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925.942.3420


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925.942.3429

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COE Press Releases - 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

July 2011

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May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011


November

Santa’s Workshop Found at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility

NEWS ADVISORY

Media Contact: Jonathan Lance
Phone: 925-942-3429
Email: jlance@cccoe.k12.ca.us

Hand-crafted toys and refurbished bikes donated to county’s children-serving agencies

WHAT:
More than 35 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 for the upcoming holidays.   There, for the 16th straight year, the agency representatives will select from more than 1,300 handcrafted toys, and between 200-250 refurbished bicycles.  Approximately, 175 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, pull toys, doll houses, doll cradles, fire houses, fire engines, yo-yos, cars, rocking horses, rocking airplanes, skill games, and many more.  All of the toy makers and/or bike mechanics 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 David Livingston, 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 17, 2011, 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—all on display.  The vocational and academic classrooms will be open to the media, with opportunities to interview inmates, teachers, and administration. 

ADDITIONAL NOTES:
During the 2010-11 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, 69 student-inmates received their GED and 41 received a high school or adult school diploma, and 42 students passed the CA High School Exit Exam. In addition, there were 627 students who demonstrated learning gains in reading or math, and 979 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, 1,552 students completed at least one of the three phases, and 265 students have graduated from DEUCE.  The CCCOE’s newest educational program, Parenting Inside/Out, teaches vital parenting skills to women and men.  To date, 133 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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NEWS ADVISORY

21st annual Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference

WHAT:  
This Friday opens the 21st annual session of the Contra Costa County Model United Nations (UN) Conference.  Produced by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), the two-day competition enhances high school students’ understanding of the United Nations and its role in global issues.  Participating students (delegates) each represent a nation and negotiate on that country’s behalf.  During the conference, delegates will debate international issues in 10 committees, including: General Assembly; Disarmament & International Security (DISEC); Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian (SOCHUM); World Health Organization; United Nations Development Program (UNDP); United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP); African Union (AU); ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF); North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); 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.  

2011 marks the 67th Anniversary of the United Nations founding in San Francisco.  To give students (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. 

WHO:
Participating in this year’s Contra Costa County Model UN are students from: Acalanes High (Lafayette), Antioch High (Antioch), Athenian High (Danville), Campolindo High (Moraga), Carondelet High (Concord), Deer Valley High (Antioch), De La Salle High (Concord), Dougherty Valley High (San Ramon), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek), Liberty High (Brentwood), Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory High (Livermore), Marin Academy (San Rafael), Northgate High (Walnut Creek), and San Ramon Valley High (Danville). 

WHERE:   
Diablo Valley College (DVC), 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.  Committee breakout sessions will be held in nearby DVC classrooms.

WHEN:
Friday, November 4, 4:00 - 8:30 p.m. (Keynote speaker will begin at 4:00 p.m.)
Saturday, November 5, 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 325 (up 38% from last year) high school students (representing 94 countries) filling up the Diablo Valley College’s Performing Arts Center, each representative will be carrying a bright-colored sign signifying their country, and an elaborate decorated stage with numerous flags representing countries from around the world.   Best action time slots will be:

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

The Media is also welcome to cover the smaller committee sessions, as well.  They will be held in nearby DVC classrooms.

For additional information about the CCCOE’s Model UN and other academic events, please contact Terry Koehne at (925) 942-3420, or visit their website

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October

10th Annual Contra Costa Shelter-in-Place Drill takes place on November 2

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Tony Semenza, Executive Director
Contra Costa County Community Awareness Emergency Response Group (CAER)
Phone: 925-313-9296

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif., October 12, 2011 – School children across Contra Costa County will participate in the 10th Annual Countywide Shelter in Place Drill to practice safety procedures in the chance of a nearby hazardous-material release.  Directed by the Contra Costa County Community Awareness Emergency Response Group (CAER), this year’s Shelter-in-Place Drill will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2, and all public and private schools, and childcare centers throughout Contra Costa County are encouraged to participate.  Last year, approximately 200 sites participated in the drill.  (Schools are more than welcome to choose another date to participate with this drill.)

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

This annual safety event gives children and their caregivers an important opportunity to practice responding to the Community Warning System (CWS) alerts, which sound a siren when there has been a dangerous chemical release or other disaster that requires a Shelter-in-Place.  These alerts can be sent via sirens, radio, TV, social media postings, and subscribed cell-phone-text messages.

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

Shelter in place means to make a shelter out of the place you are in.  It is a way for you to make the building as safe as possible to protect yourself until help arrives or the emergency has passed.  You should not try to shelter in a vehicle unless you have no other choice. Vehicles are not airtight enough to give you adequate protection from chemicals.
CAER is a coalition of local agencies, businesses, industries, community groups, and emergency response organizations.  The non-profit organization works together to improve emergency response planning and inform the public about how to react in the event of a hazardous-materials emergency.

For additional information about this year’s Contra Costa County Shelter-in-Place Drill, contact CAER at 925-313-9296 or visit their website.

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Upcoming Contra Costa County high school Model UN announces record participation

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., October 18, 2011 – An impressive increase in student participants planning to take part in the 21st annual conference of the Contra Costa County High School Model United Nations, is announced by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE).  The Model UN, to be held on November 4-5, has a current count of 315 registered students – a jump of 38% over last year.

During these times of slashing school budgets and the continued downsizing of educational opportunities for our students, this increase of student participation is certainly remarkable.  Despite such obstacles, the students, as well as their parents and schools, find ways to take part in such important academic opportunities.

Model UN, is one of five academic events produced by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE).  “This is a wonderful opportunity for these students to utilize what they have learned in their classrooms, Model UN school clubs, and on their own, as they participate in a professionally organized event,” reports CCCOE Chief Communications Officer Peggy Marshburn.  “Our Model UN program continues to grow in participating schools and students.  We often hear from the schools how our academic events [such as Model UN] are a tremendous hands-on learning option to offer their students, plus the experience makes a great addition to the students’ college applications.”  

The CCCOE’s other upcoming academic events include Academic Decathlon, Mock Trial, and National History Day, which are also looking at an increase in participating schools and students, evident by many early registrants.   In addition, the CCCOE’S second-year Mock Trial Invitational, to be held in early December, has already reached maximum capacity.

Model United Nations is a simulation of the UN General Assembly and other multilateral bodies. In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization's agenda.  While playing their roles as ambassadors, student delegates make speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the Model UN conference rules of procedure – all in the interest of mobilizing international cooperation to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world.

Before playing out their ambassadorial roles in a Model UN simulation, students research the issue that their committee will address.  Model UN participants learn how the international community acts on its concerns about topics including peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development and globalization.  Model UN delegates also look closely at the needs, goals and foreign policies of the countries they will represent at the event.  The insights they gain from their exploration of history, geography, culture, economics and science contribute to the authenticity of the simulation when the role playing gets under way. The delegates' in-depth knowledge of their countries guarantees a lively and memorable experience.

This year marks the 67th Anniversary of the United Nations founding in San Francisco.  To give students (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. 

