May 5, 2017
May 9
Edison Zone Band & Choir Concert at Edison High School; 6:30pm
May 10
33rd Annual Parent Volunteer Reception; 5:15pm. (Invitation only)
May 13
May 13
May 19
Rio Calaveras 8th Annual Multicultural Faire from 4:30pm - 8pm.
May 20
Young Authors'  Faire at Barnes & Noble; 10am
May 26
May 29
Memorial Day- NO SCHOOL
High school families: Now is the time to apply for financial aid, scholarships and grants to help pay for college! Important application deadlines are approaching for seniors. Please look at the SUSD College and Scholarship Resources page , where we've gathered helpful resources for your college and scholarship search. For more information, contact your school counselor.
The First Step on the Path to College is Commitment 
Getting to college takes work and commitment from students and their families. Writing an education goal statement is a great way for your child to reinforce that commitment. Have your student consider why he/she wants to go to college, what careers or areas of interest they'd like to pursue and what they'll have to do in school to prepare. Then he/she can write about their goals and plans for achieving them. Your child's interests and ideas will likely change over time, so review the statement regularly.
Barnes & Noble Brings 'Pete the Cat' to Fillmore Elementary

Rebecca Ray from Barnes & Noble visited to Fillmore Elementary with 'Pete the Cat' to promote literacy. Students enjoyed the book even more with Pete there! Thank you to Barnes & Noble for visiting our schools!

SECA Celebrates Culture

Students and their families had a blast at SECA's 3rd annual Multicultural Festival!  The event gave attendees the opportunity  to explore other culture through food and dance. Student performers consisted of SECA's MEChA club, Kababayan Club and the Edison Polynesian Club.
The event was well supported by students and their families. "It was wonderful to be invited to SECA's annual Multicultural Fair to watch my son, Drake Ramstead (10), his dance partner Yuliana Blancas (10), and all the other students perform a variety of dances from different cultures," said SECA parent Trudy Price.

Weber Students 'Wow' at Technology Expo

Juniors and seniors at Weber Institute wowed their family and friends with the unique projects they presented at the first-ever Weber Technology Expo! Over the past several months, students coded, assembled and tested their projects to demonstrate what they've learned this school year. Projects included a photo booth, websites, a security system, and a few gaming systems!

"I was proud and encouraged by the level of creativity and knowledge exhibited by Weber's Computer Science Academy students," said Weber Principal Katrina Leon. "The instructor, Mr. Wright, is to be commended on his teaching ability and giving students the authority and responsibility to truly show what they know."

Seniors Ricky Tapia and Ariel Orozco created a video game called 'The Quest is On,' a questing game that requires users to collect coins and avoid being caught by the villainous shitake mushrooms. Unique to the project was the original game music created by Orozco using SonicPi, an open-source programming environment designed for creating music via coding. "Each song took about two weeks to complete. Of the 4 songs I made, two were used in the game. The music was inspired by electronic musicians, like WaterFlame and f777," said Orozco.

Great work to all of the students on such creative projects!

Summer School in SUSD
Summer is nearly here! There are a number of programs available to students over the break and now is the time to consider one of them. Many schools are offering extended year academic programs. Click here to learn more. A special English language learner program will be offered for third through eighth graders at Stagg High School, June 5-30. Transportation provided. Call 933-7075, ext. 2431 for more. Call your school to learn more about the summer offerings. Some programs are designed for students in need of additional instruction and are limited to specific students. 

Stagg Line Takes Top National Honors
Congratulations to the 2017 staff of the Stagg Line, which took First Place Best of Show in the highly competitive broadsheet newspaper category at the JEA/National Scholastic Press Association Spring National Journalism Convention in Seattle last month.

Judges considered story selection, writing, editing, design and photography. The Stagg entry was an eight-page edition that had just been published. Longtime Stagg Line editor and advisor Don Bott said it was a thrilling award. The newspaper has won dozens of prestigious competitions over the years, but this time the Stagg Line beat out much bigger staffs at schools with significantly more resources.

