Language Arts


It is the mission of TUSD to ensure that each student optimizes individual achievement through an educational system characterized by challenging and exciting curricula and inspiring personalized instruction. To achieve this mission, balanced literacy is a structure utilized across TUSD classrooms to ensure that children are provided with multiple opportunities to interact with reading and writing in meaningful ways. The structures serve as a foundation, however the teaching that takes place within each component is the critical element. The signature practices of reading workshop and writing workshop are essential components for supporting children at various levels of proficiency, and classroom libraries serve as the hub for reading materials, as children are matched appropriately with books that align to their individual reading level.

Using the Units of Study,K-5 by Lucy Calkins for both Reading and Writing instruction teachers draw on literacy expertise and lessons gleaned from decades of research, curriculum development, and working shoulder-to-shoulder with students, teachers, This reading and writing curriculum incorporates the following:

  • state-of-the-art tools and methods to help students move up the ladder of text complexity
  • build foundational reading skills and strategies
  • support the teaching of interpretation, synthesis, and main idea
  • offer classroom structures to support inquiry and collaboration
  • provide all the teaching points, mini-lessons, conferences, and small-group work needed to teach a comprehensive workshop curriculum
  • include resources to help teachers build and evolve anchor charts across each unit
  • help teachers use learning progressions to assess students’ reading work, develop their use of self-monitoring strategies, and set students on trajectories of growth
  • give teachers opportunities to teach and to learn teaching while receiving strong scaffolding and on-the-job guidance.

English Language Development



ELD instructional support is grounded on rigorous standards and engaging instructional strategies. These standards, as they apply to ELD, are described in the CA ELA/ELD Framework. The framework emphasizes the need for students to develop the skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language across all content areas. Equally as important, it includes strategies that teachers can implement to help students cultivate these skills. These instructional approaches are elaborated upon by grade level in the key themes of the framework through an integrated approach during balanced literacy instruction and during designated instruction utilizing McGraw Hill’s Wonders Curriculum materials.

Click on the links below for more information:

• ELA/ELD Framework

• ELD Standards and Resources



Houghton Mifflin Math Expressions is TUSD’s K-5 adopted curriculum resource. Teachers utilize these materials in coordination with our district pacing guide to deliver a standards-based , research-proven curriculum rooted in traditional algorithms, conceptual understanding, inquiry and real-world experiences. Teachers also incorporate Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) methods into their instructional design in order to build deeper mathematical understanding. CGI is an educational philosophy applied to mathematics that is based on 20 years of research and focuses on mathematical problem solving. At the core of CGI is the practice of listening to children's mathematical thinking and using it as a basis for instruction. Research based frameworks of children's thinking in the domains of addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, base-ten concepts, multidigit operations, algebra, geometry and fractions provide guidance to teachers about listening to their students.

Click on this link for more info -



Next Generation Science Standards for Today’s Students and Tomorrow’s Workforce: Through a collaborative, state-led process managed by Achieve, new K–12 science standards have been developed and are rich in content and practice. They are arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The NGSS is based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.

TUSD began implementation of the standards in 2016-17. Teachers are utilizing lessons and content from STEMScopes that provides units in the areas of physical, earth and life sciences.

To read the standards, click here to go to:

Social Science

Technology/Digital Literacy


BRAVO Music Appreciation is a program that will be presented in the Kinder and First Grade classrooms once a month, during the 2017-2018 year. This Music Appreciation program will expose young listeners to classical music and the science and history of instruments, helping them to make multi-level connections.

Parent volunteers in each classroom are critical to making this program a success. If you want to be involved in this Music Appreciation Program, please contact the program coordinator:

Physical Education


PBIS = Positive Behavior Intervention Support

PBIS is a process for creating a safer, more effective school environment.
Trailblazers are:




Trailblazer Expectations:

  • We respect other people and property.
  • We do our best work…on time.
  • We listen and cooperate.
  • We use good judgment.
  • We understand that everyone has the right to learn.
  • We act like SCHOLARS.

Teachers reinforce appropriate behavior through praise and other forms of positive recognition in the classroom. Additionally, scholars may receive “ Trailblazer Tickets” and special awards, which will be presented at our monthly Scholar of the Month and Trimester Award Assemblies. The Trailblazer Ticket Program recognizes scholars for their positive contributions to our school. Scholars who are awarded 'Trailblazer Tickets’ can visit the Scholar Store once a month or save them up to attend school-wide events such as a dance party during lunch.

  • What does PBIS stand for?
    “PBIS” is short for Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports. This language comes directly from the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). PBIS is used interchangeably with SWPBS, which is short for “School-wide Positive Behavior Supports.” PBIS is based on principles of applied behavior analysis and the prevention approach and values of positive behavior support.=
  • What is PBIS?
    PBIS is a framework or approach for assisting school personnel in adopting and organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions into an integrated continuum that enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students. PBIS IS NOT a packaged curriculum, scripted intervention, or manualized strategy. PBIS IS a prevention-oriented way for school personnel to (a) organize evidence-based practices, (b) improve their implementation of those practices, and (c) maximize academic and social behavior outcomes for students. PBIS supports the success of ALL students.
  • What Outcomes are Associated with Implementation of PBIS?
    Schools that establish PBIS systems with integrity and durability have teaching and learning environments that are
    • Less reactive, aversive, dangerous, and exclusionary, and
    • More engaging, responsive, preventive, and productive
    • Address classroom management and disciplinary issues (e.g., attendance, tardies, antisocial behavior),
    • Improve supports for students whose behaviors require more specialized assistance (e.g., emotional and behavioral disorders, mental health), and
    • Most importantly, maximize academic engagement and achievement for all students.



The Gifted and Talented Education Program

The purpose of Tustin Unified Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) is to provide learning opportunities for students whose abilities, skills, and talents allow them to achieve significantly beyond those of their peers. While our educational program recognizes that children have a full range of potential, research shows that some students have unique characteristics, requiring some modifications to the regular classroom program in order for them to develop their potential. The Tustin Unified School District Gifted and Talented Programprovides students with a differentiated core curriculum that is designed to allow for acceleration, more complex student products, and in-depth research.
The principal monitors the program, provides leadership, and maintains support for GATE teachers. The implementation of the program is monitored at the District level. The District assists schools with identification of potential GATE students, provides district-wide differentiation training and curriculum development, and facilitates parent education opportunities.

How do I know if my child is gifted?

First, talk to your child’s teacher. Most of the Peters Canyon teachers have received or are receiving special training in identifying and teaching gifted children. Some common characteristics of gifted students are listed below.
Gifted students often:

∗ learn easily and rapidly.
∗ have an unusually advanced vocabulary for age or grade level.
∗ possess a large storehouse of information about a variety of topics.
∗ display a keen sense of humor.
∗ show skill in abstract thinking.
∗ try to understand complicated material by separating it into its respective parts.
∗ are alert and keenly observant.
∗ have rapid insight into cause and effect.
∗ generate a large number of ideas or solutions to problems or questions.
∗ show a high degree of originality and have creative and inventive talent.
∗ are logical and generalize or apply understanding to new situations.
∗ define problems, formulate hypotheses, test ideas, and support conclusions.
∗ demonstrate the ability to follow through on work of interest.
Our GATE lead teacher is _____________________.
Our GATE Parent Liaisons this year are ___________________________________.

How do children qualify for the GATE program?

A student can be identified for the Gifted and Talented Education program in three ways:

High Ability: By teacher or parent referral, students’ learning behaviors, cognitive abilities, and classroom performance are reviewed by a screening committee consisting of administrators, teachers, and school psychologists.

High Achievement: Based upon standardized achievement test scores, students may be screened for potential placement in the program.
I.Q.: Students with a full scale score of 132 or above on a privately administered full battery intelligence test will be screened for potential placement in the program.

Transfer students who have been previously identified in another district, are admitted to the program if the student meets the identification criteria for the Tustin Unified School District. Transfer students, who come from other districts or private schools without a GATE program may become eligible for screening and identification once the screening committee reviews evidence from the former school.

My child has been identified as GATE, now what?

Several options are offered for identified elementary GATE students:

GATE Magnet School—A GATE magnet program is an integral part of the Tustin Memorial Academy. In grades 1-5, identified students are enrolled full time in classes designed specifically for gifted students. The program is intended to provide experiences beyond the District and State core (Fundamental) curriculum and covers a wide range of interests and abilities.

Home School Cluster—A program to cluster a small group of GATE identified students in a general education classroom in grades 3-5 exists at Peters Canyon. Although identified students in grades 1-2 are not officially clustered throughout the District, they are clustered at Peters Canyon. Students in GATE clusters are placed with GATE trained teachers.

These full time clusters of gifted students are designed to meet and exceed District and State standards. Students are given ample opportunity to receive a variety of appropriately challenging learning experiences in the general education classroom. Elementary GATE students are clustered into groups to receive a differentiated curriculum that is challenging and appropriate. GATE cluster teachers are trained to use a variety of teaching strategies and the school plans opportunities for gifted students to develop and enhance their skills.

Peters Canyon has at least 2 teachers at each grade level that have been trained and are certified to teach the GATE program in the Tustin Unified School District. In fact, all Peters Canyon teachers currently use the depth and complexity teaching model, developed by Dr. Sandra Kaplan, and incorporate scholarly traits in their daily curriculum. Depth and complexity icons are introduced early at Peters Canyon and posted in each classroom. They remind students to consider: the language of the discipline, details, patterns, trends, rules, ethics, unanswered questions, big ideas, relationships over time, different points of view and interdisciplinary relationships. For a copy of the depth and complexity icons, click here. Scholarly traits remind students of the importance of: thirsting for knowledge, taking risks, setting goals, exercising intellect, saving information, being prepared, using different resources, asking questions, considering multiple perspectives, and taking time to ponder. For a copy of the icons representing the scholarly traits, click here. Parents of GATE students can help reinforce the important critical thinking skills developed at school by utilizing these models and ideas at home.

The GATE Community Advisory Committee provides input at both site and district levels to assist in program planning, evaluation and other issues related to the GATE program. Parents serve as a liaison and take information back to parents and staff at the school site via site level meetings. Each school site is required to have a minimum of two parent meetings each year, and parent representatives are approved by the TUSD Board of Education to serve on the District GATE CAC. The Peters Canyon Parent Advisory Committee plans and implements parent education opportunities and provide input for program planning and evaluation. The District GATE Community Advisory Committee meets three times each school year to coordinate district-wide information, provide input on program improvement, parent education and evaluation.

Please click here for TUSD GATE Program Information and Resources

Tustin Unified School District
300 South C Street
Tustin, California 92780
Phone: (714) 730-7301 ext. 372



It is the mission of the TUSD libraries to provide materials in a variety of formats that promote effective use of information and create a lifelong love of learning and reading.


Open Library Hours
Primary hours Wed-Friday 10:10-10:30
Upper grade: Tuesday 10:40-11:00
Tues Thurs Friday: During students lunch time
OPEN LIBRARY times are set aside for scholars to return, renew or check out books, search the library catalog, redeem Reading Counts reward certificates, and READ!

Mrs. Moore – Library Media Tech


Phone: (714) 730-7540 - extension 72115

Office Hours
8:30am-1:00pm Tuesday-Friday