August 7, 2015
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Teachers' First Day of School
Students' First Day of School
Costco Backpack Giveaway at Bush Ele., 8:30am
8, 15,
22, 29:
Parent Involvement Academy at Hong Kingston/Valenzuela Ele., 4:30pm - 5:30pm
9, 16,
23, 30:
High School Parent Academy at Edison High School, 3pm - 4:30pm
School Almost Back in Session
Stockton Unified School District will begin the 2015-2016 school year on August 11, 2015. To be sure that the transition into the new school year goes smoothly, SUSD has created a list of to-dos for parents.
SUSD Students Catch Math
More than 100 incoming eighth and ninth graders spent their summer vacation "catching math" at SUSD's algebra and geometry prep program at the University of the Pacific in June and Jul y.  This year 75 eighth graders studied algebra concepts to get ready for high school math classes, while another 40 ninth graders prepared for geometry. Classes were held in the UOP math buildings. For the program graduation, parents were invited into the classrooms to see the work accomplished. Special thanks to UOP and to SUSD math teachers Natalee Owens, Viry Tun, Rachel Stafford Samantha McCoy and Jennifer Duren as well as Geoff Moss, who ran the program. The program is designed to give students a leg up in high school math classes. For more information, talk to your school next spring about next summer's program!
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
Make a difference in your child's success in school and on standardized tests!

Studies find that students with involved parents are more likely to:
1. Earn higher grades and test scores.
2. Pass their classes, earn credits and be promoted.
3. Attend school regularly.
4. Complete homework.
5. Graduate and go on to further education.

How can you get involved in a way that will help your child succeed on tests? Visit the Parent/Community Empowerment website for upcoming workshops and trainings or call 209-933-7470 ext. 2228.
A Letter from the Superintendent: Welcome Back, SUSD!
Dear Stockton Unified staff, parents, and community,

W elcome back! We are looking forward to a terrific 2015-16 school year, with plans in place for some new programs and added staff aimed at helping our students succeed. This  year you will see more computers and technology in classrooms, a plan for intervention teachers to catch students at risk of falling behind, more counselors, and, new this year, family social workers.
Stagg Students at Lawrence Livermore Labs
Stagg students Samuel Cornelison and Martha Valencia spent part of their summer break isolating a protein that could prove that duckweed is actually a sustainable bio-fuel. Well, that's putting it simply. The students studied the genetic makeup of duckweed, looking for the genes that produce carbohydrates from photosynthesis.

They did intense college-level work at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, where they manipulated genes, coded DNA, followed complex lab procedures and produced a poster showing results that will be published in a peer reviewed journal. Both students will be credited as authors!

Stagg chemistry teacher Marcus Sherman was invited by Lawrence Livermore's education program to bring two students to the lab this summer for work in biotechnology. "This is the first time SUSD students have been involved in this program and is an enormous achievement for them and for the district, especially since this curriculum will be continued this school year," Sherman said.

Sherman said he will be offering a biotechnology class this year, which will include the sequencing his students learned over the summer. And he is hoping to bring students back to the lab next summer.

"This experience was such an honor for all of us," Sherman said. Congratulations to Stagg!

SUSD Participates in White House Conference
Stockton Unified's Parent Empowerment Coordinator Kennetha Stevens, Student Services Director Dee Alimbini and Police Chief Bryon Gustafson joined a team of superintendents, principals and teachers from across the country at a conference on best practices for student discipline at the White House last week.

The event, titled "Rethink Discipline," focused on helping districts create positive school climates and develop effective discipline practices. The goal was to provide districts with resources to help address disciplinary disparities and improve student participation. SUSD has developed a range of practices aimed at reducing suspensions, including keeping students on campus and studying rather than suspending them off-campus, where they lose valuable learning time.

The conference included presentations by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Senior Presidential Advisor Valerie Jarrett and other senior officials from President Obama's Administration. 

"I had the opportunity to engage in planning trainings and best practices for SUSD families, which will provide parents with tools and resources to support, foster and assist with implementation of safe school environments and practices," Stevens said.
SUSD Students: Violins Not Violence
Students from Spanos, Filmore and Adams elementary schools, part of the Gleason Park Electric Violin Ensemble, studied beautiful classical music this summer with a culminating performance at The Haggin Museum. The 31 students, led by Montezuma seventh grade teacher Jan Weil, rehearsed in the Gleason Park Apartments near Spanos with their adopted moto: Violins not Violence.

The ensemble performed a repertoire that included "Beauty and the Beast," and a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart serenade.

Weil, a trained cellist, started the program with the help of The Music Box's Bill Stevens, purchasing $10,000 worth of instruments, all black, blue and white violins with a vision of creating a positive music community in the south Stockton community. Congratulations and thanks to Jan Weil, Bill Stevens and the hard working members of the Gleason Park Electric Violin Ensemble!
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!