April 12, 2016
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Apr. 5, 12, 19 and 26 & May 3 & 10
R.A.D. Parent Academy9:15am-11:15am. 
Registration required.
Apr. 15
2016 SUSD High School Visual Art Showcase Artists Reception at the Mexican Heritage Center; 5:30pm
Begins Apr. 19 (dates vary)
Empowering Parents in Influencing Their Children(E.P.I.C) at the SUSD Professional Development Center
Apr. 19, 26 & May 3, 10, 17 & 24
R.A.D. Parent Academy10am- 11:30am. 
Registration required.

Apr. 20, 27 and May 4, 11, 18 & 25 
R.A.D. Parent Academy8:15am- 10:15am. Registration required.
Apr. 23
March of Dimes' March for Babies
Apr. 23
Kennedy Games
May 6
2016 SUSD 7th & 8th Grade Visual Ar Showcase Artists Reception at the Mexican Heritage Center; 5:30pm
May 7
Young Authors' Faire at Barnes & Noble; 10am-1pm

Graduation/Promotion Schedules
The 2015-2016 school year is nearly over! Plan ahead for your student's K-8 promotion or graduation! Schedules can be found below. Dates are subject to change, so be sure to check the online schedules at www.stocktonusd.net/parents. 
Save the Date for SUSD Art
The annual McKee Student Art Contest and Exhibition will be held at the Haggin Museum March 17, 2016 - May 8, 2016. All of our schools have received invitations to submit work and so far over 200 pieces have been submitted for the exhibit! Support your students, schools and the Haggin Museum, 1201 N. Pershing Ave., Stockton, and plan a visit to the exhibition this March!
Deadlines for Seniors
Testing deadlines are fast-approaching for the ACT and SAT! Be sure your junior or senior students sign up for these tests to ensure they are prepared for college applications!

Test Date
Register By
Late Fee Required
Jun. 11, 2016 May 6, 2016 May 7-20, 2016

Test Date
Register By
Late Fee Required
May 7, 2016 Apr. 8, 2016 Apr. 26, 2016
Jun. 4, 2016 May 5, 2016 May 25, 2016

Parent Tip
Make Sure Your Student is Prepared for SBAC Testing

1. Get your child to school on time the day of the test. Make attendance a priority, especially on days that you know Smarter Balanced tests will be administered. Making sure your child is there when the test is taken helps to ensure your child won't lose more learning time because he/she has to make up a test during school.

2. Make a note of test days on your calendar.  This will help remind you and your child when testing will take place and plan your preparation accordingly.

3. Make sure your child gets a good night's sleep the night before the test. Your child will probably perform better if well rested. Tired children have difficulty focusing and are easily flustered by challenges. And make sure your child has enough time to wake up fully before going to school. Just as rest is important, so is having enough time to get your child's brain engaged and in gear. If the test is first thing in the morning, your child can't afford to spend the first hour of school groggy and unfocused.

4. Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast. Your child should eat a nutritious breakfast. Provide a high-protein, healthy breakfast for your child. Kids learn better on full stomachs, but if their stomachs are full of sugary, heavy foods that will make them sleepy or slightly queasy, it's not much better than an empty stomach.

5. Follow up. Talk to your child about how the test went. Keep in mind that your child will have to test over several days. Talk to your child about what he/she did well and what he/she would have done differently. Think of it as a mini-debriefing or brainstorming session. You can talk about test-taking strategies after the fact as easily as beforehand.

6. Make sure your student dresses comfortably.  What your student wears   can also affect test performance. Sometimes, testing rooms are too hot or too cold. Dressing in layers is a good idea, but also keep the school's dress code.
Honored Guests Visit PLA for Law Day Speaker Series
Pacific Law Academy (PLA) held another fantastic speaker series last month! Joining students in their classrooms were four judges, two law educators and two attorneys. The eight law professionals shared insight about their professions and encouraged students to continue working hard. The speakers were also happy to answer student questions, which ranged from good study habits and financial aid, to the LSAT test and kooky court cases.  
"This year we were fortunate to have four sitting judges volunteer to speak to our students...students were very enthralled by their stories about their careers and different cases they have heard over their years of experience," said  PLA Principal Carol Anne Sanderson. "In addition, we had a court reporting student come from Humphrey's college with her teacher to demonstrate this potential career to our students.  Overall, this is a great chance for students to meet legal practitioners and delve into their careers of choice," 

PLA senior Alex Freitas agreed that students learn much from PLA's Law Day Speaker Series. "If you were really interested in law, you take away what you need to do and what it takes to become an attorney. You learned a lot about what it would be like to experience that [legal field] as a career."

