News

The Lodi and Stockton area continues to experience unhealthy air quality conditions. In order to minimize public exposure to poor air quality, and due to the related closure of District schools and facilities through November 20, 2018, notice is hereby given that the Board of Education ("Board") Regular Meeting for the Lodi Unified School District set to be held on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 7:00 PM at James Areida Education Support Center will not go forward as scheduled. The meeting is hereby adjourned to Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 7:00 PM at James Areida Education Support Center. (Government Code sections 54954.2(b)(3), 54955, and 54956.) 

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Outdoor Activities Canceled Due to Persistently Poor Air Quality in Lodi and Stockton

LODI, CA (November 16, 2018)—Lodi Unified School District (LUSD) schools have canceled all outdoor activities due to growing health concerns associated with the poor air quality. The Butte County Camp Fire, now known as the “deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history” has continued to blaze over the last week, consuming approximately 142,000 acres and destroying nearly 10,000 structures, according to the latest updates by CALFIRE. Although it is estimated that the fire is now 45 percent contained, with expected full containment by November 30, 2018, the smoke impacts from the fire have led to health cautions for the Central Valley.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (Air District) has announced that health cautions will remain in place until the fire is extinguished. The Air District has also recommended that outdoor activity plans be revised in accordance with air quality conditions and pursuant to their Real-Time Outdoor Activity Risk (ROAR) guidelines.

Following the recommendations and guidance from the Air District and San Joaquin County Public Health Services, LUSD sent out notices that they would cancel outdoor activity and keep students indoors as much as possible. LUSD has continued to provide staff and parents with updates via emails, phone messages, social media, and the District website throughout the week.

LUSD has also communicated their gratitude to staff and parents for their understanding and support as the community continues to face poor air quality. LUSD acknowledged the concerns raised by their staff and parents, stating “we want to assure you that the health and wellbeing of our staff and students is our top priority. The decision to keep our schools open was not taken lightly and we believe that it was the best course of action for today.”

LUSD noted that they have continued to confer with the Air District and local public health officials regarding the operation of schools. LUSD has enacted a number of safety measures to alleviate and address concerns, such as the cancellation of outdoor activity, indoor lunch times, and alerts regarding the air quality on their website. In addition, parents that wished to keep their children home due to air quality concerns were able to secure excused absences for their children as long as a note was provided to the school.

LUSD will continue to provide updates to staff and parents via email, phone messages, social media, and the District website. If staff or parents need additional information, they are encouraged to contact their school principals.

About Lodi Unified School District

Lodi Unified School District is located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Home to 49 school sites, LUSD provides high-quality education to a diverse population of 29,000 students. LUSD encompasses more than 350 square miles, including the Cities of Lodi and Stockton as well as the rural communities of Acampo, Clements, Lockeford, Victor, and Woodbridge.

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Tokay High School Offers Competitive Online Gaming to Students

LODI, CA (November 6, 2018)—Tokay High, one of Lodi Unified School District’s (LUSD) four comprehensive high schools, has created and launched the first esports teams in the District’s history and one of the only teams in the area. Kicking off their official season last week, esports offers students the opportunity to play games online against other esports teams. Esports also teaches students about teamwork, logical thinking, problem solving, and the development of leadership skills.

Tryouts for Tokay High’s esports teams took place prior to LUSD’s fall break at the beginning of October. The 12 students who made the teams were assembled into Junior Varsity (JV) and Varsity Teams, each consisting of 5 “starters” and two “backups.” This season, students compete while playing the “League of Legends” game during which they work together to capture the opposing teams’ bases. Each competitive game lasts approximately 45 minutes.

“Tokay High encourages opportunities for students to learn leadership skills and teamwork building. Competitive sports are a great way to do that. We want all of our students to have the same opportunities to compete in their fields of choice, including online gaming,” said Erik Sandstrom, Tokay High Principal.

Students echo these sentiments.

“Being part of the esports team [gives] me an opportunity to be able to showcase my skills in gaming, bond with my teammates, and develop leadership skills,” shared Kevin Keith, a senior and member of the Varsity esports team.

Allyis Martinez, a senior and member of the Varsity team, agreed. “This experience has been a great opportunity for me to develop my skills [working] within a team environment,” she said.

Last week, both teams competed in their first games. The JV team narrowly lost to the Benjamin Holt Academy, while the Varsity team secured a win against the Langston Hughes Academy.

“I was thrilled to see my students play for the first time. The teams were prepared and worked well together, despite playing together for a few short weeks. They are learning a lot about strategy and teamwork. Esports has opened doors for my students to compete while playing something they love,” shared John Medina, who is a math and advanced placement computer science teacher at Tokay High as well as the new esports coach.

A number of colleges, such as the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Irvine now offer scholarship opportunities for esports. According to the National Association of Collegiate Esports in a recent Forbes article, college scholarships for esports have grown by five times over the last year.

“Our foray into the new space of digital competitive gaming is exciting. Technology is a priority for our Board of Education and a major part of our students’ everyday lives. With the implementation of esports, our students can compete and enjoy sportsmanship online, which is a huge feat,” said Dr. Cathy Nichols-Washer, LUSD Superintendent.

