10 Tahoma Things Made Possible by Community Investment

10 Tahoma Things Made Possible by Community Investment
Posted on 06/10/2022

Two years ago, our community passed a pair of levies that enrich the educational experiences of our students: an Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy, and a Technology Levy. These funds are used to pay for programs, staffing, services, and supplies that supplement state and federal “basic” education dollars, and they are set to expire in 2024.

In 2013, voters approved a bond that led to the construction of Tahoma High School and Lake Wilderness Elementary School, a pair of state-of-the-art facilities for our district. Since then, the district has been able to upgrade district security and facilities with bond funds.

It’s a commitment that our community has made to prepare Tahoma students for the future they deserve. But your dollars are being used in so many amazing ways, that you might not even know where they’re going, or the students whose lives they’re impacting.

Here are 10 incredible things in the Tahoma School District that wouldn’t be possible without the support of local levies and bonds:
1. Our Nationally-Ranked "We The People" Team

Teacher Gretchen Wulfing and 3 We The People Students

Tahoma High School’s “We the People” team returned to the national stage this year after winning the state competition. “We the People” represented our state in Washington D.C. and took 8th place in the nation! Read more about “We the People” and their journey to nationals HERE.
2. STEM Class, Robotics and Coding at Elementary

Four elementary students coding with robotics

In Tahoma, each elementary student has the unique opportunity to experience STEM in Grades K-5. Few school districts in the United States offer this level of commitment to STEM education. Our students learn to program in Scratch to create animated stories and video games. They can learn to build and program robots to accomplish missions.  Beyond robotics and computer language, through our STEM program, they learn the human aspects of collaboration and teamwork. 
3. Building Schools and Upgrading Infrastructures

Photo of Tahoma High School

The voter-approved bond that passed in 2013 allowed for the construction of Tahoma High School and Lake Wilderness Elementary School, but the district was also able to make important safety upgrades to security cameras, badge systems, lockdown capability and more. Your EP&O levy dollars fund key safety positions including our School Resource Officer (SRO) via King Co. Sheriff’s Office, as well as district student support and safety officers.
4. Quality Healthcare In Our Schools

Shadow Lake Nurse, Nicole Munsell, and a student smiling

Did you know that Washington State only funds 1 full-time school nurse for our entire school district? Your investment in local levies ensures that each of our schools has a full-time licensed nurse to help manage care for students with chronic conditions, to help create individualized health plans and 504 plans, and to ensure that all students are healthy, safe and ready to learn each day. During the COVID-19 pandemic, YOUR investment also helped to ensure we had additional nursing support when kids needed it the most.
5. Stellar Athletic Programs

State Champion Girls Swim Team

Tahoma High School girls swimming won their first state championship in school history! It was one of the many incredible seasons that our athletics programs had this year, including individual state champs in track and wrestling. Baseball, boys and girls cross country and boys basketball were just some of the teams who also competed at state this year. Get the latest on Tahoma Athletics HERE.
6. High-Quality, Engaging Curriculum

Middle School Students show Board Director Haley Pendergraft Online Classwork

Levy dollars go toward purchasing high-quality, engaging curricula for students, like the new middle school ELA curriculum, Into Literature. Alongside the physical textbook, Into Literature offers students an online version of the curriculum that individualizes reading strategy recommendations, areas of focus, and tips for finding success when confronted with a piece of literature that may be lengthier or more challenging than a student has been previously exposed to.
7. A World-Class Robotics Program

Bear Metal Robotics team walking in front of robot at World Championships

Tahoma High School’s Bear Metal Robotics competed at the Worlds competition in Houston, TX. This year’s robot had the task of picking up balls and throwing them into a basket, with a bonus challenge of climbing a set of monkey bars. The team ranked 2nd in the Pacific Northwest and ranked 6th on the hardest field at Worlds. They also had the fastest climb in the world! See their robot in action HERE.
8. School Counselors and Mental Health Support

MVMS Counselor Rondelle Jeffery and a student

Thanks to the community’s investment, Tahoma has counselors at all nine of its schools. There are 6 elementary counselors, 6 middle school counselors and 6 high school counselors. Tahoma also has 4 student Wellness Advocates who focus on providing one-on-one support for students and connecting them to wellness resources when they need it. Additionally, levies help fund curricula that teach students about managing time and stress, interpreting and regulating emotions, and making friends and treating others with respect.
9. Drama and the Performing Arts

Middle School Drama's Production of "Once Upon A Mattress"

Tahoma High School Drama and Tahoma Jr. Drama were able to get back on stage and perform a series of amazing performances for our community. In the fall, Summit Trail Middle School and Maple View Middle School each put their unique spin on Willy Wonka Jr. and later combined for a fabulous joint production of Once Upon a Mattress. THS opened their season with the emotional true story Radium Girls. They got their bluegrass on with Steve Martin’s Bright Star in the new year and finished out the spring with an all-time great portrayal of Anastasia. Learn more about THS Drama and Tahoma Jr. Drama.
10. Special Services Click to watch Hunter's story
Tahoma's special services dept. and the accommodations that they provide students are supported by the levy dollars that our community invests in students.
Our special services team believes that EVERY student can be successful. For some students like Hunter, that means eventually exiting their services.
Watch the video above to learn more!


For more information on Tahoma School District’s current levies, CLICK HERE. Still learning how school finance works? Budget 101 is HERE to help!

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