It’s back to school time and that means it is also time to update your children’s immunizations. To help parents with those expensive but necessary shots, Kent School District and Valley Medical Center are teaming up to provide two free immunization clinics in September. Valley Medical will immunize children entering 6th, 7th or 8th grades. The children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and bring their immunization records with them, or have them on file with the clinic. Dates, times and clinics are:
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Valley Family Medicine
3915 Talbot Road S., Suite 401
Renton, Wa 98055
Wednesday, Sept. 26, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
24920 104th Ave SE
Kent, Wa 98030
*Immunization requirements for children entering the 6th, 7th and 8th grades:
- Three doses of Hepatitis B
- Five doses of Dtap and one dose of Tdap
- Four doses of polio
- Two doses of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
- Two doses of Varicella or one dose and verification of the disease
iLoveKent.net tied for fifth place in the “Best Neighborhood Blog” category inMagazine’s “Best of Western Washington 2010″ contest. KING5 Evening We are so honored to be even mentioned in the same category as the West Seattle Blog. Thanks to all who voted for us!
Kent School District hires a new executive director of communications and school/community partnerships. KSD has hired (Mr.) Chris Loftis to replace Becky Hanks who retired from KSD in June 2010. Loftis will begin working immediately.
There are lots of Halloween happenings in and around Kent this weekend, including Halloween parties at Charley’s on Central and Pat’s Bar & Grill; horror flicks at Kent Station’s AMC Theatres; Costume Candy Dash at Road Runner Sports at Kent Station; and Trick or Treating at Kent Station. In addition, a number of local organizations are hosting safe Trunk or Treat events to replace traditional trick-or-treating this year.
In other news, visit the Kent Reporter site to learn about King County Sheriff’s Department budget cuts, Kent budget discussions regarding train noise, Valley Medical Center board controversy and more.
Thanks to Victoria Andrews of Kent Parks for this news release:
September 24, 2010–The City of Kent and the Kent School District will mark 10 years of a successful partnership on Tuesday, October 5, 3:00-4:00 p.m. at Clark Lake Park’s main entrance on SE 240th. Additional parking is available at the Eastridge Baptist Church, 12520 SE 240th St.
The City’s Youth Tree Education Program, “Plant the Planet,” began in the year 2000, when Kent School District elementary students helped plant 2,000 native trees. To date over 20,000 trees and shrubs have been planted by Kent children! The City is marking the 10th anniversary by creating a Walk of Native Trees & Shrubs and a self-guided tour at one of Kent’s most beautiful parks, 130-acre Clark Lake Park. The walk features mature examples of 13 of the species students have planted over the past 10 years.
Council President Jamie Perry will MC the walk’s dedication. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lee Vargas will also participate, along with a few of the teachers who have been part of the program for many years. Parks Director Jeff Watling, who will take the walk for the first time at the dedication, commented, “Plant the Planet is one of our most popular annual programs, for teachers, students and City staff. Our Public Works and Parks staff team up to give children a hands-on learning experience about what trees do for our environment. Each child pots a tree or shrub in the spring and cares for it until it can be planted at home or at a park in the fall.”
In 2007, “Plant the Planet” received the Education Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation. In 2009, it was selected for national recognition by Take Pride in America® in the local government category.
Light refreshments will be served after the dedication and walk. For more information, contact 253-856-5110.
2010-2011 Student Calendar – Keep track of school holidays.
Skyward Family Access – Check out your student’s progress, assignments and grades online. Log=in & password needed.
Lunch Money Now – Deposit lunch money into your student’s account online.
In addition, the school district has a brand new, user-friendly website that is much easier to navigate than the previous site.
In this weekend’s issue of the Kent Reporter, journalist Steve Hunter reports that Darren Motamedy, a popular Kent-based jazz musician and elementary school band teacher, is moving to Las Vegas. He started searching for a job 18 months ago when it seemed imminent that the Kent School District would soon be cutting school band programs from the budget. Although KSD offered him a teaching position at the middle and high school levels here, Motamedy and his family had already made the decision to move to Las Vegas where Motamedy had accepted a teaching position.
