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Legacy Magnet Academy Aerial View

Enjoy a bird's eye view of Tustin Unified School District's Legacy Magnet Academy, which is under construction and will open on August 13 for the 2020-21 school year with approximately 460 students in grades six through nine.  The new middle/high school is located near the mammoth wooden blimp hangars in the Tustin Legacy development (former Tustin Marine Corps Air Station) at the corner of Tustin Ranch Road and Valencia Avenue.  Principal Dr. Jennifer Harrison said her teachers are currently participating in training and developing their curricular units for the coming school year.  Additionally, the school counselor is helping seventh- and eighth-grade students enroll in Irvine Valley College's Entrepreneurship Program and ninth graders in IVC's public speaking and speech and debate courses.  Legacy Magnet Academy is designed for students who wish to pursue their interests in Technology, Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship (TIDE).  Just like the famous blimp, everyone at the school is expecting a Goodyear.

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Resolution Condemning Racism

Dear TUSD Community:

The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many others have drawn attention and protests around the world against violence and racism aimed especially at Black Americans.  On Monday, June 22, 2020, the Tustin Unified School District Board of Education passed a resolution condemning racism and committing the District to addressing issues of equity and inclusion through its curriculum, practices and systems.  

We all have a role in ensuring every student feels safe, respected and valued at school.  Together, we will provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students.

Please see attached resolution. 

Resolution_No._06-29-20.pdf

Thank you.

 

Gregory A. Franklin, Ed.D.

Superintendent

Tustin Unified School District

 

SPANISH

Estimados Padres y Tutores Legales de TUSD:

 

Las muertes de George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery y muchos otros han llamado la atención y se han presentado protestas en todo el mundo contra la violencia y el racismo dirigidos especialmente a los afroamericanos. El lunes 22 de junio de 2020, la Mesa Directiva del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Tustin aprobó una resolución condenando el racismo y comprometiendo al Distrito a abordar cuestiones de equidad e inclusión a través de su plan de estudios, prácticas y sistemas.

Todos tenemos un papel para asegurar que cada estudiante se sienta seguro, respetado y valorado en la escuela. Juntos, proporcionaremos un ambiente de aprendizaje seguro e inclusivo para todos los estudiantes.

Por favor vea la resolución adjunta.

Resolution_No._06-29-20_SPANISH.pdf

Gracias.

 

Gregory A. Franklin, Ed.D.

Superintendente

Distrito Escolar Unificado de Tustin

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Coronavirus Update #19

COVID-19 Message for Parents and Guardians – June 23, 2020

From Gregory A. Franklin, Ed.D., Superintendent

Tustin Unified School District

Free Grocery Distribution on Thursday, June 25, at Tustin High School

Saddleback Church currently provides free food to families and people in need at our community “pop-up” grocery distributions.  They supply fresh produce, dairy products, bread/desserts, protein and canned goods.   You can drive through or if you are walking, please bring a wagon, cart or stroller to fill with groceries.

Thursday,  June 25, 2020 –  8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Tustin High School, Main Parking Lot, 1171 El Camino Real, Tustin

 

Help Your Community – Participate in the U.S. Census 2020

Reminder!  The 2020 United States Census is happening now!  Please respond today at www.2020census.gov.  There are 10 simple questions that take 10 minutes or less.  You can also respond via phone at (844) 330-2020 or call and ask for a form to be sent to you via mail.  You can also respond to the census in 13 languages, including Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.

The census happens only once every 10 years as mandated by the U.S. Constitution.  It helps determine congressional representation for our community and guides the spending of $675 billion of government funding.  This includes funding for education – TK-12 schools and college, hospitals, community health clinics and government response in emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.  The information you provide in your census response is confidential and protected by law.   It is not shared with anyone including law enforcement, IRS, landlords or city government.

Your participation is greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your help!

 

Tustin Unified Continues Providing Grab-and-Go Meals to Children

Due to the USDA extending its National School Lunch waivers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tustin Unified School District is continuing to provide Grab-and-Go breakfast and lunch meals to children all summer through August 5. 

Tustin Unified is providing Grab-and-Go meals two days per week – Monday and Wednesday – from 9 to 11 a.m. at Robert Heideman Elementary School, 15571 Williams St.; Columbus Tustin Middle School, 17952 Beneta Way; A.G. Currie Middle School, 1401 Sycamore Ave.; and Tustin High School, 1171 El Camino Real. 

On Mondays, students receive four meals (two breakfasts and two lunches) – two for the current day and two for the next day. 

On Wednesdays, students receive six meals (three breakfasts and three lunches) – two for the current day and four for the next two days. 

The meals are provided at no cost to all children 18 years and younger (it is not necessary for them to be in the free and reduced lunch program).  Service is set up as a drive-through style for pickup; however, walk-ups are accepted. 

