City Rec League Basketball Update

City Rec League Basketball Update
Posted on 11/23/2022
Originally published Nov. 23, 2022 (Updated with Work Study virtual watch link on Dec. 9, 2022)

We understand that our community has expressed concerns around the updated City of Maple Valley youth basketball registration process. We want to provide you insight into how our school board is moving forward to find solutions that benefit our entire Tahoma Family. The Board sent a letter (see below) to the City of Maple Valley Council ahead of their joint meeting on Nov. 14, requesting that the City provide every TSD family an equal opportunity to register their child for the program. At the joint meeting, the Board elaborated on their concerns about excluding a significant portion of Tahoma students, whose families fund the schools where these teams play.

On Tuesday, Nov. 21, the City announced updated registration dates, which restricts non-City residents from signing up until 3 days after registration opens to City residents, when few or no spots remain. The School Board has added an item to their Dec. 12 work study agenda (5 PM at TSD Central Services; Virtual link available HERE) to discuss possibilities for how every Tahoma student can have equal access to community athletics programs.

Our School Board and City have a strong partnership that will continue to thrive, and our Board is committed to finding a solution that is inclusive of all students.

Nov. 9 message from Tahoma School Board to Maple Valley City Council:

Dear Councilmembers,

We are reaching out today to collaborate as leaders and to find a path forward for the City’s recreational athletics programs that fully supports the families of our entire community. As two governing bodies with thousands of shared stakeholders, it’s prudent that we work together to find a solution so that all families with financial and personal stake in our schools, and who work, shop, and own businesses in Maple Valley, have an equal and fair chance for their children to play sports in their community. This is a wonderful opportunity to show our stakeholders that their leaders problem solve and partner to do what’s best for our youth.

Respectfully, the new recreation league policy that prioritizes registration for City residents and requires nonresidents to wait to sign up has compromised a good faith agreement between Tahoma School District and the City. Our interlocal agreement for facility use provides the City with top priority access to our buildings, and was agreed upon by the District so that all Tahoma students would have fair access to youth sports. This new policy does not give every Tahoma student that opportunity.

Our preference is for the City to continue having significant opportunities to use our schools at a low cost, and to do so in a manner that provides every Tahoma student a legitimate chance to participate. If Maple Valley invites community engagement from Hobart, Ravensdale, Covington and Black Diamond residents at the Farmers’ Market, Hometown Holidays, Fishing Derby, Fourth of July Fireworks and in our small businesses each day, then those same families should be able to access City programs at their school. Being part of the Maple Valley family means so much more than paying city taxes.

Our ask is that the City’s Parks and Recreation Department implement a policy that gives our entire community— and every child— a fair and equal chance at registering. The children who take pride and ownership of their school should not be denied the opportunity to play with their friends after dismissal because of their home address.

We would appreciate an opportunity to partner on a solution, and we encourage a further discussion at our joint meeting on November 14th.

In partnership,

Tahoma School Board
Malia Hollowell, President
Pete Miller, Vice President
Haley Pendergraft, Director Position 1
Michael Wiggins, Director Position 2
Matt Carreon, Director Position 5
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