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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

A New Dawn

Jul 29, 2018 12:00AM

By Steven D. Herrington, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools

The beginning of a new school year is an ideal time to reflect on our hopes, dreams, and goals for the months ahead. Looking back on the year that has just passed provides an opportunity to capitalize on areas of success and address areas needing improvement. In 2017, we saw unprecedented disaster. The wildfires that swept through Sonoma County took a devastating toll on our 40 school districts, 179 public schools, and roughly 70,500 students. In the face of crisis, our educational community showed courage and resilience.

As we move into 2018–2019, it’s important to remember that we are still in an era of post-fire recovery. Many families will continue to deal with the aftermath of the fires as they rebuild their homes, settle into new neighborhoods, and heal emotional trauma. Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) is committed to providing ongoing support to these families and the schools that serve them.

Most Sonoma County public schools will open their doors between August 14 and 22. To help get families off to a strong start, SCOE has rounded up some helpful resources. Visit to take a look.

SCOE’s back-to-school resources this year include updates on fire recovery efforts and ways to address childhood trauma. Our annual Spotlight publication is dedicated to celebrating how local schools supported students and the community during and after the fires.

Among these new resources, you will also find familiar items, including a district calendar summary, district lookup tool, and general education facts. We also have a suite of digital publications geared toward students and families. Read about SCOE-sponsored student events; get the rundown on immunization requirements; and learn tips for preparing children for kindergarten, middle, and high school—and so much more.

In case you didn’t know: SCOE provides services and support to students and schools across the county. We offer districts services like fiscal support and professional development while also running our own programs for alternative education and special education students who are not served by school districts. Each school district is self-governing and overseen by a separate board of trustees and district superintendent.

If you have questions specific to your school district, please directly contact the specific district. You can find the appropriate contact information in our Directory of Sonoma County schools at

On behalf of SCOE, I extend my best wishes for a happy and successful school year to all. I look forward to making 2018–2019 a year of healing and rebuilding. 

Steven D. Herrington is the Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools.