TTUSD District Update

February 2023

In this Month's Newsletter

  • A Message from the Superintendent

  • TK and Kindergarten Previews Nights are Coming Up

  • TTUSD Administrative Personnel Transitions

  • CalFresh Benefits are Changing

  • Let’s Celebrate our School Counselors

  • February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month

  • Search for Approved Foster Placements

  • TTUSD and TTEA Reach an Agreement on Annual Negotiations

A Message from the Superintendent

Hello TTUSD Community,

It’s feeling like the Season of the Survey for me, and I’m sure you’re feeling the same way too! Between our Pathways 2026 Strategic Planning, the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), and the TK/Kinder surveys, I recognize we’ve been asking you for a lot of feedback! So first and foremost, thank you! Thank you for your time and thoughtfulness in completing them. I can assure you that we review each and every response and value the input you’re providing. As I’ve been saying throughout this school year, we’re Better Together, and these surveys and processes are no different. We currently have one more survey open that we’re seeking your input on - the second survey for the Pathways 2026 Strategic Plan. You can access the survey in English and Spanish, so if you have a few minutes, please help us crowdsource ideas for research around our revised central themes. This survey will close at the end of February.

One highlight of the Strategic Planning process for me has been attending student focus groups. For the past few weeks, I’ve been visiting each school site, elementary through high school, with treats in hand to talk with a group of students to gain feedback on what they love about their school and what areas they would like to see improvements in. The student's voice is crucial to this process, and although I can’t guarantee we’ll add more recesses, we are truly taking their input to heart and will ensure it’s incorporated into our next steps. Our TTUSD learners continue to amaze me with their engagement and insight, so a huge shoutout to those participating students! They are contributing to the foundation for years of positive evolution within the district.

I hope you all have a wonderful February Break next week and are able to recharge and have some fun. We are officially more than halfway through the school year, so this next week provides a great opportunity to reflect with your student on all the wonderful accomplishments they’ve made so far and set a mindset to dive into the second half with vigor and intention!


Carmen Ghysels,

Superintendent Chief Learning Officer

Student Focus Group with Carmen at ACMS

TK and Kindergarten Previews Nights are Coming Up

It’s that time of year when our Elementary school principals and staff are organizing Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Kindergarten Preview Nights! These informative in-person events provide families with incoming TK and kindergarten students an opportunity to learn about the five outstanding TTUSD elementary schools to choose from. Each has its own unique personality and provides hands-on, engaging instruction for students. And while we have neighborhood schools, we are also an open-enrollment school district, which means families can apply to the school they think would best serve their child. So families are invited to attend as many preview nights as they’d like.

Each preview night will take place from 5:30pm - 6:30pm at individual school sites, and dates have been scheduled starting late March through early May. Below is a chart with all preview night dates, times, locations, and notes on whether child care will be provided during the event.

For the 2023-24 school year, children who turn five between September 2, 2023, and April 2, 2024, are eligible for TK.

Big picture

TTUSD Administrative Personnel Transitions

As some of you have already heard, we have a few upcoming changes in administration personnel throughout the district. Both changes mentioned below will go into effect on June 30, 2023, after the current school year is completed, so we can ensure there will be no interruptions to student learning or school operations.

On February 9th, Ed Hilton announced his departure from the Donner Trail Elementary principal role, enabling him to devote his entire focus to the TTUSD Director of Technology position full-time. And yesterday, February 16th, Sara Colborn announced that she’d be leaving the position of Truckee Elementary principal to transition into a new TTUSD English Language Development (ELD) Program Specialist position where she’ll work with students from across the entire district.

TTUSD has already begun the process of finding high-quality candidates to fill these open positions and will keep our TTUSD community informed throughout the process. And congratulations to both Mr. Hilton and Mrs. Colborn on their transitions - we’re thrilled they will continue bringing their valuable skills to our wonderful TTUSD team!

CalFresh Benefits are Changing

For anyone receiving CalFresh benefits, starting April 2023, the additional CalFresh benefits due to the Emergency Allotments authorized during the COVID-19 pandemic are ending. These are not P-EBT benefits, and this does not change regular CalFresh benefits that are received on an EBT card between the 1st and 10th of the month, based on circumstances, including household size, income, and deductions. Those receiving these Emergency Allotments will see a decrease in their benefits.

We understand this is a difficult change. We would like to share a few resources, including additional information on this change (English and Spanish) and a food bank schedule that serves our Truckee community. If you have any questions about this change, please call (530) 265-1340.

And please remember both breakfast and lunch meals are free for all TTUSD students. Although not required, we still encourage families to fill out a meal application each year. You may qualify for additional benefits, including free or discounted internet, waived or reduced AP & College Applications fees, sponsorship opportunities, and CalFresh P-EBT food cards.

