Dateline Masthead
Contra Costa County Office of EducationApril 2012
In this issue
Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for Teachers
Best Practices in Teaching Leadership
10th Annual Day of the Teacher Conference.
Mitchell 20 - Teacher Quality is the Answer
Foster Youth Community College Education Summit
Law School Mock Trial Looking for High School Jurors
Toshiba America Foundation
ING's Run for Something Better
ING's Unsung Heroes
The Warren W. Eukel Teacher Trust Fund
The Synopsys Outreach Foundation Grants
Drama Workshops
Fire Safety Programs!
Get Active!
Fight the Bite Poster Contest
The Caldecott Fourth Bore Medallion Competition
Visuals and Voices Contest
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to Dateline!


Welcome to the April 2012 issue of Dateline.  This informative newsletter is for all those in Contra Costa County who work in education.  Please tell your fellow teachers and administrators, as well as your friends who would be interested to join our mailing list (click here, or the link button at the left column).

Professional Development / Opportunities

Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for Teachers (ASSET)

ASSET is an institute for high school teachers, that will be intense and exciting, interactive, and content rich, with presentations by leading astrobiology researchers from the SETI Institute, NASA, and the California Academy of Sciences.  Scientists will share the latest in astrobiology research on the origin of life on Earth, the extreme conditions in which life exists, Mars exploration, the formation of planetary systems around Sun-like stars, and the search for life in the universe.  Participants receive the entire Voyages Through Time (VTT) curriculum and complementary astrobiology materials, for use in their classrooms. VTT is a standards-based integrated high school science curriculum, delivered on CDs.  Curriculum, travel, and room and board expenses are grant funded. Three graduate credits are available for a very reasonable tuition fee.
Dates and location: July 23-28, San Francisco State University

For info: Contact Pamela Harman at (650) 960-4523 or visit their website

Deadline: Application deadline is April 13

Espresso Elementary

Contra Costa County Office of Education is hosting a hands-on workshop for Espresso Elementary.  Attendees will experience all the new interactive, multimedia resources now aligned to be Common Core State Standards.  Participants do not need to be Espresso Elementary subscribers. 

Date and location: April 24, 3:30-6:00 p.m.; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill

For info: Contact Rovina Salinas at (925)-942-5332, or visit the event's online flyer

Fee: Free

Best Practices in Teaching Leadership BTSA Saturday Seminar Series

This seminar series provides a broad range of opportunities for professional educators to learn research-based techniques and strategies from local and national professionals.  Keynote and breakout sessions cover a variety of topics and grade levels, and provide practical and purposeful tools for both general and special educators to improve teaching practices.  Networking opportunities with educators from other schools and districts are another key benefit.  The program meets BTSA Induction professional development requirement. Graduate academic credit or continuing education units may also be earned. 

Dates and location: May 5; Saint Mary's College, Moraga

For info: Contact Lydia Wiley at (925) 631-8124, or visit their website

Fee: $60 for individual sessions

Upcoming Events / Field Trips

10th Annual Day of the Teacher Conference

The 10th Annual Day of the Teacher Conference is an incredible opportunity for current, new, and prospective teachers, as well as credential students to gain invaluable skills and techniques, while networking with various school districts. Featured speakers will include Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph A. Ovick and current Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Deborah Bordeau. Attendees will be able to access workshops and workshop materials, as well as take in the Education Fair.  Lunch will be provided.   

Date and location: April 28, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; CSU East Bay, Concord

For info: Annie Chandler at (925) 602-6700; to register, visit Eventbrite

Fee: $15 before April 16, $20 after

Mitchell 20 - Teacher Quality is the Answer

The University of Phoenix College of Education, Bay Area is hosting the screening of Mitchell 20 - Teacher Quality is the Answer.  The documentary tells the story of sacrifice, commitment, leadership, and hope in a high-poverty school in the Isaac School District, located in urban Phoenix.  The film features Daniela Robles and the 19 teachers she inspired to work toward National Board Certification.

Date and location: May 11, 4:00-6:00 p.m.; Mt. Diablo High School (library), Concord

For info: Contact Liane Cismowski at (925) 682-4030, xt. 3402

Fee: Free


College Offers Opportunities for Life (COOL) Nite is a special evening for middle-school students and their families to learn about the students' transition into high school, as well as opportunities for college and careers. 

Date and location: May 4, 6:30-9:00 p.m.; CSU East Bay, Concord Campus   

For info: Contact Hilary Dito at (925) 942-3396 or visit the event's Web page

Fee: Free

Deadline: Be sure to sign up by May 1

Foster Youth Community College Education Summit

Foster youth, who are high school juniors or seniors, and their caregivers are invited to an information day about local community colleges and vocational programs.  Attendees will learn about the college's on-campus foster youth services and resources, the college experience, and entrance requirements.  There will also be a tour of the campus.  In addition, food will be served during registration and a Target gift card will be given to eligible foster youth attendees.  (Caregivers who attend will receive three hours of continuing education credit.)

Date and Location: April 27, 4:00-7:00 p.m.; Los Medanos College (cafeteria), Pittsburg
For info: Mimi Nguyen at (925) 942-3417
Deadline: Register before April 20, space is limited
Law School Mock Trial Looking for High School Jurors 

U.C. Berkeley School of Law's criminal practice instructors are looking for high school students (16-18) to volunteer as jurors for a full-day mock murder trial.  Produced by the Contra Costa County Public Defender Robin Lipetzky, this is a tremendous opportunity for students who are on their school's Mock Trial team or just interested in the criminal justice system.