Participating in this year’s Contra Costa County Model UN are students from: Acalanes High (Lafayette), Antioch High, Athenian High (Danville), Campolindo High (Moraga), Carondelet High (Concord), Deer Valley High (Antioch), De La Salle High (Concord), Dougherty Valley High (San Ramon), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek), Liberty High (Brentwood), Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory High (Livermore), Marin Academy (San Rafael), Northgate High (Walnut Creek), and San Ramon Valley High (Danville). 

For additional information about CCCOE’s Model UN and other academic events, please contact Peggy Marshburn at (925) 942-3420, visit their website.  

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CCCOE announces Full STEAM Ahead

Full STEAM Ahead!PLEASANT HILL, Calif., October, 12, 2011 – Today Dr. Joseph A. Ovick, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools, announced the launch of “Full STEAM Ahead!”  This is an exciting initiative that will bring to the forefront science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.  Dr. Ovick stated: “If our children are going to succeed as responsible adults in a knowledge-based economy and a global neighborhood, STEAM is vitally important for their benefit and the benefit of our nation.  With the support of government at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as support and endorsements from our business community and the regional arts, we collectively as educators in Contra Costa County will bring forward new and exciting opportunities to better prepare our young people for a world we cannot even imagine.”

Dr. Ovick adds that we will be mirroring campus clusters of science, technology engineering, the arts, and mathematics with industry clusters within Contra Costa County and beyond.  Today, our students’ backyard is the world, and we want to ensure that they are responsible and accountable ambassadors of the U.S. and all that we stand for…so please join us - full STEAM ahead!

September

2011-2012 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year will be announced this Thursday

WHAT:
Contra Costa County’s 2011-2012 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. 

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 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year: 
 

  • Deborah Bordeau, Oakley Union Elementary SD, (Laurel Elementary)
  • Donna Kenyon, San Ramon Valley USD, (John Baldwin Elementary)
  • Sue Noce, Mt. Diablo USD, (Foothill Middle)

This year’s Contra Costa County TOY will join the long list of other finalists, beginning in the 1972-1973 school year.  Along with the three finalists, this year’s other 16 TOY candidates will also be honored at this event (for complete list see below).

WHEN:
Thursday, September 15, 2011, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. (the announcement will be made approximately at 9:00 p.m.)

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

ACTION:
Close to 400 attendees will be on hand.  The assembly will include the 19 celebrated TOYs, plus numerous educators (K-college), business executives (sponsors), local government, and local political representatives.  The evening’s entertainment will be provided by Heritage High School’s “Cool Beans 5,” directed by teacher Steve Ernest.   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 every 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 2011-2012 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.

2011-2012 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives

Emma Arellano Flores, Pittsburg USD, (Los Medanos Elementary)

Donna Aspell, Knightsen SD, (Knightsen Elementary)

Deborah Bordeau, Oakley Union Elementary SD, (Laurel Elementary)

Nanci Buckingham, West Contra Costa USD, (Fairmont Elementary)

Steve Coccimiglio, Contra Costa Community College District, (Diablo Valley College)

Diane Dias, Walnut Creek SD, (Walnut Creek Intermediate)

Marie Graham-Tyler, CCCOE, (Mauzy School)

Thomas Gravert, Antioch USD, (Dozier-Libbey Medical High)

Nichole Hackett, Mt. Diablo USD, (College Park High)

Donna Kenyon, San Ramon Valley USD, (John Baldwin Elementary)

Morgan LaRue, West Contra Costa USD, (Lavonya De Jean Middle)  (Will not be participating in the event.)

Carroll Martin, Lafayette SD, (Burton Valley Elementary)

Sue Noce, Mt. Diablo USD, (Foothill Middle)

Kristin Ortega, Byron USD, (Discovery Bay Elementary)

Carol Scott, Moraga SD, (Camino Pablo Elementary)

Patsy Templeton, Orinda USD, (four district elementary schools)

Gina Terry, Brentwood USD, (Bristow Middle)

Renee Travis, Martinez USD, (Morello Park Elementary)

Jeremy Umland, John Swett USD, (Rodeo Hills Elementary)

Michael Wood, Liberty UHSD, (Heritage High)

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July

Real Relief For Schools Report

A message from the County Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Joseph A. Ovick

I thought our community would like to see Congressman George Miller's new report issued on July 7th. He produced this report as part of the reauthorization process for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is underway in Washington now. I hope you find the report of interest. If you are interested in contacting Congressman Miller's office about it, you can do so by emailing him at george.miller@mail.house.gov or calling his office, 202.225.2095.

Real Relief For Schools Report (PDF; 5MB)

Committee on Education & The Workforce Report (PDF; 736KB)

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Campolindo High ROP student hones his auto repair skills over the summer

Nick Holbrook, ROP Automotive Campolindo High School
LAFAYETTE, Calif. July 12, 2011
– On a very warm July afternoon, Campolindo High School student, Nick Holbrook, was found in the bustling Nick’s Mercedes Service repair shop, located in Lafayette.  Dressed in the shop’s mechanic uniform, Holbrook was assisting one of the shop technicians with a transmission flush and ignition tune-up on a mid-2000 Mercedes.  Holbrook, an incoming high school senior, is working at his first ROP internship this summer at Nick’s Mercedes.  It is the repair-shop’s first experience of offering an ROP internship as well. 

Steve Boone, Holbrook’s ROP Advanced Automotive Technology teacher, at Campolindo, recently checked in with his student at the work place: “Nick [Holbrook] is doing fine and still has the excitement in his voice when he talks about the shop.  Nick Wilhelm (proprietor of Nick’s Mercedes) and the rest of the employees are wonderful people, and they tell me how great Nick Holbrook is, working and learning in their shop.  Nick's mentors are Andre and Jerry, who are the full-time technicians at the shop. Nick [Holbrook] only had wonderful things to say about these guys.”

ROP Campolindo High School - Steve Boone, Nick Holbrook, Nick WilhelmIn his classroom, Boone says that Holbrook is one of his hardest workers in the shop.  “He goes right to work and always tries his best.  He is eager to learn and always willing to give a hand to anyone working on a car.”

Holbrook reports that the internship has been, “Awesome!  I have been learning so much this summer.”  Holbrook said that he will be taking ROP Advanced Automotive Technology II this coming fall at Campolindo. 

Wilhelm said that Holbrook’s internship has really worked out well.  “He and I talk every day about the cars in the shop and the repairs we are providing.  Yesterday, I worked one-on-one with Nick [Holbrook] for two hours on a car.  He is a quick learner, and he’s getting a lot of hands-on experience working with Mercedes models that range from 1980-2007.”

Boone recalled that earlier this year, Holbrook came to him a few times after class asking questions about the possibility of a summer internship.  “I answered his questions and he took a liking to the idea, even though I was pushing him to take an unpaid internship.  With an unpaid internship, I can get the local auto shops in the area interested in working with us, because ROP will pay for the work-site insurance coverage that is needed while the student is being trained.”

