Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19

FAQs about the closure of school in response to COVID-19, Form J-13A, the reporting of attendance for apportionment, and instructional time.

CDE's Main Coronavirus (COVID-19) Web Page

Executive Order and Senate Bill 117

Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-26-20 dated March 13, 2020 established a streamlined process for school closures in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in lieu of the existing process for submitting Requests for Allowance of Attendance Due to Emergency Conditions (Form J-13A).

In addition, on March 16, 2020, the California Legislature passed and, on March 17, 2020, Governor Newsom signed, Senate Bill 117 (Chapter 3, Statutes of 2020). This bill is a companion to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-26-20 and mitigates the effect of lost attendance due to COVID-19 that occurred after February 29, 2020. For the purpose of preventing losses of attendance-based funding as a result of reductions in average daily attendance (ADA) due to COVID-19 this legislation provides that the ADA used for both the second period and the annual period apportionment includes all full school months from July 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020 for all local educational agencies (LEA).

Additional FAQs will continue to be posted to this web page as additional information becomes available.

COVID-19 School Closures

  1. If an LEA closes schools in response to COVID-19, will the LEA experience a loss in funding? (New 18-Mar-2020)

    No, provided the LEA certifies to the California Department of Education (CDE) that closure of the school(s) occurred to address COVID-19.

  2. If an LEA closes school in response to COVID-19, does a Form J-13A school closure request need to be submitted to CDE? (New 18-Mar-2020)

    No, in-lieu of the Form J-13A (Revised December 2017), an LEA that closed school in response to COVID-19 must submit to the CDE the Certification Form for COVID-19 Closure (COVID-19 Closure Form) (Coming Soon).

    An LEA does not need to submit the COVID-19 Closure Form now, but should submit the COVID-19 Closure Form to CDE as soon as possible once the emergency is over. This way the LEA can determine the exact number of school closure days to be included in the certification.

  3. Do I need a letter of substantiation from my local public health office for a COVID-19 school closure? (New 18-Mar-2020)

    No. While initially a letter from the local public health office was required to substantiate a COVID-19 school closure, the March 13, 2020 Executive Order N-26-20 provides the authority to reduce the number of school days offered for the 2019-20 school year by the number of days school was closed in response to COVID-19 without substantiation from the local public health office.

  4. In what way is the COVID-19 closure certification different that the J-13A approval process? (New 18-Mar-2020)

    Due to the provisions in the Governor’s March 13, 2020 Executive Order N-26-20 and SB 117 regarding school closures, LEAs that close in response to COVID-19 need to submit a Certification Form for COVID-19 Closure rather than a Form J-13A request. The Certification Form for COVID-19 Closure (COVID-19 Closure Form) is available on CDE’s website (Coming Soon).

    The required certification is as follows:

    • County Office of Education: for county office programs, county superintendents must submit a certification to the SSPI of the number of days closed in response to COVID-19 and attest that the closure occurred to address COVID-19.

    • School District: for the closure of school district sites, district superintendents must submit a certification to the SSPI of the number of days closed in response to COVID-19 and attest that the closure occurred to address COVID-19.

    • Charter Schools: for the closure of charter school sites, charter school directors must submit a certification to the SSPI of the number of days closed in response to COVID-19 and attest that the closure occurred to address COVID-19.

  5. Is CDE’s acceptance of a school closure certification in response to COVID-19 conditional on an LEA complying with the requirements in #2 of the Executive Order? (New 18-Mar-2020)

    No, although LEAs are being held harmless to a loss in K-12 ADA based school funding as to not disrupt the school system and as such are expected to the extent possible based on local circumstances, to provide services to students in the three areas highlighted in paragraph 2 of the Executive Order and to continue paying staff as reasonably anticipated if the school had not closed.

Calculating and Reporting P-2 and Annual Attendance

  1. How did SB 117 change how ADA is calculated for the second principal (P-2) and annual apportionment periods? (New 18-Mar-2020)

    For the purpose of preventing losses of attendance based funding as a result of reductions in ADA due to COVID-19, SB 117 provides that the ADA used for both the second period and the annual period apportionment includes all full school months from July 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020.

