June 10, 2016 
In This Issue
Committee votes to present two boundary plans to board
Dark Green: Tahoma Elementary
Pink: Rock Creek Elementary
Tan: Glacier Park Elementary
Light Green: Lake Wilderness Elementary
Blue: Shadow Lake Elementary
Purple: Cedar River Elementary
The Boundary Review Committee will present two proposed boundary plans to the School Board at its meeting on June 14. Those plans will be a new, twice-amended version of the Plaid plan (renamed the Bryson plan) and the Hybrid plan.

Committee members on Wednesday first selected their top three plans each, then gave them a score based on the parameters set by the school board: 3 was the highest, and 1 the lowest. They could choose from any of the still active plans; eight plans received votes. The scores were as follows:

Bryson, 35
Hybrid, 28
Amended Freckle, 10
Amended Plaid, 7
Wild Rose, 4
Freckle, 3
Yellow, 2
Plaid, 2

After ranking the plans, the committee members voted on whether they supported presenting the top two plans (Bryson and Hybrid) to school board members for their consideration. They were asked to vote "thumbs up" if they supported presenting the two plans to the board; "thumbs sideways" if they could live with that decision; and "thumbs down" if they were against it. The vote was 13 thumbs up and sideways, and 2 thumbs down, which met the required "yes" threshold of 11 out of 15 that the facilitators and committee members discussed at the beginning of the process.

The Bryson plan was new to many committee members on Wednesday, which prompted one of the "no" votes. The other committee member who voted no said she did so because she does not support the Hybrid plan.

A small group of committee members spent considerable time in the past week working on the Plaid plan to fix issues that made it not viable for transportation. They first came up with a draft that was dubbed "Amended Plaid," then continued trying to balance student numbers at the school buildings until they came up with their final draft. One of the small group members who had been typing in their data and ideas went into labor, and emailed all of their collective work back to the group on her way to the hospital. She later delivered her new son, Bryson, and the group named their new plan in his honor.

The major differences in the Bryson plan, compared to Plaid, include:
  • Lake Sawyer (south side of S.E. 288th St.) to RCES
  • Greenbrier (south side of S.E. 288th St.) to RCES
  • Eastwood Forest and the Trout Farm to GPES

The Bryson plan also provides the possibility to split the traffic from the southwest portion of the district on Witte Road and Maple Valley Highway, in order to relieve congestion on Witte. To see a PDF of the map, click here: http://goo.gl/6aop4W and then look on the right side of the page for "Bryson Plan" and "Key for Bryson Plan." As soon as possible, the Bryson plan will be added to the GIS mapping system link on the Tahoma website.

To view a listing of neighborhoods assigned to the Bryson and Hybrid plans, click here or visit the boundary review page on the Tahoma website. Major neighborhoods that are assigned to different schools under the two plans include: Cedar Downs, Cherokee Bay, Crystal Firs, Eastwood Forest, Fernwood Estates, Fiesta Land, Highlands of Lake Wilderness, Katesridge, Lake Sawyer southside, Lakeside Park, Lower Witte Road, Maxwell Road/Lake Francis area.

Also on Wednesday, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Dawn Wakeley provided a tool to allow the committee members to make simple comparisons between where each school is and where the students live, under the different plans. The analysis was done in response to a question from committee member Jim House at the previous meeting, about how to accurately examine differences between outliers in the district and the more concentrated population. For that information, click here: http://goo.gl/4Rv48T

In addition, Wakeley provided demographic data for an Amended Freckle, Amended Plaid and the Bryson plan, so that committee members could compare those versions to the data they received at their previous meeting on June 1. For the new data, click here: http://goo.gl/PwqNUj

Committee members were given time to ask questions, discuss and study the new information, then proceeded to rank the plans and vote as described above. They also started work on a "pro" and "con" list for the two plans, which will be given to the School Board. Some members said they might send additional items for that list via email.

The Bryson Plan is being evaluated to determine how the elementary buildings would feed to the two middle schools.