Great work to all who made this event possible and a very special thank you to the speakers who volunteered their time to share their knowledge and experience with the students at Pacific Law Academy:

Hon. Ron Northup
Dr. Cindy Ostberg, University of the Pacific
Mrs. Paula White, Attorney at Law
Hon. Barbara Kronlund
Ms. Kay Reindl, Humphrey's College
Hon. Lauren Thomasson
Dan Schroder, Attorney at Law
Hon. Jose Alva

Skills Families Lunch on the the Lawn
Hundreds of Commodore Stockton Skills families are sharing lunch on the lawn during their students' regular lunch period the first Friday of the month. The launch event April 1 drew more than 500 Skills parents!

The idea is to bring parents to campus and engage them in their students' school day, according to organizer, Principal Gina Lopez. "We strive to provide positive experiences for our families here at Commodore," Lopez said. "We have grandparents, uncles, cousins, teachers and more attend. The event strengthens our parent community bond with school."

The parents get to talk to the principal, administrative team, office and custodial staff, and teachers and get to meet other parents. Most say their children want to them to come. "They make sure I take the day off and remind me that it's coming," said Cathy Welsh-Mangaoang, mother of three Commodore students.

The parents are asked to bring their students' lunches with them. This month they turned up with their students' favorite foods plus lawn chairs and blankets for picnics. Congratulations Commodore on a hugely successful effort to engage parents!
Madison Elementary Kicks Off Autism Awareness Month

April is National Autism Awareness Month and Madison Elementary School is celebrating! To kick off the month and show support for those with autism, all of Madison Elementary gathered on the playground in the formation of a puzzle piece, a national symbol for autism awareness. Students also wore puzzle piece hats and custom bracelets in recognition of the month. Great work to Madison Elementary for raising awareness and participating school-wide!

SBAC Testing Begins Soon
Stockton Unified students will take the state's critical Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) during the district's testing window April 18 - May 20. The Smarter Balanced assessments are new computer based tests that measure student knowledge of California's new English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics standards.

It is especially important that students do their absolute best on the SBAC because the results of this important test reflect your student's class and school. Results also provide important information that will be used to monitor student progress so that Stockton Unified students are college and career ready. Please check with your school for your student's testing dates.

Since the SBAC test will be taken on a computer, K-6 grade students can practice their computer skills at
orange-arrow-icon.gifThis month's Parent Tips, provided by Parent/ Community Empowerment, are focused on preparing your student for testing and can be viewed in  the left column of this newsletter.   
Harrison Leads the Way: Students Engineering to Success
The 6th-8the graders in Pete Gallegos' class at Harrison Elementary are in teams, packed around the tables that fill the room. The energy is sparking and so are the robots they are nearly finishing that move around the tabletops by remote. Some students have their laptops or their engineering notebooks open and are working on design and engineering detail and others are threading tiny screws to their mini-machines, attaching wheels or making adjustments to calibrators.

The room is abuzz with success. After weeks of working on their robots - researching how to create them, designing them, programming them and building them, these students are pretty proud of their work and so is Gallegos. His is one of several classes at Harrison that is part of Project Lead The Way, a pre-engineering program that teaches a dozen different skill sets and more importantly, gets students excited about learning. "When they see it work, well, a light bulb doesn't go off any brighter," said Gallegos, whose class is in a friendly competition with a Los Angeles team to see whose robots function highest by the end of the school year.

So far, there is a payoff for the other schools: when a Harrison student figured out the way to keep the robots moving on a track by remote, he shared the discovery. "Everyone wins. Everyone learns," Gallegos said. "And look at me...I am not standing in front of the class giving a lecture..they are learning by doing themselves and every student in here is on task."

Principal Dan Wright is thrilled with the program. He has started it at every grade level so that when the students reach 5th grade, they are ready for design and model classes. He personally asks to see students' engineering notebooks and checks out the inventions. Last year Gallegos and a number of teachers participated in the training for Project Lead the Way, held at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's engineer school. Gallegos, a Stagg and University of the Pacific grad and baseball coach who has taught for 12 years, says the program is a home run.

"I have kids coming in at lunch, after school," he said. "There is a lot of learning and a whole lot of laughter."

W ant your news in the next issue of SUSD Connects? Email your stories and events to the SUSD Connects team at  susdconnect@stocktonusd.net ! Due to space limitations, we may not be able to share all of the news we receive, but we will do our best to share it with as many people as possible. Thank you!