Boone asked Holbrook to come up with a list of auto-repair shops he would like to work for.  Holbrook came back with a prioritized list, with Nick’s Mercedes on the top.  “I called them up, talked to them about Nick [Holbrook], and how he wanted to intern in their shop.  Soon after, they all met together, along with Holbrook’s father and Contra Costa County Office of Education Principal of Student Programs Sally Savage, to discuss and finalize the internship contract.
The entire staff at Nick’s Mercedes is still amused – as well as impressed – with Holbrook’s arriving to work on time, but exactly a week early.  Apparently, he wanted to time his bike ride from home to work on a weekday morning, just to make sure he knew how long it would take him to show up on time, when he officially started his internship.

What sparked his interest in working with cars?  “Before entering high school, I enjoyed taking mechanical things apart, figuring out how they work, and then putting them back together,” said Holbrook.  Though he never worked on cars, he was hooked after taking the Beginning Automotive Technology class, also taught by Boone.  After he finishes high school, Holbrook said he would like to attend an automotive technology school.  “My goal is to work for an independent car repair shop, just like Nick’s Mercedes,” Holbrook said with excitement in his voice.

Thanks to an encouraging ROP teacher, internship opportunity classes, and, of course, his supportive family, Holbrook’s goal will certainly be achieved in the upcoming years.  And maybe someday, another Nick’s specialized repair shop will be opening up in the area.

The Contra Costa County ROP serves 11,000 students with classes in 33 high schools throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties.  Currently, there are 361 state-of-the-art career-development classes in this program.  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 the newest equipment, rigorous academic standards, and classes in emerging technologies.   All of the ROP classes, internships, and programs are directed by and funded through the Contra Costa County Office of Education.  For more information about ROP, visit their website.

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Biotechnology science camp held for Contra Costa County high school students

WHAT: 
Local organizations and businesses representing biotechnology, law enforcement, health care, and education have come together to present an outstanding education opportunity for more than 60 incoming junior and senior Contra Costa County high school students who are exploring careers in biotechnology and science.  The attendees will take part in a rare hands-on learning experience this summer, as they attend the 8th Annual Biotech 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:

  • Biofuels and Green Energy
  • Forensic Science/Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)
  • Disease Detection
  • Stem Cell Science
  • Disease Control

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 times and locations of the field trips, is available upon request.  (Media may need to check with field-trip sites regarding entrance.)
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 11-15, hours held 8:00 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 California State University, East Bay–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 2011 Biotech Summer Science Camp is presented in cooperation with the California State University, East Bay – Concord Campus; Chevron; Bio-Rad Laboratories; John Muir Health; and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership.

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June

San Ramon student does well in recent National History Day National Final

SAN RAMON, Calif., June 22, 2011—Windemere Ranch Middle School student Julienne Sauer did a wonderful job representing Contra Costa County at last week’s National History Day (NHD) Finals, held at the University of Maryland. Sauer was a National Finalist in the Junior (middle school) Individual Exhibit category and placed 10th in the nation among 84 junior individual exhibit projects.  

NHD is a national program, with state and regional (county-level) competitions, in which middle and high school students prepare projects – posters, exhibits, papers, websites, dramatic performances and documentary films – on a historical theme.  Students can choose to enter as individuals (as did Sauer) or teams (two-to-five members).  During the 2010-2011 school year, National History Day invited students to research topics related to the theme of Diplomacy and Dialogue in History: Successes, Failures, and Consequences. This program provides an opportunity for students to improve academic achievement through deep and broad study addressing multiple standards and including tasks such as formulating questions, reading widely and thoroughly, bridging reading to writing, doing primary research, evaluating evidence, organizing, presenting, explaining and defending ideas.

Windemere Ranch Middle School student Julienne SauerSauer’s exhibit title was: The Cable Car Wars: A City Debates to Preserve its Character.   She said her interest in this topic began when she visited San Francisco’s Cable Car Museum.  She had always enjoyed riding the country’s only moveable landmarks in the past, but she became fascinated with the science behind the cable cars, their history, and why they were the city’s symbol.  “When I found out that San Francisco almost lost its beloved cable cars and a public debate had saved them, I immediately knew that I had the right topic for this year’s NHD theme,” says Sauer.

The NHD California State Competition has been held since 1999, but this was the first year that Contra Costa County students had competed in the program.  “It began last year when representatives from the Kenneth Behring Foundation approached Dr. Joseph Ovick, County Superintendent of Schools, on developing this new county-wide academic event, reports Chief Communications Officer Peggy Marshburn of the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE).  “We recruited student and teacher participation throughout the county, and the Foundation provided a $5000.00 grant to assist our students and their teachers with the costs of participating in this excellent program.”  For more than 20 years, the CCCOE has directed other annual county-wide academic events, including Mock Trial, Model UN, and Academic Decathlon.

On March 12, Sauer was one of 15 Contra Costa County students who competed in the NHD local competition, along with students from nine other nearby counties.  The event was held at the Oakland Museum of California, located in Oakland, Calif.  The (then) six-grade student and 13 other Contra Costa County participants went on to the NHD California State Competition, which was held on April 28, in San Jose, Calif.  Winning her category, Sauer was the only Contra Costa County participant to go on to the national competition.

Sauer’s mother, Sia, says “Julienne really enjoyed the whole experience, including meeting Mr. Behring and his family.  They told her how proud they were to have someone from Contra Costa competing at the finals.” 

Julienne’s mother continued, “We are grateful to the Behring Foundation and the CCCOE for making this possible.  Julienne says she can't wait to start next year's project now that she has seen how amazing the competition is at the nationals!” 

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

NEWS ADVISORY

WHAT:
More than 60 incoming junior and senior high school students, attending from across Contra Costa County, will take part in a rare, hands-on education opportunity this summer, as they attend the annual Engineering, Construction, and Manufacturing Summer Camp. Taught by industry experts, with the assistance of local high school engineering/technology teachers, 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
  • Power & Energy
  • Manufacturing & Engineering
  • Building & Construction
  • Careers & Pathways

WHEN:
June 20-24, hours held 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., each day.

ACTION:
More than 60 high school students will be learning (hands-on) about the many career 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 present 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: Lawrence Livermore Labs, in Livermore.
Tuesday: SunPower, in Milpitas.
Wednesday: USS POSCO Manufacturing & Engineering Plant, in Pittsburg.
Thursday: Local Union 342 (pipefitting, welding, plumbing, and refrigeration) Union & Training Center, in 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 the adjoining cafeteria.)

A complete camp schedule with times and locations of the field trips is available upon request.  (Media may need to check with field-trip sites regarding entrance.)

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.

During this summer, there will be two tech summer camps offered.  The upcoming Biotech Camp will be held on the campus of California State University, East Bay Concord Campus, July 11-15.

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

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May

ROP biotechnology students continue their winning ways

LAFAYETTE, Calif., May 18, 2011 – The Contra Costa County ROP (Regional Occupational Program) congratulates two of its students, Blake Marggraff and Matthew Feddersen, who won the Best in Fair award at Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair (CCCSEF), held in early April, and then went on to present their science project to a robust international judging team last week in Los Angeles, at the Intel® International Science and Engineering Fair® 2011.  In Los Angeles, the high school seniors, Marggraff and Feddersen, received the Intel ISEF Best of Category Award, Medicine and Health Sciences ($5,000.00); First Place Grand Award, Medicine and Health Sciences ($3,000.00); and the top prize, First Place-The Gordon E. Moore Award ($75,000.00) for their project: Simulated Treatment of Cancer with Photoelectric Effect-Produced Secondary Radiation.

