California Educator

August / September 2017

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Headed to Mars California Casualty brought some "Uptown Funk" to CTA's Presidents Conference in San Jose in July. Lodi Education Association Vice President Aimee Ramsower was the lucky recipient of a pair of tickets to see Bruno Mars at the nearby SAP Center, courtesy of California Casualty, provider of the CTA Auto and Home Insurance Program. (See for program details.) English Learner Roadmap In July, the State Board of Education approved the California English Learner Roadmap to help state school districts understand and educate the diverse popula- tion of students who are learning English. About 1.4 million public school students, roughly one in four in the state, are classified as English learners. The Roadmap — the first new language policy adopted in nearly 20 years — removes outdated barriers to bilingual and multilingual instruction, and helps schools meet updated state and federal education laws and requirements. " The Roadmap will guide teachers and school dis- tricts all across California as they help students on their way to success in 21st century careers and col- lege," says state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. The California Department of Education (CDE), with support from the Sobrato Family Foundation and the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, received input on the recommended policy from over 370 educators during public meetings. CTA State Council's Language Acquisition Committee discussed the policy and provided feedback as well. CDE will develop guidance materials and resources for imple- mentation of the policy, which will be Web-based and include successful practices that districts will contrib- ute to and be to able share. The Roadmap will also help schools comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and Califor- nia's Local Control Funding Formula, both of which require specific assistance so English learners meet the same academic standards as other students. For more, see Attendance Awareness Students are more likely to attend school when they feel connected to caring adults who notice whether they show up. Educators, of course, are in position to build caring relationships with students and stress good attendance, which helps children do well in school and eventually in the workplace. (By middle and high school, poor attendance is a leading predic- tor of dropping out.) Attendance Awareness Month, in September, helps parents, educators and community work together on school attendance as an essential strategy for ensuring students are on-track to learn and succeed. Attendance Works offers a toolkit for educators to "teach attendance." It includes ways to: • Emphasize attendance from Day 1, with sample letters and handouts in multiple languages. • Use a parent-teacher conference to talk about attendance, with guidance on what to say, how to prepare, and more. • Promote a culture of attendance all year long, with sample incentives, certificates, infographics. For the full toolkit, see 11 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 017 Tom Torlakson

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