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MARK Highlights

District Celebration Page 4

November 2019

MUSD School Board President Stephen Schluer, Area 6 Vice President Eric Duncan, Area 1


Board Clerk Kathy Howe, Area 2


Karen Pearsall, Area 3 Marie Freitas, Area 4 Cathy Pope-Gotschall, Area 5 Bob Wallace, Area 7

MUSD Superintendents Dr. Clark Burke, Superintendent Roger Goatcher, Deputy Superintendent

Mission 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. Manteca Unified School District 2271 West Louise Ave. Manteca, CA 95337 (209) 825-3200

The Mark Highlights is published by the MUSD Superintendent’s Office Community Outreach team. Highlights content is contributed by every school site.

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

We are


above all, we value supporting students realizing individual success.

Erica McCullough Photography

The Mark Highlights Team are:

Johanna Victor Photography and Reporting

When highlight articles are submitted, they are edited for length and clarity.

Victoria Brunn Director and Executive Editor

Feature writing is produced by the Community Outreach Team and student interns.

Lindsay Stayner Content Coordination and Editor

Highlights is intended to be a reflection of the MUSD Vision, Mission, and Targets because

Taylor Hasal Reporting, Design, and Photography

Caitlin Pearsall Outreach Support Community Outreach Interns Feature stories submitted by student interns, or an outside contributor, will include an author’s byline credit.

N O V E M B E R 2 019

What’s Inside?


Grade Level Standards Fall District Celebration


Youth in Government Day 8

Safety Red Ribbon Week


Bus Safety Month 12 Brock Elliott Students Start With Hello 16 Phase 2 - Manteca High School 20


Emerging Students Manteca High College and Career Fair 21 Boo Bash


Primp Your Pumpkin 23 Tiger Reading Club 24 French Camp Visits Fire Station 24 Golden West Celebrates Day of the Dead 25


Halloween Bash 25 San Jose State University Honor Band 26 New Vision Career Closet 26 Art Donations for Invasion 27 Water Polo Arrives at MUSD 28 Fall Night of the Arts 29 League Champions


Stop the Bleed 29 Students Take on Staff 29

Community Be the Best Teen Summit 30 Tiger Dash 30 MHS Makes Cards for St. Jude’s Patients


Sequoia Picnic, Pumpkin, and Pies 31


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FALL DISTRICT CELEBRATION The MUSD Board of Trustees held their biannual District Celebration in recognition of student and staff achievement, at Sierra High School on October 29th. Over 300 students were honored for their academic, athletic, artistic, career technical education, and other successes. Board President Schluer opened the evening, “It is our GREAT pleasure to welcome you to our District Celebration. This day allows us to formally acknowledge the efforts of our staff, the excellence of our students and allows us to thank the community for coming together.”

East Union Honor Choir Students Perform

MUSD Superintendent Dr. Clark Burke took to the podium, “I would like to personally welcome every principal, teacher, and coach in the audience tonight. These accomplishments begin in the classroom and on the field, and tonight’s recognitions are an indication of your mentorship and dedication in the lives of our students.”

“Tonight’s recognitions are an indication of your mentorship and dedication in the lives of our students. ”

The East Union JROTC presented the flag while the San Joaquin County Honor Choir members from East Union sang the National Anthem.

Student board representative from Sierra High School, Rupina Sandhu, took the podium next, “Good evening. My name is Rupina Sandhu, and I represent Sierra High School as the Student Board Member. Tonight, myself alongside my fellow student board members, have the great privilege of serving as Master of Ceremonies.”

- Dr. Clark Burke, Superintendent

Dr. Burke, and MUSD Board Members greet honorees

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The remaining student board representatives are MaryAnn Bueno, Brooklyn Johnson, Julia Odom,

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and Alejandra Arevalo Mercado, who could not be in attendance that evening. Rupina continued, “Most of all, we wish to welcome our District honorees who are gathered here tonight with their family members. We know that without the support of family, it would not be possible to accomplish the many things that we do.” The Sierra High School Advanced Band, under the leadership of Band Director Mr. Rick Hammarstrom, was introduced to the audience and performed a peppy piece called Bandology.

The CAASPP allows the District to evaluate student individual needs and measures progress toward grade level standards; In many ways, it measures years put into learning by the student. “The CAASPP honorees have achieved the highest scale score possible per grade level in English, Math, or both! This is truly impressive,” described Steve Moretto, Manteca Unified Coordinator of Testing and Evaluation.

Manteca Unified honored 120 students with a top scale score on the Spring 2019 exam. MaryAnn Bueno, student board representative from Manteca High School, prefaced the next recognitions. “Another kind of assessment, one that can earn a student college credit, is the advanced placement – or AP Exam. The District Celebration honored students who have earned the highest score on an Advanced Placement Exam administered

The recognitions began honoring academic achievements. Among the first were California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, high scale scores. This exam is given to students in grades 3rd -8th and 11th, in the subjects of Math and English Language Arts. Grade Level Standards |


The Mark Highlights through College Board.” Clara Schmiedt, Senior Director of Secondary Education, announced, “This exam is an equivalent to a college level course and is usually taken by juniors or seniors who have excelled in a high school AP course. When a qualifying score is earned, this score grants students college credits. While the average score on these Exams is a “3”, tonight’s honorees earned a “5” which is the highest possible score and is earned by less than 10% of those who take the test.” She continued, “Students, your achievement is a direct reflection of the countless hours committed to your academics. On behalf of your teachers and all of MUSD, Congratulations!”

Sierra High School Band performs for the crowd

students read literature and descriptive texts of increasing difficulties. “Students work all year to improve their score. The students honored tonight in this category have demonstrated the most growth in SRI score from their school, in the 18/19 school year. What an incredible achievement!”

Manteca Unified honored 80 students who earned a “5” on the Brooklyn AP Exam with Johnson, a few students “Your achievement is a direct student board earning a “5” reflection of the countless hours representative on more than committed to your academics.” from East one exam. Union High - Clara Schmiedt Concluding School, Sr. Director of Secondary Ed. the academic introduced achievement the athletic category, the Board of Trustees category. “For their commitment recognized one student from to themselves, their teams, and each elementary school who their schools, this next category has exhibited the most growth, honors students who have received among their entire school, in their honors—at the county level or Scholastic Reading Inventory score. higher—for their outstanding Lisa Goodwin, Vice Principal of Great Valley Elementary, announced, “Scholastic Reading Inventory is a computer-adaptive reading assessment program, designed to measure how well 6 | Grade Level Standards

Athletic Achievements.” Students in this category were congratulated for being named VOL most valuable player, and invitees to compete in the CIF state championships. The track and field

team from Lathrop High School was recognized as CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Champions in the 4x 100 Meter. Other recognitions included students who have received various honors and awards in CTE, or Career Technical Education. CTE classrooms specialize in skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. This category honored STEM Teacher of the Year, Kenneth Scott Myers, and STEM Student of the Year, Makayla Ruiz. As well as several FFA and FCCLA state and national winning awards. Student board representative Julia Odom from Lathrop High School announced the arts category. “In the world of performing arts, representing Manteca Unified in the San Joaquin County Honor Choir, 17 students in Manteca Unified have auditioned and have been selected to perform among the top 100 high school singers in the county. Congratulations, students!” She continued, “In visual arts,

The Mark Highlights from Lathrop Elementary, was nominated by her peers as an exemplary educator for ABC10’s Teacher of the Month. Her colleagues say she goes beyond the call of duty. She makes great effort to build positive rapport with students, parents and colleagues, and is the first to share ideas, volunteer, and support any way she can.


Students and Staff Recognized


Students Earned a Top Score on CAASPP Test


Students Earned a “5” on an AP Exam


Sac-Joaquin Section Champions

works are chosen by an outside expert in a specific art field. Students announced tonight represent the Best of the Best Art Show in select categories, and an overall winner as collectively decided by the Art Show judges.” The Best of Category in Advanced Digital Photography and the Best of the Best Overall winner was Sergio Tapis from Lathrop High School. To conclude the evening’s recognitions, a citizenship category honored just a few unique staff and students.

Julia described, “The kind of recognition where there are no do’s or don’ts, no scores to attain, and Manteca Unified hosts an annual District Art Show which showcases no one having asked you to go the extra mile. These honorees are bigselected student artworks from hearted people, who have stepped the year. It is the Best of the up in one way or another. The Best student artwork from all kind of people who build strong comprehensive high schools; communities and truly make you Winning artworks in Ceramics, Advanced Art, Digital Photography, PROUD TO BE MUSD!” and Graphic Design to name a Kristen Ashley, MUSD graduate, few. Students spend nearly the was honored for her significant entire semester creating their contributions made to Manteca masterpieces. Unified and its AED research. “At the district art show, student

Derrick Burnett, Taylor Millin and Ernie Williams are Lincoln Elementary teachers recognized for being awarded by the State Adapted Physical Education Council this year’s exemplary program and APE team of the year. Ryan Tarr, teacher from East Union High School, awarded for an act of heroism by saving the life of a student during class time. Last but not least, Daria Perkins, student of Weston Ranch High School, who participated by invitation in the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. She received an award of excellence for her outstanding academic performance and leadership potential and dedication to serving humanity through the profession of medicine. Julia closed the evening ceremony, “Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes our ceremonies tonight! I want to take a moment to thank everyone who made this event possible, especially our teachers and administrators who recommend students and staff.”

