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925.942.3420


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925.942.3429

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925.942.3454

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COE Press Releases - 2010

December 2010

November 2010

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January 2010


December 2010

Navigating the Legal Shoals of New Media

Come join us as we look at emerging legal issues surrounding new media, even before there are best practices in place. Look for discussion around open-meeting law issues; public records retention and disclosure; restrictions on employee use of social media—both on behalf of your agency and personally; and use of public resources, including both personal and political use.

Moderator: Ken August, CA Department of Public Health

Panelists:
Mary Ann Mason – Deputy County Counsel, Contra Costa County
Carol Victor – Assistant District Counsel, East Bay Regional Parks
Terry Francke – Legal Counsel, Californians Aware
Peter Scheer – Executive Director, First Amendment Coalition

Q&A to follow.

Thursday, January 20, 2011, 10:00 a.m. – noon
Contra Costa County Office of Education Board Room
77 Santa Barbara Road, Pleasant Hill

For a map and driving directions, visit http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/about/cccoemap.html

Parking: The CCCOE has a huge employee parking lot on the west side of the building, on the corner of Oak Park and Monte Cresta. Please don't struggle with on-street parking. Use our employee lot. You still must enter through the front door to register in the building.

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=86376239777
Space is limited! Please RSVP by Monday, January 17, to Peggy Marshburn at (925) 942-3420 or e-mail pmarshburn@cccoe.k12.ca.us or FAX (925) 942-3454

Next meeting: April 21, 2011, Judy Pal — Half day workshop
"Messaging: A Critical Element of Crisis Communication and Response"

The Contra Costa Public Information Network is sponsored by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, Contra Costa Health Services, and CAPIO (California Association of Public Information Officials).

Navigating the Legal Shoals of New Media (PDF)

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Superintendent and Three New Trustees to be Installed to the County Board of Education

WHAT:
This coming Wednesday evening, the three newest Contra Costa County Board of Education trustees, as well as the county’s returning superintendent of schools will be installed during the Board’s scheduled meeting.  The newly elected trustees will join the two sitting members, Pamela Mirabella (Area 1) and Daniel Gomes (Area 3).  The five-member Contra Costa County 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.  Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D., will begin his fifth term as the county’s superintendent of schools.  

WHO:
Ellen Elster (Area 2), representing Clyde, Crockett, Hercules, Martinez, Pacheco, Port Costa, Rodeo, and parts of Bay Point, Concord, Kensington, Lafayette, Orinda,

Richard Asadoorian (Area 4), representing: Blackhawk, Clayton, Danville, Diablo, San Ramon, and parts of Alamo, Antioch, Bay Point, Concord, Pittsburg, and Walnut Creek.

Cynthia Ruehlig (Area 5), representing: Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Discovery Bay, Knightsen, Oakley, and parts of Antioch, Bay Point, and Pittsburg.

Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D. (Contra Costa County) Superintendent of Schools

ACTION:
The evening’s agenda.

WHEN:
Wednesday, December 8, 6:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Contra Costa County Office of Education, 77 Santa Barbara Rd., Pleasant Hill

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32 Year Partnership Between Chevron and ROP Proves Successful

ROP Instructor, Butter Simms with ROP graduate Stacey Reynolds

Process Plant Operator course changes the life and future of student Stacey Reynolds.

In the latest issue of Chevron Richmond Today, CCCOE ROP graduate Stacey Reynolds shares how the Refinery/Process Plant Operator class she took 14 years ago changed the course of her life. Read the full story here.

The Refinery/Process Plant Operator course teaches mechanical skills for boilermaker, pipefitter, machinist, and welder, as well as other skills needed to pass employment tests for industries. Prerequisites: Pass basic math/reading test, valid California Driver’s License, instructor interview. To see a full listing of courses offered by the CCCOE ROP Program, click here.

For the past 32 years, Chevron has funded and provided instructors and other resources for the Process Plant Operator course taught in Richmond.

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November 2010

KVHS Revives the Lost Art of Personality Radio

Based in Clayton Valley High School, Active Rock station KVHS trains the disc jockeys of tomorrow.

By East Bay Express

Melissa McConnell Wilson remembers the "good ol' days" of radio. As a girl she would listen to her transistor under the covers at night. The distinct voices on the other end, with names like "Bobby Ocean" and "Dr. Don Rose," had "fantastic personalities." And they inspired her.

"It was so wonderful," McConnell Wilson recalled. "It was enticing and involving and sexy. You wanted to listen. You couldn't wait to listen."

But these days, with media consolidation and companies watching the bottom line, radio personalities have become an endangered species. Consultants say modern listeners don't want to hear people talking, so stations are populated with automated systems and "liner" jocks (i.e., those who read pre-written one-liners and station identifications).

The phenomenon has been ongoing for some time now, but McConnell Wilson thinks things are slowly changing — and she's partly responsible. For the past thirteen years she has been the general manager and faculty advisor at KVHS "The Edge," an Active Rock station based out of Clayton Valley High School in Concord that serves as a job training program through Contra Costa County's Office of Education. Free to anyone age sixteen and up, the year-long class trains students in all aspects of radio (promotions, sales, programming, etc.), but the focus is on personality radio.

"I don't train liner jocks," said McConnell Wilson. "They know they have to work on show prep. They have to work on their demo tape."

Except for McConnell Wilson, the station is run entirely by the students. Located at 90.5 on the FM dial, the non-commercial station broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Contra Costa County's Regional Occupational Program pays for McConnell Wilson's salary, but otherwise the students raise their own money for just about everything through four live-remote fund-raisers per year and by soliciting donations from businesses. They have regular music meetings where they vote on which songs to add to the rotation. (Artists include Killswitch Engage, Ozzy Osbourne, and Deftones.)

Whatever McConnell Wilson is doing seems to be working. Her alumni are on air (or behind the mic) all over the country. "They're all over the place, literally," she said. "The vice president of sales for CBS Radio is from KVHS. The chief engineer from Mix 106 in San Jose — Mike Stockwell. ... All the PDs in San Francisco know us, all the way to New York. We're the farm team." KVHS's list of famous alumni also includes KBLX's Sterling James and comedian Jeff Richards, who has appeared on Saturday Night Live.

"The first thing that strikes me is how much it trains you for a real job in radio," said Aaron Cordray, who goes by the on-air name "Lint" and has been taking the course on and off since 1999. (The class technically lasts one year, but students can continue learning.) "It's not like a college course. It's really hands-on, very involved."

So what is the secret to good radio personality? "Talk as if you're speaking to one person," said twenty-seven-year-old Cordray.. "It's a very intimate form of communication between you and your listener." Despite that emphasis on intimate dialogue, Cordray says he generally avoids using "I," "me," or "my."

He chalks the rest up to perona., "If you have a dull personality, you might be dull on the air, too."

Though most of the students in the class, whose numbers average about 25, are in high school or are young adults, it also attracts those seeking a career change, or those who've always wanted to go into radio. Thirty-six-year-old Jason Lannum is a husband and father who has taken the class for the last three years. His current day job is delivering appliances, but he's hoping to become a DJ or programmer. He attends class every day after work from 3 to 5 p.m. "People told me that I was kind of funny and goofy and they said I should be on the radio or TV," explained Lannum, who is KVHS's music director. "I've always told myself I wanted to do something with music but didn't know what. I landed here and think this is meant to be kinda thing."

As 410-watt stations go, KVHS is pretty successful. While its rankings are relatively low compared to stations like KCBS (especially because it only broadcasts to three Bay Area counties), its TSL, or Time Spent Listening, shows that listeners listen a lot and for a long time, says McConnell Wilson. No doubt, the station's personalities help contribute to that — especially since the Bay Area in particular has a dearth of good on-air talent. But it didn't always used to be like that.

"They are a lot of good people who are proficient in their craft," McConnell Wilson said. "They're not bad disc jockeys, but the ones that shine — I couldn't name one. In New York I could rattle off half a dozen, but not in San Francisco. It's sad because San Francisco used to be a feeder market. This is not a jumping-off-point place anymore. The new up-and-coming stars don't come from San Francisco anymore, they come from places like Atlanta." Some stations are becoming more local, however. She says that KOIT is adding some personality to its liner jocks. "That's probably why they're doing so well," she said.

As for the future, McConnell Wilson doesn't think radio will ever go back to the way it was when she was growing up. But technology means good radio can travel even further. Anyone can listen to KVHS's online stream (KVHS.com) — and they do, from places as far away as France, Japan, and Canada, says McConnell Wilson. "Terrestrial radio isn't what it used to be," she said. "The people who are the personalities of the future know about all these choices."

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Santa's Workshop: Inmates work off bad deeds with good ones

MARSH CREEK -- The high-pitched whine of electric saws filled the cavernous workshop as men in jail-issue yellow uniforms worked on getting this year's final four toy designs out the door.

The 17 inmates were playing Santa's helpers, doing good deeds at Marsh Creek Jail while serving time for bad ones.

In less than two weeks, 1,256 Christmas toys and bicycles that they and other inmates will have crafted or refurbished will be on their way to underprivileged children around the county.

"It's something you can take pride in," said 47-year-old Martin Blacker, of Brentwood, as he readied an 18-speed mountain bike for a new owner. "You know that on Christmas morning when a kid sees a bike under the tree he's happy."

Dozens of bicycles and tricycles were lined up nearby, just a fraction of the approximately 285 that law enforcement and stores have donated to the cause.

Some had new rims, kickstands, brakes and seats, and all of them gleamed after a meticulous cleaning with elbow grease and WD-40.

Elsewhere, sturdy playthings lined shelves and were jammed under tables, the sheer variety and volume befitting a woodworking class known as Santa's Workshop.

Some little girls would be receiving two-story dollhouses outfitted with tiny furniture sets and stoves; for boys there were fire houses that come with bright red ladder trucks and miniature Dalmatians.

The bounty also included pull toys and puzzles, interlocking animal cutouts on wheels, and carousels that rotate up and down a pole.

There were mini-monster trucks, rocking horses and paddles with balls.

Created for older children were "can-Jos," instruments that have the V-shaped body of an electric guitar but otherwise resemble a banjo with their single string that stretches from a tuning peg to an empty tin can that enables the twangy notes to resonate.

