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District Digest



December, 2019


Superintendent’s message

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that you are enjoying the holiday season.  It is a wonderful time of year to appreciate family, friends and colleagues.  This is also a great time to attend some of the many performances by our students before heading into the break.  A few weeks ago, my wife and I attended “Clue” at West High School and had a great evening watching a well performed production that was both funny and entertaining.  We have many talented students so do try to take advantage of these events.

During the Thanksgiving break, I had the opportunity to visit my daughter in London and was able to read a series of articles regarding education in the United Kingdom.  It was uncanny how our countries share some of the same issues, under funding of schools, the need to raise the level of student achievement and a growing shortage of college graduates who choose to become teachers.  After concluding the series of articles, I was comforted on knowing that TUSD is aggressive in these areas and that I work with some amazing people that everyday are doing magical things in our classrooms.  We should take pride in the good work that we are doing and that our teachers would be superstars at the schools in London.

At the board meeting in November, Dr. Goodall presented the proposed reductions for an additional $1.7 million in reductions.  None of these reductions are good, but in making them, the district will continue on the road of fiscal responsibility.  I am anxiously awaiting to see the budget proposal by Governor Newsom after the first of the year to learn what funding will be provided to our schools.  While the COLA is now expected to be under 2%, I am hoping that with 2020 being an election year, that education will see a bounce in per pupil funding. 

As we come to the end of the first semester, I want to thank each of our employees for all that they do for our students.  I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season.  Merry Christmas!
Brian Stephens, Ed.D., Superintendent


School counselors and administrators are planning master schedule development for the 2020-2021 school year.  In January, Human Resources staff meet with all high school and middle school administrators and counselors to review enrollment projections to determine staffing needs.  One way in which our teachers have been helpful in this process is through early 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.
Tammy Jalique, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources


Active Shooter Trainings
This Spring, Student Services and the Tracy Police Department (TPD) will coordinate Active Shooter Trainings with all district schools.  The trainings will consist of information on what to do in case of an active shooter on campus, protocol specific to each campus, and a physical demonstration on how teachers should best secure their rooms if needed.  The training will be given by SRO’s in conjunction with Student Services to all teachers, administrators, counselors, and office staff during an Early Release Monday (ERM).  Trainings will be completed by the end of the Spring Semester, May 2020.
Rob Pecot, Ed.D., Director of Student Services

Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC), TUSD’s technical assistance partner for STEM in TUSD, is evaluating the progress TUSD has made so far in implementing STEM in PreK-5. 

Evaluators came out to do focus groups at three of the nine sites implementing STEM instruction (Bohn, Kelly, and Poet-Christian) as well as one of the two comparison sites (Freiler). In the next week, a set of surveys will be posted for teachers, students, site administrators, and parents at the nine STEM-implementation sites to respond to.  Please take a few minutes to provide your answers to the survey questions so the leadership of STEM in TUSD can make necessary changes to support STEM implementation. The survey will be open from December 12, 2019 through January 24, 2020.
If you would like to see the work of students and teachers implementing STEM instruction, please follow us on social media. If you post pictures of your students working on STEM, @ and hashtag us! #STEMinTUSD 
Facebook: PreK12STEM
Twitter: @PreK12STEM
Instagram: @PreK12STEM
Debra Schneider, Ph.D., Director of Instructional Media Services and Curriculum

Teacher Residency: Training Tomorrow’s Teacher Leaders, Today
The District’s Special Education Teacher Residency is up and running! This first cohort, although small with only two Residents, is mighty! McKinley Elementary is hosting Homaira Jamash under the support of veteran teacher Cecilia Bangayan. Tracy High is hosting our second Resident Josh Gomez-Zavala who is being supported by veteran teacher Paul Demsher. Both Residents work alongside the veteran teacher Tuesday through Thursday and substitute within the district on Mondays and every other Friday. Additionally, twice a month Residents visit and observe special education classrooms in a wide variety of contexts. Thus far we have had the opportunity to observe inclusion classrooms, severely handicapped classrooms, and a non-public school classroom. In the evenings, Residents attend Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) where they are earning their special education credential. The tremendous collaboration between NDNU and TUSD ensures the Residents coursework aligns with their fieldwork. TUSD has even created a “Residency Curriculum” to guide and inform the fieldwork experiences of our Residents. 

