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CDE Today for March 11, 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.

Please note: CDE Today will not be published on Friday, April 1, 2022.

Updates

State Superintendent Thurmond Supports Bill to Add 10,000 Mental Health Clinicians to Workforce

On March 8, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Senator Mike McGuire (D-North Coast) joined mental health leaders and professionals to urge support of Senate Bill (SB) 1229, which would provide grants of $25,000 to aspiring mental health clinicians who commit to serving two years in communities of high need. Seeking solutions to lower student-to-counselor ratios in schools is not a new effort or one unique to California. However, through SB 1229, California is pursuing an ambitious plan to help recruit 10,000 professionals to help support the growing mental health needs of students. Read more on the CDE news release or watch the archived press conference on the CDE Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab..

State Superintendent Thurmond Names Alice Waters California Education Ambassador

On March 9, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond recognized Alice Waters—chef, author, restaurateur, food activist, and educator—as an Ambassador to California Education, during National School Breakfast Week. Waters and Thurmond visited Michelle Obama School in the West Contra Costa Unified School District earlier this week, where they helped launch Project Cereal, an initiative with partner Conscious Kitchen, that is one of the nation’s first programs to feed students organic foods daily. Waters joins distinguished Education Ambassadors Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dolores Huerta, Dr. Karen Korematsu, and Betty Reid Soskin in demonstrating outstanding dedication and contributions to support California’s students. Read more on the CDE News Release web page.

School Health, Safety & Support

Changes to K–12 Guidance

After today, March 11, 2022, universal indoor masking in K–12 school settings will move from a requirement to a strong recommendation. In anticipation of that change, a document that outlines Local Considerations for Maintaining or Establishing Universal Indoor Masking Requirements External link opens in new window or tab. has been developed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to support health and education partners in decision-making once the new guidance goes into effect.

On Wednesday, the CDPH posted updated guidance that will become effective on March 12, 2022. It includes updates to the Preamble; General Considerations; sections 1 (masking), 2 (physical distancing), 4 (symptoms), 7–9 (quarantine), and 16 (extracurriculars); and Additional Considerations. Updates have also been made to the Group-Tracing Approach to Students Exposed to COVID-19 in a K–12 setting.

As a reminder, even with the guidance updates, the CDPH strongly recommends continuing to mask indoors in school settings to best protect students and staff against COVID-19.

Please visit the following links for more information:

Please visit the State of California Safe Schools for All Hub External link opens in new window or tab. to download an UPDATED Exposure Notification Letter, effective March 12, 2022.

New Fact Sheet: Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality in Schools

The CDPH has produced a new fact sheet External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) (in English and Spanish External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)) with tips for improving indoor air quality in schools. Access the fact sheet from the CDPH COVID-19 and Improving Indoor Air Quality in Schools web page External link opens in new window or tab. or Ventilation & COVID-19 toolkit web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Program Highlights

California State Preschool Program Expansion Efforts and Webinar—March 17

On February 28, the CDE released the request for applications (RFA) for the $130 million expansion of the California State Preschool Program (CSPP). This expansion opportunity is available to local educational agencies (LEAs) to create or expand LEA site-based CSPPs as well as creating or expanding partnerships with early learning and care providers in the community to support Universal PreKindergarten expansion. 

To support prospective applicants with the process for applying, the CDE will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, March 17, from 3 to 5 p.m. to provide an overview and instructions for completing the Fiscal Year 2021–22 CSPP Expansion Funding RFA. All LEAs considering applying for CSPP expansion funding are encouraged to attend. Pre-registration for this webinar is not required. To participate in the webinar, visit the Zoom meeting link External link opens in new window or tab. and enter passcode 207261. If you have questions regarding this webinar, please email CSPPRFA@cde.ca.gov.

