TRACY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dr. Brian Stephens, Superintendent
Dr. Rob Pecot, Assoc. Superintendent for Business Services
Ms. Tammy Jalique, Assoc. Superintendent for Human Resources
Ms. Julianna Stocking, Assoc. Superintendent of Educational Services
This starts another year of the District Digest. The purpose of the publication is to share information about what is taking place in our district. If there is information that you would like to see included in the District Digest please let me know so that we can add it to the next edition. Our goal is to put it out the first Friday of every month. As is typical, we will not be publishing an edition the first Friday after the Christmas break.
I sincerely want to thank everyone for the unbelievable start to the new school year. In a year full of change and disruption, I do not think that the school year could have started any smoother especially considering the delay in the devices that the district had purchased. The professionalism that everyone showed during the trying weeks before and after the start of the school year was remarkable. Every year, I hear from upset parents during the first two weeks of school but this year amazingly enough, I did not have a single complaint. Wow!
I want to acknowledge the efforts of several departments that really stepped up to help. ISET was under incredible pressure to develop a plan to image devices and distribute the devices that we had to students. They spent long hours configuring how to image large quantities of devices. When we were running out of time, I remember the thrill that I had when on a Saturday night I received a text from Tom Quiambao that their imaging plan had been successful. Dr. Debra Schneider and her staff really stepped up to get instructional materials out to student’s weeks before our normal timeline for doing so. This was so important to having a smooth start to the school year. Melissa Beattie and the Professional Development staff really tried to be proactive in providing training to staff so that they could function in our digital world. I thought that the offerings were outstanding and provided in a very timely manner. There were many more people who went above and beyond to support a smooth start to the school year.
Although it is very early in the process, we are being advised by the County Office of Education to expect a 14% cut in revenue as we develop our budget for 2021-22. The 14% budget reduction equals a loss of approximately $19 million to the district. It was terrible trying to find cuts equaling a 10% reduction this last spring, so a 14% reduction seems unfathomable. Despite this information from COE, it is early and much can change.
As of the second week of school, our total enrollment was 14,221 students, which is a decline of 313 students from last year. More importantly, the district is about 96 students below what we projected. Our largest drop is in kinder enrollment, which is 140 students below projected. There are probably a couple of reasons for this: (1) Attending kinder is not a legal requirement thus parents who are wary of sending their student to school because of COVID-19 have likely chosen to keep their student home; (2) New parents who are unfamiliar with technology are probably hesitant to have their child start his or her school years in a distance learning model. We are reaching out to each of these parents to try to get them into the school system. It is probable that many of these students will return to us next year when attending first grade is now a legal requirement. That said, nothing is certain and being down 140 students in one grade is significant and a potential long-term problem for the district financially.
Overall, the K-8 enrollment was down 287 students; Middle School was down 45 students however, our 9-12 schools were up 192 students, with Kimball showing the largest growth of 170 students over projected. Our charter school has an enrollment of 44 students. Because the district receives funding on the daily attendance of students, we are monitoring it closely. Your help in following up with students and keeping them engaged will be a huge factor in improving our attendance. Increasing our daily average attendance by just 1% would be an increase in funding of $1.7 million. Possibly facing millions in cuts next year, attendance really matters. Because the decline in enrollment is greater than was projected, we are estimating a decline in revenue of about $1 million on top of the $19 million in cuts that I mentioned in a previous paragraph. This means the district must find budget cuts of approximately $20,000,000 this spring.
As I am sure, you are aware, the Department of Public Health for our state is considering waivers from school districts to re-open schools once certain criteria in our county are met. The waivers apply to elementary age students (TK-6) and not middle school or high school age students. Once the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 falls below 200, our county public health department can begin to accept waivers to re-open schools. San Joaquin County is very close to meeting that requirement. While I personally feel that it would be unwise for our county to approve waivers at this time, it is likely that waivers will be approved in the near future. I do not intend for TUSD to be in the first group of waivers that are submitted to our Public Health Director. I believe based on my emails that a majority of parents want to see our schools open. Once schools around us begin to open, we will be under pressure to re-open as well. We cannot afford to lose students to other districts because we are closed to in-person instruction while other districts around us are not. The district will be watching this very difficult situation closely in the coming weeks.
What a time to be alive. Living during a pandemic, our state being on fire and our country in turmoil during a presidential election qualifies this for one of the unique periods in our history. Tough times do not build character so much as it reveals character. How we handle the confusion and change is important not just for now but also for the future. I am confident that working together as we have and will continue to do so, that at least in TUSD we can move our district forward and provide an exceptional education for our students. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of our students.
Brian Stephens, Ed.D., Superintendent
Tracy Unified School District
Jaime Quintana, Director of Facilities, Planning & Construction:
Please click on the projects below for information and pictures!
- North School Modernization
- Central Modernization
- Williams Door Hardware & Keying
- Tracy High Stadium Field
- Tracy High New Parking Lot
- West High Library Remodel
- 2020 Scoreboards at West High & Tracy High
- Stein Portables Addition
- Jacobson Exterior Painting
- Other Notable Projects
In the Spring of 2020, the Tracy Unified School District took on its third major modernization project in two years. The modernization project officially known as the “North School Modernization Project” is an approximately 30-million-dollar project. The modernization efforts will primarily be focused on upgrading the general existing facilities infrastructure, creating new classroom spaces from within the existing Bldg. A, and erecting a new 2-story classroom building hosting administrative services. To date, much has happened on the site with complete demolition, abatement of hazardous materials, and routing of major utilities underway.
