Nearly 3 years after reconfiguration, Tahoe/Truckee lakeside fourth graders headed back to elementary schools | SierraSun.com

Nearly 3 years after reconfiguration, Tahoe/Truckee lakeside fourth graders headed back to elementary schools

Staff Reports

TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212; Lakeside fourth grade students will begin attending classes at elementary school sites starting next summer, the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District announced Thursday afternoon.

The decision was made Tuesday night, according to a Thursday afternoon press release from Switchback PR+Marketing, during a community meeting where background information, data, and details surrounding the decision were presented by Steve Jennings, TTUSD superintendent, as well as other district administrators.

and#8220;For the past three years, we have heard from concerned parents about the possibility of moving the fourth graders back to the elementary sites,and#8221; Jennings said in a statement. and#8220;We wanted to be sure we took into account the parentsand#8217; desires as we examined the other factors that went into the decision, such as student achievement, facilities, resources, staffing, quality instruction, and more.and#8221;

The move comes almost three years after the Tahoe/Truckee school boardand#8217;s controversial vote in April 2009 to reconfigure the makeup of the districtand#8217;s elementary and middle schools at Lake Tahoe. The reconfiguration moved students in grades 4-5 to North Tahoe Middle School, and changed both Tahoe Lake Elementary and Kings Beach Elementary into K-3 campuses, with Tahoe Lake serving as an English mainstream only school and Kings Beach serving as a Spanish Two-Way Immersion school.

According to Thursdayand#8217;s announcement, data from each school since the reconfiguration was analyzed.

and#8220;On all fronts, the needs for student learning superseded the needs of adults, and administrators examined the ability of each school siteand#8217;s ability to provide equitable access to quality education,and#8221; the press release reads. and#8220;Additionally, the importance of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to be able to operate effectively was taken into account, along with adequacy of staffing and resources at each site.and#8221;

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According to district officials, the projected fourth grade enrollment can be accommodated at both Tahoe Lake and Kings Beach elementary schools, and a change to a fifth-through-eighth-grade configuration at North Tahoe School will provide space to better accommodate the educational program there.

and#8220;This grade configuration allows each school to house projected enrollments with adequate staffing and resources while also allowing for quality instruction through (Professional Learning Communities),and#8221; Jennings said. and#8220;And, judging by the input weand#8217;ve received, itand#8217;s a decision both parents and staff will be happy with.and#8221;

Fifth grade classes cannot be accommodated at the lakeside elementary schools, according to the press release, and will remain at North Tahoe School for the foreseeable future.

The change will take effect for the 2012-13 school year. Current third grade students at Tahoe Lake and Kings Beach elementary schools will continue as fourth grade students at their respective schools next year before moving to North Tahoe School for fifth grade, according to the press release.

Jenningsand#8217; last day as superintendent was Wednesday. Robert Leri will assume the postion starting April 1.