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Class of 2021





DATE: April 8TH


   Pick up - Lunch - Commons


    Drive Thru Pick Up - 2:30-4:00pm - PHS Bus Drop Off Zone 



Graduation Tentative Date Set

Families of graduating seniors in the Peninsula School District can look forward to spring knowing school staff are planning graduation events and activities to honor the Class of 2021. 

The district’s two comprehensive high schools, Gig Harbor High School (GHHS) and Peninsula High School (PHS), have scheduled senior class graduation ceremonies at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday, June 19, 2021. The PHS ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., and the GHHS ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. 

Event details such as building capacity, student and dignitary seating arrangements, diploma and program distribution, parents/guests seating, speeches, musical performances, and live streaming capabilities are still being finalized.

“We will continue to follow the governor’s phased guidelines as we plan all of the details necessary to hold these events safely,” Superintendent Art Jarvis said. “We are keenly aware of the possibility our plans may have to shift due to the ongoing pandemic. Please do your part to help limit the transmission of COVID-19 so we can continue with time-honored traditions like our high school graduations.”

Plans are also underway to host GHHS and PHS graduate car parades, similar to the parades that took place last year at the Tacoma Narrows Airport. Graduate car parades are planned in addition to the Tacoma Dome graduation as separate events to celebrate graduates. Dates, times, and locations for car parades are currently being discussed.

In the event that health guidelines prohibit public gatherings in large venues in June, there is a possibility the car parades would replace the graduation ceremonies at the Tacoma Dome. We remain hopeful that both events will be possible. 

The Peninsula School District is also planning graduation ceremonies for the 2021 graduates of Henderson Bay High School, Peninsula Internet Academy, and the Community Transition Program, although not at the Tacoma Dome. Dates and times for these events will be shared soon.

Please watch for communication from your child’s school for updates about the Class of 2021 graduation ceremonies and activities. Congratulations, Class of 2021!


Letter to Seniors and parents regarding some commons financial aid questions from Mr. Burmark...

Hello Seniors and Parents, 

I hope this finds you well. As we head in to break and turn the calendar to a new year, I want to make sure to keep some things on your radar, answer common questions, and have the resources you need to navigate your options. And…..if possible, use any free time to complete necessary applications!  

The most common question I get this time of year is “How do I find scholarship money?”  

If this is you, then your number one action step should be to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)**, and to do so as soon as possible. Pay attention to the priority (due) date of each college, which for many is January 31st, if not before. The application is free, easy, and your most important step towards scholarships, grants, work study, and loans. Even if you don’t qualify for need-based aid, you may qualify for other aid, such as Work-Study. 

States, universities and some outside scholarship programs also use the FAFSA to determine aid. College representatives tell us that to be considered for many of their scholarships you will need to complete the FAFSA first. In addition to federal aid, you may be eligible for other need-based and/or merit-based grants and scholarships from your state, college, and private organizations. The FAFSA is usually “the first step” to apply for these nonfederal aid programs. 

Each school has its own formula for determining aid, so just because an older sibling didn’t receive aid, it doesn’t mean this will be the case again. When you complete the application, you can select up to 10 colleges of interest, and then compare offers when you receive a Student Aid Report (SAR).  

Keep in mind that technical college programs are included, and costs of apprenticeship (e.g. tools, transportation) have recently been added to this process. If you are considering a two-year college, apply early. Even if they accept applications throughout the year, many classes fill up fast for the Fall, and you may not get the courses you want if you wait too long. 

**The WASFA (Washington Application for Student Financial Aid) is for those with immigration status. If unsure of which application to complete, go to 

The second resource I’d like to direct you to is the scholarship page on our Career Center website. Any state, local or specialty scholarships are posted frequently this time of year. Of particular note is the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship due February 11th. You will need to submit the FAFSA first, along with some other things, so you’ll want to get started soon! 

In addition, I have listed several resources on the Online Resources page on the Career Center website, such as this Printable Handout. Some popular sites include,, and However, I highly recommend using Career Cruising, and completing the financial aid profile. This will hotlink you to hundreds of scholarships for which you are eligible, and it’s a database that others feed into….kind of a one-stop-shopping experience. You might find many scholarships that are based on what parents have done, so if you can, find a few minutes together to do the profile. Username: psd401    Password: seahawks 

I have found that college representatives and those in the financial aid offices to be extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Many have been hosting FAFSA workshops, and will continue to do so. College representatives review your admissions application, so it is a good idea to make a connection with them. If your financial situation changes during the year, it’s easy to reach out to the financial aid contact at the college and/or make revisions to your FAFSA. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them…they want to help! 

Another question I receive frequently is “How do I get started with an Apprenticeship program?” 

 There are hundreds of Apprenticeship programs in this state, so the way to get started varies. One way to start is by enrolling in a technical college that has an Apprenticeship program. Most apprenticeship programs require a high school diploma (or GED) and must be 18 years of age. Some programs could have a long waiting list (e.g. welding), and require attending an information session to get on that list. But you can do things now to prepare. Connect with an apprenticeship coordinator to learn their process. Here are two local colleges with strong apprenticeship programs (direct links): Bates Technical College. They have information sessions on many Wednesdays at 3pm.  Olympic College partners with the Puget Sound Naval Station, as well. 

Check out the programs in WA State by going to and in the search box type Apprenticeship Preparation to learn more. For nation-wide programs, go to:

The Guidebook for Pierce, King, and Snohomish County is a great resource to learn about construction trades. Each trade provides you an overview of their duties/tasks, qualifications, hourly wages/benefits, and apprenticeship training office contact information to register for the Apprenticeship course.  

Another way to get started is to go to the City of Tacoma’s Apprenticeship office to apply directly. 

Please know that in addition to construction, electrical, and HVAC, there are apprenticeship programs in the medical field, such as medical assisting. Apprenticeships can be a great way to “Earn while you learn!” 

Last, if you have not yet done so, please complete your Transition Plan by completing this form  This helps me get valuable resources directly to you that come my way, based on your plan. Most of you have already completed this, but if you haven’t please take a few minutes to get it done.  

I hope this is helpful. Keep checking Schoology 2021 frequently, as well as the resources on the Career Center website. 

Have a Happy Holiday and enjoy your break! 

Dave Burmark
Career Counselor 


FAFSA zoom meeting-help with filling out the form

If you have not filled out your FAFSA yet and have questions on how to do it please plan on attending the Zoom meeting presented by Whitworth College to get your questions answered.  You do not have to be applying to Whitworth College to attend and get the information.  Whitworth is inviting anyone with questions about how to fill out the FAFSA no matter where you might be applying.  If you have already filled out the FAFSA but would like more info about best strategies to use when you are offered financial aid and best strategies for applying for scholarships, then you could attend one of those meetings.  Please read the info below for specifics.

As financial aid season approaches, our team is offering multiple webinars to help students/families prepare for and understand the financial aid process. With 33 years of financial aid experience, our Assistant VP of Student Financial Services will share her tips and insights about filing the FAFSA and pursuing financial aid resources that can help students and families at any college they plan to attend!

Here are some upcoming webinars that I hope you can encourage your students/families to attend:

Visit for a complete list of our upcoming webinars. Additional topics include live campus tours, admitted student info sessions, application tips and more!

As a reminder, incoming fall 2021 students who participate in two Whitworth virtual visit programs during 2020-21 are eligible to receive a one-time, $1,000 Visit Scholarship to cover tuition. Click here for more details.