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Focus on Success
September 2011 Vol 3, No. 1  
 Partnering and Promoting Education
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In This Issue
Teaching and Learning in the Mobile Era
Summer Public Safety Academy
Narrowing the Language GAP
Summer Arts Institute for Teachers
Natural Bridges High School
Hartman School's Community-Based Mural
The State of Education in Santa Cruz County
Board of Education
Business Services
Educational Services 
Human Resources
SC County Schools
Student Services
Technology Services
SCCOE Mission
The Mission of the Santa Cruz County Office of Education is to increase the proficiency of students by providing quality educational leadership, services and support to all school districts in Santa Cruz County, as well as to a diverse community of learners.

Strategic Vision

To improve education in Santa Cruz County by using data and research to prepare all students for college and/or career success in the 21st Century global economy
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 


For those fortunate enough to have chosen education as a career, the end of summer sometimes feels like the beginning of spring, for as spring ushers in the promise of a new beginning, so does the opening of a new school year. The energy and excitement that students bring to the classroom on the first day of school is electrifying, for they are aware of the endless possibilities awaiting them as they embark on a new adventure. And the teachers are just as enthused.


This edition of our newsletter highlights many of the summer activities and programs for students and teachers that took place in preparation for the 2011-12 school year. Year round professional development opportunities for educators and unique summer programs for students are essential components of a well balanced educational system. We cannot take these and similar programs for granted with the 2011-12 state budget, which was crafted on revenue assumptions, and could very easily unravel. This is a time for all of us to do our part to ensure that K-12 education is adequately funded. The children of California deserve no less.


Michael C. Watkins
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools


Read past messages from the Superintendent.

Teaching and Learning in the Mobile Era


iPad Workshop for Teachers and AdministratorsAdministrator training. Teacher training. Is there an app for that? Well, not exactly, but the Santa Cruz County Office of Education did host two iPad workshops-one for administrators and one for teachers. These workshops, sponsored by TriCUE, a regional affiliate of Computer Using Educators (CUE), assisted educators in learning how one of the newest technology tools can help productivity, teaching, and learning. 

Fifty participants received an iPad and were introduced to the technical aspects of the iPad including the similarities and differences between a traditional computer/laptop as well as efficient ways to synchronize the device with existing files and applications on their computers. 


Find out more about the iPad Workshop for Teachers and Administrators, and you can also sign up for an iPad refresher workshop.


2011 Summer Public Safety Academy: Engaging Students in Exploring Public Safety Careers

Summer Public Safety AcademyThis summer, the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) of the Santa Cruz County Office of Education held it's first ever Public Safety Academy, which involved nine months of prior planning and collaboration between public safety agencies, other partners and Cabrillo College. Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano initiated the idea and requested assistance from the County Office of Education and ROP. The goal was to create a course held in the summer that would introduce high school students to all possible public safety careers. Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Michael Watkins agreed to fund the program and ROP began working with agencies to develop the academy. 

Find out more about the Summer Public Safety Academy.

Narrowing the Language GAP: Bolstering Lesson Engagement and Language Development for ALL Students

Dr. Kate Kinsella in the classroomRecently, nearly 300 teacher leaders and administrators from across Santa Cruz County gathered at the Cocoanut Grove before their school doors were even opened for the year, in order to learn ways to build lessons that engage students in academic conversations. Dr. Kate Kinsella, who is known across the country for her work to improve achievement of immigrant youth and long-term English Learners, spent the day energizing her audience with strategies for engaging students and holding them accountable for using academic language in classroom conversations. Participants were shown methods for dramatically increasing the quality and quantity of verbal and written engagement each student experiences through targeted instruction and structured accountable responses. 

Read more about Dr. Kinsella's presentation.

Summer Arts Institute for Teachers is a Hit!

Teachers playing ORFF Schulwerk instrumentsIt's been some years since the County Office of Education has held an Arts Institute for teachers. During the last week of June, however, in collaboration with the Museum of Art & History, DeLaveaga Elementary School and the 418 Dance Project, the COE was thrilled to sponsor more than thirty teachers in a week-long Institute in Art Immersion.

Read more about the Summer Arts Institute for Teachers.

Natural Bridges High School 2010-2011: Another Very Good Year!


Natural Bridges High School studentsWatch a slide show from the Santa Cruz County Office of Education's Natural Bridges High School & Green Careers Program, with photos taken during the 2010-11 school year. The photos are reflective of the very good year that students and teachers experienced. Some of the 2011 graduates are pictured.


Watch the slideshow and learn more about the Natural Bridges High School and Green Careers program.
Alternative Education Programs:
Hartman School's Community-Based Mural

Hartman School MuralWhen Bonnie Dankert became Lead Teacher for the Juvenile Hall's Hartman School, a school site from Santa Cruz County Office of Education's Alternative Education Programs, she hoped to develop a project that would unify students and staff and bring a variety of community resources to the incarceration setting.


Read more about the Hartman School's Mural project

Community Report: the State of Education in Santa Cruz County, 2010-11

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