Introducing PJUSD's Newsletter
This newsletter is sent by our district's Superintendent and Cabinet members to provide updates and important information about our schools and district. In addition, it will provide details regarding upcoming events, programs, and initiatives that we encourage our families to engage in.
In the spirit of making connections that matter, our district hopes to improve our school community by providing more opportunities to remain involved and informed in our district's endeavors.
Educational Partners - Working Together For the Success of Our Students
Partnering with our parents is a critical component to the success of our students. Parents are the first teachers of their children and as educational partners, it is our responsibility to come alongside you and support the learning process. At Patterson Unified, we want to continue to strengthen the bond between parents and schools. There are a couple of ways that we can achieve this goal. First of all, connect with your child’s teacher. This can be achieved through email, phone calls, or in person. We appreciate getting to know you and your child. Second, download ParentSquare and have access to Aeries. If these two tools sound foreign to you, please don’t fear. We are working on having on-demand videos for you to access. Along with keeping up with their grades and teacher's notifications, have a conversation with your child about their day. Ask them questions about what went well and what could have been better. Making the time to have a conversation can be challenging due to the business of our day but once your child knows that you are in tune with their school world, your child will feel better supported.
Each of your schools has a parent engagement plan and as a district, we plan to provide a variety of classes, training, and workshops on topics that are of interest to you. We have created a parent survey to gather feedback. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey:
Measure E Bond – Addressing overcrowding, aging facilities, and expanding career and vocational and career technical education
As a community, our students' education, safety, and well-being is of the utmost importance making schools one of our community’s most vital assets. Our District is struggling to keep pace with a growing community, aging facilities, and the need to expand vocational and career technical programs. Together, with the support of the community, we pushed back against developers and ensured they paid their ‘fair share’ of development fees which will help partially fund new school facilities. Traditionally, school facilities are paid for 1/3 by developers, 1/3 from state bond funds (though there are no current funds available), and 1/3 locally with bonds or other similar financings.
As developers are held accountable, our community will have a smaller share of the total costs to support, but that support is needed soon. Our District is facing overcrowding, aging facilities, outdated fire and safety systems, and we need to keep pace with vocational careers.
Measure E will be on the November ballot to address District facility needs. These funds will be spent only in our district and cannot be taken by the State and spent elsewhere.
Projects to be funded include:
Building new classrooms to relieve overcrowding
Updating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) labs at schools throughout the district
Expanding and increasing career and technical education classrooms to prepare students for college and future careers
Replacing leaking pipes and aging plumbing
Upgrading fire alarms and emergency communication systems to improve school safety
We want to ensure that tough legal safeguards are put in place to protect local taxpayers.
Measure E does this by:
Requiring annual audits and independent taxpayer oversight of how funds are spent
Prohibiting funds from going to administrator salaries, pensions, or benefits
Imposing tough legal safeguards requiring that all funds be spent on our local schools and not siphoned off by the state
Food Service Revamping Menu Offerings
To address feedback expressed by our students and their parents, Food Service is making some systemic changes this year. To address menu choices, we are exploring new options but want to be guided by input from our students, their parents, staff, and community members. While nutritional requirements are set by the state of California, within those guidelines we want to have a menu offering that meets the needs of our students.
Therefore, we are planning an event in October (tentatively) in which we will invite site admin, staff, parents, and students to sample various food offerings. Then, based on the feedback we receive, incorporate those suggestions into our fall menu.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Supports Services
Throughout the month of September, PJUSD is conducting a variety of activities to promote suicide prevention and mental health awareness as part of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The Patterson Promotoras also continue to help our schools promote mental health by hanging lime green ribbons around school sites during campaigns like this. ¡Gracias Promotoras de Patterson!
Suicide may be a difficult subject to talk about, but it is important to be ready for this conversation if and when it comes up. The good news is that suicide is preventable and anyone can help save the life of someone who may be thinking of killing themselves. Everyone can be at risk for suicide and knowing the signs is the first step in being able to help. If someone you know is talking about death or suicide, looking for ways they can hurt or kill themselves, or talking about feeling hopeless, then ask them if you can help. Let that person know you care; say “I want you to live” or “How you are feeling must be tough, but maybe there’s a chance it will get better.” Reassure them that help is available and you know just who to call (or text) from anywhere: 988. The new number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 988. You can call or text this number at any time to get free assistance from people trained to provide caring support. If you would like to learn more about suicide prevention visit California’s Know the Signs website at www.suicideispreventable.org.
PJUSD provides training to all staff on recognizing the warning signs and providing assistance to someone who may be thinking of suicide. This training is also available to community partners and parents for free! If you are interested in participating in this training, please contact Ken Fitzgerald, Director of Student Support Programs at email@example.com or (209) 895-7726.
Grants & Communications
Our district strives to provide effective, meaningful communication among our schools, parents, staff, and community.
In addition to our websites and this newsletter, we encourage our parents to utilize our other communication platforms to ensure you stay up-to-date on all of our school and district events, activities, announcements, and celebrations.
ParentSquare is one of the most important communication platforms we use in our district. It is a safe, secure, and modern approach to communication and collaboration between the district, schools, and home. It is a central hub for all district, school, grade level, class, and group notifications about your children.
Parents/guardians new to our district may have recently received an invite to activate their access to ParentSquare but if you are not yet connected, please reach out to your school site or our district to help get you connected.
Peachjar is an electronic flyer distribution system that allows district staff and community partners to distribute flyers directly to students, parents, and school staff.
This communication tool helps streamline our network of communication and ensures that important information about our schools and/or community events is not lost in the transition from a student's backpack by providing a digital distribution system that goes directly to our parents, students, and staff emails.
Community flyers are vetted for relevance and appropriateness at the district level and allow our partners an opportunity to share important resources and activities with our families.
Facebook is our district's recognized social media platform. Here we share photos, videos, informational, and celebratory messages about our students, staff, and district/school initiatives.
Each school site has a Facebook page. We encourage all our parents and staff to follow your school's page and our district's page to join us in celebration of all the amazing things our schools, students, and staff engage in throughout the district.
Make a Connection
Patterson Joint Unified School District
Apricot Valley Elementary School
Creekside Middle School
Northmead Elementary School
Grayson Elementary School
Las Palmas Elementary School
Del Puerto / Open Valley Independent School
Patterson High School
Walnut Grove Elementary School