SJUSD e-news

San Josť Unified removes the post-secondary access financial barrier for its high school students

Starting this school year, San Josť Unified School District (SJUSD) high school students will be one step closer toward realizing their college-career dreams. The South Bay's largest school district will begin covering the cost of the exams that traditionally have made high school seniors competitive with the college entrance process. As of this school year, the SAT (Standardized Achievement Test) will be free for all 11th graders and students will pay a minimal fee to take an unlimited amount of AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) tests.

The two new opportunities that improve post-secondary access and supports San Josť Unified students are as follows:
* Every 11th grade student will have the opportunity to take the SAT for free at his or her school on March 2, 2016. SJUSD will now be providing the SAT for free to all 11th graders each spring.
The SAT test currently costs $54.50 per administration.

* The cost of any AP or IB exam for a student will be reduced to $5. SJUSD will cover the remainder of the cost for families who completed and returned the packet of information mailed to them.
Each individual AP test currently costs $92. Each International Baccalaureate test costs $113 in addition to a $164 registration fee.

The school district plans to make an initial investment of $550,000 for this initiative. San Josť Unified's enrollment at the high school level is 10,150 students with 2,500 in the 11th grade. The school district offers 26 different AP courses from AP Art History to AP World History. During the 2014-15 school year, San Josť Unified students took 4,559 AP tests. Its award-winning International Baccalaureate school, San Josť High, offers the only IB courses in the school district. During the 2014-15 school year, San Josť High students took 515 IB tests.

The school district mailed home to parents a packet of information explaining the process and how their student can benefit.
Individual Student Score Reports are in the mail

This month, families of San Josť Unified students in grades 4-9, 11, and 12 received in the mail their student's Individual Student Score Reports from the spring administration of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests. The Student Score Reports show how students performed on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium's Summative Assessment (S-BAC) in English language arts and mathematics (grades 3-8 and 11) and California Standards Test (CST) for science (grades 5 and 10).

Watch this video to help you understand how to read the Individual Student Score Report. 

Note: Viewers may  need to refresh their browsers

These assessments, administered each spring, allow San Josť Unified students and all California children to show their knowledge of what they're mastering in the classroom and at school by participating in the S-BAC assessments, which are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Close to 20,000 Individual Student Score Reports were mailed home. 
Academic Perseverance increases for SJUSD middle school students

San Josť Unified School District (SJUSD) middle school students are tenacious and work through obstacles to classroom success as shown by the 2014-15 Student Climate Survey!  Also known as grit, Academic Perseverance, has increased among SJUSD middle school students.
SJUSD middle school leaders, counselors, and District Office staff met regularly during the 2014-15 school year to discuss and implement strategies to improve the academic perseverance of students. This shared commitment likely led to an increase in the number of students reporting an increase in Academic Perseverance.
Several schools piloted strategies to help students develop a growth mindset and practice skills that can help them overcome academic challenges. Some of those strategies include:
  • Students at Burnett Middle were paired with adult mentors that provided feedback to them on weekly goals. Through this process, students received positive and constructive feedback from their mentors and learned how to set weekly goals.
  • Students at John Muir Middle were given the opportunity to attend an after-school math center 1-3 days a week for extra support. Additionally, John Muir piloted new school behavioral expectations called Academic SOAR  (S-Struggle, O-Obstacles, A-Accepting Responsibility, R-Reflection). Teachers explained the new expectations and discussed with students what it means to continue to try hard despite obstacles.  
This year, middle school leaders and teachers continue to meet and implement strategies to increase the Academic Perseverance of all SJUSD middle school students.

San Josť Unified to celebrate National Food Day!

Food Day encourages and inspires all Americans to rethink their food choices and help change food policies.  This year's theme is "Towards a Greener Diet." 

At San Jose Unified, Food Day aligns with the school district's new Think [CA] cafeteria offerings. With a focus on local, clean and fresh, Think [CA] empowers and encourages students to make healthier choices, every day.

This year, Food Day is Saturday, October 24. On Friday, October 23, San Josť Unified students were part of the Food Day movement when they stopped by their cafeteria for a delicious, locally grown apple. 

Make a crunch! Taste the flavor; think about who grows the fruit, where it is grown and how it can positively affect your health.  

Healthier food choices help to reduce risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, etc.  Small changes can have lasting impacts...choose a fruit or vegetable in place of a pre-packaged snack, reduce amount of salt added to foods, and limit sugar sweetened beverage consumption. 
Food Day aims to support sustainable and organic farms, reduce hunger, and increase access to healthy foods. It also supports fair working conditions for food and farm workers, and reform traditional factory farms to help protect our environment and farm workers.

Pioneer High's Hernandez Morales earns STEM education honor

The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) and Texas Instruments recently honored Pioneer High's Saul Hernandez Morales with the 2015 Texas Instruments STEM Teaching Award. The award honors STEM teachers in grades 7-12 who consistently demonstrate quality instruction, inspire interest, and enhance student achievement in STEM subjects.  Read more about Mr. Hernandez Morales' honor here.
Lincoln High's Lion Pride Band invited to perform in nation's capital

More than 100 student-musicians from San Josť Unified School District's (SJUSD)
Lincoln High will travel across the country next spring with an important duty: to represent their school, district, community, and the whole state as they perform during one of the country's largest national festivities. The Lincoln High musicians, who make up the Lincoln High Lion Pride Band, have been selected by congresswoman Zoe Lofgren to represent California in the 2016 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C.

"The Lincoln High School Lion Pride Band is proud to represent our school, community, and California in the 2016 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C.," said Mr. Craig McKenzie, Lincoln High School's band director. "Our 135 band students comprise the top musicians at Lincoln and we are excited for this amazing trip. Many of our students have never traveled outside of the area. This opportunity will be a trip that they remember for the rest of their lives. As a band teacher in California, I'm proud to facilitate this honor."

The Lions will march down Constitution Avenue on Monday, May 30, 2016 in front of over 200,000 spectators. One hundred and thirty five Lincoln High students make up the band. This will be the first visit to Washington, D.C. for over 60% of the band members.

In order to make this trip a reality, parent volunteers are supporting the school and the students by raising funds to provide scholarships. The National Memorial Day Parade educational trip to Washington, D.C. will cost approximately $200,000. Lincoln High will be hosting many fundraisers throughout the year to make sure that the students who wish to attend this event will have access to those funds. Individuals interested in assisting the students can visit to learn how they can help.
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