Having trouble viewing this email? Click here.
January 31, 2019
SUSD Books of the Month
Children's book:
All Are Welcome Here by Alexandra Penfold
A warm, welcoming picture book that celebrates diversity and gives encouragement and support to all kids.

All Are Welcome Here  lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, and they are welcome in their school.

About All Are Welcome Here
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year. 
Intermediate grades:
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
About The Day You Begin
“There will be times you walk into a room and there is no one quite like you…” Angelina feels uncomfortable in her class, because all her classmates are talking about the exciting places they traveled to over the summer. She was home, taking care of her sister, and she feels awkward and alone. Soon, though, it becomes apparent that we all have times when we feel different, but by sharing our stories, we can always find points of connection as well, and that those differences are something to be celebrated, not hidden.
"A moving novel about a young Pakistani girl forced into indentured servitude;  Amal Unbound  beautifully communicates the power of hope and positive change that can come from struggle." - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor

About Amal Unbound
Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal's Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she's busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when—as the eldest daughter—she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn't lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens—after an accidental run-in with the son of her village's corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family's servant to pay off her own family's debt. 
Stockton Unified: Where Students Gather From 68 Countries to Listen, Learn and Celebrate Diversity
SUSD is the 17th largest school district in California whereby 40,000 PK-12th grade students (exclusive of dependent charter schools) come to us from multiple countries to listen and learn. As of today, we have 68 countries and 45 different languages represented in our schools.
 
Throughout the school year, Stockton Unified schools host events to celebrate our diversity. Here are a few examples of the many celebrations our schools have held in December and January:
 
  • Stockton Early College Academy hosted an International Fair. Students wore cultural attire, performed traditional dances and served food from around the world. It was a breathtaking event.
  • Hong Kingston Elementary hosted Matthew Gollub, a multiple award-winning children’s author who is also a trilingual storyteller and musician! With his mix of languages, drumming, and visual props, Mr. Gollub delivered fun presentations for Hong Kingston Elementary teachers and students. He performed his stories while fluidly shifting between English, Spanish, and Japanese.
  • Weber Institute art students created portraits of children from the Philippines. These portraits were mailed to the Philippines as a gift for children facing challenges in their country.
  • San Joaquin Elementary students in grades 6th-8th and staff participated in a variety of Hip Hop Culture Workshops with Hip Hop For Change. Students were seen learning Chicano Writing, Break Dancing, as well as the art of “Speaking Their Truth”.
 
“It is so awesome that our schools are celebrating and embracing the diversity of our students, families and our community in so many positive ways!” said Sharon Barnes, SUSD Director of Educational Equity. “Cesar Chavez said it best when he said, ‘ We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community -and this nation.’”
Where Do We Go From Here?
A Letter from Superintendent John Deasy
January 15, 2019

Dear Colleagues and Community,

Upon the completion of this administration’s first six months of leadership and service to Stockton and Stockton Unified School District, and after completing a period of listening and learning, it is time to propose our way forward – a way to begin the process of dramatically improving the outcomes for all youth in academics, community participation, responsibility and career preparation. 

The most sobering theme I heard across all constituents was: “Is this as good as it gets?”

If there was a single theme heard from parents, guardians, caregivers and the youth themselves, it was “we want a successful future – we want much better than we have now – we want the lives of our children to be much better than the outcomes of the past.”

If there was a single theme heard from business, advocacy, non-profit, and faith-based communities, it was “SUSD and Stockton can and must do much better – current results and current conditions are unacceptable – previous efforts at improvement were too little and not sustained, so we now need dramatic efforts for dramatic improvement.”

If I heard a single theme from the amazing employees in SUSD, it was “treat us fairly and with respect, give us the tools to do better, and stop the constant churn of leadership.” I heard from many community members that “there is nothing about Stockton that is so unique, that explains or supports the current results – do people care about people who look like me?” I also heard “the conditions we live in and our youth experience explains the results we are seeing – this might be the best we can hope for – it will hurt kids to expect things that are so tough and out of their reach.” I reject this last theme and I wholeheartedly embrace all the rest of the learnings from my community meetings.

