Word on the Street

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

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Category: Spanaway


Bethel School Board dives into pool possibilities

The Bethel School Board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday Nov. 5 to study the possibility of a long-sought aquatic center for the school district, which includes Spanway, Graham and nearby communities.
The meeting will be at the school district office, 516 176th St. E., Spanaway.

The idea for a pool has been talked about for years in the school district, but funding for both construction and ongoing maintenance has remained a question mark.

There is no swimming pool in the Bethel School District. Swim teams must go outside the school district to practice and compete at pools in

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Bethel schools boundary re-draw discussion tonight, Thursday

Tonight is the first of two opportunities for residents of the Bethel School District to hear about proposed adjustments to attendance boundaries for the district’s middle and high schools. If approved, the changes would take effect at the start of the 2013-14 school year.

The district plans to adjust the boundaries to alleviate overcrowding and to accommodate the shift to middle schools for students in grades six through eight, which the school board approved Oct. 9 . This year, middle schools served only students in grade seven and eight, while ninth graders moved from the former junior highs to the

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Federal grants support South Sound school communities

Eight South Sound schools will benefit from federal grants aimed at providing academic and enrichment opportunities for kids in high-need neighborhoods.

State education officials announced Tuesday that 12 educational and community groups in Washington will receive an estimated $4 million a year for five years. The grants are designed to create what will be known as 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which will offer help for students when school is not in session. The goal is to have students meet state standards in reading and math, and offer opportunities to participate in art, music, recreation and more.

Included in the

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Bethel School Board names newest member

Michael Audas is the newest member of the Bethel School Board. He was appointed Tuesday by board members to fill a vacancy in Director District 4, which occurred following the resignation of Joy Cook. She resigned to move out of state.

Audas will represent the Graham area on the board. He has lived in the Bethel area for 12 years. He is married with three children, two of whom attend Bethel schools. He is a family and child therapist with Comprehensive Life Resources.

Audas is the second recent appointee to the board. Stanley Chapin was recently appointed to fill a

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Bethel School Board adds one new member

The Bethel School Board has appointed Stanley Chapin to represent the school district’s Director District No. 3, which covers the Elk Plain-Spanaway area. He will fill a vacancy left by the resignation of board member Marianne Lincoln.

Chapin is expected to be sworn in at the board’s April 10 meeting. He is married and has been a resident of the Bethel School District for 17 years. He works as a manager for Metro Parks Tacoma.

The board is also trying to fill a vacancy in Director District No. 4, which covers the Graham area. That board seat opened after Joy Cook

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Say “Aloha” to Sprinker: popular ice arena closes for renovation this week, but not before a going-away luau on Monday

Sprinker Ice Arena will close beginning Tuesday for a renovation that’s expected to last through the end of the year.

So to say so long, Pierce County Parks & Recreation is holding a Last Day Luau that will include an open public skating session, Hawaiian ice refreshments, themed music and other fun, according to an announcement on the agency’s website.

The event is set for 7:45 to 9:45 p.m. Monday at Sprinker and is billed as the last chance to skate in “”the original ice arena.” Admission is $5.50 and includes skate rental.

Sprinker Recreation Center is at 14824

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Bethel School Board decides to slash 45 teaching positions and other jobs

The Bethel School Board decided Thursday night to slash 67 positions – including 45 teaching jobs – and increase class sizes as part of a $7.6 million budget cut.

Positions for at least six administrators and six custodians would be part of the cuts. Class sizes would increase by one student in the fourth to 12th grades next fall, while classes for kindergartners through third-graders would add two students.

The board directed Superintendent Tom Seigel to make cuts to offset a $7.6 million reduction in state funding.

“It’s bleak,” said school board President John Manning after a nearly four-hour meeting at the district’s headquarters in Spanaway. “There’s no silver lining in this.”

The five-member board agreed on cuts of $7.1 million. It also decided to cover the remainder of the reduction using $500,000 of $12 million in expected reserves.

Manning said the Bethel School District has great teachers and he is hopeful the quality of education won’t suffer. “I’m sure they’ll do their best to maintain it,” he said.

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