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School Engagement: The Power of Family Voice

Welcome back to school! I hope you had a great summer reenergizing and refocusing. I had the great opportunity to be a part of the work in progress at the many workshops, planning sessions, and advisory groups that took place this summer. It has been inspiring to hear dedicated, bright minds strategize solutions for improving the educational experience of all our students. It also reminded me once again of the important role parents and caregivers play in their students’ lives. As a teacher and principal, I experienced families playing an essential role in not only ensuring their children were ready to learn, but in creating a culture of learning and a community commitment that values the success of each student above all else. While not every family has someone who can be present during the school day to support, there are a number of other ways you can participate. Whether it is joining the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), helping a weekend or after-school event, or even organizing classroom work from home – however it gets accomplished, make sure you are part of the picture. Your voice and input are critically important to your child's educational experience and to the school community as a whole.

For three years now, we have seen many districts use their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) to better serve and mobilize students, families, and communities by focusing on family engagement. The Alameda County Office of Education is proud to be a leader in the state in supporting authentic family engagement practices –convening and training a diverse network of family and community engagement professionals through our Family Engagement Network (FEN).

There are approximately 55 family engagement positions throughout the County’s 18 school districts. Comprised of staff from districts, schools, and community organizations, the FEN is focused on creating strong community partnerships and empowering families to elevate their voices. Through collaborative monthly meetings and professional development opportunities, practitioners gain access to current research and best practices and engage in specific themed trainings like Trauma-Informed Practices and Ecological Frameworks of Family Engagement. Last spring, ACOE partnered with the San Diego State University Parent Center to host and co-facilitate two training series for 120 district and parent liaisons, administrators, teachers, and counselors.

The more that families are engaged in their child’s school community, the more they will feel empowered to offer informed input on the direction of the school and district. How can a family get involved in their district’s LCAP process, including understanding recently released state test scores? What questions should be asked? We’ve gathered some helpful resources for families and community leaders. Take a look at the links and see how you can impact your community’s LCAP.

Throughout this school year, we will continue to provide insights into the major shifts currently taking place in California’s public education system, including the state’s new accountability and continuous improvement system (referenced in my June newsletter), which will be formalized at next week’s State Board of Education meeting on September 8-9.

But, for this moment, I hope the school year has started off well and that this year we will continue to build on our collective commitment to see all our young people grow and thrive even beyond our greatest expectations.

In partnership,


L. Karen Monroe
Alameda County Superintendent of Schools


 

From ACOE

LCAP Information and Community Resources

Community Tool Kit

ACOE Court & Community School 2016 LCAP Student Survey

ACOE Court & Community School 2016 LCAP Survey for Parents, Guardians, and Community

School LCAPs by District 

Inventing Our Future 2015 - Shirley Brice Heath
Alameda County Teacher of the Year Award Ceremony
Each year, the Alameda County Office of Education recognizes and celebrates Alameda County teachers for their diligence and talent in classroom instruction. Two of the district winners will be selected as the county-wide Teacher of the Year at the ceremony. Those two winners will go on to participate in the state competition later this year. 

Please join ACOE in honoring the extraordinary leadership and vision of the 2016-17 Alameda County Teachers of the Year! 

The Celebration:

Hors D'oeuvre Reception, 6 - 6:45pm | Awards Ceremony, 7 - 9pm

Entertainment, district award presentations, and county winner selection. 

Purchase tickets | Email for more information 

ACOE at Senate Hearing
On August 3rd, the California State Senate Education Committee held an informational hearing on charter school oversight in California. Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network (CARSNet), ACOE’s federally-funded program of supports and training for charter authorizing districts and county offices was represented at the hearing. Along with representatives from Oakland Unified School District and Los Angeles County Office of Education, CARSNet Director Gail Greely addressed the question, “Are there mechanisms in place to ensure sufficient oversight and accountability?” State Senators followed up with questions about the challenges faced by charter authorizing agencies and the range of supports needed to ensure effective oversight. See the full committee hearing. Learn more about CARSNet.
Alameda County Composite Calendar  
The compilation of general calendar information for all 19 Alameda County school districts is now available. Information includes start and end dates, major holidays, and school breaks. View and download
California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Results Are In
The CAASPP scores were released in late August reporting the academic progress of students throughout the State. While there is growth to celebrate, the data point clearly to the urgent need for our continued and renewed focus on ensuring every one of our students is college and career ready.
See the press release from our Office.
 

New from the Integrated Learning Specialist Program | Various times this fall
ACOE is offering a new Integrated Learning Specialist Program course this fall in the East Bay! Adapted to meet the needs of court, community, and alternative setting educators, the course brings to light the complicating circumstances of the school-to-prison pipeline and touches on the importance of having a philosophy of education that is culturally and linguistically relevant. Youth justice issues are amplified as well as tools to lead more student-centered curriculum. Learn more.