A Kentridge High School graduate, the 51-year-old Motamedy is a community favorite. He has won a Golden Apple award in 2009 for his teaching in Kent schools and was named Teacher of the Year by the Kent School District in 2008. He has also won awards for his work as a composer and jazz musician. Though he plays a number of instruments, he is best known locally as a saxophonist and jazz musician.
One of Motamedy’s final performances in Kent will take place this Thursday, June 24 at the free Evening of Jazz and Art event at Kent Senior Center.
Having interviewed Motamedy several times along with his music students, I anticipate that his move out of the community will be a big loss to our cultural arts programs as well as to his students. There is no doubt, however, that he will be a success wherever he travels. Best of luck to you, Darren, and to your family! You will be missed!
File photo by Dana Neuts, February 2009
While students and teachers are anxious to end the school year, parents are planning ahead for the next school year. To help you plan your summer and beyond, you can view Kent School District’s 2010-2011 school year calendar here.
Key dates include:
Sep. 1, 2010: First day of school
Dec. 20 – 31, 2010: Winter vacation
Feb. 21 – 22, 2011: President’s break
Apr. 4 – 8, 2011: Spring break
Jun. 16, 2011: Last day of school
Dear Dr. Vargus, Kent School Board Members, Mayor Cooke,
After School sporting activities are of an utmost importance to our children and our community of Kent.
The Afterschool Alliance’s recent examination of multiple studies of after-school program impact found solid evidence that:
After-school activities help youth develop social skills, improve academic performance, and help them build strong supportive relationships with adults other than their parents. Young children benefit especially from the social skills development and improved academic skills. This leads to improved conflict management and better school attendance. Middle-school aged youth who continue to participate in after-school activities are more likely to be engaged in school and attentive in class and less likely to be involved in violent behavior at school.
Participation in after-school activities continues to be a benefit for students right through high school. Adolescents in after-school programs are optimistic for the future and have more interest in school than peers who are unsupervised after school. After-school program participation also helps to keep youth from skipping school and experimenting with alcohol, drugs and sexual activity.
In fact, the 1995 Westat, Inc. analysis of national data found that students who spend no time in after-school activities are 49 percent more likely to have used drugs and 37 percent more likely to become teen parents than students who spend one to four hours per week in after-school activities. After-school programs prevent pregnancy by promoting sound judgment, offering health education, and providing positive alternatives to sexual activity according to “Child Trends Research Brief,” May 2002.
Furthermore, if youth stay involved in after-school activities through adolescence, they are more likely to attend college, vote and volunteer as adults according to Zaff and Moore, et al. in the “Journal of Adolescent Research,” in 2003.
There are two reasons that after-school activities have these positive benefits for adolescents.
First, adolescents need guidance to grow into productive adulthood and after school programs and activities keep youth busy between 2 and 6 p.m., the times when adolescents are most likely to commit crimes, be crime victims, or participate in sexual activity.
Second, after school programs can provide extra time for career exploration, skill development, service learning and internships to prepare them for college and work.
It is estimated that every dollar spent on after school programs will save taxpayers $3 because of reductions in youth crime, teen parenthood and school dropout rates.
This estimate is based on studies done across the country including Alabama, California, and Washington D.C. This cost benefit is in addition to the life-long love of learning, improved level of education, and contributions in civic life that results from participation in after-school programs and activities.
Furthermore, by eliminating Fastpitch Softball from the available sports selection, you discriminate against girls who are not physically capable of performing at the physical rigors required with gymnastics, the height and coordination required with volleyball and basketball.
There is no way to train a girl who is physically limited by speed or height to run a fast thirty yard dash in track.
I as a parent feel that the Kent School District and the School Board has failed the community with this decision concerning middle and high school sports.
