Dear Friends and Colleagues, In Case You Missed It, we are sharing a new short documentary from The 74 Million titled “How a California Wine Region Is ‘Growing Futures’ By Turning Vineyards Into State-of-the-Art Classrooms”. It profiles the work of the Growing Futures initiative - a partnership between Lodi Unified, Delta College, and the Lodi Winegrape Commission. The Growing Futures Initiative is so important to us because we are focused on preparing the youth of our region to do what they love and earn what they need to in adulthood. We believe partnerships and programs like this one are essential to achieving that goal. This career connected learning program will give students exposure to and experience with some of our region's largest industries, and provide a realistic pathway for them to pursue careers in viticulture and agriculture if they are interested. In case you missed this too, CBS 13 Sacramento highlighted the partnership and documentary last week. Prior to the documentary release, we held an event welcoming new Lodi USD Superintendent Neil Young into his new role, and providing a preview of the documentary to our local community. You can see coverage of this event here: Lodi News: Neil Young looks to be a rudder as he takes over as Lodi Unified superintendent Fat City Feed: Stockton And Lodi Leaders Congratulated Lodi Unified School Board's New Superintendent Stocktonia: Neil Young looks for [...]
Dear Friends and Colleagues, Happy Summer! I’m writing to share a few updates about what A+ is up to as we head into the next season. First, I’m very excited to introduce you to the Growing Futures initiative. In late May, A+ joined the Lodi Winegrowers, the Lodi Appellation Inclusion Collective (LAIC), and leading employers from the agriculture industry in San Joaquin County to launch this initiative to provide more inclusive and sustainable pathways to agriculture jobs in our region. You can read more about launching Growing Futures: At FatCityFeed here; On the San Joaquin A+ website here; Or, learn more about the Agricultural Partnership Board and our career-connected learning approach, you can view a webinar here; And You can also read more about our SJA+ vision for this work here, in my latest Stocktonia column. I truly believe are sowing the seeds for a brighter, more inclusive agricultural future, and I hope you’ll join us as we build on this momentum for the next generation of vintners, agronomists, and viticulturists. Second, A+ is very excited to welcome the new Stockton Unified School District superintendent Michelle Rodriguez, and to congratulate the SUSD Board on the structured and inclusive process that led to her selection and approval. Now is the time for us to refocus our conversations on what we can do as a community to better support our youth. [...]
Voters in Stockton are pessimistic about job opportunities for people without college degrees and almost seventy percent (70%) of parents say local public schools need to change. San Joaquin A+ worked with a nationally recognized research organization called Public Opinion Strategies to conduct a telephone survey in Stockton, CA. The survey was conducted January 8-11, 2023. The survey was conducted among with 200 registered voters in Stockton, with an oversample of parents. The margin of error for a survey with 200 respondents in this context is ±6.93%. "The headline finding for us at San Joaquin A+ is that voters overwhelmingly support creating an early college high school program in Stockton (92% support) across party lines and education backgrounds," shared Don Shalvey, CEO of San Joaquin A+. "This support is largely driven by families being attracted to opportunities for students to receive college credits while still in high school, and by the belief that proposals for Early College and Career Oriented High Schools would lead to greater career options for youth in Stockton," he continued. "These responses reinforce a core goal of San Joaquin A+, which is to work with local schools to prepare young people to do what they love and earn what they need to have a family sustaining income by the age of 26." Other core findings include the following: Voters in Stockton [...]
A Fresh Start for Stockton Students in 2023: Congratulations New SUSD Board Members – Our Students Need Your Support!
As we begin a new year, we want to congratulate the newly elected members of the Stockton Unified School Board. Congratulations to: Angel Ann Flores in Area 2, Donald Donaire in Area 5, Sofia Colon in Area 6, and Kennetha Stevens in Area 7. School boards are essential to preparing our young people for success, and the election of these candidates is a reflection of how important that role is in our community. Every day, we’re recognizing just how much learning time was lost during the pandemic, and how much work needs to be done to get our kids up to speed. 2023 is an exciting time to pursue new strategies and innovation in education, to rethink how schools operate and make changes that will benefit our kids. We see many solutions available in the year ahead: Offering tutoring that will catch students up on lost learning time and accelerate their learning even further. Supporting our teachers who have been through so much over the past few years, and doing more to recruit and develop a teaching corps from right here in the Valley. Creating high schools that better prepare students for the real world - allowing them to graduate ready for a career in some of the most exciting industries in our region. These are just a few of the many opportunities that our [...]
From Don’s Desk Teaching is as much a calling and passion as it is a profession and career. Those who choose teaching, whether kindergarten, middle school or high school, do it out of love for the mission of teaching and the difference teachers can and do make. To be honest, teaching looks easy until you try and do it. I didn’t think anything was harder than teaching adolescents and then after seven years of middle school I found myself in front of kindergarteners - for just one day - and it felt like a century of uncertainty and failure. From that day on I took the position that kindergarten teachers should be canonized. So today, let’s start by saying congratulations to every teacher you know and a shout out to the finalists for San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year: Staci Diaz, El Portal Middle School, Escalon Unified School District Tammy Hurst, Altamont Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District Gary Pease, Jefferson School, Jefferson Elementary School District Annie Thompson, Ripona Elementary School, Ripon Unified School District Robert Winterhalter, Lodi High School, Lodi Unified School District Now, those who currently are teaching also know that not everything in the world of teaching and learning is perfect right now. Many of our educators are exhausted from two years of uncertainty and new challenges, and there are some new reports out about [...]