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Charter school hearing set today

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

The Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District will hold a public hearing today on the proposed year-round charter schools – the Pacific Crest Academy and the Sierra Preparatory School – at a special board meeting. The public hearing begins at 5 p.m.

TTUSD board members and staff hope to hear from the community on their opinions for the proposed Squaw Valley charter schools and will ask questions on how the charters will work and operate with limited funding from the state.

“My expectation (for the hearing) is very open-ended,” TTUSD Superintendent Pat Gemma said. “It’s a requirement in the process of approving or denying a charter application.”

Mostly, he said, it’s an opportunity to hear from the public. Staff and board members will not make any decisions regarding the charter applications until the Jan. 13 board meeting. The board members will spend the next month looking at charter application guidelines to determine if the applications are appropriate.

“As a school system, we’re not going to be doing anything but collecting information,” Gemma said.

Both proposed schools have applied with the district to open charters next year. They must be approved by the school board in order to open.

Sierra Preparatory School was proposed by the owner of the private school, Squaw Valley Academy, Don Rees. It would be a seventh through 12th-grade year-round charter, separate from Squaw Valley, which would continue its boarding school program.

The charter, Pacific Crest Academy, was proposed by Adrienne Forbes, to be a kindergarten through 6th-grade full-day and year-round school. Forbers calls Pacific Crest Academy a “college preparatory school,” with a strong emphasis on field science and outdoor science.

A public hearing will also be held for the 1999-2000 California School Employees’ Association negotiations proposal, which introduces changes in Health and Welfare and Wages articles in its contractual agreement with the district. This hearing will follow the proposed charter schools hearing.

Today’s special board meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. in the TTUSD board room, located at 11839 Donner Pass Road in Truckee.

Other items to be discussed at the meeting include the district’s purchase of maintenance vehicles, and the district’s contract with the Houston Group.

Action items include:

– Approval of mentor selection.

– Modification of action to revoke early retirement resolution.

– Title 7 grant writing project.

– Proceeding with architectural design on the Truckee Elementary modernization project.

– Proceeding with architectural design on the Sierra Mountain Middle School modernization project.

– Proceeding with new construction at Kings Beach Elementary.

– Proceeding with architectural design on Tahoe-Truckee High School modernization project.

– Proceeding with architectural design on the Donner Trail School modernization project.

– First interim report for Prosser Creek Charter School.


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