The Latest News from TTUSD

November 12, 2020

In this Edition

  • A Message from Superintendent Ghysels
  • Safety Protocols in our schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Winter is here and so is the snow - planning for snow days

  • Introducing the Hope Squad

A Message from Superintendent Ghysels

Dear TTUSD Community,


Please Stay Safe So We Can Stay Open!


It’s been two weeks since we reopened our schools. I have enjoyed visiting our schools and seeing our students engaged and safe in their hybrid classes.


I’m proud of our extensive safety measures. Our students and staff are doing well; please help us keep it that way.


Remember - what you (parents and students) do when you’re off-campus has a significant impact on our entire school community's safety and well-being. We’re all in this together. Please do your part! Mask up! Don’t get lax - take precautions. Don’t attend large gatherings.


If we all follow our safety and health protocols each day, regardless of our location, we will stay safe and stay open!


All of our actions truly make a difference and I thank you for being part of the solution.


Winter is here! We are currently evaluating and making plans on how we will handle snow days during the 2020-2021 school year. (See article below.) With our new educational models in place due to COVID-19, we may have the opportunity to implement district-wide distance learning in place of snow days, depending on the seriousness of the storm. We are looking at potential scenarios and what is involved, and we will have a plan in place by December 1.


Stay well!


Sincerely,


Carmen Ghysels


Superintendent Chief Learning Officer

Safety Protocols in our schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Unfortunately, Placer County moved back to the red tier on Tuesday due to a rising number of cases in Placer County and the state. Did you know that even though the number of positive cases of COVID-19 is rising, we are not seeing the same rate in our TTUSD community, despite being back on campus?


Are there positive cases in the district? Yes, there are a few and you can always access this data on our COVID-19 Dashboard. (The dashboard is updated every weekday and only reports confirmed positive student/staff cases. It does not report symptomatic/exposure cases.)


Are we responding immediately? Yes.


Does it matter what we do when off campus? Yes.


Our data is showing that the safety protocols the district has in place, including requiring face coverings in school, is working to help stop the spread of the virus. What we all do when we’re not on campus matters. What families do matters! We all need to mask up and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community and on our campuses.


What can you do?

  • Mask Up!

  • Avoid large gatherings! Holidays are coming up however this isn’t the year to celebrate in groups. Stay safe and keep others safe and keep family gatherings small!

  • Wash your hands often throughout the day!

  • Stay home if you are sick. Keep students home if they are sick and communicate with our schools if symptoms are present.

Please do your part and keep our kids and our community safe and healthy!

Winter is here and so is the snow - planning for snow days

We are currently evaluating and making plans on how we will handle snow days during the 2020-2021 school year. With our new educational models in place due to COVID-19, we may have the opportunity to implement district-wide distance learning in place of a snow day.


We are looking at potential scenarios and we will have a plan in place by December 1. There are multiple factors that come into play, including power and internet access. Stay tuned for more info next week!


What goes into calling a snow day?
An extensive evaluation process goes on behind the scenes at the district any time a winter storm is forecasted. When a storm hits, our Transportation Director and our Superintendent Chief Learning Officer are up at the wee hours of the morning evaluating whether or not it is safe to have school that day.


Making the decision on whether or not to call a snow day is not as straightforward or as easy as you may think, and the decision is not taken lightly. It’s all about safety!

What we evaluate:

- The forecast for predicted snow amounts and elevation, as well as wind, ice, temperatures, and rain.

-The status of Interstate 80, SR28, SR89, and SR267 for road conditions, closures, and chain requirements. In addition to the district's main roadways and bus routes, we check on secondary roadways as well. We also check on the condition of roadways for students to stand while waiting at bus stops.


The challenges:

-We have a very large school district – 720 square miles – and the weather can vary from one location to another. Our services, such as food services and transportation, are interconnected. (Note, based on their location on Donner Summit, we do look at Donner Trail Elementary separately. There are times when we call a snow day there but not anywhere else in the district.)

-We have to make the decision by 4:00 a.m. in the morning.

-It can leave some parents in a bind, especially if they have to be at work that day.

All of our snow day information is posted on our website at www.ttusd.org. Click here for a detailed list of our snow day policies and procedures. The calls go out to parents at 6:00 a.m. and if you would like to be part of the earlier call group, please contact your school office.


Introducing the Hope Squad

We are excited to share that we’re launching the “Hope Squad” at our middle school and high schools. Hope Squad is a school-based peer-to-peer program that reduces youth suicide through education, training, and peer intervention. The school sites are in the process of asking students to nominate trustworthy and helpful peers to become Hope Squad members. We will be implementing the Hope Squad curriculum, taught through lessons called PHASEs (Promoting Hope and Student Empowerment) that teach students to identify the warning signs of suicide and helps them connect their peers to supportive resources.

The key elements of Hope Squad, including QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer), peer leadership, positive messaging, the curriculum, and intentional outreach techniques, were all developed from best practices in the mental health and suicide prevention fields.

We think this wellness program will be valuable for our students, especially during a time filled with so much stress and anxiety.