On behalf of the Superintendent, I want to express our thanks to each of you and your members for your collaboration and partnership in the midst of this pandemic. We have all been working hard to support our staff, students, and community during this unprecedented time.
Our employees are regularly updated on the many health and safety measures we have in place to support them. I am very proud of the well-thought-out health and safety measures in place across our District. We have, just to name a few:
· Enhanced PPE
· Temperature checking of students onsite
· Health attestations completed by staff and families (currently done daily)
· Ensured robust cleaning efforts, and
· Fit tested and issued N95 masks to identified staff
I’ve visited many schools and district facilities this month - it’s wonderful to see our staff and students working together to be safe.
Our Superintendent has been a strong voice with legislators and the health department to revise the vaccine priority schedule, advocating for earlier vaccination eligibility for all education workers who are with students in-person, regardless of their age. We have many employees who have already been vaccinated, and we look forward to more in the near future!
I also wanted to share with you that in partnership with the City of Puyallup, the District will launch a free COVID-19 rapid testing pilot program for employees beginning Jan. 25. Tests have been donated by the City of Puyallup and will be available to asymptomatic employees, on a voluntary basis, as a countermeasure for disease transmission. Tests are self-administered with a non-invasive swab and results will be available within 15 minutes. Those who test positive will be recommended to have a molecular (PCR) test to confirm accuracy. Results will be sent to the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) as required. The pilot test program will begin Jan. 25 and will be offered weekly, every Monday, at the Karshner Center 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Testing times and locations may change based on demand. Testing will be available on a weekly basis until further notice. Employees must pre-register to receive the test. Employees will receive a link to register online.
We continue to stress and model the importance of appropriate mask wearing at work. On occasion, we see staff wearing their mask below their nose, or they forget to put it on when they step away from their private workspace. We are asking for your partnership in this area, especially. Would you please regularly remind your members to wear their masks appropriately, and to be extra vigilant in holding themselves accountable? Staff who disregard the importance of this safety measure will be subject to discipline after appropriate reminders and directives.
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Employee Relations