Extended public comments will be accepted during the June 14 School Board meeting, when the two plans are presented to the school board; each person who wishes to speak will still have three minutes to do so, but the board will extend the total amount of time for the boundary review topic comments past the 20-minute total that is normally allowed if there are additional people who want to speak. Community members may also make comments on the night that the board takes action, which could either happen at the June 28 meeting or at a later date if the board members want more time to study the plans and data. Board meetings are at 6:30 p.m. at Central Services.

Written comments will be accepted at the board meeting or by email. Email comments may be sent to Kevin Patterson, director of communication: kpatters@tahomasd.us

Boundary Committee receives demographic analysis at June 1 meeting
At the June 1 meeting, members of the committee listened to an extensive presentation about district demographics and analysis of proposed boundary plans. They also received answers to their questions and requests for information from their previous session on May 18.

Committee members spent the week in between the June 1 and June 8 meetings absorbing the information and using it to determine whether they could rank any of the plans above the others.

When the process began in January, Transportation staff presented five plans for the committee's consideration: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green and Blue. Committee members voted to throw out the Orange and Green plans, and later tabled the Red, Yellow and Blue Plans. They then worked in small groups to create three plans of their own: Wild Rose, Periwinkle and Plaid. Each of those would have required significant changes in order to work for transportation; elements were pulled from all three to create the Hybrid Plan, which was presented to the public for comments at two community meetings.

In order to analyze the demographic data for the proposed boundary plans, Teaching and Learning Executive Director Dawn Wakeley showed the committee how much variation there is in the Tahoma student population in recent years. To do that, Wakeley pulled data on current students in grades kindergarten through 5, then moved backwards in time and pulled the same types of data from students three years ago, our current grades 3-8 students when they were in grades kindergarten through 5. Variation in the demographic data was minimal. This supports using our current students in grades kindergarten through 5 to project anticipated demographics for each of the proposed boundary plans in the 2017-2018 school year.

Demographics in any community are not static, because families move, incomes change and children grow up. Although the district doesn't have data for the younger students who will be entering the system in the next few years, it's a safe prediction that the data will look relatively similar to the current makeup of the student population.

"Do I feel pretty confident that we're not going to have any gigantic shifts in the next two years? Yes," Wakeley said.

Her analysis broke down the numbers by school site and plan for: special education, section 504 (students with disabilities), English Language Learners, students who receive free and reduced lunch, and race/ethnicity. When analyzing the data based on degree of variation in gender as one demographic factor, Wakeley suggested committee members consider each percentage range plus or minus 4 percent as an acceptable margin.

"The goal is not for everything to be equal," Wakeley said. Rather, the committee should consider whether the difference between buildings under the proposed plans is similar to Tahoma's current variance. Out of all the data categories compared, every proposed plan falls within the same range as current figures, with one exception explained below.

In addition to comparing Tahoma's current and predicted ranges in each data category, Wakeley shared information on surrounding school districts.

"How does the variation compare to the variation found in our near neighbors?" she asked.

In looking at the percentages of race and ethnicities, for example, Issaquah has elementary buildings with as few as 1 percent Asian students, and as many as 48 percent. Tahoma's elementary buildings under proposed plans would be similar to the current range of 5 to 13 percent Asian students. Kent's elementary buildings have as few as 2 percent black students and as many as 22 percent. Tahoma's elementary range under proposed plans would be similar to the current range of 3 to 4 percent. Enumclaw's Hispanic student population at the elementary level ranges from 13 to 20 percent. Tahoma's range is 3 to 11 percent Hispanic at elementary buildings, and proposed plans are predicted at similar numbers. Bellevue has elementary buildings with as few as 10 percent white students and as many as 54 percent. Tahoma's elementary buildings currently have 71 to 87 percent white students, and proposed plans show similar ranges. (For all the comparisons for each race and ethnicity, see the presentation at the link below).

In surrounding districts examined, the largest difference between buildings for free and reduced lunch is in Bellevue, where at least one elementary school has 2 percent free and reduced lunch and at least one school at 63 percent free and reduced lunch. Tahoma's elementary schools are currently between 10 and 23 percent free and reduced lunch. Under proposed plans numbers would be similar with one exception: Shadow Lake would be as high as 30-34 percent free and reduced lunch under six of the eight plans (Freckle, Hybrid, Red, Blue, Periwinkle and Plaid).