With the school being open and officially occupied in the Spring of 2019, there was still more work to complete after occupancy. Efforts to obtain all final work approvals and state certification have occurred this Fall. Officially on July 7th, 2020, the Tracy Unified School District received its Certification of Compliance from the Division of the State Architect’s (DSA) Office.
With the lifespan of the existing field past due, the facilities team and committee reviewed and recommended the synthetic turf be replaced. Despite various challenges, the project met its completion goal. To date, the installation of this premier standard project has received notable accolades and even national press coverage.
The inception of the TUSD-THS Parking Lot came from funding saved through the High School Bond Project. With the saving earmarked, the purchase of an existing lumberyard located in front of Tracy High School was completed. Shortly thereafter, various state approvals were cleared and demolishing of the existing buildings took place. These efforts cleared the way for project completion this summer.
Asphalt repairs and restriping at Bohn Elementary and Villalovoz Elementary. Completed in Summer of 2020.
Asphalt warranty repairs and resealing of the play court was completed.
Planning Projects Currently Underway:
Districtwide Solar Implementation:
This work will include installation of solar arrays at all remaining campus locations without solar.
Energy Efficiency Audits and Lighting Retrofit Improvements:
This sustainability project will first audit and subsequently determine site implementation measures for LED lighting and or HVAC replacements. The end goal is to create a “no out of pocket” funding model which will create saving for future projects (LED, HVAC, EMS, etc.).
Reed Call, Director of Financial Services:
The District’s 45 Day Revised Budget was approved at the August 11th School Board Meeting. For the 20/21 school year Tracy Unified School District has a balanced budget. No Cost of Living Adjustment was given by the state for 20/21. The state and federal government did provide $13,258,454 in one time Learning Loss Mitigation/CARES Funding/COVID 19 Funds. Through this funding Tracy Unified School District has been able to purchase 11,000 computers, PPE, and cover the costs of additional services associated with Distance Learning. This is all good news, until one begins to look at budget projections for 21/22. Tax revenue is down state wide, and major uncertainty exists in both the state and national economy. The San Joaquin County Office of Education is projecting a reduction of 14% for the 21/22 school year. This would equate to an approximately $19.6 million decrease for Tracy Unified School District. Without state or federal intervention, this would be catastrophic to TUSD.
Brandy Campbell, Director of Food Services:
Food Services has seen an approximate decline in usage rate of over 90%. This low usage rate negatively impacts families and our fiscal well-being. We know that families depend on this service, and as such, we are looking for ways to increase potential usage for families. In order to spread the word to increase meal participation, the Food Services Department is sending Robo-Call reminders out to families, sending emails, texts, marketing online, having banners made, and working with the Transportation Department to serve meals at three Delta Island locations. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on August 31, 2020 that all children are able to receive FREE MEALS until at least December 31st 2020. With this outstanding news and an aggressive marketing campaign, we hope to see our TUSD usage rate increase dramatically.
Anthony Flores, Director of Maintenance, Operations & Transportation:
Custodial staff completed the flooring upgrade in Monte Vista Middle School’s Art room and the Boys and Girls Locker Rooms. During this process, a new sealant and paint product, which improves aesthetics but is durable and easy to clean, was used. We look forward to seeing how the upgrade holds up when we have student traffic.
Jill Carter, Director of School Business/Purchasing:
To facilitate the safety of staff and students being on campus, the purchasing department has worked to secure enough PPE for all campuses. TUSD has purchased 60,000 disposable facemasks, over 17,000 reusable cloth facemasks, 17,000 face shields (youth and adult sizes). All sites have been equipped with Plexiglas barriers in locations where staff interact directly with the public. Each classroom, meeting room, and Administration Office has a no-touch thermometer, spray bottle containing hand sanitizer, and disinfectant spray for desktops and computer keyboards. We maintain an inventory of 1,300 gallons of hand sanitizer, 1,800 pump bottles of hand sanitizer and 93 cases of disinfectant spray. For classrooms without sinks, hand sanitizer dispensers and 1,800 refillable bottles have been provided to sites.
To support Distance Learning district-wide, TUSD has procured 11,000 HP laptops for student use. These laptops were ordered immediately after the Governor released additional funds to school districts to support distance learning. At this time, there is a nationwide shortage on laptop computers. TUSD will likely not see the majority of computers ordered until early October. To ensure students have quality internet accessibility, approximately 14,000 hotspots were ordered, and are currently being distributed to students. In addition to student computers, over 200 laptops for classroom para educators were ordered. These laptops will assist para educators in supporting their students throughout Distance Learning and they will be distributed in the upcoming weeks.
TUSD also received assistance with PPE from the San Joaquin County Office of EducationAt the end of July, the State of California through the SJCOE, distributed PPE proportionally to all school districts. TUSD’s allocation amounted to 4,000 surgical masks for adults, 14,000 masks for students grades 7-12, 12,000 for grades K-6, 2,100 face shields, 100 thermometers, 3,400 bottles of hand sanitizer, and 960 N95 masks for our nursing staff.
