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CDE Today for October 15, 2021

A streamlined weekly publication from the California Department of Education (CDE) designed to provide you with clear, consistent updates on what is important to California schools.

Logo for CDE Today: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thumond

Welcome to CDE Today, a new, streamlined, weekly publication from CDE Communications designed to provide you with clear, consistent updates on what is important to California schools.


¡Ándale! ¿Qué Esperas? Vaccine Campaign

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced a partnership with the ¡Ándale! ¿Qué Esperas? public education campaign with AltaMed Health Services with a goal to reach 4 million Latinos and to expand access to lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines throughout the state of California. This vaccine effort is focused on communities hit hardest to keep our schools safely open so that our students can recover from learning loss caused by the pandemic. Read more in this October 7 CDE news release.

What’s New in Independent Study? (2021–22)

CDE has created a new web page with quick access to updates, FAQs, and other information pertaining to Independent Study for 2021-22 school year, including information on supporting English learners and students with disabilities. We continue to create and share helpful updates to resources to support LEAs through this process and the What’s New in Independent Study? web page will be continually updated to reflect the most current information.

National School Lunch Week (October 10–16)

The White House issued a proclamation declaring this week to be National School Lunch Week External link opens in new window or tab.. In a statement, President Biden wrote: “The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of the National School Lunch Program for millions of children who rely on school meals.” We honor the commitment and dedication of the school nutrition professionals who have gone above and beyond to continue providing meals to students despite the continuing challenges of a once-in-a-century pandemic. They have continually found new and creative ways to meet the moment and ensure that students who depend on school meals for nourishment are able to grow and thrive!

SSPI Thurmond Announces Co-Chairs for Task Force to Improve Black Student Achievement

On Thursday, October 14, 2021, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond held a virtual press conference announcing a new task force and effort to improve Black student achievement in the state of California. A full recording of the event, including remarks from renowned scholars in the field, will be posted on the CDE YouTube channel External link opens in new window or tab.. Learn more in the October 14 news release. Organizations or individuals interested in supporting this effort should contact Blake Johnson, CDE Legislative Policy Representative, at

School Health, Safety and Support

School-located Vaccine Event (Webinar) October 20, 2021

Please join the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, from noon to 1 p.m. for a webinar on planning school-located vaccination events. Register for the webinar at the CDPH registration page External link opens in new window or tab.. School and school district personnel involved in or interested in school-located vaccine events are invited to learn about best practices in planning school-located vaccine events. Panelists will include representatives from Escondido Union High, Vallejo Unified, and Downey Unified school districts. The webinar will also provide an overview of the different approaches that can be used for school-located vaccination and a discussion about potential partners. Questions can be directed to

CDPH Video Series for Parents

The CDPH created a series of short animated videos to assist parents in understanding different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The videos review:

  • Seven Tips for Safe Schools
  • How Parents Can Help Keep Schools Safe
  • The Importance of In-Person Learning
  • What to do if Your Child is Exposed to COVID-19

The videos are available on the Parent Page of the Safe Schools for All Hub in English External link opens in new window or tab. or the Parent Page of the Safe Schools for All Hub in Spanish External link opens in new window or tab..

Program Highlights

ELO-P Monies Flow To Ensure All Districts Provide Expanded Learning

The CDE and State Superintendent Thurmond have prioritized closing the opportunity gap for students who need additional support beyond the K–12 instructional day. With the new Expanded Learning Opportunities Program, local educational agencies benefit from $1.75 billion dollars in funding to holistically support students before school, after school, and during intersession. This unprecedented funding allocation was designed without an opt-out option in order to ensure that all students in the state of California have equal access to transformative experiences. Learn more at the CDE Expanded Learning web page and the CDE Statewide System of Support for Expanded Learning Contacts web page.

School Accountability Report Card (SARC) User Registration Now Available

The annual SARC User Account Registration External link opens in new window or tab. is now available. This is the mechanism for authorized registrants to register and obtain their username and password to access the 2020–21 SARC Web Application. The CDE provides districts and schools partially pre-populated electronic SARC templates through the SARC Web Application free of charge. We anticipate that the 2020–21 SARC Web Application, with all available data, will be made available to registered users sometime during late November/December 2021. For any questions, please contact the SARC Team by email at

Events and Opportunities

California STEAM Symposium—October 21–23, 2021

Join us at the California STEAM Symposium from October 21 to October 23. This incredible event will bring together passionate people seeking inspiration, energizing engagements via numerous peer-led breakouts, and the opportunity to collaborate with STEAM education experts. Dr. Moogega Cooper, Gabby Rivera, Kate Stanforth, and Dr. Marissa Pei will be keynoting. Learn more about them and register at California STEAM Symposium External link opens in new window or tab.. The symposium is co-hosted by the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, the CDE, and the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation.

Get to Know the CDE: Virtual Open House—Week of October 25, 2021

Mark your calendar for this special virtual event to learn about the programs, projects, and initiatives from early childhood to adult education, as well as about the people behind the effort. Tune into presentations from CDE divisions that will showcase the important CDE work happening today to support students, families, and educators and carry out Superintendent Thurmond’s initiatives. Dates, schedule, and registration information coming soon.

Dual Language Pedagogy Institute for Elementary Teachers—November 4, December 9, January 27, and March 3 (3 to 5 p.m. each day)

This free, virtual, professional learning series is part of the CDE Educator Workforce Investment Grant for English Learner Roadmap Implementation. Grant recipient English Learner Roadmap Implementation for Systemic Excellence (EL RISE!) and their partners from Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) will present this institute geared toward teachers in bilingual or dual-language programs and site and local teams of educators. Register online for the series External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information, contact Lilia Tsui, Costa County Office of Education,; Hushi Natividad, Santa Clara County Office of Education,; or Gracie Hough, San Mateo County Office of Education,


2022 California Teachers of the Year Announced

State Superintendent Thurmond named five exceptional educators as the 2022 California Teachers of the Year. These educators are ambassadors for the profession and serve as representatives of the state for the calendar year. Thurmond, who has 12 years of direct experience in education—teaching life skills classes, after-school programs, and career training—said he is thrilled to honor five outstanding and talented teachers who have gone above and beyond during a challenging time in education and in our lives. Read more about the winners and finalists in the October 15 CDE news release.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Youth Advisory Council Application Deadline is Today

The CDE has launched a Youth Advisory Council (YAC) to advise policymakers and interested parties on educational issues affecting young people. Under the Department’s Equity Branch, the YAC will be representative of a diverse spectrum of young voices from across the state. Among other tasks, the YAC will assess topics and educational resources and take part in policy development to create equitable change with local and state government officials. Districts are encouraged to share with families and invite all students ages fifteen to eighteen to apply for the YAC. For information on how to apply, please send an email to

LGBTQ History Month

The CDE encourages you to honor and celebrate October as LGBTQ History Month, an annual monthlong observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. The CDE will present a webinar series to explore and discuss the importance of teaching LGBTQ history. Stay tuned for details. Learn more at the LGBTQ History Month website External link opens in new window or tab..

Digital Citizenship Week

The CDE encourages you to recognize October 17–23, 2021, as Digital Citizenship Week. This event is one of many efforts in California to build capacity for students and families to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world. Digital Citizenship Week is recognized on the third week of October each year. Read more on the CDE’s Digital Citizenship Week 2021 web page.

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CDE committed to improving communications with more than 1,000 school districts and county offices and 10,000-plus school districts. If you have any feedback about this publication or would like to see information on particular topics, please email

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Last Reviewed: Friday, October 15, 2021
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