A creative solution to school problems
The Lake Tahoe Unified School District board and its new superintendent, James Tarwater, are setting a course for success in local schools, helping the embattled district bounce back from the funding troubles brought on by a steady decline in enrollment.
The decision Tuesday by the board to approve a magnet school at the old Meyers Elementary site is a step toward this end. Parents who are fearful of further hits to the district with the loss of long-tenured teachers and reduction in average daily attendance funding should feel good the district is taking a bold step to attract new students.
The school will hopefully be a model for other struggling districts. In Tahoe, where the environment is part of everyone’s daily life, and an attraction that draws families to reside here, it makes sense to create a school focused on the environment.
If parent interest so far is any indication, the school lottery Aug. 11-12 will include a lot of names. Open spots for the first year are limited to 180, and as of Thursday the district had received 81 applications, 17 of which represent students who are not currently enrolled in the district. A prekindergarten program will also accept 30 students the first year. Tarwater said 1,400 applications will be sent out to parents in the district.
And the Meyers site is also a logical location for the new school. The facility has recently undergone upgrades, and is still in excellent condition. Many of the parents of future magnet school students will likely live in the area.
Efforts like these, combined with the good work parents have done in the past few years to keep school sports intact and lobby for strong curriculum, will hopefully ensure a strong future for South Lake Tahoe schools. The move of families off the hill won’t stop any time soon. That trend has to be met with creative solutions.
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