Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Tacoma School District

Aug.
11th

FIRCREST: Stop tearing down our history

As a Fircrest resident and teacher, I was happy to read about the adjustments by the Tacoma School District to the schools in Fircrest. However, I was shocked to read that Wainwright, “constructed in 1924, needs to be replaced due to its age” (TNT, 7-25).

I am saddened by how often schools are torn down and replaced, especially by the Tacoma School District. I am a fan of mid-century architecture; I am always sad when schools from the 1950s and 1960s are torn down because they are not deemed attractive, as Hunt Middle School will be.

Wainwright, with its

Read more »

June
17th

TACOMA: Policy will hurt substitute teacher supply

Re: the substitute teacher shortage in the Tacoma Public Schools (TNT, 5-8).

I retired after teaching tor 30 years with Tacoma and became a substitute for the district. Substitutes were required to work at least five days during the school year. Last year the requirement increased to 10 days a year.

Recently I received a letter for the 2014-2015 school year stating that substitutes will be required to accept two jobs a month in order to remain on the substitute roster. This was emphasized and underlined in the letter.

If there is such a shortage, then why have these

Read more »

May
30th

TACOMA: School district wrong to cut PE teachers

I am a parent of two students currently in the Tacoma Public Schools and was recently informed that 16 PE teachers were being let go by the district. They say due to the student body in our high schools and middle schools we no longer need as many PE teachers. Instead of reviewing each teacher and seeing which ones are actually worthy of keeping jobs they are cutting the elementary PE teachers.

We can’t allow our good teachers to be pushed out when they are the education system’s future. Dan Cozine is the great PE teacher at Mann Elementary; he

Read more »

April
21st

TACOMA: Gifted programs may need rethinking

Re: “Tacoma to offer more classes for gifted kids” (TNT, 4-8).

As a former participant in the Sherman Elementary School JAWS (Joining Abilities with Students) program, I am skeptical about the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program.

Once a week, I rode a bus with students from Washington Hoyt Elementary to Franklin, where we were supposedly being pushed to excel through the JAWS program.
On the contrary; bus rides took up an hour of the day. Our curriculum consisted of material that felt irrelevant and silly. JAWS felt like a once-a-week field trip.

In third grade, I was

Read more »

March
26th

TACOMA: School district must bridge teacher quality gap

Re: “Getting serious about the teacher quality gap” (Viewpoint, 3-26).

I went online and read the authors’ full report, based on OSPI data. Now I understand a bit more about how Tacoma’s higher-poverty students are more likely to receive instruction from teachers with less experience, lower performance on required licensure tests and lower levels of value-added effectiveness.

Assuming our Tacoma School Board members also have this information before them, what changes and improvements might we expect, so all students in Tacoma are given a fair chance to succeed?

March
11th

TACOMA: School officials did wrong by Stewart

Re: “Poor scores at school draw state intervention” (TNT, 3-9).

“We are not going to give up on them” is how a Tacoma School District spokesman refers to the students with low test scores at Stewart Middle School.By implication, the Stewart community is blamed for those low scores.

These scores weren’t due to general socioeconomic conditions in the area, as claimed. District administrators must own much of the blame. They failed the students by placing inexperienced people in charge, and implementing a time- and energy-consuming “inclusion” plan.

Why weren’t administrators replaced by others with a proven record of success

Read more »

Feb.
13th

FESTIVAL: Adult error created Daffodil snafu

A News Tribune article (2-7) told readers of an “error in judging” that led to two students being crowned as daffodil princesses at Emerald Ridge High School. Puyallup School District officials attribute “an adult mistake” as the reason for this.

Unfortunately, for my daughter, this was not the case 11 years ago when an “adult mistake” at Lincoln High School in Tacoma cost her the princess crown. Before she decided to run, my daughter went to a school representative of the parade and was told that her GPA of 3.1 was adequate. But after she had been crowned, after

Read more »

Feb.
4th

TACOMA: School district rules seem ridiculous

My grandchild is a fifth-grader at Sherman Elementary School and is looking forward to the week-long Outdoor Camp – a longstanding tradition for fifth-graders in Tacoma public schools.

We have been informed that if she wants to take ChapStick or sunscreen to camp with her, she must have a doctor’s note. These items will then be treated as if they were prescription and held for her. This is despite sunscreen being on the list of suggested supplies.

We are told this is necessary because sunscreen and lip balms are applied to the skin. Hmm. Shampoo and soap are also on

Read more »