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CDE Today for April 29, 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.


Meeting of All CA School Districts: Building the Plan to Ensure all Students Learn to Read by Third Grade (May 20)

As part of his literacy efforts, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond invited all school districts and staff engaged in literacy efforts to an all-district virtual meeting on Friday May 20, from 11 a.m. to noon, to discuss statewide efforts to ensure all students learn to read by third grade by the year 2026. During this meeting, districts will share their vision, plans, and resources that they intend to use to reach this goal as part of the strategy to promote literacy in the state. Technical assistance and tools for reaching this goal will be provided in the meeting, along with updates regarding all state resources that can be accessed now and those expected to be available in the future. Learn more in the CDE news release and any questions or suggestions you have may be directed to

State Superintendent Thurmond Shares Strategies for Black Student Success

As part of Black Student Success Week (April 25–29), State Superintendent Thurmond participated in a panel April 26 with California Community Colleges leaders and K–12 educational partners for a discussion about enrollment and strategies on how to better support the educational pipeline for Black student success in higher education and beyond. Watch a clip of Thurmond’s remarks on the CDE Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab..

Program Highlights

State Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council Application (Deadline May 5)

The CDE will be launching the first State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Parent Advisory Council. The Parent Advisory Council will work directly with the office of the State Superintendent to provide input and feedback on matters affecting youths throughout the state. The purpose of the group is to create a council of diverse parents that will work directly with policymakers and educational partners to provide equitable change to California’s education system through authentic parent voices. The deadline to apply is Thursday, May 5. Download and complete the English application External link opens in new window or tab. or Spanish application External link opens in new window or tab.. If you have questions, please email

State Superintendent Thurmond Delivers Keynote in Support of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

State Superintendent Thurmond provided virtual remarks at the annual Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) on April 23 in Salt Lake City. Thurmond discussed ways California is supporting and providing opportunities to Deaf and Hard of Hearing students to help them pass essential language acquisition milestones, and efforts to promote equity and inclusion, which is critical for success throughout their K–12 education and beyond.

STEM Library Resource Access

Did you know that every public school and student in the state now has unlimited access to Gale’s science and technology resources? Gale Presents: National Geographic Kids; Gale in Context: Environmental Studies; and Gale: Interactive: Science are included as part of California’s K–12 Online Resources Program. The California State Library and Proposition 98 fund these resources, training, and access for all. Californians can investigate the Gale resources by choosing their district, library, charter or other institution at the Gale California K12 Online Content Project page External link opens in new window or tab.. Questions about the California's K–12 Online Resources program can be directed to Mary Beth Barber, Special Projects, at

School Library Evaluation

The CDE has created an online data collection evaluation tool to meet the Education Code requirement and develop an accurate picture of the condition of school libraries across the state. The annual online evaluation is open to collect information from individual schools about their libraries in 2020–21. It will be active through Wednesday, August 31, 2022. Prior year evaluation responses are also available. For more information, please visit the CDE Library Evaluation web page.

Reading Instruction and Intervention Grant

The Reading Instruction and Intervention (RII) grant web page has been updated with a new timeline. A revised RII Request for Applications is scheduled to be released in June 2022. For more information, contact the Educator Excellence and Equity Division at

School Health, Safety & Support

California Launches Chatbot to Combat COVID-19 Misinformation, Focused Specifically on the Spanish-Speaking Community

Last week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) unveiled new Spanish- and English-language WhatsApp chatbot tools to Spanish and English speakers. These chatbots give up-to-date information about the safety of vaccines, how to book vaccination appointments, and how to obtain digital records of vaccinations. The chatbot is free to all and can be accessed by scanning a QR code External link opens in new window or tab. or texting “hola” to 833-422-1090. Once the chatbot is active, a menu of options appears on-screen, allowing users to select the COVID-19 information most pertinent to them. This includes local vaccination sites, transportation options for getting to the site, and other frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. For additional information, visit External link opens in new window or tab., the state's vaccination website, where Californians can check their eligibility, register, and receive notifications to schedule an appointment. All personal data provided is confidential and protected.

CDPH Offers Vaccination Opportunities for Youth

The CDPH is partnering with key community-based organizations throughout the state to increase vaccination for youth ages five and up. From April 11 to June 5, the state is pairing vaccination opportunities with fun activities for children and families and meet them where they are. Events will be held at after school programs, libraries, local parks and other recreational areas and involve pediatric medical providers. Each week includes a toolkit, which can be found on the California Covid-19 Response Toolkit External link opens in new window or tab. under the Youth Vaccine 5+ section External link opens in new window or tab., and is open for public use.

The upcoming schedule is:

  • May 2: First5 California Week

  • May 9: Pediatric Providers Week

  • May 16: Kids Mental Health Awareness Week

  • May 23: Sports and Activities Week

  • May 30: Parks and Recreation Week

Events and Opportunities


Early Education Teacher Development (EETD) Grant RFA (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. More information about the RFA and all accompanying documents can be accessed on the RFA webpage or by emailing


Universal Prekindergarten Office Hours

The Early Education Division (EED) is excited to host weekly Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) office hours. The EED will be hosting virtual office hours on Wednesday afternoons targeted for local education agencies (school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education) so that attendees can come and 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. Please register ahead of time. Registration for each week’s Office Hour opportunity will open the Friday afternoon before each Wednesday’s event. The CDE has posted resources for UPK at Elementary - Grade Spans (CA Dept of Education), including information from the first two UPK webinars and first round of guidance to use in planning for UPK implementation. Please register for the next UPK Office Hour, which will be on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, from 4 to 5 p.m. To register, visit Universal Prekindergarten Office Hours - Elementary (CA Dept of Education).

