SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Education is launching additional virtual educator trainings and mini-grants designed to address equity gaps, strengthen distance learning, and support students’ social-emotional wellness during the pandemic, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said Tuesday.
The latest professional development webinars and the new grant opportunities are the latest efforts to build on the CDE’s training, guidance, and direct assistance provided to schools and educators throughout the months-long pandemic.
“Like all educators, I am concerned about the pandemic’s continued impact on our students, especially those students already pushed to the margins by historic and systemic inequities that have existed for generations and created persistent barriers to educational opportunity,” said Thurmond. “We know that until we eradicate the COVID-19 virus, some forms of remote learning will remain necessary in the weeks and months ahead for our schools to continue safe teaching and learning. That means we must continue putting resources into supporting our educators who are going above and beyond to engage all students.”
The upcoming professional development webinars include:
SEL Workshop for School Well-Being: Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, 3:30-4:30 p.m. via Zoom and CDE Facebook Live.
Coordinated in partnership with Beyond Differences and the Social Emotional Learning Alliance for California, this interactive professional development webinar for educators will provide resources and strategies for building supportive connections with students in the virtual world across K–12 grade levels.
Effective Distance Learning Practices and Home-School Connections: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, 3:30-5 p.m., via Zoom and CDE Facebook Live.
Coordinated in partnership with leading equity groups the California Association of Bilingual Education and the Parent Institute for Quality Education, this webinar will highlight evidence-based distance learning strategies that are working for students, with an emphasis on reaching and supporting students who are historically underserved in public schools.
Mini-Grants for Equity: Funded through a $200,000 contribution from the Stuart Foundation, the CDE will award grants of up to $20,000 each to schools, districts, and charter schools that can demonstrate how they will address equity and opportunity gaps by utilizing the funds to target educators’ or students’ needs in distance learning, in-person instruction, or hybrid models.
Funds can be used for a variety of purposes including professional development, family engagement, or other activities that strengthen student learning and connections. More details, grant criteria, and the application process will be issued in the coming days.
The resources announced are a continuation of the CDE’s ongoing professional development for educators during this pandemic, including dozens of webinars on the CDE Coronavirus Webinars web page, on the CDE Facebook page, the CDE YouTube channel, published guidance, the distribution of weekly resources to school districts, and more.