The JavaScript support is disabled on your browser. JavaScript is required to view this page correctly.
Please enable JavaScript and refresh this page.

Sidebar

Contacts

Chief Communications Officer
925.942.3420


Communications Specialist/Teacher of the Year/Media Relations
925.942.3429

Communications FAX
925.942.3454

Main Content

News and Press Releases

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

Press Releases - 2009

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009


December 2009

H1N1 Vaccine Now Open to Everyone at Contra Costa Public Health Flu Clinics

WHAT: Anyone ages 6 months and older can now get free H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine at Public Health vaccination clinics in December while supplies last. The priority group requirements have been lifted because more vaccine is available.

WHEN & WHERE:
Martinez, 30 Muir Road
Pittsburg, 186 East Leland, Veteran's Building
Richmond, 256 24th Street
Lafayette, 952 Moraga Road, old library building

Dates & Times:
Mondays, noon to 4 p.m., December 21 & 28
Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., December 22 & 29
Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., December 23 & 30

WHO: Clinics are intended for people living in Contra Costa County.

Only people older than 6 months of age who are not allergic to eggs can receive vaccine.

Information is subject to change based on vaccine availability. Check www.cchealth.org or call 1-888-959-9911 before visiting a flu clinic.

return to top of page


1st Interim Budget Report for Contra Costa School Districts

Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph Ovick, announced the results of the 2009/2010 1st interim budget report for school districts. Of the 20 local agencies reporting (includes 18 school districts, Contra Costa Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) and the Contra Costa County Office of Education) 14 have declared positive certification, five are qualified (Antioch Unified, Byron, Knightsen, Mt. Diablo Unified, and West Contra Costa Unified), and one district is negative (John Swett Unified).

A negative certification means the district board of education has determined that it will not be able to meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the current fiscal year or for the subsequent fiscal year. A qualified certification means the district board of education has determined that it may not be able to meet its financial obligations for the current fiscal year or two subsequent fiscal years.

"The ongoing state budget crisis and massive cuts to local school district budgets are risking the financial health of all school districts," says Dr. Ovick. The Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools is responsible for and will conduct a financial review of all 1st interim reports and issue an opinion letter to each of the districts with recommendations which may include appointing a financial advisor. A financial advisor appointed by the county superintendent is currently working with the Knightsen district.

return to top of page


H1N1 Flu Vaccine Lots Recall Information

The H1N1 flu vaccine lots recalled today by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have NOT been used at any of the Contra Costa Public Health community H1N1 flu vaccination clinics or at any of the ongoing Public Health vaccination clinics being held through December
in Contra Costa County.

More info on the recall:
www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/syringes_qa.htm

return to top of page


Contra Costa to Hold Additional H1N1 Flu Vaccination Clinics

WHAT: Contra Costa Public Health will hold free ongoing H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccination walk-in clinics at four location through December while supplies last. Priority groups have been expanded based on the local vaccine supply and guidance from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

WHERE & WHEN: Locations:

  • Martinez, 30 Muir Road; Pittsburg, 186 East Leland, veteran’s building;
  • Richmond, 256 24th Street; and Lafayette, 952 Moraga Road, old library building

Dates & Times:

  • Mondays, noon to 4 p.m., December 14, 21 & 28
  • Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., December 15, 22 & 29
  • Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., December 16, 23 & 30
  • Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., December 17
  • Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., December 18

WHO: H1N1 vaccine (shot form) is available for:

  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone ages 6 months through 24 years
  • Adults 25 years and older with chronic medical conditions
  • People who live with or provide care for infants under 6 months of age (parents, siblings and daycare providers)
  • Chronic medical conditions include asthma, heart disease, diabetes as well as neurologic disorders and weakened immune systems.

Seasonal flu vaccine is available for:

  • Anyone 4 years of age and older (shots)
  • All healthy people ages 2 to 49 years (nasal)

Second doses of flu vaccine will also be available for children at these clinics.

Children under 10 years need two doses of H1N1 flu vaccine. Children under 9 need two doses of seasonal flu vaccine if receiving it for the first time.

Information is subject to change based on vaccine availability. Check www.cchealth.org or call 1-888-959-9911 for recorded updates before visiting a clinic.

return to top of page


CCCOE begins Distribution of Personal Protective Equipment to Help Local Schools Combat Flu Emergency

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., December 4, 2009—Today, the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) delivered ear-loop-surgical masks for students attending the county’s 18 school districts, as well as the CCCOE’s schools and classrooms.  The CCCOE is joining California’s other 57 County offices of education in this statewide distribution of the personal protective equipment.

The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) received two federal grants to purchase more than 23 million masks and gloves for California schools.  One grant was used to purchase respirator masks (commonly known as an N95 respirator) and gloves, and to ship the supplies to 58 county offices of education and the Los Angeles Unified School District.  The other grant funds were used to purchase the ear loop surgical masks.  Thanks to the two grants, there will be no costs to schools or the county for these supplies.

The CCCOE is expecting our county’s allotment of the N95 respirators and gloves in the very near future, which then, the agency will again immediately deliver the supplies to the county’s school districts, for use in their schools and classrooms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Education jointly issued guidance for schools regarding the H1N1 influenza pandemic. The guidance stresses that the best way to prevent the spread of viruses is by staying home if you are sick, covering your coughs and sneezes, washing or sanitizing your hands frequently, and getting the flu vaccines if possible.

The guidance also recommends the use of personal protective equipment in situations when a student becomes ill while at school. The guidance states that students who appear to have influenza-like illness should be sent to a supervised sick room separate from others until they can leave the school campus. CDC recommends that the ill person wear a surgical mask, if they can tolerate it.  The CDC guidance also recommends that school nurses or other school staff who are caring for ill students should wear gloves and an N95 respirator.

For more guidelines, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/schools/schoolguidance.htm.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today talked about the multiagency effort to distribute millions of protective masks and gloves to schools throughout California to help prevent and mitigate the spread of the H1N1 influenza virus and other influenza outbreaks.  "We want to keep students, teachers, and staff healthy and in school," O'Connell said.  "In order to prevent the spread of disease, the federal H1N1 guidance for schools calls for the use of personal protective equipment in situations in which a student becomes ill while on campus.  Thanks to federal grant funding, we can provide masks and gloves called for in the guidance to schools free of charge.  Procuring and distributing this personal protective equipment for use in California public schools is truly a statewide effort that required the help and generosity of our county offices of education, several state agencies, and private shipping companies.  I want to thank all of the partners in this effort who are helping to protect the health of our students and school staff."

The federal government proclaimed a public health emergency earlier this year following outbreaks of the non-seasonal and H1N1 flu viruses in Mexico and the United States.  The Governor followed suit and proclaimed a State of Emergency on April 28 in California.  This paved the way for state agencies to acquire the masks and gloves.

return to top of page


County Office of Education Joins in with Annual Gift Drive for Children in Local Detention Centers

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., December 1, 2009—Employees of the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) are currently holding their annual Holiday Gift Drive to support the Juvenile Hall Auxiliary of Contra Costa County.  The donated gifts will be delivered to the Auxiliary on December 17, where the Auxiliary volunteers will identify which gift(s) best match each child, wrap the gifts, followed by distributing the presents on Christmas Day.

“More than 300 children will spend the upcoming holidays locked up in our juvenile detention facilities, with none of the comforts of home,” says Shannon Grosenheider, executive administrative assistant of the Juvenile Hall Auxiliary of Contra Costa County.  “This holiday gift program is a wonderful way to let these kids know that you and our community care about them.  Each of our donor’s small act of kindness is a monumental event in the life our troubled youth.  It really makes them feel like somebody concerned about them!” 

On Christmas Day, Grosenheider and her “elves” will visit the children, and enjoy some holiday cookies and hot chocolate, sing carols, and of course, receive and open presents.  And every year, after the celebration has ended, many of the children will tell Grosenheider that because of the morning’s activities and presents they were gifted, this Christmas – in juvenile hall – was the best they’ve ever had.

The CCCOE has been involved in this event for many years.  Most of these children are students in their Court and Community Schools, which are located inside the county’s juvenile detention centers.   Along with the CCCOE, there have been a number of local churches, service organizations, and schools that have also provided presents through their own gift drives.  Grosenheider says that there have also been many donations made by the Juvenile Hall teachers and probation officers, as well as neighbors of the detention facility.

If you are interested in contributing to the Holiday Gift Drive, the Juvenile Hall Auxiliary is looking for unwrapped gifts for boys and girls, ages 12-17.  Suggested gifts include: candy, cookies, *knit caps, *gloves, *sweat suits, *scarves, *backpacks, *socks, *fleece blankets, cosmetic bags, hair dryers, curling irons, wallets, after shave/cologne, body washes, shampoo, deodorant, make-up, chap stick, stationery, comic books,  posters, lotions, dominoes, playing cards, sports balls, puzzles, paperback "teen" books, small radios, batteries, watches, stuffed animals, board games, hair accessories, etc.  (*No red or blue colors please.)  Financial contributions are accepted, as well.  Checks can be made out to: Juvenile Hall Auxiliary.

The Juvenile Hall Auxiliary of Contra Costa County is a non-profit volunteer organization designed to help the at-risk youth in our community.  The Auxiliary was founded in 1955 to provide a different kind of support for the disadvantaged youth in the County who are wards of the court, including foster care youth.   The motto of the Auxiliary is “The Community Cares” and their goal is to encourage troubled juveniles to recognize their self-worth so that they may become productive members of our society.
For more information about the Juvenile Hall Auxiliary of Contra Costa County and the annual Holiday Gift Drive, contact Shannon Grosenheider, at 925-957-2718 or juvauxccc@aol.com. If it is more convenient for you to drop your donations off at the CCCOE, located at 77 Santa Barbara Rd., Pleasant Hill (next door to the Pleasant Hill Library), you are more than welcome to do so.  Call 925-942-3429.

return to top of page


November 2009

New Trustee Joins the Contra Costa County Board of Education

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., November 20, 2009—Michele Foster, Ed.D., was appointed as a board trustee by the Contra Costa County Board of Education, on Wednesday, November 18, 2009.  Dr. Foster replaces the former Area 2 Trustee David Krapf, Ed.D., who left the board two months ago to serve as director of special education for the Martinez Unified School District. 

Dr. Foster brings a very impressive amount of experience, knowledge, and education to the board.  For the past 35 years, the newest board trustee has worked on many levels in the education system, in public and private learning institutions.  She has been an elementary school teacher and a community college instructor.  She has also served as a professor in a number of public and private universities, including Claremont Graduate School, York University, Mills College, and the University of Alaska, at Fairbanks.  In addition, she has held positions in public K-12 education administration and curriculum development.

“I am so impressed with Dr. Foster’s extensive knowledge about education and education matters,” said Contra Costa County Board of Education President Daniel Gomes.  “No doubt, I believe she will make a very strong member!”
   
Dr. Foster is a published book author and has written numerous articles that have appeared in education publications.  She sits on a number of publication editorial boards, including The Urban Review, The Urban Education, Educational Researcher, and The Review of Educational Research.  She has also served on a number of organized boards, commissions, and task forces, such as the NEA Foundation, The Spencer Foundation, and the University of California, Board of Regents.

As the Contra Costa County board trustee of Area 2, Dr. Foster represents Clyde, Crockett, Hercules, Martinez, Pacheco, Port Costa, Rodeo, and parts of Bay Point, Concord, Kensington, Lafayette, Orinda, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, and Richmond.  Her term as a board trustee will conclude in November 2010, when she will have the option to run in the 2010 election, for a four-year term.   

Dr. Foster obtained her bachelor of arts degree in human development from the University of Massachusetts and earned her masters and doctorate degree in anthropology and education from Harvard University.  She has completed graduate coursework in the subjects of reading, mathematics, and vocational education at Tufts University. 

Dr. Foster resides in Crocket, Calif.
The five-member Board of Education establishes educational policies for the programs administered by the County Office of Education. These programs include special education, career technical education, and court and community schools.

The Board:

  • Approves selected curriculum for education programs operated by the County Office of Education.
  • Reviews and approves the County Office of Education budget.
  • Hears appeals on inter-district transfer disputes and expulsion cases.
  • Adopts the standard list of school supplies, educational films, and supplemental materials for use by districts in the county.
  • Provides resources and information to school district governing boards.
  • Advocates on behalf of education on the local, state, and national levels.
  • Acts as the county committee on school district organization, which reviews changes in school district boundaries.

For more information about the Contra Costa County Board of Education, visit: http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/supe/board.html#org.

return to top of page


Santa’s Elves Found at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility

Toys and bikes donated to county’s children-serving agencies

CLAYTON, Calif., November 19, 2009—More than 30 Contra Costa County children-serving agencies visited the Marsh Creek Detention Facility’s Adult School / Woodshop Class, near Clayton, on Thursday, November 19, to fill up their clients’ wish lists of donated toys and bicycles, for the 19th year straight year.  The agency representatives selected from more than 1,100 toys designed and handcrafted by inmates, along with 170 refurbished bicycles, to give to children from their client families during the holidays.  More than 115 inmates had participated in this project throughout this year, designing and crafting wooden toys, such as rocking motorcycles, children’s furniture, doll cribs, pull toys, doll houses, doll cradles, fire houses, fire engines, yo-yos, cars, and skill games.  All of the toy makers are students in the Contra Costa Adult School, an accredited school directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), which is located within the jail facility.