This year's handiwork -- the demand for which far exceeds what's available -- will go to 37 organizations, including churches and other nonprofits, every sheriff's substation, and the city of Oakley, which will in turn distribute them to needy families.

Their anonymous benefactors are minimum-security offenders who opt to spend four mornings a week fashioning toys, a year-round activity that starts all over again as soon as the last batch is done.

Overseeing the production process is Rick Boughton, a part-time wood shop instructor with the Contra Costa County Office of Education.

For the past 19 years, the agency has collaborated with the county sheriff's office to offer this class along with academic courses for inmates who don't have a high school diploma.

Boughton is in his element here, a woodworker by trade who has spent nearly four decades carving custom doors, furniture and other specialty items.

"He's like a chef but with wood," said one inmate of the ponytailed 63-year-old artisan.

Boughton is soft-spoken but strict in enforcing the rules: Safety is paramount in his shop.

He gets students who have never even held a hammer before, and some are intimidated by the machinery, so newcomers all must attend his presentation on how to handle power tools properly.

Those who fall short of a perfect score on the test Boughton gives at the end of it are assigned jobs that don't involve working with saws and staple guns until they meet his standards.

"I can't tempt fate here," he said.

Inmates' incentive for enrolling in the class is the chance to reduce their sentence by up to three days per month, but they have to earn that privilege; Boughton doesn't suffer those who sign up expecting to slack off and has no compunction about showing bad attitudes the door.

That suits Bryan Cotton fine.

"I like to be busy. Too much free time makes your time go slower," said the 34-year-old from Oakland, who has been incarcerated since Aug. 1. "You gotta put usage to it. You can't just sleep your time away."

Occasionally, Boughton sees students who start out indifferent but turn enthusiastic as they begin to grasp what their work means to the families they're helping.

"It's got a meaning. A couple of weeks into the project ... they are not coming here for their own reasons anymore," he said. "Once in a while you see that and you know that you may have changed that person's life."

Altruism is why Ikechi Egbukichi joined Boughton's team several weeks ago.

The 27-year-old didn't know about the sentence-reduction policy; he just wanted to give some youngsters more than what he got for Christmas as a kid growing up in Richmond.

"I didn't really get toys. I would get socks, T-shirts. So if I can help someone feel special it feels good," Egbukichi said.

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Santa’s Workshop Found at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility

local disadvantaged / at-risk children will receive wonderful holiday toys at the Santa's Workshop at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility

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

CLAYTON, Calif., November 22, 2010—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 18, 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 300 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.

Toy giveaway at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility

A few of the 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 2009-10 school year, approximately 2,720 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, 73 student-inmates received their GED and 41 received a high school or adult school diploma, and 45 students passed the CA High School Exit Exam. In addition, there were 436 students who demonstrated learning gains in reading or math, and 977 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, 1,150 students completed at least one of the three phases, and 240 students have graduated from DEUCE.  The CCCOE’s newest educational program, Parenting Inside/Out, teaches vital parenting skills to women and men.  To date, 122 students have completed the program.

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.

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Partnering to Help Take Concussions Out of Play

CDC encourages you to talk with your coaches, parents, athletes, and others about concussion in all sports and the steps to take to help prevent, recognize, and respond to this serious injury. By knowing the facts about concussion and when athletes can safely return to play, we can help athletes of all ages stay active and healthy.

For NFL Players

Beginning during the 2010 season, a poster on concussion in sports will be displayed in every NFL locker room nationwide. The poster, developed for NFL players, is the result of a joint effort between the NFL, NFL Players Association, CDC, Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, and the NFL Physicians Society and describes the importance of recognizing a concussion, taking time to recover, and not returning to play too soon.

For Young Athletes of All Sports

A similar poster educating young athletes about concussion in all sports is now available to display in team locker rooms, gymnasiums, and schools nationwide. This poster lets athletes know that all concussions are serious and emphasizes the importance of reporting their injury. The poster also provides athletes with a list of concussion signs, symptoms and steps they should take if they think they have a concussion. 

The poster for young athletes is the result of a joint effort between the NFL, CDC, and NFL Players Association, as well as 14 National Governing Bodies for Sport. Additionally, the poster has been endorsed by the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Visit Partnering to Help Take Concussions Out of Play

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Northern California Robotics Qualifier Tournament to be held at Heritage High

WHAT
Heritage High School will be hosting its first ever Northern California FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Qualifier Robotics Tournament, this coming Sunday.  Along with Heritage’s team, there will be 15 other teams, from around the state, consisting of up to 10 high school students per team battling it out in order to qualify for the Northern California FIRST FTC Championships.  The championships will be held in December.  For background information about FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the type of robots used, visit FIRST’s website.

WHERE
Heritage High School (school’s gym), located at 101 American Ave., Brentwood.

WHEN
Sunday, November 21, 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Complete schedule

ACTION:
There will be great sound and visuals, as the 15 high school robotic teams work together to manipulate their robots in performing assigned tasks, with audience members cheering them on.

WHO
The Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) ROP Robotics program is designed to interest students in the field of robotics and motivate them to pursue advanced education in science and engineering.  In this class, students apply the scientific method and build on physics and mathematics concepts by investigative research that requires inquiry, data collection, and analysis.  Included is instruction in the history and theory of robotic technology, computer control systems, and artificial intelligence.  Computer programming is emphasized. Using the engineering design team concept as a model, students work in small groups to research, design, program, and construct robotic devices used in competitions, including NASA’s U.S. FIRST or VEX.  Along with Heritage High School, the ROP Robotics classes are also being offered at Concord High and Pittsburg High.

The CCCOE’s ROP courses provides numerous diverse and engaging learning opportunities for high school students eager to acquire career training and technical skills essential for business and industry employment.  The ROP serves students 16 years and older and has classes available at all comprehensive high schools within Contra Costa County and in Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, and Piedmont.  Classes meet high school graduation requirements.  Industry trained teachers, state approved curricula, and high tech equipment provides a challenging, rigorous learning environment.

MEDIA NOTE:
The event day-of contact will be Launi Holland, cell number: (925) 457-4138

Participating Teams

Pew Pew Lazer Beams Mission San Jose High School Fremont
Tsvetkov e droozia Campolindo High School Moraga
Transformerz Mission San Jose High School Fremont
WarriorBorgs Valley Christian High School San Jose
The Patriots Heritage HS Brentwood
Coastal Quarks Community San Diego
The Awkward Starfish Rec Connect Robotics San Francisco
Scotbotics Piedmont High School Piedmont
Bok Choy Boys N/A San Jose
Beyer Robotics Beyer High School Modesto
Argonauts Community-based Auburn
EndOfLines Irvington High School Fremont
RoboWarriors Mission San Jose High Fremont
Red Holograms Irvington High School Fremont
Team Bluescreens Irvington High School Fremont
The Minutemen Heritage High School/
CCCOE-ROP
Brentwood

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Free Webinar: New Rule, Shots Before School

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 2:00-3:00 pm
Pacific Standard Time (San Francisco, GMT-08:00)

Have you heard? A new California state law will require all 7th to 12th graders receive a Tdap immunization before school in 2011. If you are a school clerk, school nurse, or other school official assisting with student health records in a school, this program will help you prepare.

This free webinar is being hosted by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), in partnership with the California Department of Education (CDE). Featured speakers will include Dr. John Talarico, Dr. Eileen Yamada, and Sandra Jo Hammer, RN, MSN, MPH from CDPH and Linda Davis-Alldritt, RN, MA, PHN, FNASN, FASHA School Nurse Consultant from CDE.

This webinar will cover:

The new law (AB 354) and how it impacts schools
Tools, websites and information templates to help you inform parents and students
New vaccination documentation requirements (blue card supplements)
Q&A with the speakers

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Santa’s Workshop Found at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility

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

Media Contact: Jonathan Lance
Phone: (925) 942-3429
E-mail: jlance@cccoe.k12.ca.us

WHAT:
More than 30 Contra Costa County children-serving agencies will go to the Marsh Creek Detention Facility this coming Thursday to fill up their clients’ wish lists of donated toys and bicycles.  There, for the 19th year, the agency representatives will select from more than 1,100 toys designed and handcrafted by the inmates, and 300 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, fixing up used bikes to look and ride like brand new and building beautiful 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 special 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 18, 2010, 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 downtown 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 2009-10 school year, approximately 2,720 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, 73 student-inmates received their GED and 41 received a high school or adult school diploma, and 45 students passed the CA High School Exit Exam. In addition, there were 436 students who demonstrated learning gains in reading or math, and 977 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, 1,150 students completed at least one of the three phases, and 240 students have graduated from DEUCE.  The CCCOE’s newest educational program, Parenting Inside/Out, teaches vital parenting skills to women and men.  To date, 122 students have completed the program.

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.

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20th annual Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference

NEWS ADVISORY

MediaContact: Jonathan Lance
Phone: (925) 942-3429
E-mail: jlance@cccoe.k12.ca.us

WHAT:
This Friday opens the 11th 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 or corporation, and negotiate on that country or corporation’s behalf.  During the conference, delegates will debate international issues in 11 committees, including: General Assembly, 6th Legal Committee, World Health Organization, Economic and Social Council, International Atomic Energy Agency, United Nations Development Program, Nations Environmental Program, World Food Program, African Union, World Economic Forum, and Security 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 66th Anniversary of the United Nations founding in San Francisco.  To give more than 275 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, Athenian High (Danville), California High (San Ramon), Campolindo High (Moraga), Carondelet High (Concord), Concord High, De La Salle High (Concord), Gunn High, Las Lomas (Walnut Creek), Marin Academy (San Rafael), Monte Vista High (Danville), Northgate High (Walnut Creek), and San Ramon Valley High (Danville). 

More information can be found on the CCCOE Web site www.cocoschools.org/events, or
contact Terry Koehne, tkoehne@cccoe.k12.ca.us, in the CCCOE’s Academic Events Office, (925) 942-3400, or day-of (925) 984-3439.

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, November 5, 4:00 - 8:30 p.m. (Keynote speaker will begin at 4:00 p.m.)
Saturday, November 6, 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 275 high school students (representing 110 countries and corporations) 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.

The Media is also welcome to the smaller committee sessions, as well.

