Dateline Masthead
Contra Costa County Office of EducationJanuary  2015
In this issue
AB 1266: School Success and Opportunity Act - Workshop
Power the Common Core with Tech for Administrators
Project Towards No Drug Abuse (TND) Training
Project ALERT Training
Closer Reading for Deeper Learning
Leading Edge Certification for Online and Blended Teacher
5th Annual San Francisco Bay Area STEAM Colloquium
20th Annual Distinguished Speaker Series
Health Education Contact Standards Training
Cool Tools XI
Hot Topics: Increasing Comfort and Facilitation Skills
Leading Edge Certification for the Administrator
12th Annual Get Real Academy
Academic Decathlon (volunteers needed)
High School Mock Trials (Law Professional volunteers needed)
The Captain Planet Foundation
Emergency Shelter-in-Place Preparedness Grants
Creative Educator
The Intel-Affiliated Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair
19th Annual LegiSchool Projects Essay Contest
Costal Art and Poetry Contest
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to Dateline!


Happy New Year! Welcome to the January 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

AB 1266: School Success and Opportunity Act - Workshop
This workshop will focus on understanding key terminology and concepts, policy implementation best practices and key considerations, and communication strategies for working with students and parents/community. This session will include strategies to create safe and supportive spaces for all students, including those who identify as transgender and other students living outside of expected gender norms.
Date and location: January 12, first session from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. (will specifically address the needs of school and district administrators), the second session from 5:30-7:30 p.m. (will address the needs of those who work directly with students); CCCOE, Pleasant Hill 
For info: Contact Emily Justice, at (925) 942-5328, or visit the program's Eventbrite page
Fee: $15 for either session, $25 for both sessions
Power the Common Core with Tech for Administrators

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


*Rolling Out the Gold... errr... Chrome

Rolling out Chromebooks to support the Common Core and SBAC? Chromebook basics will get you started. 

Date: January 20, 9:00-9:30 a.m.

Register: Here

Fee: Free 


*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 

Project Towards No Drug Abuse (TND) Training
Project TND focuses on three factors that predict tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use, violence-related behaviors, and other problem behaviors among youth, including:
  • Motivation factors (i.e., students' attitudes, beliefs, expectations, and desires regarding drug use);
  • Skills (social, self-control, and coping skills); and
  • Decision-making (i.e., how to make decisions that lead to health-promoting behaviors).
Date and location: January 20, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill 
For info: Contact Emily Justice, at (925) 942-5328, or visit the program's Eventbrite page
Fee: Free
Project ALERT Training
Project ALERT is a classroom-based substance abuse prevention program for 7th and 8th graders that is proven to reduce the experimental and continued use of drugs. Through a series of comprehensive lessons, Project ALERT motivates students against drug use, cultivates new non-use attitudes and beliefs, and equips teens with the skills and strategies they will use to resist drugs.
Date and location: January 22, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill 
For info: Contact Emily Justice, at (925) 942-5328, or visit the program's Eventbrite page
Fee: Free

Distinguished Speaker Series: Closer Reading for Deeper Learning

Close reading is a habit of mind good readers employ when reading complex text. Carol Jago will demonstrate how the process opens up otherwise opaque literature and literary nonfiction for readers, deepening their understanding of both the text and the world around them. Jago will demonstrate methods for kindling the love of reading while building students' skills for reading. She will address issues of motivation, book selection, and the bad habits of good readers.

Date and location: January 29, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Del Valle Education Center, Walnut Creek

For info: Contact Sharon Marks at (925) 942-3356 or visit the Eventbrite registration page

Fee: $100

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: two eight-week cohorts will be offered: January 26, and 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

5th 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, 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: January 30, 2015,  San Ramon Marriott, San Ramon 

For info: Stay tuned to the STEAM Colloquium Web page, registration is now open, watch updates on Twitter: #STEAMCOLLOQ

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: January 31, 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)

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.

Date and location: March 9, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill

For info: Contact Emily Justice, at (925) 942-5328, or visit the Eventbrite page

Fee: Free for Contra Costa TUPE members; $30 before February 1; $40 after February 1

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

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

12th Annual Get Real Academy

The 12th Annual Get Real Academy, presented by Soroptimist International, is a life-skills conference for high school senior girls focusing on life after high school. Seminars throughout the day will include such topics as money management, women's health, domestic and workplace violence issues, insurance, career success, and job search tips. Sign-ups are now being taken.  

Date and location: March 13, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.; Concord Hilton, Concord

For infoContact Bert Vigil

Deadline: January 30

Fee: Free 

Academic Decathlon (volunteers needed)

Come out and join the excitement, while helping our students with this outstanding event. The East Bay Regional Academic Decathlon is looking for volunteers to judge Essay, Speech, and Interview sessions, as well as the final event: SuperQuiz. There are four scheduled judging dates to choose from. 

Dates and locations: Essay Reading-January 21, 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and January 22, 5:00-8:30 p.m.; CCCOEPleasant Hill. Speech and Interview Sessions-January 24 morning and posible early afternoon shifts; CSU East BayConcord. SuperQuiz judging-February 7, 1:30-3:45 p.m.; Los Medanos CollegePittsburg.

For info: Contact Diane Morrell at (925) 942-3406 or visit the Academic Decathlon Web page and its volunteer Web page

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

Grants / Scholarships

The Captain Planet Foundation

The Captain Planet Foundation funds grants to promote understanding of environmental issues for school-age children. Grant amounts range from $250-$2500, with applications reviewed three times a year.

For info: Visit their website 

Next Deadline: January 31

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

Do your students need help finding scholarships for college?  Have them visit This free site has approximately 1.7 million scholarships and grants, worth more than $7 billion. Users can search by eligibility, major, college, and many other categories. They can also find scholarships and grants that match their individual strengths, be they academic or athletic. 

For info: Visit

Deadline: Ongoing

Fee: Free 

The Intel-Affiliated Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair

Contra Costa County businesses will once again join our county's educators to produce the 2015 Intel-Affiliated Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair, this coming spring. The program is for grades 7-12 students.

Dates and location: March (TBD very soon); Los Medanos College, Science Building

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

Deadlines: Pre-approval project deadline was October 31, (post-marked); Final project approval deadline is January 16, (postmarked) 

Fee: $20 per student 

19th Annual LegiSchool Projects Essay Contest 

The LegiSchool Project's Center for California Studies is seeking entries for their 18th Annual Essay Contest. This year, students are asked to share their views on Climate Change. The contest is open to 11th- and 12th-grade students attending California high schools. Ten winning essayists will be selected and will receive round-trip travel to the Sacramento State Capitol to participate in the 19th annual Student Legislative Summit on April 22. LegiSchool Project is a civic education collaboration between California State University, Sacramento and the California State Legislature, and is administrated by the Center for California Studies. 

For info: Contact Terra Thorne at (916) 278-6906, or visit their website

Deadline: Postmarked by January 30 

Coastal Art and Poetry Contest

To encourage youth to reflect on the beauty and spirit of our state's beaches and ocean, this special contest challenges California students to create artwork or poetry using a California coastal or marine theme. Prizes, awarded to five separate grade-level categories, include $100 gift certificates to an art-supply or book store. Winners and honorable mentions will receive tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific.  Each winner's teacher will receive a $50 gift certificate for education materials,

For info: Contact The California Coastal Commission at (800) COAST4U, or visit their website 

Deadline: Jan 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