    In effect, SB 117 mitigates the effect of lost attendance due to COVID-19 that occurred after February 29, 2020. This bill is a companion to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-26-20.

  2. How does the language in the Executive Order and in Section 2 of SB 117 impact programs where attendance is calculated with a fixed divisor? (New 18-Mar-2020)

    Programs where attendance is calculated using a fixed divisor are permitted to reduce their divisor for COVID-19 closure days provided the LEA submits the supplemental certification form to CDE.

  3. How are school months determined for average daily attendance reporting? (New 18-Mar-2020)

    For the purpose of attendance accounting, the attendance calendar begins either the week of July 1 or the first week that students are scheduled to attend. Each school month consists of four weeks, five days each. All school months consist of 20 days, begin on a Monday, and end on a Friday. Winter break may be included or excluded when configuring the school months for ADA reporting. A school month for the purpose of attendance accounting differs from a normal calendar month.

    It is common for charter schools to operate a five-day school week, however charter schools have the option to operate up to a six or seven-day school week (Sunday-Saturday). If the charter school offers classes on the weekend, it is counted as another instructional day and would be included in their divisor when calculating their ADA. Each school month consists of four full school weeks.

  4. Should LEAs claim attendance for apportionment for participation in independent study or other types of distance learning while school is closed in response to COVID-19? (New 18-Mar-2020)

    No. For purposes of attendance accounting to claim apportionment, days school is closed are considered non-instructional days. Although LEAs are encouraged to provide independent study or other types of distance learning to the extent possible while closed, no attendance for apportionment should be claimed for days that school was closed. See question #6 above for additional information.

  5. Are absences due to COVID-19 student illness or quarantine considered a qualified condition for a material decrease request? (New 18-Mar-2020)

    Yes, although due to SB 117, LEAs will be funded for attendance that was generated for all full school months through February 29, 2020. With the shorter window for ADA, a material decrease is only needed for losses of attendance that occurred prior to the end of a LEA’s last full school month up to February 29, 2020. To the extent a LEA has a material loss of attendance due to students with COVID-19 symptoms or quarantine prior to the end of February 29, 2020 please contact CDE at attendanceaccounting@cde.ca.gov for additional guidance.

Instructional Days and Minutes

FAQs for this topic will be coming soon.

Questions:   Principal Apportionment Section | attendanceaccounting@cde.ca.gov | 916-324-4541
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Recently Posted in Allocations & Apportionments
  • Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 (added 18-Mar-2020)
    FAQs about the closure of school in response to COVID-19, Form J-13A, the reporting of attendance for apportionment, and instructional time.
  • CARS News Flash #69 (added 06-Mar-2020)
    News Flash 69 was sent out announcing the Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS) counts for Free and/or Reduced Price Meal eligibility enrollment counts were created using fewer criteria and may need to be adjusted.
  • CARS News Flash #70 (added 06-Mar-2020)
    News Flash 70 was sent out as a clarification to News Flash 69 regarding the enrollment and low-income eligibility counts in the 2019–20 School Student Counts form and provides information on how to verify the counts.
  • Statewide LCFF Summary Data (added 20-Feb-2020)
    Statewide summary data for the Local Control Funding Formula.
  • LtrQ3-19: EPA Payment letter, FY 19-20 Q3 (added 20-Feb-2020)
    Second quarterly apportionment for the Education Protection Account for fiscal year 2019–20.

  • 2019–20 First Principal Apportionment (P-1) Letter (added 20-Feb-2020)
    Letter to county superintendents of schools, auditors, and treasurers for the 2018–19 First Principal Apportionment.
  • CSESAP Frequently Asked Questions (added 06-Feb-2020)
    Frequently asked questions and answers on the Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program (CSESAP) pursuant to Education Code (EC) 45500 added by Sec. 27 of SB 75 (Ch. 51/2019), and amended by Sec. 5 of AB 114 (Ch. 413/2019).
  • CSESAP Employee Election Form (added 06-Feb-2020)
    Instructions for the Employee Election Form to Participate in the Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program (CSESAP) applicable to the 2020–21 school year and after.
  • Title V, Part B Authorized Use of Funds (added 30-Jan-2020)
    Title V, Part B federal funds address the unique needs of rural local educational agencies.