Spotlight Community Newsletter – September 15, 2023

--- Published on September 15th 2023 ---


‌Learn how to make Gorditas as we Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month‌

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September 15th marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month. In support of our Core Value: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we are sharing a step-by-step instructional video to make  the Mexican dish known as Gorditas, a corn flour (masa de maiz) based recipe, that is stuffed with fillings such as meat, beans, and cheese.

Watch this video to cook alongside one of our Culinary Arts Pathway students and Nutrition Services staff member.

If you would like to participate in our Feast & Learn series, please fill out this form. For more information about upcoming cultural recognitions, click here.

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Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by Submitting Art

Students who share their painting, drawing, digitally created images, and other art in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, are not only showcasing their talent; they are helping us celebrate Natomas’s rich diversity.

If your student would like to submit their art in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month and , please send us a picture of their illustration to [email protected]. The due date has been extended to September 30th. Prizes will be awarded to top winners.

Learning Spanish and English is a Super Power

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Donned in superhero costumes, Heredia-Arriaga students show their pride in learning how to become bilingual in Spanish and English. The event encouraged the students to look at learning both languages as a super power. The students were also treated to an Aztec dance performance. The event kicked off the school’s celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs through September 15th – October 15th.


CTE Public Safety Students Honor 9-11 Heroes

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As the sun was rising Monday, CTE Public Safety students honored the 343 firefighters who died on 9-11. Outfitted in their firefighting gear, the students walked up and down Inderkum High School’s bleachers 65 times, about the same length of the 110 flights of stairs the Twin Towers had.

One student who participated in this 5th annual event said to climb that many steps was challenging but knowing other students were by her side, helped to push her, and helped her gain a little perspective of what the New York firefighters faced, “It just makes us want to push ourselves even more,” a CTE student said in this Tiger Talk video.

CTE Cosmetology Students Perfect Styling Tricks

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CTE Cosmetology students have been learning how to keep their work areas organized and professional to serve their future customers. These pictures also show the budding cosmetologists learning how to perfect their skills with tools. To learn more about the CTE programs offered in NUSD, click here.

Back to School Night Highlights

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Students Share their Love of Reading during Library Card Sign Up Month

Many of our Transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students have been signing up for their public library cards thanks to a collaboration between library media technician, Beth Jen, and the North Natomas Public Library.

Watch this video as we share the students’ excitement for books during National Library Card Sign Up Month. “I’m really excited to be connecting with the public library to coordinate with them to get public library cards into the hands of our students. I think it’s a wonderful thing for them to have a library here on campus and to be able to go to the public library to take advantage of North Natomas’s resources,” Jen said.

Students younger than 17-years-old may sign up for a library card with their parent or guardian’s permission. For more information, visit the Sacramento Public Library’s website.



Resources for Families

Student Success Guide Heading to Students’ Homes

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By the end of this weekend, parents should have received NUSD’s Student Success Guide (SSG) (formerly known as the Learning Recovery and Intervention Guide). We have created this webpage to help answer any questions parents/guardians may have about the SSG. We are also hosting a Parent University session to walk parents through the guide on Monday, September 25th, 12 & 6 pm, via zoom. Sign up here.

The SSG gives families an overview of their student(s) academic progress from 2022-23 school year, helpful tips to keep students on-track, and includes:

  • 2022-23 attendance rate
  • Report card results from years prior
  • Spring state academic assessment results in math and English language arts
  • And more

The SSG is a part of our district’s ongoing commitment to engage with parents and families in support of student success. Please keep an eye out for the SSG guides.


Sign up for ParentSquare!

NUSD has hit a major milestone with connecting with our families. So far, at least 51-percent of our families have downloaded the ParentSquare app, and nearly 12,000 parents or guardians have confirmed their students in the ParentSquare platform.  ParentSquare is one of the ways NUSD is bringing families together to engage and to stay informed. With each school and the district using the same communication platform, families can be assured they are receiving all the information that they need in one place. If you haven’t joined ParentSquare yet, we encourage you to get on the Square today. Visit our ParentSquare website for more information.

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September is Attendance Awareness Month — Together We Succeed!