Date and location: April 21, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; Bray Courthouse, Martinez

For info: Contact Robin Lipetzky, at (925) 335-8035

Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society

The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society will gladly organize an astronomy night for your school, youth group, or community organization.  The organization's members volunteer their time and their telescopes to bring the universe to you.  They also provide knowledgeable speakers and activities on various astronomy topics,  either in a classroom or in a meeting setting.

Fee: Free

For info: Contact Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society by email or visit their website

Grants / Scholarships
Toshiba America Foundation

Toshiba America Foundation is currently accepting applications from teachers who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging for their students.  Do you teach grades 6-12 science or math?  Do you have a wish list of instructional equipment that will make learning more exciting for your students?  If the answer is yes to these questions, Toshiba America Foundation would like to hear from you. Grades 6-12 applications for $5,000 or less are accepted on a rolling basis, throughout the calendar year. Grants requests of more than $5,000 are reviewed twice a year. 

For info: Contact (212) 596-0620 or e-mail, or visit their website

Deadlines: Applications for grants of more than $5,000 are due August 1st and February 1st each year.

ING's Run for Something Better

Working in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, ING will provide a minimum of fifty grants (up to $2,500 to each school) to establish a school-based-running program or expand an existing one through the ING Run for Something Better program.  The program is open to elementary and middle schools (K-8) in the United States. Programs may be facilitated by a physical education teacher, coach, classroom teacher, or school administrator. Programs should culminate in a running event as a final test to help participants realize what they have accomplished.

For info: Visit ING's  website

Deadline: May 15

ING's Unsung Heroes

The ING Unsung Heroes honors excellence in education by selecting 100 K-12 educators to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative classroom projects. Of these 100 finalists, 3 will be chosen to receive an additional $5,000, $10,000, and $25,000.

For info: Visit ING's website

Deadline: April 30

The Warren W. Eukel Teacher Trust Fund

The Warren W. Eukel Teacher Trust Fund annually distributes three separate $10,000 grants to outstanding teachers.  The Trust will select nominees who exhibit extraordinary commitment of personal time and energy on behalf of their students.  Teachers can self-nominate, or be nominated by an administrator, colleague, or student.  The award may be used in any manner the recipient wishes.

For info: Contact Peggy Toovey at (925) 945-0200 or visit their website

Deadline: April 30

The Synopsys Outreach Foundation Grants

The non-profit Synopsys Outreach Foundation is awarding ten grants to California K-8 teachers in the amount of $2,000 each to help them undertake class or school-wide projects intended to have a positive and measurable impact on the environment. 

For info: Visit their website for details

Deadline: April 16 

Resources / Contests

Drama Workshops

The Berkeley Repertory Theatre has developed a wide range of free and low-cost outreach classes to Bay Area schools that cover multiple California content standards through hands-on, dynamic workshops. Whether bringing dramatic text to life or developing students' original work, their professional teaching artists help students to expand their creative potential by challenging them to explore complex ideas and universal themes in literature and life. Using theatre arts techniques that encourage teamwork and ensemble-building, students will gain self confidence and understand not only the importance of human connection, but the joy of dynamic engagement with their creativity.

For info: Contact the outreach department at (510) 647-2972 or visit the program's website

Fee: First hour free, sliding scale of $55-$60 per hour, for additional hours

Fire Safety Programs

The Contra Costa Fire Protection District is offering a number of in-class or auditorium  programs for schools in Antioch, Pittsburg, Bay Point, Concord, Clayton, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, San Pablo, El Sobrante, and North Richmond.  There are presentations for pre-school to high school students, as well as PTA meetings.

For info: Contact the CCFPD at (925) 941-3327 or review the programs on their website

Fee: Free

Get Active!

The East Bay Regional Park District are calling for Contra Costa and Alameda County kids (12-18) to demonstrate how they Get Active! Participants can do so through poster art, rap/spoken word, or video/skit. There will will be more than $1,000 in cash and prizes awarded to the winning entries. Finalists will be promoted on the East Bay Regional Park District's websites, as well as featured in the East Bay Regional Park District's Healthy Parks Healthy People Festival.  An additional exhibition is planned for fall 2012 in Tilden Regional Park's Environmental Education Center.

For info: Contact Allen Meyer at (415) 503-4170, ext. 114 or visit the contest website

Deadline: May 15 

Fight the Bite Poster Contest

Through this national contest, students, grades 5-6, across the country are encouraged to help others learn ways to protect against tick and mosquito bites and the diseases they can transmit. State-contest-winning students, one from each grade, will earn a $50 prize, and will then be eligible for the national grand prize of $1,000.

For info: Contact contest administrator at (800) 789-3300 or visit the event website

Deadline: April 18 

The Caldecott Fourth Bore Medallion Competition
Visuals and Voices Contest

Published by the Contra Costa County Office of Education Communications Office
77 Santa Barbara Road, Pleasant Hill, California 94523
Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools
Editor: Peggy Marshburn; Writer/Layout: Jonathan Lance, (925) 942-3429;
Diane Morrell, Designer; June Stephens, Web Developer 
Dateline is distributed during the school year to all public schools in the county by the Communications Office. Information must be received by the first of the preceding month. Publication does not signify the Contra Costa County Office of Education endorses the event or program mentioned.


Jonathan Lance