TRACY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dr. Brian Stephens, Superintendent
Dr. Rob Pecot, Assoc. Superintendent of Business Services
Ms. Tammy Jalique, Assoc. Superintendent of Human Resources
Ms. Julianna Stocking, Assoc. Superintendent of Educational Services
I want to begin by thanking you for a remarkably smooth start to the school year. Your professionalism as we welcome back students is much appreciated. Clearly, this year will be as challenging or even more than last year. Educating nearly 15,000 students in classrooms with teachers and staff during a pandemic are in some ways more challenging than distance learning or transitioning to a hybrid-learning model as we did last year. Each day we are facing situations that our academic training did not prepare us to handle. It is through working together, acting as professionals and recognizing that situations can and will be changing daily that we will successfully get through the school year. Despite the challenging road in front of us, I know that many of you, myself included, are motivated to carryon from the excitement that we saw in the faces of our students as they returned to school.
The joy that our students and staff have felt returning to the beautiful new facility at North School has been fun to observe. On the first day of school, I observed a young student at North School admonish a fellow student for touching the wall saying, “Don’t touch the wall we have to keep it nice forever.” I am proud that TUSD has put an amazing school in one of the poorer areas of our community so that those students can learn in a classroom that shouts that we care about them and their future.
We have many new staff members this year and I hope that you will take the time to welcome them. We have some familiar administrators in new roles and several former teachers beginning his or her administrative career:
Dr. Zack Boswell Director Curriculum Accountability
Dr. Michael Bunch Director Human Resources
Dean Reese Director PreK STEM Curriculum/Assessment
Erin Quintana Director Professional Learning
Marji Bauman Principal Villalovoz
Gillian Bradley Principal Hirsch
Annabelle Lee Principal West
Brittani Ryan Principal George Kelly
Mike Stagnaro Principal Bohn
Bond Cashmere Asst. Principal West
April Jacobs Asst. Principal Freiler
Roya Mahidden Asst. Principal George Kelly/Poet
Ashley Muzzi Asst. Principal Hirsch/Jacobson
Tony Quintana Asst. Principal Williams
Megan Strelka Asst. Principal Monte Vista
TBD Asst. Principal West
Last spring, our Board of Trustees selected Dr. Rob Pecot, to be the next superintendent of Tracy Unified beginning July 1, 2022. I could not have been more thrilled with their choice. There is no doubt in my mind, that Dr. Pecot will have a very successful tenure leading this district. At the August 10 board meeting, Dr. Pecot and myself, presented our transition plan that will take place this year to assist him as he moves to the position of superintendent. The plan included training and experiences that will prepare him for his next role. One aspect of the plan that I feel is unique, is that, as this year progresses, Dr. Pecot will make all of the decisions that affect the 2022-23 school year. For example, budget, personnel, facilities, deferred maintenance, etc. In my career, I have seen too many superintendents insist on making all of the decisions right up to their June 30 departure date. This never made any sense to me. Under the transition plan that we jointly developed, Dr. Pecot will be able to make those decisions this spring that he will have to put in place in the new school year and not what an outgoing superintendent decides. While I will continue to make those decisions that involve this current year, my role this spring will be to support Dr. Pecot and if asked to give advice. I believe that this practice will provide Dr. Pecot the greatest possible opportunity to succeed as superintendent.
Lastly, in this interesting year, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of assistance to you. This is going to be an incredibly challenging school year. Nothing is going to be easy as we move forward. It is perfectly normal if at times you feel overwhelmed and discouraged. I am having moments like these so you are not alone. We will get through the approaching challenges together.
Brian Stephens, Ed.D., Superintendent
Tracy Unified School District
Tammy Jalique, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources
Michael Bunch, Ed.D., Direction of Human Resources & Employee Relations
Negotiations with both bargaining units have been taking place to address not only contract negotiations but to also negotiate impacts related to COVID. This will be an ongoing topic of discussion throughout the year as mandates related to testing and other COVID-related concerns change. The District would like to thank the negotiating team members for CSEA and TEA for their collaboration in addressing an ever-changing, and challenging, environment.
