CCEE Connection (October 2022)

News & Announcements
October Resources
  • Lifting Our Voices Field Guides – Developed in partnership with the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA), the Lifting Our Voices Field Guides document the different perspectives, experiences, and reflections of our students, teachers, parents, and families of color, allowing us to harness the power of the “lessons learned” in 2020 and 2021 to reimagine a more successful educational experience for all students in California.
  • Microlearning Modules – Short 5-8-minute videos that share immediately applicable tips, strategies, and tools. Designed to support substitute teachers, paraeducators, and other instructional staff, these short 5-8 minute videos share immediately applicable tips, strategies, and tools. Microlearning modules are also supplemented with downloadable handouts, instructions, and other materials and resources.
  • UDL Journey Guide – This digital travel companion guides district leaders and teams through four stages of implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL), with connections to state and national supports along the way.

Meet the I3 Team
Headshot of Ingrid Robinson

Ingrid Robinson
Assistant Director of
Research Learning

Please join us in welcoming Ingrid Robinson, our newest member of the I3 Center! As the Assistant Director of Research Learning, Dr. Robinson will be leading CCEE’s Research Learning Network to provide data analysis support, coaching, and technical assistance for local educational agencies (LEAs). Prior to joining CCEE, she served as the Associate Superintendent of the Academic Services Division at the Alameda County Office of Education.

Fun Fact: Ingrid has been a certified scuba diver for nearly a decade, traveling the world with her teenage son and diving with dolphins, manta rays, and even sharks – at night.

About the I3 Center

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center implements a statewide approach to improving LEA capacity by collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting practices that have demonstrated the power to improve outcomes for students.

About the CCEE

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is a statewide leader delivering on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.

Executive Director’s Corner

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

At the core of continuous improvement is the use of data – data that allows educators to evaluate, reframe thinking, and adjust accountability for improvement. 

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local educational agencies will again focus on continuous improvement within the state’s accountability framework. At the recent State Board of Education meeting on September 14, 2022, the State Board reaffirmed its commitment to continuous improvement by approving modified accountability determination criteria on the upcoming 2022 Dashboard to support local educational agencies (LEAs). 

CCEE works in partnership with the State Board of Education and the California Department of Education to use data to inform how to best support LEAs across the state in improving student outcomes. That means that our state is working to model continuous improvement to provide the tools to examine and measure student outcomes in a way that is helpful to local educators and communities. 

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center is responsible on behalf of the CCEE to collect and provide data on projects that support the ability of the CCEE and other state lead agencies to support LEAs with their continuous improvement processes. This month’s newsletter will highlight some projects and initiatives led by the I3 Center.

Successes and Challenges in Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

By Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Sujie Shin

Chronic absenteeism has affected a significant percentage of California’s K-12 student population and is likely to continue to do so over the coming years due to the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

From January to July of 2022, CCEE convened the Chronic Absenteeism Research Learning Network (RLN) under the leadership of Aldo Ramirez, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for the Salinas City Elementary School District, to understand district successes and challenges in reducing chronic absenteeism and its implications for statewide support. This working group of educational partners identified 80 school districts that had made significant progress in addressing chronic absenteeism in California over the past five years and interviewed teams from nine districts across the state, varying in size and grade spans.

The Chronic Absenteeism RLN published a brief that aims to better understand how the issue of chronic absenteeism has been addressed by districts and what improvements could yield better student outcomes. It highlights insights and best practices collected from districts that were able to decrease their chronic absenteeism rate in the past five years and offers recommendations on how local educational agencies (LEAs) could help increase student attendance.

Click on the headers below to learn more about this work. The full brief, which delves deeper into the data, best practices and strategies, and opportunities for statewide support, can be found on this webpage.

Cumulatively, the group of nine LEAs studied demonstrated a decrease of 1.4% in chronic absenteeism rates from 2017-2021, while all LEAs in California experienced an increase of 3.5% (for a total difference of 4.9 percentage points). More impressively, when we removed an outlier district from the group of nine that saw its absenteeism rates go past the 25% mark during the pandemic, the remaining eight LEAs in the study shared a collective gain of 3.0% over the 2017-21 time period — a difference of 6.5 percentage points from all California LEAs during the same time. Finally, the LEAs in this study still remained below the state average of 14.3% for SY20-21 — with or without the outlier district (see picture below).

