Why TTUSD has minimum days, teacher contract days | SierraSun.com

Why TTUSD has minimum days, teacher contract days

Kelli Twomey
Special to the Sun

The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District is often asked why schools have minimum days and teacher contract days, when no school is in session.

The short answer is to ensure your child has the best education possible. Students' needs are constantly changing, as is the technology they use. In order for educators to meet their needs, they need time to collaborate with peers, conduct research on latest instructional techniques, review and analyze data and plan their lessons. Staff development and collaboration time makes this possible.

The district's vision to provide all scholars with challenging and engaging learning opportunities to thrive and be successful in a globally competitive age. To do this, teachers provide differentiated instruction whenever possible, which takes a great deal of planning, collaboration and research.

On minimum days, when school is not in session, there is a variety of work going on district-wide. Some is grade-level specific, and sometimes the collaboration is site-specific. All of it is done to meet the ever-changing needs of students.

"We have a wealth of expertise within our district and an incredibly talented group of educators and academic coaches," stated Dave Curry, Executive Director of Educational Services. "We take advantage of this expertise during staff development and collaboration so all students benefit."

The district has found that staff needs more time for larger projects and traditionally builds in two professional development days into the school calendar. These days fall before school starts and at the end of the school year.

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For the 2014-15 school year, and only this year, three additional days of professional development were added to the school calendar. On these student-free days, TTUSD's training focuses on literacy and the implementation of California Common Core Standards.

TTUSD makes every effort to be family friendly and to minimize impacts for the community. The district worked with local after-school providers to ensure programs were offered on the student free days, so it was convenient and affordable for working parents. Also, these days were scheduled on Mondays to give families the opportunity to have a three-day weekend.

Kelli Twomey is Coordinator of Parent & Community Relations for TTUSD. Visit ttusd.org to learn more about the district.