It is the mission of the TUSD Teacher Residency to “develop and retain highly skilled teacher-leaders who are committed to fostering student advocacy and agency” and through the support of the state of California, TEA, CSEA, and NDNU, we are doing just that. The TUSD Teacher Residency is an excellent way to grow our own thoughtfully prepared future teachers who will be skilled and able to support the learning of our students in our community. We are currently recruiting for cohort 2 which will begin in spring of 2020. If you know a great future teacher, please let me know or pass along my contact information to them. 
Bond Cashmere, Program Administrator of Professional Learning & Curriculum 

Tracy Teacher Induction Program (TTIP) – A BIG year!
This was a big year for TTIP with 80 new teachers in the program! In addition to the summer orientation, TTIPers receive on-going support through facilitated observations, release time, and professional learning. There were two substantial changes made to TTIP for this year based on feedback from last year. The first change was specific training for special education teachers during summer TTIP sessions. Our newly hired special education teachers received three full days of special education specific training facilitated by Tiffany Gonzales and Jennifer King. The second change is the addition of a Late Start Orientation held in September, October and February for those hired after the summer session. Late Start Orientation is a one-day condensed version of summer TTIP.
Bond Cashmere, Program Administrator of Professional Learning & Curriculum 

TUSD Induction
TUSD Induction is well underway with 52 Candidates across the district working to clear their preliminary credentials. Candidates have just completed their first Inquiry Cycle, and are continuing to add researched based practices to their teaching repertoire. There are currently 39 teacher Mentors receiving on-going training in Cognitive Coaching practices and leadership skills. If you are interested in being a mentor for the 2020-2021 school year, be on the lookout for applications coming out in Spring 2020!
Marji Baumann, Induction Administrator 

Professional Learning & Curriculum Department 
Are you implementing a new strategy in your classroom or seeking to refine current strategies to improve outcomes for students?  Looking for a partner to reflect with and grow your own practice? Are you seeking to be reinvigorated in your teaching? We are the department for you!

The Professional Learning and Curriculum Department serves to provide teachers and administrators with effective on-going professional learning, and just-in-time support through inquiry driven learning aimed at improving student outcomes. Contact us today for individual coaching and support, small group inquiry sessions, or for any other learning needs. 

Are you looking for a workshop to learn a new strategy?  Check out our offerings on GoSignMeUp today!




Shorei Butler, Secretary GSMU


Melissa Beattie, Director


Deb Coker, PK-6 Math/ELA


Del Pabalan, PK-5 STEM/ELA


Jennifer Kassel, PK-5 STEM/ELA


Heather Reyburn, 6-12 ELA


Richard Newton, K-12 Math Coordinator


Bond Cashmere, New Teacher Support Administrator


Marji Baumann, Induction Administrator


Melissa Beattie, Professional Learning & Curriculum Director 

Grades 6-12 Math Placement
Math placement for 2020-2021 is underway at middle schools across TUSD! In our work to comply with the Mathematics Placement Act of 2015 (SB 359) and TUSD Board Policy, grade 6-8 math teachers are working to gather the following measures of student performance: prior year SBAC score, MDTP readiness score, and students current grade. The purpose of the placement policy is to utilize multiple objective measures for placement to ensure an equitable experience in mathematics for students across the district.

Placement will continue into January 2020 and spring following the timeline below:
    December: Current 8th grade students register for 9th grade.
    January: Current High School students register for 10th through 12th grade.
    Spring: Current 6th and 7th grade students register for 7th and 8th grade.

Thank you to our teachers and counselors for working with students and families to communicate course offerings and recommendations. If you have any questions regarding this process, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Richard Newton, Coordinator of Mathematics

Open Enrollment Now Open
As we begin to plan for the 2020/2021 school year, the window for “Open Enrollment” transfer requests is now open. Open Enrollment is for those students who would like to attend a school outside of their home school boundaries. The Open Enrollment window is open from 10/15/19 to 1/15/20. No late transfer requests will be accepted. During the month of November, high school counselors visited their feeder sites to explain class selection and the academies offered at each school. Students interested in any of the academies below, should reach out to the appropriate high schools for instruction on application submission. Deadlines are listed below and space is limited. Once a student has been approved to enroll in an academy, an intra-district transfer request should then be filled out and signed off by the Academy Program Administrator. The transfer request then needs to be submitted to the Student Services Department. Please contact Student Services for any transfer request questions that you may have at 209-830-3280.

Medical & Health Services                  Kimball High School      209-832-6600  Deadline 12/19/19
International Bachelorette Program  Tracy High School          209-830-3360  Deadline 12/20/19
Performing Arts Magnet                      Tracy High School         209-830-3360  Deadline 12/20/19
Agricultural Science                              Tracy High School         209-830-3360  Deadline 12/20/19
Space & Engineering                             West High School          209-830-3370  Deadline 01/10/20
Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps West High School     209-830-3370  Deadline 01/10/20
Rob Pecot, Ed.D., Director of Student Services and Curriculum

Local Control Accountability Plan LCAP
As we move into year 3 implementation of our LCAP Local Control Accountability Plan, we are seeing great things happening for our students and staff related to our LCAP goals:

  • Goal 1:  Prepare all students for college and career and ensure that all students meet grade level standards with a focus on closing the achievement gap between all subgroups.
  • Goal 2:  Provide a safe and equitable environment for all students and staff.

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.

During the first semester, I have had the opportunity to share TUSD LCAP goals, actions, and services with our school board, DELAC and will be meeting with our TEA and CSEA groups as well. In our second semester, I will continue meeting with these stakeholder groups, as well as, and community members at TUSD LCAP Community Engagement meetings, Title 1 Parent Advisory, GATE Parent Advisory, and school sites that would like me to come and provide an overview.  

In addition to meeting with groups, we will administer our annual stakeholder surveys. These surveys are an opportunity to collect feedback from students, parents/community, and staff. State and Federal law requires input from all of our stakeholders for the LCAP and this is an area we will look to broaden and strengthen our partnerships to support our students and our school community. The data collected from these surveys will help guide/aide in the development of our plan. This is the only survey that is prepared by the district for your stakeholders to be completed in the 2019-2020 school year.


STAFF SURVEY: The survey for Classified and Certificated will be made available via web link January 21, 2020- February 14, 2020. In addition to staff taking the survey online, the Continuous Improvement Department will provide each site with a set of 15 hardcopies to have available at each school office for staff who do not have access to technology. 

PARENT and COMMUNITY SURVEY: This survey will be posted to your school website from January 21, 2020 – February 14, 2020.  Please work with your Parent Liaison to determine a number of times throughout the 4-week block when parents can access technology to complete these surveys and the Parent Liaison can be available to assist and support them. Site parent engagement events are also opportunities to communicate the importance of their feedback and also provide time to complete the survey. One of our goals is to increase parent awareness and survey participation. 

STUDENT (4-12 GRADE) SURVEYS: These surveys will be made available to schools via web link January 21, 2020- February 14, 2020.  All 4th -12th graders are to participate in the survey with the proper parent/guardian consent. California law now requires opt in parent/guardian consent for all 4th-6th graders and opt out parent/guardian consent for all 7th -12th graders. Required consent forms for grades 4-6 will be provided to sites Monday, December 9th and due Friday, December 20th.      

Thank you for your continued support and commitment toward our LCAP Goals and Stakeholder Engagement for our students. 
Julianna Stocking, Director of Continuous Improvement, State and Federal Programs