TTUSD District Update

January 2023

In this Month’s Newsletter

  • A Message from the Superintendent
  • Congratulations to our 2023 California Distinguished Schools Awardees
  • Pathways 2026 Strategic Planning Update
  • Reminder to Complete the LCAP Survey
  • Updated End-of-School-Year Date is now June 23, 2023
  • CA Dashboard & DataQuest Information Released
  • TK & Kindergarten Immunization Information
  • Congrats to All TTUSD District-Wide Spelling Bee Participants
  • Winter Excellence in Education Programs
  • California School Employees Association (CSEA) Negotiations Update
  • Tahoe Truckee Education Association (TTEA) Negotiations Update

A Message from the Superintendent

Happy New Year TTUSD Community!

I hope you all had a wonderful winter break and that your 2023 is off to a great start. With the beginning of a new year comes a renewed commitment to the exciting work we’re partnering with you on. We continue with the 2026 Pathways Strategic Plan and the 2023-2024 Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), which helps steer our direction and provides actionable goals to continue working towards. Further down in the newsletter, you’ll find updates and current information on both projects, including a link to give input on the LCAP. Please share your thoughts with us!

And speaking of working together, last week, a 7-person TTUSD team consisting of district-level staff, administration, a teacher, and community partners, attended a 2-day conference, supported by the State of California, on the importance of Community Engagement. In 2018 the state passed legislation to begin the Community Engagement Initiative to create a learning network for districts to build peer-to-peer relationships where they can collaborate and share best practices for increasing ability and capacity to implement effective, equitable, and culturally responsive community engagement practices. Hopefully, these practices will strengthen the capacity of families, community members, and school and district staff to create authentic partnerships and initiate difficult conversations necessary to support student success. As our team continues through this journey, we’ll share the learnings and actions we plan to roll out to ensure all members of our community have a welcoming seat at the table.

All of these projects continue to reinforce our theme of Better Together. I genuinely believe it’s more than a slogan or tagline - it’s a belief and guiding principle of how we can best serve our current and future TTUSD scholars. So thank you for being a part of this journey with us!


Carmen Ghysels,

Superintendent Chief Learning Officer

Attendees at the CEI Conference

Congratulations to our 2023 California Distinguished Schools Awardees

Congratulations are in order! We are thrilled to relay that on January 6, 2023, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced more than 350 elementary schools were selected to receive the 2023 California Distinguished Schools Program. Among those schools were three within the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District - Donner Trail Elementary, Glenshire Elementary, and Sierra Expeditionary Learning School (SELS).

It’s an extraordinary honor to have three of our elementary schools recognized by the state as Distinguished Schools. We’re elated to congratulate the staff and students of these three elementary schools for their outstanding efforts and dedication. This recognition results from hard work and intentional focus on teaching strategies, collaboration, and data-driven results.

The California Department of Education (CDE) utilizes various performance measurements to determine recipients of this prestigious award, including assessment results, chronic absenteeism, suspension rates, and socioeconomic data. With insights into these categories, all California School Dashboards can be found at The California Distinguished Schools program recognizes schools for exemplary achievement in one of two categories: closing the achievement gap and achieving exceptional student performance.

The state alternates recognizing elementary schools and middle and high schools annually, so awardees hold this title for two years. This esteemed program has been on hold throughout the COVID-19 pandemic while state and local student data reporting was temporarily suspended.

Pathways 2026 Strategic Planning Update

Our Pathways 2026 Strategic Planning process continues, and we’re making significant progress thanks to stakeholder participation and input. Thanks to your survey and in-person community forums feedback, we have refined the five focus areas to align more clearly with our strategies moving forward. You can see the updated focus areas in the image below - please know your voice is being heard and integrated into our process!

In our last update within the November newsletter, we mentioned the creation of a Pathways 2026 Task Force. That group has been solidified and is comprised of 44 members who represent community voices, including district staff, students, parents, and partnering agencies. This task force meets monthly to review and process community input and research opportunities and ideas for the Board of Trustees to consider.

Our next steps include refining potential focus areas and developing a new community survey to help crowdsource ideas for research around central themes. Look for a link to this new survey next month. Additionally, Superintendent Ghysels will gather student feedback through in-person, on-site focus groups specifically for students over the next few weeks.

