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CDE Today for May 27, 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.


CDE and Cal OES Release Joint Letter Encouraging Emergency Preparedness for Schools and Districts

On Wednesday, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and California Homeland Security Advisor Mark Ghilarducci issued a joint letter to local educational agencies (LEAs) about the tragic shootings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts are heavy with the loss of more innocent lives. The California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has compiled a wide range of resources from the federal, state, and local levels to support school safety in California. Read the full joint letter on the CDE Letters web page. You can find resources on the Cal OES website External link opens in new window or tab. and on the CDE Project Cal-STOP page.

State Superintendent Thurmond Leads Hundreds of Local Districts and Charters in Pledge to Improve Literacy Efforts

Last Friday, State Superintendent Thurmond hosted a special meeting with hundreds of LEA leaders and administrators from California school districts and charters for a conversation on statewide and schoolwide efforts to ensure all students learn to read by third grade. More than 600 districts and charters were represented at the event. In conjunction with the meeting, representatives from school districts and charters signed a pledge to commit toward helping reach the third-grade literacy and biliteracy goal by 2026. School districts and charters who may have missed the meeting can still sign the Literacy Pledge External link opens in new window or tab.. Learn more in the April 26 CDE news release and any questions or suggestions you have may be directed to

State Superintendent Thurmond Joins Secretary of Education Cardona and Senator Padilla on Mental Health Discussion

Last Friday, State Superintendent Thurmond joined a virtual conversation with U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and U.S. Senator Alex Padilla to highlight mental health resources from the American Rescue Plan available for schools, students, and families as they recover from the pandemic. Watch a clip of Superintendent Thurmond’s remarks on the CDE Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab..


Last week, the CDE sent LEAs a letter detailing that the department is aware of the challenges that they are experiencing due to recent technical upgrades to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). As a result, a cross-department team has been created to prioritize the issue. We are committed to supporting schools and doing everything possible to quickly resolve the issues. For questions about CALPADS, contact the CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office at

Program Highlights

Physical Fitness = Better Health and Learning Environments

The administration window for the 2021–22 Physical Fitness Test (PFT) will close May 31. LEAs are to maintain their students’ participation percentages until they have been submitted to be included on the LEA’s School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs). Teachers are encouraged to contact their site office for more information regarding the SARC. The document, “How to Calculate PFT Participation Rate External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)”—under “PFT Coordinator Resources” on the CDE PFT page—provides teachers with information on how to calculate participation percentages and submit the data.

Register Your School Today for 2022 CA Student Mock Elections

The 2022 California primaries and US general election are quickly approaching, and it is time once again to get students involved and excited about civic engagement. The California Secretary of State and the State Superintendent Thurmond are partnering to host the 2022 California Student Mock Election on Tuesday, October 11. This important program helps young people discover the importance of elections and the power of their votes in the democratic process. Through your school’s involvement, students will discover how government and politics affect their daily lives. The CDE strongly encourages you to incorporate this great program into your curriculum. Registration for the 2022 California Student Mock Election can be found on the Secretary of State California Student Mock Election web page External link opens in new window or tab. or read the CDE/CA SOS joint letter for more information and resources.

School Health, Safety & Support

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Recommendations for Ages Five to Eleven

With other federal and state partners, the California Department of Health (CDPH) recommends that everyone ages five and older receives a primary series and booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As Omicron variants continue to emerge, boosters are an important tool to protect your school and community. Vaccines are safe and effective for children, and completion of the primary series and boosters remain the safest way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. Families can go to the MyTurn page External link opens in new window or tab. to schedule an appointment or find a walk-in clinic. Schools can also request a pop-up vaccination event External link opens in new window or tab. at no cost to schools.

Events and Opportunities


Expanded Learning Opportunities Grant (Assembly Bill 86 Funding: COVID-19 Relief and Reopening Grant) Assurances Submission (June 1)

The Expanded Learning Opportunities Grant (ELO-G) Assurances must be completed by LEAs as a condition of receiving funding. To access the assurances, LEAs must use the same login information for other federal stimulus funding (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, etc.). LEAs may reference the ELO-G Search External link opens in new window or tab., which will display the assurance submission status of LEAs for the ELO-G funds. To submit the assurances, LEAs must use the Expanded Learning Opportunities Grant Assurances page External link opens in new window or tab.. Please submit assurances by June 1, 2022.


Curriculum and Assessments for Preschool Through Third Grade (June 2)

CDE is pleased to announce the next installment of the Opportunities for All Branch preschool through third grade (P–3) webinar series, Curriculum and Assessments for Preschool through 3rd Grade, will be held on Thursday, June 2, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The webinar is designed to support LEAs, community-based organizations, and their partners to understand the importance of P–3 curriculum and assessment. The webinar will feature presentations and a brief panel discussion from researchers and practitioners on effective curriculum and assessment practices that equip teachers to support all students to thrive in P–3 settings. Register for the Curriculum and Assessments webinar on Zoom External link opens in new window or tab..

UPK Implementation: Local Partnership Opportunities (June 8)

The third installment of the Universal PreKindergarten (UPK) Webinar Series will focus on working with and supporting our education partners as they consider, plan for, and implement UPK. The CDE will collaborate with Head Start leaders to explore how to leverage the different funding sources to meet the needs of families, students, and programs, as well as supporting transitions from Head Start to TK–12. This webinar will take place on Wednesday, June 8, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Register on Zoom for the third installment of the UPK Webinar Series External link opens in new window or tab..

Building a Foundation of Language and Literacy for Students with Complex Communication Needs (June 13)

The Diagnostic Center North has a professional development opportunity on June 13 that is open to the public. Join them 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a foundation of language and literacy skills that is essential for social, functional, and academic progress for all students. This workshop will explore how we can help students with significant disabilities build the language and literacy skills they need. Participants will address: how to assess current levels and create measurable goals that will make meaningful change in students’ lives, how to create a communicative environment including communication tools, and how to provide integrated language and literacy interventions. Content will be applicable for all professionals serving students with complex communication needs of all ages and grade levels. Register in advance for Building a Foundation of Language and Literacy for Students with Complex Communication Needs External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information, email


Virtual California Elementary Literacy Conference: Everyone Has the Right to Read! (June 16)

This free one-day conference is hosted by the Sacramento County Office of Education and sponsored by the CDE in collaboration with the California Collaborative for Excellence in Education through the Expert Lead in Literacy grant. Join teachers, administrators, district and site colleagues, as well as other partners interested in literacy, on June 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. as we learn about evidence-based practices in elementary literacy, grades TK through 6. Learn more and register at the Education Speakers Network website External link opens in new window or tab..

August 2022 High School Equivalency Summer Convenings

The CDE 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 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


Applications Open for #CaliforniansForAll College Corps Fellows
The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps is a statewide service initiative that helps low-income students graduate on time and with less debt. Students will receive $10,000 for their service while helping to take climate action, tutor and mentor low-income K–12 students, support food insecurity, and more. Over the next two years, 6,500 College Corps Fellows will tackle challenging issues facing our state—this program is roughly the size of the entire Peace Corps. For the first time, Assembly Bill 540 CA Dream Act students will also have the opportunity to participate in a state service program. Learn more on the California Volunteers Californians for All College Corps web page External link opens in new window or tab..


2022 Classified Employees of the Year Honored

Last Thursday, the CDE held its annual Classified State Employee of the Year Award luncheon, where State Superintendent Thurmond congratulated and honored nine outstanding honorees for their dedication to California’s public-school students. In his remarks, Thurmond shared the importance of classified school workers who are the backbone and unsung heroes at schools. The CDE recognizes that essential workers have been more critical than ever during the pandemic in keeping everything going on at the schools and serving our students. Read more about these outstanding honorees at the CDE news release page.

2022 California Teachers of the Year Celebrated at Annual Gala

The CDE held its annual California Teachers of the Year Gala in Sacramento on May 16, where State Superintendent Thurmond congratulated and expressed thanks to the five 2022 California Teachers of the Year honorees. During his remarks, Thurmond commended each educator’s resilience for not letting up in their commitment to their students, even throughout the pandemic. These honorees are examples of what all teachers should aspire to be, not because of the honor they have received, but for what they do in their classrooms every day. Visit the CDE Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab. for more photos from the event.

California’s Expanded Learning Opportunity Program Highlighted by Secretary of Education Cardona

In a rollout event launching the Advancing Equity Through the American Rescue Plan this week, U.S. Secretary of Education Cardona highlighted how California is using ARP funds to establish an Expanded Learning Opportunity program, which will provide students—especially those most impacted by the pandemic—with additional instructional time. ARP funds also are supporting California 21st Century Community Learning Centers. These centers are expanding access to after school programs for children in low-income communities. Read the full document on the White House website External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF). Read more about the California Expanded Learning Opportunity Program on the CDE ELOP web page.

Important Dates and Deadlines

National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month, a time to recognize that we can each play a pivotal role in the life of a youth in foster care. The CDE recognizes the important role that foster parents, caregivers, mentors, advocates, social workers, and educators play in the life of a youth in foster care. The purpose of National Foster Care Month is to increase the visibility of the needs of youth in foster care. We use this time to renew our commitment to ensuring bright futures for the more than 32,000 foster youth enrolled in California’s schools. For more information regarding the programs and services provided to foster youth in California, please visit the CDE Foster Youth Services web page.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The CDE celebrates May as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, as part of ongoing efforts to acknowledge, recognize, and honor the diverse histories and backgrounds of California students, staff and families! This year, the CDE API Heritage Month Committee is focusing on the theme of “Resilience and Recovery.” Stay tuned for information on a planned mental health roundtable and social media content that centers the AAPI community.

Memorial Day (May 30)

The CDE will be closed on Monday, May 30, as Memorial Day is a public school and state holiday. We honor the fallen US soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our country over the years.

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Last Reviewed: Friday, May 27, 2022
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