Tammy Jalique, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources
Michael Bunch, Ed.D., Direction of Human Resources & Employee Relations
The new school year brings not only new students to our District, but also new faculty to our school sites. Our hires to date are shown below.
- Multiple Subject Teachers (K-5 and K-8 core teachers): 25.0 FTE
- Single Subject Teachers (all grade levels): 27.8 FTE
- Special Education (RSP/SDC/APE/LSH): 15.0 FTE
- School Psychologist: 4.0 FTE
- School Counselors: 8.0 FTE
We are continuing to receive applications and to interview for our open positions. Thank you to the Human Resources staff for their hard work in processing our new hires and transfers.
The success of our new hires could not be accomplished without the support of their peers. Thank you to the veteran teachers, administrators, and support staff who step up year after year to provide assistance to these staff members. Whether they are new to the district or new to the teaching profession, your expertise and guidance help ensure a successful year for our teachers and students.
Dr. Zachary Boswell, Director of Curriculum & Accountability
On Monday, 8/30/21, Dr. Zach Boswell was asked to lead a team of six people to manage the ever-growing workload that COVID tracking has brought upon our employees. COVID tracking has impacted employees in virtually every department of the district, and the hope is that having a point person will increase our efficiency as a district and help ease the burden that has been placed on our employees.
The team is currently investigating safe and efficient weekly testing options for employees. The goal is to have a comprehensive plan out to the sites by September 13th. Except for students placed on at-home quarantine, the team is decreasing the amount of personal phone calls going home for unverified absences and will be relying heavily on email communication. Staffing is being added to our Health Services team that handles the largest volume of COVID-related calls, and a COVID Hotline number for families: (209) 832-6785 has also been added. The team will be sending a message out to families by 9/3/21 with these updates, and will be posting the following flyer on all websites and Facebook pages for families to get quick information on what to do with common COVID scenarios :
Rob Pecot, Ed. D., Associate Superintendent of Business Services
District enrollment has been fluid to start the year. There have been new families entering the community, requests to transfer to Tracy Independent Study Charter School (TISCS), shifting of some students between schools, and other complications influencing enrollment due to COVID-19. Typically, our enrollment declines about 250 students per year. This year, early data indicates that our enrollment declined around 150 students this year. Taking our student enrollment count from approximately 14,200 students to 14,050 students. This decline of enrollment is due to smaller classes of students at the kindergarten level than that of the 12th grade class. This is common as 80% of the districts in California report declining enrollment. Despite new construction, Tracy Unified School District is projected to continue declining enrollment. As positive sign is the reduction of only 150 students compared to the previous projection and average of around 250 students.
To ensure student and staff safety, all sites have been stocked with masks, face shields, gloves, hand sanitizer, hand sanitizing wipes, and desk shields. If you are in need of any of these products, please do not hesitate to contact your site supervisor. We are diligently keeping an overflow of all products in stock. Please do not hesitate to contact the Business Services Department should a need arise concerning PPE on your site.
Brandy Campbell, Director of Food Services
Food Services has been busy feeding students. Food Services is happy to report that their meal participation numbers are increasing daily and are close to serving the number of meals served prior to Covid. A plan has been developed to serve sack breakfast and sack lunch for students on 9/14, the special election (recall) taking place in multi-purpose rooms throughout the district. This will allow students not to intermingle with voters from the public.
Jaime Quintana, Director of Facilities, Planning & Construction
What was originally projected to be a 2-year modernization project was completed in 14 months. Despite the unprecedent circumstances of COVID, material delays, work force constrains, and various other obstacles the Facilities Department and construction teams were able to accomplish getting North School operational by the first day of school. The new 2-story structure opened on August 9th, 2021.
- EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
- CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
- EL COORDINATOR
- HEALTH SERVICES
- INSTRUCTIONAL MEDIA SERVICES
- PREVENTION SERVICES
- PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
- SPECIAL EDUCATION
- STEM & ASSESSMENT
- STUDENT SERVICES
Julianna Stocking, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services
Educational Services- Accelerating Learning through Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships
As we have started the year with an in-person learning model, I would like to start by thanking all staff for working together to having a great start of the school year for our students, staff, and families. We recognize that we are continuing to face many challenges and teamwork is important now more than ever. As an Educational Services Team we are focused on listening an responding to our school teams during the transition back to school. Our instructional focus for students continues to be engaging our students in academic discourse and sense making with the following high leveraging instructional strategies: Socratic seminar, sensemaking notebooks, interactive read-aloud, text reconstruction/deconstruction, number talks, and science talks. The Educational Services Team will continue to listen and be responsive to the needs of our stakeholders and align our services so we can offer the best education possible to our students.
EDUCATIONAL SERVICES VISION STATEMENT
We create lifelong learners who make an impact on their world.
EDUCATIONAL SERVICES MISSION
Ed Services supports rigorous, relevant, engaging instructional practices and curriculum to create lifelong learners.
TUSD INSTRUCTIONAL FRAMEWORK
Daggett System for Effective Instruction, DSEI
WHAT WE VALUE
Creating a Rigorous, Relevant, Engaging Learning Culture Built on Positive Relationships
- A focus on students and learning
- Teachers facilitating learning
- A focus on what the entire system should do
- A vision of Inclusivity
- Rigorous academics and the ability to apply them
- Flexible structure that support student needs
TUSD DATA VISION
TUSD will work collectively and systematically to use quality data as a strategic and operational tool to guide decision-making and improve outcomes for all students.
Tania Salinas, Director of Continuous Improvement, State & Federal Programs
Hello and Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year! The Continuous Improvement, State & Federal Programs Department is here to support. Below are some of the projects the department oversees. Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have questions regarding any of these areas.
(CAASPP, ELPAC, PFT, AP, SAT)
Kim Bacchetti, District Testing Specialist
Charter School Oversight
Private School Equity of Service
State & Federal Reporting
(Federal Program Monitoring, Civil Rights Data Collection, Williams Act)
(Title I & III)
(Single Pan for Student Achievement (SPSA), School Accountability Report Card (SARC), California Dashboard)
Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)
English Learner Reporting
(Language fluency identification, Reclassification, Monitoring)
Early Childhood Education
(Transitional Kindergarten & Preschool)
Rocio Garcia, School Readiness Specialist
(iRead, Kathleen Noah;
Indian Specialist, Sue Murdock)
(GATE, Kinder Bridge, High School Bridge)
The LCAP is a three-year plan that describes the goals, actions, services, and expenditures to support positive student outcomes that address state and local priorities. The LCAP provides an opportunity for local educational agencies to share their stories of how, what, and why programs and services are selected to meet their local needs. Tracy Unified’ s LCAP was approved by the TUSD Board in June and by the San Joaquin County Office of Education in August. The LCAP is posted on the District website at https://www.tracy.k12.ca.us/departments/educational-services/lcp .If you have any questions regarding the LCAP, please reach out to Tania Salinas at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Initial English Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC) is the required state test for English language proficiency (ELP) that must be given to students whose primary language is a language other than English and it is their first time in a California school. State and federal law require that local educational agencies administer a state test of ELP to eligible students in kindergarten through grade twelve. In the four weeks we have been in school, our EL Coordinators and testing team have administered the Initial ELPAC to 356 students new to California. Thank you to all of the EL Coordinators and testing team for their hard work to ensure the students are tested in a timely manner so that students can begin receiving the support they need.
In light of what the 2020-21 testing year brought us, thank you to everyone for all your hard work! Most of our sites were able to meet the goal of testing 95% of their students. SBAC scores have not been released publically yet, however individual student score reports are available in Aeries. We anticipate a score release later this month or early October. The Testing Department is gearing up for the 2021-22 testing year. CAASPP/SBAC and Physical Fitness Testing (PFT) testing will be taking place February through May 2022. If you have any questions regarding CAASPP testing, please reach out to your site Testing Coordinator or Kim Bacchetti in the Testing Office.