September is recognized nationwide as “Attendance Awareness Month,” a time to emphasize the important role that consistent attendance plays in shaping the educational journey of our students. As we build attendance habits in September, we want to highlight the importance of regular attendance during the entire academic year.

Strong attendance is the foundation for academic success, personal growth, and building a strong school community. When students are present, they have the opportunity to engage with their teachers, peers, and the curriculum, leading to a more enriched and fulfilling learning experience.

Throughout September, we encourage you to join us in celebrating Attendance Awareness Month by:

  • Making Attendance a Priority: Emphasize the importance of attending school every day. Regular attendance ensures that your child doesn’t miss out on important lessons, discussions, and activities that contribute to their overall development.
  • Setting a Positive Example: As parents and guardians, your involvement plays an important role in motivating your child to attend school consistently. Your commitment to attendance sends a powerful message about its importance.  
  • Creating a Routine: Establish a daily routine that includes enough time for rest, preparation, and travel to school. A consistent routine helps students transition smoothly into their learning environment each day.
  • Open Communication: If your child is facing challenges that might impact their attendance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your school’s administration and staff. We are here to support and work collaboratively to find solutions.
  • Celebrate Success: Recognize your child’s achievements and milestones in attendance. Positive reinforcement can go a long way.

Thank you for being an integral part of our school community. Together, let’s celebrate our students’ potential and ensure that September Attendance Awareness Month sets a positive tone for the entire school year ahead.


Starbucks Foundation Donates to Joey's Food Locker

Left to right: Osvaldo Ortiz, NUSD Community Resource Specialist; Vicky Polishchuk, Starbucks Store Manager; Mark Whitley, Starbucks District Manager; Joel Schwieger, Founder of Joey’s Food Locker

Starbucks Foundation Donates $1k to Joey’s Food Locker

NUSD’s Joey’s Food Locker, secured a grant of $1,000 from community partner, The Starbucks Foundation. We are grateful to The Starbucks Foundation for the donation that is sure to help us provide meals to the more than 400 families who depend on us weekly when groceries are distributed each Friday. More than 19,000 organizations were nominated and Joey’s Food Locker was one of 1,900 to receive the grant. Families who need help with food can receive free groceries. To learn more, click here.


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ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

Suicide Prevention Week –NUSD Staff Provides Helpful Information to Save Lives

NUSD Podcast 23-24 suicide prevention month

Advisory: This podcast discusses suicide. Please take care when listening to this episode of Conversations with NUSD.

Natomas Unified recognizes September 10th – 16th as National Suicide Prevention Week. Our school district continually strives to connect families, students, and staff to resources that will help support them socially and emotionally. In this episode, host Kay Recede, with the Communications and Family Engagement Department (CAFE); sits down with Earl Pavao, Executive Director and Anthony Da Marto, Director; both work in NUSD’s Student Services and Support Department.

The full article, plus the link to the podcast, may be found here.

NUSD Seeks Parent/Guardian Feedback Regarding Student Social-Emotional Well-Being

We’d like to thank all of our families who completed survey #1. Your input is valuable. As a recap, the Natomas Unified School District Board of Trustees approved new district goals during the August 30, 2023, Board meeting that will set the direction of the district. Each week over the course of five weeks, we are sending out short surveys  to obtain feedback from our families to help us develop the actions and services for our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and other district initiatives.

This week, you should have received a request from your student’s principal to complete the second survey. This survey is focused on the goal: Cultivate the Social-Emotional Well-Being of Each Student.


Please click here and take a few minutes to provide your input now or no later than Tuesday, September 19, 2023, before the third survey is issued. If you did not have a chance to complete survey #1 that was sent out last week, please click here.


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Board Highlights – 9/13/23

Learn about some of the actions taken at the 9/13/23 NUSD Board Meeting with our current edition of Board Highlights. Link here.

NUSD Newsroom Hub

The New NUSD Newsroom Hub webpage is a dedicated place to access current and past NUSD media such as news articles, Board Highlights, newsletters, Weekly Wrap Up, videos, and podcasts all produced by the district’s Communications and Family Engagement team known as CAFE. Check out our page here.

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