LitterFree253 Thanks to All!

LitterFree253 was a total success in the South End thanks to all who came out this year! We also extend our gratitude to everyone who supported our litter team members & leaders in their participation during this event. 

Over 75 South Enders joined 8 teams from Larchmont to Lincoln and many areas in between. Over 6,000 pounds of trash was collected from over 7 square miles in the South End. Great work South End teams!

Thanks for support from the City of Tacoma, all the other Neighborhood Councils (with a special thanks to the WestEnd NC for the great tote bags swag), & most of all, thank all of you fantastic South Enders—families, kids, new neighbors, & old friends alike— for showing up & showing. you care about our neighborhood. We appreciate you all!

 

Join SENCo for LitterFree253 Apr 17 9am-Noon!

Have you signed up for a South End Litter Free 253 group yet? If so, yay! If not, & you’d still like to join the fun, click here to find the South End group of your choice. EVEN IF YOU DON’T SIGN UP, YOU CAN STILL SHOW UP!

  • Team 72nd & Hosmer – Meet up @ Starbucks
  • Team Alaska – Meet up @ Fire St #8
  • Team Alling Park – Meet up @ Park
  • Team Blueberry Park – Meet up @ Entrance
  • Team Fred Meyer – Meet up @ Fred Meyer
  • Team Larchmont – Meet up @
  • Team Lincoln – Meet up @ Starbucks
  • Team Wapato – Meet up @ Pergola
  • Team Zips – Meet up @ Zips

Need help signing up? Let us know: senco253@gmail.com

See you soon! 🙂

Love, SENCo 

See below for additional information from city liaisons below. Topics in bold.

TFD  St. #8: 4911 S Alaska St • 253.594.7948 • St. #10: 901 Fawcett Ave                     • 253.591.5737 • tacomafiredepartment@ci.tacoma.wa.us

TPD Sector 3 Substation: 1501 S 72nd St • Sector 4 Substation: 400 E 56th St         • 253.594.7948 • eric.scripps@cityoftacoma.org

City of Tacoma Linda Stewart, Neighborhood and Community Services Director • 747 Market St Room 836 • 253.591.5225 • lstewart@cityoftacoma.org

City Council District 5 Chris Beale • 253.312.0550                                                                • chris.beale@cityoftacoma.org

City Council District 4 Catherine Ushka • 253.355.1276                                                     • cushka@cityoftacoma.org

City Manager’s Office Ted Richardson, Management Fellow • 253.341.8702          • TRichardson@cityoftacoma.org

Safe Streets Darren Pen, Community Mobilization Specialist • 622 Tacoma Ave S • 253.272.6824 • dpen@safest.org

Port of Tacoma Leslie Barstow, Community Relations Manager • One Sitcum Plaza • 253.428.8662 • lbarstow@portoftacoma.com

Tacoma Public Utilities John Gaines, Community Relations Manager • 3628 S 35th St • 253.260.0065 • jgaines1@cityoftacoma.org

Environmental Services Preston Peck, Recycle Reset Project Lead • 3510 S Mullen St • 253.593.7707 • ppeck@cityoftacoma.org

Metro Parks Craig Standridge, Conservation Engagement Coordinator • 5400 N Pearl • 253.404.3690 • craig.standridge@pdza.org

Tacoma Public Schools Lisa Nolan, Assistant Superintendent• 253.571.1252      • lnolan@tacoma.k12.wa.us

Pierce Transit Penny Grellier, Community Development Coordinator                      • 253.589.6886

City Manager’s Office:

The City is really trying to push out Rental and Utility Assistance funding right now before it receives more money from the American Rescue Plan (about $63 million total!). Can you please pass this link on to any person or groups you know that would be able to utilize it?

Rental Assistance | Pierce County, WA – Official Website

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE

Help shape the future of housing in Tacoma

The Planning Commission is seeking public input on a package of policy actions intended to increase housing supply, choice and affordability in Tacoma.

PUBLIC HEARING: Wednesday, April 7th beginning at 5:30 p.m. on ZOOM

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82197923401

Dial: +1 253 215 8782

Webinar ID: 821 9792 3401

COMMENTS DEADLINE: Friday, April 9th to planning@cityoftacoma.org or   Planning Commission, 747 Market Street Room 345, Tacoma WA 98402

Learn more and COMMENT by April 9th on the interactive Housing Growth Scenarios Map 

The full proposals are at www.cityoftacoma.org/homeintacoma.

The City is asking for your input on proposed housing growth strategy changes that would affect most of Tacoma’s residential areas, as well as near-term code changes, and an environmental (SEPA) review of potential impacts. This input will inform the Planning Commission’s recommendations to the City Council. The City Council will consider these recommendations in May to June 2021.

Council action will then initiate the next phase of public engagement and policy development from July to December 2021, to develop zoning changes, and standards changes, and other actions. Sign up to receive updates!

 Home In Tacoma Project proposals

·         Allow more housing types (such as duplexes, triplexes, cottages and small multifamily) throughout Tacoma’s neighborhoods

·         Allow mid-scale multifamily housing in areas close to shopping and transit

·         Update design standards so new housing complements the neighborhood

·         Strengthen policies and programs to make housing more affordable

·         Strengthen anti-racism and anti-displacement policies and programs

Housing Choice Survey—a summary of the 870 responses is now available

Check out the Virtual Housing Café series recordings (English and Spanish versions on the project webpage)

Find out more about the project and view our interactive storymap at cityoftacoma.org/homeintacoma.

The City of Tacoma has launched the Home In Tacoma Project to gain community and industry insight in updating Tacoma’s housing growth policies and zoning. Before Tacoma’s Planning Commission makes recommendations to the City Council for Comprehensive Plan, Zoning and other actions in 2021, we need your participation.

Tacoma Public Schools

Please see below for city-wide Tacoma public schools report. Not specific to South End. (We’re working on this.) 

April 2021

All students back in school now at least part time

By the first week of April, students in all grades are back in school at least part time.

The final grades began the week of March 29—grades 8, 10, 11.

We do not anticipate any additional schedule changes for the remainder of the school year.

Tracking all COVID-19 cases in Tacoma Public Schools

Since October, for transparency, Tacoma Public School has publicly reported the location, number of cases and number of associated individuals in quarantine. You can find the up-to-date chart in the Health Services section of our district website at tacomaschools.org.

When we have a case, we follow the notification process established by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department in its School COVID-19 Case Response Toolkit.

Most recently, as more students have returned to school, we have seen an uptick in the number of reported cases in school. This is an expected occurrence. Nearly every person with a COVID-19 positive case in our schools has contracted the virus outside of school.

Vaccinations for TPS staff

Tacoma Public Schools has stopped offering mass vaccination clinics exclusively for TPS employees. As the number of vaccination opportunities has expanded throughout the community, we have had very few employees sign up for TPS-exclusive events.

We now believe that every TPS employee who wants a vaccination has had one.

We want to thank Rankos Pharmacy, Lincoln Pharmacy and Kirk’s Pharmacy for partnering with us on a series of highly popular exclusive vaccination clinics for our employees.

Board elects Deputy Superintendent Garcia to succeed Superintendent Santorno, who announces her retirement

The Tacoma School Board of Directors voted March 25 to elect Deputy Superintendent Josh Garcia to succeed Superintendent Carla Santoro, who recently announced her retirement at the end of the 2021-2022 School year.

President Andrea Cobb noted that she has worked in education throughout her career and served on the Board for six years—where she had observed the “culture of leadership,” vision and systems of improvement that Santorno and Garcia have built together.

The Board voted 4 to 0 with Board Director Enrique Leon abstaining. Director Leon praised Dr. Garcia’s work and leadership yet made clear he would have preferred a search and competition for the superintendent’s position.

The Board’s action also launched the beginning of negotiations between the Board and Dr. Garcia on a superintendent contract. At a future business meeting, as early as April 22, the Board will vote on the contact.

During the public comment portion of the board meeting, several community leaders representing TPS partner agencies thanked Superintendent Santorno and spoke about Dr. Garcia’s contributions to developing and growing partnerships to help Tacoma’s children.

Community partners included Shon Sylvia from Metro Parks, Tanya Durand from Greentrike (Children’s Museum), Fahren Johnson from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation who previously worked for the YMCA, Tom Pierson from the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, Holly Bamford Hunt from the Bamford Family Foundation and Tafona Ervin from the Foundation for Tacoma Students.

Partners lauded Dr. Garcia’s contributions to expand learning opportunities for students before and after school, use data systems to support student 

Dr. Garcia joined Tacoma Public Schools in March 2012 after serving as assistant superintendent, executive director and high school principal in the Federal Way School District. He started his career in the Riverview School District as a teacher, athletic director and dean of students.

Coming in late April: Superintendent’s recommendation on renaming Jason Lee MS

During April, Superintendent Carla Santorno expects to make her recommendation to the School Board on the renaming of Jason Lee Middle School.

In 2020, citizens asked Tacoma Public Schools to consider renaming Jason Lee Middle School.

Following district policy, Superintendent Santorno deemed the request worthy of consideration and assigned Stewart Middle School Principal Kim Messersmith in collaboration with Interim Jason Lee Principal Michael Knuckles to form a committee to study the issues. The committee commissioned a survey in which 67 percent of respondents supported a name change.

The committee considered a range of options for a new name and presented its findings to the School Board on Feb. 18. The top names considered:

  • Hilltop Heritage Middle School
  • šɘqalič Middle School (pronounced shuh-kah-leech); šɘqalič, means “up on top” or “high up top” in the Lushootseed language, which is the historic language of the Puyallup Tribe.

Background: Why change the name of Jason Lee Middle School?

Jason Lee Middle School in Tacoma’s historic Hilltop neighborhood was constructed in 1924-25 at the former site of the College of Puget Sound. It was named after one of the first missionaries in the Pacific Northwest, who arrived at Fort Vancouver in 1834 and in 1835 established the first mission and manual labor school for American Indians in Oregon to convert the Local Native American people. 

These institutions were notorious for the cultural genocide and abuse they inflicted on Indigenous people across the continent. 

NEW SPORT: TPS launches high school girls flag football in partnership with Seattle Seahawks, WIAA, Nike and NFL Flag 

The Seattle Seahawks announced April 1 a donation of $50,000 to support flag football participation for youth in the state of Washington. In partnership with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA), Nike and NFL FLAG, $25,000 of the funds will be granted to Tacoma Public Schools to launch the state’s first girls club flag football league at the high school level starting this spring. Nike has also granted $10,000 to help launch the league and will be providing each school with equipment and custom team Nike uniforms from their new Girls Flag Football line of apparel.

For the 2021 spring season, girls flag club teams will be formed at 10 high schools in Pierce County, including all five comprehensive Tacoma Public Schools high schools – Foss, Lincoln, Mount Tahoma, Stadium and Wilson – along with neighboring Franklin Pierce, Washington High School and Spanaway Lake, Bethel and Graham-Kapowsin. The season is set to kickoff May 3 and run through June 13.

REGISTRATION FORM

Students interested in participating should complete registration in FinalForms and need to have a current sports physical. There are two upcoming free sports physical and health fairs for TPS students April 8: one at Lincoln High School and one at Mount Tahoma High School

In-person Tacoma School Board business meetings resumed March 11

The Tacoma School Board of Directors resumed in-person business meetings beginning with its March 11 meeting, now that previous COVID-19 restrictions on the Open Public Meetings Act have been lifted by Gov. Jay Inslee. 

Board study sessions—typically the third Thursday of each month—will continue to meet remotely. 

Some COVID-19 restrictions remain in place for in-person business meetings, including: 

  • All attendees must wear a mask at all times. 
  • All attendees must remain at least six feet apart during the meeting. 
  • All attendees must complete a health survey attesting that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms, have not been exposed to COVID-19 nor are awaiting results of a COVID-19 test. 

To meet the six-foot social distancing requirement in the Auditorium at the Central Administration Building, attendance for members of the public and guests is limited and requires a reservation. 

Public comment for those who wish to address the School Board will only be taken in person during the meeting. 

For information about how to provide public comment, reserve a seat and to review the meeting agenda, visit the School Board website

We encourage all those who don’t want to make public comment to watch the livestream of the Board meeting on our website, Facebook page or cable TV channel 25 or 26 in Tacoma. 

Construction Updates

HUNT MIDDLE SCHOOL

Update: During the first week in April, workers apply soil cement treatment at the football field, and field turf system installation begins on Monday. 

Street improvements, including extending sidewalk, curb and gutter along 8th Street, continue. The sidewalk and right-of-way improvements at Vassault Street are complete. The crosswalk at 10th and Whitman Streets and curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements are complete for road paving at South 10th Street that City of Tacoma crews will start in April. Meanwhile, workers are completing a wood observation deck and prepare to pave the south parking lot next week.

Stormwater connections and vault installation has started near the wells, where the baseball field will take shape soon.

The siding and painting are almost finish on the exterior of the building. Garage-style doors have been installed in six locations. Concrete slab is completed at covered play area. 

Inside, painting in the music room and clear coating in the gym is complete. The ceramic tiles and partitions are complete in the bathrooms. 

Still to come: Painting, plumbing fixtures and partitions in the locker rooms. Gas meter connection to the building, City of Tacoma and PSE inspection should be completed by end of week so that water heaters can be loaded, and rooftop units can be fired up next week.

Skyline Elementary School

Update: Temporary fencing can be seen at Skyline as Turner Construction begins to move equipment on site. Workers will work from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Skyline’s track and fields are closed for public use to accommodate the construction work.

Skyline students and staff broke ground on Friday, March 26, marking the beginning of the construction project of their new school.

A look ahead: Virtual neighborhood meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 6 – 7 p.m. To join the online meeting, go to Skyline’s construction website and click the JOIN THE NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING button.


FAWCETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Update: Fawcett staff start packing up their spaces in preparation for the move to the former McKinley Elementary in June. McKinley is at 3702 East McKinley Avenue.

Staff at Fawcett are organizing their Design Advisory Committee (DAC) with the Hensel Phelps and BLRB Architects design-build team. The first DAC meeting is scheduled for late April.

Plan for Fawcett: The existing school building is scheduled for demolition this fall; construction of the new school is scheduled from 2022 to 2023. Fawcett staff and students will use the former McKinley campus for the next two school years, as their new school is built. Transportation will be provided for students living in the current Fawcett boundary. 

DOWNING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Update: Korsmo Construction temporary fencing surrounds the site at Downing. Crews will work at the site from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Changes to student drop off and pick up will start Monday, March 22, will improve the flow of traffic and reduce congestion on N. 26th Street. 

  • Parents should continue to enter from N. 26th Street and follow N. Orchard Street on the shoulder of the road toward the front of the school. 
  • Parents will drop off and pick up students at the front of the school in a “valet style,” where a staff member will greet students and usher them into the building. 
  • In the afternoon, teachers will walk students to the front of the school to wait for pick up.

