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CDE Today for June 17, 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.

This is the last edition of CDE Today for this school year. After a brief pause, CDE Today will return to publication in mid-August.


Elevating the Voices of Tomorrow

The CDE is happy to spotlight the State Superintendent’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC). The YAC is a council for equitable change and authentic youth voice in education. YAC members have provided input to the State Superintendent, and statewide partners on educational issues affecting young people. During the past year, these youth have participated in various webinars in partnership with Mentor California and the California Department of Public Health discussing the impacts of COVID 19 on Student Mental Health. They’ve joined events about school safety, Black History Month, LGBTQ+ student supports, and literacy. YAC members also provided input for youth mental health and suicide prevention policy. We are grateful for their contributions in advocating for authentic youth voice.

Important Education Bills Progress through the California Legislature

This week, several bills sponsored by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, passed out of legislative committees and took another step toward becoming law. These include: SB 952, which expands dual-language immersion programs; AB 1703, which encourages strong, positive interactions between schools and tribes to create a more relevant and accurate curriculum for all California students; and SB 364, which would provide free breakfast and lunch to TK-12 students when schools are closed, and adjust data collection policies to further reduce the stigma of “free meals” and protect family privacy. Learn about other bills sponsored by State Superintendent Thurmond in the April 29 CDE news release.

Program Highlights

CDE Launches 2023 California Teacher of the Year Program

The CDE, in partnership with the California Teacher of the Year Foundation, is pleased to invite County Offices of Education (COEs) to participate in the 2023 California Teachers of the Year (CA TOY) Program which honors the best and brightest of those who have chosen the teaching profession. The program brings attention to teachers who successfully employ strategies to increase academic success and narrow the opportunity gap among a range of students and to prepare students for twenty-first century college and careers. Learn more on the CDE CA TOY web page. COEs who are not participating in the program and want to learn more about it should contact the CDE Awards Unit by email at A County Coordinator training will take place on June 23.

Celebrating Healthy Meals and Summer Meals

This year, Farm to Summer Week is June 20 to June 24. Farm to Summer Week celebrates local foods on school menus by offering students test tasting and agricultural learning opportunities. Also, download the CA Meals for Kids app, making it easy for families and caregivers to find summer and afterschool meal locations. Summer meals provide children with access to essential nutrition during school closures throughout the summer break. You can download the CA Meals for Kids app from Apple's App Store, Google's Play Store, or Microsoft's app store from the CDE CA Meals for Kids Mobile Application web page. To find meal services in your area, go to the CDE 2022 Summer Meal Service Sites web page.

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Career Exploration Program

Students who express an interest in the military may apply for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Career Exploration Program (CEP). The program is offered by the United States Department of Defense as a free resource for schools that can serve as a stand-alone comprehensive career guidance resource and is required for students interested in military career options. The ASVAB Career Exploration Program compiles career information from a variety of reliable sources and presents students with all of their options so they can make a realistic plan for life after high school. Program information is available on the ASVAB CEP website External link opens in new window or tab.. If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact John Merris-Coots, Education Programs Consultant, California Career Resource Network Program, by phone at 916-324-8151 or by email at

School Health, Safety & Support

School Safety Resources

To assist schools in helping students cope with violence, loss, and grief, the CDE has provided some helpful resources in English (PDF) and resources in Spanish (PDF) that are applicable for coping with any tragedy. For more information, contact your school district's coordinator for crisis response or your county office of education. Counseling and student support specialists (school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and school nurses) and local mental health specialists can assist you in working with individual students and staff. More information about coping with tragic events can be found on the CDE Coping with Tragedy web page.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Under Five

Based on FDA advisory committee and CDC meetings this week, the COVID-19 vaccine for those under age 5 is expected to be available as early as June 21st! Early care and education sites can help increase access to this important vaccine by hosting pop-up vaccine events. Please complete this Mobile or Pop-up events request form External link opens in new window or tab. on the California Department of Public Health web page if you are interested. More information is available via this School Vax Team resource External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), or questions can be submitted to

Events and Opportunities


Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) Office Hours (June 22)

Join CDE for virtual office hours every other Wednesday afternoon targeted for Local Education Agencies (school districts, charter schools, county offices of education) so that attendees can come and ask questions and receive technical assistance about completing required plans for 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 this event will be open on the afternoon of Friday, June 10, 2022. Please register ahead of time. Resources for UPK have been posted on the CDE Elementary web page, including information from the first three UPK webinars and guidance to use in planning for UPK implementation. Register for the next UPK Office Hour, which will be held on Wednesday, June 22, from 4–5 p.m. To register, visit the CDE UPK Office Hours web page.


