September 9, 2014 

Welcome to SUSD Connects, our new online newsletter covering news in Stockton Unified. The newsletter will be posted on our website and sent directly to our subscribers (we need your email address to do that!). We will be coming out monthly, so check for updates.

A Message From Our Superintendent
Welcome back to school, Stockton Unified! I am so looking forward to working with our schools, teachers, staff and students and their families this year. It's our first year teaching to the new California standards that we call the Common Core. This means more non-fiction reading, more writing and much more critical thinking in our classrooms. We will no longer be pacing our students through the text, but offering a wider variety of resources for learning with more emphasis on critical thinking and subject mastery. We are excited about the training our teachers and staff have received and the focus on high expectations for our students.

We are also offering many of the programs our community asked for during our Local Control Accountability Plan outreach last year. You will see will counselors (a favorite of mine as I come from a counseling background), more tutoring, more academic intervention to help students who are struggling, and a number of new programs proven to help us improve early literacy and math skills, especially for English language learners.

I am proud to lead Stockton Unified this year and will be talking to you all regularly about our plans to provide our students with the best possible school experience. Don't forget, we take attendance very seriously here at Stockton Unified. Let's make sure our students are in class every day!

 

Julie Penn, SUSD Superintendent of Schools 

Weber Takes Engineering to the Skies
At Weber Institute, the engineering students are planning a new flight plan for study. Really.

Their pre-engineering course is actually the study of aviation and to help them they have real planes, donated by Lyn Freeman of Build a Plane, in their own hangar at the school. These students will learn the thrill of engineering while mastering basics of math and physics. Students will build aircraft parts and actually put a biplane together that can go up to 90 mph.

Weber held a special event in August to thank supporters, including Lowe's Stores, which donated $10,000 for parts and tools. The event drew a representative from Travis Air Force Base, checking out the potential from the program, as well as cheering representatives for State Sen. Cathleen Galgiani and State Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, SUSD Board members, Stockton's Chamber of Commerce, and Superintendent Julie Penn.



Longtime SUSD teacher Stephen Foster said how the program puts students in touch with a career in the airline industry they might never have considered and gets them excited about school every day. Weber student Karla Barrigan, 16, agreed, adding the hands on work is a great teacher. "I want to know why, how," she said.

The Weber engineering students were joined by the school's award-winning SkillsUSA team, which is part of state and national organizations developed to advance student's skills and career pathways with training, workshops and internships. Great job Weber!

For more information contact Ward Andrus, SUSD Director of Career Pathways, or Weber Principal Katrina Leon at 933-7330.
Parents Go Back to School
A big thanks from all our schools to the thousands of parents who are participating in this year's back-to-school night events. While a few schools held their back-to-school night events the night before school started August 12, most are wrapping them up now.

"It is so important for our parents to come see what we are doing,  visit our classrooms and meet the teachers to hear what the expectations for the year are," said Cleveland Principal Heidi Mohammadkhan, who hosted a hugely successful back-to-school night this year.

Parents agree. "I want to understand where my daughter is in her class so I know where she needs help," said Huerta Elementary parent Joanna Martinez. "Does she need to read more or should we spend more time on her math homework? I find this out by talking her her teacher and other parents should do that too."

Added SECA freshman parent Michael Molamphy, "We come to get familiar with the school and meet the teachers...find out what the students are doing. I am also looking for ways to volunteer."

It is important that parents develop a positive working relationship with their school early in the year and to keep with their students' progress. Parents can access student progress,  attendance and grades through an online program, ParentVue, or by checking regularly with the teacher. If you are not familiar with ParentVue contact the Parent Empowerment Office at 933- 7470 for training or check the calendar in this newsletter.

If you missed back-to-school night, be sure to keep in touch with your child's school and teacher and see the tips in this edition of SUSD Connects. 


Click here to view photos from SUSD Back to School Nights.
Want your news in the next issue of SUSD Connects?
Just email your stories to susdcommdept@gmail.com to have them considered- stories must be in by 5pm on the 20th of every month for inclusion in the next issue. Wmay not be able to use all items, but we'll make every effort to share your news with as many people as possible.
Monthly Calendar
September 2014
(Clink links for more)


9: Board Meeting (7pm, boardroom)


11: Patriot Day

16: ParentVue Training at Pacific Law Academy



23: ParentVue Training at School for Adults

23: Board meeting (7pm, Boardroom)


30: ParentVue Training at Franklin
Find SUSD on Facebook and Twitter
Stockton Unified is now using social media! Be sure to follow and like our pages for additional news, photos from school events, fun contests, and more. 

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Attendance Awareness Month
September is Attendance Awareness Month! Did you know that early chronic absence can leave children unable to read well by the end of 3rd grade, exacerbating the achievement gap? New research also suggests that chronic absence predicts whether a student will finish college! Below are a few tips to help keep your student in school.
Parent/Community Empowerment
We Support Our Parents
Parents, the Stockton Unified Parent/Community Empowerment Office has already scheduled trainings for this fall and is here to help you help your students get the most they can out of their school experience. Consider this office your resource! Our Parent Academies provide educational leadership and trainings, parent workshops, parent facilitation training and promotes parent-teacher collaboration.

We encourage all of our parents to be informed, active and supportive of their student's school. To further school partnerships, SUSD has a Parent Advisory Committee to involve parents in the development of the districts funding and program planning, School Site Councils to help guide individual school's programs, the District English Learner Advisory Committee to advise on programs serving our ELL students, Parent Teacher Associations to facilitate parent participation in school and the Parent Booster Clubs, which are formed to help student clubs, arts and other athletics.

For more information, please contact Kennetha Stevens, coordinator of the Parent/ Community Empowerment, at (209)933-7470 ext. 2227, or visit the Parent/Community Empowerment page.
College Deadlines for High School Seniors
Important college application dates are fast-approaching for high school Seniors! Find these dates and important testing information on the 'Seniors 2015' page.
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Stockton Unified School District | susdcommdept@gmail.com | http://www.stocktonusd.net
701 N. Madison St.
Stockton, CA 95202