PTSA Wrapup: Cut of 2 Teachers in 2023-24

Garfield will lose two teaching positions in 2023-24 because of Districtwide budget cuts, Principal Tarance Hart said last night at the March PTSA General Meeting. The school may decide by as early as next week how academic offerings will be affected.

Dr. Tarance Hart during the Zoom PTSA General Meeting on March 14, 2023
Dr. Tarance Hart during the PTSA General Meeting via Zoom on March 14, 2023

Dr. Hart noted that GHS is projected to have stable enrollment and the same base number of teachers, but the District is reducing discretionary dollars used in the past to add teachers. Garfield also had a onetime “carryover” of 2021-22 funds that paid for a position this year. (See a budget/staffing comparison in excerpts from the 2022-23 and 2023-24 SPS budgets.)

“We tried to stretch the money as far as we could,” he said.

The Garfield staff is expected vote on the building’s budget at a meeting this afternoon (Wednesday, March 15).

Dr. Hart said that building leadership will then evaluate how well the projected 2023-24 course schedule can accommodate students’ registration requests. The top priority will be to provide capacity in courses that student need for graduation. (Final 2023-24 schedules will be released to students just before school starts in September.)

Dr. Hart also said that the Building Leadership Team is about to focus on the 2023-26 update of Garfield’s Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP), a “roadmap” of goals and strategies required of every school in the District.

“I see it as an opportunity to engage in deep thought and conversation with not just our staff but our community at large, our students, our parents,” Dr. Hart said.

The school will seek community input in a few ways, including a Town Hall meeting in May. The Principal said goals he hopes will be in the CSIP include increases in academic rigor and student engagement in the school. The CSIP is to be completed in June.

Dr. Hart also saluted the school’s two State Champion basketball teams, noting that the girls made history by taking their third consecutive WIAA title. He also paid tribute to the accomplishments of all Garfield teams, such as those in academic competitions. (The Garfield Debate Team, which will compete in the State Championship this weekend, took a WIAA title in 2019.)

Graphic depicting the teen brain and other informationAlso at last night’s PTSA General and Board meetings:

  • Some 40 attendees participated in “Parenting Your High Schooler,” a workshop with breakout sessions created for the PTSA by the Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS). Content focused on science of the teen brain and strategies to reduce conflict, such as sharing decision-making power. Breakout sessions featured discussion led by PEPS facilitators. Materials from the meeting will be available to registrants.

  • During the Board meeting at the conclusion of the General Meeting, Co-Treasurer Mary Murray noted that PTSA financials remain stable and under budget, overall. Members agreed that existing line items can accommodate two recently requested expenses: $1,000 for a staff appreciation event prompted by the retirement of a longtime custodian, and $400 for a substitute teacher supporting the Debate Team at the State Championships in Tacoma.

  • PTSA Co-President Kendra Sims has had to resign from the Board because of health issues.  Co-President Kayla Epting will return to the solo role.

  • A Nominating Committee to seek 2023-24 PTSA Officers is being formed. If you are interested in joining it, or taking on any other PTSA role in 2023-24, contact us at

  • Become a volunteer chaperone for Grad Night, the PTSA’s all-night party for seniors on June 26 (after Graduation). Contact Anne-Phyfe Palmer at

  • The springtime fundraiser on April 29 is seeking a person to procure desserts from bakeries, restaurants, etc. Contact