May 2020
This issue of What’s Happening has more free resources and opportunities for educators, students, and families as we all continue to work and learn from home. We wish all of our readers health and stability as we get through this together.

Stay safe!
SDCOE Resources for Educators During COVID-19
SDCOE’s COVID-19 Website

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) continues updating its dedicated COVID-19 website with resources and materials to assist administrators, educators, and families during this crisis.

In addition to materials such as distance learning and templates, there are also pages focused on mental and emotional health for students and families. Some of the items are highlighted below.

Check the site regularly for new information and share the link with your school community. Contact with any questions or comments.
Mental Health Support

We know that COVID-19 safety measures can put a lot of stress and pressure on families, so SDCOE teams created several resources for districts and schools to share with their staff and families.

Student Safety at Home

Students have far fewer in-person interactions with adults outside of their home during the COVID-19 state stay-at-home order. This can cause increased stress and strain. During a crisis, child abuse and neglect typically increase, but since schools have closed, the number of reports of abuse in San Diego County have significantly decreased. Students are also spending more time online, leading to concerns for their safety.

SDCOE has created a poster with tips to empower school staff to continue reporting abuse or neglect, and there is a graphic with FBI-recommended ways to keep kids safe online.

Social-Emotional Learning Resources

Teaching during a pandemic, educators should give themselves permission to veer from the planned lesson or activity and address the current needs of students. Staying connected builds community and strengthens trust.

New social-emotional learning resources from SDCOE can help by giving you tools to focus on helping students relieve anxiety, build relationships, and prioritize physical and emotional well-being.
Free Daily Webinars

In addition to the extensive instructional resources categorized by content area at, SDCOE has more than 100, bite-sized distance learning webinars available on demand. Contact Staci Block with any questions.
Census 2020: All Our Voices Count
As thousands of California residents stay home in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we have to get creative to make sure everyone gets counted in the census.

From east to west, north to south, all our voices count. Together, we can ensure federal funding for essential resources like health care, public safety, and education stays in our communities.

Please share this video and encourage your school community to complete the census now at
Learning at Home Bingo from SDCOE and The San Diego Union-Tribune
Learning at Home Bingo is a partnership between SDCOE and The San Diego Union-Tribune to support learning while schools are closed.

The weekly Bingo cards come out every Sunday and are available in the Local section of the ne wspaper and digitally. Each week focuses on a particular subject area. Recent editions have covered science, math, and music.

The cards contain lessons that integrate different content areas across grades K-12 so that the activities are accessible for all students and support teachers’ efforts. The game gives families and students some choice, whether that means doing the activities from B to O, or hopscotching around the card. The activities don’t require a lot of materials and equipment, and many can be done independently.

Check this Sunday's paper for the next edition of Learning at Home Bingo!
Star 94.1 and Kaiser Permanente Get Fit and Thrive Challenge
Teachers, get your students ages 6 to 14 started on a summer of fitness by challenging them to participate in the Get Fit and Thrive Challenge!
The program has been redesigned to promote healthy family living with current restrictions in mind. Kids can perform easy activities, such as completing fun workouts online from the YMCA, taking a family bike ride, getting healthy living tips from the Kaiser Permanente website, or preparing healthy recipes at home.

Active participants will be entered in a monthly drawing for prizes, and qualified participants will be entered to win the grand prize of a weekend getaway for a family of four.
To take part in the challenge, students need to download a challenge card, complete five easy activities, and submit their card before the Aug. 28 deadline.

Visit the Star 94.1 program webpage on or after May 4 for more details. Contact Maureen Ferreira with any questions.
Teach Kids About Money and Business With Biz Kid$ Distance Learning
SDCCU is sharing its award-winning, comprehensive financial literacy program, Biz Kid$, to help teachers and parents engage students at home with a fun and interactive way to learn about money.

Biz Kid$ focuses on teaching kids how to use credit wisely and the importance of saving, budgeting, investing, and giving back to their communities. The program includes an Emmy award-winning television series, free curriculum, outreach activities, and a website for kids of all ages.
All of the Biz Kid$ episodes are based on national standards for financial literacy and entrepreneurship education and have been mapped to individual state standards. For more information and to access the online resources, visit
New Resources Help Students Learn About Essential Skills
SCDOE and the San Diego Workforce Partnership have teamed up to provide educators and parents with resources to help students develop skills that San Diego County’s employers are looking for in new hires. Building essential skills helps students manage their academic life, make goals for the future, and interact with others in a more meaningful way.

Learn more at See skill-building challenges by grade level and download a poster explaining essential skills.
Outdoor Education While Staying At Home
Cuyamaca Outdoor School Home Edition

To help teachers, parents, and students capture some of the great experiences from 6th Grade Camp, Cuyamaca Oudoor School (COS) has launched its home edition, complete with videos, activities, lessons, and more, to engage students in science and connect them to nature right from their own homes.

The COS home edition has something for everyone, with fun, user-friendly resources that are helpful for expanding distance learning curriculum. Content is being posted regularly to the  COS Facebook page  (search "Cuyamaca Outdoor School,") and YouTube (search "Cuyamaca Outdoor School Home Edition.")
SDCOE Science Outreach Programs Are Moving Online

SDCOE Outdoor Education Splash Science Lab and Green Machine programs are inquiry-based, hands-on learning experiences that engage and inspire thousands of San Diego County students each school year. Now, teachers and students will be able to access program content and experiences virtually.

Elements such as presentations, worksheets, quizzes, and videos are being modified to meet the online platform, while staying true to the core curriculum content of each program. Click on the links to access a variety of content related to each program. More content is coming soon.