Although the nine districts had slightly different approaches to improving attendance (based on community and context), they shared common characteristics and offered some replicable takeaways. These takeaways aligned with the CCEE’s theory of action framework of leveraging both mindsets and processes to create continuous improvement cycles that lead to change and improve student outcomes. Successful districts shared the following mindsets and practices:

  1. Shifting mindset and building understanding
  2. Leveraging strong data practices
  3. Integrating practices across the whole district
  4. Utilizing early intervention
  5. Providing consistent and focused wraparound communications
  6. Ensuring strong support and staffing
  7. Maximizing community partnerships 
  8. Developing flexible paths for students

Based on the information gleaned from district leadership teams in the course of six months, the workgroup highlighted six potential areas for implementing systemic practices that could help mitigate chronic absenteeism:

  1. Clear and consistent messaging and communication 
  2. Flexibilities around how and when learning takes place 
  3. Updates to the School Attendance Review Team (SART) and the School Attendance Review Board (SARB)
  4. Training and tools to support attendance
  5. Forging a path for a more “connected system” and inter-agency collaboration
  6. Effective data systems and practices

Leveraging Lessons Learned to Advance Educational Equity

By Dorcas Kong, Senior Specialist of Executive Projects, CCEE

The National Coalition on Education Equity (NCOEE), along with its partners, Indiana Council on Educating Students of Color, WestEd, National Council on Educating Black Children (NCEBC), and the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) hosted a national conference from October 5-7, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The 2022 National Equity in Action Conference brought together educational stakeholders from across our nation to learn about and share transformational programs and practices to improve outcomes for students of colors, marginalized students, and students with disabilities. 

Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director, joined Dwight Bonds and Ken Wesson from CAAASA to present the Lifting Our Voices Field Guides, which leverage the experiences and reflections of students, teachers, and families of color during the COVID-19 pandemic to serve as guides for reimagining a more equitable educational experience for our students. Although this project came out of the pandemic to document “lessons learned” in 2020 and 2021, the Field Guides shed light on the greater equity challenges that continue to be faced by our students of color. CCEE collaborated with CAAASA to package those lessons learned into meaningful professional learning opportunities that can be assessed as a PDF or through an interactive, web-based learning path. Each Field Guide includes focused learning objectives; video clips of leading educational professionals; interviews with students, teachers, and parents; reflective questions and differentiated professional learning activities that can be used with a variety of audiences; and links to additional resources and tools.

CCEE had the opportunity to engage in a conversation with our partners at CAAASA about the Lifting Our Voices Field Guides. Click on the questions below to view their responses.

The Lifting Our Voices Field Guides lend themselves towards professional learning that provides essential information to any educator who regularly works with African American students at any grade level. It is not uncommon for educators to believe that treating all students in an identical manner meets the ethical goal of equality in education (“fairness”). However, all patients in a hospital emergency room should not be administered the same medical remedy for their Illness, since there is an almost unlimited range of medical needs. Effectiveness is a considerably more significant goal in education than sameness, acknowledging that each student comes to school with a wide array of academic needs. In any American classroom, students enter that room with unique academic histories, a wide continuum of background knowledge, various levels of competency in different subject areas, along with multiple ways of demonstrating their conceptual understanding. Most importantly, many African Americans share a long history, as well as numerous contemporary lived experiences that impact both how they view formal education and how they respond to daily educational procedures. Being cognizant of this background information is critical for anyone charged with teaching African American students from Pre-K through graduate school.

The entire collection of Field Guides offers a wealth of information, charts, graphs, statistics, questions and answers, first-person testimonies, resources, references, and videos that can also be used to support both online and in-person professional development for individuals or teams, as well as teacher training courses offered by any college of education. Focused on 12 different subject areas that impact education for today’s African American students, the Field Guides are available in a downloadable PDF format or as an online, interactive learning path, with built-in QR codes and icons with video instructions.

The most important equity challenge facing educators can be found in the question, “What do I need to know about the daily experiences of African American students for my own teaching effectiveness?” It is difficult to successfully teach students knowing little or nothing about their culture, backgrounds, needs, lived experiences, etc. — all vital information for successful educators.

Middle-class teachers are frequently unaware of the daily difficulties that students of color and poverty experience, which affect how those children both behave in school and learn in class. When students cannot relate to the values presented by the teacher, the content, and/or illustrations in the curriculum, student engagement will be minimal at best. The values of the dominant culture are often so foreign to students of poverty and of color that those values are rejected because there is no correlation with the lived experiences of black and brown students.

Educators are cognizant that student engagement comes by way of the relevance that students see in the curriculum or by the linkages that a teacher makes between students and the adopted curriculum. Among the most significant lessons that we have learned about formal education is that a clear distinction must be made between “equality” (treating the same) and “equity” (giving each student what he or she personally needs). The Lifting Our Voices Field Guides unashamedly focus on the equity needs of African American students and students from other communities of color. Meeting their specific needs is how education can truly be advanced.

