$1.3B in Community Schools Implementation Grants – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that the California State Board of Education (SBE) approved $1.3 billion in community schools implementation grants today as proposed by the California Department of Education (CDE).

Today’s approval marks the continued expansion and third cohort of the California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP), which has become the largest single investment in community schools anywhere in the nation. Today’s cohort builds on successful efforts to accelerate student learning by integrating academics, health and social services, and family and community engagement to improve the achievement and wellness of children by serving the whole child and the whole family.

“Our Community Schools strategy is fundamentally about breaking down barriers in order to unlock the brilliance of every child,” Thurmond said. “Our community schools grantees build strategic partnerships with service providers in their area, which leads to an incredible return on investment for our students and families. And by remaining committed to transformative outcomes for our students, our community schools have become leaders in not only identifying the barriers that hold kids back but also creating innovative solutions that effectively support children to learn and thrive.”

Source: $1.3B in Community Schools Implementation Grants – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Announces 2024 California Finalists in PAEMST – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond honored three outstanding math and science teachers from California today who are finalists for the 2024 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These amazing teachers model excellence in how we prepare California students for the challenges and advancements of the future,” Thurmond said. “Let me offer my sincere congratulations to these educators, whom we honor for their leadership and instructional practices and how they are inspiring a new generation with passion and talent for science, technology, engineering, and math.”

The PAEMST program is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The PAEMST is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government specifically for kindergarten through grade twelve science, mathematics, engineering, and computer science teaching. For 2023–24, those who teach kindergarten through grade six were eligible for the award. Presidential Award recipients are honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., and receive a $10,000 special award from the National Science Foundation.

Source: SPI Announces 2024 California Finalists in PAEMST – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Honored for Holocaust and Genocide Education – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond was honored today by the California Legislative Jewish Caucus for his leadership in the area of Holocaust and Genocide Education. Thurmond was honored alongside leaders and educators from the Jewish Family & Children’s Services Holocaust Center as well as Holocaust survivors and their descendants who have chosen to share their stories as part of educational initiatives.

“I am deeply honored by this recognition from the California Legislative Jewish Caucus for our collective efforts in Holocaust and Genocide Education. Through education, we not only honor the memory of the victims but also strive to ensure that such atrocities never happen again,” Thurmond said. “By understanding the horrors of the past, we empower ourselves to build a future rooted in empathy, tolerance, and justice.”

Senate Concurrent Resolution 135 (Wiener), commemorating Yom HaShoah and honoring leaders in Holocaust Education, was supported by the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, Latino Caucus, Women’s Caucus, and Legislative Black Caucus in solidarity.

Source: SPI Honored for Holocaust and Genocide Education – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Announces 2024 Civic Learning Award Schools – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

Twenty-one California schools have been named recipients of the 2024 Civic Learning Awards, an honor that recognizes measurable schoolwide achievements in civics. The award program, now in its eleventh year, is co-sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and California Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero.

“We know that when young people activate their voices, they can be among the strongest change agents in our communities,” said Thurmond. “Education is the cornerstone of realizing our democratic ideals, and these schools have made extraordinary contributions to building the leaders of tomorrow.”

“These award applications I find inspiring, they all deserve our recognition,” said Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero. “They tell the important stories of dedicated educators who are, despite the challenges, creatively making room for students to fully understand and practice civics.”

Source: SPI Announces 2024 Civic Learning Award Schools – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Honors 2024 California Classified Employees – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond honored nine outstanding classified school employees today for their dedication to California’s public school students.

“My heartfelt congratulations go to these outstanding employees for going the extra mile to step up and support California students so they can continue to learn,” said Thurmond. “These dedicated employees make sure kids have healthy meals, safe campuses and transportation, and systems and supports during difficult and unexpected changes and ensure that all students are supported in their lives and in their education.”

The annual Classified School Employees of the Year (CSEY) program honors outstanding classified school employees in the following categories: Paraprofessional Services, 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 Services. This year’s recipients were chosen from 134 nominations statewide. The 2024 award winners will be honored by Thurmond at a luncheon in Sacramento on May 23, 2024.

