New SDCOE blue logo
April 2022
jccs executive director tracy thompson
Accreditation Visit a Success

JCCS Family, Friends, and Partners,

First and foremost, I hope all is well with you and your family. As we continue to define the new normal, I would like to thank each of you for your support, resilience, and ongoing commitment to our students and their families.

The Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) program recently went through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation process. WASC accreditation is a school improvement process that serves as the foundation for quality education. An accredited school is a statement to the broader community and educational partners that it is a trustworthy institution for student learning and committed to ongoing improvement. This process is an ongoing cycle where our schools and educational partners assess our program and the impact on student learning every six years. Accredited institutions are evaluated extensively and conform to expectations of performance and quality. Because accreditation requires continual self-evaluation and monitoring, the public can be assured that the educational quality of programs and services offered by the institution are current, reflect high standards of quality, and are offered with integrity.

Thanks to your support, collaboration, and leadership, the veteran WASC visiting team was very impressed with our schools. After three and a half days of classroom observations, and meetings with educational partners, staff, families, and students, I am pleased to share the WASC visiting team rated 16 of the 19 areas they evaluated as “highly effective.”  

The WASC visit concluded with a brief ceremony that included remarks from County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County Board of Education member Guadalupe González, and several San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and JCCS staff members. We also had the first viewing of our video, “JCCS: Our Story." Congratulations to everyone on this great accomplishment! 

In addition to our WASC visit, other highlights from across JCCS include: 

  • Roberto (Beto) Carrillo, JCCS South and East regions principal, was selected as the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) State Awardee for Continuation/Educational Options Administrator of the Year.
  • The JCCS Spring Take Action Jam took place the week of April 11. Student exhibitions were held throughout the week with some sites hosting small, in-person, site-based exhibitions, virtual exhibitions, and/or submitting work to our JCCS Student Showcase website. Check out some photos here.
  • San Pasqual Academy juniors and seniors went on a college tour, visiting several universities throughout California during the last week in April.
  • Brandon “Griot B” Brown of School Yard Rap engaged our students, staff, and probation at the San Diego SOAR Academy Youth Transition Campus and Monarch School on April 11. High school students were able to enjoy a fun and informative performance. Griot B teaches history through rap with songs such as “Us” and “Found First?” and has performed across the country in hundreds of schools and colleges. His performance had all students and staff members on their feet dancing and was a great start to a Monday morning.

As always, I leave you with a quote. This one is from a Native American named Black Elk: 

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”

On behalf of our students, families, staff, and our community, I thank each of you for your kind soul and our powerful relationships that allow us to provide equitable access and opportunity to a just and educated society for all of our students and their families.

With much admiration and appreciation,
Executive Director
Juvenile Court and Community Schools
37ECB's Cindy Stallo Named SDCOE Teacher of the Year
cindy stallo
Cindy Stallo, SDCOE’s teacher of the year, knew in 6th grade that she wanted to be an educator someday thanks to Mrs. Luff.

“Mrs. Luff was a creative, kind, adventurous teacher,” Stallo explained. “She connected deeply with us students and got to know our families. She created a beautiful culture inside of our classroom, and my memories of that year were that school was fun. Mrs. Luff challenged students and met them where they were. I remember as an 11-year-old that her job seemed incredibly fun, and I wanted to have the same impact she had on others.”

It’s that desire to have an impact on students and encourage them to use their voices that made her stand out to the panel selecting SDCOE’s Teacher of the Year, said Jill Roth-Tellier, a member of the panel.

“Her commitment to increasing student engagement, parent involvement, and community connections make her a wonderful representative for SDCOE as she advocates for our students, families, and educators,” Roth-Tellier said.

Lindsay Community School ELD Named Classified Award Winner
vedrana carew
One of the qualities that sets Vedrana Carew apart as an employee is her ability to connect with students and create trusting relationships, her colleagues say.

Carew has been an English language development assistant at Lindsay Community School for more than five years.

“Vedrana embodies everything that is great about JCCS: she puts our students first; she not only gets the job done but she excels in everything she does and is eager to learn new things to improve services to our students and staff,” said Patricia Jimenez.

It's that care for her work and her students that prompted co-workers to nominate her and a panel of colleague to select her as SDCOE's Classified School Employee of the Year. She will now go on to compete at the county level.

Students Attend Virtual College and Career Readiness Webinars
cuyamaca college logo
Students recently had several opportunities to attend a variety of virtual college and career readiness webinars, ranging in topics from electrical and automotive training and female empowerment to careers in public service.

