San Joaquin County Schools and Employers are Working Together to Connect Students to Careers this Summer – Join Us! 

As we move into the final quarter of the school year, we are seeing great momentum in a countywide effort to connect more San Joaquin County high school students to careers. Some of you may be familiar with our work at San Joaquin A+, but if you are not here is some background: We are a non-profit that envisions a future where all young people can do what they love, earn what they need, in the location they want to live. We work to help San Joaquin County create a system of great schools, and one area of particular focus for us is providing students with learning experiences that connect them to career opportunities while in high school.  Centered on internships, this new initiative will expose high-school students to regional industries, high-demand jobs, develop their professional skills, provide coaching and mentorship, and offer support to make sure they have meaningful learning experiences.  Our ultimate goal is to establish a thriving community where high school youth are inspired and empowered by supportive coaches, educators, and employers to drive long-term economic growth in our region.  A few of the things we’ve done this year to make progress toward this long-term goal include:  Launched the Growing Futures Initiative: This past summer, we launched our internship pilot titled growing futures, which connected a group of students from Valley Robotics [...]

2024-04-09T16:08:46+00:00April 9th, 2024|Announcements, Opinion|

A New Era for SUSD: Ensuring Success through Community-Driven Leadership

by Don Shalvey (This column was originally published at the news website Stocktonia) In June, optimism emerged in Stockton as the Stockton Unified School Board (SUSD) announced the appointment of new superintendent Michelle Rodriguez. The community breathed a collective sigh of relief, not just because the search succeeded in identifying a skilled and experienced leader for SUSD, but also because of how it was accomplished – through an inclusive, transparent, and structured process. Stockton’s recent history with superintendents is not a proud one. Since the resignation of superintendent John Deasy in 2020, the District has hired two separate interim superintendents, and one “permanent” superintendent who served just over one year of the identified contract. With the election of a new majority board this year came hope that the new board members would bring a new approach to the superintendent selection process – and that’s exactly what happened. The SUSD board hired the nationally-respected search firm McPherson & Jacobson, LLC in March. Once hired, the Stockton Unified School District’s board majority embarked on a structured process in its search for a new Superintendent, including forming a Superintendent Search Subcommittee and establishing a diverse stakeholder interview panel to ensure the voices and insights of community members were heard. As Bobby Bivens, President of the NAACP Stockton Branch shared, “This school board deserves great credit for selecting a firm, [...]

2023-08-22T15:00:41+00:00July 24th, 2023|Opinion|

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|

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|
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