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Focus on Success
June 2013 Vol 4, No. 4   
 Partnering and Promoting Education
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In This Issue
Intel ISEF Award Winners
ROP Step-Up Classes
Arts Advocacy Video
Model Technology Classroom Program
Ponderosa Boat Works
Aptos High ROP Film Festival
Schools Improving
Renaissance High ROP Photo Exhibit
ROP "Behind the Scenes"
New Teacher Project
Kindergarten Art Show
Kindergarten Forum 2013
Outdoor Science School
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 provide quality educational leadership, programs, services, and support

to the children, school

districts, and the diverse community

that makes up Santa

Cruz County.

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
Ms. Sandra Nichols
Ms. Gina Locatelli
Ms. Jane Barr
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 


The June issue of Focus on Success provides an opportunity for reflection on 2012-13 school year events and happenings. As the ever-increasing demand on educators continues to mount each year, we find ourselves rarely taking the time to look back on our achievements and (for lack of a better word) failures and sharing those observations with the community. The pace in the field of education is dizzying. It is easy to see why one might close the school year, teachers and administrators alike, without carving out time to assess the events of the past year that shaped our lives, and the lives of so many students and their families. So for me it is refreshing to take a look at this issue and see a small slice of the activities that helped to build (literally with the Ponderosa Boat Works) the character and intellect of our students, and read about the powerful teaching and learning that takes place every day.


Have a wonderful summer, and continue to provide our children/students with enriching activities in preparation for a new school year.


Michael Watkins
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools  

Read past messages from the Superintendent.

Our newsletter is sent out quarterly. If you would like more frequent updates, follow me on Twitter, or like the SCCOE on Facebook.
Santa Cruz County Science Fair Students Win at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix   


With the generous support of Seagate Technology and other community partners, the Santa Cruz County Science Fair provides the opportunity for the two top High School projects to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) each year. 


Find out more about 2013 Intel ISEF.
Middle School Students: sign up for some fun summer classes with ROP!   


Are you a middle school student who wants to learn how to build a birdhouse, make a movie, create digital animation or learn how to cook? If you answered yes to any of these questions then our fun, free, summer Step-Up classes are for you!

Step-Up Classes are free 15 hour mini-courses taught by high school Career Technical Education (CTE) and Regional Occupational Program (ROP) teachers.


Read more about ROP Step-Up Classes.
SCCOE Launches Arts Advocacy Video Why The Arts?   


Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Michael Watkins is a strong advocate for arts programs in schools. Believing in the importance of arts education, the SCCOE has created a video featuring student voices expressing their thoughts on the value of studying the arts.  


See the SCCOE Why the Arts video.
Model Technology Classroom Program   


Pajaro Valley Unified School District is working with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education to implement model technology classrooms within the school district. The PVUSD Model Technology Classroom Program has equipped 6 classrooms in PVUSD with technologies such as SMART Boards, Voice Amplification systems, iPads, scientific probe-ware, document cameras and student responders.  


Regional Occupational Film Festival Showcases Student Films  


After class, Tim Bonanno takes a moment to reflect on the past week, "I have slept a total of about 6 hours in the past 3 days," he spouts. Others in the class can relate to his predicament. It was only days before the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) Film Festival at Aptos High School and students were intently wrapping up production in eager anticipation for the moment they can share their creative vision on the big screen.


Read more about the Film Festival.
Santa Cruz County Schools Improving, State Rankings Stable 


LIVE OAK -- Green Acres Elementary School scored 805 on the most recent statewide academic achievement index.


That's five points better than California's goal for all public schools to score on the Academic Performance Index, high enough to place the Live Oak school among the state's best a few years ago. But in rankings released Friday by the state Department of Education, Green Acres was a 5 on the 1-10 scale used to compare schools statewide.


Read the Santa Cruz Sentinel article.
Help Wanted: Work4Youth Seeks Community Support for Summer Jobs 


WATSONVILLE -- Claudia Lopez wants to be a lawyer some day. For now, the 17-year-old would settle for a summer job.


Work4Youth is seeking to help Lopez and other young people find the work they need to keep them busy during the summer and put a few dollars in their pockets. But the 2-year-old nonprofit needs community assistance to complete its mission.


Read the Santa Cruz Sentinel article about Work4Youth.
Renaissance High School ROP Photography Classes - Our Reality


It's not too late to view the public photography show by Renaissance High ROP Photo students entitled "Our Reality." Students in Karen Lemon's ROP Photography classes worked cooperatively with Martha Vega, a member of the Watsonville Police Department, and Lori Butterfield, Coordinator for the Watsonville Youth City Council, to state their opinions about the city of Watsonville with regard to safety issues through the lens of a camera. 
Read more about the ROP Students Photo Exhibition.
ROP Students Go Behind the Scenes with the Santa Cruz Warriors' Organization


The ROP "Sports Occupations" class at Harbor High recently made a field trip to Kaiser Permanente Arena in downtown Santa Cruz to tour the facility and meet a number of people who work for the Santa Cruz Warriors' organization.


Among those the students got to visit were Warriors' president Jim Weyermann, who spoke to the kids about pursuing their dreams by "being honest with the person in the mirror."
Read more about the ROP students Behind the Scenes.
Participants in the Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project Use Inquiry To Break Boundaries and Redefine Teaching



For the past 25 years, the Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project has continually advanced its program based on one significant focus: supporting the development of excellent educators who build their practice, one day at a time, from the first day they step into a classroom. What is the result?  


Find out more...

How the COE
Celebrated Arts Education Month



The annual Kindergarten Art show was held at the COE on March 26 and once again drew an enthusiastic crowd of kindergartners and their families. The students had been part of an art project coordinated by the COE at three schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. Sixteen kindergarten classes participated in the project, learning basic art skills from a kinder art specialist.


Find out more about the Arts Education Month.

Together for Kindergarten Forum 2013



Kicking off the fourth annual Together for Kindergarten Forum on March 7th, 2013, County Superintendent of Schools Michael Watkins referred to the more than 200 early educators, kindergarten teachers and administrators as "first responders" and thanked them for the critical role they play in shaping the lives of young children and their families.


Learn more about the Together for Kindergarten Forum 2013.

Outdoor Science School Collaborates with UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science



Science lessons for 5th and 6th grade students are wrapped up in awe and wonder for the natural world at the Santa Cruz County Residential Outdoor Science School. Each year, more than 4,000 students from Santa Cruz and surrounding counties participate in this memorable learning experience.


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