Dateline Masthead
Contra Costa County Office of EducationApril  2014
In this issue
San Francisco Bay Area Project ASTRO
Empowering Educators
Contra Costa Public Information Network
3rd Annual Distinguished Speaker Series
Leading Edge Certification for the Administrator
Leading Edge Certification for Online and Blended Teacher
Constructing and Sustaining Long Term Concept Memory and Executive Functions
12th Annual Day of the Teacher Conference
Contra Costa County Youth Summit
STEM Summer Education Camps
Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society
Expanding your Horizons
The Warren W. Eukel Teacher Trust Fund
ING's Unsung Heros
Fire Safety Programs
Attendance Awareness Poster and Essay Contest
Google Science Fair
Earn it! Keep it! Save it!
Choose Civility - "Don't Shift Responsibility and Blame."
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to Dateline!


Welcome to the March 2014 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

San Francisco Bay Area Project ASTRO Introductory Workshop 

Project ASTRO is a program that matches teachers with astronomers in Bay Area schools and community organizations. Project ASTRO is looking for 3rd-9th grade teachers to work with volunteer astronomers who have a keen interest in sharing the wonders of astronomy with students. Together, teachers and their astronomer partners attend a free two-day summer workshop to learn hands-on, inquiry-based astronomy activities designed to involve students in the excitement of scientific discovery. 

Dates and location: July 25 and July 26, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; at the College of San Mateo

For info: To apply for this free program, go to the teacher information page

Fee: Free

Empowering Educators

Empowering Educators is a teacher-training program designed for educators who work with at-risk students who fall within the gaps of our schools and our communities. Join a cohort or attend public workshops focused on supporting educators in creating classroom cultures that help everyone to thrive!

For info: Visit their website

Fee: Free

Contra Costa Public Information Network (CCPIN)

Why Make the Same Mistake Once? Critical Thinking and Crisis Management will be the topic of the next CCPIN meeting. Larry Kamer, CEO of the Kamer Consulting Group will be the presenter. The Kamer Consulting Group is a communications firm that specializes in public affairs and crisis prevention and management. Kamer has worked directly with numerous education institutions. 
Date and location: April 3, 8:30 a.m.-noon; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill 
For info and RSVP: Visit this Web Page
Fee: Free, but you must register

3rd Annual 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 that 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. 

Date and location: Final seminar of the season, May 3, 8:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m.; Saint Mary's College, Moraga

For info: Contact Adrienne Lipman at 925-631-4831, or visit their

Fee: $65 for individual sessions (academic credit available)

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

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 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

CCCOE Common Core Professional Development Courses

Constructing and Sustaining Long Term Concept Memory and Executive Functions - Cornerstone of the Common Core State Standards

The application of the neuroscience research to teaching offers keys to access the brain's most powerful information processing networks and to increase executive function and the construction of long-term concept memories. Judy Willis, author of Learning to Love Math, will show participants what research reveals about how the brain constructs physical links between new information and prior knowledge to successfully capture and retain learning. Topics including the latest research on neuroplasticity, dopamine-reward memory, and the power of patterning will be linked to ready-to-use relevant classroom strategies. 

Audience: District and site administrators and grades K-12 instructional coaches and teachers 

Dates and location: April 29, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill

For info: Contact Marsha Tokuyoshi, ELA/Common Core coordinator at (925) 942-3385 or visit CCCOE's Common Core website

Registration Deadline: April 22 

Fee: $100, register via Eventbrite  

Upcoming Events / Field Trips

12th Annual Day of the Teacher Conference

This one-day event is designed for anyone (including current HS students) interested in pursuing a career in teaching. We'll explore many opportunities open for future teachers through a series of workshops and interactive sessions. Presenters include California State University East Bay faculty, staff, and experienced K-12 teachers. 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 5, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; CSU East Bay, Concord Campus

For info: Visit this address for additional information and to register

Fee: $20, $10 for HS students (This event usually sells out)  

Supervisor Glover's Annual Contra Costa County Youth Summit

This annual Youth Summit unites sixth- through twelfth-grade youth with local dignitaries, mentors, and community leaders for an incredible day complete with exploration, education, and entertainment. The event is a community effort to build healthy attributes such as self esteem, honesty, and integrity. The goal is to assist students in constructing the foundation they need to be successful by equipping them with experiences that will enhance their personal and social standards. The interactive workshops provided at the Youth Summit will offer life skills, assist with career development, and provide a venue for appropriate activities that reduce the risk of undesirable behavior.

Date and Location: May 3, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; Los Medanos College, Pittsburg

For info: Contact (925) 335-8200 or visit their website

Fee: Free  

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 locations: Engineering, June 16-20, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill; Biotechnology, July 7-11, CSUEB, Concord; Environmental Sciences, July 21-25; CSUEB, Concord.  

For info: Contact Liz Ritchie at (925) 684-4995 or visit the programs' website

Fee: Each camp has a different price point, see website; scholarships are available

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.

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

Fee: Free

Expanding your Horizons

The 2014 Expanding Your Horizons conference is for 6-8 grade girls and their parents to explore careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Attendees will engage in hands-on activities and interact with women working in STEM fields.

Date and location: Saturday, May 3, 8:30 a.m. -2:00 p.m.; at Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill

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

Fee: Free 
Grants / Scholarships
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

ING's Unsung Heros

For more than 15 years, and with nearly $4 million in awarded grants, ING Unsung Heroes has proven to be an A+ program with educators. The program's "alumni" have inspired success in the classroom and impacted countless numbers of students. Each year, 100 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000.

For info: Visit ING's website

Deadline: April 30

Resources / Contests

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

Attendance Awareness Poster and Essay Contest
Attention students grades 6-12! Here is an opportunity to use your creativity, while telling us why Every School Day Counts: Attend today, achieve for a lifetime! Students are encouraged to enter an essay or poster on the theme of the importance of every-day-school attendance. The Grand Prizes includes a $200 Target gift card for the best essay and poster, as well as five $100 Target gift cards for the top five entries in each category. And, a $10 Target gift card will go out to the first 100 entrants.

For info: Contact Lindy Khan or Emily Justice, or review the contest's flyer

Deadline: May 9

Google Science Fair
This online science competition, in partnership with CERN, LEGO, National Geographic, and Scientific American, is open to young people aged 13 to 18 from around the world - working as an individual or in a team of up to 3. It offers students the chance to explore an area of science that they're passionate about - and be in with a chance of winning life-changing prizes! 

For info: To sign up for fun and free resource kits for your classroom or school, visit their website

Deadline: May 12

Fee: Free is a website that has plenty of ideas about plants and gardens, teacher resources, and grant opportunities. 

Earn it! Keep it! Save it!

Across the Bay Area at more than 200 free tax sites, trained volunteer tax preparers help individuals and families claim their maximum benefit and refund. We partner with hundreds of community organizations and other free tax preparation providers such as Tax-Aid and AARP Tax-Aide to process over 64,000 tax returns each year. We provide low to moderate income households with free, quality tax return preparation and access to asset building or income support resources such as public benefits, low or no cost bank accounts or financial education. We also ensure eligible taxpayers claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which can amount to as much as $5,891 per family. 

For info: Dial 211 or visit their website

Fee: Free  

Choose Civility

Don't Shift Responsibility and Blame

The Choose Civility Principle for the month of April

"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 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