Michele Silveira, 1st grade teacher Grade Level Standards |


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YOUTH IN GOVERNMENT DAY yet to be introduced to a profession that sparks their passion and interest.

By Kaylee McDonald Community Outreach Student Intern

On October 31st, Manteca High School educator Michael Cipponeri took a handful of students to the San Joaquin Youth in Government Day. This day connects students with people who serve San Joaquin County and its residents in public service capacities, so that students gain experience and ask questions by job shadowing government professionals. The experience was extremely valuable and constructive, especially for those who are exploring career options or have 8 | Grade Level Standards

Manteca High School student, Alannah Harnden attended the Youth in Government Day with Mr. Cipponeri and 5 other students and commented that she was thankful to have the opportunity to learn about new careers. “This was definitely a quality experience and I would recommend it to students who are unsure about what they want to do in the future. You get a good look into the typical day of county workers, from Human Resources to Environmental Health and more,” shared Harnden. The San Joaquin Youth in Government Day is a result of a partnership between the San Joaquin County Office of Education and the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors since 2012.

This day is intended to enlighten students, broaden horizons and overall, support the aspirations of youth. There is an abundance of possibilities in public service from the local, to state and national levels. Expanding perspective can help our youth understand bigpicture thinking. When asked why he believes in the importance of the day, Mr. Cipponeri said, “Often, students don’t understand all the different facets the Government is involved in and the extent of their involvement. Many do not get the chance to see people working and witness the field up close.” Positive feedback surrounds this student experience and is recommended for any high school student looking for an opportunity to make connections, gain experience, and engage in mentorship.


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The MUSD Board of Trustees adopted Red Ribbon Week, October 21st-25th, 2019. The Red Ribbon Campaign brings together schools and families as leaders in youth drug prevention. Our Board resolution reflects the efforts of our community to promote drug free activities for students in Manteca Unified. Schools throughout the District showed their support of Red Ribbon Week through spirited days.

District Office employees wear red to support being drug free

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1. Shasta elementary students created posters to support drug free. 2. Lathrop elementary celebrated Red Ribbon Week with themed spirit days, each day bringing a different slogan to enforce saying no to drugs. 3. Winner of the Stella Brockman poster contest! Congratulations! 4. Golden West Spook Away Drugs Parade!

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Brock Elliott

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Nile Garden

Dominick and Deputy Mehrer met recently at Del Osso Family Farm where they walked the haunted house together. Since that day, a friendship has blossomed inspiring Dominick to dress up as Deputy Mehrer for Halloween.

On Career Day meets Decades Day at Brock Elliott during Red Ribbon Week, Arnett Naven dressed up as Brock Elliott’s new principal, Mr. David Silveira. When Mr. Silveira learned he had a doppelganger at school, he visited Arnett in the classroom for a side by side. Kris Naven, Arnett’s mother shared, “Arnett came home so excited! He told me as we were walking out to the parking lot, ‘I want to be as nice and kind as Mr. Silveira and I want to help people like him.’”

“Dominick was so excited for me to tell Deputy Mehrer about his costume,” shared Sara Herzog, Dominick’s mother. Sequoia ended their week of Red Ribbon Activities with a canned food drive and a classroom door competition. Our theme this antidrug theme this year was to “send a message.” Congratulations to Mrs. Uecker’s 4th grade class for winning the door prize! Students in her class wrote letters to family and friends encouraging them not use drugs and alerting them to the dangers of use. Mrs. McGrath’s Kindergarten students spread their message through the “world wide web,” while Mrs. Mim’s 8th grade homeroom had minions deliver their message.

Deputy Mehrer made a surprise visit to Dominick. “His face was priceless! He lit up from ear to ear; it was the happiest I have ever seen him,” reflected Sara. Together, they compared badges, played with the radio, turned the lights on, and took pictures from inside the car. “Dominick felt like a real officer in training,” said Sara. Sara explained that Deputy Mehrer has had a significant impact on Dominick. A friendship, Dominick will surely never forget. According to Sara, it is all he can talk about. During Red Ribbon week, Deputy Mehrer met Dominick at Nile Garden to meet his Panther classmates. Safety |


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From left: Director of Transportation Melody Ford, Bus Driver Mark Hersman, Bus Driver Sherry Daugherty

The month of October is recognized as School Bus Safety Month; and for a good reason. The school bus is the safest vehicle on the road by a landslide. It is 70x more likely for students to get to school safely when taking a school bus, instead of traveling by car. California ranks to have the best school bus driving record in the nation.