"It was one of my smallest staffs ever, but in terms of determination and passion they defied that small size. Their expectations for themselves were as high as I could have for them."
I am so proud of this staff and this accomplishment," Bott said. 

Bott and his staff were at the convention to receive the award and were later honored by the SUSD Board of Education.  This year's Stagg Line staff included 10th, 11th and 12th graders. Among the departing seniors: Matteo Danforth, Louis Fuentez, Ernesto Harwell, Jefferson Leiva, Estefany Nunez, Phillicity Uriarte-Jones and Aaron Vang. Congratulations for your outstanding contributions to the Stagg Line!
Mexican Heritage Center Showcases Student Art

SUSD's High School Visual Arts Showcase, on display at the downtown Mexican Heritage Center this month, is another huge success for the student artists from schools all over the city.

Work from both the large comprehensive and smaller secondary schools were entered. A big thanks to the jurists who judged the grade-level competition, which included pen and ink, painting, drawing, and three-dimension pieces.

And thanks to the Mexican Heritage Center for its generous donation of terrific art space for the display. The opening reception drew artists and their families from throughout the district. And of course, there would be no show without the dedicated art teachers who are behind this year's show. From the high schools: Ligia Ciotau, Chavez High School; Richard Walsh, Jane Frederick High School; Paul Pellegrinni and Temo Moreno,  Edison High School; Luz Lua, Weber Institute, and Amy Sell, Pacific Law Academy.

From the elementary schools: Allison Atas, Bridget  Galligher, Desarea Gionte, Connie Holman Vilma Panjo, Llea Humphries and Kim Yanez.

Ninth grade winners were Luz Caleron, 1st, Crystal Ibarra, 2nd, Lorena Esparza, 3rd and Brianna Hernandez, Honorable Mention. Tenth grade winners were Michelle Torres, 1st, Zaira Moreno, 2nd, Xitali Olivas, 3rd, and Kelly Bello, Honorable Mention.

Eleventh grade winners were Mauricio Patino, 1st, Isabella campos, 2nd, Jasmine Garcia, third and Raquel Vasquez and Ana Diaz, Honorable Mention. The twelth grade winners were Katherine Keo, 1st, Inani Hayde, 2nd, Marili Gonzales, 3rd and Sara Lara, Honorable Mention.

Congratulations to SUSD's outstanding art students!

U.S. News & World Report 2017 Top High Schools
Once again SUSD scored in the US News and World Report annual list of top high schools for graduation, academic performances and college preparation. SECA took a gold, ranking 26th in California and 178th top high school in the country.

Pacific Law Academy took a silver, ranking 438th in California and Health Careers Academy  took a bronze, with a 508th California ranking.

"This puts our school well into the top 1 percent of the 22,000 high schools they reviewed," said SECA Principal Josh Thom. "I am so proud of my students, teachers and the counselors who keep encouraging the students to keep up the work."

This is the third straight year SECA has received a gold ranking. The school serves just over 400 students and is known for academic rigor, a high passage rate for Advanced Placement classes, and opportunities for dual enrollment at San Joaquin Delta Community College.

More than the college rankings, Thom said he is proud of the 220 college acceptance letters his 86 seniors have received this year. 100 percent of the seniors are heading graduating and heading off to four-year colleges, to Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, the other UCs and California State University campuses and/or private universities.

In order to qualify for the medals, schools must show they serve all of their students well with performances on math and reading in their state proficiency exams and graduation rates. Participation in Advanced Placement coursework was also considered.

Pacific Law Academy is another small SUSD high school located near Stagg high School, where PLA students can take advanced coursework. And Health Careers Academy focuses on careers in the health care industry, partnering with area hospitals to provide hand-on experience and exposure to top medical programs and providers.

This is also the third year for rankings for PLA and HCA.

