School board approves performing arts center at elementary school |

School board approves performing arts center at elementary school

Axie Navas
Axie Navas / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Tahoe Valley Elementary School is about to step on stage.

The Lake Tahoe Unified School District school board approved the job description for Tahoe Valley’s new principal last week after voting in February to move forward with the creation of a Performing Arts Center at the school.

The new principal will develop the performing arts program next year for implementation in the 2014-15 school year, according to Superintendent James Tarwater.

Mark Romagnolo, the school’s current principal who plans to retire at the end of the school year, said Tahoe Valley will emphasize the performing arts by incorporating classes like dancing and singing into the school day. It takes time and strategic planning, but Romagnolo said he thinks Tahoe Valley could eventually become a performing arts magnet school with a curriculum that aligns to the focus theme.

“Almost every school with a performing arts emphasis has very high test scores and a great school culture,” Romagnolo said.

Romagnolo said he doesn’t anticipate the school making any staffing additions next year. Instead, he anticipates bringing in community members who could teach drama, dance, vocals and more.

Bringing performing arts to Tahoe Valley is part of a district-wide vision to develop schools of choice at the South Shore, according to Tarwater. Those schools accommodate different student needs by specializing in a particular structure, learning philosophy or academic theme.

Bijou Community School offers the Two-Way Immersion program in Spanish while the Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School focuses on project-based, interactive teaching combined with environmental themes. Tarwater said he foresees a connection between Sierra House Elementary School and the high school’s sports medicine building.

With a new art/drama teacher slated to start work at South Tahoe Middle School next year, and the Tahoe Arts and Design Academy at South Tahoe High School, the district is building a performing arts pathway that students can begin in elementary school, Tarwater said.

“You’ll have the traditional instructional program, but you also have, in addition to the rigorous academics, dance, theater, choir and instrumental programs,” Tarwater said.

It helps that the school already has incorporated some performing arts. Marcia Sarosik, co-founder of the current Tahoe Valley Performing Arts program, meets with students two days a week after school to teach them the fundamentals of song and dance.

“You want them to have something more. And you can tell that they love it and that they’re learning,” Sarosik said Monday during a class for first- and second-graders.

In other news:

El Dorado County libraries seek teen art contest submissions

Staff at El Dorado County branch libraries are looking for art from a middle school or high school student for the summer reading program theme, “Reading is so delicious.” The grand prize winner will receive $100.

Contest submissions are due Friday, March 22 by 5 p.m.

For more information, visit the South Lake Tahoe Branch Library located at 1000 Rufus Allen Blvd., South Lake Tahoe or email

STMS now accepting 2013-14 eighth-grade AVID applications

Students who qualify for Advancement Via Individual Determination — or AVID — and who will be in eighth grade for the 2013-14 school year will need to fill out an application to apply for possible placement in the program. Interviews will take place Friday, March 29.

The application can be found at For more information, call 530-541-6404 ext. 239.

AVID is a six-year college preparatory program designed for students motivated to attend a four-year college. Many of the students are first-generation college students, educationally or economically disadvantaged or under represented.

Zephyr Cove kindergarten registration begins March 18

Nevada parents are invited to register children in the Zephyr Cove Elementary School kindergarten class who will be 5 years old by September 30.

Zephyr Cove Elementary School is the only Nevada-side public school on the South Shore of Tahoe. The half-day kindergarten program provides the necessary instruction to prepare students for first grade. Visit the website at to learn about the school. Registration packets are available Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the school.

Community groups host children’s Easter egg hunts

There will be an Easter egg hunt for children 6 years old and younger at Kahle Community Park Friday, March 29 at 11 a.m. For more information, call 775-586-7271.

Lake Tahoe Community College will also host an Easter egg hunt for children under 11 years old or younger on Saturday, March 30 at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call Fritz Wenck at 530-541-4170 or 530-544-5356.

Volunteers needed for WHS seventh- and eighth-grade end-of-year party

The end of the year party for Whitell High School seventh- and eighth-graders is scheduled for Friday, May 17 at the Minden Swim Center. The event will start at 9:30 a.m. and run until 3 p.m.

Parents who are interested in volunteering can contact Dana Buchholz at or 775-762-3611. Volunteers can ride the bus, meet the students at the center, donate refreshments, plan games and more.

Education updates and announcements can be emailed to

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