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
As you are aware, the district this week implemented our first districtwide testing for unvaccinated employees. Thank you for your patience as we put this process in place. I want to recognize Dr. Boswell for taking the lead and organizing this complex activity. At the start of the summer, with COVID numbers falling, I never imagined that we would have to organize large scale testing. Like everything else during this pandemic, we never know what is coming next.
Currently, TUSD has 70% of all employees fully vaccinated (1341/1916). The 1916 figure includes substitutes and walk on coaches. If we do not count those two categories our figure of fully vaccinated rises to 79% (1154/1459).
I have been getting out to school sites and visiting classrooms multiple times a week. The quality of instruction has been excellent. Thank you for providing such high quality instruction to our students.
There are many things that are frustrating with trying to educate students in a pandemic, but for me what is most frustrating is how the majority of our dialogue is about COVID with much too little conversation about educating students. I look forward to the day when we are putting all of our energies back to seeing students learn and succeed.
Thank you for all that you are doing for students.
Brian Stephens, Ed.D., Superintendent
Tracy Unified School District
Tammy Jalique, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources
Michael Bunch, Ed.D., Direction of Human Resources & Employee Relations
TUSD is once again hosting flu clinics for employees who are CVT members. Clinics start today from 9:00 -1:00. Additional clinics will also take place October 5 and 6 from 12:00 -5:00. All clinics are being held in the DEC Board Room. To sign up, visit:
Those needing assistance making an online appointment may call 310-618-1988 for help in scheduling an appointment.
Tammy Jalique, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources
Michael Bunch, Ed.D., Direction of Human Resources & Employee Relations
The review of all submitted documentation for those electing to opt out of medical coverage has been completed. This year, over 150 employees were able to take advantage of the opt out option.
- COVID VACCINE CHART
- FINANCIAL SERVICES/OPEN ENROLLMENT
- HIGH SCHOOL BELL SCHEDULES/TRANSPORTATION
Jaime Quintana, Director of Facilities, Planning & Construction
The district-wide and multi-site solar array portfolio project has been keeping the Facilities Department active. The Facilities Department has been working with a leading solar and energy storage developer, ForeFront Power, to install the 14 solar parking canopies across its campuses. These canopies will be equipped with electric vehicle charging stations and are expected to offset over 80% of the District’s electricity needs, saving the District millions of dollars on PG&E bills over next several years. Eleven of these solar parking arrays are currently under construction, with the final three to enter construction shortly; beginning to deliver power in 2022. The carbon offsets from these parking canopies will be equivalent to taking over 700 cars off the road, powering the District with the equivalent of nearly 400 homes’ worth of clean electricity.
District Facilities Committee
The Facilities Committee met to hear a presentation from the City of Tracy regarding their desire to potentially build a recreation complex at Ceciliani Park (adjacent to Villalovoz, and across the street from Williams). Brian McDonald, the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Tracy, went over the benefit to TUSD students and the community if the complex were to be built at this proposed location. The city will be exploring this site and others to find a location that best suits their needs. This Fall the city will be presenting their potential plan at a regularly scheduled school board meeting.
Rob Pecot, Ed. D., Associate Superintendent of Business Services
Financial Services/Open Enrollment
Open enrollment keeps Financial Services busy. Financial Services is updating insurance rates, employee option changes, and changes due to new employees and those employees moving to new positions.
Financial Services has finished “closing” the books on the 2020-21 fiscal year. This includes analyzing the District’s revenues and expenditures to ensure accuracy and compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The District’s independent auditors are currently reviewing our numbers and processes to confirm that our annual financial statements are accurate and fairly represent the results of district operations. Additionally, the auditors review our large federal grants for compliance.
The District will provide an additional $500 per full-time teacher and $250 per part-time teacher to all district schools for classroom supplies. The additional amounts will be added to each school’s site budget. Site administrators will be responsible for allocating the funds at each school. Purchases will be made through the District’s normal purchasing process, which includes requisitions created and initially approved at the school. The projected cost of the allocation for all schools is $361,500. Schools should expect to see these budgeted amounts in October.
High School Bell Schedules/Transportation
To ensure that Tracy Unified is meeting its obligation to SB 328, which states that beginning next school year high schools must start no earlier than 8:30 a.m., we are meeting with various departments to see what this change would mean for them. All departments would be affected in some manner, but the Transportation, Food Services, Educational Services, and some Business Services functions could be severely altered. The hope is, by meeting and vetting these issues early, there will be as smooth as a transition as possible into this new schedule. Issues such as bell schedules, bus routes, and staffing are some of the concerns that need to be addressed. Both CSEA and TEA are aware of these issues and continue to work with Tracy Unified to mitigate impact.
- EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
- CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT, STATE & FEDERAL PROGRAMS
- HEALTH SERVICES
- INSTRUCTIONAL MEDIA SERVICES
- PREVENTION SERVICES
- PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
- SPECIAL EDUCATION
- STEM & ASSESSMENT
- STUDENT SERVICES
Julianna Stocking, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services
It is hard to believe that we are finishing up the first trimester of teaching and learning for all of our students. There are so many amazing things happening at the school sites that I would like to highlight.
Students at various school sites are engaging in Second Step lessons and Character Counts Pillars. These are great ways to meet the social emotional needs of our students and support developing positive relationships peer to peer and peer to adult.
Students engaging in Rigorous, Relevant, and Engaging STEM Units.
Students are engaging cooperative group structures and learning with evidence of increased student engagement.
Students are engaged in Rigorous learning with differentiated structures and supports provided to meet our kids where they are.
Evidence of AVID WICOR at all of our AVID Schools to promote College and Career Readiness.
Tania Salinas, Director of Continuous Improvement, State & Federal Programs
The California Department of Education (CDE) has partnered with MetaMetrics® to provide additional measures of students' abilities in reading and mathematics. Lexile measures indicate students' reading abilities and Quantile measures indicate students' readiness for instruction in mathematics
The Lexile Framework for Reading and Quantile Framework for Mathematics have been linked to the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Smarter Balanced English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) and Mathematics assessments. Students who complete these assessments will receive a separate Lexile and Quantile Measures Report.
A Lexile measure indicates the difficulty of materials a student can read and understand. It is based on a student's Smarter Balanced ELA score. With the help of Lexile measures, parents and educators can find reading materials at the appropriate difficulty level for students and monitor their growth in reading over time.
A Quantile measure shows what mathematical skills a student has mastered and skills in which they need additional instruction. It is based on a student's Smarter Balanced Mathematics score. With the help of Quantile measures, parents and educators can identify the mathematical skills needed to support students' learning and monitor their growth in mathematics over time.
You can find more information regarding these measures at https://www.caaspp.org/ta-resources/lexile-quantile-measures.html
Student score reports and Lexile/Quantile reports are available in Aeries. If you have any questions regarding CAASPP testing, please reach out to your site Testing Coordinator or Kim Bacchetti in the Testing Office.
The TUSD Preschool Program is off to a great start for the 2021-2022 school year. Children have settled in and are enjoying their preschool experiences. Our priorities are to create a safe and caring environment for the children where they can learn through play and have an opportunity to grow both developmentally, as well as socially and emotionally. Children are encouraged to learn at their own pace and are offered fun and intentional experiences to develop their skills and knowledge.
We are very happy to offer STEM as our core curriculum. The students are exploring and experiencing science. Currently we are exploring the importance of recycling along with enjoying coding with KIBO.
Erica Contreras, Health Services Coordinator
Health Services continues to assist the district in COVID-19 response efforts that affect our community. Please visit the following link for more detailed information and resources: https://www.tracy.k12.ca.us/parentstudent-information/health-services/coronavirus-page
As a quick reminder, the California school immunization requirements for 2021-2022 school year have not changed. TUSD Health Services Department has resources available for school immunization compliance. For more information regarding immunization requirements, please contact TUSD Health Services or your local county public health department. The California Department of Public Health Immunization Branch’s website at https://www.shotsforschool.org/ has additional information available to the public.
Health Services is currently assisting our TUSD families and staff, in students’ chronic disease management, students care coordination, and family engagement. Additionally, we are continuing to coordinate and assist in the state mandated vision and hearing screenings at some of our sites for grades K, 2nd, 5th, and 8th. These screenings will be resuming at the end of October. We are here to assist in providing families and staff the needed paperwork and resources for students with new and/or existing medical conditions. Some of our medical forms are available on the TUSD website under Health Services at https://www.tracy.k12.ca.us/parentstudent-information/health-services. If you do not see the form you need on the website, please contact us at (209)830-3241.
Debra Schneider, Ph.D. Director of IMC
Instructional Media Adoptions in 2021-22
Committees of teachers are engaged in instructional materials (IM) adoptions in K-5 Science, 6-8 Science, and 9-12 Science. All of the teams are using the California NGSS Toolkit for Instructional Materials Evaluation (TIME) process, a set of rigorous analytical tools for 1) developing a district lens for the adoption, based on TUSD demographics, needs, and assessment results; then 2) evaluating the materials’ alignment to the standards; 3) identifying the instructional strategies and their alignment with the framework; 4) evaluating the formative and summative assessments in the materials; and 5) determining the teacher supports in the materials. At each grade band, the discussions during this process have been rich, deeply thoughtful, and consistently tied to the district lens, that is, the needs of TUSD students.
