Puyallup schools likely won't return in person until 2021 following uptick in COVID cases

The Puyallup School District Superintendent announced Wednesday night that with COVID-19 cases on the rise, it does not appear that any students, aside from special education, will be back in the classroom before the end of this year.

This news is especially tough for some, as a month ago, parents and teachers thought students in kindergarten through 6th grade would be back on campus by now. But that plan went out the window when Pierce County cases had a surge.

“My first grader cried. She was excited, they want to see their friends, they want to see their teachers and those teachers want to see them too, we want the kids back I mean that’s why we teach,” says Kristin James, a parent and teacher in Puyallup.

District leaders unveiled a seven-phase plan for bringing students back, which is heavily dependent on the case rate in Pierce County.

For example, the district says they are currently in phase three, with their graph showing cases at more than 75 per 100,000 people. In order to get to phase six where all grades and staff are on site, the rate needs to be below 25 per 100,000.