School restructuring effort will now seek ideas from parents | SierraSun.com

School restructuring effort will now seek ideas from parents

Andrew Cristancho
Sierra Sun

Parents of district children will have two opportunities to present ideas and comments to the members of Tahoe Truckee Unified School District’s restructuring committee.

The Tahoe Truckee Restructuring and Reconfiguration Advisory Committee began meeting in November 2007 to discuss, among other things, the best way to address issues of declining enrollment at North Tahoe schools.

The committee discussed nine options during their sixth meeting held Monday evening. Ideas ranged from moving two existing Kings Beach preschools to free up space the two-way language immersion program, to moving North Tahoe High School students to Truckee High.

Decisions on school restructuring are not expected any time soon. The committee may still be working on the issue into next year, said district consultant Carol Brush.

After Monday’s meeting the committee is ready to hear what parents within Tahoe Truckee Unified School District want to see from their neighborhood North Tahoe schools.

“I want to emphasize the [importance] of the ideas that come from the audience,” said committee chairman John Neary. “Because when we go to vote, that will make a difference.”

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The committee will hold two forums, and parents are encouraged to attend one or both.

“Well, what we are going to do is, we are going to ask people to post their ideas on the wall … and see how they fit within the goals that the board has laid out,” said Brush.

A core group of parents have attended the meetings regularly to monitor the discussions. Talk of restructuring grade levels of neighborhood schools and shutting down schools has prompted a few to be skeptical of committee goals.

“There is an overwhelming opinion against busing our children … and leaving our neighborhood schools,” parent Syd Earley said by e-mail.

Others feel that the committee is not well informed.

“My concern about this committee is the fact that they are trying to implement changes without any data or very little data for that matter,” said mother of two North Tahoe Middle School students Julie Pieper, by e-mail.

But concern that the committee may do something that is detrimental to district students has been negated regularly by school board members and their consultant.

“Our primary goal is to increase student achievement across all lakeside schools,” Brush said by phone Tuesday.