PJUSD Newsletter

January 2023


Dr. Reyes Gauna




Susan White

Executive Assistant / Cabinet Member


January 2023 Newsletter - Dr. Gauna Message
Actualizaciones de Enero 2023 - Dr. Gauna

Check Out Our New Strategic Plan

Attendance Matters

Promoting Good Attendance All Winter Long:

Every winter, bad weather can present challenges to getting children to school. So do illnesses such as colds, flu, fevers, and earaches that often come with the winter months.

What Can Parents Do?

1. Develop backup plans for getting your children to school in bad weather.

  • Give yourself extra time to encounter the unknown (traffic, detours, etc.). With bad weather, unfortunately also comes bad drivers and other bad road conditions. Take extra time in the morning to ensure you can safely get your children to school on time.
  • Check to see who can give your children a ride to school if you aren't able to take them or the bus doesn't arrive.
  • Contact your school administrator to let them know of any other consistent issues regarding transportation to see what options might be available for your children.
2. Keep your children healthy.

  • Maintain a regular bedtime and morning routine.
  • Ensure students eat a good breakfast every morning or get them to school in time to a eat school-provided breakfast
  • Ensure your children visit their medical provider and have received their vaccines/immunizations.
  • Stress hand washing, particularly before and after eating, and after using the restroom.
  • Reinforce the importance of avoiding close contact with individuals who are sick, and not sharing cups and/or utensils with others.
  • If your children seem anxious about going to school, ask teachers, school counselors, your medical provider, and parents for advice on how to make your children feel comfortable and excited about learning.

3. Keep your children engaged in learning if they cannot attend school in person.

  • Ask your teacher or school for resources that you can use at home to keep your children learning, including computers, internet access, and online learning platforms.
  • Identify who can support your children's learning at home, especially if you must go to work.
  • Encourage your children to call classmates and stay connected to the teacher to fund out about what they missed.

Student Supports Services

January - A Time for Fresh Starts, And New Friends:

With the celebration of another New Year’s Day often comes commitments to resolutions and new beginnings. Like dropping those 10 (or more) pounds to get to that goal weight or paying down those credit card debts. Sometimes these resolutions can stack up as nothing more than added expectations that may actually add negative stress instead of helping us make progress toward a better self. So what can we do to really find personal improvement and encourage that growth in our children? Start with being kind to yourself, like you would be to a friend while being mindful that challenges, mistakes, and failures are all a part of life (and growing) for all of us. Through decades of research, Kristen Neff has developed the concept of self-compassion as an approach to promote kindness towards self, connection with others, and a simple acceptance of the fact that we can’t always be perfect. These elements help us to treat ourselves like we would a friend in their time of need. Then follow up with a bit of encouragement that even when life or school gets hard, we are able to learn through those challenges when we keep a growth mindset and ask for help. Carol Dweck is another expert on success and well-being. She developed the concept of the growth mindset, which is a person’s ability to see a struggle as an opportunity to learn, hard work as a way to grow stronger, and criticism as the best way to know where growth is needed. One common theme from both of these researchers is the value of connection with others. When we struggle or try to make change alone it’s harder and we miss out on opportunities to grow through it. As a parent, it is important to model these strategies when we ask our children to follow this advice. So go easy on yourself when mistakes happen and be ready to ask for and accept support from your friends and other parents you know.

Students in PJUSD are not only starting a new year, but it’s also time to start a new grading term. This is a great opportunity to continue building on or set a new path for success. And students don’t have to do this alone. There is a wide range of support with friendly and knowledgeable people ready to help at each school site. The best first step is to talk with a teacher and ask for any help or guidance you might need. Every PJUSD school also has student support staff including Student Assistance Specialists, counselors, and mental health clinicians ready to provide support and guidance through difficult challenges. Principals and assistant principals are also ready to provide that extra support to keep students growing and help them be successful and happy in school.

So when you’re maybe not having your best day, remember we all have those days and we’ll work together on making a fresh start with the right support and friends around us.


