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
We are now well into the second semester of the school year. Thank you for the tremendous work that each of you have done on behalf of our students. While we would of course wish to be seeing our students in-person rather than through a screen this is not the world that we currently live in. I am proud of the quality of education our students are receiving in an instructional mode that we could not fathom twelve months ago. I hope that each of you can take comfort in knowing that you have taken a terrible situation and have made it better for students.
Governor Newsom’s original budget proposal that he shared earlier this month was thankfully upbeat and positive. Dr. Pecot and I watched him deliver his budget proposal and sat there with a look of shock on our faces. Dr. Pecot will have detailed information regarding the budget for you later in this issue of the District Digest. As we learned last year, a lot can change between January and May and then June so I approach the budget with my natural caution but I am very optimistic with what Governor Newsom shared regarding the state finances. We need some good news!
I am very pleased with our work on STEM in grades K-5. The feedback that I have received from principals has been encouraging as we are seeing students excited about STEM. I had the opportunity to watch a video of a second grade student who had taken his remote control car and dressed it up as a squirrel and then put seeds on the back of the “squirrel” and showed as it drove around his backyard how animals can assist with the spreading of seeds. The student was so excited with his work. This has been one of the highlights of the year for me. I am looking forward to seeing the creation of STEM units in grades 6-12 by some of our talented teachers. We know that STEM is the future for good paying jobs for our students so the work we are doing is so very important. STEM should not be something that we do but rather it should become part of our DNA as a district.
I have recently asked Tammy Jalique, Associate Superintendent for Human Resources, to take the lead in developing our school re-opening plan. While the support for Governor Newsom’s re-opening plan is fading up and down our state, at some point, the district will need a re-opening plan. This is no small task so I appreciate Tammy accepting this challenge. This will mean that some of her duties will be shifted to Tamara Ferrario, Director of Human Resources. This will not be the first time a shift of duties has taken place in that department but because of the quality of Tammy and Tamara, it can be done seamlessly.
I am pleased to announce that Erin Quintana, Principal at Villalovoz Elementary has been selected to be the next Director of Professional Learning starting July 1. Ms. Quintana has excelled in her previous administrative positions and I am confident that she will be an excellent director for that department. The district will open the principal position at Villalovoz statewide to insure that we get the best principal possible. This job will be posted immediately.
Once we hear anything on vaccines for district employees, we will communicate the information to you as quickly as possible. Obviously, the sooner everyone who wants a vaccine can get one, the better chance that we can open up our classrooms for students and return to a more normal existence.
As always, thank you for the good work that you are doing for our students. Your efforts are very much appreciated.
Brian Stephens, Ed.D., Superintendent
Tracy Unified School District
School counselors and administrators are planning master schedule development for the 2021-2022 school year. Human Resources staff is currently meeting 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 Human Resources until a signed letter with last date of service is received by the department. However, 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 staffing process. Thank you to those teachers who have already shared their plans with the Human Resources staff.
- GOVERNOR'S PROPOSED BUDGET
- DEVELOPMENT AND DEVELOPMENT FEE COLLECTION SUMMARY
- FOOD SERVICES
- NORTH SCHOOL MODERNIZATION
The 2021-2022 Proposed Governor’s Budget has been released, and brings with it positive news for TUSD. Projected tax revenues are up in the state, largely due to the increase in home prices, and subsequent property tax, as well as record gains in the stock market. Governor Newsom has proposed the following in his budget: a C.O.L.A. of 3.84% for non-restricted programs, 1.5% for restricted programs, $4.6 billion for one-time extended summer school and after school programs, $545 million for an adjustment to the base cost of special education, $3.7 billion to re-pay districts for deferrals (for TUSD this will be around $19 million), and a $2 billion dollar commitment for immediate action to open schools safely. This is great news for our district, although optimism should be tempered until this proposal is confirmed by the governor in the May Revise. Over the following weeks, the Finance Department will be determining how the specifics of this proposal affects our district. The governor indicated that schools would not be held harmless next year for a decline in ADA. Our declining enrollment district wide is an issue. Specifically our decline of enrollment at the Kinder and first grade levels. As we are considering next steps with the budget, we will be evaluating the proposed budget, our continued decline of enrollment, staffing, and our current financial standing.
