Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the public school system in Sonoma County. If you are unable to find the answer to your question here, please contact the Sonoma County Office of Education at (707) 524-2600.
Employment and Credentials
What are the current employment opportunities in Sonoma County schools?
Many school employment opportunities are posted on EdJoin, a statewide education job opportunities information network. Because each school district independently recruits and employs its staff, contacting district offices is the best way to find out about the varied job openings in each district. Some school district websites include job postings and support an online application process. See our Find a District page for district addresses, phone numbers, and websites.
How do I become a substitute teacher?
SCOE holds weekly information sessions to explain the requirements of substitute teaching in Sonoma County. You’ll find information about these sessions in the Substitute Teaching section of our website.
What jobs are available at SCOE?
Information about obtaining current job listings and details about SCOE’s recruitment and hiring procedures are available in the Jobs section of our website.
How do I obtain fingerprint clearance?
Information about making an appointment for Live Scan fingerprinting and answers to frequently asked questions are available in the Fingerprinting section of this website.
Who do I contact for employment verification?
Requests for employment verification should be submitted in writing to our Human Resources department. Written requests may be faxed to (707) 524-2950.
How do I renew my credential?
Information and answers to frequently asked questions about renewing credentials is available in the Credentials section of this website.
How do I get in touch with a CalSTRS counselor?
Please call 1 (800) 228-5453 to contact or make an appointment with a California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) counselor. CalSTRS counselors have offices at the Sonoma County Office of Education in Santa Rosa.
How can I access the state education code related to a particular issue?
You can search California’s Education Code by topic, look up a particular code number, or review any section of the code online through the California Law section of the Official California Legislative Information website.
Locating & Contacting Schools
What school district is my home located in?
The County of Sonoma’s District Lookup By Address website is an online service that allows you to look up your school district by street address, along with your congressional, supervisorial, and other districts. You may also contact the main receptionist at the Sonoma County Office of Education, (707) 524-2600, to obtain the name of the school district corresponding to a particular street address.
Where can I find the address and phone number of a school?
The Sonoma County Office of Education provides an online directory of schools.
Can I get a map showing school district boundaries?
This district map (pdf) provides a general overview of the location of Sonoma County school districts. Maps of individual districts are also available for purchase from SCOE. Note that these maps do not show school attendance areas or provide street detail. Contact (707) 524-2634 for information about purchasing district maps.
I’m relocating to Sonoma County. How can I learn about local schools?
A variety of information about Sonoma County schools can be found in the Schools & Districts section of this website. If you have questions, please contact the Sonoma County Office of Education, (707) 524-2600.
How do I file a private school affidavit?
California Education Code Section 33190 requires private schools to file an affidavit with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction between October 1 and 15 of each year. Guidelines for filing an affidavit are available at the CDE’s Private Schools website, along with the online form for submitting affidavits. For more information, please contact the Private Schools office in Sacramento, (916) 445-7331.
Where do I pay school impact fees?
School impact fees, also called building fees, are generally paid at school district offices. Fees for Horicon and Kashia school districts are collected in the Business Services department at the Sonoma County Office of Education, (707) 524-2625.
How do I resolve a complaint with my child’s school?
If you are experiencing a problem with your local school, there is a specific procedure that you should follow to get your complaint resolved.
If your complaint involves an individual teacher or other member of the school staff, it is suggested that you contact him/her directly to discuss your concerns and try to resolve the problem informally. If this fails, contact the principal or vice principal of the school. If this also produces unsatisfactory results or you are uncertain how to proceed, contact the district office for assistance.
Each district has a written policy and administrative regulations for dealing with complaints. These documents provide direction on how to file a complaint at the district level and will be provided to you on request. In many cases, you will be asked to submit your complaint in writing. Complaints are handled as described in the district policy, which also includes an appeal process.
Some types of complaints may require special handling. For example, if your complaint involves special education services, you may want to call the Sonoma County SELPA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) helpline at (707) 524-2785. This resource is available to resolve disagreements between schools and the families of all children in special education in Sonoma County. If your complaint alleges discrimination, harassment, or a violation of a federal or state law, you may need to follow Uniform Complaint Procedures. Your school district can inform you about this process.
Parents sometimes attempt to contact the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) for assistance regarding complaints against local schools; however, SCOE does not have authority over local schools and these calls are referred back to the district level. Note that the day-to-day operations of each public school are overseen by a district superintendent and elected board of trustees, not by the County Office of Education.
If you would like contact information for a particular district, please see our district directory.
Is there an appeal process if an inter-district transfer is denied?
The Sonoma County Board of Education hears inter-district transfer appeals. See Attendance Options & Appeals for information about this process. Staff in our Alternative Education/Student Support Services department, (707) 524-2802, can answer any questions regarding the appeal process.
How old does my child have to be to enroll in kindergarten?
