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Webinar: Introducing the California Schoolyard Forest System

On Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 3:30 PM the California Department of Education (CDE), Green Schoolyards America, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), and Ten Strands will present the launch of the California Schoolyard Forest System. The new statewide initiative seeks to increase tree canopy on public school grounds across California to directly shade and protect PreK-12 students from extreme heat and rising temperatures due to climate change. The presenters will:

  • Discuss schoolyard forests as critical infrastructure that make schools more resilient to climate change
  • Outline how this initiative will center equity and advance California’s climate and education goals
  • Present initial research findings and long-term strategies to scale up the impact
  • Announce new public funding opportunities that will be available through CAL FIRE to create schoolyard forests

Click here to register External link opens in new window or tab. for the free webinar. For more information about the initiative, please visit the California Schoolyard Forest System External link opens in new window or tab. website.

Guidance during Extreme Heat

The September 2022 historic heat event is yet another reminder, along with widespread smoke from wildfires, of the importance of maintaining facilities and systems, including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, in good repair and in compliance with applicable standards to protect the health and safety of students and staff. “Good repair” is defined by California Education Code Section 17002(d)(1) External link opens in new window or tab..

The California Schools Healthy Air, Plumbing, and Efficiency Program (CalSHAPE External link opens in new window or tab.) provides funding to upgrade HVAC systems in public schools and replaces noncompliant plumbing fixtures and appliances that fail to meet water efficiency standards. Eligibility for Funding Round Three of the CalSHAPE programs has been expanded. All schools in a funding category are now eligible to apply via the California Energy Commission. The application deadline for both programs is October 31, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

Complaints about facility conditions that pose an emergency or urgent threat to the health and safety of pupils or staff can be made using the Williams Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP). The Williams UCP is a formal written complaint process that is first filed locally with the school principal or their designee. Learn more about this process on the CDE’s Williams Facilities Complaints and Appeals web page.

Heat-related illness poses a serious risk to children's health. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) provides information about the risks of heat events as well as ways to monitor conditions and take precautions to protect school communities on the CDPH Interim Health Guidance for Schools on Sports and Strenuous Outdoor Activities During Extreme Heat External link opens in new window or tab. web page. For additional support, including assistance in determining the most appropriate response to high indoor temperatures at schools, schools and districts are advised to consult with their local health department.

Video: Designing and Constructing Sustainable Facilities and Outdoor Spaces Online Workshop

On Friday, September 9, 2022 the California Department of Education (CDE), the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC), the Division of the State Architect (DSA), and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) conducted a free workshop External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 2:03:21) on school planning, design, and the availability of state funding to help LEAs build sustainable facilities and outdoor spaces.

Topics included the following:

  • Green Building and Energy Codes and Standards
  • DSA’s education and outreach program
  • Educational Specification Considerations
  • Funding opportunities for green buildings and school yards
  • Case Study – A School District Perspective

Video: Applying for the California State Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten and Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program Funding Workshop

On February 3, 2022, the California Department of Education (CDE), the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC), and the Division of the State Architect (DSA) conducted a free workshop External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 1:54:48) to provide information on how to apply to the California State Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten and Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program.

Topics included the following:

  • Overview of each state agency’s role in the school construction process
  • How to plan for a project using the program
  • Tips and guidance from each agency on how to successfully navigate the program
  • A case study from a local education agency that has successfully completed a project

Webinar: Using Assembly Bill (AB) 86, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) I/II, & Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) I Funding for Capital Improvement Projects

On May 19, 2021, the CDE provided information on how school districts may utilize AB 86 and ESSER I/II & GEER I funding for capital improvement projects. An LEA representative shared how they used this one-time funding for their construction projects.

Funding for Capital Improvement Projects Webinar PowerPoint (PPTX)

Funding for Capital Improvement Projects Webinar External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 53:16)

Please visit CDE’s Capital Expenditures Frequently Asked Questions page for federal stimulus funding.

AB 841

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is responsible for developing, administering, and implementing the California Schools Healthy Air, Plumbing, and Efficiency Program (CalSHAPE) authorized by AB 841 External link opens in new window or tab. (Chapter 372, Statutes of 2020). CalSHAPE includes two new grant programs—the CalSHAPE Ventilation Program and the CalSHAPE Plumbing Program.

The CalSHAPE Ventilation Program will provide funding to upgrade heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) systems in public schools. The CalSHAPE Plumbing Program will pay to replace noncompliant plumbing fixtures and appliances that fail to meet water efficiency standards. Local educational agencies and interested stakeholders can subscribe to the CEC’s list serv and learn more about these programs on their CalSHAPE Program web page External link opens in new window or tab..

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) Launches the Preparedness Ambassadors Program

The Preparedness Ambassadors curriculum is designed to engage 4th grade students to develop and promote disaster preparedness guidelines for their homes, schools, and local communities. For more information, please visit the CalOES Preparedness Ambassadors External link opens in new window or tab. web page.

Changes in County Assignments

The SFTSD has made changes in the counties assigned to each Field Representative. Three new field representatives have been assigned counties allowing the SFTSD to provide greater technical assistance to districts and County Offices. The analysts assigned to each Field Representative have also changed. These assignments can be seen on our School Facilities Staff web page.

Projects submitted to the SFTSD for review on and after, July 1, 2020, will be reviewed based on these new assignments. Some projects received after July 1, 2020 may remain with the currently assigned Field Representative for continuity of services and to make the transition easier for districts.

Please contact the Field Representative currently (until June 30) assigned to your county with any questions about the transition.