Melody Ford, Manteca Unified Director of Transportation, would argue that MUSD has the best school bus drivers throughout the state. “We only hire the most qualified and trained bus drivers,” she explained. “Even when we desperately need drivers, we will not settle. This is where mistakes happen in other districts.”

California school bus drivers are held to a very high standard and becoming a school bus driver is no easy task. A trainee must complete a minimum of 20 hours of required classroom training established by the CA Department of Education, pass a commercial driver’s license test (both written and behind the wheel), a medical physical exam, background and drug test clearance, interview with CHP, and obtain a first aid and CPR certification. Once hired, every 5 years they must repeat the process. One of the reasons the school bus is ranked the safest vehicle is because it is the most regulated vehicle. Sherry Daugherty is a school bus driver having served Manteca Unified for nearly 30 years. “Student safety actually begins before we even pick up students,” Daugherty explained. “We come in a half-hour early to give our bus


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The Mark Highlights a full inspection.” Every school bus driver inspects their bus for working lights and tightened lug nuts, to fluids and complete air brake checks. If the school bus does not pass the daily inspection, it is deemed out of service and sent to the inhouse mechanic shop immediately. Drivers resort to a spare bus and begin the inspection process again before taking route. The MUSD mechanic shop armed with trained and certificated school

“We only hire the most qualified and trained bus drivers. Even when we desperately need drivers, we will not settle.” -Melody Ford, Director of Transportation bus mechanics, maintenance district buses nearly every 30 days, with state law requiring every 45 days. The CHP performs audits every 13 months, reviewing maintenance logs of certified school busses

Transportation Department Mechanics

and records of school bus drivers. “We have never had a school bus red-tagged,” shared Ford. “Our mechanics work very thoroughly and are just awesome.” When a school bus passes the morning inspection, it is now ready to transport students to and from school. On average, the MUSD transportation team busses 1,895 students daily. This happens through 50 established bus routes, 69 buses among the fleet, and 56 school bus drivers with 2 state

certified trainers, Deborah Rice and Amy Wahl. Before students board the school bus, they scan what is called a Z Pass. Each pass is student specific and allows Ford and her team to track if and when a student rides the bus, and when that student exits the bus. Coupled with the school bus’ internal GPS system, Ford is aware of the location of a bus and which students are aboard said bus, at all times. In addition, each bus has fisheye cameras for both

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Director of Transportation Melody Ford, and Supervisor Julie Fannin meet with Lt. Schluer and officer.

and equipment is not only important, but arms them with a sense of preparedness. “When we arrive to school with a few minutes to spare, the students consistently volunteer to practice the evacuations. They get a kick out of opening the windows! I also have two little bus helpers (students), who help ensure that each student is buckled up before takeoff. “Kids can be unpredictable, so it is important to teach them the safest way to ride and approach the bus, and to reiterate those messages from day to day.”

student and driver protection. Mark Hersman is also a Manteca Unified school bus driver who has served for 32 years. He explained that, a big part of school bus safety is teaching the students how to ride the bus, get on and off safely, and use caution around the bus. “Every year we practice school bus emergency evacuations with the students. But my students practice throughout the year, all the time.” Part of the emergency evacuation routine is learning how to exit through the emergency exits which include the windows, and the side and back door. Hersman shared that familiarizing the students with the safety tools 14 | Safety

It is illegal for adults to board the school bus with the exception of the driver, CHP, and trainers. If it is a field trip, then teachers, parents and chaperones are permitted. Ford, Daugherty, and Hersman explained that sometimes parents try to help their child onto the bus, and this is not lawful with the consideration of the safety of other students onboard.

“Every year we practice school bus emergency evacuations with the students.” -Mark Hersman, Bus Driver

When a school bus driver is completed with their route, there is safety feature that is connected to the ignition and bus doors. Before a school bus driver can exit the bus, an alarm is signaled which requires the driver to walk to the end of the bus, within

The Mark Highlights 3 minutes, to disable the alarm. If the alarm sounds, flashing red lights and horns react with a non-stop siren that can be heard from a great distance. “We have implemented the bus alarm for a couple years now, but it became a state law just this year,” shared Ford. “The alarm is in place to force the driver to walk to the end of the bus, checking seats for students who may still be onboard.”

a mandated reporter. “I’ve had drivers come to me with concerns and we have identified homeless students, or students who suffer from issues within the home. We were able to inform the appropriate people, who provided students and families with resources,” Ford stated.

“I look forward to coming to work; I cannot wait to get here, and everybody knows it.”

Hersman and Daugherty are MUSD’s two top seniority drivers. When asked what has kept them in their role for 30 years, their responses were centered, wholeheartedly, for the care of students.