In comparing English Language Learners, Bellevue again had the largest range of variance, with at least one building at 3 percent and at least one building at 53 percent. Tahoma's range is 3 to 7 percent, and proposed plans are predicted to have similar figures.

On June 1 the committee also:
  • Received a map of the Freckle Plan, which was proposed by two community members during the public meetings. To see a map of the Freckle Plan, click here: https://goo.gl/Y62HPY and then follow the directions to select the Freckle Plan layer.
  • Continued discussion about the five parameters set by the School Board, and how best to rank the proposed plans according to those parameters. For example, they had a lengthy conversation about how to measure whether plans are "doable, affordable and efficient" for transportation purposes. The current plans (Hybrid and Freckle along with the three tabled plans, Red, Blue and Yellow) are very similar in terms of transportation costs, staff said. Committee members and staff decided that if the committee members are able to narrow their choice to one or two plans, transportation staff could run a selection of representative routes from throughout the district for closer comparison on this parameter.
  • Received tentative start times for the 2017/2018 school year: Tahoma Senior High School, 8 a.m.; Summit Trail Middle School, 8:20 a.m.; Maple Valley Middle School, 8:20 a.m.; Cedar River Elementary, 9:30 a.m.; Glacier Park Elementary, 9 a.m.; Lake Wilderness Elementary, 9 a.m.; Rock Creek Elementary, 9:30 a.m.; Shadow Lake Elementary, 9 a.m.; Tahoma Elementary, 9 a.m. The staggered start times will allow efficient busing and also decrease congestion between Shadow Lake Elementary and Cedar River Elementary.
  • Said they would like to emphasize several things to the public in addition to all of the above: Students will need to attend school at their assigned elementary, and selecting a daycare close to a different elementary would not necessarily result in a waiver. It's possible the committee could decide to forward more than one plan to the School Board and is making good progress. The committee also wants to preserve the opportunity to reconsider plans that have been tabled.

For the June 1 demographic analysis of the proposed plans, click here:  http://goo.gl/JV78Aj 

To see the questions from committee members and answers from staff, click here: http://goo.gl/HQA1h1 Additional documents, maps and details about the boundary review process can be found here: http://goo.gl/3MzKE3

Class of 2016: Four of Tahoma's grads share their plans
Addison Martoncik

Kaden Bridges

Rebecca Holtz

Austin Grotting

Editor's note: This is the second in a two-part series. We introduced these four members of this year's graduating class in December, then checked back in with them last week to hear how their plans had solidified or changed.

Tomorrow, Tahoma School District will add 544 new graduates to its long list of alumni. And while they will leave the White River Amphitheater with their diploma, it's the hope of district leaders that they walk away with much more.

Last year, the district rolled out a new vision for helping every student do more than simply earn a diploma. Built around a set of eight key skills, the Future Ready initiative aims to offer students from kindergarten through 12th grade a variety of experiences that support them in finding their own best path after graduation.

"Future Ready is really about helping every student discover their dreams, find their passions and support them in designing a plan to achieve their life goals. It's no easy task, because passions and dreams are about individuals and their own, specific paths," THS Principal Terry Duty said earlier this year.

"Too often, society has placed values on the 'correct pathway,' typically college preparation. Placing equal value on all pathways, values the individual and their unique dreams. Military careers, tech and trade schools, community colleges or straight to the world of work are all viable pathways that deserve equal preparation and guidance," Duty continued. "We believe deeply that beyond a world class basic education for all, we can help make the transition from Tahoma have purpose and meaning."

When we talked with four graduating seniors in December, they each had a specific path in mind. For the most part, those plans remain similar, but have been fine-tuned over the course of the past six months.

The four Tahoma Bears said they are feeling a range of emotions, from excited to relieved to grateful.

Addison Martoncik has been counting the days, quite literally. With one "countdown" on her phone until tomorrow's commencement ceremony, and a second counting the days until she leaves for Washington State University in August, Martoncik said she's thrilled to see what comes next.

"I can't believe I've almost graduated," she said.

In December, Martoncik knew she was headed for Pullman, but planned to go into home design. After taking Advanced Placement Environmental Science and working with plants in the greenhouse as a Voc leader for Marie Page's Future Farmers of America club, she decided to change her course to landscape architecture.