Model UN is the first of three school-year academic event programs directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, and is open to high school students throughout the county, and Bay Area.  Still to come: Academic Decathlon, to be held on January 29 at CSUEB-Concord and February 5, 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 website, www.cocoschools.org/events or by calling Academic Events, (925) 942-3400.

Read East Bay students become “delegates” in Model U.N.

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Emergency drill for Contra Costa schools on the way

Schools throughout the county will take part next month in a routine emergency response exercise.

The shelter-in-place drill will be at 11 a.m. Nov. 3, when private schools and child care centers as well as public schools will have the chance to practice the proper response to Community Warning System sirens.

The alerts are triggered by the release of toxic chemicals or other disasters that require people to stay in place.

Hazardous materials can pose a public health threat in the event of an accident involving trucks or trains transporting chemicals or at an industrial facility that has them on site.

The exercise is organized by Contra Costa County Community Awareness Emergency Response Group, a collection of government agencies, businesses, nonprofits and emergency response organizations.

The group works on improving plans for an emergency response and teaching the public how to react if hazardous materials are released into the environment.

For details about the drill, call 925-313-9296 or go to CAER's website at www.cococaer.org.

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October 2010

Contra Costa Health Department to Hold Nine Free Flu Clinics in One Day

Contra Costa Health Services will hold a free one-day, flu vaccination event in nine Contra Costa cities next month. The Public Health Division of Contra Costa Health Services plans to hold the free flu clinics from 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 10 to "Vaccinate Contra Costa." Only one vaccine is needed this year to protect against H1N1 and two other flu strains expected to be circulating this year, said Contra Costa Health Services Immunization Coordinator Erika Jenssen. People need this vaccine even if they received seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccine last year, and some children will need two doses, she said.

"The beginning of November is the perfect time to get vaccinated," Jenssen said. "It's right before families gather for the holidays, so you won't spread or catch the flu from any relatives."

The flu is a serious respiratory disease that can cause severe illness and even death. Jenssen said a person could be contagious 24 hours before experiencing symptoms, which may include headache, body aches, nausea, fever and a dry cough.

"The flu poses the greatest danger for infants and the elderly, who are often infected by relatives who did not get vaccinated," she said. "Everyone older than 6 months should get vaccinated, especially pregnant women and people who have contact with young children."

Vaccine at the Nov. 10 clinics will be offered for free in both shot and nasal spray forms. Jenssen said the nasal spray is a painless alternative to the shot, but is only available to healthy people age 2 to 49 years and who are not pregnant. Children under 9 years of age will need two doses of flu vaccine, one month apart, if this is the first time that the child is receiving flu vaccine, or if the child has never received an H1N1 vaccine before. The hours of the clinics are intended to allow families time to get vaccinated after work and school.

The clinics will be held in Richmond (403 Civic Center Plaza), El Sobrante (5050 El Portal Drive), Concord (5298 Clayton Road), Martinez (30 Muir Road), Lafayette (952 Moraga Road), Danville (655 Old Orchard Drive), Pittsburg (200 Marina Boulevard), Antioch (1919 Buchanan Road) and Brentwood (30 Learning Lane).

Flu vaccine is also available from health care providers, local pharmacies, grocery stores, and community clinics. A podcast and video answering commonly asked flu questions is available on the CCHS website: http://cchealth.org/topics/flu/

To find out more about the flu or to locate a clinic near you, visit: at http://cchealth.org/topics/flu/vaccination.php or call the CCHS Health Emergency Information Line at 1-888-959-9911 for information in both English and Spanish.

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2010-2011 Contra Costa County Public Schools Directory

The PDF version of the 2010-2011 Contra Costa County Public Schools Directory is now available. We anticipate the printed and bound version to be available mid November. The PDF version and order form are on the Public Schools Directory page.

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Pertussis (whooping cough) Immunization Requirements

Information about the new pertussis vaccination requirement for students in grades seven through twelve that becomes effective July 1, 2011.

Access the Pertussis (whooping cough) Immunization Requirements (PDF; Outside Source)

EARLY ALERT TO SCHOOLS
Assembly Bill 354 Becomes Law
2011 Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Immunization Requirements for Students
September 30, 2010

Whooping cough (pertussis) has been widespread in California during 2010. The California Department of Public Health recommends that all Californians 10 years and older receive a booster shot against pertussis (also known as "Tdap"1). Moreover, Assembly Bill 354, now chaptered into California law, requires students to be immunized against pertussis2:

For the 2011-12 school year only, all students entering 7th through 12th grades will need proof of a Tdap booster shot before starting school. This requirement:

  • Begins July 1, 2011.
  • Can be met by receiving one dose of Tdap vaccine on or after the 10th birthday.
  • Applies to all public and private schools.
  • Does not affect students enrolled in summer school.

Beginning July 1, 2012, and beyond, all students entering the 7th grade will need proof of a Tdap booster shot before starting school.

Starting now, please use your school websites, newsletters, report card messages, and other communications to send the following information:

Pertussis is widespread. If your child 10 years and older has not yet received the 'Tdap' pertussis booster shot, please contact your doctor or health department. Getting a booster shot now will protect your child against the ongoing threat of pertussis and meet a new school requirement that begins in the 2011-12 school year (California law - Assembly Bill 354).

Adults are also advised to get a pertussis booster shot, if they haven't already, to protect themselves, their families, and their students.

Updates on implementing this new law will be posted later in the 2010-2011 school year at www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Pertussis.aspx, which currently has general information about pertussis disease and immunization.

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Delta Vista Students get a Hall of Fame Lesson from One of the Greatest

BYRON, Calif., October 19, 2010 – Well known for his incredible football career, as well as his numerous generous philanthropic gestures, Hall of Fame former San Francisco 49er Ronnie Lott took time out, on October 18, to spend the afternoon with the students at Delta Vista High School. Delta Vista is located inside the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility (formerly known as the Byron Boys' Ranch), in Byron. On this day, the All Pro offered up the boys plenty of encouragement, empowerment, and entertainment.

Ronnie Lott's Superbowl RingAs the close-to-100-young men (clad in orange, blue, or kaki jumpsuits), took their seats, Lott made it a point to great each one of them with a handshake and a warm hello. When his hour-and-a-half presentation began, he held all of the boys' undivided attention as he talked about his younger days, football career, after-football career, the current status of the National Football League (NFL), and his philosophies on being successful in life. The only time the boys would look away was when they were passed Lott's Super Bowl ring, for each of them to hold and try on for size.

Still looking like he could play this coming Sunday, Lott told the boys how important it is to take responsibility for your actions: "Every one of you has some game! It's what you do with it that's important." Lott also talked about his important influences in his life: his coaches, friends, and especially his dad. "My dad always told me, 'You have to exhaust life, because you never know when your number will come up.'" Lott's accomplishments certainly prove that he was listening to his father.

Allan Cacciaroni, longtime Delta Vista teacher and program coordinator, has put together a number of these types of speaking engagements for his students. "I couldn't be more pleased with Ronnie Lott taking the time to talk to our kids; we can't thank him enough, reported Cacciaroni. It was obvious to all the teachers, staff, and probation officers, that Lott shared the same desire of making a difference with this group of kids. "He had them fully captivated, like no other guest we've had in the past," continued Cacciaroni. "It was his personable approach that caught the attention, not only with these youths, but with the full staff and administration. He was a true inspirational speaker with elaborate answers to all questions given, and I'm sure it will have an effect."

Ronnie Lott Speaks to Youth at Delta Vista High SchoolAn All-American defensive back at the University of Southern California in 1980, Lott was chosen by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the 1981 National Football League (NFL) draft, and for the next 14 seasons he amassed one of the most successful football careers any player has experienced in the league. Along with the 49ers, Lott played with the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets. His many NFL accolades include being four-time Super Bowl champion, playing in 10 Pro Bowls, fifth on the NFL all-time interception list, and was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team in 1995.

Lott answered plenty of questions about his professional football career with the 49ers and Raiders, as well as his collegiate play at the University of Sothern California. He answered many questions about today's NFL players and teams. There was also plenty of interest about his post football life. Lott now enjoys a very successful business and family life. He owns a carwash and an auto dealership in Tracy, Calif.

Obviously understanding his audience, Lott finished the session by telling the incarcerated boys: "Take my advice, I know you have rage inside you, I do as well. I know it's hard. But, like me, you need to turn that rage into something positive and productive in your life! I know every one of you can do that!"

The Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) operates many different programs, such as Delta Vista High, 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 programs provide challenging academic curriculum and assist students in developing positive social skills. For additional info, visit: http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/stsvcs/court_community.html.

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Contra Costa County Teen Parents Will Sharpen their Life Skills at Independent City

NEWS ADVISORY

Media Contact: Jonathan Lance
Phone: 925-942-3429
E-mail: Jlance@cccoe.k12.ca.us

WHAT:
Independent City is a reality skills workshop for teen parents in our community. The site will be transformed into a simulated city with agency tables set up around the room for more than 75 Contra Costa County teen parents to receive information on business and community services needed for them to live out on their own. The businesses and agencies will bring copies of actual forms needed for their clients to receive services. Participating teen parents will be asked to visit all business and agency tables to learn how to complete actual application forms, in order to receive services. After the teen parents complete service forms and/or hear about the services, they will write their names on a coupon ticket and be eligible for random prize drawings. On this day, they will learn about housing, insurance, continued education, employment, money management, health services, and smart shopping.

WHO:
This program is produced by the Contra Costa County Office of Education and First Five Contra Costa. For additional information, please contact Brenda Sharp at (925) 942-3496 or bsharp@cccoe.k12.ca.us

Participating sponsors will include: Bank of America/Union Bank, Diablo Valley College, John Muir Women's Center, STAND, Families First, ROP, Youth Development Services, and the Contra Costa Employment & Human Services Department.

WHEN:
Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:
The Ambrose Recreation Center, 3105 Willow Pass Rd., Bay Point, Calif. http://www.ambroserec.org/

ACTION:
More than 75 Contra Costa County teenage parents will be on hand to learn about family living skills, by interacting with approximately 35 local business and community organization representatives.

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November 10th Public Health Free Flu Clinics

Everyone 6 months and older is urged to get vaccinated
(unless you are allergic to eggs)

  • Only one vaccine is needed this year which includes protection against H1N1 and other flu viruses.
  • Children under 9 years of age may need a second dose of flu vaccine one month later.
  • Free Tdap and pneumococcal vaccines are also available for those who are eligible.