Anthony Flores, Director of Maintenance, Operations & Transportation:
Hand sanitizer pumps and spray sanitizer bottles were added to the buses used for food delivery in accordance with CHP guidelines. This will allow Food Service and Transportation Staff access to hand sanitizer for COVID-19 safety. Drivers will sanitize each bus daily.
Tammy Jalique, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources:
Welcome back! Hiring staff is always a top priority for a new school year and doing so in the time of closures certainly presented unique challenges. Thanks to the dedication of our Human Resources staff and the utilization of remote interviewing, Tracy Unified was able to continue our hiring when many neighboring districts were not able to do so. We started the 2020-2021 school year with fewer open positions than we have in the recent past. Since the March closure period, we have filled the following positions through either external hires or internal movement of employees:
· Certificated positions: 58
· Certificated and Classified Management, including SLP, Site and Department Administration: 14
· Classified: 26
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. Your expertise and guidance help ensure a successful year for our teachers, staff, and students.
We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of TEA, CSEA, and TSMA in working together to develop protocols and agreements that helped us address the myriad of concerns related to returning to work in our current COVID-impacted environment. In our visits to sites during these first weeks of school, the response to the question “How has everything been going?” has been overwhelmingly positive, with the successes attributed to the collaboration and cooperation of the employees. A huge thank you to everyone for continuing to focus on providing the best educational experience possible to our students and their families.
In early spring the District Healthcare Committee announced that the committee worked with CVT to offer two additional network options to members for the 2020-21 plan year. The two new networks are Anthem Trio HMO and Sutter Health | Aetna EPO. In general, the plans in both networks are offered at a lower cost. These are additional medical network options for members to select in addition to the plans that are already offered (no plans were removed from the plans offered last year). The medical insurance opt-out option is still available. If you are interested, you must submit the opt-out form and the appropriate documentation. The opt-out form is available on the District portal with the insurance plans and rates. CVT only allows up to 20% of employees to opt-out, if more than 20% of employees elect to opt-out a lottery needs to be held to determine which employees can opt-out. Opt-out forms are due to the Human Resources office by 5:00 p.m. on September 18 in order to determine if a lottery is required.
Certificated Positions or Hiring – Luz Gallegos, x1306
Classified Positions or Hiring – Rita Ross, x1307
Coaching or Volunteers – Evelyn Martinez, x1308
Credentialing – Antonia Velasco, x1301
Employee Leaves or Workers Compensation – Stacy Johnson, x1309
Substitutes – Gloria Wells, x1302
General Information – Nora Angel, x1304
- Message from Associate Superintendent of Ed Services
- ADULT SCHOOL
- CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT, STATE & FEDERAL PROGRAMS
- IMC - Instructional Media Center
- EL PROGRAM
- ISET - Information Services & Educational Technology
- LTEL COUNSELING - Long Term English Learner Counselor
- PREVENTION SERVICES
- PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
- SPECIAL EDUCATION
- STUDENT SERVICES
Julianna Stocking, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services:
As we have started the year in a Distance Learning Model I would like to start by commending all staff for working together to having a great start of the school year for our students, staff, and families. 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, interactive 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 during this challenging time.
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.
Sam Strube, Director Adult School & Career Technical Education:
Did you know that according to the US Census Bureau, 9,230 adults in our community speak English “less than very well”? The US Census Bureau also tells us that 7,155 adults in our community do not have a high school diploma. The good news is, the Tracy Adult School is here to help! Tracy Adult School has been serving the community since 1937. We offer courses that teach adults English. We prepare immigrants to take and pass the citizenship test, so they can become Unites States citizens. We also offer courses for students to earn their high school diploma or California High School Equivalency Certificate.
Our English as a Second Language (ESL) classes run Monday through Thursday, from 8:30am to 2:30pm and from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. Students come to our school with a variety of home languages. At last count, there were 27 different home languages represented at our school!
Our compassionate staff works hard to eliminate barriers and focus students’ attention on the courses they need to complete in order to earn their Tracy Adult School High School Diploma. With a reduced number of course requirements and our learning modules that adult students take home to work on, many students find adult school less distracting and easier to work around their busy schedules.
Tracy Adult School receives quite a few calls from adults “wanting a G.E.D.” For decades, the term G.E.D. has been synonymous with a test that adults can take to earn a certificate. However, the term is somewhat of a misnomer. What these students need is to prepare and then take the tests to earn their high school equivalency certificate. In recent years, the California Department of Education has decided to allow only two companies, GED® and HiSET®, to issue a California High School Equivalency Certificate. The Tracy Adult School is pleased to offer preparation classes and to be a testing center for the HiSET®.
Transitions are also a very important part of Tracy Adult School. We work to build a positive relationship between our students and Delta Community College. Delta is a valued partner of the Delta Sierra Adult Education Alliance (DSAEA) consortium, for which we are a member. The DSAEA provides guidance and support for our budget, standards alignment, professional development for our teachers and staff, and more.
