning.
- Bruce is helping get some tables to Rainier View for students to use.
- We expect about 9 kids will be transported for after school care tomorrow.
- A small group of secondary school staff met to discuss common practices that should be duplicated across the district and included in a handbook for staff and students. We’ve been asking what’s the lowest common denominator and then allowing schools to add their school-specific information.
Building Principals: It was a great day. Kindergarteners and staff are doing really well! Most families completed the attestations before school started this morning. Almost all the students we expected for in-person instruction today did attend. Parents did a great job remaining in their cars when they dropped off their students this morning.
FPEA: The 1st day of school pictures are wonderful. FPEA and district administrators continue to communicate about returning to in-person instruction.
Dear FPS Team:
Late Wednesday night, I received a message from FPEA leadership indicating that members had voted not to return to in-person instruction according to our re-opening plans. I am writing to communicate to you that, while we plan to address the concerns raised in this communication, we expect to continue to offer in-person instruction to our students according to the plan we have developed.
I must admit that Wednesday’s communication caught me off guard. We have been working closely with FPEA leadership throughout the planning process, have listened carefully to concerns presented by members, and have made several adjustments along the way to address these concerns. We have been diligent about abiding by contractual obligations spelled out in the CBA and this year’s COVID Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and hope that others will do the same. That MOU, which we reached collaboratively and in good faith with FPEA, recognized that students would be called back for in-person instruction during this school year, and outlines leave options for staff who are not able or willing to return for in-person instruction. We remain committed to continuing to work collaboratively with FPEA to address the concerns that were expressed in the message, while also working to address individual concerns of staff on a case-by-case basis.
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve over 200 support center, STRIDES, and early learning students across our district over the past two months, and we are excited about the opportunity to welcome back approximately 300 kindergarten students across eight elementary schools on January 28. As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will closely monitor our systems and processes and only welcome additional students back as we can demonstrate the ability to limit transmission in our schools.
I understand the complexity of the situation we are in. I care deeply about the health and wellbeing of our staff and students. I believe that our students and families deserve the same opportunities as kids in neighboring districts who are bringing students back for in-person learning. I know that this pandemic has disproportionally impacted communities of color. I am concerned that many of our students and families are struggling socially, emotionally and academically because of the barriers presented by remote learning. This is evident as over 75% of families opted to have their K-2 students return to school for in-person learning when given a choice. Through all of this, I have been convinced by health experts and educators that there is a safe way for us to bring kids back into our schools, regardless of whether people are vaccinated.
Over the next few days, we will work closely with FPEA leadership to address those concerns presented in FPEA’s communication over which we have control. We will continue to advocate to host a mass vaccination site in our district, will make sure that school re-opening plans address questions presented by staff, and consider additional instructional models that will serve our students well.
I am confident that through all of this, we can work together to bring our students back to our buildings in a safe manner.
General Overview: We are moving forward and planning for in-person instruction so we are ready when students arrive on our campuses.
Kindergarten – We expect to have 300 kindergartners on our campuses Thursday, January 28. Kindergarteners will attend 4 days per week.
1st and 2nd grade – Students will return to in-person instruction 4 days per week on February 8.
Operations & Maintenance:
- We are ready for students to return.
- The Building HVAC systems are ready, and we are making sure everything complies with the Department of Health and L&I requirements.
- Teachers can leave student chairs on the floor at the end of each day since desks will need to be cleaned each night with Vindicator.
- During the day, desks will be cleaned with soap and water by teachers and students.
- Transportation is ready to follow all protocols.
- PRAD training will occur in-person on Monday for all drivers in the FPHS cafeteria. To comply with social distancing requirements, we have divided attendees into three small groups who will attend at different times.
- We will be ready. We are prepared to serve students at schools and at meal sites.
- We need accurate meal counts from teachers for both breakfasts and lunches. Meal count instructions will be provided to teachers who have students attending in-person. Breakfasts for the next day will be distributed to students on the return buses. Meals will be sorted by class for lunches and by bus or parent pickup for breakfasts.
- More information about meal coordination will be provided as the system evolves.
Health and Safety:
- Isolation room and cleaning procedures were distributed during the last week.
- Revised safety plans went out to elementary schools today. Secondary schools will receive revised plans early next week. All schools need to revisit their plan to see the changes, make needed adjustments, and return their completed plans to Katie.
- We are finishing up inspection visits at all elementary schools.
- L & I has been very clear about staff lounges. Social distancing must be maintained at all times in staff lounges.
- We will be ready for students to return.
- Consistency must be maintained across all schools.
- We are getting a lot of requests from staff for accommodations. We want to be equitable to all staff so we need all administrators to support the Health and Safety workgroup decisions.
- Principals are doing great work implementing their safety and instruction plans.
- Professional development is being provided to teachers; starting with Kindergarten teachers and specialists. All teachers who are shifting roles are being supported by a mentor.
- IT is collaborating with T & L to re-roster classes.
- Additional instructional materials have been ordered in anticipation of items lost during remote instruction. Teachers can use the form in DORA District Forms to order more supplies.
- More school supplies, similar to what was sent home in September, have been ordered and will be delivered to classrooms.
- We’ve been using the Hyflex tech system for meetings during the past couple of weeks to practice using the new processes and make adjustments. It’s working well.
- Re-rostering of classes is happening now.
- Christensen is piloting the attestation process with families this week.
- More laptop chargers have been ordered for students who forget to bring their charger to schools. Surge protectors have also been ordered for charging stations and classrooms.
- IT checked on the Kindergarten classroom technology to ensure it is all working correctly.
- If teachers need a second monitor, please let IT know.
Student and Family Engagement:
- The YMCA childcare will move to Rainier View Church next week.
- We are still working out some logistics to provide before and after school care. We will start with about 10 students but gradually move to close to 50 students.
- Surveys to grades 3-5 will go out next week.
- Joel is reviewing the school safety plans to make sure everything is aligned with regulations and is consistent across the district.
- We will continue to make updates on the Return to In-Person Instruction webpage, including common information across each of the opening plans for each school.
- Attestation information will be going out to families so they are very familiar with it.
Elementary Building Principals: Parents are pleased with the information being shared during Open House Zoom meetings about school processes and daily routines.
FPEA: FPEA continues to work closely with FPS administrators to manage returning to in-person learning and shared concerns regarding details of learning schedules, plans and protocols.
Greetings FPS Team,
We have received several questions from concerned staff members over the past few days as we continue to plan for in-person learning with our youngest students. Thank you for taking the time to ask questions, to raise your concerns, and to seek solutions that will serve our staff and students well.
We continue to balance information from public health experts, school districts that have already returned to in-person learning, our own Support Center and Developmental Preschool staff that have been providing in-person instruction over the past several weeks, and many of you that have brought questions to me, your building leadership teams and your association leaders. In response, I want to provide a few updates and reminders:
- Yesterday, we published our Return to In-Person Learning Guide. This guide provides answers to many of the questions about our reopening plans and will continue to evolve as new questions emerge and processes are refined. Parents, students, and community members will continue to use this guide as a resource.
- Our Teaching and Learning Department will be eliciting feedback from teaching staff in grades 3-5 on the Hyflex instructional model. They will look at the feedback and facilitate a discussion with GLFs to make decisions about the grades 3-5 instructional model by Thursday, February 4.
- Prior to transitioning to in-person learning an additional day of asynchronous learning for each returning grade level will be added in order to provide teachers additional classroom preparation time.
- We are working with Pierce County Emergency Management to begin the process of hosting a mass vaccination site at a district facility. We will provide additional updates as we learn more.
- Department of Health’s guidelines encourage us to prioritize the return of our youngest students AND those “farthest from educational justice.” We are currently working on a plan to identify small groups of priority students in secondary schools to invite them back for in-person learning.
- Plans for a general expansion of in-person learning at the secondary level are dependent on two factors: 1) Demonstrated success with limiting transmission in the school environment at the elementary level, and 2) Community transmission rates have reached the moderate phase (p.8).
- Staff can expect at least two-week notice before transitioning to in-person learning. Once the transition date has been determined, staff should expect to return to the building for at least a week to prepare for the students’ return.
Thank you again for the extraordinary work that you are doing during these extraordinary times. I am continually grateful for your hard work, commitment and perseverance as we continue to serve students and families in our community.
To: All Staff
From: Brandy Marshall, Director of Human Resources & COVID District Manager
Date: January 19, 2021
Subject: COVID-19 Vaccination ALL STAFF Update
Dear FPS Team:
As excited as I was to have 2020 behind us, 2021 has already proven that the era of unprecedented times and pivots is not yet over. The pandemic continues, the political chasm expands, glaring reminders of racial injustice occupy the national headlines, recent weather events left much of our community without electricity and most recently, a local chemical fire.
Through all of this, we are supporting students through remote learning and planning for students to have the opportunity to return in person. On December 16, 2020, the Department of Health issued new guidance for the return of students to school. This guidance was based on local, regional and state-wide pilot projects as well as additional studies about COVID transmission rates in schools and was not contingent on the distribution of vaccines. Based on the new guidance and input from the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, Franklin Pierce Schools is planning for students to access in-person learning with several precautions in place.
Throughout this pandemic, we have adjusted the way that we operate to meet the needs of staff, students and families. Students’ return to school will be no exception. Students will not return to the same schools that they left last March. Staff are not being asked to approach their work in the same way that they did last March. While our schools will continue to support rigorous learning for students, we also have an opportunity to create spaces of connection, inspiration and hope during this pandemic. We hear from families each day that our students are craving routines, interactions with caring adults and peers, and safe and supportive environments where they can feel challenged and successful. In learning from health and education leaders working with schools that have reopened across our region and state, we are confident that we can do this successfully.
In the weeks ahead, we will offer updates and resources on the reopening process through the Staff COVID Info page. Please do not hesitate to contact your department or building leaders with additional questions.
Finally, I want to thank each and every one of you for your work in service of our students. I appreciate you more than words can adequately describe. I also acknowledge that our return to in-person learning requires change yet again. This is hard, no doubt about it. I recognize the challenge and will do everything in my power to support you as we provide our country’s most important civic service: public education.
General Overview: District leaders meet weekly to exchange information related to reopening our schools. We believe it is vitally important that we continue to use both safety and equity lenses as we plan to bring more students back to in-person instruction.
This week, leaders met to conduct an activity entitled A Day in the Life, tracking the experience of a fictitious second grade student to walk through potential scenarios for students moving through a day of in-person instruction. Points of conversation included:
- Transportation (bus or family dropoff/pickup)
- Start of the school day
- Morning Class
- End of School Day
This exercise was used to clarify and poke holes in procedures across the district. A comprehensive in-person "PLAYBOOK" will be published and made available online the week of January 18 for students and staff. This will outline procedures and protocols for staff and students, and highlight health and safety measures.
General Overview: District leaders meet weekly to exchange information related to reopening our schools. We believe it is vitally important that we continue to use both safety and equity lenses as we plan to bring more students back to in-person instruction.
Health & Safety: References that will guide our activities throughout the district are almost complete, including an updated Accident Prevention Program Plan that will be posted on all safety bulletin boards; a Respiratory Protection Plan Guidelines resource; specific attestation and isolation room guidelines; and a "playbook" guide for use by staff and families that will explain the daily COVID-19 guidelines and processes.
Information Technology: Laptop charge carts will be ready for students to return. To assure our wireless network is ready for transition to hybrid learning and eventually a full return to school, we will be testing our wireless access points at all schools. Administrators have been asked to inventory teacher tech needs and communicate compiled lists to IT.
Instruction: Family survey responses seem to be very similar to fall survey results. Using the most recent family and staff survey results, we are working to balance the number of students in each instructional model (remote and HyFlex) with the number of available teachers. Professional development will be provided for teachers around HyFlex (remote teaching with students in the classroom). We are also planning how to supplement supplies when students return without their consumables, etc. Discussion continues around the AA/BB vs. AB/AB models. Wednesday will continue to be an asynchronous day even when we move into in-person instruction. State testing for ELL will trigger grade-level testing as grades return.
