Health and Wellness


Message from Contra Costa County

Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey

Dear Community Members,

The holiday season is upon us and, like many, I look forward to the spirit of the season and having the time to reflect and be grateful. November is National Gratitude Month. I’m grateful to the teachers, administrators and staff at the Contra Costa County Office of Education for the hard work they put in every single day for the students of our schools and around the county.

Part of the incredible work being done is around literacy. This agency was recently awarded a $9.8 million grant to serve as the state lead for Project ARISE, which intends to support the state’s literacy initiative through professional development opportunities for administrators and teachers and sharing best practices. The latest testing shows that student scores have dropped as expected in key areas, including literacy, due to the learning loss experienced because of the negative impacts of the pandemic. This new grant, along with the “Every Child Reads” state grant we received earlier this year, investments are being made to help school districts in this county and around the state with student achievement. Reading is an important foundation for student success and I am proud our agency has the opportunity to be a leader in this effort.

November is also Native American Heritage Month. We can use this time to learn and raise awareness about the contributions and the rich and diverse histories of Native Americans that have been overlooked for so long. Our Curriculum and Instruction department created an elementary and secondary curriculum with resource materials for teachers and to help guide conversations. The guide includes links to recipes and children’s books for anyone looking to learn more.

This month is also Runaway and Homeless Youth Awareness Month. Our agency provides a broad range of coordinated services and support to youth in foster care, experiencing homelessness or other barriers that make it difficult for them to finish school, find a job or pursue a career path. I hope you can find the time to learn about the numerous services and our agency provides and how we support them.

I hope you enjoy reading about the work we are doing for the students of this county and reading about the great accomplishments achieved so far. As always, feel free to send your feedback to me on the things you read here or if you have any other issues of concern. Have a happy holiday season.

In community,

Lynn Mackey

Educators from San Ramon, Mt. Diablo Named Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year

County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey announced that teachers Chavonta Edington of Diablo Vista Middle School (San Ramon Valley Unified School District) and Natasha Paul of Mt. Diablo High School (Mt. Diablo Unified School District) were named the 2022-2023 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year. The announcement was made during the county’s 50th annual Teacher of the Year Gala, which was held at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek, CA. The pair are now eligible to apply to the California State Teachers of the Year program. Supported by Visionary Sponsors Chevron, Lesher Community Foundation, and Martinez Refinery Company, 19 Contra Costa Teachers celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year Program with a special reception and gala.

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Five County Schools Earn National Blue Ribbon Award

Five Contra Costa County schools were selected as 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond congratulated the Contra Costa County Schools along with 24 other schools throughout the state.

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107 County Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) has been awarded a $9.8 million grant by the California Department of Education to become the lead agency responsible for providing professional development opportunities to K-12 public school educators in California to strengthen reading instruction for all students in the state. CCCOE will team up with seven partners to share professional development opportunities and work with schools, educators, and districts in meeting the state’s critical goal: every child learns to read by third grade.

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ROP Class Prepares Students for Careers in Firefighting

Contra Costa County Office of Education offers a Regional Occupational Program class at Freedom High School, a hands-on course taught by retired firefighter Jim Scarbrough. Students learn the science behind fires and participate in drills that help them understand how to knockdown and fight fires. During the drills, students are suited up in real firefighter gear and utilize fire hoses, stairs, and real life situations one might face as a firefighter.

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CCCOE Principal Wins Science Education Award

Contra Costa County Office of Education’s principal of Golden Gate Community School, Douglas Corbin, has been awarded the Administrator Leadership Award by the California Association of Science Educators. Nominated for his outstanding work bringing high-quality science curriculum and learning opportunities to alternative students, Corbin was awarded this honor at the 2022 California Science Education Conference.

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107 County Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey congratulated 107 high school seniors for being named Semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Led by 58 students at Dougherty Valley High School in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, there are 13 Contra Costa County high schools represented on the list of 16,000 Semifinalists.

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