News & Announcements
Looking Ahead

2022-2023 CA Budget Act Highlights

California’s historic investments in TK-12 education continue in the 2022-2023 Budget Act. Considerable funding for the Local Control Funding Formula (~$9.3B) and the Learning Recovery Emergency Fund (~$7.9B) provide local educational agencies with resources to create opportunities for every student to learn and thrive. The state is providing a substantial investment of $100 million to expand the Community Engagement Initiative (now codified in statute with a new Education Code Section, 52073.3). CCEE will receive $5 million to administer the program, significantly expanding the number of local educational agencies participating and building capacity for transformational community engagement. The CCEE also received $200,000 in one-time Federal IDEA funding to convene a panel of experts to refine the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Addendum template.

Whole-Child Aligned Changes in Practice

Turnaround for Children offers free tools and resources to support educators with whole-child-aligned changes in the classroom. Heidi Reed and Katie Brackenridge provide recommendations on planning for the year ahead and incorporating the Turnaround for Children Toolbox into everyday classroom practices.

Phase 3 MTSS Grant Application Now Open!

The California Department of Education, in partnership with the Orange County Department of Education and the Butte County Office of Education,  is pleased to announce that our Phase 3 CA MTSS grant opportunity is now open. This grant will provide an opportunity for school sites, LEAs, and county offices of education to build capacity toward full implementation of the CA MTSS framework to improve outcomes for all learners. This grant is open to public schools and LEAs, public charter schools or County offices of education and county run schools in California.

Grant details can be found on the attached flyer and on our website at:

Important Dates:

  • Application Release Date: July 15, 2022
  • Application Deadline: October 15, 2022
  • Preliminary Award Announcement: November 15, 2022
  • Appeal Deadline: November 18, 2022
  • Final Award Announcement: December 1, 2022 

Grant  Period:

  • March 1, 2023-March 30,2026

 For questions, please email [email protected] 

Equity Corner

CCEE aims to continuously celebrate culture, promote equity, and embrace diversity. In the month of September there are many reasons to celebrate. Explore just a few reasons to celebrate this month.

Free Training for Teachers to Strengthen Their Family Engagement Practices

The 4-session asynchronous series equips educators on how to build trust with families, more effectively and equitably share data, and navigate difficult conversations.

You can access the training on SBAC’s Tools for Teachers California website. Information how teachers can create a login are available here.

In Case You Missed It

September System  of Support Update

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
Community Engagement is Essential to Building Capacity

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

The goal of Family and Community Engagement is that all students have access to schools with the resources, opportunities, and supports that build connections among families, students, schools, and communities in order to improve students’ support and achievement.  

Our Transformative Systems for Equitable Educational Outcomes (TSEE) Center, is focused on doing just that.  Through the Community Engagement Initiative, the CCEE and their educational partners, San Bernardino County Office, California Association for Bilingual Education and Family In Schools team, have been focused on building the capacity of LEAs to improve community engagement efforts.  

Please look below for highlights and efforts to build capacity for improved Community and Family Engagement.

A Relationship-Based Approach to Student Success

By Chris Hartley, Ed.D., Deputy Executive Director

California is one of the most diverse states in our country and our schools directly mirror the richness and complexities associated within each of the communities they serve.  When schools and communities align supports and services while working toward common goals, our children and youth benefit.  From urban to rural settings, our schools serve as the hub for community engagement actions like, after and before school programming and activities, extracurricular events, and a multitude of direct student support services.   

Examples of this work in action are highlighted in this newsletter. The CCEE Center for Transformative Systems for Equitable Educational Outcomes (TSEE) has active initiatives and tremendous partners throughout the state collaborating to design, implement and enhance this important connection between schools and communities.  My sincere gratitude to the TSEE team and the many creative and dedicated LEA partners who are designing, implementing and modeling so many impactful programs and services.

Families in Schools

Tommy Chang, Ed.D., Acting CEO & President, Families in Schools

How community engagement and/or community schools are providing students access to schools with the resources, opportunities, and supports that build connections among educational partners to improve support and achievement

For  over 20 years, Families In Schools has partnered with schools, families, and communities to support student learning. We understand, like all of you, that when  these three facets of society work together, student achievement improves and we set up our children for lifelong success. 

Over the last 2+ years, we have all experienced the impact of a global pandemic to our lives and our neighborhoods. For the communities we serve, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated gaps in access to education, health care, and other economic prosperity. And while we have witnessed the commitment of our schools and  the families they serve to find innovative responses to tackling the disruption to schooling, social services, and community engagement, more support is needed.

More investments in socioemotional and mental health services, expanded learning opportunities, and deeper partnerships with families are critical. We must continue to support the efforts of schools and districts to partner with families and communities so resources align and opportunities are opened in order for all students to thrive.

