February 9, 2017
In this issue:

Playgrounds, other projects still on to-do list
The playground at Cedar River Elementary (currently Cedar River Middle School) will be installed during spring break. For a rendering of Tahoma Elementary School's playground, see below.
Projects at each of Tahoma's transition sites are moving along, with some exciting developments quickly approaching. Considerable work was completed over last summer, and crews will be checking items off their to-do lists during upcoming breaks and after school releases in June.

"I'm very excited to see the design plans for our new educational spaces come together, especially for our new elementary sites," said Cindy Darcy, who is managing the projects for the district and is also in charge of purchasing and risk management. "We have worked to keep improvements consistent throughout the district while trying to maintain each building's individuality from historic preservation sites to adding high tech elements, improving safety and also maintaining the historic integrity of sites such as Tahoma Middle School.

Cedar River and Tahoma elementary schools
While all of the renovations at the current middle school buildings are important for creating the best elementary learning environment, many parents whose children will attend Cedar River Elementary and Tahoma Elementary next year have asked when playground equipment will be installed at the two sites. The answer is: during spring break. At TES, the playground will be in the school's colors: blue and yellow. At CRES, staff chose bright and colorful items (they are in the process of choosing school colors using a student survey now). A playground upgrade is also in the planning phase for Shadow Lake Elementary, but on a different timeline.

Plans at both schools also call for science classroom renovations, locker room conversions and adding additional tackable wall surfaces (bulletin boards in the hallways). Library collections are being purchased for CRES and TES through the Teaching and Learning Department. Both locations also have ongoing code compliance fire system improvements, plans for access control design improvements, and will have monument signs installed. Staff members are working to put together furnishings for each site that include a combination of existing and new items.

"Similar to what we are doing at the new high school and Lake Wilderness, we want to utilize as much furniture in good condition as we can," Darcy said.

At Cedar River, additional parking lot space will be added.

At Tahoma Elementary, there will be significant additional work, including cleaning and resealing the exterior of the brick three-story, painting the interior stairwells and hallway corridors, retreading of the stairs and replacement of selected tiles near each stairway on each level. These new colored tiles will be "sprinkled" near the stairwells and will a different color on each level to help elementary students recognize which floor they are on (blue, orange and green).  Library improvements are also planned (see artist's rendering below). The restrooms in the gym corridor, and the corridor itself, will be updated with new flooring and paint. In the cafeteria and gym, the lower wainscotting area will be touched up to brighten those areas. The failed foldable wall in the gym will be replaced with a new drop curtain. 

Also of note, the improvements to the historic, three-story building at TES required the approval of the King County Preservation Society, which did give its consent.

Shadow Lake Elementary
Playground and play field improvements at SLES are planned for this summer; and while designs are not yet available, the equipment will be consistent with the other new playgrounds. Also on the project list for SLES are improvements to the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system, which will receive an estimated $1 million update. In the summer of 2018, work will include installation of security camera and access control systems including card swipes and electronic locking doors with emergency lockdown buttons.

Glacier Park Elementary
In the summer of 2018, work will include installation of security camera and access control systems, including card swipes and electronic locking doors with emergency lockdown buttons.

Maple View Middle School
Over the summer, the front entry will be revamped to add a security vestibule; conference rooms and one classroom will be adjusted. There are ongoing code compliance fire system improvements at the current high school building. Work is ongoing for access control design improvements. Wayfinding signage will be installed.

Summit Trail Middle School
This summer, the front entrance will be renovated to add a security vestibule; two conference rooms and one classroom will be adjusted. Work is ongoing for access control design improvements. Monument signs will be installed.

Portable classroom buildings
Most of the district's old portable buildings will be demolished. Cedar River Elementary and Tahoma Elementary will each have portables installed (all of the portables mentioned in this paragraph are 2 years old but new to Tahoma). Each of the portables will have two classrooms with a connecting door. Portables also will be installed at Glacier Park (three doubles total; two "new" and one existing); at Shadow Lake (two "new" doubles); Tahoma Elementary (one "new" double behind the three-story building); and Rock Creek (two "new" doubles and one existing). At the current Tahoma High School, all existing portables will be demolished, except for one that will be used for the Personal Academic Instruction (PAI) Program (and a new one that will be installed for PAI); and one portable for storage.

We'll share information on the district's two new construction projects, Tahoma High School and Lake Wilderness Elementary, in the next issue.

To read last issue's article about what the staff groups for the new buildings have been working on, click here.

