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Focus on Success
October 2015 Vol 7, No. 1  
 Partnering and Promoting Education
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In This Issue
Safe Havens for Optimal Learning
Messages of Compassion and Kindness
Personal Statement Workshop
Visiting Scientist Dr. Bruce MacFadden
ROP in U.S. News & World Report
Inside Education Program
The Donor Network
2015 Write-Start Backpack Project
Step Up Classes for Middle School
ROP Video Production Promotes Water Saving
Two SCCOE Educators Present at White House
2015 Summer Arts Institute
Board of Education
Business Services
Educational Services 
Human Resources
SC County Schools
Student Services
Technology Services
SCCOE Annual Report
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.
Ms. Jane Royer Barr 
Mr. Jack Dilles
Ms. Sandra Nichols

Mr. Dana M. Sales
Mr. Abel Sanchez
Mr. Bruce Van Allen
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 enter our third year of local control funding decision making, a model that has the potential to significantly improve student outcomes, county offices of education continue to play a pivotal role in the process. Of the eight required areas of support for students as delineated in our district LCAP's (school climate, achievement, common core, course access, parent involvement, basic services, engagement and other outcomes) the programs highlighted in this issue of Focus on Success address six.
In partnership with the city of Santa Cruz we addressed school climate and the issue of bullying through a two-day program on kindness, compassion and reflection. Well-known comedian Michael Pritchard led these trainings. Our Alternative Education schools are leading the way in Trauma Informed Care and instruction; an ROP class has been recognized in US News and World Report; the White House honored our technology program; writing took center stage as we supported future college students in writing their personal statement, and finally we have been the recipient of a grant to host Dr. Bruce McFadden for an entire school year assisting in the development of Next Generation Science Standards.
These diverse programs are truly making a difference in the lives of our students.

Michael Watkins
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools 
Our newsletter is sent out quarterly. If you would like more frequent updates, follow me on Twitter, or like the SCCOE on Facebook.
Safe Havens for Optimal Learning:
Professional Development in Alternative Education
Trauma Informed Care training
The Alternative Education Department of the Santa Cruz County Office of Education finished a yearlong training initiative in Trauma Informed Care at the close of the 2014-15 school year. Trauma Informed Care is an approach that aims to engage people with histories of trauma, recognize the presence of trauma symptoms, and acknowledge the role that trauma has played in their lives.

Comedian Michael Pritchard Shares Messages of Compassion and Kindness
Michael Pritchard with students
"Too many boys in America are crying with bullets instead of tears."

Comedian Michael Pritchard's messages were delivered to local schools with funny faces and silly noises but they were far from comical. In September, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education partnered with the Office of the Mayor of Santa Cruz, to host a two-day event highlighting Kindness, Empathy and Compassion as the cornerstones to developing healthy kids and community.

First Annual Personal Statement Workshop a Resounding Success!
Young Writer's Program mentor working with student
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education Tech Center was buzzing with conversation. Ideas were discussed. Content considered. All of it made for some worthwhile reflection as students considered just what it was that made them a good candidate for their college of choice.

Visiting Scientist Brings Research and Field Science into Santa Cruz County Classrooms
classroom teachers in the field
County Superintendent of Schools Michael Watkins is pleased to announce the arrival of visiting scientist, Dr. Bruce MacFadden, to the County Office of Education. Distinguished Professor and Curator of the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Bruce has dedicated his sabbatical year to bringing research and field science into Santa Cruz County classrooms.

SCCOE ROP in U.S. News & World Report: Bicycle Technology Programs Gain Speed in High Schools
Westbrook High Bike Tech
At some high schools, teens are learning the ins and outs of one very affordable mode of transportation: bicycles.

The programs, in which teens learn how to fix and maintain bikes, as well as explore career opportunities in the cycling industry, have popped up at schools nationwide.

Read more about the Bicycle Tech programs...
Inside Education Class of 2014-15
Science came alive in the redwoods as the participants from the 2014-15 Inside Education Program wrapped up their series of hands-on workshops visiting schools throughout the county by spending the day at Camp Koinonia in Corralitos, interacting with Outdoor Science School staff and students. Approximately 100 fifth and sixth grade students were spending four days and three nights of intensive science and nature study at the camp. During field classes they followed qualified naturalists through forest, mountains and streams, learning the interrelationships between plants, animals and humans.

Read more about the visit to Outdoor Science School...
Jim Collopy lecturing an ROP class
Jim Collopy is a Donate Life Ambassador with Donor Network West. The organization's mission is to save and improve lives through organ and tissue donation for transplantation. Mr. Collopy received a liver transplant in 2001 and has been volunteering since 2004.

Read the article about Jim Collopy...
Write-Start Project Poster 2015
Project Write-Start kicks off its 26th year in collecting and distributing new backpacks and school supplies for homeless and low-income students. Collection of donations has started strong this year with a total collection of over 1,800 backpacks thus far. And thank you to Feed the Children, a non-profit relief organization, which donated 360 backpacks all filled with school supplies! With over 4,300 students in need to serve, we are off to a great start!

student soldering circuit board
Santa Cruz County Middle School students were offered Career Technical Education through ROP Step-Up classes at five different high school sites during May and June. For many, it was the first time to test out academic theory with hands on projects in Engineering, Bike Repair and Maintenance, Construction and Solar, Artistic Welding and Animation. In addition, this year, high school students attended class each day to mentor the students, thus contributing to an easier transition to high school.

Read more about ROP Step Up Classes...
2015 Soquel Creek Water District Public Service Announcement Contest award winners.
On Tuesday, June 16th, ROP Video Production students from Aptos High School were awarded first place in the 2015 Soquel Creek Water District Public Service Announcement Contest. The Contest called for participants to create a 30 second public service announcement featuring ways to save water. At Aptos High School, ROP Instructor Jenny Angelacos created an instructional unit around the competition. The unit began with students researching topics surrounding water conservation.

Jason Borgen and Rowland Baker at the White House.
Future Ready Schools is an effort being led by the Alliance for Excellent Education and the U.S. Department of Education to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and full participation as citizens. Over 2000 districts across the nation have signed the Future Ready Pledge including the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. In total, the pledge signers represent over 14 million students. The Santa Cruz County Office of Education, through the TICAL project (Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership), has taken a lead as a national, Future Ready partner in this effort by recently hosting a virtual, Future Ready School Leadership Summit.

Read more about Future Ready Schools...


2015 Summer Arts Institute group painting

For the fifth consecutive year, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, in collaboration with the Santa Cruz Arts Council, produced an inspiring Summer Arts Institute (SAI) for twenty-eight elementary and middle school teachers and SPECTRA teaching artists during the week of June 22-26, providing instruction for teachers in the arts. Instruction included projects and activities in visual arts, music, and performing arts designed to reinforce the California Common Core State Standards in a fun and rich environment.

Read about the 2015 Summer Arts Institute...
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education publishes news to the community several times a year, highlighting programs that support student achievement.