Flu Vaccinations in Contra Costa County (Vaccine is available in both nasal and shot form)

Public Health Walk-up Clinics
1– 7 p.m., Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Click the address below for driving directions (PDF)

Richmond Richmond Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza
El Sobrante Masonic Hall, 5050 El Portal Drive
Concord Concord Centre, 5298 Clayton Road
MartinezCounty Building, 30 Muir Road
Lafayette Old Library,952 Moraga Road
Danville Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, 655 Old Orchard Drive
Pittsburg Elks Lodge, 200 Marina Blvd.
Antioch Antioch Covenant Church, 1919 Buchanan Road
Brentwood Old River Elementary School, 30 Learning Lane

Updated vaccination information can be found at the Contra Costa Public Health site.

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September 2010

Pinole Valley High Teacher Named County’s Teacher of the Year

Michele Lamons, Pinole Valley High School, named 2010-2011 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Teacher of the yearCONCORD, Calif., September 25, 2010—Concluding an energy-drivenand exciting evening at the Concord Hilton, ContraCosta County Superintendent of Schools Joseph Ovick, Ed.D., announced the night-long anticipated naming of the county’s next Teacher of the Year – it was Pinole Valley High’s Michele Lamons.  Lamons has been teaching English and sign language at Pinole Valley High for the past eight years.

After being named by the West Contra Costa County Unified School District as their district Teacher of the Year (TOY), this past March, Lamons successfully proceeded with the other 17 eligible county candidates through a rigorous county-wide selection process, which included an application screening, classroom evaluation, interview, and speech presentation.  Her fellow finalists were John Korzick, San Ramon Valley Unified SD, (California High) and Lori Leach, Brentwood Union SD, (R. Paul Krey Elementary).

Close to 400 attendees were on hand for an evening that will certainly not be forgotten.  The audience was made up of the TOYs’ family members and friends, as well as numerous local educators, business partners, and officials.  Kicking off the festivities was a rousing version of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” performed by Alhambra High School’s “Pivotal Vortex,” directed by teacher Julianne George.  Master of ceremonies, Dr. Ovick introduced the TOY class of 2010-2011 by sharing to the audience of his visit to each of the teachers’ classrooms.  This was followed by speeches of the three TOY finalists, their topic: “What I have learned from my students.”   Following the three speeches, Lamons’ announcement was made.

Along with the courses she teaches at Pinole High, Lamons serves as an adviser and coordinator for several school student groups and activities, including the Forensics (speech and debate) Team, the African American Student Union, Black History Month, Day of Peace Celebration, and annual college fair.  She also teaches English at Solano College, in Fairfield.

Lamons will now compete with all the other county representatives in the California State TOY competition http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/sr/ct/.  The California State Teachers of the Year are expected to be announced in early November.

The county TOY program is produced by the Contra Costa County Office of Education. (For additional TOY info, visit http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/supe/toy.html#10-11).

The Teacher of the Year Awards Dinner will air on CCTV on

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.

Monday, October 18, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.

CCTV is televised on the following channels:

Cable Provider Channel
Comcast 27
AT&T U-Verse 99
Astound 32

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The Great California Shake Out

WHAT:
The 2010 Great California ShakeOut is occurring statewide on October 21st at 10:21 a.m.

The California ShakeOut drill is held on the third Thursday of October each year. Other states are also holding ShakeOut drills.

More than 6.9 million Californians participated in 2009, practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On and other aspects of family, school, and organizational emergency plans.

For 2010, Californians are also encouraged to "Secure Your Space" to reduce potential damage and injuries.

WHO:
more than 5.8 million people

WHEN:
October 21 at 10:21 a.m.

WHERE:
Statewide - The Contra Costa County Office of Education will participate in The Great California Shake Out Drill.

For resources and more information on The Great California Shake Out visit their site at http://www.shakeout.org.

Drill manuals, multimedia, posters, flyers and more at http://www.shakeout.org/resources/.

Earthquake Country Alliance(ECA) is a statewide "alliance of alliances" linking the public information efforts of organizations and individuals that provide earthquake information and services visit their site at http://earthquakecountry.info/alliance/.

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Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

California is experiencing an increase in the number of reported illnesses due to Pertussis. Contra Costa has not reported any deaths from whooping cough in 2010. Children younger than 6 months of age are the most vulnerable to serious illness if they develop Pertussis. The most effective prevention against Pertussis is vaccination. We encourage vaccinations for parents, caregivers, siblings and healthcare workers. This helps decrease the chances of a young infant being exposed to Pertussis. Symptoms of Pertussis begin with a cough and runny nose for 1–2 weeks followed by weeks of coughing fits. Fever is not usually seen. People with symptoms should see their health care provider for testing and diagnosis.

Information for Parents

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Information for Parents (English PDF)

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Information for Parents (Spanish PDF)

Vaccination Clinics

Contra Costa Pulic Health Immunization Clinics

Immunization Provider Locations and Phone Directory (PDF)

Coupon for FREE Tdap Vaccine (PDF)

Information Provided by the Contra Costa Health Services

About Whooping Cough

  • Fact Sheet: English and En español
  • Information for parents and grandparents
  • Information for pregnant women
  • Whooping Cough factsheet (CDPH)

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2010-2011 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year will be announced this Thursday

NEWS ADVISORY

Media Contact: Jonathan Lance
Phone: 925-942-3429
E-mail: Jlance@cccoe.k12.ca.us

WHAT:
Contra Costa County's 2010-2011 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.  The county TOY program is produced by the Contra Costa County Office of Education.  For additional TOY info, visit http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/supe/toy.html#10-11

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, and a speech presentation, one of these three finalists will be selected to represent Contra Costa County as its 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year: 

John Korzick, San Ramon Valley Unified SD, (California High)
Michele Lamons, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (Pinole Valley High)
Lori Leach, Brentwood Union SD, (R. Paul Krey Elementary)

The other 16 TOY candidates will also be honored at this event (for complete list below).

WHEN:
Thursday, September 23, 2010, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

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

ACTION:
More than 400 attendees will be on hand.  The assembly will include the 19 TOYs, plus numerous educators (k-college), business executives (sponsors), local government, and local political representatives.  The evening's entertainment will be provided by Alhambra High School's "Pivotal Vortex," directed by teacher Julianne George.   Dr. Joseph Ovick, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools, will serve as master of ceremonies, as he introduces all 19 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.)  The evening will conclude in excitement and anticipation, with the announcement of the 2010-2011 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.

2010-2011 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives

Steve Amaro, Liberty Union High SD, (Freedom High)

Kay Carlile, Knightsen SD, (Knightsen Elementary)

James Conrad, Contra Costa Community College District, (Contra Costa College)

Mary Dolan, Orinda Union SD, (Del Rey Elementary)

Kerry Flaherty, Byron Union SD, (Timber Point Elementary)

Sharon Geernaert, Martinez Unified SD, (Las Juntas Elementary)

Nicole Giusti, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (J.O. Ford Elementary)

Kasey Graham, Antioch Unified SD, (Dozier-Libbey Medical High)

Brendan Hurd, Walnut Creek SD, (Walnut Creek Intermediate)

John Korzick, San Ramon Valley Unified SD, (California High)

Nancy Krajcar, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (Olympic High)

Michele Lamons, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (Pinole Valley High)

Lori Leach, Brentwood Union SD, (R. Paul Krey Elementary)

Brian Mangold, Lafayette SD, (Stanley Middle)

Alice Noyes, Moraga SD, (Donald Rheem Elementary)

Rebecca Pounds, Pittsburg Unified SD, (Hillview Junior High)

Daniel Reynolds, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (Mt. Diablo High)

Seth Seavey, John Swett Unified SD, (Carquinez Middle)

Joy Snider, Oakley Union Elementary SD, (Gehringer Elementary)

Aster Tadesse, CCCOE, (Oakland Parole STAR)

Note regarding eligible participants:

  • 17 of the 18 Contra Costa County school districts represented (plus the CCCOE)
  • Contra Costa County Office of Education school (because Aster Tadesse is an adult education teacher, she is not eligible to compete in the state Teacher of the Year
    competition)
  • The Contra Costa Community College District TOY, James Conrad, (does not compete in the State Teacher of the Year competition)
  • Due to the larger number of students in their districts, both West Contra Costa USD and Mt. Diablo USD are allowed to select two TOY candidates.

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CPIN Meeting / Mini-Conference

Bay Region 4 California Preschool
Instructional Network (CPIN) Meeting / Mini-Conference


Unpacking the California Preschool Curriculum Framework Volume 1 (PDF)

Friday, October 8, 2010


Please join us as we unpack the new California Preschool Curriculum Framework (PCF) and discover how it fits into California's Early Learning and Development System. Become familiar with the structure and features of PCF, Volume 1. Discover how to use the framework to enrich learning and development opportunities for all of California's preschool children.


9:30 am: Registration, Networking, & Refreshments
10:00 am: Presentation
3:00 pm: Adjournment
Hs Lordships Restaurant
Georgian Ballroom (Upstairs, 2nd Floor)
199 Seawall Drive, Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 843-2733

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Learn Your Concussion ABCs

Upcoming CDC and Safe States Alliance Webinar

Learn Your Concussion ABCs: Addressing Concussions in School Settings

Thursday, September 16, 2010
3:00 - 4:00 PM EST

This webinar will focus on issues that are relevant to school professionals K-12. During the webinar, participants will learn about CDC's new educational initiative, Heads Up to Schools: Know Your Concussion ABCs.

CDC and the Safe States Alliance will present NEW and FREE resources that will help participants:

  • Know the signs, symptoms and affects of a concussion on students K-12.
  • Know how to prevent and respond to concussions in school.
  • Explore school-wide approaches to addressing concussion
  • Learn ways to support individual students returning to school after a concussion.

Presentations by:

  • Kelly Sarmiento, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Beth Adams, MEd LRC, Concussion Rehab Specialist
  • Gerard A. Gioia, PhD, Children's National Medical Center

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR.

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Concerned about Concussion?