Developer fees, also known as “school fees,” “school impact fees,” “development impact fees,” (and various other terms); are fees that are paid by property owners and or developers. These specific fees are paid to the school district as a condition of a property owner or developer obtaining a building permit from the city or county for a construction project (residential or commercial). Collected fees are used to mitigate the impacts on a school district’s ongoing facility needs. This can be facilitated in regular maintenance of buildings or for future construction. To date we have collected approximately one million dollars in development fees between July 2020 and December 2020. Most of the fees collected have been from the Ellis and Tracy Hills development projects. This represents 1,100 permits out of a projection of approximately 7,749. This additional revenue will allow us to complete small and large-scale maintenance projects to facilities district wide.
Brandy Campbell, Director of Food Services
As essential workers, the Food Services Department has been serving free meals to children since the start of the pandemic. While meal participation is down from that of a typical school year, food service workers remain loyal and devoted to their role of nourishing and nurturing the children of Tracy. They truly are on the “front lines” and sacrifice to provide the much-needed assistance to families. As a community we should be humbled by their commitment and inspired by their dedication.
The closing of schools has significantly impacted the Food Services Budget (Fund 13). The department continues to operate at 25-30% of a normal school year. However, disaster relief funds through the CARES Act and Prop 98 are helping to offset some of the loss in revenue. In January, Food Services received $95,000 which was an additional $0.75 per meal in reimbursement for all meals served from April – July 2020. Food Services is awaiting more disaster relief funds in late spring 2021.
The At-Risk Afterschool Program audit, scheduled in December and January, was completed on January 29, 2021. The auditor reviewed several critical areas and performance standards such as Financial Management, Fiscal Accountability, Procurement, Meal Requirements, and Food Safety and Sanitation. The audit was a success and the reviewer did not report any findings or assign any corrective action. This is a testament to all the efforts put forth this year in Food Services.
Jaime Quintana, Director of Facilities Planning & Construction
The North Modernization Project started in the summer of 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected the project. The impacts have ranged from the “Shelter-in-Place” orders, to local city “shut-downs”, and further into manufacturing delays due to the rise in COVID cases. Despite these challenges and changes, the construction has been steadily moving from its design to the current configuration. Standing near the fence line, one will be able to admire the sound of hammering and large equipment rumbling, as construction crews eagerly assemble the buildings.
- EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
- CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT, STATE & FEDERAL PROGRAMS
- CTE AWARENESS MONTH
- HEALTH SERVICES
- PREVENTION SERVICES
- PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
- SPECIAL EDUCATION
- STUDENT SERVICES
Julianna Stocking, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services
In TUSD, there are so many things to celebrate even through all of the challenges we are facing. I want to thank all of our staff for working together to support our students and families during Distance Learning. Below are a few highlights to celebrate our students and staff. ~Julianna Stocking
Celebrating TUSD Students!
Bringing STEM to our Students during Distance Learning
Students are well on their way to engaging in STEM for the second semester! Students are engaging in learning focusing on inquiry through questioning, use of sense-making through observations and writing in notebooks, and academic discourse through academic language development. In addition to our STEM units we are seeing students “think like a scientist” through inquiry across the content areas. Below are a few examples of STEM unit student materials to support PreK and Kinder. In addition, we are looking forward to seeing grade 1 Unit Watch Out, grade 2 Unit Playground/Landscape Materials, grade 3 Unit Surviving Tracy Winds, grade 4 Unit Crashes and Collisions, and grade 5 Unit Save the Species.
PreK, K, 1st Grade STEM Unit Student Materials
TUSD High Schools
Tracy High: Tracy High has started student panel discussions that have really helped teachers and staff see the current educational experiences with COVID and how students are being affected and feeling by it. These have generated changes in classroom policies and assistance provided to students during Distance Learning. The next new THS student panel will take place Wednesday, February 10th at 2pm, with a follow up with staff at 3pm. Thank you THS students, we value your feedback!
West High: This month West High Leadership students and faculty honored two of our retiring staff members. Sheryl Loredo has been the Bookkeeper at West since the day we opened in 1993. Ann Bassett has been our Attendance Secretary for 27 years. We are excited for both of them but sad to see them go after so many years in the Wolf Pack family. Students put together videos and decorated with balloons and posters to honor our retirees (and we had some socially-distanced dessert to celebrate). We wish them the best of luck in retirement! Thank you WHS students for being so thoughtful and honoring our staff!
Kimball High: With campus life being so different during the pandemic, a student project that was recently completed. With the support from Tracy Sunrise Rotary, students wanted to put in a Peace Pole on the campus with some benches. When students return and guidelines permit, this will be a place to hang out during break times and could also potentially be a place for student mediation for conflict resolution. The students raised money, sought a donation from Tracy Sunrise Rotary, and even ordered and built the benches as part of his Eagle Scout Project. The pole displays the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” and is labeled in 7 additional languages. The languages were selected due to their significance to our region and student body. A special thank you to the late, Bill Willner who assisted in completing the monument to peace and unity. A special placard will be placed on the monument and on a bench in honor of his many years of dedication.
Celebrating our Staff!
National School Counselor Week
February 1st - 5th is the week to celebrate and honor our school counselors! A huge thank you to our TUSD school counselors for their ongoing dedication to our students and families in providing supports in academic advising, social emotional learning, and college and career readiness!
Tania Salinas, Director of Continuous Improvement, State & Federal Programs
Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)
Part of the process in developing our new 3-year LCAP is to facilitate stakeholder engagement throughout the year. This process seeks to determine, with input from all stakeholders, the best ways to continue providing effective educational programs to meet the needs of all students. One way TUSD collects stakeholder feedback is through the annual LCAP Staff Survey. The staff survey is located on the District portal and hardcopies are located in each school/district office. The survey window opened January 25th and closes February 19, 2021. Thank you in advance for your participation.
Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC)
As was announced last month, the State will not be granting waivers for SBAC testing this year. This year there will be multiple options for testing: In-person, remote, or hybrid. To help with the time needed for testing, ETS has revised and shortened the testing blueprints for the Smarter Balanced Assessments for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. The ELA and Math Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) will be reduced by approximately one half across all grades. The ELA and Math Performance Task (PT) will remain the same length. The Science (CAST) will also remain the same. A secure browser will be required for remote testing. Video and audio monitoring is going to be integrated into the secure browser. This way, the test administrator can communicate with each student individually. A student will also be able to request assistance from the test administrator by audio and video. Each school site is developing its own testing schedule. The testing window opens February 24th and runs until May 28, 2021. As information from the State has seemingly been changing daily in testing, we continue to do our best to get the information out to our site coordinators and site administrators. If you have any questions regarding SBAC testing, please reach out to your site Testing Coordinator or Kim Bacchetti in the District Testing Office.
English Learner Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC)
What is the Summative ELPAC? The English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC) is California’s assessment system that is used to determine the English language proficiency of students whose primary language is not English. The ELPAC is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards and assesses four domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
Who takes the Summative ELPAC? The Summative ELPAC is given only to students in grades K-12 who have previously been identified as English learners. These students will take the assessment every year until they are reclassified as fluent English proficient. Students with disabilities who cannot take one or more domains of the ELPAC with allowed universal tools, designated supports, or accommodations will take an alternate assessment(s), as noted in their Individualized Education Programs (IEP).
When is the Summative ELPAC given? The Summative ELPAC administration window is open from February 1 through May 31. Each site will make up their own testing schedule.