-Sherry Daugherty, A school bus driver is the first Bus Driver person a student sees in the morning that is connected to school, and is the last person to see them off at the end of the day. While some students Hersman expressed, “I never thought that I would do are only on the bus for 10 minutes, other students ride this job for my whole working life, but it keeps calling the bus for nearly an hour each day. me back. There have been other opportunities through “You develop a relationship with them and become part of their lives,” Hersman reflected. “I’ve been on this same route for 20 years and have witnessed these students and families grow up.” Daugherty shared that they’re not just bus drivers. They are parents, referees, confidants, babysitters, and psychologists at times. However, a bus driver is always

the years, but I love the kids. That part of the job is so enjoyable.” Daugherty shared, “It is my therapy and I would do it for free. I look forward to coming to work; I cannot wait to get here, and everybody knows it. I love kids and I love driving. Everything about it is perfect. Even over summers, I count the days to come back.”

Manteca Unified Transportation Team

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START WITH HELLO At Brock Elliott Elementary, principal David Silveira is focused on creating school culture where students are featured and feel appreciated. “After a few ideas and a brainstorming session, we put an idea into motion,” shared Christopher Correia, Brock Elliott Elementary teacher. Mr. Correia’s yearbook elective class eagerly accepted the challenge: The Sandy Hook Promise, Start with Hello Week. A fun, free, and easy way to create a culture of inclusion that values each individual student. A program that teaches students to


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make a difference with their peers in a simple, fun and impactful way.

prevent violent acts, bullying, and seclusion of other students. The Start with Hello program is Mr. Correia explained that, more than taking a pledge against because the Sandy violence, it is Hook Promise “The Start with Hello program focusing on is a nonprofit is more than taking a pledge how to combat organization against violence, it is focusing violence, created by the on how to combat violence, seclusion, and families who seclusion, and bullying.” bullying,” stated suffered loss -Christopher Correia, Mr. Correia. from the tragedy Teacher at Sandy Hook The Yearbook Elementary in students got Connecticut on December 14, 2012, started right away creating activities this program is designed to create a for the week. culture that is moved to preventing “We sat down and discussed such tragedies from happening how we could potentially change again. “This program works to

The Mark Highlights the attitude of our school. Some students even started asking other peers about what they would like to see different about our school,” shared Mr. Correia. The students designed each activity of the week to incorporate the theme of togetherness and inclusion; And shared the activities through video class announcements. Mr. Correia explained, “Students made sure to get footage throughout the week. I would take their footage and edit film the night before. We wanted to ensure the school saw the announcement of the next day’s activity. Teachers showed the announcements each morning and were hard at work guaranteeing their class participation.” The yearbook students collectively decided that they loved receiving high-fives, so they planned on this activity every day of the week,

Yearbook students film the week’s announcements.

Mr. Correia at Friday’s rally.

Brock Elliott Yearbook Students

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The Mark Highlights beginning on Monday, greeting and high-fiving students as they entered school from the front gates of Brock Elliott. On Monday, the students organized a school-wide photo, which would represent all students taking the pledge together. Yearbook students identified themselves by wearing green t-shirts, which made them approachable throughout the week

by other students on campus. “Their green shirts made them famous in school,” added Mr. Correia. “They enjoyed being recognized by peers they had yet to meet.” On Tuesday, they decided to create a Brock Elliott hand mural. Yearbook students sought donations for enough green construction paper to include the whole school in a unified,

illustration of a tree. They organized the initiative by cutting each construction paper into half, took count of how many students were in each class, and then placed the suitable number of papers into each teacher’s box. Some students even helped execute the activity within the classrooms. “The Green hands represented in the school mural contain quotes, pictures, and even heartfelt messages about being kind,” described Mr. Correia. On Wednesday, there were letters of kindness. Yearbook students hosted a table outside of the cafeteria and invited students to write a kind note to anyone in the school during their lunch period. The yearbook students assisted organizing, writing, and promoting the heartfelt letters. On Thursday, Brock Elliott Elementary participated in their very first Staff vs. Students Kickball game. The students faced their


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Brock Elliott teachers pose for a picture

teachers in a friendly competition between wit and brawn. Students cheered for their team to be triumphant against their teachers. “This event helped to bridge the gaps among the grade levels. We saw kindergarten through eighth grade students out there enjoying the festivities,” reflected Mr. Correia. And on Friday, there was a rally. “After the event, I could not be

prouder to say what a difference it has made. Students seemed to be in a better mood just being greeted by their peers by the gates. I also noticed that students were more acceptable to apologize, assist, and sympathize with others within my own classroom.” Mr. Correia continued, “however, it is important that we stay consistent with our pledge against bullying, violence, and seclusion. Our work

is far from done; but I believe this dream is very possible considering how much school culture has changed this year alone.” Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely or treated like you are invisible. Young people who feel this way may pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development, or choose to hurt themselves or others.

