TUSD Weekly Update
"Every kid is just one caring adult away from being a success story." ~Josh Shipp
Superintendent's Student Senate
Dana Salles Trevethan, Superintendent
New this year! Superintendent Dana Salles Trevethan is meeting with a cohort of students when she conducts Principal Summit/Site Visits during fall and spring. This cohort, or Student Senate, has the opportunity to meet with Dana and the site Principal to provide feedback on areas of strength and places for growth in TUSD. Dana asks students five questions:

  1. What motivates you to come to school every day?
  2. What is the most special or unique thing about your school?
  3. What are your suggestions for making your school even better?
  4. Do you have any concerns you would like your Principal to look into that would make all students and parents feel more connected to your school?
  5. What are you learning that makes you feel like you’re preparing to go to college or get a job?

Dana routinely shares highlights from her Student Senate visits at TUSD Board meetings and on Twitter. These meetings are often the highlight of her week! Follow Dana by clicking Twitter link below.
Communication Plan
Marie Russell, Chief Communication Coordinator
Hot off the presses, check out the 2018-2019 Communications Plan for information on our TUSD:

  • Mission, Objectives, Beliefs
  • Who’s Who (You’ll love these fun Bitmojis!)
  • Target Audiences
  • Objectives and Tactics
  • Strategies
  • Channels
  • School Site Communication Recommendations
  • School Site Communication Norms
  • 2017-2018 Accomplishments
  • 2018-2019 Goals
  • Assessment and Accountability

Our communication goals for 2018-2019 are as follows:
  1. Sustain social media presence and increase use of video
  2. Improve website content and increase ADA accessibility.
  3. Spotlight TUSD academic initiatives.

Thank you to the following folks who helped support the development of our new TUSD Communication Plan and Protocol: Agustin Arreola, Marshall Beyer, Jay Brem, Roberta Cheney, Gil Ogden, Margaret Osmer, Kathy Prada, Julie Tallman, and Scott Young.
TID Canal Rehabilitation Project
Construction in Our Neighborhood
Beginning November 1, 2018, TID will be performing rehabilitation work on the canal located in the median of Canal Drive between Daubenberger and E. Main Street.

The work will include repairing the concrete lining of the canal as well as improving other structural components of the canal. During this project, it will be necessary to close the pedestrian walkway on the south side of the canal, and to intermittently reduce Canal Drive to one lane in each direction.

TID will complete the work on the section of canal in front of Julien Elementary, Turlock High and the Turlock Unified School District offices during the school district’s Thanksgiving break, November 17 through November 25. The project is expected to be completed by December 7, 2018.

The repair process will use a material called “Gunite,” a mixture of cement, water, air and plastic fibers. Dust or overspray of Gunite can be easily washed off with clear water immediately after exposure. If left to harden, the material can still be removed by using a special solvent available at many car-detailing shops. It is recommended that you not park along Canal Drive when crews are working in the area.
Writer's Workshop: Writing is Thinking
Mary Asgill, District Writing Coach
Teacher:  “Write a paragraph that describes what you did this summer.”
Student:  “How many sentences do I need?”
Teacher:  “You need as many as it takes to give me a full idea of what you did this summer.”
Student:  “Okay. One sentence will do. I didn’t do anything this summer.”

I’m sure you’ve heard this or something similar to it a zillion times. Part of what makes writing hard is that the blank page has an evil stare. It will stare back at us for however long it takes to activate our thinking or intimidate us into not thinking. 

Teaching writing is teaching thinking…and because there are multiple types of thinking (critical thinking, creative thinking, analytical thinking, etc.) and multiple purposes for thinking (thinking to solve a problem, explore an idea, make a decision, etc.), writing is hard.

Of the myriad ways we teach students to think in each of our disciplines, one of the best thinking tools we can teach is the art of questioning. Tapping into students’ natural curiosity will help them write in deep and compelling ways – or at least find a way out of their writers’ block. 

Two Very Helpful Resources for Getting Something on the Page – and Making it Substantial

#1 Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding – Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins

Essential Question: Is there ever a “just” war?
Not Essential Question: What key event sparked World War I?
Essential Question: How strong is the scientific evidence?
Not Essential Question: What is a variable in scientific investigations?
Essential Question: What is the impact of rest and inactivity on the human mind, body, and spirit?   
Not Essential Question: What did you do this summer?

This book helps teachers design questions that speak to the crux of important issues in each discipline. It’s definitely a book you want on your shelf.

Click HERE for further exploration. 

#2 Make Just Once Change: Teach Students to Ask their Own Questions – Dan Rothstein and Susana Luz

This book provides a step-by-step strategy for helping students design good questions based on a teacher-generated question focus (QF). The question focus should NOT be a question. The purpose is to have students ask questions based on the QF. Design the QF based on your lesson objective or essential question. The QF can be a visual or audio snippet or just a short statement .

Question Focus (never a question): A boring, inactive summer.
Possible Student-Generated Questions: What makes summers boring? What does it mean to be inactive? What does boring mean? What does it look like when I’m bored? If my summer was boring, how did I contribute to it? Why didn’t I do anything this summer? Whose responsibility is it to entertain me? What does it mean to be entertained? Is it even possible to do nothing during an entire summer? How do I know? What does doing nothing look like? What didn’t I do?

Click HERE or HERE for a couple of useful links to get you started.

I’m sure you see where this is going. If we ask good questions and teach students to ask their own good questions, we have a fighting chance at helping students fend off the blank page’s evil stare.

