The Placer County Office of Education spotlights excellence in education through various programs for students, teachers, school districts, employees and community leaders.
Each year, the Placer County Office of Education supports student teams who compete in the Academic Decathlon - the premier scholastic competition for high school students across the country. Students are tested in ten categories including art, economics, essay, interview, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, social science and speech. The competition culminates in the team event, called the Super Quiz.
Academic Decathlon teams spend months preparing for this demanding competition. In addition to mastering the extensive academic content, students learn about teamwork, goal setting, planning and leadership. Winning teams advance through the local, regional and state levels of competition.
This February, three Placer County teams competed in the 2021 Placer
County Academic Decathlon - the premier scholastic competition for high
school students across the county -- with Rocklin High School taking top
honors scoring 21,764 points. This is the first time the school has won
the countywide competition. The team now advances to the state finals,
which will be held in March 2021. Read the press release.
This year, the Placer County Office of Education shined the spotlight on five special employees who demonstrated dedication to the organization, an exemplary work ethic and a commitment to education.
Classified School Employee of the Year
Certificated Employee of the Year
Management Employee of the Year
Rookie of the Year
The Placer County Office of Education provides services, programs and resources to ensure we provide a globally competitive, comprehensive, rigorous and relevant education to all students.
Read more about our PCOE program impact stories to learn more about the life-changing effect these program have in Placer County.
In the fall of 2016, a single mother reached out to the Placer County Office of Education's Early Childhood Education (ECE) Department which provides school readiness and family support to young children, their families, child care providers and the larger Placer County community. ECE's services primarily target low to moderate income families who are working, attending school or seeking employment.
This mom had just escaped domestic violence and was looking to create a better life for herself and her child. Through the support of the dedicated team at PCOE, she enrolled her child in an Early Head Start school readiness program and enrolled herself in community college. While in school, her child was making friends and participating in science, math and reading programs designed to ensure school readiness socially, emotionally and academically.
Fast forward three years later and this single mom is now poised to graduate in December 2019 with a degree in nursing – and she already has a job offer. Most importantly, her child is thriving in preschool and ready for kindergarten.
In Placer County alone, there are an estimated 1,800 homeless children and youth – and this Colfax family was once part of those devastating statistics.
For more than three years, the family of five had been living from motel to motel and the children were missing school frequently. The family reached out to the Placer County Office of Education Prevention Supports and Services department which helps local schools, and the 16 school districts it serves, develop systems of support for children and families to eliminate barriers to success. The department also provides direct support to Placer County's most at-risk populations including foster youth, homeless youth, and youth at the Crisis Resolution Center and the Juvenile Detention Facility.
The Colfax family began meeting weekly with PCOE and working collaboratively with local housing agencies including Advocates for Mentally Ill Housing. After several months of communication and relationship building, the Colfax family moved into an apartment.
The family is now thriving in permanent housing and both children are doing well in school with significant improvements in attendance. The family is more connected to their local community and they have hope for a brighter future.
For many, escaping a life of drugs and poverty is a nearly impossible feat. It's a story John knows all too well.
John was a student in the Placer County Office of Education's iCARE community school program which serves students who are probation referred, expelled or voluntarily placed by a parent. He struggled in school, but wanted more for his future. He wanted to work. He wanted to learn a trade. He wanted to be a barber like his uncle.
Luckily for him, the Placer County Office of Education also provides programs to support students as they prepare to transition to adult life. In the Transition Partnership Program (TPP), in partnership with the Department of Rehabilitation, employment is a primary focus where students learn valuable skills such as workplace etiquette, time management, organization and budgeting.
Nearly one year later, John's dreams became a reality. Program staff connected him with a local barber who mentored him. He graduated from the iCARE program and barber school, and has the education and confidence to continue his success into the future.
“I'm going to make something of myself. Nobody ever thought I could, but I'm going to do it," stated John.
