High-ranking school is hub for Donner Summit community | SierraSun.com

High-ranking school is hub for Donner Summit community

Laura Mohun

I read with interest Cindy Gustafson’s “My Turn” column (“Two sides to teacher pay story” Sierra Sun May 25). She states that we must “work together, using the facts to make the best possible choices for our children.”

I couldn’t agree more. So why in the world would the superintendent of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District recommend the closure of Donner Trail School? Not only is this a 66-year-old neighborhood school in the growing community of Donner Summit, it is the school with the highest API scores in the district.-

Is it in the best interest of kindergarten to 5th grade students to ride the bus from Donner Summit all the way to Glenshire or Kings Beach? Is it in the best interest of the students to close a school that offers winter survival training to the entire district as well as schools in Northern California and Nevada? (Not something-that could be done in Glenshire.) Is it in the best interest of the students to close a school that offers a unique learning environment? (This includes river ecology studies of the Yuba river, which is also not something not available in the portables in Glenshire.)-

This unique learning environment, the teachers, community and staff is what leads to such high API scores. Why not model more programs like Donner Trail instead of closing such a successful school?–

Now lets look at the facts:

Donner Trail has been threatened with closure many times and each time the school-has been-able to meet all the demands of the district to remain open. It was again on the list of things to consider cutting at the-Budget Review Committee-meeting on Monday, May 23. The committee proposed $459,000 to $579,000 worth of cuts which did-NOT include Donner Trail.- It was not until the next morning that the District Superintendent made the announcement that-HE was recommending the closure of Donner Trail.-

Why is the recommendation of this hard-working committee being ignored, especially when Cindy states that “the good news is that in 2006-2007, we are projected to have revenues in excess of expenses.”-

If you’re willing to put the teachers well deserved cost of living raises off again for another year, why can’t you give Donner Trail another year?- Especially considering the flawed process of this recommendation. The public was made aware of this decision on Tuesday May 24 and it will be voted on at the board meeting on Wednesday June 1.-

This is-less than six business days. It would be short sighted to close one of the most successful schools in the district in one of the fastest growing communities. Again, as Cindy says, “after all, isn’t this what our children deserve?”

Laura Mohun is a concerned parent, Soroptimist president, Girl Scout and church Leader.