SPI Hosts Webinar to Help Combat Opioid Crisis – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today convened a panel of experts to speak about strategies to combat the opioid/fentanyl crisis, the fastest-growing cause of death in California. The webinar was open to all educators and parents, and featured subject matter experts from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, California Health and Human Services, local educational agencies (LEAs), the California Department of Education (CDE), and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Thurmond and participants discussed ways to work together to educate, prevent, and intervene to support and protect students.

In 2012, California suffered 82 deaths attributed to fentanyl overdoses, and last year that number jumped to more than 6,000. Fentanyl deaths accounted for more than 80 percent of all drug-related deaths among California’s young people in 2021. Often, teens think they are purchasing Adderall, OxyContin, Percocet, or Xanax pills, but drug dealers are making fake pills with the cheaper, stronger, and deadlier synthetic drug fentanyl. As a result, most victims ingest fentanyl accidentally, thinking they are using something less dangerous. It can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It is odorless, tasteless, and colorless, and one pill can be fatal.

Source: SPI Hosts Webinar to Help Combat Opioid Crisis – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

Tony Thurmond cruises to reelection as California state superintendent | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

With the power of incumbency and a funding advantage behind him, California Superintendent of Public Instruction handily won election to a second 4-year term on Tuesday.

Thurmond, 53, a former two-term Democratic Assemblyman from Richmond, was leading Lance Christensen by nearly 2 to 1, 66% to 34% with more than half of the vote reported. It was a larger margin than Gov. Gavin Newsom held over his Republican opponent, State Sen. Brian Dahle.

Source: Tony Thurmond cruises to reelection as California state superintendent | EdSource

SPI Honors California Blue Ribbon Schools in D.C. – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond congratulated the principals of California’s National Blue Ribbon School winners today at an award ceremony in Washington, D.C., calling out the long-term positive outcomes they have created for students during very challenging times. California boasts the largest number of public school National Blue Ribbon winners in the nation. Additionally, Thurmond met with Miguel Marco, principal of Wittmann (Helen) Elementary School in Cerritos, who was honored as one of the nine recipients of the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership.

“These California schools have done amazing things to address the education opportunity gap,” Thurmond said. “They are helping us learn, model, and develop refined strategies to scale success and innovation all across our great state. I am so glad the U.S. Department of Education recognized our 29 California Blue Ribbon schools today, and let me also say thank you to our awardees for their persistent hard work in creating a better environment for California students every day.”

Source: SPI Honors California Blue Ribbon Schools in D.C. – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Celebrates California’s 29 Blue Ribbon Schools – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond celebrated the 29 California Blue Ribbon schools being honored this week in Washington, D.C., at the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program awards ceremony. California has the largest number of public school Blue Ribbon winners in the nation. Thurmond met with school leaders on Monday to learn how they are closing opportunity gaps and providing environments where students can achieve high learning standards. He also appointed them to help co-design strategies for learning acceleration and to improve student achievement all across the state.

“Our state sent 29 schools this year to our nation’s capital to receive this prestigious honor—a testament to the students, teachers, staff members, administrators and their families,” said Thurmond. “While we continue to bounce back from the harms of the COVID-19 pandemic, this award illustrates the important work we are doing to go above and beyond in our mission to close the opportunity gap. It’s impressive that 29 schools received this honor, a reaffirmation of the persistence and resilience our educators displayed on behalf of our students.”

Source: SPI Celebrates California’s 29 Blue Ribbon Schools – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

$58M Approved for Community Schools Support System – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

The California State Board of Education (SBE) today approved $58 million in contracts to build a network of support for community schools—campuses where every classroom is focused on high-quality teaching and learning, every student is connected to the services they need to thrive, and every family is empowered to partner in decision-making.

The $4 billion California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) is the nation’s largest investment in the success of high-needs students through a whole-child approach. Community schools partner with education, county, and nonprofit entities to provide integrated health, mental health, and social services alongside high-quality, supportive instruction with a strong focus on community, family, and student engagement.

Research shows that community schools can result in better school attendance, better grades and test scores, higher enrollment in college-prep classes, and higher graduation rates.

Source: $58M Approved for Community Schools Support System – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

$10 Million Dual Language Immersion Grant – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that 27 schools and school districts were selected through a competitive grant process to receive up to $400,000 each to expand a current dual language immersion program or establish a new one.

“I applaud these schools for taking the initiative to invest in their dual language immersion programs,” Thurmond said. “Schools with strong dual language immersion programs are proven to promote strong academic performance among students from all backgrounds and, in the end, prepare our students for college and careers in a highly competitive global marketplace where speaking more than one language is a critical skill.”

Source: $10 Million Dual Language Immersion Grant – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

2023 California Teachers of the Year Announced – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today named five exceptional educators as the 2023 California Teachers of the Year. These educators are ambassadors for the profession and serve as representatives of the state for the calendar year. Thurmond, who began his career as a social services worker, said he is pleased to recognize the five outstanding teachers who have had a tremendous impact in their schools, on students, and in communities, and have gone above and beyond during a challenging time in education and in our lives.

