Beliefs & Background

Beliefs and Background


At the Santa Cruz County Office of Education (COE) we believe that relevant, research based and effective Professional Development is critical to support teachers and other educators in ensuring the success of students in all areas. The COE is committed to offering a variety of Professional Development, based on needs assessments and current best practices, for teachers and educators throughout the school year and summer. Our goal is always to keep students in mind and provide whatever is needed to ensure that their educational experiences are positive, equitable, successful and supportive of the “whole child”. This Professional Learning Plan encompasses our philosophy, our core values, our methods of delivering Professional Development, and both integrated and content specific offerings.

Our Professional Learning Plan is aligned with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education’s Strategic Plan, which was launched in 2019. Below are the core tenets of this plan.

Our Vision: We envision a community with engaged learners and leaders who have the social, emotional, academic, and technical skills to thrive in a changing world.

Our Mission:To lead an equitable and innovative learner-centered educational system.

Our Values:

  • Equity – We create or improve programs, practices, and policies to ensure that every learner has opportunities, experiences, and support systems that address their educational goals and needs.

  • Innovation – We foster communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking to generate new ideas and solutions.

  • Partnership – We listen to the needs of our learners, families, educators, and the community, and work with our partners to create networks of support and opportunities so all our learners can achieve and thrive.

  • Excellence – We hold ourselves to high standards of quality and professionalism and aim to exceed the expectations of our learners, community, partners, and staff.


This Professional Learning Plan was developed by gathering input from many different resources and stakeholders. District LCAPs from the spring of 2019 were carefully analyzed to determine trends and needs, and in-person interviews were held with all ten districts in Santa Cruz County on multiple occasions to gather in-person details about what each district needed. Members from the Curriculum and Instruction team analyzed county and district wide data to further determine student group needs. Additionally, multiple surveys were given in the spring of 2020 to curriculum leaders to further determine needs from the districts. A draft Professional Development Plan was created in April, 2020, and shared with district curriculum leaders for further feedback. Finally, the completed plan was reviewed by district curriculum leaders and COE staff in late April, early May, 2020. Since the COVID-19 crisis hit in March of 2020, the plan has been continually revised and updated, and it will be a fluid document that will be changed as appropriate to meet the needs of students, teachers and administrators in Santa Cruz County. This plan strongly represents the current needs of Santa Cruz County districts, coupled with equity and research based best practices.

Revision Updates:

Due to the COVID-19 situation, and a need for fluidity in professional development plans, this Professional Learning Plan will be continually updated and offerings will be added and modified as needed. All changes will be reflected on the website, in this document, and on the Professional Learning Calendar.

Contact Information:

Please visit our websites for more information and contacts for all of our COE curriculum leaders.


Distance Learning Website:

Professional Learning Calendar: