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Focus on Success
September 2010 Vol 2, No. 1  
 Partnering and Promoting Education
In This Issue
Digital Connections
ROP Enjoys SC County Fair
Teaching Algebraic Thinking
Write-Start Stuff the Bus
SC Super Girlz
ROP Criminal Evidence Class
Outdoor Science: Learning Comes Alive in the Redwoods
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education serves the community, districts, and schools to provide high quality access to education, from preschool to higher education. 
Santa Cruz County Board of Education 
The Santa Cruz County Board of Education is comprised of seven trustees each of whom represents a designated trustee area within the County.
Mr. Jack Dilles
Mr. Aaron Hinde
Mr. Arnold Levine
Mrs. Kathy Mann
Mr. Vic Marani
Mr. Dana M. Sales
Mr. George "Bud" Winslow

Santa Cruz County Office of Education
400 Encinal Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 466-5600
(831) 466-5607 (FAX)

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Superintendent's Message

Welcome back to what promises to be an exciting 2010-11 school year.  Enrollment and test scores are up and students are as anxious as ever to learn new things.  The Santa Cruz County Office of Education is positioned to continue its broad support of student achievement through a cadre of unique programs.  In this issue we highlight a few of those programs, from the "Write-Start, Stuff the Bus" project to making learning come alive in the redwoods through Outdoor Science School.  Children love learning especially when it is fun. And although there is still no State budget, what I find most noteworthy when I visit school campuses is the resiliency of our students and the dedication of our teachers. The limiting of resources has not dampened their spirit. When the schools and community work together all things are possible.

Michael C. Watkins
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools


Read past messages from the Superintendent.

The Snowy Day Upcoming Literacy Events

The Santa Cruz County Reading Association (SCCRA) in conjunction with the SCCOE and the Live Oak School District, sponors a series of professional development workshops. Teachers, read "The Snowy Day" with your class on October 7, Read for the Record Day, and also attend some upcoming inspirational workshops with literacy leader Susan Freeman.

 Find out more at the SCCRA web site.
Connecting Students and Teachers in a Digital World

Teachers at Digital Connections workshop working on netbookLights! Cameras! Action!! It is amazing how these words empower students and adults alike to be creative. And the idea that students are no longer passive learners, but rather active, digital learners, motivated the Santa Cruz County Office of Education to provide technology tools and training to teachers and administrators all over the county. With this in mind, the Digital Connections Project was created to engage students and teachers, using multimedia integration in project-based learning, within all subject areas.
Learn more about the Digital Connections project.
ROP Enjoys the Santa Cruz County Fair!

The Regional Occupational Program (ROP) had a booth at the Santa Cruz County Fair this year for the first time in nearly ten years and met with several hundred students, parents, and fair visitors. The purpose of the ROP presence at the fair was to share what ROP staff and instructors provide students throughout Santa Cruz County.
Find out more here.
Teaching Algebraic Thinking

Workshop on teaching algebraic thinking and rational thinking
Workshop on teaching algebraic thinking and rational thinking
Educators from across the county are gathering five times throughout this school year to learn more about teaching mathematics. Finding skilled Math teachers continues to present a challenge to most districts, so building Math skills within our teachers through professional development, like the Teaching Algebraic Thinking series, is extremely important. Through their participation, teachers are hoping to, "learn methods to help their students build conceptual understanding and confidence, and to have the opportunity to share and learn from peers."

Learn more about the Teaching Algebraic Thinking program.

Write-Start, "Stuff the Bus" Event
Write-Start, "Stuff the Bus" Event
Stuff the Bus - Project Write Start
On Saturday, August 14, the United Way and Santa Cruz County Office of Education hosted the second Write-Start "Stuff the Bus" event. This was the Santa Cruz County Office of Education's second year partnering with United Way in an effort to encourage community involvement in our annual campaign to provide backpacks and supplies for children whose families cannot provide the needed school materials for them.
Read more about the Write-Start Stuff the Bus Event .

SC Super Girlz: Summer day camp for girls grades 5-11

SC Super Girlz and Santa Cruz Derby Girls
SC Super Girlz and Santa Cruz Derby Girls
SC Super Girlz is a new summer program supporting girls' health and success. It is one component of the Healthy Girls Santa Cruz (HGSC) Program, sponsored through the Student Support Services Department of the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. HGSC offers programs that support girls in using their energy, intelligence and power in positive ways. HGSC was developed to empower young women during their transition from childhood into early adolescence.

Find out more about the SC Super Girlz.

ROP Criminal Evidence Class

ROP Criminal Evidence Class Officer
ROP Criminal Evidence Class Officer
ROP offered the Criminal Evidence Class for the first time this summer. While attending the class, students explored various careers in the criminal justice system while applying the rules of evidence to a murder case involving a well known celebrity.
Santa Cruz County Sheriffs Deputy, Nick Baldrige and his K-9 Tomi, demonstrated the K-9's ability to locate articles of evidence using his ability to detect scent. Deputy Baldrige shared court case law, which authorizes the use of a K-9 to locate evidence.

Read more about the ROP Criminal Evidence Class.

Outdoor Science: Learning Comes Alive in the Redwoods

Santa Cruz Outdoor Science School - Closing Circle
Closing Circle
In the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains, nestled beneath the towering redwoods, is a wonderful nature and science experience waiting for many of the 5th and 6th graders of Santa Cruz County Schools. At the Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School, these students experience a four- or five-day residential, hands-on science program in the rich coastal redwood forest ecosystem that surrounds our coastal community. Whether it's kissing banana slugs, making friends with a newt, traversing a character-building ROPES course, roasting marshmallows and singing songs around the campfire, or picking out your nature name, the days spent at this camp will be a time long remembered by each participant. 

Learn more about the Santa Cruz Outdoor Science School.

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education publishes news to the community several times a year, highlighting programs that support student achievement.