Brown vetoes part of truancy legislation package

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed two bills in a truancy package that Stockton Unified officials had testified on behalf of this spring that would have mandated wider collection and reporting of data on student attendance while signing two others.

The bills the governor approved will add a representative from each local district attorney’s office and public defender’s office to school attendance review boards, which handle truancy cases and have the authority to refer them to law enforcement or other agencies. The other requires prosecutors to report the outcome of adjudicated truancy cases to local authorities.

The move comes the same day Stockton Unified and the county District Attorney’s Office sent out joint letter to parents spelling out the penalties parents face for not complying with state truancy laws.

State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, who along with several lawmakers introduced the package in the Legislature,  issued a statement Tuesday expressing her disappointment, saying:

“I am disappointed that Governor Brown vetoed AB 1866 and AB 1672. These are missed opportunities to help keep California’s youngest and most vulnerable students on track. The facts are very clear. We know that nearly a million elementary school children are truant from our classrooms each year. We know foster, low-income and minority children are truant at much higher rates than other children. And we know truancy drives California’s drop-out, crime and incarceration rates. We must get serious about keeping track of whether young children are in school.”

Brown explains the reasoning behind his vetoes here.

 

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Isaak makes surprise appearance for Stagg reunion

Record photographer Calixtro Romias captured this shot of Stagg grad Chris Isaak performing in 2012 at the Bob Hope Theatre in Stockton.

Chris Isaak, Stagg High’s most famous alum, made a surprise appearance Friday ahead of the Class of 1974′s 40th reunion this weekend, district spokeswoman Dianne Barth-Feist says.

The “Wicked Game” singer, who’s been in several films and TV shows as well, was valedictorian, class president at Stagg for three years and student body president his senior year. He also headed up the all-male cheer squad.

The alums will gather celebrate with a reunion Saturday evening at St. Basil’s Greek  Orthodox Church  and a barbecue at Micke Grove on Sunday.

No word on Isaak’s plans, but if you really want to see him, he’s making a repeat appearance Oct. 4 at San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival at Golden Gate Park. Click here for the full schedule.

 

 

 

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SUSD parents, make your voice heard

Want to have a say in Stockton Unified’s plan to improve academic achievement for its low-income, English language learner and foster youth students? The district is seeking applicants for its LCAP Parent Advisory Committee – deadline to apply is Oct. 6. You can find details here and the application form here.

For more information, contact Kennetha Stevens, coordinator of Parent/ Community Empowerment, at (209) 933-7470 ext. 2227, or visit the Parent Empowerment Page here.

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“Good Morning Sacramento” to feature Chavez High

Cesar Chavez High School will be featured for the fourth year in a row on “Good Morning Sacramento” on Friday morning, coinciding with the school’s homecoming game against Golden Valley High.

The doors to the gym at the Stockton school, 2929 Windflower Lane, will open at 6 a.m. Friday and the show goes live at 6:30 a.m. on Channel 13. After school, Chavez will hold its “Throw Down” rally in the main quad, where students can buy food and play games to prepare for Homecoming.

The junior varsity game starts at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity game about 7 p.m. Last year, more than 1,000 students showed up to show their Titan pride, Chavez Principal William Nelson said.

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Inked for a great cause

C.J. loves fish and the ocean, and this little guy has been his faithful companion during his long hospital stay.

A  tattoo fundraiser last week at Uptown Ink raised $290 for childhood cancer research in the name of 9-year-old C.J. Marquez, who was diagnosed with leukemia the same day he was supposed to start fourth grade at Colonial Heights in September and developed grave complications. C.J. and his family shared their story earlier this month to touch and strengthen the lives of others.

“It was wonderful!” wrote Tanya Andreasen, whose son, Novii Mitchell, is C.J.’s best friend. “C.J.’s parents got there first, his dad burst into tears when I walked in. We’ve been buddies since our kids met and I haven’t seen him since C.J. got sick. We cried together and talked. All of his sisters were there, too, and nephew and niece, my kids, some family friends, and a couple from Modesto who saw your article online.

“Between the two artists, they did back to back tattoos. Typically children aren’t allowed in shops like this but it was such a family affair … it was an amazing gathering of love and support, very inspiring.”

