Pathways to Possibilities and Student Success                                                                       3-4-15
Minimum days:
All schools 3-11-15
Middle schools 3-25-15

No school:
Spring Break
4-6 through 4-10-15

Coffee & Conversation with the Superintendent:
3-11-15: Lakeside
3-19-15: Truckee side

Spanish edition:
3-23-15: Truckee side
3-30-15: Lakeside

Coffee & Conversation with the Superintendent:
4-29-15: Truckee side
5-12-15: Lakeside

Kindergarten Preview Each begins at 6 p.m.

3-5-15 -- Glenshire Elementary

3-19-15 -- Truckee Elementary

13th Annual Child Development Conference
5-2-15 at Truckee Elementary
Upcoming Meetings
3/4/15 - 5:30 p.m.
3/18/15 - 5:30 p.m.
4/1/15 - 5:30 p.m.
4/15/15 - 5:30 p.m.
5/6/15 - 5:30 p.m.

Did you know........?


- A year ago, TTUSD partnered with WeTip to establish the WeTip anonymous crime reporting system throughout North Tahoe and Truckee. The hotline helps students, parents and school officials fight bullying and school crime without fear or reprisal from the person accused. 

Report school crimes like vandalism, bullying and drug use:

-Attendance matters at every grade level. A day of school missed is a day of instruction and classroom interaction with teachers and students that can't be recovered.

-Cold Stream Alternative is part of TTUSD and offers students over 80 independent study classes to choose from. 

TTUSD is extremely grateful for the tremendously positive impact Measure A has for our schools and students. 


Did you know that Measure A funds counseling services at our elementary and middle schools? We are very fortunate as many public schools in the state no longer provide counseling due to budget constraints. Measure A makes the outstanding counseling services we have possible.  

Thank you Measure A!




In This Issue
Dear TTUSD Families and Community Members,

I hope everyone had a chance to relax and enjoy the ski/skate week. I took the opportunity to get out on some nice hikes during those sunny days.


We are in the second half of the school year and there continues to be a lot to be excited about.


Recently, some of TTUSD's elementary schools participated in the Placer County spelling bee contest. Congratulations to Ryan Rintala, one of our fifth graders from Truckee Elementary. He did extremely well in the spelling bee and was one of the top 10 spellers in the entire county! He now advances to Placer County's oral spelling bee contest in Rocklin on March 12. Good luck Ryan!


Congratulations to the Truckee High Academic Team who swept all three matches in the regional playoff tournament in Dayton last week. Yesterday they advanced to the state tournament ranked as the #1 seed in the west division and came in fourth place overall for the state. 


We had three Odyssey of the Mind teams from TTUSD participate in the Capital Gold competition in Sacramento on February 21; two teams were from Glenshire Elementary and one team was from North Tahoe School. A special thanks to the team captains, Suzie Dailey, Brett Smith and Anne Butterworth, who generously volunteered a great deal of their time to make Odyssey possible for their teams.


We continue to work on the 2015-2016 budget. The District plans to make approximately $1.1 million in expenditure reductions while protecting class sizes. The reductions will be in supplies, professional services such as consultants, retirement attrition, and District office staff reductions. We remain committed to keeping the reductions as far away from the classroom as possible.


As part of our continued focus on the "Student Voice," we held our fifth student voice panel at last week's Board of Education meeting. We had 15 students participate and the students were from Sierra High, Truckee High and North Tahoe High. The student panels are always a highlight for the board and me. We are very appreciative of their candor in sharing their insightful perspectives on how the District is doing to meet the needs of all of our students.


We have some retirements and a resignation to announce which signify big losses for TTUSD. After 35 years of service, our Donner Trail principal and Principal on Special Assignment, Suzie Phebus, is retiring. She has spent her entire career serving the children in our community and we are very grateful for her contribution and positive impact on our youth. Tom Gemma, Executive Director of Administrative Services is re-retiring. When our previous Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources retired in 2012, Tom came in as an interim to cover Human Resources and assist in my transition as the new Superintendent Chief Learning Officer.  In the spring of 2012, our Assistant Superintendent of Business Services resigned, and I convinced Tom to come out of retirement and oversee a division that includes Business Services, Human Resources, Transportation, Food Services and Facilities. For the past three years Tom has been my "right hand man" and a tremendous asset to our District.


Last but not least, after 28 years of service in our District, Dave Curry, our Executive Director of Educational Services, has announced his resignation. Dave started out as a science teacher at North Tahoe High in 1986 and then served in several administrative roles at North Tahoe High and North Tahoe School before coming to the District Office. Dave currently oversees the Educational Services Division which includes curriculum, assessments, accountability, translation and interpretive support, technology, and teacher and principal training. These three departures leave "big shoes to fill" for our District and are prompting reorganization at the District office. We are currently assessing our organizational structure and plan to make changes to fill the voids that these three individuals leave.


It was wonderful to again see snow falling and on the ground. It's a reminder of what winter is supposed to look like. While spring is just around the corner, let's continue to think snow for some time to come.



Robert J. Leri, Ed.D.

Superintendent-Chief Learning Officer 

Students learn new skills, spark new interests in Hour of Code
Our students love technology and use it often, whether they are at school, home, or in the community. Despite their frequent use of technology, most students do not fully comprehend how technology works. To address this, we welcomed the opportunity to participate in an "Hour of Code" to expose students to another side of technology.

Hour of Code was initially created in 2013 to celebrate Computer Science Week. The idea behind it is that each student has an hour-long introduction to computer programming to demystify coding and show students that anyone can learn the basics. By participating in the Hour of Code, TTUSD students are given the opportunity to learn new skills which have the potential to change the rest of their lives. Scholars successfully create projects on their own, program games and apps, and for some, an interest may be sparked in becoming a computer scientist or pursuing a career in technology.

Participating in an Hour of Code is in alignment with TTUSD's focus of providing more STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) opportunities to our students whenever possible. The District plans to continue participating in the event as it engages and challenges our scholars and best of all -- the students have fun!
FREE viewing of the movie Fed Up at North Tahoe High!

FED UP is the film the food industry doesn't want you to see from Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth) and director Stephanie Soechtig.


What if EVERYTHING we've been told about food and exercise

for the past 30 years is dead wrong?


We will be showing the movie on Tuesday March 24, 2015 at the North Tahoe High School Auditorium. The movie starts at 5:30 p.m.  


A delicious and nutritious meal of fresh made soup, pizza and salad, provided by Food Services for only $5 will be available in the Dining Commons at 5:00 pm! (Please bring your own bowl for the soup.)


Following the film, a panel of community experts will answer questions and help us make an easy transition to more healthful eating in our homes and schools.

Partnerships in Action - A renewable energy project at Kings Beach Elementary

Thanks to dedicated community partners and a vision, Kings Beach Elementary School now has solar panels.


The solar panels provide numerous benefits including:

  • Teaching our children to be environmentally responsible citizens.
  • Students are learning about renewable energy and its benefits.
  • The live streaming of data demonstrating the energy savings allows students to monitor and track progress
  • It offers a hands on solar project that our kids can learn from each day
  • We're saving energy and $$

Kings Beach Elementary celebrated a ribbon cutting of the new solar panels at their school site on Feb. 27, 2015. At the ribbon cutting event, the project was dedicated to Eileen Fahrner, former principal of Kings Beach Elementary whose dream was to have solar energy at their school.


Special thanks to the McConkey Foundation, TTUSD, Kelly Brothers, Simple Power and the Kings Beach PTO for making this important project possible. 

New academic standards call for new assessments

Raising the bar and preparing students for success


This spring, TTUSD students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 will be taking a new assessment test called the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). This change in testing is based on our implementation of the California Common Core State Standards. Over the past few years we have made exciting changes in our academic standards, and the state assessment system is changing to keep up.


Our new standards push students to develop a deeper understanding of subject matter, critical thinking and application of what they have learned. Along with reading to follow a story, students now read to cite evidence and draw logical conclusions. They use math to solve real-world problems. Students are developing skills critical to succeed in the 21st Century.


For the first time ever, our scholars will have computer-based tests in English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) and math. Instead of paper-based, multiple-choice assessments, they will be asked to take information and do something meaningful with it rather than merely pick out (or guess) the right multiple-choice answers.


A major benefit of the new assessments is that the computer adaptive technology will provide more accurate information about individual student performance. Instead of just a proficiency score, teachers will get more detailed, meaningful information on each student to guide their instruction so all students are successful.


We all must be prepared, however, for the results from this first administration of these assessments. Scores may appear to be lower than previous state assessments, but that is to be expected of a new testing system that uses different testing methodologies and one that assess different standards and more rigorous skills including critical thinking. These tests will be unlike any others in their application and their results. The results ultimately will help inform how we enhance standards-aligned instruction and how we assist students with test-taking strategies in with these new forms of assessments.


