Dateline Masthead
Contra Costa County Office of EducationSeptember 2013
In this issue
California Association for the Gifted
2nd Annual SF Bay Area Common Core State Standards Summit
The Inaugural California STEM Conference
Leading Edge Certification for the Administrator
The Impact of Bullying and Violence on Students
Leading Edge Certification for Online and Blended Teacher
4th Annual San Francisco Bay Area STEAM Colloquium
UNCF Empower Me Tour
12th Annual County-Wide Shelter-in-Place Dril
Model United Nations
29th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day
The California ShakeOut Drill
Dow Community Grants Program
Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grants
Constitution Day
Basic Legal Research Skills
The American Association for the Advancement of Scienc
The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society
PBS LearningMedia
Driver Safety Education Class
YouSTEM Class
Acknowledge Others
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to Dateline!


Welcome back to the September 2013 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 in joining our mailing list (click here, or the link button at the left column).  

Professional Development / Opportunities

California Association for the Gifted Symposium
The California Association for the Gifted (CAG) is presenting a one-day Northern California Symposium for educators and parents, entitled Reaching New Heights: Depth, Complexity, and the Common Core. More than 60 workshops will be offered, facilitated by seasoned educators from throughout California. Educator workshops are suitable for K-12 teachers, administrators, and counselors, including sessions specific to elementary, middle, and high school, and specialized sessions pertaining to teaching English, science, math, and social studies. This event is suitable for all educators, plus there will be workshops geared toward parents of GATE students. 

Date and location: November 2, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; American Canyon High School

For info: Contact Karen Littell, or visit their website 

Fee: $85 for full day ($60 for CAG members) including morning refreshments and fully catered lunch 

2nd Annual SF Bay Area Common Core State Standards Summit

This extremely informative day will feature keynote speakers William McCallum, lead writer of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and Deborah Sigman, deputy superintendent of Public Instruction for the California Department of Education. In addition, engaging breakout sessions include:

  • SMARTERBalanced Assessment Panel
  • Technology Integration and the CCSS
  • California Mathematics Framework
  • ELD Standards
  • CCSS ELA Instructional Practice Guides
  • ELA/ELD Framework Updates

Date and location: October 29, 8:00 a.m.-4:15 p.m.; Crowne Plaza Hotel, Concord

For info: Contact Sharon Marks,at (925) 942-3356 or visit the program's Eventbrite site

Fee: $100 per participant

The Inaugural California STEM Conference
The Inaugural Annual California Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Conference's theme is Invest in California STEM: Innovate, Integrate, and Inspire!
Date and location: November 18-19; Sacramento Convention Center

For info: Visit their website to learn about the conference and presentation opportunities. 

Fee: Varied price points, early registration is $280 

Leading Edge Certification for the Administrator

Do you want to enhance your digital leadership skills? Are you interested in supporting students and staff in developing 21st Century college and career readiness? Are you ready to be a transformative leader? Leading Edge Certification for the Administrator focuses on site, district, and regional leaders and is based upon the National Education Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS). Participants will learn how to effectively unitize technology tools, resources, and innovative solutions to advance student achievement, foster educator productivity, and extend learning opportunities for all. Upon successful completion, the certification will give schools, districts, and other prospective employers assurance that Leading Edge Certified administrators have the skills to effectively lead schools through the 21st Century and provide visionary leadership among all stakeholders of their organization. 

Dates and location: Four complete programs will be offered between September 27, 2013-August 24, 2014 (includes one face-to-face meeting on the first day and 45-60 hours online training); the meetings will be held at the CCCOE

For info: Contact Eileen C. Walters at (925) 942-3435, or visit the program's website

Fee: $750, includes course, as well as portfolio review and certification

The Impact of Bullying and Violence on Students

This workshop will be led by David Love, MFT, executive director of Valley Community Counseling Services, Inc., and will cover the following topics:

  • The impact of violence on brain development
  • New research on bullying
  • The relationship of bullying, school violence, and student suicide
  •  The impact of family violence of students
  •  Research-based prevention and intervention programs

Date and location: October 4, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; CCCOE. Pleasant Hill

For info: Contact Kimberly Soeiro at (707) 992-0836 or review their online flyer

Deadline: September 25

Fee: $20

Leading Edge Certification for Online and Blended Teacher

Are you interested in teaching online, but unsure where to start, or are you already teaching online and want to enhance your skills? The Leading Edge Alliance and a group of of county offices of education, nonprofits, universities, and governmental bodies have developed a certification program for K-12 teachers. The certification is a national program to prepare instructional leaders for online learning. Content includes building community, moderating discussions, supporting diverse learners, and implementing frequent formative assessments.

Dates: Three complete programs will be held October 7, 2013-August 10, 2014 (includes 45-60 hours online training)

For info: Contact Eileen C. Walters at (925) 942-3435, or visit the program's website

Fee: $450, includes course, as well as portfolio review and certification

4th Annual San Francisco Bay Area STEAM Colloquium 

Presented by the CCCOE, the STEAM Colloquium is a forum to discuss and share best practices in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) education. This event brings together numerous K-12 educators, administrators, professionals, legislative policy makers, college and university educators, community organizations, and businesses to present and discuss how to advance STEAM education into our classrooms.
Date and location: February 7, 2014, 
San Ramon Conference Center, San Ramon 
For info: Stay tuned to the STEAM Colloquium Web page, and watch updates on Twitter: #STEAMCOLLOQ

Upcoming Events / Field Trips

UNCF Empower Me Tour

The United Negro College Fund's (UNCF) Empower Me Tour was created to empower a movement among young people, motivating them toward academic excellence, personal and fiscal responsibility. The tour engages young people at crucial life stages - transition from middle school to high school, high school to college, and college to career.

Date and location: September 14, 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Contra Costa College, San Pablo

For info: Visit their website
Fee: Free
12th Annual County-Wide Shelter-in-Place Drill

Put this date on your calendar today! Community Awareness Emergency Response (CAER) invites all schools to practice and improve their site emergency procedures for shelter-in-place by taking part in this 10th annual county-wide exercise. Guidelines for this program will be sent out to all districts and school principals later this summer (reminder post cards have recently been mailed out). Schools can use the time for training, running brief drills, or conducting more detailed emergency exercises.

Date: November 6, 11:00 a.m.

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

Model United Nations  

The Contra Costa County Model United Nations program is an exciting and educational way for high school students to learn about global issues. The Model UN simulates the activities of an UN body, such as the Security Council or the General Assembly.

Dates and location: November 1 and 2: Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill

For info: Contact Peggy Marshburn at (925) 942-3420 or visit the Model UN website

Fee: School registration fee is $150 before September 12, and $200 after 

29th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day

California Coastal Cleanup Day, an annual beach and inland waterway cleanup, is the state's largest volunteer event. In 2010, over 82,500 volunteers removed more than 1.2 million pounds of trash and recyclables from our beaches, lakes, and waterways. When combined with the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Cleanup Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events in the world.  

Date and locations: September 21, 9:00 a.m.-noon; various water sites

For info: Contact The California Coastal Commission at (800) COAST-4U or visit the event's Web page


To encourage students to become active and informed voters once they are old enough to cast a ballot, high school and middle school students, teachers, and principals are invited to participate in the MyVote California Student Mock Election, which takes place in late October, about a week before each regularly scheduled statewide general election. Working with the California Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and the Constitutional Rights Foundation, in coordination with the MyVoice National Mock Election, the Student Mock Election taps into the excitement of the campaign season to stir students' interest in voting. As students learn about the candidates and issues, they discover how government and politics affect every part of their lives. They gain firsthand knowledge of how citizens make their voice heard in our democracy, and experience the power of their votes when thousands of California's high school and middle school students have their say on the candidates and issues on Student Mock Election Day.

For info: Contact MyVote at (916) 651-3070 or visit their website

Fee: Free

The California ShakeOut Drill

The California ShakeOut drill is held annually on the third Thursday of October each year. (Other states are also holding ShakeOut drills.)  More than 9.4 million Californians participated in 2012, practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On, as well as other aspects of family, school, and organizational emergency plans.

