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TTUSD’s response to rising cases of COVID in community

November 22, 2020

TTUSD’s response to rising cases of COVID in community  - Transitioning to Distance Learning

Dear Parents,

As you may have heard in the news, COVID-19 is spreading across California at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic. Unfortunately, the number of COVID-19 cases in our counties (Placer, Nevada, and El Dorado) is also spiking. 

On Friday, we had a total of 12 active cases (a mix of students and staff) as there was a huge spike today. As of an hour ago, we now have a total of 27 active cases of COVID-19 within our school community (17 are students in hybrid, and 7 are staff members).

We are concerned about students and staff coming to school for in-person instruction - we do not want to put anyone at risk! 

Here’s what we know:

  • There are 27 active cases district-wide as of 11/22 and more than 185 students and staff who are quarantined at this time.
  • With this volume of cases, it is difficult to keep up with the contact tracing process.
    • We have three highly skilled nurses, trained in contact tracing for COVID-19. When we have a positive case of COVID, the number of potential exposure varies, and calls and follow up must be made with each one. As cases increase, we may reach the capacity of what we can handle internally to keep our students and staff safe. We are close to this threshold. 
  • Our COVID-19 testing locations are at capacity. Public health is inundated and can’t turn around test results under 72 hours at this time. This dramatically affects our ability to make decisions on the safety of our campuses if we don’t have results back promptly. Also, there is not testing availability to take on all of the additional cases, and testing at Rideout is closed the week of Thanksgiving.
  • We are experiencing shortages of staffing due to quarantining a class. When a class/teacher is quarantined, we rely on subs. We are experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers.  In addition, we have staff that supports our schools (ie: food services and transportation) where we’re also experiencing a shortage. 
  • The Boys and Girls Club of NLT has reduced staff due to positive cases at their Kings Beach location, forcing the closure of the Boys and Girls Club at Kings Beach. This impacts both parent and TTUSD staff child care.  
  • Before this weekend, it appeared that the positive COVID cases came from outside our school community. At this time, with such an alarming rate of increases, we can’t be positive where the spread is coming from and need to take the safest course of action. 

Based on this information, we are making a very difficult decision to transition back to distance learning effective immediately. We will remain in distance learning until January when we’ll reevaluate the case rate and determine if it is safe to reopen our school facilities. We will continue to communicate with you frequently.

Tomorrow, Monday, November 23, all students in hybrid will now be in distance learning. 

Note: Elementary school students in year-long distance learning (Cohort C) remain with the distance learning teacher.

The distance learning bell schedules go into effect tomorrow.  They are: 

Alder Creek Middle School 8:15 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Donner Trail Elementary 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Glenshire Elementary 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Kings Beach Elementary 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
North Tahoe High School: 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (6-period schedule)
North Tahoe School:  9:00 a.m. - 1:25 p.m.
SELS (K-8) 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Sierra High School 9:45 a.m. - 2:15 p.m. 
Tahoe Lake Elementary:  8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Truckee Elementary 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Truckee High School  9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (0 period is at 8:30)

  • Office hours vary and will be communicated directly from your school.
  • High schools are working with NIAA on sports for January and we’ll have more information for you soon.

Please help stop the spread of COVID-19. We all must do our part to stop the surge. Shrink your social bubbles, take extra precautions - you can make a difference!