Based on this initial analysis of the IM, pilots select the best materials for piloting. The TIME process continues into the pilot, when pilot teachers collect and assess student work for how well the materials have, in practice, supported student learning; in addition, pilot teachers collect student reflections on learning and how the materials have, in their opinion, helped them. These findings are added to the initial analysis and the committee comes to a consensus on what materials should be recommend to the Curriculum Council for adoption.
Teams are aiming for completing this process in time to take their recommendations for new science materials to the January 2022 Curriculum Council meeting. The Curriculum Council expects to make a recommendation to the Board in February, 2022.
Tom Quiambao, Director of ISET
ISET is expanding. We have recently hired 2 new site technician 1’s to manage school sites. The goal for expansion is to have an onsite technician at the high schools in middle schools and to provide a faster turnaround time for support related issues. We are also in the process of hiring 4 more site technicians to be the onsite tech for each of the four K – 8 school sites. ISET has also hired a Technology Coordinator to manage the site technicians and to provide planning, diagnosis, and resolution for all school site related technology issues. In order to accommodate the additional personnel, ISET will temporarily occupy the IMC conference room.
GoGuardian, our teacher monitoring platform is currently being piloted at KHS by selected teachers. Once we have ironed out all the issues, we will begin implementing the program at the other high schools and middle schools. Pending any unforeseen issues, we would like to target the month of November to fully implement the platform districtwide.
As you may have heard in the news, there is a worldwide shortage of computer chips, steel, and other industrial components. At the moment, the wait time for laptops is approximately 9 months. Other computer peripherals will run on a 6 – 8 months’ time frame. I would like to ask your support to encourage staff and students to practice safe handling of devices so we can preserve our equipment. Here are some suggestions to avoid common damages:
1. Do not leave uncovered drinks beside the laptop – liquid spillage is the number 1 cause for short circuit.
2. If staff or students have district issues devices, please encourage them to stow the laptop inside the bags -cracked screen is a result of devices accidentally dropped
3. When stowing laptops in bags, please make sure to shut it down – swollen batteries is caused by laptop overheating inside the bag.
4. Do not leave the laptops inside parked cars – laptops are hot items for theft or vandalism
Deidre Hill-Valdivia, Ed.D., Coordinator of Prevention Services:
Red Ribbon Week: October 25-29, 2021
In 1988, the Family Partnership, formerly the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth, sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Week. Wearing Red Ribbons became the symbol of their commitment to raising awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America. National Red Ribbon Week continues to serve as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.
For the 2021 Red Ribbon Week campaign, “Drug Free Looks Like Me,” Prevention Services and Red Ribbon site leaders will coordinate student activities during the designated week. In partnership with Tracy Police Department’s Narcotics Division and the Substance Use Disorder Prevention grant, students who participate in Red Ribbon Week will earn swag and gift certificates to local vendors. For more information regarding Red Ribbon Week, click here.
Mental Health Services:
Tracy Unified School District is committed to prioritizing the mental health of all students. A list of school sites and assigned mental health service providers, contact information, and referral forms are available on all school site and District websites. As mental health service providers fully staff schools, specific names and contact information will be updated. To review the list of school sites and assigned mental health service providers, click here.
For families who are facing housing insecurity and/or economic hardship, a Housing Insecurity Questionnaire is available. Please assist families in accessing this questionnaire in order to link them with resources and community referrals. The Department of Prevention Services will collect responses, and follow-up with school sites and families. To review the Housing Insecurity Questionnaire in English and Spanish, click here. A downloadable version to print is also available, click here.
California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS): December 1- 31, 2021
Save the date: The CHKS survey will be administered to all students in grades 6, 7, 9, and 11 this school year. Students in grades 5 will no longer be surveyed. School staff will also complete the Staff Climate survey.
Tracy Unified School District will administer the CHKS during December 1 – 31, 2021. The CHKS is a web-based questionnaire, which requires students to have access to a computer. It takes between 25-35 minutes to complete per student. More information will be sent as the dates get closer.
