Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Foss is unique and worth saving

Letter by Karen K. Dasher, Tacoma on Jan. 26, 2011 at 2:28 pm with 11 Comments »
January 26, 2011 2:28 pm

Foss High School has been my family since 1986. I have been fortunate to have taught every grade level there, as well as special education and the International Baccalaureate Program during my tenure.

Since my retirement, I supervise the IB testing and the community service program for IB. I also sub at Foss – only at Foss. I have never found a school like Foss. Our Foss family is welcoming, we embrace diversity and encourage critical thinking. We teach respect for all members of our “family.” We respect our students and model that behavior.

There truly has been a very special element to Foss, since its conception in the early ’70s. For whatever myriad of reasons, it is the “IT” school. We have weathered so many heartbreaks and tragedies, and we have rejoiced in happier times. But folks, “IT” is there!

It is at Foss, so please, keep Foss alive and well. It can’t be recreated. It is said that “you can’t go home again,” so please keep our home. It is absolutely worth saving.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. nwcolorist says:

    These are good arguments for preserving Foss High school. On the other hand, similar arguments can be made for just about every school in the district.

    Each school provides many memories and emotions to those who have plodded their hallways over the years. The time spent there is the stuff of our lives.

    I would think the decision to close Foss came after much debate and searching for other solutions. Let’s take a deep breath and move forward.

  2. hansgruber says:

    Consolidating Foss into the other 4 high schools is the solution for now.

    Maintaining a school at 61% capacity (built to serve 1737 students with only 1066 students currently) is not good stewardship.

  3. hedrickfamily says:

    I agree that Foss is worth saving, I also understand the financial issue with the school only at 61%. It is frustrating that it took three years of consistent decline and the situation come to closing of Foss.

    Someone else asked where is the lottery money going, was not a portion of that to be allocated towards schools? Another spending question is why all the money was spent to improve the Nature trail at Snake Lake?

    The bottom line is if the district is going to continue to close schools, over crowd class rooms and reduce education opportunities for our children, should we not be able to reduce our property taxes and what ever else we pay that is suppose to be allocated to schools and send our children to private schools.

  4. haveaniceday says:

    Dollars and Cents- wouldn’t it make sense to sell Stadium High School and property, than use the interest from that money to put into the Tacoma School Districts budget. Would someone work up that forecast?

  5. haveaniceday says:

    As for Foss’ low enrollment, closing an overcrowded school which has problems due to overcrowding makes more sense.

  6. baileyandliamsmommy says:

    Maybe if the district wouldn’t have allow 946 students to go to school out-of-district, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, including all 5 starters on the Curtis basketball team…

  7. commoncents says:

    has anyone done a study on the number of students in the Foss boundary that are attending school at other public schools in the district and out-of-district?

  8. BigSwingingRichard says:

    Karen, IT is expense to run a school half empty and IT is expensive when former employees are allowed to double dip on their taxpayer funded pay.

    One way the school district could save money is to stop allowing teachers to double dip their salary by retiring, collecting a pension and then to return to teach or work at the same school. But hey, this is just common sense, a commodity in short supply in public education.

    This is just another example of adults placing their own interests above the interests of kids and taxpayers.

    I have no doubt you do not want to see Foss closed, and this would because of the kids, right? That’s IT.

  9. cclngthr says:

    Those 946 students who go to out of district schools have parents who demand more than the schools in their area; which Foss is within that area, can or will provide. Hence the reason of their departure. When schools cannot teach properly, students go elsewhere.

    If you look at 10 years of student number data at Foss, Hunt, Whittier, Wainwright, and Geiger, you will see the numbers at these schools dropping over time, and the district has numbers of students leaving for other districts from these schools. Compare this data with other schools in the district and you will see the numbers from these schools is higher than other schools. Combine test score data and you will see why the numbers have dropped.

    It is very expensive to run partially filled schools. People don’t think how much it costs to operate a building, and when you have multiple buildings with twice the staff needed to teach the same number of students, and I’m including administrators, paras, secretaries, janitorial staff here, plus maintanance staff, materials, utilities; it is twice as expensive to run the multiple schools than it is to one school.

    Union contract and state law sets a maximum number of students per teacher, which if Foss closes, that number will remain the same. All that will change is where the students and teaching staff are distributed.

  10. Through the years Pepsi has been known for composing and selling oddly flavored versions of their renown Pepsi soda. They’ve made their soda clear, white, clear, red, and now they’re going blue with Pepsi blue.

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