Principal’s Corner: Science adventures continue at Tahoe Lake Elementary | SierraSun.com

Principal’s Corner: Science adventures continue at Tahoe Lake Elementary

Stephanie Foucek
Special to the sun

Stephanie Foucek is principal of Tahoe Lake Elementary School.

At Tahoe Lake Elementary we are always seeking to improve and to be the best school we can be for all of our students and families.

Our teachers strive to provide the most engaging instruction in a nurturing environment, and our support staff is dedicated to supporting our children both inside and outside of the classroom.

This year our efforts to be the best were recognized by the state of California when we were named a 2016 California Gold Ribbon School!

Tahoe Lake was also named a 2014 California Distinguished School which puts us in the company of only 2% of all elementary schools in California to be named both a Gold Ribbon School and Distinguished School back to back! Go Tahoe Lake!

At Tahoe Lake Elementary we know that happy kids learn, so we aim to support the whole child through engaging, hands-on learning, and our science focus is our overarching lens to develop critical thinking, confidence and academic skills.

Every grade level provides dynamic, hands-on science instruction focused on making science concepts relevant using Lake Tahoe's natural environment, and to lay a solid foundation for our students to become highly skilled problem solvers and critical thinkers as they grow.

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Being in Tahoe means that outdoor learning opportunities are plentiful, and we take our learning outside to take advantage of our environment.

Just stepping out the classroom door our students are can observe, measure, and predict in connection with scientific concepts and take in an amazing lake view!

Through our science focus, students have many "in the field" learning opportunities. They raise and release Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, plant native plants in our garden, and design bikes, developing Geometry skills.

All students have a wide range of unique learning opportunities including creating moon and lightscapes, hatching chickens and engineering coops to house them, and performing in the 'Get in the Act' Science Theater.

If you drove through Tahoe City this summer, you saw that there are big changes underway on our campus. Thanks to the incredible support of our North Lake Tahoe community, our Measure E facility upgrade project has begun.

Over the summer safety enhancements and upgrades were made to our parking lot to improve the flow of traffic at school. We also moved our little playground next to Fenley Field and added new structures to make our 'playground with a view' an even better place to play.

We are finalizing the design phase of the building remodel, and look forward to improving the areas in need of upgrading such as classrooms, the science lab, and the tech lab while preserving the charm and history of our Little Auditorium and Library.

The major renovation of Tahoe Lake, funded by Measure E, will begin in the summer of 2018. To minimize the impact of construction on student learning and to shorten the timeline of construction, all of our students and staff are moving to 'Camp Tahoe Lake at Rideout' for one year.

Yes, we will be taking our whole show on the road! We are thankful to our partners at Rideout — the Tahoe City PUD — for being so gracious about sharing the Rideout Community Center space with us for the 2017-2018 school year.

This will be a great adventure for all of our Tahoe Lake Cubs, and it will support our hands-on science focus as we plan to take full advantage of all the trails and access to Tahoe's natural environment that the Rideout location has to offer us.

We are extremely grateful for our community's support of Measure A through which our PE, Technology, Music, Library, Arts for the Schools, Counseling, and Special Friends programs are funded.

In PE, students learn Peaceful Playground, basic athletic skills, and team sports. They also participate in fun events such as the Tahoe Lake Ninja Warrior and Jump Rope for Heart. Our students also have the opportunity to cross-country ski at the adjacent Tahoe City Winter Sports Park when conditions permit.

Our technology classes are integrated with the curriculum and extend student learning with a special focus on literacy development through technology.

In music, our students learn voice, instrument, and cultural awareness, and perform in two school-wide shows per year. Our cozy library is in the historic core of our school and offers a wonderful environment that fosters a love of reading. Also in our historic core is the 'Lil' Aud,' which is home to some of the most charming student plays you ever will see!

Tahoe Lake is so grateful for our dedicated and supportive community of families who volunteer in the classroom, on field trips, in the library, on the playground, and with PTO and Site Council.

We have many family events such as Family Reading Night, Family Science Night, Family Movie Night, Kermes, the Talent Show, Spring Musical and Family Picnic, and our end of the year celebration, Discovery Day.

Stephanie Foucek is principal of Tahoe Lake Elementary School, within the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Visit ttusd.org to learn more.