News Briefs | FYI
November 2, 2020
Leadership Summit, awards programs held this week
ACSA’s Leadership Summit is an online virtual event this week, with live content on Nov. 5-6. Registration is available via credit card until the morning of Nov. 5, and recorded content will be available to registrants for one week after. Register at
. Plus, don’t miss the chance to celebrate the winners in our virtual awards ceremonies. The Every Student Succeeding Awards will be 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, and the Administrator of the Year Awards will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6. Everyone is invited to these public awards ceremonies broadcast live at
Magazine seeks submissions on career readiness
Leadership magazine is seeking submissions for its March/April 2021 issue with the theme “Career Readiness.” Topics include preparing students for future jobs, the gender gap in STEAM and STEM, diverse workforces, CTE and academies, agriculture programs and FFA, women in science and math, digital citizenship, project management, educating students on adult responsibilities, and soft skills. For more information, e-mail
Naj Alikhan
. The submission deadline is Dec. 7, 2020.
CDE assessment webinar held Nov. 19
The CDE Assessment Update webinar will be from 2-3 p.m. Nov. 19. During this webinar for LEA CAASPP and ELPAC coordinators, the CDE Assessment Division will present updates and provide a question and answer session. To register, go to
CalSTRS reverses position on leave service credit
CalSTRS has reversed its earlier decision on how certain leaves are treated in the retirement system, according to a client news brief from Lozano Smith Attorneys at Law.  Due to the significant concerns that were raised by many groups in response to the restrictive position taken by CalSTRS in its Jan. 23 Circular Letter that paid administrative leave was not creditable compensation under the Teachers’ Retirement Law, CalSTRS responded by sponsoring new legislation to address these concerns.  Assembly Bill 2101, signed into law on Sept. 29, amended Education Code section 22144.3 and expanded the definition of “leave of absence” included in the Teachers’ Retirement Law. The new definition makes it clear that employer-approved compensated leaves, such as paid administrative leave, do count for service credit in the CalSTRS system and the corresponding compensation qualifies as creditable compensation.  In addition, this amendment applies retroactively to any paid administrative leave taken on or after Jan. 1, 2016, resulting in certain paid leaves that were previously excluded by the statute now considered as creditable.  Lozano Smith notes that these statutory amendments do not impact lump sum severance arrangements, which still do not count for purposes of retirement in the CalSTRS system. 
CDC releases considerations for school-based COVID-19 testing  
The CDC has released interim considerations for K-12 administrators who are considering testing students and staff for COVID-19.   The considerations, which are meant to supplement any existing state or local laws and policies that are already in place, recommend first testing symptomatic individuals, then those who have had contact with someone with COVID-19, and then all students, faculty, and staff with possible exposure.   “The benefits of school-based testing need to be weighed against the costs, inconvenience, and feasibility of such programs to both schools and families,” according to the CDC considerations, which were released Oct. 11.  The CDC has included a suggested strategy for identifying those with possible exposure to a COVID-infected person, with the highest risk of transmission (those who were less than 6 feet apart for more than 15 minutes), next highest risk (those in the same cohort who maintained 6 feet of distance), and lowest risk (those who use common spaces, but not at the same time as the positive case).  The CDC also outlines types of testing (molecular and antigen) and considerations for each. For instance, antigen tests can return results quickly in 15 minutes, but they are more likely to miss detecting the virus in asymptomatic individuals.  There are also considerations on required reporting of testing results, training and PPE requirements for those doing the testing, how to obtain consent from parents, and concerns about who will be tested and how to avoid stigmatizing infected students, teachers and staff.  Read the full CDC considerations page at
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