- Bethel School District
- Bethel News
April 15th, 2021
Register NOW for preschool and kindergarten this fall!
Preschool and kindergarten registration for the 2021/22 school year is now open!
- Preschool is open to students aged 3-5.
- To enter kindergarten a child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2021.
Learn more and register now at bethelsd.org/welcome
May 28th is a regular school day
This is just a reminder that May 28th will be a regular school day, because of the day we missed in January due to the power outage.
Public Meeting: Native American Education
The Bethel School District will hold a public meeting on April 28 at 6 p.m. to:
- Share a draft of our application created in partnership with our Indian Parent Committee
- Gather input
- Approve the Title VI Indian Education Program Grant for the 2021-2022 School year
This meeting will be held via ZOOM. If you are a parent/guardian with a student enrolled in the Bethel School District and you would like to attend, please email one of the educators listed below. They will provide you with the ZOOM link for you to be able to access the meeting.
Rachael Barger: firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Wippert: email@example.com
April 6th, 2021
COVID-19 Testing at all Bethel schools
As a new partner with the Department of Health’s Learn to Return program, we are excited to add COVID testing as part of a comprehensive strategy to keep our schools safe for in-person learning, stop outbreaks and get students and staff back to school sooner. We will offer free testing within our isolation rooms at each of our campuses for all students and staff who develop symptoms while on-campus, with an expected start date of April 12, 2021. Testing is free for everyone regardless of insurance status.
Testing will be done with an oral swab, which is comfortable for our students and staff alike. A shallow nasal swab is also available as needed. To see how this is done, check out this video. If you choose to have your child tested, you can register one of two ways:
Permission and a HIPAA form will need to be signed by the legal parent/guardian of the child prior to testing. Please note that testing is completely free, however, if you are insured, your health insurance company will pay in full. If you are uninsured, public funds from the CARES Act will cover the cost.
- Via a registration link emailed to you in advance by your child’s school.
- On site when you come to pick up your student.
March 26, 2021
Because of the resignation of Cindy Henry-Young, Director from District 4, the Bethel School Board will be appointing a board member to fill the vacancy. District 4 covers the following schools:
- Frederickson Elementary
- Frontier Middle School
- Graham Elementary
- Graham-Kapowsin High School
- Kapowsin Elementary
- Liberty Middle School
- Nelson Elementary
- North Star Elementary
- Pioneer Valley Elementary
Anyone residing in District 4 may apply for appointment to the board. A map is included in the application packet.
Qualifications for the position include:
- Must be a citizen of the United States and the State of Washington
- Must be a registered voter and reside in Director District 4
More information about the position is available in District Policies.
The person appointed to this position will serve until the regular school board election in November of 2021.
Applications for this position will be accepted through 4:00 p.m. on April 8, 2021.March 19, 2021The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the agency has changed its recommendation on COVID-19 social distancing in schools from six feet to three feet.
The CDC made no change to the guidance around mandatory face coverings for all students, staff, and visitors, and we do not expect that to change.
We do not anticipate any near-term change to our current six-foot distancing standard here in Bethel. With less than three months remaining in the school year, we will need to wait for both the Washington State Department of Health and the Pierce County Health Department to review the CDC’s recommendation. We will then need to decide if the benefits of another change this school year outweigh the benefits of waiting.March 9, 2021Typically in March we hold parent-teacher conferences for all of our elementary students. Since students have just recently returned to in-person hybrid learning, we don’t want to interrupt the teaching and learning any more than we absolutely need to.
Because of that, we have made the following calendar changes:
March 1, 2021
- March 19 will be a regular hybrid schedule day, NOT an early dismissal day.
- March 22-26 will also follow our regular hybrid schedule. These will NOT be early dismissal days. Teachers will continue to check in with parents on an as-needed basis.
If you have any questions, please contact your school office.
The School Board has unanimously approved the elementary boundary revisions as recommended by the Boundary Committee.
The new boundaries will go into effect this fall, for the 2021/22 school year.
The adjustments to the elementary school boundaries were to accommodate the opening of the district's newest school, Katherine G. Johnson Elementary, and to alleviate overcrowding in some of the district's larger elementary schools.
Thank you to all of you who provided feedback that allowed the committee to make adjustments to the various drafts when possible.
You can see the new elementary boundaries at www.bethelsd.org/boundary
Elementary Transfer Requests: In-District & Nonresident
Due to the recent boundary adjustments, all current elementary transfers are invalidated for the 2021-22 school year. Students with an approved transfer that currently attend school outside their attendance area, will be reassigned to their resident school, based on their home address and the new boundaries.
In order to attend a school other than their assigned resident school, a new transfer request must be completed online and approved. Parents will provide transportation for students who voluntarily attend a school outside their attendance area.
