A re-reconfiguration? Trustees to discuss bringing fourth grade back to Tahoe Lake | SierraSun.com

A re-reconfiguration? Trustees to discuss bringing fourth grade back to Tahoe Lake

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; It was an unexpected turn of events Wednesday night when trustees heard parent pleas to bring fourth graders back to Tahoe Lake Elementary School, a move that flies in the face of last year’s school board-approved reconfiguration.

Trustee Lisa Mohun eventually made the request at Wednesday’s Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board of Trustees workshop to put the idea up for discussion on next week’s school board meeting, which takes place May 5 at a still-to-be-determined time and location.

When asked Thursday about the idea, Superintendent Steve Jennings did not wish to comment about the district’s pending staff recommendation.

and#8220;I don’t have an opinion I feel like sharing at the moment,and#8221; Jennings said. and#8220;After hearing parents last night, we need to take everything into consideration.and#8221;

Last year’s reconfiguration turned Tahoe Lake Elementary into a K-3 English-only school and Kings Beach Elementary into a K-3 two-way Spanish immersion-only program, with North Tahoe Middle School compensating as a 4-8 school site.

Trustee Bev Ducey, who originally voted for the reconfiguration along with Board President Kristy Olk and the recently resigned Bill Kraus, said the issue has many aspects to weigh such as enrollment, curriculum and how the change would best fit into the district’s educational goals.

and#8220;Itand#8217;s not a one-year decision and#8212; itand#8217;s a multi-year decision and it has to be based on our education model,and#8221; Ducey said Thursday. and#8220;Weand#8217;ve got to separate out the short-term emotional issues from the long-term educational issues.and#8221;

Ducey said research shows that grade level configurations donand#8217;t affect traits required to be a top performing school. Regardless, she said she will seriously weigh the issue with an open mind after hearing staff recommendations at next weekand#8217;s board meeting.

and#8220;The parents are going beyond the academics, and as a parent I understand that,and#8221; Ducey said.

Mohun, who voted against the reconfiguration along with trustee Kirsten Livak, said her reason for making a motion to put the item on the agenda was to respect the wishes of parents.

and#8220;Theyand#8217;re not asking for the reconfiguration to be put back and#8212; theyand#8217;re just asking for a tweaking of the plan,and#8221; said Mohun, adding that she feels the parents have legitimate concerns and research for bringing the fourth grade back. and#8220;Iand#8217;m hoping everybody understands that this is not just an emotional outcry. This has nothing to do with the reconfiguration vote.and#8221;