Families In Schools is proud to co-lead the California Community Engagement Initiative over the last three years to build capacity in communities and districts, to identify the “bright spots” across the state, and to scale up this work by developing peer-to-peer partnerships and sharing best practices broadly. Because of our collective effort, this initiative will be expanding with an additional $100 million from the State over the next six years to reach more school districts and more communities throughout California.

The future of our state depends on schools, community, and government authentically working together to create true transformative and sustainable change. Let’s continue to expand the reach of this incredible work together.

Santa Ana Unified School District

Jerry Almendarez, Superintendent of Schools, Santa Ana Unified School District

Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) believes that parental engagement in education is a hallmark of academic success and key to the social-emotional well-being of every child. This value is reflected across our Board of Education Priorities, which guide our core principles as a district.

As the pandemic forced our district to pivot across a variety of areas, SAUSD remained focused on engaging our community as we developed new initiatives to continue delivering effective instructional support to our students. SAUSD launched the District System Design Partnership in late 2020. This collaborative effort included parents and other key community partners who met virtually over nearly a year with the goal of creating the SAUSD Graduate Profile, which outlines key competencies each SAUSD graduate must possess to compete globally. The Graduate Profile was adopted by our Board of Education earlier this year. 

Our district Family and Community Engagement (FACE) team was instrumental across every step of the way throughout the process of building our Graduate Profile. SAUSD remains committed to providing the necessary resources to ensure our FACE team continues to offer invaluable support for our families. This includes plans to hire a FACE liaison for every school.

Our FACE team is only one piece of our district’s comprehensive Wellness Plan, that also includes lowering our student to counselor ratios to 250 to1, having a school psychologist at every campus, hosting Wellness Centers across all schools, and implementing District Integrated Support Hubs. All these efforts are strategically aligned to build and improve connections with our students, families and overall SAUSD community.

Universally Designing Systems of Support: Accessibility, the IEP Process, and Family Partnerships Learning Series

Elise Yerkey, M. Ed., Implementation Specialist, California Coalition for Inclusive Literacy

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”

— Alexander Den Heijer

In response to practitioners and parents across our state, the California Coalition for Inclusive Literacy (CCIL) has designed three webinar series to strengthen the partnership between educators and parents/caregivers to support all learners. This academic year we will explore: Accessibility, Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Process.

Our fall series debuts on September 12th with an introduction to universally-designed state assessments and the ways all students engage with and perceive tasks, as well as, demonstrate what they know and can do.  The accessibility series continues September 19th with a look at how universally designing instruction prepares students for these next-generation assessments. The fall series culminates with the webinar “Beyond Multiple Choice: Fostering Expert Learning,” an examination of how student agency during instruction and assessment opens doors to lifelong learning.

This first series sets the groundwork for the winter series: a look at the roles parents and caregivers play in a Multi-Tiered System of Support. How can family engagement enhance the continuum of support for students whether they are being newly-considered for further intervention support or they have been receiving special education support for years as outlined in their IEPs.

The spring series offers educators insights into building family partnerships through inclusive communication to avoid alternate dispute resolution and litigation. For more information on this series, see the Fall Flyer or visit the CCIL website.

One More Tool for the Community Engagement Toolbox

Andrew Lawton, Program Specialist – Communication & Strategic Engagement, CCEE

When it comes to connecting with families and community partners, districts have many options; from the low-tech flyer, to the common social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.). There is however an often overlooked platform that districts can take advantage of that offers unique benefits like geographically targeted posts, and access to a built-in audiences that you wouldn’t have to worry about growing yourself.

Nextdoor, the popular neighborhood app designed to connect neighbors, offers special accounts to local public agencies, including school districts. Popular with first responder agencies like police and fire departments, Nextdoor offers public agencies a built-in, verified local audience to communicate with. More information about signing up can be found on their website using the button below. If you sign up I’d love to hear about your experience. Don’t hesitate to reach out using my email address below.

Contact Andrew at [email protected]

Meet our Newest TSEE Team Member!
Julie Boesch, Ed.D.
Assistant Director, System of Support

Personally, Julie’s proudest accomplishment is raising her four amazing sons!! Professionally she is a strong advocate for the necessity to create an environment that encourages growth on every level, for every student, every day.  She is passionate about working collaboratively to develop systems of support, especially for small, rural districts, as we work to transform the education system with the implementation of Expanded Learning Opportunities for all, Community School’s approach to serving the whole child and Universal PK.

Fun Fact: Julie loves change and taking risks. She once jumped out of an airplane with a friend of her son’s for his 21st Birthday because all of her sons were too afraid to do it.