We’d like to thank everyone for their continued engagement and support, with a special appreciation for the task force members actively dedicating their time to this critical process. Keep an eye out in upcoming newsletters for additional opportunities to get involved and share your thoughts. And as a reminder, feel free to email at any time with questions or comments on the strategic planning process or content.

Big picture

Reminder to Complete the LCAP Survey

TTUSD receives a portion of its funding through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) every year. One welcomed requirement of this funding is that school districts must work with parents, educators, students, and the community to develop a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) that shows how these funds will serve students. You can view the 2022-2023 LCAP Plan on our website. Currently, we are dedicating resources to completing the LCAP for the 2023-2024 school year.

One method of gathering input to drive the upcoming LCAP is through this TTUSD-specific survey, which is in both English and Spanish, developed by Hanover Research. It allows you to help the district’s continuous improvement process by providing feedback regarding your and your child’s experiences in TTUSD. The survey covers a broad range of topics and will take 10 - 15 minutes to complete. Please note the survey closes on January 27th. Thanks in advance for your contributions!

Updated End-of-School-Year Date is now June 23, 2023

At the December 14th Board meeting, trustees took action to approve a revised end-of-school-year date due to the addition of the Juneteenth state holiday, which will be recognized on June 19, 2023. Due to the addition of this newly declared state holiday, TTUSD schools will now end on Friday, June 23, 2023, instead of Thursday, June 22, 2023. This state holiday will continue to be incorporated into all future school year calendars.

Additionally, we have received several questions on the impact of snow days on the school calendar. At this time, there are no additional changes to the end date for this school year. As an organization, we are discussing the impacts of our 22-23 snow days and will continue to keep families informed if any operational adjustments need to be made. Similar to years past, any changes to the last day of the school year due to snow will be announced on or before March 30th. Thank you for your patience as we evaluate the situation.

California Dashboard & DataQuest Information Released

Before winter break, the state released the California School Dashboard for the 2021-2022 school year. This online tool is designed to help communicate important information about our school's successes and opportunities. It is part of California’s comprehensive accountability system for schools, districts, and county offices of education. The 2022 dashboard is a re-start of this accountability system after a hiatus due to COVID-19.

This year, six state measures are being reported: academic performance in English language arts and mathematics, chronic absenteeism, English learner progress, high school graduation rates, and suspension rates. Additionally, five local indicators are measured: implementation of academic standards, parent and family engagement, local climate surveys about safety and student connection to the school, access to a broad course of study, and overall basic conditions, which include teacher assignments, building cleanliness and safety, and appropriate instructional materials.

Our administrative staff has reviewed the data and, in conjunction with other tools, will use it to continue making adjustments to evolve our practices. For example, school principals and the Education Services department are working closely with the Placer County Office of Education to refine our efforts to support English Learners district-wide. Please feel free to reach out to your principal or our district staff with any questions.

TK and Kindergarten Immunization Information

Mandated by California state law, all children attending public and private elementary and secondary schools must receive certain immunizations. Additionally, California schools are required to check immunization records for all new students entering the district and for all students advancing to 7th grade. Immunizations are also required for all children in preschool and childcare settings.

As we begin to think about the incoming TK and kindergarten classes for the 2023-2024 school year, we’ve partnered with Tahoe Forest Hospital to increase access and opportunities to assist with this requirement. We are collaborating to find events in the spring where nurses will be present, providing information and offering sign-up opportunities to schedule immunization appointments.

We will continue to keep you posted as details are solidified, but we wanted to share this exciting new partnership. In the meantime, immunization resources can be found in the Parent’s Guide to Immunizations TK-12 grade (English and Spanish) and the Parent’s Guide to Immunizations for Preschool and Childcare (English and Spanish).

Congrats to All TTUSD District-Wide Spelling Bee Participants

“I’ve always found spelling bees easy! B-E-E-S. Simple!”

All kidding aside, we are so proud of the 30 TTUSD students who have qualified to participate in the district-wide written spelling bee later this month - congratulations! In December, students in participating 4th through 8th-grade classes took an in-classroom written spelling test. Results were tabulated, and the top 6 students in each grade were invited to participate in the district-wide spelling bee, where they’ll compete to qualify for the Placer County Spelling Bee Oral Competition in March.

Congratulations to the following students who rose to the top of their class, and good luck in the next round!