EdSurge Tech for Schools Summit | Friday, September 9
ACOE is a proud sponsor of Tech for Schools Summit in Oakland. Join small group sessions where school administrators explore technology, build partnerships, and network with other leaders. Learn more and register
California Charter Authorizers Conference | September 11-13
There is still time to register! Learn about quality authorizing practices, get the latest information on developments in charter school law and policy, and learn more about the comprehensive support program for authorizers. Learn more and register.
Safe and Healthy Schools Conference |  November 3-4
Join us for a two-day conference featuring keynote speakers and workshops that engage and inspire anyone who works in the areas of physical and mental health, nursing, alcohol, tobacco and drug use prevention, positive youth development, peer education, school safety and response, inclusive schools, and bullying. Register.
Core Learning Seminars and Workshops
ACOE’s Core Learning Department supports the implementation of California State Standards by hosting professional development opportunities for districts and schools, and strategic planning for successful implementation and new assessments.

This month's workshops:
September 7th | Google Playground for Newbies
September 7th-8th | Next Generation Science Standards Statewide Rollout Phase III Symposium
September 8th | Social Justice Math Study Group- Meeting I
September 9th | Core Coaching Network- Meeting I

View all Core Learning Professional Developments 2016/2017
Integrating Mental Health 
Bridge Academy has partnered with Alameda County Behavioral Health Services and Lincoln this year to re-envision and develop a model of school-based integrated mental health. Look for updates in this newsletter and on our website throughout the year.

Accreditation Process
ACOE schools successfully completed the first full site visit from the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC). The WASC process includes a thorough self-study, extensive written report, and intensive three-day visit from an appointed committee. Court Schools were granted Six-Year Accreditation Status through June 2022. The Commission granted Probationary Accreditation Status to Community Schools through June 2018, providing opportunities for an array of new and evolving program offerings for students.

Court School Site Council Meeting
All are welcome to attend the Court School Site Council meeting at Sweeney Academic Center. If you are interested in participating on the Court School Site Council, please contact Principal Michael Hermosillo. We welcome community involvement!

Sweeney Academic Center
2600 Fairmont Drive, Classroom 1, San Leandro, CA 94578

Making Statistical Connections |  September 27 & 28
ACOE hosts a 2-day professional development workshop, The Common Core State Standards Distinguished Speakers Series: Making Statistical Connections, aimed at administrators, coaches, teachers, and paraprofessionals. The series is co-sponsored by the Contra Costa County Office of Education. Learn more and register.
Bright Schools Competition 
Registration is now open. The National Sleep Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association are partnering to host the Bright Schools Competition.  Bright Schools is a free STEM competition exploring the links between light, sleep, and student health and performance, designed specifically for middle school students. More information.

Free Museum Field Trip
Educators can enjoy a free field trip to the DeYoung Museum to view the Ed Ruscha show and make prints. Targeting 3rd grade through high school educators. Registration required. More information and registration

 
Top to Bottom: 1. ACOE SPaS student accepts his diploma on graduation day. | 2. ACOE educators host a professional development on math and science standards.  | 3.(front) Brooklyn Sisk (l to r) Superintendent L. Karen Monroe, AC Board Trustee Aisha Knowles, AC Board President Eileen McDonald, AC Board Trustee Amber Childress, Oakland's Community School for Creative Education Executive Director Dr. Ida Oberman. Fremont 5th-grader, Brooklyn convened a group of volunteers to sew blankets for CSCE TK and K students. | 4. ACOEs Core Learning Science team hosted a week-long workshop for educators.  | 5. The ACOE Meaning and Maker Studio hosted adults and students for free robotics and 3D printing workshops
Superintendent Monroe on KTVU
Superintendent Monroe joined Gasia Mikaelian, Mike Mibach, and Sal Castaneda at the anchor desk on KTVU Mornings on 2 for their Back-to-School series. Watch.
                                                               Join our team!
CERTIFICATED POSITIONS
Leadership Coach | Apply 

CLASSIFIED POSITIONS
Personnel Specialist | Application available here September 1
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See more opportunities and job postings from ACOE
About ACOE
The Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE), under the leadership of County Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe, serves as liaison between the California Department of Education and the 18 Alameda County public school districts that serve more than 200,000 students and 10,000 teachers. ACOE provides oversight of district budgets, representing more than $1.78 billion, and Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs). ACOE directly operates two types of schools that serve Alameda County’s most vulnerable youth: Court Schools at the Juvenile Justice Center and Community Schools, which serve foster youth, students in substance abuse treatment, pregnant and parenting teens, Probation-referred youth, and students expelled from their resident school districts. ACOE provides, promotes and supports leadership and service to ensure the success of every child, in every school, every day. For more information, visit

Mailing Address
313 W Winton Ave. | Hayward, CA | 94544
 
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