Key features of the assessments:

  • They are aligned to the California Common Core State Standards (not just national standards, but standards specific to our state).
  • They measure critical thinking with questions that ask students to demonstrate their research, writing, and problem solving skills.
  • They are untimed and students can take breaks so that they can do their best.
  • They have been developed with input from K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, and other experts.
Mark your calendars - 13th Annual Child Development Conference
Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Keynote presenter
is the award-winning children's author, speaker, storyteller, drummer and literacy advocate 
Matthew Gollub.

In addition to the keynote workshop there will be workshops on child behavior. A Continental breakfast, Lunch and child care will be provided. 

For more information: 530-582-2583;
Update on facility upgrades

We continue to move forward on the facility upgrades funded by the bond measures. At our Board of Education Meeting held on February 25, the Board approved the following architectural services agreements:

  • Ward Young Architecture, a local firm, has been selected for the quick start projects to be completed this summer. The projects include Glenshire Elementary, Truckee High School Track & Field Upgrades, and Sierra High School. Contract agreements were approved for these projects. The SELS and Alder Creek Middle School projects are scheduled for 2016 and a separate contract for Alder Creek and SELS will be submitted at a later date.
  • The DLR Group was selected for the Truckee High School and Truckee Elementary School projects and a contract agreement was approved. The design process is currently underway for both projects. The anticipated construction start date for Truckee High School is summer 2017 and construction for the Truckee Elementary School project is scheduled to begin in 2018.
  • Architectural Nexus was selected for the Tahoe Lake Elementary and North Tahoe projects. The contract agreement was approved for the Tahoe Lake project. The design process is currently under way for Tahoe Lake Elementary with an anticipated construction start date of summer 2017. The agreement for North Tahoe will be submitted at a later date.
  • JK Architecture, a local firm, was selected for Kings Beach Elementary, Donner Trail Elementary and the Maintenance/Warehouse projects. Contract agreements were approved for both Kings Beach and Donner Trail. The design process will begin immediately with a construction start date of 2018 for both facilities. The contract agreement for the Maintenance/Warehouse projects will be submitted at a later date.

Detailed information on the upgrades planned will be posted on our website at

For local contractors:
Upcoming workshop on successful school project work
TTUSD will present the how-to's of successful school project work. TTUSD Project Managers will explain how to successfully bid, execute and complete a school project. There will be information about the types of projects TTUSD has, projects coming up, the Public Contract Code bidding requirements, and specific requirements unique to school districts.

TTUSD would like to work with local contractors on upcoming facility projects.

Tuesday, March 24, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Board Room
TTUSD -District office
11603 Donner Pass Rd, Truckee

For more info:
Contact Rob Koster, TTUSD Project Manager
Highlights from recent board meetings
To keep you informed on what happens at our board meetings, we added this new standing column to include highlights from recent board meetings. For more information on these items, click here. 

Here are a few highlights of what was covered at our February 4, 2015 meeting:
  • Laura Brown from the Excellence in Education Foundation was recognized for her contributions to the educational community. 
  • The Board approved a resolution to recognize National School Counselors Week February 2-6, 2015, to celebrate school counseling and recognize the unique contribution our professional school counselors make for our students. 
  • The Director of Facilities gave a report on the quick start projects (funded by the bond measures) for the summer of 2015
Here are a few highlights of what was covered at our February 25, 2015 meeting:
  • We had a student voice panel with a total of 15 students; they were from Truckee High, Sierra High and North Tahoe High. The ASB presidents moderated the panel and students shared their input on a variety of topics from academics, social-emotional and campus items. We very much appreciate their candor and perspective.
  • Architectural Service Agreements were approved for facility upgrade projects that are funded by the bond measures.
For more information on these items, click here. Our next board meeting is tonight, March 4 at 5:30 p.m. at the District Office in Truckee. For your convenience, live streaming of our board meeting is also available. Visit and click on the Board of Education page.
Dr. Quaglia is coming to Squaw on April 30!

April 30, 2015 - Dr. Quaglia comes to Squaw Valley Institute


Dr. Russell Quaglia is a global pioneer in the field of education and student achievement. Join the inspiring conversation hosted by the Squaw Valley Institute on Thursday, April 30, 2015. Mark your calendar! Adult tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at door, students $10 and Squaw Valley Institute members are free. 


For tickets and event details visit

Telling our story - TTUSD in the news
In case you missed the articles about TTUSD that ran in the local media recently, below are links to the articles. 

TTUSD | (530) 582-2500 | | website