Judy Flores: Achieving Policy Change through Collective Impact

Judy Flores is in her 36th year in education, always a teacher and learner no matter what title she has held. She is currently in her 5th year as the Shasta County Superintendent of Schools. For 10 years, she was the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services for the Shasta County Office of Education in support of the 25 school districts and 15 charter schools. Over that decade, she was able to write grants and bring on high-caliber staff so that the Instructional Services Division could better support the work of teachers, school counselors, and administrators throughout Shasta County and Northern California. Prior to coming to the Shasta County Office of Education, Judy spent 17 years in the Enterprise Elementary School District and began her teaching career in the Hayward Unified School District where she taught for 5 years. She is a mom of three kids in their late twenties and has been married for 36 years.

As Shasta County Superintendent of Schools, Judy has worked to improve outcomes for students with regard to attendance, behavior/mental health, and college/career readiness. One of the student groups most at risk with attendance has been the Native American students within Shasta County. Another area of focus has been on student mental health where she convened a Youth Mental Health Summit in September 2021 of those who work in the area of behavioral and mental health within Shasta County. Monthly, she continues to meet with a workgroup to identify available services and supports as well as to call out the gaps in service in order to prepare for grants and partnerships to meet identified needs. Judy has also worked closely with superintendents, principals, and school counselors within the high schools in Shasta County to see significant increases in students who are college/career ready over the past 5 years.

Judy will be presenting “Achieving Policy Change through Collective Impact” at the 2022 NST Summit: Pathways to Opportunity in Rural Northern California.    Shasta County Office of Education’s American Indian Advisory played a pivotal role in new legislation that provides excused absences for California students attending Native cultural ceremonies and events. The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Megan Dahle, addresses one of the primary causes of Native student’s chronically high rates of absenteeism. Judy will present on this incredible work that was done in our own communities and capture what happens when we use data to identify a challenge, but then use personal stories, multiple perspectives, and most of all listening to understand the root causes. The tremendous collective work has led to a new statewide policy AB 516 that will positively impact the north state and California as a whole.