Now that we are past the July 4th holiday and firmly into the Tahoe summer, thoughts are naturally turning to the fall and what the next school year is going to look like.

We have faced a lot of questions this week regarding the spike in local Covid-19 cases and what that means for the Club; and what happens if schools don’t reopen and remain online in the fall.

The short answer to those questions are: the Club will do everything possible to continue to support our members, families and community.

If El Dorado County is placed on the State’s watch list, or ordered to rollback to phase 1, the Club will aim to stay open.  Placer County has already rolled back, but our colleagues at BGC North Lake Tahoe have remained open and are even expanding services.  Our ability to remain open will depend on agreement from LTUSD (whose building we occupy) and also the County Health Department.  We hope that with the precautions we already have in place, we will be able to continue operations.

As for the school year – well this is where we wish we had a crystal ball!

We watched with interest the LTUSD School Board meeting on Tuesday, but the ultimate decision to continue community input and taskforce work, means that we are no closer to knowing what the plans for the fall will be.  Many of our surrounding districts have chosen to go back either 100% online or in a hybrid model with some days in school and some days learning from home.  Assuming that LTUSD does the same, our question is what can we do to support our members and families?

We understand that some of our families are essential workers and can’t stay home with their children.  We understand that sometimes members need more support with their school work than their parents can provide at home.  And we understand that all children benefit from being in a structured, social and accountable environment for their academic education.

The biggest barrier to remaining open all day and offering our members the ability to do online school at the Club is funding.  Our annual budget is based on full days during the vacations and half days the rest of the year.  So staying open for full days into the school year places a huge additional expense on the Club.  We will be actively pursuing funding to enable us to do this, without risking the long-term financial stability of the Club.  Ideally, that funding would come from the State or local government, but failing that, we will look to private Foundations.  Our last resort is to pass the cost onto our families; but with everyone needing help and financial support right now, it may have to be a bit of everything.

So the Club will be spending the next few weeks crunching numbers, counting staff, seeking funding and will have a number of scenarios ready for when LTUSD makes their final decision.  In the meantime, we will keep wearing our masks, washing our hands and social distancing so that we can do our part to decrease the spread of the virus in our community and enable our business, and eventually our schools, to stay open!