2023-24 State of the District

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Manteca Unified’s State of the District

For the third consecutive year, we have branded the name of this annual report as “Smart Actions & Decisions” to highlight the thoughtful, data-driven work our staff engages in daily. This theme aligns with our mission, emphasizing our commitment to using meaningful, measurable, and aligned data so that all students can work to achieve academic and individual success. The contents of this publication represent this thoughtful and data-driven work.

CONTENTS SUPERINTENDENT’S CABINET 36 38 40 Roger Goatcher Deputy Superintendent Victoria BrunN Chief Business & Information Officer Jenni Andrews Exec. Dir. Elementary Education 4 6 7 10 14 20 24 28 32 Meet the Board of Education MUSD at a Glance Executive Summary Engaging Minds Needs-Based Budgeting Strategy Drive for Increased Equity and Access Embracing Expanded Learning Opportunities Building Tomorrow’s Schools Today The Future of Classroom Furniture 2024 Employees of the Year Realizing Success The Story in Stats



As we reflect on the past year and look forward, I am filled with pride and gratitude for the remarkable strides we have made together. At Manteca Unified School District, our dedication to students is at the heart of everything we do. We believe by prioritizing student and classroom needs first, we can remove barriers to learning and create an environment where every student can thrive.

Our focus on student needs and our commitment to both students and staff have been the driving forces behind several significant accomplishments this year. Our WHY—our unwavering commitment to students—has guided us every step of the way.

One of our major achievements in the 2023-24 academic year has been the implementation of data-driven analysis and needs-based planning. This approach has allowed us to identify specific student needs and prioritize resources accordingly. By aligning our vision, goals, and resources, we ensure that every decision we make fosters an environment where every student can achieve their full potential.

We have made substantial progress in enhancing the quality of instruction, designed to be rigorous, engaging, equitable, and inclusive, and meet the diverse needs of all students. By prioritizing high-quality education, we are laying a strong foundation for future student success.

We also took significant steps to modernize learning environments to improve academic growth. We have invested millions in school facilities to ensure all students can learn in safe, secure environments. Through our Furniture Refresh initiative, we introduced state-of-the-art, 21st century furniture to enhance student learning and collaboration.

These accomplishments each reflect our purpose, and I am proud of the work we have achieved together. We are all here for one reason: To provide students with what they need to be successful in school and beyond. As we move forward into a new school year, we will continue to make informed decisions and take smart actions to ensure a brighter and more successful future for all.



Manteca Unified’s Board of Trustees set the vision and mission of the District. The superintendent, leaders, teachers, and staff collectively translate these guiding principles into systems, strategic plans, and environments where students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Through Board action and engagement, efforts from these seven, highly committed citizens contribute significantly to student achievement. 1

Guiding Principles


Every student works to achieve grade level standards, feels safe, and is supported to realize individual success.


Through smart actions and decisions, MUSD will work together using meaningful, measurable and aligned data for all students to achieve mastery of grade level standards in all subjects based on their unique educational pathway in a safe environment inclusive of design, security and climate.

President Marie Freitas

Area 4

"Parents and guardians need a voice in their child's education."



Area 6

“I believe that we need to advocate and protect those who cannot advocate for themselves.”


5 7

4 2 3


Area 1

“I am passionate about doing what’s best for kids each and every day.”

Area 3

“I believe that each child deserves an education that inspires them to realize their limitless potential.”


Notable Board Actions


The CTEIG is a matching grant from the California Department of Education. For every $2 MUSD allocates to CTE, we can request $1 from the CTEIG. These funds help MUSD’s CTE programs to update curricula, technology, and equipment to industry standards.


MUSD formed the ELOP Guiding Coalition, including community partners and administration, to refine the ELOP plan. The coalition revised the plan to streamline language and align it with the District’s Vision and Mission.


The amendment, initiated by MUSD’s Student Board, introduced criteria for the State Seal of Civic Engagement (AB24). The Seal of Civic Engagement will join the Seal of Biliteracy and the Golden Merit Seal as marks of distinguishment students can earn upon graduation.


An MUSD committee selected Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: English 3D with Language Launch as the preferred ELD curriculum for grades 9-12. It includes standards-based resources, digital and print materials, and supports multilingual learners’ language and cultural assets.


Area 7

“I feel an obligation to provide a voice to those who are not always heard by all representing families.”


Area 5

“Being part of any solution is vital and much more important than fueling the problem.”


In March 2024, the Board approved 100% of the District’s Comprehensive School Site Safety Plans, known as CSSPs. CSSPs ensure crisis prevention, response, and recovery. These safety plans are collaboratively developed with school staff, law enforcement, fire agencies, and the district, ensuring safety and community awareness.


The Board approved six proposed boundary adjustments, after gathering community input through well-attended workshops. These adjustments were proposed in line with our planning philosophy aim to maximize resources and manage fluctuating enrollment while prioritizing student needs.


All kindergarten programs district-wide will transition to full-day schedules, effective 202425, as part of MUSD’s alignment plan for UTK-3rd grade. This decision was made to provide equitable access for all young learners, and was informed by the success of MUSD’s UTK program during the 2023-24 school year, which is indicative of the positive impact of an extended schedule on early childhood education.


Area 2

“Educational decisions must be made with a focus on equity.”