Erin Quintana, Director of Professional Learning & Curriculum
Curriculum Saturdays have expanded to include TK-8th grade! Our first workshop this year was September 11th, and word of mouth is spreading. Each workshop is capped at 25 participants. You can sign up for just one workshop or more. During these Saturdays, teachers experience some high leveraging instructional routines, investigate content, make connections between concepts and subject matter, and analyze the demands of the standards, practices and assessments. Teachers use backward–design to plan instruction for ELA, Math and Science using the core documents of California and TUSD. Saturday is paid at the hourly rate on a timesheet. The workshop runs 8:30-11:30 and 12:30-3:30.
Oct. 2nd, TK-8
Oct. 9th , 6-12th grade * If there is an interest, more will be scheduled. Email Deb Coker, Heather Reyburn, or Kaleigh Felisberto.
Nov. 6th, TK-8
Jan. 8th, TK-8th grade
Feb. 5th, Tk-8th grade
Mar. 12th, TK-8th grade
K-5th Grade Math
Looking for parent resources? Check out your grade level, common core math folder and open the folder called Parent Resources. There you will find a mathematics parent road map and Parent Newsletters that are customized to each of our RCD math units!
Each newsletter contains:
- Key vocabulary
- Visual representations
- Questions parents can ask of their student to help them make sense of values and situations
- Common Core Strategies
- And even suggestions of how to help at home.
Ed TSA’s met last month to learn more about the SAMR model, Blended Learning, and many became Microsoft Certified Innovators. This month as Ed TSA’s implement the SAMR model we will apply it to the 4 C’s of 21st Century Learning. Ed TSA’s will be trained in Flipgrid and Microsoft Stream as recording devices for students and teachers. There are so many exciting ways to engage our students ask your Ed TSA for tech tips!
What’s a Kibo?
PK, TK, K, and 1st grade teachers met KIBO, a robot designed for students to learn coding, computer skills, and engineering without a computer screen! Teachers learned how to integrate Kibo into everyday lessons as they retold stories and coded KIBO to perform. Students are excited to have a classroom representative they can tell what to do. TOSA’s from the Professional Learning and Curriculum department were trained as well. PK-1st grade teachers at treatment sites, call on your TOSA’s to bring your class their KIBO, or help to train in your classrooms!
We are preparing for the next district ERM on November 1, 2021. We are currently holding curriculum council and are recruiting for Kinder, 1st, and 6th-12th ELA. If you are interested, please contact Erin Quintana at x1551.
The TUSD Induction Program had the first quarterly meeting on September 28th, 2021. As of this month, we have over 70 teachers in the induction program. We are pleased to announce Jennifer Kassel will be the new Program Admin, if you have any questions you can reach her at email@example.com.
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.
Looking for some support with curriculum, instruction, or specific TUSD initiatives?
Need a thought partner? You have options.
- Contact Your site TOSA for a consult and schedule a time! (In person or virtual)
- Curriculum Saturdays Register today via GSMU
- Site Workshops. Site principals can schedule site workshops to support instruction, too
Please contact the Professional Learning & Curriculum Department
We are here for you!
Erin Quintana, Professional Learning & Curriculum Director x1551 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Kassel, New Teacher Program Administrator x1553 email@example.com
Lisa Rodriguez, Department Secretary x1550 firstname.lastname@example.org
Deborah Coker, TOSA x1557 email@example.com
Anne-Marie Mason, TOSA x1554 firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Bailey, TOSA x1563 email@example.com
Heather Reyburn, TOSA x1566 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaleigh Felisberto, TOSA x1567 email@example.com
Sean Brown, Director of Special Education
Special Education Trainings
• Friday, October 8th Sonday Reading Intervention 8am – 3:30pm in the Board Room at DEC
• Friday, October 8th New Teacher Training (PreK - 8th grade) 8am–3:30pm Behavior Management Strategies, in the Board Room at DEC
• Tuesday, October 12th New Teacher Training (9th–12th grade) 8am–3:30pm Behavior Management Strategies in the Board Room at DEC
• Monday, October 25th Behavior Management Strategies for paraprofessionals. 3 Sessions times available during ERM.
• Monday, November 1st Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for Co-teaching during ERM. The virtual meeting links will be emailed to staff members.
• Thursday, October 21st Speech Therapist 1:30-2:30 Board Room
• Thursday, October 21st School Psychologist 2:30-3:20 Board Room
• Thursday, October 21st Teachers 3:30-4:30 Williams Middle School
IEP Information and Reminders
Countdown to CALPADS! Twice every school year, every LEA will submit their student data information into the CALPADS system to assure federal and state compliance. Starting October 8th through the month of November, our student information with go through the submission process. Please remember to affirm and attest your IEPs, tag your students accordingly, and assure all student documentation is uploaded into SEIS.