SDCOE connected students with information sessions on two trade programs. They heard about the Electrical Training Institute’s apprentice program for inside wireman and sound and telecommunications technicians, and from the plumbing-heating-cooling-industry, whose program offers individuals a chance to “earn while you learn,” combining classroom training courses with on-the-job training.

Students also had the opportunity to learn more about the automotive technology programs at Cuyamaca College, which are designed to exceed manufacturers and Automotive Service Excellence training requirements. According to the college, employers are seeking students who have completed a formal training program in a post-secondary institution.

On March 8, students had the chance to connect with STAR Pal to celebrate Women’s History Month and share messages of empowerment with young women.

JCCS students attended the Careers in Public Service student event, hosted by SDCOE’s Career Technical Education team, designed to expose students to careers in law enforcement, public health, and emergency response. The agenda featured 10 virtual sessions over four days for 796 students across the county as well as one in-person day with three additional sessions for 212 students. Partners included San Diego Fire-Rescue, Homeland Security Investigations, 911 San Diego, Probation, District Attorney’s Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, San Diego Parks and Recreation, and other agencies.

To learn more about future student opportunities, please contact Stephanie Johnston at
37ECB Receives Grant for School Garden
Picture of garden at 37 ecb
San Diego Ag in the Classroom has awarded a $1,250 grant to 37ECB Community School.

The organization said the school’s efforts around its garden exemplify all aspects of garden education they support, such as purpose, sustainability, awareness, and teaching about agriculture in San Diego County.

“You have our respect, gratitude, and admiration for your continued effort to engage children in meaningful learning within both school gardens and the outdoors,” the organization said.

The garden at 37ECB was started in 2019 and has become an important project for teacher Cindy Stallo and the many students at the school who help plant and care for the garden.

San Pasqual Academy Student Named ACSA 2022 Every Student Succeeding Award Winner
san pasqual academy dragon logo
Mario, a student from San Pasqual Academy, was recently selected as the Association of California School Administrator’s (ACSA) 2022 Every Student Succeeding Awardee. Mario will be recognized at the state ACSA Leadership Summit Nov. 4 in San Diego.

The award honors students who have succeeded against all odds, beyond expectations, or simply won the hearts of the administrators and other educators who helped them achieve their goals. Mario will receive a $1,000 award from the statewide ACSA in addition to the $1,000 award from the local ACSA chapter.
Student Spotlight: Jose
JCCS student jose at table
The JCCS student representative on the San Diego County Board of Education for March was Jose, a junior at Innovations Academy of Empowerment.

Jose was recognized for being a role model and leader who constantly helps others around him be better. He has been an integral part of his school community by consistently attending and participating in class, and demonstrating perseverance and a strong work ethic.

“Jose shows initiative when it comes to getting his schoolwork done, and does so with great attention to detail,” said Principal Oscar Felix. “He is polite and respectful to all adults; it is an honor to work alongside Jose.”

Jose hopes to one day open a business with his father, who is a machinist, to build automotive and motorcycle parts.

He credits his teacher, Ljubica Mandrapa, with helping him stay on track and focused on the future. He encourages other students to concentrate on their education and not get distracted.
SDCOE Equity Conference Registration Closes April 29
Equity Conference 2022
Join hundreds of educators, parents, students, policymakers, advocates, and community members to advance educational equity for California’s students at the Equity Conference May 12 and 13. The conference will be an opportunity to grow and learn as we work to make our campuses safe spaces for all students, staff members, and families, where they feel honored and valued. Find details on the event website
Free Transit for Youth 18 and Under Starting Next Month
sandag youth opportunity transit pass graphic
Starting May 1, anyone aged 18 and under can ride transit for free in San Diego County with a PRONTO account.

SANDAG has teamed up with MTS, NCTD, and the County of San Diego to connect youth to school, jobs, entertainment, and more with the SANDAG Youth Opportunity Pass pilot program. This includes unlimited rides on the bus, Trolley, COASTER, and SPRINTER at no cost through June 30, 2023.

SANDAG is funding this pilot program with support from the County of San Diego as part of its Transit Equity Initiative, which is guided by the 2021 Regional Plan.

To learn how youth can ride for free with the SANDAG Youth Opportunity Pass pilot program, visit
Get up-to-the-minute information about what's happening at the San Diego County Office of Education and in school districts across the county.