Arts, Media, & Entertainment Industry Sector (AME) Conference (June 20–23)

The AME Institute, happening June 20 to 23, is the largest annual professional convening of Arts, Media and Entertainment (AME) educators and industry professionals in the state. More than 400 educators, administrators, industry leaders, tech innovators, and funders will convene in Burbank next week. Attendees will gain experiences, resources, information, and training that helps to ensure California’s next generation of AME workforce is prepared for their future. AME Career Technical Education programs are growing across California due to a booming entertainment industry serving over 231,000 students. Register at the AME Institute 2022 web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Early Math Symposium (June 24)

Join educators, care providers, and families virtually to celebrate the math found in children's play, exploration, reading, and conversations. This year’s virtual Early Math Symposium will focus on family engagement, preschool to third-grade alignment, and dynamic breakout sessions that will provide ideas and tools to support the mathematical development of all young children. The symposium is a professional development opportunity jointly sponsored by the CDE, the California State Board of Education, First Five California, WestEd, the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, the AIMS Center for Math and Science, the Department of Social Services, and the California Early Math Project. Learn more and register at the Early Math Project’s Symposium web page External link opens in new window or tab..

August 2022 High School Equivalency Summer Convenings

The CDE’s Proficiency, Equivalency, and Physical Testing Office is hosting a no-cost, in-person, three-session training series this August: the High School Equivalency (HSE) Summer Convenings. These sessions will be key for HSE chief examiners, HSE test site administrators, high school counselors, and others who have a connection to this alternate route for students. The sessions, which will be presented by the CDE, the HiSET Program, and GED Testing Services, will be held at various locations throughout the state. The 2022 CDE HSE Summer Convenings flyer (PDF) provides more information about this HSE professional development opportunity. Please forward this flyer to school site staff who may benefit from the information. Registration is available on the HSE Summer Convenings registration web page External link opens in new window or tab.. Questions about the convenings can be emailed to Melissa Stockbridge, Sacramento County Office of Education, at

2022 California Assessment Conference (October 18–20)

Register or Submit Session Proposal Today

Registration for the 2022 California Assessment Conference (CAC) is now open. The CAC offers a unique chance for educators to connect with peers to discover assessment tools and strategies for improved learning and teaching. Don’t miss out on the keynote address by Professor Nancy Frey External link opens in new window or tab.. This year’s CAC will take place in person in Riverside, CA. A limited virtual offering is also available. With the theme of Partners in Progress: Harnessing the Power of Student Assessment, the conference will feature knowledgeable K-12 educators from across the state who have developed and implemented best practices for using assessment resources in their classrooms. For more information about the conference, to register, and to submit a session proposal, visit the CAC website External link opens in new window or tab..


Spotlight on CDE Environmental Education Program

The California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI), led by Ten Strands, highlighted CDE's environmental education work in its latest blog post. The California Regional Environmental Education Community Network, a program of the CDE, promotes environmental education and environmental literacy by providing teachers with access to high-quality professional learning opportunities and educational resources.

Read more about the CREEC program from this Q & A on the CAELI web page External link opens in new window or tab..

CDE Division Present at 2022 Native American Student Advocacy Institute

On June 9, Cindy Kazanis and Diana Casanova from the CDE’s Analysis, Measurement, and Accountability Reporting Division (AMARD) presented to educators and tribal education leaders on California's efforts of ensuring access to support and services for tribal foster youth in Phoenix. This presentation is part of larger conversations AMARD is engaging in around addressing the educational challenges facing Native students in foster care including educational outcomes and their relationship with historical and current policy.

Important Dates and Deadlines

LGBTQ Pride Month

The CDE encourages you to annually recognize June as LGBTQ Pride Month. The CDE celebrates Pride Month as part of ongoing efforts to acknowledge, recognize and honor the diverse histories and backgrounds of CA students, staff and families. Every student deserves an education free from discrimination and harassment.


On Sunday, June 19, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and the CDE celebrate Juneteenth, a Federal Holiday. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Black history is American history, and we continue to prioritize efforts to address racism and bias, promote equitable education in California, and work to reverse the impact race has on opportunity gaps in our schools. As we celebrate #Juneteenth together, let’s use this moment to renew our commitment to creating opportunities for all of California’s students to thrive.

National Safety Month

The CDE encourages you to annually recognize June as National Safety Month to help keep each other safe from the workplace to anyplace. It is a time to reflect on the working conditions around the country and how we can create a safer environment for those who work hard for honest pay.

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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: Friday, June 17, 2022
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