The Marsh Creek Detention Center’s workshop is co-sponsored by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and the CCCOE.  Representatives from both the Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Warren Rupf, and the CCCOE, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Ovick were on hand for this very special annual event.  Both men addressed the crowded, festive workshop, and talked about how wonderful it was that they could continue such an important collaboration between the two agencies that was started by their predecessors.  They talked about how inmates are able to hone their work skills for life after jail, and local disadvantaged / at-risk children will receive wonderful holiday toys, all because of this special program.

Three of Marsh Creek inmates, who had been working on the toys and bikes this year, were on hand to answer questions about their creations and help the organization representatives choose toys for their clients.

Organizations participating in this shopping spree include the Salvation Army, Friends Outside, George Miller Center, Solomon Temple Mission, Contra Costa Crisis Center, Bay Area Rescue Mission, La Casa Ujima, and a number of others.

During the 2008-09 school year, approximately 3,300 inmates (throughout the three Contra Costa detention facilities) were enrolled in classes ranging from academic programs including basic literacy and GED preparation, to vocational programs including woodshop and state-of-the-art computer training. By the end of the school year, 93 student-inmates received their GED and 37 received a high school or adult school diploma, and 75 students who passed the CA High School Exit Exam. In addition, there were 515 students who demonstrated learning gains in reading or math, and 775 students earned a certificate of completion in computer applications. Another course directed by the CCCOE is the DEUCE Program (Deciding, Educating, Understanding, Counseling, and Evaluation). These three-part classes (90 hours) focus on substance abuse prevention. Last year, 1,148 students completed at least one of the three phases, and 298 students have graduated from DEUCE.

Less than half of the inmates who enter the Marsh Creek Detention Facility have graduated from high school, and most are parents of school-age children. These classes help to interrupt the generational cycle of illiteracy and lack of education that can lead to repeated incarceration.

return to top of page


CCCOE Assisting Homeless Children with their Education Needs

 PLEASANT HILL, Calif., November 23, 2009—

  • A sophomore in high school moves in with a classmate’s family so he can stay in his school, while his mother, who has a chronic medical condition, lives in a motel and goes out of town frequently to stay with friends and family, so she can save some money to send to the family who took in her son.
  • A mother and her three daughters–whom are in grades 2nd, 5th, and 8th–are evicted from their apartment, and their plan to double-up with friends fell through, so now they are staying in a motel with all their belongings in a storage unit, because they have no where else to go.
  • A mother, fleeing from a domestic violence situation, leaves home with her two children, ages 5 and 15.  She has no family or friends in the area, so she and her children check-in to a local shelter that rotates weekly between churches.

These are just a few of the numerous scenarios that the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) assists in everyday to help keep homeless children in school.  “Though these children do not have a permanent place to call home, they do maintain the right to an education – just like any child living in a permanent residence,” says Youth Development Services Homeless Liaison Denise Clarke. 

November has always been known for family and friends’ Thanksgiving gatherings and wonderful home feasts.  But, it is important to note that this month is also National Homeless Youth Awareness Month.  During the 2008-2009 school year, a staggering 1,624 youth in preschool through 12th grade were identified as homeless in Contra Costa County.  With the slow economy and unemployment rates still on the rise, it is expected that the number of homeless youth will continue to increase during this current school year. 

“Our children have the legal right to got to school, no matter where they reside, or how long they’ve lived there.  Our goal at the CCCOE is to make sure that EVERY child has access to public education, whether or not they are living in a ‘traditional’ family home,” says Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph Ovick, Ed.D.

The Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) Student Services Homeless Program, funded under the *McKinney-Vento Homeless Act, supports the school district education liaisons and provides direct assistance to children in homeless situations.  This is accomplished by providing school resources, assisting with immediate enrollment to nearby public schools, and coordinating temporary transportation to the schools.  The CCCOE's homeless liaison also works with school district staff to ensure these homeless children equal access to school-based programs, extra-curricular activities, and after-school programs.
*McKinney-Vento Homeless Act:  http://www.ed.gov/programs/homeless/guidance.pdf

The federal definition of "homeless children and youth" is individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, this includes anyone who:

  • Is living in a shelter, transitional housing, hotel, or motel
  • Is sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, eviction, economic hardship, or similar reason
  • Is living in cars, parks, public spaces, substandard housing, and/or similar setting
  • Is a child or youth awaiting foster-care placement
  • Is an unaccompanied youth who meets the definition of homeless and is also not in the custody of a parent or guardian
  • Is a migrant child who qualifies under any of the above

Most of the homeless-children cases come to the CCCOE by way of local homeless shelters, county case workers, or friends and families who are coming to the aid of these children and youth.  When Clarke receives a case, she begins the process of connecting with the school district of the child's school of origin, or the school within the attendance boundary of the child’s temporary home.  She works with the districts to enable the child to continue attending the school they attended before becoming homeless (school of origin), or assists with immediately enrolling the child in the new attendance area school–if that is what is in the best interest of the child. 

In addition, Clarke coordinates with districts and assists with helping the students access means of transportation, so they can continue attending school regularly.  Other supplementary support services include the provision of school supplies, education and training for parents and homeless youth about their rights and resources, and the payment of fees associated with obtaining and transferring records of homeless children and youth.

“School is often the only stable place a child in a homeless family knows,” says Catherine Giacalone, CCCOE homeless education coordinator.  Maintaining that connection during a family’s homelessness is extremely important.  Interference with a child’s education can have residual negative consequences long after the temporary housing crisis is resolved.”

If you are aware of a student or family who is facing a homeless situation, please contact Denise Clarke, at (925) 942-3322 for assistance.  You may also like to look at the program’s brochure, which is posted on the CCCOE’s Web site:
http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/stsvcs/yds.html#homeless

return to top of page


H1N1 Flu Vaccine

More than 130,000 doses of H1N1 flu vaccine have been delivered to providers (including Kaiser, hospitals, Public Health, community clinics, pediatricians, ob/gyns and family practice doctors) throughout Contra Costa. Everyone is encouraged to check first with their health care providers to get H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine. Vaccine is being distributed by the state directly to providers who have ordered the vaccine. Certain priority groups will be eligible to receive H1N1 vaccine at County Health Services Community Flu clinics. We will continue to receive regular shipments of vaccine, and it is expected that there will eventually be enough for everyone who wants to receive it. We appreciate your patience as we undertake this effort and will provide updates as soon as new information becomes available.

return to top of page


Contra Costa Health Services Relocates Concord Community Flu Clinic

Health Department Also Announces Rescheduled Clinic in East County

WHAT:
The community H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccination clinic planned for Saturday, November 21 at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord has been relocated to the Sleep Train Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road in Concord. The drive-through clinic will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

An East County clinic has been rescheduled as an indoor, walk-up clinic for Sunday, December 6, at the Pittsburg Health Center, 2311 Loveridge Road in Pittsburg from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Saturday, November 21 drive-through clinic in San Ramon will be held as planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the PG&E San Ramon Valley Conference Center, 3301 Crow Canyon Road.

Information is subject to change. Prior to attending a clinic check Contra Costa Health Services website: www.cchealth.org or call their prerecorded phone line at 1-888-959-9911 for updates.

WHO:
H1N1 and seasonal flu injectable vaccine will be available only for the following priority groups:

H1N1 Priority Groups:

  • Pregnant women
  • All children ages 6 months through 4 years
  • Children ages 5 through 18 years with chronic medical conditions
  • People who live with or provide care for infants under 6 months of age (parents, siblings and daycare providers)

Seasonal Flu Priority Groups:

  • All people 60 years and older
  • Pregnant women

All people 4 years and older with chronic medical conditions

Chronic medical conditions include diseases of the lung (including asthma), heart, kidney (including diabetes) and liver, as well as neurologic disorders and immunosuppression.

return to top of page


Santa's Elves Found at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility

Toys and bikes donated to county's children-serving agencies

WHAT:
More than 30 Contra Costa County children-serving agencies will go to the Marsh Creek Detention Facility near Clayton on Thursday, November 19, to fill up their clients' wish lists of donated toys and bicycles. There, for the 18th year, the agency representatives will select from more than 1,100 toys designed and handcrafted by inmates, along with 170 refurbished bicycles, to give to children from their client families during the holidays. More than 115 inmates have participated in this project throughout this year, designing and crafting wooden toys, such as rocking motorcycles, children's furniture, doll cribs, pull toys, doll houses, doll cradles, fire houses, fire engines, yo-yos, cars, and skill games. All of the toy makers are students in the Contra Costa Adult School, an accredited school directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), which is located within the jail facility.

WHO:
The workshop is co-sponsored by the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office and the CCCOE. Representatives from both the Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Warren Rupf, and the CCCOE, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Ovick, as well as other representatives will be on hand during the morning's free toy and bicycle distribution. Organizations participating in this shopping spree include the Salvation Army, Friends Outside, George Miller Center, Solomon Temple Mission, Contra Costa Crisis Center, Bay Area Rescue Mission, La Casa Ujima, and a number of others.

WHEN:
Thursday, November 19, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

WHERE:
The Contra Costa Adult School / Woodshop Class is located at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility, 12000 Marsh Creek Road. (Approximately six miles east of the town of Clayton, Clayton Road narrows and becomes Marsh Creek Road).

MEDIA NOTES:
All media must check in at the facility's gate. Contact phone at Marsh Creek Detention Facility is (925) 646-5705. Audio equipment and video and still-cameras are welcomed into the workshop. There will be great visuals of the impressive workshop, the shiny-good-as-new-refurbished bicycles, and their beautifully handcrafted wooden toys. The vocational and academic classrooms will be open to the media, with opportunities to interview inmates, teachers, and administration.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:
During the 2008-09 school year, approximately 3,300 inmates (throughout the three Contra Costa detention facilities) were enrolled in classes ranging from academic programs including basic literacy and GED preparation, to vocational programs including woodshop and state-of-the-art computer training. By the end of the school year, 93 student-inmates received their GED and 37 received a high school or adult school diploma, and 75 students who passed the CA High School Exit Exam. In addition, there were 515 students who demonstrated learning gains in reading or math, and 775 students earned a certificate of completion in computer applications. Another course directed by the CCCOE is the DEUCE Program (Deciding, Educating, Understanding, Counseling, and Evaluation). These three-part classes (90 hours) focus on substance abuse prevention. Last year, 1,148 students completed at least one of the three phases, and 298 students have graduated from DEUCE.

Less than half of the inmates who enter the Marsh Creek Detention Facility have graduated from high school, and most are parents of school-age children. These classes help to interrupt the generational cycle of illiteracy and lack of education that can lead to repeated incarceration.

return to top of page


Contra Costa Schools to participate in Shelter-in-Place Drill

School children across Contra Costa will participate in the 8th Annual Countywide Shelter-in-Place Drill to practice procedures on Sheltering-in-Place.

This year’s Shelter-in-Place Drill will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 4th, and all public and private schools, childcare centers, and colleges in Contra Costa are encouraged to participate.  The event gives children and their caregivers an important opportunity to practice responding to the Community Warning System sirens, which sound an alert when there has been a dangerous chemical release or other disaster that requires to Shelter-in-Place.

Hazardous material releases can result from many sources in Contra Costa County, including accidents at chemical treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, facilities that store and/or manufacture hazardous materials, refineries but also from collisions involving trucks or trains that transport chemicals.  The possibility of accidents and the threat of terrorism make it important for residents, which include the county’s youngest citizens, to recognize and respond correctly to shelter-in-place alerts.

Last year, about 150 sites participated in the drill, which is sponsored by the Contra Costa County Community Awareness Emergency Response Group (CAER).  The two model school sites this year are: Bayo Vista Head Start located on California Street in Rodeo and the Martinez Adult School Site on F Street, cross street Alhambra Avenue in Martinez.  The Adult School site is home to also a continuation High School, an independent study school, apprentice training center and a preschool.

CAER Executive Director Tony Semenza says, “Contra Costa CAER is encouraged each year with more participation by school sites.  CAER works with and will continue to work with all the schools and daycare centers in our county to be sure that they know how and when to use shelter-in-place.  Teachers and students should all know shelter-in-place procedures, just as they are trained about what to do in case of a fire or earthquake.”  “I encourage everyone to join us in preparing for the worst so that we may do our best during an emergency,” Semenza said.

return to top of page


19th annual Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference

What:     
This Friday opens the 19th annual session of the Contra Costa County Model United Nations (UN) Conference.   This two-day competition enhances high school students’ understanding of the United Nations and its role in global issues.  Teams of students (delegates) from each school represent a nation and negotiate on that country's behalf.  During the conference, delegates will debate international issues in 10 committees, including: Disarmament and International Security, General Assembly, World Health Organization, Economic and Social Council, International Atomic Energy Agency, United Nations Development Program, United Nations Environmental Program, UNICEF, African Union, and Social Council.

