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CDE Today for April 8, 2022

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.

CDE Today, State of California Department of Education, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond

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


State Superintendent Thurmond Joins U.S. Secretary of Education on California School Visits

On March 29, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond joined U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona and U.S. Representative Linda Sánchez for a student-led tour of El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera. They visited several classrooms to learn about the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) program and how student and staff COVID-19 testing clinics have helped to mitigate the spread of the virus. Later in the day, Superintendent Thurmond and Secretary Cardona were accompanied by Congresswoman Norma Torres to visit Chaffey College InTech Center in Fontana, where they held a roundtable discussion with graduates and school leaders to see first-hand how the school prepares students for careers in technology.

Special Hearing in Literacy and Reading by Third Grade

On March 30, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond hosted a special hearing with State Board President Linda Darling-Hammond, other experts, and state leaders to discuss literacy strategies. The special hearing was held to gather input on a number of literacy strategies that are being proposed in legislation and the state budget. Thurmond is sponsoring Senate Bill (SB) 952 (Limón), to help existing schools convert to dual-language immersion programs; Assembly Bill (AB) 2498 (Bonta), to expand Freedom School programs, evidence-based Afrocentric literacy programs that have been shown to help students improve their reading by one to two grade levels in as little as six weeks; and AB 2465 (Bonta), which would expand literacy programs to fund home visits to help families reach literacy goals. For more information, read the CDE Literacy Strategies news release and watch the Special Hearing on Literacy and Reading by Third Grade on the CDE Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab..

Diversifying the Educator Workforce Advisory Group Provides Recommendations

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond established the Educator Diversity Advisory Group with the purpose of providing recommendations to the California Department of Education for recruiting, supporting, and retaining teachers of color across California. On March 30, Dr. Travis Bristol chaired the advisory group and presented the Diversity Advisory Council report External link opens in new window or tab. recommendations with members of the committee in a webinar. There will be two subsequent webinars in April and May 2022 that will be focused on how to braid state and federal funds to diversify the teacher workforce and some excellent diversification efforts from across the state. You can watch the first full webinar on the CDE Facebook web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Safe School Bathrooms

The Safe School Bathrooms Ad Hoc Committee convened their first meeting on March 30, 2022, to begin the recommendation process of expanding the availability of gender-inclusive bathrooms on California school campuses. This ad hoc committee is comprised of California students, parents, school staff, CDE staff, and other key partners including the American Civil Liberties Union, Equality California, Senators Leyva and Newman, and Assemblymember Ting. Restrooms on school campuses serve just one purpose, and this committee aims to make them inclusive, accessible, and safe for everyone. Watch for more updates in future editions of CDE Today.

State Superintendent Thurmond Offers Support of SB 952

On March 30, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond testified at the State Senate Education Committee to provide his support of SB 952, a bill that expands the number of schoolwide dual-language immersion programs in California. The bill passed unanimously out of Senate Education and goes next to the Appropriations Committee. Dual-language immersion schools are proven to promote strong academic performance among students from all backgrounds and are one way public schools experiencing declining enrollment can attract and retain students. Superintendent Thurmond, the CDE, and partners are also redoubling efforts to help students recover and expand literacy skills amidst national reports showing declines in student reading levels during the pandemic. Watch Superintendent Thurmond’s testimony of SB 952 at the State Senate Education Committee on the CDE Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab..

State Superintendent Discusses Lessons Learned from COVID at Public Policy Institute of California

On March 29, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond joined Public Policy Institute of California Vice President and Senior Fellow Lande Ajose for a wide-ranging virtual discussion on how Californians have endured several waves of COVID-19 and the lessons learned in K–12 education. Thurmond spoke on specific efforts he is leading to prioritize the social-emotional needs of California students, address learning recovery, and build out the needed resources to support our teachers and the educational workforce. He also highlighted pieces of legislation he is co-sponsoring, including a bill that would help recruit 10,000 professionals to support the growing mental health needs of students in California.

School Health, Safety & Support

Updates to Public Health Guidance for K–12 Schools

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has updated the COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-22 School Year External link opens in new window or tab., which includes updates on exposure management and Group Tracing Guidance External link opens in new window or tab. for a school setting. Find important updates and information on the CDPH Safe Schools for All Hub External link opens in new window or tab..