As with our K-12 schools, the Tracy Adult School is also working under a distance- learning model to ensure the safety of our staff and students. While the learning curve is steep, our staff has done a great job adapting to this new-to-us mode of instruction. In some ways it is easier for our students; in other ways there are some challenges. I do know that the staff and students at the Tracy Adult School have expanded their digital literacy skills, which in the long run, will benefit us all.
If you have a friend, relative or neighbor who would benefit from learning English, or earning a high school diploma, please send them our way. We are located just behind the District office and can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TracyAdultSchool/ You can also go to our website located at https://tracyadult.tracy.k12.ca.us/ or simply give a call. We are here to help.
Tania Salinas, Director of Continuous Improvement, State & Federal Programs
Hello and Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year! The Continuous Improvement, State & Federal Programs Department is here to support you in any way possible. There have been some organizational shifts between departments in Educational Services. Below are some of the projects that the department supports. 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
Student Assessment Warehouse
(DnA & FastBridge)
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
(Continuity of Learning Plan 2020)
English Learner Reporting
(Language fluency, LIP, 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 has been suspended for the 2020-2021 school year. Assembly Bill 98 replaces the LCAP with the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (LCP). The Learning Continuity Plan template memorializes the planning process already underway for the 2020–21 school year and includes descriptions of the following: Addressing gaps in learning; conducting meaningful stakeholder engagement; maintaining transparency; addressing the needs of unduplicated pupils, students with unique needs, and students experiencing homelessness; providing access to necessary devices and connectivity for distance learning; providing resources and supports to address student and staff mental health and social emotional well-being; and continuing to provide school meals for students. This plan will be made available during a public hearing at the September 8th School Board Meeting, and then submitted for Board approval on September 22nd. If you have any questions about the LCP, please feel free to reach out.
We are in the process of testing nearly 300 students with the Initial ELPAC. Students entering a California school for the first time who indicate a language other than English on their home language survey are assessed with the Initial ELPAC. The Initial ELPAC is the test used to determine if a student is fluent in English or is an English learner. If designated as an English learner, the student will then receive the appropriate ELD services. Most of these students are in kindergarten. Students are tested in a 1:1 environment following a testing safety protocol. Thank you to our site EL Coordinators for coordinating the testing process.
On March 18, 2020, California summative testing for 2019-20 was suspended due to COVID-19. The Federal waiver was approved on March 27, with the Federal waiver being ratified in May by the SBE.
Because of the suspension, the CDE did not report aggregate files with student groups for the 2019–2020 CAASPP summative assessment results, and the public reporting website did not include any student results. In addition, California is not providing 2019–2020 results to the U.S. Department of Education.
We will receive 2019–2020 Student Score Reports (SSRs) for students who completed and submitted the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for ELA and Mathematics, the CAA for ELA and Mathematics, and the CAST. For students who took the 2019–2020 CAA for Science and CSA, SSRs will not be provided. The SSRs, for those that were completed and submitted, will be available to parents via their Aeries Parent Portal.
For the 2020-21 summative assessments, the CDE and ETS are developing test administration options. The summative assessments may have three possible testing scenarios:
· Remote administration for online assessments
· Remote administration for paper-pencil assessments
More information will be provided as we receive updates from CDE.
DnA & FastBridge
EADMS/iOEducation merged with Illuminate. This year we will transition to the Illuminate product DnA. DnA is a data warehouse that will store our student assessment data. DnA also has the capability for teachers to build and administer assessments using their own items or from Illuminates robust item bank. DnA has a host of prebuilt reports and the ability to create custom reports with easy to read graphics that will enable staff to identify trends, inform instruction, and ultimately improve student performance. There will be more information to come on this new platform.
New this year is FastBridge, an online assessment that is available K-12 in Language Arts, Math and Social Emotional Learning. Students will take the online assessment three times a year, which will provide universal screening, progress monitoring and rich student data for analysis. Our goal is to have middle and high school students begin this testing at the end of the month of October. Once computer distribution is complete at the elementary level, students in grades K-5 can begin testing as well. There will be additional information and training to come in the next few weeks. We are very excited about these two new platforms.
Kinder Bridge Summer Program
Our Kindergarten Bridge Program which is usually hosted in June was postponed to July due to COVID-19. It was decided to change the Kinder Bridge Program to a virtual platform. We had four Kinder Bridge teachers and a total of 64 children participate in the Program. Although we had a target group of students and teachers, the Kinder Bridge teachers included their kindergarten team members, so that those non-Bridge teachers could share the instructional videos with all of their students. Here is a preview of one of the videos created: https://gopro.com/v/eQW2yaaKz0JKM (Hirsh school tour)
Preschool & Transitional Kindergarten
Transitional Kindergarten: In order to be eligible to attend Transitional Kindergarten for the 2020-2021 (this) school year, a child must be born between September 2, 2015 and December 2, 2015. TK overall numbers are down somewhat from last year. Here are the TK enrollment numbers as of August 19, 2020:
Hirsch Conventional: 15 students
Jacobson Conventional: 16 students
McKinley Conventional: 16 students
South/West Park Conventional: 19 students
Enrollments for Transitional Kindergarten continue to be accepted and processed.
Preschool: Enrollment is currently at 56 out of 120 available spots. We are still enrolling families into the program. This is a change from previous years. The program normally starts at full capacity.
Debra Schneider, Ph.D., Director of IMC:
TUSD Library Staff—with help from each site’s support staff—have done a great job getting instructional materials to students in advance of the first day of instruction. Some students are still missing some of their books. In order to be in complete compliance with the requirements of the Williams Settlement, library staff may be contacting individual teachers, to request your help in making contact with your students who still need to come in to pick up their books. We thank you in advance for your help with this important requirement.
STEM in TUSD
USD welcomes our new STEM Coordinator, Bryan Flaig. He will be working with site administrators and STEM implementation staff at sites and in the professional learning department to support the STEM implementation in PreK-5 and the expansion of the work into grades 6-12.
PreK-5 teachers will soon be receiving invitations to voluntary meetings to review STEM Unit A, with updates for distance learning. The unit kits contain hands-on materials to complete the design challenges at home.
Maria Salazar, Coordinator of EL Program:
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 and 2019-2020 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 and the number of RFEP students has increased two years in a row. 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.
Aeries Analytics – 2020-2021
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 5 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 28 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.
For the first time, TUSD offered a Virtual Summer Academy Institute for our newcomer English learners. It took place July 13 to July 24, 2020 from 8:00 – 1:00 p.m. Twenty students participated in the program. Mrs. Denise Sanchez, 5th grade teacher from SWP, taught the students. The students learned how to use Microsoft Teams, create PowerPoints, and participate in oral discussions. Here are some statements from our students. “It was really fun,” What I liked the most was practicing English,” and “Todo me gusto de la escuela de verano.”(I liked everything about summer school).
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.
Tom Quiambao, Director of ISET:
During the last week of July, ISET started the process of gathering all the laptops in carts at all school sites to get them ready for distribution. With the support of many departments, we were able to stage the West High Gym as our remote ISET imaging center.
During the first two weeks of August, we were able to distribute laptops and hotspots to the high school. The following week, we distributed devices to SPED K – 8 students and to 6th – 8th grade students at Monte Vista and Williams Middle Schools. Currently, we have accepted delivery of 1,000 devices to be distributed to the remaining 8th, 7th and 6th grade students at the K-8 sites.
As you may already are aware of, there is worldwide shortage of devices from all leading computer manufacturers. For the past 5 years, we have standardized both staff and student devices to HP computers and educate ourselves to better support the product. We have placed an order for 10,000 HP x360 student laptops back in July and is in line to receive the laptops by the first week of October. The extra 1,000 devices were gathered from local retailers to acquire laptops sooner. Although these devices are not the typical enterprise devices we normally buy, it will help students who do not have laptops nor access to technology.
Starting next week, all elementary school sites will start distributing hotspots to students who do not have access at home. The T-Mobile hotspots have unlimited data and can connect up to 5 devices. Laptop distribution will be announced at a later time when the devices are delivered in October.
While devices are constantly being prepared and imaged, we are also constantly working with Microsoft Engineers to hopefully resolve the issues surrounding Teams. So far, we have resolved issues involving rosters, chats, students recording sessions, the new experience in Teams (Gallery), etc. Issues that are pending resolution includes Student ID display, inconsistencies with students muting the meeting, uploading videos and files, etc. Rest assured that we are looking to resolving these issues at the soonest possible time.
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone for your continued patience as we go through the new norm of teaching and learning using technology. I would also like to apologize for the delayed response time in addressing your technology needs due to ISET’s limited manpower, however we will try as much as we could to provide support to staff, parents and students. Moving forward, we will be adding more techs to my department for additional support and sustainability.
Jessica Escobedo, LTEL Counselor:
LTEL Counseling is off to a fantastic start in the 20-21 year! Students are in designated ELD classes and/or scheduled to receive services through their specialized program(s) and sites are in the process of completing ELPAC testing for students who were unable to finish testing in the spring. Teamwork and flexibility ensured an adventurous and productive start to the year.
While we may not be able to get together in person right now, there are many other options for us to stay connected; email, telephone calls, and virtual meetings all work great. I encourage you to follow me on Facebook, TUSD Long Term English Learner Counselor (I do accept messages through messenger), for updates on a variety of topics as well as links to upcoming events. Please let me know how I can be of assistance!
Deidre Hill-Valdivia, Ed.D., Coordinator of Prevention Services:
Schoolbased Mental Health Services:
For the 2020-21 school year, Tracy Unified School District is providing tier 3 schoolbased mental health services for students at each school site. Due to distance learning, services will be provided through a telehealth model. Teachers and parents can refer students to their site school counselor, school psychologist, or administrator.
Suicide Awareness & Prevention Staff Trainings:
In collaboration with Child Abuse Prevention Council, Suicide Awareness and Prevention trainings for school site staff have been coordinated for the months of August and September.
Melissa Beattie, Director of Professional Learning & Curriculum:
District Professional Learning Days
With much needed additional training to support Distance Learning, we offered two Buy-Back Days before the start of the year. Teachers had the opportunity to participate in sessions hosted by our Professional Learning Department as well as the San Joaquin County Office of Education and Microsoft. Sessions included Microsoft Teams foundational training; Special Education Inclusion Training; K-5 History-Social Science new materials training; and other content and pedagogical strategies to support teaching virtually.