Individual delegate winners are recognized for their debate and leadership skills, knowledge of the issues, and presentation of key resolutions.  The activity closes with a ceremony that recognizes the outstanding delegates. 

This year marks the 64th Anniversary of the United Nations founding in San Francisco.  To give more than 240 delegates a flavor of the UN’s real-world accomplishments, former United Nations Development Programme Senior Officer Herb Behrstock will be serving as the keynote speaker at the Opening Plenary ceremony.  Behrstock is the current president of the UN Association, East Bay Chapter. 

A PDF copy of the Model UN’s  program is available upon request.

WHO:
The Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference is coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), with committee chairs provided by the University of California, Davis Model UN Club.  Participating this year are students from: Acalanes High (Lafayette), Antioch High, California High (San Ramon), Campolindo High (Moraga), Carondelet High (Concord), De La Salle High (Concord), and San Ramon Valley High (Danville). 

More information can be found on the CCCOE Web site www.cocoschools.org/events, or contact calling Terry Koehne, in the CCCOE’s Academic Events Office, (925) 942-3400. 

WHERE:   
Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Rd. Pleasant Hill, Calif.  The event’s opening, key-note speech, awards and closing will all be held in the Performing Arts Center.

WHEN:
Friday, October 30, 4:00 - 8:30 p.m. (Keynote speaker will begin at 4:00 p.m.)

Saturday, October 31, 8:45 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Closing and awards ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m.)

MEDIA NOTES:
Audio, video, and photos are welcomed.  Great visuals of Model U.N. pageantry: more than 240 high school students (representing 50 countries) filling up the Diablo Valley College’s Performing Arts Center, each representative will be carrying a bright-colored sign signifying their country, and an elaborate decorated stage with numerous flags representing countries from around the world.   Best action time slots will be:

  • Friday, 4:00 p.m., all students will be in attendance for the general assembly keynote speaker. 
  • Saturday, 3:00 p.m., entire Model U.N. will gather once more for the general assembly awards and closing ceremony.

Model UN is the first of three academic event programs directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, and is open to high school students throughout the county.  Still to come: Academic Decathlon, to be held on January 30 at CSUEB-Concord and February 6, 2010, at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg; and Mock Trials, held on weeknights, during this coming February and early March at Superior Court in Martinez.  More information can be found on the CCCOE Web site, www.cocoschools.org/events or by calling Academic Events, (925) 942-3400.

return to top of page


H1N1 Flu Vaccine

More than 80,000 doses of H1N1 (swine) flu have been delivered to providers in Contra Costa. The best place to get H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine is from your health care provider. Vaccine is being distributed by the state directly to providers who have ordered the vaccine. Certain priority groups will be eligible to receive H1N1 vaccine at Contra Costa Health Services drive-through flu clinics. Contra Costa Health Services will continue to receive regular shipments of vaccine, and it is expected that there will eventually be enough for everyone who wants to receive it. Contra Costa Health Services appreciates your patience as they undertake this effort and will provide updates as soon as new information becomes available.

The CDC has defined "priority groups" for H1N1 flu vaccine; however, whether Contra Costa Health Services will need to implement these priority groups depends on how much vaccine is available. Updates will be provided as new information develops.

return to top of page


October 2009

Sixth Annual Young Children's Issues Forum 2009

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., October 12, 2009--The public is invited to an informative morning presentation and discussion regarding important issues impacting the lives of young children (ages 0-12) and their families in Contra Costa County, on Saturday, October 17, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, at Diablo Valley College (Diablo Room), 321 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill. The Sixth Annual Young Children's Issues Forum 2009 will feature an outstanding panel of state legislators and local elected officials, as well as state and local agency representatives who will speak about the state of the county's young children's health, education, social services. The audience will also be welcomed to ask questions, as well.

This special program is presented by Local Planning Council for Child Care and Development www.plan4kids.org, and is coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education www.cocoschools.org.

MODERATOR:

  • Sum Kathy Lafferty, president, California Child Development Administrators Association

PANEL:

  • Joan Buchanan, assemblymember, 15th District
  • Loni Hancock, senator, 9th District
  • Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D., superintendent of schools, Contra Costa County
  • Mark DeSaulnier, senator, 7th District
  • Joe Valentine, director, Employment & Human Services Department
  • Craig Cheslog, district director, assemblymember Tom Torlakson, 11th District
  • Cheri Pies, MSW, DrPH, director of Family, Maternal, and Child Health Programs, Contra Costa Health Services

This very informative forum is free to the public, and there will be a continental breakfast offered to all attendees, beginning at 9:30 a.m. For more information, contact the Contra Costa County Office of Education, at (925) 942-3413.

return to top of page


County Board of Education Seeks Applicants to Fill Board Vacancy

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., October 8, 2009—The Contra Costa County Board of Education voted at its October 7, 2009, meeting to fill the Board vacancy in Trustee Area Two created by the resignation of Dr. David Krapf through an appointment rather than an election.  Trustee Area Two consists of Clyde, Crockett, Hercules, Martinez, Pacheco, Port Costa, Rodeo, and parts of Bay Point, Concord, Kensington, Lafayette, Orinda, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, and Richmond.

The California State Education Code states that within 60 days of a vacancy, the County Board shall either fill the vacancy by provisional appointment or order an election.  In the event that the Board fails to make a new appointment or order an election, the County Superintendent shall call for the election. 

Persons interested in applying for the appointment should contact Michael Bowers, Associate Superintendent/Human Resources at (925) 942-3407 for an application packet.  (Employees of the Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools or by a school district are not eligible to apply.) 

Provisional Appointment

The period for submitting an application is from October 9, 2009 through 5:00 p.m. on November 9, 2009.  Each applicant’s residency in Trustee Area Two will be verified.  Public session interviews by the County Board will be scheduled for November 18, 2009.

The County Board plans to make its provisional

appointment on November 18, 2009.

The person appointed as Trustee will serve until November 2010.

return to top of page


School-based Seasonal & H1N1 Flu Vaccine Clinics

Contra Costa Health Services Public Health is conducting free school-based flu clinics at school sites with 50% or more of students eligible for free/reduced lunch. These schools were selected originally because the seasonal flu vaccine is being provided by the State of California for free to low-income children. Now that H1N1 vaccine is available, it, too, is being made available at these school-based clinics.

The following is the list of schools sites where seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccine clinics are being held in Contra Costa County. The school-based clinics on this list are providing vaccine for students and staff of the school site only, and the vaccine available will depend on supply. Vaccine will not be given to families or other community members. Additional eligible school sites within these districts will be listed once Contra Costa Health Services has confirmed the clinic is scheduled.

Community flu clinics will begin in November. For more information on seasonal or H1N1 flu, contact Contra Costa Health Services:

www.cchealth.org

For information on the school-based flu clinics please contact the individual school district.

The list of schools sites here...

return to top of page


H1N1 influenza vaccine is currently being manufactured and is being tested for safety and effectiveness

H1N1 influenza vaccine is currently being manufactured and is being tested for safety and effectiveness. Health officials do not know when or how much H1N1 flu vaccine will be available at this time. The CDC has defined "priority groups" for H1N1 flu vaccine; however, whether we will need to implement these priority groups depends on how much vaccine is available. Updates will be provided as new information develops.

  • More H1N1 Vaccine Information from the CDC
  • CDC's H1N1 Flu Vaccine Recommendations

return to top of page


September 2009

2009-2010 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year will be announced this Thursday

WHAT:
Contra Costa County’s 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year  (TOY) will be announced at the annual TOY Dinner Celebration.  One of the three finalists will go on to represent Contra Costa County with the California State Teacher of the Year Program. 

For more TOY info, visit http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/supe/toy.html

WHO:
After being named Teacher of the Year (TOY) by their respective Contra Costa County school districts, then passing a rigorous application screening, followed by a panel classroom observation and interview, one of these three finalists will be selected to represent Contra Costa County as its 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year: 

Mary Alexander, Pittsburg Unified SD, (Marina Vista Elementary)
Steven Ernest, Liberty Union High SD, (Heritage High)
Joell Marchese, San Ramon Valley USD, (Pine Valley Middle)

The other 17 TOY candidates will also be honored at this event (complete list below).

WHEN:
Thursday, September 24, 2009, 6:00 to 9:30 p.m.

WHERE:
Hilton Concord Hotel, 1970 Diamond Blvd., Concord, Calif.  Golden Gate Ballroom

ACTION:
Close to 500 attendees will be on hand.  The assembly will include the 20 TOYs, plus numerous educators (k-college), business executives (sponsors), local government, and local political representatives.  The evening’s entertainment will be provided by Burton Valley Elementary’s 4th Grade Choir, directed by teacher Carol Kerr.   Dr. Joseph Ovick, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools, will serve as master of ceremonies, as he introduces all 20 of the TOYs by sharing a special story from his classroom visits of each teacher.   Each of the three finalists, who will be introduced by a former student, will give an inspiring five-minute speech.  (The same speech as they gave at the TOY Speech Presentation in late August.)  Finally, the night comes to a dramatic close, with the announcement of the 2009-2010 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.

2009-2010 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives

*Finalist in the Teacher of the Year competition

  • *Mary Alexander, Pittsburg Unified SD, (Marina Vista Elementary)
  • Jacques Casamajor, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (Valley View Middle)
  • Dean Colombo, John Swett Unified SD, (John Swett High)
  • Leslie Eppinger, Orinda Union SD, (Orinda Intermediate)
  • *Steven Ernest, Liberty Union High SD, (Heritage High)
  • David Flores, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (Grant Elementary)
  • Julianne George, Martinez Unified SD, (Alhambra High)
  • Carol Harris, Lafayette SD (Lafayette Elementary)
  • Durwynne Hsieh, CCC College District, (Los Medanos College)
  • Linn Kissinger, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (El Monte Elementary)
  • Stacie Maslen, Byron Union SD, (Excelsior Middle)
  • *Joell Marchese, San Ramon Valley USD, (Pine Valley Middle)
  • Betty McPeek, CCC Office of Education, (Mauzy School)
  • Janet Murirragui, Antioch Unified SD, (Deer Valley High)
  • Stephen Nicolini, Moraga SD, (Joaquin Moraga Intermediate)
  • Frances Prochaska, Brentwood Union SD, (Edna Hill Middle)
  • Terryann Satterfield, Walnut Creek SD, (Buena Vista Elementary)
  • Julie Swan, Oakley Union SD, (Vintage Parkway Elementary)
  • Angel Taylor, Knightsen SD, (Knightsen Elementary)
  • Donald Wilson, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (Pinole Valley High)

Note regarding eligible participants:

-16 of the 18 Contra Costa County school districts will be represented, along with the Contra Costa County Office of Education
-1 Contra Costa Community College District (Does not compete in the State Teacher of Year program).

return to top of page


Improving Funding for Public Schools

Public invited to important panel presentation and audience discussion

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., September 22, 2009—The community is invited to a very important and timely panel discussion regarding public education and funding, on Tuesday, September 29, 7:00-9:00 p.m., at the Contra Costa County Office of Education.  Titled: Improving Funding for Public Schools, this program is sponsored by the League of Women Voters Diablo Valley and the Contra Costa County Office of Education.

The evening’s panel will feature Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D., superintendent, Contra Contra Costa County Office of Education; Nancy Vandell, education commissioner, California State PTA; Eric Heins, director, California Teachers’ Association, Region I; and Craig Cheslog, district director, Assembly Member Tom Torlakson.   The distinguished panel’s presentation will focus on why our schools don’t have enough money to operate efficiently, and more importantly, what our community can do about it.

Following the panel’s presentation and discussion, the audience will be able participate in a question-and-answer period. 

For additional information about this event, contact Anita Johnson at (925) 946-9621 or anitapjohnson@hotmail.com.  For directions to the Contra Costa County Office of Education, please visit: http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/about/cccoemap.html.

return to top of page


Contra Costa Health Services' "Answers to Questions about the H1N1 Flu Vaccine":

WE ARE QUICKLY approaching what will be an uncertain and unusual flu season because there are likely to be two types of flu: the regular (or seasonal) flu, and the H1N1 (swine) flu, a new virus that has caused so much concern since last April.

As of Aug. 28, Contra Costa County has seen 138 hospitalizations and six deaths from the H1N1 flu. Nationally, about 8,000 people have been hospitalized and 522 people have died.

Because the H1N1 virus is new and there is little immunity, the H1N1 flu will likely cause increased illness this fall. This will be in addition to the seasonal flu, which annually kills about 36,000 people in the United States.

Many Contra Costa County residents are concerned and have questions about the coming flu season and vaccines. While much is still unknown, here are answers to some of the most common questions.

Will the seasonal flu vaccine protect me from H1N1 flu?
No. You will need two different vaccines to protect yourself from both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu. Neither vaccine is a substitute for the other.