Help Kids Navigate Viral Social Media Stunts

Fads are nothing new. We see a lot of people wearing, doing, or saying something, and we want to try it, too. Today, fads on social media can take the form of viral stunts captured on video. And since kids are sensitive to peer pressure and FOMO (fear of missing out), they're often the first to want to try them. These stunts, also called "challenges," can range from harmless to horrifying.

If you're looking for advice on talking to your children about the latest social media challenge, check out these tips and conversation starters:

1. Talk about it

  • Though we can't always be with our older kids and teens to prevent dangerous behavior, our words can stay with them.
  • Ask: Have you ever thought about doing an online challenge?" Listen for hesitation, and let them know it's OK for them to check in with you first before participating.

2. Get Them to think it through
  • Help your kid think through the challenge and decide if it's safe or has potential risks. Stunts like the Devious Licks or Slap a Teacher challenge are not only wrong but may have serious legal consequences when other people and property are harmed.
  • Ask: What is this challenge asking you to do?" Encourage them to walk through each step and figure out where things could go wrong.

3. Acknowledge peer pressure
  • Kids might feel pushed into participating in viral trends for different reasons. Maybe it was a dare they want attention, or their friends are doing it.
  • Ask: "Why do you really want to do this? Is this a video of yourself that you really want out in the world?" Talk to them about how their online videos can affect them in the future.

4. Stay (somewhat) up to date
  • Ask your kid about what's happening in their lives -- even when it seems like they don't want you to. Sometimes kids are more willing to talk about other kids than about themselves. Pse questions about friends, school, and trends.
  • Ask: "Would you consider doing a viral stunt if someone asked you? Which ones would you do and not do?" keep an open mind and intervene if you're concerned about the latest craze.

5. Embrace the good ones
  • Encourage your kid to find -- or maybe even start -- a positive online challenge. From feel-good dance crazes to global awareness campaigns, social media trends can spread happiness and motivate positive change.
  • Ask: "What kinds of challenges could do some good in the world or in our community?" Help your kids brainstorm fun and sage options that everyone can take part in.

6. Model responsible online habits
  • Some parents and caregivers are the ones recording their kids as they try these challenges. Make sure your involvement sends the message you intend.
  • Ask: "How can I help you with your idea?" Help your kids make the distinction between what is realistic and what may be dangerous so they can stay safe.

Source: commonsensemedia.org

Education Services

Transitional Kinder & Kindergarten Registration Coming in March

Our schools will begin to enroll students for the 2023-2024 school year in early March. One common question we have is how old a child needs to be to enroll in an elementary school.

To be eligible for Kindergarten (K) for the 2023-2024 school year, a child must be five years old on or before September 1, 2023. This means any students born after 9/2/2017 and before 9/1/2018 are eligible to attend Kindergarten next year.

Our district also offers a Transitional Kindergarten program. Transitional Kindergarten is a ½ day program that builds fundamental skills in students in preparation for Kindergarten and is part of our elementary programs and thus free of charge to families.

To be eligible for Transitional Kindergarten (TK) for the 2023-2024 school year, a child must turn five years old between September 2, 2023, and April 2, 2024. This means any students born after 9/2/2018 and before 4/2/2019 are eligible to attend our Transitional Kindergarten next year.

We will be sending out more information with enrollment locations, dates, and required documents to bring in the weeks to come.

2023-2024 Instructional Calendar Approved

At the January 9th School Board Meeting, our Board of Trustees approved the Instructional Calendar for the 2023-2024 school year. For those who like to plan the year in advance, you can find the current and new Instructional Calendars in English and Spanish on our district's website under the "Calendar" tab at the top.

Human Resources

PJUSD Hiring Event - Afterschool Program Leaders


Patterson Joint Unified School District is looking for Afterschool Program Leaders.

Event: PJUSD Hiring Event

Date: Thursday, January 26 2023

Time: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Location: Patterson Professional Development Center, 530 Keystone Blvd. 95363

Submit your online application at https://bit.ly/pjusd-hire23 to reserve your interview spot on January 26th.

Applications must be submitted by January 20th.

Contact Katie Jones for questions/assistance: 209-895-7799 - kajones@patterson.k12.ca.us