"I like how we started off with small seeds, coming in and watering them every day, then organizing all the plants for the sale," said Martoncik, who has enjoyed gardening since she was young. She started off helping her mom garden, then participated in the garden club at Lake Wilderness Elementary for three years.

Senior Kaden Bridges also adjusted his plans slightly, and has signed on with the U.S. Navy. In December, he knew he wanted to go into the military, but thought he would likely join the Marine Corps.

"The Navy has better benefits," Bridges said last week. "I compared all the branches."

He'll ship out Aug. 16, for Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. After boot camp, Bridges says he is headed for Hospital Corpsman "A" School.

Asked what emotion he is feeling about graduating, he replied: "Relieved."

Senior Rebecca Holtz was fairly certain of her career path in December -- inspired by a preschool teacher and her love of children, she wants to earn her degree in education.

Holtz said that for her, the tough part about what comes next has been making a final decision on a school.

"I was looking at Whitworth, and I decided to go with George Fox," she said, noting that the campus tour helped her choose.

"I've known for a while, but I think I was in denial and didn't want to make a decision," Holtz said. "I'm excited just to see what happens. I feel like I've grown this year in making this decision about my future."

Senior Austin Grotting plans to study mechanics and welding, and is also interested in getting a commercial driver's license. Grotting's interest in welding isn't new, although when we spoke with him in the fall, it wasn't part of his plans.

He has worked with his dad on cars and trucks for many years, and has participated in drag racing since he was young.

"Welding has always been a part of what I do with racing -- building car parts," Grotting said, noting the example of custom fabrication for brackets and other custom parts. "I've just always been interested in that: taking something that's just a piece of metal and turning it into something. It's pretty fun."

He's considering going to Renton Technical School or Green River Community College for welding, and then plans to train for his commercial driver's license on trucks that his uncle owns next spring or fall.

Asked what he's feeling about graduation, Grotting said he is primarily feeling grateful to the Tahoma teachers who have helped him through the years.

"There are a lot of kids that benefit from programs like animal science and auto shop," he said. Teachers such as Marie Page, who teaches animal and plant sciences, and Luke Thompson, who teaches auto technology, are great about taking the time to help any student who needs it.

"I'm in special ed for math and English. If I didn't have those teachers, I don't know where I would be," Grotting said. "You know the saying, 'You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink?' Mr. (Tim) Kitchen has been the teacher that I've had the longest who has led me to water repeatedly. ... All the teachers have helped me a lot."

To read the article from December, click here: http://goo.gl/zySE3X

Class of 2016: Tahoma graduates celebrated
Transitions graduates honored at ceremony
Courtesy photo
Last week the Transitions Program held its graduation celebration at Lake Wilderness Lodge. From left, the graduates are Stephanie Morgan, Zachary Curtiss, April Graham, Kyle Schwab, Connor Cummins, Alexzandria Reich Agron, Tanner Gentry and Nathan Grieser.
More than 540 new Tahoma graduates will receive diplomas tonight
Courtesy photo
The 544 members of the class of 2016 pose for the traditional picture on the field at Maxwell Stadium. Many of the graduates received awards, scholarships and honors last week on Senior Awards Night. To view the list of awards, click here: http://goo.gl/CL6iJx We will post photos from graduation on our website and Facebook.
Sports lessons stick with Tahoma HS baseball alums
From left, THS teacher and fastpitch coach Tom Milligan, Glacier Park Principal Chris Thomas and THS dean of students Mike Hanson, who will also be one of the new elementary principals beginning in the fall of 2017.
Some lessons learned on the field can stick with a person for decades. Just ask three Tahoma High School alums who are now in leadership positions throughout the district.

Chris Thomas, principal of Glacier Park Elementary; Mike Hanson, dean of students at THS and soon to be principal at one Tahoma elementary; and Tom Milligan, THS teacher and coach of the 2015 state fastpitch champions all played baseball together for Tahoma in the late 1980s under renowned coach Chuck Wood. We asked the trio to meet and talk with us about lessons they learned on the field that have translated into the way they work with Tahoma students today.

