Dateline Masthead
Contra Costa County Office of EducationSummer 2013
In this issue
California Academy of Science Summer Workshops
National Board Certification Presentation
Summer Common Core Boot Camps
Leading Edge Certification for the Administrator
Leading Edge Certification for Online and Blended Teacher
STEM Summer Education Camps
12th Annual County-Wide Shelter-in-Place Dril
Culinary and Hospitality Camp for High School Students
29th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day
Toshiba America Foundation Grants
Art in Action
Basic Legal Research Skills
The American Association for the Advancement of Scienc
Driver Safety Education Class
YouSTEM Class
Don't Shift Responsibility and Blame
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to Dateline!


Welcome to the summer 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).  

Dateline will return in September. Have a wonderful summer! 

Professional Development / Opportunities

California Academy of Science Summer Workshops
The California Academy of Science is offering several workshops throughout the summer. Explore urban ecology and discover ways to engage your students in meaningful outdoor learning. Get to know some of San Francisco's native plants and animals and learn about our city's ecological history. Delve into activities that your upper elementary students can do on the schoolyard, in small urban green spaces near your school, or on field trips to larger spaces such as Golden Gate Park.


Dates and location: Multiple dates during the summer months; California Academy of Science, San Francisco

For info: Contact Sarah Soule at (415) 379-5816 or visit the workshops' Web page

Fee: A $35 fee is required to register for each series; participants will receive a $150 stipend upon completion of a series

National Board Certification Presentation

Come learn about National Board Certification. Attendees will learn about the process, different options, and the benefits of obtaining the certification. This program is open to all Contra Costa County credentialed teachers.

Date and location: June 7, 3:45-5:00 p.m.; Willow Creek Center

(South Room), Concord 

Contact:Liane Cismowski

Fee: Free

Summer Common Core Boot Camps

This outstanding training will provide a deeper look into the organization, content, and focus of the Common Core State Standards, as well as designed to help:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the Common Core expectations
  • Understand the shifts and key advances in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, and language
  • Understand the standards for mathematical practice and the organization of the mathematics content standards
  • Begin developing Common Core implementation strategies for ELA and math
Dates and location: June 10-11 and June 17-18; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill
For info: Contact Marsha Tokuyoshi at (925) 942-3385, or visit the Boot Camps' Web page
Fee: $50
Deadline: May 31
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: June 20-August 18 (includes two day-long face-to-face meetings and 45-60 hours online training); meetings will be held at the CCCOE

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

Fee: $800, includes course, as well as portfolio review and certification

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, county offices of education, a group of 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: June 6-August 11 (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

Upcoming Events / Field Trips

STEM Summer Education Camps 

The CCCOE and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership (along with numerous professional partners) will once again be producing outstanding hands-on education career camps. Incoming high school juniors and seniors can now register. The week-long camps are looking for teachers to support student learning. Instructors will earn professional development hours and a small stipend for each camp, while also being exposed to a full range of industry experts.  

Dates and locationsEngineering, June 17-21, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant HillBiotechnology, July 8-12, CSUEB, Concord; Environmental Sciences, July 22-26; CSUEB, Concord.  

For info: Visit the programs' website. 

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 5, 11:00 a.m.

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

Culinary and Hospitality Camp for High School Students
A brand new Culinary Arts and Hospitality summer camp has been created for current and recently graduated Contra Costa County high school students. 

Dates and location: June 17-21; Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill

For info: Contact Judy Moon at (925) 864-9797

Fee: $1 for high school students entering grades 10-12 this coming school year, and $46 for 2013 high school graduating seniors

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

Grants / Scholarships
Toshiba America Foundation Grants

The 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. Grant requests of more than $5,000 are reviewed twice a year. 

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

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

Resources / Contests

Art in Action

Art in Action is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing visual arts education to the classroom. The Art in Action program enriches the lives of students each year through an engaging, hands-on curriculum that teaches art history, art appreciation, and art techniques. Explore the program on their website, and discover grants that can help bring the program to you.

Beginning this fall, law librarians from the Contra Costa Law Library will be offering a Power Point 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. provides free video lessons in Math and Science. Click on the textbook link and select your math or science book. Videos are taught by teachers and broken down in chunks.

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

Don't Shift Responsibility and Blame

The Choose Civility Principle for the month of May

"You are accountable for your actions and your responses to other people's action. When you fully appreciate that, you will stop blaming others."

We are all too familiar with the pattern of a person doing something wrong and then denying it or blaming it on someone or something else - quite often the wronged party. Some even feel that taking responsibility and apologizing is a sign of weakness.


We blame family, friends, co-workers, spouses, and strangers. We blame inanimate objects, God, nature, and government. Parents blame educators. Educators blame parents. As long as we can adequately shift responsibility we can avoid being accountable. However, shifting blame hinders relationships, focuses our lives on negativity, and stunts personal growth. Such as:

"Sarah's to blame for the kitchen being a mess. She was the one who suggested that we bake cookies."

The more civil response might be:

"You're right. We left the kitchen a mess. Sarah and I will get it cleaned up right away."

Action step:  Rather than a sign of weakness, appropriately taking responsibility indicates maturity and strength of character. Accepting responsibility for wrong words/actions, naming the offense, identifying that is was wrong and sincerely apologizing for it, and "fixing" the situation when needed as soon as possible with an attitude that demonstrates your regret about what you did, can go a long way to remedy a situation.


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

Adapted from Ben Dattner's book, The Blame Game


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 Civilityby 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
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