Special programs: Reading Partners, Food Literacy Center, iReady, computer-based math
After school: Boys and Girls Club
Pacific Elementary School is firmly committed to collaboration, reflection and continuous improvement. The teachers are committed to data driven decision making to improve student achievement.
The Pacific Staff and School Site Council have spent time analyzing and monitoring achievement data in order to make instructional adjustments for improving student outcomes. The following items reflect major initiatives currently underway at Pacific Elementary. Teachers, guided by the grade-level content standards, use the core curriculum to support the teaching and learning process. Students receive differentiated instruction based on departmentalization in the Intermediate grades. Grade-Level Teams meet weekly, using assessment data to strategically plan to meet student needs. Intensive Reading-Language Arts Intervention is provided by the Resource Teacher for targeted 4th – 6th grade students and all students are eligible to receive Supplemental Education Services- tutoring.
Pacific Elementary School students received free school supplies donated by the Chinese American Council of Sacramento Foundation last week.
Also, fifth and sixth grade students were treated to an inspirational talk by former UC Berkeley rugby player Nick Boyer.
“I have learned the value of teamwork,” Boyer said. “Teamwork requires understanding the needs of others so you can work more effectively with them.” He encouraged students to set a goal, be kind, eat healthy and always ask for help.
All 14 student-led Green Teams participating in Project Green 2016 were awarded funding for water conservation projects at a ceremony on Tuesday.
Initially, only the teams that scored highest on a Project Green rubric were to be awarded funding. But because some of the schools proposed fairly inexpensive projects — Bret Harte Elementary asked only for mulch and planter boards — the district decided to fund all 14 proposals, said Project Green Specialist Rachel King.
“We’re excited to fund all the projects and the judges were excited, too, because it took a little pressure off them,” King said.
The first-ever Green Apple Award winners were also announced on Tuesday. Garrett Kirkland of Albert Einstein Middle School won Principal of the Year; George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science won Green Team of the Year; Kim Williams of Leonardo da Vinci eK-8 won Teacher of the Year; and Food Literacy won Green Project of the Year.
Under Project Green, campuses across the district form student Green Teams supported by parents and staff and conduct audits of their facilities. The teams work with district and local professionals to draft recommendations for improvements ranging from the installation of solar tubes to increase the amount of natural light in classrooms to installing water-wise plumbing fixtures.
Students present their recommendations to a panel of experts. Judges then evaluate each submission based on their audit, presentation and written report. Schools displaying the highest performance in these areas are awarded funding for their projects.
“Thank you all for your hard work,” King told the principals, teachers, students and parents who attended the ceremony at Leataata Floyd Elementary School. “You’re amazing.”
With the help of volunteers and community donations, a school orchard destroyed by vandals was replanted on Saturday.
Fourteen young fruit-bearing trees were destroyed at Pacific Elementary School on November 15. Vandals ripped off branches and pulled trees from the ground, dragging some across campus. The orchard was only about a year old, installed in the fall of 2014 by the group Common Visions in partnership with The California Endowment, Soil Born Farms and SCUSD.
“The destruction of our garden was devastating to our students,” said Principal Oscar Garcia. “The kids had tended the trees, watched them grow and were looking forward to eating fresh fruit. And then overnight, it was gone.”
Discouraged but undaunted, students rallied to plant new trees and created a GoFundMe campaign with the hashtag #YouCan’tStopUsFromGrowing. The effort netted about $2,885 in donations used to purchase new trees. Volunteers planted the trees on Saturday, built a butterfly habitat and picked citrus from older neighborhood trees, among other school beautification projects.
In addition to providing fresh snacks, fruit trees bring stability to a school garden. While traditional school gardens require a fair amount of day-to-day maintenance, fruit tree orchards are low maintenance. Together with Pacific’s school garden, the replanted orchard will serve as an outdoor classroom where students can learn about such topics as botany and environmental sustainability.
Sacramento City Unified School District currently has ten Early Kinder programs at the following school locations. For Early Kinder student registration please contact the school(s) listed below. All student registration materials are available at each of these school sites.
Editor’s note: Great schools begin with great people, and Sacramento City Unified has no shortage of talented educators leading our campuses. The eConnection will be profiling principals new to their campuses this year to help our community get to know our administrative team. Today we chat with Oscar Garcia and Amber Carter.
