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Contra Costa County Office of Education September  2015
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Welcome to the September 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

21st Annual Distinguished Speaker Series - The Best Practices in Teaching Leadership

Over the past 20 years, the Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) attracts more than 1,000 educators per year from 5 local counties and over 30 regional school districts. Internationally renowned speakers, authors and consultants have been inspiring participants to make a difference in their classroom, school and community.
Dates and location : October 24, December 5, January 30, March 5, and April 9, all seminars are held 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 
For info: Contact Jeannie Harberson at 925-631-4936, or visit their
Fee: $275 for entire series; $65 for individual sessions 
(academic credit available)
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
AB1575-Student Fees & Williams Training
Explore how California law requires that public education be provided to students free of charge, unless a charge is specifically authorized by law for a particular program or activity. School districts are prohibited from charging students fees for  participation in an educational activity, including, but not limited to, curricular and extracurricular activities. From the ACLU litigation to AB1575, many public school districts are left wondering what student fees remain permissible, if any. This training will provide attendees with an understanding of the current laws governing student fees, as well as working knowledge of how to implement uniform complaint procedures in the context of student fees.
Date and location: September 22, 4:00-7:00 p.m.; CCCOE, Pleasant Hill
For info: Contact Laura Griffin at (925) 942-5338, or visit their website
Fee: $15
Deadline: September 18
PEAK Energy Workshop
Learn how PEAK engages students with standards- aligned , hands-on activities. Participating teachers receive professional development, curriculum correlated to 3rd-7th grade standards across disciplines, a toolkit of materials, and ongoing implementation support! A $100 stipend and lunch will be provided.
Date and location September 24, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.;  CCCOE , Pleasant Hill
For info: Contact Audrey Knox at (510) 444-5060 ext. 15, or visit the event's  Web page
Fee: Free 
Administrative  Leadership Program (ALP) 

Contra Costa County Office of Education is a local program affiliate with the Association of California School Administrators and the New Teacher Center that offers an alternative program for the Professional Clear Administrative Services Credential. The ALP provides two years of on-site individualized coaching by certified Leadership Coaches to beginning school administrators. Driven by the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, candidates create an individualized plan for demonstrating performance standards that will determine the focus for coaching. At the end of two years, candidates who successfully complete all program requirements will be recommended for the Tier II Professional Clear Administrative Services Credential. 

For info: Contact Marsha Tokuyoshi at (925) 942-3385, or visit the program's Web page

Dates: TBD over a two-year time frame

Fee$3,500 per year CCCOE-ALP for 2 years, plus $1,000** per year to ACSA/ACCP; total cost for the two-year program is $9,000

Upcoming Events / Field Trips

September is Attendance Awareness Month
Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools, Karen Sakata, and District Attorney, Mark Peterson, are embarking on this year's awareness campaign entitled Every School Day Counts: Attend today, Achieve for a Lifetime! This campaign is designed to provide communication resources to schools, engage school communities, and boost student attendance as soon as children enter school.
Dates and Locations: The month of September; K-12 schools throughout Contra Costa County
For info: Visit the program's Web page
High School Model UN
The Contra Costa County Model United Nations program is an exciting, 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. Students assume the roles of diplomatic representatives to the UN as they consider contemporary international concerns. Through this role-playing event, students develop a greater understanding of world problems and the complexity of international relations. All Bay Area schools are welcome to submit a Model UN team.
Dates and location: October 30, 3:30-8:30 p.m., October 31, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill
For info: Contact Diane Morrell at (925) 942-3406 or visit the program's  Web page
Fee: $150 per school team before September 16; $200 after
Bay Area Science Festival
More than 200 science, technology, and engineering organizations from across the Bay Area will present the fun and excitement of science, through hands-on and interactive exhibits, science-themed performances and demonstrations, and family-oriented entertainment. The Bay Area Science Festival will also be hosting Discovery Days events. CSU East Bay, October 24;  Sonoma County Fairgrounds, October 24; and at AT&T Park in San Francisco on November 7. 
Dates and locations: October 22-November 7, calendar of events; held at numerous sites throughout the Bay Area
For info: Visit their website
Fee: Check specific events for admission fees, but many are free

31st Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day

Every year, on the third Saturday in September, people join together at sites all over California to take part in the State's largest volunteer event, California Coastal Cleanup Day. In 2013, over 58,000 volunteers removed almost 750,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California's beaches, lakes, and waterways. Families, friends, coworkers, scout troops, school groups, service clubs, and individuals come together to celebrate and share their appreciation of California's fabulous coast and waterways. The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, which is the largest volunteer event on the planet!

Date and locations: September 19, 9:00 a.m.-noon; various water sites

For info: Contact The California Coastal Commission at (800) COAST-4U or visit the event's Web page 

Two Substitute Teacher Job Fairs
Looking for a flexible work schedule? Become a substitute! There is a continuing need for qualified individuals to work in educational programs within the Contra Costa County area. There will be two Job Fairs held in October.
Date and location: (1st Job Fair): October  6, 3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.;  CCCOE , Pleasant Hill - (2nd Job Fair): October 13, 4:00-5:30 p.m.; Brentwood Union School District, Brentwood
For info: Review the events'  flyer

11th 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 11th 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 4, 11:00 a.m.