The August 7, 2020, District Preservice content centered on relationships as the foundation for ensuring rigorous, relevant, and engaging learning for every student regardless of delivery method. Tracy Unified remains committed to Rigor, Relevance, & Relationships during distance learning. Dr. Erika Tate, CEO, and founder of Bluknoweldge delivered an inspiring keynote that served as a starter kit for building a learning community in digital spaces.
She focused on three essentials: 1. connect with learners, 2. empower real talk, and 3. embrace families. Breakout sessions followed with ICLE consultants sharing high-leveraging engagement strategies to build strong relationships for a digital environment. On-going support and training with rigor, relevance, and relationships will continue to be provided at the site level by site principals during this fourth year of implementation.
Asynchronous Learning for Educators
These modules include short videos and how-to documents that provide step-by-step directions to effectively build and manage a virtual classroom. Modules begin with how to create a Teams account and conduct a live Teams meeting with the appropriate settings and move on to advanced topics like how to assign work and create and use a Class Notebook and how to use Stream. Go to The Distance Learning Portal Page to learn more today!
Synchronous Learning for Educators
Under the Teacher Professional Learning icon on the Distance Learning Portal Page, teachers can access recordings of past sessions and register for upcoming workshops. New Microsoft Teams training is set to begin Tuesday, August 25, 2020. Topics include FlipGrid, OneNote Class Notebook, How to share within Teams, and How to Record meetings using Microsoft Stream. Register via GoSignMeUp!
Site-Specific Professional Learning
The Professional Learning and Curriculum Department is scheduling site-specific PD with sites now. In alignment with district instructional goals, sites are seeking sessions that support intentional instructional decision-making using the rigor, relevance, engagement, and relationship rubrics. Currently scheduled site sessions have been scheduled for increasing active student engagement in a digital learning environment and supporting inquiry-based instruction through academic discourse and sense-making strategies. To schedule a professional learning series for your site, principals can contact Melissa Beattie at x1551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New! Educational Technology Leaders “Ed Techs”
To support the on-line instructional model, each site will have 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. Principals will work with their Ed Techs to develop a Continuous Improvement Professional Learning Plan that aligns with site-specific student learning needs. Ed Techs will develop and deliver 3 one and a half hour professional learning sessions to support theses site-specific learning goals. Ed Techs will also participate in District-led Ed-Tech foundational training and in monthly Collaborative Planning Sessions to design their site-specific educational technology PD sessions. Those interested in becoming a site Ed Tech need to be experienced using Microsoft Teams and working with adult learners, willing to share practices with colleagues, patient, open to learning, and understand best-instructional practices. More information to come!
Please contact the Professional Learning & Curriculum Department for questions, celebrations, 1:1 coaching, small group, and/or site-specific needs. We are here for you!
- Melissa Beattie, Professional Learning & Curriculum Director x1551 email@example.com
- Bond Cashmere, New Teacher Program Administrator x1553 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shorei Butler, Department Secretary, and GSMU Help, x1550 email@example.com
- Bryan Flaig, K-12 STEM Coordinator x1555 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jennifer Kassel, STEM Curriculum Specialist TOSA x1556 email@example.com
- Del Pabalan, STEM Curriculum Specialist TOSA x1558 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Heather Reyburn, ELA Curriculum Specialist TOSA x1566 email@example.com
New Teacher Support Updates
Tracy Teacher Induction Program, TTIP
The first ever blended learning TTIP welcomed 45 new teachers to TUSD! The TTIP virtual experience was framed around Rigor/Relevance with a specific focus on Relationships. Additionally, teachers received training in AVID strategies, participated in a classroom management workshop, received MS Teams training, and received curriculum and materials 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! All 43 participants in Peer Coaching have been paired with a Coach who is providing weekly “just in time” support. New to Peer Coaching this year is the partnering of Special Education Program Specialists with special education teachers to provide additional special education training, support and guidance. Lastly, we are excited to offer free RICA test preparation here in TUSD! 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.
Induction, Clear Credential Program
TUSD’s Induction program is supporting 60 teachers this year as they work to clear their preliminary credentials. All teachers have been paired with a mentor who will provide weekly “just in time” support. A significant change to our Induction program this year is that we are using a cohort model to support the individual needs of teachers. Due to COVID-19, Governor Newson issued an Executive Order (EO N-66-20) which allowed some teachers to enter Induction who still need to pass either the CalTPA and/or TICA. As a result, Induction is running three separate cohorts of teachers – an exciting endeavor! Thank you to Jennifer Kassel, Eden Matelski and Heather Nielsen for their willingness (and expertise) to co-facilitate alongside me this year! Lastly, we are excited to offer free RICA test preparation here in TUSD! 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.
The special education teacher residency has enrolled three residents for cohort 2! These residents are enrolled in TCSJ’s credential program and are placed with a TUSD Master Teacher. This year’s residents are placed at Tracy High, Freiler, and Kimball. This grant funded program is a research-proven way to train and retain special education teachers. Both teachers from our first cohort have been hired to be special education teachers here in TUSD!
