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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Friday, October 23, 2020

From: Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Date: October 23, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) SSPI Communications

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From State Superintendent Tony Thurmond

Dear School Communities and Partners:

More school districts statewide are moving back to in-person learning or a hybrid model with distance learning. As we all know, a school district’s preparedness for in-person learning is impacted by available resources to invest in necessary measures to remain open safely—including testing, PPE, and facilities improvements. That is why I am pleased this week to announce a partnership with General Motors and their donation of 500,000 face masks for schools in need across the state. (See more details in our “News & Announcements” section below.)

The safety of our students, educators, and families is paramount as California school districts make important decisions about returning to in-person instruction, and access to a supply of personal protective equipment is essential for any school to reopen. We are grateful for GM’s partnership and dedication to the safety and well-being of California students and educators during this public health crisis. GM’s contribution bolsters the resources available to schools at a time when we all need to continue to remain vigilant against the spread of COVID-19.

The CDE is working with county offices of education across California to distribute the GM donation and prioritize communities experiencing disproportionate COVID-19 health risks, such as the families of farmworkers, African American and Latino students, students of essential workers, and California tribal communities.

In the meantime, we continue to work with all stakeholders—school leaders, employee groups, city officials, and health experts—to ensure our local educational agencies have the tools and information they need to make informed decisions in the weeks and months to come.

Announcements & News Releases

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Donation of 500,000 Face Masks by General Motors to Aid Safe School Reopening (October 22, 2020)

Virtual Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainings (October 19, 2020)

Federal Updates

U.S. Department of Education (ED)

LEAs impacted by wildfires in the counties that are part of the September 2020 wildfires major disaster declaration (FEMA-4569-DR-CA External link opens in new window or tab. ) are encouraged to attend Applicants’ Briefings and submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA). The briefings are for LEAs that provided an essential social service related to the fires in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou, and Sonoma counties. The schedule of the briefings is located on the Cal OES web page, The RPA deadline for DR-4569 is November 13, 2020.

Program Updates

Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division

California Dyslexia Initiative (CDI)

Section 119 of theEducation 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 October EL Updates Newsletter covers assessment, new resources, literacy, initiatives, and webinars. The October Distance Learning Parent Newsletter focuses on the Parent Engagement Module Series for migratory parents to develop their capacity to support their children at school and at home.

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.

Parent Engagement Module Series

The CDE Migrant Education Office (MEO), in collaboration with WestEd, created the Parent Engagement Module Series for migratory parents to develop their capacity to support their children at school and at home. The MEO’s State Service Delivery Plan, a framework for migrant education service delivery, identifies the need to support and increase parent and family engagement. All of the modules are intended to be presented by a facilitator but can also be viewed independently by parents.

Here are the seven modules:

  • Module 1: Facilitator Overview of Migrant Modules and Handouts
  • Module 2: Using Positive Discipline to Be a More Effective Parent
  • Module 3: Growing Self-Confident Children Through Goal Setting and Growth Mindset
  • Module 4: School Systems and Multiple Cultures
  • Module 5: Supporting Your Child to Be Successful in School
  • Module 6: Understanding and Communicating with Your Teenager
  • Module 7: Bullying—What It is and How to Help Your Child
The modules are available on the CDE Parent Engagement Modules Series web page at

Webinars - Recap and Upcoming

Webinar Recaps

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 is 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 is conducted fully in Spanish with a focus on oral language development in a dual language classroom. This session will present a strategy that will promote the strategic use of academic language in the classroom.

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Part III: How to Design Engaging ELD resources to Maximize EL Student and Parent Access (October 21, 2020)

This session showcases how to maximize English learner access and participation with free designated English language development distance learning resources.

(Recording Coming Soon)

Presentation slides available at

Upcoming Webinars:

Building a Network of Safety for School Communities Webinar Series
Cultivating Compassion and Resilience During COVID-19 (October 27, 2020, 10 to 11:30 a.m.)

The Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup’s Suicide Prevention Committee is excited to kick off the series by focusing on staff well-being and cultivating compassion and resilience during COVID-19.Being well improves our lives both at work and at home and optimizes our ability to be flexible and ability to fully engaged in all aspects of our lives. Our presenters from the San Diego County Office of Education will share information on the following:

  • Defining and sharing the relevance of wellness and resilience
  • Strategies to identify and cope with stressors
  • Identify self-supportive practices that can address anxiety and enhance resiliency during challenging times

To register for the series:

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

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

MCAP Fall 2020 Webinar Series
Part IV: Supporting English Learners in the Rural Setting (Wednesday, November 4, 2020, 3:15 p.m.)

This FREE session will focus on connecting with learners, learning, and language by providing resources for districts and schools located in rural areas of California. We will focus on the resource developed by statewide partners titled, Considerations for Inclusivity and Support within Designated English Language Development in Remote Learning and use this as a tool to highlight best practices

Registration link:

2017–19 State of California Healthy Kids Survey (November 6, 2020, at 1 p.m.)

Please join us for a free webinar on the Results of the 2017–19 State of California Healthy Kids Survey: The 17th Biennial Student Survey. This webinar will be presented by Greg Austin, PhD and Leslie Poynor, PhD of WestEd. They will share the latest statewide findings on school climate and student well-being; social, emotional and mental health; alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use; and tobacco use and vaping.

In addition to the survey findings, state and district leaders and prevention practitioners will learn about how to use the survey and the data dashboard to inform programing.

Please register in advance:

California School for The Deaf Webinars for Families and Teachers Of Deaf Children
Family Education Monthly Webinar (Every 1st Friday of the month, 10 to 11 a.m.)

Link Options:

CSDR YouTube Playlist- Family Education(

CSDR Website, click on "Webinars"

CSDR Facebook

LIVE Zoom meeting with Q & A Discussion with presenters and Family Education Coordinator (Every 3rd Friday of the month, 10 to 11 a.m.)

Join via Zoom at

ASL/Spanish Interpreters are provided!

RSVP for Zoom discussion: Jenni Kysella, Family Education, 951-824-8027 VP or

Topic: Inclusion Among Deaf Students in Early Childhood Education Video Presentation (November 6, 2020, 10 to 11 a.m.)

Presenters: Jacy Pedersen and Jessica Valencia-Biskupiak, Teachers in ECE, California School for the Deaf–Riverside

Follow up Webinar Discussion(November 20, 2020, 10 to 11 a.m.)

Join Presenters and Family Education Coordinator on Zoom.

RSVP: or 951.824.8027

Past Topics–Videos available for viewing:
Topic: COVID-19's "Perfect, Dangerous Storm" For Children and Youth (October 2, 2020)

Presenter: Jayne Kim, Social Worker and Counselor, California School for the Deaf– Riverside

Topic: Virtual School Guide for Parents (September 4, 2020)

Presenters: Jenni Kysella, Family Education Coordinator, and Jessica Valencia-Biskupiak and Jaclyn Vincent, Teachers in Early Childhood Education,

California School for the Deaf–Riverside

Curriculum, Instruction, Data, and Advancement (CDIA) specialists will launch a series of webinars "Education Resources" to cover school tools and strategies currently used by CSDR, and what parents, other educators, and community need to know as part of Home-School connection. The first one is anticipated for the end of November. More details to come.

Questions:   California Department of Education |
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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