From the principaland#8217;s office: Truckee High students continue to excel | SierraSun.com

From the principaland#8217;s office: Truckee High students continue to excel

David Putney
Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings from Tahoe Truckee High School. We are very fortunate to have such a great group of students, parents, teachers, coaches, staff and community members. As a result, our fall season has been a tremendous success. As principal of Tahoe Truckee High, I am proud to share news about our school with our community.

This fall, state testing results were released, and we were pleased to learn that all of our students made impressive gains. Our Academic Performance Index (API) is 793. We are working hard to improve our delivery and alignment of core content and are aiming for an API more than 800 for this next school year. In addition, our 2011 graduates collectively received more than $500,000 in scholarships and grants to attend post secondary education. We graduated 161 students and more than 82 percent were accepted into a college of their choice. In fact, more than 51 colleges and universities across the nation accepted our graduates, including Brown University, NYU, Santa Clara University, University of California, and University of San Diego.

On a regular basis, high schools across the country participate in an accreditation process to engage in the cycle of continuous growth. This year is our year. Through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) we will fulfill a self-study. After the completion of the self-study a review committee will visit us in the springtime to ascertain firsthand how we are doing; they will identify areas of strength and areas of growth. In June of 2012 we will receive our accreditation status. Please visit our school website to read more about this process.

This year we have prioritized Professional Learning Communities, or PLCs. On a weekly basis our teachers and administrative staff work in PLCs to engage in critical conversations about teaching and learning. These sessions allow us to align our instructional practices and perform comprehensive assessments. This is very exciting and rewarding work. Our wonderful teachers, staff and administration are pleased to increase the quality of our instructional program and believe in the power of PLCs.

In an effort to increase the quality of our school culture we are using three specific programs. They are called Sources of Strength, Student Advisory, and Building Effective Schools Together (BEST). All of these programs are research-based and increase the quality of our studentsand#8217; social and emotional development.

Under the direction of talented and dedicated coaches, our student athletes had a phenomenal fall season. Both our football and girls volleyball teams won state titles for the third year in a row. Student athletes qualified for and competed in state championship or regional competitions in many other sports including golf, tennis, cross country and soccer.

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In addition to our athletics we have a fantastic music program. Before the holiday break, our student musicians celebrated the season with a winter concert and a school wide talent show. To round out our performing arts many of our students are rehearsing for a production called Itand#8217;s Not You, scheduled for January 6 and 7. A gigantic THANK YOU goes out to all the parents, community members, boosters, and service clubs in our local community that support our athletic and arts programs. We are so fortunate to have your support.

Many of our students are also involved in philanthropic efforts. A fantastic new program that we started this year is Teen Court. Junior and senior students learn first hand the roles and responsibilities of our court system while mentoring our struggling youth. The peer court program is collaboration between Tahoe Truckee High, Juvenile Probation, and the Juvenile Courts. This is a great new program that is proving to increase the quality for our community. Beyond all the wonderful things that our students achieve, many of our students have gone above and beyond by supporting Project MANA, our local food bank, and the annual toy drive to ensure that our most deprived community members are cared for this holiday season. With this in mind, may we all reach out and invest in our community to ensure that everyone is cared for and loved.

Finally, I would like to thank our local community for supporting Tahoe Truckee High School through the passage of Measure A. We use your support to fund many of our AP Courses, Art Classes, Vocational Classes, and our school library. Our students greatly benefit from your support. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!