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
Moving into the Holiday season means that we are approaching the mid-point of the school year. Hard to believe that this school year is halfway complete. Thank you for your efforts to make this school year a success. Nothing would be possible without the talent and commitment of our amazing employees. Thank you.
When we come back from the break, the district will begin communicating with our families regarding the expected vaccine requirement for the 2022-23 school year. While the exact date of the official vaccine approval from the FDA has yet to be shared, it has been expressed that it will take place early this spring. Once the FDA announcement of the approval has been made public, parents will be asked to inform the district if their student plans on attending school vaccinated or would like an alternative educational option. This will be critical information as we determine staffing for the next school year. District employees will be required to be vaccinated for the new school year as well. If you are not vaccinated, and want information on where to get a vaccine, please feel free to contact Dr. Zack Boswell (firstname.lastname@example.org) He will be able to direct you to options provided by the district for students and staff.
After the winter break, I will be a semester from retirement, which is exciting for me. If you are a teacher thinking about retirement, please contact Tammy Jalique in Human Resources. If there is a need to lay-off staff due to declining enrollment, early notification of your retirement will save the district from having to give a lay-off notice in March. Having received two of those notices in my career, I know how stressful it is to be communicated in writing that there is no position for you. If you have made the decision to retire and can communicate that to us, it would be much appreciated.
I hope that you and your family will have a wonderful time this Christmas season. Family is so precious so enjoy every moment. Below is a link to an Amazon commercial that has a great message for this time of you.
Merry Christmas and May God bless your family.
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
School counselors and administrators are planning master schedule development for the 2022-2023 school year. In January, Human Resources staff meet with all high school and middle school administrators and counselors to review enrollment projections to determine staffing needs. One way in which our teachers have been helpful in this process is through notification of planned retirements and resignations early in the year. Teachers who provide such a notice are not considered to have officially communicated this information to the District until a signed letter with last date of service is received by the Human Resources department. Early notification does allow our Human Resources department to have a sense of how many teachers will need to be replaced, which is helpful in our overall staffing process. If you know that you will be resigning or retiring at the end of the year, we ask that you consider submitting your letter early to assist in this process. Thank you to those teachers who have already shared their plans with the Human Resources staff.
Rob Pecot, Ed.D., Associate Superintendent of Business Services
One on One Employee Coaching
Performance on Purpose is currently accepting appointments for those employees who are interested in receiving free confidential one on one coaching. This program is designed to help support physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being and to help you build the capacity to manage the many stressors and demands faced personally and professionally in daily life. Performance Coaching is a blend of leadership and performance coaching, personal training, nutrition coaching, and personal championing of your success. The coaches are experts in health and human performance, and all of them have family in the field of education. The program can be accessed from the TUSD Staff Portal in the Information and Announcements section.
1st Interim Budget 2021-2022
The 1st Interim Budget will be presented to the TUSD School Board on December 14th. A sub-committee will review the budget on December 9th at a Budget Committee Meeting. The First Interim Budget is a snapshot of the budget projections as of October 31, showing how the budget has changed, as compared to what was projected in July.
Anthony Flores, Director of Maintenance, Operations & Transportation
Transportation Alignment Machine
The TUSD vehicle mechanics requested the District purchase an alignment machine. When averaging 1 alignment per year on 88 Buses and 83 other district vehicles, having the alignment machine in house will save the District an estimated $44,000.00 annually. Currently we are sending the vehicles to an outside vendor costing us more money and time lost while we wait for the vehicle to be completed. On average the District loses 2-3 days of vehicle down time while waiting for the vendor to complete the service. In addition to the cost savings versus outside vendor costs the District should save approximately $10,000.00 per year on early tire replacement on District vehicles. With this estimation, the alignment machine should pay for itself within 2-3 years.
Brandy Campbell, Director of Food Services
On November 23, 2021, the Food Services Department received notification that they will be receiving $32,000 for Emergency Operational Cost Reimbursement (ECR). The ECR program provides supplemental reimbursement to the supper program to make up for the operational losses incurred while schools were closed from March-June of 2020. This additional revenue will be used within the department.