Events and Opportunities

OPPORTUNITIES

California High School Counselor Award Deadline Extended—March 18

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) has extended the deadline for the 2021–22 Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award nominations. Applications must be completed and submitted by the new deadline, Friday, March 18, 2022. Each year, CSAC solicits nominations recommending a California high school counselor who demonstrates effectiveness for serving students in preparing for and pursuing their higher education. The candidate may be nominated by his or her district and county leadership, fellow school counselor/teacher, school principal, or another site administrator. The application process and criteria are available on the CSAC website External link opens in new window or tab..

State Migrant Parent Conference—March 19

The CDE will host the 41st State Migrant Parent Conference virtually on Saturday, March 19, 2022, with the theme, “Literacy for All: Reading Is an Adventure in Any Culture.” The statewide conference is an important component of the Migrant Education Program that connects families and provides resources to help parents recognize meaningful ways to engage in their children's academic success. This year’s keynote speaker is Dolores Huerta, American labor leader and civil rights activist. For information and to register, visit the event website External link opens in new window or tab.. Please email SPAC-Conference@cde.ca.gov with any additional questions.

California STEAM Symposium Call for Proposals—Deadline March 25

The California STEAM Symposium is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and those interested in presenting can apply today to submit a proposal for the STEAM Symposium External link opens in new window or tab.. This year's symposium theme is “Advance Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in STEAM: Access, Awareness, Opportunities, and Outcomes.” Throughout the event, we will explore high-quality strategies to cultivate systems that promote lifelong learning for everyone through inclusive and targeted practices, high-impact techniques, and policies, whether from a classroom or organizational point of view. These approaches promote a sense of belonging and ignite student passion for learning as well as support the social-emotional development of our education community. The deadline for submissions is March 25, and primary presenters will be notified by mid-May whether their presentations have been accepted. Multiple submissions and co-presenters are encouraged.

2022 National Youth Science Camp Applications Now Open—Deadline March 31

The CDE and the National Youth Science Foundation are excited to announce that applications for the 59th annual National Youth Science Camp are now open. The camp will be held virtually from June 27 to July 20, 2022. As part of the program, scientists from across the nation present lectures and science seminars and linger to interact informally with student delegates. Delegates are challenged to explore new areas in the biological and physical sciences, art, and music with resident staff members. The submission deadline for applications is March 31.

For more information and to apply, read the CDE letter and visit the National Youth Science Camp web page External link opens in new window or tab..

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 nine 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, 2022. The CSEY application and more information are available on the CDE CSEY web page.

WEBINARS

Mind Out Loud Virtual Event for Middle and High School Students—March 12

The CDE is pleased to partner with Wellness Together School Mental Health and the San Diego County Office of Education to co-sponsor the second annual Mind Out Loud (MOL) Virtual Student Mental Health Event. We invite you and your middle and high school students to participate in this free event on Saturday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event will encourage middle and high school students from across California and the U.S. and around the world to hear from each other about mental health and wellness, gain practical tools and resources to advocate for their peers on campus, and learn about MOL's Four Pillars of Mental Health: Personal Wellness, Suicide Prevention, Support for Marginalized Communities, 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 mnepomuceno@cde.ca.gov.

MIT Systems Series: Well-being and Compassionate Systems Change—March 17

Join CDE’s Expanded Learning Division Director Michael Funk on March 17 at 11 a.m. for a discussion as part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Systems Awareness in Education Conversation Series: “Population Level Data in Support of Well-Being and Compassionate Systems Change.” The webinar will feature representatives from the CDE and its K–12 partners as well as Kimberly Schonert-Reichl of University of Illinois, Chicago. Don't miss this timely and important conversation on how to improve mental health, well-being, and the conditions for all students and educators to thrive. Register for the event today on Eventbrite External link opens in new window or tab..

California State Preschool Program (CSPP) Expansion Webinar—March 17

The CDE will be hosting a webinar on March 17 from 3 to 5 p.m. to provide an overview and instructions for completing the Fiscal Year 2021–22 CSPP Expansion Funding RFA. All LEAs considering applying for CSPP expansion funding are encouraged to attend. Pre-registration for this webinar is not required. To participate in this webinar, visit the Zoom meeting link External link opens in new window or tab. and enter passcode 207261. If you have questions regarding this webinar, please email CSPPRFA@cde.ca.gov.