Medical Therapy Program Webinar (May 10)

The California Departments of Health Care Services (DHCS) and Education (CDE) invite education partners to learn about the California Children’s Services (CCS) Medical Therapy Program (MTP) External link opens in new window or tab.. The CCS MTP provides medically necessary physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medical therapy conference services to children and young adults who have disabling conditions, generally due to neurological or musculoskeletal disorders. The CCS MTP is administered as a partnership between county health departments and DHCS, in collaboration with CDE and local education partners. This webinar will be held on May 10 from 10 to 11 a.m. and will cover the roles and responsibilities of local county health departments, DHCS, CDE, and local education partners. You will learn how to make a referral to CCS MTP and ensure eligible students have access to these vital services. Register on the meeting's Zoom registration page External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information, contact Monica Nepomuceno, Education Administrator, at

CA Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Convening: DevELO-Ping Expanded Learning Opportunities Programs; From Planning to Practice! (May 11)

Join the California AfterSchool Network, the CDE Expanded Learning Division, and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence for the 2022 CA Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELO-P) Convening: DevELO-Ping Expanded Learning Opportunities Programs; From Planning to Practice event on May 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This virtual event is designed to support staff, educators, and leadership of all California education-related sectors with the ELO-P implementation. There will also be speakers, workshops, resources, innovative ideas, and peer learning. Register on Eventbrite External link opens in new window or tab..

Strengthening Local School Mental Health Systems (May 16)
Join the California Center for School Climate and Project Cal-Well for their session, School Mental Health Matters: Strengthening Local School Mental Health Systems. Now more than ever, mental health is a priority for California schools. Learn how the School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation (SHAPE) System can help schools and districts build capacity for a more comprehensive school mental health system. SHAPE External link opens in new window or tab. is a free, web-based platform available to schools, districts, and states looking for a suite of resources and tools to facilitate continuous quality improvement. Register on the Zoom session registration page External link opens in new window or tab.. Contact Hilva Chan at for more info.


Congratulations to the 2022 California Pivotal Practice Award Program Winners!

On April 26, State Superintendent Thurmond announced the 2022 California Pivotal Practice (CAPP) Award Program winners for schools and school districts. The unique program was created to celebrate districts and schools that demonstrated an innovative practice that was implemented during the 2020–21 school year, when California required schools to offer distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congratulations to the more than 800 winners who were honored for their demonstrated efforts to support students in the four target areas of student engagement, distribution of technology, nutrition services, and the social-emotional well-being of students.

CAPP Award winners completed an online application highlighting an innovative practice in one of the four target areas that was implemented during the 2020–21 school year. It is anticipated that the CDE will transition back to the California DS Program in 2023. Learn more at the CDE news release and view a list of the award winners at the CDE CAPP web page.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The CDE encourages you to annually recognize May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (36 United States Code 102).

May is Mental Health Month

The CDE encourages you to annually recognize May as Mental Health Month.

California High School Proficiency Exam Registration (Deadline May 1)

Registration is now open for the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) summer administration and will close on May 1, 2022. The locations and times are provided on the CHSPE website External link opens in new window or tab.. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, and a waiting list will be established for those who are interested.

School Principals Day (May 1)

The CDE encourages you to annually recognize May 1 as School Principals Day.

Public Service Recognition Week (May 1–7)

CDE celebrates Public Service Recognition Week, honoring the individuals who serve our nation working in public service at the federal, state, county, and local levels as government employees. Thank you to all CDE employees for all the work you do every day to serve our state and our students! CDE has 2,000 employees ranging from new employees to employees who have worked for 35+ years. Read more on the Public Service Recognition Week website External link opens in new window or tab..

Children's Mental Health Awareness Week (May 1–7)

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is a national campaign held during the first week of May (National Mental Health Awareness Month) to raise awareness and support for mental health services for children. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to create equitable opportunities for this generation of students and for those generations to come.

National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2–6)

The CDE encourages you to recognize May 2–6 as National Teacher Appreciation Week. Whether you are a teacher, know a teacher, or have a teacher, we celebrate our state’s educators who have played big roles in shaping our lives.

School Nutrition Employee Week (May 2–6)

The CDE encourages you to recognize May 2–6 as School Nutrition Employee Week.

National Teacher Appreciation Day (May 3)

National Teacher Appreciation Day, also known as National Teacher Day, is observed on the Tuesday of the first full week in May each year.

School Lunch Hero Day (May 6)

School Lunch Hero Day is a day when schools and community members can show their appreciation for the valuable and important contributions that school nutrition professionals offer each and every school day to provide nutritious meals to California’s students and to promote healthy eating and well-being. Read more at the School Nutrition Association School Lunch Hero Day web page External link opens in new window or tab..

National School Nurse Day (May 11)

The CDE encourages you to recognize May 11 as National School Nurse Day.

Classified School Employee Week (May 15–21)

The CDE encourages you to recognize May 15–21 as Classified School Employee Week. Classified School Employee Week is celebrated on the third full week in May each year, from Sunday to Saturday.

National Speech Pathologist Day (May 18)

The CDE encourages you to annually recognize May 18 as National Speech Pathologist Day.

Memorial Day (May 30)

The CDE will be closed on Monday, May 30, as Memorial Day is a public school and state holiday. We honor the million-plus fallen US soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our country over the years.

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Last Reviewed: Friday, April 29, 2022
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