2023-24 Student board members

Sarah Petersen

East Union High School

Kaleb Constantino

Lathrop High School

Aleena Daquioag

Manteca High School

Alexandra Chapman

Sierra High School

Abigail Torres

Weston Ranch High School




District Targets

Socioeconomically Disadvantaged* 69.5% English Language Learners* 21.7% CA Distinguished Schools 1 Total TK-12 Students* 25,000 Graduation Rate** 91.2% Transportation 2,400 Budget $460.2 million
Estimated Expenditures (Estimated Actuals)
* Student Data as certified by CALPADS | Jan. 2024 **California School Dashboard | Dec.2023 City of Manteca City of Lathrop City of Stockton Township of French Camp Unincorporated Areas of Manteca Communities Served 113 Square Miles Meals Served 4,994,198 Ethnic Groups* 5.6% 14.4% 13.2% 5.4% 55.9% 1.2% 3.8% 0.5% Hispanic White Black/African American Filipino Asian American Indian/ Alaskan Native Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander Multiple Comprehensive High Schools TK-8 Schools Adult School Alternative Schools 5 20 1 3 Schools TK-8 High School 2023-24 Enrollment* 68% 32% Employees Certificated 1,432 Classified 1,361 Law Enforcement Partnerships 6 Other Students Adult School 1,488 Preschool 396



LCAP District Goals





This is our third and final annual report of the 2021-24 LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) cycle. Over the past three years, we have diligently worked towards fulfilling the goals (below) set by the governing Board of Education. Our efforts have been focused on implementing and measuring the actions approved in the LCAP.

We take pride in the progress we have achieved and remain dedicated to continuing with this momentum to ensure every student in our district receives a highquality education.

Every student works to achieve mastery of grade level standards in all subjects.

We are committed to using data to identify and meet individual student needs so students can achieve. We placed an additional focus on mathematics, continued emphasis on early literacy, provided instructional support specialists and ongoing professional learning opportunities to implement inclusive academic instruction, and fostered Professional Learning Communities.

Every student feels safe in the school environment inclusive of design, security, and climate.

We increased counseling services and emphasized social-emotional supports through a multi-tiered system, including COST (Coordination of Services Team) and PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports). We removed barriers to attendance and provided increased external incentives for achievement, expanded afterschool and enrichment opportunities, and continued to modernize learning spaces to encourage and support student collaboration and achievement.

Every student is supported within a multi-tiered system to realize their individual success.

We emphasized a well-rounded, whole-child approach to ensure that the educational experience of all students, including those with identified needs, is positive and academically rigorous. Additionally, we augmented supports for teachers and staff who provide services to students acquiring English and those who receive Special Education services.

Establish a process which includes relevant personnel at the district and site level to efficiently identify foster youth upon enrollment, address the unique barriers to needed supports, and monitor specific outcomes.

We have created a data-driven process with accompanying monitoring to improve the outcomes of youth receiving foster services.



As MUSD embraces the strategic planning process, we recognize systemic integration where student needs are truly met, as a critical area of focus. The District acknowledges continuous refinement is necessary to ensure all resources are optimized to effectively support student success. By employing a cycle of refinement, MUSD can continuously assess and improve its systems, programs, and practices to provide the best possible educational experience for its students.

We are here


By embracing a collective vision and mission, leveraging data-driven decision-making, implementing a cycle of refinement, and adopting a needs-based budget, MUSD is poised to empower every student to achieve their full potential and succeed in an ever-changing world.

C O V I DE r a N e w L C A P : 2 0 2 4 / 2 52 0 2 6 / 2 7 N e w L C A P : 2 0 2 7 / 2 82 0 2 9 / 3 0 Research Planning Implementation Refinement Systemic Integration K e y Attendance Boundary Adjustments Early Education Centers (2) Support Programs COST: 2020/21 Equity & Access Committee: 2021/22 UTK: 2021/22 ELOP: 2022/23 UTK at all sites ELOP expansion to High Schools Programming in place to ensure all student feel supported to realize Safety COVID Safety PlanWIP Command Team Classroom/Employee PPE Curbside meals daily Partnerships w/ Law Enforcement Annual Safety Plans Safety by design Living in a safe environment inclusive of B o a r d p o l i c i e s a l i g n e d t o s u p p o r s a f e t y Community Engagement Outreach Assistants at Schools District Parent Advisory Council Build Capacity within Community: Educational Partnerships Educational Partnerships support students, Safety Comm. Systems Safety Comm. Toolkit KEY



Students come to school with different backgrounds, life experiences, and foundational skills. The challenge for Manteca Unified – and all school districts – is to find ways to know and understand where students are when they enter our classrooms at the beginning of each year to design learning opportunities for them to grow and learn. To accomplish this, we utilize a Multi-Tiered System of Support, or MTSS.


A MTSS first focuses on providing a rich learning experience in “Tier 1” or initial learning designed by teachers at common grade levels. Tier 1 learning takes into consideration the needs of all students, providing resources and supports so each learner has access to grade level standards. Teachers plan for this by asking 4 questions:

1. What do students need to know and be able to do?

2. How will I know if they know it?

3. What do I do if they do not know it?

4. What do I do when they do know it?

Once initial Tier 1 instruction is completed, teachers look at the lesson’s outcomes through an assessment, either informal (observed learning) or formal (written test). At this point, the teacher team decides what to do next. They may reteach lessons if many students need additional instruction or experiences to deepen their learning, or plan for intervention when smaller numbers of students need a little bit more support.

