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CDE Today for February 18, 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.


Universal PreKindergarten Planning and Implementation Guidance

The CDE has announced guidance to help introduce and support local educational agency leaders in implementing Universal PreKindergarten (UPK) and early education concepts, research, resources, programs, partnership opportunities and policies. CDE will release further guidance later this spring that will help support UPK planning and implementation. Volume 1 of the UPK guidance can be found on the CDE Elementary web page.

Last Week for Renaissance Digital Reading Partnership—Available through February

As a reminder, the final week of February is the last week for unlimited access to myOn digital books and daily news articles for students in California. Access was extended through Monday, February 28, 2022. A partnership with Renaissance Learning, Inc. was originally announced in December to give students from pre-K to twelfth grade The Gift of Literacy External link opens in new window or tab. and provide them an opportunity to engage in reading at home, at school, and in the community. The digital reading partnership is part of Superintendent Thurmond’s statewide literacy campaign to help all California students reach the goal of literacy by third grade by the year 2026. Read more in the CDE news release about the digital reading partnership.

School Health, Safety & Support

California COVID-19 Virtual Training Academy

On February 10, the first webinar in a two-part series was hosted by the California COVID-19 Virtual Training Academy. The webinar included a conversation with school administrators and a public health expert from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on group-based contact tracing and testing for students in a K–12 setting. View the recording of the first Principal Practices for Safe Schools webinar on YouTube External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information and resources for schools, visit the California For All Safe Schools For All Hub External link opens in new window or tab..

Get Your Students Protected Today!

The COVID-19 vaccination remains one of the strongest tools we have for moving beyond the pandemic and protecting the most vulnerable among us. Vaccines are safe and effective for children ages five and up, and providing vaccinations at school can reduce barriers for students and families to get protected.

School-located vaccination events are being held across the state. If you are interested in hosting a vaccination event at your school, it’s not too late to request a mobile team. Please visit California Coronavirus COVID-19 Response Toolkit Mobile Vaccinations External link opens in new window or tab. to make your request. Whether it’s at school or elsewhere, we hope that you will encourage your students to get vaccinated. For resources to promote vaccination, visit CDPH Vaccinate All 58 External link opens in new window or tab..

Program Highlights

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 K-12 Online Content Project web page External link opens in new window or tab.. Questions about the program can be directed to Mary Beth Barber, Special Projects, at

Early Education Teacher Development Grant Program Letters of Intent

The CDE is pleased to share that we received nearly 400 eligible Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the Early Education Teacher Development Grant program. As our team is finalizing the request for application to be released to the field, we encourage those who submitted LOIs to identify possible opportunities to submit an application as a consortium. A listing of local educational agencies that submitted eligible LOIs is on the CDE Early Education Teacher Development Grant Request for Application web page, on the LOI row, listed as Attachment 2(XLSX). For any questions regarding the grant program or the LOI submission Excel document, please send an email to

Library Evaluation Now Open

The CDE has created an online data collection evaluation tool to meet Education Code requirements and to develop an accurate picture of the condition of school libraries across the state. The annual online evaluation is now open to collect information from schools about their libraries in the 2020–2021 school year. It will be active through Wednesday, August 31, 2022. Prior-year evaluation responses are available as well. For more information, please visit the CDE Library Evaluation web page.

Events and Opportunities


Building a Network of Safety for School Communities Webinar Series: Suicide Risk Screening in Schools—February 22

This training provides a free opportunity for school staff to learning about best practices in school-based screening for suicide risk and how to respond effectively to keep youth and students safe. The training also incorporates content on Suicide Safety Planning Intervention, data and tracking related to suicide risk screening, and cultural considerations. Attendees will receive materials necessary for implementation. Stan P. Collins, Suicide Prevention Specialist and Consultant for the Mental Health Services Oversight Accountability Commission, will be presenting. Register in advance for the Building a Network of Safety for School Communities webinar on Zoom External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information, contact Monica Nepomuceno, Interim Education Administrator, at

Community Engagement and Partnerships for Universal PreKindergarten Implementation—February 24

The CDE’s Early Education Division and Opportunities for All Branch are collaborating to host the next installment of the Universal PreKindergarten (UPK) webinar series focused on working with and supporting our education partners as they consider, plan for, and implement UPK. “UPK Implementation: Community Engagement and Partnerships,” happens on Thursday, February 24, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. This webinar will provide the latest information on the importance of early learning and creating partnerships, goals, and sample models of a mixed delivery system and details for more funding opportunities. UPK resources can be found on the CDE Elementary web page. Please register in advance via Zoom for the UPK Implementation: Community Engagement and Partnerships webinar External link opens in new window or tab..

