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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Friday, November 6, 2020

From: Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Date: November 6, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) SSPI Communications

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From State Superintendent Tony Thurmond

Dear School Communities and Partners:

Since Tuesday, our state and nation has held its breath awaiting the outcome of our presidential election. While we wait, the ensuing unrest and political theater have been emotionally and mentally draining for so many of us. That includes our students, who are watching closely—and in many ways shaping—how we rise to this moment.

As educators—and as parents, relatives, and colleagues—we can use this moment in history as a powerful teaching tool that inspires youth to harness their energy, to discover the power in civic engagement, and to be the change they want to see. The CDE has resources to support civic engagement that may be found on the CDE History-Social Science web page.

Leading courageous conversations in the classroom requires training and resources, and this week I was proud to announce the recipients of mini grants totaling nearly $200,0000 that will fund educator trainings across the state to combat hate, bigotry, racism, and other forms of bias or prejudice in schools as part of the Education to End Hate Initiative. The overwhelming response to this grant program speaks volumes: California’s educators are more committed than ever to educational equity through the creation of safe, inclusive learning environments for all students.

Better understanding each other and the world around us also means teaching a complete, accurate, and honest accounting of our state and nation’s histories. Today I announced the CDE’s latest recommendations to the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, which will serve as a bold, balanced, and inclusive guide for our educators to promote critical thinking and help our students see themselves reflected in the instruction.

We can’t shy away from the issues that our country is facing right now. Education has the power to helps us focus, work together, and create meaningful and lasting change in our communities.

Announcements & News Releases

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces “Education to End Hate” Grant Recipients and Dates for First Three Virtual Classrooms (November 4, 2020)

State Board of Education Approves Shorter Standardized Tests to Give Schools Flexibility Amidst COVID-19 Uncertainties (November 6, 2020)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Forthcoming Release of Recommendations to the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (November 6, 2020)

#CASTEAM20 Pre-Conference: Celebrating Teachers and the Art of Teaching on (November 17, 2020)

Californians Dedicated To Education Foundation is excited to announce a California STEAM Symposium Pre-Conference focused on Celebrating Teachers and the Art of Teaching. Scheduled on November 17, 2020, registration for the afternoon event is included with a completed registration for the California STEAM Symposium.

Highlights will include an interactive keynote presentation by Jose Luis Vilson External link opens in new window or tab. and a special Tik Tok Science Talk from Darrion Nguyen External link opens in new window or tab. . The Pre-Conference is designed to celebrate educators as they teach, inspire, and positively impact students’ lives. This is a dynamic event with live speakers for participants to interact with, health and wellness activities, and opportunities to engage with fellow educators.

Event Details:

#CASTEAM20 Pre-Conference: Celebrating Teachers and the Art of Teaching (November 17, 2020)

Virtual Doors Open at 3 p.m.PST

Keynote Start Time: 3:30 p.m. PST

Location: On any laptop or mobile device

Current registration rate is only $125! One registration, two events!

Visit External link opens in new window or tab. for more information and registration.

Acquiring Devices and Connectivity for Students

As we are nearing the December 30, 2020, deadline for CARES Act fund availability, we want to remind our schools and districts to get orders completed now. In an effort to support our schools, we have partnered with a few major technology companies and internet service providers to make it easier for schools to acquire necessary equipment and services for their students. Please see the link below for detailed information on these programs.

If you have not yet placed your orders, we strongly encourage you to start the process now. Devices are in high demand across the country.

If your school or district has already placed orders for the needed devices and there is still funding available, we want to remind everyone that these funds can and should be used to support transitional kindergarten through twelfth grade pupil academic achievement and mitigate learning loss related to COVID-19 school closures. Many of the providers at the link below have availability of devices that will support teaching staff, remote and hybrid learning, professional development, and much more.

Don’t delay on your orders; the CARES Act funding is only available until December 30!

Please see the CDE Acquiring Devices and Connectivity for Students web page at for details.

If you have questions on how we can provide assistance, please contact the Digital Divide team at

Program Updates

Multilingual Support Division (formerly the English Learner Support Division)
Division Name Change!

Effective November 1, 2020, the CDE English Learner Support Division (ELSD) has changed its name to the Multilingual Support Division. This name change reflects the division’s assets-based outlook and approach to supporting English learners, migratory, and immigrant students.


The Multilingual Support Division (formerly English Learner Support Division) 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 Multilingual 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 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.

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Upcoming Webinars:

Multilingual CA Project (MCAP) Fall 2020 Webinar Series
Part V (Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 3:15 p.m.)

This FREE session will present a strategy that can be implemented during remote instruction. Topics are currently being developed in county office partnership.

Registration link:

Part VI (Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 3:15 p.m.)

This FREE session will present a strategy that can be implemented during remote instruction. Topics are currently being developed in county office partnership.

Registration link:

Questions:   California Department of Education |
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, November 10, 2020
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