Wood coached and taught countless Tahoma teens during the '70s and '80s, and had a very concrete idea of how a team should prepare, act and behave. "He wanted us to look alike, dress alike. He had a vision of what he wanted the Tahoma baseball player to look like," Milligan said. "There are some things he drilled into us -- being prepared, being on time -- little quirky things that didn't make sense in high school but that have had a big effect on us."

Wood also emphasized the importance of the team as a whole; that no individual was more important than anyone else.

"I think he knew how to take a bunch of average to really good kids and help them achieve something even more than what they could have by creating a team," Thomas said. "The way he led brought us closer together. It made us gel and rely on one another."

In addition to preparation and teamwork, Wood also spent time after games talking about what went right and wrong.

"Probably I am a lot more reflective than I would have been," Thomas said. "Even though it might not feel good, it's worth reflecting on things to do it right the next time."

Students who played for Wood didn't want to let him down -- or themselves. It's a principle that translates to their positions today, Hanson said.

"Full circle: Now, it's about creating relationships between your athletes or your teachers or your kids in your class. That they are part of something bigger than themselves and that they have a responsibility," he said.

The team was successful, but it was about more than just the wins. There was something of an "awe factor," the three agreed.

"It was in the way we held ourselves and the expectation that Chuck had for us," Milligan said. "The way we did certain things. ... You knew you were playing Tahoma. We could have changed our uniform and you would still know you were playing Tahoma."
After graduating in '87, '88 and '89, Hanson, Thomas and Milligan became teachers and coaches (Thomas has coached football, and Hanson, golf). In both endeavors, one factor is key: building strong connections.

"It's the relationship piece: Helping people see the value in what they're doing and helping them achieve at the high end. I think that's the golden nugget for me," Thomas said.

All three ended up teaching and coaching in other districts first and made purposeful decisions to return to positions in Maple Valley. The community connection was missing, Hanson said, until he started working for Tahoma.

"We moved to Maple Valley to have that connection for my wife and I, and also our kids. We've never regretted it for a moment."

Fourth-graders learn about healthy cooking, smart nutrition choices
In Kim Schmitz's class, Jason N., at left, Aidan I., center, and Miles H., at right, work on carefully chopping green bell peppers using the "bear claw" method to keep their fingers safe.

The smell of onions and garlic sautéing in oil wafted through the air at Rock Creek Elementary Wednesday morning. It wasn't coming from the lunchroom, but rather the classroom, where students-turned-chefs were learning about healthy food choices and cooking up chili.

Six fourth-grade classes participated in the workshop, put on by Beecher's Pure Food Kids Foundation. It's designed to expand on students' knowledge of how to read nutrition labels and to arm them with some basic cooking skills.

In Kim Schmitz's classroom, workshop instructor Kelly Lake talked about and then demonstrated how to use a knife correctly and safely, showed them how to thoroughly wash their hands and assigned each table group a task to prepare the ingredients for the chili. Students returned to their desk groups to work on chopping onion, green pepper, red pepper, garlic, zucchini and cilantro, as well as measuring other ingredients and opening cans.

"I love to cook -- I love almost everything about it," said Lacey R., who was working on chopping onions. "My dad has taught me how to cook and bake."

At a nearby group of desks, Jason N. and several classmates were carefully dicing green bell pepper. Asked what he learned that was new to him, Jason said, "Using the 'bear claw' and the 'tunnel." Lake had showed the students how to curl their fingers like a bear's claws while holding a vegetable in order to keep them clear of the knife. The "tunnel" method was used to steady a whole vegetable and run the knife through a tunnel formed by the hand in order to slice it in half.

"My mouth is watering!" Jason said, as the classroom filled with the smells of fresh vegetables and spices.

Before tackling the chili recipe, which feeds about five people and costs $15 for ingredients, each workshop instructor spent about an hour talking with students about whole and processed foods as well as helping them practice reading food labels.

In Carissa Schmidt's class, workshop instructor Julie Dahlen taught the students how to become "food detectives" for the day by looking for clues about their food on nutrition labels and ingredient lists. They spent time talking about marketing tactics and ways that companies try to appeal to kids and families, as well as other target consumers. Then the food detectives moved on to examine serving sizes, amount of sugar, calories and fats.

