Dateline Masthead
Contra Costa County Office of EducationOctober  2014
In this issue
Big Idea Fest 2014
Contra Costa Public Information Network
20th Annual Distinguished Speaker Series
Empowering Educators
Leading Edge Certification for the Administrator
Leading Edge Certification for Online and Blended Teacher
5th Annual San Francisco Bay Area STEAM Colloquium
American Education Week
C.A.S.T. Day
13th Annual Shelter-in-Place Day
4th Annual Bay Area Science Festival
The California ShakeOut
Chevron Fuel Your School
PG&E's Bright Ideas Grants
The Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grants
River of Words Art and Poetry Contest
The American Association for the Advancement of Science
PBS LearningMedia
The Intel-Affiliated Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to Dateline!


Welcome to the October 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

Big Idea Fest 2014

The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education is hosting the 5th 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 7-10; Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

For info: Visit their website

Fee: $735 covers registration and meals (only)

Contra Costa Public Information Network (CCPIN)

Napa Earthquake Response: When the ground shakes, good PIOs get moving is the title of the upcoming CCPIN meeting. At 3:30 a.m. on August 24, the largest earthquake in the Bay Area since Loma Prieta 25 years ago jolted residents awake around the region. The magnitude 6.0 earthquake centered in American Canyon caused widespread damage in the City of Napa. Public Information Officers representing the city, school district, and county of Napa will share their experiences responding to the earthquake and cover what worked, what didn't, and lessons learned.

Date and location: October 29, 10:00 a.m.-noon; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill 

For info: Contact Terry Koehne at (925) 942-3454 or visit this Web Page

Fee: Free, but you must register

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: October 25, November 15, 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: $275 for entire series; $65 for individual sessions 

(academic credit available)

2014 San Francisco Common Core State Standards Summit: 
Strengthening The Core

The Contra Costa County Office of Education is excited to host the 3rd annual San Francisco Bay Area Common Core State Standards Summit. Featured and keynote speakers include: Dr. Karin Hess, Senior Associate, The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment; Dr. Lily Wong-Fillmore, Professor Emerita, University of California, Berkeley; and Sarah Brown Wessling, Teacher Laureate, The Teaching Channel.

Dates and location: October 28-29; The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Concord

Fee$185 per participant
For info: Contact Sharon Marks at (925) 942-3356 or vist the Summit's registration page


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

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: Two 8 week cohorts will be offered beginning October 6 and 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

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 eight-week cohorts will be offered beginning September 22, 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, 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: January 30, 2015,  San Ramon Marriott, 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. 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:

C.A.S.T. Day

The Contra Costa Water District has teamed up with C.A.S.T. For Kids, a non-profit organization that provides one-day fishing and boating events for children with special needs accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. At C.A.S.T. Day, children with special needs and up to two

family members can spend half a day boating and fishing with an

experienced angler.

Date and locationOctober 25, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, Byron

For info: Contact Gina Oltman, CCWD, at (925) 688-8307, or visit the C.A.S.T. For Kids website

Fee: Free


To encourage students to become active voters once they are old enough to cast a ballot, this program is inviting high school and middle school students, teachers and principals to participate in the MyVote California Student Mock Election. Working with the California Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and the Constitutional Rights Foundation, in coordination with the MyVoice National Student Mock Election, the Student Mock Election will stir students' interest in voting by tapping into the excitement of the campaign season. 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 they are joined by thousands of California students and millions more across the United States who will vote in student mock elections this year.

For info: Contact MyVote at (916) 651-3070 or visit their website
DateOctober 28, (Just one week before California's November 4 General Election)
Fee: Free

13th Annual Shelter-in-Place Day

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 13th annual county-wide exercise. Guidelines for this program will be sent out to all districts and school principals. Schools can use the time for training, running brief drills, or conducting more detailed emergency exercises.

Date: November 5, 11:00 a.m.

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

4th 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 23-November 1, calendar of eventsheld at numerous sites throughout the Bay Area

For info: Visit their website

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

The California ShakeOut

The California ShakeOut drill is held annually on the third Thursday of October each year. (Other states are also holding ShakeOut drills.)  More than 9.6 million Californians participated in 2013, practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On, as well as other aspects of family, school, and organizational emergency plans.

Date and location: October 16, 10:17 a.m.; throughout the state of California

For info: Visit their website 

Grants / Scholarships

Chevron Fuel Your School

Fuel Your School is a local public school funding program in which Chevron will donate $1 for each 8 gallon or more fuel purchase, up to a maximum donation amount (as determined by Chevron) in each participating area, at participating Chevron and Texaco stations to help fund eligible classroom projects. 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

PG&E's Bright Ideas Grants (BIG)

PG&E's BIG program provides $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000 for Northern and Central California K-12 public schools to develop projects and curriculum that educate students about energy and the environment.  These grants are provided to support five areas: solar projects, youth energy and environmental programs, renewable energy or science-related field trips, green your school projects, and professional development/service learning projects/workforce development programs.  Past projects have included installing solar panels, designing and implementing energy-saving ideas in classrooms, and hosting solar car derbies.   

For more info: Visit their website

Deadline: November 1

The 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 2014 application grant cycle closes October 15

Resources / Contests

River of Words Art and Poetry Contest

Produced by the St. Mary's College's Center for Environmental Literacy, entry forms are now available for this annual art and poetry competition. The contest, on the theme of watersheds, is open to any child from 5-19 years of age who has not completed high school.

For info: Contact them via email or phone at (925) 631-4289, or visit their website

Deadline: Entries must be postmarked no later than December 1

The American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) website lets users create and administer online tests to their students and then compare their students' performance to national norms. You can assemble tests by selecting questions from more than 700 items that have been developed by AAAS Project 2061 to measure what students know in 16 key science topics. 


YouSTEM is a free web resource for K-12 students to find out about local STEM Programs. From lectures to internships, the site lists opportunities for students to explore different areas of interest. 

PBS LearningMedia™
PBS LearningMedia™ is the go-to destination for instant access to tens of thousands of classroom-ready, digital resources including videos, games, audio clips, photos, lesson plans, and more! You can search, save, and share with ease. 

For info: Visit their website

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 2014 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 Liz Ritchie at (925) 684-4995 or visit the Science & Engineering Fair's website

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

Fee: $20 per student 


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: 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