As students head back to class on Tuesday in the Tahoma School District, there are a few new things happening:
• The district’s new transportation center, also known as the bus barn, is under construction. Crews are grading the site and prepping it for utilities installation, according to district spokesman Kevin Patterson. He said the hope is to have the site paved by the end of November, with final construction complete by fall 2009. The new facility will have more space for buses, as well as a better maintenance garage, training space for the drivers and office space for other staff.
•Speaking of buses, in an effort to save money and be more efficient, the district has consolidated bus stops so there are some new routes and schedules. Letters have gone out to families, but additional information can be found on the district’s Web site (www.tahoma.wednet.edu).
•Students who were attending Maple Valley High School, the district’s alternative high school for nearly 20 years, will now be taking classes at Tahoma High and Tahoma Junior High. After working with consultants to review the alternative school, district officials realized that the model it followed since it opened in 1987 was no longer helping students in the way it had been intended. About 60 students will be attending Tahoma High with a variety of options for academics beyond the traditional classroom.
• As Tahoma staff continues to implement the tools paid for by the technology levy that was passed in 2006, the district is broadening its Classroom 10 initiative, which will be the guide for students, teachers and staff as the district deploys high-tech tools in classrooms. It will help kids meet the districts standards, while preparing them for the fast-moving 21st-century digital age, according to officials.
• School lunch prices have gone up 25 cents. The School Board approved the increase as one of the ways to help balance the school district’s budget.