Williams Case COVID-19 FAQsFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and responses regarding the Williams Case and COVID-19.
Materials and Curriculum
1. If the adopted instructional materials do not work well for remote learning, can the school district supplement with instructional materials that have not been adopted by the State Board?
Yes, per Education Code (EC) Section 60210 as long as the instructional materials are still aligned with the content standards.
2. Do school districts need to provide all students with hard copies of adopted texts?
Instructional materials should be aligned to the content standards and be consistent with the content and cycles of the curriculum framework. Instructional materials, as defined in EC Section 60010(h), may be printed or non-printed, and include textbooks, technology-based materials, other educational materials, and tests.
3. Can school districts temporarily freeze textbook adoptions?
School districts are still required to ensure that their textbooks are aligned to the current academic content standards and consistent with the content and cycles of the curriculum frameworks.
4. Can a school district approve a new curriculum but not purchase textbooks?
Students must have access to instructional materials that are aligned to academic content standards and consistent with the content and cycles of the curriculum frameworks. If the school district is not purchasing textbooks, other instructional materials must be provided. The definition of instructional materials is in EC Section 60010(h).
5. Does hardware need to be provided to every student to remain in compliance? (updated 9/21/20)
No, but pursuant to EC 43503(b), during distance learning LEAs are required to confirm or provide “access for all pupils to connectivity and devices adequate to participate in the educational program and complete assigned work”.. All students must have access to instructional materials, whether digital or hard copy, in order to remain in compliance. Technology-based materials must also meet the definition of sufficient instructional materials. Please refer to the Instructional Materials FAQs, question 34.
6. Do software programs need to be provided to every student to remain in compliance?
Please see answer to question #5.
7. Does WiFi or hotspots need to be provided to every student to remain in compliance?
Please see answer to question #5.
8. If families choose not to take the assigned Chromebook, would this be a Williams Act finding if hardware becomes the norm for compliance?
No, but the student must still have access to sufficient instructional materials.
9. Can a school district continue piloting curriculum for another year before adoption?
Please refer to the Instructional Materials FAQs, question 21.
10. Can a school district wait to adopt new curriculum due to budget restrictions?
The current textbook adoptions must be aligned to academic content standards and consistent with the content and cycles of the curriculum frameworks.
Oversight and Facilities
11. What will site visits look like if schools remain closed? (updated 9/22/20)
The County Office of Education (COE) may rely on other information, including school administrator and teacher surveys, in order to obtain information required for the annual report. The annual visit is also waived during the period that in-person instruction is not being offered. Please refer to EC 1241, recently added with the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 820, for more information.
12. Can monitoring occur without site visits? Such as gathering information remotely? (updated 9/22/20)
Yes, due to the passage of SB 820 and the added EC Section 1241(b). The provision in EC Section 1240(i)(3)(B), which permits COEs to use written surveys as a means of gathering information to review instructional materials for COEs who monitor 200 or more schools, has been extended to all COEs.
13. Does the information gathered remotely apply only to instructional materials? (new 9/22/20)
No. Pursuant to EC Section 1241(b)(2), COEs may use information from school administrator or teacher surveys for information required in the annual report.
14. Can physical site inspections be suspended for the 2020–21 school year? (updated 9/22/20)
The requirement in EC Section 1240(c)(2)(H) for COEs to conduct annual visits has been waived for any school that is not offering in-person instruction, but site inspections should still occur if in-person instruction is being offered. [EC Section 1241(b)(3)].
15. What happens if schools reopen? Will COEs need to conduct site visits? (new 9/22/20)
Pursuant to EC Section 1241(b)(3), the annual visit is waived only for the time that the school does not provide in-person instruction. The COE shall plan to visit all necessary schools if they reopen. If the COE is unable to visit a school due to insufficient time, the school must be prioritized for a visit during the following school year.
16. Do site inspections need to resume if the school is operating at a hybrid model or with small cohorts for in-person instruction? (new 10/2/20)
Yes. Pursuant to EC Section 1241(b)(3), the annual visit is waived only for the time that the school does not offer in-person instruction.
17. Can COEs inspect when student presence is not required?
18. What if the visiting team members are at-risk? (updated 9/22/20)
If a school is open and the COE decides to conduct an on-site visit, schools and visitors should take necessary precautions aligned with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance. Please refer to the CDE Guidebook for Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools for guidance on outside visitors.
19. Are 25% of the visits still required to be unannounced? (new 9/22/20)
No. Pursuant to EC Section 1241(b)(4), this requirement is waived for the 2020–21 school year. However, a COE may still conduct an unannounced visit, as long as it is undertaken in compliance with state and local public health official’s orders or guidance.
20. Can in-person facilities inspections be done by on-site maintenance staff?
Inspections must be completed by the COE.
21. What will facilities inspections look like if schools remain closed? (updated 9/22/20)
COEs may rely on information from school administrator and teacher surveys for facilities inspections.
22. Should COEs review facilities to comply with COVID-19 requirements, such as disinfecting and social distancing?
It is recommended, but not a statutory requirement. Please refer to the CDE Guidebook for Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools.