Dateline Masthead
Contra Costa County Office of EducationFebruary  2014
In this issue
Strategies and Resources for Arts Integration
Contra Costa Public Information Network
3rd Annual Distinguished Speaker Series
Leading Edge Certification for the Administrator
Leading Edge Certification for Online and Blended Teacher
Instructional Tools to Increase Lesson Engagement and Academic Language Proficiency for Common Core
Constructing and Sustaining Long Term Concept Memory and Executive Functions
It Takes a Community!
California State Summer School for the Arts
The 2nd Annual Foster Care Youth Conference
Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair...(volunteer judges needed)
Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair Open House
High School Mock Trials
Fourth Annual First Amendment Cartoon Contest
Sustainability Journalism Award
18th Annual LegiSchool Projects Essay Contest
Law Day Art Contest
Choose Civility - "Be Inclusive"
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to Dateline!


Welcome to the February 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

Strategies and Resources for Arts Integration

The Integrated Learning Specialist Program (ILSP) prepares K-12 teachers, teaching artists, and administrators to effectively plan and deliver deep, meaningful, and engaging student learning across all subject areas through arts integration, performance-based assessments, and collaborative curriculum design.

Dates and location: February 18, February 25, March 4, March 11, March18 (4:00-7:00 p.m.), and March 22 (9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.); The Willow Creek CenterConcord

For info: Contact them at (510) 670-4557 or email, or visit their website

Fee: $299 per person, certificate and CEU and graduate level units available

Contra Costa Public Information Network (CCPIN)

Crisis Communications: When the Heat is On will be the topic of the next CCPIN meeting. San Francisco General Hospital and Trama Center's Chief Communications Officer Rachael Kagan will be the presenter.
Date and location: February 20, 10:00 a.m.-noon; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill 
For info and RSVP: Contact Peggy Marshaburn, CCCOE, at (925) 942-3420, or visit this Web Page
Fee: Free

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. 

Dates and location: February 22, March 29, and May 3, all seminars are held 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

Instructional Tools to Increase Lesson Engagement and Academic Language Proficiency for Common Core Readiness

Using expert modeling and illustrative classroom video footage, Dr. Kate Kinsella details the research-based features of planned, explicit, advanced language instruction and structured interaction necessary for students in mixed-ability classrooms to develop a confident command of academic discourse, appropriate spoken and written classroom language. She distributes a detailed training booklet including instructional routine guidelines, reproducible templates, sample lessons, and practical lesson-planning tools to facilitate school-wide implementation.

Participants will learn effective ways to:

  • Establish school-wide academic discourse norms and practices
  • Engage learners at every proficiency level in academic discussions
  • Set up and monitor productive collaborative tasks with academic language targets
  • Design academic response frames that scaffold competent communication
  • Guide students in constructing routine brief written responses using academic register
  • Address critical language functions for career and college readiness
  • Integrate academic language targets while guiding analysis of complex informational text
  • Explicitly teach high-utility academic vocabulary for text comprehension and response
  • Guide competent analysis of text context to determine word meanings and usage

Audience: English language arts teachers in grades 6-12, instructional coaches, and teacher educators. Dates and location: March 12-13, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.;  Pleasant Hill Community Center, Pleasant Hill

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

Registration Deadline: March 7 

Fee: $300, register via Eventbrite  

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

It Takes a Community!

Students in grades 7-12 are invited to It Takes a Community! Education Summit. This event is for first-generation African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander students and their families and will include workshops on preparing for college financial aid, and more. 

Date and location: March 8, 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; CSU East Bay, Hayward Campus

For info: Call (510) 885-3516 or visit their website  

California State Summer School for the Arts

Applications are now being accepted for the Cal State Summer School for the Arts, an intensive summer program for high school students held on the campus of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia. The program offers immersion in music, dance, theater, visual arts, creating writing, film, and animation. California residents in grades 9 to 12 are eligible to apply. Acceptance is based on artistic potential and merit. Numerous scholarships will be available.

