Nov. 9 School Board Meeting Synopsis


Mathieu Chabaud, Writer

At last week’s school board meeting on Tuesday, November 9th, important changes were discussed around graduation requirements, computer science, and student records. In addition, public comments once again raised concerns about equity in the school district, as well as several other changes that largely impact the district itself more than students.

The most impactful change that would impact students is changes to high school graduation requirements. Students, once the changes are approved, will be allowed to use computer science courses to fulfill their third required science credit. Dawn Wakeley, the Executive Director of Teaching & Learning at the district, was confident that there would be enough spaces in classes to meet any increased demand due to this change, due to how class sections are set up at the high school. Seniors graduating this year will be able to use computer science to fulfill the third year science graduation requirement. Other changes to the procedure clarify registration and enrollment in Running Start, as well as classes taken for college credit. The change was primarily driven by the state legislature, along with employment opportunities for computer science in the state.

The other change impacting students is around records. Due to legislation passed by the state legislature, only diplomas can now be withheld due to outstanding fines. While transcripts and grades could previously be withheld from students with fines, this is no longer the case. 

Public comments, similar to past weeks, focused on the district’s initiatives towards equity, as well as other issues. The first public comment, sent by email, commented on the lunch situation at Summit Trail Middle School. The following public comment addressed equity in the Tahoma School District, and repeated concerns about politics and Marxism in the district. The final public comment repeated the request for increased transparency from the school board, primarily in the form of providing answers to questions for the public to see.

The other main topic at the board meeting was the vaccine clinic held at Tahoma High School on November 9th. After the FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines for younger children, the school district collaborated with Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority to organize a vaccine clinic. About 940 vaccines were used in the span of an hour and a half on the first day; on Wednesday, Representative Kim Schrier assisted with the vaccine clinic at the high school.