Oscar Garcia, Principal, Pacific Elementary School
Hometown: Winters, California. “Winters was awesome. It was a small town with a lot of sports and that’s what hooked us into school.”
Very first job: Garcia was 13 when he got a job on a farm owned by the proprietors of a market where his brother worked. “I pulled hoses around and just goofed off.” He says he eventually learned the value of hard work from his father. ”He worked out in the fields and when he would come home from work you could see how hard it was.”
Education: Bachelor’s degree and master’s in Multicultural Education, Sacramento State
Previously: Before his appointment to Pacific, Garcia served as Assistant Principal at Ethel I. Baker Elementary School.
What I like best about being principal: ”I love interacting with the kids.”
People would be surprised to know that…: A former Yuba College baseball infielder, Garcia coaches his daughters’ (he has 9-year-old twins) softball team.
Focus for the 2015-16 school year: “Creating learning opportunities for kids in the classroom and before and after school.”
Amber Carter, Principal, Ethel I. Baker Elementary School
Age: 39 “and holding,” Carter jokes.
Very first job: As a summer day camp counselor for Kids on Campus at Sac State, Carter learned organizational skills “that would equate to success later in life.”
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Spanish, Loyola Marymount University; master’s from National University
Previously: Carter taught Spanish at Kit Carson and Sutter middle schools before advancing to Assistant Principal at Will C. Wood Middle School.
What I like best about being principal: ”I like to work with every person on campus, from the kindergartners to the plant manager. I get to come in contact with so many people and find out what gifts they have.”
People would be surprised to know that…: “My brother wrote the movie ‘Four Christmases.’ “
Focus for the 2015-16 school year: “I think maintaining high staff morale is a big thing and love to be the cheerleader. I redecorated the staff lounge because I think everybody should be made to feel a warm welcome. I work hard to support my staff.”
Pacific Elementary School is gearing up for its second annual Clothing and Household Items Donation Drive Fundraiser.
From Monday, February 2, through Sunday, February 15, donations of clothes, shoes, bedding, linens, purses and other items will be accepted at the ReUseIt Donation Center at Thrift Town, 5005 Stockton Blvd. Tax-deductible donations will be recycled and money raised will go toward Pacific Elementary.
Chef and healthy eating advocate Jamie Oliver was treated to a cooking demonstration by “kid chefs” at Pacific Elementary School today.
With TV cameras and reporters following, students also led Oliver on a tour of the Pacific garden and fruit orchard. Oliver was in Sacramento to launch a national food education awareness campaign with fellow chef-activists Alice Waters (Berkeley’s Chez Panisse; the Edible Schoolyard Project) and Anne Cooper (author of “Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Children”).
SCUSD’s Nutrition Services department serves 50,000 meals a day, including a free breakfast at all 75 campuses.
Newly elected SCUSD Board Member Jessie Ryan, who welcomed Oliver to Pacific, pointed out that many students eat both breakfast and lunch at school. She noted the district’s tremendous responsibility to ensure kids are eating healthy food and learning how to live a healthy lifestyle.
The “kid chefs” at Pacific participate in a Food Literacy Center program aimed at educating children about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The cooking demonstration for Oliver featured vegetables and fruits from the school’s garden and orchard – all a part of expanding food literacy early in these student’s lives.
“These kids show the power of learning about your food early in life,” Oliver said. “They’ll carry a culture of choosing healthier options because they understand what is in their food. It is amazing to see these kids so vested in their food. They get that it is important to give your body the best fuels.”
Today’s school visit, cooking demonstration and tour of the school’s garden and orchard followed Oliver’s morning meetings with state policy makers about accessible clean drinking water.
At a morning press conference, Oliver announced a new initiative by The California Endowment to install over 120 water filtration distribution stations – water taps – in communities and schools in California. Part of this initiative challenges Californians to help complete the job throughout the state with a crowdfunding campaign.
Despite rain that threatened to dampen the day, an orchard was planted at Pacific Elementary School last week — trees that will produce both fresh snacks and hands-on science lessons for students.
Teams of educators with Common Vision’s California School Orchard Project rolled into Pacific on Thursday, September 25, on a veggie-powered bus carrying 12 fruit trees.
In addition to planting the trees, the team worked with students to help them understand the importance of sustainability and healthy eating.
“Fresh fruit is a gateway food,” says Michael Flynn, education director for Common Vision. “Kids who get turned on to eating fresh fruit at an early age are more likely to form the healthy eating habits essential for thriving in the urban food deserts commonplace throughout California.”
In addition to providing fresh snacks, fruit trees bring stability to a school garden. While traditional school gardens require a fair amount of day-to-day maintenance, fruit tree orchards are a low maintenance addition or substitute for school gardens.
The Pacific Elementary School project is also in partnership with The California Endowment and Soil Born Farms, which has worked with Sacramento City Unified School District to install gardens on campuses throughout the city. At Pacific, Soil Born Farms has agreed to maintain the fruit trees and work with Harvest Sacramento to pick clean the trees by the time summer break comes around.
SCUSD partnered with the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Greenwise Joint Venture for an Arbor Day celebration at Pacific Elementary School on Thursday (March 7).
The event was part of the “30KTrees” campaign, an effort to plant 30,000 trees in one year throughout the Sacramento region.Mayor Kevin Johnson attended the celebration with Ray Tretheway, executive director of the Tree Foundation, and representatives of SMUD, PG&E, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Congresswoman Doris Matsui’s office and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s office.
Students and staff at Pacific planted 22 trees and each classroom has pledged to adopt and care for a tree over the next three years, a critical development phase in a tree’s life.
Over a 20-year period, 30,000 trees could collect 8.5 million tons of carbon, capture 11 million gallons of storm water and remove 110,000 pounds of pollutants from the air.
Pacific Elementary School’s Student Council recently applied for and received a Grants Advisory Board for Youth (GABY) Grant.GABY supports youth in learning about giving, serving and taking action on issues that are important to the community.
On February 2, three representatives from the Student Council attended the GABY Convening event at City Hall.
The students participated in ice breaker and networking activities with other Sacramento area youth who also received the grant, and they presented the Pacific Peace & Play program to their peers.
The Peace & Play program includes anti-bullying classroom presentations and organized games during lunch recess once a week. Because youth must draft the grant, Student Council had the opportunity to practice their writing skills in making a case for the need for the program at Pacific.
Pacific Elementary School held its second annual Career and Pathway to College Fair on Wednesday, January 23.
Thirty-one speakers from various professions and careers spoke to first through sixth grade students about life after high school graduation. Speakers included managers from Hewlett Packard and Cisco, a civil engineer, attorneys, psychologists, a nurse, a contractor and Board of Education Vice President Darrell Woo.
Each speaker visited three to four classrooms sharing their personal career and educational stories.
In the afternoon, all third through sixth graders visited with staff and students from local middle schools, high schools and colleges to learn about their many career and educational options.
The students were energized and excited as they shared hopes of future careers and schools they would like to attend.
As part of the KCRA’s Kids Can! Food Drive, students and families at Pacific Elementary School donated 1,177 canned goods to the South Sacramento Interfaith Partnership Emergency Food Closet, which serves Pacific’s neighborhood.
The drive was organized by the school’s Student Council, which engaged the primary and intermediate students in some friendly competition to increase participation.
The competition worked. One of the first grade classes donated 105 food items while a fourth grade class brought in 199 items. The winning classrooms will have a pizza party, compliments of the Student Council.
Pacific students averaged two food items per student. Last year, only 940 cans of food were donated, so this year’s collection increased by more than 200 items, or 25 percent. Congrats!
Teacher finds niche in intensive intervention classes
In her senior year of high school, Tiffany Wilson’s parents were in a terrible auto accident that required them to be hospitalized for most of that school year. On her birthday, with her parents in the hospital, Wilson’s English teacher, Mary Ann Paul, baked her a carrot cake.
It was just a carrot cake, but the simple act of kindness turned Tiffany Wilson away from her childhood aspirations to be a scientist and toward her current career as an educator.
After a seven year career, Wilson, 28, was recently named one of two Sacramento City Unified School District Teachers of the Year.
“I felt that if someone could make a difference like that then that was something I wanted to do,” Wilson said. So Wilson became an elementary school teacher and has remembered Paul’s lesson along the way.