How is the Summative ELPAC given? The Summative ELPAC is a computer-based test administered in grades K-12. In kindergarten and grade 1, all domains are administered individually. In grades 2-12, the test is administered in groups exclusive of speaking, which is assessed in a one-on-one basis. This year, sites can administer the test in-person and/or remotely.
Native Indian/Alaskan Native Education Program
Did you know TUSD has a Program Specialist funded through a Federal grant which supports students who are Native American? Sue Murdock, the Program Specialist, provides one on one tutoring, works with families to obtain social services, medical and personal resources. Sue has been writing this grant and serving students in TUSD for over 31 years. If you have a student who would benefit from this program, please reach out to Sue Murdock firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
School Readiness Preschool Programs
Preschool teachers are continuing to provide distance learning to our enrolled families since we are following the District’s schedule of reopening. Children are attending virtual classroom meetings at least three days a week in addition to completing asynchronous activities at home with their families. This school year has been challenging for families and our program is happy to report that we are able to offer access to mental health counseling services for our preschoolers. Planning for the 2021-2022 school year has begun! Preschool enrollment applications will be available starting on March 8th to interested families whose children have birthdays between December 3, 2016 and September 1, 2017. Our annual Kindergarten Bridge Program is on the calendar for the coming summer and will run from June 7th through June 18th, 2021, 8:30-11:30 am each day. Families are being asked to return their completed Kindergarten Bridge Program interest forms to their zoned schools along with their kindergarten enrollment packet information.
At this time, we are helping our current Transitional Kindergarten parents prepare for transition into Kindergarten for next school year, by providing them with the information on their home school for 2021-2022, informing them of the requirements for Kindergarten entry, and creating a smooth process as their student’s matriculate into Kindergarten. Letters have been mailed to all of these families, with information to help streamline the Kindergarten Registration process. We have also notified all K-5 and K-8 schools to expect these students to enter their schools next year, so we can keep track of all students and make sure all get properly enrolled and all are accounted for.
Also, information has been posted in regards to new Transitional Kindergarten enrollments for next school year – 2021-2022. The process and requirements have been updated on our District Website for all parents to access. Online registration via AIR can be done at any time, and the required documents for school entry are to be submitted to the District on or after March 1st, 2021, when the TK/Kindergarten Registration Window opens. We will be accepting new TK enrollments right up to the start of next school year in August. Students whose birthdates fall between September 2, 2016 and December 2, 2016 are eligible for enrollment into TK for 2021-2022.
We are excited to be able to offer several Summer Programs this year!
- Extended School Year (ESY) K-12: This program is intended to serve students who have ESY marked on their Individual Education Plan.
- High School Credit Recovery: This program is intended to serve 9-12th grade students using an online platform, Edgenuity. This program aims to help students make up credits in order to put them back on the road to graduation.
- Adult School: This program is intendent for 11th and 12th grade students who need to make up credits for graduation. This program is similar to an independent study where students complete work independently and meet with their teacher weekly.
- High School Bridge: This program strives to give incoming Freshman the skills and confidence they need to assist them in having a successful four years of High School and beyond.
- Kinder Bridge: This program is intended for students who are entering Kindergarten for the first time. The program aims to give students a sneak peek of Kindergarten.
- Title I, K-8 Summer School: The program is intended for current K-8th grade student who attend Title I schools and need intervention during the summer.
- English Learner Academy: This program is intended for students who are newly acquiring English. The purpose is to support students in furthering their English Language Development.
