San Joaquin County Child Savings Account Pilot Program Launches for the 2021-22 School Year

Local Organizations and Leaders Come Together to Offer Child Savings Accounts to Local Families and to Share their Joint Commitment to Invest in their Future Success [November 15, 2021] Stockton, CA – Today, local non-profit San Joaquin A+ (SJA+) brought together community leaders, program partners, and parents to commemorate the launch of the San Joaquin County Child Savings Account pilot program, and to share the community’s joint commitment to invest in the successful futures of local children. This event will launch the pilot year of the initiative, which will make the program available to over 2,000 families in the first year to have $750 placed in a savings account for each child, with these investments expected to grow to a minimum of $1,800 when each child in the program turns 18 and graduates high school. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to kick this program off with local families and community partners,” shared Don Shalvey, CEO of San Joaquin A+. “Studies have found that children from low-income backgrounds that have $500 or less in a College Savings Account are three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate, compared to those with no college savings. This is all about us as a community coming together to support these families, and to show them that we are invested in the future of [...]

2021-11-16T01:27:40+00:00November 16th, 2021|Announcements, News, Press Release, Uncategorized|

Education Brief Highlights Urgency of Student Academic Needs in Stockton Coming Out of Pandemic

San Joaquin A+ publishes policy brief about education coming out of the pandemic - and proclaims that local education leaders would be crazy if they don’t get creative in support of students. Stockton, CA [10/27/20] – Today, San Joaquin A+ (SJA+) released a policy brief titled: Education Coming Out of the Pandemic – We’d be Crazy if We Didn’t Get Creative… The brief is a compilation of the most recent data available for education outcomes across the county and in the Stockton Unified School District, as a way to set a baseline for student learning progress coming out of the pandemic. The report shares a short list of creative recommendations based off of a year of surveys and engagement conducted by SJA+ that will help to spur improvements in student learning. “I’m grateful to the community leaders and partners who shared their insights to help us create this report,” shared Don Shalvey, CEO of San Joaquin A+. “Over the last few months, we’ve reviewed a myriad of data - local and national, and from students and parents - and those conversations identified a number of creative solutions that I’m confident will help our students overcome the many challenges they’re facing in our schools.” The brief is broken into four parts, starting with baseline data about SJ County and Stockton Schools, and the impact of COVID [...]

2021-10-27T16:42:43+00:00October 27th, 2021|Announcements, News, Press Release|

TEACH! Academy Launches in Stockton for 2021-22 School Year

New early college high school program opens to provide high school students with a direct, affordable pathway into the teaching profession [September 10, 2021] Stockton, CA - Local officials celebrated the launch of TEACH! Academy today on the campus of the Teachers College of San Joaquin in Stockton. TEACH! Academy opened this month as a joint effort by the staff at the Venture Academy Family of Schools, San Joaquin County Office of Education, Teachers College of San Joaquin, and San Joaquin Delta College. 26 students started the program this year as freshmen. The school plans to add a new grade each year, with room to accommodate more students in each grade level as they do. "We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity this program will provide for the students enrolled this year and for all those who will attend in years to come,” said Dr. Troy A. Brown, San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools. “The launch of this school is a testament to the hard work of our San Joaquin County Office of Education team and our partners. We look forward to continued collaboration to grow this program and to nurture the students here into the talented educators of the future for our region.” TEACH! Academy is designed to provide students with a free associate degree in elementary education from San Joaquin Delta College [...]

2021-09-21T18:53:11+00:00September 21st, 2021|Announcements, News, Press Release|

New Poll Shows San Joaquin County Parents Are Ready for Children to Return to School in Person; Are Concerned About Children Falling Behind

Residents Want Transparent, Accountable Process for Federal Rescue Dollars; Priorities Include Overhauling Region’s High Schools, Tutoring Support for All Children, and Mental Health Counseling  SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY [JUNE 1, 2021] - A new poll released today by the nonprofit San Joaquin A+ shows that 67% of parents feel comfortable with children returning to school in-person full-time, and most parents are concerned that their children have fallen behind because of the pandemic. Residents of the greater Stockton area also want school district leaders to run a transparent, accountable process for allocating a once-in-a-generation infusion of federal funds coming to the region from the American Rescue Plan. The poll, conducted by Change Research, surveyed 573 adults in the Stockton, Lodi, Manteca, and Lincoln school districts. “San Joaquin County residents are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the pandemic, but they’re also grappling with what that means for their children’s academic futures,” said Don Shalvey, CEO of San Joaquin A+. “Our poll shows that residents are deeply concerned about the impact of learning loss, and they want to see their school districts use federal rescue dollars to not only mitigate that loss, but to transform our education systems to better prepare our students for success in today’s economy.” In total, school districts in and around Stockton are set to receive roughly $400 [...]

2021-06-14T18:48:08+00:00June 2nd, 2021|Announcements, News, Press Release|

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|
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