Dateline Masthead
Contra Costa County Office of EducationNovember 2012
In this issue
Digital Citizenship Webinar Series
The Distinguished Speaker Series
Mathematics Series for Young Children
Brief Intervention for Substance Using Adolescents
Big Ideas Fest
High School Mock Trials
County-wide Shelter-in-Place Day
2nd Annual Bay Area Science Festival
Public Education Week
Bay Area Education Resource Fair
The 10th Annual Get Real Academy
Emergency Shelter-in-Place Preparedness Grants
The 2013 Youth Garden Grants
The Captain Planet Foundation
Chevron Fuel Your School
Raytheon-Engineering is Elementary Teacher Scholarship
The Aquarium of the Bay
A Road Map to Kindergarten
The Weather Channel Kids
Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair
River of Words Art and Poetry Contest
Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention Student Poster Contest
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to Dateline!


Welcome to the November 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

Digital Citizenship Webinar Series
A webinar series, produced in partnership by the CCCOE, AT&T, and Region IV CTAP, will be covering the issues surrounding digital citizenship. These presentations are directed to school-district or school-site administrators, teacher leaders, and technology managers. The one-hour sessions are presented by nationally recognized guest speakers, representing such services as NetSmartz and Common Sense Media. Each webinar will leave time for questions from the participants.

Dates: Multiple sessions, November-February

For info: Visit their website

Fee: Free

The Distinguished Speaker Series

This Saturday 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 practice. 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: November 17, January 26, February 23, April 6, and May 11, all seminars are held 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; Saint Mary's College, Moraga

For info: Contact Patrice Young at 925-631-4936, or visit their website

Fee: $65 for individual sessions; Graduate academic semester units are available for a special rate of $165/unit (maximum of six units per year).

Mathematics Series for Young Children

The Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE),  Local Planning Council for Child Care and Development, and California Preschool Instructional Network are presenting a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) professional development series titled Mathematics Series for Young Children. Participants will learn about research in early STEAM, be familiar with the California Preschool Learning Foundations in mathematics, and explore how STEAM can be integrated in the classroom.

Dates and location: November 8: Geometry, and January 10: Measurement, the courses will be held 6:00-9:00 p.m.; held at the CCCOE in Pleasant Hill. 

Fee: $15 per person; dinner will be provided. 

For info: Contact Ruth Fernandez, CCCOE, at (925) 942-3413, registration is open on Eventbrite.  

Brief Intervention for Substance Using Adolescents
Big Ideas Fest

The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education  is hosting the 3rd annual Big Ideas Fest. This three-day gathering of the nation's most creative makers and doers in education brings together champions across K-12, higher education, and informal learning, to participate in a truly unique interactive experience. You'll hear from inspiring speakers and take part in action collaboratives designed to incubate solutions to address education's most pressing challenges.

Date and location: December 2-5; Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

For info: Contact via email or visit their website

Fee: $730 covers registration and meals 

Upcoming Events / Field Trips

High School Mock Trials (Law Professional volunteers needed)

The CCCOE is looking for additional members of the California Bar Association and second- and third-year law students to serve as scorers and judges at the upcoming 32nd Annual Contra Costa County Mock Trial Program. New volunteers will be joining more than 100 practicing and retired Bay Area lawyers, district attorneys, public defenders, and judges, as well as second-and third-year Bay Area college law students, who will be returning as Mock Trial scorers and judges.

Dates and locations: February 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, and 26, 5:00-8:00 p.m.; Martinez courthouses  

For info: Contact Jonathan Lance, CCCOE, at (925) 942-3429 or visit the Mock Trial website 
County-wide Shelter-in-Place Day
2nd Annual Bay Area Science Festival

The 12-day Bay Area Science Festival will provide a wide range of science and technology activities: lectures, debates, exhibitions, concerts, plays, workshops, etc., held at a variety of locations throughout the Bay Area.

Dates and locations: October 21-November 4, complete calendar; held at numerous sites throughout the Bay Area

For info: Visit their website

Fee: Check specific events for admission fees, but many are free  

Public Education Week

American Education Week presents all Americans with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education. This year's theme, Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility. Use the online toolkit for activity ideas, templates, and downloadable materials. The week-long celebration features a special observance each day of the week. They include:

Bay Area Environmental Education Resource Fair

For 36 years, educators, parents, and students concerned about the environment we share, have been coming to the Bay Area Environmental Education Resource (BAEER) Fair for the latest in classroom materials, environmental education programs, and information about field trip sites.  More than 70 exhibitioners will be on hand to provide a variety of events, demonstrations, interactive opportunities, and workshops.

Date and location: January 19, 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Marin Civic Center Exhibit Hall, San Rafael

Fee: Sliding scale

For info: Visit the BAEER website

The 10th Annual Get Real Academy

The 10th Annual Get Real Academy, presented by Soroptimist International, is a life-skills conference for high school senior girls focusing on life after high school. Seminars throughout the day will include such topics as money management, women's health, domestic and workplace violence issues, insurance, career success, and job search tips. Sign-ups are now being taken.  

Date and location: March 1, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.; Embassy Suites, Walnut Creek
For info: Contact Bert Vigil at (510) 517-1314
Deadline: February 13
Fee: Free 
Grants / Scholarships
Emergency Shelter-in-Place Preparedness Grants

The Contra Costa County Community Awareness and Emergency Response (CAER) provides up to $2,000 grants to improve the preparedness of Contra Costa County schools and agencies in responding effectively to shelter-in-place emergencies. The proposed drills and exercises must have a stated list of objectives and goals that must be addressed. 