Our TK classes are currently the fullest they have been in several years! We have four classes – one each at Hirsch, Jacobson, McKinley and South/West Park – And each has enrollment of at or above 21 students. We are still continually enrolling additional students at this time. As TK is the first year of a two-year Kindergarten Program, our littlest learners are being taught the same standards as our Kindergarten students, but from a more social-emotional aspect. For many of them, this is their first time in a structured school environment, and they are learning to interact with other students and adults, work cooperatively and follow instructions, all in a positive, nurturing environment, while they are being prepared academically for Kindergarten. A huge shout-out to our TK Teachers, who are our youngest students’ guides through their very first steps on their road to becoming lifelong learners, responsible citizens, and leaders in the 21st Century.
Maria Salazar, EL Coordinator
EL Program Services
Tracy Unified School District English Learner Program Services are continuing to be refined. Here is a point of reference as the work continues with Tracy’s English learners. The table below shows the number of English learners in 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021 based on Dataquest information.
The data in the table below is based on Aeries Analytics. It provides information on the number of English Only (EO), Initial Fluent English Proficient (IFEP), English Learner (EL), Long Term English Learner (LTEL), Student to be determined (TBD), and Reclassified Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) students in the district who are currently enrolled. It shows that the number of English learners in the district has decreased. The goal of the district is to increase the English language proficiency of English learners by supporting effective language instruction through integrated and designated English language development.
All K-5 English learners receive 30 minutes of English Language Development (ELD). All 6 – 12 grade English learners receive a class period of English Language Development for approximately 50 minutes. The district has 6 newcomer ELD 6-12 grade teachers that teach designated ELD to newcomers (students who have been in the country 12 months or less). The district has 27 designated ELD 6-12 grade teachers that teach designated ELD (includes EL and LTEL students). Designated ELD is a protected time during the regular school day where teachers use English language development standards as the focal standards in ways that build into and from content instruction toward the development for critical academic English language skills, knowledge, and abilities needed for content learning in English. Students who have been reclassified as Fluent English Proficient no longer receive designated ELD. However, they are monitored for four years to ensure their academic success.
This summer, TUSD offered an in-person Summer EL Academy for our newcomer English learners. It took place June 7 to July 2, 2021 from 8:00 – 1:00 p.m. Twenty-three students participated in the program. Mrs. Catalina Piña, Spanish teacher from West High, taught the students. The students learned how to use Microsoft Teams, create PowerPoints, use Flip grid, and participate in oral discussions.
This year TUSD will continue to use the Interactive Read Aloud (IRA) instructional practice and will integrate the instructional practice into the existing STEM units for grades PK-2. This instructional practice is highlighted in the CA ELA/ELD Framework as a high-leverage practice that has many benefits for all students, especially English Learners. According to Cummingham and Zibulsky (2011) IRA engage students’ active listening; students are not passive, but rather actively interpreting what they are hearing. Teachers ensure that their read alouds are interactive in a variety of ways, including asking questions at a variety of levels while reading and having students participate in reading and retelling. Reading aloud to students is an important way to engage students with text that is more challenging than they can read independently while they are developing as readers.
The district will be providing all and materials and training for Interactive Read Aloud. Each teacher in grade PK-2 will receive a book for each STEM unit along with the lesson plan, vocabulary pictures, questions, and retell strips. There will be two Interactive Read Aloud training sessions for each grade level to put the IRA together and have it ready to use with their STEM unit. Each session will take place after school from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. and the teachers will receive extra service pay for participating in the sessions. You can sign up for the sessions using GoSignMeUp.
The Educational Services department staff would like to thank all the teachers for their hard work and dedication to ensuring that our TUSD English learners receive the services they need.