Jaime Quintana, Director of Facilities, Planning & Construction
District Solar Project Update
The district-wide solar project has been very active the last few weeks. Poet-Christian, Bohn, Jacobson, and Hirsch Schools are completing the final steps towards connecting to the grid and receiving permission to operate (PTO) through PG&E. Art Freiler, Kelly, McKinley, Monte Vista, Stein, and Villalovoz schools are having the Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers installed, ADA work completed, and are awaiting final inspections for PTO approval. The construction fencing and heavy equipment at these sites should be removed by the end of the year.
In the new year, phase 4 of the solar project will begin at Central, Tracy High, North, and the Tracy Learning Center.
- EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
- CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT, STATE & FEDERAL PROGRAMS
- COVID-19 UPDATES
- HEALTH SERVICES
- PREVENTION SERVICES
- PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
- SPECIAL EDUCATION
- STEM & ASSESSMENT
- STUDENT SERVICES
Julianna Stocking, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services
I want to wish everyone a safe and happy winter holiday season! This is a special time of the year to be grateful for the teams we have that serve our TUSD students and families. Over the past month I have been able to see the great teaching and learning taking place at our schools to support student engagement and fostering positive relationships. ~Julianna
- Williams Middle School AVID Program implemented in Core and AVID Elective:
- Students applying “Mark up the Text” to annotate and find new vocabulary, key ideas, and questions.
- Students referenced annotations to identify and discuss comparisons of their findings and the authors point of view.
- Students reading, and summarizing an article in writing, and engaging in Socratic Seminar.
- Students facilitating learning and discussion.
- Tutorials, in which students are facilitating learning and reflecting on areas of need in mathematics.
- PLC Binders being used by teams to share best practices
Williams Middle School: Rigor, Relevance, Engagement
- Students engaging in Document Based Questions (DBQ)
- Student examining documents relevant to Social Studies questions and standards.
- Students formulating questions to investigate further.
- Students generating written essays based on the DBQs.
Tracy High School Art Department: Grand Theater Center for the Arts
- Congratulations to THS Art students for being awarded first place in designing a Holiday Card and 14 entries featured with Honorable Mention at the Grand Theater Center for the Arts.
Tania Salinas, Director of Continuous Improvement, State & Federal Programs
GATE applications are currently being accepted for the 2022-2023 school year. Applications are intended for current 1st- 7th grade students. The application deadline is December 3rd , 2021. Please continue encouraging students to apply, contact Soledad Rodriguez if you have questions regarding the GATE Program.
State Testing: CAASPP
The California Department of Education (CDE) is providing local educational agencies (LEAs) access to previews of LEA and school summary reports for the 2020–21 administration of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). The preview allows LEA’s the chance to correct any errors there may be in the reporting of testing data. Once the preview window closes the CDE will give LEA’s permission to publicly release CAASPP testing results. The public release should happen sometime mid-December.
If you have any questions regarding CAASPP testing, please reach out to your site Testing Coordinator or Kim Bacchetti in the Testing Office.
Zachary Boswell, Ed. D., Director of Curriculum and Accountability
Principal of Tracy Charter School
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics
Our second vaccine clinic at North Elementary School was successful. We had hundreds of community members receive vaccines and booster shots. Thank you very much to Jose Jimenez and Susan Hawkins for accommodating the vaccine clinic.
We have two more upcoming clinics scheduled at Monte Vista Middle School. These will be held on December 20th and January 10th, from 12pm – 7pm. All members of the community ages 5 and older are welcome to attend. We encourage people to call 1-844-987-6115 to make an appointment, as these clinics have been so popular they have been running out of “walk-up” vaccines for those without an appointment.
Heal 360 COVID-19 testing is still available to all community members Monday - Friday, 8am – 6pm at the Tracy Charter School campus (1904 N. Corral Hollow). Employees can also get tested at Tracy High and Kimball High.
Masks and Athletics
CDPH recently revised their guidelines on masks and athletics. They are now allowing student athletes who are competing and exerting themselves physically to compete without a mask if they take a COVID-19 test weekly. The district will be utilizing Heal 360 to provide tests for these students at no cost to the district or our families.
Preparing for Possible Student Vaccine Mandates
It is probable that vaccine mandates will go into place for the 2022-2023 school year. While we know this is a sensitive issue that will face legal challenges, we need to be prepared as a district for the major student and staff placement issues this would create. Shortly after we return from Winter Break, the district will be asking families to confirm their method of learning (in-person at their zoned school or independent study online), should the vaccine mandates go into effect for the 2022-2023 school year without exemptions available. We will send an introductory message out to families the first week of our return in 2022, with a follow up letter a few weeks later asking families to let us know their decision. We need to be prepared ahead of time to know how many students and staff members could be moving to independent study online with Tracy Charter School.
