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The Latest News from TTUSD - May 15, 2020
In This Issue
A Message from the Superintendent
Have you heard about #GraduateTogether?
What's school going to look like this fall?
A new benefit called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

A Message from the Superintendent
Dear TTUSD Community,
Thank you for all you do to continue to support our students during COVID-19 and distance learning. We know it is hard and everyone is getting tired, and we appreciate you and all you’re taking on. Our entire TTUSD community has shown such resilience in this challenging and uncertain time and I couldn’t be prouder. 

As you’ve likely heard in the news, both Placer County and Nevada County have met the criteria to advance through Phase 2 of California’s reopening plan. Schools are not included in this phase, despite being erroneously reported in the press release from Nevada County that schools could reopen.

While we know that we are continuing with our distance learning through the end of this school year, there are many questions about the upcoming school year. What will school look like in the fall? Please see our article below with more information. 

The month of May brings many celebrations to our school district. We are celebrating and recognizing the contributions of our incredible staff members and the positive difference each of them makes in the lives of our scholars.  

Last week we celebrated Day of the School Nurse and Teacher Appreciation Week, and next week we’ll be celebrating the Week of the Classified School Employee. We are so fortunate to have a team of dedicated employees who love serving our Tahoe Truckee kids and I am grateful for the positive impact they have on our youth.

At last week’s board meeting, I had the pleasure of announcing our two Teachers of the Year as well as our Classified Employees of the Year. I’m excited to share the news with you. 

PJ Madigan from Alder Creek Middle School and Valerie Fletcher from Sierra Continuation High School are our two Teachers of the Year for 2020! 

PJ Madigan, Alder Creek Middle School
PJ is a dedicated and gifted educator. His students thrive in his classes and we are constantly amazed at his innovative teaching methods. Relevancy is important and he gives students the opportunity to understand the why of knowing and using algebra in real-life situations. His lessons are engaging! The math projects in this classroom are full of real-life problems and he gives students opportunities to make mistakes and learn from them. He hooks his students by sharing how graphic artists use algebra to determine how different three-dimensional models will behave when subjected to rapidly changing conditions. Students are able to see how math helps create a realistic environment for movies and video games. 

PJ checks in with every student to make sure that they know he is there for them both emotionally and academically. He is the trusted adult for many students at his school.

Valerie Fletcher, Sierra Continuation High School and PCOE Community School
Valerie has been working for TTUSD and Special Education for almost 20 years. During this time, she has dedicated her time and service to support students with various disabilities at all grade levels. She has been instrumental in the success of the students and the programs she supports and is extremely dedicated to the needs of the students she serves. She has developed positive relationships with her students and has been deemed a "trusted adult" among the students she serves. Her natural approach to communication and relationships allows her to make a positive impact on those she serves. Anyone who knows Val knows that she puts others before herself and she goes above and beyond to support her students. 

Our Classified Employees of the Year are Kelly Frankenberg, Joaquin Virrey, Liz Gibeaut, Lauren O'Neil, and Denise Clark.

Kelly Frankenberg, Food Services, Tahoe Lake Elementary School 
Kelly, or “Miss Kelly” as she is fondly referred to by students, has worked in food services for TTUSD for almost 12 years. Kelly deeply cares about her work, and she goes above and beyond to provide excellent food and service to our students and staff. She prepares meals with exceptional care and attention to detail, and when you walk into her kitchen and cafeteria, it feels like it is set up to serve fine, gourmet dining; ready at any moment’s notice for a highly revered Michelin star review. Her pride in school meals and child nutrition is exemplary and we are so grateful to have Kelly as part of the TTUSD team.

Joaquin Virrey, Maintenance Craftsperson, Facilities, Maintenance & Operations
Joaquin is a maintenance craftsperson and has been with our district for the past six years. He is responsible for a wide range of essential functions throughout the district, ranging from repairs and new construction to snow removal and his ability to adapt to high-stress situations is remarkable. Joaquin models the characteristics of an exceptional employee and sets a high standard for the district. Joaquin is one of the friendliest people, always arriving with a smile on his face and ready to tackle any challenge that the day may bring. Joaquin is a great team player and an asset to our district. 

Liz Gibeaut, Administrative Secretary, North Tahoe School 
For the past seven years, Liz has served as the administrative secretary at North Tahoe School and Liz is described as “the heartbeat” of their school. She is the “trusted and caring adult” at school for many of our students as she connects so well with our students, making each one feel that they are the most important person around. Liz demonstrates leadership, community connections, and an excellent work ethic every day. Liz is a “gem” and we are so lucky to have her as part of our North Tahoe School community!

Lauren O'Neil, Instructional Assistant, Horizon Program, Alder Creek Middle School
Lauren is in her seventh year serving the students at Alder Creek Middle school. She does an outstanding job supporting the Horizon’s program which provides a system of support for students with social, emotional, and behavioral needs across all school settings. She has an impressive way of communicating whether it be with parents, students or staff and helps foster relationships between home and school with students who have significant challenges. Lauren is a dedicated and honorable team player whose wisdom and compassion make her an incredible part of the Alder Creek team!

Denise Clark, Lead Dispatcher, Transportation Department
Denise has worked for our transportation department for the past 34 years. She started her career as a school bus driver and in 2005, Denise was promoted to lead dispatcher/trip scheduler. Denise coordinates safe and efficient transportation for all school activities and athletic trips.  In addition to her dispatching work, Denise drives in the afternoon as a substitute school bus driver, maintaining the highest standard to ensure student safety.  In September of 2016, she was recognized by the California Highway Patrol with the 30-year safe driving award for no accidents. 

Please congratulate our Employees of the Year and join us in celebrating Week of the Classified Employee! 

Stay well, 
 
Robert J. Leri, Ed.D.
Superintendent Chief Learning Officer
 
Have you heard about #GraduateTogether?

This Saturday, there is one-hour primetime special where America will be honoring the High School Class of 2020 and rallying everyone around a message of hope and unity. This “special “event” will be on Saturday, May 16, at 5:00 p.m. and will air on ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, and will be streaming on multiple platforms.

Former President Barack Obama will deliver a commencement address to graduating seniors nationwide as part of an hour-long multimedia Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 event. Joining Obama will be NBA star and school founder LeBron James, Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, and soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe, among others. The event will feature highlights from thousands of student submissions, a collection of commencement addresses, celebrity performances, and inspirational vignettes. Learn more about this event. 

 
What is school going to look like this fall?
TTUSD is planning for the 2020-2021 school year. We realize that there are many questions about what school will look like in the fall based on the COVID-19 crisis. There is a lot we still don’t know, and there are public health and safety concerns we must address. Below, is what we do know, what we don’t know, and what we’re looking at for school in the fall. 

As you’ve likely heard in the news, both Placer County and Nevada County have met the criteria to advance through Phase 2 of California’s reopening map. Schools are not included in this phase, despite being erroneously reported in the press release from Nevada County that schools could reopen.

We don’t know when we can reopen our physical schools and facilities, but we are making preparations for what the fall may look like when school starts on September 1, 2020.
 

What we know:

  • The 2020-2021 school year will begin on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

  • Public health and safety are our top priorities. The safety of our students, staff, parents, and the Tahoe Truckee community drives all of our decisions.

  • Opening schools will happen in a way where we put safety first.

  • School will likely look different than what we’ve traditionally known.

  • When school facilities re-open, we may have to wear masks, and we’ll most likely have to plan for social distancing. 

  • We want to maximize student learning.

  • A lot of uncertainty remains for all of us regarding the COVID-19 situation.

  • There is no “reopening playbook” for COVID-19 and no direction from the state, yet.


What we don’t know:

  • When the Governor’s Stay at Home Order will be lifted.

  • When it is safe to re-open schools.

  • Specific requirements and criteria for mitigation measures when schools physically reopen.


What we are considering:

  • Educational options for the fall of 2020.

  • How to best arrange students and staff in the classroom to maximize safety, if we have in-person learning. 

  • Possibly dividing classes up and offering a hybrid model with both in-person learning and some distance learning in each school week.

  • How we can best respond to the current health situation while best addressing the educational needs of our students in a safe manner. 


Next week, we will be sending out a short survey to get your input and we hope you’ll help us and share your thoughts with us. 

 
A new benefit called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

We wanted to make you aware of a new benefit called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) for families that usually receive free and reduced-price school meals. Pandemic EBT provides $365 per child to help feed your family since schools are closed due to COVID-19.


Most families who receive CalFresh, CalWORKS, Medi-Cal, or other social services will get a P-EBT card in the mail before May 22. Please keep an eye out for this card in the mail over the next few weeks.


Families who are not currently part of our free or reduced meal program may consider filling out a free or reduced meal application to see if they are eligible for the P-EBT food benefits, which will be retroactive to March 17, when TTUSD school closed. 


Once a meal application is complete, the simple and quick P-EBT application will be available after May 22, 2020, and must be completed before June 30, 2020, to be eligible for the P-EBT benefits. 


If you have questions or would like assistance in filling out an application please call the TTUSD Food Services Department at (530) 582-2528 or email food @ttusd.org. 


Visit ca.p-ebt.org/info for more P-EBT information.

 

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