The seasonal flu vaccine will be available first, before H1N1 flu vaccine, and we encourage everyone to get the seasonal flu vaccine.

When will the H1N1 flu vaccine become available?
This is uncertain. The date of arrival may change depending upon production. Vaccine will be available from health care providers in our county as they receive shipments.

We expect to have enough vaccine for everyone in our county. Seasonal flu vaccines usually become available in early fall.

Who should get the H1N1 flu vaccine?
Everyone. We all should get the H1N1 flu vaccine to protect the community and ourselves by stopping the spread of the H1N1 flu.

Certain groups of people are more vulnerable to severe disease and should be extra sure to get the H1N1 vaccine as soon as it is available:

  • Pregnant women
  • Infants 6 months and older, children and young adults through age 24
  • People ages 25-64 who have chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

There are also certain groups who should get vaccinated to help prevent passing the flu to others including:

  • Health care workers
  • Those who care for infants under 6 months.

What should I do if I think I'm sick with the H1N1 flu before I get the vaccine?
Contact your doctor, who will determine whether you should be examined and possibly treated with antiviral medicine. Only go to the emergency room if you have a medical emergency.


Will people be required to receive H1N1 flu vaccine?

No. But vaccines offer the best protection against flu for you and your loved ones.

Prior to release, vaccines are tested for safety and effectiveness in clinical trials. All licensed vaccines are held to very high standards of quality and safety.

Meanwhile, continue to practice good hygiene: wash your hands often or use a waterless hand sanitizer, cover your coughs and sneezes with the inside of your arm, and stay home from school or work if you are sick.

For H1N1 flu and vaccine updates, visit www.cchealth.org or call the Contra Costa Public Health flu hotline at 925-313-6469.

return to top of page


August 2009

H1N1 influenza vaccine is currently being manufactured and is being tested for safety and effectiveness

H1N1 influenza vaccine is currently being manufactured and is being tested for safety and effectiveness. Health officials do not know when or how much H1N1 flu vaccine will be available at this time. The CDC has defined "priority groups" for H1N1 flu vaccine; however, whether we will need to implement these priority groups depends on how much vaccine is available. Updates will be provided as new information develops.

CDC Updates Recommendations for the Amount of Time Persons with Influenza-Like Illness should be Away from Others

return to top of page


July 2009

Bay Area biotechnology labs, business, law enforcement, and education come together to provide a high school summer science camp

WHAT:
Local health care and biotechnology businesses, education, and law enforcement have come together to present an exceptional education opportunity for more than 60 incoming junior and senior Contra Costa County high school students who are exploring careers in biotechnology. The attendees will take part in a rare hands-on learning experience this summer, as they attend the 6th Annual Bio-Tech Summer Science Camp. Taught by industry leaders, scientists, and local high school science teachers, the students will get an up-close education through interactive labs and field exploration, focusing on the following fields:

  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay Assay (ELISA)
  • Cloning
  • Genetics
  • Bio-Ethics
  • Forensic Science/Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)
  • Disease Detection and Control
  • Celiac Disease
  • Stem Cell Research
  • Biotech Career Exploration

Hands-on lab lecturers and discussion leaders will represent such entities as Bio-Rad Laboratories; Department of Justice Richmond Lab; Joint Genome Institute; John Muir Health; California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM); and The Center for Genetics and Society -- with the assistance of local high school science teachers.

ACTION:
There will be numerous sessions of hands-on experiments, field trips, lectures, and student presentations. Still and video cameras, as well as audio recording are allowed.

WHEN:
The session runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from Monday, July 6 through Friday, July 10.

WHERE:
The camp is headquartered at Concord Campus, California State University, East Bay, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Road, Concord, Calif. Field trips will include visits to the Joint Genome Institute and John Muir Health Laboratories--both sites located in Walnut Creek, and the Mt. Diablo Adult Education Technician Program in Concord. For more information about the Bio-Tech Summer Science Camp, contact Contra Costa County Office of Education's School-to-Career Coordinator Louise Barbee, at 925-942-3385 (office) or 925-817-7504 (cell).

WHO:
Along with the Contra Costa County Office of Education, the 2009 Bio-Tech Summer Science Camp is presented in cooperation with the Concord Campus, California State University, East Bay; and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership.

return to top of page


June 2009

Engineering, Construction, and Manufacturing Camp Held for High School Students

WHAT:
Approximately 60 incoming junior and senior high school students, from across Contra Costa County, will take part in a rare, hands-on education opportunity this summer, as they attend the Engineering, Construction, and Manufacturing Summer Camp. Taught by industry experts, the participating students will get an up-close education through lectures and demonstrations, interactive labs, and field exploration, focusing on the following curriculum:

  • Energy: Generation & Control
  • Architecture: Design & Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Careers & Pathways

This camp was created because it is estimated that by the year 2012, more than a million jobs will be created in the engineering, construction, and manufacturing industries, the fastest growing sectors of the nation's economy--many of these career opportunities will be offered right here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

WHEN: June 15-19, 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

ACTION:
Approximately 60 high school students will be learning (hands-on) about the many opportunities in engineering, construction, and manufacturing, from industry experts, in the Diablo Valley College labs and at various field sites. Audio, still photography, and video recording are welcomed. When on the DVC campus, the students will be working on a number of curriculum-related projects.

WHERE:
The camp will be headquartered at Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill, Calif., with the following subject-related field trips: Monday, Pleasant Hill BART Station (new transit community); Tuesday, Local Union 342 (pipefitting, welding, plumbing, and refrigeration) Union & Training Center, Concord; Wednesday, USS POSCO Manufacturing & Engineering Plant, Pittsburg; Thursday, Peterson Power Systems, San Leandro; Friday, Students exhibit their work, awards ceremony, and 20 Bay Area Industry Representatives on hand to talk to the students about future career opportunities in engineering, construction, and manufacturing.

For more information about the summer camp and exact times and locations of the field trips, contact Contra Costa County Office of Education's School-to-Career Coordinator Louise Barbee, at 925-942-3385 (office), or (925) 817-7504 (cell).

WHO:
This program is presented in cooperation with the Contra Costa County Office of Education, Contra Costa Economic Partnership, Chevron, and the Contra Costa Community College District.

return to top of page


Arts brought into Pittsburg community school to encourage overall student learning

PITTSBURG, Calif., June 12, 2009 — For the past 10 Wednesday mornings, students of the Golden Gate Community School Pittsburg site (GGCS), excitedly look forward to a visit from local artist Tim Hancock. Hancock, armed with plenty of art supplies and enthusiasm, encourages the students to draw self-portraits, create their versions of a Mayan calendar, or duplicate the work of Diego Rivera. While teaching the concepts of the artwork, he also instructs students about the artists' lives and the history of the pieces on which they are working on.

GGCS Pittsburg site is a school for high-risk juveniles, including those referred by probation and by local school districts for expulsion, behavioral issues or school attendance problems, and those in probation court facilities.

“The Art Reach program has been extremely successful at the GGCS Pittsburg site,” says Principal Barbara Berman, Ph.D. “The instructor, Tim Hancock, has done a wonderful job of engaging the students and sparking their interest in art, as well as encouraging them to unfold their talents.” Classroom teachers noted that this special class helped students also focus on their school curriculum, subjects including English, history, and mathematics.

Hancock comes to the GGCS Pittsburg site via Art-Reach, a program, which is produced by the City of Walnut Creek’s Civic Arts Education. The teaching artist spends an hour with each of the three classes being taught at the school.

Hancock also introduced the students to new music in the form of a musician who performs Mayan music on drums. The rhythm created a soothing atmosphere, enabling the students to really focus on their work. Some of the students enjoyed the music so much that they have asked one of the teachers to play it during quiet work time.

“Working with the kids of GGCS has been the most worthwhile and important teaching experience I have had as an arts educator,” says Hancock. “Art is a powerful, positive outlet and it's good to see the students express themselves in a positive way. The students are very talented and have a lot to offer and their artworks are a reflection of that – they did a great job! I am thankful for the opportunity to bring art to these kids through these programs, to those students who benefit from it the most.” Teachers note that Hancock is a great teacher, whose love for art comes through with his interactions with students, and they all thoroughly enjoy their time with him!

The Contra Costa County Office of Education operates many different programs (such as the Golden Gate Community School Pittsburg site). The programs provide challenging academic curriculum and assist students in developing positive social skills. The Golden Gate Community School programs offer successful learning experiences for all students in an alternative education environment. Staff will assist students in reaching their academic and career goals by implementing teaching strategies and techniques, which will enable students to succeed personally, socially, and educationally in society today. All courses taken and credits earned are transferable to the student's home district. The school's main purpose is to prepare the students to return to their home districts, or onto college.

return to top of page


The World Health Organization (WHO) has changed the phase of pandemic alert from Phase 5 to Phase 6. What does that mean for Contra Costa County residents?

Pandemic influenza (flu) is a worldwide outbreak of a new flu virus for which there is little or no immunity (protection) in the human population. WHO rates new influenza pandemics into six phases. Phase 6 indicates that a global pandemic is underway, which means that a new flu virus has appeared or "emerged," it spreads easily from person-to-person, and the disease is found in many countries. This does NOT mean that the disease is more deadly.

A Phase 6 designation is an indication to world leaders to implement strategies that reduce the spread of disease and the impact on society even if they have not yet identified any cases in their own countries. Because Contra Costa is already responding to local cases of H1N1, the change to Phase 6 does not affect our response. The change will primarily activate a response in countries that have not already begun preparing or responding to the situation.

Contra Costa will continue to monitor the situation, perform laboratory tests for severe H1N1 infections, provide recommendations to the public, schools and clinicians, and take measures to protect the public's health. See other information on this website for ways you can protect yourself and your family and help prevent the spread of disease, such as staying home if sick, washing hands often, covering coughs, and contacting your health care provider if you or your family member has flu-like symptoms.

More information on the new guidance is available on the CCHS website: www.cchealth.org or the CCHS Health Emergency Information Line at 1-888-959-9911.

return to top of page


May 2009

ROP Students of Excellence Awards Ceremony

WHAT:
The Contra Costa County Office of Education will be honoring 35 high school seniors with Students of Excellence Awards for their outstanding achievement in their ROP (Regional Occupational Program) classes.  Honored students will each be awarded a certificate of merit and $200 in scholarship award. 

WHO:
The Contra Costa County ROP (Regional Occupational Program) serves 13,000 students with classes in 31 high schools throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties.  ROP focuses on career preparation, hands-on experience, and academic excellence to prepare students for success in college and future careers.  ROP provides students with state-of-the-art equipment, rigorous academic standards, and classes in emerging technology.   All of the ROP classes and programs are directed by and funded through the Contra Costa County Office of Education.  For more information about ROP classes, visit www.cocoschools.org/stsvcs/rop.html.

WHEN:
Thursday, May 7, 3:45-5:30 p.m.

WHERE:   
Lafayette Veteran’s Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, Calif.

MEDIA NOTES:

*Quality JPEG photos of each of the awarded students, as well as a PDF copy of the Students of the Excellence Awards program are available upon request.

*More than 300 will be on hand for this event.  Along with the honored students and their families, also attending will be ROP teachers, business partnership representatives, President of the Contra Costa County Board of Education Daniel Gomes, and Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.

*Flash photography and video and audio recording are allowed.

*For more information about this special event, contact Marie McClaskey, Director, Student Programs, Central County, Contra Costa County Office of Education
Phone:  (925) 942-3368
E-mail:  mmcclaskey@cccoe.k12.ca.us

The following outstanding students will receive certificates plus $200 in scholarship awards:
(See below list, alphabetical by city)

ANTIOCH
Antioch High School
Jonathan Campos, ROP Art and Animation, Instructor Erin Susoev

Deer Valley High School (3 students)
Christian Dean, ROP Journalism, Instructor Charleen Earley
Jessica Hoeschen, ROP Medical Front Office, Instructor Jessica Garay
Lakendra Ewing, ROP Culinary Arts, Instructor Marsha Sias

BERKELEY
BerkeleyHigh School
Andre Couture, ROP Video Production, Instructor Dharini Rasiah

BRENTWOOD
Heritage High School (2 students)
Andrew Kalinowski, ROP Digital Recording Arts, Instructor Steve Ernest
Efrain Mozqueda, ROP Law Enforcement, Instructor Matt Carr

Liberty High School (2 students)
Ashlie Kimbrell, ROP Veterinary Science, Instructor Melissa Madsen
Lizette Tapia, ROP Health Careers, Instructor Cindy Powell

CONCORD
ConcordHigh School
Rachel Horton, ROP Computer Applications, Instructor Laurie Harris

Mt. Diablo High School
Warren Faust, ROP Environmental Science AP, Instructor Patrick Oliver

Ygnacio Valley High (2 students)
Jason Carulla, ROP Biotechnology, Instructor Maria Fletcher
Karina Rodriguez, ROP Careers in Teaching, Instructor Laura Delgadillo

CROCKETT
John Swett High School
Tyler Damelio, ROP Publications, Instructor Ken Leslie

DANVILLE
San Ramon Valley High School
Kelsey Moss, ROP Environmental Science AP, Instructor Cindy Egan

HERCULES
Hercules High School (2 students)
Fatima Azam, ROP Creative Writing, Instructor Jamey Genna
Megan Pierce, ROP Careers in Teaching, Instructor Janet Headington

MARTINEZ
Alhambra High School (4 students)
Kaitlyn Quackenbush, ROP Creative Writing, Instructor Kaki Logan
Melissa Rea, ROP Marketing, Instructor Mike Doigny
Nathaniel Holben, ROP Architectural Design, Instructor Jeffrey Smith
Tyler Mittone, ROP Automotive Technician, Instructor Tim Bruder

MORAGA
Campolindo High School (2 students)
Mark Ranstrom, ROP Video Production, Instructor Justin Seligman
Roshan Mahoney, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Ray Albiento

OAKLEY
Freedom High School
Christopher Calhoun, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Glenn Briggs

ORINDA
MiramonteHigh School
Mai-Lan Vugia, ROP Advanced Photography, Instructor Susan McCauley

PINOLE
Pinole Valley High School
Brendan Bassi, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Dan O’Shea

PITTSBURG
Pittsburg High School (3 students)
Andrew Nguyen, ROP Robotics Engineering, Instructor Andreas Kaiser
Noel Geronimo-Mora, ROP Robotics Engineering, Instructor Andreas Kaiser
Jessica Machuca, ROP Construction, Instructor Ron Coniglio

PLEASANT HILL
College Park High School
Tyler Kresch, ROP Introduction to Law, Instructor Alan Budge

RICHMOND
De Anza High School
Czarina Garcia, ROP Law Enforcement, Instructor Patricia Blades

SAN RAMON
California High School (3 students)
Mark Ringle, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Shane Borchert
Matt Pita, ROP Video Production, Instructor Richard England
Thomas Wickboldt, ROP Play Production, Instructor Laura Woods

WALNUT CREEK
Las Lomas High School
Aaron Lowe, ROP Computer Systems, Instructor Robert Poehnert

return to top of page


Contra Costa Health Services Updated Guidance for Schools and Child Care Facilities

Contra Costa Public Health continues to investigate selected reports of cases of flu-like symptoms and will provide information on probable H1N1 (swine flu) cases as they are identified. There are more than 20 cases of H1N1 identified in Contra Costa County and swine flu is known to be in the community. None of the cases have been severe. Information on individual schools will no longer be provided on this page. It is now assumed that H1N1 (swine flu) is present throughout the community and schools. Everyone is urged to continue practicing good hand washing and cough etiquette and to stay home from school or work if sick.

Contra Costa County health officials are no longer closing schools because of H1N1 (swine flu) and all schools that were closed in Contra Costa have re-opened. The decision was made after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on Tuesday that schools no longer needed to be closed unless student or staff absences interfere with the school's ability to operate. Local health officials continue to work closely with state and federal health authorities

New information will be posted as it becomes available. Visit the CDC website for information on cases in California and other states.

return to top of page


Contra Costa Schools To Re-Open Wednesday, May 6, 2009 After CDC Changes Closure Guidance

Contra Costa County health officials are no longer closing schools because of H1N1 (swine flu) and the five schools already closed because of probable cases will be re-opened on Wednesday, May 6, 2009.

The decision was made after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on Tuesday that schools no longer needed to be closed unless student or staff absences interfere with the school's ability to operate, said Dr. William Walker, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) Director and County Health Officer.

"We are following the CDC's recommendation not to close schools. Because the H1N1 flu appears to be less severe than initially feared, we feel that school closures are no longer necessary. However, we still recommend that anyone who is sick stay home and we urge people to continue practicing good hand washing and cough etiquette," Dr. Walker said.

Ill students and staff should not go to school, and anyone who comes to school with flu-like symptoms (fever with cough or sore throat) should be isolated from others at the school and sent home immediately.

There have been a total of 11 probable cases of H1N1 identified at schools in Contra Costa. Two new cases tested probable Tuesday at Edna Hill Middle School in Brentwood and Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon. Neither of these schools will be closed.

Students tested probable for swine flu at five elementary schools. Highlands Elementary School in Pittsburg was closed on April 29 and is scheduled to re-open Wednesday. Brentwood Elementary School in Brentwood, Coyote Creek Elementary School in San Ramon, Lone Tree Elementary in Antioch, and Shore Acres Elementary School in Bay Point all were closed Monday and will re-open as soon as possible.

More information on the new guidance is available on the CCHS website: www.cchealth.org or the CCHS Health Emergency Information Line at 1-888-959-9911.

Short status updates also will be issued online through Twitter, sign up to follow CCHS at www.twitter.com/CoCoHealth.

return to top of page


Contra Costa Health Services Updated Guidance for Schools and Child Care Facilities

Contra Costa Health Services Press Release: New School Closure Guidance - May 5, 2009

Contra Costa Health Services updated guidance for schools and child care facilities - 1:00 p.m., May 5, 2009

Contra Costa County health officials are no longer closing schools because of H1N1 (swine flu) and the five schools already closed because of probable cases will be re-opened as soon as possible. The decision was made after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on Tuesday that schools no longer needed to be closed unless student or staff absences interfere with the school's ability to operate.

Contra Costa Public Health continues to investigate reports of cases of flu-like symptoms and will provide information on probable swine flu cases as they are identified. This is a rapidly evolving situation and guidance may change. We will update this information as soon as new information becomes available. Local health officials are working closely with state and federal health authorities. Visit the CDC website for information on cases in California and other states.

return to top of page


Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Responds to New Student Dismissal Guidance from Centers for Disease Control

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell issued the following statement in response to the new guidance regarding student dismissal policy issued today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

"I am pleased that the Centers for Disease Control has determined that the level of severity of the H1N1 flu does not warrant automatic school-wide student dismissal even in instances of a confirmed case of the virus. While local health officials may always determine if it is necessary to close a campus due to a public health threat, this new guidance will allow our schools to resume their normal operations and keep healthy students in class and learning.

"I appreciate the initial concern for our school children and staff that lead to the recommendation of dismissing students from any campus that had a confirmed or suspected case of the infection. It is important to note that the recommendations on steps we can all take to keep ourselves and our schools healthy remain in place. Students and staff who are sick should stay home. Everyone should cover their coughs and sneezes, and frequently wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. I continue to encourage schools and districts to stay in close contact with public health officials for any new information about this flu virus and any potential future changes in student dismissal policy."

Centers for Disease Control Recommendations:

  • School closure is not advised for a suspected or confirmed case of novel influenza A (H1N1) and, in general, is not advised unless there is a magnitude of faculty or student absenteeism that interferes with the school's ability to function.
  • Schools that were closed based on previous interim CDC guidance related to this outbreak may reopen.
    Students, faculty or staff with influenza-like illness (fever with a cough or sore throat) should stay home and not attend school or go into the community except to seek medical care for at least 7 days even if symptoms resolve sooner.
  • Students, faculty and staff who are still sick 7 days after they become ill should continue to stay home from school until at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved.
    Students, faculty and staff who appear to have an influenza-like illness at arrival or become ill during the school day should be isolated promptly in a room separate from other students and sent home.
  • Parents and guardians should monitor their school-aged children, and faculty and staff should self-monitor every morning for symptoms of influenza-like illness.
  • Ill students should not attend alternative child care or congregate in settings other than school.
  • School administrators should communicate regularly with local public health officials to obtain guidance about reporting of influenza-like illnesses in the school.
  • Schools can help serve as a focus for educational activities aimed at promoting ways to reduce the spread of influenza, including hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • Students, faculty and staff should stringently follow sanitary measures to reduce the spread of influenza, including covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or coughing or sneezing into their sleeve if a tissue isn't available), frequently washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer if hand washing with soap and water is not possible.

return to top of page


Contra Costa County Update - School Closures as of Monday morning, May 5

A fifth elementary school in Contra Costa will be closed starting Monday. Brentwood Elementary School in Brentwood was closed after a student tested probable for H1N1 (swine flu) on Saturday. Coyote Creek Elementary School in San Ramon (2 cases), Lone Tree Elementary in Antioch (1) and Shore Acres Elementary School in Bay Point (1) will also be closed starting Monday after students at each of these schools tested probable for swine flu on Friday. All these children are recovering at home. These schools will be closed for one week. Highlands Elementary School in Pittsburg was the first school, closed on April 29 after three students tested probable for swine flu. A fourth Highlands student has also tested probable. Highlands will re-open Wednesday.

Contra Costa Public Health continues to investigate reports of cases of flu-like symptoms and will provide information on probable swine flu cases as they are identified. This is a rapidly evolving situation and guidance may change. We will update this information as soon as new information becomes available. Local health officials are working closely with state and federal health authorities. Visit the CDC website for information on cases in California and other states.

return to top of page


Contra Costa County Update - School Closures as of Monday morning, May 4

A fifth elementary school in Contra Costa will be closed starting Monday. Brentwood Elementary School in Brentwood was closed after a student tested probable for H1N1 (swine flu) on Saturday. Coyote Creek Elementary School in San Ramon, Lone Tree Elementary in Antioch and Shore Acres Elementary School in Bay Point also will closed starting Monday after a student at each of these schools tested probable for swine flu on Friday. All these children are recovering at home. These schools could be closed for at least one week and as long as two weeks. Highlands Elementary School in Pittsburg was the first school closed on April 29 after three students tested probable for swine flu.

Contra Costa Public Health continues to investigate reports of cases of flu-like symptoms and will provide information on probable swine flu cases as they are identified. This is a rapidly evolving situation and guidance may change. We will update this information as soon as new information becomes available. Local health officials are working closely with state and federal health authorities. Visit the CDC website for information on cases in California and other states.

return to top of page


State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Holds Teleconference With Educators On H1N1 Virus

SACRAMENTO - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell held a conference call briefing today with local educational agencies (LEAs) from across California regarding the H1N1 virus. O'Connell discussed school closures, the extension of state testing deadlines, and precautionary measures schools and districts should take to guard against the spread of the H1N1 virus.

The following is the text of O'Connell's prepared remarks:

"I would like to thank everyone for joining us this morning during what I know is an exceptionally unsettling time for our local educational agencies.

"As most of you are aware this week we have begun to see a number of schools in California that have been ordered to send students home because of the H1N1 flu outbreaks. We are following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health, which were just updated today to recommend that if there is a confirmed case or strongly suspected case of the H1N1 flu, a public health officer should order that the school dismiss students for 14 days from the last known case. The CDC had previously recommended student dismissal for a period of one week. Please note that I said students are to be dismissed. Teaching staff and school administrators can still come to work, and we encourage our schools to provide for the continuity of education services for students at home, either through distance learning, Web-based instruction or learning packets that parents can pick up.

"My department is working to develop an easy reporting process that affected schools and districts can use to alert us about new orders of student dismissal. I expect this system to be up and running shortly, and I will keep you updated on the progress.

"Another matter that I would like to touch on is testing. We have received a lot of questions about how the flu outbreaks and school closures would affect STAR and CAHSEE testing deadlines. I will be requesting that through his emergency power authority the Governor grant my office the authority to extend or modify the testing administration and release dates as needed. My staff has also been communicating with our testing contractors and vendors to talk about any necessary accommodations needed for affected schools. We are also in touch with the U.S. Department of Education regarding the potential need for flexibility on accountability requirements - like participation rates and reporting schedules.

"We have updated the CDE flu Web pages with this information and will continue to do so as this situation continues to evolve.

CDE Web site: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/fluinfo.asp

"I would also like to stress that our school communities play an important role in mitigating the spread of this virus, and there are some very simple precautionary steps they can take prevent the spread of H1N1: students and staff should stay home if they are sick; everyone should always cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or by covering with your arm; and students and school staff should frequently wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water; or use alcohol- based hand sanitizer.

"I have also heard that some of our schools do not currently have soap for student use. During this public health emergency I strongly urge school leaders to make sure that soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers are consistently and easily available to your students.

"I can't stress the importance of these measures enough to protect the health of our students and our school staff. The education community certainly has an obligation to ensure that these precautions are being taken seriously on our campuses."

# # #

As of 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 1, the following schools have issued student dismissal orders: Highlands Elementary in Pittsburg (Pittsburg Unified School District, Contra Costa County); Branham High in San Jose (Campbell Union High School District, Santa Clara County); *Rucker Elementary in Gilroy (Gilroy Unified School District, Santa Clara County); Charles Blackstock Junior High in Oxnard (Hueneme School District, Ventura County); Haycox Elementary in Oxnard (Hueneme School District, Ventura County); Indio High School in Indio (Desert Sands Unified School District, Riverside County); Lee V. Pollard High in Corona (Corona-Norco Unified School District, Riverside County); Mission Bell Elementary in Riverside (Jurupa Unified School District, Riverside County); Della Lindley Elementary Thousand Palms (Palm Springs Unified School District, Riverside County); Cole Elementary in Highland (San Bernardino City Unified School District, San Bernardino County); Mountain View Elementary in Visalia (Visalia Unified School District, Tulare County); and Bahia Vista Elementary (San Rafael City Schools, Marin County).