Thousands of schools and youth organizations across the United States participate in Start With Hello Week in the fall each year. If interested in bringing attention to the growing epidemic of social isolation and building empathy in the classroom, visit Safety |


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Rendering of Gymnasium and Pool

PHASE 2 - MANTECA HIGH SCHOOL Following the completion of Phase 1 of the 5-10 Years Facilities Plan, MUSD gathered input from the public regarding Phase 2. This included findings from round table meetings at Manteca High School, and East Union High School, where members of the public expressed their priorities. MUSD then took those results to finalize Phase 2. Manteca High School is included in Phase 2 and will receive upgrades to improve health, safety, major maintenance, and modernization. Major maintenance of the Manteca High campus includes demolition of the current swimming pool, and construction of a new one, as well as a new large gymnasium. As a community, we must continue our effort and support to provide MUSD students safe and maintained places to learn. 20

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Gymnasium Interior

Swimming Pool

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COLLEGE AND CAREER FAIR along with giveaways to have the most influence on students.

By Kaylee McDonald Community Outreach Student Intern

On October 24th, Manteca High hosted a College and Career Fair in their Quad during lunch time so students could engage with organizations and get a feel for their future. This fair is planned and implemented by Rachel Strmiska, a hardworking counselor on campus, who organizes this event once a year.

This was a great experience for Manteca High students because it gave them a glimpse of the possibilities of their future and an opportunity to explore career interests. Many students even applied the information learned that day to begin planning their next steps. Manteca High School student Sonny Elder says, “I explored so many options and it opened up more doors for my future. It helped me realize that I can have fun and do what I love within my career.� The College and Career Fair

illustrated any person can find a job that relates to their passions. Attendees: Manteca District Ambulance, GECAC, US Navy, Manteca Fire Department, Cogswell University, Paul Mitchell, FIDM, US Marines, UOP, Delta College, Grand Canyon University, UC Davis, Sacrament State, CA College of Barbering and Cosmetology, Simpson University, William Jessup University, Dominican University, San Joaquin County WorkNet, MUSD, Institute of Technology, Universal Technical Institute, and SJVC.

There were a variety of college and career options to explore such as, Sacramento State, UC Davis, US Marines/ Navy, Manteca District Ambulance, and San Joaquin County WorkNet to name a few. Each organization set up a table with information about their program, ready to recruit and answer questions. Booths had brochures and informational cards Emerging Students |


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Over 3,750 third grade students across San Joaquin County ventured to the Manteca Unified School Farm to participated in the 13th Annual AgVenture Day. AgVenture introduces the world of agriculture to students, teachers

and chaperones. It is a hands-on exhibition with 80 plant, animal, and machinery displays operated by 400 volunteers skilled in ag. Local vendors and FFA student groups present on topics such as locally grown crops, nutrition, machinery,

water and soil, and farm animals. Throughout the day, the third grade students and chaperones explored dozens of displays through the orchards of the MUSD Farm, and left with an enlightenment of local agriculture.

Students pose for a picture in front of a tractor!

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BOO BASH MELS Garage hosted Boo Bash for TK – 2nd grade students on October 29th. Students from Lathrop High School’s Advantage Future Teachers club designed the lesson and led the class. Students were read a story called, Ten Timid Ghosts. Students then decorated paper ghosts and learned how to use ballons to create static electricity to make the their ghosts dance. The students later engineered houses for their ghosts to hide in using toothpicks and

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Halloween candy. Lastly, the Lathrop Advantage Future Teachers created and taught the students a Halloween dance.


Families gathered on a Saturday morning to Primp their Pumpkin! They carved a pumpkin of their choosing and coded the pumpkin to put on a light show. Emerging Students |


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Every Thursday after school, the Sequoia community comes together to offer a reading club for second grade students. This club was organized by Sequoia parent, Tim Kemptner, who actively recruited parents and community members to read with students every Thursday afternoon. Certificated teachers from all grades have also joined the effort to help promote early literacy at Sequoia Elementary.

FRENCH CAMP VISITS FIRE STATION First grade students from French Camp Elementary took a walking field trip to the neighborhood fire department. Students learned how the firefighters keep the community safe and practiced using a fire hose as well as other equipment used at the station.

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GOLDEN WEST CELEBRATES DAY OF THE DEAD Dia de los Muertes, or Day of the Dead, is not the same as Halloween. The Day of the Dead originated in Mexico and Central America and is celebrated throughout Mexico. It is a time to remember the lives of departed loved ones. The ofrenda, or temporary altar, is a central component of Day of the Dead tradition and it is used to remember a family’s loved ones. Flowers, butterflies and skulls are common symbols utilized in the ofrenda. Many of our families at Golden West and throughout MUSD participate in celebrating Dia de los Muertes. With special thanks to our wonderful bilingual aides, Maria and Delfina, our students, staff, and families had an opportunity to observe and learn a bit about this custom. Families were invited to visit and enjoy coffee, desserts and good conversation.

