Living in San José
The largest city in Northern California and labeled the “Capital of Silicon Valley”, San Jose sits between the picturesque Santa Cruz mountains and the enchanting South Bay. With a subtropical climate, residents of San Jose are able to enjoy the outdoors-including parks and historical sites- all year round. A global leader in the high-technology, computer, micro-processing and engineering industries, San Jose is home to a multitude of thriving technology companies and innovative minds. A highly diverse city, San Jose attracts people from all over the world and has large Latino and Vietnamese populations.
Why We Need You
Despite San Jose’s booming, technology-driven economy, there is a significant economic divide amongst its almost 1 million residents that negatively impacts some students in San Jose. Public education in San Jose is unique in that it does not have a single large school district. Rather, it is comprised of 17 smaller districts, which makes the likelihood high that students change districts, sometimes multiple times, throughout their primary and secondary education. And, when a student changes school districts in San Jose, student data does not transfer between districts which has consequences for students, families and educators. Teachers and administrators don’t receive critical academic records and background information that can help accelerate new student specific academic or social emotional plans; families need to resubmit paperwork like enrollment applications, residency verification, and medical and immunization records; students need to reorient their new teachers to themselves and their unique needs.
How You Can Make a Difference
City Year San Jose currently partners with two school districts that serve the most economically disadvantaged students in San Jose: Alum Rocks Union School District (ARUSD) and East Side Union High School District (ESUHSD). Between these two districts, City Year serves in 13 schools. ARUSD is an elementary school district comprised of over 12,000 students. District wide, 83% of students are eligible for Free and Reduced Priced Lunch and 47% are English Language Learners. At 80%, the majority of the student population identifies as Hispanic or Latino. ESUHSD is a high school district comprised of over 26,000 students. A highly diverse district, ESUHSD is comprised of 52% of students that identify as Hispanic or Latino and 30% that identify as Asian-American.1 Across the district, 51% of students are eligible to receive Free and Reduced Priced Lunch and 20% of students are English Language Learners.1
Across the 13 schools City Year serves, students have significantly lower English Language Arts and Math proficiency rates than the statewide average. Only about 30% of students are proficient in English Language Arts and about 20% of students are proficient in Math. Access to resources, transiency, teacher turnover and teacher shortages are the main challenges facing students throughout City Year’s partner schools. Right from the start of their education, students across ARUSD and ESUHSD are at a disadvantage compared to their wealthier peers. These students do not always have access to preschool and early learning, commonly have parents working multiple jobs, often have less access to academic support at home because of language barriers and are sometimes living in households that are often cramped with multiple families due to affordable housing challenges.
Given the momentous challenges facing some students, City Year San Jose plays a crucial role in supporting students and stepping up to fill in gaps to ensure all students are on-track to reach graduation on time. City Year San Jose AmeriCorps members provide vital support to teachers in schools that are understaffed and help ensure all student needs are met. Additionally, through leading thousands of students in the afterschool space, San Jose AmeriCorps members are stepping up to fill in tremendous gaps. AmeriCorps members currently plan and facilitate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) after school programs, which contributes to academic gains, allows students to learn about the most prevalent industries in San Jose and explore new opportunities.
City Year San Jose is in need of talented and passionate AmeriCorps members who are ready to step up and be there for students. In one of the world’s most influential and innovative cities, San Jose is full of opportunities and access to resources to help launch a career in any field. From the gorgeous outdoor attractions to its diverse cuisines, San Jose is the place to be for creative and dynamic young professionals.