A look ahead: 

  • Virtual neighborhood meeting on Monday, April 19, 6 – 7 p.m. To join the online meeting, go to Downing’s construction website and click the JOIN THE NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING button.

Other future projects funded by the 2020 capital construction bond passed by voters: 

Bryant Montessori (opening Fall 2024), Oakland High School (opening Fall 2025), Lowell Elementary (opening Fall 2026), Whittier Elementary (opening Fall 2027).

Neighborhood and Community Services

  1. How many houseless neighbors are thought to be in Tacoma currently?

The most current survey information that we have is from the 2020 Point-in-Time Count, which reflected that 544 people experiencing homelessness reported their last address within Tacoma. Of these 544 people, 158 were unsheltered at the time of the survey. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 safety protocols, the County was not able to facilitate a new count in 2021.

2. How much of an increase is this from the previous year?

From 2019 to 2020, Pierce County’s point in time count indicated an increase in homelessness from 1,486 people to 1,897 people. The number of people who indicated their last address in Tacoma increase by 108 individuals between these two years, as well.

3. How many shelter spaces do we currently have in Tacoma? Total including tiny homes? How many shelter spaces did we have before COVID?

Every year, shelter capacity fluctuates throughout the season, as expansions occur for inclement weather or as temporary shelters begin and end services. For the majority of 2020, there were 871 beds available in Tacoma including temporary sheltering, micro-shelters, and permanent shelters. As of the end of February 2021, there were 946 beds available, which included temporary sheltering. Even since February 2021, the exact number of beds has fluctuated slightly with the closing of warming centers, but new temporary sheltering has opened in their place.

If you are needing to find available shelter, we recommend contacting 211 or visiting pchomeless.org to see current offerings and availability.  

4. How many “affordable” housing units do we have in Tacoma? How many “low income” housing units do we have in Tacoma?

The information that the City of Tacoma collects includes units that have been made available by the multi-family tax exemption. In this case, we would consider low-income and affordable to be the same. We have requested current data from the Community and Economic Development department and expect to be able to share an updated report with SENCO by April 13, 2021.

TPD

Weekly crime report from Council Study Session:

Preview attachment April 1 2021.pdf

April 1 2021.pdf738 KB

City Manager’s Office

Home In Tacoma Project public meeting:

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 starting at 5:30 PM on ZOOM

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82197923401

Dial: +1 253 215 8782 

Webinar ID: 821 9792 3401

Planning Commission Seeks Applicants for District 2, 3 and 5 positions – City of Tacoma

Tideflats Visioning (arcgis.com)

Resiliency Grants: In our ongoing effort to support businesses through this pandemic, the City of Tacoma is launching a second round of $10,000 grants for micro businesses.

Rental Assistance | Pierce County, WA – Official Website

Prevent eviction for those impacted by COVID-19 who are behind on rent

at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI)

Write253

For Students 13-19:

CTS_FLYER .jpg674 KB

My name is Kate, I am the program coordinator at Write253, and I want to let you know about our upcoming event, Crossing the Street, for all Tacoma/Pierce county teenagers age 13-19.

This year, in lieu of hosting an in-person festival, Crossing the Street will be a weekend-long virtual celebration of poetry on April 17th and 18th. If you can, please take a moment to share this flyer with your students and let them know about the event! 

Our schedule is comprised of multiple workshops for students to choose from, and opportunities on both days for participants to share their work – an Open Mic on Saturday, and a poetry slam on Sunday.

Saturday will be comprised of workshops oriented around various subjects, Poetry in Social Action. Participants will be able to register for the specific workshops they are interested in ahead of time, and spend the day creating poems they can share at the open mic Saturday evening. The open mic will only be open to those who are registered for workshops and participating in Crossing the Street.

Sunday’s slam will take the place of our annual Louder Than a Bomb-Tacoma teen festival. This year’s slam will be all-indy. This event will be live on Zoom and streamed to Youtube. Writers ages 13-19 are welcome to compete and attendance is free. More info about the slam can be found on the registration site, but if you have questions, you can email Michael Haeflinger at michael@write253.com

If you have any questions about the weekend in general, you can email me at this address. To register, teens can go to https://www.write253.com/CTS21

SENCo General Meeting via Zoom April 5 @ 7pm

South Enders! Happy (almost) April!

Updated April 2021 SENCo Agenda:

Topic: SENCo April 2021 General Meeting
Time: Apr 5, 2021 @ 7PM
 
Join Zoom Meeting Online:
 
Join Zoom Meeting via Phone:
253 215 8782 (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 783 240 9538
Passcode: 236276
 

UPDATE: We’ve added two important letters for consideration of support from SENCo (that includes you!), & each will be up for a vote this evening. One is a statement of support from SENCo for our Asian American neighbors & businesses in the South End found here, & the other is a letter from April Smith in the Larchmont area regarding the dangerous intersection at 84th/85th & McKinley Avenue found here.

Your vote matters at SENCo! As per TMC 1.45.050C, “Any resident, renter, or owner of property, business, or nonprofit and their employees, who live or work within a Neighborhood Council Boundary, may participate…” in voting!