To read the full transition plan as presented in a recent update to the School Board, click here.
This artist's rendering of the library at Tahoma Elementary shows how the window seat area in the library may look after improvements. 
This drawing of the playground at Tahoma Elementary gives a feel for what students will be able to enjoy. Staff chose to use the new school's colors -- blue and yellow -- on the playground.
ElectiveOptionsAtMSElective options increase at middle school level
When middle school students register for classes soon, they will have a vast array of new elective choices. For seventh-graders in particular, the options will go from five to about 25, thanks to a process that blossomed out of work done by one of the model review committees.

"We are so excited about the opportunities that this middle school model will provide for our kids, especially in broadening the elective choices for our students," said Dawn Wakeley, executive director of the Teaching and Learning Department. While the most dramatic difference will be seen at the seventh-grade level, options will increase for all middle school students.

The middle school model review occurred last year, but this year the district called for volunteers to serve on a Music and Arts Review committee to examine those programs. As part of that process, two parent surveys were completed, which pointed district officials and volunteers on the committee to look at adding more elective choices for students. At the first meeting of that committee, a panel of student volunteers spoke with the group about what they would like to take -- they expressed a strong desire for additional options.

"In Tahoma, middle-level electives provide students with a wide range of experiences, helping them to identify areas where they have interest and skill," the course catalog states. "Learning what you like, as well as what you don't like, are both valuable. These early experiences help students make more informed choices as they transition to high school."

Students at the sixth-grade level will now be able to choose from prior options as well as orchestra. The exploratory rotation will now include leadership class for those who are interested.

At the seventh-grade level, new choices will include classes such as guitar, several STEM options such as medical detectives, Spanish and more. Some options are one semester and others year-long.

Any recommendations that come forward from the Music and Arts Review committee will be presented to the School Board at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14. We will report that information in the next issue of Tahoma Matters.

Courtesy photo
Kaelan Shamseldin, who plays guard for the Tahoma Bears girls basketball team, has scored 9,993 points in her career and is about to set a record.
Tahoma senior shoots for 1,000
Bears senior Kaelan Shamseldin is geared up to score her 1,000th career point in Tahoma's district girls basketball game tonight against Curtis High School.

Hitting this mark is "A great accomplishment for Kaelan," coach Pete DeBolt said. "I'm proud of how hard she has worked at growing her game. She has dedicated countless hours to becoming the best basketball player she can be. It's also a recognition of her teammates and how well they play together, to the players who guard her in practice day in and day out ... And as great as Kaelan has been on offense for four years, I think she's a better defender for us!"

To hit the 1,000-point mark, Shamseldin will need seven more points. While it's not necessarily a goal she had been thinking about, it was brought to her attention this season, she said.

"Scoring 1,000 points in my HS career is an amazing accomplishment that I couldn't have done without the support of my coaches and teammates," Shamseldin said. All four years I've been lucky enough to have great girls around me with coaches giving me the confidence to succeed. .... My goal and my team's goal has always been to make it to state, if my points help us get there, fantastic!"

Asked why she loves basketball, she replied: "Different players come together with the individual skills they have developed, and we all work together to achieve our team goals. When each of us does our part to make the team better, then great things happen. There is nothing better than feeling the team succeed. Playing Varsity Basketball for Tahoma has been an amazing experience that I'll never forget. I've made friendships that I'll have for a lifetime and only hope that I've had the same positive impact on the underclassman that previous team captains had on me. "

Shamseldin plans to play basketball at Whitman College next year, and noted that she hopes she is just the first of many Tahoma players to join the "1,000-point club."

Tahoma musicians compete at solo and ensemble event
Last weekend at the Green River Music Educators' Association regional solo and ensemble competition Tahoma had 41 entries including soloists and ensembles compete. More than 55 students participated, director Matt Cole said.

Results included: freshman Claire Cunningham, clarinet solo; senior Dylan Cummins, bassoon solo, winner; junior Cameron Plett, French horn, winner; sophomore Robert Potterf, euphonium, first alternate; junior Ethan Burt, tuba, winner; freshmen Claire and Abby Wooster, small woodwind ensemble, first alternate; junior Marius Falconeer, junior Isabelle Mucke and sophomore Ethan Andrew, small brass ensemble, winner.

The students will compete against the top musicians in their category at the end of April at Central Washington University, Cole said.

DECA student creates award-winning video
Tahoma High School senior Tierra Wilson won a $2,500 scholarship for creating a two-minute video about safe driving for Driving-Tests.org.

"I'm honored to have been selected for this scholarship and thankful to DTO for the opportunity to share my message with my peers and others so that they may become safer drivers," Wilson said in a press release. "I have been an advocate for safer driving through my work with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission's Target Zero initiative and am committed to helping reduce road fatalities among teens in any way I can."

