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New Poll of San Joaquin County Residents Shows Impact of COVID-19 on Education, Economy

Published in the Latino Times: March 10, 2021 According to the survey, conducted this month of a representative sample of more than 500 residents of Stockton, Lodi, Manteca, Tracy, and other communities across San Joaquin County, a near majority (45%) of voters report that they or someone in their household have had their working hours reduced during the pandemic. One third of voters (34%) say they live in a household where someone has lost a job. Hispanic residents have been hit hardest; with (37%) of Hispanic households and (30%) of white households impacted when it comes to job loss. “This data confirms what we’ve been hearing from families and many of us can feel intuitively: Families are hurting financially, they’re deeply worried about their children’s emotional well[1]being, and they are concerned that their children aren’t receiving equitable access to academic instruction” said Don Shalvey, CEO of San Joaquin A+. The poll shows that parents are deeply concerned about the impact remote learning has had on their children. 70 percent of parents say they are concerned about their children falling behind because of remote learning. While parents give local schools good marks when it comes to reducing crowded events (+53 net positive) and maintaining social distance in the classroom for those operating in-person, they are disappointed in the job schools have done when it comes to [...]

2021-03-24T15:47:23+00:00March 24th, 2021|News|

Survey: San Joaquin County families are struggling financially amid pandemic

Wes Bowers, Lodi News-Sentinel, Calif. via Yahoo News February 27, 2021·3 min read Feb. 27—STOCKTON — A poll of 500 San Joaquin County residents conducted last month indicates nearly half the families in the region have been hit hard in the pocketbook by the COVID-19 pandemic. The poll was conducted by Change Research and commissioned by San Joaquin County A+, a nonprofit focused on supporting education. Some 535 residents from Stockton, Lodi, Manteca, Tracy and other communities across the county were surveyed for the poll between Feb. 2 and 4, the nonprofit said. According to the poll, 45% of those surveyed said that they or someone in their household have had their working hours reduced since the pandemic began last March. The poll found that the Hispanic community, who have already been identified as most susceptible to the virus, are also the most impacted financially. Of that 45%, the poll found that 53% are Hispanic residents. One third of all surveyed — or 34% — said they live in a household where someone has lost a job. Again, the Hispanic community was impacted the most, as they made up 37% of poll respondents compared to Caucasian households, which accounted for 30%. A fifth of these respondents have been unable to pay rent or mortgages, of whom 29% were Hispanic and 17% were Caucasian. "This data [...]

2021-03-17T15:30:33+00:00March 17th, 2021|Announcements, News, Uncategorized|

California Student Aid Commission Votes to Award $4.6M Grant to Pilot Child Savings Account Program for Stockton Children

San Joaquin A+ awarded the grant in collaboration with the Stockton Children's Cabinet, Local Early Childhood Education Providers, and Stockton Area School Districts. Stockton, CA [January 25, 2021] – The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) voted to finalize an award for a $4.6 million grant to local non-profit San Joaquin A+ late last week for a pilot program of their Child Savings Account Grant Program in Stockton. The Child Savings Account Grant Program (CSA Grant Program) was enacted in the 2019-20 State Budget to support local governments and nonprofit organizations to sponsor or collaborate on comprehensive citywide or regional child savings account programs. The $4.6M grant from CSAC was the largest of its kind in the State and was three times larger than any other grant awarded (the full list of preliminary grants, which were announced in December and approved January 21, is available here). The grant will support the launch of a city-wide pilot program in fall of 2021. “We are extremely grateful to the California Student Aid Commission Members for this grant, and for their decision to invest in the children of Stockton,” said Don Shalvey, CEO of lead grantee San Joaquin A+. “We also want to thank the civic leaders from across San Joaquin County who came together to make this application a success. We know how impactful this grant award and [...]