4th Grade

  • Elin Furtado | Glenshire Elementary

  • Jasper Collins | Truckee Elementary

  • Zane Fogg | Truckee Elementary

  • Milo Sullivan | Glenshire Elementary

  • Simon Foygel | Donner Trail Elementary

  • Charlotte Anderson | Glenshire Elementary

5th Grade

  • Zack Lessard | Glenshire Elementary

  • Tristan Bierwolf | Kings Beach Elementary

  • Anya Tarnay | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

  • Lilly Fine | Tahoe Lake Elementary

  • Grady Clark | Glenshire Elementary

  • Aurelie Dillof | Glenshire Elementary

6th Grade

  • Skyler Emery | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

  • Elsie Eidlin | North Tahoe School

  • Cole Ewan | North Tahoe School

  • Emma Brown | North Tahoe School

  • Robby Forsman | North Tahoe School

  • Katherine Ricker | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

7th Grade

  • Rhilyn Jimenez | Alder Creek Middle School

  • Nelle Macy | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

  • Ava Balint | North Tahoe School

  • Henry McEneaney | Alder Creek Middle School

  • Anya Penwarden | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

  • Lexy Denis | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

8th Grade

  • Cooper Old | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

  • Everett Ching | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

  • Keira Ching | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

  • Harlan Riley | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

  • Riley Killen | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

  • Dani Mason | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

Winter Excellence in Education Programs

Our incredible partners at Excellence in Education have a few winter programs that you can still take advantage of while the snow continues to fall.

In partnership with Excellence in Education, Northstar California is offering local educators and students heavily discounted lift tickets! TTUSD, Incline Village, and Reno students can purchase $25 lift tickets on non-holiday Sundays, minimum day Wednesdays, all of Ski Skate week, and any declared snow days. Teachers can purchase $45 lift tickets during the same time periods. To qualify, students must present their valid student ID or a report card upon purchase.

Additionally, their annual Skiing for Schools program offers discounted regional downhill and cross-country tickets. 100% of lift ticket proceeds benefit the Excellence in Education Foundation, which directly supports TTUSD through a robust grant program. A limited supply of tickets is still available on a first-come, first-served basis.

All tickets need to be purchased at select local small business outlets. Downhill lift tickets for Northstar California, Homewood, and Tahoe Donner Downhill can be purchased at Tahoe Dave’s Ski & Board Shops in Truckee, Kings Beach, and Tahoe City. Palisades is also a partner in this program, but their tickets are sold out for this season. Cross Country tickets for Tahoe Donner Cross Country and Tahoe XC can be purchased at Pacos in Truckee and Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City.

For information on this program and ticket restrictions, visit the Excellence in Education website. And thank you to all participating businesses; your efforts are truly appreciated!

California School Employees Association (CSEA) Negotiations Update

We are excited to announce that TTUSD and CSEA reached an agreement in our annual negotiations, which the Board of Trustees approved at the January 11, 2023, meeting. Additionally, the trustees approved the same compensation structure negotiated with CSEA for all certified, classified management and confidential employees.

The agreement includes a 7% compensation increase, retroactive to July 1, 2022, a change of salary ranges for all current classifications in ranges 11 to 13 and range 13 to 14, retroactive to July 1, 2022, and a one-time $1,500 payment, prorated by full-time employment, which will be paid out in two installments, for current employees who are not receiving hiring bonuses. Additionally, beginning July 1, 2023, all CSEA members will receive an increase to their benefit cap, further outlined in the approved agreement. There are a few other changes to articles within our agreement with CSEA, which can all be found in the board minutes.

CSEA is comprised of classified school employees who perform a wide range of essential work within our school system, such as food services, transportation, office, and clerical work, school maintenance and operations, academic assistance and paraeducator services, library and media assistance, computer services, and more. We are so grateful for their hard work and partnership to ensure a top-notch education for our students.

Tahoe Truckee Education Association (TTEA) Negotiations Update

As mentioned in the December newsletter, TTUSD and TTEA, the local teacher’s union for Tahoe-Truckee, are currently at an impasse in this year’s negotiations. TTEA and TTUSD met with a neutral state mediator through the State Mediation and Conciliation division on Friday, January 13th, and continue working through the process to reach a mediated settlement. Our next joint meeting is on February 1, 2023.

We look forward to continuing this process and are hopeful we’ll find a solution that works for both parties.