Nearly four years ago, Rocklin Elementary School sought to lower referrals and suspension rates, but didn't have an established school-wide behavior model in place. They formed an exploratory team to investigate models and took advantage of the PBIS trainings offered to school leaders through PCOE.
The Rocklin Elementary School team developed school-wide behavior expectations based on the school's Bulldog mascot, called “PAWS" which focuses on problem solving, always caring, working hard and showing respect. They developed videos supporting each expectation, recognized student behavior with “dog tags" at school assemblies, and began to unify as a staff team under the PBIS model. And, they saw improvement. Students were no longer loud and wild while lining up for class after recess and disciplinary referrals to the office declined.
Fast forward to present day, Rocklin Elementary School continues to see dramatic reductions in referrals and suspension rates – by more than 50 percent – which earned them recognition as Platinum Award PBIS School for the 2017-2018 school year.
Meet Rachel. She's a first-year special education teacher in the Auburn Union School District working with four Instructional Assistants and 11 students in second through fifth grade who have a variety of academic, social-emotional and behavioral needs – each with their own Individual Education Plan. On a daily basis she juggles a million little things while meeting the needs of her students.
She's also an intern in the Placer County Office of Education's Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential Program which offers a comprehensive approach to educator preparation through training, lesson planning, coursework and coaching. Accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC), the program is designed to prepare future education specialists in Placer County.
“I'm learning more than I expected," shared Rachel. “And, through the PCOE program, I feel more prepared to ensure my students have the world-class education they deserve."
Rachel took her education to the next level and is building the background, knowledge and resources needed to ensure her students have a safe, positive, productive and structured learning environment.
Placer County Superintendent of Schools Gayle Garbolino-Mojica is pleased to announce the 2020 Placer County Classified School Employees of the Year.
“It takes an entire school community to ensure our students are ready for college, career and life," said Superintendent Garbolino-Mojica. “As the Placer County Superintendent of Schools, I am honored to recognize these amazing individuals for their commitment and contribution in making Placer County gold in education."
Each year, Placer County honors six Classified School Employees of the Year who best symbolize the profession's contributions and commitment to quality education. Honorees are then eligible to participate in the state program facilitated by the California Department of Education.
Congratulations to the 2020 Placer County Classified School Employees of the Year!
Antelope High School, Roseville Joint Union High School District
Rock Creek Elementary, Rocklin Unified School District
Placer High School, Placer Union High School District
Newcastle Elementary School, Newcastle Elementary School District
Placer County Office of Education
Tahoe Truckee Unified School District
Placer County Superintendent of Schools Gayle Garbolino-Mojica is pleased to announce the 2021 Placer County Teachers of the Year.
"Teachers like these are what makes Placer County gold in education," said Superintendent Garbolino-Mojica.
Congratulations to the 2021 Placer County Teachers of the Year!
Sierra Expeditonary Learning School (SELS), Tahoe Truckee Unified School District
Glen Edwards Middle School, Western Placer Unified School District
Woodcreek High School, Roseville Joint Union High School District
Held Monday, November 18, 2019 at the Winchester County Club, the Placer County School Boards Association celebrated school board members and honored two trustees with Longevity Awards and five trustees with Trustee of the Year Special Recognition Awards. Read more.
Special Recognition Awards:
Special thank you to the Placer County School Boards Executive Committee
See the excitement of PCOE programs and events for yourself in these great video stories.
How can my student participate in the Spelling Bee?
The process begins with your local school district. Contact them for details and key dates.
How do I nominate my teacher for Teacher of the Year?
The process begins with your local school district. Contact them to share your story and find out the process in your district.
California Academic Decathlon
California Classified Employees of the Year Program
California Teacher of the Year Program
Statewide Spelling Bee
Students turning 16-18 years of age during the school year may register to vote by following the link to the Secretary of State's website.
“The best education is not given to students; it is drawn out of them."
― Gerald Belcher