Welcoming kindergarten students for in-person learning

This Tuesday, Jan. 19, kindergarten students will start in-person learning in their schools two days per week— Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday—in groups of up to 15 students.

Knowing a few key things for the start of in-person can help the days run smoothly.

Take daily COVID-19 health survey on the Family App
Every day a student is in a school building, a parent or guardian must complete a short COVID-19 health survey form acknowledging their child has no COVID-19 symptoms and hasn’t been exposed to anyone with COVID-19. This is a state requirement of all school districts across the state. You can complete the survey at https://family.tpsapps.org/register. Paper versions of the COVID-19 survey forms in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Khmer, Russian and Ukranian will be available at schools.

Watch this video to learn how to register and complete the daily COVID-19 health survey. 

Taking the bus to school?
If your student will take the bus to school, you can find your bus stop and schedule here, or click on the bus icon on tacomaschools.org.

Independent learning days
On school days when students do not attend school in person, they will have assignments from their teacher to work on independently. They can also watch live or recorded TPS TV School, which is a series of 45-minute lessons taught by two Tacoma teachers for grades K-3. The lessons focus on math, literacy, and social-emotional activities by grade level.

Do laptops come to school?
For now, leave your child's laptop and charger at home while they focus on getting to know their classmates in person and learning their classroom rules.

Answers to more in-person learning questions

Next steps

  • Jan. 25: Preschool students will attend school in groups of up to 15 students. Families will receive the schedule from their student’s teacher for all programs. 
    - Head Start program students will attend two days per week in cohorts.
    - ECEAP students will attend two days per week in cohorts. 
    - Peer Inclusion, special education, DHH and LSL students will attend four days of preschool.
  • Jan. 25: Students in secondary self-contained classrooms will attend school for four days of face-to-face instruction, with Wednesdays slated for district-wide independent learning days.
  • Feb. 1: Kindergarten students would shift to four school days per week—but only if the COVID-19 case count in Pierce County drops below 350 cases per 100,000 residents for 14 days. Otherwise, they will continue to come to school two days per week.
  • Feb. 8: First and second graders would return to school two days per week—Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday—in groups of up to 15 students. Kindergarten and preschool will continue as described above.
  • In early 2021, we expect to announce plans to bring back first and second graders four days a week, expand preschool programming and phase in grades 3-5.
  • The district has started exploring ways to bring back middle school and high school students living homeless and others farthest from educational justice in small groups of up to 15 students, as recommended by the new state guidance.

The decision to start bringing students back to school is based on guidance issued Dec. 16 by Gov. Jay Inslee, the state Department of Health and the state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Health officials based their new guidance on experience nationally over the last few months that shows when students and staff follow safety protocols, such as wearing a face covering, washing hands regularly and staying six feet apart, transmission of COVID-19 in schools is limited.

Media Contact

Dan Voelpel, Executive Director of Communications | 253-571-1015 | dvoelpe@tacoma.k12.wa.us

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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