The school reassignment and transfer reapplication process does not apply to students in special programs or district placements (self-contained Special Education classrooms, Thompson's Dual Language program, medical placements).
You may begin the transfer process by clicking here: https://www.bethelsd.org/Page/6196
The transfer deadlines are as follows:
1st Round of Transfers
March 26: Parent Submission Deadline
April 15: Parents Notified Deadline
2nd Round of Transfers
May 27: Parent Submission Deadline
June 11: Parents Notified Deadline
3rd Round of Transfers
August 20: Parent Submission Deadline
August 27: Parents Notified Deadline
February 12, 2021
After almost a year of remote learning, it is now time to return to in-person learning in a hybrid model for our middle school students. We will transition into the hybrid model during the month of March, beginning with 6th graders. By transitioning 6th grade students in first, students who have never attended middle school before will be able to acclimate to their new school and allow us to assure all our safety protocols are in place. Shortly after the 6th grade, the return of 7th and 8th graders will follow.
The return to in-person instruction for all middle school students is as follows:
- March 8: 6th grade students return via a hybrid A/B schedule
- March 15: 7th and 8th grade students return via a hybrid A/B schedule
Students will return on an A/B Hybrid model with students attending school in person two days a week on either Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday. Then two days a week, students will work individually on assigned lessons after remote class check-ins. On Wednesdays, students will meet remotely with their teachers.
Next week you will receive information from your principal about the start and end times for school and the date for a parent information meeting. At this time, principals are finalizing balancing work on the master schedules to accommodate the 6 feet social distancing requirements for student capacity that will divide students into two groups (Group A and Group B). We hope to have that work completed prior to the end of February. As soon as it is complete, principals will inform you about the group your child is assigned to and the days when they will attend school in person. When possible, students who have sibling(s) attending a Bethel elementary school will be assigned to the same schedule as their sibling.
As part of the transition to in-person learning, middle school students will have a ½ day of school on March 4 and NO SCHOOL on March 5.
- March 4: Half day for all middle school students
- March 5: No school for all middle school students
Based on the responses to the hybrid learning survey, some families have decided to have their child remain in the remote learning setting. Parents of remote learning students will receive information about their child’s schedule as soon as schedules are complete. Many students who are continuing in the remote setting may have some changes made to their schedule.
We are very excited to begin this transition to in-person learning for our middle school students and their families. Watch for more information that will be shared with you next week from your principal.
January 29, 2021
High schools in the 4A South Puget Sound League (SPSL) and 3A Pierce County League (PCL) will return to sports practices in February with football beginning on February 1.
Fall Sports 2/8/21 through 3/20/21
- Boys/girls cross country
- Football (starts 2/1/20)
- Boys/girls golf
- Girls soccer
- Girls swim and dive
Spring Sports 3/22/21 through 5/1/21
- Fastpitch softball
- Boys soccer
- Boys swim and dive
- Girls tennis
- Boys/girls track and field
Winter Sports 5/3/21 through 6/12/21
- Boys/girls basketball
- Girls bowling
- Cheer with stunting
- Boys tennis
- Boys/girls wrestling
Seasons will be six weeks long with competition taking place between league schools. There will be no statewide culminating events this year with an emphasis on getting back to sports and activities in a safe environment. Each sport has a required number of practices for each student-athlete prior to participating in a competition. Football and gymnastics would start a week early as there are more pre-contest practice requirements for safety reasons.
In Phase 1 of the Healthy Washington guidelines cross country, golf and swim & dive can practice and compete. Competition for football, soccer and volleyball are dependent on reaching Healthy Washington Phase 2, though these sports can practice in Phase 1. Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reports that determine phases are released every two weeks on Friday afternoon and take effect the following Monday.
Schools will continue to follow established COVID safety guidelines that include screening, sanitizing, and physical distancing.Resources• WIAA/Healthy WA Sport & Activity Guidelines (updated 1/26/21)• Washington Sporting Activities COVID-19 Guidance (updated 1/11/21) – school and community sport information begins on page 3• DOH Risk Assessment Dashboard – Look under "Reports" for the weekly "Roadmap to Recovery" reports each Friday
January 19, 2021
As previously announced, following the latest guidance from the Governor, along with information and resources from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, we have determined start dates for all of our elementary grade levels:
- February 1: Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade
- February 17: 2nd and 3rd grade
- March 1: 4th and 5th grade
If you haven't visited our Frequently Asked Questions page, you can find it at bethelsd.org/Page/6023.
Students will return in a hybrid A/B model
In the A/B hybrid model, half of our students will meet in person at school on Monday and Thursday (Cohort A) for full days of instruction, with the second half of the students meeting in person on Tuesday and Friday (Cohort B.)
On days when students are not attending in person, they will be engaged in teacher-directed independent learning and Zoom lessons.