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

Grants / Scholarships
Dow Chemical Company Community Advisory Panel (CAP) Grant Program

The DOW CAP Grant Program is currently accepting on-line applications. Eligible applicants must represent community non-profit organizations, schools, municipalities, or county governmental agencies/departments that have identified science, education or environmental projects that will enhance the quality of life within East Contra Costa County. Grants range from $2,500 to $5,000. 
For info: Visit their website
Deadline: September 17
The Safeway Foundation's Grants

Safeway funds grant applications for communities where stores are located. Grants should focus on Safeway's priorities, including education. Grants are accepted throughout the year. Typical grants are between $2,500 - $10,000  For more information and to apply visit their website.
For info: Visit their website

Resources / Contests

The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society
The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society will gladly organize an astronomy night for your school, youth group, or community organization. Their members volunteer their time and their telescopes to bring the universe to you. They also provide knowledgeable speakers and activities on various astronomy topics, either in a classroom or in a meeting setting.

Fee: Free

For info: Visit their website 

Constitution Day
A 2005 act of Congress states that all educational institutions receiving federal funding must observe September 17 as Constitution Day, which celebrates the 1787 signing of our founding document. According to the guidelines put forth by the Department of Education, teachers and schools are free to design Constitution Day programming that best addresses the needs of their students.
Date: September 17 (This will be the 228th anniversary of our nation's founding document.)
For info: Visit their website
Contra Costa Community Warning System
The Contra Costa County Community Warning System (CWS) is a comprehensive system designed to alert the public in the county of imminent threats to life or health. The system was developed by the Community Awareness and Emergency Response organization (CAER) and is operated by the Office of the Sheriff.  The CWS mission is to alert the public of imminent threats to life or health, inform the public of basic hazard information and guide them to resources to gather more detailed information.  The CWS uses a variety of tools to reach the public as quickly and reliably as possible such as:
  • Telephone notification (cell and landline)
  • Email
  • Texting
  • Social Media (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Sirens
  • Radio and TV
  • NOAA Weather Radios
  • Cable Television
For info: Contact the CWS Staff at (925) 313-9622 or visit their website
Attendance Awareness Poster Contest (grades K-5)
Contra Costa County K-5 grade students are encouraged to use their creativity and poster-making skills to tell us why Every School Day Counts: Attend today, achieve for a lifetime!  There will be a $75 gift certificate for first-place, and $20 certificates for the 12 runner-up participants.

Poster Themes:
  • Kindergarten: I love going to school because...
  • 1st Grade: Going to school is important to me because...
  • 2nd Grade: I don't want to miss school because then I will miss...
  • 3rd Grade: Good School attendance equals...
  • 4th Grade: I contribute a lot to my class! I contribute...
  • 5th Grade: Attending school helps me and my future because...

For info: Visit the contest's Web page, or contact Lindy Khan or Emily Justice

Deadline: September 30, 5:00 p.m.

Attendance Awareness Essay Contest (grades 6-8)
C ontra Costa County 6-8 grade students are encouraged to use their creativity and writing skills to tell us why  Every School Day Counts: Attend today, achieve for a lifetime!  There will be a $100 gift certificate for first-place, and $20 certificates for the 12 runner-up participants.
Essay  Prompts :
  • Have you ever struggled with school attendance and/or have a friend who struggles with their attendance?
  • What barriers have you and/or your friend had to overcome to attend school every day?
  • Who helped you and/or your friend to make the changes?
  • How has your life and/or your friend's improved since you started attending school every day?

For info: Visit the contest's Web page, or contact Lindy Khan or Emily Justice

Deadline: September 30, 5:00 p.m.

Attendance Awareness PSA Contest (grades 9-12)
C ontra Costa County 9-12 grade students are encouraged to use their creativity and video-production skills to tell us why  Every School Day Counts: Attend today, achieve for a lifetime!  There will be a $250 gift certificate for first place, $150 second place, $100 third place, and $25 certificates for the 12 runner-up participants.
Public Service Announcement (PSA)  Prompts :
  • Good attendance helps children do well in school and eventually in the workplace
  • By the 6th grade, if a student continues to be chronically absent, it is a leading indicator of wether he or she will drop out of high school
  • For every day of school missed, excused, or unexcused, it takes three days to make up what was missed
  • Students who miss two or more days of school a month, even as early as kindergarten, are more likely to struggle with reading in the third grade

For info: Visit the contest's Web page, or contact Emily Justice

Deadline: September 30, 5:00 p.m. is a website that has plenty of ideas about plants and gardens, teacher resources, and grant opportunities. 



77 Santa  Barbara Road, Pleasant Hill, California 94523

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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