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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Friday, May 29, 2020

From: Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Date: May 29, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) SSPI Communications

Next week is “Teacher Appreciation Week” and we want to make sure that we all take the time to thank our teachers for their resilience and incredible efforts to continue our students’ education through distance learning.

Please check back regularly to as we are constantly updating it with valuable and timely information. To subscribe to this weekly update, please email

If you aren’t already following us on social media, please find us on Facebook at @CAEducation and on Twitter @CADeptEd for updates throughout the week.

If you want to donate technology items or money to purchase technology, please email

If you have general COVID-19 questions not previously addressed on our website, email

Annoucements & News Releases

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Holds Virtual Statewide Discussion on the Safe Reopening of Schools (May 21, 2020)

SSPI Hosts First Student Support Circle (May 21, 2020)

Superintendent Thurmond, First Partner, and State Board President Launch “Advance SEL in CA” Campaign (May 21, 2020)

Federal Updates

U.S. Department of Education (ED)

On May 22, 2020, ED published an FAQ document for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund on the Elementary and Secondary Education’s GEER web page:


Applicants’ Briefings for COVID-19 FEMA Public Assistance will continue next week.

The briefings are for all local governments, special districts, school districts, tribal governments, state agencies, and eligible private non-profit organizations that provided an essential social service.

Applicants’ Briefings will be held via live webinar at the dates and times listed on the Cal OES web page:

These briefings will provide information on the application procedures, cost eligibility, documentation requirements, payment processing, and deadlines specific to the federal Public Assistance Program for the COVID-19 Pandemic event. All potential applicants for this event are encouraged to attend the Applicants’ Briefings.

Note: The presentation slides are also available at the link above. FEMA added slides 22-29 on May 16, 2020, so you may wish to download the presentation if you attended an earlier briefing.

Program Updates

English Learner Support Division

The English Learner Support Division (ELSD) is publishing two weekly newsletters during COVID-19 school closures. The Distance Learning Parent Newsletter is a weekly newsletter focusing on a different distance learning topic in each issue. This week the topic is history/social science. The parent newsletter is now available in the top five languages. The ELSD also publishes a weekly English Learner Updates Newsletter for local educational agencies. This newsletter includes the latest information and resources related to English learners, immigrant, and migrant students. This week’s issue includes information on early childhood, assessment, policy, parent resources, upcoming webinars, and other resources.

ELSD newsletters:

Nutrition Services Division

This week’s COVID-19 School and Child and Adult Day Care Meals Guidance update includes additional resources to support your operation during the COVID-19.

What’s New:

  • The Policy Overview section was updated with hyperlink to a USDA posted policy and to list out new USDA extension waivers on noncongregate feeding, meal time flexibilities, meal pattern flexibilities, and parent and guardian pick-up.
  • The Frequently Asked Questions section was updated with extension dates.

Webinars - Recap and Upcoming

Recap of This Week’s Webinars and Workgroups:

School Nutrition Town Hall (Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 2 p.m.)

The Nutrition Services Division (NSD) in partnership with the Governor’s Office hosted a School Nutrition Town Hall meeting with 1,260 attendees. The purpose was to start the dialogue and peer-to-peer sharing of best practices during COVID-19 and beyond. Panelists include four school districts, World Central Kitchen, City of San Jose, No Kid Hungry, Revolution Foods. This was the first in a series of every other week Tuesdays@ 2 Town Hall events that the NSD is hosting as schools plan for reopening food service operations in the fall. The next Town Hall is June 2, 2020.

Opportunities for All Branch Ad Hoc Supply Chain Workgroup

The Ad Hoc Supply Chain workgroup has collaborated with various educational leaders, union representatives, and membership agencies to bridge the information and discussions that have taken place between the SSPI, the Governor’s Office, and the Administration regarding supplies and resources needed for early learning and care programs, child care providers, and nutrition service providers during this COVID-19 pandemic. The intent of the workgroup is to bridge the needs of the nutrition services workers and child care providers in the field with the resources and supplies available. To date, the workgroup has held three meetings with a fourth meeting scheduled for May 22, 2020, from 3 to 4 p.m. The workgroup can enthusiastically report the following:

  • CDE has disseminated $50M to the Resource and Referral agencies and programs (R&Rs) with the intention that they will distribute to the field.
  • CDE has launched two separate surveys to the field regarding early learning and care supply needs and nutrition services supply needs.
  • CDE, in collaboration with the California Health and Human Service Agency, is developing a process and procurement flowchart to assist the field in navigating the procurement of needed supplies.

Lesson Planning for English Learners in Distance Learning Environments: Elementary Educators (May 18, 2020, at 4 p.m.)

Thought Partners: Transitioning Back to School and Moving Forward in Meal Service (Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 2 p.m.)

Secondary Educators: Communicating with Families of Newcomer English Learners During Distance Learning (May 20, 2020, at 4 p.m.)

Fall 2020: A Discussion on the Safe Re-opening of California Schools Webinar, hosted by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond (May 21, 2020, 10 a.m.)

View it here:

Student Support Circle Webinar, hosted by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond (May 21, 2020 3 p.m.)

View it here:

Early Learning & Care Webinar: Translating Experience of Reopening ELC Programs to K–12 (May 22, 2020, at 8 a.m.)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Deputy Superintendent Sarah Neville-Morgan, and CDE staff hosted an early learning and care focus group webinar on Translating Experience of Reopening ELC Programs to K–12. The discussion centered around child care centers continuing to operate or reopening during COVID-19.

Upcoming Webinars:

Effective Questioning in Grades K-2: Development of Oral Language in a Distance Learning Environment (May 27, 2020, at 4 p.m.)

This webinar is presented by the California Teachers Association (CTA), with the Region 15 Comprehensive Center Network and the CDE. Oral interactions promote the development of conceptual understandings and language proficiency. Ensuring young English learners have multiple opportunities to practice language and discuss grade-level content is essential. In this webinar, teachers will learn effective questioning techniques that can be used to design activities for distance learning environments that promote text-based discussions. The following topics will be addressed in this session:

  • Introduction to oral language development and its importance for English learners
  • Strategically designing questions to support language development using grade-level texts
  • Increasing opportunities for student talk in distance learning environments

Please register at

Going the Distance with World Languages: Proficiency-Oriented Distance Learning (May 28, 2020, at 1 p.m.)

Nicole Naditz, Program Specialist for Instructional Technology and World Languages at San Juan Unified School District, National Board Certified Teacher, and former chair of the World Languages Subject Matter Committee in the Instructional Quality Commission, facilitates this webinar focused on sharing ideas for engaging students of languages other than English. Ms. Naditz shares tools and resources that teachers can use in the context of distance learning to ensure students continue to develop and strengthen their language acquisition.

Questions:   California Department of Education |
Last Reviewed: Friday, June 5, 2020
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