SUSD P.E. teachers brought 7th and 8th grade students from ten different schools together for a first-ever soccer tournament this month, filling the Marshall and Taylor fields with students, parents and great competition. The teachers collaborated for weeks on the event, agreeing to common rules and practices for play. More than 130 students participated in the games, with students competing at every level. Special thanks to the teacher/coaches from King, San Joaquin, Taylor, Marshal, Monroe, Hazelton, Kennedy, Wilson, Henry and Fillmore. Big thanks to Steven Perez from Elmwood for taking a lead on this. The P.E. teachers are planning to continue the tourneys, with other sports on the docket!
The SUSD Police Department held its Fall 2015 Open House for families and neighbors this week, showcasing prevention efforts and introducing their popular search terrier “Yoda.” Yoda and the police cars were a hit with the students, who took photographs with officers and learned what community policing entails. SUSD Police Chief Bryon Gustafson launched the twice-yearly event last year as a way to create relationships with the community. “This is an important event for the school police because it gives us an opportunity to interact with the community in a casual setting,” Chief Gustafson said. “They can ask questions, we can hear about their concerns, and everybody has a chance to learn.”
Staff and students at SUSD schools wore orange Wednesday in support of Unity Day to wipe out bullying. Students wore wristbands and orange t-shirts and held small activities to enforce positive student leadership and behaviors. The students at Tyler Elementary took a pledge from Principal Henry Phillips to make their campus bully-free and a place where all students feel welcome. At Henry, Rio Calaveras, Van Buren, Wilson and the other elementary schools, students discussed overcoming bullying. Unity Day launches Anti-Bully month, which is November.
Unity Day is part of the annual national Red Ribbon Week aimed at discouraging drug and alcohol use among youth. Efforts to reduce drug and alcohol use have worked at SUSD schools, where state reports show consumption has dropped in recent years. Likewise the effort to halt bullying has paid off with a documented reduction in bullying incidents at schools. Good work by the staff and students at Stockton Unified!