Jamie Orr

Reject LTUSD's residential zoning proposal

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Jamie Orr
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Dear LTUSD Trustees -

We support community schools over neighborhood schools. Please reject the residential prioritization of our elementary schools.

The rezoning proposal brought forth is concerning to many of us who have children attending LTUSD schools. We understand that the rezoning is helpful to address transportation for the start time changes in line with SB 328. However, we DO NOT support the prioritization of schools for students with this rezoning measure and would like to separate these proposals.

South Lake Tahoe is a strong community and LTUSD has done a great job giving families choices for their student’s elementary education. Open enrollment is key to keeping the integrity of our elementary schools’ excellent themed programs intact. It is imperative that families throughout our community continue to have equitable access to these amazing programs regardless of their home address.

There are many of us who enrolled our children at LTUSD because of a specific focus at a specific elementary school. We are proud of our schools. We do not have “neighborhood” schools in that many of us live more than 2 miles from the nearest elementary school and our “neighbors” are second homes and vacation rentals in many cases. Our true neighbors are those we have built our community with AT the school we attend(ed). We share values, ideals, and academic goals with these neighbors who are now also friends.

Open enrollment to schools with their own unique unifying theme has so many benefits, including:

  • Prioritizing school choice & increasing satisfaction among families.
  • Providing educational equity & increasing school integration.
  • Uniting schools and the community through a focused curriculum
  • Encouraging the creativity of our educators, fostering educational innovation and providing a venue to pilot new teaching and learning strategies and approaches, that can then be shared with other community schools.
  • Increasing parent and community involvement and support.
  • Providing learning environments that match and cultivate students’ interests, talents and abilities, increasing student achievement.
  • Expanding career opportunities with authentic application of skills

Current Board Policy states:

“The Board of Education desires to provide enrollment options that meet the diverse needs and interests of district students and parents/guardians, while also maximizing the efficient use of district facilities. The Superintendent or designee shall establish procedures for the selection and transfer of students among district schools in accordance with law, Board policy, and administrative regulation.

The parents/guardians of any student who resides within district boundaries may apply to enroll their child in any district school, regardless of the location of their residence within the district."

PLEASE - Use rezoning to help with transportation and school start times, BUT LEAVE PRIORITIZATION out of the equation and do not change board policy on enrollment. What is best for the educational needs of our students should NOT be driven by transportation concerns, and we believe that the unifying themes of our elementary schools are worth more commitment from the district, not less.

We urge you to take a step back from this part of the proposal and do what is best for ALL of our children. Reject residential zoning of our schools.

Thank you.

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