Weekly COVID-19 Update: Friday, July 31, 2020
From: Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Date: July 31, 2020
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From State Superintendent Tony Thurmond
Dear School Communities and Partners:
In a few weeks as many as 96 percent of our state's students will begin the next academic year in distance learning—and the need to ensure all of them have the basic technology to access their learning grows increasingly urgent.
Our team at CDE is here to support you as we navigate together through uncharted waters.
Earlier this week we released our first set of answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding distance learning, which are designed to help school districts better understand new state requirements for live instruction, daily participation, and steps for re-engagement when students have not connected with their schools.
On Wednesday, we will hold a special virtual meeting of our Closing the Digital Divide Task Force to provide details regarding our ongoing efforts with device manufacturers and internet service providers to identify inventories of available devices. School leaders will also learn more about how they can use one-time funds available to them for these purchases.
And in the meantime, we are updating our guidance documents to help educators strengthen distance learning strategies. We want to hear from teachers about their successes and tap their expertise; in this week's update you'll see a link to a survey we hope you will use to offer your insights.
These are challenging times. Don't hesitate to reach to our team at CDE so that we know the best ways to support you in the weeks and months ahead.
Announcements & News Releases
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Draft Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Recommendations (July 31, 2020)
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Outlines Ongoing Supports to Strengthen Distance Learning and Announces Timeline for Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum during Virtual Media Check-in (July 29, 2020)
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Students, Educators and State Leaders Discuss Native American and Indigenous Studies During Final Event in Ethnic Studies Virtual Classroom Series (July 28, 2020)
Waiver for Reopening Schools
On July 17, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that a waiver of the state's school reopening criteria may be available for elementary schools. This waiver is not within the jurisdiction of the California Department of Education or the State Board of Education, but will instead be considered by local public health officers, in consultation with CDPH.
For further information, please see the following link:
Share Your Best Practices in Distance Learning
The California Department of Education (CDE) wants to hear from teachers about their successes in distance learning during the last school year. As we support educators in their next phase of virtual instruction, we are tapping the expertise of our practitioners and looking for strategies we can highlight across the state.
We know that last spring all of our educators pivoted quickly to teaching remotely and implemented successful innovations. Please share your experiences with us in this short survey: https://forms.gle/mxq8b3MMbUfFuAsG7.
CDE may include what you've shared in its next guidance document for school districts.
Your name, district, and contact info are not required, but please include them if you would be interested in CDE reaching out to you for follow-up. We do ask that you please share your grade level.
Thank you for sharing your insight and innovations so that we can support educators across California!
Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan 2020-21 Template and Instructions Released
Senate Bill 98 (SB 98) established the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (Learning Continuity Plan), which is intended to balance the needs of all stakeholders, including educators, parents, students, and community members, while streamlining meaningful stakeholder engagement and condensing several preexisting plans. In particular, it was important to combine (1) the intent behind Executive Order N-56-20 (https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/EO-N-56-20-text.pdf), which required a written report and envisioned an off-cycle Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) due December 15, and (2) the ongoing need for local educational agencies (LEAs) to formally plan for the 2020-21 school year in the midst of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Learning Continuity Plan replaces the LCAP for the 2020-21 school year and supersedes the requirements in Executive Order N-56-20. This plan is intended to memorialize the planning process that is already underway for the 2020-21 school year. All LEAs, which includes school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools are required to complete the Learning Continuity Plan.The Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan Template and Instructions can be downloaded from the CDE Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan web page at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/lc/learningcontattendplan.asp.
English Learner Support Division
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.
The July EL Updates Newsletter covers school reopening guidance, distance and hybrid learning resources, COVID-19 resources, assessment, legislation, reclassification, the California State Board of Education July meeting, research and articles, and webinars. The July Distance Learning Parent Newsletter focuses on social justice and resources to help parents talk to children about these issues.
The ELSD newsletters are available on the CDE EL Updates Newsletters web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/er/elnewsletters.asp.
The ELSD is hosting monthly Bilingual Coordinators Network (BCN) meetings. This month’s meeting included updates on the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC), Senate Bill 98, federal program monitoring, and the Learning Continuity and Assessment Plan.The information and resources provided at the July BCN meeting are available at https://bit.ly/BCN19-20.