Erica Contreras, Health Services Coordinator
Good health is an essential component of optimal learning conditions. It is therefore the goal of TUSD Health Services to support the health status of our students and to identify and assist in any student health-related barriers to learning. Parents are encouraged to communicate with the School or the Health Services Department on any student health-related issues so we can better meet the child’s health needs in school to promote the best learning environment for the student. It is also very important to protect students from infectious diseases that are transmitted within the school setting. Please be aware that students may be excluded from school in accordance with California Education Code section 48210-48214 and section 49451. “Whenever there is a reason to believe that the child is suffering a recognized contagious or infectious disease, he/she shall be sent home and shall not be permitted to return until the school authorities are satisfied that any contagious disease does not exist.” We also want to inform you of Immunization Requirements Changes to California school immunization medical exemption requirements, effective January 1, 2021.
Two new California laws (SB 276 and 174) effective January 1, 2021 affect how school districts accept medical exemptions for required immunizations. Beginning in January 2021 all medical exemptions will be submitted electronically into the California Immunization Registry for Medical Exemptions (CAIR-ME) and school districts can no longer accept any other form of documentation for medical exemption. Please consult your medical provider regarding medical exemptions. A temporary medical exemption may be issued for no more than 12 months. Parent instructions on this are included the following link https://eziz.org/assets/docs/shotsforschool/IMM-1363.pdf .For more information on immunization, please see links below:
Debra Schneider, Ph.D. Director of IMC
Instructional Materials Adoptions for Science and STEM
Science and Math standards are the basis for TUSD’s STEM units, so the current Science Instructional Materials (IM) adoption cycle in TUSD is an essential part of STEM in TUSD.
K-5 Science IM Adoption Committee
In August, the K-5 Science IM Committee began training in the Toolkit for Instructional Materials Evaluation (TIME). Paper screening will narrow the SBE-adopted texts to two programs to be piloted through the fall and winter. The committee expects to have a recommendation to the Board for K-5 Science materials in January/February, 2022.
6-8 Science IM Adoption Committee
The 6-8 Science IM Adoptions Committee was piloting when school buildings were closed in March, 2020. That process will be re-started now so that the committee can have a recommendation to the Board for 6-8 science materials in January/February, 2022.
9-12 Science Teachers Needed for Adoption Committee
The 9-12 Science IM Adoptions Committee met through the 20-21 school year to use the TIME process to paper screen programs and narrow down to two pilots. Piloting will now, with an expected recommendation to the Board for 9-12 Science materials in January/February, 2022.
Other content areas that are in line for IM adoptions in the 21-22 school year include Advanced Placement Government and Consumer Home Economics. If you want to know more about the cycle of adoptions for your content area, please see the California Department of Education’s Schedule for Curriculum Framework Development and Adoptions of K-8 Instructional Materials at this link. Note that AP and IB courses do not follow this timeline; contact the IMC for more information.
Deidre Hill-Valdivia, Ed.D., Coordinator of Prevention Services:
Mental Health Services
Tracy Unified School District is committed to prioritizing the mental health of all students. A list of school sites and assigned mental health service providers, contact information, and referral forms are available on all school site and District websites. As mental health service providers fully staff schools, specific names and contact information will be updated. To review the list of school sites and assigned mental health service providers, click here.
National Suicide Prevention Week
Pursuant to AB2246 and Board Policy 5142.52 AR & 5142.52 BP Suicide Prevention, TUSD will be providing suicide prevention awareness instruction to all 8th and 10th grade students during the National Suicide Awareness week: September 6 – 10, 2021 (Monday is a holiday). This is a voluntary lesson and parents can opt out their child, by providing a written note to their child’s school front office. The instructions to opt out of the suicide prevention training may be found on all school site and District websites.