The ramifications of such will become apparent in the not too distant future. I hope for the childrens sake the consequences are not as negative as have been in other districts who have drifted down this path forsaking the children.
21121 124th Ave. S.E.
Kent, Wa 98031
CIS Kent provides assistance to at risk students in the Kent School District through mentorships, internships, and support to stay in school and graduate. Contributing to success in school for today’s children and youth ultimately produces a future skilled workforce for area businesses which will be key to many businesses’ immediate and future needs. We’ve come a long way in the past five years and will celebrate our work March 17, 2010 with a St. Patrick’s Day fundraising breakfast. Please attend our event, at the Kent Senior Activity Center, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00. Dr. Edward Lee Vargas, Superintendent, Kent School District, has agreed to deliver the keynote address for us.
This is our primary fundraising event…reaching our fundraising goal allows us to continue to provide much-needed services to the at-risk youth in the communities that the Kent School District serves.
We appreciate your interest in supporting Communities In Schools Kent, helping make a difference in the lives of our most valuable asset – our children.
If you would like to attend the breakfast, serve as a table captain, and/or learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Alice Pfaff, Tom Wood, or Mike Heinisch. Hope to see you there!
Each year the City of Kent, Kent School District, the Kent Downtown Partnership, and private sponsors work together to celebrate National Youth Art Month with Spring Into Art. Art from several Kent schools is displayed in various businesses in the Downtown area. Kent Downtown Partnership and local businesses support a night of activities coinciding with the City’s Art Walk and Reception.
Visit our website for complete details:
Spring Into Art 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
4 – 9 p.m.
This is a reminder for parents with kids in the Kent School District. The school district’s mid-winter break is this Monday and Tuesday, February 15 – 16. Normally the break is a full week long, but this break and spring break (April 5-6) have been cut short due to the teachers’ strike.
For a complete 2009-2010 KSD student calendar, visit KSD online.
Your donation of a new or gently used Children’s or Young Adult coat or socks provides underprivileged girls and boys much needed clothing to keep them warm during our colder months.
Drop Off Locations:
Kent Police Department -
220 – 4th Ave South
Kent Fire Stations
#71 – 504 West Crow
#72 – 25620 – 140th Avenue
#73 – 26512 Military Road South
#74 – 24611 – 116th Avenue SE
#75 – 15635 SE 272nd
#77 – 20717 – 132nd Avenue SE
#78 – 17820 SE 256th
City of Kent Centennial Center Lobby
400 West Gowe Street
Kent Station – Marie Haggin
441 Ramsay Way, Suite 103
Greater Kent Historical Museum
855 East Smith Street
Kent Senior Activity Center
600 East Smith Street
SI of Kent’s mission: To improve the lives of women and girls in our local community, and throughout the world.
Darren Motamedy, local jazz musician and a band director for the Kent School District, is asking his fans and friends to consider donating used band instruments for use by his 5th and 6th grade students. In particular, he’s looking for clarinets, flutes, trumpets, drum kits, snare drums and orchestra bells.
It could be a dusty instrument stuck in a corner, hidden away in a closet…or maybe one that needs a little TLC. Darren will take anything. He says band helps students to assimilate in group settings, helps them to stay focused in school and helps them to graduate.
“I appreciate all of you, and your kind support not only in my musical endeavors, but also in my teaching life as well…music saved my life, and I am thrilled to help out my 5th and 6th grade students.”
~ Darren Motamedy
If you have an instrument and can help, please contact Darren through the Kent School District or email iLoveKent.net and we’ll get the message to Darren. Thanks in advance for your support!
Also, Darren will be collecting instruments at his show this Sunday at Muckleshoot Casino (8 pm to midnight), featuring guitarist Jeff Golub. Anyone with an instrument to donate will be moved to the front of the line! Don’t miss this great opportunity to give back to the community AND to see Darren play.
