Tacoma Specialists
news & updates
March 2021 Vol.
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Recent news:
Carla Santorno, our superintendent, thinks physical education is important.  She co-wrote an article for the Seattle Times.

"We believe it is time for all of us — schools, municipalities, parks and recreation departments, health systems and community-based organizations — to reflect on how our policies and practices contribute to inequities of access. We need to work together to revise and create policies and programs that create meaningful change that centers youth furthest from play equity."

"We need schools to prioritize robust physical education programs that can take place at home or at school, adequate recess and unstructured breaks for students, and partnerships including shared use agreements with community-based organizations that allow them to operate sports and outdoor recreation programs on school grounds."

Why, then is the elementary PE program being squeezed to a point of ineffectiveness, decreasing PE staff by nearly 25% and fragmenting assignments making a cohesive program is impossible to establish?
Did you know?
There is a person at the Central Administration Building who is in charge of writing a “proposal narrative focusing on explaining the rationale for Music and PE education in general.”

AND, The budget department uses this proposal to allocate funds?

It’s called Budget By Priority.  Here is a video about the process.
The person in charge of writing this narrative is Christa Erolin.

Three important questions:
  1. Why is this necessary?  PE and Music are a part of the basic education requirements in RCW 28A.150.210.
  2. Why isn’t a Music or PE expert in charge of writing this proposal?
  3. Staffing for specialists is clear in our Collective Bargaining Agreement:

Section 63.A: Elementary library, music, and physical education specialists will be allocated based on the identified need for planning period coverage, as determined by the number of building classrooms.

Please engage Christa Erolin and Kristin Bell in conversation about our role in a comprehensive education, as well as what is needed for us to be effective educators.

A long letter is not necessary. When questions about current situations or future deployment occur to you, just shoot out an email with your question -- the idea being that we can raise awareness that there are both wide-spread and more specific situations that need to be addressed in order to serve every student every day with quality instruction.

Please encourage principals, district administrators, union representatives, parents, and community members in an effort to ensure students have these opportunities going forward.

Visit tacomaspecialists.org for advocacy materials, who to address, and example letters to help organize your thoughts and promote a productive dialog.
SEL and PE

Download this PDF from ShapeAmerica
to help explain the role of Physical Education in addressing the needs of the Whole Child.

Invite the School Board to make a Resolution!
Click the link below for more information
Healthier students are better learners
If you are being asked to work outside of your contract, please contact Shannon Ergun at TEA.
with questions and concerns about vaccinations and returning to the classroom
Please be in contact with the secondary specialists which your programs feed.

While they are currently dealing with their own set of problems, the lack of a clear district-wide vision of Music and PE programs means that their programs will be cut off at the roots.

Invite them to partner with you to create a k-12 pathway for students to access comprehensive quality instruction.
Information Needed!

As the plan for your building coalesces, let us know how/if 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.

Are you teaching all of the students? Synchronous? Asynchronous? One Class at a Time? All at home? All at School? Half and Half?
Tech Tips for Specialists

Use Schoology Resources to quickly and easily share lessons and materials with colleagues.


Do you have two screens?
Do you need another screen?
Working from two screens can improve your lessons, minimizing the window shuffle and improving your interface with students. Check out this organization which can help you get what you need for teaching.

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!