“Tier 2” and “Tier 3” involve additional support, customizing learning experiences for small groups of students who still need to build foundational skills beyond Tier 1. All these levels (Tiers 1, 2, and 3) form our Multi-Tiered System of Support.

This year, we have spent time supporting Highly Collaborative Teacher teams at school sites to focus on putting systems into place to support learning. This includes using our base curriculum in English Language Arts and Math aligned to grade level standards, implementing Thinking Strategies and Mathematical Practices, and understanding lesson design and the “Teaching-Assessing-Intervening” cycle.

For years, we have been equipping teachers with the skills to strengthen instruction through targeted professional development. However, this year we took a particular interest in mathematics and what we could do to better support teachers and students.

During the 2023-24 school year, every math teacher received specialized training on critical thinking strategies and collaborative learning to develop students as critical thinkers and active problem solvers.

GOALS 1 & 3

Introducing Thinking Strategies

Math is more than just numbers and formulas; it’s a way of thinking, making sense of the world, and solving problems. Thinking strategies are tools that help students engage with math in more meaningful ways. While these strategies can be applied to any subject, they are particularly effective in math since it requires plenty of reasoning, critical thinking, and problemsolving.

These strategies (see chart below) serve as a guide for teachers and students across disciplines, giving them different methods they can use to understand and approach problem-solving with intention.

Thinking Strategy Examples


“This is just like …”

“This reminds me of …”

“I know that …”


“How …”

“What …”

“I am guessing that …” INFER

Logical guesses & predictions based on the information given and background knowledge.

“I’m thinking that …”

“I predict …”


Creating mental images to help understand and organize one’s thinking.

“In my mind, I can see …”

“I would show this by …”

“Another way to show this is …”

For example, one thinking strategy is “Visualize and Represent.” Students who are hands-on, visual learners might use this method to show their teacher that they understand adding and subtracting fractions with a physical model – a pie perhaps!

Overall, the various thinking strategies give teachers insight into how students think and approach problems. This helps them gauge if students are understanding what they are learning, or if they need additional support to achieve a lesson or reach a standard.


Identifying the main idea and the key details and filtering out the irrelevant or distracting information.

“I think this is really important.”

“This is essential … This is extra …”

“The big ideas are …”


Checking the solution for accuracy and reasonableness by using estimation, calculation, and logic.

“I’m confused here …”

“I understand this …”

“This doesn’t make sense …”


Combining the information given and background knowledge to create a greater sense of understanding.

“At first I thought … But now I think ...” “Now I understand that …” “My thoughts have really changed by …”


Collaborative Classrooms

Across all grade levels and content areas, teachers are using collaborative strategies to facilitate engaging classroom conversations and activities.

In a math class, a lesson on parallel lines might begin with an activity where students vote on a set of lines to determine which one doesn’t belong. Activities like this encourage students to think critically and discuss their reasoning. It also gets students out of their seats and moving. Then, after their lesson, students might pair up to coach each other on homework problems, further reinforcing their understanding through collaborative learning.

In this kind of setting, a teacher might also be mindful of who they pair together for certain lessons and/ or activities. Depending on the lesson’s difficulty or learning objective, a teacher might combine students by proficiency level, outspokenness, or language abilities, based on their goal. “Do I want my students to connect and learn from each other? Do I want to bring some students out of their shell? Do I want some students to feel uplifted by others?”

This shift fosters a friendly environment where students can feel comfortable practicing concepts until they succeed. With this philosophy, more teachers are using whiteboards and other non-permanent surfaces during class. After all, making and correcting mistakes is a crucial part of learning!


We have been focused on strengthening our Tier 1 inclusive instruction for several years, and our teachers’ dedication to our mission and ultimately, their students, is setting children on a path to deeper understanding and long-term success.

As such, we are seeing more positive outcomes, with a positive trend in math scores District-wide over the last two school years and maintained scores in English Language Arts. There is still work to be done, but we are confident in our staff and students’ ability to grow.

Since the 2021-22 school year, the number of students in kindergarten through grade 12 who have met their growth projections in math and reading has increased each year!

Bottom Line STUDENT



During the 2023-24 school year, Manteca Unified School District worked to implement a significant shift in its budgeting strategy. This shift fully aligned school site strategic plans with MUSD’s Local Control & Accountability Plan (LCAP) which determines how MUSD’s budget is spent down to every dollar to ensure that each dollar has a goal, a plan, and a purpose.

To achieve this alignment between site strategic plans, the LCAP, and the District’s budget, several essential steps had to occur– including data collection, gathering input, establishing a common language, planning through an equity lens, and allocating dollars where they are most needed.



Planning Begins with Understanding the Data

The ultimate goal of the LCAP, Manteca Unified’s District-level strategic plan, is for students to learn state standards. To achieve this, MUSD must ensure that educational access, resources, and opportunities are made available for students by utilizing budget provisions and staffing - essentially, putting all of the puzzle pieces together for individual student achievement.

Creating MUSD’s new, three-year LCAP cycle required the thoughtful development of goals, actions, and services using meaningful, measurable data. To build the LCAP, District leadership created a plan to collect data, allow for input, analyze information, and ensure that all educational partners had the opportunity to participate in this process.

