Torlakson announces online survey to improve LCAP

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has announced a new online survey to improve local educational agencies’ three-year plans to improve student achievement.

Known as Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs), they are used as tools for establishing goals to improve student outcomes and as well as spending decisions.

The rest of the statement and link to survey is posted here:

The survey will let anyone who is interested – students, parents, educators, community members and others – help make the plans easier to use, understand, and review.

The survey will be open until 5 p.m. March 25, Torlakson announced at the State Board of Education’s (SBE) March meeting. The SBE will be considering input from stakeholders about how to improve the LCAP template this fall.

 “The LCAPs should allow everyone to find out how well their local school district is doing,” Torlakson said. “The system is new and still evolving. Please use the survey and we can work together to make the system better.”

The Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown three years ago created a new school funding system called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which shifts decision making to local educational agencies and provides greater resources for programs and services for students with the greatest needs. The previous finance system was nearly 40 years old.

The new legislation also laid out the framework for LCAPs. State law requires school districts to involve teachers, parents, and community members in developing their LCAPs.


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Results from 30th Annual Science Olympiad

More than 600 San Joaquin County students participated in the 30th Annual San Joaquin County Science Olympiad Competition for Division B (middle school) and Division C (high school) at McNair High School on March 5.

In all, 26 Division B teams and 24 Division C teams from throughout the county participated in this one-day competition. Students received medals and the top-scoring teams were awarded trophies during a ceremony following the competition.

The Science Olympiad, according to the SJCOE, are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of individual and team events for which students prepare during the year. The competitions follow the format of popular board games, TV shows, and athletic games.

The top five teams per division are as followed:

Division B (middle school)

  • 1st-place: Wicklund Elementary (Black Team), Lammersville Unified
  • 2nd-place: Elkhorn Elementary (Gold Team), Lodi Unified
  • 3rd-place: Wicklund Elementary (Gold Team), Lammersville Unified
  • 4th-place: Questa Elementary (Red Team), Lammersville Unified
  • 5th-place: Lodi Middle School (Blue Team), Lodi Unified

Division C (high school)

  • 1st-place: Tokay High (Purple Team), Lodi Unified
  • 2nd-place: Franklin High (Chlorine Team), Stockton Unified
  • 3rd-place: Lincoln High (Red Team), Lincoln Unified
  • 4th-place: Lodi High (Red Team), Lodi Unified
  • 5th-place: Tokay High (Gold Team), Lodi Unified

Eight teams will represent San Joaquin County at the NorCal state competition in Turlock on April 16.

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Results from 58th Annual Science and Engineering Fair

Winners were announced on Thursday at the San Joaquin County Office of Education of the 58th annual Science and Engineering Fair.

Judges had spent the last two days reviewing 300 individual, group and whole-class projects, submitted by more than 600 K-12 students in the county. Overall, 26 schools from eight school districts, three private schools and three charter schools participated.

Several winners of the fair will proudly represent San Joaquin County in the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles in May. The winners are listed below:

Kindergarten through second grade:

  • Class winner: Mrs. Hoptry’s class for “Pop Goes the Kernel” (Bethany Elementary; Lammersville Unified)
  • 1st place (tie): Cade Riesenbeck for “Hot Marshmallows” (Dent Elementary; Escalon Unified)
  • 1st place (tie): Theodore Harp for “There is More Than One Way to Crack a Nut” (Dent Elementary; Escalon Unified)
  • 2nd place: Wyatt Riesenbeck for “Operation Parachute” (Dent Elementary; Escalon Unified)
  • 3rd place: Elijah Gori for “Let’s Race” (Lammersville Elementary; Lammersville Unified)
Third through fifth grade:
  • 1st place Science: Jordan Prawira for “Egg-cellent Parachute” (Altamont Elementary; Lammersville Unified)
  • 1st place Engineering: Genevieve Casazza for “Preventing a Water Pipe from Freezing Without Electricity” (Dent Elementary; Escalon Unified)
  • 2nd place: Mathilde Beckman-Forman for “Superhydrophobia Coating” (Wicklund Elementary; Lammersville Unified)
  • 3rd place: Jake Bowen for “The Effects of Video Games on Children’s Eyesight” (Bella Vista Christian Academy)
Sixth through eighth grade:
  • 1st place Science: Jacqueline Prawira for “Coffee-Doh Battery” (Altamont Elementary; Lammersville Unified)
  • 1st place Engineering: Anna Matthews for “Going Green-Water Detector” (Elkhorn School; Lodi Unified)
  • 2nd place: Alicia and Ashlyn Roice for “Cure the Burning Heart” (Altamont Elementary; Lammersville Unified)
  • 3rd place: Ashley Teele for “Save the Avocado!” (Bethany Elementary; Lammersville Unified)
Ninth through 12th grade:
  • 1st place: Baani Minhas for “The Effect of Honey on Shelf Life and Vitamin C Content of Fruits” (Mountain House High School; Lammersville Unified)
Environmental Awards
Environmental Award winners receive cash prizes donated by the San Joaquin County Audubon Society and the Synopsys Outreach Foundation.
  • Sanskriti Singh for “Does the Ocean Ever Freeze?” (Altamont Elementary; Lammersville Unified)
  • Miles McCarthy for “Filtration Station” (Tom Hawkins Elementary; Jefferson Elementary School District)
  • Bernice Lozasa for “Recycling Gray Water” (Questa Elementary; Lammersville Unified)

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Three SUSD students awarded $1,500 scholarships

From left: Anisah Zarif, Destynee McCullum and Kira Maszewki. COURTESY STOCKTON UNIFIED

Three Stockton Unified students were each awarded $1,500 scholarships from Wells Fargo bank and the Black Stuntmen Association on Tuesday at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel in Stockton.

Anisah Zarif (Edison High School), Destynee McCullum (Stagg High) and Kira Maszewki (Cesar Chavez High) were handed the checks. The scholarship is also made possible by district Vice President Gloria Allen.

Tuesday’s ceremony also honored Mr. Willie Harris, President of the Black Stuntmen’s Association, an organization founded in 1967, was created to protect, preserve and honor the memory of African-American stuntmen and minority pioneers of the Motion Picture and Television Industry.

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Lodi Unified to hold board meeting in Stockton

The Lodi Unified School District board will hold the first of three meetings scheduled to take place in Stockton at Julia Morgan Elementary School tonight at 7 p.m.

Board President Ron Freitas said this is the first time since he’s been on the board in three years that such a meeting in Stockton will have taken place. While the agenda is normal business, Freitas said being available to more parents and students who attend Bear Creek and McNair, have the chance to meet their board without having to trek up to the district offices on 1305 E. Vine St. in Lodi.

Tuesday’s meeting at Julia Morgan Elementary, 3777 A G Spanos Blvd. in Stockton, will be more of a town hall feel.

“It’ll be more of a grass roots, town hall kind of feel to it,” Freitas said. “There’ll be no microphone, no projector and no PowerPoints.”

Lodi Unified will meet two more times at Julia Morgan Elementary later this year at 7 p.m. on May 3 and August 16.

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SJCOE Academic Decathlon results

This weekend was the second leg of the 35th annual San Joaquin County Academic Decathlon, that drew high school teams from 12 schools in the county and more than 380 students taking part.

Tracy High School took first place overall, and more about Saturday’s event can be found here.

More results are in. Taking second was Middle College High (Lodi Unified) and Manteca High (Manteca Unified) placed third overall.

The overall top scoring student was Hamza Raniwala of Tracy High, who received a $1,000 Walter Rathhaus Award, provided by Premier Community Credit Union and the SJCOE Educational Foundation.

The top three Super Quiz teams saw two teams (Manteca and Tracy high) place first and Middle College in second.

The University of the Pacific awarded three renewable $5,000 scholarships for decathletes, who according to the SJCOE, met the university requirements and have shown a strong desire to attend the university: those winners are Vivianna Araiza (SECA), Helen Vo (Middle College High) and Rida Fatima (McNair High).

By category, students who ranked received scholarships and cash ranging from $100-$500:

  • Honors: 1. Hamaza Raniwala, Tracy High; 2. Surya Nehra, Tracy High; 3. Julien Belen, Middle College High
  • Scholastic: 1. Ayman Baydoun, Tracy High; Rahul Chumber, Middle College High; Joshua Blomgren, Tracy High
  • Varsity: 1. Praveen Jose, Manteca High; 2. Max Terriberry, Middle College High; 3. Daniel Wirtley, Tracy High

Congrats to all the winners!

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Watch First 5 California’s “Talk. Read. Sing.” campaign featuring Jose Hernández

Stocktonian and former NASA astronaut Jose Hernández was honored yesterday in Sacramento at a news conference by First 5 California as they announced the next phase of its “Talk. Read. Sing.” campaign.

Hernández will appear in a 30-second media advertisement promoting the importance of early childhood brain development. First 5 California’s goal is to reach out to young parents and caregivers with an effort to talk, read, and sing to their children at an early age.

Daily interactions are critical to building a child’s brain capacity and preparing them for school and for life. The ad will feature both a English and Spanish version and have already hit the airwaves. Watch by clicking the link.

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Stagg High School remembers long time assistant principal

Long time Stagg High School assistant principal and occasional interim principal Bea Grasham, 82, died earlier this week.

At a regularly scheduled Stockton Unified School District board meeting on Tuesday, a moment of silence was made to remember Grasham and another educator, Kathy McKaren from Hazelton Elementary.

Don Bott, a journalism teacher at Stagg said Grasham was his teacher growing up at Stockton Junior High on San Joaquin Street. She worked mainly as an administrator at other high schools during her time in the district but spent a majority of time as a Delta King.

“She was a tough but respected educator when I first encountered her, and she always continued to be that,” Bott said in an email sent to the district. “I will remember her loud voice and big smile. I am sure many of us will.”

In 2001, Stagg, SUSD’s largest school with more than 2,800 students, had been without a permanent principal for nearly 11 months. Grasham along with retired administrator Margaret Kelley served as acting principals during the 2000-01 school year.

According to Record archives, Grasham was also one of the longest serving members of the Garden Club in Stockton. Some of the annual projects have included creation of elementary school gardens and Arbor Day tree plantings.

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Manteca Unified’s Academy will hold an Open House event on Thursday, Jan. 14 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the school’s campus, located on 2271 W. Louise Ave in Manteca. The campus is directly behind the district’s offices.

The Academy focuses on career fields including the culinary arts, first responders/paramedics and the industrial arts including welding and iron work.

Parents and students interested in learning more can take a tour of the campus and visit with current students, teachers and staff. Refreshment, student displays will be provided.

For questions, contact Office Manager Kelley Wilson at (209) 858-7560 or email at

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Stockton Unified request public input for 2016-17 LCAP

Stockton Unified School District officials said they are preparing their recommendation for the Local Control Accountability Plan as well as other funding proposal for the 2016-17 school year.

The LCAP is a state funded program that provides further assistance to improve achievement for low income, English language and foster students. Other areas include technology and providing additional counselors on site.

The district will hold numerous LCAP presentations in January. The first is scheduled on Jan. 20 at Cesar Chavez and Stagg high schools from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Jan. 21 at Franklin and Edison high schools, also 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Officials urge parents to attend as their voice and opinions matter.

Parents can also visit the district’s LCAP web page within their official website and submit comments or questions about the LCAP through “Let’s Talk,” that allows public input. You can visit the website by clicking HERE.


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