Some parents of Tacoma kindergartners say they were confused by mixed messages about the start of school next month.
School starts Sept. 4 for most of Tacoma Public Schools, but kindergarten kids need not report until Sept. 9.
The later start will allow teachers to use the first few days of the school year to meet with kindergarten parents. The meetings are designed to help teachers learn more about their students, with the goal of getting the kids off to a better start.
The school district contacted parents Monday with automated phone calls informing them of the late start date. It also posted information on the district website and through social media.
But as of Wednesday afternoon, the district’s student calendar, posted at tacoma.k12.wa.us, still did not list the Sept. 9 date as the first day for kindergartners.
Some parents posting on Facebook complained that they weren’t informed of the late start date until Monday. They said that the information left them scrambling for child care after they’d already told day care providers the kids started school Sept. 4.
Others said they received information in July informing them of the late start.
The school district did issue a news release in late June, and the News Tribune published a short story July 1 that mentioned the Sept. 9 date.
District spokeswoman Elle Warmuth said parents of registered kindergartners should have received welcome packets from their individual schools that mentioned the start dates.
She said that when kindergarten registration took place last spring, the schedule hadn’t been finalized. She said the district was waiting for a decision from the state on whether the initial three days for parent-teacher meetings would be allowed. That decision was not made until June.
“We hope to be more thorough and comprehensive next year,” Warmuth said. “We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.”