“These five educators receive the prestigious honor of 2023 California Teachers of the Year for their extraordinary talents and efforts to teach young people in California during historically challenging circumstances,” said Thurmond. “Using their exceptional skills, creativity, and experience, they continue to create positive learning environments and make meaningful contributions to the academic and social–emotional needs of their students.”

Source: 2023 California Teachers of the Year Announced – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

CA Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Program 2022 – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

Does your school offer an exceptional model for whole-school sustainability, including healthy food and nutrition, health and wellness, and school gardens? If so, then consider applying for the California Green Ribbon Schools (CA-GRS) recognition program.

The purpose of this program is to honor excellence in whole-school sustainability while spotlighting replicable best practices.

Eligibility

Eligible award recipients include school districts, county offices of education, kindergarten through grade twelve public and private schools, and early education centers. Participation in the CA-GRS recognition program is optional.

Source: CA Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Program 2022 – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools Announced – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today congratulated 29 California schools that have been chosen as 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools. This prestigious award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that close achievement and opportunity gaps and where students achieve high learning standards.

“Congratulations to the students, educators, families, and educators that make up these outstanding, vibrant, and affirming school communities,” Thurmond said. “As we continue to recover from the pandemic, this award validates the hard work of educators across the state on behalf of our students. Their commitment to meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of all their students has helped transform the lives of students during extraordinary circumstances.”

Source: 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools Announced – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

Health Guidance for Schools During Extreme Heat – Letters (CA Dept of Education)

The California Department of Education is partnering with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to provide you with additional critical announcements to support California school communities during this period of intense heat.

Please find important information from the CDPH about the risks of heat events as well as ways to monitor conditions and take precautions to protect your school communities on the CDPH Interim Health Guidance for Schools on Sports and Strenuous Outdoor Activities During Extreme Heat web page at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/EPO/Pages/ExtremeHeatPages/extreme-heat-guidance-for-schools.aspx.

Source: Health Guidance for Schools During Extreme Heat – Letters (CA Dept of Education)

Thurmond Unveils Financial Literacy Grants – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that he secured an additional $1.4 million in private funding for teachers in California high schools to help deliver financial literacy courses. He was joined in a virtual press conference by Tim Ranzetta, Co-Founder of California-based nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), who is partnering with the state to provide teacher stipends and professional development for financial literacy. This public–private partnership provides $1.4 million in professional development grants to train high school teachers, enabling them to offer personal finance electives at their high schools, and a district-matching grant program for personal finance specialists.

Research shows that students who have access to high-quality financial education have better financial outcomes as adults, resulting in less debt, and a higher quality of life. According to a NGPF report, while 70 percent of high school students nationwide have access to a personal finance elective or a guaranteed course, only 26 percent in California do. Superintendent Thurmond is working to change that.

Source: Thurmond Unveils Financial Literacy Grants – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

Incumbent Tony Thurmond, challenger Lance Christensen are heading to a November runoff in race to lead California schools – The Vacaville Reporter

By Kayla Jimenez

In a race that will determine the future for public schools in the Golden State following two years of pandemic closures, student learning loss, crippling enrollment declines and rising chronic absenteeism rates, California voters this fall will choose between very different candidates: incumbent and longtime politician Tony Thurmond and challenger and parent choice advocate Lance Christensen.

Thurmond received 45.9% of the vote in the June primary — short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff, as voters, upset about the ways schools were handled during the pandemic, split their choices among six other candidates. Christensen took second place with 11.9% of the votes, and will go head to head with Thurmond in the Nov. 8 election to decide who will become the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Source: Incumbent Tony Thurmond, challenger Lance Christensen are heading to a November runoff in race to lead California schools – The Vacaville Reporter

2022 National Youth Science Camp Delegates – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond named four outstanding students as California’s delegates at the 2022 National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp).

Rhea Jethvani of Oxford Academy in Cypress (Orange County), Maggie Yao of Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego (San Diego County), Aadity Sharma of Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon (Contra Costa County), and Meghana Balabhadruni of California High School in San Ramon (Contra Costa County) were selected for their high achievement and proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

“STEM education—or STEAM education, which aligns the arts with STEM learning—is an incredibly important priority of mine. Not only is a STEAM education a great equalizer for our students with career opportunities—especially for our disadvantaged students and students of color—it’s the foundation for our future thought leaders in science, the individuals we need as our society grapples with climate change,” Superintendent Thurmond said. “In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it’s more important than ever that our students are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions. These are the kinds of skills that students develop in science, technology, engineering, and math, including computer science.”