Two online fundraising accounts have also been set up for C.J. and his family; visit http://www.gofundme.com/ddti40 (you can also follow his progress there) or http://tinyurl.com/kajza67  to learn more or to help. C.J. and his family have had a rough couple of days and could use your positive thoughts and prayers.

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First adult earns high school diploma in new program

Amanda Spencer is the first graduate of “Delta Keys,” a program designed to serve adults who dropped out of high school.

Amanda Spencer spent most of her high school years in and out of hospitals due to a string of illnesses and surgeries.  Just eight credits shy from graduating with her Lodi High School class in 2010, Spencer lost her motivation to continue and dropped out of adult school after finishing one class and gave up on ever graduating.

That changed Monday, when she was awarded a diploma from Delta Charter Online, a new Tracy-based charter school authorized by New Jerusalem Elementary School District. Spencer is the first graduate of “Delta Keys,” a program designed to serve high school dropout adults who qualify through a partnership with the Workforce Investment Act’s San Joaquin WorkNet.

“I don’t know who was more excited about this, Amanda or us,” said Jeff Tilton, superintendent of New Jerusalem’s charter schools who authored the charter’s petition. Tilton is running for county superintendent of schools in the November election.

Spencer, whose overall high school grade point average was 3.05, plans to enroll into San Joaquin Delta College, Tilton said in a news release.

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Bright Ideas grants available to schools

Central and Northern California schools are invited to apply for PG&E’s Bright Ideas grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for environmental programs. The grants aim to help fund innovative classroom projects about energy and the environment and have awarded nearly $2 million to more than 300 schools since 2005.

Click here for information about the grants or to download an application.

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S.J., Stockton education candidates to meet in pair of forums

The League of Women Voters of San Joaquin County will host two forums next week for candidates running for county schools chief and for four open seats in the Stockton Unified School District Board of Trustees.

San Joaquin County superintendent of schools candidates James Mousalimas, a deputy superintendent at the county Office of Education, and Jeff Tilton, a charter school superintendent for the New Jerusalem Elementary School District, will appear at a forum from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Stockton City Council Chambers, 425 N. El Dorado Street, 2nd floor.

Candidates for Stockton Unified’s Area 2, 5, 6 and 7 trustee seats will come together from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 4 at the University of the Pacific’s George Wilson Hall in a crowded race that has the potential to bring sweeping changes to the district’s decision-making body.

Additional forums on the pros and cons of ballot measures will be held at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at O’Connor Woods, 3400 Wagner Heights Road, Stockton, and at 10:45 a.m. Oct. 12 at First Methodist Church, 200 W. Oak St, Lodi. The November ballot will include Measure E, a $114 million Stockton Unified bond measure asking voters to pay for improved school technology and upgrade classroom security.

For more information, visit the league’s website at lwvnet.org.

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SUSD Tuesday agenda, follow Kevin Parrish

Stockton Unified’s Tuesday night agenda has been released. Click here to read it.

Note the action item related to an interim superintendent hire. There’s also a couple other interesting items including two responses to grand jury reports, and the proposed sell of some school buses the district bought not that long ago.

Alas – I won’t be there to cover any of it Tuesday. That mean’s no SUSD Live blogging from me.

Never fear, as your access to the meeting will rest in the capable hands of colleague Kevin Parrish. Follow him on Twitter @KLPRecord for board meeting updates.

 

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SUSD back to school Tuesday

Here’s the press release from district spokeswoman Dianne Barth:

Stockton Unified Schools open their doors to the new year on Tuesday, August 12, 

2014. The school district expects close to 37,000 students at 52 schools this year.

This year the district launches a number of new initiatives, including teaching to 

the Common Core standards and some new programs aimed to improve academic 

achievement for our students under the state’s new schools funding program.

We will have more counselors and guidance technicians, more technology and 

teacher resources and more significant intervention for students who are struggling 

as well as some special programs to help English language learners. The district 

staff, principals and teachers look forward to a successful new year for our 

students!

We have also redesigned our home web page at www.stocktonusd.net to make 

it easier to find our information, resources and news. The site is cleaner, easier 

to navigate and will have a link to the district newsletter at the end of August. 

The site includes a place for the SUSD Board of Education meeting schedule, a 

districtwide calendar, budget updates, lists of schools and other information media 

may require.

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