MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. - Tahoma High School in Maple Valley is the second largest high school in the state.
The school is unique because it has students take eight courses, instead of just six core classes. Parents we heard from said the two extra electives students take is usually an amazing thing - until school went remote.
“In a normal year, 8 classes serves great purpose, because it offers a wide range of electives, people can explore what they might be passionate about, but when we're talking about a pandemic, putting the added pressure of an elective on these kids is pretty burdensome,” says mother of two high school students Hilary Willis.
Mother Brandy Rowland agrees.
“Eight classes is fine to have at a regular time. What we're kind of pushing for is to drop those extra requirements so a child could only take six classes if they wanted to, because those extra two are not really necessary for graduation.”
Several parents said the workload during distance learning seems extremely difficult for students to manage, on top of the stress of isolation. They’re hoping the district will consider allowing students to take just the six core classes that many high schools require and let students opt out of the two electives so they can focus on core studies, an idea laid out in a petition started by a student.
Parents believe this would make the school year, as long as it’s remote, much more manageable for overwhelmed students.
The principal of Tahoma High says they’re working on trying to make distance learning work for students as well as possible, but aren’t yet considering letting students opt out of electives or decrease graduation requirements.