  • Green Machine (grades K-3): Soil science, beneficial and harmful insects, water cycle

  • Splash Science Lab (grades 4-8): Water conservation, pollution, urban runoff, storm drains and sewers, water quality, ecosystem dynamics, environmental impact

Please contact Jonathan Witt with any questions.
San Diego County Water Authority

With their usual school outreach programs on pause, the San Diego County Water Authority is sponsoring free educational videos geared to students in grades K-5. Kids can learn about water use in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as how clean tap water is, the proper way to wash hands, and more.

The videos, produced by the Razzle Bam Boom team, can be seen on their I Love Water webpage. There is also an option to view the videos in non-YouTube versions.
Save the Date: Chargers Character Playbook Live
Chargers 2020 draft picks Kenneth Murray and Joshua Kelley will be participating in a webinar discussing topics like understanding and managing emotions, communicating effectively, resolving conflicts, and more.

The Character Playbook webinar is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on May 13 via Zoom, and is open to all classes and individual students in grades 6 to 9. Email for more information, and to reserve your spot.
Kind, Connected, and Creative During COVID-19
As schools remain closed and distance learning has begun, families have an unprecedented challenge -- keeping our students healthy, energized, connected, and uplifted.

Kids for Peace, organizers of The Great Kindness Challenge, has responded to this extraordinary time with free online projects to give purposeful activities to kids. The projects include fresh ways to connect with other kids, care for the elderly, thank our healthcare workers, celebrate birthdays safely, send love out to the world, and more. Visit the Kids for Peace page to read more about these projects and also learn about activities for families and tips for parents.
Bring a STEAM Professional to Your Virtual Classroom
The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering and Biocom have recruited all kinds of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math professionals who would like to visit your classrooms virtually!

  • STEAM professionals will join your classroom virtually to spend 30 minutes with your students -- 15 minutes to talk about their companies/jobs, and 15 minutes for questions and answers.
  • They will follow a standard template to talk about their work but may also be able to adjust their comments to fit your curriculum.
  • They will use the virtual meeting platform being used in your classroom.
  • There is an opportunity to request professionals that speak languages other than English.

Visit the Biocom STEM distance learning page to learn more and sign up as an educator or parent to request a visit. Contact Silvana DelPiccolo with any questions.
San Diego Family Magazine May Digital Issue
San Diego Family Magazine is bringing San Diego County families their May issue in digital format.

Parents can find these helpful articles, and more:
  • San Diego MOMpreneurs
  • When the Quarantine is Over
  • 23 Virtual Adventures for Kids
  • Help for Class of 2020 Parents
  • Full STEAM Ahead - free printables

Flip through the digital edition. More ideas and resources are available at
Calling All Young Playwrights
Playwrights Project invites students who are 18 or younger as of June 1 to enter the 36th annual California Young Playwrights Contest.

The writers of the winning plays are assigned a playwriting mentor to further develop their piece and the resulting scripts will be professionally produced in 2021 at a professional theatre in San Diego. There is no entry fee, and every young writer who requests feedback on their script will receive an email or letter with suggestions for future revisions.

Submissions are due June 1. Visit the contest page for guidelines and submission instructions. For any questions, email or call 858-384-2970.
Esports Hockey Online Challenge
The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) has teamed up with pro hockey teams for an online design challenge for hockey fans and Minecraft designers.

The 2020 Minecraft Face-Off is for students in grades 3 to 12 who can team up to face other teams in the U.S. and Canada for a chance to win prizes. Registration is free. Learn more at the NASEF website. The challenge closes on May 15.
Virtual Museum Experiences and Opportunities
San Diego Museum Council

While San Diego’s museums and cultural institutions are currently closed, the San Diego Museum Council has announced dozens of enriching virtual museum events, experiences, tours, educational resources, and fun activities that everyone can enjoy from the safety of home.

Over 30 local cultural institutions are participating in offering:
  • Educational resources to supplement home schooling
  • Online lectures or events
  • DIY activities that inspire creativity, and more

Visit the council's website to see what's available. Follow the San Diego Museum Council on social media for the latest information and daily tips from its member museums to explore #SDMuseumsatHome.
The Museum of Tolerance

The MOT has a variety of resources available for students, families, and educators to engage in historical material and learning about positive change.

Virtual resources include:
  • Exhibition tours
  • Workshops for students
  • Professional development for educators
  • Live sessions led by MOT Youth Educators
  • Facilitated learning modules that explore the lessons of the museum 
  • Survivor testimony with discussion 

Visit the MOT website for more information. If you are interested in a custom experience created for your school community, email
Scholarship and Award Opportunities for Students

Marines in Flight Art Contest
The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation has extended the deadline for its annual art contest for students in grades 6-12. Students can express their creative skills while learning about U.S. and aviation history. Cash awards of $100 to $300 are given in two grade-level categories. All winning artwork will be displayed at the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. Visit the contest webpage to learn more. The extended deadline for online submissions is May 15.
Women in Transportation Scholarship

The Women in Transportation (WTS) San Diego chapter encourages young women to undertake careers in transportation by awarding scholarships to high school students pursuing studies in transportation-related fields. Visit the WTS San Diego website for more details and to access the application, which includes a list of eligible fields/programs of study. Applications are due May 31.
HCC/AMN Healthcare Scholarship

Through Health Care Communicators (HCC) of San Diego, high school seniors in San Diego County who plan to enter the health care field after college can apply to win a $2,000 scholarship courtesy of AMN Healthcare. The application deadline is June 30. Visit the HCC website for more information.
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