Let’s Celebrate our School Counselors

Earlier this month, we celebrated National School Counseling Week. Annually, the first full week of February is dedicated to recognizing school counselors' fantastic work. It’s an opportunity to show our appreciation and raise awareness of their essential work in helping students, from boosting their academic success to supporting their emotional and social growth.

Thanks in part to funding from Measure AA, we have incredible counselors dedicated to each of our school sites, working with TTUSD learners. Below is a list of our dedicated staff from the counseling department. Please join us in taking a moment to thank these amazing professionals for their hard work and all they do to make a difference in our student's lives!

  • Cathee Perkins | Tahoe Lake Elementary, Donner Trail Elementary

  • Marco Mora | Truckee Elementary

  • Rachel Falk | Glenshire Elementary

  • Denise Strecker | Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

  • Jessica Darkenwald | Kings Beach Elementary

  • Kelley Deck | Kings Beach Elementary

  • Rachel Koles | Alder Creek Middle School

  • Kristen Hurley | Alder Creek Middle School

  • Megan Hurley | Alder Creek Middle School

  • Erica Gustafson | Alder Creek Middle School

  • Meghan Neuberger | North Tahoe School

  • Jodie Schuster | North Tahoe School

  • Alicia Lampley | Gebel - Sierra High School, Truckee River School

  • Kelly Eberhardt | Truckee High School

  • Caitlin Wolfe | Truckee High School

  • Jackie Feldstein | Truckee High School

  • Scott Delgado | Truckee High School

  • Jeff Ream | North Tahoe High School

  • Rebeca Alcaraz | North Tahoe High School

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month is a nationwide celebration recognized in February to highlight the value of CTE and its impact on preparing students for the demands of the 21st-century workforce. CTE pathways provide students with hands-on, real-world experience in various industries that lead to high-wage, high-skill, and high-need careers.

Within TTUSD, our CTE pathways lead to careers in engineering, food services and hospitality, emergency services, sports medicine, product innovation and design, and welding and metals manufacturing. Through hands-on learning experiences, industry partnerships, and real-world projects, students in these pathways gain valuable skills and knowledge within their chosen fields. The district's continued focus on CTE helps ensure that students are prepared for the future and have the necessary skills to succeed. If you work with a community business that would be a good fit for a learning partnership, please reach out to Todd Wold, our CTE and Adult Education programs manager, at

This month serves to raise awareness of the importance of CTE and to encourage more students to consider Career Technical Education as an option to prepare for their future careers. Please contact your school’s counselor if you’d like to learn more about CTE pathways offerings.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our staff and CTE Advisory Committee members for their hard work in making sure these quality programs are offered at all of our high schools. Thank you!

Search for Approved Foster Placements

Are you looking for a meaningful way to impact our community positively? Consider becoming a foster placement for our local youth! The Tahoe Truckee region is experiencing a shortage of approved foster placements, so we wanted to share resources in case you’re interested in opening your home to these youth who would benefit from our community support.

They are seeking dedicated individuals passionate about providing a safe, nurturing, and stable home to local youth in need. Placements include emergency placements, temporary placements, and foster-to-adopt homes.

If your family is interested in gathering information or applying, please contact these local agencies for guidance:

  • Sierra Child & Family Services |

  • Placer County Resource Family Approval | (916) 780-3226

  • Nevada County Resource Family Approval | (530) 273-4291

TTUSD and TTEA Reach an Agreement on Annual Negotiations

The District is pleased to share that on February 1, 2023, during the second day of impasse mediation, the District and Tahoe Truckee Education Association (TTEA) reached a tentative agreement and resolved 2022-2023 negotiations. TTEA ratified the agreement on February 3, 2023, and the TTUSD Board of Trustees approved the agreement at the February 15, 2023, board meeting. We thank the union for working with the District to resolve the impasse in the best interest of the entire TTUSD community.

Together, the parties agreed:

  • 8% ongoing salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2022.

  • $2,000 one-time payment, prorated by FTE and paid out in two installments.

  • An increase to the District’s contribution to health benefits effective July 1, 2023.

Additionally, a management/labor committee will be formed to include one District Board member and up to four representatives from both the District and TTEA. This committee will review the certificated salary schedule - Appendix B, and make recommendations to the District and TTEA bargaining teams regarding salary schedule compression for 2023-2024 successor negotiations.

In addition to the agreement above, the parties agreed to modifications of several subsections of the bargaining agreement.

And here’s a chart outlining the financial implications of the tentative agreement:

Big picture

Upcoming Important Dates

  • February 20 - 24, 2023 | February Break, No School

  • March 1, 2023 | Minimum Day for all TTUSD Schools

  • March 21, 2023 | Alder Creek Middle School 6th Grade Parent Orientation Night | 6pm

  • April 3 - 7, 2023 | Spring Break

  • May 3, 2023 | Minimum Day for all TTTUSD Schools

  • May 29, 2023 | Memorial Day, No School

  • June 19, 2023 | Juneteenth, No School

  • June 23, 2023 | Anticipated Last Day of School