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Contra Costa County Office of EducationFebruary  2015
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Welcome to the February 2015 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

Amplifying STEM with Technology

Discover dozens of engaging online programs and opportunities that allow STEM and PBL to push your students' creativity and innovation. The results will be a PBL educational experience that will rev up student engagement and inquiry...full STEM... or should we say... STEAM ahead! View several brief demonstrations of software and take a tour of some amazing websites.

Date and location: March 10, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill

For info: Contact Marsh Tokuoshi or Hilary Dito, register on Eventbrite

Fee: $100

Power the Common Core with Tech for Administrators

Join us for a 30-minute webinar on relevant educational technology topics

 *Learning to Drive

Having trouble navigating the Google highway? Get organized and use Google Drive to support Common Core activities. 

Date: February 17, 9:00-9:30 a.m.


Fee: Free 

Leading Edge Certification for the 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: One eight-week cohort will be offered, starting April 20, (One synchronous meeting on the first day and 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

The 20th Annual Distinguished Speaker Series

 - The Best Practices in Teaching Leadership

The Best Practices in Teaching Leadership 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: February 28, March 21, and May 2, all seminars are held 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Saint Mary's College, Moraga

For info: Contact Jeannie Harberson at 925-631-4836, or visit their


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

Cool Tools XI

East Bay CUE's Cool Tools, now in its 11th year, is a professional development and networking event for educators, with morning interactive concurrent sessions and afternoon intensive, hands-on workshops. Topics focus on integrating technology in teaching and learning. Bring your laptop, tablet, or smart device for a day of exploration and learning. 

Date and location: February 7, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Berkeley Adult School, Berkeley

For info: Contact Eileen C. Walters or visit their Web page

Fee: $75 pre-registration, includes breakfast, lunch, entry into the prize drawings, and CUE membership (new or one-year renewal)

Hot Topics: Increasing Comfort and Facilitation Skills
The Hot Topics training provides participants with the knowledge and skills they need to feel comfortable discussing the "hot topics" that arise when teaching health-related topics such as sexuality education and substance abuse prevention. There will be a discussion on providing unbiased health education along with addressing learner diversity. Participants will have an opportunity to practice answering difficult questions and responding to harassing comments. Also included will be information on California's Education Code Standards regarding HIV and comprehensive sexuality education. 
Date and location: February 12, 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill 
For info: Contact Emily Justice, at (925) 942-5328, or visit the program's Eventbrite page
Fee: $40
Health Education Content Standards Training
This training will provide health educators with an overview of the California Health Content Standards. We'll look at what they are, why we have them, and discuss how they can be implemented. Standards-based instructional design (SBID) will be introduced. Participants will see multiple examples of how to unpack a standard. Time will be provided for teachers to practice this skill and share with one another. Facilitators will be Diana Farthing and Jill Barbosa-Gonzales, National Board Certified Teachers
Date and location: March 9, 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill 
For info: Contact Emily Justice, at (925) 942-5328, or visit the program's Eventbrite page
Fee: $40

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 unitilize 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. 

Date: February 23 (Includes one synchronous meeting on the first day and 45-60 hours online training)

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

Upcoming Events / Field Trips

The Intel-Affiliated Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair Open House

The 2015 Intel-Affiliated Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair welcomes all to attend and view numerous projects submitted this year by county middle- and high-school students. Attendees can observe the presentations and experiments up close, as well as talk to the students who entered them.
Date and location: March 28, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; Los Medanos College

For info: Contact Sia Sauer at (925) 719-7507 or visit the Science & Engineering Fair's website

The Intel-Affiliated Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair  (Volunteer Judges Needed)

The Contra Costa County 2015 Intel Affiliated Science and Engineering Fair will be held March 26-28. Judges are needed to ensure the 300+ science fair projects expected to be submitted by middle and high school students this year have an opportunity to be reviewed by our valued community members including business and industry. Judges will be welcomed with breakfast and an orientation. Judges commitment of eight hours is critical to the process, which includes morning review of poster boards and afternoon interviews with students. A complimentary lunch is also provided.
Date and location: March 27, 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.;

For info: Contact Sia Sauer at (925) 719-7507 or visit the Science & Engineering Fair's website

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 34th 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 Bay Area college law students, who will be returning as Mock Trial scorers and judges.

Dates and locations: February 3, 5, 10, 12, 18, 19, and 24, 5:00-8:00 p.m.; Martinez courthouses  

For info: Contact Jonathan Lance, CCCOE, at (925) 942-3429 or visit the Mock Trial website

Third Annual National History Day for Contra Costa County (Judges Needed)

This is a big day for the youth of our county and for it's success, we need some additional judges. Judging is easy. The day starts with a continental breakfast and a simple briefing. Every new judge is placed on a team with an experienced lead judge. You view projects, ask kids a few questions about their projects, and offer some encouraging words. 

Date and locations: February 21, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; Blackhawk Museum, in Blackhawk

For info: Contact Brenda Stutzman or register here

Grants / Scholarships

Mary Keith Duff Memorial Scholarships

Travis Credit Union encourages young members who are graduating high school seniors to apply for their $1,500 scholarships. Each applicant must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, be bound for a two- or four-year college or university and be a member in good standing of Travis Credit Union. Students who live in our 12-county service region and are not yet members may join the credit union and apply for their scholarship concurrently.

For info: Visit their website 

Next DeadlineApplications must be in by March 9 

California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) 2015

Talented, motivated high school artists are encouraged to apply to the California State Summer School for the Arts 2015 summer session,

CSSSA is a four-week intensive pre-college immersion program for high school students in the arts including dance, music, theatre, visual arts, creative writing, film and animation. The students earn three units of college credit, are designated "California Arts Scholars," and are eligible for a variety of scholarships to further their arts studies. 

Dates and location: July 11-August 7; California Institute for the Arts,


For infoContact Peggy Burt at (818) 749-5528 or (626) 584-4055, or visit their website

Deadline: Applications must be in by February 28

Emergency Shelter-in-Place Preparedness Grants

The Contra Costa County Community Awareness and Emergency Response (CAER) provides up to $2,500 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 


Deadline: February 9 

Resources / Contests

Creative Educator

Looking for ideas to engage your students across the curriculum? Check out Creative Educator for project-based learning, professional development, and other resources. Articles include Five Hallmarks of a Creative Project and The Power of Play

For info: Visit their website

The F3 Education Awards Program

The education law firm of Fagen, Friedman, & Fulfrost, LLP, Foundation is offering numerous scholarships that are worth from $250 to $1,000. Two of their scholarships, Education For All Photography Contest and Why Education Matters Essay Contest, are currently available for submissions.

For info: Contact Kelli Moors at (760) 304-6003, or visit their website

Deadline: February 27 

Law Day Art Contest
This annual contest provides a wonderful opportunity for students, grades 9-12, to learn about our legal system and justice, while getting creative and winning prizes. Students are allowed to submit an art piece, which may be represented in two-dimensions to be entered in the Law Day Art Contest. Students are encouraged to use their creativity and create art pieces in any medium desired (including, but not limited to, drawings, paintings, films, photographs, graphic novels, comics, etc.). This year's theme is Magna Carta: Symbol of Freedom Under Law

For info: Contact Tara Blasingame or visit their website

Deadline: March 31


Published by the Contra Costa County Office of Education Communications Office
77 Santa Barbara Road, Pleasant Hill, California 94523
Follow us on Twitter: @cocoschools 
Karen Sakata, Superintendent of Schools
Editor: Terry Koehne; 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