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Students back in school with new schedule
Back to School 1
Fourth grader Harman Malhi said he looks forward to enhancing his mathematical skills at Brown Elementary during the school year. - photo by ALYSSON AREDAS / The Journal

For approximately 14,000 students throughout the Turlock Unified School District, the start of the new school year officially kicked off on Monday.  At Brown Elementary, students, parents, and guardians alike shared the same optimistic vision and hopes for the upcoming school year.

Margaret Rodriguez primed her daughter Aaliyah for kindergarten by installing a “learning wall” at home, which taught the new student the alphabet. Rodriguez hopes that her daughter has fun and gets the most out of kindergarten, a sentiment that the student echoed herself.  

“I want to read and make new friends,” said Aaliyah Rodriguez, “and I want to learn about shapes.”

Fourth grader Harman Malhi was excited to get back to school to study math. Agreeing with her son regarding the importance of studying, Bin Malhi purchased a workbook to help him familiarize himself with all of the subjects that he needs to know in the fourth grade.

“I just want him to study hard and succeed in the upcoming school year,” said Bin Malhi.

Fifth grader Lia Reyes was not only experiencing her first day back at school, but her first day at a new school as well. Reyes said she hopes that her transition into Brown Elementary will be smooth and allow her to make new friends. Her parents, Maria and Richard Reyes, said they were optimistic that the school year will prepare her for junior high in the near future.

“We are trying to get her to remember everything she learned last year and trying to get her back into a routine,” said Maria Reyes. “We want her to learn as much as she can so she can transition smoothly to junior high.”

This past Monday was not just the first day for TUSD students, however. A few new teachers were also welcomed into the district, including David Schmitt, who is the new Resource Specialist at Turlock Junior High. Schmitt’s expectations for his first year of teaching revolve around helping his students accomplish as much as possible.

“I look forward to getting settled in and helping students achieve their individual education plan,” said Schmitt. “It is important to help kids, especially those who are coming from a home where they aren’t given much help. I want to help give them a safe and optimistic place to learn.”

As a result of TUSD’s new “Collaboration Day”, students can also expect an earlier dismissal time on Wednesdays. In an effort to give teachers time to meet with each other to discuss individual student needs as well as district wide issues, students will be released almost an hour earlier, depending on their school.

For more information on the updated dismissal times, visit