Dateline Masthead
Contra Costa County Office of EducationMarch  2014
In this issue
Eliminating Barriers to Learning
Meeting the Challenges of the 2014 GED Test
Empowering Educators
Strategies and Resources for Arts Integration
Contra Costa Public Information Network
3rd Annual Distinguished Speaker Series
Leading Edge Certification for Online and Blended Teacher
Constructing and Sustaining Long Term Concept Memory and Executive Functions
It Takes a Community!
Contra Costa County Youth Summit
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
The Warren W. Eukel Teacher Trust Fund
Dow Promise
2014 Mathematics Publishers' Fair
Fifth Annual First Amendment Cartoon Contest
18th Annual LegiSchool Projects Essay Contest
Law Day Art Contest
Earn it! Keep it! Save it!
Choose Civility - "Respect Other People's Time"
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

Eliminating Barriers to Learning (EBL)

The mission of this program is to provide teachers and school staff with tools to identify, recognize, refer, and support students with mental health needs in a respectful and culturally responsive manner. Day 1: Eliminating Barriers to Learning Training. Day 2: EBL Training of Trainers for Teams.

Dates and location: March 12 and 13, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; The Willow Creek CenterConcord

For info: Contact Lindy Khan at (925) 942-3342 or visit their website

Fee: Free

Meeting the Challenges of the 2014 GED Test

The 2014 GED´┐Ż test presents adult educators and their students with both challenges and opportunities. It requires that adult educators rethink and restructure the way they deliver instruction. To effectively meet the instructional needs of students, adult educators need to have an understanding of the
  •  Content which may be assessed on each of the four sub-tests
  •  Context in which questions and problems are presented
  •  Importance of evidence-based writing requirements in language arts, social studies, and science
  •  Need for mathematical reasoning in order to respond to higher-level mathematical questions
  •  Need for helping students enhance their reasoning and problem solving skills across all content areas

Dates and location: March 20, 4:30-8:30 p.m. (evening session) or March 21, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (full-day session); CCCOE, Pleasant Hill

For info: Contact Brenna Fleck at (925) 942-3368 or register on Eventbrite

Fee: $50 evening session, $80 full-day session

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

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)

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 or 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. 

Dates and location: 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

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  

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  

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

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

Dow Promise

The Dow Promise grant program was initiated to fund one-time, tangible project costs that have long-term sustainable benefits for the community. Primarily focusing on positively impacting the educational and economic challenges faced by African-American youth and adults in communities where Dow employees live and work, Dow Promise grants are awarded to projects involving science, technology, engineering, and/or math. Applicants can make a request of up to $25,000, and must provide an itemized budget for the program or project, including the intended use of Dow Promise grant money.  

For info: Visit their website

Deadline: April 1

Resources / Contests

2014 Mathematics Publishers' Fair

The CCCOE Educational Services and the Learning Resources Display Center (LRDC) is hosting a CCSS Mathematics Publisher's Fair for the recently State Adopted K-8 Math Programs. Due to the large volume of adopted programs we will be hosting three different events: Basic Grade Level K-6/8 Programs, Basic Middle Grades and Algebra, & Basic Grade Level Programs that are technology based, including Online Courseware, and Digital programs. (Thirty-one programs were adopted January 15, 2014).

Dates and location: March 3, Basic Math K-6/8; March 10, Online Courseware, and Single-Grade programs; and March 13, Basic Math 6-8 and Algebra 1, all date times are 3:30-7:30 p.m.; CCCOE 

For info: Contact Rovina Salinas at (925) 942-5332, attendees can register on Eventbrite

Fee: Free, but attendees must register

Fifth Annual First Amendment Cartoon Contest

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.

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

Deadline: March 15 is a website that has plenty ideas about plants and gardens, teacher resources, and grant opportunities. 

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

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

Respect Other People's Time

The Choose Civility Principle for the month of March

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that's the stuff life is made of."

-Benjamin Franklin


Ever planned to meet a friend at 10:00, only to have the friend show up at 10:20 without even an apology for arriving late? Time is a precious commodity, and we need to treat other people's time as valuable as our own.


Here are a few ideas from Dr. Forni on respecting other people's time:

  • Be punctual. Punctuality is nonnegotiable. Arriving on time is a basic rule of considerate behavior.
  • If you are going to be more than five minutes late, call.
  • Cancel plans only in case of emergency. Canceling on short notice is rude.
  • When you call someone on the phone, check to make sure it is a good time for the other person to talk. If not, suggest another more convenient time for both.
  • Keep both phone and in person conversations short. We are all busy people, and others appreciate brevity.
  • Be fully present for the person you are with. Minimize interruptions, and don't take cell phone calls or text. Only an emergency justifies such behavior.
  • Wait your turn in line. Demanding immediate attention is uncivil and ineffective.
  • Answer e-mails and return phone calls. Don't waste others' time by having to contact you a second or third time to get a response.
  • Meet deadlines and turn things in early or on time.
  • Always give others the amount of time that they can rightfully expect from you.

Action step: Resolve to respect other people's time, valuing it as you do your own.

*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