Back to School: Message from the TTUSD superintendent | SierraSun.com

Back to School: Message from the TTUSD superintendent

Rob Leri
Special to the Sun
Rob Leri

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — With the new school year starting on Monday, Aug. 31, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District is excited for the best school year ever! With support from excellent staff, parents, community partners, and Measure A, we are committed to student success and building even more pathways to possibilities in each of our schools.

Here are some highlights and changes for the upcoming school year:

A great deal of work has been underway this summer on facility improvement projects funded by the bond measures. Thank you again to the voters for approving Measures E and U. Our 2015 “quick start” projects included upgrades on the fields and roads at Truckee and Sierra High Schools, a new track at Truckee High and upgrades at Glenshire Elementary. We continue to move forward on the design phase of our larger school upgrade projects, and we have detailed timelines for the upgrades planned at each school site posted on our website at http://www.ttusd.org.

Thanks to support from the Excellence in Education Foundation, we are expanding our 1:1 technology program this year. All students in grades 6 through 12 will receive their own Chromebook for the school year to use in class and ultimately at home. This personal device is to support the day-to-day instruction and learning and will also support teachers to integrate educational technology throughout their daily lesson plans.

We are expanding our Accelerated Learner Pilot program for the 2015-16 school year. This program was piloted at Glenshire Elementary and Alder Creek Middle School in 2014-15 and based on its success, it will expand to Truckee Elementary in the fall and potentially to North Tahoe School next year.

TTUSD is launching the Athlete Committed program to support our athletes, coaches and parents. This program is designed to optimize athletic performance and health and wellness by educating coaches and athletes on the impact of nutrition, sleep, character, stress and chemical health. Student-athlete leaders are playing an integral role in the design and implementation of the program and will promote the model, participate in training their peers, and support their fellow athletes on and off the field.

We now have 13 Advanced Placement (AP) Classes at both of our comprehensive high schools. We are very proud of this high number of offerings despite our small school sizes and thank Measure A for funding this wonderful program. Passing these courses translates into financial savings for parents and families and each AP course passed with a score of 3, 4 or 5 can save upwards of $2,500 for each transferable course in college.

In an effort to assist our scholars in meeting their career goals and help prepare them for the SAT we will provide the PSAT (preliminary SAT) to all 10th and 11th grade students this year at no cost to families. Our goal is to prepare all students for college and university admissions and the PSAT serves two distinct purposes: for our 10th grade students it prepares them for the SAT test, and for the 11th grade students it supports identification and scholarship related to the National Merit Scholar program. We encourage all 10th and 11th grade students to take advantage of this program.

We will start the new school year with several changes in district-wide and school site leadership roles and positions as a result of retirements and other changes. Many are familiar faces in new roles while others are new to our community. We welcome Dr. Fal Asrani, Deputy Chief Learning Officer, Educational Service and Chad Lindeen, Principal, North Tahoe School to our District.

Celebrating Successes

• The Class of 2015 included 247 graduates from TTUSD high schools, and approximately 85% are continuing to college programs. Our graduates received over $2.2 million in scholarships, many from our generous community. Many will be attending top universities across the country, and we are very proud of all of them.

• TTUSD’s graduation rates are 12.3 percent higher than the state and 2.4 percent higher than Placer County as a whole. Our overall graduation rate is 93.1 percent with our Hispanic/Latino cohort graduation rate at 90 percent, a tremendous increase over the past several years.

• Truckee Elementary School was selected by Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE) as a 2014 STEM Honor Roll school.

• North Tahoe High School received the 2015 California Gold Ribbon School Award and was named a Title I Academic Achieving School for the second year in a row. NTHS also ranked in the top 30 high schools in Northern California and top 10 percent of High Schools by U.S. News and World Report.

• Truckee High School was included in the Washington Post’s list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools for 2015” based on Excellence and Equity.

• Tahoe Truckee Unified School District was again recognized by the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and recently received the designation as a “Pacesetter Community.” A large part of this recognition is based on our efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism and our measurable progress in student attendance outcomes.

Rob Leri is superintendent of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. He may be reached for comment at rleri@ttusd.org. Visit ttusd.org to learn more.