A New FREE Online Training from CDC Helps Prepare Coaches in Less than 30 Minutes

Each day in our nation, hundreds of thousands of young athletes head out to fields, ice and gymnasiums
to practice and compete in a wide variety of sports. There's no doubt that these sports are a great way
for kids and teens to stay healthy, as well as learn important leadership and team-building skills.
However, young athletes, especially kids and teens, often don't recognize their own limitations;
especially when they have a concussion.

A concussion can have long term impacts on young athletes such as their health, memory, learning and even their survival. This has lead to a new effort to improve prevention, recognition and response to sports-related concussion.
The good news is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its partners have developed the FREE Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports online training for coaches that can help them:

  • Recognize a possible concussion
  • Better understand what to do if they suspect an athlete has a concussion
  • Learn how to help prevent or prepare for concussions

Coaches can be prepared for the new season in less than 30 minutes by simply going online and taking the self-guided training.

Complete the FREE training today by visiting: www.cdc.gov/Concussion.

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Contra Costa Public Information Network

Presents
The Changing Face of Journalism:
What It Means to You
(PDF)

Come join us as we continue to look at the media - new, social, traditional - and how journalism is changing. The panelists will discuss with us what is changing for them and their medium, where they look for story ideas, what establishes credibility and whether it still matters, and what they expect from us. We plan a break out session in addition to the panel discussion and Q&A with our guest speakers.

Panelists are:
Ann Notarangelo - CBS 5 Eyewitness News Weekend Edition Anchor & Reporter
John Ramos - CBS 5 Photojournalist
Kevin Keane - Executive Editor, Bay Area News Group, Contra Costa Times
Ari Soglin - Regional Editor, Patch.com
Ed Cavagnaro - KCBS News & Programming Director

Thursday, October 21, 2010, 10:00 a.m. - noon
Contra Costa County Office of Education Board Room
77 Santa Barbara Road, Pleasant Hill

For a map and driving directions, visit http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/about/cccoemap.html
Parking: The CCCOE has a huge employee parking lot on the west side of the building on the corner of Oak Park and Monte Cresta. Please don't struggle with on street parking. Use our employee lot. You still must enter through the front door to register in the building.

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=86376239777

Space is limited! Please RSVP by Monday, October 18, to Peggy Marshburn at (925) 942-3420 or e-mail FAX (925) 942-3454

Next meeting: January 20, 2011 - Legal issues focused around new and social media.

The Contra Costa Public Information Network is sponsored by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, Contra Costa Health Services and CAPIO (California Association of Public Information Officials)

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August 2010

CCCOE’s Summer Jobs Program Student Interns Learn First Hand about Career Life

 

CONCORD, Calif., August 9, 2010—While many of their classmates are enjoying the pleasures of summer vacation, high school students Benjamin Quach, William Quach, and Carlos Rivera are working hard, and learning applicable education and employment skills at BioCare Medical, in Concord.  These three young men are currently enrolled in the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) Contra Costa Youth@Work Summer Program.

“It’s so inspiring to see these three young men thrive and do so well with their jobs here at BioCare,” says CCCOE Youth Development Specialist Oscar Blackwell.  The three summer interns are just a few of the many Contra Costa high school student cases Blackwell works directly, throughout the year. 

Headquartered in Concord, Calif., BioCare Medical is an innovator in advanced care and diagnosis technologies to aid physicians to correctly diagnose challenging cancers.  This is the second year the company has participated in the program. 

“Students who qualify for Contra Costa Youth@Work program come from low-income homes, are in foster care, or qualify for Special Education,” says CCCOE Youth Development Services (YDS) Manager Catherine Giacalone.  “Whether they are flourishing, or not, in their classrooms, the majority of our summer program students demonstrate a capacity to be very successful in the work area.”  Without such a program, many of these students would not have the chance to work such a company as BioCare Medical.  This hands-on learning opportunity certainly sparks their interest and enthusiasm about their personal education and career paths.

With funding from the Contra Costa Workforce Development Board, YDS has developed county-wide work-site partnerships and hired staff to develop and implement an innovative and successful summer employment program.  This summer, 280 students will each work 132 hours, at $8.25 an hour.   

photo of William and Benjamin QuachDuring a late August morning, brothers, Benjamin and William, who are serving as BioCare manufacturing assistants, were working with the company’s testing solutions, carefully mixing and filling containers for shipment.  They both agreed that working with health care company was certainly an outstanding opportunity to be employed in a field related to their career choice, serving as medical doctors.

Older brother, William Quach, recently graduated from Ygnacio Valley High School, with an impressive 4.35 grade average.  Through William’s hard work and success, he has earned an undergraduate scholarship to enter U.C. Davis this fall to study pre-medicine, with a concentration in neuroscience behavior physiology.   William says he’s very excited to get started.

Younger brother, Benjamin Quach, will be entering his sophomore year this fall at Ygnacio Valley High School.  Like his big brother, Benjamin’s schedule of classes will be filled with honors courses, including pre-calculus.  In addition, he is looking forward to joining the school’s Health Academy.  His goal is to begin his pre-medicine studies at Stanford University, after graduating high school.

photo of Carlos RiveraCarlos Rivera and his mother came to the United States three years ago, from Puerto Rico.  This summer, Carlos has been working in BioCare Medical’s accounting department.  During this particular morning, he was inputting international sales numbers.  The soon-to-be junior at Mt. Diablo High School, will continue attending courses in the school’s Architecture, Construction, Manufacturing and Engineering, (ACME) Academy.  After high school, Carlos says he will attend Diablo Valley College, then transfer to University of California, Berkeley, where he will study to become an electronic engineer.  But for this summer, he has been enjoying his work in the accounting department.  When asked if he saw any similarities to accounting and electronic engineering, Carlos quickly smiled and answered, “Yes, lots of numbers!”

Adding more about the importance of the summer work program, Giacalone says, “A key predictor of consistent employment in adulthood is early exposure to the world of work through summer and year-round employment, internships, and service opportunities in the teen years.  Teen employment exposes youth to careers, promotes job readiness, and develops their skills in particular industries.”

After meeting with his three students, Blackwell beamed with pride on how well they are doing with their work, as well as blending in so easily with the BioCare Medical staff and management: “These three young men share many of the same qualities to become successful in life.  Their work here really showcases how bright and motivated they are!”

 

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July 2010

Dr. Ovick Elected President of California State Superintendents’ Association

photo of Superintendent of Schools, Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.d.PLEASANT HILL, Calif., July 21, 2010—In looking for a leader with proven success, guidance skills, and applicable experience, during these challenging times in California public education, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D. was recently elected as the 2012 president of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA).  His commitment to this post will begin in January of 2011, serving as president-elect, with his presidency following in January 2012.

CCSESA provides the organizational mechanism for the 58 County Superintendents of Schools to design and implement statewide programs to identify and promote quality cost-effective educational practices and services, and provide support to school districts in the areas of student services, curriculum and instructional services, fiscal accountability and business services, and technology and telecommunications. CCSESA advocates on behalf of K-12 and early childhood education at state and federal levels.  The organization maintains a website at www.ccsesa.org.

“Our state’s public schools have been forced to continually find ways to do more with less, as we watch our education budgets plummet,” says Dr. Ovick.  “I look forward to working as president of CCSESA organization with county superintendents across the state to provide the stability in leadership and advocacy for our children’s education that is so crucial to the future of California.”

Dr. Ovick was elected to this position due to his extraordinary capabilities as a leader and manager who has developed strong coalitions of educators, community members, business leaders, and legislators in support of public schools.  He has always been known to successfully communicate a compelling vision, and bring together the people and resources required to accomplish that vision.

Congressman George Miller, Chair of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee says, "I have often turned to ‘Joe’ for unvarnished, detailed information about education and youth.  His keen insights and wealth of information often help me make decisions about shaping, supporting or opposing key pieces of legislation."

Dr. Ovick advocates for all learners in the state and the nation by providing sound, practical counsel to legislators in the crafting of key education legislation.  In addition to his tireless advocacy for K-12 funding, he has gone to bat for establishing universal preschools, because he supports a young child's right to enter elementary school prepared.  He is a strong advocate for funding of community colleges and state universities.  He travels to Washington, D.C. annually to update and discuss educational concerns with our members of Congress and the U.S. Senate.  He is also a longtime strong voice for special education in his quest to secure full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Dr. Ovick has been an educator for more than 40 years.  He began his career teaching special education students in Santa Clara County, followed by serving as an assistant principal and principal.  Later on, he joined the Contra Costa County Office of Education, as director of special education; assistant superintendent, student services; and associate superintendent, business.  Since 1996 he has been the county’s superintendent of schools.  In each of these jobs, he has maintained direct contact with students, and as superintendent, he visits classrooms regularly.

Dr. Ovick obtained his BA and MS at San Jose State University, followed by earning his Ed.D. at the University of La Verne.

California’s 58 County Superintendents of Schools and their respective county offices of education support the financial and academic stability of every district and school in the state.  The primary aim of County Superintendents is to work collaboratively with school districts to ensure that every student benefits from a quality educational experience, regardless of their circumstances.

County Superintendents

The position of County Superintendent of Schools, established in the California State Constitution in 1879, has evolved to meet the changing needs of the state and its students. The responsibilities of these constitutional officers fall generally into these categories:

  • Educating specific student populations (i.e., special education and disenfranchised youth);
  • Monitoring and oversight of student academic environment;
  • Implementing regional support activities to assist district and school staffs;
  • Monitoring and oversight for district fiscal stability;
  • Providing direct services to small school districts; and
  • Providing academic support and assistance to districts and their schools.

*Quick Facts:

  •  There are 6.2 million students in California (Source: California Department of Education, Educational Demographics Office (CBEDS, 2008/2009)
  • There are 1,043 districts in California (2008/2009)
  • There are 58 County Superintendents in California
  • 53 County Superintendents are elected; 5 are appointed
  • Appointed County Superintendents include: Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara
  • There are 7 single district counties in the state: Alpine, Amador, Del Norte, Mariposa, Plumas, San Francisco, and Sierra

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Two Cabinet Appointments Have Been Filled by the CCCOE

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., July 20, 2010—As part of the senior managerial portion of the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) reorganization plan, Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D. recently announced two prominent changes to the organization’s cabinet.  Current CCCOE cabinet member, Karen Sakata, has been named as the new associate superintendent of human resources and Pamela Comfort, Ed.D. has been hired to serve as the associate superintendent of educational services, a move that combines the departments of Educational Services with Student Programs and Services and eliminates one associate superintendent position.

In continuing to successfully meet the demands of providing quality service to the county’s students, teachers, and school districts, while also working within its own ongoing budget cuts, the CCCOE has been enacting a number of changes within its organization.  The most significant change has been the recent voluntary early retirement of 51 CCCOE teachers, classified staff, administrators, and directors.  Of those 51 vacated positions, approximately 20 (primarily teachers and instructional aids) will be replaced by new hires in the very near future.  Another considerable adjustment with the CCCOE is the recent merging and restructuring of departments inside the agency, which makes these two cabinet updates so important.

photo of Karen SakataSince May 2008, Sakata has been the CCCOE’s associate superintendent of student programs and services.  Prior to joining the CCCOE, Sakata was serving as principal of Ayers Elementary School, in Concord (Mt. Diablo Unified School District).  Sakata brings more than 35 years of experience as a classroom teacher and an education administrator to her new position.  She will be replacing the recently retired Associate Superintendent of Human Resources Michael Bowers.

“Karen [Sakata] was the perfect choice for this position because of her experience regarding personnel issues and because she is a graduate of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Personnel Academy and has attended the ACSA Personnel Institute,” reports Dr. Ovick.  “She has assumed a leadership role backed by ten years of experience with negotiations, and she has both school district and COE experience with recruitments, staff evaluation, and conflict resolution, as it relates to providing quality services, while fully recognizing that the most important resource that we have is our staff.”

With the recent vacancy of Sakata’s former position and the retirement of Associate Superintendent of Educational Services Susan Magnone, the departments of Educational Services and Student Programs and Services were recently merged and will now be directed by Dr. Comfort. 

photo of Pamela ComfortDr. Comfort joins the CCCOE after serving for the past two years as the assistant superintendent of educational services with the Newark Unified School District (Newark, Calif.).  Prior to that position, she was the director of instruction and program improvement with the San Lorenzo Unified School District (San Lorenzo, Calif.).  Her impressive work experience also includes other administration, principal, and teaching positions held with other Alameda County schools and schools districts, beginning in 1992. 

“We feel very fortunate to have Dr. Comfort join us here at the CCCOE,” continues Dr. Ovick.  “Her excellent background and vast applicable experience will be so important to fill this new cabinet position.”

These two appointments, as well as a number of other CCCOE employee and departmental changes were officially enacted on July 1, 2010.

 

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Bay Area Biotechnology Business, Law Enforcement, and Education Come Together to Provide a Summer Science Camp

WHAT:
Local health care and biotechnology businesses, education, and law enforcement have come together to present an incredible 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 7th 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:

  • Biotech & Bio fuels
  • Bio-Ethics
  • Forensic Science/Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)
  • Disease Detection and Control
  • Stem Cell Science
  • Biotech Career Exploration


Hands-on lab lecturers and discussion leaders will represent such entities as Bio-Rad Laboratories; Department of Justice Richmond Lab, CSI Unit; Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department; Contra Costa County Health Department; Joint Genome Institute; John Muir Health; California Institute for Regenerative Medicine; Sutter Health; and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center--with the assistance of local high school science teachers.

WHERE:
The camp is headquartered at the California State University, East Bay - Concord Campus, 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. A complete camp schedule with exact times and locations of the field trips is available upon request. For more information about the summer 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).

WHEN:
July 12-16, hours held 8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., each day.

ACTION:
More than 60 high school students, attending from all over Contra Costa County, will be learning (hands-on) about the many opportunities in Biotechnology, from industry experts, on the CSUEB - Concord Campus and at various field sites. Audio, still photography, and video recording are welcomed. When on the campus, the students will be working on a number of curriculum-related experiments and projects.

WHO:
Along with the Contra Costa County Office of Education, the 2010 Biotech Summer Science Camp is presented in cooperation with the California State University, East Bay - Concord Campus; Contra Costa Community College District; Chevron; Bio-Rad Laboratories; John Muir Medical; and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership.

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June 2010

An Impressive Group of East Bay Teachers Complete their Advanced Training

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., June 24, 2010 - The Contra Costa County Beginning Teacher Support & Assessment (BTSA) Induction Program congratulates the 95 new teachers who have just completed their two-year induction process, and now have been recommended for their California Professional Clear Credentials, which will be awarded through the same program.

This rigorous process of inquiry and reflection into their own teaching practice, under the guidance of an experienced, trained mentor teacher, helps beginning educators learn how to plan instruction, analyze student work, and reflect on the results to improve student learning and achievement.

"We are fortunate to have these talented new teachers in the profession," reports BTSA Induction & Teacher Development Coordinator Jane Blomstrand.

The Contra Costa County Office of Education/Saint Mary's College BTSA Induction Program (CCCOE/SMC BTSA Induction Program) program was formed more than seven years ago to support the professional growth of new teachers and the transition into teaching. BTSA is a state grant that provides funding for new teachers in their first years of teaching. New teachers may receive a Professional Clear Teaching Credential by completing all induction requirements. The program maintains a website at http://www.ccbtsa.org/

The program provides training for mentors, who can then assist new teachers in their professional growth, through the use of the New Teacher Center Formative Assessment System. Mentors in the program are full-time-classroom teachers, partial- or fully released teachers from the classroom. BTSA Mentors meet weekly with the new teachers, observe in their classrooms, and provide feedback. Support is based on the California Standards for the Teaching Profession and Standards of Quality and Effectiveness for Professional Teacher Induction Programs.

The CCCOE/SMC BTSA Induction Program consists of twelve school districts: Acalanes, John Swett, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Orinda, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek (Contra Costa County); Albany, Emery, and Piedmont (Alameda County), and the Contra Costa County Office of Education Student Services Programs. In 2009-2010, there were 156 participating teachers (PTs) and 61 mentors. The program also collaborates with several charter and private schools in the East Bay providing a pathway for their teachers to clear their credentials.

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NEWS ADVISORY: County's Workforce Investment Act In-School Program Graduates to be Honored

WHAT:
The Contra Costa County Office of Education's (CCCOE) Youth Development Services will be honoring 50 recent high school graduates, who were also enrolled in the Contra Costa County Workforce Investment Act In-School Youth Program, this coming Thursday evening. The event's key-note speaker will be Dr. Joseph E. Marshall, Jr., who is a nationally known author, lecturer, radio talk show host, and community activist.

WHO:
The CCCOE's Youth Development Services implements the in-school component of the Workforce Investment Act Program. Coordinators help students prepare for careers and/or post-secondary school, career technical training opportunities, and provide financial aid guidance. The program targets youth, 14-21 years old, who meet the federal low-income eligibility guidelines; foster youth; and students who are eligible for special education services. Participants receive job internships, job shadowing, career assessments, subsidized work, and are engaged in summer activities. Youth Development Services works in partnership with EASTBAY Works Career Centers, local school districts, universities and colleges, community-based organizations, Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services, and public and private businesses.

For more information about the Workforce Investment Act, visit this link.

The graduating students will be representing the following Contra Costa County school districts:

  • West Contra Costa Unified School District
  • John Swett Unified School District
  • Pittsburg Unified School District
  • Liberty Union High School District
  • Martinez Unified School District

WHEN:
Thursday, June 24, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

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

MEDIA NOTES:

*Flash photography and video and audio recording are allowed at this event. (There may be a few children whose images can not legally be photographed or recorded.)

*In addition to the 50 graduates being honored at this program, there will be numerous members of their families and friends on hand as well.

* Dr. Joseph E. Marshall, Jr. is the founder of the Alive & Free Movement and the founder and president of the Street Soldiers National Consortium, an organization dedicated to fighting violence nationwide. He is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the Omega Boys Club/Street Soldiers, a youth development and violence prevention organization headquartered in San Francisco, California that emphasizes academic achievement and non-involvement with drugs. Founded in 1987, the organization has transformed the lives of more than 10,000 young people and produced 157 college graduates, all supported by the Omega Scholarship Fund. Another 43 Omegas are currently enrolled in college, and 30 have gone on to earn graduate degrees. As Executive Director of the Omega Boys Club, he oversees the Omega Leadership Academy for academic and life skills education, the Omega Training Institute for replicating the Alive & Free Prescription; and Street Soldiers Communications, which includes the nationally syndicated radio talk show Street Soldiers.

*For more information about this special event, contact Youth Development Services Manager Catherine Giacalone
Phone: (925) 942-3300
E-mail: cgiacalone@cccoe.k12.ca.us

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Sharp Rise in Whooping Cough Prompts Free Vaccines, Outreach

For Release: June 17, 2010

Contact: Kate Fowlie, 925-313-626, Contra Costa Health Services

A dramatic rise in whooping cough cases recently in the Bay Area is leading Contra Costa health officials to intensify outreach efforts and offer free vaccinations to prevent serious illness.

Contra Costa Health Services had confirmed 40 cases of the respiratory illness, also known as pertussis, in its county as of June 16. In 2009, there were 18 cases. According to the California Department of Public Health, there were six times as many whooping cough cases in the Bay Area between January and May compared to the same time period last year.

“Whooping cough is very contagious and can be especially serious for young children,” said Dr. Wendel Brunner, Director of Public Health for Contra Costa Health Services. “Our best protection against whooping cough is to
have as many people immunized as possible.”

To help people get vaccinated against whooping cough, Contra Costa Health Services is offering coupons for a free booster shot called Tdap. The coupons are available at many locations throughout the county and online at www.cchealth.org.

Contra Costa Health Services will also offer free whooping cough vaccine to anyone under 65 years of age from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 25 at its Women, Infants and Children clinic in Richmond, located at 100 38th Street.

Contra Costa Health Services Immunization Coordinator Erika Jenssen said everyone should be immunized against the disease—especially those who come in contact with infants.

“Whooping cough is not just a childhood disease,” she said. “In fact, nearly half of all infants who get whooping cough are infected by their parents.”

The germ that causes whooping cough is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms of whooping cough begin with a cough and runny nose for one to two weeks followed by weeks of coughing fits. In some cases there is a low fever. Dr. Brunner said people with symptoms should see their health care provider for testing and diagnosis.

More information, including a podcast, videocast and fact sheets, is available in English and Spanish at www.cchealth.org/topics/pertussis/

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NEWS ADVISORY: 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 annual Contra Costa County 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:

  • Design & Engineering - Robotics Project
  • Energy: Generation & Control
  • Manufacturing / Engineering
  • Building & Construction
  • Careers & Pathways

WHEN:
June 21-25, hours held 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., each day.

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 Diablo Valley College (DVC) campus, the students will be working on a number of curriculum-related projects.

WHERE:
The camp will be headquartered DVC, 321 Golf Club Rd. (Engineering Quad, Parking Lot 2), Pleasant Hill, Calif., with the following afternoon subject-related field trips:

Monday: United Spiral Pipe, in Pittsburg
Tuesday: Chevron, San Ramon
Wednesday: USS POSCO Manufacturing & Engineering Plant, Pittsburg
Thursday: Local Union 342 (pipefitting, welding, plumbing, and refrigeration) Union & Training Center, Concord.
Friday: A job fair will be provided for the attendees, featuring 20 Bay Area industry representatives on hand to talk to the students about future career opportunities in engineering, construction, and manufacturing. Students will then exhibit their work and take part in the exciting Robotics competition; the afternoon will conclude with the camp's awards ceremony. (All of Friday's events will take place on the DVC campus - primarily in the Trophy Room and cafeteria.)

A complete camp schedule with exact times and locations of the field trips is available upon request. For more information about the summer 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:
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.

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May 2010

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ovick Earns Distinguished Education Award

photo of Dr. Joseph A. OvickPLEASANT HILL, Calif., May 20, 2010—In acknowledgement of his foresight, leadership, and numerous contributions to public education, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D. was recently honored by the Association of California of School Administrators (ACSA) Region VI with the Ferd J. Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award. 

Named in memory of the founding president of ACSA, this is the highest accommodation the organization can present to an individual.  Criteria for granting the award includes that the recipient has made a significant contribution to public education over a wide geographical area, and that the contribution has made a considerable impact on significant segments of public education.

Dr. Ovick was awarded this honor due to his extraordinary capabilities as a leader and manager who has developed strong coalitions of educators, community members, business leaders, and legislators in support of public schools.  He has always been known to successfully communicate a compelling vision, and bring together the people and resources required to accomplish that vision.

Congressman George Miller, Chair of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee says, "I have often turned to ‘Joe’ for unvarnished, detailed information about education and youth.  His keen insights and wealth of information often help me make decisions about shaping, supporting or opposing key pieces of legislation."

Dr. Ovick advocates for all learners in the state and the nation by providing sound, practical counsel to legislators in the crafting of key education legislation.  In addition to his tireless advocacy for K-12 funding, he has gone to bat for establishing universal preschools, because he supports a young child's right to enter elementary school prepared.  He is a strong advocate for funding of community colleges and state universities.  He travels to Washington, D.C. annually to update and discuss educational concerns with our members of Congress and the U.S. Senate.  He is also a longtime strong voice for special education in his quest to secure full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Dr. Ovick has been an educator for 40 years.  He began his career teaching special education students in Santa Clara County, followed by serving as an assistant principal and principal.  Later on, he joined the Contra Costa County Office of Education, as director of special education; assistant superintendent, student services; and associate superintendent, business.  Since 1996 he has been the county’s superintendent of schools.  In each of these jobs, he has maintained direct contact with students, and as superintendent, he visits classrooms regularly.

Dr. Ovick obtained his BA and MS at San Jose State University, followed by earning his Ed.D. at the University of La Verne.

The Association of California School Administrators was established in 1971. ACSA is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the nation, serving more than 16,000 school leaders.

The mission of ACSA is to support California’s educational leaders; ensure all students have the essential skills and knowledge needed to excel; and champion public education. More than two dozen job-alike and issue-oriented councils and committees, a board of directors and a delegate assembly keep ACSA focused on school leadership and on education policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.  The organization maintains a website at www.acsa.org.

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Two ROP Auto Tech Students Each Earn $20,000 Scholarships

Danville, Calif., May 13, 2010—Two ROP seniors from Las Lomas High (Walnut Creek) won First Place in the Northern California division of the Ford AAA Student Auto Skills Competition, held at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum, on May 7, 2010.  The team of Alexey Fedorov and Lionel Kahn got a perfect score on the hands-on aspect of the competition: diagnosing and repairing all that was malfunctioning on their test car, as well as scoring very high on the written test.  As a result, they each won a $20,000 scholarship from Universal Technical Institute. 

This is the first time the Contra Costa County ROP Auto Tech students have won this annual competition. The purpose of the competition is to encourage highly qualified students to enter the field of auto technology. 

"Being part of this competition was a confidence builder for these students," says ROP instructor Steve Boone.  "It opened the door of opportunity for a career in the auto industry."

The Contra Costa County ROP (Regional Occupational Program) serves 11,000 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 CCCOE.  For more information about ROP classes, visit www.cocoschools.org/stsvcs/rop.html.

PHOTOS
Quality jpeg photos of the students are available upon request.

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NEWS ADVISORY: ROP Students of Excellence Awards Ceremony

WHAT:
The Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) will be honoring 40 high school seniors and one adult with the 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 $175.00 in scholarship award.

WHO:
The Contra Costa County ROP (Regional Occupational Program) serves 11,000 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 CCCOE.  For more information about ROP classes, visit www.cocoschools.org/stsvcs/rop.html.

WHEN:
Thursday, May 6, 3:45-5:00 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 L. Borsuk 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 at
Phone:  (925) 942-3368
E-mail:  mmcclaskey@cccoe.k12.ca.us

The following outstanding students will receive certificates plus $175.00 in scholarship awards:

(See below list, alphabetical by city)

ALBANY
Albany High School
Felix Hasert, ROP Photography, Instructor Rachel Hubbard

ANTIOCH
Antioch High School (2 students)
Morrissey Alexander, ROP Art & Animation, Instructor Erin Susoev

Lindsay Strongman, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Kevin Brown

Deer Valley High School
Ernesto Garcia, ROP Video Production, Instructor Kiel Olff

Prospects High Adult Program
Susan Keen, ROP Adult Medical Assistant, Instructors Jennifer Martinez and Norma Shoemaker

BERKELEY
Berkeley High School (2 students)
Luis Flores, ROP Video Production, Instructor Dharini Rasiah

Chun-Mei Su, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Jamie Faison

BRENTWOOD
Heritage High School (2 students)
Joseph Massie, ROP Robotics Engineering, Instructor Rob Pardi

Hannah Wood, ROP Architectural Design, Instructor Barbara Worden

Liberty High School (2 students)
Susana Pinzon, ROP Medical Office Assistant, Instructor Cindy Powell

Michael Santiago, ROP Auto Technician, Instructor Jon Dorr

CONCORD
Concord High School
Ryan Fernando Eliyadurage, ROP Accounting, Instructor

Laurie Harris

Mt. Diablo High School (2 students)
Norma Avalos, ROP Restaurant Occupations, Instructor Kevin Fuller

Ashley Bulatao, ROP Environmental Science AP, Instructor Patrick Oliver

Ygnacio Valley High School (3 students)
Jessica Fabillaran, ROP Biotechnology, Instructor Maria Fletcher

Nicole Hunt, ROP Careers in Teaching, Instructor Laura Hallberg

Sean Tessandori, ROP Photography, Instructor Carolyn Moore

DANVILLE
Dougherty Valley High School
Samantha Stewart, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Dr. Juli Westcott

San Ramon Valley High School (2 students)
Nicholas Millias, ROP Introduction to Engineering, Instructor Cindy Egan

Shannon Smith, ROP Environmental Science AP, Instructor Cindy Egan

HERCULES
Hercules High School (2 students)
Tracy Chan, ROP Journalism, Instructor Natalie Wojinski

Tisha Effiong, ROP Careers in Teaching, Instructor Janet Headington

MARTINEZ
Alhambra High School (5 students)
Jesse Aston, ROP Creative Writing, Instructor Kaki Logan

Jacob Casillas, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Scott Pygeorge

Dillon Deskin, ROP Marketing, Instructor Michael Doigny

Andrew Seaman, ROP Auto Technician, Instructor Brian Wheeler

Mike Von Disterlo, ROP Cabinetmaking, Instructor Jay Heeb

MORAGA
Campolindo High School (2 students)
Lindsey Mascheroni, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Ray Albiento

Matt Valentine, ROP Architectural Design, Instructor Ron Dygert

OAKLEY
Freedom High School
Katherine Ehle, ROP Careers with Children, Instructor Elizabeth Rodriguez

PIEDMONT
Piedmont High School
Clara Davis, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Stan Nakahara

PINOLE
Pinole Valley High School (2 students)
Adam Brownrigg, ROP Careers in Law Enforcement, Instructor Patricia Blades

Shelby Stone, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Dan O’Shea

PITTSBURG
Pittsburg High School (2 students)
Alicia Ellington, ROP Graphic Arts, Instructor Rene Acevedo

Juan Murguia, ROP Construction, Instructor Ron Coniglio

RICHMOND
Richmond High School
Diego Cazares, ROP Animation and Graphics, Instructor Mario Ferrari

SAN RAMON
California High School (3 students)
Ashley Jensen, ROP Journalism, Instructor Brian Barr

Brian Piehl, ROP Play Production, Instructor Laura Woods

Kelly Saunders, ROP Sports Medicine, Instructor Shane Borchert

WALNUT CREEK
Las Lomas High School
Marika Wiegand-Shahani, ROP Analytical Forensic Science, Instructor Peat Sutherland

Northgate High School
Andrew Lam, ROP Computer Programming, Instructor Christian Herman

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April 2010

Contra Costa County School Districts announce their 2010-2011 Teachers of the Year

TOY list below

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., April 23, 2010 – In Contra Costa County, there are close to 8,200 teachers educating approximately 167,000 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 talented and dedicated educators that not only represent their individual schools and school districts, but also embody all of the exceptional teachers we are so fortunate to have in our county," reports Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph A. Ovick.