As a parent of a new freshman at Kentwood High School, I am frustrated at the continued teachers’ strike for many reasons, but mostly because I want my daughter back in school. She’s had a great summer, has grown and matured in many ways, and she’s ready to get back to the business of learning, growing and changing. That includes returning to school. Alas, it isn’t that easy if you have kids in the Kent School District. The teachers voted to strike on August 26, delaying the first day of school indefinitely.
Originally scheduled to go back on August 31, we finished our back-to-school clothes and supplies shopping in mid-August. We did haircuts, room cleaning and laundry catch-up; my daughter even practiced waking up early to ensure she wouldn’t miss her 6:55 am bus. We even had a going-back-to-school lunch with another mom and her teen daughters to celebrate the start of school! It is now September 8, and we have no teachers, no school, and no bus. Parents are anxious to return to work or at least to their regular schedules, and kids want to go back to school but it is out of our hands.
Based on what I’ve read and heard, I support the Kent teachers and their arguments and reasons for going on strike. Classroom size and time with students are critical components to a good education, and I admire the teachers for standing up for their personal beliefs at all costs. The KSD, on the other hand, is trying to force the teachers back without an agreement, essentially stripping the teachers of their bargaining power.
At the same time, I see people all around me without jobs and I wonder why we can’t find some sort of compromise. Since that hasn’t yet occurred, I’m asking myself and fellow parents why this negotiation process is so difficult. Is it the mediation team who can’t iron out the details or the parties involved? Is KSD digging in its heels and throwing its weight around, or are the teachers making negotiations difficult? It feels like there other issues that haven’t been publicly disclosed, but if that’s the case, what are they? What are we missing? Did some union rep push for a controversial strike this year, or perhaps the KSD decided that its new administration had to take a hard line?
Without a dedicated media source or unbiased third party involved to focus on and investigate the inside story, it is hard to identify ALL of the REAL issues in this Kent teachers’ strike. Instead, we only hear what each of the two sides chooses to disseminate, and we are left to wonder what’s really going on and when a resolution will be reached. In the meantime, the students are the ones suffering.
Let’s get this strike resolved and get our kids back in school. That’s who we’re fighting for, isn’t it?
UPDATE–Sept. 12, 12:18 PM–KSD submits a counter-proposal addressing class sizes for all grade levels, administrative meetings and compensation. Read the latest proposal here. No new updates have been posted to the KEA website or blog or to KentSchools.org. No word yet when KEA and the teachers will vote on the latest proposal.
UPDATE–Sept. 10, 9:58 PM–In today’s news:
UPDATE–Sept. 8, 4:44 PM–This afternoon a pre-recorded message was left for families in the Kent School District to advise parents and students that school will not start tomorrow as planned. In fact, school is delayed until further notice and the school calendar will have to be reworked once school resumes. KSD and KEA continue negotiations. For updates directly from the parties involved, visit their respective websites: Kent School District and Kent Education Association
For my personal thoughts on the strike, visit iLoveKent.net’s Op-Ed page.
UPDATE–Sept. 8, 6:56 AM–The latest blog post from KEA explains the teachers’ rationale behind their decision to continue the strike. According to the blog post, while KSD is willing to negotiate regarding excessive administrative meetings, the two parties remain “far apart” on the issue of classroom size.
UPDATE–Sept. 7, 9:52 PM–Teachers vote to defy Court Order. See KOMO News for more info.
UPDATE–Sept. 7, 8:47 PM–Rumor has it that teachers will remain on strike, against court order. No school on Wed.??? Nothing posted yet on the KSD or KEA websites. More info. coming soon.
UPDATE–Sept. 7, 8:37 PM–Teachers and the KEA are meeting tonight at GRCC to decide if they are going to follow the court order to return to school tomorrow as a prep day with the first day of classes on Wednesday. Still waiting for an update to be posted on KEA or KSD sites.
8:48 pm — A rally to support Kent teachers has been scheduled for September 4 from 11 am – 1 pm at KSD Administration Center. More details on Facebook.