Below is the plan for implementation of the Suicide Prevention Training for students in grades 8 and 10:
For Middle School:
- School Counselors and Psychologists will coordinate classroom presentations with 8th grade social studies teachers
- Students will receive MindWise Signs of Suicide curriculum and materials
- Students who may need additional support will have the opportunity to meet with a counselor
For High School:
- CAPC will conduct 3-hour Yellow Ribbon training for student leaders at Tracy High, Kimball High and West High Schools
- CAPC will coordinate with Stein/Duncan-Russell to disseminate Suicide Prevention information
- Students who may need additional support will have the opportunity to meet with a counselor
The Prevention Services Department will contact individual school sites during the first week of September, in order to organize any opt outs that have come in for students who do not plan to participate in the suicide prevention training.
For families who are facing housing insecurity and/or economic hardship, a Housing Insecurity Questionnaire is available. Please assist families in accessing this questionnaire in order to link them with resources and community referrals. The Department of Prevention Services will collect responses, and follow-up with school sites and families. To review the Housing Insecurity Questionnaire in English and Spanish, click here. A downloadable version to print is also available, click here.
New Staff Announcement
We are excited to welcome Greg Rangel, TUSD’s Community Family Resource Advisor! Prior to this role, Greg was a Mental Health Specialist in the Suicide Prevention department at CAPC. His educational background is in Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Public Health. Through CAPC, he was assigned to TUSD’s three high schools: Kimball, West, and Tracy High and is very honored to be able to support districtwide. As a fluent Spanish-speaker, Greg will apply his expertise and support TUSD’s high needs families, by providing case management and linkages to local resources.
Please help welcome Greg to TUSD and send him an email at email@example.com
Erin Quintana, Director of Professional Learning & Curriculum
District Professional Learning Day
On August 4, 2021 over 350 teachers participated in Buy-Back Day. Sessions included informational literacy, academic language and literacy, socratic seminars, developing digital lessons, WICOR in the classroom, high leverage ELA/ ELD strategies, Study Sync and blended learning, Microsoft for beginners and advanced users, sense making inquiry, FastBridge, CTE, physical education activities, VAPA, cultural awareness, social emotional learning, SRO support on resources, CPR, partnership with librarians, and digital citizenship.
The August 5, 2021, District Pre-service content centered on STEM for the entire district. Tracy Unified remains committed to Rigor, Relevance, & Relationships. The morning session started with a 90 minutes presentation from the ICLE consultants. Breakout sessions followed with a focus on the STEM units, along with supporting STEM and various strategies across content areas.
We are preparing for the next district ERM on September 20, 2021. We are currently holding curriculum council and are recruiting for Kinder, 1st, and 6th-12th ELA. If you are interested, please contact Erin Quintana at x1551.
Site-Specific Professional Learning
The Professional Learning and Curriculum Department is scheduling site-specific PD with sites now, in alignment with district instructional goals.
If you have particular training or coaching support needed, principals can contact the Professional Learning Department.
This year we are offering curriculum Saturdays to grades TK-5, the first three will be September 11th, October 2nd, and November 6th. During these Saturdays, teachers will investigate content, make connections between concepts and subject matter, and analyze the demands of the standards, practices and assessments. Teachers will use backward–design to plan instruction for ELA, Math and Science using the core documents of California and TUSD.
K-5th Grade Math
Looking for parent resources? Check out your grade level, common core math folder and open the folder called Parent Resources. There you will find a mathematics parent road map and parent newsletters that are customized to each of our RCD math units.
Heather Reyburn has put together a series of RICA test preparation sessions and I encourage you to register on GSMU today if you need to take (and pass!) the RICA.
Each site had the opportunity to select two Ed Tech Teacher Leaders who will provide site-specific professional learning to improve educator effectiveness in the use of technology as a tool for learning. Ed TSAs will participate in District-led Ed-Tech Collaborative Planning sessions and design and deliver educational technology professional learning to their site colleagues. These sessions will align to the Continuous Improvement Professional Learning Plan developed by the site principal and Ed Tech.
New Teacher Support Updates
Tracy Teacher Induction Program, TTIP
This year TTIP welcomed over 60 new teachers to TUSD! Teachers participated in a workshop with Emily Freeland with a focus on Rigor, Relevance, Relationships, and Engagement. Additionally, teachers received training in AVID strategies, participated in a classroom management workshop, received technology overview training, and received curriculum and materials support and tech support. All newly hired special education teachers received specific training during TTIP as well. I would like to thank all our veteran teachers who graciously shared their expertise with our TTIPers this year!
The Peer Coaching program, a support program for teachers who do not yet have a preliminary teaching credential, is up and running! Over 40 participants are in Peer Coaching and are in the process of being paired with a Coach who is providing weekly “just in time” support. Teachers were offered professional learning workshops on a variety of topics. Coaches attend PLWs with candidates in order to support the implementation of instructional strategies and pedagogical practices.
Induction, Clear Credential Program
TUSD’s Induction program is supporting over 60 teachers this year as they work to clear their preliminary credentials. All teachers will be paired with a mentor who will provide weekly “just in time” support. Thank you to Eden Matelski and Heather Nielsen for your support with the program. Tom Haim and Jacie Jones are running CalTPA courses. Heather Reyburn has put together a series of RICA test preparation sessions and I encourage you to register on GSMU today if you need to take (and pass!) the RICA.
Please contact the Professional Learning & Curriculum Department
We are here for you!
Erin Quintana, Professional Learning & Curriculum Director x1551 firstname.lastname@example.org
TBD, New Teacher Program Administrator x1553
TBD, Department Secretary x1550
Deborah Coker, TOSA x1557 email@example.com
Anne-Marie Mason, TOSA x1554 firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Bailey, TOSA x1563 email@example.com
Heather Reyburn, TOSA x1566 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacqui Nott, TOSA x1558 email@example.com
Kaleigh Felisberto, TOSA x1567 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean Reese, Director of STEM Curriculum & Local Assessment
TUSD is committed to expanding access to STEM and boosting STEM achievement across all grades. The 2021/2022 school year began with a renewed emphasis on STEM in TUSD. For teachers from treatment sites, the PreService Day featured professional learning centered around implementing PreK-12 STEM engineering design challenge units. For teachers from comparison sites, exploration of the STEM Experience Inventory, integration of STEM, unpacking NGSS, and making connections to the Relationship Rubric was emphasized. In both strands, the TUSD focus strategies of sense making, academic discourse, and student-centered 5E inquiry-based lessons were leveraged.
I want to thank all of the teachers and administrators that are helping to support this STEM vision. As the Bay Area continues to creep towards the city of Tracy it is important to prepare our students for the careers of tomorrow. STEM careers will be plentiful and provide economic prosperity for our community. In addition, the scientific literacy and 21st Century skills that can be fostered in STEM learning will equip our students for success in a diverse array of professional pathways. These are exciting times and we are so fortunate to have this infusion of STEM resources, professional learning, and support in TUSD.
FastBridge - It is clear that the educational landscape is changing and the expectation to provide equitable support for all students is upon us. A framework to help meet this ideal in California is the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). The California Department of Education defines the MTSS as an integrated, comprehensive framework that focuses on CCSS, core instruction, differentiated learning, student-centered learning, individualized student needs, and the alignment of systems necessary for all students’ academic, behavioral, and social success.
How will we determine what equitable support means and who should receive additional or differentiated services? How can we ensure that students receive the educational supports that they individually need? A great first step is using a diagnostic tool to better understand the Reading, Math, and Social Emotional profiles of our students. Until TUSD adopted FastBridge last year, we did not have a district-wide universal diagnostic tool to screen for these types of supports. We are now in the 2nd year of implementation of FastBridge and the results from these assessments are critical in making data-driven decisions about instruction and support for our students. Instructional decisions regarding Tier 1 differentiation, and Tier 2 intervention can be made using the data from this important tool.
