Community Use of Facilities - Announcement Due to COVID-19
Earlier this year, Governor Inslee prohibited public school districts across the state from conducting in-person educational, recreational, or other school programs in their school facilities. This proclamation was extended through the rest of the 2019-20 school year. School districts were only allowed to provide in-person education services if they were “essential and necessary under state and federal law.” Governor Inslee has instructed school districts to “plan for the potential extension of these prohibitions into the summer and fall of 2020.”
Tumwater School District hopes that the prohibition is not extended into the next school year. This would allow the District to resume most in-person services and programs to our students and families. To increase the chance of this happening, the District has made the difficult decision to not accept or approve outside use of our PACs, gyms, libraries, cafeterias, board rooms, etc. until further notice. Even if in-person services and programs return in 2020-21, the District expects that it will need to implement social distancing and hygiene practices. To prepare for this, the District needs to prioritize developing new procedures and making physical changes inside our buildings. The District does not have the available resources to divert to managing facilities use by outside groups.
If the proclamation is reinstated for the next school year, it would be extremely costly, difficult, and potentially unsafe to transition into the school year after its indoor facilities had been used by the community over the summer.
If circumstances improve, the District may allow some use of its indoor facilities. Any change to the use of indoor facilities, however, will be made by the District and will not be tied to any phase of the Governor’s “Safe Start” plan.
For outdoor fields, the District will accept applications as follows:
- The District will accept applications for the use of outdoor fields, with the exception of the turf fields at BHHS and the TSD Stadium. Applications for grass fields will be approved based on the “Safe Start” phase guidelines and consultation with the District’s insurance carrier.
- All users will be required to sign a statement affirming they have an approved “return to play” COVID-19 safety plan and may be asked to provide a written copy of their plan.
- Request to use the grass fields that conflict with the District’s use of the fields will be declined.
- Due to cleaning and disinfecting concerns, building or portable restrooms will not be available until further notice.
The District’s priority is preparing for students to return safely in-person to schools next year. We appreciate your patience and understanding during these challenging times.
The process used for approval of facility use on Tumwater School District fields will be:
- Tumwater School District athletic practices and games
- Community user groups who have historically used the field(s) they are applying for
- Tumwater community user groups who are applying to use a field for the first time
- Out of district user groups - whose applications will only be approved if they are from a county who is in a comparable Phase regarding the Governor's "Safe Start" plan