ACSA EdCal logo.
Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
News Briefs | FYI
April 19, 2021
CDPH releases graduation ceremony guidelines
The Class of 2021 should be able to participate in graduation ceremonies while wearing a mask and keeping six feet apart from their fellow classmates — but there will be no hugs or handshakes. That’s according to new guidance from the California Department of Public Health for schools planning graduation and commencement ceremonies.
The guidance directs school administrators and commencement organizers to monitor their county’s risk level when making plans for ceremonies. All ceremonies must adhere to attendance limitations as defined within the current CDPH Outdoor Seated Live Events and Performances Guidance.
Among the required ceremony modifications:
  • All attendees, including school staff, performers, students and families are counted toward any occupancy capacity limit.
  • If multiple ceremonies are planned for a single day, schools must allow for at least two hours between ceremonies to prevent mixing across attendees.
  • Limit attendee groups to a household unit. People from the same household do not need to be six feet apart.
  • Audience seating must be fixed or marked, with readily identifiable signs to indicate by section, row and seat. Marked seats should clearly define space for individuals with appropriate space per person (no blanket reservations or group areas).
Other required control measures include mask wearing and preregistration of attendees.
The guidance also suggests graduates walk across the stage individually and turn their tassel in lieu of being handed their diploma, in order to keep six feet of spacing and to avoid touching of objects.
Find the full guidance at
Three million rapid COVID tests available for schools
Gov. Gavin Newsom and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on March 18 announced a partnership between the California COVID-19 Testing Task Force and the California Department of Education to deploy up to 3 million rapid COVID-19 antigen tests at no cost to support the safe return to in-person learning for staff and students in some of California’s most disadvantaged school districts. The tests will be delivered to school districts in regions hardest hit by the pandemic and serve greater numbers of high-risk students and families, such as households in poverty, farmworkers and communities of color as part of an expansion of an existing pilot program for antigen testing in schools.
The credit card-sized rapid antigen tests — which can be administered by any trained member of the school staff and can provide results in just 15 minutes — will be free to school districts. The California COVID-19 Testing Taskforce will provide the required training and oversight to participating K–12 schools.
Patel receives administrator of the year award from CUE
Digital Learning Innovation Coordinator Sonal Patel was awarded Administrator of the Year by Computer-Using Educators (CUE). Patel was honored on March 19 at the Virtual Spring CUE EdTech conference.
Patel (@Sonal_EDU) is an EdTech champion. Her work at San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools is centered around closing the digital equity gaps for students countywide. Patel supports teachers, coaches and administrators through professional learning opportunities that are focused on blended learning practices. In 2019, Patel established the Inland Empire Computer Science Equity Task Force which aims to create systematic changes that provide rigorous and inclusive Computer Science education to all students.
“Sonal is an exceptional technology leader working to create equitable digital learning environments,” said County Superintendent Ted Alejandre. “She sees the potential in each of our students and actively works to ensure they can be successful in today’s ever-changing, technology-rich world.”
CUE is a nonprofit educational corporation founded in 1978. Its goal is to inspire innovative learners in all disciplines from preschool through college.
The Administrator of the Year Award is presented to an administrator who has made noteworthy contributions to promoting educational technology within their school, district and/or region and builds a learning environment that promotes ongoing risk-taking and exploration. Honorees are nominated by their CUE affiliate members and selected by the CUE board, staff and awards committee.
CDC: 80 percent of school workers vaccinated
Nearly 80 percent of pre-K-12 teachers, school staff and childcare workers received at least their first shot of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of March, according to the CDC’s latest estimates and survey data.
“Our push to ensure that teachers, school staff, and childcare workers were vaccinated during March has paid off and paved the way for safer in-person learning,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, in a news release.
On March 2, President Biden directed all states to make pre-K-12 teachers, school staff and childcare workers eligible for vaccination and prioritized vaccinations for them within the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program during the month of March. Following the directive, the number of states where these essential workers were eligible increased by more than 50 percent. Many jurisdictions made significant efforts, including holding school-specific vaccination events, that contributed to the success of this national endeavor, in addition to the prioritization within the pharmacy program.
More than 2 million teachers, school staff, and childcare workers were vaccinated through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program during the month of March. Additionally, 5-6 million were vaccinated through their state programs through the end of March.
CDC and its partners conducted surveys of Pre-K-12 teachers, school staff, and childcare workers at the end of March. CDC received almost 13,000 responses from education staff and nearly 40,000 responses from childcare workers. The responses closely matched available national race/ethnicity and demographic data on this specific workforce.
Community of Practice discussion held April 30
Piecing It Together Virtually: A Community of Practice will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 30. Join the ACSA Curriculum Council and the Region 15 Comprehensive Center housed at WestEd for this third community of practice conversation. Education professionals from throughout the state will engage in problem solving, sharing best practices, creating professional connections as resources and providing data to inform state-level policy. Any administrator wrestling with these issues is invited to attend — ACSA membership is not required. Visit to register for this free event.
Committee of Credentials seeks to fill vacancies
The Commission on Teacher Credentialing is seeking applications to fill vacancies for Public Member, School Administrator, and Secondary Teacher positions on the Committee of Credentials. The application can be found at The final filing date for applications is May 26, 2021.
CAASSP/ELPAC testing window extended to July 30
The Office of Administrative Law has approved emergency regulations for the CAASPP and ELPAC that allow the extension of the summative testing windows to continue through July 30, 2021. This additional flexibility is available for Local Educational Agencies in their endeavor to complete summative assessments for the 2020–21 school year. Refer to CAASPP and ELPAC Emergency Regulations web page ( for the specific language.
Contact Us

© 2020 Association of California School Administrators