School board has lengthy to-do list |

School board has lengthy to-do list

William Ferchland

From possibly renaming the remaining three elementary schools to the return of all-day kindergarten, Lake Tahoe Unified School District has a lengthy to-do list before September.

A consolidation plan was presented to the district’s school board after a lengthy public hearing session from people interested in another parcel tax initiative or concerned about interdistrict transfers.

A slew of changes need to be made since Measure L, a $60 annual parcel tax to fund education, was defeated this month.

The loss meant Al Tahoe and Meyers elementary schools will close, along with the elimination of class-size reduction, increased fees and other cuts.

“We need to get a plan of action tonight so we have a foundation of rebuilding the school district,” Superintendent Diane Scheerhorn said Tuesday.

Changes must be made in a variety of departments. Human resources will look at potential combination classes and staff reassignments. Redefining the music program, approving all-day kindergarten and exploring charter school options are charged to the curriculum department.

A budget starting from zero will be made by the finance department. In addition, there will be a deeper hiring and expenditure freeze and a determination of class sizes from kindergarten through high school. Then there is work to be done on the 2004-05 budget.

Some parents expressed concern with the belief that interdistrict transfers are banned next year. The transfers allow children to go to different elementary schools outside their boundary area.

Steve Morales, district facilities manager, would not comment on the interdistrict transfers. He deferred comments to Scheerhorn.

The plan the board adopted regarding boundary lines did not include interdistrict transfers. Enrollment numbers are already best guesstimated for next school year. Scheerhorn said she will ask the district’s attorney about the legality of including interdistrict transfers.

Scheerhorn provided a timeline calendar to the board with different events. This week had 16 items, including interviews for the permanent chief financial officer position and looks at inventories, all-day kindergarten and collaboration times for teachers.

Another item is the possible renaming of the three schools left open: Bijou, Sierra House and Tahoe Valley. Jackie Nelson, principal of Tahoe Valley, said a name change would be good to start with a clean slate.

– E-mail William Ferchland at

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