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County Superintendent
of Schools

Deputy Superintendent

Executive Assistant to
the Superintendent

Executive Assistant to
the Board and Superintendent

Superintendent FAX

County Superintendent Dr. Joseph A Ovick speaking at a Special Olympics event


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County Superintendent of Schools, Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.

Thoughts from Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph A. Ovick

As the school year enters into the holiday season, I would like to give you an update on an initiative that I launched in January 2012. This initiative is to support and endorse the work that we all do on a daily basis, which is to serve as role models for our students so that they can learn how to act in a civil manner. It is also important to acknowledge our students when they exhibit civility in their daily lives.

To date, I have asked the greater community of Contra Costa to endorse, support, and encourage civility within our community for all. Whether it is a senior citizen, an adult, a teenager, or a child, we must all remember to be civil to one another. The East Bay Leadership Council, which is comprised of over 400 businesses, has also endorsed civility. Our city councils are currently in the process of adopting resolutions that address civility within their respective cities, both County Board of Supervisors and the County Board of Education have already adopted resolutions endorsing civility, the 32nd District PTA's board has also endorsed civility; and, finally, the boards of education for all of our school districts are currently moving towards passing resolutions acknowledging the importance of civility and their commitment to modeling it to their students and to acknowledging civil behavior on the part of their students.

P. M. Forni, in a book entitled, Choosing Civility, has identified 25 Principles of Civility. I asked our 2013-14 Teachers of the Year, as a group, to select ten principles of civility on which we can focus during our current school year. Following are the principles of civility that they have selected, and I ask each and every one of you to find ways that you, too, can be part of this initiative:

Acknowledge Others (August/September)
Listen (October)
Speak Kindly (November)
Accept and Give Praise (December)
Respect Others' Opinions (January)
Be Inclusive (February)
Respect Other People's Time (March)
Don't Shift Responsibility and Blame (April)
Accept and Give Constructive Criticism (May)
Think the Best (June)

The County Office of Education website has a civility page and a civility store where T-shirts, posters and bookmarks may be purchased. The link is

The County Office of Education is an essential part of Contra Costa's outstanding public school system. Overall, our county's students rank high on virtually every measure of achievement - from test scores to college entrance

Our job in the County Office is to support the success of Contra Costa's 18 school districts, their schools, and their 168,000+ students.

We provide exactly the support that's needed by operating like a business. Our customers in school districts can choose whether to use – or not use – most County Office services. Superintendents and other district staff tell us they do choose our services and are highly satisfied with them because we:

  • Provide quality countywide programs for children with special needs
  • Save school districts money
  • Help districts do a better job
  • Support districts in meeting state and federal mandates

By working effectively and efficiently with Contra Costa's school districts, the County Office of Education strengthens our entire education system while saving dollars – dollars that can then be used in local classrooms.

County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph A. Ovick administers all County Office of Education programs and facilitates cooperation among schools, colleges, universities, government and community organizations. He is responsible for monitoring and approving all school district budgets. In addition, he serves as an advocate for education with the legislature and the public.


Dr. Joseph Ovick


Choose Civility logo


An Initiative Championed by the Contra Costa
County Office of Education

Civility is a core value of a well functioning community and one of its defining components. Quality of life depends in great part on how community members treat each other. This initiative will promote the importance of civility in a world becoming less civil, and encourage community members to choose positive and respectful behaviors in their personal and work lives.

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Quick Links

County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Ovick
discusses educational issues
on Comcast Newsmakers


Superintendent's Office Contacts:
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent Renai Lovely 925.942.3432
Executive Assistant to the Board and Superintendent Loreen Joseph 925.942.3380
FAX, Superintendent   925.472.0875
Associate Superintendent Human Resources Katie Gaines 925.942.3407
Chief Communications Officer Peggy Marshburn 925.942.3420


Page updated on: August 13, 2014

Rev: 0.3-043014-BETA3