TPS thanks labor partners for commitment to serve

Tacoma Public Schools is still making preparations to follow Gov. Jay Inslee's order, which he invoked under his emergency powers, to provide child care to the children of healthcare workers and first responders. 

We're proud of our labor partners for stepping up to call of duty. We wish we could honor them all by name. But we have so many heroes we'd surely miss some and wouldn't want to slight anyone for their service. 

Our Nutrition Services workers have prepared, packed and handed out meals for children since schools closed. 

Our custodians jumped in for deep cleanings at schools where we have had coronavirus cases. Since the closures, custodians have continued to clean and button up their schools and staff our 10 regional meal distribution sites. This coming week, custodians also will serve our day camp sites. 

We want to give a Big Thank You to our Safety and Security workers who have watched over our food distribution sites to provide that necessary sense of safety and calm. Our bus drivers have committed in a big way. Recognizing many of our students can't get to one of our 10 regional meal distribution sites, beginning Monday, our bus drivers will shuttle meals for students to neighborhoods throughout the district.

Our administration teams have shifted to multiple daily virtual meetings and remote website updates, which could not have happened without the knowledgeable technology and network specialists from our Professional-Technical (PT) labor group. Some of our PTs have gone mobile to help with tech issues at employee's homes. Our office professionals—always stalwarts of customer service in normal times—have responded as needed, including helping employees who, because of their roles, must file for state unemployment payments. Our nurses, beginning Monday, will serve with community partners at the day camps set up for the children of workers at our two major hospitals and local law and fire services.

This coming week our teachers will begin the first in a series of phone calls, or in some cases emails, to their students, to check in, connect with the children they miss so much and offer support. In addition, on Friday, we had bargaining sessions with our Paraeducators Friday and provided them

with a proposal so they can continue to serve our students and fulfill our collective obligation to meet the Governor's order. All of us will continue working hard during this unprecedented time to keep our staff and community safe while providing the essential services to help us all get through this. #WeGotThisTacoma

Media Contact

Dan Voelpel, Executive Director of Communications | 253-571-1015 |

About Tacoma Schools

Tacoma Public Schools is the only district designated an Innovation Zone by Washington State. A leader in implementing innovative schools and programs to meet the diverse needs of every student, every day, TPS serves approximately 30,000 students from preschool to grade 12 and at nearly 5000 employees is one of the largest employers in Tacoma. Learn more...


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