Elementary school considers growing dome project
March 29, 2013
To connect plates with the classroom, Sierra House Elementary School educators have proposed a plan to develop a growing dome on campus.
The four-season garden dome, which looks like a futuristic greenhouse, would be the first of its kind at the South Shore. According to a project description on the Lake Tahoe Unified School District board's online agenda, the facility would provide hands-on learning for students.
While the curriculum still needs to be fleshed out, Sierra House Principal Ryan Galles said students would ideally spend one or two days per week in the dome maintaining the facility, measuring plant growth and working on other school projects. Galles said he hopes to bring food grown on campus into the cafeteria and help inspire healthy eating choices.
In the summer, the facility could serve as a community garden that local gardeners could use and help maintain, he said.
"Living in a mountain climate, I don't think the kids have a true sense of how things grow and where things come from," Galles said. "It's something I hope the kids will connect with. It will make the learning in the classroom real because they'll have a laboratory."
The project isn't without its hurdles though. The project will cost about $80,000 — or $30,000 more than initial estimates, according to Galles. School administrators will also have to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act, Division of the State Architect and Tahoe Regional Planing Agency requirements.
Realistically construction won't begin until summer 2014, Galles said.
In that time, project organizers will ramp up fundraising efforts. Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe initially pledged $25,000 grant to the elementary school, but will wait until the LTUSD school board approves the project before moving forward according to co-chairwoman Karen Kurtzman.
"The club is very enthusiastic about the project and now we just have to see if the project moves forward," Kurtzman said.
If the school secures the $25,000, Galles said the project will have raised $36,000 even without formal fundraising efforts. Galles presented to the LTUSD board Tuesday night for discussion on the project.
Sierra House's proposed dome is based off a Growing Spaces design currently used in Truckee. The company sells growing dome kits to build the greenhouses.
In other news
Local schools revalidated as AVID Demonstration Sites
South Tahoe Middle School and South Tahoe High School have both been revalidated for three more years as AVID — or Advancement Via Individual Determination — demonstration sites, the highest validation a demonstration site can receive.
The AVID team members visited the schools last week and were impressed with the focus on college and career at the campuses, according to STHS Principal Ivone Larson.
AVID — an acronym for Advancement Via Individual Determination — is a college-readiness system for elementary, middle and high school students. According to the AVID website, demonstration schools are models of the AVID system strategies.
Zephyr Cove Lodge hosts bingo night to benefit Warriors
Zephyr Cove Lodge will host a bingo night Thursday, April 11 at 6 p.m. to benefit the Whittell High School Warrior's Safe and Sober GradNite.
The $30 ticket includes food and bingo. A silent auction will also take place.
For more information, call Carol Arciniega at 775-720-9555, Elaine Welch at 775-781-0114 or Suzanne Harris at 775-240-3902.
STMS hosts free e-waste recycling event
There will be a free electronic waste event at South Tahoe Middle School April 27-28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
People who want to participate need to fill out the e-waste form that can be found at http://tinyurl.com/cjaekcw/.
They should also consult the list at http://tinyurl.com/c4ewsys for information on what is and what is not accepted.
Volunteers needed for WHS seventh- and eighth-grade end-of-year party
The end of the year party for Whittell High School seventh- and eighth-graders is scheduled for Friday, May 17, at the Minden Swim Center. The event will start at 9:30 a.m. and run until 3 p.m. Parents who are interested in volunteering can contact Dana Buchholz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-762-3611. Volunteers can ride the bus, meet the students at the center, donate refreshments, plan games and more.
Education updates and announcements can be emailed to email@example.com.