Sam Strube, Director of Adult Education and Career and Technical Education
Did you know that February is CTE Awareness Month? CTE Awareness Month is a month-long celebration that brings awareness and recognition to the many programs that we have right here in the Tracy Unified School District. Career Technical Education (CTE) is supported by local and federal funding to provide 21st Century academic and technical skills training to students in fifteen State and National Industry Sectors. In those Industry Sectors, there are 76 different pathways. TUSD has 16 of these pathways at our three comprehensive high schools; some of which are A-G approved and can earn students college credits when they transfer to a local community college. Pathways such as Floral Design, Ag Mechanics, Welding, Film and Video Production, Child Development and Transportation Technology are just a few of our courses that prepare students for high-wage/ high demand careers. Many students who plan on going to a four-year university enroll in CTE courses so they have a competitive edge over students who do not have the CTE experience. After School programs such as Future Farmers of America (FFA), Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), and Future Health Professionals (HOSA) are all represented here in Tracy. These Career Technical Education Student Organizations (CTSOs) give all students the opportunity for hands on experience and competitions at the local, state, and national levels. Another integral part to the success of CTE in Tracy is our annual Stakeholder Consultation meeting. Formerly known as our CTE Advisory Committee meetings, Stakeholder Consultation meetings are held for each Industry Sector to partner with industry representatives, parents, students, teachers and counselors who can bring a variety of perspectives which help to guide curriculum and instruction in our CTE programs. We are always looking for people who represent the industries represented in our pathways, so if you or anyone else you know would like to participate in our Stakeholder Consultation meetings, please contact Nora Torres at email@example.com or Sam Strube at firstname.lastname@example.org If we all work together, we can bring awareness to Career Technical Education and help our students on a path to college and careers!
Erica Contreras, Coordinator of Health Services
Currently TUSD Health Services is working on making sure that when we are made aware of a student who is affected by COVID, a TUSD nurse follows up with the family. We have asked all school sites to inform us of any student COVID concerns so we can follow up as soon as possible. This process has helped us in providing families with phone numbers to resources currently available through the county. This has also given us a chance to make sure the affected students are followed up on appropriately by their MD/Physician as well as offering parents any additional supports currently available. During the follow up calls, a nurse assures that each student that is COVID affected is following current quarantine/isolation guidelines and not coming on to campus until cleared by TUSD Health services based on SJ Public Health COVID guidelines. We ask that all sites continue to notify us of any COVID concerns related to the students so we can follow up on our end with each family as quickly as possible.
In addition, to COVID related work our department supports the following protocols:
- Continue with requested vision and hearing screenings coming in from school staff, Special education staff, and parents/guardians while following Public Health COVID guidance.
- Work with VSP Global in order to continue receiving vision gift certificates for the TUSD students that qualify. (Covers exam, lenses, and frame).
- Work with Starkey Hearing Foundation to offer resource information for hearing impaired students who need financial assistance to obtain hearing devices.
- Annual restock of Epi-Pens for each TUSD school site in accordance with California Education Code 49414 will be requested from Bioridge’s/Mylan Epi-Pen for schools’ program.
- Continue with sites Epi-Pen training.
- Continue to offer support to SDC students returning with health conditions as prescribed/recommended by their physicians. (i.e. medication administration, treatments).
- Continue to support staff as to assure students return to school with most updated health information/accommodations per student’s health care provider. (i.e. updating MD orders, updating health plans).
Deidre Hill-Valdivia, Ed.D., Coordinator of Prevention Services:
Mental Health Services:
Tracy Unified School District continues to promote available tier 3 school based mental health services for all students. Individual and small group counseling is now accessible on-campus for students. There is an ongoing effort to increase advocacy and awareness of mental health services to students and parents. Trainings for staff and parents, specifically about suicide awareness and prevention, were coordinated in December 2020. Trainings for Spring 2021 are in the planning stages. A mental health slide has been created for each school site and to be used as a “commercial” before class, in-between classes, and posted on social platforms. To request a mental health commercial, please contact Prevention Services. Parents and teachers can refer their students for mental health counseling through their site school counselor, school psychologist, or administrator. To review a list of local mental health services, click here.
For families who are facing housing insecurity, 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.