Source: SPI Honors 2024 California Classified Employees – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

Farm to Summer Celebration Week 2024 – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

The California Department of Education (CDE) invites you to participate in Farm to Summer (F2Summer) Celebration Week. The F2Summer Celebration Week is a recognition program for summer meal program (SMP) operators that complete three elements:1) Taste,2) Teach, and 3) Connect during the designated week of June 17–21, 2024. This year’s theme is Let’s Have a Picnic!

Participation

SMP operators that participate in the three elements and complete a pre and post survey will receive a One in a Melon Certificate, an online badge, and recognition on the CDE website.

Source: Farm to Summer Celebration Week 2024 – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

2024 CA Green Ribbon Schools Award Honorees – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that 20 schools, 14 school districts, and two county offices of education earned 2024 California Green Ribbon Schools awards. Among these state honorees are five “Green Achievers” nominated by Thurmond to receive U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition. The U.S. Department of Education today confirmed all five Green Achievers as ED-GRS honorees, which are recognized for conserving resources while promoting health and environmental literacy. California’s honorees are among 41 schools, 10 districts, three postsecondary institutions, and one early learning center being honored nationally.

“Allow me to extend my heartfelt congratulations to this year’s distinguished honorees,” Thurmond said. “California Green Ribbon Schools stand as beacons of innovation that showcase pioneering approaches toward enhanced indoor air quality, the implementation of outdoor classrooms, and comprehensive environmental education initiatives. Within these institutions, students are not merely recipients of knowledge; they are active participants in addressing pressing global issues, such as climate change, alongside tackling local challenges like water quality, food security, energy conservation, waste management, and emotional well-being. It brings me immense satisfaction to note that more than half of these commendable honorees hail from communities with the greatest need within our state. California’s Green Ribbon Schools are at the forefront of nurturing the next generation’s capacity for creativity and critical thinking, thereby equipping them to become effective stewards of our environment both today and in the years to come.”

Source: 2024 CA Green Ribbon Schools Award Honorees – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

Pushing Results-Proven Training in Literacy, Math – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond testified today in the Senate Education Committee about the need for results-proven training for all teachers of reading and math. Thurmond’s testimony was in support of Senate Bill (SB) 1115, which proposes to fund evidence-backed educator training in order to address the urgent need for improved student outcomes across the state. The committee passed the bill after Thurmond’s testimony, and the bill now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 6.

Current efforts to fund educator training in literacy and math are only sufficient to train one-third of California’s educator workforce. SB 1115 would fund the remaining two-thirds. “This is an issue of moral clarity,” said Thurmond. “In the fifth-largest economy in the world, and in an age when we have access to substantial brain science about how students learn, it should be unacceptable to train only some educators in the best strategies to teach essential skills.”

Source: Pushing Results-Proven Training in Literacy, Math – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Hosts California Apprenticeship Summit – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today hosted a California Apprenticeship Summit to raise awareness of apprenticeship opportunities and career technical education pathways that connect California’s youth to high-wage, high-growth career opportunities. The summit took place at the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California in Sacramento and featured a panel of industry experts, educators, and students.

“What makes registered apprenticeship unique as an educational opportunity is that it disrupts the myth that our young people need to choose between investing in their learning and earning right away. By becoming apprentices, students enter pathways that support their learning, provide mentorship, workplace protections, and a clear path to advancement that means a student’s first job out of high school can truly become their career,” Superintendent Thurmond said. “These job skills and technical knowledge—which can be obtained through apprenticeship programs—are the foundation for a strong economy and community in the years to come.”

Source: SPI Hosts California Apprenticeship Summit – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Announces 2024 California Purple Star Schools – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that 44 schools have been designated as 2024 Purple Star Schools. Now in its third year, the California Purple Star School Designation Program recognizes schools that are committed and equipped to meet the unique needs of military-connected students and their families.

“I commend the remarkable dedication and support shown by the winning schools of the California Purple Star School Designation Program. By embracing and enhancing services for military-connected students and their families, these schools exemplify our commitment to inclusivity, understanding, and excellence in education,” Thurmond said. “Their efforts not only enrich the educational experience but also foster a sense of belonging and appreciation for our military community.”

Purple Star Schools seek to reduce the burden on military-connected students and their families by providing the most critical transition supports. With more than 2.6 million active-duty service members and individuals serving in the National Guard and Reserves, the military is one of the United States’ largest workforces. In 2022, California had 242,624 active-duty service members and individuals serving in the National Guard and Reserves.

Source: SPI Announces 2024 California Purple Star Schools – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Tony Thurmond Honored with Cesar Chavez Award – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was honored today with the Cesar E. Chavez Opportunity Award for his impactful work in empowering and influencing the lives of farm working families residing in predominantly rural communities. The award was presented to Superintendent Thurmond at the 8th Annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast, in celebration of Chavez’s 97th birthday, by The Farmworkers Institute of Education & Leadership Development (FIELD)

External link opens in new window or tab..“Extraordinary models of social justice inspire us to do better and be better. There are few that rival the inspiration of Cesar Chavez and FIELD, an organization he founded 46 years ago, and their work to support farm working and rural communities,” Thurmond said. “When I began my career in public service, I committed myself to lifting up our communities that needed it the most. That did not change when I began my service as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. I am truly honored and humbled by this award.”

During the COVID pandemic, Thurmond fought to secure resources—both public and private—to ensure children of rural and farmworker communities had access to digital devices and WiFi so they would not fall behind as classrooms closed. He also secured funding to provide water bottles to Coachella farmworkers during a scorching summer heatwave and secured personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution during the pandemic to support not only schools, but also farmworkers and Native American families, along with several nonprofits, including the UFW Foundation.

Source: SPI Tony Thurmond Honored with Cesar Chavez Award – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

Personal Finance Education Summit Recap – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond hosted a Personal Finance Summit today where he announced his support for Assembly Bill 2927 (McCarty), legislation that would require a personal finance education course for California high school graduation. During the summit, which featured a panel of financial and education leaders, Thurmond also announced his recruitment efforts for a Personal Finance Task Force to inform implementation of personal finance education for K–12 students across the state, especially as a source of economic empowerment for those in marginalized communities.

“This effort is fundamentally about empowering our youth and uplifting our communities. Personal finance provides our young people with the tools to understand and improve their own economic situation, and by establishing personal finance as a requirement for California students through Assembly Bill 2927, we would ensure that this powerful opportunity is afforded to all,” said Thurmond. “If our children are equipped with the skills to understand and change their own financial situation, we can help shrink the gender wage gap and build generational wealth in our communities of color as our young people move forward and manage their money, grow their wealth, and understand value when making critical decisions for their own futures and their future families.”

Source: Personal Finance Education Summit Recap – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

2024 California Exemplary Dual Enrollment Schools – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that nine California schools were selected for the California Exemplary Dual Enrollment Award. This award program identifies and recognizes schools with exemplary dual enrollment programs and allows these schools to share the exemplary programs and practices that have contributed to their success. All Early College High Schools, Middle College High Schools, and alternative education schools with dual enrollment programs were eligible to apply for the 2024–25 award.

“These programs are a beacon of excellence and equitable opportunity in California’s public schools,” said Superintendent Thurmond. “Dual enrollment programs provide a unique option for public high school students who seek to accelerate their achievement, launch their careers, and access a high-quality free college education even before they walk the high school graduation stage.”

Source: 2024 California Exemplary Dual Enrollment Schools – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

2024 Middle Schools to Watch – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has announced that 52 high-performing California middle grades schools have been recognized as California Schools to Watch for 2024. To earn this designation, schools must complete an extensive application and host a site visit by middle grades experts. To retain the designation, each school is reevaluated every three years.

There are 16 new California Schools to Watch this year. An additional 36 schools reapplied to the program, demonstrated their sustained progress, and have been redesignated as 2024 California Schools to Watch. Altogether, there are 200 California Schools to Watch.