“Teaching is more than a job,” she said. “It’s definitely a challenge. You have to truly want to help the kids who need help and you have to want to have an impact on society.”
Wilson has been teaching for seven years, all of them at Pacific. In her first year as a resource teacher working with students who are reading at least two years below grade level, Wilson’s students have seen tremendous gains on their benchmark assessments. Entering her class in September, all of her students scored at far below basic on benchmark assessments. On benchmarks given before the state-mandated standardized tests, half of her 18 students jumped two levels on the five-level scoring matrix. The other half increased by one level.
This group of students has given Wilson her greatest challenge and her greatest successes as a teacher.
“The kids are the best part of this job,” Wilson said. “You see so much growth. The fact that they are able to expand and succeed is incredible. This work is incredibly fulfilling. I truly believe that every kid has potential
and you can’t leave anyone behind. That’s why I agreed (to become a resource teacher).”
Pacific Principal Kathy Kingsbury said Wilson deserved to be named a Teacher of the Year because of her dedication and ability. Not only did Wilson take on the job of helping struggling students grow academically, she did so while two other resource teachers were on maternity leave.
“She has done all that we’ve asked of her and she deserves this recognition,” Kingsbury said. “She’s helped this school and its students tremendously.”
Engaging students key to educator’s classroom success
For Sylvia Rodriguez, the key to teaching is pretty simple—find out what
students care about. Once you do that, they will learn what you are trying to teach. The fifth grade GATE teacher at Phoebe Hearst Elementary School has put that philosophy into action throughout her eight-year teaching career.
This year, that philosophy has been rewarded by not only watching her students succeed academically, but has also resulted in her class winning the Disney Environmentality Challenge, a statewide contest in which students with the best environmental project win a trip to Disneyland.
Rodriguez, 32, was recently named one of two Sacramento City Unified School District Teachers of the Year.
The lessons she learned while studying for her masters degree from California State University, Sacramento have definitely influenced her pedagogical style. With a bit of Brazilian philosopher Paolo Friere and smidge of Rudolph Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, Rodriguez says her teaching philosophy has served her students well.
“Find out what people are passionate about and they’ll be there,” Rodriguez said. Even though planting native grasses and flowers along the American River as part of the Disney challenge may not be the most typical curriculum, the experience benefited her students academically.
“Everything we do is standards-based, which I had to prove for the Disney program,” she said. “The learning inherently incorporates the standards.”
The hands-on model has worked well for her. Her students still tackle science, social studies, math, language arts and writing while working on their projects.
While the added pressure of making sure the special curriculum meets state academic standards means that Rodriguez spends plenty of late afternoons in her classroom, the work pays off, she said.
“I don’t think I’d love (teaching) as much if I wasn’t working to empower the students and I wasn’t thinking that they’d move on to affect the world,” she said.
Rodriguez was a journalist covering politics and local government in Fairfield when she became “jaded.” When she began thinking about a new career, her fourth grade teacher, Barbara Gnatovich, came to mind.
“She was my teaching inspiration,” Rodriguez said. “She always blended art into our work and she believed in a lot of student choice.”
SCUSD provides part day State funded preschool for eligible parents. The family monthly income must be under a certain amount.
If you would like to enroll in the State Preschool program please contact one of our two registration center Hiram Johnson Family Education Center, 3535 65th Street, (916) 277-7151;or Capital City Child Development Center, 7220 24th Street, (916) 433-2736.
During the course of any given year, the Child Development program provides early care and education to approximately 3,000 children ages 0-12. Children served include typically developing infants, toddlers and preschoolers and those with disabilities.
Parents are afforded a variety of program options and approaches, including center-based and home-based services, full-day/part-day preschool, infant/toddler playgroups and before/after school-age care.
Early Kinder (also called Transitional Kindergarten) is the first year of a two-year kindergarten experience for children whose 5th birthday is on September 2nd through and including December 2nd. (Refer to registration page for more information.)
Elementary, middle, and high school students are assigned to a designated neighborhood school based on where the student lives, as long as the school offers the services the student needs. Each neighborhood school has a defined geographic boundary and is intended to serve the students who live within that geographic boundary.
Go to our Attendance Area page for more information about school boundaries, attendance maps and our neighborhood school locator.