Tokay High’s esports teams will compete in one more game until playoffs, which will take place during the week of Thanksgiving break.

Finals will be held the following two weeks. 

LUSD plans to expand esports in the District in the next year so that all students will have the opportunity to pursue and secure esports scholarships to postsecondary education institutions.

Spectators can follow and watch the live games on Tokay High School’s twitch channel.

About Lodi Unified School District

Lodi Unified School District is located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Home to 49 school sites, LUSD provides high-quality education to a diverse population of 29,000 students. LUSD encompasses more than 350 square miles, including the Cities of Lodi and Stockton as well as the rural communities of Acampo, Clements, Lockeford, Victor, and Woodbridge.

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District Partners with State Agencies to Provide Central Valley Students with Work-Based Readiness Services

LODI, CA (August 24, 2018)—The Lodi Unified School District (LUSD) is pleased to officially unveil a historic State pilot program with the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and the California Department of Education (CDE). The Lodi Career Connection (LCC) Pilot, in collaboration with DOR and CDE, provides special education students with expanded workplace readiness services.

LCC combines all current LUSD work experience programs into one. Designed to serve students and clients of the San Joaquin Valley District DOR, LCC teaches students the work skills necessary for future jobs, including job exploration and counseling, postsecondary counseling, instruction in self-advocacy, work-based learning experiences, and other employment readiness services.

The goal of the pilot program is to increase the overall number of students that graduate from high school, transition to postsecondary education, and attain industry certificates. Through LCC, students will become employable adults with the ability to earn a livable wage.

The idea for LCC first began with a goal to collaborate and break down agency silos within CDE and DOR through the provision of a system change in the State. The pilot project, the first and only fully integrated program in the State, is a step toward this goal. Five school districts across California were considered for the pilot program and LUSD was selected from among the group.

“LUSD is excited to be selected for this groundbreaking pilot that will focus on special education students. LCC will truly help students transition to the workforce and assist them in earning a livable wage,” shared Jonathan Martin, Administrative Director for the LUSD Special Education Department.

Eventually, LUSD seeks to move toward a one student, one plan program. At this time, each LUSD high school will receive a team of four “work experience” staff members. It is estimated that the three-year pilot will positively impact 1100 students ranging from ages 14 to 21.

About Lodi Unified School District
Lodi Unified School District is located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Home to 49 school sites, LUSD provides high-quality education to a diverse population of 29,000 students. LUSD encompasses more than 350 square miles, including the Cities of Lodi and Stockton as well as the rural communities of Acampo, Clements, Lockeford, Victor, and Woodbridge.

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  • LCC
  • Pilot
  • Students
  • Work-based Readiness

Scott McGregor and Jeff Palmquist Selected to Oversee Elementary and Secondary Education

LODI, CA (July 13, 2018)—Lodi Unified School District is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Assistant Superintendents for its 2018‐19 school year. Scott McGregor was appointed by the Board of Education to the position of Interim Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education. Jeff Palmquist was appointed by the Board of Education to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education.

Both McGregor and Palmquist are familiar faces to the District.

McGregor most recently served as the Principal of Lodi Middle School for six years. He has worked in the District for 18 years, where he has held a number of positions including Principal, Vice Principal, and Assistant Principal.

Previously, McGregor worked in the Lincoln Unified School District, where he began his career as a physical education teacher. In addition, McGregor has mentored and coached numerous varsity sports teams, including swimming, water polo, and basketball.

McGregor holds a Bachelor of Arts and an Administrative Credential from the University of the Pacific. He also received his Professional Clear Administrative Credential from the California State University, Sacramento.

As the new Interim Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education, McGregor will be responsible for the District’s elementary school and preschool programs.

“The Lodi Unified community appreciates the work that Scott McGregor has done over the years and we are very happy that he has accepted this position. He will provide outstanding leadership to the elementary division,” said Superintendent Cathy Nichols‐Washer.

Palmquist, the District’s new Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, began his career in the San Joaquin County Office of Education Court and Community School Program. Palmquist then became a teacher in Lodi Unified, where he was later promoted to the position of Assistant Principal at Lodi High School.

After 14 years of service in the District, Palmquist joined Aspire Public Schools as a Principal. He was later promoted to the position of Associate Superintendent, where he served six years in that capacity. In addition, Palmquist has served as an Adjunct Professor at the Teachers College of San Joaquin for 11 years.

Palmquist is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received his Bachelor of Arts. Palmquist holds a teaching credential from the University of the Pacific and is a Doctor of Education Candidate at the University of Wyoming.

“Lodi Unified is excited to welcome Jeff Palmquist back to the District. We look forward to working with him on innovative programs for our high school students,” said Nichols‐Washer.
 
In his new position, Palmquist will oversee the District’s middle school, high school, and alternative school programs, as well as the Child Welfare and Attendance Department.

About Lodi Unified School District
Lodi Unified School District is located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Home to 49 school sites, LUSD provides high‐quality education to a diverse population of 29,000 students. LUSD encompasses more than 350 square miles, including the Cities of Lodi and Stockton as well as the rural communities of Acampo, Clements, Lockeford, Victor, and Woodbridge. 

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