The California County Boards of Education (CCBE) Annual Conference will be held in person from Friday, September 8, to Sunday, September 10, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Monterey, CA. The Annual Conference will inspire attendees to enhance their knowledge about the county board member leadership role, make decisions that put the students first, build leadership skills to become effective agents of change to become a high-functioning team, and support innovative tools and policies that are necessary to support county board members. As the role of County Offices of Education continues to evolve, CCBE's Annual Conference strives to provide relevant and timely resources for board members and superintendents.

Conference Program (as of May 30, 2023)

The Essential Practices for Collaborative Leadership, Pre-Conference Offering
Thursday, Sept. 7, from 5:00 to 6:30 pm
In a world that is becoming more complex and divided, we can no longer pick sides but rather a direction that allows for our communities and school systems to thrive – the only way to do that is together, in a collaborative way. This interactive and engaging session introduces participants to the essential practices needed to lead collaboratively in the changing and challenging environment and allows you and your colleagues to come together and practice.
- Scott Winter, Chief Facilitation Officer, Collaborative Commons
- Lauren Ball, Senior Facilitator, Collaborative Commons

First-Time Attendees Meetup
Friday, Sept. 8, from Noon to 12:45 pm

Politics, Money & Policy: Impacts to Public Education
Friday, Sept. 8, from 1:00 to 2:15 pm
As we embark on the most significant and historic investments ever made in California public schools, the state is starting to experience the most significant drops in anticipated General Fund revenue in more than twelve years. Addressing this apparent conflict between big, new investments and the need to balance a challenging budget will result in various political dynamics. In addition, the wave of new legislators combined with the loss of key, experienced leaders in education policy will create new challenges for school leaders looking to influence priorities in the coming year.
- Kevin Gordon, President, Capitol Advisors Group
- Jack O'Connell, Partner, Capitol Advisors Group
- Rick Shea, President, San Diego COE
- Barrett Snider, Partner, Capitol Advisors Group

Fostering Countywide Commitment and Collaboration for Safe Schools
Friday, Sept. 8, from 2:30 to 3:45 pm
Leading in challenging times requires strong partnerships, shared goals, and clear protocols. County Boards of Education and County Superintendents are uniquely positioned to convene and coordinate countywide efforts to create safe schools. The San Mateo County Coalition for Safe Schools and Communities provides a high-quality and replicable model for counties across the state. The Coalition’s protocols address emergency response, student threat assessment, suicide prevention, information sharing, and opioid overdoses and have been adopted by school districts countywide. Based on the Coalition model, Monterey County has also begun developing its Coalition of partners for safe schools.
- Deneen Guss, Superintendent, Monterey COE
- Nancy Magee, Superintendent, San Mateo COE
- Kristen Shouse, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services, San Mateo COE
- Beverly Gerard, President, San Mateo COE

Solving the Teacher Shortage: There's a RAP for That 
Friday, Sept. 8, from 2:30 to 3:45 pm
Registered Apprenticeship Programs (aka RAPs) for teacher prep are coming to California. For the first time, US Department of Labor apprenticeship funding can now be used to fund job-embedded degrees for classified staff seeking to become teachers. In partnership with the College of the Siskiyous and Reach University, the Siskiyou County Office of Education is pioneering an apprenticeship-based grow-your-own talent pathway. This panel will address the following questions: What is a teacher apprenticeship? What does a COE need to do to launch a countywide teacher apprenticeship program? How can a COE best leverage federal and state funding to sustain grow-your-own talent pipelines?
- Allan Carver, Superintendent, Siskiyou COE
- Brenda Duchi, Trustee, Siskiyou COE
- Char Perlas, President, College of the Siskiyous
- Joe Ross, President, Reach University

Build Community Relationships using a Bilingual Language and Literacy Initiative
Friday, Sept. 8, from 2:30 to 3:45 pm
County offices of education across California are building relationships with their communities that are focused on serving children and families. Local language and literacy initiatives are being executed by county offices of education that provide the Footsteps2Brilliance (F2B) reading apps free to all children and their parents. In addition, footsteps2Brilliance offers an unprecedented level of bilingual English and Spanish language and literacy development program for children preK-3rd grade.
- Veronica Gallardo, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Bilingual Reading Specialist, Footsteps2Brilliance
- Krystal Lomanto, Superintendent, San Benito COE
- Gregory Spencer, Vice President, Footsteps2Brilliance

