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William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

School board officials heard reasons why parents left Lake Tahoe Unified School District during a meeting Tuesday night.

Eight parents cited work, seven blamed cost of living, nine specified housing, nine reported personal reasons while three had other reasons, a report stated.

Other areas that were addressed at the meeting include new Meyers Elementary School playground equipment and the move to approve a cellular phone antenna on school district grounds.

Superintendent Diane Scheerhorn reported to the LTUSD Board of Education that 39 responses came from parents who filled out a questionnaire about why they were leaving the school district in the 2001 to 2002 school year.

A parent moving to Carson City wrote, “I am very pleased with Tahoe Valley School. I have no choice because of housing. I have secured steady work but cannot afford to make the gap between jobs. Thank you. I hope to bring my children back.”

Parents with children who had attended South Tahoe Middle School but pulled them out cited moving as the No. 1 cause. Out of 119 responses, 12 stated the student was going out of the district to attend charter or private school.

There were 179 responses from South Tahoe High School parents. Forty-four cited the child was going to attend alternative education.

Scheerhorn is planning an upcoming meeting with parents to discuss options for creating a district charter school or a home school outreach program.

In addition, the board heard a presentation from Carry Loomis, a Meyers parent, regarding her seven-month fund-raising attempts to raise money for new playground equipment at Meyers.

More than $30,000 was raised through community donations and efforts including a March chili feed that raised nearly $8,000 and a school penny drive that raised almost $2,500, Loomis said.

When school starts in September, three-quarters of the existing playground will be new.

“Some of the teachers thought they played on (the old equipment) when they were kids,” Loomis told the board.

Lastly, the board moved to approve a 100-foot AT&T cellular phone tower that would sit on top of South Tahoe Middle School. The tower would be disguised as a tree and is currently in the works to get approval from TRPA. The district would reportedly receive $24,200 a year in exchange for the location.

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