For more information, call the TUSD Nutrition Services Department at (714) 730-7301, extension 396.

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Coronavirus Update #18

Dear TUSD Families: 

In May, the Tustin Unified School District issued a survey asking for your response to the many conditions surrounding the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year.  There were over 7,000 survey respondents.  Most significantly, the survey told us the majority of TUSD families are interested in returning to traditional school structures with increased safety precautions. The data also illustrates there are families who prefer a modified option that offers both virtual and in-person instruction.

A smaller number of families expressed interest in having their child continue in an online format until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed.  For the past five years, families interested in online learning have enrolled in our Tustin Connect school (K-12).  The school's success can be attributed to the staff and families who have created an exceptional, innovative, collaborative learning community.  Tustin Connect is WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accredited and high school courses meet the University of California A-G entry and NCAA eligibility requirements.  Tustin Connect can meet the needs of families seeking a flexible online learning model.  For more information, please contact (714) 730-7301, extension 318, or visit the Tustin Connect website at www.tustin.k12.ca.us/tustin-connect.

Additionally, the survey responses regarding the safety precautions indicated an array of opinions.  Families felt strongest about enhanced cleaning protocols occurring at our schools as well as hand-washing occurring regularly.  A detailed report of the survey results is provided here.

The District will continue to work throughout the summer months developing learning structures that honor the requests of TUSD families for choice, flexibility, and safety.  We believe coming to school every day, participating in school activities, having social interaction with peers, and creating meaningful connections with teachers and staff optimizes student success, academically and social-emotionally.  It is our intention to plan for this type of opening to the greatest extent possible while adhering to California Department of Public Health guidelines.  I will continue to regularly communicate progress of our plan development to you during the upcoming weeks. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Gregory A. Franklin, Ed.D.

Superintendent

Tustin Unified School District

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Doug Heckathorn

Tustin Unified School District Maintenance & Operations and Facilities Assistant Director Doug Heckathorn has announced he will retire at the end of the school year on June 30. 

“It has been a great experience working in TUSD, and I want to thank the administrators, teachers and classified staff for their help and support over the years,” Heckathorn said. “Tustin Unified has been my home for a very long time and it is a special place that feels like family.  I will treasure all the wonderful people and memories for the rest of my life.” 

Heckathorn has worked in the Tustin school district for 34 years.  He joined the District in 1986 as a custodian at Tustin High School and soon became head custodian at Benjamin Beswick Elementary School.  Ten years later, Heckathorn was appointed custodial supervisor for the District (the title was later changed to operations supervisor). 

In 2013, Heckathorn was promoted to Assistant Director of Maintenance & Operations and Facilities.  He oversees school construction and District facilities, as well as the Security and Transportation departments.   During his career, Heckathorn has been involved with every new school opening and major facilities projects, as well as all three bond measures.

Additionally, Heckathorn served as president of the Classified Supervisory Management Association (CSMA) for seven years. 

Prior to joining TUSD, Heckathorn worked for the San Jose Unified School District as a head custodian at all grade levels and began his career as a custodian in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada.   

“Doug is a hard-working and dedicated maintenance and operations leader who always has the best interests of our students and schools at heart,” TUSD Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin said.  “He is a class act and valuable member of the administrative team.  We thank Doug for his many years of service in the District and wish him all the best in retirement.” 

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Patriotic Parade for Flag Day at TPSF Summer Academy 2019

As a salute to Flag Day, Tustin Unified School District kindergarten students display their red, white and blue handiwork at last year’s Tustin Public Schools Foundation Summer Academy.  Above, from left, intern Mia Fineberg, TUSD teacher Mary Wigley and Tustin Connect student Lydia Weiss help the students prepare for a patriotic parade.  This year, the Foundation is joining in the celebration of Flag Day on Sunday, June 14, with a limited time discount for its first-ever virtual Summer Academy, July 6 through 30.  Students in grades K-8 will have opportunities to learn about coding, cooking, creative writing, gardening, photography, robotics, sewing and so much more.   There is also a college prep class for high school seniors.  Look for a special code on the TPSF social media accounts.  For registration or more information, go to www.tpsf.net/summer.  Get into the spirit, put out your flag and let freedom ring!

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Collage of Administrators smiling, Brook Carreras, Kristy Andre, Kris Posavec, and Bianca Guillen

The Tustin Unified School District has announced several administrative appointments, which will begin July 1, for the 2020-21 school year.

Brooke Carreras, principal of Peters Canyon Elementary School, has been appointed principal of Tustin Memorial Academy.  She will take over for Sharon Maeda, who has decided to serve in a teaching capacity in TUSD next school year.

