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COVID-19 English Learner Resources

This page provides resources, models, webinars, newsletters, and guidance regarding English learner, immigrant, newcomer, and migratory students during distance learning and the transition to schools reopening during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The resources below from the California Department of Education (CDE) Multilingual Support Division are available to local educational agencies as they support English learner, immigrant, newcomer, and migratory students during distance learning and the transition to schools reopening during the COVID-19 outbreak. This collection of resources will be updated as new guidance and information is available and includes links to CDE resources as well as outside resources.

Resources

Local Educational Agency (LEA) Resources | Parent and Family Resources | Newcomer Resources | Immigrant Resources | Migrant Education Resources | Social-Emotional Wellbeing Resources | Physical Health and Wellness Resources

LEA Resources:

The CDE English Language Development (ELD) Video Series: Administrator's Guide for Facilitating Remote Professional Learning (DOCX) provides guidance and resources for facilitating remote professional learning using the CDE ELD Video Series.

The CDE document, Teaching Multilingual Learners Online in the California Context: Guidance on Embracing and Supporting Multilingual Learners During Distance Learning (DOCX), takes the English Learner (EL) Roadmap principles one and two and provides practical steps that educators can take to enact each of these principles’ elements in the distance learning environment. Each step is accompanied by resources, examples, tech tools, guidance, and/or webinars that can support teachers to enact this element during distance learning. This document was adapted for the California context from the WIDA Teaching Multilingual Learners Online web page External link opens in new window or tab..

The CDE Distance Learning web page provides guidance and resources for teachers and families in K–12 schools regarding high quality distance learning.
This web page includes tabs for webinars, local resources, content resources, virtual schooling, and language support. The language support tab houses links to resources to support ELD and multilingual education.

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) COVID-19 Distance Learning Technical Assistance Resources web page External link opens in new window or tab. provides links to resources, guidance, training, and ongoing professional learning for schools and districts.

The CDE Title III County Office of Education EL Specialists web page includes information, calendars, agendas, training presentations, and technical assistance resources. The EL Specialists provide technical assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) within each of the 11 county superintendent regions.

The CDE Guidance on Diagnostic and Formative Assessments web page offers many tools and strategies for taking a snapshot of students' learning, but none of the assessments are required. This document describes how LEAs can use California's approved assessments to evaluate where students are academically at the state of and throughout the school year. In addition to providing summative assessments for English language arts, mathematics, science, and English language proficiency, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) and the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC), assessment programs also provide important resource tools for teachers that are aligned with California standards.

The CCEE Continuity of Learning - Distance and Hybrid Learning Playbooks to Support California LEAs External link opens in new window or tab. offers two playbooks to assist LEA leaders in planning for teaching and learning in the new COVID-19 context: the Distance Learning Playbook and the Hybrid Learning Playbook.
Each playbook suggests nine areas of focus to guide planning: setting goals, creating schedules, communicating with families, assessing student needs, supporting social-emotional learning, building capacity, supporting English learners, supporting students with special needs, and leveraging ancillary programs. Both offer practical, easy-to-understand resources, tools, and tips for leadership teams to consider adopting. Equity considerations are offered throughout.

The Californians Together English Learner Roadmap Implementation for Systemic Excellence (EL RISE!) Tools web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes tools that Californians Together and its Educator Workforce Investment Grant (EWIG) partners developed to support EL Roadmap Policy implementation. These tools include the EL RISE! Reflection and Planning Tool for Administrators, the EL RISE! Best Practices EL Roadmap to Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Template, and the EL RISE LCAP Opportunities to Address EL Needs.

The California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) Multilingual California web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes tools that CABE and its EWIG partners developed to support EL Roadmap Policy implementation. These tools include LCAP and dual language resources.

The Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) English Language Arts/ELD Subcommittee Distance and Blended Learning Resources Padlet External link opens in new window or tab. includes curated links to resources by topic including: lesson planning, designated ELD, building community/social-emotional learning, timing and schedules, assessment, reading foundations, newcomers, and aligning and designing integrated and designated ELD for students with disabilities.

The Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) Return to School (RTS) Toolkits External link opens in new window or tab. are based on the Teaching Tolerance Standards, the History/Social Science Standards and Frameworks, the English Language Arts/ELD Standards and Frameworks, the Health and Education Standards, as well as the International Society for Technology in Education Standards. The SEAL RTS Toolkits include resources on social and emotional learning, family partnerships, and return to school units and are organized by audience with information for teachers, administrators, and coaches.

The Council of the Great City Schools Supporting English Learners in the COVID-19 Crisis guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) provides research-based recommendations on supporting English learners during the 2020–21 school year. This guide includes information on enrollment, screening, and placement; accelerated learning; ELD; technology; staffing; professional learning; assessment; and family engagement.

The WIDA Teaching Multilingual Learners Online web page External link opens in new window or tab. provides guiding principles and breaks down each principle with specific actions for teachers and multilingual learners as well as associated resources that can help educators enact each principle.

The English Learner Success Forum Using Multilingual Resources to Support English Learners’ Remote Learning web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes best practices, action steps, and associated resources in the areas of communication and support for families, access to grade level content, academic home language development, student interest and family funds of knowledge, and supplementary resources.

