September 3, 2015
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Sept. 7
Labor Day - No School
8, 15,
22, 29:
Parent Involvement Academy at Hong Kingston/Valenzuela Ele., 5:30pm - 7pm
9, 16,
23, 30:
High School Parent Academy at Edison High School, 3pm - 4:30pm
Sept. 18
Science Blast at San Joaquin County Office of Education (for participating schools only)
Oct. 7, 21, 28
Helping Children Succeed Parent Academy at Kennedy Ele., 8:15am - 9:45am

Attend today, achieve tomorrow!
We're Back!
Thousands of parents went back to school this month, touring cafeterias and classrooms and meeting teachers to learn more about the coming year. This year turnout was significant and schools worked hard to make the events fun and instructive. At Victory, the night began with a taco truck dinner, with a percentage of proceeds going to the Victory Parent Teacher Association. August provided pizza dinners and Grunsky held a book fair in the library. 

The high schools showcased music, clubs and activities and drew big crowds. Said Victory parent Sundeena Thann: "Back-to-School Night gave me the opportunity to know what my child will learn and need this year. It was informative and helpful."

Congratulations to Stagg High School's Don Bott
Stagg journalism advisor Don Bott has received national recognition for his work by the Journalism Education Association.

He is one of four journalism teachers across the country named to receive this year's National Medal of Merit for high school journalism leadership. The award is for exceptional service to JEA, state and regional associations and the profession at large.

Class of 2015 Graduation Pics
It's not too late to view photos from the 2015 high sc hool graduation ceremonies!  Click here to view photos.
Parent Tip
Strategies for Creating Strong Readers

Without doubt, reading with children spells success for early literacy. Putting a few simple strategies into action will make a significant difference in helping children develop into good readers and writers.

1. Invite a child to read with you every day.
2. When reading a book where the print is large, point word by word as you read. This will help the child learn that reading goes from left to right and understand that the word he or she says is the word he or she sees.
3. Read a child's favorite book over and over again.
4. Read many stories with rhyming words and lines that repeat. Invite the child to join in on these parts. Point, word by word, as he or she reads along with you.
5. Discuss new words. For example, "This big house is called a palace. Who do you think lives in a palace?"
6. Stop and ask about the pictures and about what is happening in the story.
7. Read from a variety of children's books, including fairy tales, song books, poems, and information books.
Amazon Surprises August Teachers with School Supplies
What August Elementary School teachers believed to be a regular professional development meeting turned out to be a BIG surprise after special guest Kelvin Downes, general manager at retail company Amazon, announced that they would not be talking about PLCs as the teachers had expected. Instead, Downes opened the cafeteria curtains to reveal $10,000 worth of donated school supplies from Amazon!

Tears of joy and smiles filled the room as each teacher opened their boxes of customized supplies for their classrooms, including sanitizing wipes, erasers, dry erase markers, notepads, portable sound systems and even a telescope!  "The looks on the teachers' faces were priceless," said August Elementary Principal Lori Risso. They were like little kids opening their presents on Christmas morning!"

Principal Risso and a handful of her staff worked hard to hide the surprise from her teachers. " I have told more fibs (white lies) in the last week and a half than I have my whole 48 years on this earth," said Risso.  Principal Risso spent two weeks secretly collecting wish-lists from her teachers and compiling a list of supplies for Amazon to donate. After the supplies were delivered to the school, volunteers from Amazon and Risso's team worked late hours to create each teacher's personalized box and set it up on the stage.  " I tell my teachers how much they are appreciated all the time, but to have a major corporate company, like Amazon, validate them and what they do for our kids is awesome."

From everyone at August Elementary and SUSD, thank you for your generous donation Amazon!

Every Day Counts
School success starts with attendance and we are pleased to anno unce the 2015 Attendance Challenge put on by our partner, the University of the Pacific. Here is how it works:

The students come to school on time every day, starting in the month of September. Students who have perfect attendance for the whole month will be entered into a drawing for terrific prizes, including E-readers, gift cards, tickets to UOP athletic events and more.

This year UOP has decided to make sure that there is a grand prize winner from each participating school. Most of the SUSD elementary schools will be participating. Help your school and your students. Make sure your student is in class on time every day!

For more information, talk to your principal. This is a countywide competition, but our elementary schools have had the best attendance in the region during this competition and we want to do the same again. Good luck!
Family Day in the Park 2015
Join us at this year's Literacy Day in the Park September 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for a free event that includes great entertainment, music, jugglers and clowns and reading activities for all ages.

Once again The Record newspaper is sponsoring a wonderful family day at University Park at California and Magnolia streets. There will be the children's book authors and enchanted castle, a Friends of the library jumbo book sale and dozens of creative, interactive activities for kids.

Special thanks to the sponsors and to SUSD's own Chavez High School jazz band and Adams Elementary School for providing entertainment and a special reading activity. Go to for more information!
Backpacks and Supplies for SUSD
Over 500 students at Bush Elementary began the school year with brand new backpacks thanks to a generous donation by our local Stockton Costco! Students lined up in the cafeteria on the second day of school to pick out their favorite of four backpack designs, a package of binder paper, and other miscellaneous school supplies. But Bush wasn't the only elementary school to receive new backpacks and supplies from the community. 

Pastor Michael Egleston and members of the Discovery Church provided backpacks and supplies for the first and second graders at Fremont Elementary School just in time for the start of school. Also donating to SUSD schools includes the Regional Transit District, who donated supplies to King; MidTown Optometry who donated to Rio Calaveras; St. Francis of Assisi Church made a generous gift to Victory; Combine Fitness provided backpacks to Taylor Leadership Academy and Taft; Junior League of San Joaquin donated school supplies to Pittman Charter; and community resident Tonia Tong collected donations of both material supplies and money to purchase school supplies for students at Hazelton. Thank you also to On Trac, PG&E. and Cost Plus, for thinking of our students

Thank you all for your thoughtfulness and support. Our students are lucky to have you!

Want 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!