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CCSESA Newsletter2019

SeptemberVolume 17 / Issue 8

Leadership Link

Mr. Scott O. Nanik Calaveras County Superintendent of Schools

  • “The mission of the Calaveras County Office of Education is to provide leadership through quality service to school districts, students, parents and our community with the goal of achieving excellence together.”

    What led you to become County Superintendent?

    I was honored in being appointed the Calaveras County Superintendent of Schools in September 2017 and was elected by the voters in June 2018. I have worked for the Calaveras County Office of Education for over 19 years in roles from Principal to Associate Superintendent of Instructional Support Services, my wide variety of responsibilities have given me a deep understanding of county office operations and functions. I feel blessed to be able to provide support and guidance to the districts, parents, and students of Calaveras County.

    What inspired you to enter the field of education?

    My search for more meaningful work led me to the education field from the technology industry. Having been a substitute teacher and working with my local youth group, I discovered that I had a real passion for students and helping them find their inner strengths and abilities.

  • Do you have a particular goal that drives you?

    The world is changing fast. Every student should leave high school either career or college-ready and our students should not be at a disadvantage because of our rural location. I am working with our school districts and the local community to lead a Career Directed Education initiative that exposes students to various careers and gets them thinking about different approaches to postsecondary education.

    What objectives do you hope to achieve?

    Working with school districts, community colleges, and community partners, I want to develop an integrated focus on career technical education in our county. Another area of focus is the improvement of the special education structure and delivery in our county. With a 22% special education rate, and $72M spent annually, we need to find ways to be more efficient and effective for all our students.

    What are your interests?

    My wife, Jennifer, and I love living in our town of Murphys, we enjoy attending community events, and traveling whenever we can. You will also find me in our garden as soon as the weather permits.

    Who are the special people in your life?

    My wife and two children we raised in Calaveras County. My wife is a high school history teacher; and after completing their college degrees, our daughter is a high school science teacher at Riverbank High School and our son is serving our country in the U. S. Army stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. I also have an amazing staff at CCOE who make my job enjoyable.


    Follow Superintendent Nanik on Twitter at @CalaverasCOE

From The Desk Of

Peter Birdsall Executive Director

In one forum after another, special education is being reaffirmed as a critical focus for CCSESA.

The most explicit example is the 2019-20 state budget, which states that $645 million in state funding for special education will only be ongoing if statutory changes are made in next year’s budget to improve the academic performance of individuals with exceptional needs. The policy positions that CCSESA will take in those budget deliberations is currently a top priority subject of discussion by CCSESA’s Legislative Committee.

Outside of the state budget deliberations, it is important to recognize that CCSESA is actively engaged in related discussions, in different settings:

  • The state budget provides $50 million for a “Mental Health Student Services Act”, to be administered by the Mental Health Commission. Dave Gordon (Sacramento) is a member of that Commission and Toby Ewing, the Commission’s Executive Director, is scheduled to speak at CCSESA’s upcoming General Membership meeting.
  • The state budget establishes an interagency workgroup, administered by the California Department of Education, to address important issues like improving the transition of three-year old children with disabilities from regional centers to local education agencies, and to expand access to Medicaid funding for services to children with disabilities.
  • Also included in the budget is at least $5 million for an Educator Workforce Investment Grant program for special education-related professional development. This program is administered by the California Department of Education and California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, and provides that “positive consideration” shall be given to applicants that propose to partner with a county office of education or consortium of county offices of education.
  • The Statewide System of Support includes a variety of lead agencies, including SELPA systems leads and SELPA content leads. Fourteen county offices have been identified by the state as lead agencies in the System of Support.
  • Students with Disabilities has been the student group that most frequently causes a school district to be identified for differentiated assistance, and issues of coordination with federal special education indicators and accountability have been raised as recurring themes in the CCSESA Steering Committees and Board of Directors meetings.

Bringing a coherent approach to these various discussions is critically important and is a top priority for both CCSESA staff and the CCSESA Board of Directors.  Each county office has its own specific perspective on these topics.  Open communication is always important, but the timing of statewide attention to special education makes this an especially important opportunity to have a regular dialogue about these issues within your region with your Legislative Committee representative, CCSESA Board member, and with CCSESA staff.


​Coming Together for the Climate –  A Video Challenge for California Students

The Coastal Commission is launching a new challenge for middle and high school students this school year, inviting them to create short videos in response to the question, “How do we come together for the climate?” Students can enter independently or under the guidance of a teacher, on their own or in teams of up to five film makers. The deadline to submit entries is March 31st. Please check out the challenge webpage at:


Save the Date: Mental Health Student Services Act Listening Sessions

The Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission invites you to Save the Date for listening sessions regarding the Mental Health Student Services Act (MHSSA) in 4 locations in California. The sessions, taking place in Sacramento, El Cerrito, Fresno, and Los Angeles, will be an opportunity to participate in the formation of priorities for school-based mental health funding. The MHSSA provides $40 million one-time funding, and $10 million ongoing funding to establish mental health partnerships between County Behavioral Health Departments, school districts, charter schools, and County Offices of Education. County Office of Education staff, Charter School staff, School Administrators, as well as parents and teachers, are all encouraged to attend. For more information, please click here.


Butte County Camp Fire Hero Honored

Rashell Brobst, Chico, CA, has been named a recipient of the 2019 Blue Spirit Award, presented by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The Blue Spirit Award is the highest honor bestowed by the President of BGCA to a local club professional in a region and recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond to make a difference.
“Rashell Brobst is the perfect choice for the 2019 Blue Spirit Award,” said Michelle John, Superintendent Paradise USD. Her leadership and dedication to the students of Paradise and the entire North Valley during the Camp Fire was unprecedented. Rashell never lost a beat. She immediately opened the door to the Boys and Girls Club children and enrolled all students who needed a structured day when all schools were closed. She is our hero.” Only 5 of the award are presented each year. For more information, please contact SSDA Executive Director, Tim Taylor.


EDCOE’s Dina Gentry Wins National Award

El Dorado County Office of Education’s (EDCOE) Communications Director, Dina Gentry has been awarded the prestigious “35 Under 35” Award by the National School Public Relations Association. “Dina is a proud product of El Dorado County schools, and she exemplifies professionalism, excellence, and service. Dina is deeply committed to the children, educators, and communities in El Dorado County. The national acknowledgement is well deserved,” stated County Superintendent Dr. Ed Manansala. Dina credits her teachers for fostering a love for reading, writing, and innovation that led to her career today.


State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Holds Closing the Achievement Gap Virtual Town Hall “Listening Session”

On September 24th, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in partnership with county offices of education throughout the state, hosted a virtual town hall where local educational agencies spoke about some of the unique challenges they face in ongoing efforts to close the achievement gap for California’s most vulnerable students. Thirteen county offices of education acted as physical host locations where attendees could engage in an interactive live exchange with unprecedented access to both State Superintendent Thurmond and Chief Deputy Superintendent Lupita Cortez Alcalá. The virtual component allowed nearly 400 people to participate at a host site or watch online. Thurmond said that providing a forum for districts that geographically may not be able to meet and hear from each other was critical. For more information please click here.


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