*Rucker Elementary was expected to reopen Monday after school officials said they'd been notified that none of the students tested positive for swine flu.

return to top of page


April 2009

Contra Costa County Update - Marina Vista School Students Confirmed Negative for H1N1 Flu

The Contra Costa County Public Health Department contacted Pittsburg Unified School District Superintendent Barbara Wilson at 5:10 P.M., on April 30, to let her know that all of the students who were sent home from Marina Vista School yesterday, that were tested for swine flu, had tests that were confirmed as negative.

Marina Vista will continue to be open on Friday as will all other activities scheduled for the school. Principal Lynne Plunkett expressed relief when notified and is hopeful that all healthy students return to school tomorrow. School starts at 8:00 A.M.

Highlands Elementary School remains closed until Wednesday, May 6th.

The PUSD staff wishes to express its thanks to the CCC Public Health Department for its immediate response to the concern at the school and for rapid answers to questions that have arisen during this difficult time.

return to top of page


Contra Costa County Update - H1N1 Flu Outbreak

This is a rapidly evolving situation and guidance may change. We will update this information as soon as new information becomes available.

Health officials closed Highlands Elementary School in Pittsburg starting April 29, 2009, after preliminary tests indicate three students were infected with swine flu. So far, none of the cases appear to be severe. Local health officials are working closely with state and federal health authorities. There have been cases of swine flu in California. All of those cases have been mild to moderate and those infected have recovered. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for information on cases in California and other states.

return to top of page


State Schools Chief Jack O’Connell Urges Calm and Precaution Over H1N1 Flu Outbreak

PLEASANT HILL – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell today urged schools and child care agencies to redouble their efforts to teach flu prevention strategies, and to review and update their school safety plans in light of the current outbreak of H1N1 flu, also known as the swine flu.

“I commend health and school officials in Contra Costa County for taking the quick precautionary measure of closing down Highlands Elementary School in Pittsburg to ensure the safety of students and staff because of an outbreak of the H1N1 virus there,” said O’Connell.

O’Connell is working closely with state health officials to monitor the rapidly changing situation surrounding the spread of the H1N1 virus and its potential impact on the education of California’s 6.2 million public school students. O’Connell stressed the most important thing all Californians can all do to mitigate the spread of flu is to wash hands frequently with soap, cover their coughs and sneezes, and stay home if they are sick.

O’Connell strongly urged all schools, preschools, and child care agencies to have up-to-date safety plans that include a response to the threat of pandemic flu. The California Department of Education Web site offers guidelines on how to implement a school safety plan. California Education Code sections 32282 and 32286 encourage every school in California to have a comprehensive school safety plan that should be reviewed and updated annually. The comprehensive school safety plan should provide guidance for school administration, staff, and students for any emergency that impacts the school, including a public health crisis such as a pandemic. The current H1N1 flu incidents are not yet classified as a pandemic.

The California Department of Education developed in conjunction with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) pandemic flu planning checklists for school districts and preschools to use in the development of this aspect of their school safety plans. For more information on developing school safety plans and checklists for child care agencies, preschools, and local educational agencies, please visit http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/fluinfo.asp.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the CDPH are currently advising that local health officers may recommend closure of specific school sites if there are confirmed cases the H1N1 flu. O’Connell urged local district superintendents and school health officials to stay in close communication with local health officials during the H1N1 flu outbreak.

Schools, parents, and any member of the public may download a free “Keep Our Schools Healthy” tool kit that contains posters on how to prevent the spread of any germs and viruses such as the H1N1 flu.

return to top of page


State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell, Assembly Member Tom Torlakson Discuss Spread of Swine Flu, Encourage Precautionary Measures and Up-to-Date School Safety Plans

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell will join Assembly Member Tom Torlakson and Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick at a news conference on Wednesday in Pleasant Hill encouraging school districts to make sure their required School Safety Plans include responses to pandemic flu. He will also highlight the importance for students, parents, and educators to take precautionary measures (i.e. washing hands thoroughly and covering sneezes and coughs) to guard against the spread of the recently reported outbreak of swine influenza. O'Connell will strongly urge students, their parents, and school officials to download a free "Keep Our Schools Healthy" tool kit in multiple languages to help prevent the spread of germs and viruses.

Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Place: Contra Costa County Office of Education, 77 Santa Barbara Road, Pleasant Hill

return to top of page


Specialized High School Science Camps to be Offered Again This Summer

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. April 16, 2009—The Contra Costa County Office of Education and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership (along with numerous professional partners) will once again be offering three outstanding weeklong hands-on education career camps accessible to incoming Contra Costa County high school juniors and seniors this summer.  Attending students will be able to utilize their previous classroom, shop, and laboratory education to expand their interests under the tutelage of industry experts and high school teachers.   The camps’ curriculum features classroom assignments and lectures, hands-on laboratory experiments, and topic-related field trips.   Students will also learn about employment trends, work attitudes and values, materials and processes, as well as career pathways and ladders, from working professions.

At this time, all three camps are available for registration, but they will fill up soon.

Engineering Camp:
Dates: June 15-19
Location: Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill
Fee: Free

Curriculum for this diverse-subject camp will include Energy Generation and Control, Design and Architecture, Manufacturing, and Construction.

Biotechnology Camp:
Dates: July 6-10
Location: California State University, East Bay, Concord Campus
Fee: $50.00
This session is for students interested in exploring a variety of areas in science, including DNA, genomics, bioinformatics, forensics, cloning and much more.

Environmental Sciences Camp:
Dates: July 20-24
Location: California State University, East Bay, Concord Campus
Fee: $50.00
This course will concentrate in engineering careers, working in such areas as watersheds, water rights and drinking water, waste water treatment and remediation, air quality and climate change, power and alternative energy.

All camp classes, throughout the week, will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Students will receive continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks.  All Summer Camp information (registration, costs, prerequisite classes, etc.), can be found at < http://www.cocosummercamps.org>.  At this Web site, you will also see day-by-day descriptions of activities and field visits planned for camp students.

For additional information, contact Louise Barbee, at the Contra Costa County Office of Education, at (925) 942-3385 or <lbarbee@cccoe.k12.ca.us>.

return to top of page


Contra Costa County School Districts announce their 2009-2010 Teachers of the Year

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., April 16, 2009-- In Contra Costa County, there are close to 8,600 teachers educating more than 166,000 students. To recognize their efforts and bring much deserved honor to the teaching profession, the participating school districts in the county recently named their Teacher of the Year (TOY) representatives (see entire list below). This year's 20 TOYs represent 17 Contra Costa County school districts and the Contra Costa Community College District. Eighteen of these representatives, those who teach grades K-12, are eligible to compete in the Contra Costa County TOY competition. The winner of the county TOY program will represent Contra Costa County in the California State TOY Program this coming fall.

"Once again, we have an outstanding selected group of educators that represent their districts, as well as all the teachers of Contra Costa County schools in stellar fashion," says Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.

The county's TOY program is directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). With such a high caliber of teaching professionals to draw from, the CCCOE uses a three-stage selection process, with a point system to determine the final candidate:

I Application Screening:
In mid April, a committee of 12 educators and business and public-sector partners will carefully review the applications submitted by the school districts. This committee independently rates each application. After the application screening, between four to six teachers will selected to advance to the next phase as semi-finalists.

II Classroom Observation and Interview:
During early May, a small committee of education specialists and business partners will observe the selected teachers interacting with their students. Immediately following, the committee interviews the candidates on topics such as their teaching philosophy and techniques. The results of the two screening processes are then combined to determine the three finalists. (The three finalists will be announced in early June.)

III Speech Competition:
This coming August, the three finalists each give a three- to five-minute speech at the Mt. Diablo Unified School District's new-teacher orientation, where another panel of educators and business and public-sector representatives will judge them.

On the evening of September 24, all 20 TOYs, accompanied by their families, friends, and co-workers (approximately an audience of 500), will be honored at the Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration, at the Hilton Concord. Dr. Ovick, as master of ceremonies, introduces the TOYs by sharing a special story from his classroom visits of each teacher. Finally, the night comes to a dramatic close, with the announcement of the 2009-20010 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.

2009-2010 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives

  • Mary Alexander, Pittsburg Unified SD, (Marina Vista Elementary)
  • Jacques Casamajor, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (Valley View Middle)
  • Dean Colombo, John Swett Unified SD, (John Swett High)
  • Leslie Eppinger, Orinda Union SD, (Orinda Intermediate)
  • Steven Ernest, Liberty Union High SD, (Heritage High)
  • David Flores, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (Grant Elementary)
  • Julianne George, Martinez Unified SD, (Alhambra High)
  • Carol Harris, Lafayette SD (Lafayette Elementary)
  • Durwynne Hsieh, CCC College District, (Los Medanos College)
  • Linn Kissinger, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (El Monte Elementary)
  • Stacie Maslen, Byron Union SD, (Excelsior Middle)
  • Joell Marchese, San Ramon Valley USD, (Pine Valley Middle)
  • Betty McPeek, CCC Office of Education, (Mauzy School)
  • Janet Murirragui, Antioch Unified SD, (Deer Valley High)
  • Stephen Nicolini, Moraga SD, (Joaquin Moraga Intermediate)
  • Frances Prochaska, Brentwood Union SD, (Edna Hill Middle)
  • Terryann Satterfield, Walnut Creek SD, (Buena Vista Intermediate)
  • Julie Swan, Oakley Union SD, (Vintage Parkway Elementary)
  • Angel Taylor, Knightsen SD, (Knightsen Elementary)
  • Donald Wilson, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (Pinole Valley High)

Note regarding eligible participants:

  • 17 of the 19 Contra Costa County school districts represented
  • 1 Contra Costa County community college (Does not compete in the State Teacher of the Year competition)
  • Due to the larger number of students in their district, both West Contra USD and Mt. Diablo USD are allowed to select two TOY candidates from their district.

return to top of page


2009 CALIFORNIA DISTINGUISHED SCHOOLS RECOGNIZES 18 CONTRA COSTA COUNTY SCHOOLS

SACRAMENTO, April 2, 2009 – An impressive number of 18 middle and high schools from Contra Costa County were selected as 2009 California Distinguished Schools (261 total throughout the state).  Announced, yesterday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell said that this annual award recognizes some of the state's most exemplary public schools.  “The Distinguished Schools program always identified schools that are leaders in academic achievement,” said O’Connell  “ It now also recognizes schools that are leaders in helping all students succeed, and highlights the best practices that are effective in closing the gap."

This year’s Contra Costa County Distinguished Schools:

  • Acalanes High (Lafayette), Acalanes Union High SD
  • Campolindo High (Moraga), Acalanes Union High SD
  • Miramonte High (Orinda), Acalanes Union High SD
  • Stanley Middle (Lafayette), Lafayette SD
  • Heritage High (Brentwood), Liberty Union High SD
  • Foothill Middle (Walnut Creek), Mt. Diablo Unified SD
  • Valley View Middle (Pleasant Hill), Mt. Diablo Unified SD
  • California High (San Ramon), San Ramon Valley Unified SD
  • Charlotte Wood Middle (Danville), San Ramon Valley Unified SD
  • Diablo Vista Middle (Danville), San Ramon Valley Unified SD
  • Iron Horse Middle (San Ramon), San Ramon Valley Unified SD
  • Los Cerros Middle (Danville), San Ramon Valley Unified SD
  • Monte Vista High (Danville), San Ramon Valley Unified SD
  • Pine Valley Middle (San Ramon), San Ramon Valley Unified SD
  • San Ramon Valley High (Danville), San Ramon Valley Unified SD
  • Stone Valley Middle (Alamo), San Ramon Valley Unified SD
  • Windemere Ranch Middle (San Ramon), San Ramon Valley Unified SD
  • Middle College High (San Pablo), West Contra Costa Unified SD

The entire list of 136 middle schools and 125 high schools may be viewed at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/sr/cs/.

This year, the Distinguished Schools’ selection process required schools to provide an in-depth description of two signature practices implemented at the schools that are replicable, and directly related to the success of their students.  During an intensive site visitation by a trained team of external educators, additional evidence about the effectiveness of the signature practices were gathered and analyzed. Information about these successful signature practices will be shared through the CDE Web site and other venues including an upcoming Web tool for educators called the Brokers of Expertise to become operational later this year.

"California Distinguished Schools must meet the challenge of providing all their students with a rigorous education and to fully prepare today's students for success in postsecondary education or the workforce," O'Connell said. "In an increasingly competitive global economy, it is important that the academic success of all of today's students is directly linked to the effectiveness, competiveness, and resiliency of our not-too-distant future workforce. In addition, these extraordinary middle and high schools have shown they are able to increase the achievement of all their students and have provided evidence that they are closing the achievement gaps that, unfortunately, exist at many schools. “

The selected middle and high schools represent about 10.9 percent of California's nearly 2,400 middle and high schools.  Of those, only 341 schools met the eligibility criteria based on their student achievement and were chosen from 170 school districts in 46 counties.  An awards ceremony honoring the Distinguished Schools will be held Friday, May 29 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.  The Disneyland Resort is a major corporate sponsor of the event.

