Weekly COVID-19 Update: Friday, August 14, 2020
From: Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Date: August 14, 2020
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From State Superintendent Tony Thurmond
Dear School Communities and Partners:
Our back-to-school season looks very different this year, and as a parent of two school-age children myself, I understand the anxieties and uncertainties we all are feeling right now. But what hasn’t changed is the tireless work of our educators to prepare up until the first day of school for a successful year.
At the CDE, our goal remains to provide you the real-time support our schools need as you make decisions about how best to resume learning while keeping everyone safe. Areas that are priorities for us right now include:
Continuity of learning: We are finalizing updated guidance to support educators in strengthening distance learning and maintaining rigor in the days and weeks ahead. As part of its research, the CDE solicited examples of successful strategies from teachers across California and will highlight selections as models for others to use.
Family engagement: I encourage our schools to continue leading proactive, two-way communication and engagement to ensure families and students who are harder to reach, or who experience increased barriers to access, don’t fall behind. Relationships and connections—just like in the classroom—must be a primary focus in the first days of the new school year.
As part of this work I want to welcome and introduce our newest team member to CDE: Heather Calomese, who joins us as the new Director of the Special Education Division. Heather is an accomplished leader in the special education field, a strong advocate and champion for all students, and someone who believes that individuals should be lifted and supported to access the greatness that lies within.As schools continue virtual learning in the weeks ahead, Calomese will support CDE’s efforts to provide assistance to schools and engage families and educators in ways that ensure the unique needs of students with disabilities are met. Read more about her below in the “Announcements and News Releases” section of the newsletter.
Announcements & News Releases
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Commends Students, Families, and Educators on Return to Learning and Outlines Ongoing Priorities (August 12, 2020)
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and Civil Rights Leaders Propose Recommendations to Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (August 13, 2020)
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Appoints Former Illinois Special Education Leader Heather Calomese as New Director of the Special Education Division (August 14, 2020)
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and State Board President Linda Darling-Hammond Join Governor Newsom’s Press Conference to Discuss Bridging the Digital Divide and Distance Learning Efforts (August 14, 2020)
View the video here:https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=343134543365396
Expanded Learning Division
Guidance has been posted to address questions regarding the use of Expanded Learning grant funds while a school campus is closed for in-person learning.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions 2020-21
English Learner Support Division Newsletters:
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 August EL Updates Newsletter covers funding, COVID-19 guidance, parent notification, distance and hybrid learning, accountability, assessment, immigrant resources, and webinars. The August Distance Learning Parent Newsletter focuses on resources for parents to help them start the school year off strong during distance learning.
The ELSD newsletters are available on the CDE EL Updates Newsletters web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/er/elnewsletters.asp.
Educator Workforce Investment Grant (EWIG): English Learner Roadmap (ELR) Implementation:
The two EWIG ELR grantees, Californians Together (CalTog), and the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) share the goals of preparing educators to enact the vision and principles of the CA English Learner Roadmap Policy and build system mechanisms to centralize the needs of English Learners. CABE’s Multilingual California Project (https://www.gocabe.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/FINAL_Abstract_EWIG_Multilingual_California_Project.pdf) and CalTog’s English Learner Roadmap Implementation for Systemic Excellence (EL RISE!) (https://californianstogether.app.box.com/s/3neu9gbzqfe31nhdwz444xjtvxj53jl6) are available to bring research-based strategies and resources to administrators and educators in order to dramatically accelerate and improve multilingual academic opportunities and outcomes for English Learners across California. See the Upcoming Webinars section below for details on EL RISE! webinars.For more information, please visit the CDE Educator Workforce Investment Grant: EL Roadmap Policy Implementation web page https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fo/r28/elroadmap19rfa.asp.
Webinars - Recap and Upcoming
2020–21 Instructional Time and Attendance Accounting Webinar (Monday, August 24, 2020, at 11 a.m.)