Upcoming Resources for UDL Implementation

By James McKenna, Assistant Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development, CCEE

Headshot of James McKenna

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) is committed to advancing the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in California and is actively partnering with county offices, System of Support leads, and national organizations in that effort. We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the new resources we will be releasing later this fall.  

The UDL Journey Guide is getting an upgrade! First released in February of this year, the Journey Guide supports district leaders and teams to plan their implementation of UDL and connects them with state and national partners that can support them in those efforts. CCEE is currently partnering with CAST, the Center for Applied Special Technology and the inventors of UDL, to refine the Journey Guide to provide implementation guidance in alignment with CAST’s UDL School Implementation Certification Criteria.  

CCEE has also partnered with TextHelp to produce the “Why UDL” video series, connecting UDL to key efforts such as advancing equity and antiracism, supporting students with disabilities and language learners, aligning to California’s Multi-tiered System of Supports (CA MTSS), and more. These videos can support your learning as well as become part of your communication and engagement efforts within your community. The full series will be released in November, but below is the first video – “What is UDL?”.  

Finally, we are hard at work on our first UDL learning path made specifically for teachers. Working with partners in the field and guided by an advisory group of classroom teachers, we will offer this asynchronous, interactive online learning option openly and freely to all who are interested in learning more about classroom implementation of UDL. We hope to launch this learning path by mid-November.  

For more information on CCEE’s work in UDL and to share your thoughts, needs, questions, and more, contact us at [email protected]

NEW: Learning Path for High-Impact Tutoring

By Nhi Hang, Program Specialist, CCEE

Headshot of Nhi Hang

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) North America and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) partnered to develop an interactive learning path on Implementing Evidence-Based Tutoring for High Impact. The learning path features seven modules to support district leaders looking to implement, improve, and reflect on the impact of their tutoring programs. 

With each module including videos and supporting resources, district and charter school leaders can deepen their understanding of the research behind tutoring before diving into the elements of highly impactful programs. Such elements include the importance of engaging stakeholders, finding effective tutors and training, as well as evidence-based components of program delivery. Furthermore, the interactive learning path describes how to conduct process and impact evaluations to assess the implementation as well as the results of a program.

CCEE Connection (July 2022)

News & Announcements
Community Engagement Initiative

As the Community Engagement Initiative enters its 4th year, we are excited to announce that our community of participating districts is growing from 17 to 46; representing the entire geography of the state, as well as county offices of education, charter schools, and rural single-school districts. Follow the CEI on Twitter for upcoming introductions to these new partners in our work.

In Case You Missed It

System of Support Updates (June & July 2022)

Friday 5 – Parent Resources to Promote Summer Learning at Home (7/8/22)

July Resources
Microlearning Modules

CCEE is partnering with content experts and experienced educators to develop “microlearning modules” — short videos sharing and explaining concepts, tools, and resources to support substitute teachers, paraeducators, and other instructional staff in the classroom.

Universal Design for Learning for School and District Leaders

Developed in partnership with the San Joaquin County Office of Education, this learning path provides a 30,000 ft. view of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – the why, the what, and the how to begin planning for and implementing UDL — with guidance for beginning your UDL journey as a school or district.

Assessment for Learning to Support Student Achievement

Developed in partnership with Validity Partners, this learning path introduces the “Formative Assessment (FA) Moves” framework to help teachers and students recognize, evaluate, and use “soft data” that emerges during and across a set of lessons.

It offers practical tips and tools, including video-based examples, worksheets, and templates to help users make progress — minute by minute, day by day — with assessment for learning practices rooted in research.

About the I3 Center

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center implements a statewide approach to improving LEA capacity by collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting practices that have demonstrated the power to improve outcomes for students.

About the CCEE

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is a statewide leader delivering on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.

Executive Director’s Corner

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

We all have something in common as educators — we want our schools to improve and innovate. Sometimes we differ on what schools should improve and innovate about. But at the end of the day, if we are not focused on improving and innovating on behalf of improved learning outcomes for all students, we might be missing the boat. 

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center is designed to do just that. Its focus is to support improvement and innovation for LEAs to accomplish the goals they set in the Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP). The I3 Center also provides innovative ways to help support LEAs with challenging problems. 

Below you will read about the Research-Practice Partnerships (RPPs) that are available for LEAs to support innovation and improvement, as well as the “microlearning modules” initiative, which is an innovative way to help bridge the gap between necessary knowledge for teaching and learning.