CCBE President’s Welcome Reception
Friday, Sept. 8, from 5:00 to 6:30 pm

General Membership Breakfast Meeting
Saturday, Sept. 9, from 8:00 to 10:15 am

Leading Interagency Collaboration to Help Vulnerable Students
Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10:30 to 11:45 am
Interagency collaboration is paramount in serving vulnerable students. MCOE's Foster Youth Services and Homeless Children and Youth Services will discuss their programs, alongside County Board Member John McPherson, on how they collaborate with governmental and nonprofit agencies to raise awareness on important issues like Human Trafficking, homelessness and supporting foster youth. Learn how they leverage relationships and resources to serve students and families better and how county offices are well poised to lead efforts in building consortiums and hosting summits to engage key education partners to serve students' needs better.
- John McPherson, Vice President, Monterey COE
- Justin Parker, Program Coordinator, Monterey COE
- Donna Smith, Program Coordinator, Monterey COE

The Kids We Serve – Addressing Well-Being & Mental Health
Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10:30 to 11:45 am
Well before COVID-19, there was a slow but growing understanding of the mental health challenges facing K-12 students. The pandemic magnified the issues and helped accelerate a broader understanding of the imperative to do much more about student well-being and mental health. Public education leaders are now flooded with an array of tools and resources to help act in the interest of students, but the choices are nearly too numerous to comprehend and adequately vet. This session aims to examine the approaches and innovations being implemented across California that are among the best practices in local school agencies.
- Scott Kuykendall, Superintendent, Stanislaus COE
- Lee Angela Reid, Partner, Capitol Advisors Group
- Loretta, Whitson Executive Director, California Association of School Counselors

Expulsion Appeals Are Back: A Primer for County Board of Education Members
Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10:30 to 11:45 am
This session will provide attendees with a step-by-step primer for County Board members sitting in their appellate role when hearing expulsion appeals, including all the recent changes in the law.
- Chesley Quaide, Partner, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

Association Panel with the California School Boards Association, California Association of School Business Officials, Association of California School Administrators, and the California County Superintendents
Saturday, Sept. 9, from Noon to 1:30 pm
(More information will be available closer to the Annual Conference)

The New Trustee Handbook: An Overview
Saturday, Sept. 9, from 2:00 to 3:15 pm
County boards of education and county superintendents have both separate and shared roles and responsibilities. To serve students effectively, both must work collaboratively. This workshop presents an overview of the new Trustee Handbook. Learn how the book comprehensively reviews county board responsibilities, including in-depth discussions of critical issues such as budget approval, appeals, and setting the superintendent's salary. Hear how county boards and superintendents use shared governance best practices based on collaboration and trust. Learn how the Trustee Handbook can help you develop a collaborative working relationship with your superintendent and help your county.
- Louise Johnson, Trustee, Nevada COE
- David Patterson, Trustee, Placer COE
- Michael Teasdale, Trustee, Ventura COE
- Beverly Gerard, President, San Mateo COE

Using Core Values to Improve Wellbeing and Achievement Gaps
Saturday, Sept. 9, from 2:00 to 3:15 pm
Individual core value reflection is a well-researched concept that promotes well-being and increases performance for students and staff in education. This process improves achievement by identifying what's right with each person at the level of their core values while simultaneously reducing the downstream effects of negative social interactions, which generate poor self-image, poor mental health, and stunted academic achievement. This session gets to the heart (and science) of improving the self-image of each individual by mapping what is right with them on the inside, even when everything is not right in their environment. This presentation addresses the challenge of finding practical, engaging, and evidence-based ways to bring this concept to a diverse school and classroom setting.
- Eric Ranes, Program Manager of Wellness, Stanislaus COE
- Christine Sisco, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Support Services, Stanislaus COE
- Sam Romeo, Chief Executive Officer/Co-Founder, Seity Health
- Chris Hawley, Chief Wellness Officer, Chief Wellness Officer