The video is designed to emphasize key choices that teens can make to keep them safe behind the wheel.

To view Wilson's work, click here: http://driving-tests.org/scholarship/

Drama student will proceed to state, national contests
Tahoma High School student Mikayla Kay participated in the Washington State Thespians Individual Events competition over the weekend. Kay earned a blue ribbon in the "Solo Musical" category, and qualified for both the state and national competitions, teacher Melissa Bean said.

Auto tech students place at competition.
Congratulations to eight Tahoma students who participated in a SkillsUSA Automotive Regional Contest in January.

The Bears competed at Shoreline Community College with a total of 40 students from five Puget Sound north schools in Automotive Service and Automotive Maintenance.

Bowman took second place in automotive maintenance and Shearer received third place in Automotive Service. Both students qualified for the state contest in Yakima in April, and their prizes included Snap-on Tools.
Courtesy photo
In the photo, back row from left: Gage Moody, Hayden Bain, Connor Bell, Hunter Miner, teacher Luke Thompson, Gabe Wheeler. Front row: Will Shearer, Garit Bowman, Dawson Morgan.

Maintenance crews clear lots, enable facilities to reopen
Tahoma maintenance staff members worked very hard earlier this week during and after the unusual weather that caused school cancellations and delays. Their work improved conditions at facilities so that school could resume.

NewsBriefsNews briefs
Business sponsors sought for "Shrek" production
Students from both middle schools and the junior high are hard at work on "Shrek, the Musical," and the Tahoma Junior Drama Boosters are looking for businesses to sponsor messages in the program for the six performances.

"If you own a local business or know a business that might like to support Tahoma Junior Drama Boosters, this is a highly visible but simple way of showing support for community drama programs. If your business can offer donations of any kind, we would appreciate support in those areas as well," said Imani Miller, president of the booster club.

Sponsors can select different sizes of messages in the program; orders are due by Feb. 24. More than 2,000 people attend the performances each year.

Email tahomajrdramaboosters@gmail.com for a copy of the sponsorship form, or with any questions. The group is a 501c3 nonprofit.

Father-daughter ball approaches
Tickets are now on sale for the annual Father-Daughter Ball hosted by the Tahoma High School PTA. Registration forms are available in school offices, or online at http://thspta.my-pta.org 

The cost is $40 for one parent and daughter duo, if pre-registered by March 11. Tickets are $50 at the door; additional siblings in either case are $10. The cost includes one 5-by-7-inch photo and a goody bag. The theme this year is "Seahawks;" and those who attend may dress up in theme if they wish or wear any outfit of their choice unrelated to the theme. Email tahomahspta@gmail.com with any questions.

Tahoma Schools Foundation writes check to THS AP program
From left, Tahoma Schools Foundation board member Barbara Kennedy, THS teacher and AP program coordinator Charisse Braun, and TSF board member Joshua Lyons.
The Tahoma Schools Foundation donated $1,200 to Tahoma High School, to help cover the cost of Advanced Placement tests for students from low-income families. Until last year, Tahoma and other school districts in Washington received funding from the state to significantly reduce the cost of AP exams for students who qualify for free and reduced price lunch.

"In 2016, some of the best and brightest Tahoma High School students were able to take 27 AP exams only because of this funding," said Charisse Braun, an English teacher who is the coordinator for AP and College in High School at THS. In 2017, money for this purpose was eliminated for the state budget.

"Concerned about preserving equal access for our low-income students, I contacted the Tahoma Schools Foundation to ask for their help. They generously donated $1,200 to ensure that these promising and hard-working students can still take their exams this year," Braun said. "Support like this makes the Tahoma Schools Foundation a valuable and important part of our Maple Valley community."

For more information about the TSF, click here: https://tahomaschoolsfoundation.org/

Attendance waivers now being accepted
Families that wish to apply for attendance waivers, which would permit students to transfer to a different Tahoma elementary or middle school in the 2017-2018 school year, are invited to submit an application. The deadline is Feb. 28.

Waiver applications are available online or at the Central Services Center, 25720 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Road SE.

State seeks comments on Every Student Succeeds Act

The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is seeking public comment on a draft plan that will determine how the federal Every Student Succeeds Act will be applied to Washington state schools.

ESSA is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It previously was known as No Child Left Behind. The new law is significantly different and will be put into effect for the 2017-2018 school year.
SpotlightOnWinterSportsSpotlight on winter sports
Tahoma High School winter sports teams are hard at work, and competing in postseason play.  For specific scores, records and schedules, click here.
Here are some highlights:

Boys basketball
The Tahoma High School boys basketball team lost Wednesday night, 58-47 in a tough game against Puyallup. Their record was 7-7 in conference play and 12-11 overall.

