New Family Guide

//New Family Guide
New Family Guide 2021-05-05T11:33:10-07:00

Welcome to the CWA community

Congratulations, new Charles Wright students and families! We are thrilled you have joined our vibrant learning community and there are many people here who are eager to welcome your family. You are now part of an engaging and dynamic program, rooted in respect and authentic relations, where students and faculty have a shared joy for learning. Charles Wright students are active participants in their education and are engaged in hands-on work and exploration and they find and fulfill their passions. We can’t wait to welcome you home to Charles Wright Academy.

This summer, please refer to this webpage as your resource for important information and calendar items before the start of school. In July, we will offer new information including the start of school forms. You will also have access to our school information system, Veracross. We will remind you to check back! Additionally, weekly newsletters will begin arriving in your inbox in late August that will provide the most up-t0-date information about the start of school and offer a wealth of information.

School begins Wednesday, September 1, 2021. As of spring 2021, all grades will begin the school year on campus and full time.

New and Returning Family Orientation
In August we will offer orientation sessions for families from each academic division. More information will be available this summer so please check back.

  • Lower School New Family Orientation: date to be determined
  • Lower School Orientation (for all families): date to be determined
  • Middle School Orientation (for all families): date to be determined
  • Upper School Orientation (all families and students): date to be determined

Lower School
8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

  • Morning Drop-Off: You may either park in the lot in front of the Lower School and walk your child into the building or pull up to the lane in front of the building for drop-off. Please note: this is a loading and unloading zone only.
  • After School Pick-Up (“Carpool”): Teachers will walk your student out to the covered area at the front of the Lower School where they will wait for pickup. You may queue up in the carpool waiting lane (when you first drive onto campus, bear right and park on the right-hand side in this waiting lane). A CWA staff member will direct traffic to pull up to the front of the Lower School. You are also welcome to park in the Lower School parking lot and meet your child in the covered area.

Middle School
8:10 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

  • Pick-Ups and Drop-Offs: Please use the roundabout between the Middle School and Upper School.

Upper School
8:10 a.m. – 3:10 p.m.

  • Pick-Ups and Drop-Offs: Please use the roundabout between the Middle School and Upper School.

2021 – 2022 Major Dates

9/1/21 First Day of School, PS – 12
9/6/21 Labor Day, no school PS – 12
10/8/21 NWAIS Educators Conference, no school PS – 12
10/15/21 Fall Conferences, no school PS – 12
10/18/21 Mid-term Break, no school
11/22-11/26/21 Fall Break, no school PS – 12
12/20/21-1/7/22 Winter Break, no school PS – 12
1/6-1/7/22 Faculty On-Campus Planning Days, no school PS – 12
1/17/22 MLK Jr. Day, no school PS – 12
1/28/22 LS Planning Day, no school PS – 5
1/28/22 MS & US Conferences, no school 6-12
2/21-2/22/22 President’s Holiday, no school PS – 12
2/23-2/25/22 Faculty In-Service, no school PS – 12
3/28-4/1/22 Spring Break, no school PS – 12
4/15/22 LS & MS Conferences, no school PS – 8
5/30/22 Memorial Day, no school PS – 12
6/9/22 US Baccalaureate
6/11/22 US Graduation (Grade 12)
6/15/21 MS Celebration(Grade 8)
6/16/22 LS Moving On Ceremony (Grade 5)
6/16/22 Last Day of School

Frequently Needed Names and Numbers

Lower School (preschool-grade 5)
Lower School Registrar (253 ) 620-8800
Lower School Director (253) 620-8801
Early Childhood Director (253) 620-8802

Middle School (grades 6-8)
Middle School Registrar (253 ) 620-8400
Middle School Director (253) 620-8444

Upper School (grades 9-12)
Upper School Registrar (253) 620-8330
Upper School Director (253) 620-8302

Main School Number (253) 620-8300
Admission Office (253) 620-8373
Business Office (253) 620-8383
Athletic Director (253) 620-8352
Technology Director (253) 620-8814

Lower School
(*subject to change due to COVID-19)

  • Before and After-School Care (“Extended Day”) is located in the classroom opposite the Lower School Commons on the first floor.
  • Before-School Care starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After-School Care is available until 6:00 p.m. 
  • The Extended Day’s direct number is 253-620-8859.
  • Cost: $10/hour per student for Jr. K – Grade 5. After school care is included in Preschool tuition.

Middle School
(*subject to change due to COVID-19)

  • After-School Care is located in the Middle School Library down the hall to the right of the main entrance.
  • After-School Care is available until 6:00 p.m. 
  • All Middle School students on campus after school dismissal must sign in at the library.
  • The After-School Care direct number is 253-620-8428.

Have a question and don’t know who to ask? You’ll be connected with an established CWA family “buddy” who can help you figure out all things CWA. Stay tuned for more info!

We primarily serve four major areas in the South Puget Sound region: Pierce County, south King County, Kitsap County, and Thurston County.

View the bus routes and schedules here.

*Routes subject to change depending on ridership.

