Dieringer District News

February 1, 2022

Educating every child for confidence today and contribution tomorrow.

The Dieringer School District will provide all students with appropriate high-quality programs in a safe, challenging and inclusive school environment. This mission will be undertaken with respect for and in partnership with families and the community.

A Message from the Superintendent

Election day is just one week away on February 8th. This edition of Dieringer District News includes information about each levy, and three stories about our staff and the great things they do for students with funding from our earlier voter approved levies. Schools in Washington State are still not fully funded. Dieringer receives just under 80% of our funding from the state and federal government. The remaining funding needed to provide the excellent education that draws families to our district, comes from local sources through our Educational Programs and Operations Levy and our Technology Levy.

This election we are also asking voters to approve a third Capital Levy. While this is a new levy, it replaces an expiring bond that comes off the books at the end of 2022. Overall, the tax rate for Dieringer citizens would stay the same in 2023 (when collection on these three levies would begin).

Please keep reading below for additional information. If you missed our Community Forum in January visit: https://www.dieringer.wednet.edu/our-district/vote to watch the recording. You can also access additional information about each levy and to view documents from the Community Forum.

Thank you for supporting Dieringer's schools and students, and please remember to vote.

Michael Farmer


Proposition #1 - Educational Programs and Operations Levy

The EP&O levy funds special education, health services, psychologists and counselors, support staff, extra curricular clubs and activities, transportation, child nutrition services, and other underfunded programs. Renewal of the voter approved 2020 EP&O Levy is for four years in lieu of two years this time. The total amount of the levy and the maximum we can collect is $24,500,000 in total. The estimated tax rate is $1.85/$1000 of assessed valuation and a home valued at $750,000 would pay $1,388/year.

Proposition #2 - Technology Levy

Thank you for the support of our previous technology levy. Dieringer students and staff could not have been as successful as we were through remote and hybrid learning without our community’s support for technology. Renewal of the four year tech levy funds classroom technology, devices and digital tools for students and staff, technology training for staff, technology infrastructure, and assistive technology. This all helps to ensure that students are prepared for their future, and not our past. Renewal of the voter approved 2018 Tech Levy is for the same $6,900,000, and as in Proposition #1, this is the maximum amount we can collect. The tax rate for the tech levy is estimated at $.56 to $.52/$1,000 of assessed valuation and a $750,000 home would pay $420/year.

Proposition #3 - Capital Levy

A new capital levy would fund HVAC systems, energy efficiency upgrades, new turf fields at all three schools, a new track at North Tapps Middle School, security upgrades, and a new roof at the middle school, or other identified facility needs. A new voter approved four year Capital Levy has an estimated rate of $1.46/$1000 of assessed valuation, and a $750,000 home would pay $1,095/year. This levy is $18,672,261 in total and replaces a bond that will expire at the end of this year. When collection begins in 2023, this means that tax rates overall stay the same as they are this year, and historically low.

Going Above and Beyond

Terry Woodall has been a registered nurse for 40 years. She has dedicated the past 16 years to the Dieringer School District and works hard with many other specialists to provide services and care to the students. While student care plans and day-to-day concerns are still an important part of her job, much of her time these days is focused on Covid. In keeping students, staff, and families safe and informed, she must stay up-to-date on the ever-changing guidelines from the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, as well as the Washington State Department of Health.

Keeping kids in school has been the priority as she, and other district staff, have developed policies and procedures to do just that. The district was successful in implementing its Test-to-Stay program, which includes schoolwide procedures, as well as hiring and training new staff. The district has also created a respiratory protection program, which includes fit-testing of N95 masks for staff considered at high risk for contracting Covid. These past three school years have been challenging, but Terry—and many other specialists in the district—have gone above and beyond to support the many people who spend their days in the schools.

Staying Productive and Connected

Amy Bateman has been an educator for 24 years and has spent half her career in Dieringer, most recently as one of the technology coaches. Technology in the district has been key to its success, especially during the pandemic. Despite closures and hybrid models and extended absences, students continue to have access to learning and teachers. Every student in Dieringer has a device, which allows teachers to meet them where they are—academically AND physically! When first shut down, Dieringer didn’t have to scramble to create a new system. The students had the devices, and the teachers had the skills and support. For years, students and their families, as well as the teachers, utilized digital tools regularly, including Schoology, Seesaw, Google Classroom, and Screencastify. Online learning made them necessary. These past three school years have been challenging, but the challenges accelerated great changes. The technology has allowed Dieringer students, families, and staff to stay productive and connected.

What Would a Turf Field Mean for Dieringer?

Rob Thomas has been teaching and coaching in Dieringer for 16 years. He was hired to start the football program at the middle school, and he has subsequently coached five championship teams. He loves the sports programs the schools have to offer, and he's especially excited about the possibility of a turf field at the middle school. Washington's rainy weather wreaks havoc on the current grass field, which brings questionable conditions for his football, soccer, and track athletes, not to mention the PE classes. A turf field brings with it safety for our district's students. It's also less maintenance--no more watering, mowing, or painting the fields! A turf field benefits the Lake Tapps community as well. Local lacrosse, soccer, and football teams will be able to enjoy a safe place for their practices and games. Rob, like many other coaches and teachers in the schools and in the community, is looking forward to many more championship wins on a new state-of-the-art field!

Dieringer Pride

Enjoy the final video in our "We Are Dieringer" series.

We Are Dieringer - Dieringer Pride

February School Board Meetings

Meeting schedule, public comment, and minutes information can be found on the website.

  • Friday February 4th : Special Board Meeting - Board Retreat
  • Monday, February 28th : Regular Board Meeting