T his morning’s two-hour delay in Tahoma schools has prompted an unexpected complication at the high school.
State officials decided this morning not to allow Tahoma Senior High School to postpone the first day of statewide testing, even though overnight snow caused a delay in school start times.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction did not immediately explain to the district why it would not grant a postponement, says Kevin Patterson, spokesperson for the district.
Today is scheduled to be the first of three days of testing for the reading and writing portion of the High School Proficiency Exam, a statewide test that students must pass to graduate. It is taken sophomore year, but some juniors and seniors who have missed it or haven’t passed it may also be taking it now.
All districts statewide must take the test in the same week. At most districts — including Tahoma — students taking the two-hour test arrive at the regular time, and other students have a late start.
With a an inch or two of snow on the ground this morning and many roads covered, the district decided to call a two-hour delay. It told all students to report to the high school at 10:15 a.m., and families were told in an automated phone call that HSPE testing would begin tomorrow.
Instead, OSPI told the district it must begin testing today, even if the tests begin at 10:15. That leaves the high school without much for the non-testing students to do. Regular classes will resume around 12:15 today at the high school.
“The other students will be doing academic prep, which you could also call study hall,” Patterson says. “Students in Advanced Placement classes will be doing AP-related study and prep.”
Nearby schools such as Enumclaw, Issaquah and Snoqualmie, which also delayed the start of school today, would be in the same boat. An OSPI spokesperson was not immediately available to respond to the Post.