2021-02-05T20:03:46+00:00February 5th, 2021|Announcements, News|

Opinion: Early college high school programs in San Joaquin Valley a smart path to success

BY DON SHALVEY Published in the Modesto Bee JANUARY 16, 2021 11:11 AM As we near the end of one of the most challenging and unique periods of many of our lives, we must begin to push ourselves to envision a brighter future: to a set of post-Covid-19 innovations that might benefit our youth and the economy of our region. We must start by acknowledging the impact of this pandemic on every aspect of our lives. We have lost friends, family and loved ones. We have lost businesses and jobs. We must deal with a virus that has challenged us in every way. But there are signs of hope – with vaccines being administered as we speak – that sometime in 2021 and into 2022 we will emerge into the light at the end of a long tunnel. The question is what will the light reveal, and what can we do to shape that world with the work we do now? Does it look like what we were doing before this happened or can we create a better future – one more aware of our vulnerabilities, and better prepared to provide our young people with more meaningful career opportunities and a more durable future? At San Joaquin A+, we recently held a webinar with business leaders in our region titled “How to Build Ladders to [...]

2021-01-20T19:22:44+00:00January 20th, 2021|News, Opinion|

San Joaquin A+ Announces $650K in Planning Grants for Three New Early College High School Programs

Grant awards will fuel partnerships involving San Joaquin County Office of Education, San Joaquin Delta College, Stanislaus County Office of Education, Modesto Junior College, and Aspire Vanguard School San Joaquin A+ (SJA+) is announcing the award of three planning grants, totaling $650,000 to local partners with plans to start early college high school programs. The grantees include San Joaquin County Office of Education in a partnership with SJ Delta College for a school focused on teacher preparation; a partnership between Stanislaus County Office of Education and Modesto Junior College to start an agricultural-focused program; and Aspire Vanguard School and Modesto Junior College to plan an early college high school focused on health career pathways. The Early college high school model was established in 2002 in order to increase the opportunity for traditionally underrepresented youth to earn a postsecondary degree and/or credential by beginning their college credits while still in high school. The benefits are well-documented. “We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with this group of local leaders and respected institutions to support their exciting plans” shared Don Shalvey, CEO of San Joaquin A+. “It is critical that we align Stockton’s education programming with the good jobs that not only can serve as an anchor for our economy going forward, but also will provide meaningful work and a family sustaining income for young [...]

2021-01-18T15:50:08+00:00January 18th, 2021|Announcements, News|

San Joaquin A+ Brings Together Leaders to Discuss How to Create Better Economic Future for Region

“Building Ladders to Good Jobs” Panel Featured Leaders in Education, Agriculture, Healthcare, and Other Industries Crucial to San Joaquin County Economy Stockton, CA [12/16/20] - Recently, leaders from San Joaquin County’s university, business, healthcare, and agriculture communities joined Don Shalvey, Executive Director of San Joaquin A+, for a discussion about the future of the region’s economy. Panelists included Donald J. Wiley, President and CEO of Dignity Health St. Joseph's Medical Center; Jeff Manassero, Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Rivet School; Kevin Phillips, Vice President of Operations at Phillips Farms and Michael David Winery; Thomas Pogue of the University of the Pacific’s Center for Business and Policy Research; Jeff Michael, Executive Director of the University of Pacific’s Center for Business and Policy Research; and Jessica Kaczmarek, Senior Program Officer at the James Irvine Foundation. “We were grateful for the active participation of our panelists, and feel lucky to bring this great group of industry leaders together to discuss the future of San Joaquin County’s economy,” Don Shalvey said. “It’s critical that we align Stockton’s education programming with the good jobs that not only can serve as an anchor for our economy going forward, but also will provide meaningful work and a family sustaining income for young people growing up across our region.” The panelists discussed a new report by researchers at the University [...]

2020-12-18T17:00:25+00:00December 18th, 2020|A+ Speaker Series, News|

During Covid19 Every Teacher Is A “New” Teacher

A “new teacher” is defined in many ways. You can be “new” entirely to the profession, “new” to a school, network, or district, or “new” to an assignment. There are many firsts for a first-year teacher. Regardless of what kind of “new” you are, the work of a teacher is challenging, difficult and every other synonym you can imagine. I started my career as a middle school math and      science teacher in Merced. Like every other “new” teacher, my classroom and my students were both my professional and social life that first year. I planned all weekend long but that usually only got me as far as Tuesday. Then it was “night shift” for the rest of the week, only to be followed by another weekend of planning and learning. That’s what beginning teaching is like and it doesn’t change until year 3 or 4. But planning, learning, trying, failing, and trying again is what teachers do and it’s why the profession is such a noble and dignified one. It is “service over self” and the joy that comes from making a difference for young people and their futures. In today’s pandemic world, every teacher is a “new” teacher no matter how many years of experience or accolades are under their belt. The newness is in developing a fluency with distance learning, adjusting to interacting [...]