Nutrition Services: Preparations have begun for feeding students on campus in addition to continuing food delivery to meal sites. Daily meal sites and times will remain the same until further notice.
Operations & Maintenance: Heating and ventilation regulation is our priority right now. We need to move/filter maximum air for safety and also keep room temperatures comfortable. MERV filter information will be provided to administrators so they can share it with their staff.
Student and Family Engagement: We will be reaching out to families who have not completed the survey. A new set of financial resources for families in need will be available soon. Hotspot allocation is being revamped to bring connectivity to more students. The Y childcare program will transition from Elmhurst Elementary School to Rainier View Church soon. Staff may use this program at a reduced rate. Some schools are designing videos that walk families through a typical day to ease the transition back to school.
Transportation: Route information for Kindergarten students will be available soon on E-link. School offices may also request a copy of their students' routes. We are preparing to review COVID safety procedures with our staff and provide guidance around assigned seating compliance.
Return to School Timeline:
- November 2020: Support Center Students returned 2 days/week
- January 4-8: K-5 staff fill out surveys about return to work; K-2 families fill out surveys about full remote or in-person 4 days/week
- January 11-15: 6-12 staff fills out surveys about return to work
- January 28: Kindergarten students start 4 days/week
- January 25-29: Grades 3-8 families fill out surveys about full remote or in-person 2 days/week
- February 8: Grades 1-2 students start 4 days/week; GATES HS select students start
- February 8-12: Grades 9-12 families fill out surveys about full remote or in-person 2 days/week
1822: Grades 3-5 students return 2 days/week February 18March 4: Grades 6 students return 2 days/week when Covid 19 activity is Moderate and Support Center/previous return to school efforts have been successful February 18March 8: Grades 7-8 students return 2 days/week when Covid 19 activity is Moderate and Support Center/previous return to school efforts have been successful March 1:High School students return 2 days/week when Covid 19 activity is Moderate and Support Center/previous return to school efforts have been successful
Guiding Commitments for the return of students:
- Maintain a health and safe working and learning environment for students and staff.
- Supporting the social, emotional and academic needs of all students, particularly those furthest from educational justice.
- Maintain instructional time
- Maintain staff planning time
- Provide at least two weeks of notice before major changes (unless otherwise directed by local health authorities)
Since the onset of COVID 19 in early 2020, Franklin Pierce Schools staff have worked closely with local public health and emergency management professionals to make sure that the district is preparing, planning and minimizing risks. The resources below offer information about who to contact with questions about planning, a link to each building safety plan, and access to the risk exposure plan in the event of a positive case.
Risk Exposure Plan
The purpose of the risk exposure plan is to provide a framework for exposure response with Franklin Pierce
School District staff. The execution of the plan requires the collaborative efforts of Franklin
Pierce School District and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. By design, the plan must
be adaptable and subject to review as information is updated on various types of illnesses and
outbreaks and how to best handle them. To view the FPS Risk Exposure Plan, click here.
- If you are notified while at work, leave work and go home immediately. If you are at home stay home and do not come to work.
- Notify your supervisor of COVID-19 Site Supervisor by phone that you received a positive test result.
- Contact a COVID-19 District Manager:
- Katie Gillespie (253) 298-3027 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or
- Brandy Marshall (253) 298-3034 or email@example.com.
- Please be prepared to list anyone that you had close contact with up to two days prior to the onset of symptoms or test date. **Close contact is defined as less than 6 feet distance for more than 15 minutes per hour.**
- If needed, Human Resources will answer any questions you have regarding leaves.
- Certificated Staff – Mandie (253)298-3082 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or
- Classified – Sandy (253)298-3083 or email@example.com
- You will be required by Washington State public health law to participate in a contact tracing process. Contact tracing is the process of contacting all people who have had contact with someone who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Contact tracing is conducted by the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department. Your participation is confidential.
- Stay home for the required isolation period and follow instructions from your healthcare provider and the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department related to self-care and isolation procedures.
- Do not return to work until you are cleared by your health provider or the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department to do so.
- For routine follow-up questions or guidance, contact the COVID-19 District Manager.