Hot Topics

  • DACA - Off the Sidelines to Secure a Future for ALL

    A message from Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools, Michael Watenpaugh, San Rafael City Schools Superintendent, and Jim Hogeboom, Novato Unified School District Superintendent. 


    DACA Renewal for Marin Residents - Deadline to Renew October 5, 2017

    Please help get the word out about this amazing opportunity offered by the Marin Community Foundation.  Scholarships are available for Marin residents, students and workers who need to renew their DACA application.  Click here for a list of DACA Application Assistance Providers.

    Annual School Attendance Review Board – October 9, 2017

    Carl Corbin, of School and College Legal Services, will provide educators and interested community members a workshop on the regulations regarding School Attendance Review Boards and share updates on schools addressing chronic absenteeism.

    Anti-Defamation League Series – Starts October 11, 2017

    Anti-Defamation League will facilitate a series of discussions across 2017-2018 designed to highlight various topics that allow participants to understand and inspect their own bias. Future dates for continuation of this series are December 6, 2017 and February 7, 2018.

    • Anti-Bias
    • Freedom of Speech
    • LGBT
    • Intersectionality
    • Disrupting Bullying

    Educational Art Contest - Deadline October 13, 2017

    Please see the attached letter from the California Department of Education and the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento regarding an upcoming educational art contest for students between the ages of six and fourteen. Drawings must be mailed or hand-delivered by October 13, 2017.

    "Not Alone" Film Screening - October 14, 2017

    "Not Alone" is a film about mental illness as told through the eyes of teenagers. Each teen paints a vivid picture of the depths of despair he/she suffered and how talking about it saved their lives. It is a film that would be appropriate for teens, parents, educators, school administrators and anyone interested in understanding mental illness and how to help someone in need.

    The screening will take place on Saturday, October 14 at 11:00 a.m. at the Rafael Theater in San Rafael.  There are 100 scholarship tickets available courtesy of Northern Trust. If you are interested, please send an email to

    Tickets can be purchased online through the Mill Valley Film Festival here! The film will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A on the topic of teen suicide. Kiki Goshay, the film's producer and co-director, is a Marin resident and has a website with more information by clicking here.

    Creating Curiosity - Documentary Film Screening - October 16, 2017

    Over the past year MCOE has been working in collaboration with Timeline Productions to put together the documentary film, Creating Curiosity.  This film highlights the phenomenal teaching and learning occurring in classrooms TK-12 throughout our county and specifically highlights work in the Mill Valley, Larkspur Corte-Madera, Shoreline, Ross Valley, Ross, San Rafael, Dixie and Novato districts.

    As you are aware we interact in a complex world and our students need to be problem solvers, motivated to inquire and explore questions and seek multiple solution paths. Our goal is for students, teachers, parents and community members to view this film and walk away understanding how the learning in the classrooms is connected and relevant to the work being done in our community.  Together we can find and support equitable, powerful solutions to the multitude of situations we, as citizens of our community, face every day.

    Please encourage your administrators to extend invitations to their staff and their school communities to attend this screening at the Smith Rafael Film Center on October 16th at 5:00.

    E3 Leadership Summit: Diversity, Equity & Community - October 20-21, 2017

    This is an engaging weekend-long summit to explore issues of diversity and equity through art at beautiful Fort Cronkhite in Sausalito.  Please see the attached flyer for information and registration.

    Leadership with Equity through the Arts - October 20-22, 2017

    An E3 Equity Guided Conference providing a unique opportunity to work with Dr. JuanCarlos Arauz as an Equity Conference Guide.  Participants deepen their learning and sharpen their equity tools and walk away with an action plan to bring back to their organizations.  Please see the flyer attached for more information and registration.

    "Escalation" Screening and Conversation - October 24, 2017

    On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Marin County Office of Education and the One Love Foundation present Escalation, a powerful workshop that teaches participants about healthy and unhealthy relationships.  This event is for students and adults.

    Dedication to Special Education Grants Programs - Deadlines October 27 and December 15

    Please see the attached from Dedication to Special Education regarding their 2017-18 Grants Program.  Classroom Grant applicant may request up to $2,500 - Submission Deadline is October 27, 2017.  Site Innovation Grant amounts can be up to $75,000 - Submission deadline is December 15, 2017.

    2017-2018 Religious Holiday Calendar

    Attached for your information is a calendar of major religious holidays for 2017-2018.

    2017 CA Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Program - Application Due December 6, 2017

    The California Department of Education (CDE) has announced application availability for the California Green Ribbon Schools recognition program.  The purpose of this program is to honor excellence in whole-school sustainability while spotlighting replicable best practices.