2020-10-16T21:37:16+00:00October 15th, 2020|Opinion|

3 Organizations Collaborate on Creating Hub for Community Nonprofits

See this story in the Stockton Record! STOCKTON – Three nonprofit organizations that serve various segments of San Joaquin County – charity, education and business – have co-located into a common headquarters and are collaborating to make space available as a hub and meeting place for other community-based nonprofits. Community Foundation of San Joaquin, San Joaquin A+ and the Business Council San Joaquin County are all operating out of offices at 6731 Herndon Place in northwest Stockton, west of Interstate 5 and north of West Benjamin Holt Drive. “We are excited about this partnership, because we believe we are a better philanthropic organization when we are engaged with organizations directly serving our community,” said Moses Zapien, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of San Joaquin. “With San Joaquin A+’s focus on working with local organizations to improve education, and the Business Council’s focus on supporting business and innovation, we believe this space will create organic collaborative opportunities that enhance philanthropic support and investments across our region,” Zapien said. The hub that the three organizations are creating will be available for use by other nonprofits to conduct meetings and strategic planning when restrictions for COVID-19 are removed. The organizations hope to create a place where professionals, philanthropy, community members and business leaders can come together for a “brighter future” in San Joaquin County. “I’m most [...]

2020-10-12T14:11:22+00:00October 12th, 2020|News|

CECILIA MENDEZ: Incumbent Board Member, Area 1

Current School Board Member Cecilia Mendez was raised in Southwest Stockton and is a native of Stockton USD Area 1. In 2016, she was elected to her first term as a member of the Stockton Board of Education, where she currently serves as the Board’s Clerk. Mendez is a community activist with almost 15 years of experience advocating for student and parent rights. She currently serves as a Trustee[1] and is a former President of Stockton District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC), where she has volunteered since 1996.[2] Mendez has shared three top priorities in her campaign this year[3]: Safety College and Career Readiness Student Achievement Mendez lives in Stockton and is mother to three children, two of whom have attended Stockton USD schools.   Sources: [1] “District English Learner Advisory Committee,” Stockton USD. [2] “Ceci Mendez,” LinkedIn. [3] Voters Edge Candidate Guide  

2020-10-12T13:59:50+00:00October 12th, 2020|Candidate Profiles|

LANGE LUNTAO: Incumbent Board Member, Area 4

Current SUSD Board Member, Executive Director of the Reinvent Stockton Foundation[1] Lange Luntao was born and raised in Stockton, where he graduated from Lincoln High School before attending Harvard University, graduating with honors and receiving a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to Malaysia. He returned to Stockton to begin his career in public service and become a third generation teacher, serving as field director for the Michael Tubbs for City Council campaign and teaching early college sociology and humanities at Aspire Langston Hughes Academy for four school years.[2] By day, Luntao works as the Executive Director of the Reinvent Stockton Foundation, a non-profit he co-founded with Mayor Michael Tubbs to create opportunity by investing in Stockton’s people and constructing a cradle-to-career continuum of support for Stockton’s children. Luntao is a founding member of the South Stockton Schools Initiative and serves on the boards of Little Manila Rising, Placeholder Arts Collective, Third City Coalition, and the Stockton Urban Revitalization Fellowship.[3] Since 2016, Luntao has served as the youngest person ever elected to the Stockton Unified School District Board of Trustees, and the first out gay man ever elected to office in San Joaquin County.[4] Luntao highlights four priorities the board has focused on during his tenure to build stronger, more equitable schools in the community:[5] College readiness - because every student deserves the chance to enter college prepared [...]

2020-10-15T01:51:32+00:00October 7th, 2020|Candidate Profiles|
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