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Focus on Success
December 2016 Vol 8, No. 1  
 Partnering and Promoting Education
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In This Issue
2016 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge
Language Ambassadors Program
Investing In Our Youngest Learners
ROP Medical Technology and Health Careers
An Educational Journey
New Alternative Education School in Freedom
The Immigration Project: We Are Pajaro Valley
Prehistoric Fossil
ROP Wows CAP Students
Sueños Program Visits the San Francisco Exploratorium
Students Clean up Lompico Park
Santa Cruz County Students Win Big
ROP Students Dive into Photography
Special Education Post Senior Student Recognized
What It Means To Be "World Ready"
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Board of Education
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SCCOE Mission

The Mission of the Santa Cruz County Office of Education is

to provide quality educational leadership, programs, services, and support

to the children, school

districts, and the diverse community

that makes up Santa

Cruz County.

Santa Cruz County Board of Education 
The Santa Cruz County Board of Education is comprised of seven trustees each of whom represents a designated trustee area within the County.
Ms. Jane Royer Barr 
Mr. Jack Dilles
Ms. Sandra Nichols

Mr. Dana M. Sales
Mr. Abel Sanchez
Mr. Bruce Van Allen
Mr. George "Bud" Winslow

Santa Cruz County Office of Education
400 Encinal Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 466-5600
(831) 466-5607 (FAX)
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Superintendent's Message  

In this edition of Focus on Success, you will discover many ways in which Santa Cruz County students are finding their paths to personal achievement. Whether through formal competitions or inspired classroom projects, the youth highlighted here met and exceeded the challenges set before them. I am proud to share their stories of community service with you.

Local educators as well are included in the following articles, expanding their skills in the sciences, world ready themes, and career technical fields. This excitement was also felt as the new Sequoia Schools campus was opened in August to serve the students in south county who flourish in small classroom settings.

As the 2016 year comes to a close, on behalf of the County Office of Education, I wish you a peaceful holiday and a new year full of health and happiness in abundance.

Michael Watkins
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools 
Our newsletter is sent out quarterly. If you would like more frequent updates, follow me on Twitter , or like the SCCOE on Facebook .
Students from Ponderosa High School Participate in 2016 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge
2016 Ponderosa Forestry Challenge Group Photo
Ten students from Ponderosa High School participated recently in the 2016 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge, one group out of a total of 117 high school students from 14 schools from the Santa Cruz and central California region. The event was November 16 to 19 at Redwood Christian Park, near Boulder Creek, California.  

Santa Cruz COE Launches Language Ambassadors Program
Antonia_ Language Ambassado
The Santa Cruz COE Curriculum and Instruction Department is launching a new program to promote and celebrate multilingualism. The value of multilingualism in our global economy and multicultural society is widely recognized. Multilingual individuals have an additional skill to offer employers and their communities. Research on the cognitive benefits of bilingualism also continue to accumulate.

Investing In Our Youngest Learners
The Raising of America press release
On October 13, 2016, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education (SCCOE) hosted The Raising of America, a film screening and public engagement campaign that helps reframe the way our society looks at early childhood health and development. Interweaving discoveries from neuroscience with scenes showing the day-to-day realities of working parents, The Raising of America dramatically portrays how difficult it is for families to provide the nurturing environments children need in the first five years of life, when 90% of brain development occurs.

ROP Medical Technology and Health Careers Students Share with the Community
ROP Medical Careers Pathways Students Share Donations
Donna Marie Stahl, ROP instructor of Medical Technology and Health Careers Pathways classes at Harbor High School, recently reported on her students' participation in sharing resources in our community.

An Educational Journey by Debbie Reynon
ROP Dental Assisting Instructor_ Debbie Reynon instructing
Four and half years ago, I embarked on an educational journey to obtain my Bachelor's Degree in Career and Technical Education. On August 28, 2016, I received my confirmation date from Sacramento State University in earning my degree Summa Cum Laude. I can honestly say that I'm relieved to be finished, no longer studying well into the night, early mornings, and giving up many weekends over the past four years! It was truly worth it!

Santa Cruz County Education Office Throws Open Doors to New Alternative Education School in Freedom
After more than 10 years of planning_ on Friday the County Office of Education opens Sequoia Schools_ an alternative high school_ junior high_ and academy on Green Valley Road in Watsonville. _Dan Coyro -- Santa Cruz Sentinel_
Santa Cruz County's first built-to-suit alternative education school will still smell of fresh paint when its doors open to some 100 or more students Wednesday morning.

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education celebrated on Friday completion of the 32,000-square-foot Sequoia Schools, which will provided targeted classes for middle and high school-age students...