Colleen Humphres, AP English Language and Composition teacher from Pitman High School shared her way of using questions to generate discussion, which in turn, generated good writing. Email Cole if you have questions about her method:  chumphres@turlock.k12.ca.us

Text: “Superman and Me” – Sherman Alexi
Day 1:  Introduce Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Students write 6 questions about the text (one at each level).
Day 2:  Share questions with class; help students flesh out the higher order questions that can be used with other articles (sources).
If you have other effective questioning strategies, please click on button below and email me so that we build our writing community.
Student Rep to the School Board Reports
Henry Wooley
Turlock High School
Gabrielle Sotomayor
Pitman High School
College application season underway!
  • October 5th: Approximately 70 students attended the first of several FAFSA workshops led by THS counselors.
  • October 10th: Approximately 90 students attended CSU application workshop led by rep from CSU Stanislaus with assistance from THS counselors.
  • October 16: Approximately 190 students attended a MJC application workshop led by MJC outreach with assistance from THS counselors.
  • UC, Merced College, Common App, and additional FAFSA workshops are scheduled throughout October, November, and December.

October 12: 40 11-12th grade ELD Newcomers visited Modesto Junior College West Campus for a College and Career Connections day. Students were able to see and learn more about educational opportunities to transition from ESL courses to enrollment in 4 year colleges and universities.

October 11: 20 junior Link Crew leaders attended a workshop at El Capitan High School. They learned more about making connections to students and honing their leadership skills.

October 18-21: THS’s fall musical the The Addams Family opened Thursday and ran through Sunday.

Cross Country team won the Sweepstakes Trophy at the Hughson Supercross cross country meet.  Top performances by…uh Henry Wooley, leading his division to a first place team title, and each division scoring in the top 10 led to the overall team trophy!

The 20 team Dodgeball tournament is still going on Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch in the Louise Marchant Gymnasium. The games have been exciting and the gym has been packed!
For the past two weeks the Career Center and counselors have been hosting CSU, JC, and UC application labs throughout the school day. Hundreds of students have attended and have been able to receive help on their college applications.

October 12: 15 FFA students traveled to the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds to help the County Farm Bureau educate 3rd graders on the world of agriculture at Ag Edventure Day.

October 17: 36 FFA students competed in Tri Rivers Sectional Opening and Closing Speaking Contest at Orestimba High School.

October 18: PHS hosted College Night. About 50 representatives were in attendance providing information regarding universities, NCAA, and financial aid.

November 3rd: PHS is holding its 1st Annual Hall of Fame Dinner. Tickets are still available on the Pitman Development Foundation website.

The English Department is in the process of piloting two different curricula with new textbooks. Decisions will be made in December about whether the books will be adopted in January.
School Spotlight: Turlock Junior High School
We’re visiting Turlock Junior High School today! Here are some facts about their school: ☑ Est. 1992 ☑ Principal: Robert Ruiz ☑ Assistant Principals: Laurie Harrington, Cynthia Velazquez ☑ Dean: Stephen Valgos ☑ 65 Teachers ☑ 40 Classified ☑ 1,458 students ☑ Mascot: Tigers ☑ Motto: "It's a matter of pride!" Have a great year, Tigers!
The 8th Grade Math Professional Learning Community met today at Turlock Junior High School. With the quarter ending, teachers were excited to chat about a rewards opportunity for students who completed a minimum number of math lessons in DreamBox. They also engaged in their usual weekly discussions related to planning lessons, choosing curriculum, and developing assessments. We are thankful for our teacher teams who are putting in the right work every week for our students ensuring they ALL learn! 
This is TUSD
Meet Linda Alaniz
How long have you worked in TUSD? 27 years. This is my 30th year as an educator.

What is your job title? Turlock Adult School Principal

Where did you work prior to TUSD? Atwater School District

Any info you would like to share about your job? Average day? I love my job! I have always enjoyed working with K-6 students up until 4 years ago I began working with adult students. It is very rewarding to help adults reach their goals and better their lives. There’s a lot of work associated with program research, planning and development as well as data collection. There’s lots of coordinating with various staff members as well as outside agencies so that translates to lots of meetings! I mostly enjoy meeting one-on-one with students and discussing how Turlock Adult School can help meet their needs.

Things you are most proud of? I’m proud of my family and I am proud of the work that I have accomplished over the years in contributing to the educational community of my home town.

Favorite memory/story? My favorite memory of my career is my time that I worked at Osborn School. I was a teacher, assistant principal and principal. As a teacher, I was able to work with my colleagues in researching, developing and implementing the first Two-Way Immersion Program in the entire California Central Valley! This program has helped many TUSD students become proficient in English and Spanish.

What are you reading? Brave Leadership by Kimberly Davis.

Any favorite shows you’re watching on TV? I just started watching Netflix Haunting of Hill House. I love horror flicks.

Anything about your personal life you’d like to share? I mostly work evenings so I get up and go to the gym before coming to work. I enjoy spending time doing just about anything with my family and friends. I have 2 daughters 3 granddaughters and 1 grandson.
The 411
Seen on Social Media
Pitman High School Assyrian Club Pumpkin Festival
In partnership with the Assyrian American Civic Club, the Pitman High School Assyrian Club hosted a Pumpkin Festival that attracted over 150 people. Activities included: pumpkin carving, giant pumpkin rolling, bubble station, coloring station, musical chairs, freeze dance, face painting, cookie decorating, hay rides, costume parade, and a raffle, The event was open to the entire community. #ROLLPRIDE
Share Your Awesome!

Marie Russell
Chief Communication Coordinator
mrussell@turlock.k12.ca.us
209.648.0968
@tusd_mrussell

We would love to have ALL staff help share our TUSD story to the world, but if that is not really your thing, just click on link below to download an opt-out form and return to "Marie Russell, D.O." via district mail.