For more information about the California School Recognition Program, including a list of corporations, foundations, and associations whose generous contributions along with registration fees from the attending schools make the awards ceremony possible, visit: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/sr/cs/.

return to top of page


March 2009

Acalanes High School Finishes First Place in their California State Academic Decathlon Division

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 17, 2009 - After logging in numerous lunchtime and after-school hours of extra-curricular study, since last September, the Acalanes High School Academic Decathlon Team's fruits of labor prevailed as they were named the overall Division III Team Winner in the 2009 California State Academic Decathlon. The Lafayette, Calif. high school team contended in the state competition over this past weekend (March 13-16), in Sacramento.

Throughout the weekend, Acalanes competed with other California county champions, as individuals and teams in a series of ten academic tests and demonstrations, including: art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, essay, interview, and speech (prepared and impromptu). The curriculum for this year's tests (county and state) was Latin America: with a Focus on Mexico.

"All of us in Contra Costa County certainly share a great deal of community pride with the impressive manner in which the Acalanes High School team represented our county in the recent California State Academic Decathlon," praised Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D. "It's obvious how much time and hard work the team had put in to achieve such remarkable accomplishments!"

Along with winning the Division III 1st place team award, the Acalanes team took third place in the event's SuperQuiz, and earned 15 individual achievement medals. For a complete rundown of all the awards and rankings, visit: http://www.academicdecathlon.org/scores/
state2009SummaryResults.pdf

The Acalanes team was earlier honored as Contra Costa County's winner (third year in a row) on February 7 at the county's Academic Decathlon Awards Ceremony, held at the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). Directed by the CCCOE and with the assistance of community volunteers, the countywide competition, took place over two Saturdays, January 10 and February 7. This year, close to 200 students and their coaches represented 19 Academic Decathlon teams from 13 high schools in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

Acalanes Academic Decathlon coach Joe Schottland, said he was completely ecstatic when he received the news: "I am very proud of the kids, they worked so hard for this! I am also so proud of my co-coach, Karen Findlay, who is by far and away the best coach I have ever worked with, which includes coaches on my 2002 Texas championship team. Quite simply without her the team would be nowhere!"

In addition, Schottland paid tribute to many of those in the community who helped his team prepare for the state competitions: "We are grateful for the CCCOE directing our county's Academic Decathlon program, as well as Paul Verbansky, the Campolindo High coach with whom we scrimmage three times during the fall." He also gave special thanks to Acalanes Principal John Nickerson, Acalanes Unified High School District Superintendent Jim Negri, and the financial and logistic support of the Lafayette Arts and Science Foundation and the Acalanes High School Parents Club.

With a twinkle in his eye, Schottland concluded, "Contra Costa County is now an Academic Decathlon power to be reckoned with. Southern California, watch out!"

Since 1968, more than one million students have participated in the United States Academic Decathlon. It has become known as the first and most comprehensive program to promote and recognize academic achievement for all students.

return to top of page


2009 Contra Costa County Mock Trials Program Concludes with the Awards Night

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., March 6, 2009—After seven nights of heated battle, Contra Costa County’s 2009 High School Mock Trials Program came to an end this past Tuesday evening at the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse, in Martinez, as Miramonte H.S. (Orinda) defeated Alhambra H.S. (Martinez) in the finals round, and California H.S. (San Ramon) won over Acalanes H.S. (Lafayette) in the consolation round. 

Complete Mock Trials results:
http://www.cocoschools.org/edsvcs/
events/tresults.htm#2009

Last night, the Miamonte team, as well as many of the competing teams celebrated at the annual County Mock Trials Awards Ceremony.  Mock Trial Team awards were also presented to Alhambra, California, and Acalanes, as well as a number of individual awards to students representing all 11 competing teams.  Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick gave an inspiring opening talk to the teams and the families of the team members.  Contra Costa County Presiding Superior Court Judge Mary Ann O’Malley gave her overwhelmingly positive thoughts and observations about how impressive all the students performed during Mock Trials.  “I look forward to seeing you all serving as attorneys in my courtroom in the very near future.  And, I know some of you will be joining me at the Judges Bench, as well.”

Coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education and sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, Mock Trial is an academic activity offered to high school students.  The purpose of this program is to teach students about the law and the workings of the legal system. Each participant portrays the part of a courtroom character such as an attorney, witness, court clerk, or bailiff.  To prepare, the students conduct legal research, receive guidance on courtroom procedures from their schoolteachers and volunteer attorneys, where they acquire a working knowledge of the judicial system.

This year, 102 Bay Area attorneys and 27 Bay Area judges served as Mock Trial Attorney Scorers and Judges during the seven nights of matches.  Complete list of this year’s volunteering Judges and Attorney Scorers:
http://www.cocoschools.org/edsvcs/
events/tvolunteers.htm

On February 10, teams from the following high schools began debating the hypothetical trial of People vs. Lane—an arson case: Acalanes (Lafayette), Alhambra (Martinez), Antioch, California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), College Park (Pleasant Hill), Dougherty Valley (San Ramon), Hercules Middle/High, Miramonte (Orinda), Heritage (Brentwood), Monte Vista (Danville), and Northgate (Walnut Creek).

The Miramonte High School team will represent Contra Costa County at the State Mock Trial competition in Riverside, Calif., March 21–22.  The California state finalist will then compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held in Atlanta, Georgia, May 8-10.

return to top of page


2009 Contra Costa County Mock Trials Awards Night

WHAT:
After seven nights of heated battle, Contra Costa County’s 2009 High School Mock Trials Program came to an end this past Tuesday evening at the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse, in Martinez, as Miramonte H.S. (Orinda) defeated Alhambra H.S. (Martinez) in the finals round, and California H.S. (San Ramon) won over Acalanes H.S. (Lafayette) in the consolation round.  Tonight, team awards will be given to Alhambra, as well as a number of individual awards to students representing all 11 competing teams.  Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph Ovick will open the evening with remarks, and Contra Costa County Presiding Superior Court Judge Mary Ann O’Malley will give her Mock Trial observations and hand out the awards.

Complete Mock Trials results:
http://www.cocoschools.org/edsvcs/
events/tresults.htm#2009

WHEN:
Thursday, March 5, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

WHERE:   
The Contra Costa County Office of Education (Stewart Building), 77 Santa Barbara Rd., Pleasant Hill.

WHO:    
Mock Trial is an academic activity for high school students coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, and sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.  The purpose of this program is to teach students about the law and the workings of the legal system. Each participant portrays the part of a courtroom character such as an attorney, witness, court clerk, or bailiff.  To prepare, the students conduct legal research, receive guidance on courtroom procedures from their school teachers and volunteer attorneys, where they acquire a working knowledge of the judicial system.

This year, 101 Bay Area attorneys and 27 Bay Area judges served as Mock Trial Attorney Scorers and Judges during the seven nights of matches.

Complete list of this year’s volunteering Judges and Attorney Scorers:
http://www.cocoschools.org/edsvcs/
events/tvolunteers.htm

On February 10, teams from the following high schools began debating the hypothetical trial of People vs. Lane—an arson case: Acalanes (Lafayette), Alhambra (Martinez), Antioch, California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), College Park (Pleasant Hill), Dougherty Valley (San Ramon), Hercules Middle/High, Miramonte (Orinda), Heritage (Brentwood), Monte Vista (Danville), and Northgate (Walnut Creek).

The Miramonte High School team will represent Contra Costa County at the State Mock Trial competition in Riverside, Calif., March 21–22.  The California state finalist will then compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held in Atlanta, Georgia, May 8-10.

Video/Photo/Audio Opportunities: 
The awarding of the Mock Trial Team Award and Individual Awards will be given out tonight.

For more information contact:  Pggy Marshburn, (925) 942-3400, pmarshburn@cccoe.k12.ca.us, or check our Web site: http://www.cocoschools.org/edsvcs/
events/tresults.htm#2009

return to top of page


FINAL HEARINGS FOR THE CONTRA COSTA COUNTY MOCK TRIAL COMPETITION

WHAT:
The remaining four high-school teams will compete in the final phase of the 2009 Contra Costa County Mock Trial competition on Tuesday, March 3 at the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse, in Martinez.  Court of Appeals, 1st District, San Francisco, Justice Mark Simons will preside over the Championship Trial: Miramonte H.S. (Orinda) vs. Alhambra H.S. (Walnut Creek), in room 200.  Hearing the Mock Trial Consolation Round: Acalanes H.S. (Lafayette) vs. California H.S. (San Ramon), will be Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Thomas Maddock, in room 209.

WHEN:
Tuesday, March 3, 5:30-8:00 p.m. (Trials will be held at the same time.)

WHERE:   
Wakefield Taylor Courthouse, 725 Court St. (use the Ward St. entrance), Courtrooms 200 and 209, Martinez, Calif.

WHO:    
Mock Trial is an academic activity for high school students coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, and sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.  The purpose of this program is to teach students about the law and the workings of the legal system. Each participant portrays the part of a courtroom character such as an attorney, witness, court clerk, or bailiff.  To prepare, the students conduct legal research, receive guidance on courtroom procedures from their school teachers and volunteer attorneys, where they acquire a working knowledge of the judicial system.

This year, 100 Bay Area attorneys and 27 Bay Area judges served as Mock Trial Attorney Scorers and Judges during the seven nights of matches.

On February 10, teams from the following high schools began debating the hypothetical trial of People vs. Lane—an arson case: Acalanes (Lafayette), Alhambra (Martinez), Antioch, California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), College Park (Pleasant Hill), Dougherty Valley (San Ramon), Hercules Middle/High, Miramonte (Orinda), Heritage (Brentwood), Monte Vista (Danville), and Northgate (Walnut Creek).

The winning team will then represent Contra Costa County at the State Mock Trial competition in Riverside, Calif., March 21–22.  The California state finalist will then compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held in Atlanta, Georgia, May 8-10.

Video/Photo/Audio Opportunities:  March 3 & March 5
The Mock Trial final and consolation trials will take place Tuesday, March 3, approximately 5:30-8:00 p.m., Contra Costa County Wakefield Taylor Courthouse.  All participating schools and outstanding individuals of this year’s Contra Costa County Mock Trial will be honored at Mock Trials Awards Reception on Thursday, March 5, 6:00 p.m., at the Contra Costa County Office of Education, 77 Santa Barbara Rd., Pleasant Hill.

Note:
This event’s audience is ONLY open to the participant’s families and schools.  There is not enough room for the general public.

For more information contact:  Terry Koehne, (925) 942-3400, pmarshburn@cccoe.k12.ca.us, or check our Web site: http://www.cocoschools.org/edsvcs/
events/tresults.htm#2009

return to top of page


February 2009

Contra Costa County's 2009 Academic Decathlon Results Congratulations Acalanes High School

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., February 19, 2009 - Acalanes High School (Lafayette) was announced as the overall team winner of the 2009 Contra Costa County Academic Decathlon. This is Acalanes third year in a row of winning the county's team winner. The top high school teams that followed this year's winner were (in order) Campolindo (Moraga), Miramonte (Orinda), and Monte Vista (Danville).

Academic Decathlon, which took place over two Saturdays, January 10 and February 7, wrapped up with the event's Award Ceremony, on Thursday evening, February 12, at the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), in Pleasant Hill. Directed by the CCCOE and with the assistance of community volunteers, the Academic Decathlon provides an opportunity for high school students to compete as individuals and teams in a series of ten academic tests and demonstrations, including: art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, essay, interview, and speech (prepared and impromptu). The curriculum for this year's test was Latin America: with a Focus on Mexico. Acalanes High School will represent their county at the California Academic Decathlon to be held in Sacramento, March 14-16. The national Academic Decathlon will be held in Memphis, Tenn., May 22-25.

"The Academic Decathlon is a wonderful event for our high school students,' said Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D. "My congratulations to all the schools and students who participated, and a big thank you to all the teachers and volunteers who made the event a booming success. Best wishes to Acalanes High School team as they advance to the state level competition."

Close to 200 students had been studying and preparing for this event with their coaches since September. The students and coaches represent 19 teams from 13 high schools in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. This year's Contra Costa County teams represent the following high schools: Acalanes (Lafayette), Antioch, Arroyo (San Lorenzo), California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Freedom (Oakley), Irvington (Fremont), Kennedy (Richmond), Liberty (Brentwood), Miramonte (Orinda), Monte Vista (Danville), Northgate (Walnut Creek), and Pittsburg. High school teams are made up of nine students, grades 9-12, with a maximum of three students in each of the following divisions: Honors (3.75-4.00 GPA), Scholastic (3.00-3.74 GPA) and Varsity (2.99 GPA and below).

