Does school district know Donner Trail facts? | SierraSun.com

Does school district know Donner Trail facts?

Mitzi Sayler Hodges

I sat in amazement Thursday night at Donner Trail School. I attended a meeting in my elementary school gym, the gym where I lost my front tooth playing dodge ball. The gym where I ate my lunch during the school year, where I learned to play basketball, back in the 1960s.-

I listened to a man with absolutely no emotion, who could not explain why my school is slated for closure. I listened to a man skirt the core issues, a man who came totally unprepared to answer financial questions completely, and a man who admitted he may not know all the facts about Donner Trail.

I am questioning our school board and he for not giving due notice for such a drastic measure. I question the actual figures being used for supposed savings by possibly closing this school. I question why my child may be forced to face an hour long bus ride to attend a school that will not provide anything remotely close the education that Donner Trail is able to?

I question how someone being paid over $100,000 a year can be so ill-prepared to not know all the facts. And how this very same person can go against the budget review committee and just make a decision that would effect so many lives.

It is my understanding that this same individual came to the board requesting a raise in order to afford to live here in our wonderful area?- Perhaps if he had been as financially aware of Tahoe before he accepted the job our school district would not have had to bolster his income in order to take care of his second home mortgage.

Mr. Williams, you have made a grave error. You did not fully educate yourself about Donner Summit. You made erroneous cost savings statements, including, snow removal savings. You will still have to remove snow in order to maintain the building and keep it safe. The well that was just drilled, you stated, cost the district $48,000, however it is my understanding that there was a diesel problem, which had to be taken care of accounting for a large portion of that bill. I also would assume that the district insurance paid for the “problem” or a large portion of it.-

Then the assumption that moving 66 children is going to not have an economic impact on another school? You stated savings, but were unaware of how many children attend Donner Trail from the summit now, nor were you aware of the number of children who will be attending the school next fall. You have not done all your homework, you showed you have no emotion and I honestly did not get the impression that you truly care about the children; that is who will be impacted more than anyone by your actions should the school board decide to take your consideration.

The “summit” people have the right for our children to attend a school close to home, just as previous generations have done. Once old enough they obviously will have to go to Truckee to higher level grades, but it does not have to start with K-through-5 now.-

When Tahoe Lake School closes and North Tahoe High, what will those-savings be? If the budget is so tight why has there been an expansion at the North Tahoe campus? Seems if there are budget problems that would not be taking place.

I have spoken with a couple people who have informed me that there are several line items on your budget requirements that may not even actually occur. I would certainly hope that since those items total a mere $700,000 to $800,000 that the measly $78,000 savings might be able to be found in another area. Perhaps as a show of good faith you can take a reduction in your salary to show us you really are concerned. That is if you really “care” about the entire community.

-Mitzi Sayler Hodges is a Donner Summit resident.