During this school year, Marggraff and Feddersen have been attending ROP’s Accelerated Biotechnology and Research course, taught by Jay Chugh, at Acalanes High School.  Chugh, encourages all of his students to submit projects to the Contra Costa Fair. Students must go through and win a regional Intel affiliated science fair before being submitted for international competition.  During the same week he was in Los Angeles, Marggraff was also one of the 36 recipients of the Contra Costa County ROP Students of Excellence Awards.  “This is a perfect example of how quality ROP classes can impact students’ lives and their communities,” said Sally Savage, principal, Student Programs.

"We are proud of these young scientists' accomplishments!  They have stimulated a flurry of attention at the international fair, where more than 40 countries compete," said April Treece, CCCSEF director.

The Contra Costa County ROP serves 11,000 students with classes in 33 high schools throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties.  Currently, there are 361 state-of-the-art career-development classes in this program.  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 the newest equipment, rigorous academic standards, and classes in emerging technologies.   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 their website.

The CCCSEF was held on March 31, April 1 and 2, at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg.  Six high schools and eight middle schools submitted 120 projects and engaged more than 140 students in this year’s competition.  

The County Science and Engineering Fair competition would not be possible, nor would the two students be able to attend the international competition to share their innovative science without the contributions of the following sponsors: John Muir Health, Chevron, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Kaiser Permanente, The Dow Chemical Company, Eichleay Engineers, and GenOn Energy. 

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32nd District PTA - School Finance 101

An explanation of how California’s schools are funded, along with specific impacts of looming budget cuts to Contra Costa County schools will be the subject of “School Finance 101″, a program organized by the County-wide 32nd District PTA on Monday, May 16, at 7:00 pm. The program, to be held at the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), 77 Santa Barbara Road in Pleasant Hill, will feature local Senator Mark DeSaulnier.

PowerPoint Presentation (PDF) - Bill Clark, Associate Superintendent, Business and Administrative Services

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ROP Students of Excellence Awards Ceremony

WHAT:
The Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) will be honoring 36 high school seniors 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 a $200.00 scholarship award. 

WHO:
The Contra Costa County ROP serves 11,000 students with classes in 33 high schools throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties.  Currently, there are 361 state-of-the-art career-development classes in this program.  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 the newest equipment, rigorous academic standards, and classes in emerging technologies.   All of the ROP classes and programs are directed by and funded through the CCCOE.  For more information about ROP classes, visit their website.

WHEN:
Wednesday, May 11, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Lafayette Veterans Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, Calif.

MEDIA NOTES:
*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 and business partnership representatives.  In addition, Contra Costa County Board of Education President Pamela Mirabella and Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D., will address the attendees.

*Flash photography and video and audio recording are allowed.

*For more information about this special event, contact CCCOE Director, Student Programs Janet Haun at (925) 942-3368.

The following outstanding students will receive certificates plus $200.00 in scholarship awards:

(See below list, alphabetical by city)

ALBANY
Albany High School
Albert Chang, Computer Graphics, Instructor Jeff Castle   
Cristina Spampinato, Culinary Arts, Instructor Leone Avery          

ANTIOCH
Antioch High School
Garrick Ridolfi, Advanced Automotive Technology, Instructor Bobby Sturgeon    

Deer Valley High School
Jazmine White, Journalism Productions, Instructor Charleen Earley           

BERKELEY
Berkeley High School
Madeline Angell, Sports Medicine, Instructor Jamie Faison
Camilla Dayrit, Advanced Photography, Instructor Lucinda Daly  

BRENTWOOD
Heritage High School
Sophia  Ackelbein, Publications/Yearbook, Instructor Ken Silman   
Kathryne Barsanti, Architectural Design, Instructor Barbara Worden         
Patrick Berhan, Law Enforcement Careers, Instructor Matt Carr     

Liberty High School
Jessica Caraballo, Desktop Publishing, Instructor Sharon Johnson  
Starkisha Haskell, Medical Front Office, Instructor Cindy Powell  

CONCORD
Concord High School
Christian Salazar, Accounting, Instructor Laurie Harris        

DANVILLE
San Ramon Valley High School
Jackie Lang, AP Environmental Science, Instructor Cindy Egan     

Monte Vista High School
Alexander DeBoni, AP Computer Science, Instructor Bhupinder Anwar    

HERCULES
Hercules High School
Chloe Lew, Journalism Productions, Instructor Natalie Wojinski    
Richie Phelps, Careers in Teaching, Instructor Janet Headington    

LAFAYETTE
Acalanes High School
Blake Marggraff, Accelerated Biotechnology and Research, Instructor Jay Chugh  

MARTINEZ
Alhambra High School
Erin McCauley, Advanced Sports Medicine, Instructor Scott Pygeorge      
Mike Railton, Cabinetmaking, Instructor Jay Heeb  

MORAGA
Campolindo High School
Jarrett Milner, AP Computer Science, Instructor Carol Paymer      

OAKLEY
Freedom High School
Eric Stone, Fire Science, Instructor Ben Whitener     
Shannon Nuku, ROP Careers with Children, Instructor Elizabeth Rodriguez

PIEDMONT
Piedmont High School
Katherine Lim, Sports Medicine, Instructor Stan Nakahara 

PINOLE
Pinole Valley High School
Devon Powell, Sports Medicine, Instructor Dan O'Shea      

PITTSBURG
Pittsburg High School
Jasmine Juarez, Accounting, Instructor Phil Lucido 
Ajay Kumar, Architectural Design, Instructor Andreas Kaiser        

RICHMOND
Richmond High School
Maria Martinez-Resendiz, Advanced Photography, Instructor John Ohlmann

Kennedy High School
Brian Phan, Digital Photography, Instructor, Steve Pinto
German Rodriguez, Advanced Web Design,   Instructor Lane Good
Jeremy Ward, Computer Systems Maintenance, Instructor Alex Pakter

SAN RAMON
California High School
Talaivosa Hingano, Advanced Sports Medicine, Instructor Shane Borchert
Steven Lau, Journalism Productions, Instructor Brian Barr
Sydney Venierakis, Careers in Teaching, Instructor Cindy Bonagura

Dougherty Valley High School
Jason Jirjis, Advanced Sports Medicine, Instructor Juli Westcott
Pamela Sendee, Careers in Teaching, Instructor Tom Ladouceur

WALNUT CREEK
Las Lomas High School
Masha Ksendzova, Analytic Forensic Science, Instructor Peat Sutherland

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First Educational Forum to Stop Girl-on-Girl Violence and Bullying

Bullying and Cyberbullying Presentation

Effects of bullying, People Who are bullied; People Who bully other, People Who Witness bullying, What Adults can do to Help, What Resources are available, and more!