The student day for in-person learning will be 4½ hours. This will allow teachers to conduct a Zoom check-in with the cohort of students learning at home that day. The shorter student day will also support students as they learn in an environment very different from what they have previously experienced while in school.
You will find a copy of the Hybrid Elementary Bell Schedule by clicking here. You will be notified the week of January 25th what cohort your student(s) are in.
Health & Safety
Mask wearing and social distancing is mandatory for all students and staff in our schools. To learn more about our building safety protocols, please click on the Health and Safety tab above.
If you have specific questions, or didn’t fill out the recent survey regarding your preference of returning to hybrid or remaining in remote learning, please contact your school office.
January 8, 2021
It is time to begin the process of getting all students back into classrooms for in-person learning.
Following the latest guidance from the Governor, along with information and resources from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, we have determined start dates for all of our elementary grade levels:
- February 1: Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade
- February 17: 2nd and 3rd grade
- March 1: 4th and 5th grade
Because middle and high school environments are very different from those of an elementary school, secondary start dates will be announced later, and will align with the Governor’s updated school guidance for in-person instruction.
Students will return in a hybrid A/B model
In the A/B model, half of our students will meet in person at school on Monday and Thursday (Cohort A) for full days of instruction, with the second half of the students meeting in person on Tuesday and Friday (Cohort B.) On days when students are not attending in person, they will be engaged in teacher-directed independent learning.
We used the elementary parent survey conducted in October for our preliminary planning. We know much has changed since then, so we are asking elementary parents to take the time to redo the survey now, so we have the most up-to-date information about your student’s needs.
We are also asking parents of middle and high school students to fill out a survey with their preferences. This survey will help as we plan the hybrid model for middle school and high school. If, as more information is available about the hybrid model, you want to move your middle or high school child from one plan to the other, you will be able to do so by contacting your school by a date that will be publicized.
Special Education Students
We will increase in-person services for students served in K-12 self-contained special education classrooms to four days per week beginning on February 1. Schools and IEP case managers will be in contact with families prior to February 1 with more information.
Health & Safety
Mask wearing and social distancing is mandatory for all students and staff in our schools. To learn more about our building safety protocols, please visit www.bethelsd.org/backtoschool.
Any changes to this proposed schedule will be determined by the Superintendent, in consultation with the Board of Directors, based on guidance and direction from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Governor, and state and local health authorities.
April 14th, 2021
New Naches Trail
We’re excited to announce that Naches Trail Elementary students will have a brand new school in the fall of 2023! After crunching the numbers and going over all of their options, the district’s planning and construction teams have come to the conclusion that it will be safer, more cost effective, and more practical to build a brand new Naches Trail. The project, which is part of the voter-approved 2019 School Construction Bond, was originally slated to be a complete remodel and expansion, but a cost analysis determined it would be more expensive to modernize the current Naches Trail than it would be to build a new school. https://bethelsd.medium.com/
brand-new-naches-trail- elementary-to-open-in-fall-of- 2023-6560de50c7df
Registration for the 2021/22 school year is now open for preschool and kindergarten families. Welcome to our youngest learners and their families! Click this link to learn more and register now! https://www.bethelsd.org/
During the pandemic, it's more important than ever for your child to stay up-to-date on immunizations that prevent disease. Call your provider's office or (253) 403-1767 to make an appointment. View the April 2021 Free Children’s Immunization Calendar here: https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-
In Pierce County, the blood supply is down by more than 40 percent, according to Tacoma-based Cascade Regional Blood Services. Check out this article to learn more about how you can donate. https://www.thenewstribune.
com/opinion/editorials/ article241144571.html?fbclid= IwAR2iQyrdngRmyXzdaxNl6OLkHL9k 58PW1ta6MH3Biocbtj30qFLDGmbWHd I
School Board Recap 4-13-21This week the School Board met in person for the first time since the pandemic started. The meeting was also streamed via Zoom. A huge thank you goes out to our Technology Team for all their work behind the scenes to ensure the meeting was successful.Superintendent’s Superior Service AwardTom Seigel presented Board member Cindy Henry-Young with the Superintendent’s Superior Service Award for her “exceptional service to thousands of Bethel students.”“Your dedication, energy, thoughtful insights and judgement have led to significant improvements in the quality of education for all our students,” he said.Henry-Young’s resignation from the Board leaves big shoes to fill. The Board will soon be interviewing candidates to fill the vacant Board position.New Director of Construction IntroducedSuperintendent Tom Seigel introduced our new Director of Construction, Sara Coccia, to the Board. She will replace the retiring Cathie Carlson in May.Policy AdoptionsThe Board reviewed and adopted the following policies:
Bond UpdateDirector of Construction Cathie Carlson presented a detailed look at the furniture purchased for Katherine G. Johnson Elementary and the Bethel Early Learning Center.
- 6220: Purchasing/Bid Requirements
- 6230: Vendor Relations