8:00 pm — King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas ruled today that the Kent School District Teachers’ Strike is illegal. As a result, teachers are being ordered to return to work on Tuesday, September 8 as a preparation day. School is scheduled to officially start the following day, Wednesday, September 9.
Following the announcement, KEA scheduled a meeting at Green River Community College at 2:30 p.m. today to explain the injunction and its ramifications to the union members. There is speculation, however, that the teachers may not follow the court order. Stay tuned for more updates on the strike, negotiations and the much-anticipated return to school.
More info. available at:
UPDATE–Monday, August 31, 2009, 4:53 pm – School is delayed until further notice. More info on KSD’s website here.
UPDATE–Monday, August 31, 2009, 5:27 am – Today was supposed to be the first day of school for students in the Kent School District, but instead, anxious parents and students are wondering how long the strike will continue.
According to the Kent Education Association’s blog, an agreement had not yet been reached between teachers and the Kent School District, delaying the need for a vote on Sunday, August 30 as planned. Instead the teachers scheduled a candlelight vigil for Sunday evening in downtown Kent.
Despite reports and rumors that this strike is all about pay raises, there are greater issues at stake here, including classroom sizes and administrative meetings, both of which reduce the amount of time students and teachers spend together. In a story on the Kent Reporter website, the Kent School District won’t put a cap, or limit, on the number of students per classroom.
Though it is not clear how the two sides will come to an agreement on these and other issues, one thing is clear…picketing resumes on Monday while parents and students wait anxiously for news.
Find more information about the strike here:
To read a copy of the latest response from the KSD to the KEA about outstanding issues, click here.
For frequent visitors to iLoveKent.net, I apologize for not having more coverage here about the KSD teachers’ strike. I am at a journalism conference and learned of the news via text message fr0m my teenage daughter. Since then, I’ve been trying to learn ab0ut this issues and, honestly, I don’t think the media is giving the strike – or the items at stake – much play. I’ve been hard pressed to see any unbiased online forum or site which discusses the issues candidly and fairly.
As we all know there are at least two sides to every story and, in this case, there are likely to be as many perspectives as there are items 0n the negotiation table. Parents, students, teachers, the city of Kent, and KSD will all view things differently. The bottom line, however, is that we all want the same things….teachers to feel valued and to be compensated fairly and for students to get back t0 class. There are, of course, many other issues to consider (class size, prep time, days off, budget c0nstraints), but the goal remains the same.
If you have an update 0r an 0pinion on the subject, post your comments or news here. Let’s start a dialogue to see how we as a c0mmunity can work together to make the m0st of this situation.
In the meantime, here are some links to other places you can go for info. (NOTE: a number 0f the Google video links I clicked on after a search if the Kent School District strike were bogus, so d0n’t click on any links from sources you don’t know or trust.)
The Kiwanis Club of Kent and Communities in Schools of Kent are teaming up with the Kent Parks Department to have a backpack and school supplies giveaway for elementary school students in the Kent School District.
The Kent Parks Department will host a barbecue at Tot Lot No. 1 and will hand out backpacks filled with school supplies to every student who shows up.
Details as follows:
Event: Kent Parks Dept. Playground Program Community Barbecue and FREE backpack & school supplies give-away to elementary-aged kids
Date: Thursday, August 20th
Time: 1-4 pm
Place: Kent Tot Lot #1 (downtown Kent, corner of First and West Crow)
For more information: contact Janet Stebbins (253) 709-9559 or Dave Hobbs (253) 347-1115
The Kent School District has posted its calendar for the 2009-2010 school year.
8/31: First day of school
11/26 – 11/27: No School, Thanksgiving Break
12/21 – 1/01/10: No School, Winter Break
2/15 – 2/19/10: No School, Mid-Winter Break
4/5 – 4/9/10: No School, Spring Break
6/18/10: Last Day of School (dependent on snow days to be made up)
Subject to change. Please see the school district’s online calendar for changes and up-to-date information.