Congratulations to SECA, PLA and HCA for their terrific work!
SUSD Fathers Explore STEM Standards at the Museum

Nearly 100 SUSD fathers - and moms, grandparents and students took a Next Generation Science Standards class at the Children's Museum this week during a special dad's workshop put on by SUSD's Parent Empowerment.

SUSD science curriculum specialist Ryan Sedillo led the group through hands-on experiments designed to teach families what to expect in science instruction for their elementary students and, as importantly, to give fathers and families a chance to come together for an evening.

The families worked together to solve problems, including constructing a piccolo of straws and tape that actually worked to produce distinct sounds. The front of the museum was set out with working tables for families as Sedillo led them through a video and instructions. Soon enough, the sounds of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" were floating through the room.

"This is the best thing to do tonight," said Jesus Garcia, who brought his grandson, LaRay Robertson Jr., a student at Primary Years Academy, to the event. "This is just the kind of thing we all need to do more often."

Garcia and LaRay built their flute together, laughing and problem solving. That's just what Parent Empowerment Coordinator Kennetha Stevens had in mind: fathers, grandfathers, uncles and parents bonding with their children in a learning setting.

"This provides such an opportunity for father to engage with their children's education," she said. "When we do the trainings and visit the schools, we get a lot of moms. We are working to further involve the dads. Each time we do this we see more involvement."

Earlier this year her office hosted a "Fathers and Floats" event at Home Depot. For a Saturday morning fathers participated in do-it-yourself projects based on science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum.

Sedillo closed the museum event with instructions to build balloon-powered cars made of popsicle sticks. The project was a big hit among the students, who came from schools all over the district, with families staying right to the end.

For more information, call Parent Empowerment at 933-7470.

Peyton Plants a Tree for Earth Day

Peyton 1st,2nd and 3rd graders celebrated Earth Day with a special tree planting this year staged as part of a districtwide effort to conserve energy. The students planted a Chinese pistache tree, a hardy specimen requiring limited care and watering that grows into a magnificent tree.

The SUSD Facilities team visited a number of schools this spring with special energy savings projects in the hopes of providing the district savings while educating students on the importance of protecting the environment and climate.

"This is so valuable to our schools," said Gilbert Rosas, SUSD's energy education specialist. "We will have shade and contribute to the green coverage here."   Once the Peyton crew got the tree into the ground, Rosas handed shovels and the watering can to students Danica Chan, Liana Guzman, Giselle Gonzales and Lizette Romero for the final steps to the planting.

Rosas explained each step to the students packed on the lawn around the tree. He quizzed them on Earth Day, the environment and water and the students all had great answers. "We need to protect the earth," Chan said. "That is why we are doing this."

This year Schneider Electric sponsored the energy savings  projects and Peyton students were treated to dark glasses, summertime leis and ice cream cones. Other district projects included a demonstration and donation of an environmental technology solar battery, an "Energy Patrol" video, and a special presentation to the Board of Trustees.

For more information about energy conservation, contact Gilbert Rosas at 933-7050. 

Thank You to Our Community

Special thanks this month to the volunteers for Comcast Cares Day at Tyler Elementary School in April. Dozens of people, young and old, came out to help repaint door numbers, trim trees and ivy and get Tyler ready for spring. Tyler families joined Comcast employees and other volunteers to get the campus ship-shape.

Principal Henry Phillips spent the day organizing improvements to the playground out back, while other teams took on hallways and the front parking area.

The goal was to add play bark to the play structures, brighten the kinder area with numbers, shapes and letters and add privacy slates to the cyclone fencing near the play area, among other chores.

Tyler was one of 16 projects Comcast sponsored for clean-ups throughout the state in April. Thank you to Comcast, the volunteers and the Tyler team for a terrific beautification project!

W ant your news in the next issue of SUSD Connects? Email your stories and events to the SUSD Connects team at ! 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!