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Back-to-School Information

School starts Sept. 3
Schools will open Sept. 3 for nearly 29,000 students in the Tacoma Public Schools (TPS).

Families new to Tacoma can learn which school their child should attend by contacting the district’s Enrollment Services office at 253.571.1142.

Immunization requirements
Washington state law requires all students attending public schools to be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, mumps, hepatitis B, varicella and rubella before registering for school. Youngsters may not attend school if parents do not provide proof of required immunizations by the first day of school. For more information about immunization requirements, call the district’s Health Services office at 253.571.1506 or the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department at 253.798.2987.

Meal prices
Breakfast and lunch are available the first day of school. The Tacoma Public Schools offers free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch to eligible students. Eligibility is determined by household income and size. Applications are available in each school office.

  Breakfast Lunch
Elementary School $1.50 $2.50
Middle School $1.50 $2.75
High School $1.50 $2.75
Reduced Price (Grades 4-12) Free $0.40
Reduced Price (Grades K-3 Free Free
Milk (a la carte) $0.50 $0.50

Pay online for school meals
Beginning Sept. 3, parents will be able to pay for student’s meals using a secure, online system. Lunch Money Now is a convenient, easy-to-use, low-fee system that allows parents to pre-pay for meals, access meal card balances and check recent meal purchases. Parents will be able check account balances 24-hours a day and receive e-mail notification when the account falls below a specified balance. For more information on how to access Lunch Money Now, please contact Food Services at 253.571.3370.

Bus routes
School bus routes are posted on the district’s Web site at Parents can visit the Web site to find their child’s bus route, or contact the Transportation Department at 253.571.1853 for assistance.

Supply lists
You can find the list of school supplies your child will need before the start of school on the district’s Web site at

Free supplies at back-to-school events
TPS students in need will be able to start school this year with new school supplies thanks to back-to-school events sponsored by the district, World Vision and several local organizations. Visit the district’s Web site at
for more information or call the Public Information office at 253.571.1015.

Student Uniforms
Student uniform information is available online at

2008–09 calendar dates
The Tacoma Public Schools’ 2008–09 calendar can be viewed on the district’s Web site at Early release times are: 10:50 a.m. for high school; 11:30 a.m. for middle school; and 12:15 p.m. for elementary school.

Sept. 3 First Day of School
Oct. 6  Waiver Day (no school)
Oct. 7-8 Conferences–All Grades (early release)
Oct. 9 Elementary Conferences (early release for elementary students)
Oct. 10 State In-service Day (no school)
Oct. 31 Waiver Day (no school)
Nov. 11 Veterans Day (no school)
Nov. 26 Thanksgiving Break (early release)
Nov. 27-28 Thanksgiving Break (no school)
Dec. 3 Waiver Day (no school)
Dec. 4 Elementary Conferences (early release for elementary students)
Dec. 5 Elementary Staff Day (no school for elementary students)
Dec. 19 Winter Break (early release)
Dec. 22-Jan 2 Winter Break (no school)
Jan. 5 School Resumes
Jan. 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Day   (no school)
Jan 28 Semester Break–Secondary Staff Day (no school for secondary students)
Feb. 13-16 Presidents Day Break (no school)
March 10 Waiver Day (no school)
March 11-13 Elementary Conferences (early release for elementary students)
March 30-April 3 Spring Break (no school)
April 22-23 Secondary Conferences (early release for secondary students)
May 22-25 Memorial Day Break (no school)
June 16 Last Day of School (early release)
June 17-19 Possible snow make-up days

Additional information can be found on the district’s Web site at or by calling the Public Information Office at 253.571.1015.


 New School Hours


The school day will be adjusted to a standard six and one-half hours at all grade levels.

High School:
7:35 a.m. to 2:05 p.m.

Middle School:
8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Elementary School:
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.