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A Message from Shelly
Many of you may have already heard the news that I will be leaving my role here at Lake County Office of Education to accept a new position as Director of Community Wellness at St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake.  This was a difficult decision, and it is certainly bittersweet. My time here at LCOE has been inspiring and happy, and has blessed me with many growth opportunities over the past seven years.

As most of you know, 2014 was a difficult year for me personally, as my husband was diagnosed with cancer and passed away on November 15. Because of this surprising and challenging circumstance, Laurie Allen and Rosario Morris have expertly been providing leadership and support to you throughout this year; I have no doubt in their ability to finish the year with excellence.

As I transition out of my position, Laurie Allen will be interim Coordinator of both the Lake County Child Care Planning Council and the Steps to Quality program.  There are many exciting developments on a state and national level in the field of Early Childhood Education, and I am confident that her leadership will support the council in continuing to be prepared for expansion and growth.  Rosario will continue to provide her expert and passionate leadership through the Steps to Quality program. 

Robyn Bera will be directing The Hero Project, and building on the excellent momentum she has created over the past six months through her work here at LCOE.

I want to sincerely thank each of you for your support and grace over the past year. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with many of you throughout the past seven years, and it brings me much joy to think that I might have had a small role in your growth and development as an educator and a leader in the field of ECE in Lake County. For those of you who are new to the program, I am sincerely saddened that I did not have the opportunity to interact with you personally this year. 

Please look for opportunities to assure our communities, partners and friends that transitions are windows of tremendous opportunity and maintaining a positive focus on those opportunities is the best way to ensure expansion and success for everyone.  I am confident that this transition will mean a fresh start and new opportunities for me personally for which I am prepared after the last seven wonderful years at LCOE. I am equally as confident that this transition provides opportunities for growth and expansion for Steps to Quality and the Lake County Child Care Planning Council.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or just to connect.  I look forward to working with you in an advisory capacity with the Hero Project, as well as collaborating with all of you in my new role supporting wellness through St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake.

I'll see you all at the Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award Night on May 8th!

IT'S TIME!  Nominate an ECE Provider for a 2015 Award. Call the LPC office to get nomination flyers in English or Spanish. Nomination forms are now available on the LPC Website (in English and Spanish). Click here to access downloadable forms. To complete an 
online nomination click here.
Save The Date!
We are making our plans for the 2015 Early Childhood Educator of the Year Awards. It will take place on May 8th at Marymount California University in Lucerne. Our 2015 theme is Roaring 20's and we will be celebrating 100 years of ECE in the United States. 

Hero Project Update: Be a Hero BREATHE
We are closing out our Advocate month with the POP Challenge: Parent on Purpose. Parents were challenged to select two attributes they most hope their child develops, and then choose 1-3 ways to help their child develop those attributes.


March launches our Breathe month focusing on positive parenting techniques. Parents are asked to take the 1.2.3. BREATHE Challenge. Children and parents crave structure and positive discipline. In fact, the word "discipline" comes from the Latin word "dicipulus" which means to "teach and guide." Raising a child is one of the most challenging jobs many adults will experience. The key to positive parenting is to anticipate and prevent challenging behaviors. It's crucial that children learn what to do rather than be punished for something they've unknowingly done wrong. Learning how to parent with positive discipline will lead to lower incidents of child abuse, improved emotional health, and higher rates of success and happiness for our communities.


Our Lake County Early Childhood Education sites are our primary targets for connecting with families and we depend on our educators to partner with us to get this information to Lake County families. Go to to get all the latest information and encourage your families to take the challenge. Literature from all our previous themes and our current theme is available in the LCOE office. Please check with Robyn Bera ( if you would like postcards to distribute at your program.

LPC Meeting Information
Planning Council Meeting Updates
QRIS Block Grant News

A new round of block grant funds will be opened in April and we will be working to apply for those funds. Our consortium is moving forward with actions necessary to be prepared for that application process. We have an ECERS reliable assessor coming to evaluate one of our state preschool sites on March 19th and will follow that with a CLASS evaluation. Counties funded by this block grant will receive funds July 1st.


CTKS Funding

Our TK group has completed working out the details of implementation of the TK grant funds. Fliers and applications will be available on the website later in March.

Programs with Positions Open:
  • LCOE Child Development has a Site Supervisor opening for the Lucerne Preschool. For details go to
Next Meeting
Thursday, March 19, 3:30 pm, Yuba College, Clearlake, Room 715
Steps To Quality
Stay on track, plan ahead.
First Year Participants
Continue working on your 9 hours of professional growth for your core requirement. Email or send all certificates to Laurie If you are completing

Component A: Make sure the courses are approved by reviewing the options on the website.

Don't forget to be working on your advocacy hours. Check the S2Q calendar for options.

Second Year Participants
Forward all certificates of completion for your professional growth to Laurie

Continue to complete the Learning Community assignments on Facebook. If you have missed an assignment please go back and finish.

Don't forget to be working on your advocacy hours. Check the S2Q calendar for options.

Legacy Participants 
We have some options for the 15 hours of Hero Project work you need to complete. Please contact me to schedule the work. There is help needed for the content of the website, some Hero participant contact and follow-up that needs to be done and some events that need manpower. 

Don't forget to be working on your advocacy hours. Check the S2Q calendar for options.

If you have any questions about your individual plan contact your advisor or Laurie
Remember to check in on the website frequently at
Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

Next LPC Meeting -  March 19, 3:30 pm, Yuba College

Hero Project Hullabaloo - March 17, 2015  5:00PM - 8:00PM  |  MAC Room at Terrace School, Lakeport

850 Lakeport Blvd., Lakeport, CA 95453 (NCO Lakeport Office) 


Advocacy Walk and Children's Festival - April 11, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, Library Park, Lakeport


in the Local and State Early Childhood Education Community
Will Congress Act Quickly to Save Federally-Funded Home Visiting Programs?