Thank you to all the paraprofessionals and teachers who participated in our Sonday Reading Intervention training on Saturday September 25th. We appreciate your time and energy in supporting our students with the extra academic support. Also, thank you to Melissa and Jodi for being excellent presenters and taking the lead for our district, much appreciated! 😊
Super thank you to all the staff members who have stepped up to temporarily support another classroom or student. We are highly grateful for your support, effort, and commitment. 😊
Dean Reese, Director of STEM Curriculum & Local Assessment
KIBO Training - STEM in September started off with a Saturday training and additional 2-day after school trainings for teachers in grades PreK/TK – 1st grade. The training focused on how to use KIBO Robots to teach ELA, Math, Science, and Computer Science. These robots developmentally meet students aged 4-7 at the right place, providing an opportunity for them to use physical blocks to set the algorithm for the KIBO robot. Teachers at the training found the device engaging and exciting and were very eager to bring this learning experience into their classroom.
PreK-12 STEM Unit Implementation - Teachers at treatment sites in grades PreK through 12 are planning and preparing to teach their grade level STEM units. For teachers in grades 6-12, who are implementing our new STEM units for the first time, the September District ERM was focused on becoming familiar with the STEM unit’s engineering, computer science, and to begin development of the 5E lessons that will accompany the STEM unit. These STEM units are rigorous and bring new challenges to our teachers. I would like to acknowledge the effort and perseverance that they are showing as we navigate these unchartered waters. Our students are fortunate to have such courageous teachers!
Girls Who Code Clubs – We are reinstating a great program that brings adult volunteers from LLNL to support coding clubs for students in grades 6-12. We have clubs starting up at North, Kelly, Freiler, Kimball High and Tracy High and are looking for advisors at Poet, Williams, Monte Vista, and West High. Please reach out to me if you are interested!
STEAM Activity of the Month – Through a partnership with Children Giving and Microsoft we will continue to offer the STEAM activity of the month for students in grades 3-8. The first event is Thursday, Sept. 30th from 5pm – 6 pm. Join the live event here!
FastBridge – The Fall window for implementation of the universal diagnostic assessments in FastBridge came to a close on 9/30. This critical data will help inform teachers and administrators on the types of Tier 2 interventions that can be utilized to help bring some of our struggling students up to grade level in reading and mathematics. In October, our attention as a district and at the site level will move to group screening reports, the interpretation of the data we have collected, and familiarizing ourselves with the Tier 2 interventions that are suggested on these reports.
DnA Illuminate - This year, TUSD is undergoing a soft launch of another assessment platform, DnA Illuminate. This assessment platform allows for teachers to develop California standards-based assessments to better inform teachers on student learning. Assessments have been developed for 6-12 ELA and 2-8 Math, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 that align with our TUSD RCD Units. This year, teachers have the option of using the DnA Illuminate RCD unit assessments. This option has the added benefit of providing detailed reports that help to visualize student performance both formatively and summatively. In addition, it may actually be a time saver over the past practice of “paper and pencil” assessments. However, as this is a transition year into this new platform, teachers still have the option of using the “paper and pencil” assessments that have been used in the past.
Mary Petty, Ed.D., Director of Student Services
I would like to thank all school site personnel for your continued focus on all TUSD students and your TIER 1 support offerings as you are all on the ground each day with our community. We have had a wide variety of academic, social/emotional, and acclimation needs for our students and families and student services has been happy to support these needs. Student Services will be busy in October is with our district wide CBEDS and certify errors data. Liz Money will be working with our school site office personnel to ensure our data is clean prior to Leigh Anne Durant submits all TUSD data to Calpads. Please reach out to Melanie Alvernaz if you have questions regarding current or future transfers as the transfer window will open on 10/15/21. Nathan Kinkaid, our Truancy Officer has been busy supporting school site administrators with various needs related to attendance and social/emotional concerns for families. Additionally, our SARB board will be convening soon to work with families on ensuring student success in school by increasing daily attendance.
With parent-teacher conferences around the corner, please work together as a site to make appointments with interpreters as needed. Reaching out to your school site administration team to find out who is available on your campus for conference interpretation is key. Also, Mrs. DeRosa and Mrs. Smedley, our district interpreters/translators are here to help support your conference needs as well as utilizing our parent liaisons and our paid interpreters.
Thank you for the extra time, patience, and supporting each of you are providing to our students and their families. These have been some of the toughest times in the history of education and I am grateful for the amazing educators, support staff, and leaders we have throughout TUSD that keep students at the center of their work. Thank you.
The District Digest is published on the first Friday of each month.