Manteca EVERY CHILD DOES COUNT
t’s not by accident that Manteca Unified School District has one of the highest graduation rates in California. In 2017, 98 percent of all seniors graduated compared to 83.2 percent for California. For the May 2018 graduation, Manteca Unified — a district of 24,600 students — had 1,500 seniors. Of those, four did not graduate. How that happened is indicative of the district’s commitment to educate students. Seventh and eighth grade teachers identify struggling students that go on a list. The students are connected with high school counselors while still in the seventh and eighth grades, interventions including summer math programs and such are tapped. To illustrate how serious and committed everyone from teachers and principals on up are to the identified students succeeding, the list of names is provided to the district superintendent on a monthly basis with notations of their progress. It is just one example of how Manteca Unified is constantly working to provide the education students need to succeed in a changing world. Among the other initiatives the district has undertaken besides sharpening basic skills, stepping up college prep, and increasing its focus on Science Technology Engineering & Math include: uestablishing a charter vocational high school known as the be.tech Academy offering courses of study in disciplines such as fabrication, cuisine, and first responders. A number of students secure good paying jobs before they graduate in fields such as welding and high tech metal work that they either use to develop a well-paying career or use to help pay for college without accumulating crushing debt. ucreating a teacher development program designed not just to help students get a leg up on college courses but to provide mentorship as they continue on after high school with their education. Working with area colleges and universities those in the program will get first crack at specialized teacher aide jobs and other classified positions to dovetail into the class schedules while earning a degree and money at the same time. Those in the program once they complete state requirements are guaranteed teaching job interviews with the district. udeveloping a truck driving and logistics program for high school students working with the two industries as well as Manteca Adult School. Area firms such as Amazon and a host of distribution and trucking firms are starting truck drivers who return home every night at $62,000 in addition to signing bonuses as high as $5,000. It is being modeled after a success program in the Patterson Unified School District where high school graduates start high paying jobs right out of high school
Lincoln School is among the Manteca Unified campuses that are being modernized to provide 21st century learning environments.
or land summer jobs hauling for agricultural concerns at the top of the harvest season to earn $12,000 plus in less than three months that they use to help pay for college so they can earn a degree without piling up massive debt. ua vibrant working school farm. Not only are there well-paying jobs in the agricultural sector, but the discipline and hands-on experience that puts theory to work is seen by students and parents alike as an effective general education tool. It is why it’s not surprising that the largest FFA is at Weston Ranch School that has the least direct ties to agriculture. The district is in the middle of a $156
million modernization program for its 30 plus campuses including five comprehensive high schools that average around 1,700 students apiece. To accommodate growth and to assure the maximum academic offerings while still having a campus atmosphere that is vibrant and not impersonal, the school board has adopted a strategy that caps each high school at 2,200 students. The high schools offer well-rounded programs that include extracurricular endeavors such a JROTC as well as the traditional repertoire of sports, clubs, music, and drama to name a few.
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