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Focus on Success
June 2012 Vol 3, No. 4  
 Partnering and Promoting Education
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In This Issue
International Science and Engineering Fair
Student Authors' Fair
Santa Cruz College Commitment
ROP Pilots Step-Up Classes for Middle School Students
Environmental program helps steelhead trout and students
Kindergarten Art Show
2012 Science Fair
Gary Taubes shares nutrition information
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 


As another school year winds down, it is a perfect time to reflect on the many accomplishments of our administrators, teachers and support staff. This issue highlights many of the unique programs that the County Office of Education, in partnership with local school districts, Cabrillo College and non-profits, has developed to support all aspects of student learning. We brought three thousand 4th grade students to college, offered hands-on career opportunities for middle school students, held an art show for kindergarteners, and hosted renowned author Gary Taube as he discussed with educators the importance of nutrition. The challenges facing educators today are unprecedented; therefore it is imperative that we continue to collaborate, innovate and create unparalleled opportunities for students. One such collaboration is the partnership between the Santa Cruz Reading Association and the County Office coming together to sponsor the Student Authors' Fair where hundreds of students' books were displayed for our entire community to see. Remember to read to your child and provide as many enriching learning opportunities as possible so that our students will return to school in the fall fully prepared to learn. Have a wonderful summer.


Michael C. Watkins
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools


Read past messages from the Superintendent.


Santa Cruz high school students honored in world's largest pre-college competition


International Science and Engineering Fair

Two Santa Cruz students won major global awards at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburgh. The competition draws more than 1,500 high school students from 68 countries, regions and territories to show their independent research. More than $3 million is distributed to students annually.

Harbor High junior Saige Manier and Pacific Collegiate School senior Rose Leopold were honored for their work in the competition - the world's largest for pre-college science students. 

Learn more about the International Science and Engineering Fair

The 31st Annual Student Authors' Fair is a Grand Success


Student Authors' FairWhat a festive sight it was on a recent Saturday morning in May for families and shoppers walking into the heart of the Capitola Mall and finding a treasure trove of children's literature everywhere. From first glance, it was obviously a very special celebration. Beyond the colorful balloons, flowers, table displays, and smiling faces it was a unique and inspirational festival. This "book fair" was much more than literature written for children by adults. There were hundreds of titles written and illustrated by children themselves, displayed creatively to share with the community. 

Find out more information about the Student Authors' Fair. 

Santa Cruz College Commitment --
4th Graders Go to College


College CommitmentNearly 3,000 fourth-grade students gave it the old college try on the Cabrillo College campus Friday, sitting in on mini-lectures, then using the information to bring the idea of going to college from concept to reality. The day began in the football stadium, where students were rallied enthusiastically by the Cabrillo mascot before being addressed by Cabrillo College President, Brian King.

Adult volunteers then led groups of children - all wearing white T-shirts pronouncing them "Future College Graduates" - to various classrooms on the main Cabrillo College campus. Students followed group leaders, who carried blue flags imprinted with the words, "I Am Going to College." 

Find out more about Santa Cruz College Commitment.


Santa Cruz County ROP Pilots First
"Step-Up Classes" for Middle School Students


ROP Step-Up Classes


Find out more about ROP's new Step-Up Classes.


Step-Up Classes are free 8-16 hour mini-courses taught by high school CTE/ROP teachers. The classes offer students an opportunity for a hands-on experience in a career pathway of interest, help with the transition from middle school to high school, and provide an excellent recruiting opportunity for high school programs.


Course offerings for this June are Industrial Technology, instructor: David Grant at San Lorenzo Valley High School, Introduction to Digital Media, instructor: Seth Wilson at Santa Cruz High School and Garden and Nutrition, instructors: Shanti Wertz and Lisa Glick at Branciforte Small Schools Site. All three classes have an exciting hands-on lesson plan designed to assist students in making decisions about which courses they might want to take in high school.  
Program helps students help steelhead, themselves


Steelhead programBEN LOMOND - Barefoot middle-schoolers dip their feet into the cold waters of the San Lorenzo River, toeing their way along a sandy shore to find a place to set their charges free.


Cup by cup, the at-risk youth carry steelhead trout they've helped raise for the past few weeks to a shady spot on the river, where they gently lower them into the water. The effort is part of a program aimed at helping local students learn more about their environment, and in this case, themselves as well.


Read the Santa Cruz Sentinel article to find out more. 

Kindergarten Art Show at the SCCOE


Kindergarten Art ShowThere is no better place to begin teaching art than at the beginning of a student's school career. In recognition of this, the COE held a special Kindergarten Art Show at the County Office of Education in March. 

The show featured Kindergarten artwork from two schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District - Starlight Elementary and Freedom Elementary. 

Read more about the Kindergarten Art Show.

2012 Santa Cruz County Science Fair Invites Discovery


Santa Cruz County Science FairWhen you wash your fleece clothing and other synthetics, are you feeding bite-sized plastic to the bottom of the marine food chain? Answering this question led one Santa Cruz County student from an article online, to an expert in England, to her family's washing machine. She devised an experiment to capture water from her washing machine, sample it, force it through a fine filter with a vacuum pump, count tiny plastic fibers under a microscope, repeated many times. Based on her research into what local water treatment plants remove from our wastewater the answer she gave Science Fair judges was, yes, when you launder synthetic fleece you are at least offering plastic to our bay's food chain.  

Find out more about this year's Science Fair. 


Gary Taubes, science journalist, tells Capitola audience his nonprofit will fund nutrition research


Gary TaubesCAPITOLA - Award-winning science journalist Gary Taubes presented his hypothesis on why we get fat, on a recent night to a rapt audience of 276 people at New Brighton Middle School, saying it will soon be studied by nutrition researchers.

For those who haven't read his best-selling books, his theory is based on an in-depth review of 100 years of studies on overweight people.


Read the Santa Cruz Sentinel article here.

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