April 13, 2015
Tyler Mentoring Project
Tyler Skills Elementary welcomed nine new mentors to the school's growing Tiger Mentoring Project program during last month's launch event! The program aids at-risk students by pairing them with adult volunteers from the community for extra support once a week during the school day

The Tiger Mentoring Project Kick Off and Reception recognized the new mentors with certificates of training completion and allowed parents and students to learn more about enrolling in the program.
As keynote speaker and a fabulous example of successful youth mentoring, Councilman Michael Tubbs told of  his life experiences made possible by his many dedicated mentors and encouraged parents to enroll their children.

Great work by Principal Phillips, the Tiger Mentoring Project Advisory Committee, and keynote speaker Councilman Michael Tubbs on a successful kick off event! Congratulations to the new mentors!

To become a mentoring program, please contact Principal Phillips at (209)933-7295.

Thank you SUSD Parents
Special thanks to members of the Stockton Unified School Disrict's Parent Advisory Committee for helping engage fellow parents in the district's outreach for the 2015-16 LCAP Update! The PAC members participated in the parent meetings at schools throughout the district and talked to parents about the plan. As a result, more than 3,500 surveys were returned indicating what programs the SUSD community supports to raise student achievement for our low income, English language learner and foster youth students.

Also, thanks to members of the District English Language Learner Parent Advisory Committee, which met early to help design appropriate questions for this year's survey. Their efforts led to more comprehensive and meaningful questions and a better result.

Next steps: Presentations of the proposed 2015-16 LCAP Update will be made to both parent groups and at a May 20, 2015 Public Hearing at the Professional Development Center at 6 p.m. at 1503 St. Mark's Plaza. The SUSD Board of Education will vote on the proposal for next year's LCAP funding at its June 9 meeting. Click here for more!

SUSD Hold Open House

The Stockton Unified School District Police Department held a first-ever open house in March to introduce the team, the staff, officers and Chief Bryon Gustafson, show visitors the department, and invite children and families to meet Yoda, the department's drug sniffing Russell Terrier.

The event drew more than 150 people, many of them parents and students. The kids got a chance to have their photographs taken with an officer in full uniform or with Yoda, who showed off some pretty important skills before allowing the petting.

Chief Gustafson said he came up with the idea of an open house when he started with the district last summer. The department is housed in the historic former St. Agnes School in the Magnolia District. The public event was a hit with guests, who said it put a spotlight on the department's efforts to be transparent and supportive of the community.


Click here to view more photos.

Kohl and Walton Day in the Dirt
Kohl and Walton students participated in the 10th annual 'Day in the Dirt' last month! The event unites students from Kohl Open Elementary School and the Walton Special Center every year for a day full of activities and socialization. This year, students participated in a morning 5k walk and run before coming together for a barbecue lunch and an afternoon filled with music, games and raffle prizes. Thank you to the volunteers and organizers for putting on yet another fantastic event!

Merlo Expo 2015
The 2nd annual Merlo Expo was a great help for the Merlo Institute students who competed in the 48th Annual SkillsUSA California State Leadership and Skills Conference from April 9 through April 12, 2015. 

The event allowed competitors to practice their presentations for volunteer judges from across the city. Judges critiqued the presentations and gave students valuable valuable feedback on how to improve.

A few of the Merlo Institute projects include a cutting-edge tethered underwater robot, the "Merlo Free Little Library," a Distracted Driving campaign, and participating in the speech competition! Competitors who advance will be invited to attend the Skills USA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Thank you to the community members and business owners who volunteered to critique Merlo presentations. Merlo Institute brought home 4 gold medals, 8 silver, and three bronze! Great work to all SUSD students who competed!
Hong Kingston Celebrates
Hundreds of students packed the sloping lawn at Hong Kingston Elementary earlier this month to honor outstanding students, winners of the AAUW STEM Trek scholarships and the Plus (Peer Leaders Uniting Students) campaign to raise supplies for homeless families.

Principal Silvia Martinez and PLUS members handed out Outstanding Character certificates to students in every class during the festive event at the Hong Kingston amphitheater. Winners of scholarships from the American Association of University Women to STEM Trek training this summer were announced and the PLUS team presented Stockton Unified School District's coordinator of services for homeless students boxes of household supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, cleaning materials,  for families.

Thank you Hong Kingston PLUS for your thoughtful project to benefit those most in need! And congratulations to Hong Kingston for a wonderful spring of accomplishment!

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Kohl student Yasmin Pantoja with her artwork displayed in the Haggin Museum's McKee Student Art Show.
Parent Tip

Supporting Common Core Standards


The English Language Arts Standards of the Common Core emphasize careful reading. Students will need to read texts loosely to ensure that they understand what they read. This is also called reading comprehension. You can reinforce your child's reading comprehension skills at home by following four easy steps. Help your child- Four steps to improve reading comprehension:


1) See the book.

Making pictures in your mind as you read is a wonderful way to improve understanding. Have your child read a sentence or a paragraph. Then have him close his eyes and "see" the scene. Can he tell you, in his own words, what he just read? Ask him questions like: "Where does the main character live?" "What do you think the place looks like?"

2) Make predictions.

Good readers constantly ask themselves what they think will happen next. This is one way your child can stay focused on what she is reading. Ask her questions like: "You finished the first chapter. What do you think is going to happen in the next one?" "How do you think the book will end?"

3) Make connections.

A connection happens when your child reads something that reminds him of something he has experienced, learned or read before. When the reading material is meaningful to him, it will allow him think about it more closely. Teach your child to ask himself, "Is this in any way familiar?" Ask him questions such as: "The boy on the cover of the book looks about your age. Does he do any of the same things you like to do?" "Have you ever felt like that?" Would you have done what this character did? Why or why not?" "How might you have handled this situation differently?"

4) Ask more questions.

Your child isn't finished once she reads the last page. Help her reflect on what she has just read by asking her questions such as: "What was your mood after you finished the story? Do you think that was what the author wanted? Why?" "Of all the things that happened in the story, which one did you think was the most important? Why?" "Who do you think were the main characters (most important people) in the story? Do you think you were supposed to learn something from what happened to them? What were you supposed to learn?" "Did you ever get the feeling the author wanted to change your mind about anything? If so, what? Did it work?"  

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