For info: Contact Lori McDonald at (925) 313-9296 or visit CAER's  website

Deadline: February 1 

The 2013 Youth Garden Grants

The National Gardeners Association is delighted to announce that The Home Depot Garden Club continues to sponsor Youth Garden Grants. In the past six years, The Home Depot Garden Club has contributed over $400,000 to support school garden programs. In its 30-year history, Youth Garden Grants have supported more than 1.3 million youngsters through gardening programs. Thanks to the generosity of The Home Depot Garden Club, five winners will receive gift cards valued at $1,000, and 95 winners will receive $500 gift cards, to purchase gardening materials and supplies from their local Home Depot store specific to the needs of their program

Deadline: December 3

For info: Visit their website 

The Captain Planet Foundation

The Captain Planet Foundation funds grants to promote understanding of environmental issues for school-age children. Grant amounts range from $250-$2500, with applications reviewed three times a year.

Next Deadline: February 28

For info: Visit their website 

Chevron Fuel Your School

Chevron is awarding $5 million to public schools in only 13 counties across the US, including Contra Costa County! For the next few months, you can post your project on There is $400-$2,000 available to fund STEM related education. A lot of this money has been left on the table in years past, because not enough people apply. 

For info: Visit Chevron Fuel Your School 

Deadline: November 30

Raytheon-Engineering is Elementary Teacher Scholarship Program

The Raytheon-Engineering is Elementary Teacher Scholarship Program  is now accepting applications. During the 2012-13 school year, Raytheon will grant awards of $3,000 each for selected elementary school teachers nationwide whose applications best demonstrate innovative methods of generating student enthusiasm about engineering concepts. 

For info: Entry forms for the 2012-13 program can be found on their Web page 

Deadline: November 16.

Resources / Contests

The Aquarium of the Bay 

The Aquarium of the Bay (San Francisco) has several programs for K-12 students. Teachers may preview the Aquarium for free by showing a teacher or school ID. For more information on programs. 

For info: Visit their website

A Road Map to Kindergarten´┐Ż Seminars

A Road Map to Kindergarten´┐Ż was designed to promote meaningful conversations between parents, educators, and community members about the importance of planning for and facilitating children's smooth transitions into kindergarten. These seminars will introduce participants to the attractive and easy-to-follow guide, as they learn about the 16 important steps for parents to follow as they prepare their children for a successful start in school. 

Dates and locations: November 15, 4:30-7:30 p.m.; Contra Costa County Schools Insurance Group, Pleasant Hill and January 5, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; Contra Costa Child Care Council, Concord
Fee: $40.00, participants can register on Eventbrite
For info: Contact Ruth Fernandez at (925) 942-3413
The Weather Channel Kids 

Go to the Weather Channel's website, and click on "Teacher Guide."  You'll find lesson plans, forecasts, games, and other resources for your classroom.

For info: Visit their website

Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair 
Contra Costa County businesses will once again join our county's educators to produce the  8th Annual Intel-Affiliated Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair, this coming spring. The program is for grades 7-12 students.

Dates and location: March 21-23; Los Medanos College, Science Building

For info: Contact Liz Ritchie at (925) 684-4995 or visit the Science & Engineering Fair's website

Deadlines: Pre-approval project deadline is October 30, (post-marked);  

Final project approval deadline is January 18, 2013 (postmarked)  

Fee: $20 per student 

River of Words Art and Poetry Contest
Produced by the St. Mary's College's Center for Environmental Literacy, entry forms are now available for this annual art and poetry competition.  The contest, on the theme of watersheds, is open to any child from 5-19 years of age who has not completed high school.

For info: Contact them via email or phone at (925) 631-4289, or visit their website

Deadline: Entries must be postmarked no later than December 1
Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention Student Poster Contest
The 4th Annual Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention Student Poster Contest was created by the Contra Costa County Schools Insurance Group (CCCSIG) to raise awareness of employee slip, trip, and fall injuries, which are the number one cause of injury countywide each year. These injuries can be painful and costly, as well as preventable! Students are to design an original, 11 x 17 vertical poster following the established guidelines. There are four grade categories: 4th & 5th grades, middle school, high school, and college. All school districts in Contra Costa County are eligible, except Mt. Diablo USD. First-place winners will receive $100 and winners' art or primary teachers will receive a $100 gift card to a local art supply store.  Second-place winners will receive a $25 gift card.

For info: Contact Denise Schreiner at (866) 922-2744, ext. 270, or visit the contest's Web page

Deadline: November 9

Choose Civility

LISTEN - The Choose Civility Principle for November

"Much of the conflict in our lives can be explained by one simple but unhappy fact: we don't really listen to each other."  

-Michael P. Nichols


What prevents us from doing a good job of listening is that instead of focusing on other people, we focus on ourselves and our own needs. This is what we do when we interrupt. We just can't sit still - and silent - as someone else speaks, for we feel the urge to seize the limelight for ourselves.


Show the skills of the good listener. Pay attention - real attention -- to your colleague's observations. Make sure you understand correctly by asking questions to clarify what he has in mind. This is a smart, kind, and civil strategy of listening. This way we let them know that we value not only the message, but also the messenger. This is listening at its best.


Action Step:

Plan your listening. Listen with no other intention than that of listening. Show that you are listening. Listen seriously. Establish eye contact. Give the occasional nod. Encourage the speaker. Be a cooperative listener.  Try to understand not only with words but with body language as well.


About CCCOE's Monthly Focus

Choosing Civility, by Dr. P.M. Forni, lists twenty-five rules of considerate conduct. Over this school year, the CCCOE will consider ten of these principals. For additional information about our Choose Civility initiative, please visit our website.


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