Research from Stanford University found that socioeconomic differences between low- and high-income parents with young children can lead to a word gap as early as 18 months. Early intervention is a key component to helping to close that gap. Home visiting programs are helping to facilitate positive interactions between parents and their children that research has proven not only builds language skills, but also develops a child's cognitive function and socioemotional skills. For instance, parents that participated in one MIECHV program were more likely to read aloud, sing, and tell stories to their children. Additionally, home visiting has other positive effects on children and families. It is linked to increased maternal health, a decrease in child maltreatment, and less parental stress, among other positive outcomes. Read more

Tom Torlakson announces new training tool for school workers to report suspected child abuse and neglect


State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced the availability of an online tool to help school employees receive the annual training they need to identify and report suspected cases of child abuse and/or neglect.

"Nothing is more important than the safety of our students," said Torlakson. "The new online training lessons will help school employees carry out their responsibilities to protect children and take action if they suspect abuse or neglect."

Starting this year, Assembly Bill 1432 (Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles), which was strongly supported by Torlakson, requires every local educational agency (LEA) to train all its employees each year on what they need to know in order to identify and report suspected cases of child abuse and/or neglect.  Read more 

Measuring the Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers
This Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation (OPRE) report provides an overview of the Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (QCCIIT) observation tool, which was designed to measure the quality of caregiver-child interactions in child care settings serving infants and toddlers. The tool can be used across different types of settings and measures caregiver support for infant/toddler social-emotional development, cognitive development, language and literacy development, as well as areas of concern (negative caregiving behaviors). Click here for the full Report
Links and Information to assist you.
Teacher Tips From Teachstone
 Getting to the heart of quality teaching

Program leaders' understanding of what it means to provide quality teaching has changed quite a bit over the past twenty-five years. A focus on quality used to mean providing a safe place for children to play with plenty of stimulating materials and books to read. Now that most programs provide these basics in their early childhood classrooms, our focus has shifted from the what to the how of quality. 

See more, including videos of teachers in action

Key Concepts: Serve and Return
Center on the Developing Child Harvard University

2. Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry
Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry

Serve and return interactions shape brain architecture.When an infant or young child babbles, gestures, or cries, and an adult responds appropriately with eye contact, words, or a hug, neural connections are built and strengthened in the child's brain that support the development of communication and social skills. Much like a lively game of tennis, volleyball, or Ping-Pong, this back-and-forth is both fun and capacity-building. When caregivers are sensitive and responsive to a young child's signals and needs, they provide an environment rich in serve and return experiences.
See more

FREE on demand Webinar - 
Are You Reliable? The Importance of CLASS Trainings and Certification

States, schools and districts across the country are using the CLASS tool to fairly and accurately measure effective teaching. Educators use CLASS data to monitor and improve the quality of teacher-student interactions within and across classrooms, schools, and districts. To ensure that every classroom is measured fairly and accurately, it's important that observers use the tool reliably.


Teachstone's CLASS Observation Training helps educators correctly identify effective interactions and score classrooms based upon their observations. Watch this webinar to learn more about becoming a certified CLASS observer and how to remain reliable using re-certification, calibration, and double coding programs.

Showing interest in your young child's activities improves bonding and builds self-esteem!

Loving moments experienced between parents and children-from birth through adolescence-contribute to feelings of closeness between the two. Parents can use daily activities, like changing a diaper or preparing a toddler for bed, to enjoy quiet moments that reassure a child that he or she is loved. Eye-to-eye contact, holding a baby's hand, and talking to him throughout the day (even if he's not yet talking back!) are all ways that parents and caregivers can help their children grow up to be confident, loving adults.

Tune Into Your Child's Approach to the World
Tune Into Your Child's Approach to the World

 The 2014-15 Lake County  FAMILY RESOURCE GUIDE
 is now available. 

 Spanish translation version will be  available online in March..
Words submitted from the LPC to describe Shelly


The words of John C. Maxwell paint a stunningly accurate portrait of my friend Shelly: 

 A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.  


From the time she asked me to write a recommendation for her application to the LPC, while I awaited a chance to work with her and now as I have opportunities afforded to me because of her, I have never wavered in my admiration for her skills, dedication, creativity and energy. In a mere two years, she has afforded me a job like none other. After all, who gets to walk the red carpet, ride a mechanical bull, craft during work hours, spend days at the county fair, dress like a superhero, and get paid for it?


That the towering heap of her successes paved a path away from us is not the least bit surprising. Those of us left on the opposite fork in the road find our path paved with a webbing of both optimism and loss. As she prepares to take her leadership role with St. Helena Hospital Clearlake I am thrilled for her. For the doors opening ahead of her, the amazing work she will do in our community and the creativity that will be spun from her genius. At the same time, I feel a black hole opening, sucking out the brightest start, all energy and the time continuum with it. So when I wish her good luck there is a small, satisfied, whispered voice saying: St. Helena, you have no idea what you are really getting into here, you better wear your running shoes, get some extra sleep and eat your Wheaties!


It has been my sincere honor to work with Shelly, serve under her leadership and be mentored by her to serve the Planning Council. I cannot say she has big shoes to fill with her tiny feet, but I can tell you she leaves an amazing legacy and I will do my best to honor the work she has done and blaze the way for its future over the upcoming months.

The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people. John C. Maxwell
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1152 South Main Street, Lakeport, CA 95453
707-262-4162 phone,   707-263-0197 fax
Shelly Mascari at
Laurie Allen at