April 30. 2018
The Gateway to Extraordinary Possibilities
Get to Know your School Board Members
Norma Alcala is the President of the Washington Unified School District. Norma is an innovator.

First elected to the Washington Unified School District in 2014, Norma has served as a voice for parents and students in the district. She is past Vice President of the Yolo County School Board Association, and member of the Up for West Sac Pre School Committees. Currently she serves on the WUSD 2 x 2 Committee which works to coordinate WUSD and City of West Sacramento collaborative efforts. In the past, Norma has also served on the WUSD Curriculum Committee.

For the last two years, Norma has been the Director of the California High School Voter Registration Project. Norma works with retired Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, the League of Women Voters and numerous grassroots community organizations and unions to register voters throughout the state. In the last 24 months, Norma has registered nearly 10,000 high school students in school districts across the state.  For the last three years, Norma registered the high school Junior and Senior classes at River City High School, Norma believes that high school registration builds a culture of voting and civic engagement that creates a base for democracy. She has conducted high school voter registration training to women all over the state and most recently in Fresno, Pleasanton, and Tuolumne. 

Norma is extremely active in the West Sacramento community as a volunteer. She is the current President of the West Sacramento League of Women Voters and the West Sacramento chapter of LULAC. Founded in 1930, LULAC is the Latino American equivalent of the NAACP. Norma has served as Past President of the Holy Cross Parish Council and Past President of the Holy Cross Altar Society. At Holy Cross, she served as Director of the Sunday School program. Norma took the children to sing at the Senior Center, take food to the poor, and volunteer at the annual Holy Cross Fair. Norma volunteers at the St Vincent De Paul Food Bank. For years, Norma organized the annual Holy Cross Festival. She is past President of SEIU 1000/Local 768 Sacramento California State Employees. Norma has been a leading community advocated for single member districts in WUSD.

Previously, Norma worked for the California legislature for ten years. She is also a former small business owner. As a small business owner, she learned to appreciate the responsibility of earning payroll every two weeks.

The Yolo Concilio awarded her the prestigious Yolo County Woman of the Year award. In 2016 she was a surrogate for Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders. In May 2016, she was the introductory speaker for Bernie Sanders at Bonney Field attended by 21,000 people. Norma’s proudest work is her support for getting women elected to office and supporting other women to become leaders. Norma has received awards as Mentor of the Year from both UC Davis Young Dems and Sac State Young Dems. John Burton awarded her the California Outstanding Volunteer and Innovator Award. She is a former member of the Yolo County Grand Jury. She has twice been selected as a national delegate to national Presidential Endorsement Conventions.

Norma Alcala and her husband, Carlos Alcala, live in Broderick. They have five grown children and ten young grandchildren. Norma encourages the community to reach out to her at 916 821-9639.

Find out more about our WUSD Board of Education .
Community Updates...
Please join us at this year’s Washington Unified School District (WUSD) Family Night at the River Cats game on Friday, May 25, 2018.

This is a great opportunity for students, families, employees, and friends to come together at the end of the school year for a fun-filled district-wide event showcasing pride in our schools and community.

NATIONAL ANTHEM  —ALL our WUSD elementary school bands will be performing the national anthem in center field before the game begins!  Get there early to see the students perform.

FIRST PITCH  —Our Employees of the Year will be recognized on the field pre-game and one honoree will even throw out the first pitch!   Gates open at 6 PM, first pitch at 7:05 PM.

TICKETS  —ALL tickets sold are in the official WUSD section (Assembly Seating).

  • ALL students performing in the bands get a free ticket!
  • WUSD students not performing and employees can get up to 2 half priced tickets!
  • ONLY 400 tickets are available at this discounted rate. First come, first serve!
  • Tickets are full price for anyone not covered under the above mentioned stipulations.
Prices:  Full price $16; Discount rate $8

To purchase your tickets please submit a completed  ORDER FORM with full payment to Ruth Pagano-Trn  in the Superintendent's Office (930 Westacre Road) no later than May 18th. Cash or check ONLY. Please make checks out to "River Cats."
Elkhorn STEM Day - On Saturday, March 24th Elkhorn Village Elementary hosted its annual STEM Day. The event was a Team Quest where groups of four students complete as many STEM activities as they want earning points on a passport—the more activities completed, the more points they earn. 

All teams started with a grade-level Science Quiz in the cafeteria then groups picked from 19 different STEM activities to complete including Ozobots, Straw Towers, Paper Bridges, Foil Boats, Catapults, Circuit Building, Math Quiz, Sail Cars, LinkBots, Measurement, Paper Airplanes, and Robo-Mice. Group points were tallied and students earned a Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced STEM level badge on their certificate however, the purpose was to celebrate ALL students collaborating in STEM activities.

Approximately 186 K-8 students registered for the event along with more than 20 parent/high school volunteers. Please join us in extending a special thank you to Mrs. Medina-Miranda, Ms. Ramirez, Mrs. Ryland, Ms. Ness, Monica Valadez, Mr. Garcia, and all the volunteers for making this event possible.

Check out the photo album on Facebook.
Career Choices Medal Program - Join us in congratulating River City High School as they have qualified for a Gold Medal for their use of the Career Choices series materials.

Achieving a Gold, Silver, or Bronze distinction signifies that your Career Choices program is being developed and implemented in a way that will dramatically lower the student dropout rate while preparing students for a self-sufficient future. 

Special shout out to Marlaina Spivey who completed a survey and interview with the Academic Innovations Curriculum Support Team showcasing the efforts of the team at RCHS. 

RCHS will be listed together with all of the medal-winning programs on the Academic Innovations website and all medal winners will be highlighted during the Focus on Freshmen institutes in Santa Barbara, California (May 1 to June 8).
Environmental Contest Winner - On Saturday, April 14th River City High School student Sonya Shifrin competed in the Caring for Our Watersheds competition. Out of 460 entries from the Sacramento region, she qualified as one of the top 10 finalists and placed eighth taking home a monetary prize of $400 for her hard work.

As part of the competition, students were asked to create a proposal for how they were going to improve their local Sacramento watershed. Sonya chose to design a children's book, with the goal of educating young children on watersheds and their conservation. You can view samples of her work on images 1, 2, 3, and 4. Congratulations Sonya! 
Lunch at the Library - check out this cool opportunity made possible by our friends at the Arthur F. Turner Library in West Sacramento!

During the summer the library serves lunch to hungry youth but they’re also looking for help from teenage interns who can earn a food handlers card, all sorts of job experience, free lunch, and a letter of recommendation at the end of summer.

Get involved today by filling out a youth volunteer or an adult volunteer form or call the library at 916-375-6465 for more information
Carla Marquez - On Friday, April 27, 2018 members of the WUSD family came together at Stonegate Elementary School for a heartfelt building dedication ceremony honoring the late Carla Marquez by dedicating the school’s multipurpose building in her honor. 

This was a great opportunity for Carla’s closest friends, family, and colleagues to come together and show support for lasting impact on the school and to honor her legacy in our school district and the West Sacramento community. 

We want to extend a major thank you to all the members of the input committee and the staff at Stonegate Elementary for all they did to make this happen. And a special thank you to the Stonegate Elementary PTO for providing refreshments at the ceremony.
Youth Police Academy - Save the date and help spread the word WUSD community! Our friends at the WSPD will soon be hosting their 2018 Youth Academy with the purpose of educating a diverse group of local high school youth about law enforcement as a career path in a safe, supportive team environment. Take advantage of this fun and rewarding opportunity! 

California School Dashboard—The State of California unveiled a new accountability and continuous improvement system providing information about how local educational agencies and schools are meeting the needs of California’s diverse student population based on a concise set of measures. Called the California School Dashboard, the site features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success, including test scores, graduation rates, English learner progress and suspension rates. 

The Dashboard, based on 2013’s Local Control Funding Formula, is the next step in a series of major shifts in public education that have raised the bar for student learning, transformed testing and placed the focus on equity for all students. To learn more about California’s accountability and continuous improvement efforts, visit the California Department of Education website.


  • Watch a video tutorial from the Association of CA School Administrators (ACSA)

  • Watch a video tutorial from the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE).
The mission of the Washington Unified School District, THE GATEWAY TO EXTRAORDINARY POSSIBILITIES , is to challenge and support each student to develop effective critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills as a life-long learner acting in an ethical manner to serve a broader community through a community of learners characterized by:
  • Engaging learning experiences in safe, positive environments;
  • Highly-qualified, reflective and adaptive educators;
  • A culture of innovation responsive to student needs and aspirations;
  • A community promoting family involvement, strong partnerships, and school pride.