We’re looking forward to two wonderful guest speakers this month:

Quena Batres getting us excited about the Green Schoolyard Pilot Project

Keegan Buckley sharing how we can all have our very own Adopt-a-Spot

Also! Have you signed up for a South End Litter Free 253 group yet? If so, yay! If not, & you’d like to join the fun, click here to find the South End group of your choice:

  • Team 72nd & Hosmer 
  • Team Alaska
  • Team Alling Park
  • Team Blueberry Park
  • Team Fred Meyer
  • Team Larchmont
  • Team Lincoln
  • Team Wapato
  • Team Zips

Need help signing up? Let us know: senco253@gmail.com

See you soon! 🙂

Love, SENCo 

South End Sign Up! Litter Free 253! April 17 9-Noon

South Enders, we hope you will join us Saturday, April 17th, 9am-12pm for the city-wide Litter Free 253 event.

Please consider signing up with one of our South End teams:

Team Alaska- Litter Leader Daniel Thomasson, Meet up @Fire Station

Team Alling Park- Litter Leader Shana Denny, Meet up @ Park

Team 72nd and Hosmer- Litter Leader Penny Grellier, Meet up @Starbucks.

Team Larchmont- Litter Leader April Smith, Meet up @TBD

Team Lincoln- Litter Leader Athena Brewer, Meet up @Starbucks

Team Wapato- Litter Leader Andrea Haug, Meet up @Pergola

You can sign up here. Just scroll down to find any of the teams listed above, click on the team you want to join, & sign up. Need Help? We can assist in getting you signed up, just email senco253@gmail.com.

Know people who might be interested in participating? Please send them to the link or have them send us an email at senco253@gmail.com.

This is not a competition, but of course we want to have the greatest participation in the South End! 😉

Thank you, & we hope to see you  on April 17!

SENCo General Meeting via Zoom March 1 @ 7pm

Greetings South Enders! 

We hope you can join us Monday March 1st at 7pm from wherever you are for your virtual neighborhood council meeting via Zoom. Please see here for a copy of the agenda, and below for the Zoom login information.

Topic: March SENCo General Meeting
Time: Mar 1, 2021 07:00 PM 
 
Join Zoom Meeting Online:
 
Meeting ID: 783 240 9538
Passcode: 236276
 
Join Zoom Meeting via Phone:
        +1 253 215 8782 (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 783 240 9538
Passcode: 236276

 

We have two great guest speakers joining us this month:

First our very own board member Mr Tony Caldwell will be speaking on behalf of another local organization he volunteers with, the Tacoma Area Disabilities Commission. 

Then we’ll have Corey Newton from the City of Tacoma’s Planning & Development department talking about a proposed 5 unit townhouse/multi-family at 232 S 70th St.

Of course we will also have our liaisons extraordinaire who give us information from the city as it pertains to the South End.

We want your input for SENCo! Who do you want to hear from as a guest speaker in the future? Or do you have a particular topic you’d like to see discussed? Have a great idea for the neighborhood you’re willing to share?  Any and all compliments or constructive criticism is welcome. We want to hear what is important to y’all! Send to senco253@gmail

Hope to see you all soon!

Kindest Regards,

Your SENco Team

See below for additional information from city liaisons below. Topics in bold.

Tacoma Public Schools

Hybrid Learning will continue to phase in more students in February

Approximately 1,600 kindergarten students began in-person instruction at school two days per week Jan. 19.

Approximately 1,200 preschool students began in-person instruction at school two days per week Jan. 25.

Here’s our updated timeline for adding additional grade levels:

  • Beginning Monday, Feb. 8, first graders will return to school two days per week—Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday—in groups of up to 15 students.
  • Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 16, kindergarten students will shift to four school days per week—but only if the COVID-19 case count in Pierce County drops below 350 cases per 100,000 residents for 14 days. Otherwise, they will continue to come to school two days per week.
  • Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 16, second graders would return to school two days per week—Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday—in groups of up to 15 students.

Background

On Dec. 16, Gov. Jay Inslee, the state Department of Health and the state Superintendent of Public Instruction issued new guidance for all school districts across the state. Based on health data, the state loosened restrictions to allow more students to return to school—if specific safety protocols are followed.

Over the last several months, we have prepared by establishing consistent safety protocols and accumulating the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).

Since October, we’ve followed health and safety protocols to provide in-person learning for about 750 students at all grade levels who require special education services. We know when our students, staff and families follow safety protocols, we can limit transmission of COVID-19 in schools.

We’re working on plans to bring first and second grade students to in-person learning four days a week and will share dates for that transition soon.  

Students in grades 3-12 would begin to come back in a hybrid model no sooner than March 1. The District is developing a staggered start-date approach for these grade levels to ensure students are able to transition in a safe and healthy manner.  More details will be announced in the next few weeks.  

In preparation for bringing middle school and high school students back for hybrid learning, principals collaborated to create new daily schedules that will launch with the beginning of second semester Feb. 8—even though students will still be in full remote learning. The new schedules will remain in place when the shift to hybrid learning starts and allow for a smooth transition.

