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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Friday, July 10, 2020

From: Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Date: July 10, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) SSPI Communications

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From State Superintendent Tony Thurmond

Dear School Communities and Partners:

As we move through July, we are closely watching the increase of COVID-19 cases throughout our state. I share your desire to reopen schools and agree that the best place for children to learn is in the classroom connected with caring teachers and staff. I also understand that schools are a critical driver to the health and vitality of communities and a vital component to households returning to work.

However, as I have said from the beginning and as our guidance has stated, we believe schools can only reopen for in-person instruction when it can be assured that students, teachers, and staff have the resources and measures in place to protect their health and safety.

I know nearly all of you are in close consultation with local county health officers in developing complex plans to offer different models for resuming and accelerating learning in the fall. The California Department of Education (CDE) is closely monitoring the data and is in regular communication with the Governor’s Office and California Department of Public Health. We will continue to update our guidance to schools as conditions and data evolve in the days and weeks to come.

Health and safety concerns supported by data will drive our decisions and guidance—not the politics of the daily news cycle. Thank you for everything that you do.

Announcements & News Releases

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Implementation Tool for Assessing Student Learning (July 7, 2020)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Hosts First Virtual Classroom Session in Ethnic Studies Featuring Educators and Students (July 7, 2020)

State Board of Education Adopts Guidance for Arts Education and World Language Instruction in California (July 8, 2020)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Holds Task Force on the Expansion of Education Funding Hearing to Explore Resources and Philanthropic Partnership Opportunities for Critical Statewide Student Support Services (July 10, 2020)

Program Updates

Assessment Development and Administration Division

Summative ELPAC Fall Administration Coming Soon

Resulting from the suspension of summative testing as directed by the Governor on March 18, 2020, a Legislative Deal Omnibus Trailer Bill was submitted to request an extension of the Summative English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) administration window, ending no later than October 30, 2020. This trailer bill was approved by the Governor on June 29, 2020. As a result, the CDE and testing contractor Educational Testing Service have been preparing for an optional Summative ELPAC during the approved extended fall administration window, beginning on August 20, 2020.

The primary purpose of the optional extended administration window is to support the reclassification of students who already met criteria two, three, and four (teacher evaluation, parent opinion and consultation, and student performance in basic skills) and have not met criterion one (the assessment of English language proficiency). English learner students who partially completed the Summative ELPAC and students who did not begin testing but were eligible to test in spring 2019–2020 will be able to test during the extended administration window. Local educational agencies (LEAs) will determine which English learner students would most benefit from this administration. Students who complete all four domains during the extended administration window will receive a Summative ELPAC Student Score Report (SSR). LEAs will be provided with a cumulative data file that includes results from the spring 2019–2020 administration and the fall 2019–2020 administration. Details about procedures for the optional fall administration of the Summative ELPAC are being provided through regular communications to LEA ELPAC coordinators as quickly as information becomes available. The Assessment Development and Administration Division also is collaborating with the ELSD to ensure support for English learner students throughout California.

For more information about the fall administration, please refer to the email communication “Optional Fall Administration of the Summative ELPAC Approved” at , which was sent from the California Technical Assistance Center on July 6, 2020, to LEA ELPAC coordinators and is posted on the ELPAC website at .

Tools for Teachers: Two New Demonstration Videos

The CDE has made available for California LEA staff the following two new demonstration videos for the Tools for Teachers preview website at

  • “Tools for Teachers: Website Demonstration for California Educators,” an eight-minute video, demonstrates the key features of the website.
  • “CDE Tools for Teachers Introduction Webinar for California Educators,” a 52-minute video, is a recording of the June 22 webinar that CDE offered to all LEAs. It consists of a more detailed 24-minute website demonstration and a 27-minute Q&A period.

Both videos present the key features and functions of Tools for Teachers, embedded formative assessment and accessibility strategies, and Connections Playlists of instructional resources that correspond with Interim Assessment Blocks. Both videos can be accessed through the CAASPP website at and the ELPAC website at by selecting “Tools for Teachers” to reach the Tools for Teachers Resources web page.