Sean Brown, Director of Special Education:
Hello and nice to meet all of you! As your new director of Special Education, I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome to TUSD. Since arriving here July 1st, we have been working hard to provide the latest information and support to our students, staff, and our families. A few things may have shifted in our department this year.
Here is a brief list of our district administrators and office staff responsibilities:
Sean Brown: Director of Special Education
Rita Farabaugh: Program Administrator of Special Education
Melissa Johnson: Program Specialist for West High, Bohn, Jacobson, South/West, Poet Christian, North, Art Freiler, Williams
Laura Blanchard: Program Specialist for Tracy High, McKinley, Hirsch, Villa, Home Hospital, Non-Public Schools (Point Quest and Oakdale), SJCOE Programs
Sophy Reese: Program Specialist for Kimball High, Central, George Kelly, Stein/TYAP, Monte Vista, Non-Public Schools (Sierra Vista and Creative Alternatives), SJCOE Programs
Johanna Gomez: Secretary; key contact for personnel, transportation, and 504s
Alyssa Ciraulo: Secretary; key contact for SEIS, CALPADS, and registration
Sancha Lam: Clerk; key contact for purchase request and home/hospital
Elena Camacho: student records requests and county referrals
New Special Education Teacher Trainings
All newly hired special education teachers will receive six full days of professional learning covering topics such as SEIS, curriculum, assessments, classroom management, etc. The professional learning is coupled with our new teachers being supported by veteran teachers and/or a program specialist. In addition, we invite all of our new teachers to attend “Office Hours” known last year as Just in Time Fridays; see further information below.
Friday “Office Hours”
Do you have questions about SEIS, timelines, or need a few suggestions on instructional strategies for your students? If you do, we invite you to join us for “Office Hours.” Office Hours are held virtually every Friday from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. We invite all special education teachers to meet with one of our program specialist to answer questions and offer suggestions on topics of your choosing. It is a great way for you to receive accurate information and sound advice. The Microsoft Teams link is sent out weekly. We hope to see you there!
We want to give a BIG THANK YOU to all the teachers who are supporting inclusion this year. Starting in August and through the 2020-21 school year, we are offering six full days of training for our middle school and high school teachers to learn practices and share strategies that support inclusion and co-teaching. We have and may continue to modify the training times to assure we have maximum attendance. session time. Principals and participating teachers have received a calendar for training dates and times. We hope to have more school sites and teachers come on board next year 😊. Our students, parents, and the entire district appreciate the extra effort you are doing to support students in the least restrictive environment.
SB 98 has implemented new guidelines to assure students are engaged in learning. Our department has created a checklist for Teachers and Providers (Speech Therapist, Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Behaviorist) to support us in following the guidelines.
Teachers and Providers
- Ensure all distance learning documentation is forwarded to SPED department electronically
- Communicate with your students via Microsoft Teams
- Record your service daily in Service Logs / Attendance
-Engagement - If student has not participated in 5 or more consecutive daily interactions, communicate with parent to determine next steps of support. An IEP may be held to discuss support with team.
-Document all service and communication (emails, text, phone calls, Dojo, etc.)
- Send service logs at the end of the month electronically to Elena Camacho
- Utilize your paraprofessionals time wisely
- Have daily check ins
- Assessments (remote and in-person), please use TUSD Safety guidelines for social distancing and face masks when doing 1:1 assessments
- Include McArthur & Levin verbiage in Notes Page of ALL future IEPs
- Affirm IEPs within 7 days
-Excusal page (if appropriate)
-SLD page (if appropriate)
- Document all service and communication (emails, text, phone calls, Dojo, etc.)
Assessments (remote and in-person), please use TUSD Safety guidelines for social distancing and face masks when doing 1:1 assessments.
Along with ensuring students are actively engaged with instruction, SB 98 has mandated all special education providers to record the services (SAI, speech, counseling, etc.) given to special all education students. To comply with this mandate, special education department has given example models of the key components the record sheets must capture such as…
· Student name and date
· Amount of synchronous time (teacher)
· Amount of asynchronous time (teacher)
· Assigned work (time value associated)
· Type of service (provider)
· Notes (parent communication, collaboration with colleague, message, office hours, etc.)
On the last Friday of every month, please submit a digital copy of your service log to Elena Camacho (firstname.lastname@example.org) in our special education department. We will keep records of the services rendered for auditing purposes. Let us know if you need an extra copy.
Office Hours “Just in Time” Fridays
Do you have questions about SEIS, timelines, or need a few suggestions on instructional strategies for your students? If you do, we invite you to join us for “Office Hours.” Office Hours are held virtually every Friday from 3:30 to 5pm. We invite all special education teachers to meet with one of our program specialist to answer questions and offer suggestions on topics of your choosing. It is a great way for you to receive accurate information and sound advice. We hope to see you there!
Due to school closure caused by COVID, we have a number of assessments which require completion. San Joaquin County suggest we prioritize completing assessments in the following manner…
1. Initials with signed assessment plans.
2. Triennials with signed assessment plans.
3. Upcoming triennials without signed assessment plans.
4. New initial evaluation requests without signed assessment plans
5. Assessment plans that are out and have not been returned yet.
When completing in-person assessments, all staff must adhere to the district safety protocol. Please work with your site principals and IEP teams in coordinating testing times for students.
