Tahoe Truckee Unified School District News & Notes
In an effort to better address the needs of the regions student population, a group of Tahoe-Truckee principals, teachers and administrators recently compared notes with a central California school district that faces similar academic challenges.Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) board member Bev Ducey was part of the TTUSD contingency that visited Sanger Unified School District earlier this month. Ducey explained the Sanger school system has been successful in implementing a professional learning community in which educators work interdependently to achieve common goals. Our district is actively looking at best practices across the state and using models, like the one in Sanger, to improve education, Ducey said. We have had many successes within TTUSD; they are simply not systematically implemented across every classroom in the district. Basically, we are trying to learn from others success so we can accelerate our ability to meet the state and federal achievement goals.Sanger Unified has 19 schools, including three charter schools, a community day school and an adult school. The district covers 180-square miles and serves a population of 31,000. Dave Curry, TTUSD director of educational services, also attended the Sanger two-day site visit. Curry said he was encouraged by how the Sanger school district has moved forward with a continuous improvement model in response to instruction and intervention. In the elementary schools they have implemented a common intervention/enrichment time, he explained. This allows the staff to meet the specific needs of the students, whether they are advanced, English learners or those in need of academic intervention.Curry said the benefits of this system were immediately evident.The whole time we were visiting, each student was on task and focused on learning, he added.When asked what he believed the take-home message of the Sanger visit was, Curry was quick to respond.Sanger faces many of the same challenges we face, he said. We need to keep moving forward with the work weve begun with professional learning communities, common assessments and coordinated resources.Fellow attendee Kings Beach Elementary School Principal Eileen Fahrner shared Currys enthusiasm and noted it was helpful in developing a common understanding and vocabulary of the professional learning community (PLC) philosophy.This (visit) helped to reiterate what weve already learned about PLCs, Fahrner noted, and to build on what we have been trying to create and fine tune at our schools to enhance student achievement.
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