Like any other year, September brought the return to school for the Tigard-Tualatin School District (TTSD). But this year, it looked a little different—and thanks to the work of teachers, administrators, parents, and students, it was a success.
After a very challenging year for all of us, but particularly for students, we are back to in-person instruction—and TTSD is back to nearly full enrollment, including a record number of TTSD preschoolers! For months, the TTSD team has been at work developing a comprehensive plan to ensure students, staff, and families are able to safely learn in-person, including the use of masks, physical distancing, sanitation, HVAC improvements, and other safety measures.
For families not comfortable returning to in-person instruction yet, this year, we launched the Tigard-Tualatin Virtual Academy, which is serving around 560 students. Additionally, we have created a COVID-19 dashboard (available on our website) to provide full transparency to community members.
Our educators have responded to these new challenges with exactly the compassion, skill, and determination that our community has come to expect. They have modified, learned, and consistently maintained a focus on doing what’s best for kids. We also know that TTSD has one of the highest vaccination rates of staff in the state, well north of 90%. So if you see a TTSD teacher, please thank them!
There are some other achievements worth celebrating: this year, for the first time in over a decade, TTSD will not be charging “pay-to-play” fees to participate in athletics (previously, the fee was $225 per student, per sport). Additionally, we invested over $200,000 in making the arts, music, and clubs more accessible and affordable for students and families. Research has shown that student participation in extracurricular activities leads to better attendance and academic achievement—we are very excited to see the impacts of these investments!
This is part of our district’s commitment to equity: ensuring that every student, regardless of race, language, socioeconomic background, or other identity, has the opportunity and resources to thrive at school and succeed academically.
Finally, for the 33rd consecutive year, TTSD was awarded the “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.” Our district takes fiscal stewardship of public dollars very seriously, and this recognition honors the work of the TTSD Business Office team.
There have certainly been bumps in the road in our return to school, and we know there will be more. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that we don’t always control the circumstances we find ourselves in. But we do control how we respond. As a school district, we have learned how to adjust, adapt, and persevere. We are hopeful and excited about this school year and will maintain a focus on our core mission: Educate Every Child.
For up to the minute updates to the 2021/22 school year, visit www.ttsdschools.org.