Need some ideas on student lessons or more resources? San Joaquin County has created a Padlet with a bevy of excellent resources related to distance learning. When you have a chance, please review the items: https://padlet.com/sscott85/oby2tysaspu04oya
Mary Petty, Ed.D., Director of Student Services/Tracy Independent Charter School Principal:
Student Services: Student Services and Business Services are currently focused on enrollment. Student services has ensured that the registration, attendance tracking, enrollment numbers, and consistent outreach of missing students (and in the air) is addressed and successful. We would like to thank all of our site office personnel and administrators who have collaborated and prioritized this task to ensure our students are in our schools and learning. In addition, we would like to thank all of our teachers who are ensuring that all of our newly registered students are transitioning into their virtual classrooms with ease and learning new curriculum. Thank you to all of our school sites and school personnel for transforming your educational platforms and school cultures into a distance learning environment. Finally, this past week our department collaborated with Special Education Services to also ensure our students on IEPs are attending and engaged in learning. A number of phone calls and home visits were made to ensure students were safe and we offered support to re-engage in them in school.
The following school/programs are supported by Student Services, and serve a number of students and staff in our district:
- Tracy Independent Study Charter School: TISCS opened its doors to a number of students and faculty on August 11th as well. I would like to thank our administrative team of Liz Money and Melanie Alvernaz for handling the registration process for each new student that joined our program. We are still accepting and enrolling students each day. In addition, I would like to thank Troy Edwards, our head counselor, for all of his work in building course proposals, ensuring our students were properly placed into their classes and received class schedules in a timely manner. Finally, I would like to thank and welcome our two teachers, Kia Gregory and Laura McMillan, who have hit the deck running and training. These teachers joined our team and have worked hard on building relationships with our students and families and have undergone training into Edgenuity learning platform and problem-solved efficiently. Thank you to Leigh Anne in ISET who has worked hard on adding course codes into Aeries, so that we could meet with students and families to build class schedules. Each new student of TISCS received a new laptop and hot spot, which we distributed from students services. Thank you to Tom and Lana in ISET who helped image and prepare our technology.
- District Translation Services: Congratulations to Pia De Rosa, as she has taken the position as our new district translator. If you or someone you know would like to be added to our district translator list, please contact Pia at x. 1602. In addition to recruiting and updating our TUSD translator/interpreter list she has been updating our district E-forms in Spanish, continuing to Serve as the parent liaison for THS/KHS until the position is filled, and has been collaborating and setting IEP meeting dates with Special Ed and numerous school sites.
- Prevention Services: Mental health services are a priority for our TUSD families and students and will be available to them by request and referral both virtually and in-person during Distance Learning. Mental health services have been outlined and organized for each site. Requests and/or referrals for mental health services can be made by parents, administrators, and both certificated and classified staff who have direct contact with the student/family. Should a student need a priority session or if you feel concern for a student’s situation please consult with your site administrators to prioritize sessions. In addition, National Suicide Prevention Week is September 7-11, 2020. Social disengagement has only exemplified the need for awareness and SEL resources. Per AB 2246, Suicide Prevention Awareness, Intervention & Post Intervention Curriculum, will be taught to 8th & 10th graders in TUSD. Finally, our department is offering Second Step SEL curriculum as a TUSD district initiative for both K-5th grade and middle school levels. Teachers are to implement 30 minutes of Second Step Curriculum into a/synchronous instruction per week. Teachers can start now or officially begin in September. Please reach out to Dr. Hill-Valdivia, Coordinator of Prevention Services, or Samia Basravi for any support of our programs and curriculum.
- Health Services: Congratulations to Erica Contreras for joining our TUSD team as Coordinator of Health Services. As the TUSD Coordinator of Health Services, I am pleased to assist in providing direction for the development of health services programs for our students. Our Health Services Department is student-centered nursing care which occurs within the context of our student’s family and school community. Our key principals include standards of practice, care coordination, leadership, quality improvement, and community/public health. Our goal is to help, and support TUSD students be healthy, safe, and ready to learn. This is achieved in collaboration with our local community health care providers, partnerships with private foundations, public agencies, community-based organizations, and other TUSD departments. Some of the services we provide include but are not limited to the following:
- Consultation in identification of physical challenges of students that affect the learning process.
- Member of Student Study Team, Individualized Educational Plans, 504 Plans and Individualized Health Plans as requested.
- Assist in decreasing student absenteeism related to medical conditions.
- Identification and control of communicable disease.
- Classroom management of students with diabetes, asthma, and other chronic physical conditions.
- Identification and control of chronic head lice.
- Medication monitoring of all students.
- Consultation with school office personnel regarding student first aid procedures.
- Classroom observation of students with suspected medical problems/issues.
- Orienting and supervising staff in properly carrying out health care procedures.
- Blood borne pathogen supplemental information to online program for personnel, if needed.
- Classroom health instruction, as requested by teacher.
- Coordinates referrals to community and school based agencies.
- Assists with crisis intervention.
- Participates in health fair announcements and distribution of information via synre-voice and flyers, and in-service workshops, as requested, to meet the needs of the schools and community.
- Interprets medical orders, medical reports, and medical terminology as needed.
The District Digest is published on the first Friday of each month.