Proposition 51 CTE Facilities Program

The Career Technical Education (CTE) Funding Cycle 6 scores are now available: CTE Facilities Program web page. Applications scoring 105 or higher should submit documentation online to the Office of Public School Construction by June 30, 2020 for funding consideration. Previous unfunded applications scoring 105 or higher from Cycles 4 and 5 are also eligible to apply. For more information, please go to the OPSC web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Collaborative Learning in 21st Century Learning Environments: Leveraging the Assets of Student Diversity

Flexible learning environments play a significant role in facilitating 21st century learning and improving student achievement. The following Power Point presentation (PDF) was featured during a workshop at the 2020 Coalition for Adequate School Housing Conference and includes a review of the literature on collaborative and interdisciplinary learning, linguistically and culturally responsive asset-based teaching methods, and school facilities research and best practices that optimize learning for diverse students.

Classroom Definition Policy: Updated January 1, 2020

This updated policy guides CDE’s review of plans and the number of classrooms noted in the CDE approval letter used in applying for funding from the School Facility Program.

Please check out the Classroom Definition Policy web page for the updated policy.

AB 203

Pursuant to the requirements of California Education Code Section 17254, the CDE, and the Department of General Services’ (DGS) Division of the State Architect and the Office of Public School Construction are submitting a report titled “AB 203 Report: The Feasibility of Using a Common Application or Application Software for the Public School Construction Programs Administered by the California Departments of Education and General Services" regarding "the feasibility of using one application, or using a common application number" and "the feasibility of using a common software" for applicants to the agencies’ respective programs related to public school construction. In keeping with our commitment to encourage sustainability and conservation, this report is posted on the Office of Public School Construction External link opens in new window or tab. web page and is also linked on the CDE and DGS websites.

Stormwater

Senate Bill 541 (Chapter 811, Statutes of 2017) required the State Water Resources Control Board, in collaboration with local water quality control boards and the Division of the State Architect, to recommend best design and use practices for stormwater and dry weather runoff water capture practices on school sites. "The Guidance for Stormwater and Dry Weather Runoff CAPTURE at Schools – California Practices to Use Runoff Effectively", is now available on the State Water Resources Control Board web page External link opens in new window or tab..

School districts are encouraged to review these best practices as they plan school construction and modernization.

Assembly Bill 1082

At the end of 2017, the California State Legislature passed, and the governor signed, Assembly Bill (AB) 1082 External link opens in new window or tab., which authorizes electric utilities to file applications to pilot the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles (EV) at school facilities and other educational institutions.

To discuss the EV charging opportunities provided by AB 1082 and what future EV pilot programs may offer, the CDE facilitated a webinar featuring Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) on Monday, March 5, 2018 at 1:00 pm.

School Disaster Recovery

Natural disasters have the ability to affect hundreds of thousands of students, families, and school communities in California. Please visit the School Disaster Recovery web page for a compilation of resources to assist local educational agencies in emergency response and recovery efforts. The web page California Wildfires Statewide Recovery Resources External link opens in new window or tab. from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) includes a Schools FAQ: Reopening Schools After Wildfires External link opens in new window or tab. developed jointly by CDE and Cal OES. Other relevant resources are being developed and added as they become available for all types of disasters.

State Agency Workshops: School Planning, Design, and Funding Updates with Focused Assistance for Small School Districts

The CDE, the Division of the State Architect (DSA), and the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) are conducting free workshops across the state to provide information on school planning, design, and the availability of state funding to help Local Educational Agencies address their facility needs. These funds are from the recently passed Proposition 51. There will also be an opportunity for small school districts to directly address concerns and receive assistance.

Topics include the following:

  • Master planning and educational specifications
  • The process and requirements for each agency
  • Grant Agreements
  • Application processes moving forward
  • Career Technical Educational Facilities Filing Rounds

Each workshop will include a presentation by the agencies, a question & answer session, and breakout opportunities for school districts with more unique circumstances.

Schools for Health: Foundations for Student Success, A Report from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

More than 40 years of scientific research has led to many insights about how the indoor environment influences student health, well-being, and productivity. School building conditions such as ventilation, indoor air quality (IAQ), thermal comfort, lighting and views, and acoustics and noise play an important role in a student’s ability to focus, process new information, and feel engaged at school. This report examines when and how these various building conditions affect a student and pays special attention to articulating the nuanced effects these parameters have on how our students feel, think, and perform. The full report can be found at the Schools for Health website External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

Title 5 School Siting and Design Standards Review

The current Title 5 regulations are available at Title 5, California Code of Regulations. An audio archive of the October 4, 2016 stakeholder presentation is available at Title 5 webinar. This presentation provides a brief background on the Title 5 standards and the major concepts expressed previously by stakeholders.

Please periodically check the “What’s new page” for updates. Comments may also be submitted at: Title5@cde.ca.gov or via US Mail.

For questions, contact Title 5 Team at title5@cde.ca.gov.

Clean Water for Schools Program

For more information, please see the Waterboards website External link opens in new window or tab..

Tire Recycling, Cleanup, and Enforcement Grants

CalRecycle's tire grant programs External link opens in new window or tab. are designed to encourage activities that promote reducing the number of waste tires going to landfills for disposal and eliminating the stockpiling of waste tires. Activities include tire pile cleanup and enforcement, market development and demonstration projects. Revenue for the grants is generated from a tire fee on each new tire sold in California.

CDE School Facilities Social Media Links

For the lastest CDE school facilities news and information, follow us on social media.

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Questions:   School Facilities & Transportation Services Division | sftsd@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-2470
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 29, 2022