News Briefs | FYI
September 5, 2022
Potter is CASCD’s Outstanding Instructional Leader of 2022
San Ysidro School District Superintendent Gina Potter has been named 2022 Outstanding Instructional Leader by the California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. According to the CASCD website, the award recognizes a leader “who has significantly impacted/influenced public education in California.” Individuals are nominated by their CASCD peers for influencing, advocating for and supporting professional growth and instructional leadership.
“I am so humbled and honored to receive this award on behalf of all our San Ysidro School District’s dedicated administrators, teachers and staff,” said Potter, who is also ACSA’s Vice President for Legislative Action. “I’m proud of the high-quality education we, as a team, provide for all our students and I’m grateful for the trust we have built with our families and the San Ysidro community. Our community has done an incredible job wrapping our wings around our children to nurture, care for and ensure their success.”
Potter has been an educator and advocate for students for almost 30 years and has served as SYSD superintendent since May 2018. As superintendent, her focus is on making sure students have an equitable opportunity to learn and receive the best education possible. This means making sure students have access to technology, health services and that all their basic necessities, such as food and shelter, are met so they may excel academically.
Prior winners of the CASCD Outstanding Instructional Leader award include Cindy Marten, former superintendent of San Diego Unified School District and current U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, and Karen Stapf Walters, former executive director of the California State Board of Education and current executive director of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association.
Gina Potter accepts the Outstanding Instructional Leader award from CASCD.
CSBA analysis looks at COVID relief funds
California school districts and COEs have spent 94 percent of their first round of federal COVID relief funds, according to a new analysis from the California School Boards Association.
CSBA conducted a survey of superintendents and chief business officials and analyzed expenditure reports from more than 900 LEAs in order to better understand how relief funds were being used.
“We hope this data will inform the conversation around the necessity and efficacy of relief funding for public schools, not only for COVID-19, but also to respond to future crises and to meet the ongoing needs of California’s 6 million public school students,” said CSBA CEO Vernon M. Billy, in the report released in July.
Flexibility built into the Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund (which has a spending deadline of January 2023) allowed districts to tailor spending based on local need. For instance, some districts used funds to secure devices and internet hotspots necessary to conduct distance learning, while others that already had devices used the funds for COVID mitigation measures.
The findings also acknowledged the difficulties in spending funds during COVID conditions.
“Some of the most significant impediments to spending included supply chain issues, concerns about funding programs with one-time monies, navigating reporting requirements, and, most acutely, problems with staffing shortages,” according to the report. “Matters related to staffing shortages, shipping delays, and planning for long-term obligations were compounded by the timelines and deadlines associated with the spending packages.”
According to CSBA’s survey of superintendents and school business officials, 91 percent said filling vacant or new positions were moderately or very challenging barriers to using relief funding, and 72 percent described staff burnout as very challenging to implementing new programs.
Read the report at

State releases first-ever teacher assignment data
More than 80 percent of teachers are fully authorized to their courses according to a first-ever statewide release of teacher assignment data.
This information provides a snapshot that shows how teachers are authorized to teach their assigned courses based on a variety of factors, including the subject area of the course and the number of students enrolled in the course. The data was released on June 30 by the California Department of Education, in cooperation with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the State Board of Education, and creates a baseline data set that will inform state and local decisions over the coming years as agencies work to address teacher shortages, a long-term national issue exacerbated by COVID-19.
According to the data from the 2020-21 school year, 83.1 percent of teacher assignments are clear, meaning the class or course is taught by a teacher who has a credential and is fully authorized to teach the course.
Another 4.4 percent of assignments are out-of-field, meaning the teacher has a credential but has not demonstrated subject matter competence; 1.5 percent of classes or courses are taught by teachers with an intern credential; and 4.1 percent of assignments are considered ineffective, meaning the teacher is authorized by an emergency permit, or holds a teaching credential but is teaching outside of their credentialed area without authorization, or holds no credential, permit, or authorization to teach in California.
The data report is the result of extensive cooperation between the CTC and the CDE. Following the state board’s approval of teacher assignment definitions in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act state plan, the agencies began developing a roadmap for providing the public with meaningful data. The complete data can be found on the CDE DataQuest 2020–21 Teaching Assignment Monitoring Outcomes (AMO) web page.

SBE seeks applications for Student Board Member

The California State Board of Education is now accepting applications for the 2023–24 Student Board Member position. Any student who is a California resident and enrolled in a public high school, will be a senior in good standing in the 2023–24 school year, and will be available to attend a statewide student leader conference in Sacramento on October 30–November 2, 2022, is eligible to apply. For more information about the 2023–24 Student SBE Member application, please visit the CDE Student Board Member Recruitment web page or contact the SBE by email at Complete applications must be received by 5 p.m. on October 7, 2022.
Magazine seeks submissions on Early Childhood Ed
Leadership magazine is seeking submissions for its January/February 2023 issue with the theme “Early Childhood Education.” Topics include ECE funding; implementing transitional kindergarten; training and careers in ECE; emerging trends; wage gaps; best practices; developmental milestones; social and emotional learning; and cognitive and physical skills. Articles should be at least 750 words and include practical information written in an informal style. Email your article to Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Naj Alikhan. Find Leadership online at The submission deadline is Oct. 3, 2022.
Free webinar discusses student standards
California ASCD invites you to a free webinar at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29, 2022, “Too Many Standards, Not Enough Time.” Join Douglas Reeves for this interactive professional learning seminar that will address one of the greatest concerns of teachers and leaders: “How can I possibly cover everything?” As a result of this seminar, participants will have a clear process for focusing on the most important standards and assessing student work. Visit to sign up for this session via Zoom.
2023 Schools to Watch applications are now open
The California Schools to Watch application for 2023 is now open. This program identifies model middle-grade schools that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive, and socially equitable and that have a culture of collaborative leadership. The submission deadline is October 3. For more details and to apply, visit
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