Date and location: October 17, 10:17 a.m.; throughout the state of California

For info: Visit their website

Grants / Scholarships
Dow Community Grants Program 

The Dow Community Grants Program is a $25,000 (total) competitive grant program designed to support eligible community non-profit organizations, schools, municipalities, or county governmental agencies/departments that have identified science, education or environmental projects that will enhance the quality of life within our community. (The community includes Antioch, Bay Point, and Pittsburg.) It provides the opportunity to diversify the amount of charitable funding Dow provides to the community. Under this program, organizations are invited to submit proposals for grants between $2,500 and $5,000.

For more info: Visit their website

Deadline: September 27  

Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grants

The Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grants, up to $5,000 per school, are now accepting their fall-cycle applications. These funding requests should have a permanent school-site impact, such as facility enhancement (both indoor and outdoor), as well as landscaping and/or clean-up type projects. Projects that encourage parent involvement and build stronger community spirit will be favored.

For info: Visit Lowe's Toolbox for Education website

Deadline: The fall 2013 application grant cycle closes October 15

Resources / Contests

Constitution Day

A 2005 act of Congress states that all educational institutions receiving federal funding must observe September 17 as Constitution Day, which celebrates the 1787 signing of our founding document. According to the guidelines put forth by the Department of Education, teachers and schools are free to design Constitution Day programming that best addresses the needs of their students.

Date: September 17 (This will be the 226th anniversary of our nation's founding document.)
For info: Visit their website
Beginning this fall, law librarians from the Contra Costa Law Library will be offering a PowerPoint presentation in county high schools' computer labs about the Law Library and its online legal resources. After the presentation, students will be able to log on to do legal research assignments, e.g., how to find legal information on curfews, driving laws, emancipation, and others. The research section of the program will conclude with a class discussion about their search results.  
For info: Contact: Contra Costa County Public Law Library Director

Fee: Free

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) website lets users create and administer online tests to their students and then compare their students' performance to national norms. You can assemble tests by selecting questions from more than 700 items that have been developed by AAAS Project 2061 to measure what students know in 16 key science topics.

The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society will gladly organize an astronomy night for your school, youth group, or community organization. Their 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 the Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society or visit their website

PBS LearningMedia™ is the go-to destination for instant access to tens of thousands of classroom-ready, digital resources including videos, games, audio clips, photos, lesson plans, and more! You can search, save, and share with ease. 

For info: Visit their website

Fee: Free

Driver Safety Education Class
The California Highway Patrol, Contra Costa Office conducts a two-hour driver safety education class called Start Smart, which targets new and future licensed teenage drivers 15 through 20 years of age and their parents or legal guardians. 
Contact: The California Highway Patrol, Contra Costa Office at 925-646-4980 or visit their office in person at 5001 Blum Road, Martinez. You can also follow this program on Facebook and Twitter.    
Fee: Free

YouSTEM is a free web resource for K-12 students to find out about local STEM Programs. From lectures to internships, the site lists opportunities for students to explore different areas of interest. 

Choose Civility

Acknowledge Others

The Choose Civility Principle for the months of August & September

Acknowledgement comes in many forms: remembering someone's name, paying a thoughtful compliment, summarizing what was just said for a newcomer to the conversation, holding a door open to let someone through, welcoming, thanking, and just plain saying "Hello."


The author of Choosing Civility, Dr. P.M. Forni, relates that a simple "Hello" or "Good Morning" is the most basic form of acknowledgment. A simple greeting confers honor and acknowledges the other person's presence. It sets a positive tone, puts people at ease, and wishes them well.


Action Step: Decide on a way that you will acknowledge others that you may not have been in the habit of acknowledging previously. Challenge yourself to do this at least once each day - a wave, a smile, a nod, a verbal greeting...


"You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins." -Jim Stovall

Excerpt from P.M. Forni's book, 
Choosing Civility


About CCCOE's Monthly Focus

Choosing Civility, by Dr. P.M. Forni, lists 25 rules of considerate conduct. Over this school year, the CCCOE will consider ten of these principles. For additional information about our Choose Civility initiative, please visit our website.

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 principles. 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
Follow us on Twitter: @cocoschools 
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