"Fats have kind of gotten a bad rap. Fats are vital," Dahlen said, explaining the difference between good, natural fats such as those found in avocado, salmon, almonds and olives; and trans-fats such as margarine and partially hydrogenated oils found in many processed foods.

They also discussed calories, after one student correctly defined the word as "a measurement of energy," as well as how our bodies burn calories. At her urging, the students hopped out of their chairs and did 10 jumping jacks followed by 10 squats, then checked their pulse.
"We just burned some calories," Dahlen said. Earlier in her talk, she had the students list their favorite activities (football, baseball, soccer, cheerleading) and explained that all people need food to provide energy for all of those activities.

"We need food to be able to play football, read, write and draw," she said. "But not all foods are created equally."

Rock Creek P.E. teacher Wendy Ward helped bring the program to school, after hearing about it while attending a school physical activity conference in February. The Superintendent of Public Instruction and Center for Disease Control are teaming up with P.E. teachers, food services, before- and after-school programs to work toward a better approach to supporting community members in making healthy, active choices, Ward said.

"(This workshop) is an incredible extension of the nutrition unit taught in PE. It empowers kids with accurate information about how and why to make healthy choices," Ward said. "They learn how products are marketed, so they can stay on guard and not be as easily influenced to eat or drink unhealthy food and beverages. We believe this information can change lives!"

For more about the Pure Foods Kids Foundation or to check out the chili receipe, click here: www.purefoodkids.org

DISTRICT KUDOS: Tahoma Bears compete at Special Olympics
Courtesy photo
As part of the recent 2016 Special Olympics Summer Games at Joint Base Lewis McChord, 19 Tahoma Bears competed They received 13 gold medals, 5 silver medals, 10 bronze medals, 5 fourth place ribbons, 5 fifth place ribbons, 6 sixth place and 2 7th place ribbons, Karen Smejkal reported.

"They were awesome. They poured their heart and soul out this weekend," Smejkal said. "They had the crowd standing on their feet cheering, laughing and crying with tears of joy."
The team includes special education students as well as general education students. An estimated 2,800 Special Olympians total were at the competition on June 4 and 5.

Results included:
  • 50-meter dash, boys: Noah R., 3rd; Neyland B., 4th
  • 50-meter walk, boys: Brody C., 1st
  • 100-meter dash, girls: Michelle F., 3rd; Jordan H., 3rd; Brianna B., 6th
  • 100-meter dash, boys: Jake L, 1st; Eric D., 1st; Caleb M., 1st; Ethan K., 2nd; Sawyer W., 3rd; Jordan P., 5th; Brian R., 6th; Kameron H., 6th; Liam. W., 6th; Brady O., 7th
  • 100-meter walk: Brody C., 3rd
  • 200-meter run, girls: Serenity S., 2nd
  • 200-meter run, boys: Ethan K., 1st; Sawyer W., 1st; Caleb M, 3rd; Kameron H., 5th; Noah R., 6th
  • 200-meter walk, boys: Neyland B., 1st
  • 400-meter run, girls: Brianna B., 3rd; Michelle F., 4th
  • 400-meter walk, girls: Jordan H., 3rd
  • 400-meter run, boys: Jordan P., 1st, Eric D., 1st; Brian R., 3rd; Brady O., 4th
  • Shot put, boys: Ethan K., 1st, Caleb M., 4th
  • Softball, boys: Neyland B., 1st; Brody C., 5th; Liam W., 6th
  • Softball, girls: Jordan H., 5th
  • Running long jump, boys: Eric D., 1st; Jake L., 2nd; Brady O., 3rd
  • Running long jump, girls: Michelle F., 2nd, Serenity S., 7th
  • Standing long jump, boys: Kameron H., 5th
  • Standing long jump, girls, Brianna B., 4th
  • 4x100m relay: Tahoma Unified (Jake L., Malcolm D., Joseph N., Eric D., Miguel M., Kilee G.), 1st; Polar Bears (Caleb M., Brady O., Brian R., Jordan H., Sawyer W., Connor B.), 2nd

Environmental emphasis leads to new "Green" awards for schools
Tahoma High School has earned another environmental accolade. The school received notice from King County Green Schools that it is now a Level 3 Green School, the second-highest designation awarded by the county.

