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TACOMA: Foss closure would affect all district high schools

Letter by Darla K. Medina, Tacoma on Jan. 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm with 11 Comments »
January 21, 2011 1:12 pm

The recent announcement by Tacoma School Superintendent Art Jarvis of his desire to close Foss High School would on the surface seem to be a problem affecting only those at Foss High School. This decision will affect all of the high schools.

Every parent with a child in a Tacoma high school needs to get involved. The four remaining schools will receive the Foss students if Jarvis gets his way. This will lead to overcrowding. As student population expands, so do the problems. Safety becomes a concern. Quality of the education suffers.

What about the upperclassmen? How do former school rivals come together in a cohesive unit? What about the bonds that have been formed between the students at Foss? What about those Foss students who have accepted the challenge to take on the most rigorous academic program the Tacoma School District has to offer? Where does this leave them?

Our family chose to pass on Stadium, our assigned school, to send our children to Foss, the district’s only International Baccalaureate Diploma School.

We are the proud parents of three Foss graduates. We will do everything in our power to have the last Medina graduate from Foss in 2012.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. Darla, how did you vote concerning the tax on sodas and on the upper income folks this last election? If you voted against them, you are part of the problem not part of the solution.

  2. krissy10852 says:

    Publico says:
    Darla, how did you vote concerning the tax on sodas and on the upper income folks this last election? If you voted against them, you are part of the problem not part of the solution.

    that has nothing to do with trying to save a school from closing you have no idea Publico on what is going on

  3. cclngthr says:

    Publico thinks that a school should remain open regardless of cost.

    If Publico was running a business like that, without good sense in financial stability, that business will be run out of town or be out of business real fast.

    A school that is efficiently run with dollars and cents is full and is operated on a profit and can show proof that they can get excellent results in their efforts of teaching. Foss is not full, and is not efficient in that sense because it costs more to run partially full schools than full schools and they also need to show proof that the students are learning through objective measurements.

  4. If Foss is not full, how about moving some of the students from Mt. Tahoma? It is overcrowded – bursting at the seams!

  5. ccingthr, the idea that a school should and could be run like a business is nonsense. A school should be run like a government and do for its citizens the best it can for what it was designed. A school does not make a profit and that idea is total nonsense compared to what a school is supposed to be. It provides a public service, most importantly, to educate children to become valuable citizens who will understand how and why a democracy works in their best interests.

  6. Alison7613 says:

    Publico- If only that were true. As a former teacher schools are currently set up namely to produce factory workers, though we have no more factory jobs. It’s not really about learning as much as learning to follow rules. Social skills take precedence over academics despite the ongoing attempts to reform our educational system.

    Money is wasted on the most riduculous teacher in-service days. Administrative salaries are enormous. Read any of the books written by former teacher turned journalist Jonathan Kozol. Some of the most successful people I know were yanked from Tacoma Public Schools, homeschooled, and now have jobs in places like Boeing management. A few survive and thrive. I think this is due to inherent intellect, not the schools themselves.

    I am glad I don’t have kids. I am not sure what I would do. I would hope to have enough money to privately educate them, struggle with my beliefs about the collective for the collective good, and yet be very concerned about the terrible job our schools continue to do despite all the talk and all the money administrators continue to demand from us to toss into a broken system.

  7. hansgruber says:

    I am pleasantly surprised to see the district take son fiscal responsibility! Until the economy improves and district population increases, closing Foss and the 4 elementary schools is a good fiscal decision. Bravo!

    As for the Foss undergrads, it is tough to move to a new school or even a rival school during any year but that’s what happens sometimes. It happened to me and I continued to go to school and live life.

    As for the Medina’s, good luck Darla. Maybe you can have a $2,000,000 fundraiser? Bill Gates might pitch in!

  8. cclngthr says:

    While you propose to keep partially filled schools open, are you willing to fork over the funding, by yourself, to fund that? Don’t ask anyone else to do it because they won’t. Schools must be full, as well as educate to stay open. Private schools operate on this manner.

    People have to realize that schools are a business and they can be shut down for a number of reasons, student enrollment is just one of them.

  9. purplechick says:

    Just like when they closed Hunt middle school now it leaves only the low preforming schools for our kids to go to because Mason is closed to open enrollment because some of the Hunt kids are there now.
    My older son was at Stadium when it was full and we were not happy there, and took him out of district. Which I have found alot of parents are doing because of the Tacoma high schools. So if they don’t fix the problem they will be losing kids to other districts.

  10. modyfied says:


    “As for the Medina’s, good luck Darla. Maybe you can have a $2,000,000 fundraiser? Bill Gates might pitch in! ”

    He already has- as THE GATES GRANT several years ago- nearly destroying the schools I.B. program.


    “Money is wasted on the most riduculous teacher in-service days”
    again, thank the GATES GRANT for re-aligning the school, and wasting a lot of the time.

    I love seeing the short-sighted comments from the people who really have NO information on the REAL problems
    NO interest in keeping the school open
    NO care except their own lives
    NO way of stopping the fiscal irresponsibility that caused the problem in the first place.

  11. baileyandliamsmommy says:

    Alison7613…I am very glad that with the attitude you portray, you are no longer a colleague of mine. I work with some amazing educators who do hardwork everyday. I have two children going through Tacoma Public Schools that are both receiving an excellent education. I pulled my oldest out of private school to enroll him in Tacoma where there are more opportunities for him to grow and more diversity for him experience. How sad that you can’t see the value in our public education system. While it will never be perfect, it is definitely in the process of reform.

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