Stay up to date on COVID-19 metrics in Pierce County

You can track the four metrics for school reopening monitored by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department at: https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-people/diseases/covid-19-information-for-schools

High School Athletics start Feb. 1

Traditional fall sports start officially Monday, Feb. 1 for a seven-week season that will run through March 20, according to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA). Fall sports include cross country, football, golf, girls swim and dive and volleyball.

Traditional spring sports will run March 15 to May 1. In TPS high schools, those sports are baseball, fastpitch, boys soccer, girls tennis, and track and field.

Traditional winter sports will run April 26 to June 12. In TPS high schools, those sports are basketball, bowling, cheerleading, boys swim and dive, wrestling and boys tennis.
Move to Phase 2 athletics: What are the health and safety requirements
Guidelines for these athletic activities are established under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery. Under the new guidelines, Pierce County joins King and Snohomish counties to form the Puget Sound Region, which are now in Phase 2 of the recovery plan.

Phase 2 restrictions for high school sports include:

  • Facial coverings required for all coaches, volunteers and athletes at all times.
  • Outdoor training, practices and competitions allowed for low, moderate, and high-risk sports.
  • Maximum of 200 people allowed at competitions, including spectators.
  • Indoor team training, practices, and competitions allowed for low and moderate-risk sports.

School Board considers renaming Wilson High School for local trailblazer Dolores Silas

Superintendent Carla Santorno endorsed a community committee’s recommendation to rename Woodrow Wilson High School after local educator and trailblazer Dolores Silas.

Santorno presented her recommendation to the Tacoma School Board of Directors at their Jan. 28 meeting. The School Board expects to vote on the proposal at a future meeting—possibly as soon as Feb. 11.

Dolores Silas, 94, who still lives in Tacoma, started as a teacher in Tacoma Public Schools. She taught at DeLong Elementary School, then later became DeLong’s principal—the first Black woman to serve as an administrator in Tacoma Public Schools. Later, Silas became the first Black woman to serve on the Tacoma City Council, in 1991.

In 2020, Tacoma Public Schools received requests from community members to rename the high school due to former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s history as a Klu Klux Klan sympathizer and his participation in racist ideologies and practices.

Santorno deemed the request worthy of consideration and, following policy established by the School Board, sent it to Wilson High School Principal Bernadette Ray. Ray formed a committee, which conducted a survey and reviewed options. In the committee’s final report back to the superintendent, they offered three options:

  1. Name it after Dolores Silas.
  2. Name it after Ruby Bridges, a U.S. civil rights activist who was the first African-American child to desegregate an all-white Louisiana elementary school in 1960.
  3. Keep the Wilson name but remove all associations with Woodrow Wilson.

As part of Santorno’s recommendation, the name change would take effect July 1. The school would retain its Ram mascot and its red, white and blue school colors.

February school schedule

  • Feb. 12: No school for unused snow make-up day
  • Feb. 15: No school for Presidents Day Holiday

League of Women Voters


President’s MessageFebruary Unit MeetingsPublic Forum:  The History We Were Not TaughtStay Informed with our Observer ReportsJoin the Observer CorpsPort of Tacoma Strategic PlanMeaningful Movies of Tacoma First Film of 2021Forum: “Immigration 2021: What Happens Now?”Pierce Transit Announces a new Online, Regional Trip Planning Tool


President’s MessageCynthia StewartFebruary is Black History Month.  Several of our featured items this month are associated with recognizing and appreciating black history and realizing how it affects the way we live and communicate today.  We have institutionalized racism in our policies and behavior.
The League of Women Voters is striving to become an anti-racist organization. That means we are fighting against racism in its many forms.  Mary Fertakis will explain at the February 17 forum how much of our state’s history contributed to today’s structural racism.  She will discuss racism toward Asians, Hispanics and others, as well as Blacks.  The end of her presentation will include a discussion in small groups about where we should go from here to address the rampant discrimination of our past.  We will use feedback from those sessions to plan future events.

Let’s also consider the effects of racism in our state policies.  Our tax structure is upside down, meaning that people at the lowest income levels, who are disproportionately people of color, pay a much greater share of their incomes in state and local taxes than people at the highest income levels.  You can take action to reverse this inequity by letting your legislators know you want them to balance the tax code.

And the people experiencing homelessness in Pierce County are disproportionately black. Let your Pierce County Councilmember know that you want homelessness addressed.  

Also this month at our Unit Meetings, we will be discussing sustainability plans, how important they are, and what we can expect in the future.  Don’t miss that program!

And finally, February is the birthday of the League of Women Voters.  We turn 101 on Valentines Day.  Let’s celebrate that achievement as we work toward a better future. February Unit Meetings
The February unit meeting program will be on Sustainability Planning.  Speakers will describe what it is, why we do it, and the status of efforts in Pierce County.  

