Leri Column: A message to the community | SierraSun.com

Leri Column: A message to the community

Dr. Rob Leri
Guest Column

Dear Tahoe Truckee Unified School District families and community members:

We are already a third of the way (or more!) through the 2017-18 school year, and our students are experiencing significant academic and emotional growth.

Everyone at Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) works hard to ensure our scholars have a well-rounded education that addresses the whole child. The dedication and energy that our school community brings to our youth is impressive and something I am very grateful for.

I was thrilled at how many of our students participated in my first-ever CLO Student Art Contest. The artwork we received was incredible. All of the contest winners are being recognized at the Dec. 13 board of education meeting.

We now have a scholar gallery with the student artwork brightening the walls and atmosphere of our district office! Thanks to all of our students who participated and to the parents and teachers who encouraged the students to get involved. We certainly have a lot of talented artists in our district.

A few weeks ago, we held our annual Junior Career Fair. It was a huge success thanks to over 50 industry and postsecondary partners! Many of these partners are offering job shadows and internships work-based learning (job shadows and internships) for our students. This is an excellent opportunity for scholars to gain work experience in a field of their choice.

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The Junior Career Fair is just one part of our comprehensive College and Career Readiness program at TTUSD. Thank you to the TTUSD College and Careers program and the Rotary Club of Truckee for planning this event, and to our sponsors who help make this event possible: Rotary Club of Truckee, Rotary Club of Tahoe City, Excellence in Education Foundation, and Soroptimist International of Truckee Donner.

Our annual STEAM Fair, which used to be held in November, will now be in March. Please save the date for Thursday, March 1, 2018, for this interactive family friendly event!

During last week's minimum day, our secondary schools participated in an outstanding Professional Development training where they continued working on the implementation of the High-Reliability Schools framework. We use this framework so we can be as effective as possible in promoting student learning.

At the same time last week, our elementary schools participated in the ALICE training. (Note: during our last minimum day, elementary schools participated in the High-Reliability Schools framework training and secondary participated in the ALICE training.)

The ALICE program is a significant departure in how we address armed intruders including active shooters at our schools, and one that I felt was extremely important that our staff members participate in to ensure we provide the highest level of safety for our students and our staff. Stay tuned as we will be introducing this program to students and families in the upcoming months.

A huge congratulations goes out to one of our amazing scholar-athletes, AJ Hurt. AJ is part of the North Tahoe Independent Study and Ski Academy where she's pursuing her dreams as a ski racer, while being part of a comprehensive high school at North Tahoe and maintaining a 4.0 GPA! AJ recently won the Giant Slalom race in North American Cup in Copper Mountain! She then went on to race in her first World Cup race in Killington, Vt. We are all very proud of you AJ!

We also just learned that some of our scholar-athletes from North Tahoe High School and Truckee High School were named to the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Best of Nevada Preps all-star team for 2017-2018. This is an amazing honor because they were selected from all athletes in Nevada, regardless of their league. They are:

Senior JC Schoonmaker – Boys Cross-Country, North Tahoe High School

Sophomore Montana Montgomery – Boys Cross-Country, Truckee High School

Freshman Kili Lehmkuhl – Girls Cross-Country, North Tahoe High School

Carly Davis, Girls Cross-Country, Truckee High School

Senior JP Herrera – Boys Soccer, North Tahoe High School

Junior Koby Mattson – Boys Soccer, North Tahoe High School

Senior Abi Lopez – Boys Soccer, Truckee High School

Senior Joel Garcia – Boys Soccer, Truckee High School

Junior Ava Seelenfreund – Girls Soccer, Truckee High School

Junior Zach Haas – Boys Tennis, Truckee High School

Junior Zach Larson – Boys Tennis, Truckee High School

Junior Noah Warren- Boys Tennis, Truckee High School

Last week, we received our most current official graduation rates from the California Department of Education. I am extremely proud to report that our official 2017 graduation rate is 95.7 percent overall and 93.6 percent for our Hispanic students! This rate has grown considerably over the past six years. Our overall rate in 2011 was 89 percent and our Hispanic rate in 2011 was 75.3 percent.

As we are already a third of the way through this school year, I wanted to remind parents how important daily attendance is for your child. Just a few missed days here and there can add up to significant lost learning time and leave your child behind in school. This is as true in kindergarten as it is in high school. The best gift you can give your children this year is a good education and that begins with getting to school every day. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends!

Dr. Rob Leri is Superintendent of Tahoe Truckee Unified School District