For & Students (ages 10 and up), Parents, Educators
All Are welcome!

by Sallyann Berendsen of the AAUW Napa County Branch and
Detective Jeff Stanton of the Antioch Police Department

Saturday, May 21, 2011
8:30 a.m. 12 noon
DIABLO VALLEY COLLEGE FORUM
Pleasant Hill Campus on Viking Road & (Parking Lot 3)

Kickoff Speaker: Dr. Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.
Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lakita Long, Founder and Director at GirlTalk

Guest Speakers: Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla and
Contra Costa County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff
Panel Discussion by Subject Matter Experts
FREE FORUM - CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST!

The End of Bullying Begins With Me (PDF)

Please Pre-Register at www.womenscommission.com

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April

Breakthrough Coach: How to Work Less, Produce More, and Still Get the Job Done in a Sensible School Week

What if you could trim 20 hours off your work week AND multiply your time in classrooms by 500%?

In This Program You Will Learn How To…

  • Maintain a sensible workweek by increasing productivity and efficiency;
  • Observe classroom instruction for two days each week;
    Fulfill your role as "Instructional Leader";
  • Employ best practices for using administrative support;
  • Produce breakthroughs in student achievement.

Who: Administrators and their Secretaries

When: September 29–30, 2011
September 29 (Administrators ONLY)
September 30 (Administrators + Secretaries)

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where: Board Room, Contra Costa County Office of Education
77 Santa Barbara Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Cost: $525 per team of two (Administrator and Secretary)
$200 per additional Secretary

NOTE: Each Administrator and Secretary must register separately

Register: Register online

Once registration is completed online, please send payment, payable to:

CCCOE (Contra Costa County Office of Education)
Attention: Renai Lovely
77 Santa Barbara Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Payment: Check, or Prepaid Purchase Order with Check, ONLY

To make payment by credit card, call (925) 942-3387

Payment must be received by September 9, 2011
No refunds for cancellations made after September 9th.
"No-Shows" are responsible for full registration fee.

Breakthrough Coach 2-Day Training Flyer

If you already attended the 2-Day training, The Breakthrough Coach Day 3 Review training is available.

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Contra Costa County School Districts announce their 2011-2012 Teachers of the Year

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., April 20, 2011 – Currently, there are more than 8,200 teachers educating approximately 167,000 students in Contra Costa County’s public schools. To recognize their efforts and bring much deserved honor to the teaching profession, the participating school districts in the county recently named their Teachers of the Year (TOY) representatives (see entire list below).  This year's 20 TOYs represent 16 Contra Costa County school districts, the Contra Costa Community College District, and the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE).  Seventeen of these twenty representatives, those who teach grades pre-K thru 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 selected an outstanding 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 CCCOE. With such a high caliber of teaching professionals to draw from, the CCCOE’s TOY program uses a three-stage selection process, with a point and percentage system to determine the final candidate as follows:

I Application Screening:
On April 15, a committee of 12, representing the county’s education, 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 were completed, five teachers were selected to advance to the next phase as semi-finalists.

II Classroom Observation and Interview:
During the weeks of late April and early May, a small committee of education specialists and business partners will observe the semi-finalists 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 late May.)

III Speech Presentation:
This coming August, the three TOY finalists will each give a three- to five-minute speech to another panel of a dozen educators, business, and public-sector representatives who will judge the finalists on their speech and presentation skills.

On the evening of September 15, 2011, all 20 TOYs, accompanied by their families, friends, and co-workers (an audience of approximately 400) will be honored at the annual Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration, held at the Hilton Concord.  Dr. Ovick, who serves as master of ceremonies, introduces the TOYs by sharing a special story that reflects his classroom visits of each teacher during the recent spring and summer months.  This will be followed by the three finalists giving their three- to five-minute speeches (same speeches given in August) to the filled banquet room.  Finally, the night will come to a dramatic close with the announcement of the 2011-2012 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.


2011-2012 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives

Donna Aspell, Knightsen SD, (Knightsen Elementary)

Deborah Bordeau, Oakley Union Elementary SD, (Laurel Elementary)

Nanci Buckingham, West Contra Costa USD, (Fairmont Elementary)
Steve Coccimiglio, Contra Costa Community College District, (Diablo Valley College)
Diane Dias, Walnut Creek SD, (Walnut Creek Intermediate)

Emma Flores, Pittsburg USD, (Los Medanos Elementary)

Marie Graham-Tyler, CCCOE, (Mauzy School)

Thomas Gravert, Antioch USD, (Dozier-Libbey Medical High)

Nichole Hackett, Mt. Diablo USD, (College Park High)

Donna Kenyon, San Ramon Valley USD, (John Baldwin Elementary)

Morgan LaRue, West Contra Costa USD, (Lavonya De Jean Middle)

Carroll Martin, Lafayette SD, (Burton Valley Elementary)

Sue Noce, Mt. Diablo USD, (Foothill Middle)

Kristin Ortega, Byron USD, (Discovery Bay Elementary)

Carol Scott, Moraga SD, (Camino Pablo Elementary)

Patsy Templeton, Orinda USD, (four district elementary schools)

Gina Terry, Brentwood USD, (Bristow Middle)

Renee Travis, Martinez USD, (Morello Park Elementary)

Jeremy Umland, John Swett USD, (Rodeo Hills Elementary)
Michael Wood, Liberty UHSD, (Heritage High)

Note regarding eligible participants:

  • Sixteen of the eighteen Contra Costa County school districts represented (plus the CCCOE) are participating in this year’s TOY program.
  • Each year, one instructor from Contra Costa Community College District is submitted to the TOY program for his/her outstanding body of work with their designated college.  The colleges rotate each year between Diablo Valley, Los Medanos, and Contra Costa.  (These instructors do 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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The Breathrough Coach Training!

The Breakthrough Coach Training will return to the Contra Costa County Office of Education Fall 2011. Save the dates September 28-30, 2011. Online registration will begin April 22, 2011.

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A Road Map to Kindergarten© Now Available!

A Roadmap to Kindergarten Game Board

The Contra Costa County Office of Education and the Contra Costa Local Planning Council (LPC) are proud to announce the availability of A Road Map to Kindergarten©, a parent education publication.

Starting school is an exciting time for children and their families!  Parents play an integral role as the first teacher and leader for their child.  Student achievement is closely connected to parent involvement and the support and preparation parents provide for children before they enter school.

A Road Map to Kindergarten is an interactive parent education tool that provides 16 important steps to assist parents in preparing their children for kindergarten.  The tool also provides parents with a checklist of kindergarten entry requirements and information that will support their preparation for this important transition.

A Road Map to Kindergarten© is a component of a public parent education campaign.

This parent education campaign strives to:

  • Provide a guide for successful Kindergarten transitions for parents of children from birth to age five
  • Increase the knowledge of early childhood developmental milestones and school readiness indicators
  • Promote partnerships and collaboration of family supports and educational services
  • Empower families to become active partners in education

For more information visit A Roadmap for Kindergarten©

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March 2011

County Office of Education instructor earns distinguished award from Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Livingston and Rick Boughton, pictured above
Sheriff Livingston and Rick Boughton

MARTINEZ, Calif., March 10, 2011—Due to his service as an outstanding and dedicated teacher, whose knowledge and skills are respected by students and staff alike, Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) adult education instructor Rick Boughton was one of 11 candidates who earned a special award given by the county’s Sheriff David Livingston.  During the recent Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff’s 2010 Officer and Employee of the Year Awards Ceremony, Boughton was presented the Detention Services Division (non officer) Employee of the Year Award.  The four-tour, Vietnam War Navy veteran and  35-year professional woodworker, Boughton has served as the woodshop instructor at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility, in Clayton, since 2001.   

In the crowed Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Chambers, in Martinez, Lieutenant Brian Kalinowski, who originally nominated Boughton for the award, introduced him to the numerous attendees.  During his introduction, Lieutenant Kalinowski said, “Thanks to the partnership of the Sheriff’s Office and the County Office of Education, we are able to deliver services, such as Rick’s woodshop class, to the inmates that make them more productive during their stay, as well as being more productive when they re-enter society.”

For the past 20 years, the Sheriff’s Office and the County Office of Education collaboration have produced the annual Holiday Toy Distribution.  Lieutenant Kalinowski continued, “Because Rick’s ability to lead the inmates, they annually build between 1,000-1,200 hand-made toys and refurbish about 300 bicycles, which are then distributed to our county’s at-risk youth, through local non-profit organizations.”  These county organizations 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.

Lieutenant Kalinowski and Rick Boughton
Lieutenant Kalinowski and Rick Boughton

When you enter Rick’s woodshop, you certainly can’t help but think of Santa’s Workshop: students busily building and painting beautiful hand-made toys or refurbishing junked bicycles into just-like-new ones.  Lieutenant Kalinowski added, “There are literally thousands of children in our county whose lives have been brightened because of this program, with a big thanks to Rick and his men.”

Boughton is known for his “low-key” teaching style and his positive attitude.  It’s obvious that he loves his job as a teacher and mentor.  He treats everyone fairly and with the respect each person deserves, including his inmate students.  This may be the reason why in 2010 he did not have one discipline or safety/accident issue reported to the school or custody staff.

According to the Office of the Sheriff, the application process for this award includes the bureau commanders submitting their choices to the departmental selection committee.  A number of criteria are evaluated by the committee, including performance, job knowledge, judgment, relations, communications, initiative, dependability, attitude, and demeanor.

Boughton’s woodshop class is part of the Contra Costa Adult School.  This educational program is a partnership between the CCCOE and the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  More than 4,000 students participate in educational opportunities each year at one of the three jail facilities:

  • Marsh Creek Detention Facility - Clayton
  • West County Detention Facility - Richmond
  • Martinez Detention Facility - Martinez

Students demonstrate success by obtaining a high school diploma; passing the GED; increasing basic skills; completing a 90-day substance abuse education program; and completing competency-based certificates in computer applications, completing steps to getting a job, landscaping facility grounds, and building toys and refurbishing used bicycles for needy children.

CCCOE Adult Education Principal Tom Scruggs reports, “Rick is a talented teacher, providing instruction in safety, woodworking, and bicycle repair, while he fosters a sense of commitment, dedication, and community in his students.  He has a natural way of inspiring these men to learn something new, to be responsible, and to feel what it is like to give back to the community.  We are grateful for his services!”

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Contra Costa County High School Mock Trial Championship Team to be named: Will it be California or Northgate?

WHAT:
For the past seven straight Tuesday and Thursday evenings, the Northgate High and California High Mock Trial teams will have battled it out with 11 other school teams inside the superior courthouses in Martinez, in the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s 30th Annual High School Mock Trial Competition.  This Thursday night, one of these two teams will be awarded the county’s Mock Trial Championship Team Trophy.  The championship team will represent Contra Costa County at the California Mock Trial State Finals, to be held in Riverside, Calif., March 25-27.  (This year, the National Mock Trial Competition will take place in Phoenix, Ariz., May 5-7.)

The final-two matches, Northgate High vs. California High (Championship Round) and Alhambra High vs. Miramonte High (Consolation Round), were held this past Tuesday night. 

ACTION
More than 150 Mock Trial students, along with their coaches and parents, will be on hand to receive individual and team awards – concluding with the naming of this year’s Contra Costa County High School Mock Trial Championship Team.  Contra Costa County Presiding Judge Diana Becton will be presenting the awards to the students.

WHO:    
Mock Trial is an academic event for high school students coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, and sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.  The purpose of this program is to teach students about the law and the workings of the legal system.  To prepare, the students conducted legal research and received guidance on courtroom procedures from their school teachers and volunteer attorneys and judges, to acquire a working knowledge of the judicial system.  This year, 100 Bay Area practicing and retired attorneys, senior law students, and sworn judges volunteered their time to serve as Mock Trial Attorney Scorers and Judges.

Teams from the following 13 high schools competed in this year’s program:
Acalanes (Lafayette), Alhambra (Martinez), Antioch (Antioch), California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Clayton Valley (Concord), Deer Valley Law Academy (Antioch), Dougherty Valley (San Ramon), Hercules Middle/High (Hercules), Heritage (Brentwood), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek), Miramonte (Orinda), and Northgate (Walnut Creek).  

WHEN:
Thursday, March 3, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

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

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February 2011

No shots, no school for teens unprotected against whooping cough

Contra Costa County is gearing up for a new law that requires students to show proof they are protected against whooping cough before stepping foot in a classroom this fall.

As part of Preteen Vaccination Week from Feb. 13-19, Contra Costa health officials are urging parents and teens to act now and avoid packed doctors offices in the days before school begins. The law requires all seventh- through 12th-grade students in public and private schools to show proof they received a Tdap booster, which includes rotection from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.

Contra Costa Health Services Director Dr. William Walker said there has been a statewide outbreak of whooping cough cases over the past year, which why it's important to be up to date on immunizations. Cases in Contra Costa rose from just under 20 in 2009 to more than 200 last year.
Whooping cough is an upper respiratory illness that causes severe cold-like symptoms for older children and adults and can be fatal for infants—10 infants died last year in California.

"Many students in grades seven through 12 had their last dose of whooping cough vaccine many years ago," Dr. Walker said in a podcast released today. "Immunity for whooping cough slowly wears off over time and a lot of folks haven't received a booster."

Dr. Walker also urges compliance with the law in a new public service announcement produced by Contra Costa Health Services. The podcast and PSA are available at www.cchealth.org.

Immunization Coordinator Erika Jenssen said the health department has been working closely with schools to inform parents and help them prepare for this fall.

"Students will need vaccination records to get into school, so it's a good idea to plan ahead," Jenssen said. "Make an appointment early and hold onto your records."

Jenssen said people should first go to their health provider to get the vaccine. People without insurance should check www.cchealth.org for a list of Public Health Immunization Clinics, where the vaccine is offered for a low fee, which can be waived. She said vaccines are also available at some
grocery stores and pharmacies.