Resilient Practices for Educators, Staff, Administrators, and Teams—March 17

Model the Path to Self-Regulation for Students and Colleagues

Empower others and ourselves to manage stress, delay gratification, stay organized, and act with agency. Self-regulation is a critical skill for young people and adults to navigate every facet of life. We will demonstrate self-regulation strategies in our Me Moments Toolkit External link opens in new window or tab. so we all can model self-regulation in our classroom and work environments. Register in advance for the Resiliant Practices webinar via Zoom External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information, contact Monica Nepomuceno, Interim Education Administrator, at mnepomuceno@cde.ca.gov.   

Building a Network of Safety for School Communities Webinar Series: Strengthening Protective Factors—March 22

Research demonstrates that protective factors help reduce suicidal ideation and behaviors. This webinar will provide school administrators, educators, and staff the opportunity to learn about evidence-based and promising programs that build protective factors and reduce risk factors for suicide as well as peer-base approaches. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from a selection of program administrators and learn about resources to promote during Mental Health Matters Month in May, including a selection of youth-led activities and events. Register for the Building a Network of Safety webinar on Zoom External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information, contact Monica Nepomuceno, Interim Education Administrator, at mnepomuceno@cde.ca.gov.  

Spring Early Literacy Virtual Professional Learning Network (PLN)—March 30

The PLN is sponsored by the CDE in collaboration with the California Collaborative for Excellence in Education through the Expert Lead in Literacy grant. Join Sacramento County Office of Education, district, and site colleagues, as well as collaborators interested in literacy, on March 30, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as we learn about evidence-based practices in early literacy, grades TK-3.

Dr. Carol Tolman will kick off our event with a keynote address on the topic of Scarborough's Rope: Language Comprehension. In breakout sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field of reading instruction for English learners, whole-child design, and inclusive practices in literacy. There will be an optional opportunity from 12:40 to 1 p.m. to connect with colleagues from your region to discuss implications for your work. This event is free of charge, but registration is required. Register for the Early Literacy Virtual Professional Learning Network External link opens in new window or tab..

Celebrations

State Superintendent Thurmond Highlights Organic Initiative for National School Breakfast Week

On March 7, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond joined chef and restaurateur Alice Waters on a news program to discuss Project Cereal, an initiative with partner Conscious Kitchen that is one of the nation’s first programs to feed students organic foods daily. Thurmond and Waters also helped launch the initiative at Michelle Obama School in Richmond as part of the National School Breakfast Week celebration. They highlighted fresh, healthy, organic, nutritious meals being served in the West Contra Costa Unified School District under this program to transform school food supply chains to feature fresher, more organic options. Students who participate in school breakfast programs have improved attendance, behavior, and academic achievement as well as decreased tardiness. Watch a clip of Thurmond's interview on the CDE Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab..

Plumas Charter School Students Receive New Portable Classrooms

After the devastating Dixie Fire destroyed several schools in the Plumas County Office of Education and Unified School District, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and the CDE’s Emergency Services team worked tirelessly with Plumas Charter School to secure portable classrooms. Seven months later, students have a new school to return to. The new building, which was delivered in late February, hosts three classrooms, two bathrooms, and an office space and is comparable to the previous school in Greenville. Read more in the Plumas News External link opens in new window or tab..

Important Dates and Deadlines

Thursday, March 31 is César Chávez Day

The CDE will be closed for the state and national holiday. On this day, we celebrate and honor the late Mexican-American civil rights activist and labor leader. Committed to the tactics of nonviolent resistance, Chávez founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers of America) and won important victories to raise pay and improve working conditions for farm workers in the late 1960s and 1970s.

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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 communications@cde.ca.gov.

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Last Reviewed: Friday, March 18, 2022
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