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now 988

Many local educational agencies (LEAs) are already planning for the 2022–23 school year. As a reminder, Education Code Section 215 requires any public school, including a charter school or a private school that serves students in any of grades seven to twelve and that issues student identification cards, to have printed on either side of the cards the telephone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and authorizes schools to include on either side of the cards the Crisis Text Line and a local suicide prevention hotline telephone number. While the official launch of the new 988 number isn’t until July 14, the number is already operating and students are using it. As you start planning for the printing of student identification cards, please be sure to use the new number.

It is important that students understand why the hotline number is on the card and how it can be used. We suggest including the following language on the identification card to provide context:

If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or having trouble coping, there is help. If you are in distress or just want to talk about your problems, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or text HOME to 741741 for free, confidential support.

For more information, please contact Monica Nepomuceno, Education Administrator, Office of School-Based Health Programs, at

Updated Toolkit: Safe Schools for All

CDPH has revised the Safe Schools for All social media toolkit External link opens in new window or tab. to help remind Californians to help reduce COVID-19 risk in schools. The best way to protect children from COVID-19 is to have them fully vaccinated, boosted when eligible, wear a well-fitting mask whenever they are at school or in an indoor public space, and get tested if symptomatic or exposed.

CDPH Releases Safe and SMART Events Playbook

CDPH has released the Safe and SMART Events Playbook External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)—based on the California SMARTER Plan—providing best practices and recommendations for event operators to produce safe and smart live events. The Safe and SMART Events Playbook recognizes that COVID-19 will remain with us for the foreseeable future and provides best practices and recommendations for event operators. We have learned a lot over the last two years, and our recommendations have changed to reflect the new and updated knowledge.

Booster Information

A second Pfizer and Moderna booster dose is now available for people from certain groups who received their first booster dose at least four months ago.

Please help us share messages on Twitter External link opens in new window or tab. encouraging those eligible to access a second booster dose. Learn more on the CDPH COVID-19 Booster Vaccines web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Events and Opportunities


Early Education Teacher Development (EETD) Grant Request for Applications—Due May 6

The EETD grant provides funding on a competitive basis to LEAs to identify, recruit, and retain a robust early education workforce and increase specific competencies for early educators. The Request for Applications (RFA) is due by Friday, May 6, 2022. A technical assistance webinar will be held on April 14 to orient applicants to the RFA’s purpose, content, and requirements. More information about the webinar, the RFA, and all accompanying documents can be accessed on the EETD Grant RFA web page or by emailing

National Association for School Nurses Implementation Grants

The National Association for School Nurses (NASN) is offering implementation grants for projects designed to increase access to and confidence in the pediatric vaccine. The association is inviting school nurses and organizations—schools and districts, 501(c) community organizations and health centers, local health departments, and nonprofit faith-based organizations—to apply for a range of $5,000 to $10,000 grants. For more grant information, read the NASN Champions for School Health Funding Announcement External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) and visit the NASN Available Grant Funding web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Vaccination Challenge

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) is hosting a Vaccination Challenge. Community schools and/or school community partners can be awarded between $2,000 to $5,000 for participating. Details and application information are available on the IEL Champions For School Health Vaccination Challenge web page External link opens in new window or tab..


Universal PreKindergarten (UPK) Office Hours—April 13

The Early Education Division will be hosting virtual office hours on Wednesday afternoons targeted for LEAs to ask questions and receive technical assistance about UPK implementation. The first 15 minutes will be a quick review of UPK and the latest developments. Registration will be limited to 500 participants per session and will be open to all regions of California. Registration for each week’s office hours opportunity will open the Friday before each Wednesday’s event. The CDE has posted resources for UPK on the CDE Elementary web page, including information from the first two UPK webinars and the first round of guidance to use in planning for UPK implementation. Please register for the next UPK Office Hour, which will be on April 13, 2022, from 4 to 5 p.m. To register, visit the CDE Universal PreKindergarten Office Hours web page.

Strengthening School Communities for Resilience—April 13 and April 28

The California Center for School Climate (CCSC), a CDE initiative, provides free support and training on school climate and data use to LEAs in California. The CCSC invites California school, district, and county office of education staff to attend a free two-day virtual event, Strengthening School Communities for Resilience. The event will include virtual sessions on topics related to restorative practices, family engagement, and culturally responsive practices. Each day will offer two concurrent sessions from which to choose. Please register via the CCSC registration web page External link opens in new window or tab. for one webinar session on each day. For more information, contact Hilva Chan, Education Programs Consultant, at

Suicide Prevention 101 for Parents: Recognizing Signs and What to Do—April 20 and April 21

In partnership with the CDE, the California Mental Health Services Authority, the Directing Change Program, and Teen Line invite all parents to this free webinar and Facebook Live event spanning over two days that will provide information about suicide prevention for parents, including warning signs for suicide, how to have a conversation with their teen, actions to take if their teen is having a suicidal thought, and resources. This webinar will be offered in English on April 20 and in Spanish on April 21. Register via Zoom in English for the Suicide Prevention 101 webinar External link opens in new window or tab. or register via Zoom in Spanish for the Suicide Prevention 101 webinar External link opens in new window or tab..

Supporting Inclusion from Preschool through Third Grade—April 21

This P-3 webinar is designed to support LEAs, community-based organizations, and their partners to understand the importance of inclusive classrooms for young children with and without disabilities, receive information about existing and proposed legislation and funding opportunities to support more preschool and early elementary inclusive classrooms, and learn more about best practices for effective preschool through third grade inclusion. The webinar is taking place on Thursday, April 21 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and will feature a panel discussion from practitioners on their real-world experiences in supporting inclusion for P-3 students. Register via Zoom for the P-3 webinar External link opens in new window or tab..

Building a Network of Safety for School Communities Webinar Series: Youth Suicide Awareness Training—April 26

School-based suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention plans aren't just a good idea; they're required by law. This presentation, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., will discuss some of the aspects of AB 2246 and AB 1767 and their application in Tulare County through the efforts of the Tulare County Suicide Prevention Task Force, Visalia Unified School District, and Visalia Youth Services. Register in advance via Zoom for the Building a Network of Safety for School Communities webinar External link opens in new window or tab..

Emergency Connectivity Fund and E-rate Webinar—April 26

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a third application window for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF). The CDE will host a webinar with the state K–12 High Speed Network (K12HSN) program on Tuesday, April 26, at 11 a.m. to review the ECF program and discuss how schools can navigate the application process. This third application window is for equipment and broadband services to support remote learning for a maximum 12-month period starting July 1 and ending December 31, 2023. The application submission deadline will be open starting April 28 and will close May 13, 2022. Register via Zoom for the E-rate webinar External link opens in new window or tab..

In the first and second ECF application windows, California applicants requested over $923 million in funding. To date, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) has issued $704 million in commitments for California applicants. The USAC has conducted multiple webinars, posted on the ECF Live Sessions web page External link opens in new window or tab., that can be referenced as well as to register for future events. Schools that are unfamiliar with the ECF program and may be applying for the first time are encouraged to visit the following web resources for further information:

Resilient Practices for Educators, Staff Members, Administrators, and Teams—Give and Receive Feedback for Impactful Relationships—April 28

Use a strengths-based approach for more impactful feedback. Receiving and giving feedback does not always feel good, but strong teams rely on the clarity, accountability, and vulnerable dialogue that feedback provides. We will discuss several types of feedback, the “BOOST” model, and common pitfalls that make feedback challenging in this webinar from 3 to 4 p.m. Register via Zoom in advance for this webinar External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information, contact Monica Nepomuceno at


Care Beyond the Clinic Walls—April 28–29
The CDE Office of School-Based Health Programs provides resources and promotes initiatives to help address the broad health needs of students. As such, we are interested in sharing opportunities for the field to learn more about evidence-based and promising programs and models. School-based health centers are models that exemplify how campus-based coordination and delivery of mental and physical health services can help our students thrive. Join the California School-Based Health Alliance (CSHA) at its upcoming annual statewide conference, Care Beyond the Clinic Walls, April 28–29 in San Bernardino. The conference is a place for healthcare practitioners, educators, and advocates to connect and learn how to support students. For more information, visit the CSHA Conference web page External link opens in new window or tab..


Model School Attendance Review Boards

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced that six school attendance review boards (SARBs) have been designated as model programs by the State SARB for exemplary practices that have contributed to reducing chronic absenteeism rates and improving student attendance. The Model SARB Recognition Program identifies and recognizes multi-tiered school attendance improvement programs at the district or county level. Attendance interventions have been modified to address students in independent study and students in quarantine. Learn more and see the full list on the CDE Model SARB news release web page.

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Last Reviewed: Friday, April 08, 2022
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