Pursuant to AB 329 Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention and Board Policy (BP) 6142.1 and Administrative Regulation (AR) 6142.1, TUSD will be implementing Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Instruction to all grade 7 and 9 students during the week of April 12 -16, 2021. This is a voluntary lesson and parents may opt out their child, by submitting their written request to their child’s school office. Virtual Teen Talk Trainings for all 7th and 9th grade English Language Arts (ELA) and Science instructors are scheduled for February 10 and 11, 2021. Registration is required. Virtual Parent Information Sessions for all 7th and 9th grade parents are scheduled for February 11 and 18, 2021. Sessions will be facilitated in English and Spanish. Registration is required.
Microsoft’s Student Sessions at TUSD
The Professional Learning and Curriculum Department has partnered with Microsoft to bring interactive student sessions to TUSD. Last December, the Microsoft Community Team hosted a two-week Computer Science event, and in January, hosted the STEAM Activity of the Month: Space Jam. So far, we have recorded a total of 1,491 attendees who have participated in these sessions. For February, we are offering Microsoft Black History Month (BHM) student sessions to K-12 teachers. This involves readings of inspirational stories by famous NBA and NFL players (Grades K-2) and virtual museum tours (Grades 3 to 12). You may find more information about Microsoft’s BHM student sessions here. To register for a private booking for your class, please click here. If you have any questions about Microsoft’s student sessions, please contact Del Pabalan at email@example.com or ext. 1560.
Educational TSA Professional Learning Tech Team
The TUSD Educational TSA team continues to provide site-specific professional learning to improve educator effectiveness in using technology as a tool for learning. We meet monthly with Professional Learning, ISET, and Microsoft Education leaders. At these monthly sessions, Ed TSAs learn the latest updates from Microsoft, share successes and challenges, and learn new tech tools that support student learning.
This past month, most of our ED TSAs members facilitated buyback sessions at their sites presenting information on various topics, including Nearpod as an interactive presentation tool, Microsoft Whiteboard as a collaboration tool, and breakout groups for small group discussion.
The Ed TSAs serve as a valuable tool for sites as they increase the intentional use of technology to engage students in learning. If you are interested in joining our team, reach out to your site principal for details on available positions.
Since Summer TTIP, TUSD has welcomed 21 late hire new teachers bringing the TTIP total to 53 this year. Each late hire TTIPer is given a condensed one-day TTIP experience and can choose to attend the full summer TTIP next school year. Bond Cashmere, firstname.lastname@example.org.
CSET, RICA, and TPA preparation remain a focus and top priority for our teachers in Peer Coaching. New this year are our Free TUSD RICA Preparation Workshops hosted by Heather Reyburn. If you need to pass the RICA, please email Heather for the workshop calendar (email@example.com).
English Language Arts
TUSD 6-12 ELA teachers and librarians have been coming together to explore how we can better engage and support our students during distance learning through reading and social-emotional learning (SEL) opportunities. During the recent District ERW, facilitated by the ELA Curriculum Council Subcommittee, teachers reviewed and shared strategies to help students see texts as “mirrors” where they find personal connections, and “windows” and “sliding glass doors” through which they can see or experience other perspectives (Rudine Sims Bishop, Professor Emerita of Education, The Ohio University). They also began identifying ways to use engagement and SEL strategies from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and Harvard’s Project Zero with our newly acquired StudySync novels that are arriving in our libraries.
TUSD Libraries Supporting Social Emotional Learning Through Literacy
TUSD teacher librarians and library techs have also been creating and communicating a variety of wonderful resources through social media that bring text and SEL together. Recent posts have included specific engagement strategies that build classroom community, and simple ideas for short “daily rituals” to use in class to build connections between and among students and teachers. Check out TUSD Libraries on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or contact.
Elementary Educators Curriculum Council
The Prek-5 elementary committee facilitated the January 20th District ERW where teachers engaged in professional learning collaboration. The grade-specific sessions focused on engagement strategies that can be implemented in any learning environment (hybrid, distance, and in-person) for students. During the session facilitators engaged their colleagues in rich discussion around best-practice. Discussions included strategies engage students in academic conversations, tech tools that have been utilized in their distance learning classrooms. Teachers also collaborated around strategies and tools that they would like to engage in the coming months. The team will be meeting again on February 11th to review the District ERW feedback and begin to plan for the District ERW scheduled on March 10th. Jennifer Kassel, Curriculum Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org
World Languages Curriculum Council
The World Languages teachers have concluded their multi-year professional learning of TPRS with Von Ray and the New Year will usher in a new focus for the department - the creation and development of assessments for each course! In order to ready teachers for this work, the remaining ERWs will be dedicated to reengaging with the Standards and the newly revised Framework. If you are a World Languages teacher and you are interested in creating standards-aligned assessments with your colleagues this summer, please email Bond Cashmere (email@example.com).
New Teacher Support: Induction. TTIP, Peer Coaching
TUSD’s New Teacher Support programs are in full swing supporting those newest to the profession! This year, an astounding 16% of all TUSD teachers are new to the profession! Each new teacher (teachers who do not yet possess a clear credential) is assigned a Mentor/Coach to support them in their development across the CSTPs in addition to providing that critical ‘just-in-time’ support. If you possess a clear credential and are interested in supporting a new teacher, please email Bond Cashmere (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Induction Candidates have competed their first inquiries of the year! During this first cycle of inquiry, Candidates across all cohorts made gains in their development and implementation of the CSTPs as noted in their reflections, self-assessments, and mid-year principal survey. As a collective, they reflected on the following ideas. Bond Cashmere email@example.com
- the importance of working on relationship building in addition to, and through, the inquiry process
- recognizing that although the SMARTE Goal may not have been met, student learning outcomes were positively impacted by the inquiry process
- the desire to continue with same goal as many felt they needed more instructional time to practice and implement
- underestimating the challenges of DL and in turn, how very different instruction needs to be in this teaching and learning environment
Sean Brown, Director of Special Education
Our Special Education Department is pleased to welcome back students on campus to receive person instruction! Starting Monday, January 25th, 2021, students in special day classrooms (SDC) from preschool to 5th grade, West High SDC-SH, and Tracy Young Adult Program (TYAP) have the opportunity to join their classmates in their assigned classroom. The in-person instructional days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesdays, all students will receive distance learning instruction. Additionally, we are welcoming a small targeted group of Tracy High students to campus for in-person instruction. This small group will receive additional support as they are learning English as a second language.
This year, TUSD Special Education staff and Educational Services staff have been participating in a professional learning cohort with San Joaquin County Office of Education using the CA Practitioners’ Guide to Educating English Learners with Disabilities. So far sessions have been completed. The following topics have been discussed; 1) Identification of English Leaners (EL), 2) Supports for ELs within a Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS), and 3) Quality of Instruction for ELs.
Rigorous Curriculum Design (RCD). TUSD has designed RCD units of study for ELA, MATH and STEM. The goal is to provide extra support to our SDC teachers in developing a robust implementation plan for RCD units in their classrooms. Jennifer King, from Freiler School, facilitates this training with enthusiasm and key knowledge. The next training is scheduled for February 25th 12:30-3pm. Please reach out to her for more information.
Just in Time! Please continue to join us for “Just in Time” office hours every Friday from 3:30-5:00pm. Office hours are a time where any teacher in special education can receive quick and timely advice on a topic or area of their choosing. The agenda is created and set by those participants who join. We look forward to sharing in dialogue with you.
We just want to say THANK YOU to all teachers, psychologist, speech therapist, behaviorists, administrators, and paraprofessionals for your unwavering commitment to supporting our students in special education. Your hard work, compassion, and diligence is greatly noticed by our students and families. Please take care of yourself and stay well!
