Welcome back to in-person school, five days a week starting Sept. 8

The first day of school for Tacoma Public Schools students in grades 1-12 is Wednesday, Sept. 8, with kindergarten starting Sept. 13. Students will return to in-person instruction five days a week, as required by the governor, OSPI and Washington State Department of Health.   

COVID-19 prevention measures

TPS will continue to follow the guidance provided by the governor and state and local health authorities. Some of that guidance remains the same as last school year, while other guidance has been updated. 

  • Masks: Students, staff and visitors must wear masks indoors, except when eating. This applies regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Students, staff and visitors must also wear a mask while outside on school grounds. There’s no possible outdoor school scenario – no event or recess or class – during which we can guarantee social distancing can be maintained as required by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department; therefore, to ensure the safety of staff, students and visitors, we will require masks on our school campuses.
  • COVID-19 health survey: The health survey is no longer required every day. However, parent or guardians must complete a survey if their child shows COVID-19 symptoms, was exposed to COVID, and/or has been diagnosed with COVID. Middle and high school students can complete their own survey. 
  • Physical distancing: In classrooms, students will maintain 3 feet of distance between each other, to the degree possible. In common areas such as auditoriums, cafeterias and gyms, students will maintain 6 feet of distance between to the degree possible. Staff will maintain 6 feet of distance between students and other staff.
  • Contact tracing: Contact tracing will continue, with school staff gathering information (including vaccine status) about everyone a student with COVID-19 may have been in close contact with at the school during their infectious period. That information is shared with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. If students must quarantine as a result of being a close contact, school principals will share that information with families.  

To keep others healthy, please keep your child home if they are sick, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19.

See the current State Department of Health guidance on the return to school. 

TPS Media Contact

Kathryn McCarthy, Strategic Communications and Marketing Manager | 253-571-1015 | kmccart@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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