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Pulse of the Santa Cruz COE

September 2019
Superintendent Faris Sabbah walking with group of children
As the 2019-20 school year gets underway, the County Office of Education continues to adapt to serve the dynamic needs of our community. We have launched our new strategic plan that will guide our work for the next 5 years; the plan asserts our commitment to equity for all learners and prioritizes a holistic approach to serving the needs of our students. The strategic plan is being rolled out with a new logo, and will be presented to the community in multiple forums across the county this fall.

In community,
Dr. Faris Sabbah
Superintendent of Schools
Santa Cruz County
Introducing the new Santa Cruz COE logo! The new logo will be rolling out on all Santa Cruz COE branding materials. The logo represents students and families walking on the bridge toward success, focusing on our commitment to equity and support for a diverse learning community. 

Strategic Plan Finalized - Community Forums  Coming Soon

Following a six month process of gathering input from hundreds of stakeholders and organizations. we will be conducting community forums across the county to present the plan and our new initiatives to the community
.Strategic Plan Wheel
New video: Overview of Santa Cruz COE programs, departments, and functions. 

All Districts Convene for 2019 Admin Kick Off

The Educational Services department hosted the 2019 Admin Kick Off for all Santa Cruz County public school administrators. The morning-long event featured keynote speaker Dr. Corey Garza of CSUMB, whose presentation centered on the importance of creating conditions for equity within the STEM field. The event also showcased the scientific achievements of 37 students who had the opportunity to share their work directly with the group.  The event was an informative and exciting way for administrators to align our work with the values of equity, excellence, partnership, and innovation. Our new Associate Superintendent of Educational Services, Debi Bodenheimer, is spearheading the newest developments in this department, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the team. 

Please visit our website to learn more about the Educational Services Division

Santa Cruz County Science Initiative Roots and Shoots are Growing!

Our County Science Initiative’s efforts to entwine environmental literacy with science are taking root and teachers are nurturing these connections. During the first week of summer, 57 teachers were back at work participating in our Teacher Leadership Institute for Science and Environmental Literacy. These teachers are the newest cohort in a network of K-12 teachers who are diving deep into Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and connecting them to our local environment. Those who participated represent schools in every one of our county’s 10 school districts, including our alternative education programs - a strategic choice that is part of a plan to ensure that inspiring, student-centered science and environmental literacy experiences will be accessible to all communities.

Learn more about our county's Science initiative here.

Long-term Investment in Accountable Student Talk Paying Dividends in Local District

Over forty percent of Santa Cruz County’s students speak languages other than English at home.  The CA English Learner Roadmap lays out guiding principles to support educators in ensuring that all English learners attain high levels of English proficiency, mastery of grade-level standards, and opportunities to develop proficiency in multiple languages. This article focuses on work at Live Oak Elementary School District that aligns to the EL Roadmap Principles. The district was selected in 2018 as a California Exemplary School District and Live Oak Elementary School as a California Distinguished School.

Learn more about successful innovations for English Language learners at local schools districts here.

Future Educators Collaborate with a Local Children’s Center

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education’s Career Technical Education Partnership (CTEP) Program has established a successful high school student work-based learning (WBL) opportunity within the education field. This partnership is between Natural Bridges High School (NBHS) and Natural Bridges Children’s Center (NBCC). This WBL experience was incubated out of the necessity to holistically develop local educational talent, as the educational field continues to be challenged with replacing an aging workforce. Mark Hodges, Senior Director of the Santa Cruz COE’s CTEP Department shared, “With the educational field’s local situation, we came together to problem solve our current local educational situation. In doing our due diligence, we discovered that fostering our own local talent was the most prudent option to address this national crisis head-on!”

Learn more about the Career Technical Education Partnership here.
Alternative Education Updates
The CAC and Alternative Education had successful summer school sessions and is looking forward to the school year. The CAC began the school year with an additional 1 FTE teacher to meet increased student demand. The CAC also expanded its services this year into the new Probation Center for adults at 303 Water St., which began August 21st. Alternative Education’s Oasis program will now be serving students on both Cabrillo Campuses - Watsonville and Aptos. And finally, we are looking forward to a great school year and to Cypress Charter High School joining the Alt. Ed. family of schools.

Cypress Charter High School Enroll Today - Santa Cruz

Cypress overview video

Technology, Innovation, and Communication Update

The Technology, Innovation, and Communication Division has been working diligently to get schools up and running for the 19-20 school year. In the last few weeks, the team has deployed new devices to Sequoia High School/Sueños program and helped set up all of Cypress’ devices to be transitioned from Live Oak to Santa Cruz COE. This included all email addresses and online files for students and staff. We also have been working on operationalizing the Communications Plan. The Communications Team recently met to discuss specific actions around the plan. The 19-20 Operational plan will be focused on getting information about the strategic plan out to the public and highlighting our work around the efforts.
Copyright © 2019 Santa Cruz County Office of Education, All rights reserved.

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