This proposed ‘way forward’ is intended to be a roadmap for the next 3-5 years. It is designed to be specifically thematic and not dogmatic. Such a roadmap provides the best way to a proposed destination. I believe now more than ever that we must continue to be clear about our destination, which is that all youth can and will graduate college-, career-, and community- ready. In doing so, we will lift youth out of poverty. Therefore, we will set to work on several fronts:
  1. Culture and Community in our Schools
  2. Supporting Elements
  3. Theories of Action, Instruction and Change 


LCAP Survey Now Open: Parents/Guardians, Students, Employees and Community Encouraged to Participate
Stockton Unified School District needs all parents/guardians, students, employees and community members to complete the 2019 Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) survey .

Using survey feedback, the district will design the 2019-2020 school year LCAP to fund programs and services that our community believes will best help improve achievement for our low income, English learner and foster students. Your participation is essential in this decision-making process, and we appreciate your time and assistance in completing our anonymous LCAP survey at www.stocktonusd.net/lcapsurvey; the survey is available in Spanish.

The district is also hosting several LCAP Parent and Community Engagement events to receive more input; f ood, beverages, child care, and language interpretation services will be provided at these events :
  • 2/13: 5:00pm-7:00pm in the Chavez High Career Center Room
  • 2/15: 9:00am-11:00am in the Fremont Elementary School Library
  • 3/2:  9:00am-11:00am in the Edison High Professional Development Room

Thank you for participating in the 2019 LCAP. Your voice matters and will be heard.  For more information or questions, please contact Dr. Connor Sloan, LCAP Coordinator, at (209)933-7040.
Priority Applications for Specialty Schools, Programs and Career Pathways Due February 8
Hundreds of SUSD students and their parents filed through Danner Hall at San Joaquin Delta College to discover the pathways offered in our schools at the 2019 Specialty Schools and Programs Fair!

Eighteen SUSD schools and programs were represented, including Pittman Elementary and their dual-immersion program; Commodore Skills with their AVID and robotics program; the Stockton Public Safety Academy with student cadets; Merlo Institute with their award-winning SkillsUSA team; and more!

The application PRIORITY PERIOD to apply for one of our Specialty Schools is from January 26 - February 8, 2019, although applications will be accepted after February 8. All student applications received during the priority period will be placed in a random selection computer program for processing. A lottery will be held in the SUSD boardroom on March 1 at 10:00am to establish lists used to determine placement into each program. Applicants outside of the priority period will be placed according to the date and time their application was submitted.

Selection is determined by the lottery, with preference given to siblings already enrolled in the program and other school-specific requirements. Kindergarten placement is based on available space, the lottery, with sibling preference and other factors taken into consideration.

FAFSA Applications Due March 2
Stockton Unified guidance counselors, teachers, administrators, students, parents, and guardians are finding creative and innovative ways to Race to Submit. Stockton has joined school districts across the state in the official 2019-20 Race to Submit Campaign. This state-wide campaign aims to increase the number of financial aid application for California high school seniors who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application. Our goal is to have every single senior at our 11 High Schools submit before the March 2nd deadline. 
 
Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education awards more than $120 billion a year in grants, work-study funds, and low-interest loans to more than 13 million students? Federal student aid covers such expenses as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid also can help pay for other related costs, such as a computer and dependent care. It is important to remember that Federal grants do not need to be repaid, federal student loans have low-interest rates, and work-study programs can be a convenient way to fund education and build a resume simultaneously. 
 
Stockton Unified High School administrators, teachers, and counselors have engaged in family workshops, Stockton Scholars Blitz Days, FASFA completion parties, incorporating the submission process into economics lessons, one on one meetings with the counselors and or principals, and much more. 
 
We need your help today! Regardless of your socio-economic background, please log onto www.fafsa.gov with your student and complete the FAFSA.

If you need support, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s counselor or Principal. We are here to support you and are determined to ensure that every Stockton Unified student graduates career-, college-, and community- ready. You may also call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
12 Books in 12 Weeks Challenge
Stockton Unified is launching the 12 books in 12 weeks challenge. Our hope is that all students preschool-12th grade will create a personal goal of reading 12 books in 12 weeks.  Click here to sign up here!

Students who complete the challenge will earn:
  • A certificate & goodie book bag
  • Their name displayed on our website and our wall of fame
  • An entry into a drawing for additional prizes
  • The top 10 classes with the highest percentage of completing will earn a classroom library collection and a pizza party.

