My Turn: Do you know about Cold Stream? | SierraSun.com
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My Turn: Do you know about Cold Stream?

Lena Decrescenzo
Truckee

I recently asked a few parents of students in the Truckee Tahoe area about the high schools in the area, and none of them mentioned Cold Stream. This made me wonder, does anyone really know what Cold Stream is?

So being a student there, I thought I would enlighten people, and let them know what Cold Stream is. Cold Stream is one of two alternative education schools in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

The school was established in 1994 to offer parents and students a home school and independent study educational option for grades 6 through 12. This year there are 44 full-time students enrolled in the high school, plus about another 15 from the North Tahoe Ski Academy, 10 from Truckee High taking one class, and about 20 more from ROP and Fire Science. On June 12, in Kings Beach 13 of the 40 students will be graduating.

Cold Stream has been in many different places all through out the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. It resides now though in the old Sierra Mountain Middle School in Truckee, and in the old Rideout Elementary on the west shore. There are three teachers ” Mrs. Zapata, Mr. Zapata, and Mrs. Jensen ” with Jane Loomis as the principal and Debbie Spohr being the counselor. You go minimum of one day a week to turn in your work and get your assignments, but can go for study hall whenever. Also, if you are taking a math or science class there are additional days you will have to go in for the class. It is great for someone who can’t always go to school and needs a flexible schedule, or if a traditional high school just isn’t working for you.

There are many different reasons to choose independent study. You get a lot of 1-on-1 time with your teacher, and there is a much better student to teacher ratio. Most days, it will only be you and one other person with the teacher. Also on independent study, you are able to work at your own pace. If your having a difficult time with one subject you are able to take a little more time, and if you excel at another you are able to go faster.

It is an individualized and personalized learning plan to help you get the most out of your education.

Another great thing about Cold Stream is that you can enroll at Sierra College’s high school academic enrichment program.

This means you can take classes at Sierra College for free. Tuition is free to high school students, and textbooks are provided by Cold Stream, although they do remain property of the school. This is a great opportunity if you are interested in attending college. It is a way to get introduced into the college life, and classes and maybe help you decide what you want to do. It is also easier to take almost any class, since you aren’t on a six-hour a day five days a week schedule. This means you could take a class at the college during traditional high school hours.

Also the credits that you earn from that class are not only going toward college, but they are also used for high school credits. You also get a chance to accelerate your high school education and could possibly graduate early. You do have to get a C grade or a 70 percent though for the class to be accepted for high school credits.

Also, if you enroll into a class and drop it, you will not have your textbooks provided for future classes.

Cold Stream is a great alternative school that really doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Just recently it received a bronze medal as a best high school from the U.S. News and World Report. It is much different than a traditional high school and does leave you with a lot of free time, but it also makes you a much more independent and self-motivated person.


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