The League of Women Voters of the US position on climate change is:

The League believes that climate change is a serious threat facing our nation and planet. The League believes that an international approach to combating climate change — including through energy conservation, air pollution controls, building resilience, and promotion of renewable resources — is necessary to protect public health and defend the overall integrity of the global ecosystem. The League supports climate goals and policies that are consistent with the best available climate science and that will ensure a stable climate system for future generations. Individuals, communities, and governments must continue to address this issue, while considering the ramifications of their decisions, at all levels — local, state, regional, national, and global.  

See the LWVUS climate change tool kit here.

Our speakers will discuss how local sustainability plans help address climate change.  This program will include presentations by Chuck Jensen, League member; and Elly Claus-McGahan, Climate Pierce County.  For more information about Climate Pierce County, see http://climatepiercecounty.com/.

The schedule is as follows.  Registration is required, though you can register at the last minute if necessary.Wednesday, February 3, 7:00 pm, https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtdemvrTMoEt2iwd2hTKnO8HoEkc8qUuC5 Thursday, February 11, 1:00 pmhttps://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrdu6grToqHtdSs7Bx5ytOCH1bQRrA7en-  Saturday, February 13, 10:00 amhttps://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrf-isqDIsGdWDnyTRBtG3zjtGn3XOzn_h  Public Forum:  The History We Were Not TaughtFebruary 17, 2021, 7:00 pm
Register at https://bit.ly/2M0WCqvFor more information, see http://tacomapiercelwv.org/Going_On_Now.html#s01
 Stay Informed with our Observer Reports
Our Observer Corps volunteers attend meetings of elected officials and appointed Boards and Commissions and reports on what they are doing.  Find out what is going on in local governments within the county by reading our Observer reports.  These reports have been published since the last Voter.  These and prior reports are found here.

There is a lot going on in each of our municipalities and in Pierce County.  Our Observer Corps is more important than ever, since we have so little local journalism.  In some jurisdictions, the League Observers have been called the “conscience” of the Council.  If you would like to contribute to the community by serving as an Observer, only a brief training is required.  Please contact Cynthia Stewart, stewdahl@comcast.net.

Here are our recent observer’s notes, with thanks to Lydia Zepeda and Rosemary Powers:Port Commissioners Meeting, Port of Tacoma, January 21, 2021, http://tacomapiercelwv.org/files/port_of_tacoma_commission_1-21-21.pdfCity of Tacoma Special Council Meeting, January 25, 2021 2021,http://tacomapiercelwv.org/files/tacoma_city_council_january_25_2021.pdf Note:  We also post these on Facebook when we get them, so you can read them sooner there.Join the Observer Corps
Do you want to find out what is going on in your local city or county government? Do you want to let others know? Do you want to use your writing skills? If so, join the LWVTPC Observer Corps! We need volunteers to attend local government meetings and report on their activities. This is how we ensure an informed community. This is how we hold our elected officials accountable.

Being an Observer involves attending at least one public meeting a month and writing up a meeting summary. Plan on a minimum of two hours a month.

As an Observer you choose what meetings and issues to follow. While you cannot participate in the government meetings, you can inform others what issues are being discussed, what laws and policies are being implemented, and how your local government is spending taxpayer money. It is a great way to learn about local government to prepare yourself and others to be better advocates to promote League positions.

If you are interested, please contact Lydia Zepeda at zepelow@gmail.com   We can set up a time to chat about your interests and set up training. Port of Tacoma Strategic Plan
Anyone interested in following the development of the Port’s 2021 – 2026 strategic plan can find online information and opportunities for engagement here. The Plan is expected to be issued as a draft on February 18.

The public is invited to complete an online survey here.Meaningful Movies of Tacoma
First Film of 2021in celebration of Black History MonthNo Time to Waste celebrates legendary 98-year-old park ranger Betty Reid Soskin’s inspiring life, work and urgent mission to restore critical missing chapters of America’s story. The film follows her journey as an African American woman presenting her personal story from a kitchen stool in a national park theater to media interviews and international audiences who hang on every word she utters.

The documentary captures her fascinating life — from the experiences of a young Black woman in a WWII segregated union hall, through her multi-faceted career as a singer, activist, mother, legislative representative and park planner to her present public role.At the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, Betty illuminates the invisible histories of African Americans and other people of color. Her efforts have changed the way the National Park Service conveys this history to audiences across the U.S., challenging us all to move together toward a more perfect union.
 
Please register for this film here  by February 3. Registered attendees will receive a link to view the film.
TWO ways you can virtually watch the film:
•    Anytime on Feb 4, 5 or 6.  Then return on Feb 5 at 7:30 for the panel discussion.
•    Or… Watch with us on Feb 5 at 6:30pm and stay for the panel discussion at 7:30pm.
Forum: “Immigration 2021: What Happens Now?”February 25, 2021, 6:30-8:30 pmSponsored by the League of Women Voters of Thurston County  
LWVTC is hosting a forum about what we can expect on immigration issues with the change of U.S. Administrations. Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance and LWV-Mason County will be jointly sponsoring this forum with LWVTC. 
 
