November 25, 2014 
Welcome New Board Members
Welcome to our new Stockton Unified School District Board members and a special thanks to those leaving service.

Congratulations to Andrea Burrise, a Stockton attorney, who will represent Area 2 schools on the east side of the district. Maria Mendez, an after-school program director at Cleveland Elementary School, will represent Area 5, which includes south and central schools. And Angela Phillips, an active parent in Area 6 schools, will now be the north side representative on the school board. Steve Smith, current representative in the northwest Area 7, was re-elected and will serve a second term on the board.

Thank you to outgoing board members Dave Midura, David Varela and Sal Ramirez for your contribution to Stockton Unified Schools!

The new board members will be sworn into office during the December 9 Board meeting. Their contact information will be posted on the Board of Education website after this date. 
Stagg Welcomes Important Author
Hundreds of Stagg high school students welcomed Matt de la Pena, author of five critically acclaimed young adult novels, including "Mexican WhiteBoy," for an hour long presentation last week that had the students clammering for one of his books.

De La Pena described an upbringing close to many of those in the room: He was raised in an all-Hispanic, low-income neighborhood by parents who never discussed the possibility of college with him. No one he knew had gone to college. And once he got an idea it might be for him, he had to confront mediocre grades (the result of not reading enough), and no money for tuition.

No one thought he could go to college he said, including his own parents. But he got it into his head that he could parlay a break-out basketball talent into college acceptance and tuition, and then spent the last two years of high school bent on that one goal.

"I devoted myself to it. Every decision, every crossroads I asked myself, will this help you get a college scholarship," de la Pena told students. His singleness of purpose paid off: The University of the Pacific signed him to play basketball. Once at UOP, he realized he was unlikely to play pro. "So I had to ask myself, what am I going to do? What do I really like to do?" What he liked was writing poetry, and eventually the poems became short stories and then novels.

"I was not a reader," he told the students. "And I had to become one. Because I have learned you must become a great reader to be even a good writer."

De la Pena spent 45 minutes answering student questions, from how he started reading to where he got the cool jeans. Every student who asked a question was tossed one of his books. Inspired students stood in line afterwards to have him sign their copies. "It was interesting to see an author, a renowned and local one, explain writing his books, becoming and being an author," said Stagg Line reporter Matteo Danforth. "I really liked that he talked about being an author, because a lot of writers just stay away from that."

Thanks to the University of the Pacific for bringing Matt de la Pena to Stagg!

San Joaquin County A+ Literacy Awards Night

Stockton Unified is proud of its San Joaquin A+ Spirit of Literacy Award Winners, celebrated last week for contributions to the organization's mission of early and excellent literacy. This year, Maxine Hong Kingston Preschool was named Literacy program of the Year and El Dorado teacher Tracey Sittig was awarded Educator of the Year!


Hong Kingston Principal Sylvia Martinez and teachers Karen Dukes, Julie Joint and Diana Flood, along with assistant Myrna Gutierrez, were honored at the annual A+ dinner for their many literacy programs, among them, the Raising A Reader Weekly Book Bag Exchange in which parents are taught best practices for inspiring readers.


Hong Kingston seventh and eighth graders work with the preschool teaching staff to provide hands-on literacy activities for parents and the students. The families learn the importance of nightly reading at home. Parents are then provided books and a book bag with the expectation that reading routines will continue.


Ms. Sittig was cited for offering her students in the El Dorado middle grades a strong literacy and writing focus. She provides rich literature instruction through poetry, plays and novels. For the past two years she has helped develop the Common Core Units of Study for SUSD and led her peers thought the process of constructing meaningful and engaging lessons. Ms. Sittig recently joined the districts Peer Assistance and Review Panel to help teachers who are struggling. 


Huge congratulations to the Hong Kingston Preschool and Tracey Sittig for receiving the A+ recognition and, more importantly, for such inspirational service to SUSD students!


SUSD Parent of the Month Nominations 

On Tuesday, November 18, the Parent/Community Empowerment Department recognized Mrs. Michelle Martin-Weeks and Mrs. Ebony Garner for their outstanding job of planning, hosting and promoting the September 5th "All Pro Dad's Breakfast" at Adams Elementary School. It was a huge success with close to 50 fathers taking time to engage and build relationships with other dads and Adams School Staff. This activity led the "All Pro Dad's Breakfast" participants to support the school vision of starting a PTA and monitoring student's academics via ParentVue.


We salute Mrs. Martin-Weeks and Mrs. Garner on a job well done!

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Monthly Calendar
November - mid December 2014
Nov. 24-28

Dec. 4

Dec. 6

Dec. 12

Dec. 12
Thanksgiving Break

Weber Healthcare Career Fair, 7:30-11:45am

Hispanic College and Career Fair, University of the Pacific DeRosa Ballroom, 9:30am-12:30pm
Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) News
Stockton Unified will be revising the 2014-2015 LCAP.

To learn more about this change, please visit the LCAP page.
College Deadlines for High School Seniors
Be sure to get your college/university applications turned in! The deadline for many schools is Nov. 30th. Find 
scholarship deadlines and important test info on the 'Seniors 2015' page.
Parent Tip
Extracurricular Activities
If your child wants to get involved in extracurricular activities and you aren't sure whether or not to let them, it is important to consider the benefits of these activities:

1) Your student will learn time management, among many other life skills. 
2) Students will build solid relationship skills and, potentially, have an increase in their self-esteem. 
3) Your student will learn what it is to make a long-term commitment while also contributing to something.
4) Extracurricular activities look fantastic on college applications.

Although extracurricular activities are fantastic, it is important to not allow your student to overload their schedule- students that are involved in too many activities often end up having academic problems, or they may not get the rest and recreation that they need. Take it slow by adding one activity at a time.
PYA Literacy Night
Primary Years Academy (PYA) had great success at their annual Literacy Night! The Dr. Seuss-themed event, organized by PYA parents and staff, featured an on-site Barnes & Noble book fair for families and many fun activities to ignite student creativity.

Gloria Lauser, mother of three PYA students, was especially happy with Literacy Night. "These kinds of events are good not only for the kids, but for the entire family because it gives the family time to bond together and socialize with the rest of the school," Lauser expressed, "It's also great to have the book fair here because it gives the children a chance to pick the books they want, so they get excited for reading."

Activities for the night included a writing area for continuing a progressive story, a Dr. Seuss fishing game, and a crafting area where students could assemble their very own "Cat in the Hat" hats and create Dr. Seuss characters using their painted hand prints. PYA 5th graders also used the family event to raise funds for their science camp trip using a  Dr. Seuss photo booth, equipped with props and a backdrop.

Thank you to all that attended PYA Literacy Night! View photos on the district Facebook page.
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Stockton Unified School District | |
701 N. Madison St.
Stockton, CA 95202