Dateline Masthead
Contra Costa County Office of EducationOctober 2013
In this issue
California Association for the Gifted Symposium
Big Idea Fest 2013
3rd Annual Distinguished Speaker Series
2nd Annual SF Bay Area Common Core State Standards Summit
The Inaugural California STEM Conference
Leading Edge Certification for the Administrator
Leading Edge Certification for Online and Blended Teacher
4th Annual San Francisco Bay Area STEAM Colloquium
American Education Week
12th Annual County-Wide Shelter-in-Place Dril
Model United Nations
3rd Annual Bay Area Science Festival
The California ShakeOut Drill
Chevron Fuel Your School
Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grants
NASA Saturn Essay Contest
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to Dateline!


Welcome to the October 2013 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

California Association for the Gifted Symposium
The California Association for the Gifted (CAG) is presenting a one-day Northern California Symposium for educators and parents, entitled Reaching New Heights: Depth, Complexity, and the Common Core. More than 60 workshops will be offered, facilitated by seasoned educators from throughout California. Educator workshops are suitable for K-12 teachers, administrators, and counselors, including sessions specific to elementary, middle, and high school, and specialized sessions pertaining to teaching English, science, math, and social studies. This event is suitable for all educators, plus there will be workshops geared toward parents of GATE students. 

Date and location: November 2, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; American Canyon High School

For info: Contact Karen Littell, or visit their website 

Fee: $85 for full day ($60 for CAG members) including morning refreshments and fully catered lunch 

Big Idea Fest 2013

The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education is hosting the 4th annual Big Ideas Fest. This three-day gathering of the nation's most creative makers and doers in education brings together champions across K-12, higher education, and informal learning, to participate in a truly unique interactive experience. You'll hear from inspiring speakers and take part in action collaboratives designed to incubate solutions to address education's most pressing challenges.

Date and location: December 4-7; Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

For info: Visit their website

Fee: $730 covers registration and meals (only)

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, 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: October 19, November 16, January 25, 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: $275 for entire series; $65 for individual sessions 

(academic credit available)

2nd Annual SF Bay Area Common Core State Standards Summit

This extremely informative day will feature keynote speakers William McCallum, lead writer of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and Deborah Sigman, deputy superintendent of Public Instruction for the California Department of Education. In addition, engaging breakout sessions include:

  • SMARTERBalanced Assessment Panel
  • Technology Integration and the CCSS
  • California Mathematics Framework
  • ELD Standards
  • CCSS ELA Instructional Practice Guides
  • ELA/ELD Framework Updates

Date and location: October 29, 8:00 a.m.-4:15 p.m.; Crowne Plaza Hotel, Concord

For info: Contact Sharon Marksat (925) 942-3356 or visit the program's Eventbrite site

Fee: $100 per participant

The Inaugural California STEM Conference
The Inaugural Annual California Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Conference's theme is Invest in California STEM: Innovate, Integrate, and Inspire!
Date and location: November 18-19; Sacramento Convention Center

For info: Visit their website to learn about the conference and presentation opportunities. 

Fee: Varied price points, early registration is $280 

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 

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 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

4th 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, professionals, 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: February 7, 2014, 
San Ramon Conference Center, San Ramon 
For info: Stay tuned to the STEAM Colloquium Web page, and watch updates on Twitter: #STEAMCOLLOQ

Upcoming Events / Field Trips

American Education Week

American Education Week presents all Americans with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education. This year's theme, Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility. Use the online toolkit for activity ideas, templates, and downloadable materials. The week-long celebration features a special observance each day of the week. They include:

12th Annual County-Wide Shelter-in-Place Drill

Put this date on your calendar today! Community Awareness Emergency Response (CAER) invites all schools to practice and improve their site emergency procedures for shelter-in-place by taking part in this 10th annual county-wide exercise. Guidelines for this program will be sent out to all districts and school principals later this summer (reminder post cards have recently been mailed out). Schools can use the time for training, running brief drills, or conducting more detailed emergency exercises.

Date: November 6, 11:00 a.m.

