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Focus on Success
March 2011 Vol 2, No. 3  
 Partnering and Promoting Education
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In This Issue
Paint Like Picasso...
2nd Annual Together for Kindergarten Community Forum
2011 Santa Cruz County Science Fair
Impact Designs
Annual Santa Cruz County Spelling Championship
Inside Education
Students Shine in Mock Trial Competition
Board of Education
Business Services
Educational Services 
Human Resources
SC County Schools
Student Services
Technology Services
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
Ms. Gina Locatelli
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 


As we wrap up the winter months and move into spring, this issue provides multiple opportunities for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education (SCCOE) to highlight the incredible talents of the students in the county. Students have had the opportunity to share their talents through participation in Mock Trial, Spelling Bee, and Science Fair, as well as special art shows highlighting March as Arts Education Month. As we continue to involve the community in the world of education, Inside Education has reached its third year of providing community members an inside look into classrooms across the county. Another continued point of emphasis for the SCCOE is to better understand preschool and the transition into kindergarten. Senator Joseph Simitian joined us for the 2nd Annual Together for Kindergarten to talk about the implications of the Kindergarten Readiness Act (SB 1381). As we continue our pursuit of high quality educational programs for students, we welcome your involvement along the way.  A collaborative, creative, and innovative educational setting provides an excellent forum for students in our county to thrive.


Michael C. Watkins
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools


Read past messages from the Superintendent.

Paint Like Picasso
The Fifth Annual Special Art Show

Paint Like Picasso Special Education Art ShowThe County Office of Education hosted the fifth annual Special Education Art Show on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011. The art show is the brainchild of Brook Knoll teacher Wendy Harrison and is open to any student with special needs in the county who would like to be involved. The original concept behind the show was to illustrate that everyone is creative and can produce art. The public reception is a vehicle for the wider community to recognize and celebrate the ability and creativity of this particular student population.

Wendy explained that participating in the art show is a voluntary activity and a flier inviting submissions is sent to each district at the beginning of the school year.

Read more about Paint Like Picasso: The Fifth Annual Special Art Show.

2nd Annual Together for Kindergarten Community Forum

Kids watching CharitoAlmost three hundred teachers from preschools, kindergarten and first grade, who'd already put in a tough day's work, showed up to spend several more hours on the job at the Together for Kindergarten Forum. The dedication that teachers have to their students, even in these tough times, was awe-inspiring.

Learn more about the Second Annual Together for Kindergarten Community Forum.
2011 Santa Cruz County Science Fair

Mock Trial 2011
From a study of bird populations in the sandhills of the Santa Cruz Mountains to determining how many balloons it takes to lift a 7-year-old off the ground, the brightest young minds in Santa Cruz County came together to present their projects for the annual Santa Cruz County Science Fair this month.

In its 25th year, the Fair put on display the scientific creativity of about 450 Santa Cruz students from 50 schools in the county.

Read more about the 2011 Santa Cruz County Science Fair.

Impact Designs: Engineering & Sustainability Through Student Service

IDEASSUCSC undergraduates and high school students at Natural Bridges High School and Green Careers Center are benefiting from a new educational program that focuses on sustainable technologies, science and engineering while promoting civic engagement and entrepreneurship.

Find out more about the Impact Designs Program.
Annual Santa Cruz County Spelling Championship

Kameron Struer of Monte Vista Christian junior high The county's top 125 young spellers, representing 40 schools, gathered at UC Santa Cruz on Saturday for the annual Santa Cruz County Spelling Championship. In two auditoriums, students in grades 4-6 and 7-9 competed for the opportunity to move on to the state championships this spring.

Read more about the Annual Santa Cruz County Spelling Championship in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Inside Education: An Innovative Look at Santa Cruz County Schools

Inside Education 2011 visits classroomThe Santa Cruz County Office of Education and the ten local school districts have joined with professionals, community, business and civic leaders for a first-hand, interactive and participatory look at the public education system in Santa Cruz County.

Learn more about Inside Education.
Students Shine in Mock Trial Competition

Mock Trial 2011 "Objection, your honor. That question requires a narrative," said one Santa Cruz High School student in a firm voice last weekend during the final of the annual Mock Trial competition between area high schools.

"Sustained. Next question please," Superior Court Judge Jeff Almquist said to the Scotts Valley High School prosecutor from behind the bench.

Read more about the Mock Trial Competition.

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