Dates and location: July 12-August 8; California Institute of the Arts, Valencia

For info: Contact Peggy Burt at (818) 749-5528 or (626) 584-4055

Deadline: Applications must be in by February 28  

The 2nd Annual Foster Care Youth Conference

This conference will provide approximately 100 foster care/kinship/ transitioning youth with an opportunity to engage in workshops on health and wellness, mentoring, employment development, personal care, life skills, expression through music and college readiness.

Date and location: March 8, 9:15 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; DeJean Middle School, Richmond

For info: Contact Michelle Milam or visit their website  

Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair

(volunteer judges needed)

Judges are needed to ensure the 400+ 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, at the Ninth Annual Contra Costa County 2014 Science and Engineering Fair. Judges' commitment of eight hours is critical to the process which includes morning review of poster boards and afternoon interviews with students. Along with the orientation and judging, breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Date and location: March 21, 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; Los Medanos College, Pittsburg  

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

Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair Open House

The 2014 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 22; 10:30-11:30 a.m.; Los Medanos College, (Science Building), Pittsburg

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

Fee: Free

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 33rd 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 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, and 25, 5:00-8:00 p.m.; Martinez courthouses  

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

Resources / Contests

Fifth Annual First Amendment

Join the Judiciary of California and Constitutional Rights Foundation in celebrating the Bill of Rights with the Fifth Annual First Amendment Cartoon Contest.  The contest is open to K-12 students nationwide.  Six winners will each receive a $50 gift certificate.  In addition, up to five entries will receive honorable mentions.  Winners and honorable mentions will be announced on Law Day, May 1, 2013.

For info: Visit their  website and/or download the contest flyer 

Deadline: March 15 

Sustainability Journalism Award

Earth Day Network is excited to announce the second annual Sustainability Journalism Award. Open to high school students ages 13 to 18, the competition seeks to bring hard facts on environmental and sustainability issues to entire school communities - in the students' own words. This year we have opened the competition to include broadcasting and photography entries! First prize: $500. Second prize: $250. Third prize $100.

For info: Visit their website

Deadline: February 28 

18th Annual LegiSchool Projects Essay Contest 

The Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club will once again sponsor the 28th Annual Fifth Grade Story Contest. Current fifth-grade students attending schools in Contra Costa or Alameda counties are eligible to compete for a number of cash prizes.

For info: Contact the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club via their website

Deadline: March 12

Fee: $1 per submission, only one submission per student 

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 American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters

For info: Contact Leslie Need or visit their website

Deadline: March 7

Choose Civility

Be Inclusive

The Choose Civility Principle for the month of February

"It takes a variety of people to challenge us, encourage us, promote us, and most of all, help us achieve a broader dimension of ourselves."

-Glenn Van Ekeren


"One of our strongest yearnings is to be accepted by others. We love being welcomed by individuals, and we delight in the feeling of belonging to a group... Being inclusive means applying the principle of respect for persons to all persons. When it comes time to show respect and consideration to others, we do not pick and choose."


Most of us can remember times growing up when we were excluded by others - not being chosen for a particular team, not being invited to a party, being selectively ignored in a conversation, or sitting down at a table in the cafeteria only to have others get up and leave. Exclusion hurts. We should be careful never to engage in self-serving, unfair, and mean-spirited strategies of exclusion.


Unfortunately there are still cliques in our adult lives, both at work and among our friends and acquaintances. It's often easier to spend our time with others who are just like us instead of reaching out to those who are new or different.


Dr. Forni encourages us to be inclusive, and he provides a number of suggestions:

  • Evaluate your own habits and likes/dislikes with others and pick one or two to change.
  • If you are in a small group conversation, do your best to include everyone in the group and pick topics that can be enjoyed by everyone.
  • If you are the leader of a team, make sure that all team members have input.
  • If you are in charge of a social event, include one or two new people.
  • Show an interest in other cultures and get to know people from backgrounds different from your own.
  • If you speak another language, make sure to translate what is being said for those in the group who do not understand it.
  • If you are making plans with another person, be sure to include others in the group or make your arrangements privately.

Action step: Our lives are enriched when we include others who are different from ourselves. Who could you reach out to get to know today?


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

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