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High school playing fields earn passing marks in report
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Every high school football and soccer field in Manteca Unified School District gets passing marks.
And Manteca High School, despite being the oldest in the district, has the best surface of any of the five high schools with Guss Schmiedt Field – which was classified as exemplary with a score of 94 out of 100 on the district’s monthly facility update included in the staff packet for the Board of Education.
According to the Manteca Unified Insight, which is prepared every month as a way to update the board and the public about the happenings of the district and to highlight student achievement in every category across the board, conditions at Weston Ranch High School – which has long a problem with gophers – rated the lowest with a score of 81 but still fell easily within the “good” category designated on the breakdown sheet provided by Grounds Supervisor John Lopez.
Both Lathrop and East Union scored an 84 on their field assessments, while Sierra was slightly better with an 85.
The monthly breakdown of everything from hazards to drainage is a chance for the board and the public to monitor the ongoing use of the fields during the heaviest periods of use – football and soccer seasons – and to create an active plan to maintain the fields during those periods to ensure a healthy maintenance schedule that will prolong life and offer the best experience for those who play sports depending on the outdoor facilities.
But Insight – the monthly board report prepared by Superintendent Jason Messer’s office – details a lot more than just how well-kept the fields throughout the district are.
From ethnic breakdowns of students to the percentage of those who have passed the AP test, the report serves a snapshot of the district’s students, their levels of achievement in programs across the board and where the money in a given month is coming from to pay for those programs and where it is being spent.
According to the most recent installment:
uManteca Unified encompasses 112.73 square miles of area throughout the cities of Manteca, Lathrop and Stockton, the Township of French Camp and the unincorporated areas of the City of Manteca.
uA total 23,441 students were enrolled in Manteca Unified during the 2016-17 school year.
uRoughly 58 percent of the students within Manteca Unified are classified as socioeconomically disadvantaged.
uHispanic students comprise more than half of the district’s population (54.96 percent) followed by white students (19.97 percent), Asian students (8.14 percent), African American students (6.96 percent) and Filipino students (5.35 percent). Native Hawaiian or Polynesian students make up .91 percent of the district, while American Indian or Native Alaskan students comprise 0.46 percent of the student body. Just over 3 percent of students who replied marked multiple ethnic backgrounds.
uAbout 24 percent of the students within the district are English Language Learners, and 41 different languages are part of the extended Manteca Unified student population.
In a year-by-year comparison of students, 96 percent will graduate their formal secondary education, while 14 percent of students classified as English Learners will be reclassified out of the program because of proficiency.
The report was highlighted in the packet at the request of Manteca Unified School Board Trustee Kathy Howe who asked for more emphasis to be placed on student achievement.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.