December 18, 2014 
SUSD Schools Collect Over 12,000 lbs. of Food for Competition

Ten Stockton Unified schools were among those participating in this years' KCRA 3 Kids Can Food Drive, a competition that has been helping to feed hungry families in the community for over 20 years. In the spirit of competition and charity, our schools managed to collect and donate over 12,000 lbs. of canned and perishable food items! August Elementary placed first in the competition with 3,266 lbs. of food, while Hamilton Elementary placed a very close second with 3,203 lbs! Both schools donated their contributions to the Stockton Emergency Food Bank.


August's Student Council led the school in their success by organizing and encouraging their 700 peers to participate in a school wide competition for the most donations. "We are so proud of our amazing student council and student body here at August School," said August Principal Lori Risso. "Our student leadership does so many community outreach projects and have already been invited to attend WE Day in February for all their efforts the second year in a row. They exhibit true Tiger Pride!"


Students were pleased with their participation in the annual food drive. "It gave me a chance to give back to my community. It's nice, also, because it gives our school a chance to give back to families in need. I just get a great feeling inside when I'm a part of helping others," commented Janaya Taylor, an eighth grade Leadership student at Hamilton. Students from participating schools hope to contribute to their community again next year.


Congratulations to August, Hamilton and all of the schools success in the KCRA Kids Can Food Drive and thank you to all families who contributed.

Stockton Unified Students Spend an Hour of Code
Eighth graders at Nightingale Charter School learned in an hour last week a critical skill for young entrepreneurs all over the world: writing computer code.

They joined students throughout Stockton Unified School District who participated in a global initiative aimed at inspiring students to consider careers in computer science, while having fun at the same time.

At Nightingale Charter, eighth graders in Kate Burns' class worked intently for the hour, learning how to write code through special games and apps featuring Disney's "Frozen" to the game Angry Birds. "I thought it would be difficult, but it was really pretty easy," said eighth grader Ismael Omar. In fact, Omar planned to study architecture, but now thinks he may also be interested in a future of coding. Or, he'll do both: coding for architecture.

According to, there is a significant diversity gap in the field and by the year 2020, the industry will need another 1 million qualified coders. Additionally, salaries for young people, some still in college, can be $90,000 a year. This got Burns' attention. "They could help pay for their college and if college is not an option, here is a skill they can develop," she said., a nonprofit founded by Microsoft alum Hadi Partovi, has grown into a worldwide movement. This year, the initiative featured President Obama, actor Ashton Kutcher and a number of high-profile industry leaders, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Students at Cleveland, Elmwood, Henry, Kennedy, Hong Kingston and Nightingale elementary schools along with Stagg, Franklin and Weber Tech high schools all participated in the Hour of Code and Career and Technology Director Ward Andrus, who organized the SUSD participation, thinks it was just a start. "This one of the highest in-demand careers where workers can make more than $100,000," Andrus said. "More than that, this is a job creating tools for all the world to use!"

Paralympian Inspires Adams Students
Adams Elementary students learned a thing or two about diversity last week: For many, it was the first and maybe only time they'll get to meet an Olympic medalist and actually hang his medal around their necks. And there is more of course. This particular medalist is wheelchair-bound, the result of a spinal injury he received in an accident during high school.

When the accident happened, Brent Poppen told the students, "I had never met someone who was paralyzed before. I had never talked to someone in a wheelchair," explaining he visits schools so the students will learn to connect with those with disabilities. The biggest part of his story was not the injury, which left him unable to play baseball, but what the experience taught him.

"I was a star athlete. All of my life everyone, teachers, coaches, everyone told me yes, I could do anything. I could make the team ... I could win it all," he said. "After the accident, they said I was paralyzed. And all I heard was 'no. You can't play ball. You can't win'."

So, after a long recovery led to his regaining feeling in his upper body and arms, Poppen took up sports again, specializing in tennis and rugby. He made two consecutive Paralympics teams and earned gold and bronze medals in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.

Poppen, wheeling around like a professional in the Adams cafeteria, shared his documentary, "Where I'm Supposed to Be,' and asked the students to sit in the wheelchair he uses for tennis and try it out.  His visit, arranged by the Adams PLUS team, fits SUSD's efforts to build connections between students and encourage positive school climate. The students agreed they saw the wheelchair in a new light after Poppen's visit.

Poppen spent the entire day at Adams, sharing his spare chair and his medal, which features the Phoenix rising from the ashes, uniquely fitting, as Poppen told the students, to his story. In fact, Poppen said that looking back at the injury, received while he was horsing around with another kid, he wouldn't change a thing: "This is what gave me the opportunity to meet children and make a difference in their lives."
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Monthly Calendar
December 2014
Dec. 17

Dec. 22 -Jan. 2, 2015

Jan. 5, 2015
Native American Indian Center's Annual Winter Gathering in the Franklin High School Commons; 6pm

Winter Break 
(No School)

School Resumes
Outreach Meetings for LCAP Update

With the time for the annual LCAP update drawing nearer, the District has planned outreach meetings for parents and community members. The LCAP website has been updated to include the dates of these meetings; a new survey for feedback will be posted to the site in January. The LCAP update will go to the Board of Education in the spring. 


Your feedback is valuable to us, so please be sure to attend an LCAP meeting and/or take our new LCAP survey when it is posted. Thank you.

McKinley Holds Themed Food Drive
Last week, McKinley Elementary School's Club Live group held a week-long food drive, in which they collected 634 lbs. of food for donation to the Stockton Emergency Food Bank. "Theme days made the giving even more fun. Monday was PJ day and kids donated breakfast items," said McKinley counselor Diane Lopez. The Club Live members and officers packaged the 510 items into boxes and paper bags throughout the week and got them ready for pick-up last Friday. Great work, Eagles! 
Parent Tip
It's not always easy to get your child to go to bed at night, but it makes an incredible difference in their academic performance.
Here are some tips to help bedtime go a little smoother with your child:

1) Establish a regular hour for bed so your child knows what to expect.
2) Develop a bedtime routine that helps children prepare for sleep (i.e. bedtime rituals that have special significance, like choosing an outfit for the next day or reading a bedtime story together).
3) Turn all electronic devices and lights off 30 minutes before going to bed to make falling asleep easier.
4) Lead by example. Establish a bedtime for yourself to ensure that you, too, are well-rested. 
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701 N. Madison St.
Stockton, CA 95202