LTUSD thank officials for snow removal during historic winter; Superintendent’s contract extended |

LTUSD thank officials for snow removal during historic winter; Superintendent’s contract extended

Submitted to the Tribune
Bijou students presenting during April 27, meeting (from left): Rosie DePierri, speaker Christian Zepeda, Jazael Vazquez Tapia, Mikayla Owings, Katherine Cowen and Esperanza Caro Rojas
Provided/Teresa Schow/LTUSD

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — During the April 27 Lake Tahoe Unified School District board meeting, trustee Jon Hetherton thanked Kathy Haven and Kim Ilvento for their efforts in making the South Tahoe Scholarship Night a memorable event. 

Hetherton encouraged future seniors to apply for scholarships because of the significant amount of money available for graduating seniors. 

Superintendent Dr. Todd Cutler expressed sincere gratitude for the generosity of community partners and their commitment to LTUSD students. Dr. Cutler also recognized Pay it Forward and Mr. McDougal’s generous donation of $25,577 for the purchase of a Toyota Highlander for Mt. Tallac High School.  

Bijou Principal Rosie Depierri introduced student presenters: Mikayla Owings, Esperanza Caro Rojas, Christian Zepeda, Koko Cowen, Jazael Vazquez Tapia, and Elyse Baer who celebrated leadership, bilingualism, biliteracy, and community during their presentations about Bijou Community School. Zepeda explained that one of the reasons he loves Bijou School is because he gets to learn two languages. He noted that students in his school are “proud to be able to speak, understand, read, and write in two languages.” 

Associate Superintendent Andrea Salazar, thanked Cal Fire Chief Brian Newman, Chief Chad Stephen from Lake Valley Fire, and Chief Jim Drennan from South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue for their work and support helping to remove snow throughout the historic 2022-23 winter. Dr. Cutler recognized the important role these community organizations played in keeping LTUSD schools open and safe.

Chris Campion and Michelle Feeney from the Lake Tahoe Educational Foundation highlighted the foundation’s enrichment grants awarded to LTUSD schools which totaled $49,589 for the 2022-23 school year. The foundation partners with LTUSD, Lake Tahoe Community College, and the Soroptimist Noon Group to host and sponsor The Gift of Literacy program which is scheduled for May 19, at LTCC.

Local fire chiefs being honored on April 27, (from left): Sofia Marroquim; Trustee Reilly; Andrea Salazar; Trustee Mansfield; Jim Drennan, Fire Chief SLTFR; Trustee Turnbull; Brian Newman, Cal Fire Division Chief; Trustee Kemper; Trustee Hetherton; Chad Stephen, LVFD Chief; Jay Manning, SLTFR
Provided/Teresa Schow/LTUSD

Staff members from Bijou Community School and South Tahoe Middle School provided board members with updates on their single focus plans. Bijou Community School’s Single Focus is on improving research-based instructional practices in English and Spanish Language Development in order to improve student outcomes. Staff members provided impressive data that demonstrated improvement in student achievement.

The STMS Single Focus is to maximize engagement of STMS students, families, and staff to create a positive school culture. STMS staff highlighted attendance data, NWEA Map data, and athletic participation data to demonstrate the positive impact these initiatives are having at their school. 

Associate Superintendent Dr. Alan Reeder, presented the proposed LTUSD 2024-25 academic calendar and updated 2023-24 calendar to the board. Staff collaborated with leaders from both South Tahoe Educators’ Association and Classified School Employees Association to gather input and make revisions based on feedback. Both calendars were provided as discussion items to the board and are scheduled for the May 11, board of education agenda for approval.

A public hearing was held to allow the public an opportunity to comment on STEA’s opening negotiations proposal for collective bargaining with LTUSD in the 2023-24 school year. No public comment was received. The board approved STEA’s initial proposal for collective bargaining in the 2023-24 school year.

Associate Superintendent Andrea Salazar, reported on negotiations between LTUSD and South Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center related to sharing an employee who will serve as the district’s current director of multilingual learner equity and executive director of the FRC for the July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024 term.

The board reported a satisfactory evaluation for Cutler during the special board meeting on Monday, April 18. This resulted in a one-year extension of Cutler’s contract to June 30, 2026. 

Salazar reported that Caltrans requested four parcels as permanent easements on LTUSD property which are located off of U.S. Highway 50 in front and across from STMS. Two of the parcels will be used for installation and maintenance of Caltrans street lights, one will be for the installation of pedestrian hybrid beacons at midblock crossings, and the fourth will be used for installing underground electrical conduit. Board members expressed enthusiasm for this project because it will enhance safety near STMS.

Salazar reported that during the board meeting on Feb. 9, ABM, a district-selected facility management company, presented recommended phase III projects for summer 2023. During this meeting, funding challenges for these projects were briefly discussed and the possibility of the district obtaining a loan was proposed as an option. Board members expressed concerns about moving this project forward due to the potential budget shortfalls in the state and uncertainty of the economy.

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