Tacoma Specialists
news & updates
January 2021 Vol. 24 View previous issues 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Scheduling Flexibility for Building Leadership?
It Just Means Extra Work for Specialists
Maggie Ross
At the beginning of this year, the district directed building administrators to plan for elementary PE and Music specialists to provide one live lesson and one independent lesson to each class. However, that policy was neither formalized with the union nor officially adopted by district leadership and written down. Now, as hybrid learning learning ramps up, we have been told that the district is giving building leadership the flexibility to adjust their schedules as they see fit...

...Especially in the primary grades, each grade level now has a vastly different schedule and set of parameters for allowable lesson activities, both from the same grade at the other school and from the other grades at each school. At School A, I will not even be able to plan the same lessons for each class within the same primary grade!

...Either I will be unprepared for all of my lessons, or I will be working hours and hours past the end of my contracted day every day of the week. In one case I will be harming my students, and in the other I will be harming myself. Neither of those situations should be acceptable to a district which professes to care for the Whole Student and the Whole Educator.
In partnership with the Specialists, the Principal will identify opportunities for synchronous lessons which, when feasible, should be provided at least once a week to support student learning and maintain relationships with students. This may not be possible for all classes or schools due to scheduling variations...
from the office of Academic Achvmt & Innovatn

As the plan for your building coalesces, let us know how your building is allowing for quality, equitable access to specialist instruction and what you need to be able to deliver quality, equitable instruction to your students.
Tacoma Specialists will be working to advocate for reasonable solutions, but please share your questions and concerns with both the union and the district so that they can gauge the impact of their decisions. Situations and solutions are varied. Let us know the plan at your building.

Regardless of our job safety (we are home until everyone is back face-to-face), if you think it is too soon to return, please express that as well.

Click the "What's Happening" button for information and to add your voice to the discussion.
Save the Date!
You’re Invited!!!

Your Advocacy Council would like to invite you to share your concerns “in person.”  We are hosting two opportunities via Zoom to gather and talk with other elementary specialists.  We will send links as we get closer to these dates. Both meetings are open to PE, music and library specialists….choose whichever date works best with your schedule:

Monday, February 8th
4:30 PM

Wednesday, February 10th
6:30 PM
"You want me to teach some of the students some of the things without using any of the tools or strategies necessary?"
with questions and concerns about vaccinations and returning to the classroom
Specialists Tie it All Together
In so many ways, specialists are the binding force in a school. In these times when we aren't getting to interact with every person in the building, Music Specialist Penny Cramer at Sherman (and TOL) is bringing her community together with technology. Penny collaborated with and coordinated the Sherman community in creating a virtual MLK assembly. You can see it HERE.

Her friend shown here was a guest at an assembly of a different sort.
Tech Tips for Specialists

Share resources so that we don't have to do it all on our own!

If you'd like to Celebrate a Specialist, send us a picture, video, article, drawing, song, limerick... whatever at

Submissions will go out in the newsletter and be posted on tacomaspecialists.org on our new page. Infect someone with positivity, or blow your own horn!