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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
News Briefs | FYI
January 11, 2021
Panel recommends teachers for next round of vaccines

A CDC panel has recommended K-12 teachers and school staff be included in the next phase of coronavirus vaccine distribution.
The panel considered reductions in death and illness as well as the “preservation of societal function” in selecting which essential workers should receive the vaccine next. In addition to teachers and school staff, people age 75 and older, workers in food and agriculture, firefighters and police, U.S. Postal Service employees, corrections workers, and grocery store workers were recommended to receive the shot as part of Phase 1b, which could begin in January.
The first Americans started receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Dec. 14 as part of Phase 1a of distribution, which prioritized health care workers and those living in long-term care facilities.
The expert recommendations, which were made Dec. 20, will be used by states as they make plans for vaccine distribution.
In his Safe Schools for All school reopening framework released Dec. 30, Gov. Gavin Newsom said teachers would be prioritized for vaccinations through Spring 2021.
CA releases first data on use of restraints in schools
As mandated by state law, the California Department of Education has released the first set of data on the use of restraints and seclusions in the state’s schools. AB 2657 went into effect Jan. 1, 2019 and allows a school to use restraints or seclusion only if a pupil’s behavior means there is a clear and present danger of serious harm to the pupil or others. It does not allow their use for coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation.
The law also requires LEAs to track and report data to the CDE. In the 2019-20 school year, 91 students were mechanically restrained, 2,457 students were physically restrained, and 361 students were secluded, according to CDE data released last month.
The law defines mechanical restraint as the use of a device or equipment to restrict a pupil’s freedom of movement. Physical restraint is defined as a personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of a pupil to move his or her torso, arms, legs, or head freely (not including temporary touching or holding of the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder or back for the purpose of inducing a student who is acting out to walk to a safe location). Seclusion is defined as the involuntary confinement of a pupil alone in a room or area from which the pupil is physically prevented from leaving.
Restraint and seclusion data is also disaggregated by student group, revealing that students who are restrained or secluded are predominantly male, socioeconomically disadvantaged and students with disabilities.
Student group data also show ethnic/racial designations. Of the 2,457 students who were physically restrained, for instance, 40 percent were Hispanic or Latino, 29 percent were White and 19 percent were African American.
Data includes students receiving both general education and special education. While not required by law, the CDE is also reporting separately for students attending non-public schools, the most restrictive placement for children with disabilities with the highest support needs.
“Publicly reporting this data is an important first step toward improving transparency and accountability by bringing potential issues to the surface,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in a news release. “Now that we have this data, the CDE can use this information as a starting point to begin having deeper, critical conversations with school system leaders.”
Beyond the public reporting requirement in AB 2657, the CDE Special Education Division will use this data in its mandated monitoring activities to ensure that students with disabilities are receiving a Free and Appropriate Public Education in the Least Restrictive Environment.
Downloadable data files are available on the CDE Restraint and Seclusion web page,
Graduation rate remains largely the same in 2019-20
Graduation rates for the 2019–20 school year remained essentially the same over the previous year, according to recently released data from the California Department of Education.
The four-year graduation rate was 84.3 percent, down slightly from 84.5 percent in 2018–19.
The Class of 2020 was impacted by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a majority of these students to shift to distance learning during the spring semester.
“The COVID-19 crisis upended the senior years of hundreds of thousands of high school students throughout California, and I am proud of the resilience of these young adults and of the educators who went above and beyond to help keep them on track to graduate,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in a Dec. 11 news release.
Graduation rates for many student groups remained level year-to-year, though some experienced decreases (Asian, Filipino, White) while others, including some of the state’s highest-need students, saw increases (American Indian or Alaska Native, English Learners, Foster Youth, Students with Disabilities).
Overall, statewide dropout rates for 2019–20 also remained largely stable at 8.9 percent, compared to 9 percent the previous year. The largest increases in the dropout rates were experienced among Asian, Filipino and White students, while the largest decreases were seen among students who are African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, English Learners, Foster Youth, or Students with Disabilities. Full data on graduation and dropout rates, as well as the five-year cohort graduation rate, is now available on the CDE’s DataQuest site,
NCTQ: More teachers prepped in classroom management
More elementary teacher preparation programs are training new teachers in research-backed classroom management strategies, according to newly released data from the National Council on Teacher Quality.
The council’s 2020 Teacher Prep Review looked at the training provided by over 1,000 elementary teacher preparation programs in how to manage a classroom and found that half of elementary programs are turning to classroom management strategies that are strongly rooted in research. That represents an increase of nearly 30 percent since NCTQ first began to measure training in classroom management in 2013.
“In previous editions of the Teacher Prep Review, the predominant approach to classroom management instruction by most programs was that establishing classroom rules and planning great lessons will prevent student misbehavior,” said NCTQ President Kate Walsh, in a news release. “As any teacher can attest, engaging classes alone are seldom enough. We are heartened by the growing acknowledgment of the many benefits of building new teachers’ skills in these key strategies.”
The review also looked at improving the quality of clinical practice, finding that few advancements have been made in adopting quality control metrics, particularly around selection of mentor teachers. The NCTQ recommends school districts and teacher preparation programs work together to match student teachers with specially selected mentor teachers who are passionate about developing aspiring teachers, have demonstrated effective instruction as measured by student learning, and have been trained in instructional coaching and mentorship.
Read the full report at
Clear credential enrollment deadline Jan. 29 Know someone who needs to clear their administrative credential? ACSA is now accepting applications for the winter cohort for its Clear Administrative Credential Program. ACSA has served more than 1,000 new administrators who receive individualized, one-on-one, job embedded coaching over the course of this two-year program. Start enrollment by contacting a Local Program Coordinator (list available at This year, program enrollees will enjoy Candidate Collaboratives, a forum for online group discussions on specialized topics important to new administrators. The enrollment deadline is Jan. 29.
Leadership magazine seeks student voices Leadership magazine is seeking submissions for its May/June 2021 issue with the theme “Student Voices (submissions by student authors).” Articles should be up to 2,500 words and include practical information written in an informal style. Find a full list of suggested topics and submission instructions at The submission deadline is Feb. 1, 2021.
Administrator of the Year nominations due Jan. 14 Through its annual awards program, ACSA honors administrators for their achievements and dedication to public education. Visit to use the online portal to submit a nomination. The deadline for submitting nominations for awards, in all regions, is Jan. 14, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Regions will then select their region winners and state finalists, which are forwarded to the statewide Awards Committee.
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