PJUSD Newsletter

December 2022


Dr. Reyes Gauna




Susan White

Executive Assistant / Cabinet Member


Dr. Gauna - December 2022 Newsletter
Dr. Gauna - Actualizaciones de Deciembre

Attendance Matters

Keeping Up The Routine Of Attendance This Year

During the winter break from school, we are grateful to everyone for helping to restore a routine for showing up to school and being on time while supporting students and families.

We appreciate everyone’s efforts to avoid taking extra time off during the winter break. As long as your child is healthy, please ensure your child is in class when school is in session.

Every day of school is an important opportunity for students to learn as well as to connect to their peers and teachers.

We thank:

  • Our students and their families who do their best to show up daily even when it isn’t easy.
  • Our teachers who go above and beyond to make school a welcoming and safe place for all students to learn.
  • Our administrators who help us work together to ensure we create a physically and emotionally safe and engaging learning environment.
  • Our many, many healers and helpers - the support staff and community volunteers who provide the extra hands and attention our children need.

We appreciate each one of you. May these days off be restful and healing.

  • If your family or your child needs support, please reach out to our district's counseling support line at 209-895-7796 or the 24/7 local crisis support line at (209) 558-4600 for help.
  • We look forward to seeing you again when school resumes on Monday, January 9, 2022.

Thank you for partnering with us!

Student Supports Services

Be a Kid Again with a Moment of Awe

As an adult it can sometimes be difficult to remember the sense of awe we may have had as a child at things that seem small now. Awe is that feeling a person gets when they experience something that gives them a sense of wonder and fear. You probably won’t see us promote a sense of fear often, but as part of awe when paired with a stronger sense of wonder, this feeling helps us appreciate experiences that challenge our current understanding of the world. You can watch others have this experience time and again in many of the classic holiday movies: Ebeneezer Scrooge experiences awe several times in the ghosts that help him see the holidays from a new perspective in Charles Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol. And Ralphie enjoys a moment of awe even from the Little Orphan Annie decoder ring he pulls from his mailbox in A Christmas Story. And countless children in many film and literary classics find that moment of awe when they see Santa and hear reindeer on the roof.

It turns out this sense of awe is more powerful than just a feeling that gives us a quick bit of excitement. Our friends at the Greater Good Science Center share research that shows awe has all kinds of potential benefits: Awe leads to other positive emotions like joy and gratitude, which helps people have higher levels of wellbeing on days where they experience it. Awe also promotes curiosity, creativity, and generosity. Awe can even make us feel smaller (bring in that healthy fear piece), which helps us to gain perspective and connection to the world around us.

The awesome thing about all this is that there are actual health benefits. Research has shown that people who are more likely to find awe-inspiring moments have reduced risk for heart disease, depression, and autoimmune diseases. A twist in all this is there are awful types of awe. When we are shocked and amazed by terrible things like natural disasters or war, we indeed experience a sense of awe but that comes with a higher price of fear and a likely loss of the benefits described above. Sometimes we get extra doses of these when we consume too much news media, especially news coverage full of negativity and fear-driven reporting. So when you just can’t look away because of that awe-filled feeling, remind yourself there are better ways to get that awesome fix. Take notice when awesome is more like awful, and then find a mindful moment to really soak in some awe. One of our favorite tools from the Greater Good Science Center is their monthly happiness calendar, which is packed with simple daily activities to promote happiness in life. Their December 2022 Happiness Calendar is focused on the sense of awe and provides several suggestions for finding awe-inspiring moments in your life. Take a look and have an awesome holiday break!


5 Social Media Safety Tips During the Holidays

Much like the long summer vacations, the holiday season is both an exciting and stressful time for parents, who find themselves juggling many commitments while their children have far more free time on their hands. The result, inevitably, is increased screen-time among kids and teens. While it’s hard to find an alternative to screens, there are ways to mitigate harm — with that in mind, we thought we’d put together some top tips for social media safety.

#1 Location

It’s best not to share your location on social media, or anywhere online for that matter. Many platforms have a geotagging “check-in” feature, which can be an open invite to burglars, predators, and bullies. This geotagging feature should be deactivated by disallowing location services. Likewise, it’s probably best to wait until you are home before sharing vacation pictures. Finally, it’s imperative children know not to reveal their home address.

#2 Communication

Consider sitting down for a family meeting to discuss a social media use plan. In this meeting, you can discuss boundaries and reach a consensus, for example, agreeing on a social media curfew to help aid sleep. Ask your child what apps or platforms they use, what they like and dislike about them. You’ll be entering your kid’s sphere: let them guide you too. Have your talks in a calm and open manner.

Of course, it’s important to focus on the positives of social media and screen-time as well — by focusing solely on the negatives and risks, it will be difficult to agree on a happy medium and responsible framework. Being on the same page will mean your kids having the confidence and trust to come to you with questions and concerns.

#3 Oversharing

It’s important your children know not to overshare. Kids often struggle to understand the potential consequences of oversharing, so it’s up to adults to sit down with them and explain why it’s bad and the kinds of dangers it can put people in. Children should know not to:

  • Supply their name, number, email address, passwords, address, school, or picture (until you have vetted the context);
  • Respond to emails, messages, or friend requests from people they don’t know;
  • Respond to hurtful or disturbing messages and/or images;
  • Physically meet anyone they have met only online — or anyone you don’t know;
  • Share images of valuables, such as expensive Christmas gifts.

Remind your children to always think before they post. Private information is private: ensure that privacy settings on social media platforms are all at their max. If you feel overwhelmed by all these settings, Trend Micro Family’s “social media privacy checker” will help you configure and optimize them in one central place — see below for more info!

#4 Digital Citizenship

It’s important children are familiar with the concept of digital citizenship. Aside from leading by example, offer the following rules to follow:

  • Everyone is familiar with the “golden rule”: treat others as you’d like them to treat you. Sometimes we all need a gentle reminder. Above all, be nice — and stay away from negativity and gossip.
  • Be your own person. Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not. Being who you really are will attract the kinds of people you are really good for you.
  • Remind your kids that whatever they post online will likely stay there. Content can be deleted, but it can be screenshotted in an instant as well.

#5 Digital Detox

Parents might also consider a family digital detox now and then — especially over the Christmas and New Year period, when families typically have more time together. For some great ideas, take a look at our previous family digital detox article. There’s also our epic list of 50 screen-free activities to get some inspiration from.

Source: news.trendmicro.com

Human Resources

Patterson Proud Awards

Each month our district recognizes a certificated and classified staff member who goes above and beyond the call of duty to demonstrate a great example of leadership and outstanding support of our students and programs. These recognitions are known as the Patterson Proud Awards.

Please join us in congratulating our December 2022 "Patterson Proud Award" recipients:

PJUSD is Hiring

Patterson Joint Unified School District is always looking for talented individuals to join our team. Oftentimes these individuals are first associated with our district as parents/guardians. If you are interested in employment with our district you can go to www.edjoin.org/pattersonunified to find our current vacancies. Please note that only applicants who are currently employed with PJUSD can submit interest for internal postings. However, we are currently looking for external vacancies as well for Yard Duty and Paraeducator team members.

Those not interested in permanent employment with Patterson Joint can apply to become a qualified substitute to fill in for staff absences. If you want more information on how to be added to our substitute list please contact Katie Jones by emailing her at kajones@patterson.k12.ca.us.