San Joaquin County Office of Ed. board support People First language

Students with disabilities will now be thought of as what they are, students first.

The San Joaquin County Board of Education has resolved support using people-first terminology whenever referencing their students with disabilities.

“We want to put a face on our students,” Kathleen Skeels, SJCOE assistant superintendent of special education and Special Education Local Plan Area said in a news release.

“Instead of saying you have an autistic student, we now will say ‘my student with autism,’” she said.

“We want to remember that it is the student, the person, first.”

Instead of categorizing a child by their disability, the action calls to have the disability stated last.

According to the SJCOE, the SELPA serves students with moderate to severe disabilities from birth to age 22. The SJCOE SELPA serves nearly 50 percent of the county’s special needs population with 8,490 students.

The Lodi Unified School District SELPA serves close to 4,000 students, and the Stockton Unified School District SELPA serves 4,029 students, said the SJCOE. Lodi and SUSD are the only districts in the county with separate SELPAs.

“It’s inspiring to see the work our staff does with our students with special needs,” County Superintendent of Schools James Mousalimas said.

“After all, we are all people first,” said Skeels.

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November is Bullying Prevention Month at SUSD

Henry Elementary School students celebrate Unity Day by standing up to bullies. Photo courtesy of Tommy Mogan, Henry Elementary Assistant Principal.

November marks the beginning of Bullying Prevention Month throughout the Stockton Unified School District.

Data supplied by SUSD on bullying from the fall 2015 School Climate Surveys through the PLUS Program, when asked “I have been bullied on campus in the last 30 days,” 15 percent of fourth- and fifth-graders said it happens to them. As the grade level goes up, so do the bullying numbers. Of sixth- through eighth-graders, 12 percent have experienced it and only 10 percent of high school freshman to seniors.

“As you can see, SUSD school climate data shows that we are below the national averages on bullying,” said PLUS Program coordinator Jillian Glende. “This is greatly in part to all of the positive effects of prevention efforts from our schools and district. The PLUS program, student leadership, after school programs, and other student led activities are also important programs that promote student engagement and school connectedness to build safe school climates.”

This includes four types of bullying, from verbal and physical, to relational (rumors, gossiping) to using social media and other forms of cyber bullying.

SUSD released an anti-bullying guide with steps and procedures to take when witnessing a bully, no matter if it’s happening to you or not:

Step 1. Ask the bully to stop

Step 2. Warn that you will report the bully

Step 3. Report the bully to an adult

In the days leading up to Nov. 1, SUSD also celebrated district wide Unity Day on Wednesday, Oct. 28, in an effort to stand together against bullying, and for united respect, kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

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Lodi Unified to host Employee Service Awards

The Lodi Unified School District will host an Employee Service Awards reception on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. at the Lincoln Technical Academy multi-purpose room located on 542 E. Pine Street in Lodi.

Numerous district employees will be honored for their hard work and dedication, many of those who have served the district for 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.

For the full list of names, click here: Media Advisory 2015.


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Manteca Unified participates in “Read for the Record”

Over 6,000  Manteca Unified School District students and teachers participated in a nationwide movement geared toward sharing reading experiences.

Oct. 22, marks the 10th anniversary of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign. This year’s book, “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story,” written by Kelly Bennett is a humorous tale about a child who finds a new friend in an unexpected place.

“I think that this event brings to light the huge need for students to read and be read to on a daily basis in order to add to their vocabulary and understanding of the meaning of words. It is also especially exciting that our MUSD teachers have taken this challenge to heart by being part of a worldwide event,” Dr. Cheryl Meeker, Senior Director of Elementary Education said in a statement.

The message of the campaign focuses on the “word gap” – meaning a gap in many children from low-income families hear up to 30 million fewer words than their more affluent classmates by the time they reach kindergarten.


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North Stockton 4-H Club growing food for needy neighborhood

David Stoner (left) and Emily Stenzler (right), of the North Stockton 4-H Club, prepare to shop at Orchard Supply Hardware to grow food for a needy local neighborhood. Photo courtesy of Nancy Stenzler.

The North Stockton 4-H club, headed by Nancy Flocchini Stenzler at the San Joaquin County Office of Education, met workers from the Orchard Supply Hardware store during a recent California Coastal Clean-up event.

After learning Orchard Supply has a neighbor-to-neighbor program to donate to local organizations, two teen members, Emily Stenzler and David Stoner, wrote a letter and received $200 in donations.

The students are currently involved in a project called Boggs Tract Community Project.  Nancy Stenzler said the goal is to learn about planting, how food grows and healthy eating. They planted broccoli, cilantro, brussel sprouts, lettuce, chives, cauliflower and more.

