University of Pacific Education Summit brings Stockton and San Joaquin County education leaders together to explore solutions

Coming Out of the Pandemic, Education Leaders Come Together to Identify Common Problems and Identify Potential Solutions and Resources that Can Support Stockton Students [March 30, 2022] Stockton, CA - Today, the University of Pacific hosted the 2022 Education Summit, presented by Kaiser Permanente. Growing out of the Beyond Our Gates Convenings previously hosted by the University of Pacific, the summit is a one-time opportunity planned in partnership with San Joaquin County and Stockton leaders from local school districts, non-profits, business, advocacy, and government to reflect on lessons in K-12 education emerging from the pandemic. “As the largest university in Stockton, we know it is imperative to play a leading role in how we support our local communities and schools,” shared Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, Vice President for Diversity Equity and Inclusion at the University of Pacific. “It is an honor to host this education summit and to serve as a convener and supporter for our K-12 leaders.” The summit agenda included opening words from Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, followed by an overview of education in the region featuring voices of local leaders, including a contribution by America’s Got Talent Winner Brandon Leake, followed by a data walk and facilitated discussion about what local data shows about student learning outcomes in San Joaquin County, and what solutions community members can bring forward to close gaps. Data shared at the summit [...]

2022-04-07T15:34:36+00:00April 7th, 2022|News, Press Release|

San Joaquin A+ Speaker Series: Looking Out For the Little Ones

How Do We Expand Safe and High Quality PreK to Benefit All Children and Families in CA? On March 24, 2022 San Joaquin A+ facilitated a conversation on the future of PreK and childcare in CA. We’ve talked a lot about the challenges for K-12 education systems throughout the pandemic, but one of the greatest areas of change, opportunity, and challenge are in the early childhood and PreK space. Throughout the pandemic, childcare of young children has been and remains a challenge for parents in our county and across the State. At the same time, and in response to this challenge, California has identified funding to expand PreK for all children. And while this sounds good, with staffing shortages already plaguing this industry, and significant uncertainty about how to scale and expand the most effective early learning models, many questions remain. We have invited a group of panelists with expertise in programming, training, and governance of our PreK schools and systems, and are going to ask them the hard questions about how to make sure that we expand early learning opportunities with quality, and actually help solve some of the problems parents of young children have faced during the pandemic. The panel included:  > Troy Brown, County Superintendent, San Joaquin County Office of Education > Connor Sloan, San Joaquin County Office of Education > [...]

2022-04-04T19:12:11+00:00April 4th, 2022|A+ Speaker Series, News|

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|
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