Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Education


State board of education sets Feb. 26 hearing on charter rules

The Washington State Board of Education will hold a public hearing on draft rules governing the state’s first public charter schools when it meets Feb. 26 in Olympia, at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Those wishing to provide comment on the draft rules may attend the hearing in Olympia, via video feed in Spokane at the office of ESD 101, or by writing directly to sbe@k12.wa.us.

The draft rules establish an annual application and approval process and timelines for local school boards seeking approval to be charter school authorizers. For example, the current draft rules will require school districts

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Help shape the future of Washington education

The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), charged with building a 10-year road map for Washington education from early learning through higher education, will host a public forum in Seattle from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 at Seattle Central Community College, Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, Seattle.

Created by the Legislature in 2012, the Council is the lead state agency bringing together all sectors of the state’s education system to improve education access, achievement and outcomes.

For more information, visit http://www.wsac.wa.gov.



School bonds winning in Tacoma, trailing in Puyallup, as first night count ends

A $500 million school bond measure in Tacoma was winning with nearly 70 percent of the vote in initial returns tonight, while a $279.6 million measure in Puyallup was falling short with 54.5 percent yes.

Each measure needs a 60-percent supermajority to pass.

Tacoma’s bond was in a secure position with 69.63 percent yes votes (24,013 of the 34,486 ballots counted) in updated results posted at 9:20 p.m. Additional counting is scheduled for Wednesday.

Tacoma’s bond would rebuild or remodel 14 schools, plus make safety and security upgrades at most other campuses. Puyallup’s measure would add capacity at three high

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UPS president joins board of national higher education association.

University of Puget Sound President Ronald R. Thomas has been elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), joining his peers from across the nation to represent the voice of private, nonprofit institutions on a national level.

Here is a release issued by the university Wednesday:

President Ron Thomas Elected to NAICU Board of Directors

Thomas joins leadership team of private, nonprofit colleges association


TACOMA, Wash. – University of Puget Sound President Ronald R. Thomas has been elected to the board of directors of the National Association of

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Local schools participate in Digital Learning Day today

Eight Pierce County schools are participating today (Feb. 6) in the second annual Digital Learning Day, a national campaign to spotlight successful teaching and the effective use of technology in classrooms. An estimated 24,000 teachers across the nation are expected to take part.

Local schools listed as participants include:

Gig Harbor Academy

Glacier Middle School

Lakes High School

Lincoln Center/Lincoln High School

Oakbrook Elementary

Sumner High School

White River High School.


Activities include a Digital Town Hall that begins at 10 a.m. PST, streamed live online at http://wpc.1806.edgecastcdn.net/001806/aee/dld.html

You can also follow activities on:

Twitter: @DLDay2013 or #DLDay

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Dine out to help support conference for disabled

You can help support  a conference aimed at helping people with disabilities just by picking up a fork.

The Tools 4 Success Conference, where area participants can learn about employment opportunities and preparation, will host a “takeover” at Joeseppi’s Italian Ristorante in Tacoma on Thursday Feb. 7, from 4-8 p.m.

Last year, nearly 400 youth from Pierce County high schools attended the annual conference. The conference takes place  March 26 at Tacoma Community College.

Joeseppi’s is at 2207 N. Pearl St., Tacoma. You can walk in, carry out or call 253-761-5555 for reservations.

To learn more about Tools 4 Success, click

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JBLM/Saint Martin’s grads celebrate Friday in Lakewood

Members of Saint Martin’s University’s Extended Learning Division will gather Friday, Feb. 1 to celebrate the graduation of 29 members of its Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) December class of 2012.


The graduation ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m., takes place at the Clover Park Technical College McGavick Conference Center located at 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood. The event will include remarks by University President Roy F. Heynderickx.


Members of the graduating class include service members from various JBLM organizations as well as family members, members of the National Guard, reservists, veterans and non-military affiliated students. For over 40

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