HIGH SCHOOL HALLOWEEN BASH Students from Sierra, Manteca, Lathrop and Weston Ranch High School attended a Boo Bash hosted at Weston Ranch High School. This was the 2nd annual Bash organized by Nina Williams, Special Day Class Teacher, Aubrey Lewis, Activities Director, Debi Chavez, Peer Resources teacher, and Peer Resource and Link Crew students. “All the kids had a blast. The visiting classes entered the gym being welcomed and cheered by Gen Ed. Students,” shared Nina Willis, teacher at Weston Ranch High. The Peer Resource and Link Crew students organized craft tables for students who did not want to dance as well as games. Emerging Students |


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SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY HONOR BAND On Sunday, September 22nd, MHS Band Director Mr. Cody Marchetti accompanied three MHS students to San Jose to participate in the San Jose State University Honor Band. These students were selected from hundreds of band students throughout the state based on their performance, skill level, and band teacher recommendation. They got to work with San Jose State’s two band directors Dr. David Vickerman and Dr. Craig McKenzie over the course of 2 weekends to prepare college-professional level music. This year, the ensembles had the privilege of working with composer John Mackey, who is the most performed living band composer of our time.

NEW VISION CAREER CLOSET When New Vision High School Senior Kaylee Mikaio landed an interview for her first job, she knew she didn’t have the clothes in her closet to dress to impress. “I don’t have dress up shirts or pants and didn’t want to wear jeans, so I came to the Career Closet,” said Kaylee. New Vision High School students planning on interviewing for a job or attending an academic event can now access the school’s Career Closet. Teachers Brian Berger and Denna Crowe were inspired by an article profiling a New York Public Library program that offers professional attire for people to sign out. After securing a college readiness grant, Berger and Crowe purchased a wide range of dress shirts, slacks, blouses, ties, shoes, and accessories. New Vision High School students may sign out professional career 26 | Emerging Students

clothing for occasions such as interviews, career fairs, internships, or any other career-related events requiring professional attire. When they are finished with the outfit, they simply turn it back in, the school launders it, and it is ready for the next student. Kaylee shared, “This gives students like me, who don’t have the money or clothing, the ability to look professional. I have no job history. None. I knew the other applicants

did. I knew I had to dress well, so I came to the Career Closet. I walked into my interview looking as if I had done multiple interviews. I felt confident and got the job!” Students like Kaylee have helped spread the word and interest is growing as many other students have chosen to utilize the service that is provided at New Vision High School. The goal is to have students feel confident, look great, and succeed in their interview.

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Assistant Superintendent of SJCOE Troy Brown, and Erika Chapman


Lathrop High School art teacher Erika Chapman received a bountiful donation from San Joaquin Office of Education in partnership with Amazon. Troy Brown, Assistant Superintendent of San Joaquin Office of Education, surprised Ms. Erika Chapman on a Wednesday morning, with large brown boxes complete with miscellaneous art supplies.

When asked about the feeling an art teacher gets when presented with new art supplies, Ms. Erika Chapman responded excitedly, “It is like Christmas!” The donation of art supplies will be used to support the District’s Art Invasion program, founded by Ms. Chapman. It a program comprised of high school art students who volunteer their time to teach art to sixth through eighth grade students at the elementary schools. “Something I’ve noticed is a huge lack of understanding in art when junior high students enter high school,” Ms. Chapman explained. “I want students

to be more prepared and have a little background in art concepts.” Ms. Chapman shared her hope behind Art Invasion is for her high school students to share their knowledge with junior high students while at the same time, learning what is required to be a leader and lead a program. The high school art volunteers will begin Art Invasion with elementary schools in the Spring. Last year was the pilot year for the program where 9 elementary schools participated. This year, 15 are on the list to participate and by next year, Ms. Chapman hopes for involvement from all elementary schools in Manteca Unified. Art Invasion is offered twice a month with instruction, materials, and guidance organized by the high school volunteers. “Their volunteer time can count as community service hours, work experience, and earn them a letter a recommendation from myself,” explained Ms. Chapman. The Art Invasion program has recruited 32 high school students, interested in sharing their passion for art.