To find out more about whooping cough, visit
www.cchealth.org/topics/pertussis/

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Cool Nite - College Offers Opportunities for Life

Contra Costa County Office of Education will host the Third Annual College Offers Opportunities for Life (COOL) Nite.  This event is for students and their parents who are currently in seventh and eighth grade. The evening will offer workshops on learning about how to be successful in high school, getting ready for college, and exploring exciting careers. There will be an exhibit hall featuring local businesses and colleges where students and their parents will have the opportunity to meet and gather information for the exhibitors.

Friday, May 6, 2011, 6:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.
Exhibit Hall opens at 5:30 P.M

Cal State University East Bay Campus
4700 Ygnacio Valley Road, Concord

All Contra Costa 7th and 8th Grade Students and Their Parents/Guardians are invited to Join Us for this Annual Event

For more information contact:

Louise Barbee, Coordinator
Contra Costa County Office of Education
925-942-3385
lbarbee@cccoe.k12.ca.us

Registration: coolnite.eventbrite.com

Cool Nite Flyer (PDF)

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Campolindo High School is Contra Costa County's 2011 Academic Decathlon Champion

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., February 10, 2011 – Last night, during an exciting awards reception, it was announced that Campolindo High School (Moraga) Red Team did what many thought would be impossible, unseat Acalanes High School (Lafayette) as the overall team winner of the 2011 Contra Costa County Academic Decathlon. For the past four years in a row, Acalanes had been the county's champion. Following the Campolindo Red Team, were (2nd place) Miramonte (Orinda) Green Team, and (3rd place) Campolindo Blue Team. The Campolindo team will now represent Contra Costa County at the California State Academic Decathlon, to be held in Sacramento, March 11-14.

Directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), and with the assistance of community volunteers, the county’s Academic Decathlon provides an opportunity for high school students to compete as individuals and teams in a series of ten academic tests and demonstrations.  The curriculum includes art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, essay, interview, speech (prepared and impromptu), and the Super Quiz™.  Close to 200 participating high school students had been studying and preparing for this event with their coaches since September.  This year’s Academic Decathlon theme was the Great Depression, and the Super Quiz™ focused on the topic of geology, including a case study on the Dust Bowl.

This year's teams represent the following high schools: Acalanes (Lafayette), American (Fremont), Antioch (Antioch), California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Dublin (Dublin), Freedom (Oakley), Irvington (Fremont), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek),  Miramonte (Orinda), Northgate (Walnut Creek), and Pittsburg (Pittsburg).  High school teams are made up of nine students, grades 9-12, with a maximum of three students in each of the following divisions: Honors (3.75-4.00 GPA), Scholastic (3.00-3.74 GPA) and Varsity (2.99 GPA and below).  High schools that have more than nine students who want to participate in Academic Decathlon, can field more than one team, e.g., Campolindo’s Red and Blue TeamsThe teams can also bring guests or alternate participants from their school.

During the awards ceremony, many individual awards were also given out.   This year’s Top Overall Academic Decathlon Individual Award went to Jacqueline Tao, of Campolindo High School.

All Academic Decathlon statistics will be posted on the CCCOE’s website by next week.

Also noteworthy, of the three Alameda County participating schools, Irvington took first place; the school will represent their county at the California State Academic Decathlon.  (Alameda County Office of Education does not produce a county-wide Academic Decathlon.)

The Academic Decathlon was first created by Dr. Robert Peterson, former Superintendent of Schools in Orange County, California. Firmly believing that everyone's learning potential can be maximized through competitive challenge, Dr. Peterson set in motion the contest that has since come to be recognized as the most prestigious high school academic team competition in the United States.  The program spread rapidly throughout the states due to the success and excitement it engendered.  USAD was founded in 1981. 

This year's National Academic Decathlon will be held in Albuquerque, N.M., April 25 – 28.

Note: Quality jpeg team photo of the Campolindo Red Team, with their medals, as well as photos of all participating teams, with their team banners, are available upon request.

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Crisis Response Workshop

California Government Code and California Education Code require schools to have emergency and crisis response plans and to use the Incident Command System, a component of the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS). This workshop is designed to provide participants with the awareness, knowledge, and skills to assist school personnel in developing Crisis Response or disaster preparedness plans that meet the Federal and State requirements including SEMS. It will help schools connect with community agencies that most often respond in an emergency situation.

Date & Time

Wednesday, March 16, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Registration and breakfast at 8:30 a.m.
Training begins at 9:00 a.m.

Audience

School Staff | Community Partners | Law Enforcement

Location

Contra Costa County Office of Education
77 Santa Barbara Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 (map)
Ample free parking and easily accessible by public transportation.

Registration

Fee: $40/person (includes light breakfast, lunch, and materials)
No refunds; substitutions allowed.
PO's (groups of 5 or more ONLY), Credit Cards (via PayPal), Checks (payable to ACOE) are accepted
Please note: There is a $25 fee for returned checks
To guarantee group seating, please fax PO form with PO number to Madelyn Blair at 510-670-3199

Online Registration
Keyword Search - Class number: PD1706 or 'Crisis Response'

Checks and purchase order with PO# can be faxed to 510-670-3199 or mailed to:
Attention: Madelyn Blair
Alameda County Office of Education, 313 W. Winton Avenue, Room 220, Hayward, CA 94544

Questions?

Registration: Madelyn Blair, at 510-670-4199, or email mblair@acoe.org
Content related: Janine Saunders, at 510-670-4589, or email jsaunders@acoe.org

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Contra Costa County high school students learn about the judicial system first-hand at the 30th annual Mock Trials Competition

NEWS ADVISORY

WHAT:
During the next five weeks, 13 high school teams will compete inside their county’s superior courtrooms in the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s 30th Annual Mock Trial Competition.  Since the beginning of this current school year, more than 260 students have been practicing diligently to assume their courtroom roles, as trial attorneys, pre-trial motion attorneys, witnesses, clerks, bailiffs, artists, and court journalists.  This year's hypothetical assault case, People vs. Woodson, charges a resident with assault with a deadly weapon, and violating a new anti-bullying and cyber-bullying statute.  The pre-trial issue revolves around the First Amendment freedom of speech and expression.

Directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), Mock Trial is an academic competition 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.   The Mock Trial teams work with teachers and attorney coaches to prepare their version of the criminal case, from both the prosecution and defense perspectives.  Winning teams advance through seven rounds of competition, with the two highest-scoring teams meeting in finals on March 1.  The champion team will represent Contra Costa County at the California Mock Trial State Finals, held in Riverside, Calif., March 25-27.  This year, the National Mock Trial Competition will take place in Phoenix, Ariz., May 5-7.

Each Mock Trial will be a bench trial, tried in front of active Contra Costa County Superior Court judges, and scored by Bay Area active and retired district attorneys, public defenders, attorneys, and senior law students.   This year, close to 70 Bay Area volunteers will be donating their time and expertise, as they score the teams.

ACTION:
Professionally dressed and well-prepared students will be presenting their cases, as defense or prosecution, in real courtrooms, in front of real judges.  During the trial, both sides will be questioning witnesses and the accused.  Along with the attorney scorers, the courts will be filled with the participants’ families, friends, and coaches.  