Source: 2024 Middle Schools to Watch – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Announces 2024 Model Continuation High Schools – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that 31 schools throughout the state were recognized as Model Continuation High Schools for 2024. Model Continuation High Schools provide comprehensive services to at-risk youth through the use of exemplary instructional strategies, flexible scheduling, and guidance and counseling services. Continuation schools provide a high school diploma program for students who have not graduated from high school, are required to attend school and are at risk of not completing their education.

“Congratulations to these outstanding schools for their all-around excellence as alternative centers of learning,” said Superintendent Thurmond. “Teachers and administrators at our Model Continuation High Schools work to develop relationships with students to create a positive and personalized learning environment and provide them with opportunities to explore options beyond high school, preparing students for the next chapter in their lives.”

Source: SPI Announces 2024 Model Continuation High Schools – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI and the CDE to Host a Mathematics Convening – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is calling all math educators and leaders, curriculum experts, researchers, industry professionals, and ed-tech innovators to a Mathematics Convening. The California Department of Education (CDE) will host “Proven Professional Development in Mathematics” on Friday, January 26, 2024, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the CDE Board Room at 1430 N Street in Sacramento.

This is a pivotal opportunity to improve California students’ math proficiency and align education with the evolving demands of the jobs of tomorrow.

Interested participants are invited to contribute by submitting innovative and effective professional development modules, training programs, and curricula. The submissions should emphasize proven strategies for increasing student proficiency and engagement in mathematics.

Source: SPI and the CDE to Host a Mathematics Convening – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Responds to Governor’s Proposed 2024–25 Budget – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today issued the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed education budget for fiscal year 2024–25:

I am grateful to Governor Newsom that there are no major reductions or pullbacks in vital education programs. By preserving our Educator Workforce Investments, Community Schools Investments, and Learning Recovery Investments, we ensure that our students, families, and educators have what they need to improve literacy, math proficiency, and social–emotional wellness. We are pleased to see the Proposition 98 guarantee slightly up from its projected value but disappointed in the Average Daily Attendance decline, with COLA at 0.76 percent when it was projected to be at 3.5 percent.

Source: SPI Responds to Governor’s Proposed 2024–25 Budget – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

CA Receives $4.99M in SASI Grants – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

On Thursday, January 4, the United States Department of Education announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) is among the recipients of the Supporting America’s School Infrastructure (SASI) Grant Program. Through a SASI Grant, CDE will receive $4.99 million toward improving school facilities in small school districts across California.

“I am pleased that we have been able to secure this federal support for our rural districts. We know how important school facilities are in providing a safe and healthy environment for our students. We must make sure that safe, healthy, and up-to-date school facilities are available to children in every community,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “Every student should be learning in an optimal environment that supports them to be healthy, safe, engaged, and challenged.”

Source: CA Receives $4.99M in SASI Grants – Year 2024 (CA Dept of Education)

California School Dashboard 2023 Update Released – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)

The 2023 California School Dashboard External link opens in new window or tab. is now online with data showing statewide improvements in student outcomes in several areas. The Dashboard is a key component of the state’s school accountability system, which includes the latest data on graduation rates, suspension rates, test scores, English Learner progress, the college/career indicator, chronic absenteeism, and local indicators.

Among other highlights, the 2023 Dashboard shows that students in California are graduating at higher levels than before the COVID-19 pandemic and are missing less class time year-over-year.

Source: California School Dashboard 2023 Update Released – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)

2024 CA U.S. Senate Youth Program Representatives – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced two outstanding high school students to represent California in the 62nd annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Aaron Combs of San Diego (San Diego County), a senior at Canyon Crest Academy in the San Dieguito Union High School District, and Emi Sakamoto of Culver City (Los Angeles County), a senior at Culver City High School in the Culver City Unified School District, were selected for their exceptional leadership skills, noteworthy commitments to their schools and communities, and academic and extracurricular achievements as California’s delegates in this highly competitive program.

“I am incredibly proud of and impressed by these extraordinary students, who are doing so much in their schools and communities to make a difference in the lives of others. Their significant accomplishments speak to their impressive character and dedication,” Thurmond said. “They will make excellent representatives for California.”

Source: 2024 CA U.S. Senate Youth Program Representatives – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)