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The sport of water polo has never been offered at MUSD high schools. Whether it was a lack of interest, need of equipment or coaching staff, or finding enough opponents to play against, this past fall, Sierra High School and Lathrop High School offered both a boys and girls varsity water polo team for the first time in history. Many of the players on the Sierra and Lathrop teams had little to no experience playing water polo. But what the players lacked in experience, they made up for in hard-work, dedication, and teamwork. No matter what the score was at the end of each game, win or lose, the season overall was a huge success. Andrew Lee, Sierra High Athletic Director, said, “Throughout the season, we had tremendous growth as we developed more skill and team chemistry. The outcome of water polo blew away all of my expectations.”

The water polo season included one matchup that everyone was excited to see, Lathrop vs. Sierra. The inter-district rivals faced off at Sierra High School, where all teams showcased their newly developed skill and passion for the sport. Although Sierra won both matches, everyone present that day experienced the first ever water polo match between two MUSD schools. It was an evening for the books! “Our players had the Lathrop High Athletic Director, Chuck Selna, shared, “Our players had the courage to do something that no one else has done before. That is special. I look forward to a future in water polo that these players have established for us.”

courage to do something that no one else has done before. That is special.” -Chuck Selna, Athletic Director Lathrop High

Mr. Lee added, “These athletes have developed a sense of pride and are connected to school history through sports. Their hard work has given back to the campus and will be a great opportunity for future students in years to come.”

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Manteca High’s Visual and Performing Arts Department held its 5th annual Fall Night of the Arts Exhibition in early October. The event was held in the Dorothy B. Mulvihill theatre and the adjacent courtyard, where lighted displays from AP Art, Advanced Art, Introduction to Art, Color and Design and Digital Photography were showcased with entertainment by piano and jazz band students. Inside the Mulvihill theatre, guests enjoyed short performances by theatre students, the marching band and the choir.


In Ms. Cheryl Behler’s ROP Health Careers class at Manteca High School, students learned how to respond to bleeding after a significant injury. Students learned critical steps such as how to compress the wound and apply pressure, how to use a tourniquet, and then how to pack a would with gauze and apply further pressure. This kind of first aid trauma care is not only essential to those wishing to pursue a career in medicine, but for everyone to know how to help in the case of an emergency.


Stella Brockman Elementary School hosted a Student vs. Staff Volleyball game featuring players from the Stella Brockman boys and girls volleyball teams, pitted against teachers and staff. Parents and family members watched from the stands as the two teams played several high-scoring sets! Although the games were very competitive, the evening ended with laughs, and high-fives all around. Great job to all students and staff who participated.


The Manteca High School girls tennis team took first place in the Valley Oak League for the third year in a row. Congratulations Lady Buffs!

Congratulations to the Lathrop High School girls volleyball team for taking first place in the Western Athletic Conference! Emerging Students | 29

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Last month, Give Every Child a Chance held their 13th annual Be the Best Teen Summit on October 15th, at Golden West Elementary School. The teen summit is a free one-day event offered to 7-12th grade students in Manteca Unified School District during the fall break. Each student attended the opening and closing sessions and selected two of the ten sessions offered. Some of the breakout session related to higher education, stem education, youth leadership, health nutrition, personal wellness, and self-awareness. The purpose of the summit is to give teens a special

opportunity to learn among their peers with mentors who aid them in their future decision making as they prosper into responsible adults. GECAC has organized the teen summit for 13 years and has had over 3,000 youth in attendance. This year, they welcomed motivational speaker Jeremy Bates, better known as the Hope Dealer, to the day inspiring students to reach higher, go further, and be better! To get involved with Give Every Child a Chance, stop by the program office or call 209-825-7003 and ask about becoming a volunteer.


Students in the Give Every Child A Chance after school program from George Komure and August Knodt participated in the University of the Pacific Annual 5K Tiger Dash. These students are active in the after school program’s running club, which offers

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students another opportunity to be part of an athletic group. The running club plans to participate in two more runs including the Second Harvest Food Bank & River Islands Technology Academy Hit the Streets for Hunger Fun Run, and an upcoming color run.

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MHS MAKES CARDS FOR ST. JUDE’S PATIENTS Manteca High School’s College Prep Club continues a tradition started last year, creating cards for the residents of St. Jude’s Care Center in Manteca. On October 23rd, club members along with some of their friends volunteered after school to create Halloween cards for the elderly patients at St. Jude’s, and delivered them on October 30th.

SEQUOIA PICNIC, PUMPKIN, AND PIES Sequoia Elementary School held its 3rd Annual Picnic, Pumpkins, and Pie family night on Thursday, October 10th. It was an evening of students, families, and staff coming together to enjoy many activities. Families browsed the pumpkin patch, enjoyed pizza and pumpkin pie on the grass, listened to the music of band director Andrew Perez, and harnessed camaraderie among the Tiger community.

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2271 West Louise Ave. | Manteca, CA 95337 (209) 825-3200 |




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.

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

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The Mark Highlights - November 2019