For the complete team and individual scores of the 2009 Contra Costa County Academic Decathlon, visit www.cocoschools.org/edsvcs/events/decathlon.htm

Since 1968, more than one million students have participated in the United States Academic Decathlon. It has become known as the first and most comprehensive program to promote and recognize academic achievement for all students.

return to top of page


Students Take on the Judicial System in Mock Trial Competition

WHAT:
Contra Costa County’s future lawyers, district attorneys, judges, court reporters, and courtroom artists will certainly get their forthcoming judicial feet wet at the 28th annual Mock Trial, held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout the month of February at the Martinez Superior Court.  (Complete listing of dates and times listed below.)

Mock Trial is an academic event for high school students, coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE).  The hands-on educational program was created to help students acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society.   Each Mock Trial will be a bench trial, which are primarily tried in front of active Contra Costa County Superior Court Judges, and will be scored by Bay Area active and retired district attorneys, public defenders, and attorneys.  This year, an impressive 125 judges and attorneys are volunteering their time and expertise.

WHO:
Each year, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) creates a trial case based on an important issue facing America's youth.  This year’s case is People v. Lane—an arson trialTeams of high school students work with teachers and attorney coaches to prepare their version of the criminal case, from both the prosecution and defense perspectives.  Students assume the roles of trial attorneys, pre-trial motion attorneys, witnesses, clerks, bailiffs, artists, and court journalists.   Real life judges and attorneys score their performance and provide immediate feedback.  Winning teams advance through seven rounds of competition.  The County champion advances to the State finals.

Teams from the following high schools will be competing:
Acalanes (Lafayette), Alhambra (Martinez), Antioch, California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Dougherty (San Ramon), Heritage (Brentwood), (Hercules Middle/High, Miramonte (Orinda), Monte Vista (Danville), Northgate (Walnut Creek), and San Ramon Valley (Danville).

Students may also participate as courtroom artists or journalists.  As such, students accompany their Mock Trial teams to the preliminary rounds of the competition.  Artists sketch courtroom scenes and the courtroom reporters write and submit a 500 – 700-word news article on the trial they attended.  The entries are then judged and the winners represent Contra Costa County at the state finals.  These winners are picked regardless of whether their school is selected as the Mock Trial finalist.

The two highest-scoring teams will advance to the finals on March 3.  The winning team will then represent Contra Costa County at the State Mock Trial competition in Riverside, Calif., March 28 – 30.  The California state finalist will then compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held in Wilmington, Delaware, May 8-10.

In 1977, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) introduced the concept of mock trials to Los Angeles schools.  In 1980, the program expanded to the state level.  The California Mock Trial Program currently involves more than 35 counties and over 8,000 student participants from more than 400 teams.  Approximately 1,500 attorney volunteers serve as team coaches and scorers, and 500 Municipal, Superior, and Appellate Court judges preside over the trials.

WHERE:
The Mock Trials will be held in the Bray Court House, 1020 Ward St., Martinez. All participating schools and outstanding individuals of this year’s Contra Costa County Mock Trial will be honored at an evening awards reception at the Contra Costa County Office of Education, 77 Santa Barbara Rd., Pleasant Hill.

WHEN:
Schedule for 2009 Mock Trial

Preliminaries: February 10, 11, 17,19, (5:30-8:00 p.m.)
Quarterfinals: February 24  (5:30-8:00 p.m.)
Semifinals: February 26 (5:30-8:00 p.m.)
Finals and Consolation: March 3 (5:30-8:00 p.m.)
Award Celebration: March 6  (6:30 p.m.)

For more information contact:  Jonathan Lance, (925) 942-3429, jlance@cccoe.k12.ca.us, or check our Mock Trials Web site: http://www.cocoschools.org/edsvcs/
events/tresults.htm#2009

return to top of page


County-Wide 2009 Academic Decathlon Concludes with the always Raucous and Exciting SuperQuiz

WHAT:
The Contra Costa County 2009 Academic Decathlon, which takes place over two Saturdays, will conclude this coming Saturday, February 7. Directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) and with the assistance of community volunteers, the Academic Decathlon provides an opportunity for high school students to compete as individuals and teams in a series of ten academic tests and demonstrations, including: art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, essay, interview, and speech (prepared and impromptu). More than 200 students have been studying and preparing for this event with their coaches since September. This year, both the curricular theme and the Super Quiz Topic is Latin America: with a Focus on Mexico.

The always-exciting SuperQuiz (a team-relay event) is the final event of the program. This is the only portion of the Academic Decathlon in which friends, family, schoolmates, and teachers are welcome to attend--and cheer their team on, enthusiastically.

ACADEMIC DECATHLON LINK:
http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/edsvcs/events/decathlon.htm

ACTION:
GREAT SOUND AND VISION. The SuperQuiz portion of the Athletic Decathlon is always the most exciting segment of the two-day event. It has a TV game-show/athletic competition atmosphere, especially with all of the participating students' families, friends, and teachers cheering them on.

WHO:
This year's Contra Costa County teams represent the following high schools: Acalanes (Lafayette), Antioch, Arroyo (San Lorenzo), California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Freedom (Oakley), Irvington (Fremont), Kennedy (Richmond), Liberty (Brentwood), Miramonte (Orinda), Monte Vista (Danville), Northgate (Walnut Creek), and Pittsburg. High school teams are made up of nine students, grades 9-12, with a maximum of three students in each of the following divisions: Honors (3.75-4.00 GPA), Scholastic (3.00-3.74 GPA) and Varsity (2.99 GPA and below). The winning team will represent Contra Costa County at the California Academic Decathlon, to be held in Sacramento, March 14-16. This year's Nation Academic Decathlon will be held April 21-24, in Omaha, Neb.

More than one million students have participated in the United States Academic Decathlon since 1968. It has become known as the first and most comprehensive program to promote and recognize academic achievement for all students.

WHERE /WHEN:
Los Medanos College (in the Gym), 2700 E. Leland Rd., Pittsburg
Saturday, February 2, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ** SuperQuiz begins about 2:30 p.m., finishing around 3:45 p.m.

Photo Opportunities:
**Saturday, February 7, 2:30-3:45 p.m. at Los Medanos College--Team procession and SuperQuiz Relay.

Wednesday, February 6, 6:30 p.m. Contra Costa County Office of Education (Stewart Building), 77 Santa Barbara Rd., Pleasant Hill--Academic Decathlon Awards Ceremony.

For more information about the Academic Decathlon, contact Terry Koehne, Event Coordinator, CCCOE, 925-942-3420, or pmarshburn@cccoe.k12.ca.us.

return to top of page


January 2009

Hundreds of interested H.S. students to learn about recession-proof careers - The Annual Contra Costa County Health & Bioscience Career Fair

WHAT:
More than 450 Contra Costa County high school students with a shared future career interest in health care and bioscience will participate at the upcoming Contra Costa County Health & Bioscience Career Fair. Brian Feeley, M.D., primary care sports medicine specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center, will serve as the event's opening keynote speaker. Afterwards, the attending students will participate in a number of breakout workshops that feature such topics as Technology and Health, Laboratory Medicine, Imaging, and Pre-Hospital Care. There will also be 19 health care and bioscience exhibitors on hand for the students to talk to, interview, and learn more information about the arena they are looking to enter after graduating high school.

A PDF copy of this year's Contra Costa County Health & Bioscience Career Fair program is available upon request.

WHEN:
Friday, February 6, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Marriott Hotel, 2600 Bishop Drive, San Ramon, Calif.

WHO:
Presented by: John Muir Health, Sutter Health, and Kaiser Permanente
In cooperation with: The Contra Costa County Office of Education, Contra Costa Economic Partnership, Contra Costa Community College District, and the Contra Costa Health / Bioscience collaborative
Attendees: Contra Costa County high school juniors and seniors, representing the entire county, who possess a strong interest in a future career in health care and bioscience.

ACTION:
More than 450 East Bay high school students will be seeking career information from numerous Bay Area health care and bioscience business and education representatives. They will be attending sessions and visiting more than a dozen related vendor booths.

Flash photography and video and audio recording is allowed.

For more information about this special event, contact Contra Costa County Office of Education's School-to-Career Coordinator Louise Barbee, at 925-942-3385 or lbarbee@cccoe.k12.ca.us.

return to top of page


Contra Costa County Teacher/Certificated Staff Recruitment Fair

MARTINEZ, Calif., January 30, 2009 - The Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) will present the 2009 Teacher/Certificated Staff Recruitment Fair on Saturday, February 28, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Alhambra High School, in Martinez.

Representatives from 13 school districts in Contra Costa County, as well as the County Office of Education (COE), will be on hand to talk to perspective employees. In addition, counselors from local college will be on hand to discuss their school's teaching credential programs for new teachers, as well as re-entry teachers.

"For this current school year [2008-2009], the 18 school districts and the COE placed more than 700 teachers and certificated staff employees," says CCCOE's Associate Superintendent, Human Resources Michael Bowers. "Even in this very difficult economy, it is expected that an additional 500 to 600 new teachers will be employed for the 2009-2010 school year." District spokespersons state that the biggest need is to fill teaching positions in mathematics, science, special education, English, and speech therapy.

Attendees will discover numerous teaching opportunities in a variety of fields, including:

  • All levels of K-12
  • Grades 7-12
    • English
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Social Studies
    • Foreign Languages
    • Life Sciences
    • Physical Education
  • English as a second Language (ELS)
  • Special Education
  • Alternative Education
  • School Counselors
  • School Psychologists
  • ROP Regional Occupational Programs
  • Adult Education
  • Substitute Teaching
  • School Nurses

The 2009 Teacher/Certificated Staff Recruitment Fair is a service provided by the Contra Costa County Office of Education. Alhambra High School is located at 150 E. Street, Martinez. The fair will be held inside the school's gymnasium. (Follow signs top parking lot, closest the multi-use room.) For additional information, call (925) 942-3387 or visit www.cocoschools.org/jobfair.

return to top of page


Contra Costa County Mock Trial Program Looking for Lawyers to Assist

MARTINEZ, Cal if., January 14, 2009 - Practicing and retired lawyers are needed to provide assist their future associates at the 28th Annual High School Mock Trial Program, held on early evenings throughout the month of February and early March, at the Martinez Court Houses. (Complete listing of dates and times listed below.) Along with lawyers, 2nd- and 3rd-year law students are also welcome to participate with the scoring process. This year, there will be 13 Contra Costa County high schools Mock Trial teams will compete.

Mock Trial is an academic activity for high school students, coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). The hands-on educational program was created to help students acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society.

Teams of high school students work with teachers and attorney coaches to prepare their version of the criminal case, from both the prosecution and defense perspectives. Students assume the roles of trial attorneys, pre-trial motion attorneys, witnesses, clerks, bailiffs, artists, and court journalists. Real life judges and attorneys score their performance and provide immediate feedback. Winning teams advance through seven rounds of competition. The County champion advances to the State finals.

Lawyers and law students, who volunteer with this program, will score the two competing schools that argue their cases in court. Each night, will begin with a 15-minute rules and regulations session, then the lawyers will go into their scheduled courtrooms to serve as Mock Trial scorers--there will be five lawyers in each courtroom serving as the trial's scorers. Each Mock Trial will be presided by a sworn Contra Costa County judge. Along with private practice and corporate lawyers, Mock Trial scorers will also include Contra County deputy district attorneys and public defenders.

"Mock Trial is a wonderful opportunity for our students to build on what they have learned about the United States legal system in their classrooms and their after-school programs," says Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D. "Now, they can apply these skills and compete in a real courtroom, under the watchful eye of practicing judges and attorneys. We are indebted to all of our teachers and volunteers, who work inside or outside of the judicial system, in creating such an outstanding learning experience!"

The two highest-scoring teams will advance to the finals on March 3. The winning team will then represent Contra Costa County at the State Mock Trial competition in Riverside, Calif., March 20 - 22. The California state finalist will then compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held in Atlanta, Georgia, May 8-10.

In 1977, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) introduced the concept of mock trials to Los Angeles schools. In 1980, the program expanded to the state level. The California Mock Trial Program currently involves more than 35 counties and over 8,000 student participants from more than 400 teams. Approximately 1,500 attorney volunteers serve as team coaches and scorers, and 500 Municipal, Superior, and Appellate Court judges preside over the trials. CRF maintains a Web site at www.crf-usa.org

Schedule for 2009 Mock Trial

  • Preliminaries February 10, 11, 17, 19 (5:00-7:30 p.m.)
  • Quarter February 24 (5:00-7:30 p.m.)
  • Semifinals February 26 (5:00-7:30 p.m.)
  • Finals and Consolation March 3 (5:00-7:30 p.m.)

Lawyers, and 2nd- and-3rd year law students can find out how to serve as Mock Trial scorers by visiting http://www.cocoschools.org/edsvcs/events/mocktrial.htm, or contacting Jonathan Lance at (925) 942-3429 or jlance@cccoe.k12.ca.us.

return to top of page

Page updated on: September 08, 2017

Rev: 0.4-010514-BETA4