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CDE Today for January 21, 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.


Pivotal Program Practice Award

Applications for the California Pivotal Practice Award Program for 2022 are now open. As part of the CDE's California School Recognition Program, this is one of many ways we can celebrate excellence in education and honor exemplary schools, districts, teachers, students, and classified employees.

The award is being utilized by California in 2022 in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program to celebrate districts and schools that have completed an online application highlighting 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. Applications are due on February 11, 2022.

More information about the Award is available on the CDE CAPP Program web page. If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Awards Unit at

Program Highlights

Early Education Teacher Development Grant Program—Letter of Intent Extension to February 2

In light of the challenges being posed by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, and the impact this is having on local educational agencies that may wish to submit a letter of intent (LOI) for the Early Education Teacher Development Grant Program, the CDE will extend the deadline for the LOI. This LOI is a required submission for any LEA that wishes to apply for funds through the Early Education Teacher Development Grant Program. The LOI is due to the CDE by 5 p.m. on February 2, 2022. The LOI can be found as a PDF through the CDE website (PDF). For those who have already submitted an LOI, you do not need to resubmit. However, if the information in your submitted LOI has changed, please contact the grant's program team via the grant’s program email address. For any questions regarding the Early Education Teacher Development Grant program, please send an email with your question to

Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup (SMHPW)

It is with great enthusiasm that we announce the reconvening of the California Department of Education’s Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup (SMHPW). The work group will restart with all new members. If you are interested in becoming a member of the SMHPW, please complete the 2022 SMHPW application External link opens in new window or tab. due on January 28, 2022. Applicants will be notified of our decision by February 4, 2022. The primary mission of the work group is to make policy recommendations to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. For more information, contact Monica Nepomuceno, Interim Education Administrator at

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Trainings 

The CDE is offering virtual YMHFA Trainings, at no cost to LEAs, schools, and community organizations. The training teaches youth-serving adults how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders in youth, ages six to eighteen. The trainings are made available with funding from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Blue Shield of California’s Blue-Sky Initiative. For additional information, visit the Project Cal-Well Youth Mental Health FIrst Aid Trainings page. To schedule a YMHFA training, please send an email to For more information, contact Monica Nepomuceno, Interim Education Administrator at

Events and Opportunities


Nutrition Service Division Tuesday @ 2 Virtual Town Hall—January 25 

The Nutrition Services Division continues the discussion for operating School Nutrition Programs (SNP) as local educational agencies navigate multiple nationwide waivers and persevere with planning quality services in the School Year 2021–22. The CDE will share program policy updates and highlight best practices. The January Town Hall will feature Jannette Garcia, Director Child Nutrition Sanger Unified School District. Jannette will discuss how her program serves TK, preschool, and kindergarten students as well as the success they are having with breakfast in the classroom and providing meals despite the challenges with COVID.

Join us January 25, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Register at the Tuesday @ 2 School Nutrition Town Hall webinar registration page External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information, please visit the Tuesdays at 2 web page. For questions, contact Julie BoarerPitchford at

Supporting Mental Health and Suicide Prevention in Private Schools—January 25

On Tuesday, January 25, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., this webinar will explore specific resources for private school teachers and leaders to support mental health and well-being, including ready-to-teach curriculum on mental health literacy designed for religious schools; Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) for faith leaders; and LivingWorks Faith Gatekeeper training. In addition, tips and information about how private school leaders can access publicly funded secular resources such as Youth Mental Health First Aid will be shared. Participants will walk away with tangible tools to support mental health in private schools. Visit the Suicide Prevention webinar series registration page External link opens in new window or tab. to sign up for the Zoom webinar. For more information, contact Monica Nepomuceno, Interim Education Administrator at

Building a Robust, Diverse, Effective, and Well-Supported P-3 Workforce

New Date: February 17

Due to the current priorities in the field, the Opportunities for All Branch has changed the date of its P-3 webinar from next week (formerly on January 27) to Thursday, February 17, 2022, from 3 to 5 p.m. This next installment of the P-3 webinar series will focus on Teacher Pipeline and Professional Learning. To attend the Zoom webinar, please register through the registration page External link opens in new window or tab.. For information on Department news related to our P-3 initiative, email “subscribe” to


Launching the California Arts Education Framework—March 1

The Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division is pleased to announce the virtual launch of the 2020 California Arts Education Framework for California Public Schools (Arts Framework) on March 1, 2022 from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. This effort is sponsored by the California County Superintendents Educational Services (CCSESA) Statewide Arts Initiative, The California Arts Project, and the California Department of Education. Arts education leaders from across California have been collaborating on the design and implementation of this virtual preview of the Arts Framework and will be developing additional resources to support implementation for administrators and teachers. Participants in the virtual launch will have the opportunity to celebrate and gain a greater understanding of the Arts Framework, including how it supports:

  • Developing students’ artistic literacy
  • Implementing the 2019 California Arts Standards for Public Schools
  • Providing equitable arts education to all California students

Register for the virtual launch on the California Arts Education Framework web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Steps to College Event—February 5 and 12
The CDE and the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento invite students and families to the 11th annual Steps to College event. Since its implementation, Steps to College has served more than 15,000 students from Northern California through specialized workshops on how to apply to college and access financial aid. A hybrid program this year, the university fair will be held virtually on February 5 and in-person on February 12. Read more in this letter to educators or visit the Steps to College External link opens in new window or tab. web page.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and you can help end trafficking by bringing awareness to these crimes. If you have a tip about a potential trafficking situation, please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888. Learn more on the FBI’s human trafficking web page External link opens in new window or tab.. CDE has more info and resources on prevention and education on its The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children web page.

Great Kindness Challenge (January 24–28)

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..

Presidents’ Day (February 21)

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

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Last Reviewed: Friday, January 21, 2022
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