Two Replacement Levies on Feb. Ballot

November 3, 2017 Leave a comment


Two replacement levies will be on the Feb. 13, 2018 special election ballot for Tahoma School District voters and a third levy, to buy buses, could be added.

Tahoma School Board members voted unanimously last week to authorize replacement levies for technology and educational programs and operations. The levies would be collected over four years, beginning in 2019. They would replace existing levies, though at a lower overall tax rate, and would provide funds for equipment, services and staff positions that do not receive state funding.

The levies pay for different things than the construction bond measure approved by voters in 2013. The construction bond pays only for capital projects, such as the new Tahoma High School and new Lake Wilderness Elementary School. The school district sells bonds to raise money for construction and uses taxpayer funds to pay back the bonds over 20 years. By law, bond funds cannot be used for ongoing expenses, such as employee salaries or extracurricular programs.

The Educational Programs and Operations levy is estimated to cost property owners a maximum of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value each year, which is half of what is currently being collected, and would raise about $12.7 million the first year. The levy would pay for employees, supplies, transportation staffing and program costs not funded by the state, including special education.

The technology levy is estimated to cost 32 cents per $1,000 of assessed value the first year and would raise $2.75 million each year to purchase computers, communications network equipment, software, and pay for technology support staff.

Superintendent Rob Morrow said renewal of the two levies is necessary despite changes in how Washington state funds schools. The new funding plan, approved last summer, does not pay for classroom technology and does not fully fund staffing costs, special education, athletics and other extracurricular activities, professional learning opportunities, or additional program offerings beyond basic education.

The levies would help Tahoma maintain its current programs and staffing. Projections indicate that Tahoma taxpayers will see a reduction in school taxes even with approval of the levies in February, due to the lower rate for the Educational Programs and Operations levy and the expected increase in property value throughout the school district.

The board also began discussing whether to add a one-year transportation levy that would collect $1.5 million to purchase buses that are needed to enlarge and modernize the fleet. The board could decide to add the transportation vehicle levy to the ballot at its Nov. 14 meeting. The measure would add about nine new buses to replace aging vehicles and provide additional buses that could be used to expand routes. Tahoma has not had a transportation vehicle levy since 2002. Morrow told the board that adding buses is only part of the solution to expanding bus routes, due to the continuing shortage of drivers for Tahoma and in the Puget Sound region.

Winter Art Flurry

November 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Winter Art Flurry 2017

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Mon. 11/6 – Tues 11/7

October 27, 2017 Leave a comment


You are cordially invited to Parent-Teacher Conferences on Monday, 11/6 from 5-8 pm and Tuesday, 11/7 from 4-7 pm.  Teachers will be available in their classrooms for 5 minute conferences with families.  Parents can attend either night, and no scheduling is required- just drop in! Please look for an email on Friday, 11/3 with more specifics.

While Parent Teacher Conferences are optional, we strongly encourage parents to attend and converse with teachers about their student’s growth and achievement.  You can write down your child’s schedule and access their current grades at:

Hope to see you there!

School Board passes measure of support for Fire Prop. 1

October 26, 2017 Leave a comment

On Tuesday the School Board unanimously approved a resolution in support of Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety’s Proposition No. 1 Levy Lid Lift measure. The school board seldom endorses ballot measures but decided to do so because the fire levy directly affects student and staff safety.

“If we need them, we’re going to call them and we want them to be ready,” Board Member Didem Pierson said, referring to Maple Valley Fire and Life Safety firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

The resolution approved by the board said, in part: “… In the judgment of the Board of Fire Commissioners of Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety District 43, it is essential for the protection of the public health, safety, life, and property of the citizens and the residents of the (fire) district that minimum service levels of fire and emergency medical services be maintained.”


The fire levy that is on the November ballot is not the same as the proposed change in August, which called for a different funding mechanism. This proposition is a levy lid lift replacement measure. It calls for a tax of $1.50 per $1,000 assessed valuation. The last time the department passed a levy lid lift was in 2006.

The department is at a minimum staffing level of seven firefighters, which last happened in 1993. Since the recession in 2008, the department has lost several staffing positions through attrition, which have not been replaced. Costs have been cut in several other ways, including canceling CPR classes and the department’s annual open house and community education program to inform residents and children about fire safety. Administrators are looking into other possible cost-saving measures, such as contracting for fire services and contracting for fleet services.

To learn more in a narrated presentation about the need for the measure from Fire Chief Aaron Tyerman, click here:

Or, Tyerman can be reached by email at with any questions.

FAFSA & WAFSA help – Thursday Nov. 2

October 26, 2017 Leave a comment

College Goal Flier Updated

Tahoma Girls Swim take the NPSL!

October 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Tahoma’s girls swim and dive team won the North Puget Sound League championship over the weekend, after finishing the dual meet season undefeated for the third time in school history, coach Dave Wright reported.


During Saturday’s meet, junior Iliana Hammerstrom won the 50-freestyle; sophomore Emiri Nishizawa won the 500-freestyle; and freshman Amelia Blakely won the 200 individual medley. The 200-free relay team also placed first at the league meet; its swimmers are Blakely, Hammerstrom, Nishizawa and Abby Mattern.
The team’s season record is  7-0, and they went into the NPSL championships seeded first out of 16 teams.

“We  have many new swimmers that have blended well with our returning swimmers,” Wright said of the team’s successful year.

Tahoma’s next stop is the district meet, which will be Oct. 27 and 28 at the Curtis Aquatic Center in University Place. The state meet will be the following weekend.

Cheer on the team in person at the meet, or on Instagram ( or Twitter (@TahomaSwim).

Band Boosters – Bazaar Vendors Wanted

October 21, 2017 Leave a comment

Bazaar Flyer 2017

Tahoma Band Boosters are seeking applications for interested vendors for the event. 

Go to the website: or contact boosters about the bazaar directly via email:

Tahoma Field Show wins Best Percussion and Best Music

October 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Congratulations to all of our Field Show Members!  22 bands that competed from all over Washington and Idaho. The bands compete in the preliminary portion of the competition within in band-size categories (A, AA, AAA, Open). Tahoma is now a solid member of the “Open Class -100+ members” category with 156 students strong this year! There are 10 judges evaluating the bands’ performances (each with a different focus area) walking around on the field with hand recorders and located up in the press box of the stadium. Tahoma won “Best Percussion” and “Best Music”.

 Tumwater Band Competition 10.14.17

Only the top 14 bands were selected to compete in the finals competition that took place in the evening.  Tahoma was one of the bands that earned an opportunity to compete in the Finals Competition! Overall out of the 22 bands that competed in prelims and finals, Tahoma earned 6 place overall (out of all bands in all categories combined). The difference between Tahoma’s 6th place at our first competition of the season and 2nd place is less than 3 points out of 100.

Tahoma had 155 students competing together (Woodwinds, Brass, Battery (drum line), front ensemble and color guard), 40 parent booster volunteers, 5 THS alumni volunteers, 1 percussion coach, 1 assistant and 1 Tahoma staff member.

To see them live in action, their next performance (and final home performance) is tonight at the Homecoming Game at the MVMS stadium! Their next competition is in one week at the Sunset Classic Festival of Bands in Sumner, WA.