For info: Contact Lori McDonald at (925) 313-9296 or visit the CAER website

Model United Nations  

The Contra Costa County Model United Nations program is an exciting and educational way for high school students to learn about global issues. The Model UN simulates the activities of a UN body, such as the Security Council or the General Assembly.

Dates and location: November 1 and 2: Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill

For info: Contact Peggy Marshburn at (925) 942-3420 or visit the Model UN website

Fee: School registration fee is $200 

3rd Annual Bay Area Science Festival
The 10-day Bay Area Science Festival will provide a wide range of science and technology activities: lectures, debates, exhibitions, concerts, plays, workshops, etc., held at a variety of locations throughout the Bay Area.

Dates and locations: October 24-November 2, complete calendar; held at numerous sites throughout the Bay Area

For info: Visit their website

Fee: Check specific events for admission fees, but many are free 


To encourage students to become active and informed voters once they are old enough to cast a ballot, high school and middle school students, teachers, and principals are invited to participate in the MyVote California Student Mock Election, which takes place in late October, about a week before each regularly scheduled statewide general election. Working with the California Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and the Constitutional Rights Foundation, in coordination with the MyVoice National Mock Election, the Student Mock Election taps into the excitement of the campaign season to stir students' interest in voting. As students learn about the candidates and issues, they discover how government and politics affect every part of their lives. They gain firsthand knowledge of how citizens make their voice heard in our democracy, and experience the power of their votes when thousands of California's high school and middle school students have their say on the candidates and issues on Student Mock Election Day.

For info: Contact MyVote at (916) 651-3070 or visit their website

Fee: Free

The California ShakeOut Drill

The California ShakeOut drill is held annually on the third Thursday of October each year. (Other states are also holding ShakeOut drills.)  More than 9.4 million Californians participated in 2012, practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On, as well as other aspects of family, school, and organizational emergency plans.

Date and location: October 17, 10:17 a.m.; throughout the state of California

For info: Visit their website

Grants / Scholarships
Chevron Fuel Your School

Chevron is working with to help K-12 teachers in Alameda and Contra Costa County public schools get the supplies they need for eligible classroom projects. And everyone can help! For the next few months, you can post your project on

For info: Visit Chevron Fuel Your School 

Deadline: November 30

Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grants

The Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grants, up to $5,000 per school, are now accepting their fall-cycle applications. These funding requests should have a permanent school-site impact, such as facility enhancement (both indoor and outdoor), as well as landscaping and/or clean-up type projects. Projects that encourage parent involvement and build stronger community spirit will be favored.

For info: Visit Lowe's Toolbox for Education website

Deadline: The fall 2013 application grant cycle closes October 15

Resources / Contests

NASA Saturn Essay Contest

The Cassini spacecraft launched in October 1997 and has been orbiting Saturn since 2004. The 2013 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest is open to students in grades 5-12. Students write a 500-word or less essay about taking an image with the Cassini Spacecraft. Students write about what they hope to discover by taking a picture of Saturn's moon, Iapetus, Saturn's moon, Dione, or Saturn.

For info: Visit their website

Contest deadline: October 25

Choose Civility


The Choose Civility Principle for the month of October

"Much of the Conflict in our lives can be explained by one simple but unhappy fact: we don't really listen to each other." 


-Michael P. Nichols


What prevents us from doing a good job of listening is that instead of focusing on other people, we focus on ourselves and our own needs. This is what we do when we interrupt. We just can't sit still - and silent - as someone else speaks, for we feel the urge to seize the limelight for ourselves.


Show the skills of the good listener. Pay attention - real attention - to your colleague's observations. Make sure you understand correctly by asking questions to clarify what he has in mind. This is a smart, kind, and civil strategy of listening. This way we let them know that we value not only the message, but also the messenger. This is listening at its best.


Action Step:

Plan your listening. Listen with no other intention than that of listening.

Show that you are listening. Listen seriously. Establish eye contact. Give the occasional nod. Encourage the speaker. Be a cooperative listener. Try to understand not only with words but with body language as well.


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


About CCCOE's Monthly Focus

Choosing Civility, by Dr. P.M. Forni, lists 25 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.

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