Public gets a say in school district’s future
Where many people worry, Diane Scheerhorn sees an opportunity.
Scheerhorn, Lake Tahoe Unified School District’s superintendent, said she is excited about Tuesday’s meeting. That’s when residents concerned about the plight of the district can provide input into three areas: finance, alternative education and restructuring the district with a possible school closure.
Scheerhorn hopes to see many faces at the meeting, which will be held at South Tahoe Middle School’s multipurpose room.
“This is truly an opportunity for all participants to think creatively … and give these recommendations to the superintendent and board of education,” she said.
“If they can make a school district, what do they envision their school district to look like?”
For the first 10 minutes, the audience will be given a presentation with background information. Groups will be formed afterwards with people interested or concerned with one of the three issues.
A 20-minute question-and-answer period will finish the meeting.
Two members from each group plus the facilitators will form Scheerhorn’s advisory group. All but the school closure group will meet once a month. The other group will meet twice a month.
Finance affects the other two. Budget committee members will examine ways to allocate money to programs, increase the efficiency of spending and explore opportunities to raise revenue.
Members in the alternative education group will look at ways to retain students and entice parents to enroll their children in the district. There are four alternative education programs districtwide.
Lastly, the group examining a possible school closure have other choices including reconfiguring the elementary grades at different sites. Many have voiced there is an opportunity to create more diversity at the elementary schools.
Board President Lennie Schwartz has been busy telling people about the meeting, even firefighters conducting a fire inspection at his office.
“We’re hoping that people from all segments of the community will get involved and help us redefine some of the education practices,” Schwartz said. “We have to make things better for kid in times of declining enrollment and declining dollars.”
What: LTUSD Board of Education meeting
Where: South Tahoe Middle School multipurpose room
When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.
Why: Begin community groups to focus on finance, alternative education and possible school closure.
— E-mail William Ferchland at email@example.com