Source: 2022 National Youth Science Camp Delegates – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Champions Budget Package as a Key Win for CA – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

Yesterday’s signing of the 2022–23 state budget package marks another historic year of funding levels for education programs in California. Not only does this budget increase the base funding of the Local Control Funding Formula by approximately $9 billion, a 13 percent increase, it also directs key investments to areas specifically identified by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and the California Department of Education (CDE), addressing declining enrollment and funding for mental health services, community schools, literacy programs, universal school meals, and programs focused on improving all student outcomes in the wake of the pandemic.

Thurmond issued the following statement in response to the signed budget for the fiscal year 2022–23:

“I am grateful to the Legislature and the Governor for a budget that prioritizes recruiting mental health care providers to serve in our schools, addressing learning gaps, and investing in people and programs to serve all students, especially those most vulnerable. As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, California public schools will see a much-needed infusion of investments at a time when students and schools, especially those that have been traditionally underserved, require more support than ever before.

Source: SPI Champions Budget Package as a Key Win for CA – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

CA Wins National Award for Education Innovation – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that California has been named as winner of the 2022 Frank Newman Award for State Innovation, the nation’s preeminent award for education innovation. The annual award—now in its 24th year and presented by the Education Commission of the States (ECS)—recognizes a state or U.S. territory that is enacting education reforms or implementing programs to improve student outcomes on a large scale.

“This is an incredible honor, and while the work continues, we’re proud of this national recognition that shows how California is improving educational outcomes for its students, closing equity gaps, and transforming education for students from prekindergarten to adulthood,” said Thurmond. “State and local leaders, educators, and school staff put in tremendous effort every day to ensure our students and families heal from the effects of the pandemic, recover, and thrive.”

Source: CA Wins National Award for Education Innovation – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

$3 Billion in Grants for Community Schools – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

The State Board of Education (SBE) today approved an historic $649 million in California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) grants—much needed funding that will help hundreds of under-resourced schools improve student outcomes by creating the right conditions for learning.

“We know that the best learning environment is one where students are healthy and happy and surrounded by knowledgeable and caring adults attuned to their needs,” said State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond. “Unfortunately, schools in communities with high rates of poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity lack the funds to address student mental health issues, improve wellness, and support learning recovery. That’s why this program is so exciting: Well-resourced community schools have the potential to transform students’ lives and improve the well-being of families, thus uplifting entire communities.”

Source: $3 Billion in Grants for Community Schools – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

Thurmond Issues Statement on Governor’s May Revise – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today issued the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget for the fiscal year 2022–23:

“As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, California public schools will see a much needed infusion of investments at a time when students and schools, especially those that have been traditionally underserved, require more support than ever before. The revised budget directs a total of $128.3 billion to education, lifts up the most critical needs including historic funding for school mental health, recruitment and retention of teachers, and literacy strategies necessary to allow students to heal and recover after two very challenging years.

Source: Thurmond Issues Statement on Governor’s May Revise – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI Announces 2022 Civic Learning Award Recipients – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that 25 schools will receive the 2022 Civic Learning Award, which honor public schools’ efforts to engage students in civic learning. The awards celebrate programs, projects, classes, and individuals engaging students in civics, particularly during the pandemic. Now in its 10th year, the awards program is co-sponsored by State Superintendent Thurmond and Chief Justice of California Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and is part of the Chief Justice’s Civic Learning Initiative.

“These schools have deftly kept students engaged in civic learning through another tough year,” said State Superintendent Thurmond. “Through these programs, now more important than ever, students are encouraged to have an open dialogue about the social issues that inspire them to learn about our democratic system. During my time as a State Legislator, I authored the bill that became the law that provides student school board members the ability to vote on a school board. My office door continues to be open to students; I believe that their voices are key to transforming our education system.”

Source: SPI Announces 2022 Civic Learning Award Recipients – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

SPI-Sponsored Bills Progress to Becoming Law – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today celebrated several new pieces of legislation he is sponsoring making it one step closer to becoming law, thus improving the lives of California students and their road to success in the classroom.

One of those key pieces of legislation is Senate Bill (SB) 1229, authored by Senator Mike McGuire (D-North Coast). On Wednesday, Thurmond testified at the Senate Education Committee in support of the bill, which will add 10,000 mental health professionals to support schools and youth throughout the state.

“Given the struggles students have faced during the pandemic, I believe that this could be one of the most important bills that we act on this year. At this time, addressing the social–emotional needs of our students is job number one,” said Thurmond.

Source: SPI-Sponsored Bills Progress to Becoming Law – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

2022 CA Pivotal Practice Awardees Announced – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced the winners of the newly created 2022 California Pivotal Practice (CAPP) Award Program. The award program is being utilized by California in 2022 in place of the California Distinguished Schools (DS) Program. It celebrates schools and districts that implemented an innovative practice during the 2020–21 school year, when California required schools to offer distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m incredibly proud of these schools and districts for their creativity, dedication, and innovation in the face of adversity,” Thurmond said. “These schools led incredible efforts to engage students, distribute technology, provide meals, and support the social and emotional well-being of students during an incredibly difficult time for schools and families.”

Source: 2022 CA Pivotal Practice Awardees Announced – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)