Over 14,000 students between the 15 different Turlock Unified School District campuses returned to class on Monday morning for the start of the 2023-2024 school year. While some high schools and middle schools held rallies to celebrate the return to school, several elementary schools rolled out red carpets to boost morale and ring in the new year on a high note.
“Back on track. Ready to serve. Grateful for the opportunity to make a difference. All three of these actions summarize our motivation and intentions for the 2023-24 school year,” said TUSD superintendent Dana Trevethan in her annual back-to-school message. “Our schools are prepared to accommodate the unique needs of their respective school communities, and my colleagues are poised and eager to recognize and celebrate similarities and differences among all with respect, compassion and understanding.”
Though there were several schools who rang in the new school year Monday morning with red carpets at their entrances, perhaps the most lively was at Sandra T. Medeiros Elementary School, where members of the Turlock Police Department and student athletes from California State University, Stanislaus were on hand to provide words of encouragement as students prepared for a another year of learning.
Also taking a new, unique entrance onto school grounds were the parents and guardians at Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy.
Over the summer, a new parking lot and drop-off zone was paved while the former parking lot was transitioned into a bus loading zone. With a divider on Soderquist Road, community members must now drive southbound on the street and enter the parking lot through the first driveway before dropping off students, continuing to drive around the lot and eventually exiting through the second driveway closest to W. Main Street.
“It was clear that safety and traffic flow were primary considerations taken by TUSD, Osborn admin and the engineers,” said Meshell Alcantar, whose daughters Nora and Vivian attend Osborn. “This morning’s drop-off was fantastic. Grateful to see our Osborn educators have space to park and for our little scholars’ safe drop-off zones.”
But whether it was students, parents, guardians or staff, one thing that they all dealt with was the incredibly hot weather. Monday’s high temperature was 104 degrees, with the heat already showing nearly 90 degrees at the time of some opening bells. The heat forced the school district into a Level 4 RED heat advisory. The second day of school wasn’t better at all, as the high reached 107 degrees, putting a Level 5 PURPLE heat advisory into effect. Extremely hot weather is expected to continue through Friday. Heat advisory levels and guidelines can be found at www.turlock.k12.ca.us/our-district/additional-information/heat-advisory.
In terms of educators, the District shared that there are nearly 60 new teachers across the 15 TUSD campuses this school year.
“Our classrooms are equipped with grade-level and subject-matter adopted curriculum, advanced technology and resources, and dedicated educators and leaders who have the expertise and interpersonal skills to encourage all scholars to want to learn and thrive,” Trevethan continued. “Success is best when shared, and we’re excited to share it with you throughout the 2023-24 school year.”