WHO:
Teams from the following 13 high schools will be competing:
Acalanes (Lafayette), Alhambra (Martinez), Antioch (Antioch), California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Clayton Valley (Concord), Deer Valley Law Academy (Antioch), Dougherty Valley (San Ramon), Hercules Middle/High (Hercules), Heritage (Brentwood), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek), Miramonte (Orinda), and Northgate (Walnut Creek).  

WHEN:
Schedule for 2011 Contra Costa County High School Mock Trials

  • Preliminary Rounds: February 8, 10, 15, 17 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
  • Quarterfinals: February 22 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
  • Semifinals: February 24 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
  • Final and Consolation: March 1 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)

WHERE:
For the first six nights, the Mock Trial competition will be held in the Bray Court House, 1020 Ward St., Martinez, with the final and consolation rounds taking place in the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse, 725 Court St., Martinez.
For more information about the CCCOE’s Mock Trial program, contact Peggy Marshburn, event manager, at 925-942-3400.

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Contra Costa County 2011 Academic Decathlon concludes with the always electrifying Super Quiz™

WHAT:
This year’s Contra Costa County 2011 High School Academic Decathlon, which takes place over two consecutive Saturdays, will conclude this coming Saturday, (part one, was held the morning of January 29).  Directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) and with the assistance of community volunteers, the county’s Academic Decathlon provides an opportunity for high school students to compete as individuals and teams in a series of ten academic tests and demonstrations.  The curriculum includes art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, essay, interview, speech (prepared and impromptu), and the Super Quiz™.  Close to 200 participating high school students have been studying and preparing for this event with their coaches since September.  This year’s Academic Decathlon theme is the Great Depression, and the Super Quiz™ will focus on the topic of geology, including a case study on the Dust Bowl.

ACTION:
Providing outstanding audio, video, and photo opportunities, the approximately 75-minute Super Quiz™ portion of the Athletic Decathlon (a team-relay event) always produces the excitement and electricity mixture of the remaining minute of a tied county-wide basketball championship game and the final winning question on a TV game show.  The gym’s bleachers are populated with families, friends, and teachers, cheering on their teams.

WHO:
This year's teams represent the following high schools: Acalanes (Lafayette), American (Fremont), Antioch (Antioch), California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Dublin (Dublin), Freedom (Oakley), Irvington (Fremont), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek),  Miramonte (Orinda), Northgate (Walnut Creek), and Pittsburg (Pittsburg).  Acalanes High School has won the past four 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 State Academic Decathlon, to be held in Sacramento, March 11-14.  This year's National Academic Decathlon will be held in Albuquerque, N.M., April 25 – 28.

DATES / LOCATIONS:
Saturday, February 5, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Los Medanos College (gymnasium), 2700 E. Leland Rd., Pittsburg
** Super Quiz™  begins at 2:30 p.m., finishing around 3:45 p.m.

Best time for photo, video, and audio opportunities:
**Saturday, February 6, 2:30-3:45 p.m. at Los Medanos College (gymnasium)—The Super Quiz™ Relay.

Wednesday, February 9, 6:00-7:30 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 Contra Costa County Academic Decathlon, contact Peggy Marshburn, event coordinator, at 925-942-3400

HISTORY
The Academic Decathlon was first created by Dr. Robert Peterson, former Superintendent of Schools in Orange County, California. Firmly believing that everyone's learning potential can be maximized through competitive challenge, Dr. Peterson set in motion the contest that has since come to be recognized as the most prestigious high school academic team competition in the United States.  The program spread rapidly throughout the states due to the success and excitement it engendered.  USAD was founded in 1981.

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January 2011

Seventh Annual Young Children's Issues Forum

PITTSBURG, Calif., January 24, 2011 The public is invited to The Seventh Annual Young Children's Issues Forum, to be held on Saturday, March 19, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, at Los Medanos College 2700 East Leland Rd. (Music/Recording Arts Building, room 720), Pittsburg.  This free annual community is event sponsored and organized by the Local Planning Council for Child Care and Development (LPC), and is coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE).

The purpose of the event is to provide a forum for discussion among legislators, local officials, and the community regarding current children's issues.  This year’s event will feature key-note speaker Delaine Eastin, former California state superintendent of public instruction and California state assemblyperson.  Eastin’s keynote address will be followed by a panel presentation and discussion by state legislators and local elected officials who will speak about the current status of young children's health, education, social, and child-care services. 

Historically, the majority of the event attendees are child-care providers, preschool teachers, program administrators, community college faculty, and representatives from community agencies.  Resources, services, and other information related to child care and education, a benefit to parents, will be available at the event.  The LPC hopes to encourage and foster parent participation, as well as participation of all child-care providers in the county, including private and state-funded centers and family care providers.

For more information about the annual Young Children’s Issues Forum, please contact the Contra Costa Local Planning Council for Child Care and Development Coordinator Ruth Fernández at (925) 942-3413.

Registration is not required to attend this event.

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Siemens STEM Academy Summer of Learning

The applications for the Siemens STEM Academy Summer of Learning programs are now open.

The Summer of Learning includes two all-expenses-paid programs for STEM educators:
Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs)
Siemens STEM Institute

Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs): STARs gives 20 middle and high school STEM educators the opportunity to spend two weeks engaging with top scientists and researchers on mentored research projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, America's largest, multi-purpose, national research laboratory.

Siemens STEM Institute: The Institute selects a diverse group of 50 STEM educators to attend a week of STEM immersion at Discovery's world headquarters outside of Washington, D.C., where they will hear from guest speakers at the forefront of STEM, take field trips to leading institutions, and network and collaborate with peers from across the nation.

Application deadline: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

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Contra Costa County Mock Trial Program Looking for Attorneys to Assist

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

MARTINEZ, Calif., January 6, 2011—Bay Area practicing and retired attorneys are needed to provide assistance to their future brethren at the 30th 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, 100 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.   This year’s case is a murder trial: People vs. Woodson.

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 16 Contra Costa County high school Mock Trial teams competing.

Attorneys 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 volunteers will go into their scheduled courtrooms to serve as Mock Trial scorers—between three to seven scorers in each courtroom.  The Mock Trials’ scorers are made up of Bay Area district attorneys, public defenders, and private practice and corporate lawyers, as well as seasoned law students.  A practicing judge or commissioner will preside over each trial, and also serves as one of the trial’s scorers.    

The two highest-scoring teams will advance to the finals on Tuesday, March 1. The winning team will then represent Contra Costa County at the State Mock Trial competition in Riverside, Calif., March 25-27. The California state finalist team will then compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held in Phoenix, Ariz., May 5-7.

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.  
Schedule for 2011 Contra Costa County High School Mock Trials

  • Preliminaries Rounds: February 8, 10, 15, 17 (5:00-8:00 p.m.)
  • Quarterfinals: February 22 (5:00-8:00 p.m.)
  • Semifinals: February 24 (5:00-8:00 p.m.)
  • Finals and Consolation: March 1 (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 contacting Jonathan Lance at (925) 942-3429.  Participants may review and fill out this Attorney Volunteer Form, then e-mail back to Jonathan Lance.

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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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Page updated on: August 15, 2017

Rev: 0.4-010514-BETA4