Charter parents discuss education options | SierraSun.com

Charter parents discuss education options

Renee Shadforth

With just days left until the first day of school, many Prosser Creek parents are asking Tahoe Truckee Unified School District for a stronger commitment before they send their children to the district’s campuses on Sept. 2.

On Monday evening, school district staff and administrators held a meeting for families of the now-shutdown Prosser Creek Charter School to discuss education options for the coming school year.

At the meeting, Superintendent Dennis Williams and district administrators presented education options for the charter school’s families and, in turn, families questioned the district’s commitment to providing the Prosser Creek-like program.

“I don’t feel secure that I can give my son what he’s had for the past few years,” one parent said.

Parents asked Williams to guarantee the district would follow through with the program presented in his statement to Placer County Superior Court: “… a program at Rideout Elementary School that closely aligns with that currently established at the Truckee PCCS site.” Williams gave the deposition earlier this month to block the charter school’s injunction against the district.

As far as a site-based program at Rideout, Williams said he could guarantee such a program for elementary students at the campus and, possibly, through eighth grade, depending on the number of parents who could commit to the program.

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“A K-through-five at Rideout is very different. What we had was a K-through-12,” said parent Anne Grogan. “What you are talking about is very different from what we had.”

“I feel less secure now than I did (at the beginning of the meeting),” she added.

If the district created a kindergarten-through-12th-grade program in Truckee, Williams said, it would require roughly 11 portables and at least three months to establish the site.

Cold Stream Alternative School and Sierra High School administrator Jane Loomis presented information on Cold Stream’s kindergarten-through-12th-grade program. The independent study option, she said, would also allow students to participate in site-based classes like band and lab courses.

Parents asked Loomis if the program would work for their individual children’s circumstances.

“I can’t tell you why it works,” Loomis replied. “I can just tell you that it does work.”

Although there is no site option yet for students on the Truckee side, Loomis said parents might be able to form a cooperative program.

“If you have the interest and you have the numbers, we can do this,” she said to the parents.

Glenshire Elementary School will also offer home school program option through Cold Stream’s program.

Despite rumors that Truckee and Glenshire elementary schools are at capacity, Glenshire Principal Kathleen Gauthier said, the schools will make room for former Prosser Creek students. She emphasized the importance of parents not waiting until the last day of school to enroll their children in the programs to make the transition as smooth as possible for the students.

Some parents are investigating other charter school alternatives, like Forest Charter School, which served approximately eight students in the Truckee-North Shore area before Prosser Creek’s charter was revoked. Families and Prosser Creek teachers set a meeting for today at 10 a.m. to discuss Forest Charter as an education option.

On Aug. 19, the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District board shut Prosser Creek down, citing the school had violated education code through poor financial management as grounds for revocation of the school’s charter.

Approximately 300 local students will have to figure out where they will go to school by Sept. 2.