Templeton Guide|Thursday, August 17, 2017
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Message from Templeton Unified School District Superintendent 

Superintendent Joe Koski

Superintendent Joe Koski.

–During my 30 years working as an educator in California, I have learned that schools are always in a state of flux. Part of the environment of constant change derives from the fact that we annually graduate nearly 10% of our population replacing them with a new group of individuals who are wholly unfamiliar with what it means to be a full-time student. Additionally, we are constantly responding to fresh legislation, developing societal demands and locally identified needs. No wonder teachers are second only to air traffic controllers when it comes to the number of job-related decisions made on a regular basis. For the Templeton Unified School District (TUSD), the 2017-18 school year is shaping up to be one particularly filled with change.

As you are aware, TUSD is known for academic success. We have led the county in student achievement 10 of the last 11 years. This places us in the unique position to prepare students for the competitive application process for prestigious four-year universities. Graduating seniors regularly attend Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, Cal Poly and Ivy League schools. Beginning next year, we are going to open the Academic Achievement Academy (Triple A) in order to further support students and families seeking to transition to a four-year university following high school.

Triple A is a kindergarten through grade 12 program explicitly designed to maximize your student’s educational outcomes using research-based strategies and principles. Students may enter Triple A at any time, but will enjoy the greatest success by enrolling early in the primary grades. Triple A is available to any resident student demonstrating the skill and disposition to meet the rigorous demands of the program. Participants are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and an attendance rate of 95%. Interested families should contact their principal for specific details.

Unlike other school districts that provide a few of the components of the Triple A program at some school sites, Templeton’s grade configuration and size allows us to provide the following and more to all students in the program:

Elementary components:
• Lowest primary class sizes in the north county
• Primary language arts instruction occurring in skill-based flexible groupings
• After school and summer extensions for advanced learning
• Incentive programs for independent reading and mastery of basic math facts
• Music instruction, including strings, leading to every student reading music

Middle School components
• College Board approved pre-Advanced Placement in English
• Algebra math acceleration that doesn’t compact or eliminate critical content standards
• Foreign language courses which satisfy A-G requirements
• Concurrent enrollment in advanced high school courses
• Flipped, paperless classrooms
• Engineering and Maker Space courses aligned with high school CTE pathways

High school components
• Most rigorous graduation requirements in the county
• Widest range of Advanced Placement courses
• College Board approved Capstone courses earning diploma distinction
• Dual enrollment at any community college in the state, including Cuesta
• Lowest ratio of students to counselors ensuring individualized college application process
• Two free periods to pursue additional coursework or enrichment opportunities
• High school math sequence yielding two to three AP courses prior to graduation
• English, math, science and social science required all four years of high school

Recognizing that not all students desire an immediate transition to a four-year university, TUSD created the highly successful Engineering and Maker Space programs where students develop technical skills in a hands-on environment. Representatives from local businesses and Cal Poly ensured that graduates are prepared for college and career. Engineering students learn about alternative energy sources through hands-on projects. The students have built their own batteries, solar cars, wind turbines, and electric motors. Students have even converted a motor vehicle to run on vegetable oil fuel, built a waste oil filtration system and synthesized biodiesel. The program culminates with the annual Makers Faire where student-made radios, hovercrafts, motorcycles and robots are showcased. The program has received numerous awards, was featured in an article in CTA’s Educator Magazine and our students receive valuable college scholarships. In 2017-18, we will expand this program by launching the Design and Engineering Employment Program (DEEP). DEEP is designed to place high school students into internships and employment opportunities with local tech and engineering firms. DEEP serves students in grades 3-12. culminating with a three-course sequence at Templeton High School.
Triple A and DEEP are available to all residents with additional limited capacity for students attending TUSD schools using the inter-district transfer process. For more information on the inter-district transfer process or our new programs, contact Superintendent Joe Koski at (805) 434-5805.

I look forward to more conversations with community members about the exciting changes coming to TUSD. It is my desire to continue to meet the promise to “make our tomorrows better than our yesterdays being mindful that our yesterdays are spectacular.”

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