Remedial efforts succeeding across district, THS sports teams thriving
Tehachapi School Board Update
October 28, 2023
On Oct. 10, Tehachapi Unified School District held their regular monthly board meeting. Each month on the second Tuesday, the TUSD school board meets at the Claude L. Wells Learning Center at 5 p.m. to discuss news and upcoming events within the school district. Reports from the superintendent, Tehachapi Association of Teachers, California School Employee Association and the Parent Teacher Organization allow parents and board members to be more aware of and involved in their students' education.
Since 2022, TUSD has been involved in Capturing Kids' Hearts, an experiential-based program designed to aid educators in fostering social-emotional strength and wellbeing in their students. A recently instituted student-greeter program provides an opportunity each month for kids from all schools across the district to practice social skills by greeting each school board meeting attendee with a handshake, Capturing Kids' Hearts flier and an enthusiastic, "Hello!" For the last several board meetings, students of all ages have shown up to demonstrate and build on their social and communication skills. This is the goal of Capturing Kids' Hearts.
Superintendent Stacey Larson-Everson was proud to announce that Jacobsen Middle School was recently awarded the California PBIS Silver Implementation Award. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based framework for developing effective student behavioral and emotional support systems and practices. The California PBIS is an organization devoted to promoting and evaluating the implementation of the PBIS framework in schools across the state, offering Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum awards to schools that make the cut. Jacobsen will soon be receiving a flag to fly as they begin pursuit of the Gold Award.
Tehachapi Independent Learning Academy (TILA) had a Safety Week this month which included active shooter drills assisted by the newly adopted LifeSpot, an app that allows users to alert multiple emergency services, school staff members and students of an active shooter situation with the press of a single button. An instant messaging system is created between app users and law enforcement and information about the shooter's location or injured people can be immediately communicated to the police and across the school through the app. Users are also able to account for themselves post-incident through the app, making it faster to identify those who may still be missing. During Safety Week, TILA students also got the opportunity to sit inside a real fire truck and talk about fire safety with local firemen.
The RTI program at Golden Hills Elementary, a remedial and confidence-building course/approach, is seeing success with the students. Response to intervention (RTI) is a strategy to identify struggling students early on and give them the support they need to thrive socially and academically. RTI helps students set goals effectively and bridges gaps in foundational skills holding them back from achieving state standards for their grade level. Cummings Valley Elementary recently hired two new tutors due to similar student performance issues as Golden Hills. These tutors work one-on-one with students in the classroom throughout each school day to provide personalized aid for students struggling in the classroom.
Tehachapi High School sports teams continue to win games and accrue titles. The football team is in the top 25 teams within the Central Valley and in the top 200 statewide, with other sports teams, both boys and girls, boasting similar stories of success. The Warrior's Booster Club praised the recent school sports facility upgrades across the district and was happy to report that their fundraising efforts have been highly successful, with people actively reaching out to ask to donate. Visit https://thsboosters.com for more information on supporting THS sports teams.
On Oct. 8, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 274, which bans the suspension and expulsion of students who are "willfully defiant." As of July 2024, students in California will no longer be able to be suspended or expelled from school for low-level behavioral issues such as talking back to teachers or refusing to remove a hat during class time. School Board President Paul Kaminski expressed concern over the implications of the bill and the possible uptick in student defiance incidents following its instatement next year.
Upcoming TUSD events include Halloween Spooktacular, a family-friendly carnival, on Oct. 30 at the JMS gym from 5 to 8 p.m., Family Math Night on Nov. 2 at Tompkins Elementary from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and Sipping with the Supe on Nov. 7 at Kohnen's Bakery from 7:30 to 10 a.m. The next board meeting will be on Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. in the Claude L. Wells Learning Center at 300 S. Robinson St., and parents are encouraged to attend.