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.