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San Joaquin County Students Get Education in "Green Energy" High School Students Prepare for a Sustainable Future and Become Career and College Ready

Release Date: March 23, 2010
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

STOCKTON, Calif. – The California Department of Education (CDE) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today celebrated the New Energy Academy at Venture Academy Family of Schools, in Stockton that will help prepare San Joaquin County high school students to meet the demands of the emerging green energy and environmental technology fields. The New Energy Academy pilot program at Venture Academy Family of Schools is one of five throughout the state that will provide the workforce of tomorrow with focused career education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

CaliforniaALL (CalALL), a statewide non-profit organization that is committed to developing education pipelines to enhance the success of California's students, has also supported the development of the Academy.

“Career partnership academies get students excited about learning by providing rigorous academics, a relevant real world focus and relationships with caring adults,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. “Green energy is a growing field that is critical to turn the tide on climate change. I am excited that California students in these programs will be learning about technologies that can help the entire planet.”

Planning for the New Energy Academy began in the 2009 academic year with curriculum planning and teacher development. Educators selected to teach in the program will spend nearly a year evaluating, contributing and studying course content. In addition, the selected schools will receive grants and access to professional development workshops and industry experts.

The five schools selected to participate in the pilot are: Berkeley High School (Berkeley); Edison High School (Fresno); Foothill High School (Sacramento); Independence High School (Bakersfield); and Venture Academy.

Participating schools will begin enrolling students in their new energy academies in the fall of 2010. Student applications are voluntary, and those who apply are interviewed by Academy staff and counselors. Students accepted into the program are selected on the basis of need, interest and parent/guardian approval.

“The California Department of Education continues to make great strides in preparing students for a future in the growing industry of green energy,” said PG&E Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Greg Pruett. “We are pleased to work in partnership with California’s schools and teachers to develop a program to educate students about the environment and stimulate the discovery of new green energy technologies. We are confident that the New Energy Academy will be a cornerstone for many bright futures.”

In 2010, PG&E expects to provide $19.3 million in charitable funding. As always, the company’s charitable contributions program is funded entirely by its shareholders and has no impact on electricity or gas prices.

For more information on the New Energy Academy, please visit High School "Green" Career Academy Program page.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/.

The core purpose of the California Department of Education is to lead and support the continuous improvement of achievement among all students. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell is the head of the California Department of Education.

CaliforniaALL creates collaborative partnerships among business, education, government and the professions on a statewide basis to ensure a pipeline of individuals who are prepared to successfully lead California’s economic and political future. For more information about CaliforniaALL, visit www.calall.org.

Venture Academy Family of Schools (VAFS) is one of the largest charter schools in San Joaquin County. VAFS provides students of grades K-12 with flexible schedules and has focus sites that develop students’ academic progress and imaginations. VAFS is chartered by the San Joaquin County Board of Education. To learn more about Venture Academy Family of Schools, visit www.ventureacademyca.org.

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