Carreras has worked in education for 25 years – the past six years as principal of Peters Canyon School.  Under her leadership, Peters Canyon was named a 2016 California Gold Ribbon School by the California Department of Education.

Prior to joining TUSD, she was an elementary principal in the Anaheim City School District.  She has also served as an elementary school assistant principal, curriculum specialist in English language arts and math, Title I resource teacher, elementary classroom teacher and Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) trainer.

Carreras has a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Chapman University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from California State University, Fullerton.

Among her accomplishments, Carreras received the Orange County Department of Education’s 2014 Pathways to the Future Award for leadership and service for English Learners.

"I am deeply grateful for my six years at Peters Canyon School and will dearly miss the staff, students, parents and community,” Carreras said.  “The new principal, Dr. Andre, will bring the perfect skill set and positive energy to lead Peters Canyon.  I’m excited to join the Tustin Memorial Academy team, and look forward to learning and growing together."

Dr. Kristy Andre, assistant principal at Hicks Canyon Elementary School, has been promoted to principal of Peters Canyon Elementary School.  She is taking over for Brooke Carreras, who will become principal of Tustin Memorial Academy.

Andre has worked in education for 16 years – all in Tustin Unified.  She has been a classroom teacher, an English language teacher on special assignment, Digital Learning Coach, Tustin Connect lead middle school teacher, Connect Coach and multi-tiered systems of support teacher on special assignment.  She also served as interim principal of Arroyo Elementary School.

Andre has a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in education from Concordia University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern California.

Among her honors, Andre is a Google certified trainer and Apple teacher, and was named one of the Top 25 Teachers in Orange County by Parenting OC Magazine.  She is a member of the Computer-Using Educators (CUE) organization and International Society for Technology in Education, has presented at various STEM/STEAM conferences, and serves as an adjunct professor at Concordia University.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Hicks Canyon team,” Andre said. “I look forward to getting to know the Peters Canyon community and to continue all the incredible work the staff has done under Brooke Carreras.”

Kris Posavec, Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) and Project-Based Learning (PBL) Academy, has been appointed Coordinator of Educational Services.   Cindy Agopian, Director of Educational Services, is retiring at the end of the school year and her position is being replaced by the coordinator position, which will provide a cost savings to the District while still offering leadership and instructional initiatives.

Posavec has worked in education for 13 years – all in the Tustin school district.  As a TOSA, she has supported Social Emotional Learning, the Challenge Success Program and science for grades 9-12; served as interim coordinator of the Induction Program; and helped write the curriculum for Tustin Public Schools Foundation’s Summer STEAM Academy.

Prior to her current position, Posavec served as a TUSD Instructional Coach, a teacher at Tustin High School where she taught biology, biomedical ​sciences, and engineering and product design, and was coordinator of the Femineer Program.   As a teacher at C.E Utt Middle School, she taught sixth-grade Core (language arts and social studies), seventh- and eighth-grade science, STEM (design and modeling, robotics, flight and space, and science of technology) and video production.  She also taught eighth-grade Core at Pioneer Middle School.

While at Utt School, Posavec was named the Tustin Unified School District’s 2012 Middle School Teacher of the Year and represented the District in the Orange County Teachers of the Program.

Posavec has a bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development, and a master’s degree in educational technology from California State University, Fullerton.

"I am very excited to have the opportunity to continue supporting the amazing work of teachers and administrators throughout Tustin Unified," Posavec said.

Bianca Guillen is joining Tustin Unified as a Special Education Coordinator.  She is taking over for Stephanie Barnes, who is pursuing other opportunities.

Guillen has worked in special education for about eight years in the Santa Ana Unified School District.  Most recently, she served as a school psychologist at John Muir Fundamental Elementary School in Santa Ana.  She has also helped Tustin Unified by serving on the Ladera Elementary School Preschool Summer Assessment Team.

“Bianca has considerable knowledge and vast experiences in special education, and is a collaborative and supportive leader,” TUSD Assistant Superintendent of Special Education Dr. Amy Lambert said.  “She will make a strong addition to the District’s Special Education team.”

Guillen has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an educational specialist degree in school psychology from California State University, Long Beach.

Additionally, Guillen has served as a presenter of inclusive collaborative practices and programs at local and state conferences.

"I’m excited about the opportunity to share my passion in education and deeply honored to be joining the Tustin Unified community,” Guillen said.  “I believe in supporting the teachers and staff, and I want every student to achieve their personal best.”

“These administrators are outstanding educators and leaders who will do an excellent job in their new assignments,” TUSD Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin said.  “They are committed to ensuring all students learn at high levels and will work collaboratively with the staff, students and families to continue moving the District forward.”

For more information, call the TUSD Communications Office at (714) 730-7339.

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