Erica Contreras, Health Services Coordinator
Health Services wants to make sure that parents/guardians are aware of the needed medication administration forms for us to be able to assist students with medications while at school (Education [EC] Code Section 49480). This form is needed for us to be able to have and/or administer any medication at school. The form can be found on the TUSD parent portal under Health Services Health Services - Tracy Unified School District . Contact TUSD Health Services directly at (209)830-3241 if there is any other medical form you may need to update that is not available on our website.
We also want to take a moment and remind everyone to please reach out to the Health Services Department if there is a concern regarding a student’s vision and/or hearing. This will allow us to schedule a vision and/or hearing screening with one of our nurses.
Deidre Hill-Valdivia, Ed.D., Coordinator of Prevention Services:
California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS): December 1, 2021 – January 19, 2022
The CHKS will be administered to all students in grades 6, 7, 9, and 11 this school year. Students in grades 5 will no longer be surveyed. School staff will also complete the Staff Climate survey.
The CHKS is a web-based questionnaire, which requires students to have access to a computer. It takes between 25-35 minutes to complete per student. More information about student consent forms and survey questions may be found HERE
Sexual Health and HIV Prevention Instruction
In accordance with AB 329 and the California Healthy Youth Act of 2016, the Tracy Unified School District provides Sexual Health and HIV Prevention Instruction to students in grades 7 and 9. The following dates have been scheduled with Teen Talk – Youth Health Education Program:
Virtual Parent Information Nights: Jan 5 (middle) and Jan 6 (high school) at 6:30 pm
7th Grade Curriculum Implementation week: February 22-25, 2022
9th Grade Curriculum Implementation week: April 25-29, 2022
Erin Quintana, Director of Professional Learning & Curriculum
We are preparing for the next district ERM on January 24, 2022. 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.
DnA Illuminate and FastBridge Trainings
Trainings for FastBridge and DnA Illuminate are being carried out at sites. Step-by-step PowerPoints (full of directions and screenshots) about administering assessments and accessing and analyzing reports are available in the Local Assessments area in the Staff Portal.
On November 1, 2021 we had twenty new teachers attend TTIP. On December 1, 2021 five new teachers attended our late start TTIP. TTIP is offered to all newly hired teachers regardless of experience. During the workshop participants were grounded in the rigor and relevance framework and worked with district curriculum specialist to learn about backward lesson design.
The next Curriculum Saturday for TK-8 is on January 8th!
Each workshop is capped at 25 participants. You can sign up for just one workshop or more. During these Saturdays, teachers experience some high leveraging instructional routines, investigate content, make connections between concepts and subject matter, and analyze the demands of the standards, practices and assessments. Teachers use backward–design to plan instruction for ELA, Math and Science using the core documents of California and TUSD. Saturday is paid at the hourly rate on a timesheet. The workshop runs 8:30-11:30 and 12:30-3:30. Please sign up on GoSignMeUp and search for course 4159.
Professional Learning Workshops
Professional Learning hosted this month's Professional Learning Workshop on November 18, 2021 from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. This is another workshop in their PLW series to support the design of rigorous, relevant, and engaging lessons. This workshop focused on how Social Emotional Learning (SEL) connects to online life and how teachers can support positive interactions for students online and while using technology. The next Professional Learning Workshop will be held on December 16, 2021, teachers will learn new ways to Use Inquiry to Increase Rigor. Teachers will explore different types of inquiry-based lessons in order to elevate the level of rigor, critical thinking, and student engagement in the classroom. To sign up go to GSMU and search for course 4005.
We are in need of mentors for our new teachers. If you are interested in being a mentor and receiving an honorarium please contact Jennifer Kassel in the Professional Learning Department at 1553 or you can email her at email@example.com
Professional Learning & Curriculum will be starting its second virtual Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) test preparation series of the year on January 7, 2022. If you still need to take (and pass!) the RICA, join us to learn about the new three subtest format and review exam content areas and questions. See dates and register on GoSignMeUp (search for RICA). If you have any questions, contact Heather Reyburn, Curriculum Specialist (TOSA) at xt. 1566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sean Brown, Director of Special Education
Special Education Trainings
- January 28th Buy-Back-Day Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for Co-teaching. The virtual meeting links will be emailed to staff members.
