Education Roundup: Middle school changes schedule in response to poor grades |

Education Roundup: Middle school changes schedule in response to poor grades

Dylan Silver

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – South Tahoe Middle School will change its schedule next year in response to reports of poor student performance.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District board members voted to approve the schedule change at their May 8 meeting.

Principal Beth Delacour told the board that 20 percent of sixth-graders, 36 percent of seventh-graders and 44 percent of eighth-graders have at least one “D” or “F.” The new schedule allots time for students with failing grades to improve their performance.

Under the new schedule, students with grades below 70 percent would have 30 minutes each day to work directly with a teacher to improve those grades. Students who do not have grades below 70 percent would be able to choose elective classes or have free time.

Also as part of the new schedule, teachers will form advisory groups with students. The advisory groups will meet each week. Students will stay with their advisory group teacher for up to three years so a relationship can develop between the teacher, the students and their parents.

Fifth-graders from Sierra House Elementary, Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School, Bijou Community School and Tahoe Valley Elementary participated in “Snapshot Day” Saturday.

The event captures a single moment of water quality at dozens of sites in the Tahoe-Truckee watershed.

The nearly 300 students that participated analyzed water quality by measuring dissolved oxygen, temperature and pH at different sites around the South Shore. They practiced junior botany by learning and identifying plants, and learned about the stream habitat through stations hosted by the U.S. Forest Service, CalTrout, League to Save Lake Tahoe, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Lake Tahoe Humane Society.

“At my station in the Tahoe Keys, we saw a beaver, coyote and an osprey that caught a fish right in front of us,” said Sarah Ford, a conservation planner with the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, who participated and helped organize the event.

More than 100 volunteers helped put on the 12th annual Snapshot Day. More than 33 water sites around the Lake Tahoe were sampled, making the event one of the largest water quality monitoring events in California, according to the TRCD.

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