CAN Newsletter – Caring for Our Community
March 17, 2020

CAN Newsletter
Hands holding a globe

We know that the last few days and weeks have not been easy for anyone, and many folks have been faced with difficult decisions and challenges. Many of the afterschool staff and the children, youth, and families we serve already deal with many fears and trauma. While we cannot physically gather with one another - this is a time for our community to come together and support one another. As we all work to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus ) we want you to know that the entire team at the California AfterSchool Network is here for you.

We are working with our partners in California and Washington, D.C. to voice your concerns and weigh in on legislation, regulations, and policies created to address the virus. We will continue to work to ensure that emergency funding and policies support afterschool programs as well as other institutions that support our families and communities.

During this time, the Expanded Learning Division at CDE is encouraging grantees to work locally with hourly and classified staff, partner agencies, and community-based organizations to negotiate financial relief to support individuals affected.

We have been compiling a webpage of valuable resources and information regarding COVID-19. The page includes links to consistently updated state and national public health sites, information on providing meals during school closures, resources for your agencies and families, and information on how to reduce stigma in the COVID-19 context.

We will continue to update this webpage and other parts of our websites with more resources in the coming weeks, including resources to support working from home, virtual meetings, supporting students at home and so forth. If there are particular resources you are interested please email

Now is a great time to consider Social Justice in a Time of Social Distancing [] and How to Keep the Greater Good in Mind During the Coronavirus Outbreak – “The advised precautions for dealing with the coronavirus ask us to focus on ourselves… As much as we have to take these precautions, we must also understand that they are doing something to us. They are arranging us in ways that produce effects.” ”In the midst of our panic around COVID-19, we must look to each other to help us get through it.”

We love you, stay safe and healthy. Together, we will adapt and overcome.   

In This Newsletter:

CDE Logo

CDE Expanded Learning Division Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance
March 13, 2020

The California Department of Education is aware of the unprecedented situation regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is working to determine the best steps to manage the crisis. The Expanded Learning Division’s (EXLD’s) priority is to diffuse the fear, reassure, and support our expanded learning program participants, families, staff, and partners.

CDE Logo

California Department of Education Receives Special Federal Approval That Enables Districts to Feed Students During Coronavirus-Related Closure
March 11, 2020; CDE News Release

SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Education (CDE) has received a special waiver called CA COVID19 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will enable a school district that had previously been approved to operate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to provide meals to students during a coronavirus-related closure.

Free Summer Meals for Kids

Application are NOW OPEN for Summer Meals!
Applications Due: May 15, 2020

“Food insecurity is a daily struggle for some of our students and their families and that struggle can become even more critical during the summer months, Summer Meal Programs provide children in poverty with the nutritious meals necessary to help them strive physically and mentally. A child who is not distracted by hunger is a child ready to learn.”

Learning in Afterschool & Summer

A Look Ahead to Afterschool in the Next Decade

The most recent blog post from Learning in Afterschool & Summer interviews afterschool leaders regarding how they viewed the opportunities and the challenges to afterschool as we head into a new decade.

Hear from Corey Newhouse, Stu Semigran, Deborah Moroney, Bill Fennessy, Rebecca Fabiano, and our own Jeff Davis!

Cover of Creative Ways to Solicit Feedback Equitably

New Guide: Creative Ways to Solicit Feedback Equitably

In order to ensure programs and services are equitable and inclusive, we need feedback from stakeholders. This is generally generated through surveys, which can create survey fatigue for participants and staff. Incorporating a greater variety of feedback approaches will help to assure that everyone – regardless of age, ability, or language fluency – has an opportunity to share their experiences and voice their opinions. 

Students writing at Desks

New Research on Improving Special Education Services

More than 725,000 of California’s K-12 students qualified for special education services in 2018-19, but they entered a system that is often ill-equipped to serve them. A new brief from PACE summarizes the findings from the PACE Policy Research Panel on Special Education: Organizing Schools to Serve Students with Disabilities in California.

Logo: California Department of Education

Important CDE Updates
March 2020

Important updates from the California Department of Education Expanded Learning Division (EXLD) regarding:

*Important Due Dates
*Upcoming Regional Events