Speakers will include experts on immigration who will address:An overview of immigration organizations and the focus of each one​.US Federal level immigration issues and what policies the new Administration in D.C. has already affected, can affect and which may continue. WA State Legislation and immigration issues and legislative accomplishments and challenges. Regional and local immigration organizations’ current efforts and what is being planned for the future. This is a Zoom meeting and not a webinar.  Participants will be able to choose to attend a breakout room with the speaker of their choice for more in-depth discussion and further Q&A. Each breakout room additionally will have a facilitator who has experience with immigration issues. 
 
A sampling of our Speakers and Facilitators: Bob Zeigler (Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance); Steffani Powell (​Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance, practices US immigration law in Olympia); Cariño Barragán Talancón (Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network); Kathy Baros Friedt (​The Hispanic Roundtable and Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance). 
Register here.Pierce Transit Announces a new Online, Regional Trip Planning ToolPierce Transit has announced a new online, regional trip planning tool to help transit riders plan trips throughout Pierce County and around Puget Sound. The new Trip Planner, available at PierceTransit.org, includes many new features, such as:Ability to see your bus in real-time on a mapOption to locate your “to” and “from” locations by pointing to a spot on a map rather than entering an exact addressAbility to view and print bus schedules from your desktop browserMore accurate lookup tool with new preloaded destinations, including landmarks, companies and many other locationsIntegrated trip planning that taps a variety of transit modes (local bus, light rail, commuter rail, express bus, ferry and more) integrated together to plan a seamless tripNew step-by-step tutorialIn addition to the new Trip Planner, Pierce Transit has recently introduced several other new technology tools that are helping customers plan their transit trips and get bus arrival information. Those include:An official partnership with Transit app, which offers step-by-step trip planning, information about bus load levels, real-time bus tracking and many other featuresThe ability to text or call 253.533.7084 from a bus stop, enter the stop number and receive a reply about when the next bus will arriveReal-time bus arrival monitors at transit centers, including Tacoma Dome StationPiercePaySM mobile ticketing through a partnership with the Hopthru appRoute text alerts available for signup at PierceTransit.org/StayConnected
President’s Message Cynthia Stewart
February is Black History Month.  Several of our featured items this month are associated with recognizing and appreciating black history and realizing how it affects the way we live and communicate today.  We have institutionalized racism in our policies and behavior.
The League of Women Voters is striving to become an anti-racist organization. That means we are fighting against racism in its many forms.  Mary Fertakis will explain at the February 17 forum how much of our state’s history contributed to today’s structural racism.  She will discuss racism toward Asians, Hispanics and others, as well as Blacks.  The end of her presentation will include a discussion in small groups about where we should go from here to address the rampant discrimination of our past.  We will use feedback from those sessions to plan future events.

Let’s also consider the effects of racism in our state policies.  Our tax structure is upside down, meaning that people at the lowest income levels, who are disproportionately people of color, pay a much greater share of their incomes in state and local taxes than people at the highest income levels.  You can take action to reverse this inequity by letting your legislators know you want them to balance the tax code.

And the people experiencing homelessness in Pierce County are disproportionately black. Let your Pierce County Councilmember know that you want homelessness addressed.  

Also this month at our Unit Meetings, we will be discussing sustainability plans, how important they are, and what we can expect in the future.  Don’t miss that program!

And finally, February is the birthday of the League of Women Voters.  We turn 101 on Valentines Day.  Let’s celebrate that achievement as we work toward a better future. 
February Unit Meetings
The February unit meeting program will be on Sustainability Planning.  Speakers will describe what it is, why we do it, and the status of efforts in Pierce County.  

The League of Women Voters of the US position on climate change is:

The League believes that climate change is a serious threat facing our nation and planet. The League believes that an international approach to combating climate change — including through energy conservation, air pollution controls, building resilience, and promotion of renewable resources — is necessary to protect public health and defend the overall integrity of the global ecosystem. The League supports climate goals and policies that are consistent with the best available climate science and that will ensure a stable climate system for future generations. Individuals, communities, and governments must continue to address this issue, while considering the ramifications of their decisions, at all levels — local, state, regional, national, and global.  

See the LWVUS climate change tool kit here.

Our speakers will discuss how local sustainability plans help address climate change.  This program will include presentations by Chuck Jensen, League member; and Elly Claus-McGahan, Climate Pierce County.  For more information about Climate Pierce County, see http://climatepiercecounty.com/.

The schedule is as follows.  Registration is required, though you can register at the last minute if necessary.Wednesday, February 3, 7:00 pm, https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtdemvrTMoEt2iwd2hTKnO8HoEkc8qUuC5 Thursday, February 11, 1:00 pmhttps://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrdu6grToqHtdSs7Bx5ytOCH1bQRrA7en-  Saturday, February 13, 10:00 amhttps://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrf-isqDIsGdWDnyTRBtG3zjtGn3XOzn_h 

For more information from LOWV, click here.

Join us for SENCo General Meeting 2/1 @ 7pm

Topic: February SENCo General Meeting
Time: Feb 1, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
 
Join Zoom Meeting Online: 
 
Meeting ID: 783 240 9538
Passcode: 236276
 
Join Zoom Meeting via Phone:
        1 253 215 8782 (Tacoma) 
Meeting ID: 783 240 9538
Passcode: 236276