Girls basketball
The girls basketball team takes on Curtis at 6 p.m. today in the first round of the West Central District competition.

"We have a great defensive team which has led us to the most wins since the early 2000s. The athletes have worked hard and are playing our best basketball right now," coach Pete DeBolt said.

The team's record so far is 10-4 in league play and 17-4 overall. They will play Friday as well, with details determined by tonight's outcome.

The gymnastics team placed 5th at the league meet last Saturday, and qualified for districts as a team -- a huge accomplishment, coach Wendy Ward reported. The team will compete at districts from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday at Auburn Mountainview High School.

The district competitors are: Devyn Koppisch, Emma Rochleau, Iliana Hammerstrom, Laena Tieng, Sarah Paulsen, Tenley Mjelde. Alternates include: Elizabeth Cook, Jancy Sykes, and Kara Woodard.

Boys swim and dive
"The swim and dive team has had an amazing season," coach Theresa Castaneda said. "This team is a lot of fun to coach. These boys know how to have fun and be silly, but also get down to hard work when it counts. They have really improved a great deal this season and it has been fun to watch them get better and better."

The team placed second in the Cascade Division, and has broken four records this season:
500 free: Parker Wichelmann, 5:04.44; 100 free: Nick Ainsworth 48.48; 200 free relay: Jared Wold (22.93), Wichelmann (23.62), David Brannon (23.82), and Nick Ainsworth (21.70) for a total time of 1:32.07; 400 free relay: Wold (51.70), Wichelmann (50.65), Jan Grobbelaar (52.23), and Nick Ainsworth (48.85) for a total time of 3:23.43

State qualifiers include: 200 free and 500 free, Wichelmann; 50 free and 100 free, Nick Ainsworth; diving, Zach Klobutcher; 200 free relay, Nate Ainsworth, Nick Ainsworth, Grobbelaar, Brannon, Wold, Wichelmann, Ethan Spencer & Preston Hatch
400 free relay, Nate Ainsworth, Nick Ainsworth, Grobbelaar, Brannon, Wold, Wichelmann, Spencer and Gavin Blakely.

The state meet is on Feb. 17 and 18 at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way.

Courtesy photo
Members of the Tahoma boys swim and dive team pose at a recent competition.

The wrestling team won the league tournament last weekend, and hasn't lost a league match in nine years, assistant coach Doug Burnham reported. The team was undefeated (7-0) in league meets and 8-0 overall.

The wrestlers will compete Saturday at Skyline High School in the regional tournament; state is the following weekend, Feb. 17 and 18, at the Tacoma Dome. The Bears are currently ranked No. 1 in Washington state.

At the league tournament, head coach Chris Feist was honored with the "Coach of the Year award," his first during his time at Tahoma. Three Tahoma wrestlers shared the honor of NPSL "Wrestler of the Year": Nick Whitehead, who won the 132-pound weight class; Ryden Fu, who won the 145-pound weight class; and Dagen Kramer, who won the 220-pound weight class. Other league champions from the Bears team included Austin Michalski at 113 pounds, Cameron Hanson at 126 pounds, Justin Sipila at 152 pounds, Gage Dress at 182 pounds, Kione Gill at 195 pounds and Nic Carbone at 285 pounds.

ConstructionUpdateConstruction at a glance
New Tahoma High School
A photograph mural of Mount Rainier was recently installed on the third floor of the new Tahoma High School. Views of the actual mountain can be seen from some locations in the new school.
ComingUpBearCountryComing up in Bear Country
FRIDAY , Feb. 10
Glacier Park PTSA family night 80s dance, 6:45 p.m., GPES
Lake Wilderness PTSA family movie night, 6 p.m., LWES

Glacier Park Celebration of Learning, 5 p.m., GPES

MONDAY, Feb. 20
NO SCHOOL, districtwide, in recognition of President's Day

TUESDAY, Feb. 21
NO SCHOOL, districtwide for midwinter break Feb. 21-24. 

LunchMenu What's for lunch?

The Tahoma School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: 

Title IX Officer
Director of Human Resources
25720 Maple Valley Highway
Maple Valley, WA 98038
ADA Coordinator
Director of Human Resources
25720 Maple Valley Highway
Maple Valley, WA 98038
Section 504 Coordinator
Director of Special Services
25720 Maple Valley Highway
Maple Valley, WA 98038
Tahoma Matters staff member Wendy Castleman: wcastlem@tahomasd.us