June 2015
 SCOE: Looking Ahead
Last week, I held a special meeting for Skylane office employees to update them on how I see SCOE services taking shape over the next few years. The goal was to join together in looking ahead at our priorities for the coming years.  
I began my presentation by looking back at the changes we’ve experienced since 2008. We endured the “Great Recession” and saw funding cuts of 20 to 30 percent at both the district and county level. In 2012, the Proposition 30 sales tax provided some relief and helped stabilize education funding. No sooner was Prop 30 on the books than Governor Brown proposed a new funding formula for education. This reworking of the funding model set new base rates for educational agencies and eliminated categorical funding, which has led to many changes.
With the new state funding model in place, SCOE’s base rate has been capped, which means that we will not receive any increase in annual funding from the state for many years to come. To bring in new revenue, our office must market our support services and add educational enterprise components to our menu of services.
This enterprise strategy is already taking shape. Last summer, SCOE secured a three-year $15 million grant for a six-county consortium focused on Career Technical Education. Several years ago, our SELPA organized a Charter SELPA, which has since expanded to serve charter schools from Monterey to Del Norte County. The schools in the Charter SELPA are now also accessing teacher induction services through our North Coast Beginning Teacher Program under a fee-for-service arrangement. All of these activities are bringing new dollars into our organization.
Another way our services are changing is through district take-backs of special education classes. Why is this happening? Our programs are highly regarded, but districts experience financial gains under the new funding model when they serve the students themselves. While I am confident we will always have a significant number of special education classes, our program is shrinking. This adds to the necessity for SCOE to become more entrepreneurial in its operations.
I believe that the key to our ongoing success is to do what we do best—provide quality educational services at the local and regional levels. We have many opportunities ahead, but we must seize those opportunities in order to meet the new and changing needs of education in the 21st century.
 Steven D. Herrington, Ph.D.
Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools 

 Beginning Teacher Program Update
The North Coast Beginning Teacher Program (NCBTP), headquartered at SCOE, is the second largest state-approved induction program in California. The program has a strong history of enhancing the quality of teaching, reducing teacher turnover, and focusing teachers on improved teaching and learning. But NCBTP isn’t resting on its laurels; it is looking ahead and has established new initiatives in the following areas.
Virtual Induction: To meet the needs of participants in rural areas, NCBTP is rolling out a “virtual induction” course for 2015-16. Participants will collaborate within a cohort group through an interactive online system. The course will serve teachers in remote areas and give them opportunities to collaborate with colleagues through technology as they receive focused professional development to support their induction.
Coaching Modules: To build coaching and mentoring capacity, NCBTP will offer a  new certificate program for experienced educators who serve as support providers for beginning teachers. Staff are developing explicit trainings on coaching and mentoring, emotional and social intelligence, and strategies for creating engaging classrooms. Support providers will access this training online and by attending in-person classes during the school year.
Career Ladders for Teachers: Staff are working to align NCBTP courses with university offerings in order to expand the unit options available for participating teachers. This means that NCBTP teachers will be able to earn credit toward advanced degrees and/or graduate-level programs for the work they complete during the two-year induction process.
Expansion Opportunities: According to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the number of credentials issued to new teachers trained in California has decreased for the tenth consecutive year. This has fueled growing concerns about the teacher shortage in our state. To help address this issue, SCOE and NCBTP are exploring options for expanding teacher credentialing programs. The goal is to support districts struggling to fill vacancies and to prepare qualified candidates for difficult-to-fill positions.

Recognizing our retiring employees
We will honor our “Class of 2015” retirees, listed below, at a reception preceding the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, June 4. Join us at 3:45pm in the Board Room to acknowledge these colleagues for their many contributions.
   Angela Aubry | Credentials Clerk
   Nassu Born | Teaching Assistant
   Denise Calvert | Deputy Superintendent
   Beverly Caven | Preschool Teacher
   Al DeLeon | Lead Custodian
   Connie Dunbar | Teaching Assistant
   Catherine Freeman | Teaching Assistant
   Laurie Fusfield | DHH Teacher
   Suzanne Gedney | Communications Specialist
   Jeff Heller | Assistant Superintendent
   Nita Ingold | Legal Secretary
   Judith Martin | Regional Director
   Cheryl Mattioli | Permit Teacher
   Cynthia Pullin | School Nurse
   Joanne Ray | Teaching Assistant
   Tina Rodriguez | Business Systems Support Analyst
   Lynda Scigliano | SELPA Administrative Assistant
   Laura Vance | Teaching Assistant
   Ron Whitman | Assistant Superintendent
   Norma Yukich | Special Education Teacher
SELPA facilitates addition of new county expertise
Thanks to the support of our SELPA, two Sonoma County speech and language therapists have completed an intensive training program to become specialists in Selective Mutism. Kim Starke from Petaluma and Tina Boaz of Santa Rosa City Schools spent five months working with the California Diagnostic Center of Northern California to gain this new expertise. They are now available to assist districts that serve students who are struggling with this disorder. Children and families throughout Sonoma County will be greatly supported thanks to this countywide project.
Open enrollment for medical plans will be in August

SCOE’s open enrollment period for Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield medical plans will again take place in August. Expect to receive a postcard at your home address in late July with instructions for accessing open enrollment materials via the SCOE website. The open enrollment period will close on August 31 and changes will become effective on October 1.
Back-to-school event is Aug 17
Take note! Our annual back-to-school event will be held in a new location and on a different day of the week than in previous years. Join your colleagues on Monday, August 17, from 8:00 to 10:00am in the Redwood Rooms at the SCOE Skylane office as we prepare for the start of the 2015-16 school year.


May 29 | Voluntary life insurance forms due
For forms and information, go to scoe.org/openenrollment.

May 29 | Golden Bell Award nomination deadline
Completed nomination forms (pdf) for this employee awards program should be submitted to department supervisors.

June 4 | Retiree Reception
Retiring employees will be recognized at 3:45pm in the Board Room.

June 7-8 | ieSonoma
SCOE is a founding partner of this innovative event, which features dynamic and thought-provoking presentations on the future of education. ieSonoma opens on Sunday evening at Sonoma Country Day School, then moves to Weill Hall at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center on Monday morning. Go to iesonoma.org for more information and to see presenter bios.

June 12 | Deferred Net Pay forms due
Ten- and eleven-month employees who want to change their participation in the Deferred Net Pay program must submit their forms by June 12. You do not need to submit a form unless you are initiating or changing your participation status.

June 15 | SCOE Volunteer Night
Email Terri Walker at twalker@scoe.org to sign up for SCOE’s volunteer night at the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

June 16 | CalPERS retirement workshop
The CalPERS Planning Your Retirement workshop takes place at 2:00pm in Redwood Room C. Pre-registration required.

July 24-Aug 9 | Sonoma County Schools at the Fair
Stop by the Sonoma County Schools booth in the Grace Pavilion. Each day the booth will be hosted by a local school group.

Aug 17 | Back-to-school event
Mark your calendar and plan to attend on Monday, August 17, from 8:00 to 10:00am in the Redwood Rooms at the SCOE Skylane facility.

The next issue of the Portfolio will be in August. Have a great summer!
Send items for the Portfolio to Suzanne Gedney, sgedney@scoe.org