Academic Continuity Plan

Annie Wright Schools have made several adjustments to our processes and schedules in order to maintain academic continuity and a strong AWS experience in our new COVID-19 reality.
Annie Wright Schools’ academic continuity and re-opening plans are rooted in ensuring the health and safety of our community. We have incorporated learning and feedback gained throughout the pandemic, as well as being intentional and in alignment with guidance from the state of Washington; local, state and national health agencies; OSPI; and medical professionals. Our internal operational task force and divisional teams have developed guidelines and action steps that allow us to open as safely as possible while enabling us to pivot, and when necessary, respond to this ever-changing environment.

We recognize that family situations are complex and varied, and the challenges of this new environment exist on a variety of levels. We believe the framework we have established allows Annie Wright Schools to be as responsive to different needs and situations as possible while allowing us to remain flexible and adaptable as situations change. This framework relies on our ability to pivot between and within two models:

List of 2 items.

  • In-Person Learning with Physical Distancing

    When it is safe to to begin on-campus, in-person learning, we will implement daily temperature checks, health questionnaires, and significant physical distancing structures to help maintain the health of our families, faculty and staff. We also believe it is important for our school community to work together and pledge to keep each other safe. To that end, we ask that every family sign the Gator Pledge of community accountability. Additionally, no one will be allowed on campus without a prior appointment and similar health screenings.

    Further, students and faculty must remain 6 feet apart where possible and be masked at all times. Student activities, residential life, and other daily student life experiences will be adjusted to adhere to public health guidelines.

    In addition, we recognize that for many families, returning to school is not feasible or ideal due to medical or other reasons. To facilitate this option, all classes will be live-streamed so students can engage and participate in lessons whether physically or virtually present.

    In this scenario, students are not permitted to move freely around the campus. Class meetings and other large gatherings will be virtual. Students will eat lunch in advisory or class groups and will not be permitted to go off-campus. Through staggered start and pick-up times and locations, we will minimize student interaction at entrance and exit points. We will look for opportunities to be outside as much as possible, and will reduce the instances of transitions to minimize interaction outside of student ‘pods.’

    Lower School
    In the Lower School, students will spend their entire day together as a section, with the exception of recess where each whole grade level will come together. While the PYP curriculum is largely delivered by the homeroom teacher, specialist teachers deliver important components of our program as well. To minimize building travel and reduce interactions, we are considering several adjustments to specialist instruction including virtual participation.

    Middle School
    In the Middle School, students take different classes with different teachers, which results in several transitions throughout the day. To minimize interactions outside of grade-level groups, we are designing one-way routes, repurposing larger classroom spaces to reduce transitions, and will seek to keep class-level groups as unique pods, where possible.

    Upper Schools
    In the Upper Schools, like in the Middle School, students take different classes with different teachers. Class sizes will be limited to no more than 12 students. To reduce transitions, the daily schedule has been changed so that there are only three classes per day, every day. This, in addition to lunch taken in classrooms, means there are minimal “passing periods.”
  • Online Learning

    Faculty and staff have met divisionally since the end of the 19-20 school year to discuss parent and student feedback regarding last spring's learning experience, as well as their own recommendations, in order to adjust and improve Annie Wright's Online Academic Continuity Plan (OCAP). If the OCAP is activated, faculty will continue to communicate with their students via class pages on myAW and through Microsoft Teams. Additional software and systems tutorials will be available for new and returning families to ensure everyone is able to access all communications and assignments.

    Lower School
    In the Lower School, the schedule will be adjusted to allow for more synchronous time with teachers. Students and classroom teachers will begin the day together with live video chats, continue into some instructional time, break for asynchronous learning, reconnect to close out the morning and then have synchronous specialist learning in the afternoon. The specific times and length of synchronous instruction will be specific to and will vary by grade level.

    Middle School
    In Middle School, the schedule will be very similar to last spring's online academic continuity schedule, but with adjustments to allow each class to have more synchronous time each day, without extending the overall length of time during which each student will be expected to be in front of the screen. Physical and mental health remain a priority with advisory, PHE and community-building activities remaining central to our overall schedule.

    Upper Schools
    In our two Upper Schools, the basic framework of the schedule stays constant. The focus this year will be on providing students more synchronous time than in last spring while maintaining a daily structure. Recognizing the critical importance of physical and mental health, the schedule is designed to allow for movement breaks between classes, while allowing individual teachers to determine what portion of the class period will be synchronous and what will be asynchronous. Faculty recognize the importance of reducing overall screen time on any given day. As with the in-person scenario, all classes will be recorded to allow students in other time zones to watch and engage class activities during their waking hours. Additionally, opportunities for community building and one-on-one tutorials will remain a priority, seeking to engage students in different time zones. Faculty will have dedicated tutorial times to work with students in Tacoma and the U.S. and other times to work with internationally-based students.


  • In-person learning with physical distancing, face masks and plenty of ventilation
    • Extra physical distancing in our dining hall though students are encouraged to eat outside—and most do! 
    • Tents with ventilation set up for outside dining
    • HEPA air purifiers in every classroom
  • Daily MyMedBot checks before coming to school
We all agree on one thing—we want our students back on-campus learning together. We ask all AWS families to review the Gator Pledge and work to ensure you are modeling these behaviors. Together we can reduce the rate of infection in Pierce County and get our students back where they belong: in school.

Please follow the guidelines in these flow charts:

  1. What to do if you get a confirmed case of COVID-19
  2. What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms but haven’t been around anyone with COVID-19
  3. What to do if you are exposed to COVID-19 but are not sick


Annie Wright Schools
827 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403


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Founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1884, Annie Wright Schools serve students from age three through high school. Annie Wright Lower and Middle Schools offer coed programs in Preschool through Grade 8, while separate Upper Schools for girls and boys offer day and boarding options in Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School.