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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Friday, October 16, 2020

From: Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Date: October 16, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) SSPI Communications

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From State Superintendent Tony Thurmond

Dear School and Community Partners:

As schools plan their next steps for safe learning during this pandemic, let’s not forget that thousands of students, families, and educators are simply trying to recover after record wildfires decimated communities across California.

After an unfathomable start to the school year exacerbated by power outages, poor air quality, and destructive fires, some of our hardest hit communities are still putting the pieces back together.

To support those in need, the California Department of Education (CDE) has launched a new fundraising effort—the CDE Emergency Response Fund—partnership with the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation (CDEF).

Every contribution helps. Donations can fund needed personal protective equipment like masks. Contributions may go toward gift cards for groceries and gas for those displaced. And dollars provided for computers and internet hotspots can enable the safe and caring connections between students and teachers that are needed more than ever.

Read more about how to donate in the “News and Announcements” section below. Let’s come together as Californians to help our communities get back on their feet.

Announcements & News Releases

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Statewide Fundraising Drive to Support Schools Impacted by Wildfires (October 15, 2020)

New Funding Opportunity: The California Community Schools Partnership Program (October 14, 2020)

Disruptions due to the COVID-19 emergency have forced districts and schools to focus on the direct connection between schools and families and to examine the link between school and community services.

Community school strategies are an effective approach to mitigate the academic and social impacts of the pandemic, improve school responsiveness to student and family needs and to organize school and community resources to address barriers to learning.

This “whole-child” school improvement strategy, where the district and school work closely with teachers, students, and families, focuses on partnerships with community agencies and local government to align resources to improve student outcomes. California based school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, excluding non-classroom-based charter schools, are eligible to apply for the California Community Schools Partnership Program.

  • $45 million dollars have been appropriated from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.
  • Grant funding may be used for any of the following purposes:
    • Expanding and sustaining existing community schools
    • Coordinating and providing health, mental health, and pupil support services to pupils and families at community schools
    • Providing training and support to LEA personnel to help develop best practices for integrating pupil supports
The Request for Applications will be released October 30, 2020. The CDE will hold a series of webinars to assist LEAs with applying for these funds. A Frequently Asked Questions web page will also be posted. Applications are due December 4, 2020, by 5 p.m. Please direct all questions to the California Community Schools Partnership Program’s email address at

Program Updates

Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Materials

The Mathematics Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (Math CFCC) will hold its fifth meeting on October 19–20, 2020. The Math CFCC is revising the Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Mathematics Framework). The meeting will be entirely virtual. The meeting agenda, which includes the meeting login information, is posted on the Math CFCC web page at . Please visit for more information about the revision of the Mathematics Framework. Send comments and questions about the Mathematics Framework revision to the mailbox.

California Dyslexia Initiative (CDI)

Section 119 of the Education Omnibus Trailer Bill (Assembly Bill 77) for the 2019–20 California State Budget ( established the California Dyslexia Initiative (CDI).

The bill appropriated $4 million ($2 million from state funds and $2 million from federal funds) which will be allocated to a designated county office of education (COE) for the CDI.

The CDE and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), with approval from the executive director of the State Board of Education, shall designate an interested and qualified COE to administer the California Dyslexia Initiative.

The CDE and CCEE are seeking letters of interest from COEs that have the capacity to serve in this role.

Please visit for additional details.

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 newsletters are published monthly.

The September EL Updates Newsletter covers distance learning, assessment, the Educator Workforce Investment Grant, the State Seal of Biliteracy, curriculum, mental health, and webinars. The September Distance Learning Parent Newsletter focuses on resources for parents to help support social emotional learning.

To read the newsletters, go to the CDE EL Updates Newsletters web page at

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) 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. For more information about CABE’s Multilingual California Project (MCAP) ( and CalTog’s English Learner Roadmap Implementation for Systemic Excellence (EL RISE!) (, please visit the CDE Educator Workforce Investment Grant: EL Roadmap Policy Implementation web page The Upcoming Webinars section below includes details on upcoming EL RISE! and MCAP webinars.

Webinars - Recap and Upcoming

Webinar Recaps

Multilingual CA Project (MCAP) Fall 2020 Webinar Series
Part I: Designated ELD-Sentence Unpacking in Small Groups Promoting Equity for English Learners During Distance and Hybrid Instruction (September 23, 2020)

This session focused on distance learning teaching strategies for grades K–12 that can be implemented during Designated ELD to actively engage English learners in grade level core content instruction.

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Part II: Promoting Oracy in Spanish Instruction (October 7, 2020)

This session has been conducted fully in Spanish with a focus on oral language development in a dual language classroom. This session presents a strategy that will promote the strategic use of academic language in the classroom. (Recording Coming Soon)

EL RISE! Communities of Practice Webinar Series for Administrators

This three-part leadership webinar series has been 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. All webinars will be archived for asynchronous access.

Part I: Developing Learning Continuity and Attendance Plans that Embrace our English Learners (August 18, 2020)

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Part II: Reopening School Districts: Embracing Our English Learners (August 25, 2020)

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Part III: Supporting Families and Knitting Strong Home-School Partnerships in Pandemic Era (September 29, 2020)

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

EL RISE! Meeting the Needs of English Learners in Distance Learning

EL RISE! Meeting the Needs of English Learners in Distance Learning

This fall webinar series for kindergarten through grade six educators has been designed to address the immediate needs of teachers in meeting the needs of English learners in distance or hybrid learning contexts.

Part I: Welcoming, Affirming, and Inclusive Classrooms for English Learners (September 2 & 9, 2020)

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Part II: Critical Conditions for English Learners in Distance Learning (September 16 & 23, 2020)

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Part III: Creating and Sustaining Family Partnerships in Distance Learning (September 24 & 30, 2020)

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Upcoming Webinars:

In support of October's Dyslexia Awareness Month, we have extended our partnership with Glean Education to provide their online Understanding & Recognizing Dyslexia for California Educators for free to all California educators and administrators. The course will be available until October 31, 2020. To enroll, visit

This course was designed for all educators (general education and special education), so please spread the word to your colleagues about this professional development opportunity. Administrators, if you'd like your school or district staff to take this free training as a cohort, please contact Jessica at to arrange for a whole-staff training announcement.

If you have any questions, please email Richard Gifford at or Jen Buzolich at

School Nutrition Town Hall (Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 2 p.m.)

The Nutrition Services Division continues to provide the Tuesday@2 School Nutrition Town Halls to support local educational agencies to understand the COVID-19 child nutrition program policy guidance and 70 nationwide waivers. This forum also features peer sharing of best practices for successfully operating meal programs under various distance and hybrid learning models. For more information, please visit

Questions:   California Department of Education |
Last Reviewed: Monday, October 19, 2020
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