Charter School Reform Legislation: Implementation and Best Practices
Saturday, Sept. 9, from 2:00 to 3:15 pm
Recent reform legislation has dramatically changed the tools available to county boards for charter petition approval/appeal/renewal and oversight. This workshop will discuss legislative reform in the following areas: Charter school programmatic, community, and financial impact on communities; The new renewal criteria and the role of the California School Dashboard; New requirements governing equity in ethnicity, students with special needs, and English Language Learners; New developments impacting authorizers' oversight powers and obligations; and How the pandemic and distance learning changed charter petition review, renewal, and oversight. We will cover case studies demonstrating best practices to ensure that your county board is harmonized with county office staff regarding authorizer best practices, focusing on the unique roles and obligations of county boards in the petition and oversight processes under the Education Code. We will also discuss the role of countywide charters and county board-authorized charters in the charter school landscape.
- John Yeh, Partner, Burke, Williams & Sorensen

Starting Your Board's Shared Governance Journey
Saturday, Sept. 9, from 3:30 to 4:45 pm
Your board has discussed the new CCBE Shared Governance Handbook, and you are ready to take the following steps. But what are the next steps? This session helps you identify the critical building blocks for your board’s shared governance journey with your county superintendent that fit your county’s needs and circumstances. Discuss the role of board goals and board evaluations. Consider how best to engage with the superintendent in this journey. Learn about milestones other counties have used, the progression to joint visions and shared mission that led to complementary board and superintendent goals/objectives, and powerful collaboration that benefits all.
- David Patterson, Trustee, Placer COE
- Michael Teasdale, Trustee, Ventura COE
- Beverly Gerard, President, San Mateo COE
- Bina Lefkovitz, Trustee, Sacramento COE

Free and Fun Insanely Great Resources for SEL and Wellness
Saturday, Sept. 9, from 3:30 to 4:45 pm
The mental health crisis among students is well documented. Depression, self-harm, fights and thoughts of suicide have brought children as young as 5 to emergency rooms. This session will provide you with targeted, no-cost, high-quality materials that can be delivered by classroom teachers to support SEL and health and wellness. Funded by foundations, these resources include web simulations, interactive apps, engaging virtual field trips as well as strategies to help students and faculty learn to be happy. (Yes, it can be learned!) There are materials for every grade band, most with additional family or community components, many in Spanish. Share them with your districts.
- Hall Davidson, Senior Director of Global Initiatives, Discovery Education
- Don Huffman, President, Napa COE
- Barbara Nemko, Superintendent, Napa COE

Community Schools
Saturday, Sept. 9, from 3:30 to 4:45 pm
(More information will be available closer to the Annual Conference)

Communication Panel & a presentation from Brooks Allen, Executive Director, California State Board of Education
Sunday, Sept. 10, from 8:00 to 10:30 am
(More information will be available closer to the Annual Conference)

2023 Strands
The Annual Conference Planning Committee has identified the following 5 strands for CCBE’s 2023 Annual Conference program as they relate to county boards of education:

Advocacy and community engagement: Speaks to the board member's leadership role in building collaborative relationships with stakeholders and influencing decision-makers to generate support for student achievement and enhance the perception of public schools. Focuses on the opportunity to build coalitions with local city and county elected officials in shared advocacy efforts for the needs of PreK-12 students. 

County board core: Encompasses the statutory and shared governance responsibilities of county boards of education including: oversight of community, court, and county-authorized charter schools; adjudication of appeals (expulsions, inter-district transfers, and charter authorizations); real property matters; county LCAP hearings; and COE budget oversight. 

Funding, finance, and human capital: Underscores the importance of resources needed to ensure that all students benefit from a high-quality education including a broad spectrum of learning opportunities to rebuild trust in public education. This strand includes innovative practices adopted by COEs to address the unique range of human capital challenges connected to funding, such as teacher shortages and school/district leadership turnover. 

Leadership through shared governance: Aims to equip board members with the leadership skills, qualities, strategies, and techniques to become effective change agents in order to collaborate with county superintendents, become a high-functioning governance team and address public behavior at board meetings. 

Wellness, safety, and learning: Encompasses the myriad ways that wellness contributes to educating the whole child, including the social and emotional needs of students, staff, teachers, and families; demonstrates effective programs in schools and county offices of education, mental health services and partnerships between county offices of education, school districts, and private and public entities. This strand also addresses challenges related to post-pandemic and new issues, including anxiety, apathy, disconnection, learning loss, fentanyl exposure, and other communication and social-emotional challenges.


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