PJUSD Newsletter

February 2023


Dr. Reyes Gauna




Susan White

Executive Assistant / Cabinet Member


February 2023 Newsletter - Dr. Gauna Message
Actualizaciones de Febrero 2023 - Dr. Gauna

Citizens Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) for Measure E

Dear Patterson Community Members,

Patterson Joint Unified School District (PJUSD) is seeking applicants for the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee for Measure E. This is a committee that, in accordance with Education Code section 15278(b), is responsible for informing the public about the expenditures of Measure E bond funds. The committee will also review and issue regular reports on taxpayers’ money spent on school construction at least once a year.

We are seeking individuals from the Patterson community to serve on the committee for the following roles:

  • An active business organization representing the business community
  • An active member of a senior citizens’ organization
  • An active member of a taxpayers association
  • A parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the district
  • A parent or guardian active in a support organization for any of our schools such as PTA/PTO, School Site Council, or a Charitable group supporting the District
  • Two members of the community at-large

If you are interested in serving on the committee, please submit your application to the district by March 1, 2023. Appointments will be formally made by the PJUSD Board of Trustees at a later date.

Click here to download and complete the application. You can also visit our Measure E page on our district’s website to access the application and learn more about Measure E.

For questions, please contact Johnny Padilla, Grants & Communications Coordinator, at jpadilla@patterson.k12.ca.us or 209-895-7700.


Reyes Gauna, Ed.D


Attendance Matters

We Love School Attendance:

February is often associated with love and appreciation, and at our school, we show our love and appreciation for our students by encouraging them to attend school regularly.

Studies have shown that students who attend school consistently perform better academically and have higher graduation rates compared to their peers who miss a significant number of days. Regular attendance also helps students establish good habits and routines, which are essential for success in all aspects of their lives.

Did You Know?

  • Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful, and on track to graduation.
  • Frequent absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other difficulty.
  • By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school,
  • By 9th grade, attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than test scores.
  • Missing 10% or 2 days a month over the course of the school year, can affect a student's academic success.

What Can You Do?

  • Continue to make attendance a priority.
  • Find out if your children feel engaged in their classes, and feel safe from bullies and other threats.
  • Make sure your children are not missing class because of challenges with behavioral issues or school discipline policies. If any of these are problems, contact the school and work with them to find a solution.
  • Monitor your child's academic progress by checking AERIES and ParentSquare regularly and seek help from teachers or tutors when necessary. Make sure teachers and your school knows how to contact you.
  • Stay on top of your child's social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated.
  • Encourage your child to join meaningful afterschool activities, including sports and clubs.
  • Notice and support your children if they are showing signs of anxiety.

Communicate With Your School

  • Know your school's attendance policy, including incentives and penalties.
  • Check on your child's attendance to be sure absences are not adding up.
  • Seek help from school staff, other parents, or community agencies if you need additional support.

We understand that there may be times when absences are unavoidable, but we are here to support you and your child in ensuring that they attend school regularly. Whether it's through flexible scheduling, accommodations, or other resources, we are committed to helping your child reach their full potential.

Let's work together to make February a month of positive attendance habits and academic success for our students. Thank you for your support and partnership in promoting regular school attendance.

Source: www.attendanceworks.org

Student Supports Services

Supporting Your Children During Times of Grief

Grief is a complex and challenging emotion that can be difficult to address, especially when speaking with children. It's normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to say, but it's important to acknowledge and address their feelings, as it can help them process and understand their loss. By being open and honest with children, you can provide them with support and comfort during difficult times, helping them to heal and grow in a healthy way.

The Dougy Center is a valuable resource for parents who want to learn about grief and how to support their children during this difficult time.

In their article, "How to Help a Grieving Teen," the Dougy Center provides six basic principles of teen grief:

6 Principles of Teen Grief

  1. Grieving is the teen’s natural reaction to death. Grief is a natural reaction to death and other losses. However, grieving does not feel natural because it may be difficult to control the emotions, thoughts, or physical feelings associated with death. The sense of being out of control that is often a part of grief may overwhelm or frighten some teens. Grieving is normal and healthy, yet may be an experience teens resist and reject. Helping teens accept the reality that they are grievers allows them to do their grief work and to progress in their grief journey.

  2. Each teen’s grieving experience is unique. Grieving is a different experience for each person. Teens grieve for different lengths of time and express a wide spectrum of emotions. Grief is best understood as a process in which bodily sensations, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors surface in response to the death, its circumstances, the past relationship with the deceased and the realization of the future without the person. For example, sadness and crying may be an expression of grief for one teen, while another may respond with humor and laughter.

    While many theories and models of the grieving process provide a helpful framework, the path itself is an individual one, and often lonely. No book or grief therapist can predict or prescribe exactly what a teen will or should go through on the grief journey. Adults can best assist grieving teenagers by accompanying them on their journey in the role of listener and learner, and by allowing the teen to function as a teacher.