The four-level Green School system recognizes efforts to recycle, reduce waste, use energy efficiently, and properly manage hazardous materials. To attain Level 3, Tahoma High School met standards for water conservation.

Among the examples of how the school focused on water conservation is work performed in Advanced Placement Environmental Science classes.

Science teacher Tyrell Hardtke, who is a Green Team adviser, said students in his classes focused on research into how low-flow water faucets reduce water usage and save money. Students also studied freshwater resource availability and made posters that were placed around the school to educate their peers about water scarcity. In another activity, students actually engineered wastewater treatment plants, which were then evaluated according to cost and water efficiency.

Jamie Bryce, a science teacher and Green Team adviser, said there are many examples of how Green Team members have encouraged others to adopt environmentally sustainable practices and attitudes.

"Student buy-in to waste reduction has increased, and we believe that this has made a significant impact on our waste allocation," Bryce said. "We have increased signage across campus encouraging students to report leaking faucets to reduce water use and to turn off lights to reduce energy use."

In addition, the following Tahoma schools earned the "Sustaining Green Schools Level Four" award. In this category, each building will maintain Level One, Two, and Three practices, and complete an additional conservation action or educational strategy in an area of their choice.
  • Cedar River Middle School
  • Lake Wilderness Elementary School
  • Rock Creek Elementary School
  • Shadow Lake Elementary School
  • Tahoma Junior High School
  • Tahoma Middle School

Construction at a glance
Site preparation work for new Lake Wilderness Elementary progresses
Since the groundbreaking on May 11, site preparation and surveying has been progressing toward the pouring of the foundation, which is expected to begin in the next few weeks. For information about the Lake Wilderness Elementary project, click here: http://goo.gl/oTLzmO
Progress continues at new Tahoma High School
Work is progressing at the new Tahoma High School. Both the soccer and baseball fields now have turf, the basketball hoops are up in the gym, and the commons area between the two wings of the building was slated to have concrete poured last week.
Answers to common year's end questions
Here are answers to some end-of-year FAQs:
  • When is graduation? 7 p.m., Friday, June 10, at White River Amphitheater
  • What time does school dismiss on the last day of school for the district (Thursday, June 16)?

Tahoma High School: 11:15 a.m.

Tahoma Junior High: 10:45 a.m.

Tahoma Middle and Cedar River: 11:30 a.m.

Elementary schools: 12:30 p.m.

  • When is the last day for half-day kindergartners? Afternoon kindergartners have their last day on Wednesday, June 15. Morning kindergartners will attend the last day of school on June 16.
  • What meals are served on the last day? Breakfast will be served; lunch will not be served at any building on the last day.
  • Is EEP open on the last day of school? Yes, until 6:30 p.m. EEP is closed on Friday, June 17. Summer care at Shadow Lake begins Monday, June 20. No care is available from Aug. 18 through Aug. 31.
  • What are the summer office hours throughout the district? Please note that CRMS and TMS offices will be undergoing significant construction, beginning immediately after school ends. The TMS office will be in the main building, on the second floor in rooms 201 and 229; CRMS offices will move to a portable. At each location, signs will direct visitors to the temporary office locations. For office hours at all sites, see chart below:
Bond Oversight Committee meets
Last week the Tahoma Bond Oversight Committee, made up of citizen volunteers, met to receive the latest information on how the district is spending the tax dollars collected from the 2013 construction bond.

Superintendent Rob Morrow and Lori Cloud, assistant superintendent and finance director, shared the latest dollar figures, time estimates and photos from the new Tahoma High School project, the Lake Wilderness Elementary rebuild and the renovations to Cedar River Middle School, Tahoma Middle School, Tahoma Junior High and the existing Tahoma High School.

All projects are on time and within budget. To keep up on the projects as they move forward, visit our website at www.tahomasd.us and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The committee members were selected from a pool of volunteer applicants, and include parents, representatives from the city and organizations such as the chamber.

District will switch to new online payment method
Efunds online payments will be replaced with a new system on Aug. 1.