Legislation approved in 2010 is gradually changing the age requirements for kindergarten enrollment. The current law regarding age-eligibility for kindergarten entry is as follows:
- In 2012-13, children must be five years old on or before November 1, 2012
- In 2013-14, children must be five years old on or before October 1, 2013
- In 2014-15 and in each year thereafter, children must be five years old on or before September 1, 2014
Districts may elect to enroll students born after the kindergarten start date and may offer these students a one- or two-year program depending on each child’s readiness for school and available funding. Many districts will offer Transitional Kindergarten beginning in 2012-13, which is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program for students with fall birthdays. Learn more at the California Department of Education website or contact your local school for additional information about enrollment options and timelines.
At what age can my child leave school?
Children between ages 6 and 18 are subject to the compulsory education law, according to Education Code 48200.
When does the school year start and stop in Sonoma County?
Each district sets the calendar for its schools annually, determining the first and last day of school and when breaks will occur. School calendars can vary from district to district across the county. As school calendars are set and approved by each district, SCOE compiles a countywide list of key dates. Please see the District Calendar Summary for 2012-13. For information about the calendar for a specific school, contact the school or district directly.
Must my child attend our neighborhood school?
Attendance Options & Appeals explains the different types of transfer options available in Sonoma County, including transfers within a district and transfers outside of a district. Charter schools provide another attendance option for students. Charter schools are open to all students who wish to attend, regardless of the family’s district of residence.
Are there alternatives to “regular” public school?
There are three legal alternatives available to parents who wish to place their school-age children in a setting other than a public school classroom: independent or home study, private school, and private tutoring. Legal Alternatives to the Comprehensive Public School Classroom (pdf) explains those options and provides a list of home study programs offered by Sonoma County public schools. For more information, contact Lynn Garric at (707) 524-2802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are there alternatives to receiving a high school diploma?
There are two alternatives for students who want to demonstrate high school proficiency without completing the requirements of high school graduation. Students who are at least 16 years old may earn the legal equivalent of a high school diploma by passing the California High School Proficiency Examination or CHSPE. This site explains how to register and provides the dates and locations for testing in Sonoma County.
General Educational Development (GED) tests are the second alternative to high school graduation. GED tests are designed to measure the skills and knowledge equivalent to a high school course of study for students who are 18 years old and older. Santa Rosa Junior College regularly administers GED tests to the general public. Duplicate GED records are available by calling the ETS-GED Records Center tollfree at (866) 370-4740 and following the prompts.
Sonoma County Office of Education
How do I get to the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE)?
SCOE is located at the north end of Santa Rosa, near the Sonoma County Airport. From Highway 101, exit on Airport Boulevard and proceed 1.5 miles west. Turn right on Skylane Boulevard. The Sonoma County Office of Education, 5340 Skylane Boulevard, is the second driveway on the right. To access the main entrance, continue down the driveway to the parking area directly in front of the largest building. A map can be accessed from the Contact Us page of our website.
What are SCOE's office hours?
The Sonoma County Office of Education’s general office hours are from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. During the summer months (mid-June to mid-August), the office closes at 4:30pm.
How do I contact SELPA staff and get IEP forms?
The Sonoma County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) is a state-mandated association that oversees and facilitates educational services for students with disabilities in Sonoma County. The SELPA office is located at SCOE, but staff contacts and IEP forms can only be accessed from the SELPA website, www.sonomaselpa.org.
Is SCOE in charge of all the districts?
No. The day-to-day operations of each public school district are overseen by a district superintendent and an elected board of education. Like the other 57 county offices of education in California, the Sonoma County Office of Education’s role is to provide leadership, support, and fiscal oversight to the county’s school districts.
What hotels/motels are near SCOE?
The following hotels and motels are 4-10 miles from SCOE.
Extended Stay America – Santa Rosa North
Hampton Inn & Suites Windsor – Sonoma Wine Country
Hilton Sonoma Wine Country
Hilton Garden Inn Sonoma County Airport
Holiday Inn Express Windsor
Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel and Spa
Test Scores, School Performance & GATE Programs
How can I get the most recent test scores?
Summary data on test scores and school performance is available in the Progress Reports section of our website. More detailed information on all of these topics can be accessed via DataQuest, the California Department of Education’s website for statistical information.
What kind of questions are students asked on the STAR tests?
The California Department of Education hosts a Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) website designed to give parents and teachers a better understanding of the California Standards Tests that measure how well the public education system and its students are performing. It features actual test questions for every grade level. The site is searchable and offers grade-level parent guides.
What is a School Accountability Report Card (SARC)?
Public school districts in California are required to prepare an annual School Accountability Report Card (SARC) for each of their elementary and secondary schools. The purpose of the report cards is to inform the community about the conditions and progress being made at each local school. SARCs provide information about a school’s student population, student achievement, school programs, and instructional staff. SARCs for Sonoma County schools are available online.
Are there GATE programs available in Sonoma County?
California’s Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program provides funding for schools and districts to develop unique education opportunities for students who have been identified as gifted and talented. Most Sonoma County school districts have programs for gifted and talented students. Each district establishes its own process for selecting students for these programs. Contact individual districts to learn more.