Parent and Family Resources:

Parent Engagement Modules Series
The Parent Engagement Modules Series presents information and strategies for parents to develop their capacity to support their children at school and at home.

The CDE Getting Internet Access: Available Plans web page provides information about internet providers’ COVID-19 response and contact information.

The CDE CA Meals for Kids Mobile Application web page provides links to download the CA Meals for Kids Mobile Application that allows parents to locate nearby California Afterschool, Summer Meal Program, and Emergency Meal sites.

The US Department of Education Institute of Educational Sciences Regional Educational Laboratory Program Supporting Young English Learners at Home Family and Caregiver Activities web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes activity sheets in English and Spanish to support language development at home.

The First 5 California COVID-19 Resources web page External link opens in new window or tab. provides information on parenting during COVID-19; at home learning activities and resources; and activities for babies, toddlers, and preschools. This information is available in Spanish by selecting “español” in the upper right corner.

The Early Edge California Coronavirus Resources for Families web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes information for families about paid family leave, discussing coronavirus with kids, handwashing, and educational activities for distance learning.

The Californians Together Alas y Voz COVID-19 web page External link opens in new window or tab. provides resources to families in Spanish including home learning resources and information about physical and mental health during the crisis.

The Haskins Global Resources Hub Resource Library External link opens in new window or tab. is a compilation of high-quality resources for parents and teachers addressing the literacy needs of preschoolers to adolescents across all proficiency levels.

Newcomer Resources:

The WestEd Archived Webinar Communicating with Families of Newcomer English Learners During Distance Learning web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes a link to the webinar recorded on May 20, 2020.

Immigrant Resources:

The Legal Aid at Work List of Relief Funds for Undocumented Workers in California web page External link opens in new window or tab. is a list of known relief funds for undocumented workers who have lost their jobs or income as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. This page is updated as new information becomes available.

Migrant Education Resources:

The Migrant Education Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS): COVID-19 web page provides responses to FAQs regarding the Migrant Education Program and the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Mexican government Coronavirus web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes information, resources, FAQs, and more in Spanish.

The National Center for Farmworker Health Resources on Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 web page External link opens in new window or tab. contains a collection of COVID-19 resources for agricultural workers and employers that are available in a variety of languages including Spanish and indigenous languages.

Social-Emotional Wellbeing Resources:

The CDE Social and Emotional Support in Distance Learning web page provides guidance and resources for educators, educational leaders, and families/guardians in kindergarten through grade 12 schools, to provide social and emotional supports during distance learning.

The First 5 California Care, Cope, Connect web page External link opens in new window or tab. highlights the Care, Cope, Connect resource, created by Sesame Street in Communities in collaboration with the First 5 Association of California. This resource helps parents cope with stress and provide safety and security for their children. This resource includes information on immigration and trauma and is available in multiple languages.

The National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments website External link opens in new window or tab. offers information and technical assistance to states, districts, schools, institutions of higher education, and communities focused on improving school climate and conditions for learning. This website includes information about responding to the coronavirus.

Physical Health and Wellness Resources:

The CDE School and Child and Adult Day Care Meals web page includes links and information on the requirements for school meals during COVID-19 as well as resources and FAQs. 

The Pandemic Electronic Transfer (P-EBT) Program provides children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school with extra food benefits due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). P-EBT benefits help families in California buy food when schools are closed because of the Coronavirus emergency.
CDE P-EBT FAQs web page
California Department of Social Services P-EBT web page External link opens in new window or tab.

The Feeding America Find Your Local Food Bank web page External link opens in new window or tab. offers a search tool that can be used to find food banks nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 web page External link opens in new window or tab. offers information about facemasks and tutorials in multiple languages on how to make your own facemask. To change the language on this web page, click “other languages” at the top of the page and select your preferred language.

Model Programs and Units

Model Distance Learning Dual Language Instruction (DLI) Programs and Units:

Woodland Joint Unified School District (WJUSD): The WJUSD has not only developed a strong distance learning plan, but also created a plan to continue dual language learning for their district’s multilingual programs. The well-articulated plan took time and collaboration across all levels to create.
The WJUSD weekly distance learning lesson plans by grade level are available in the WJUSD Google Drive. These plans include dual language instruction program plans.

WJUSD Kindergarten Distance Learning Plan External link opens in new window or tab.
WJUSD First Grade Distance Learning Plan External link opens in new window or tab.
WJUSD Second Grade Distance Learning Plan External link opens in new window or tab.
WJUSD Third Grade Distance Learning Plan External link opens in new window or tab.
WJUSD Fourth Grade Distance Learning Plan External link opens in new window or tab.
WJUSD Fifth Grade Distance Learning Plan External link opens in new window or tab.
WJUSD Sixth Grade Distance Learning Plan External link opens in new window or tab.

Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE): The RCOE created a set of materials designed to be a sample of how educators might engage students in developing literacy and language skills during distance learning. The resources are designed to be flexible and can be adapted to the local context. The RCOE sample Spanish language arts lessons are available for transitional kindergarten through grade six students.  
The units are available on the RCOE Engaging Lessons for a Safe Learning Culture web page External link opens in new window or tab. .

Model Distance Learning English Language Development (ELD) Programs and Units:

Sanger Unified School District (SUSD): The SUSD has put together resources for ELD distance learning that may serve as a model for other districts. These resources are designed to be used by teachers and parents and include choice boards for ELD by grade level (preschool through grade twelve) with clickable links through Google docs. The ELD choice boards are also available in Spanish and can also be printed for students who do not have access to the internet.
The SUSD Sanger Learns Designated ELD web page External link opens in new window or tab. contains links to the model choice boards as well as Google slides and a screencast that provide an overview of how the choice boards work.

San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE): The SDCOE Curriculum and Instruction, Multilingual Education and Global Achievement (MEGA), and Innovation Departments have collaborated to design distance learning units of study for kindergarten through grade twelve that are focused on grade level essential learnings in each content area. These units were purposefully designed to integrate content and provide flexibility and choice. The units of study connect content in the following areas: English language arts (ELA), ELD, mathematics, science, history/social science, arts, computer science, and physical education through integrated study in kindergarten through grade five and thematic units in grades six through high school. Assessment opportunities (formative and summative) and student feedback are embedded and intentionally developed. These open-source units are being developed in Google to ensure maximum flexibility for districts to use them with their preferred distance learning instructional platform.
The units are available on the SDCOE Distance Learning Units of Study web page External link opens in new window or tab. .

RCOE: The RCOE created a set of materials designed to be a sample of how educators might engage students in developing literacy and language skills during distance learning. The resources are designed to be flexible and can be adapted to the local context. The sample English and Spanish language arts and ELD lessons available include lessons for transitional kindergarten through grade two students (in English and Spanish), grades two through six students (in English and Spanish), and secondary students (in English).
The units are available on the RCOE Engaging Lessons for a Safe Learning Culture web page External link opens in new window or tab. .

Webinars

The CDE Coronavirus (COVID-19) Webinars web page contains links to all CDE COVID-19 webinars including webinars focused on English learners, ELD, and DLI.

The Californians Together English Learner Roadmap Implementation for Systemic Excellence (EL RISE!) Webinars web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes links to upcoming and past recorded webinars that Californians Together and its partners developed as part of the Educator Workforce Investment Grant (EWIG) for English Learner (EL) Roadmap Policy implementation.

The California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) Multilingual California Video Archives and Resources web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes links to past recorded webinars that CABE and its EWIG partners developed to support EL Roadmap Policy implementation.

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) Considerations for English Learners and Online Learning webinar External link opens in new window or tab.
The SBCSS recorded a webinar highlighting how LEAs can support English learners with online learning. The webinar takes the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) article by Heather Skibbins, “Six Considerations for Supporting English Learners with Distance Learning External link opens in new window or tab. ,” and breaks each of the six components down, providing practical resources that support educators at each step. The SBCSS webinar slides External link opens in new window or tab. are also available.  

The California Teachers Association, with the Comprehensive Center Network Region 15 and the CDE, Webinar Series to Support Multilingual and English Learners During Distance Learning are available on the WestEd Archived Webinars web page External link opens in new window or tab. .  

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) COVID-19 Distance Learning Technical Assistance Resources web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes links to webinar modules including registration information for upcoming webinars and links to archived video and resources for past webinars.

The Imperial County Office of Education Special Education Plan Area (SELPA), CCEE, and CDE Improving Outcomes for English Learners with Disabilities webinar series provides information, resources, and support for teachers and administrators during distance learning. The recording and materials for these webinars are available on the Universal Design for Learning for English Learners with Disabilities: Making Remote Learning Accessible webinars Google Document External link opens in new window or tab. and the Co-Teaching: Making Distance Learning Accessible to English Learners with Disabilities Google Drive folder External link opens in new window or tab..

The Distance Learning Webinars from Early Edge California web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes links to recorded webinars from Early Edge California and its partners to support young dual language learners during distance learning.

Newsletters

The CDE English Learner Updates Newsletters web page contains links to two newsletters:

The EL Updates Newsletter provides updates, information, and resources to local educational agencies focusing on school closures and services for English learners. This newsletter is published weekly from April through May, 2020, and monthly starting June 2020.

The Distance Learning Parent Newsletter provides updates, information, and resources to parents and focuses on a different educational topic each week. This newsletter is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Filipino, Chinese, and Vietnamese and is published weekly from April through May, 2020, and monthly starting June 2020.

Learning Acceleration: Supporting English Learners

The CDE Learning Acceleration: Supporting English Learners web page provides guidance and resources to support English learners by leveraging all fiscal resources to accelerate student learning.

The web page includes:

  • Leveraging Fiscal Resources
  • English Learner Learning Acceleration Resources
  • Family Engagement for Learning Acceleration

The Council of the Great City Schools Addressing Unfinished Learning After COVID-19 School Closures guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) provides recommendations and resources for learning acceleration when students return to in-person instruction after distance and hybrid learning.

Questions:   Multilingual Support Division | MSD@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0938
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, January 6, 2021
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