District considers adopting a school ravaged by hurricane | TahoeDailyTribune.com

District considers adopting a school ravaged by hurricane

William Ferchland

Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Sierra House teacher Jodi Dayberry hopes to convince the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board tonight to adopt a sister-school arrangement with a district that was affected by Hurricane Katrina.

A sister-school arrangement with a school district hit by Hurricane Katrina is one agenda item on the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board of Education meeting tonight.

The hope is to alleviate some of the burden a district faces when teaching resources are wiped out and students have minimal, if any, school supplies when a devastating natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina hits.

Backed by parent Angela Swanson and Sierra House teacher Jodi Dayberry, the plan is for Tahoe students, and others, to donate things such as backpacks while establishing pen-pal relationships and making classroom presentations on the damaged area.

Teachers, parents and businesses are welcome to donate items if the proposal is approved by school board.

“It’s out of a need for people who want to do something besides write a check to Red Cross,” Dayberry said.

A school district hasn’t been chosen yet, but only one has responded via e-mail: Ocean Springs School District in Mississippi, Swanson said.

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The district is set to start school at the end of September but many of its 5,500 students lost everything. All school buildings in the district have been damaged, a newsletter on its Web site stated, and the district is anticipating increased enrollment from displaced students and assistance from communities across the nation.

Officials from Ocean Springs School District could not be reached for comment.

One district, Park Hill in Kansas City, Mo., stated it recently adopted Ocean Springs School District on its Web site.

But whichever school district is chosen, which will likely occur at a meeting at the end of September, LTUSD seems ready to give its support. Suzy Krzaczek, a teacher of the leadership class at South Tahoe Middle School, said her students are poised to help. Ideas are still rumbling in her head, but Krzaczek said different months can have different themes, such as September is the donation of school supplies and October the donation of books and December being focused on toys.

She also proposed a teacher-to-teacher assistance program.

Swanson, a candidate for school board, said anything will help.

“If you can afford a box of crayons we’ll gratefully accept it,” she said.

Other agenda items include:

— The presentation of the unaudited financial report for the 2004-05 school year.

— A report by a Support South Tahoe Athletic Teams representative on its Sept. 25 golf fund-raiser at Tahoe Paradise Golf Course.

— The purchase of a new school bus in the consent agenda.