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 as follows:

I Application Screening:
On April 23, a committee of 11 educators and business and public-sector partners carefully reviewed the applications submitted by the school districts. This committee independently rated each application. After the application screening and scoring have been completed, between four to six teachers will be 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 discussing 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, at this time another panel of educators and business and public-sector representatives will judge them.

On the evening of September 23, 2010, all 20 TOYs, accompanied by their families, friends, and co-workers (an audience of approximately 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 about that reflects his classroom visits of each teacher. Finally, the night comes to a dramatic close with the announcement of the 2010-2011 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.

2010-2011 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives

Steve Amaro, Liberty Union High SD, (Freedom High)

Kay Carlile, Knightsen SD, (Knightsen Elementary)

James Conrad, Contra Costa Community College District, (Contra Costa College)

Mary Dolan, Orinda Union SD, (Del Rey Elementary)

Kerry Flaherty, Byron Union SD, (Timber Point Elementary)

Sharon Geernaert, Martinez SD, (Las Juntas Elementary)

Nicole Giusti, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (J.O. Ford Elementary)

Kasey Graham, Antioch USD, (Dozier-Libbey Medical High)

Brendan Hurd, Walnut Creek SD, (Walnut Creek Intermediate)

John Korzick, San Ramon Valley Unified SD, (California High)

Nancy Krajcar, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (Olympic High)

Michele Lamons, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (Pinole Valley High)

Lori Leach, Brentwood Union SD, (R. Paul Krey Elementary)

Brian Mangold, Lafayette SD, (Stanley Middle)

Alice Noyes, Moraga SD, (Donald Rheem Elementary)

Rebecca Pounds, Pittsburg Unified SD, (Hillview Junior High)

Daniel Reynolds, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (Mt. Diablo High)

Seth Seavey, John Swett Unified SD, (Carquinez Middle)

Joy Snider, Oakley Union Elementary SD, (Gehringer Elementary)

Aster Tadesse, CCCOE, (Oakland Parole STAR)

Note regarding eligible participants:

  • 17 of the 19 Contra Costa County school districts represented (including the CCCOE)
  • Contra Costa County Office of Education school (because Aster Tadesse is an adult education teacher, she is not eligible to compete in the state Teacher of the Year competition)
  • 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 districts, both West Contra Costa USD and Mt. Diablo USD are allowed to select two TOY candidates.

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Future Product Designers Show Off Their Talents In Front of Professional Peers

WHAT
After touring Clorox’s Pleasanton headquarters, and meeting with their design department, the students from Alhambra High School’s Regional Occupational Program’s (ROP) Computer Aided Design (CAD) class began designing a broad range of new products for Clorox’s many divisions.  Student teams have been designing new charcoal barbecues, chimney charcoal starters, and barbecue tools for Kingsford Charcoal.  In addition, student design teams will also be proposing new salad bowl mixers for Hidden Valley Dressing and new portable water bottles for Britta, USA.

ACTION:
Students from two CAD Level I classes, 60 total, will showcase their various team proposals. At the demonstration, there will be Clorox industrial/packaging designers who will use a special voting device to rate their favorite product designs.  It will undoubtedly be an incredible learning process for everyone participating in the event.  And, it will be a great chance to view new and innovative ideas in creating new household items.

WHERE:
Alhambra High School (auditorium), 150 East St., Martinez http://www1.martinez.k12.ca.us/schools/ahs/

WHEN:
Friday, April 23, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

WHO:
The Alhambra High School’s ROP CAD classes are taught by teacher Jeffrey Smith.  The Contra Costa County ROP serves 11,000 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.

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March 2010

Local hero, of national note, speaks to ROP high school class

PINOLE, Calif., March 17, 2010—Corporal Ally Jacobs, the University of California police officer who helped break the Jaycee Dugard kidnapping case, spoke today to Patricia Blades’ ROP Law Enforcement Careers class, at Pinole Valley High School.  “If I can inspire one person to take the time out of their day to help others, and listen to their gut instincts, then I’ve done my job,” said Corporal Jacobs to an enthralled classroom. 

Corporal Jacobs has become something of a celebrity lately, and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, but she remains modest about her accomplishments.  Standing in front of the ROP class, she told the students about her journey from high school to college to the Police Academy.  She was inspired to go into law enforcement by a high school teacher.  Now she’s back in high school trying to inspire others. 

Part of her message to the class was, “Pay attention to your instincts.”  Corporal Jacobs believes hunches and intuition can be important.  She told the story of her encounter with the protagonists in the Jaycee Dugard case.  “I knew something was wrong in my gut,” she said, and she followed up on that feeling with a phone call that lead to more investigation, and the eventual return of a young woman who had been kidnapped 18 years earlier.
 
While this sensational case made her a hero in others’ eyes, Corporal Jacobs said, “We didn’t do anything stupendous. We just followed our instincts.  Everyone in this classroom has the ability to have a positive effect on people’s lives.” 

The Contra Costa County Office of Education’s ROP program offers career technical education classes in every comprehensive high school in the county.  There are over 50 different ROP courses, ranging from Law Enforcement to Biotechnology to Robotics Engineering, which help prepare students for college or future careers.

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February 2010

Acalanes High School Wins Fourth Straight Year Contra Costa County's 2010 Academic Decathlon

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., February 10, 2010 - Acalanes High School (Lafayette) was announced as the overall team winner of the 2010 Contra Costa County Academic Decathlon, at tonight's Awards Ceremony. This is Acalanes' fourth year in a row as the county's team winner. The top high school teams that followed Acalanes were, in order, Campolindo (Moraga), Miramonte (Orinda), and Pittsburg.

The annual event, which was held over two consecutive Saturdays (January 30 and February 6), is directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), along with the assistance of numerous community volunteers. Close to 150 participating students had been studying and preparing for this event with their coaches since September. This year's teams represent the following high schools: Acalanes (Lafayette), American (Fremont), Antioch, California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Freedom (Oakley), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek), Miramonte (Orinda), Northgate (Walnut Creek), and Pittsburg.

"The Academic Decathlon is an outstanding event, which challenges our students' knowledge and learning skills," says Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D. "My congratulations to all the schools and students who participated, I know they will never forget this experience. We at the CCCOE would also like to convey a big thank you to all the teachers and volunteers who made the event another success."

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 (both prepared and impromptu). The curriculum for this year's event-ending team SuperQuiz was The French Revolution. Acalanes High School will represent Contra Costa County at the California Academic Decathlon that will be held in Sacramento March 12-15. Last year, the Lafayette high school was named as the overall Division III Team Winner in the California State Academic Decathlon. The National Academic Decathlon will be held in Omaha, Neb., April 21-24.

This year's Top Overall Academic Decathlon Individual Award went to Grace Ma, of Campolindo High School.

The 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 2010 Contra Costa County Academic Decathlon, visit www.cocoschools.org/edsvcs/events/decathlon.htm. All statistics should be posted by early next week.

 

Acalanes team photo

(click team photo for high res. version)

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County-Wide 2010 Academic Decathlon Concludes with the always Raucous and Exciting SuperQuiz

WHAT:
The Contra Costa County 2010 Academic Decathlon, which takes place over two Saturdays, will conclude this coming Saturday, February 6.  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 The French Revolution.

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.cocoschools.org/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 teams represent the following high schools: Acalanes (Lafayette), American (Fremont), Antioch, California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Freedom (Oakley), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek),  Miramonte (Orinda), Northgate (Walnut Creek), and Pittsburg.  Acalanes High School has won the past three years.  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 12-15. 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 5, 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 6, 2:30-3:45 p.m. at Los Medanos College--SuperQuiz Relay.
Wednesday, February 10, 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, 925-942-3400, or tkoehne@cccoe.k12.ca.us

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Contra Costa County Teacher/Certificated Staff Recruitment Fair

MARTINEZ, Calif., February 2, 2010 - The Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) will present their annual Teacher/Certificated Staff Recruitment Fair, on Saturday, February 27, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Alhambra High School, in Martinez.

Representatives from a number of school districts in Contra Costa County, as well as the CCCOE, 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 [2009-2010], the 18 school districts and the COE placed more than 400 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 400 to 500 new teachers will be employed for the 2010-2011 school year."

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

The 2010 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 .

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January 2010

H1N1 Information for People Living in Contra Costa County

H1N1 flu is still present in our community and everyone is urged to get vaccinated. This is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community. More than 389,000 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 also available at some chain pharmacies.

H1N1 flu vaccine (shots and nasal spray) are still available for free as supplies last at Concord Public Health Immunization Clinic, 2355 Stanwell Circle, Concord 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays

Vaccine also will be available starting in February in Richmond and Pittsburg.

For more info on where to get H1N1 flu vaccine call 1-888-959-9911.

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Contra Costa County Mock Trial Program Looking for Attorneys to Assist

MARTINEZ, Cal if., January 11, 2010—Bay Area practicing and retired attorneys are needed to provide assistance to their future associates at the 29th Annual Contra Costa County High School Mock Trial Program, held in 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 attorneys, 2nd- and 3rd-year law students are also welcome to participate with the scoring process.  Last year, 150 Bay Area practicing and retired attorneys, law students, and sworn judges volunteered their time with Contra Costa County’s Mock Trials.

Coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), Mock Trial is an academic activity for high school students.  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’s champion advances to the State finals.  This year, there will be 10 Contra Costa County high school Mock Trial teams competing.

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.  An active Contra Costa County Superior Court judge will preside over each trial.  The Mock Trials’ scorers will be made up of Bay Area district attorneys, public defenders, and private practice and corporate lawyers. 

The two highest-scoring teams will advance to the finals on Tuesday, March 2. The winning team will then represent Contra Costa County at the State Mock Trial competition in San Jose, Calif., March 19-21. The California state finalist team will then compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held in Philadelphia, Penn., May 6-8.
In 1977, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) introduced the concept of mock trials to the 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 2010 Mock Trials

  • Preliminaries February 9, 11, 23, 25 (5:00-8:00 p.m.)
  • Quarter February 23 (5:00-8:00 p.m.)
  • Semifinals February 25 (5:00-8:00 p.m.)
  • Finals and Consolation March 2 (5:00-8:00 p.m.)

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

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H1N1 Information for People Living in Contra Costa County

More than 320,000 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. Providers 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.

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Page updated on: March 20, 2017

Rev: 0.4-010514-BETA4