- January 11th (High School) and January 18th (Middle School) Inclusion Co-Teaching Training. Training dates and times may change due to
availability of substitutes.
- Thursday, December 16th Speech Therapist 1:30-2:30 Board Room
- Thursday December 16th School Psychologist 2:30-3:20 Board Room
- Thursday, December 16th Teachers 3:30-4:30 Williams Middle School
Transition Meetings: 8th grade to 9thgrade; 5th grade to 6th grade
The goal for IEP transition meetings is to develop appropriate IEPs for students when they transition to their middle school or high school setting. IEP transition meetings for student transitioning from the 8th grade to 9th grade will start on January 18th, 2022 and continue to February 23rd, 2022. Transition meetings for students transitioning from the 5th grade to 6th grade will start on March 8th, 2022 and continue to March 22nd, 2022.
On Friday, December 3rd, 8th grade case managers and 9th grade high school department chairs will receive via email the Transition Meeting Guidelines, Schedule, and Procedures that was shared in the November 18th job-a-like staff meeting. The guidelines provide details to responsibilities, schedules, and necessary documents for teachers to bring to transition meetings. Additionally, 8th grade case managers will receive a “student survey link” to complete for each student 8th grade student on their caseload. High school guidance counselors will use the information from the survey to assist in building sections for their master scheduling. Our 5th grade case managers will receive the Transition Meeting Guidelines, Schedule, and Procedures by early February. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your programs specialist or special education department.
Again, a Super Thank You to all the staff members who have stepped in to temporarily support another classroom or student. We are highly grateful for your support, effort, and commitment. 😊
Dean Reese, Director of STEM Curriculum & Local Assessment
On September 30, 2021, TUSD, in partnership with the Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC), was awarded a Teacher and School Leader (TSL) Incentive Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education for their proposal, Advancing Achievement and Equity through STEM Instruction and Leadership (AdvanceSTEM). The purpose of AdvanceSTEM is to sustainably increase the academic growth of all TUSD students, particularly students of color who are underrepresented in STEM learning.
- Develop STEM teachers’ ability to provide highly effective STEM instruction after receiving additional professional development
- Develop principals’ ability to develop highly effective STEM instructional leadership
- Reward teachers and principals with additional income for improving STEM instruction and increasing student achievement
- Increase workforce diversity with STEM teachers of color
- Develop a pipeline for STEM teachers of color to transition to school leadership positions
The funds from this award will be used over three years to provide support for PreK-12 STEM teachers and principals advancing STEM achievement. TUSD was one of only 22 districts in the United States to receive a TSL award in 2021. TUSD is extremely fortunate to receive this affirmation of our commitment to STEM learning for all of our students.
FastBridge – The Winter window for implementation of the universal diagnostic assessments in FastBridge will open from 11/29/21 to 12/17/21. This assessment data will provide important information to see how our students’ math and reading skills are changing over time as well as to help identify which of our students are at risk of not meeting end of year grade-level learning outcomes. In addition, the social, academic, and emotional behavior risk screening data will be collected via the mySAEBRS assessment. For more guidance on TUSD local assessment use this link: Guidance for TUSD Local Assessment.
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.
For teachers that are implementing the DnA Illuminate unit assessments, we would like to collect revision feedback from this initial implementation. Please select the appropriate survey below to provide feedback. Thank you!
Mary Petty, Ed.D., Director of Student Services
As we head into the holidays I want to wish all of you a blessed and healthy season. My wish for you-spend lots of time relaxing and enjoying your loved ones. Thank you for the care and compassion each of you show to our students and their families each and every day. I hear stories of how staff members are reaching out with a “all hands on deck,” mentality at our school sites. This type of service sets TUSD for our students and their families sets us apart from the rest. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to one another and our students. They are fortunate to have you.
Our team in Student Services held our first Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) hearing in November and we are set for a second hearing in December. We were able to provide supports and resources for a number of families in order to get their child back in school or to a new school or program that would better accommodate their needs. Mr. Kincaid, our TUSD Truancy Officer has been working with a number school site administrators and families to support the SARB letter processes and meetings taking place at our school sites as well. Should you have a concern or question regarding a student’s attendance feel free to reach out to Mr. Kincaid in Student Services.
The District Digest is published on the first Friday of each month.