Webinars - Recap and Upcoming
Recap of This Week’s Webinars:
SSPI Ethnic Studies Webinar Series: Native American and Indigenous Studies (July 28, 2020)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and the CDE hosted the fourth and final event in a series of virtual classrooms on ethnic studies to engage students in a dialogue about their significance.
Students from throughout California, Assemblymember James Ramos; Mark Macarro, Tribal Chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians; Dr. Jenell Navarro, Associate Professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly); and Angela R. Riley, Director of UCLA's Native Nations Law and Policy Center. Students who participated in the event expressed their excitement to learn more about the key struggles and fights for Indigenous people’s rights in the United States.
To view this virtual classroom or any of the previous ones on ethnic studies, please go to the CDE Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/caeducation under the “videos” section.
California STEAM Back to School Pre-Conference: Building Community through STEAM (Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 9 a.m. to noon)
The California Department of Education (CDE), the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls invite you to join our Back to School Pre-Conference focused on Building Community with STEAM on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, from 9 a.m. to noon PST. The conference will be held virtually and feature a variety of tools to aid you as you plan for your students’ return to learning, no matter the model—distance learning, in-person, or a hybrid. Sessions include:
- Ideas for building relationships with students in a socially distanced world
- Hands-on activities to use in your learning environment
- Inspiring keynote speakers
- Peer-led, interactive breakout sessions highlighting in-person and distance-learning activities
Attendees who register for the Eighth Annual California STEAM Symposium, which will be held virtually from December 11–13, 2020, will receive full access to the pre-conference. The current registration rate for the pre-conference is $85. One registration, two events! For registration information and the agenda, please visit the event web page at www.steamcalifornia.org.
If you have questions regarding the pre-conference or the symposium, please email the organizers at email@example.com.
Special Virtual Meeting: Closing the Digital Divide (Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 11 a.m.)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, the California Department of Education (CDE) and the Closing the Digital Divide Task Force will hold a special webinar on Wednesday, August 5 for school leaders to learn more about how they can acquire computing devices for students and plan for distance learning this fall.
As the COVID-19 pandemic forces more school districts to resume virtual learning in the fall, the need to equip all students with the necessary technology grows increasingly urgent. During this webinar, the CDE and Closing the Digital Divide Task Force, co-chaired by Senator Connie Leyva, will provide details regarding their ongoing efforts with device manufacturers and internet service providers to identify inventories of available devices. School leaders will also learn more about how they can use one-time funds available to them for these purchases.
Registration: Zoom information will be sent Monday to all local educational agencies
Participants may also watch on Facebook Live on the CDE Facebook page at https://facebook.com/CAEducation
Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan Instructions and Guidance Part II (Tuesday, August 4, 2020, at 2 p.m.)
Presented by the Student Achievement and Support Division, this webinar will present the final version of the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan template and instructions for use by LEAs. Updated information for each of the sections of the template and the corresponding instructions will be highlighted and time will be provided for questions and answers.
Zoom login Information is available at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc/tuesdaysat2.asp
Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan Guidance and Resources (Thursday, August, 6, 2020, 2 p.m.)
This webinar will provide guidance on the resources and tools available to support local educational agencies in the development of their Learning Continuity and Attendance Plans and implementing the provisions of Senate Bill 98, with a focus on supporting English Learners, Students with Unique and Exceptional Needs/Students with Disabilities, Foster Youth, and Students Experiencing Homelessness. This webinar will be co-presented by the Student Achievement and Support Division, the English Learner Support Division, and the Special Education Division.
Zoom login Information is available at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc/tuesdaysat2.asp
PG&E Wildfire Safety & PSPS Readiness Webinars for K-12 Schools (August 6 & August 13, 2020)
Thursday, August 6 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. - Click to join on Microsoft Teams
Thursday, August 13 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. - Click to join on Microsoft Teams
Wildfire season is here, and PG&E may need to turn off power to reduce the risk of major wildfires during severe weather. Many LEAs experienced these Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) in 2019, and may experience them again in 2020. In two upcoming webinars, PG&E will share resources to help school districts and educators prepare this wildfire season. Attendees can hear about PG&E’s wildfire prevention efforts, ask questions, and share feedback with their team. PG&E is particularly interested in feedback on how they can better assist school districts with regard to PSPS and its impacts on distance learning, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Note: Both webinars will share the same information.
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. 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 https://www.wested.org/wested_event/qtel-conversation-series-2020/.