Education matters scoped in Truckee and the North Shore | SierraSun.com

Education matters scoped in Truckee and the North Shore

Christine Stanley
Sierra Sun

California’s schools are suffering. State budget cuts, low wages for teachers and staff, and a swelling class sizes have equated to an educational system that now ranks below the national average.

But a new North Shore partnership program, called Education Matters, is setting out to change the way local communities look at education. The ultimate goal is to make the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District the best in the state.

The Education Matters project is a collaborative effort of Tahoe Truckee Unified, the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation, and the Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation. The project will gather information over the next few months that will impact the way educational grants are awarded, and will give the school district a springboard from which to launch its five-year strategic plan. The project will also serve as the educational arm of the Community Report Card project.

“We are beginning to paint the picture of the current state of our children’s education,” said Phebe Bell, program officer for the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation. “We hope to come away from this with actual (educational) priorities from the community.”

Over the next three months, the Education Matters advisory committee will seek input from teachers, parents, students and the community at large through a series of open forums at each school site, public presentations and surveys.

They will address a broad range of issues such as technology, student support, the achievement gap and bilingual education, not just within the kindergarten through 12 grade levels, but in the local preschool and secondary education system, as well.

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Once target areas are pin-pointed, the school district will begin formulating a five-year plan to set a clear direction for the board as to what the district would like to accomplish in terms of curriculum, programming and facilities.

“We want to be able to say, ‘Here’s where we are, here’s where we want to be, and here’s how were going to get there,'” said Superintendent Dennis Williams.

Informational fliers and surveys will arrive in mailboxes this month and community forums will be hosted at district school sites in May.

“I look around our community and at all of the resources we have ” there is no reason in the world that we can’t have the best educational system in California,” Bell said.

For more information, contact Laura Abby Brown, executive director of Excellence in Education, at 550-7984.