Fresh and nutritious foods are prepared on-site daily by Flik Dining Services. Breakfast, lunch, and morning and after-school snacks are available for purchase. At lunch, students have access to fresh salads, a custom sandwich bar, hot and wholesome main dishes, homemade soup, as well as fresh fruits, desserts, and snacks.

Once you are given access to Veracross, our student information system, you will be able to see exact pricing and sample menus.

Middle School Summer Reading

Summer provides a wonderful and important change of pace for families.  It is a time to relax, rejuvenate, and explore.  While time away from school has great value, Middle School students benefit from keeping their reading skills sharp during the summer months.  Summer reading also provides students with an opportunity to explore new ideas, time periods, historical events, and points of view.  To these ends, we ask each of our Middle School students to select at least three books from a grade-specific summer reading list. Students should plan to come ready to discuss their books during the first week of school with a good understanding of the plot, characters, and themes in each book. Check back soon for links to the summer reading lists.

  • Summer Reading for Rising 6th Graders
  • Summer Reading for Rising 7th Graders
  • Summer Reading for Rising 8th Graders

Upper School Summer Reading

Upper School students choose 2 books to read over the summer: One book from their English class PLUS one “free-range” book of their choice to discuss in your advisory or some other setting next year. Check back soon for more information about Upper School required summer reading.

Middle School Course Selection

Rising seventh and eighth graders select language, performing arts, and fall sports choices. Rising sixth-graders only select a fall sports choice, at this time. They will choose a performing arts class, either Beginning Band or Choir, in mid-September and their world language choice near the end of the first trimester in mid-November.

To learn more about course selection, please contact our Middle School Registrar, Treasea Miller at (253 ) 620-8400.

Upper School Course Selection

Our Admission team will work with you and your student to determine course selections based on grade level and placement tests.

Please contact our Upper School Registrar, Pam Hayes at (253) 620-8330, with any questions about Upper School course selections.

Download our guide to CWA uniforms here.

Charles Wright Academy students in Preschool through Grade 5 wear uniforms.

The goal of school uniforms is to:

  • Increase a student’s sense of belonging to the CWA community
  • Provide sturdy, comfortable, and economical clothing choices
  • Keep clothing choices simple for families
  • Simplify morning routines for families

If you have any questions at all,
please contact the Admission Office
at (253) 620-8373 or

2021-2022 Responsible Reopening
Frequently Asked Questions

A: As of Spring 2021, all grades will begin the 2021-22 school year on campus and full time (five days a week).

A: CWA is committed to offering as much on campus learning as is safe, as determined by CWA leadership and local and state health authorities. CWA’s decision to be in-person or remote is guided by the requirements of state and local governing and health authorities, as well as a daily assessment of CWA’s community health status. Our COVID response team regularly reviews data, requirements, and recommendations from TPCHD, the Washington Department of Health, as well as guidance from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Washington Federation of Independent Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the Northwest Association of Independent Schools. 

The response team will also monitor health indicators as reported by our community. They will track the number of COVID-19 cases in Pierce County; the number of students and employees on campus who report illnesses; the report of overall school health drawn from daily wellness checks; attendance; and other data points. They will monitor and analyze these indicators for predictive trends and anomalies, making recommendations for any changes to CWA’s daily health status to the Head of School and other senior administrators. Changes will then be shared with the community via email, and, if necessary, through our emergency alert system.

A: We will notify families if there is a known potential for exposure of their student. The school will not disclose the name or identity of any individual with a positive test or illness. The response team that meets daily will make a determination of any and all communication needs related to potential COVID exposure.

A: CWA has made a significant investment to allow all students to participate in a 1:1 program.  All students (Preschool to Grade 12) will receive devices with all necessary applications provided by CWA.  PS, JK, and K will use school iPads; students in grades 1-11 will receive and use Chromebooks. We ask that all students in Preschool through Grade 11 use their CWA-issued device so that we can provide adequate technology support and ensure all students have access to the applications required for their coursework.

A: CWA will take full advantage of our beautiful 107-acre campus to provide additional safe learning spaces throughout campus. We have upgrading existing and added new outdoor spaces for increased daily class use. Many spaces have access to WIFI, be covered with tents or awnings, and have seating that allows for physical distancing. CWA will restrict the usage of outdoor classrooms in case of weather conditions that are unsafe like high winds, downpours, extreme temperatures, and lightning. Outside of these situations, we ask families, and faculty will also help prepare students to dress appropriately for a range of activities students can expect in our outdoor classroom spaces. Our nature-based learning experiences can be enhanced throughout the seasons in these spaces.

A: Yes. While annually we modify routes and schedules to adapt to subscribed ridership, we still plan to offer full bus service for 2021-22. Health assessments should be completed at home prior coming to the bus stop and will be attested to with the driver.  Parents/guardians must wait for their student to be accepted onto the bus before leaving the bus stop. When students arrive on campus, a staff member will meet the bus, take each student’s temperature, and clear them to enter their division.

A: Out of an abundance of caution, we expect students to stay home if they have symptoms of any illness, or if a family member is ill. They will be able to seamlessly transition into remote learning until they are able to return to school.