"SUSD knocks down expulsion rate"
By Elizabeth Roberts, Record Staff Writer
Posted Jan. 26, 2015 @ 12:01 am
STOCKTON — Mirroring a statewide trend that saw a dramatic drop in school expulsion rates, Stockton Unified cut the number of students expelled in 2013-14 by nearly 50 percent from the year before and is on track so far this year to see that number fall by nearly half again.
Making those inroads over the past decade has taken a strategic, multi-tiered approach requiring buy-in from the top all the way down to the youngest kindergartner, who might get a sticker or other prize to reward positive behavior, said Dee Alimbini, director of child welfare and attendance at Stockton Unified.
Stockton Unified School District’s first African American educator turns 95 this month and plans to celebrate with a number of events in her honor, including a special SUSD Board of Education presentation. Wilhelmina Henry was hired to teach at the old Monroe Elementary School in 1947 – having moved to Stockton from South Carolina.
She taught until her retirement in 1994, but continues to visit her namesake school, the Wilhelmina Henry Elementary School and maintain a scholarship fund for SUSD students.
Henry School opened in the fall of 2006 with a special presentation by the students telling the story of Wilhemina Henry’s life and the significant decision by the SUSD Board of Education to hire her as a teacher. She was born in Columbia, South Carolina, graduating from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1940. She married in South Carolina and in 1946, moved to Stockton and raised her family here.
She will be honored by the 2015 Board of Education on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 7 p.m. at 701 Madison St., Stockton.
Over the past several years, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA, has offered a family celebration on December 31, known as “Noon Year’s Eve”. Complete with a countdown to a “world famous ball drop” at Noon rather than Midnight, this celebration offers family members “a time when everyone can be awake to welcome in the New Year”. The celebration welcoming in 2015 included not only Father Time, but 32 members of Madison Elementary School’s Mariachi program! The current Crocker Art Museum exhibition of Latino artist from around the world provided the theme for the 2015 Noon Eve celebration; “a fiesta of global cultural experiences”. By participating in this fiesta, these students represented not only SUSD, but also future Latino musicians. One of the comments heard in the audience as the group was performing was; “I’ve never seen or heard such a large…small Mariachi group.” They were referring to the number of participants and the fact they were children. Thanks to the Madison musicians, the future looks bright!
Eighth graders at Nightingale School learned in an hour last week a critical skill for young students all over the world: writing computer code. They joined students throughout Stockton Unified School district who participated in a global initiative aimed at inspiring students to consider careers in computer science and having fun at the same time.
Stockton Unified is so proud of its San Joaquin A+ Spirit of Literacy Award Winners, celebrated at a countywide event last week for contributions to the organization’s mission of early and excellent literacy. This year Maxine Hong Kingston’s Preschool was named Literacy program of the Year and longtime El Dorado teacher Tracey Sittig was awarded Educator of the Year!