Update: TTUSD postpones start of school year

Update Monday 3:06 p.m.:

The start of the 2021-2022 school year has been delayed until Tuesday, September 7 due to the Caldor Fire, the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District announced Monday.

“We have over 100 students and numerous teachers and staff members affected by mandatory evacuation,” the district wrote on its website. “We do not feel it is safe to put any TTUSD busses on the west shore. Also, according to the CHP, they are anticipating significant traffic concerns in Truckee as families evacuate.”

Read the full message from TTUSD here.

Initially Posted:

Students of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District will return to class on Tuesday, kicking off the 2021-22 school year.

Though classrooms will again be filled with youngsters and teachers, several COVID-19 related mandates remain in place.

The California Department of Public Health has mandated that face masks be worn by all individuals inside schools when students are present, regardless of vaccination status.

“For us to open in person we will have to follow this mandate,” said Superintendent Chief Learning Officer Carmen Ghysels during the school district’s Aug. 18 board meeting. “The masks are currently optional outdoors at this time, but based on current COVID case data regarding the Delta variant, we may have to change.”

An amended order, set to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. today, requires that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks when “outdoors in crowded settings.”

Additionally, the California Department of Public Health earlier this month issued an order requiring all school staff to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once a week. Ghysels said the district will have a protocol developed for staff and employees regarding testing.

For students heading back to local classrooms, a number of mandates are set to be in effect. Notably, transportation to and from school will be impacted this year and will only be provided for the highest need neighborhoods and students, including special education, homeless, foster youth, and low income students. Resources, according to the district, are limited due to a severe driver shortage and the department of health’s safety guidelines.

Like it did last year, the district will continue to provide free meals to students during the 2021-22 school year. Breakfast and lunches are provided to all students through local providers Tahoe Food Hub and Produce Plus. Additionally, food is donated to the district by Truckee Sourdough and Stohlgrens, Inc.

With school slated to begin Tuesday, district officials are keeping a close eye on air quality. If the air quality index is 400 or more, said Coordinator of District Communications Kelli Twomey, school will be canceled, much like it would be during a snow day. Smoke has already forced the cancellation of early-season sports events, while forcing local teams inside for practices.

All other extracurricular activities are set to resume as well, unless new state guidance states otherwise. Music performances and all sports have been given the green light, but with guidelines on out of county travel, and state competitions.

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association announced that its three sports classified as full and close contact — football, basketball, and wrestling — will be subject to weekly mandatory testing of non-fully vaccinated team members. Other sports will be subject to the testing of non-fully vaccinated players if the team is traveling outside of its county for a competition.

For a full list of the district’s of guidelines, visit

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643

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