Among the features of the new system are use of credit and debit cards for fees at secondary schools (grades 6-12); improved receipting and record keeping; and compatibility with the Skyward student data system.

Watch for email this summer from the school district with details about the new system.

Spring sports teams represent Tahoma at state competitions
Athletes from Tahoma's boys soccer, track and field, golf, fastpitch and girls tennis teams competed at Washington state 4A championship tournaments.

Boys soccer took second place in the state, after falling to Wenatchee 1-0 in the championship game on Saturday in Puyallup.

"The achievements of the team were great, but the team itself is what's most impressive," Tahoma JV coach Adam Rubeck wrote. "Eighteen young men, over the course of several months, became a single family."

The team, which is ranked 20th nationally by USA Today, racked up 69 goals and had 11 shutout games, as well as only allowing 19 goals over 23 games. "We were lethal everywhere on the field and could call on any player to enter a match and provide the caliber and skill we expected from each other," Rubeck said. "As impressive a season as we had, the bond these players created is what will be remembered most."

Tahoma's girls track and field team also placed second in state, and the boys team placed fifth in state. Among the individual events, senior Deszmond Humphries took first place in shot put with a throw of 59 ft. 9 in.; and the girls 400 relay team of Tierra Wilson, Olivia Ribera, Miya Wilson and Nami Wilson took first place with a time of 47.20 seconds. Other results included:

* Andrew Sears, Tristan Houser, Graeme Schroeder and Austin Brown - 7th in the 1600 Relay
* Miya Wilson - 7th in the Long Jump
* Caleb Brown - 5th in the 110 High Hurdles
* Madi Bucy - 5th in the Javelin
* Graeme Schroeder - 5th in the 3200, 8th in the 1600
* Olivia Ribera - 5th in the 100 and 5th in the 200
* Austin Brown - 3rd in the 400 and 5th in the 200
* Nami Wilson - 3rd in the 100 and 8th in the 200
* Ginny Mehl - 2nd in the Javelin, 2nd in the Shot Put and 3rd in the Discus
* Tierra Wilson, Miya Wilson, Nami Wilson and Olivia Ribera - 2nd in the 800 Relay.

The fastpitch team, which brought home first place from the state tournament last year, lost to University, 16-0, and then Jackson, 9-2, in this year's competition.

In the 4A state golf tournament, seven Tahoma athletes competed: Justin Pederson, Luke Taylor, Colt Sherrell and Parker Kneadler on the boys team; and Abby Goodell, Gillian Huylar and Abigail Mozzone on the girls team. Pederson shot a 79 on the first day of the competition, and advanced to play on the second day, when he scored a 92. Other Tuesday scores were: Taylor, 83, Sherrell, 85, Kneadler, 86, Goodell, 99, Huylar, 99, Mozzone, 102.

Kianna Rem advanced to represent Tahoma in the 4A singles tennis championship, where she was eliminated after matches against Mountain View and Wenatchee.

In the May 26 issue of Tahoma Matters, THS golfer Gillian Huylar's name was misprinted. In the same issue, THS soccer midfielder Nate Mock was not included in the list of athletes recognized for SPSL North division all-league teams; he was selected for second team.

Spotlight on staff: Substitute teacher appreciation
Human Resources Substitute Assistant Anna Pabisz, standing at left, chats with substitute teachers and support staff at the first Substitute Appreciation Open House June 2 at Central Services Center. About 70 people stopped in for refreshments and conversation with Human Resources staff, principals and Superintendent Rob Morrow. 

What's for lunch?
Coming up in Bear Country
FRIDAY, June 10
NO EARLY RELEASE, districtwide
Tahoma High School graduation, 7 p.m., White River Amphitheater

MONDAY, June 13
Tahoma Middle School choir concert, 7 p.m., TMS

Tahoma Middle and Cedar River Middle, Vasa Park field trip

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL, districtwide. Early release; no lunch served. For specific release times, see news briefs above.

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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: Wendy Castleman: wcastlem@tahomasd.us
Tahoma School District       http://www.tahomasd.us
25720 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Rd. S.E.
Maple Valley, WA 98038      425-413-3400