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Santa Cruz COE News

Superintendent’s Update May 2021

A Message From all Superintendents and
Charter Leaders of Santa Cruz County

The schools of Santa Cruz County are proud to partner with Dominican Hospital, Rite Aid, Safeway, Salud Para la Gente, Santa Cruz County Public Health, and other medical providers to increase access to vaccination for students and families. Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine under an emergency use authorization (EUA) for children ages 12 to 15 years old . Santa Cruz County schools are offering vaccination clinics at school sites countywide through the end of the school year for students ages 12+ with parental consent. COVID-19 vaccination represents a key part of the strategy that has dramatically reduced the number of positive cases in our community

As stated by the secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency, Dr. Mark Ghaly, “young people have shouldered a significant burden throughout COVID in many ways, denied certain activities, certain milestones, certain important events; shouldering additional degrees of anxiety, depression and other mental health and behavioral health impacts. We can now provide a certain degree of confidence and protection to those young people to start to resume activities, visit with family and friends. It’s a tremendous opportunity for that group to experience that sense of normalcy that they have been missing.” To register your child for a COVID-19 vaccine, visit sccoe.link/studentvax . For more information about COVID-19 vaccines for the 12-15 year old age group, please visit the CDC’s website here.

Last week, the CDC updated guidance on the use of face coverings to allow fully vaccinated people to choose whether to wear their mask both indoors and out when they are in the presence of other fully vaccinated people. It is important to note that our schools are required by law to follow direction by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). We anticipate that CDPH will require schools to continue to maintain a higher level of restrictions than the CDC has suggested. Under current guidance, students, staff, and all visitors are required to wear face coverings while on campus. Although we do not yet know what local public health restrictions will require this fall, schools intend to comply with all COVID-19 protocols set forth by CDPH and our local public health authorities.

We are excited to affirm that Santa Cruz County Schools are planning to be open for full time in-person instruction for all grades in the fall of 2021, provided that local COVID-19 metrics continue to improve as more people become vaccinated. Although we have been making excellent progress to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community, we must continue doing our part to get vaccinated, support our communities to become vaccinated, and continue wearing masks and social distancing when required.

In Solidarity,

Santa Cruz County Superintendents and Charter School Leaders

Raising the Rainbow Flag in Honor of Harvey Milk’s Birthday

superintendent standin at podium outsideOn May 18, 2021, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education conducted a rainbow flag raising ceremony in celebration of Harvey Milk’s birthday. Harvey Milk Day was established as a day of special significance in California public schools by the state legislature and signed into law in 2009. and is celebrated each year in California Public Schools on May 22 (this year the date falls on a Saturday). The ceremony featured student singers, student and adult speakers, and the raising of the rainbow flag.  One special guest was Adam Spickler, Cabrillo College Trustee, long time Santa Cruz resident, and the first out transgender man to hold public office in California. Schools and school districts across Santa Cruz County raised the “Progress Pride Flag” during the week and will keep the flags flying throughout June, which is Pride month. 

The community is welcome to view the Santa Cruz COE ceremony via youtube.

The community is encouraged to raise their own rainbow flags in some way during this week of May and post a photo or video on our shared Padlet with the hashtag #SCRainbowFlag or #SCHarveyMilkDay. The SCCOE has provided curriculum activities here

Learn more about LGBTQ History in Santa Cruz County and view the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History Queer Santa Cruz Online Exhibit.  

Educational Services Update

The Curriculum and Instruction team has been hard at work to determine professional development offerings for this summer and also for next year. This summer’s offerings include Grading for Equity (with district teams from across the county), an Administrator Leadership Summit (with Tech+), partnership with the Silicon Valley Math Initiative, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, EL RISE and more. Next year we are continuing all of our department offerings, as well as collaborations with Special Ed, Student Services, SEL and the New Teacher Project. We are converting our Professional Learning Plan into a Google Site, so that we can keep it fluid and adjust the content throughout the year. We are also looking forward to continuing with all of our networks, including the Countywide Science Initiative, Mathematics, and the Multi-lingual Network. Our Distance Learning Teacher on Special Assignment will continue to work with our team next year to support the districts with PD and networking, and we have renamed her position as Ed Tech and Innovation Coach to be more in line with the work that she will be doing next year.

Educational Services Update

The Curriculum and Instruction team has been hard at work to determine professional development offerings for this summer and also for next year. This summer’s offerings include Grading for Equity (with district teams from across the county), an Administrator Leadership Summit (with Tech+), partnership with the Silicon Valley Math Initiative, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, EL RISE and more. Next year we are continuing all of our department offerings, as well as collaborations with Special Ed, Student Services, SEL and the New Teacher Project. We are converting our Professional Learning Plan into a Google Site, so that we can keep it fluid and adjust the content throughout the year. We are also looking forward to continuing with all of our networks, including the Countywide Science Initiative, Mathematics, and the Multi-lingual Network. Our Distance Learning Teacher on Special Assignment will continue to work with our team next year to support the districts with PD and networking, and we have renamed her position as Ed Tech and Innovation Coach to be more in line with the work that she will be doing next year.

Alternative Education

Alternative Education and the CAC will be holding graduation ceremonies for over 300 graduates at seven sites simultaneously over the course of five days, May 24th through May 28th. Summer school for both programs will begin June 7th.

Career Advancement Charter

CAC Teachers continue to serve adult learners via Independent Studies remotely and in person. Enrollments remain full. We are excited to celebrate the graduation of twenty-five CAC South County graduates during two small ceremonies at Sequoia on May 26th and May 27th at 6:00 PM, and eight CAC North County graduates at the COE on May 28th 1:00-3:00 PM. The CAC is gearing up for Summer School June 7th through July 9th.

Career Technical Education Partnership (CTEP)

CTEP instructors completed the last series of Professional Development focused on advisory committees for all classes.

This month we will be concluding our first Spring Cybersecurity Camp, instructed by Elizabeth Shaw. This 2 month camp provided students the opportunity to learn about Networking and Cybersecurity concepts as well as learn from guest speakers. As we move forward to the fall, we are excited about the launch of the new ICT Network Career Pathway as well as the 2nd year of the CS and IT Personal Learning community.

CTEP Medical Assisting will host a graduation ceremony for adult students at the Sequoia Schools campus on May 28th and Dental Assisting at COE on June 10th.

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