The Immigration Project: We Are Pajaro Valley
The Immigration Project_ We Are Pajaro Valley artwork
Immigration has been a hot political topic, especially in this election year; so how does a teacher talk with students about it? Not so easy!

ROP teacher Karen Lemon first imagined this project through ongoing contact with Ms. Judy Stabile, Director of the Pajaro Valley Arts Council (PVAC). A project, first proposed by the San Jose Museum of Art, the "Border Cantos" Project, and then adopted by PVAC as "Immigration, Borders, Boundaries and Beginnings," started Mrs. Lemon thinking about what a great opportunity this would be to create a collaboration between several different school sites, teachers, students and academic courses... 

Santa Cruz Teachers Dig Up Prehistoric Gomphotherium Fossil
Santa Cruz teacher holding fossil bone
Teachers Erin Petersen-Lindberg and Rebecca Mussetter of DeLaveaga Elementary School spent their summer at a paleontology dig in Florida. They uncovered a 5-million-year-old fossil of a Gomphotherium that will soon be displayed in a museum. "The first scrape you have a bone is exciting," Petersen-Lindberg said. Two weeks ago, the pair was digging side-by-side with scientists from the University of Florida at an undisclosed location outside Gainesville, Florida.  

ROP Wows CAP Students with Real-Life Career Activities  
ROP instructor with skeleton
CAP Summer Academy 2016 marks the 9th annual collaboration between Cabrillo Advancement Program (CAP) and Regional Occupational Programs (ROP). The four-day event, co-coordinated by Karen Lemon, Middle School Career Outreach Coordinator for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, and Liz Dominguez, Director of the CAP Program at Cabrillo, kicked off June 13th with 95 students in attendance. 

Sueños Program Participants Visit the San Francisco Exploratorium 
Group picture of Sue_os Program participants outside of Exploratorium
Sueños Program participants and staff recently spent an exciting day visiting the Exploratorium on Pier 15 in San Francisco! They came to explore science and nature while learning about the variety of careers available at such institutions. The Sueños participants enthusiastically explored the various interactive exhibits in the Bechtel Central Gallery, designed for exploring sights, sounds, and perception itself. The students were enthralled by seeing and listening to experiments in human vision and hearing - light and vision, sound and hearing, including a giant 12-foot mirror exhibit. 

Ponderosa High Students Clean up Lompico Park 
Clean up at Lompico Park
For more than three decades, Lompico Creek provided cool fresh water for swimming at a little park at a bend in the narrow mountain road. The little swimming hole became more permanent, with concrete walkways and steps. Then new federal rules protecting precious steel-head spawning habitats took out the Lompico dam and the swimming pool disappeared. 

Santa Cruz County Students Win Big at the 2016 International Science & Engineering Fair
Benjamin Kolland_ right_ from Alternative Family Education _AFE__ received a 2nd Place Special Award and _500 from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a 3rd Place Category Award and _1_000 in Engineering Mechanics.
With the generous support of Seagate Technology, the Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair (SCCSEF) provides the opportunity for the top High School project in our County to compete at the annual International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

From May 8-13, 2016, Benjamin Kolland from Alternative Family Education (AFE) represented our County at ISEF. He competed against over 1700 finalists from 75 countries around the world for approximately $4 Million in prizes. Benjamin received a 2nd Place Special Award and $500 from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a 3rd Place Category Award and $1,000 in Engineering Mechanics. 

Soquel High ROP Students Dive into Photography
Soquel High School ROP class using underwater photography
A model posed underwater, her hair and clothes flowing in the ethereal light. Around her, a team of budding photographers directed the fashion shoot. The photographers are students in Soquel High School's new photography class. And on Saturday, they went on location to the campus pool.

Special Education Post Senior Student Recognized at May Board Meeting
Simone Hooker with teachers
The Special Education Post Senior Community Based Program is one of the many stellar programs offered by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The program works with teachers, students and local businesses to create a vibrant, educational, service oriented schedule that provides students with important life skills. Special Education students from throughout the 10 districts in North Santa Cruz County are eligible for this program. Students between the ages of 18 to 22 who have an IEP and have not received a high school diploma are enrolled. The program offers training in independent living, communication, learning, self-sufficiency and employment.

What It Means To Be "World Ready"
ROP students work to create video
To improve the knowledge and skill development of high school students in Career Technical Education (CTE) and Core Academic subjects, The Santa Cruz Regional Occupational Program (ROP) utilized Community Foundation of Santa Cruz grant funding to create a Career Technical Education and Core Academic Integration Program. This is the second year that the Community Foundation has supported students learning in context.

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education publishes news to the community several times a year, highlighting programs that support student achievement.