The Principal Apportionment Policy Office will present a one-hour webinar to provide guidance on instructional time and attendance accounting changes in fiscal year 2020-21 pursuant to Senate Bill 98 (Chapter 24, Statutes of 2020).
Register in advance for this webinar:
EL RISE! Communities of Practice Webinar Series for Administrators (August 18, 2020; August 25, 2020; and September 29, 2020. All three webinars are from 4 to 5:30 p.m.)
The EWIG ELR subgrantee, Californians Together, and its partners, known collectively as EL RISE!, are hosting a three-part leadership webinar series. This series is designed to address immediate needs of school leaders and administrators in opening schools with a focus on meeting the needs of English learners in distance learning. Administrators may select to participate in one, two, or all three webinars. All webinars will be archived for asynchronous access.
Webinars in the administrator series:
- Developing Learning Continuity and Attendance Plans that Embrace our English Learners (Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 4-5:30 p.m.)
- Reopening School Districts: Embracing Our English Learners (Tuesday, August 25, 2020, 4-5:30 p.m.)
- Supporting Families and Knitting Strong Home-School Partnerships in Pandemic Era (Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 4-5:30 p.m.)
Registration: To register for one or more of the webinars in this series, fill out the EL RISE! Google form at https://bit.ly/3g8jGxr.
The EWIG ELR subgrantee, Californians Together, and its partners, known collectively as EL RISE!, are hosting a two-part teacher webinar series.
- Part I: Partnering with Families in the First Month of Dual Language Programs, Kindergarten/Grade One (August 19, 2020, or September 3, 2020, from 2:30-4:30 p.m.)
- Part II: Planning for Biliteracy in Distance Learning: Spanish Dual Language Programs, Kindergarten/Grade One (August 26, 2020, or September 10, 2020, from 2:30-4:30 p.m.)
Part I: At this critical moment in California’s history, we are at risk of losing the many significant gains we have made to build and expand our dual language immersion programs. As we work to welcome and integrate our kindergarten and grade one learners into a dual language immersion model, families are integral partners. This is especially true in this time of increased social and linguistic isolation, creating a heightened need and focus on access and equity in distance learning. In this webinar, kindergarten and grade one dual language immersion teachers will receive support, strategies, and frameworks to deepen their work in partnering with families at the beginning of the school year. These will include ideas for creating family cohorts; involving families in the learning, building understanding, and buy-in for the bilingual model; and supporting students with strengthening their bilingual identities. This webinar will focus on Spanish dual immersion programs with consideration for both 90:10 and 50:50 models.
Part II: Kindergarten and grade one dual language immersion teachers have an especially unique challenge and opportunity during distance learning when welcoming their youngest learners joyfully into the bilingual community. They are tasked with supporting their students in building biliteracy, many of whom are in the early stages of acquiring a second language. In this webinar, teachers will gain structures and examples of research-based best practices in planning for biliteracy, designated ELD, and teaching for transfer. Through a combination of oral language strategies and teacher examples, we will look at the most effective ways to foster language development and positive bilingual identities for our students. Teachers will understand how dual language models, routines, and schedules transition to distance learning and be prepared to plan accordingly.
Registration: To register, fill out the EL RISE! Google form at https://bit.ly/31uzx3p.
The EWIG ELR subgrantee, Californians Together, and its partners, known collectively as EL RISE!, are hosting a three-part teacher webinar series. This fall webinar series for kindergarten through grade six educators is designed to address the immediate needs of teachers in meeting the needs of English learners in distance or hybrid learning contexts. Teachers may select one, two, or all three webinars for participation.
- Welcoming, Inclusive, and Affirming Classrooms for English Learners (September 2 or 9, 2020, 2:30-4:30 p.m.)
- Critical Conditions for English Learners in Distance Learning (September 16 or 23, 2020, 2:30-4:30 p.m.)
- Creating and Sustaining Family Partnership in Distance Learning (September 24 or 30, 2020, 2:30-4:30 p.m.)