DnA Illuminate - This year, TUSD is undergoing a soft launch of another assessment platform, DnA Illuminate. This assessment platform allows for teachers to develop California standards-based assessments to better inform teachers on student learning. Assessments have been developed for 6-12 ELA and 2-8 Math, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 that align with our TUSD RCD Units. This year, teachers have the option of using the DnA Illuminate RCD unit assessments. This option has the added benefit of providing detailed reports that help to visualize student performance both formatively and summatively. In addition, it may actually be a time saver over the past practice of “paper and pencil” assessments. However, as this is a transition year into this new platform, teachers still have the option of using the “paper and pencil” assessments that have been used in the past. I want to give a big THANKS to the Professional Learning TOSAs for all of their hard work in helping to prepare for the launch of the DnA Illuminate platform. In addition, they have put together a slide deck to help train sites on the initial use of DnA Illuminate. Even though this year is a soft launch of the platform, it is important to still use this year to learn more about administering tests in the platform and refining existing assessments so that we are ready for next year’s district-wide use of DnA Illuminate.
Mary Petty, Ed.D., Director of Student Services
Welcome back to school. I hope that each one of you have started to settle back into in-person learning with our students. Supporting student behaviors, mental health needs, and an overall re-acclimation of being in-person at school has been the main focus for our teachers, support staff, and administrators the past two weeks. Student services appreciates and values the just in time Tier 1 level of supports that are being offered on the front lines by our teachers, parent liaisons, office staff, supporting staff, counselors, and administrators, to all students and their families. Should your site need additional support or resources please do not hesitate to call and/or email our prevention services staff at 209-830-3218 or our student services team.
Student services would like to welcome our new truancy coordinator, Nathan Kincaid to our student services staff. Many of you have had an opportunity to communicate Mr. Kincaid, as he has already hit the ground running by providing pro-active supports to re-engage students back to school. I would like to welcome our new translator/clerk/typist, Deborah Smedley to our Student Services team as well. Mrs. Smedley and Ms. DeRosa have been very busy providing support for our many families who are in need of interpretation and translation of documents, concerns, information for their students. Should your site need interpretation and/or translation services for a family, please continue to reach out to our parent liaisons, list of interpreters, and/or our district-level translators. These personnel additions to our department were put into place to provide top-notch customer service to our TUSD school-wide communities. Student services is here to help, support, and offer resources to our school sites.
AB 130-Late July a letter was sent out to our TUSD school-wide communities regarding independent study for medically at-risk students is supported through Assembly Bill 130 that was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. This bill allows parents, guardians, and education rights holder of a pupil whose health would be put at risk by returning to in-person instruction to have an additional independent study option. TUSD is now offering this option for medically at-risk students through our K-12th Grade Tracy Independent Study Charter School and a doctor’s note is not required. Please note that independent study is described as a student needing more than 15 school days of independent and at-home instruction. If students/parents would like this option for learning, we have directed them to contact their school site administrators for further information of this option for students. If a student has an IEP and for students outside of our K-12th grade population, such as TYAP, the IEP process/consultation with case manager will be recommended and followed to ensure success for the student. Please review our student services and/or COVID 19 page on the TUSD website for further details and information regarding the independent study options and processes.
AB 104- In July and August, letters were sent out to our TUSD school-wide communities regarding Assembly Bill 104, a K-12th grade law that was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom allowing parents, guardians, education rights holder of a pupil, or a student who is 18 years of age and who fell behind in the 2020-2021 school year only, to choose a learning recovery option, if needed. There are three options offered to students and families. Those three options are: repeating a grade level, pass/no pass grading, and 5th Year/Graduation and/or Credit Options For Current Seniors (Section 3). As noted previously, if a student is on an IEP and is requesting to repeat a grade level and/or a 5th year learning opportunity, the IEP process and procedures are to be followed, such as requesting an IEP meeting with their student’s case manager. Please review our student services and/or COVID 19 page on the TUSD website for further details and forms regarding AB 104.
Thank you for the extra time, patience, and supporting each of you are providing to our students and their families. These have been some of the toughest times in the history of education and I am grateful for the amazing educators, support staff, and leaders we have throughout TUSD, that will help us persevere. Thank you.
The District Digest is published on the first Friday of each month.