School district closes playgrounds, expands meal service

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School playgrounds and fields at Bryant, Geiger, Lowell and Stanley Elementary are now closed for community use. Those four schools will serve as day camp sites for the children of healthcare workers and first responders who are taking care of our community during the COVID-19 outbreak. To provide children a healthy and safe environment, we’ll follow guidelines for social distancing at these sites, which means we need to close the playgrounds and playfields. 

We know our school grounds have been a safe place for outdoor activity during this pandemic and understand this is another adjustment for your children. We appreciate your assistance as we roll together with these changes.

Personal teacher phone calls: Beginning on Monday, March 23, teachers started a routine of contacting their students to check in and make sure they know about the resources available to them, such as free meals. With these calls, teachers can also help provide a sense of normalcy to students and get an idea of what their needs might be now and until school re-opens. 

This is just one part of our plan to help care for our students during a time of uncertainty. Next to family, teachers are some of the people who know our children best. We want to ensure students know that even though school is out, teachers care and want to help them succeed.

Printed family resource packets: Beginning Tuesday, March 24, printed family resource packets are being distributed from 10 a.m. to noon at middle school meal sites. Packet distribution will be available every Tuesday and Thursday. K-8 packets will be available March 26, and beginning March 31, packets from high school students and students receiving special education services will be available. All packets are available online now at www.tacomaschools.org/ci/optional/Pages/default.aspx.

Expanded meal service: During the first week of meal service we provided 23,134 meals to kids. Starting the week of March 23, we hope to serve more students by expanding our free meals for kids program. Buses will make scheduled stops throughout Tacoma neighborhoods and at all elementary schools where kids ages 0 to 18 get a free lunch and breakfast for the next day. We’ll still have our 10-middle school “drive-through” meal sites. Check out the map at www.TacomaSchools.org to find the location and time closest to you.

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