Don't forget to use the hashtag #SUSDStories to document your journey and download the reading log at www.stocktonusd.net/12in12 .

SUSD PD Holds First Meeting for Law Enforcement Explorers Program
By: SUSD Police Department
On January 22, 2019, The Stockton Unified School District Police Department (SUSD PD) had its very first meeting for the Law Enforcement Explorer Program! SUSD PD announced the launch of the program in November of last year. Since, the program has grown to 18 explorers. All of the explorers were in attendance for the meeting. 

The meeting consisted of hands on training, uniform inspections, and law enforcement presentations. The explorers also got a chance to get know each other, as well as the SUSD PD staff, through a variety of engaging activities. Meetings are currently scheduled for every 2 nd and 4 th Tuesday of each month. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 5 th , 2019 from 6-8PM.

Law Enforcement Exploring is a volunteer career education program for students (ages 14-20) interested in law enforcement. In partnership with SUSD PD, explorers will receive training and education in various aspects of police work, participate in community service, and gain valuable life skills that will help towards making every student from Stockton graduate College, Career, and Community Ready! 

SUSD PD is still actively recruiting explorers. If you are interested in joining the SUSD PD Law Enforcement Explorer Program or would like additional information, please visit www.susdpolice.org or call Sergeant Rob Young or Lieutenant Richard Barries at 209-933-7085.
Parent Tip: Focusing on Strengths Calms Anxiety
Provided by the SUSD Parent/Community Empowerment Department
Even the most capable children sometimes complain, "I don’t get this," or "I’ll never get this! I’m stupid!"

If you let this self-criticism go on, your child may come to believe that since they can’t do well, there's no point in trying. To get them back on track:
  • Focus on your child's strengths. Don’t emphasize failures.
  • Talk about how he’s improved—not about what he’s done wrong or forgotten.
  • Challenge negative talk. Remind him of his past successes.
  • Put setbacks into perspective. "Yes, you got a bad grade. But you can learn from this and do better next time. Let’s talk about things that might help."
  • Avoid comparing your child to siblings or anyone else.
  • Be a booster. Never say, "Stop complaining and get to work." Acknowledge that the work might be hard. But note that he’s done hard work before and triumphed.
  • Show your interest in what your child is learning. Ask to see his work.
  • Listen attentively to what he says about schoolwork without judging or arguing. If you have a concern, be sure to share it with the teacher.
Upcoming Events
Click event for more information
Photo Galleries
Christine Vega's Christmas Care Packages

Christine Vega, a SUSD employee, and her family held their 9th annual Christmas Care Package Distribution for Stockton's homeless population last month. The packages included hygiene products, clothing and food. All donated items were provided by Vega's family, friends, and fellow SUSD colleagues.

"My annual event has grown every year and we always reach above and beyond our goal," said Vega. "I truly want to recognize all those that support my annual event!"
Pulliam Elementary's "I Am A Reader" Campaign Launch

Pulliam Pandas kicked off their "I am A Reader" campaign in style today. Students will be participating in a variety of literacy-based activities over the next few months. We look forward to following their journey. We thank our Pulliam Pandas for their enthusiasm and commitment to literacy. 

Tyler Skills Mobile Diary Assembly

Students at Tyler Skills School experience the Mobile Dairy Assembly this month. Students learned all about how milk and dairy products are produced and how they contribute to healthy eating. 

HCA White Coat Ceremony

Congratulations to our Health Careers Academy High School seniors who received their white coats today! The white coat ceremony was made possible through the efforts of HCA staff and the school's community partners, including St. Joseph's Medical Center, San Joaquin Delta College, Kaiser Permanente, and Sutter Gould Medical Foundation. 

Students Explore Agriculture
at 2019 AgVenture

Stockton Unified students filled the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds today for a lesson about the agriculture that surrounds them. Thank you to San Joaquin County AgVenture for allowing our students to see, smell, touch, taste, and experience agriculture! 

Baseball By the Books

Thank you to our friends Allie and Splash from the Stockton Ports for reading to students at Rio Calaveras and Taft elementary schools and giving out bookmarks! Students who read five books before March will receive TWO tickets to a Stockton Ports Game- how exciting! Happy reading! 

STAY CONNECTED
SUSD Communications Department
(209) 933-7025

Submit your stories for the next SUSD Connects!