“It is a true example of our community working together to help each other,” wrote Stenzler in an email.

The club will then grow the items and donate to the local community.

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Education legislation signed by Gov. Brown has listed several key educational legislation that California governor Jerry Brown has signed, including legislation that suspends the high school exit exam, creating new rules for placing high school students in math classes, and increases support for foster students in California.

You can read all what was approved or what died, by clicking here.

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SUSD senior wins National Merit Commendation

Stockton Unified School District spokeswoman Dianne Barth sat down with Pacific Law Academy senior Sean Jannay on winning a National Merit Commendation.

Not only did Jannay place among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who took the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit qualifying test, he’s also writing movie scripts among other things.

Barth said he hopes the commendation will ultimately help with his application to the University of Southern California where he hopes to major in music. But the commendation, accompanied by great SAT scores this year and his 4.5 G.P.A. aren’t all Sean has to offer, she said.

He is a talented musician, stage performer and script writer. He is currently writing a 40-page script for a film the PLC students plan to make next quarter. It’s based on a terrifying exchange student experience with mind control.

You can read more about Jannay on the SUSD website page here.

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Students earning State Seal of Biliteracy increasing

More high school students are graduating with a State Seal of Biliteracy in 2015 than ever before, State superintendent of public instruction Tom Torlakson announced (Friday).

The program, which California was the first in the nation to create in 2012 and since has been emulated across the country, recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.

“Becoming multilingual is a huge asset in today’s global economy, so I applaud the rising numbers of students attaining high levels of proficiency in multiple languages,” Torlakson said in a statement. “These skills will help students to live, work, and thrive in a multicultural, multilingual, and highly connected world.”  

In 2015, 31,816 graduating California public high school students earned the biliteracy gold seal, which was affixed to their diplomas, for achieving proficiency in multiple languages. This number is nearly three times the 10,685 reported in 2012. That number increased to 19,586 in 2013, and 24,151 in 2014.

Of the total number of gold seals issued in 2015, 67.64 percent were for Spanish, 9.52 percent for French, 5.64 percent for Mandarin, 2.05 percent for German, 1.91 percent for Japanese, 1.73 percent for Latin, 1.25 percent for Korean, 0.84 percent for Vietnamese, and 0.30 percent were for Cantonese.

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San Joaquin County Middle School Honor Choir to hold auditions

The San Joaquin County Middle School Honor Choir will hold auditions on Tuesdays throughout October for any middle school student in sixth-through-eighth grade interested in joining.

The choir is a partnership between the county Office of Education, San Joaquin County Music Educators’ Association and the Delta College music department. Eight auditions will take place and the piece is “America (My Country ‘tis of Thee).”

Auditions are held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:

·         Oct. 6, Boys & Girls Club of Manteca, 545 W. Alameda St, Manteca

·         Oct. 6, Ripona Elementary School, Room 21, 415 Oregon St, Ripon

·         Oct. 6, Sierra Middle School band room, 6768 Alexandria Place, Stockton

·         Oct. 13, Office of Ed, Alpine Room, 2707 Transworld Dr, Stockton

·         Oct. 20, Lathrop High School choir room, 647 Spartan Way, Lathrop

·         Oct. 20, Linden High School choir room, 18527 E. Front Street, Linden

·         Oct. 20, Tracy High School choir room, 315 E. 11th St, Tracy

·         Oct. 27, Office of Ed, Greenwood 1, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The 2016 Middle School Honor Choir will perform at the annual Honors Concert on March 5 at the Delta Center for the Arts in the Atherton Auditorium at Delta. There is no fee to join.

For applications and more information, visit or call (209) 468-4973.

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California Education Network suffers severe Internet outage

The California Education Network suffered a severe Internet outage beginning Monday and continuing into Tuesday, San Joaquin County Office of Education officials said.

The outage affects San Joaquin and several other county offices of education and colleges throughout California. Technicians are currently working to resolve the issue.

On Monday around 4 p.m., the fiber optic cable that services both the primary and backup connections for the SJCOE/CEDR networks was severed, said the SJCOE in a Facebook post. The result is a significant downtime for their large systems such as SEIS, PROMIS, EDJOIN, SARC, PFTDATA as well as several other COE’s and a few colleges.

These fiber-optic lines are operated by CENIC, a large consortium that services most of the networking needs for schools across California. They are working diligently with their technicians to resolve this issue quickly, officials said. The outage has also limited their ability to access email accounts as well as responding to phone calls.

For contact information and status of SEIS, EDJOIN, PROMIS, and other sites, please visit

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