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For Education Matters, Safety and Health of Schools Now the Matter

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The community identifies the elements of a quality education, July 2006.

Do Tahoe Truckee students feel safe as they walk into their schools? Do they spend each school day in a healthful environment? If not, what can we do about it?

The Education Matters program has been striving to answer those questions. It has moved into the next phase of its effort to 'create the best education system in the state' and has begun working to ensure that the schools of Tahoe Truckee Unified School District are safe, healthy places.

The first phase of the program began last spring when Education Matters asked members of the community to identify the elements of a quality education. More than 700 people responded and from those responses Education Matters identified eight basic priorities. Safe, Healthy Environment is the first of those to be addressed.

From November 2, 2006, to February 27 of this year, Education Matters gathered initial community input on the Safe, Healthy Environment priority by holding a series of open forums, and by making presentations in both English and Spanish to Parent Teacher Organizations and English Language Advisory Committees. From the community’s response, Education Matters formed a committee that currently includes more than 50 people from a broad cross-section of the community.

This Safe, Healthy Environment Committee has refined its focus to three priority areas. It will work to improve the emotional safety of students, to bolster their physical health and overall nutrition, and to ensure that the schools they attend are clean and safe. During March, Education Matters will work to formulate strategies based upon the many ideas provided by the community – ideas that range from later bell schedules to community gardens, from a Safe Ambassador program to cultural cooking classes, and include everything in between.

However, Project Manager Kim Bradley stressed that the goal of Education Matters is not only to implement changes, but also to integrate the energy and innovation of the community into the current efforts and capacities of the district. 'Education Matters supports a partnership between schools and the community,' Bradley said. The District Facilities department and the Truckee Tahoe Nutrition Coalition are already working in directions that parallel some of the priorities of Education Matters, and Education Matters would like to integrate more members of the community more thoroughly into these already existing efforts.

Although Education Matters has been working since last spring, Bradley emphasized that it is looking for more community involvement. 'There’s still lots of room for people to get involved because the specifics haven’t been worked out yet,' said Bradley, 'we’ve been intentionally going slow to facilitate involvement.' In particular, Education Matters is seeking more input from Spanish-speaking members of the community and from the students themselves.

Education Matters is sponsored by the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, Excellence in Education, and TTUSD.

For more information contact Kim Bradley at educationmatters@ttcf.net, or 530-550-7984 ext. 109.

 
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March 14, 2019