    Click here to view the letter from State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, as well as the CDE link for more details. Interested applicants should first complete the 2017-18 Application Interest Survey.  Upon completion of the survey, applicants will receive an application to complete online. 

    The 2017-18 application window opened in September and the application is due December 6, 2017

    Elks Essay Contest 2017-2018 - Submissions are due December 15, 2017

    The Elks Lodge has selected the theme for their annual essay contest: Why Our Veterans Are America's Heroes.  This essay contest is open to students in grades 5-8.  See the attached for more information.  Essay submissions are due December 15, 2017.

    Student of the Week - 2017-18

    Marin County Office of Education in partnership with the Marin Independent Journal will once again be conducting the Student of the Week program.  This countywide recognition program recognizes two students per week from Marin County public and private schools, and from students who are residents of Marin County.  The selections are based upon criteria identified at the local level. Please contact Laura Trahan at with questions. Below are some helpful information which will be sent to all principals across the districts in Marin as well as private/parochial and independent schools.

    2018 United States Senate Youth Program

    Please see the attached letter from Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, regarding a competition of outstanding juniors or seniors who are interested in pursuing careers in public service.  All public and private high schools in the state are invited to nominate up to two juniors or seniors to participate.  Those chosen will participate in a week of intense study of the federal government as guests of the United States Senate.

    CA Department of Education Directing Change Student Film Contest 2018

    This statewide Directing Change Program and Film Contest invites high school students and young adults (ages 14-25) to create 60-second films in one of two categories: "Suicide Prevention" or "Mental Health Matters".  Click here to view the attached letter from Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, for film submission information as well as information about this Program and Contest.

    2018 Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project

    Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, requests your help in disseminating to your students information about a statewide conference in March, 2018, sponsored by the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, a nonprofit organization.  Please see the letter attached for complete information. 

    2017-18 Civic Learning Awards - Applications due January 19, 2018

    From the attached letter from Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction: "We recognize and value the crucial role that elementary, middle, and high schools play in preparing each generation for participation in our democracy, so it is with great enthusiasm that we invite you to apply for the California Civic Learning Award.  Now in its sixth year, the award is designed to celebrate successful efforts to engage students in civic learning and to identify at each grade span effective models that can be replicated."

    National Board Certification

    Marin County is partnering with Ross School District and Stanford University to offer a National Board Certification cohort locally.  Please share the following links with interested teachers on your team.  The Marin cohort is a network where teachers come together to work towards the National Board Certification requirements with a system of support.

    It is not too late to register.  Click here for more information and to register. Please contact Beth Kradepohl at for more information.

    Home Schooling in California

    In California there are several ways that parents can educate their children at home:

    1. Through an existing private school,
    2. Through a public charter or independent study program, or
    3. By opening their own private home based school and filing the Private School Affidavit (PSA) with the California Department of Education (CDE). 

    Following are links and additional Home Schooling information:


    The CDE does not provide guidance on how to home school; however, a lot of information on all aspects of home schooling is available online to assist those who are educating their children at home. In addition there are other resources such as California homeschool organizations and possibly local homeschool groups or meet-ups. The websites for these groups include information on various topics related to homeschooling such as legal issues, curriculum, recordkeeping, transcripts and diplomas, and much more. When you use the internet to search the term "California Homeschool" you will note that there are various different homeschool advocacy groups, both California-based and national, that can be a resource.

    Parents who file the private school affidavit to privately educate or "home school" their children must select and provide all curricular, instructional, and other materials.

    California Education Code (EC), EC Section 33190 requires a copy of the Affidavit be kept at the school. Requirements of what must be included in the Affidavit are also outlined in EC Section 33190. EC Section 48222 states:

    "The attendance of the pupils shall be kept by private school authorities in a register, and the record of attendance shall indicate clearly every absence of the pupil from school for a half day or more during each day that school is maintained during the year."

    The following is for informational purposes only and provides links to educational resources related to public education.

    • The California Content Standards and Common Core Content Standards identify and describe the skills, knowledge, and abilities that all California students should be able to master at each grade level, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through grade twelve.
    • The California California Curriculum Frameworks provide guidance on how to teach the standards.
    • Parents schooling at home and exploring a student's next steps after high school might check with specific colleges, technical schools and prospective employers (e.g., branches of the U.S. military) to learn about student admission or eligibility. Understanding how post-secondary institutions and prospective employers recognize course work completed in alternative education settings is important for parents/guardians considering home school for their high school student.
    • Alternative diploma equivalencies for students not attending public school include the General Education Development (GED) Test and the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE). For information about the GED and CHSPE, please visit the respective Web sites.