Leadership thoroughly evaluated the California Dashboard data for the District followed by

an analysis of local data through measuring achievement and growth. District leaders worked closely with department administrators and site principals to ensure each understood their data to create purposeful goals, actions, and metrics in their new three year (2024-27) strategic plans.

During this process, District leaders guided administrators in identifying and understanding metrics to ensure that the actions they implement in their strategic plans are not only aligned with their SMART goals, but also effectively address the needs of students as outlined in the LCAP. This emphasis on metrics is crucial for evaluating the effectiveness of actions taken in achieving these goals.



Input is Essential to Ensuring ALL Student Needs are Being Addressed

To allow educational partners to provide feedback and offer suggestions for refinement, the District hosted several LCAP Community Input workshops for staff, families, and the greater community in March and April 2024. These meetings showcased the intentionality the District placed into the input process, as MUSD was extremely strategic in how the community workshops were planned, how information was presented to those in attendance, how data was collected from attendees, and how the District could be more inclusive within this process of qualitative data collection. Community workshops were hosted in-person and virtually and offered live Spanish and Punjabi translations.

The workshops provided the opportunity for attendees to engage in critical points of data such as academic growth in English Language Arts and Math, College and Career Preparedness, Interventions and Student Supports, Health and Safety, and Measuring Academic Progress for students experiencing homelessness and identified foster youth, students acquiring English to become bilingual, and students who receive Special Education services. Each topic was facilitated by an educational expert, guiding attendees to interact with the data by sharing observations, explaining their significance, and offering input to enhance educational practices.


The District visited all comprehensive high schools to gather the input of students, our most important educational partners. Additionally, we released a District-wide student survey and gave presentations to student-led advisory groups to receive feedback. During in-person meetings, students were shown their school’s data and were encouraged to talk and engage with District leaders authentically, allowing student voices to be at the forefront.

MUSD’s Gathered Input


Considering Every Student Through an Equity Lens

MUSD leaders and staff members know each and every child can achieve, however, equity is recognizing some students need more support than others. With equity at the forefront, there is an important shift of viewing each student as students first and circumstance second.

As MUSD worked to bridge site strategic plans to the LCAP, it was an opportunity to incorporate targeted equitable opportunities and access to our students, staff, and community and reflect the analysis within the District’s master plan. By doing this, equity and access are now systemically embedded in our LCAP planning and development process as we dedicate

resources based on student needs.

To support this, all District leaders and site administrators have received and continue to receive cultural proficiency training so that all administrators can more effectively assess learning barriers, build and cultivate a positive school climate that promotes engagement, safety, and support for all students, adopt curriculum and instructional materials that accurately reflect students’ individual needs, and collaborate with local agencies and educational partners to ensure students have necessary supports when needed.

opportunities 128 attendees 3,480 respondents TEACHER INPUT 5 opportunities 43 attendees 611 respondents COMMUNITY INPUT 9 opportunities 104 attendees BARGAINING UNIT INPUT 3 opportunities 7 attendees

Planning Through School and District Alignment DISTRICT ALIGNMENT

As every school and department in Manteca Unified developed their strategic plan, it was essential to foster District-wide alignment through consistency, communication, and professional learning with teachers, staff, and leadership. As an educational village, establishing a common language and shared process became fundamental to our ability to more accurately communicate and understand student needs within our environment.

Once a common language was in place, leaders practiced building SMART goals (goals that are

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) aligned with the identified needs of their students. SMART goals require one to consider what they hope to accomplish, how they’ll know when they reach their goal, if the goal is realistic, and why the goal is important for student success. Leaders also must outline action items and the appropriate metrics they’ll use to evaluate progress. SMART goals are a requirement of each department and school site’s strategic plan and were documented in Needs Assessment Workbooks.


Allocating Dollars to Every Student Need Identified

After spending months analyzing data and completing needs-based planning workbooks, sites and departments submitted their workbooks to Fiscal Services in February 2024.

District leaders intently reviewed all identified student needs through Needs Assessment Workbooks, which included detailed information vetted by the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Chief Business & Information Officer, Educational Services Executive Directors, Strategic Alignment and Accountability Director, Facilities and Operations Director, Information Technology Director, and Fiscal Services Director. Once workbooks were reviewed, the Fiscal Services team initiated the development

of the budget to prioritize identified student needs. This is what we mean when we say Manteca Unified has a needs-based budget where every dollar has a goal, a plan, and a purpose.

This is a major shift, as the District is now directly budgeting for student needs instead of planning based on dollars allocated to school sites, with both the LCAP and budget going forward to MUSD’s Board of Trustees for recommended adoption in June 2024. Such a critical change allows MUSD to establish a new baseline for budgeting, utilizing data, input, analysis, and equity-focused strategies to continually improve upon in the coming years.



This is an example of one SMART goal within a school’s strategic plan. A schools’ plan contains several goals supported by data with appropriate actions, metrics and evaluation process.


Mossdale School’s projected English Language Arts (ELA) proficiency, gathered from Spring 2024 CAASPP exam data by grade level (based on the Winter 2024 testing period), indicates that 2nd and 3rd grade have the lowest percentage of students at or above grade level ELA standards. In 2nd grade, only 33.6% of students are at or above standard, with 37.4% of 3rd graders at or above standard. Additionally, based on MAP Reading Fluency data, 82% of 1st grade students do not have an oral reading score.


Mossdale School will continue to develop, increase, and strengthen overall literacy skills/practices for all students. Specifically, Mossdale School will identify and provide targeted assistance for students who do not meet growth projections and/or students who are not projected to meet grade level standards in ELA.


Terms to Know

Mossdale School will increase the percentages of all students who meet growth on NWEA/MAP in ELA by 8% per grade level by the end of the 2026-27 school year. Our goal is to increase each cohort by 3% during the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years, and then by 2% during the 2026-27 school year.

1. California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress or CAASPP was established in 2014 and consists of assessments for students in grades 3-8 and 11 on English Language Arts, Math, and Science.

2. A SMART goal is a clear and specific goal that is designed to be achieved within a set time frame, following five key criteria: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.



Fundations® implementation with fidelity for Grades K-3: During the 23-24 school year, Mossdale School worked extensively to implement Fundations in grades K-3 with fidelity. This implementation will continue through the next 3-year cycle, with new teachers needing training and grade level/grad span teams receiving follow up training as well.


Fundations® Next Steps Self Audit (provided by District) – Determine the number of teachers fully compliant with all aspects of Fundations

Fundations® Learning Walks/Observational Data – Determine the number of teachers demonstrating strong evidence toward full implementation of Fundations

First Grade Reading Fluency – Determine the number/percentage of students who have oral reading scores


If teachers are exhibiting little or no evidence of Fundations in the classroom, Mossdale School will utilize the support of our Highly Collaborative Teacher Teams and Instructional Support Specialists to ensure teachers are supported.

3. Fundations® is a program based on the science of reading that helps K–3 students learn to read, spell, and write using fun, structured, and research-based methods. It provides teachers with materials and techniques to teach reading skills effectively.

4. “Cycle of Refinement,” adopted by Superintendent Dr. Burke, describes our ongoing process of using data to continuously refine and improve our work.

Terms to Know cont.


Equity, in its simplest essence, is about ensuring that every individual receives what they need to succeed.

In Manteca Unified, this translates to providing every student with the resources, support, and opportunities necessary to thrive academically, regardless of their background or circumstances. It’s about leveling the playing field and recognizing that each student may require different supports to reach their full potential, such as academic, social-emotional, or behavioral resources.

Committed to putting student-need at the forefront of all decisions, MUSD’s Board of Trustees established a Board Policy on equity (BP0415) in June 2020 that outlines the District’s plans for how we will infuse equity systemically. In part, this policy was inspired and informed by a California School Boards Association initiative where two Manteca Unified Board members and Superintendent Dr. Clark Burke became part of an Equity Network in 2018.

In the 2023-24 school year, MUSD has made notable strides in advancing equity and access throughout the District. This progress is the culmination of cultural proficiency trainings, propelled by an expanded Equity & Access administrative team, and innovative data practices aimed at identifying student needs and areas of disproportionality more effectively than ever before.


MUSD’s Equity & Access Journey

The journey towards greater equity and access within MUSD has been a gradual yet purposeful evolution. Over the past several years, the District has been more aware and committed than ever to dismantling barriers, refining policies and practices, and fostering a more inclusive environment where every student can feel safe to thrive. Annually, from February 2020, the Board of Education and District executive leadership participate in special Board study sessions focused on educational equity and the ongoing work toward cultural proficiency so that every student can achieve.

This school year has seen a significant acceleration of these efforts through targeted cultural proficiency trainings for school principals and District administrators. These series of trainings, which also included Board members, were designed as “brave spaces” to allow time for open and honest conversations in an inside-out approach around equity and inclusivity. We believe cultural proficiency is a model for shifting the culture of a school and District as well as individual transformation.

“We’re asking leaders to look at things through a new or different perspective which can be a real culture shift,” shares Dr. Francine Baird, the Director of Equity & Access. “Changing perspectives take time. But we’re a lot more alike than we are different, and this reality helps in the conversation and application of equity.”

Racial representation helps support cultural identity. Strong cultural identity has been linked to improved social well-being, classroom engagement, mental health resilience, and coping skills, among other benefits.

Additionally, Manteca Unified introduced a Diversity Awareness Calendar highlighting days of importance to many cultures and organized District-wide multicultural events to support cultural proficiency efforts, such as “Moor than a Month,” a celebration of Black history and “Soy Asombros,” a teaching of LatinAmerican history.

“Racial representation helps support cultural identity,” states Dr. Baird. “Strong cultural identity has been linked to improved social well-being, classroom engagement, mental health resilience, and coping skills, among other benefits.”

Multi-cultural events acknowledge and celebrate the different identities and cultures within our diverse District. By doing so, participants feel seen, heard, and supported by their peers, faculty, and community. It’s a moment to share common experiences and traditions while celebrating individuals.


Harnessing Data to Meet Students Where They Are

Data is one of Manteca Unified’s most powerful tools for understanding and addressing the unique needs of students.

Kathy Cambra, MUSD’s Senior Analyst, has been at the forefront of this data-driven approach, promoting equity and access by leveraging data analysis to identify gaps in student achievement with unprecedented precision. To put it simply: the sooner a student’s unique needs are identified, the faster – and more effectively – Manteca Unified can provide targeted supports, such as socialemotional resources or video tutorials to help with academic growth.

“My goal is to ensure students have all of the resources they need at any given moment, and the data tells a story about what those needs are,” Cambra shares. “In my role, I work closely with principals on their site’s strategic plans to help them understand the metrics they are going to use to measure the efficiency of their actions.”

By harnessing the power of data through tools such as the California K-12 Equity Gaps Dashboard, MUSD has been able to tailor its interventions and supports to meet students where they are, so that no student is underserved. Whether it’s identifying struggling learners who require additional academic support or pinpointing areas for curriculum enhancement, data has

been instrumental in guiding the District’s equity efforts.

The Coordination of Services Team (COST) is an effective early intervention method that reflects MUSD’s datadriven decision-making process. Its core objective is to provide immediate support to referred students who face challenges hindering their engagement in essential academic instruction. These barriers encompass a range of issues, from behavioral difficulties and a lack of basic necessities to social-emotional needs and chronic absenteeism.

In this process, students are referred to COST for an existing barrier to learning, and the school site team reviews and addresses each student’s case. If the team determines that a student needs COST monitoring, they create an intervention plan and identify the tools they will use to measure the student’s progress, which is informed by data. The student’s progress is documented in the Student Information System, and if their barriers to learning are resolved, they will be monitored monthly to ensure they remain on the right track.

“Our Coordination of Services Teams across the District are investing the resources needed to support students’ success in academics, attendance, and behaviors,” states Frank Gonzales, Director of Student Services.


Strategic Alignment & Accountability


Unified’s Equity Board Policy

Manteca Unified commits to ensuring that all stakeholders uphold educational equity as an essential principle of our school system that is integrated into all policies, practices, operations, and processes in order to yield equitable educational access for all students. Thisillustrationdepictsthesystemicapproach of Manteca Unified’s Equity Board Policy.

Central to MUSD’s equity and access initiatives is the establishment of the Strategic Alignment & Accountability Department. Led by Dr. Lisa Herrin, responsible for the development of MUSD’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) document, the department has made continuous efforts to infuse equity systemically in MUSD’s strategic plan, resulting in plans for the next 3-year LCAP cycle that will be going forward for approval to Manteca Unified’s Board of Trustees in June 2024. To read more about the LCAP and MUSD’s strategic planning process, visit page 14 of this document!

“Discussions related to the LCAP have evolved this year to extend beyond recognizing base versus supplemental funding,” Dr. Herrin shares. “We have deepened our understanding of equity and put that understanding into practice as we reviewed our data, internally and with educational partners, through the lens of unduplicated pupil need. As we discuss the actions that will guide us and the metrics that will identify success, it is with the objective of increasing access and closing achievement gaps. Starting with the unduplicated pupil, we continue improving our efforts to ensure that all students have access to what they need.”



Imagine a place where a student can get extra help with schoolwork, discover new interests, and have fun with friends – all outside regular school hours.

In Manteca Unified School District, we’ve created this environment through our Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELOP). Though before and after school opportunities were previously available through our local partnership with Give Every Child a Chance, we’ve added more learning and enrichment programs than ever before because we know these opportunities are essential for kids’ success.

Thanks to additional funding from California’s Assembly Bill 86 (AB86) passed in 2021, we’ve been able to ramp up our efforts to further help students this year.


A Vision for Comprehensive Student Support

Manteca Unified School District is dedicated to helping students grow and close learning gaps through our Expanded Learning Opportunities Program. Our approach has three main parts: the 9-hour day program, clubs and activities, and academic enrichment. This plan extends learning beyond

regular school hours and meets various student needs through hands-on learning activities.

During the 2023-2024 school year, 4,207 students participated in the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program, showing the program’s widespread impact and success. By aligning our plan with each school’s strategic goals, we’ve created a tailored approach that meets the unique needs of our diverse student population.

The 9-Hour School Day: Extending Learning Opportunities

The heart of the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program is the 9-hour school day. This extends instructional time before and after regular school hours to support students based on their unique learning needs. The extended school day provides extra instruction and materials to help students improve academically and enhance their English language skills. Additionally, we address barriers to learning with social-emotional learning programs and access to meal programs.

In the 2023-2024 school year, the 9-hour day program was offered at 26 school sites in partnership with Give Every Child a Chance, our local nonprofit partner. This collaboration helped 2,743 students benefit from extended learning opportunities, providing the additional academic support needed for success in a post-pandemic educational environment.

Clubs and Activities: Fostering Engagement and Exploration

A key part of the ELOP is the variety of clubs and activities we offer to students. These opportunities, available before or after school, on weekends, during breaks, or over the summer, align with students’ interests and passions. By offering these extracurricular options, we aim to increase student engagement and connect them more deeply to their school community.

Candace Espinola, Coordinator of the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program, emphasizes the importance of these clubs in supporting students’ exploration of their interests. “Building programs and opportunities to support students in exploring their interests ultimately connects them more to the school day and allows them to be more successful in school,” she notes.

This year, we introduced new clubs and activities, including a sports program at Calla High School, a basketball program at New Vision High School, and a color guard team at Weston Ranch High School.

Overall, 433 clubs or activities were offered, with 1,071 students participating. These programs provided valuable experiences that extended beyond academic learning, fostering personal growth and social connections.


Academic Enrichment: Closing Learning Gaps

The third component of our Expanded Learning Opportunities Program is academic enrichment. This focuses on accelerating progress and closing learning gaps through enhanced learning supports like tutoring, small group learning sessions, and access to community learning hubs with additional resources such as technology and internet access.

In Fall 2023, an amendment approved by MUSD’s Board

of Trustees provided funding for academic enrichment programs supporting school site strategic plans aligned to student need. This significant step provided even more access to critical learning opportunities beyond the school day.

This year, 393 students participated in after-school tutoring or academic support programs, essential for helping them catch up and achieve academic milestones.


Programs During Breaks and Intercessions: Expanding Horizons

This year, we also expanded our programs during school breaks and intercessions. A notable highlight was the new Winter Enrichment Program, offered during the winter break with support from Give Every Child a Chance and MUSD’s Nutrition Education team. This program was open to all MUSD students and hosted at August Knodt, Lathrop Elementary, and Golden West schools. These opportunities kept students engaged and learning, even during school breaks.

Looking ahead, we’re excited to offer scholarships for 10 students from each comprehensive high school to attend the Pacific Summer Institute at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. This summer program will allow 50 MUSD students to experience college life firsthand, living in dorms, attending workshops on various aspects of college life, and receiving guidance to prepare for higher education. This initiative is designed to inspire and equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for their future academic endeavors.

Future Directions: Sustaining and Expanding Impact

As we look to the future, a key priority is building a sustainable 9-hour day program that can support all students in need. This includes effectively utilizing staff and maintaining essential elements such as academic enrichment and social-emotional learning initiatives. Our 3-year plan aims to continue providing high-quality, comprehensive support to students, helping them thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

The 2023-2024 school year has shown the transformative impact of our Expanded Learning Opportunity Program. Through extended school days, engaging clubs and activities, and targeted academic enrichment, we’ve made significant strides in addressing learning gaps and supporting student success. With continued dedication and innovation, we are committed to nurturing the potential of every student and creating a brighter future for all.





In Manteca Unified, our facilities planning philosophy prioritizes student-centered education by investing in environments where every student can thrive. In a global workforce driven by new technology, we are committed to ensuring our students are prepared for their future — resulting in twenty-first-century school facilities and classroom modernizations.

Our dedicated facilities planning team, led by Director of Facilities & Operations Aaron Bowers, collaborates closely with District leadership, school site staff, and contracted architects. Together, they tackle a myriad of questions, both big and small, to ensure our campuses are designed for student success.

“‘Can I learn here?’ is a question we’ve repeatedly asked ourselves when planning solutions. Our goal is to enhance the tools available to our educators by integrating the facility into the classroom experience,” shares Bowers.

From considering how campus updates should align with modern learning environments to determining the most suitable facilities for kindergartners, and strategizing how to maximize available resources, the team remains focused on designing school environments that support students from their start in Transitional Kindergarten until they graduate, ensuring they are ready for college and career pathways.

The team plans for future evolutions in education. New thoughts, ideas, concepts, activities, and opportunities take shape every day in classrooms, and bricks are not easily moved. This is why flexible furniture solutions, wireless connectivity, retractable walls, minimal built-ins, outdoor learning spaces, and attached shared learning spaces (known as learning commons) have been embraced in recent builds. “By integrating these details into our schools, educational programs can consider learning beyond rows in the four walls of a classroom,” Bowers explains.

Our goal is to enhance the tools available to our educators by integrating the facility into the classroom experience.

Funding the Future of Education Together

In every state, funding for public education comes from a combination of state taxes, local taxes, and some federal funds. Scan the QR codes to the right to learn more about how schools are funded.

In short, the state decides how much each school District needs to operate. If local property taxes do not meet that dollar amount, the state subsidizes the rest. This dollar amount does not consider the money needed to fund dated facilities or build new schools.

Thanks to the support of local taxpayers, we can help fund MUSD’s Facility Program through special taxes and bond measures such as Measure A.

We value the investment of the community and build accordingly. To invest in education means to maximize dollars and resources wherever possible to direct more dollars back to the students. Utilizing and modernizing existing campuses is a key example of maximizing resources when compared to building a brand-new school requiring a steep, ongoing financial commitment.

Scan the QR code to learn more about how schools are funded



School facilities are a shelter for our students and community and are built to be durable, long-lasting facilities that our community can be proud of for generations. See how we’re building the future of MUSD through campus modernizations!


Construction is currently underway for East Union’s new two-story building, adding 31 classrooms, a new media center, and more to their campus before the 2026-27 school year. The interior design will feature upscale finishes and stylish, flexible furniture, contributing to a collegiate feel. The building’s layout and location were considered within the existing campus to create multiple quad spaces that include outdoor learning areas, gathering areas, a large lawn, a stage, and multiple custom shade structures sprinkled throughout.


In the heart of Manteca and near many new developments south of 120, Manteca High School is undergoing a full modernization to accommodate the influx of students projected for the area and update their aging campus. Modernization efforts have been underway since 2021, but the Buffaloes will soon receive an updated stadium this November, a two-story 22-classroom building, and Career Technical Education (CTE) work shop in 2025, and another two-story building (that will mirror East Union’s) in 2027.



One of our oldest schools, New Haven, is receiving a new 8-classroom building and administration building. The new classroom building will replace several aging portables on campus and include a central learning commons that will extend learning outside the walls of the classroom. The existing main classroom building will also be renovated. Estimated completion is January 2026.




The Brock Elliott Champions and Joshua Cowell Cougars will each receive new Multi-Purpose rooms. This makes way for their current cafeterias to become libraries while their libraries will be renovated to expand their administrative buildings. This update will also include various structural and safety improvements to their campuses such as asphalt replacement, fire system replacement, and more.


Manteca Unified is in the early stages of developing two Early Education Centers. These campuses will create a central location for preschool, Transitional Kindergarten, and kindergarten classes in a safe, supportive, and nurturing learning environment. The centers will be in Manteca and Lathrop to create additional capacity at our most impacted school sites as part of a multi-phase project. These sites will also have the potential to become a full TK-8 elementary school in the future.

Scan the QR Code for more facility updates and information

To modernize learning spaces, Manteca Unified School District has embarked on a transformative journey by introducing new, dynamic furniture across all grade levels.

Providing learning environments that support children and their diverse learning needs is essential. The California Department of Education confirms classrooms that support active learning increase student engagement compared to traditional row-by-row classroom seating.

This is why in 2022, our Board of Education committed one-time funds to install innovative furniture District-wide, supporting ongoing modernization efforts and modern instructional practices.

“This initiative is about more than just replacing old furniture; it’s about fostering an environment where collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking can flourish,” shares Jenni Andrews, Executive Director of Elementary Education.

This investment in the classroom is not only functional but adaptable to the evolving needs of modern education.

Elementary Minds in Motion

Healthy movement, color, visual aids, and interactive furniture facilitate student growth while helping children feel active and alert – even when seated. Young learners also have a lot of energy and an innate need for body movement.

During the summer of 2023, elementary schools received sets of furniture tailored to each grade level’s specific needs. Several teachers were actively involved in selecting and piloting this furniture in their classrooms the previous year, ensuring that the choices worked for both their students and their instructional methods.

Flexible seating options in TK-2nd grade classrooms allow young students to shift positions while continuing to learn, addressing their need for movement, and helping to maintain their focus. Flexible seating options such as wobble stools, cushions, and rocking chairs enable children to move while learning, promoting better engagement and academic performance.

For older elementary students, classrooms were designed to create shared learning spaces that foster collaboration. This setup encourages students to work in teams, engage in discussions, and solve problems together.

Additionally, the interactive nature of the new furniture, such as whiteboard desks and mobile workstations, encourages hands-on learning and creativity. Students can write down ideas, draw graphs, and work on projects directly on their desks, making learning more engaging and enjoyable.


Furniture for College & Career Readiness

In almost every profession, from remote jobs to in-office positions, employees need to work together, communicate effectively, and solve problems as a team. By practicing these skills in high school, students learn how to share responsibilities, listen to diverse perspectives, and develop solutions together.

Starting this fall, high school classrooms with standard seating will have a refreshed look and one of four new layouts designed so students can easily collaborate with their peers.

During the 2023-24 school year, 20 high school teachers volunteered to test new classroom furniture as early adopters. “Their feedback was instrumental in deciding which furniture pieces should be purchased. Based

on their input and student surveys, four classroom layouts were designed, each tailored to promote peer collaboration and active learning,” shares Clara Schmiedt, Executive Director of Secondary Education.

Flexible furniture also supports differentiated instruction as teachers can easily rearrange their classroom to facilitate various learning activities and lessons. See page 10 to learn more about lesson design and differentiated instruction in MUSD.

High school furniture will be distributed in a phased rollout, beginning with standard classrooms, followed by specialized classrooms such as science labs, art studios, and career technical education spaces in the second phase.


The Impact

The introduction of flexible furniture is part of a broader effort to create learning environments that reflect the needs of 21st-century education. By integrating furniture that supports active learning, Manteca Unified is helping students develop the skills they need for future success. These enhancements create spaces where students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

We are excited to see the positive impacts of these changes and to continue supporting our students and teachers in their educational journeys.









San Joaquin’s 2024 Educator and Classified Employee of the Year.







Learn more: MUSD’s 2024 Employees and Educators of the year by scanning the code.




Heidi Araiza and Esteban Antonio Ramirez were featured speakers at the San Joaquin County Office of Education Seal of Biliteracy Award Ceremony. A student in the CTE Future Teachers pathway helps a young boy with a class project. New Haven Elementary’s Jose Torres shows off his math and academic achievement awards. Marking the 100th Day of School, a kindergartener shows her love of education. During East Union’s Lancers LEAD ceremony, Dominic Ochoa poses with Board members Marie Freitas and Stephen Schluer and Principal Eric Simoni. Woodward Elementary’s Valeria Castillo and Kaylani Calura were presented with awards for outstanding achievement in drama. After taking 1st in a place drone competition, Weston Ranch High’s robotics team is ranked 6th worldwide. Lathrop High students Prakriti Sunar and Jazmyn Aldaco placed first and second in the San Joaquin County Office of Education’s Winter Art Card Contest.
Manteca High faculty gathered to celebrate their site’s recognition as a California Distinguished School. Sierra High students Miles Lima, Douglas Tipton, and Colin Nguyen pose with the medals they earned in The World Scholar’s Cup. The 2023-24 Student Board members worked together to bring the Seal of Civic Engagement to MUSD. A student dances during “Folklorico,” French Camp Elementary’s annual celebration of Latinx culture. East Union High’s JROTC program won their fourth consecutive U.S. Army National Fitness Challenge Championship. Lathrop Elementary teacher Joseph Rasmussen received the San Francisco 49ers’ Teacher of the Game Award.



“Every student works to achieve grade level standards, feels safe and is supported to realize individual success.”

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