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CDE Today for January 7, 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

Happy New Year! 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.


More Than 1.5 Million Free Books Read

As part of State Superintendent Tony Thurmond's literacy initiative to get all California students reading by third grade by 2026, the CDE has partnered with Renaissance Learning, Inc. to ensure that every student can access thousands of reading resources from December 1, 2021, to January 31, 2022, via the myON digital library.

We are pleased to report that, from December 1 to January 3, students have read 1,502,588 books; 27,691,652 pages; 11,940,603 minutes; and 1,885,742,217 words!

The myON digital library and news articles in multiple languages can be accessed for free by all pre-K to grade twelve students in California. All books downloaded during the two months are available to be read offline. Schools have been asked to provide the access code to unlock these free resources for students and families. Learn more in this recent letter from Superintendent Thurmond regarding the myON digital library.

State Superintendent Lays Out Needed Resources for California Schools

On Wednesday, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond held a press conference where he outlined a number of key proposals to provide resources and support to allow students to heal, recover, and thrive, including efforts to add 10,000 mental health clinicians and to retain 15,000 teachers. “We are focused on recovery and dealing with impacts, but we cannot lessen our efforts to close the learning gaps that we were trying to close even before the pandemic,” said Thurmond. “We want to think about what we are going to do for California schools for the next several years to help them and help our students to thrive.” Read his Heal, Recover, and Thrive: The Needed Resources for California Schools proposal or watch an archived video broadcast on the CDE Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab. of the State Superintendent’s full remarks.

State Superintendent Thurmond Launches Work Group to Address School Staff Shortages

On January 5, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced the formation of a working group to address staff and workforce shortages being experienced in California schools due to the pandemic. The work group will bring together school district leaders and representatives of associations that represent schools and staff, including certificated staff, classified staff, and administrators. Representatives from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing will also work with the group with the goal of brainstorming strategies that can help schools increase staff size. Anyone with ideas or experience in recruiting school staff who wishes to participate in workgroup meetings to support staff recruitment should email Read the January 5, 2022, CDE news release to learn more about it.

CDE Hosts Town Hall on Literacy and Biliteracy

As part of an ongoing statewide literacy campaign to help all California students reach the goal of literacy by third grade by the year 2026, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and the CDE hosted a town hall on Thursday, January 6, to spotlight best practices and secure new ideas to support literacy and biliteracy goals. Joining Superintendent Thurmond for the panel discussion were Cheryl Cotton, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Measurement and Administration Branch; Alison Yoshimoto-Towery, Chief Academic Officer from the Los Angeles Unified School District; Dr. Francisco Escobedo, Executive Director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation; and Dr. Hallie Yopp Slowik, PhD, from the Department of Elementary and Bilingual Education at CSU, Fullerton and Co-Director at the Teacher Recruitment Project. Watch the town hall through the CDE Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab..

School Health, Safety, and Support

News Release: Joint Statement on Western States Recommendation of Expanded Pfizer-BioNTech Booster Eligibility for Twelve- to Fifteen-Year Olds External link opens in new window or tab.

California’s Safe Schools for All Team issued the latest COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K–12 Schools updates on the following topics:

  • Isolation for students (when a student has been infected with the virus, even if they don’t have symptoms): As has always been the case, CDPH K-12 Schools guidance External link opens in new window or tab. (in Section 10) recommends that individuals follow the general CDPH guidance regarding isolation External link opens in new window or tab.. Thus, per the now-updated general CDPH guidance, for “Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection or lack of symptoms…Isolation can end after day 5 if symptoms are not present or are resolving and a diagnostic specimen collected on day 5 or later tests negative.” See the general guidance for more.
  • Quarantine for students (when a student might have been exposed to the virus and may or may not be infected): The current CDPH K-12 guidance External link opens in new window or tab. regarding modified and standard quarantines remains unchanged at this time. That said, the CDPH is actively reviewing new CDC guidance (issued on January 4, 2022) and hopes to provide updates soon.

Program Highlights

Early Education Teacher Development Grant Application—Due January 19

The purpose of the grant program is to increase the number of early educators available to serve California State Preschool Programs (CSPPs) and transitional kindergarten (TK) programs by supporting the attainment of 24 early childhood education credits, an associate degree in Child Development, or an early education multiple subject teaching credential and to increase specific competencies for early educators within the CSPP, TK, or kindergarten program. Eligibility is limited to local educational agencies (LEAs). Applicants must submit required Letter of Intent information by 5 p.m. on January 19, 2022, via email to For more information, please visit the CDE Early Education Teacher Development Grant Funding web page.

California Digital Learning Integration and Standards Guidance

The new California Digital Learning Integration and Standards Guidance is now available in web format on a new mobile-friendly website hosted by the Sacramento County Office of Education. The site, which includes short introductory videos, provides support for educators who wish to integrate digital learning in both in-person and virtual settings. It also offers educators ways to think about how to cluster English language arts and English language development standards provided by the authors of the English Language Arts/English Language Development frameworks and suggestions for clustering math standards into big ideas, which are provided by the authors of the draft mathematics curriculum framework. Access the guidance directly on the California Digital Learning Integration and Standards Guidance website External link opens in new window or tab..

Assembly Bill 167 Model Curriculum Projects

The selection process for the county offices of education to undertake the writing of four model curricula will conclude next week. The CDE received a number of well-conceived requests for consideration from county offices despite the tight turnaround time for these requests. The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) was instrumental in getting the word out to county offices. Thank you, CCSESA! We look forward to announcing the results and getting the projects underway.

Draft Mathematics Framework

Though the exact dates have not been determined, the second field review for the revised California Mathematics Framework is expected to take place from January through April 2022. Updates on the posting date will be sent to the Mathematics Framework Revision listserv. To subscribe, send a blank email message to  

Improving Outcomes for English Learners with Disabilities

The Imperial County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Content Leads facilitate high-quality educational programs and services for students with disabilities and training for parents and educators. The SELPA collaborates with county agencies and school districts to develop and maintain healthy and enriching environments in which students with disabilities and their families can live and succeed. More information is available on the Imperial County SELPA web page External link opens in new window or tab.. Register for January events at the Imperial County SELPA Training Opportunities web page External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information, contact Brenda Sandoval, Office Technician, by email at

NCUST Session 2: Checking Understanding, Providing Feedback, and Adapting. Strengthening Tier I Instructional Practices to Eliminate Disproportionality and Promote Equity in Schools.

A collaboration among South County SELPA; the Equity, Disproportionality & Design Project; and the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) offers this five-session series featuring teachers and school leaders from award-winning schools. NCUST Executive Coaches Cara Riggs, Dr. Rupi Boyd, Dr. Jose Iniguez, Dr. Shirley Peterson, and Dr. Joseph Johnson will teach participants about five important practices successful schools have used to elevate learning to new levels for all students. Register for this event at the San Diego County Office of Education NCUST Session 2 web page External link opens in new window or tab.. If you have questions, please contact Adrianne Bautista, Program Clerk, at

Events and Opportunities


Universal Prekindergarten Planning Template Overview Webinar—January 13

The Early Education Division, in collaboration with the Opportunities for All Branch at the California Department of Education (CDE), will host a Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) Webinar Series focused on working with and supporting our education partners as they consider, plan for, and implement UPK. The first webinar will be on Thursday, January 13, 2022, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. This webinar will provide the latest information on the UPK Planning and Implementation Template that includes required and recommended questions for LEAs to consider in planning for UPK in partnership with their community. The template is found on the CDE Elementary web page accompanying forthcoming guidance for UPK implementation and details for more funding opportunities to support UPK. Please register in advance via Zoom for the UPK webinar External link opens in new window or tab..

New California Center for School Climate Kick-Off Webinar—January 20

The CDE is pleased to announce the launch of the new California Center for School Climate (CCSC), a project of the CDE operated by WestEd, which provides school climate and data support and training at no cost to LEAs in California. Come join us on January 20 at 10 a.m. to learn about all the exciting no-cost technical assistance and resources offered to districts and schools across the state, including the upcoming Safe and Supportive Learning Essentials series, and one-on-one consultation support. Please visit the CCSC website to register for the kick-off webinar External link opens in new window or tab. . To help us shape the technical assistance available to you, please complete this five-minute Inquiry Survey via Survey Monkey External link opens in new window or tab.. Contact Hilva Chan, Education Programs Consultant, Educator Excellence and Equity Division, at if you have any questions.

Building a Robust and Diverse P-3 Teacher Pipeline: Requirements, Funding Opportunities, and Best Practices from the Field Webinar—January 27

On January 27, 2022, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., the next installment of the Opportunities for All Branch P-3 webinar series will focus on funding opportunities and best practices for building a robust and diverse P-3 teacher pipeline. Leadership from the CDE and the CTC will share updates on requirements for UPK through third grade educators and provide information on funding opportunities available to support the recruitment, preparation, and professional development of a qualified workforce. To attend, please register for the Building a Robust and Diverse P-3 Teacher Pipeline webinar on Zoom External link opens in new window or tab.. For information on Department news related to our P-3 initiative, email "subscribe” to


California Pivotal Practice Program Award

Applications will be available next week for the California Pivotal Practice Program award, which will recognize schools and districts that have implemented pivotal practices during the 2020–21 school year when California required schools to offer distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The California Pivotal Practices Program is replacing the California Distinguished Schools Program this year. For more information, please contact the CDE Awards Team at

2022 All-America City Award Applications Open

Applications are now open for communities to apply to become an All-America City in 2022. The awards are offered every year by the National Civic League to recognize communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness, and innovation to successfully address local issues. Apply through the National Civic League 2022 All-America City Awards web page External link opens in new window or tab. by March 1, 2022. An optional Letter of Intent, due by Monday, January 10, gives applicants $100 off of the $250 application fee. Learn more about the All-America City Awards External link opens in new window or tab..


Steps to College Educational Fair

The CDE and the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento are pleased to invite you, your students, and their families to the 11th Annual Steps to College (STC). The STC is the largest bilingual and binational university fair in Northern California and will be held under a hybrid program this year—virtually on February 5 and face-to-face on February 12, 2022. Please visit the STC website External link opens in new window or tab. for helpful and inspiring views of the last STC event. If you have any questions, please contact Consul for Political Affairs Yúriko Garcés at 916-329-3516 or at


CDE Director Featured in Language Magazine on Multilingual Needs for Students

Alesha Moreno-Ramirez, Director of the CDE Multilingual Support Division, was featured in a Q&A with Language Magazine in December. Moreno-Ramirez discussed the benefits of embracing students’ heritage and culture and priorities for the new year. Read the entire Multilingual Experiences for All Students External link opens in new window or tab. article in Language Magazine.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Great Kindness Challenge (January 24–28, 2022)

The CDE, in partnership with the Great Kindness Challenge (GKC), encourages all teachers, staff, and students of child care centers, preschools, and schools to participate in the GKC the week of January 24–28. The GKC, presented by Kids for Peace, is a global, proactive bullying-prevention initiative that educators and students can use to create a culture of kindness. Using a customizable kindness checklist, every student has an opportunity to practice kindness and make a positive impact. Read more and participate via the Great Kindness Challenge website External link opens in new window or tab..

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 17, 2022)

CDE joins the nation to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and will be closed Monday, January 17, 2022.

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Last Reviewed: Friday, January 7, 2022
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