Matt J. Navo
Executive Director, CCEE

Collaborative Learning From LEA Innovations Through Research-Practice Partnerships

By Italo Ciccarelli, Program Specialist, CCEE

Headshot of Italo Ciccarelli

The focus of CCEE’s Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center is in using a statewide approach to collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting practices that have demonstrated the power to improve outcomes for students.

Applying lessons learned and best practices from our previous learning network initiatives, CCEE’s Research-Practice Partnership (RPP) establishes collaborative agreements between local educational agencies (LEAs) and CCEE to support the initial implementation of an early-stage project, program, or initiative that aims to improve student outcomes. Areas of focus for proposed programs or projects can include any of the State priorities as outlined in the LEA’s Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) as long as they have the explicit goal of improving student academic performance, engagement, or social-emotional well-being. This initiative will focus on the application of continuous improvement and research processes to examine formative outcomes and support informed decision-making in the early stages of systems change.

Interested LEAs can download the RPP application on CCEE’s website. Questions can be directed to Italo Ciccarelli at [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an application period or a deadline to apply for the Partnership?

Currently, there is no application cycle or an established deadline to apply for the RPP. Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received. CCEE will work directly with applicants LEAs to communicate on application decisions and next steps.

How long will it take for the application to be reviewed and for funds to be awarded?

The review process and the award of the funding will depend on the details specified in the application. There are many factors that will determine the timing of the approval and awarding decision. CCEE will review each application in the order in which it was received and will work in a manner to communicate with applicants on the status of the application.

How much funding is available through the RPP?

We anticipate that a typical short-cycle project may receive funding  ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. CCEE reserves the right to consider and accept proposed projects for varying timeframes and amounts based on its review of the LEA’s application pursuant to the criteria specified.

How many LEAs will be identified for a Partnership?

At this time, CCEE has not set a specific number of LEAs that will be identified for a Partnership. Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received. CCEE will communicate any changes to the procedure and updates on the RPP webpage.

Is there a limit to the number of applications an LEA can submit?

Currently, there is no limit to the number of applications an LEA can submit. However, it is recommended to follow the application guidelines to ensure the projects follow the specified parameters in order to be approved and receive available funding. CCEE reserves the right to consider and accept proposed projects for varying timeframes and amounts based on its review of the LEA’s application pursuant to the criteria specified.

Tips and Tools at Your Fingertips: Microlearning Resources by Educators for Educators

By Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Sujie Shin

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center is excited to announce the launch of our microlearning modules, brief 5-8 minute video learning tools designed to support substitute teachers, paraeducators, and other instructional staff who may not have access to more robust professional learning opportunities. These modules showcase master teachers from across the state, sharing immediately applicable tips, strategies, and tools in a brief video with downloadable handouts, instructions, and other supplemental materials and resources. 

CCEE has partnered with the California Subject Matter Projects (CSMP) and master teachers from each of the nine projects in the CSMP network to develop microlearning modules that provide quick tips, tools, and guidance in the key areas of classroom management, instruction, assessment, and social-emotional well-being.  Learn more about our partnership and access the resources developed with the subject matter teams on our CSMP microlearning modules collection page.

Center for Assessment logo
Partner Spotlight
Accelerating Student Learning with Formative Assessment Practices

CCEE is also proud to continue partnering with innovative, equity-minded leaders in the assessment and accountability space, like the Center for Assessment.

The Center for Assessment, in conjunction with CCEE, has developed microlearning courses aimed at introducing formative assessment processes. These microlearning courses provide new and aspiring educators with the knowledge and skills necessary for gathering information about what students know and can do so that instructional decisions support and accelerate student learning. These micro-courses can also provide experienced educators, instructional coaches, and administrators an opportunity to reflect on formative assessment practices used throughout all classrooms.

To support the use of these microlearning courses with teachers and instructional leaders, the Center for Assessment will be facilitating a learning network in the Fall. District leaders who are interested in applying to participate, should contact Dorcas Kong at [email protected] for more information. 

Learn more about our partnership with the Center for Assessment and access all the modules on this webpage.

CCEE Connection (January 2022)


Centered around social-emotional learning (SEL) and student wellness, this month’s newsletter features partner contributions from Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) and Butte County Office of Education (BCOE).

Carolyn Gray and Amanda Dickey from SCCOE write about how the county elevated student voice to open new student wellness centers at 12 local school sites. Sandra Azevedo from BCOE shares her reflections on leadership, systems, and social-emotional learning.

Resource Type

Reports & Publications

Type of Audience

Site Administrator / Instructional Coach, Systems Leadership, Teacher

Topic Area

Family and Community Engagement, Responsive Teaching & Learning, Social-Emotional Well-being