Director of Special Education
Tracy Unified School District
“Building Inclusive Connections For All Students”
Mary Petty, Ed.D., Director of Student Services/Tracy Independent Charter School Principal:
Student Services has been dedicated to transfers and the registration process for our entire district during for the past few months. The open enrollment window (transfer requests), for the upcoming 2021/2022 school year was 10/15/20 through 1/15/21. This allowed parents/guardians of any student who resides within district boundaries can request another school within our district OR families living outside of our district the opportunity to come into Tracy Unified or request another district. This of course is dependent on if the school has space availability, student meets the standard requirements (GAB), student is accepted into certain academies being offered and the school requested is open for transfers. Although, we have deadlines we must still honor the requests from our current families for the current year due to recent moves, new incoming families to our district and we must consider that neighboring districts have different timelines for their open enrollment windows. The task of reviewing each transfer request is tedious but carefully reviewed with keeping the benefit of the student in mind.
Registration and placement for students in the state of California is determined by their birth date. Parents/guardians are encouraged to register their incoming Kindergarteners on 3/1/21 and thereafter for the upcoming 2021/2022 school year. Parents/guardians of 1st-12th graders are encouraged to complete registration for the upcoming 2021/2022 school year beginning 4/1/21 and thereafter. If a student is at an appropriate age for school and all required documents are provided, TUSD will accept current school registrations and place students accordingly at any time of the school year.
Our home visit task force team is gearing up to begin the second semester of visits for those students who are truant and/or absent excessively from distance learning. Additionally, we are beginning pre-SARB hearings here in our office, as families have reached this point of the SARB process. For now, we have asked our school site administrators to schedule home visits directly with Officer Brandi, our SRO, to help get outreach to our students and families more efficiently during this busy time for student services.
TUSD athletics are also getting underway. Sports that fall in the purple tier group can be practicing and competing as of 2/1/21. Athletic directors and coaches for golf, cross country, track and field, tennis, swimming & diving are preparing to start their seasons now. Per our TCAL league, we will follow each of the sports in each of the tiers by specific dates. As a health and safety measure, this is to avoid having hundreds of students gathered in any one place at any one time. For now, diving, men’s golf, swimming and track will begin Feb. 8th-March 27th. Cross country, women’s golf, and tennis will begin March 29th-May 15th. All County Public Health guidelines for cohorts still apply and all practices are to remain outdoors currently. Sports in the red tier are baseball and softball. These sports will be allowed to condition at this time and when we get to the red tier, they can begin official practices from March 1st-April 7th. Sports that fall in the yellow and orange tiers are football, wrestling, basketball, and water polo, and will begin their seasons at later dates.
Our TISCS office staff, counselor, and ISET have been busy enrolling and creating course schedules for approximately 200 new students into our school as of January 4th. In addition, we are adding new students into TISCS who were on the waiting list. Although transitioning students between school’s mid-year was a challenge, we are excited to gain new students and new teachers into our program.
Thank you for support and encouragement of all our students and their families during distance learning. As a parent of a high school student, I appreciate the flexibility and compassion our teachers and school site staff are offering currently. Our students are navigating uncharted waters and I am proud of the resiliency our TUSD students and staff have displayed this past school year. Thank you.
District Translation Services
Our department has been very busy supporting our TUSD community with translation and interpreter services. Please remember to schedule your interpreter for IEP meetings and conferences first to ensure you have secured them to be present at the meeting. We realize that the need for interpreters is growing. If you know of someone who may be interested in working as an Interpreter/Translator on an “as-needed” basis, please have them e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This could be anyone looking for extra work in our community, parents in our schools, or staff members with other roles in our district who speak a second language. The current TUSD Translator/Interpreter list is made up of 18 adults who speak different languages and can interpret and translate for the school district as needed. Some of the languages are Spanish, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Hindi, Farsi, Urdu, Cantonese and Tamil, to name a few. This department is also busy translating IEPs, school site safety plans, and various forms and documents for TUSD departments. In addition, I have been interpreting at meetings for TUSD employees, students, and families.
The District Digest is published on the first Friday of each month.