Family and Community News | Feb. 5, 2023

We are confident together: Watch Issiah's story

Building confidence, one order at a time. 

Tucked away on the second floor of our Central Administration Building is a gem called the CAB Café, staffed by an inspiring group of students with disabilities. Behind the counter you’ll find the always smiling and joyful Issiah Blount, a senior at Silas High School. The café staff are part of Career Choices, a Career and Technical Education (CTE) class in which they learn job skills and gain first-hand experience in a workplace. For Issiah, the experience goes deeper: He’s gaining confidence and independence. 

What a perfect way to kick off CTE month – when we’ll share stories and information about the wide range of career and technical courses offered in TPS and how we’re empowering students with knowledge, skills and experiences. 


Community offers ways to celebrate Black History Month

Black History Month is a time to honor, celebrate and learn about the contributions and achievements of Black Americans throughout history and society.

This month is an opportunity to deepen students’ understanding of the past and help them see the connections to their lives today. We also recognize that we must not relegate Black history to one month – Black history is American and world history.

Find local celebrations and resources:

What motivates your child to attend school? Please take our survey

We strive to make our schools a place where students want to be. Our goal is to create a feeling of belonging and help students feel successful every day.


That success is boosted by strong attendance. It’s proven that students do better in school when they have good attendance. Going to school is an opportunity for students to build routines that reduce stress, connect to friends and teachers, and engage in learning. When students attend regularly, they're more likely to read proficiently by third grade, do well in middle school and graduate high school.


Please take this survey to help us learn more about the reasons why your child is inspired to attend school and why they may miss time at school. We will use the information to enhance the way we support students and families across our school district.


Let's celebrate our school counselors and social workers

This week, National School Counseling Week, we recognize our skilled team of school counselors and school social workers.

There is a direct connection between finding moments of joy and gratitude with mental health, so we asked our school counselors and school social workers to share what brings them joy, and how they center joy and practice gratitude during some of their most challenging days.

Take a look at what they shared.


Submit design by Feb. 10 for Tacoma Rainiers jersey contest

Tacoma Public Schools is once again teaming up with the Tacoma Rainiers to host a jersey design contest for students in grades 3 to 8. Students should submit unique jersey designs to show what they love about Tacoma. They should use the Rainiers’ jersey template and submit all contest entries by Feb. 10. The Rainiers will review submissions and select a winner.

The winning design will be replicated on jerseys that the Rainiers players will wear during a 2023 game. The student winner will receive a jersey to keep, four Summit Club tickets to the 2023 TPS Night at the Rainiers and throw out the first pitch at the game.

Jerseys will be auctioned off with proceeds going to support Beyond the Bell programming.

Rainiers jersey contest:


Get a student perspective on Whole Child, restorative practices

We talk a lot about the Whole Child – the way we try to care for kids 24 hours a day as a school district, as community partners, as neighbors and community. It’s recognizing that taking care of our kids is about academics, but it’s also about helping them learn to build meaningful relationships, resolve conflict and gain the skills to manage emotions.

What do students think about that idea?

Grace Dannen, a student at our Science and Math Institute (SAMi), says kids need that direction.

Managing feelings and working through difficult situations are valuable lessons, she believes. For Grace, what’s especially valuable at school is the focus on restorative practices, a key part of Whole Child. Through restorative practices, students learn how to use communication to address conflicts and, ultimately, improve their school community.

Watch what Grace has to say.


Grant students get to turn their principal into ice cream sundae as reading reward

What’s the secret recipe to discover the joy of reading? Start with six gallons of room temperature ice cream. Mix in a few pounds of gummy bears, marshmallows, and sprinkles. Add a few quarts of syrup. Spray on several cans of whipped cream and top off the treat off with a can of maraschino cherries.

And the most important ingredient – find one enthusiastic elementary school principal happy to have it all dumped on him!


Virtual family gathering: Warning signs of eating disorders

Families are invited to a virtual gathering to learn about the warning signs of eating disorders in children.

Licensed mental health counselor Sally McDaniel will speak at the event, which is hosted by the TPS Community Partnership Office.

When: Tuesday, Feb. 14, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Online event. Register here.


Tacoma Public Schools | | 253-571-1000 |


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