  3. There are no “right” and “wrong” ways to grieve. Sometimes adults express strong opinions about “right” or “wrong” ways to grieve. But there is no correct way to grieve. Coping with death does not follow a simple pattern or set of rules nor is it a course to be evaluated or graded.

    There are, however, “helpful” and “unhelpful” choices and behaviors associated with the grieving process. Some behaviors are constructive and encourage facing grief, such as talking with trusted friends, journaling, creating art, and expressing emotion rather than holding it inside. Other grief responses are destructive and may cause long-term complications and consequences. For example, some teens attempt to escape their pain through many of the same escape routes adults choose: alcohol and substance abuse, reckless sexual activity, antisocial behaviors, withdrawal from social activities, excessive sleeping, high risk-taking behaviors, and other methods that temporarily numb the pain of their loss.

  4. Every death is unique and is experienced differently. The way teens grieve differs according to personality and the particular relationship they had with the deceased. They typically react in different ways to the death of a parent, sibling, grandparent, child, or friend. For many teens, peer relationships are primary. The death or loss of a boyfriend or girlfriend may seem to affect them more than the death of a sibling or grandparent.

    Within a family, each person may mourn differently at different times. One may be talkative, another may tend to cry often, and a third might withdraw. This can generate a great deal of tension and misunderstanding within the already stressed family. Each person’s response to death should be honored as his or her way of coping with that moment. Keep in mind that responses may change from day to day or even from hour to hour.

  5. The grieving process is influenced by many issues. The impact of a death on a teen relates to a combination of factors including:

    1. Social support systems available for the teen (family, friends, and/or community)
    2. Circumstances of the death - how, where and when the person died
    3. Whether or not the young person unexpectedly found the body
    4. The nature of the relationship with the person who died - harmonious, abusive, conflictual, unfinished, communicative
    5. The teen’s level of involvement in the dying process
    6. The emotional and developmental age of the teen
    7. The teen’s previous experiences with death

  6. Grief is ongoing. Grief never ends, but it does change in character and intensity. Many grievers have compared their grieving to the constantly shifting tides of the ocean; ranging from calm, low tides to raging high tides that change with the seasons and the years.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to your child's school, counselor, or site administrator if you feel your child needs additional assistance. Our staff are here to help!


How to Improve Communication with Your Child's School/School District

As a district, fostering strong connections with our students, families, staff, and community is key to ensuring student success. To strengthen communication and maintain positive relationships, we are always seeking new ways to improve. Here are some tips for our families and community partners to maintain a positive relationship with our district and schools:

  • Be proactive: Reach out to the school or district proactively to stay informed and involved in your child's education.
  • Ask questions: Don't be afraid to ask questions about your child's education or the policies and procedures of the school or district.
  • Attend school events: Participate in school events and activities, such as parent-teacher conferences, open houses, community meetings, and other events that allow you to connect with school staff and district officials.
  • Provide feedback: Schools and the district often share surveys or provide time for feedback during meetings, conferences, and other events. These are great opportunities to share your thoughts about your child's education in a constructive manner.
  • Build relationships: Get to know the school and district staff, including teachers, administrators, and board members.
  • Stay informed: Regularly check the school and district websites, newsletters, and social media channels to stay up-to-date on events and important news.
  • Volunteer: Participate in school or district volunteer opportunities to demonstrate your commitment and support.
  • Foster open communication: Encourage open and ongoing communication between the school, district, and families, and work together to find solutions to challenges.
  • Work together: Recognize that the school and district are partners in your child's education, and be willing to work together to achieve common goals.
  • Be open-minded: Approach discussions and decisions with an open mind, and consider alternative perspectives and viewpoints.
  • Celebrate successes: Recognize and celebrate the successes and achievements of the school and district, and share positive news and updates with your community.

By following these tips, families, community, and staff can foster positive and productive relationships with our schools and districts, and help ensure our student's success.

United Patterson Student Profile

Join us in celebrating the success of former Patterson graduates with our United Patterson monthly Student Profile series. Our latest profile features Luis Gomez, a proud member of the Patterson High School Class of 2012. Read his story and discover more inspiring profiles at our United Patterson website: https://www.patterson.k12.ca.us/community/UnitedPatterson.

Do you know a Patterson graduate who embodies the spirit of United Patterson? Share their story with our community by clicking the link: https://bit.ly/UPprofile.

District Projects

New Green Space at Apricot Valley

We are thrilled to announce the completion of the newly updated turf at our elementary school's kindergarten play area! This green space is providing a fun and safe environment for our youngest students to play and learn. The kindergarteners are already making memories and enjoying their new space. A big thank you to our Maintenance & Operations team for their hard work and dedication in leading this project. Their efforts have created a space for our students to play and grow for years to come.