Panel Discussion: A Personal Discussion on Alzheimer's with Carla Preyer—February 24

Self-care life coach Carla Preyer’s presentation will cover symptoms and behaviors that are prominently noticed in dementia and Alzheimer’s, how to obtain diagnoses, available resources, and applying for financial assistance. This webinar is hosted by CDE’s Black History Committee and is geared toward African Americans who have dementia or Alzheimer’s or may have loved ones who are dealing with them. Register in advance for A Personal Discussion on Alzheimer's via Zoom External link opens in new window or tab..

California Arts Education Framework Launch—March 1

The CDE encourages local education agencies and other educational partners to annually recognize March as Arts Education Month. One activity to consider to kick off Arts Education Month is to register for the virtual launch of the 2020 California Arts Education Framework External link opens in new window or tab.. This live virtual event will be held via Zoom on March 1 from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. and is sponsored by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Statewide Arts Initiative, the Curriculum and Instructional Steering Committee Arts Subcommittee, the California Arts Project, and the CDE. Leaders from across California are working on the design and implementation of this virtual preview of the Arts Education Framework. Additional resources for administrators and teachers are in development.

Thriving Schools: An Integrated Approach to School Health—March 3

Join us on March 3 from 3 to 4 p.m. for a webinar that will provide an overview of the Thriving Schools Initiative with a focus on the tools and resources that are available at no cost to any school or district in the country. It’s presented by Kaiser Permanente, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and the CDE, and all school and district staff are welcome to join. Please register via Zoom for the Thriving Schools webinar External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information, contact Monica Nepomuceno, Interim Education Administrator, at

Mind Out Loud Virtual Student Event—March 12

The CDE is pleased to partner with school mental health nonprofit Wellness Together, Inc., and the San Diego County Office of Education to co-sponsor the second annual Mind Out Loud (MOL) virtual student mental health event. This event will encourage middle and high school students from across California and the United States—and around the world—to discuss mental health and wellness and gain practical tools and resources to advocate for their peers on campus. It will also provide an overview of MOL's four pillars of mental health: personal wellness, suicide prevention, support for marginalized communities, and awareness (and advocacy). For more information on involving your middle and high school students in the MOL 2022 event and the ongoing MOL Student Rep Program, please visit the MOL website External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information, contact Monica Nepomuceno, Interim Education Administrator, at


Financial Aid Application Filing Request Deadline—March 2

Filing financial aid applications is the first step toward college success and helps eligible students qualify for federal, state, and campus-based aid as well as some private scholarships. The state priority application deadline is March 2 for all four-year institution-bound students to receive a Cal Grant High School Entitlement award and is encouraged for students planning to attend a community college. Students should apply on the Federal Student Aid Complete the FAFSA Form web page External link opens in new window or tab. for the FAFSA or on the CSAC CA Dream Act web page External link opens in new window or tab. for the CADAA. For more information, contact CSAC’s Program Outreach and Marketing Unit at or the California Department of Education College Preparation and Postsecondary Programs Office, Career and College Transition Division, at 916-323-6398.

2022 Classified School Employees of the Year Applications Open
Applications for the 2022 Classified School Employees of the Year (CSEY) Program are now open. Presented by the CDE, the California School Employees Association, and California Casualty, the CSEY Program highlights contributions of classified school employees who support the education of California’s more than six million public school students. The program identifies and honors exemplary classified school employees throughout California in the following occupational specialties: paraprofessional, clerical and administrative services, transportation services, food and nutrition services, custodial and maintenance services, security services, health and student services, technical services, and skilled trades. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 8. The 2022 CSEY application and more information are available on the CDE CSEY web page.


California School for the Deaf Team Gets a Seat at Super Bowl

On February 13, four players from California School for the Deaf, Riverside had the experience of a lifetime when they were invited to attend Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. The players represented their team and were on the field serving as honorary captains for the coin toss as they stood alongside the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals captains in recognition of their historic season. Read this NBC Los Angeles article External link opens in new window or tab. for more about the Cubs and their special season.

Superintendent Thurmond Congratulates High-Performing Middle Schools Selected as 2022 Schools to Watch

On February 16, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced that 16 high-performing California middle schools have been recognized by the California Schools to Watch program. Another 31 schools reapplied to the program, demonstrated their sustained progress, and have been re-designated as 2022 California Schools to Watch. These high-performing model schools demonstrate academic excellence, social equity, and responsiveness to the needs of young adolescents. Read more in the CDE news release about the Schools to Watch program.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Presidents’ Day (February 21)

The CDE is closed Monday, February 21, in honor of Presidents’ Day, a California public school holiday and state holiday.

National School Breakfast Week (March 7 through March 11, 2022)

The California Department of Education (CDE) encourages all California schools to participate in National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) March 7–11, 2022! This year’s theme is Take Off with School Breakfast. NSBW is an excellent time to celebrate how your school’s breakfast program supports a successful launch into learning. Read more about National School Breakfast Week in this CDE letter.

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The CDE is committed to improving communications with more than 1,000 school districts and county offices and 10,000-plus schools. 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: Thursday, March 10, 2022
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