As the new formative assessment component of the Smarter Balanced assessment system, Tools for Teachers features instructional and professional learning resources that support K–12 teachers in their use of the formative assessment process during daily instruction to adjust their teaching to improve their students’ learning.

Assessment Spotlight archives are available at

Educator Excellence and Equity Division

The Educator Excellence and Equity Division has updated the CDE Arts Education Resources and Professional Learning web page ( Information is now presented in a tabbed layout to support educators, students, families, school leaders, and community members. Taking into account educational shifts related to COVID-19, the updated page also features a tab containing resources to support arts education through distance learning. The page also includes links to the 2019 California Arts Standards (, the newly adopted 2020 California Arts Education Framework (, state and national arts organizations, instructional resources, professional learning resources, and programs for students.

English Learner Support Division

Omnibus trailer bill Senate Bill 98 signed by the Governor on June 29, 2020, provides needed flexibilities for migrant programs and funding for the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California administration in the fall. The COVID-19 Reclassification Guidance for the 2019–2020 and Fall Administration letter to the field provides updated guidance on reclassification. The letter is available on the CDE Reclassification web page under the “Letters to the Field” tab at

The State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB) requirements for the 2019–2020 and 2020–21 school years have been updated as part of Senate Bill 98. A letter to the field explaining these updates is available on the CDE SSB web page under the “Procedures, Requirements, and Forms” tab at The frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the CDE SSB FAQs web page at have been updated to reflect these changes.

The English Learner Support Division (ELSD) is publishing two newsletters during the COVID-19 school closure: The Distance Learning Parent Newsletter and the English Learner (EL) Updates Newsletter. These formerly weekly newsletters are published monthly starting with the June 2020 issues.

ELSD newsletters:

Webinars - Recap and Upcoming

Recap of This Week’s Webinars:
SSPI Ethnic Studies Webinar Series: African American Studies (Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at 3 p.m.)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and the CDE convened the first in a series of virtual classroom events on ethnic studies to engage students in a dialogue about their significance. As the CDE prepares to submit a revised Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum for public review, these events will help students, educators, and families familiarize themselves with the core areas of ethnic studies, including how different groups have struggled and worked together, as well as key concepts such as equality, justice, race, ethnicity, and indigeneity.

The first of these webinars focused on African American Studies. Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber, a founder of Ethnic Studies and Africana Studies, led a conversation with students on the history of these studies and Assemblymember Jose Medina shared about how important they are.

Upcoming Webinars:
Perspectives on English Language Learning: Aída Walqui in Conversation with Leading Scholars (Series from July 14 to August 20, 2020, at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays)

WestEd presents this free webinar series that will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m. (interviews with Australian scholars will be at 3 p.m.) starting on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, and concluding on Thursday, August 20, 2020. Teachers, education leaders, teacher educators, teacher professional developers, and researchers are encouraged to attend. Register for each webinar in the series separately at the link below.

Register on the WestEd Perspectives on English Language Learning: Aída Walqui in Conversation with Leading Scholars web page at

California State University (CSU) Systemic Inequities Webinar (Friday, August 14, 2020, at 10 a.m.)

The CSU is sponsoring a series of four live webinars that are appropriate for all educator preparation faculty, supervisors, and current educators. All live webinars take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The webcasts will be recorded.

This webinar is facilitated by Dr. Zulmara Cline, the statewide California Academic Partnership Program director, and focuses on dismantling systemic inequities in our schools and building schools that work for all students.

Register on the CSU Educator Preparation and Public School Programs Live Webcasts Registration page at

CSU Retaining Educators of Color Webinar (Friday, August 21, 2020, at 10 a.m.)

The CSU is sponsoring a series of four live webinars that are appropriate for all educator preparation faculty, supervisors, and current educators. All live webinars take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The webcasts will be recorded.

This webinar is facilitated by Dr. Ernest Black, the Systemwide Director for CalState TEACH, and focuses on lessons learned from the field.

Register on the CSU Educator Preparation and Public School Programs Live Webcasts Registration page at

Questions:   California Department of Education |
Last Reviewed: Monday, July 13, 2020
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