Updates on transitioning & more

March 18, 2021

In this edition:

  • A Message from the Superintendent
  • Vaccine update - Sign up for county text alerts
  • School schedules for 5 days of in-person instruction
  • Placer County is in red tier
  • Adventure Risk Challenge(ARC) opens applications for summer courses
  • Reminder: Please follow COVID-19 Notification & Response Protocols

A Message from Superintendent Carmen Ghysels

Dear Parents & Community Members,


We are on track to transition to five days of in-person instruction on Monday, March 29, 2021. I’d like to give you an update on what our TTUSD team is working on to make five days of in-person instruction possible. (Note: This is a district-wide update for all grade levels.)


  • We must redesign every classroom in the district to accommodate more students and adhere to the 4 feet rule, where each student is at least 4 feet apart from the back of the chair to the back of the next chair.

Status: We now have enough desks to cover the additional needs identified. The desks are being assembled and the reconfiguration of many of our classrooms is underway.


  • Each classroom needs additional desk barriers to accommodate more students in-person.

Status: We have approximately 400 new desk barriers and another 2,000 to arrive. While we’ve run into delays in the shipment, we anticipate receiving them by 3/25. We are hopeful we’ll have them in time for the 3/29 target date but it will be cutting it very close. We will know more by early next week and will keep you updated.


  • Surveillance testing for students and staff based on what tier of CA’s color-coded COVID-19 tracking system Placer County is in.

Status: Placer County moved to the red tier on Sunday, March 14, and Nevada County remains in purple. We do not have to have surveillance testing when we’re in the red tier and we have a surveillance plan in place to address testing requirements should we move tiers.


  • New bell schedules and new transportation routes

Status: New bell schedules have been created and finalized. Click here to view the bell schedules.


  • We have to negotiate the impacts of the working conditions regarding these schedules with our employee unions.

Status: We had a meeting yesterday with the teachers union, and we have additional meetings scheduled for Thursday, March 18, and Thursday, March 25. We expect this process to be addressed in time to meet the March 29 transition date.

On a side note: You may have heard that the District and TTEA are currently bargaining for salaries unrelated to the expansion of 5 days of in-person instruction. The district has offered all teachers (TTEA) a 2% raise (retroactive to July 1, 2020). TTEA is requesting a 3% raise (retroactive to July 1, 2020). The District’s proposal of 2% reflects an increase that can be provided to all District employees while maintaining a responsible budget moving into the next fiscal year. The 2% raise is in addition to the average 1.89% pay increase many teachers receive per year for longevity and advanced graduate degrees.

TTEA’s request of 3% would move the District into deficit spending moving forward, which the District has a fiduciary duty to avoid. We are hopeful that we will reach an agreement with TTEA soon. The good news is that this does not affect the transition date to return to 5 days of in-person instruction.


  • Revising cleaning schedules for the schools.

Status: We will be conducting daily disinfection of classrooms and all frequently touched areas in all TTUSD facilities.


  • Home to school transportation

Status: As we shared last week, due to COVID-19 mitigation measures, we do not have space to approve any additional bus riders when we transition to five days of in-person instruction. We are starting a waitlist for anyone interested in home-to-school transportation should space open up. Please email your request to bp@ttusd.org.


We are very excited to transition to five days of in-person instruction for our students! Stay tuned for another update next week.


Carmen Ghysels

Superintendent Chief Learning Officer

Vaccine update: Sign Up for County Text Alerts for Vaccination Appointment Openings

(This information is from the Tahoe Forest Health System’s COVID webpage)


COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed by Nevada and Placer County Public Health to eligible members of the community in accordance with California and County phase distribution plans. To learn when appointments are available for COVID-19 vaccinations, local residents should sign up for text alerts from public health departments and their respective websites. Appointments will be available at Nevada and Placer County vaccine clinics, including the Placer Co/Nevada Co Tahoe Forest Hospital Vaccine Clinic located in Truckee.


For Nevada County text vaccineinfo to the number 898211 to receive text alerts for updates and vaccine availability. Call 211 or 1-833-DIAL211 to speak to a local specialist in English or Spanish, or if you have additional questions about the vaccine.


For Placer County text placervaccine to the number 898211 to receive text alerts for updates and vaccine availability.

The national COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is still in the early stages, and supplies of the vaccine are very limited. As production and availability increase, the counties anticipate being able to offer the vaccines more broadly under appropriate public health guidelines.


Please do not call your physician’s office, as they cannot schedule a vaccine for you. The best place to find information about the availability and distribution of the vaccine in our community is from county public health offices:


Nevada County

Nevada County vaccine web page

Text Alerts: Text vaccineinfo to 898211


Placer County

Placer County vaccine web page

Text Alerts: Text placervaccine to 898211

School schedules for 5-days of in-person instruction

TTUSD has a target transition date to move to five-days of in-person instruction on March 29, 2021.


TTUSD’s School Schedules for 5-days of in-person instruction

Lakeside Schools:
North Tahoe High School- 8:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
North Tahoe School - 9:00 a.m. -1:25 p.m.
Tahoe Lake Elementary - 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Kings Beach Elementary - 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.


Truckee Schools:
Alder Creek Middle School - 7:45 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.
Truckee High School - 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Sierra High School - 8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Donner Trail Elementary - 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Glenshire Elementary - 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Truckee Elementary - 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
SELS - 9:05 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Placer County now in the red tier

Last Sunday, Placer County moved into the red tier of CA’s color-coded COVID-19 tracking system after statewide vaccination thresholds were met and state tier metrics relaxed as a result. You can view a summary of what the red tier means here.

Adventure Risk Challenge opens application for 2021 summer course

TTUSD high school students are invited to apply for an immersive outdoor and academic program in Tahoe from July 5-August 7. The Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC) summer course introduces students to the natural beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains while challenging them academically, emotionally, and physically. For students who have been spending significant time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ARC summer course will offer a month of outdoor adventures. During the course, students backpack, rock climb, and raft, while studying language arts and environmental science, writing poetry and personal essays, and learning to navigate in the backcountry using a topographical map. After months of not being able to socialize outside their homes, participants will make new friends and become part of a team.


The ARC course is offered to students on a sliding scale based on family income, but many students pay less than $35 for their participation. First-generation students, English-language learners, and all students who are motivated to experience a challenging outdoor and academic adventure are encouraged to apply. ARC summer participants from North Tahoe and Truckee High Schools receive 10 elective academic credits for participation and will be eligible for a $1,000 post-secondary scholarship if they complete a follow-up year of leadership, literacy, and outdoor programming.


Please join us for the parent information session on Tuesday, March 23 in English from 5:30-6:00 pm (meet.google.com/dtm-ivvk-bbp) or in Spanish from 6:00-6:30 pm (meet.google.com/swo-yhwk-pmr).


The summer 2021 program is accepting applications now until April 23. Visit www.adventureriskchallenge.org/apply to learn more about the program and to submit an application.

Reminder: Please follow COVID-19 Notification & Response Protocols

We want to remind all parents and students that COVID-19 protocols outlined by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) remain in place during in-person instruction. Part of this protocol includes requiring individuals who are symptomatic and/or had direct contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 to quarantine.


As a reminder, if your child has one or more of the following COVID-19 symptoms, it is required that you keep your child home and notify the school (symptoms: runny nose, cough, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell). If your child develops symptoms while at school, the school will require that the student be picked up and it is recommended that the child get tested for COVID-19. Below is a breakdown of the quarantine timeline in the event your child is required to quarantine:


  • If you choose to have your child tested for COVID-19 and their test is negative, they can return to school once they are fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms are improving. If the test result is positive, they will need to stay home for 10 days from symptom onset.


  • If you choose not to have your child tested, they will need to stay home for the full 10 days from symptom onset.


If you have any questions about the above information, please contact your school nurse by calling your child’s school.