News Briefs | FYI

February 10, 2020
Sample assessment questions now online Smarter Balanced has released more than 100 new items online as well as new annotated anchors for the English language arts/literacy assessment. This is the first release of operational test questions from the summative assessments and will highlight the critical role educators serve in item development and the rigorous process used to create high-quality items. A total of seven annotated anchors also will be released, one for each grade level for grades 3-8 and grade 11. The anchors serve as a valuable resource for educators looking to better understand the performance task items and scoring while also supporting students in the critical skills of self-evaluation and extended response writing. Sample items can be found at Annotated anchors for ELA assessments are at by clicking on Practice Test Resources and Documentation. Committee on Accreditation nominations due Feb. 28 Nominations are being accepted for one K-12 and two institution of higher education Committee on Accreditation members for the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Prospective members must submit application materials by Feb. 28, 2020. Submit applications to A nominations panel screens the applications and determines the finalists. Finalists move forward to the review by members of the CTC, which typically includes an interview. The commission may choose new members and individuals to serve on an alternate pool should vacancies occur outside the regular term. 
Summer Food Service Program fills the nutrition gap State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has announced that applications are available for the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, both federally funded, state-administered programs that serve free meals to children 18 and younger when school is out of session.  “Food insecurity is a daily struggle for some of our students and their families and that struggle can become even more critical during the summer months,” said Thurmond, in a news release. “Summer Meal Programs provide children in poverty with the nutritious meals necessary to help them strive physically and mentally. A child who is not distracted by hunger is a child ready to learn.” According to the California Association of Food Banks, 85 percent of children who benefit from the federally funded free or reduced-price lunches during the school year miss similar lunch programs available during the summer. Every summer, 17 of 20 low-income students fall into the summer nutrition gap. In 2019, the Summer Meals Programs served more than 14 million meals at close to 5,000 sites throughout the state.  “This type of effort could not exist if it weren’t for the sponsors.” said Thurmond. “Last year, close to 600 agencies participated. The ability to feed kids throughout the state, in multiple locations, and in some of the most economically challenged communities would not be possible if organizations did not apply. The more agencies we have, the more kids we can serve.”  Summer meal sites are located in communities where at least 50 percent of the children quality for free or reduced-price school meals. Programs delivered through K–12 schools such as school nutrition are not subject to the public charge rule. SFSP and SSO are not considered public benefits that could impact an individual’s immigration status. All meals meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition requirements, and no paperwork or personal information is required for children to participate.  Organizations eligible to participate in Summer Meal Programs include schools, camps, nonprofits, tribal governments, and government agencies. Applications are due by May 15, 2020. For more information about Summer Meal Programs, visit the California Department of Education Summer Meal Programs web page,  If your agency is interested in becoming a sponsor or hosting a meal site, contact the Summer Meals Unit at 1-800-952-5609 or  If your organization is not able to provide meal services, please consider promoting Summer Meal Sites in your community. You can locate meal sites on the Summer Meal Service Site web page,
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