Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

2021–22 Form J-13A - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about the submittal and approval process of Form J-13A.

The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) provide additional guidance with regard to the Request for Allowance of Attendance Due to Emergency Conditions, Form J-13A requirements and all submissions for the 2021–22 fiscal year. The FAQs are reflective of changes as a result of Assembly Bill (AB) 167 (Chapter 252, Statutes of 2021), a clean-up bill to Assembly Bill 130.

Additional FAQs about the Form J-13A are available on the California Department of Education's Form J-13A web page.

Overview | School Closure | Material Decrease | Form J-13A Submissions

Overview

  1. How did AB 167 change the Form J-13A process for 2021–22? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    The following summarizes the changes to the Form J-13A process and requests for material decreases in attendance when school remains open and school closures that occur between September 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 as a result of AB 167:

    Material Decreases in Attendance – School Remains Open

    • A local educational agency (LEA) is not permitted to receive credit for lost attendance through the Form J-13A process for material decreases in attendance resulting from students that have been quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance, with the following exceptions:
      • Form J-13A requests for material decreases in attendance due to students in community day schools that have been quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance may be submitted.
      • Form J-13A requests for material decreases in attendance due to students who are individuals with exceptional needs, whose individualized education program does not specifically provide for participation in independent study that have been quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance may be submitted.
      • Form J-13A requests for material decreases in attendance due to COVID-19 related staffing shortages may be submitted if additional conditions are met.
      • In lieu of receiving attendance credit through the Form J-13A process, LEAs serve impacted students through independent study and claim apportionment pursuant to independent study requirements. More information regarding independent study requirements is located at 2021–22 Independent Study Attendance Accounting and Instructional Time Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).


    School Closures

    • An LEA is not permitted to mitigate losses of average daily attendance (ADA) through the Form J-13A process for COVID-19 related school closure requests, with the following exceptions:
      • Form J-13A school closure requests for COVID-19 related closure of community day schools may be submitted.
      • Form J-13A school closure requests for closure of a school site or class that only serves students who are individuals with exceptional needs, as defined in Education Code Section 56026, whose individualized education program does not specifically provide for participation in independent study may be submitted.
    • Although Form J-13A requests for COVID-19 school closures cannot be submitted to mitigate losses of ADA, they can be submitted to receive instructional time credit to meet the annual day and minute requirements to avoid audit penalties, if LEAs certify to offering independent study to all eligible students during the school closure.
    • Form J-13A requests require additional documentation and certification.


    AB 167 also adds clarifying amendments to the independent study plan required to accompany all Form J-13A requests for material decreases in attendance and school closures that occur after September 1, 2021.

  2. Are emergency events due to COVID-19 on dates prior to September 1, 2021 qualifying events for Form J-13A requests? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    Local educational agencies (LEAs) that experienced a COVID-19 related material decrease in attendance or school closure prior to September 1, 2021 can submit a Form J-13A to mitigate losses of average daily attendance (ADA) and receive instructional time credit for losses of attendance that occurred on dates prior to September 1, 2021. To the extent an emergency event begins prior to September 1 and extends beyond September 1, 2021, LEAs will only be able to submit a Form J-13A to mitigate losses of ADA for dates preceding September 1, 2021.

School Closure

  1. Are COVID-19 related school closures qualifying events for a Form J-13A request for the 2021–22 school year? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    It depends. Statute does not allow for the approval of most Form J-13A requests to mitigate losses of attendance due to COVID-19 related school closures but does permit some exceptions for community day schools, school sites or classes with students with exceptional needs whose individualized education programs do not provide for participation in independent study, and staffing shortages that meet specific conditions. Absent these exceptions, local educational agencies (LEAs) who close due to COVID-19 must generate attendance for apportionment through independent study and may not reduce their divisors when calculating average daily attendance (ADA) by the number of days in-person instruction was not offered.

    Although loss of attendance can only be mitigated in some circumstances, LEAs can submit a Form J-13A request to receive instructional time credit to meet the annual day and minute requirements for COVID-19 related school closures that occur during the time period of September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, inclusive, if the offering of independent study to all eligible students is certified to by the LEA making the request.

  2. Are there exceptions that would allow a local educational agency (LEA) to file a Form J-13A request for a COVID-19 related closure in instances where students may not generate attendance for apportionment through independent study? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    Yes. School districts may submit a Form J-13A request to mitigate losses of attendance due to COVID-19 related closures for community day students and all LEAs may submit a Form J-13A request to mitigate losses of attendance due to COVID-19 related closures of school sites or classes that only serve students who are individuals with exceptional needs, whose individualized education program does not specifically provide for participation in independent study.

  3. If a school district or county office of education has a waiver of the requirement to offer independent study and that school district or county office of education experiences a COVID-19 related school closure can that school district or county office of education submit a J-13A request to mitigate the loss of attendance experienced as a result? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    As is the case for all LEAs, school districts and county offices of education who have received a waiver of the requirement to offer independent study may only submit Form J-13A requests to mitigate losses of attendance due to COVID-19 related closures under the following conditions:

    • COVID-19 related staffing shortages, that meet specified conditions
    • Closures of community day schools, or
    • Closures of a school site or class that only serves students who are individuals with exceptional needs, as defined in Education Code Section 56026, whose individualized education program does not specifically provide for participation in independent study.
  4. Are there exceptions that would allow a local educational agency (LEA) to file a Form J-13A request for a COVID-19 related closure due to LEA staffing shortages? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    School closures due to COVID-19 related staffing shortages occurring during the time period of September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 are qualifying events with additional conditions, for which Form J-13A requests may be submitted. The additional conditions that must be met when submitting Form J-13A requests for COVID-19 related staffing shortages are as follows:

    • The LEA is unable to provide in-person instruction to students due to staffing shortages as a result of staff quarantine due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance.
    • For certificated staff shortages, the LEA has exhausted all options for obtaining staff coverage, including using all certificated staff and substitute teacher options, and has consulted with their county office of education and the California Department of Education (CDE) in determining that staffing needs cannot be met through any option.
    • For classified staff shortages, the LEA has exhausted all options for obtaining staff coverage, including using all staff options, and has consulted with their county office of education and the CDE in determining that staffing needs cannot be met through any option.

    Additional information regarding the appropriate CDE contacts for staffing shortages consultation will be forthcoming.

  5. If a local educational agency (LEA) experiences a school closure due to a non-COVID-19 related qualifying event, such as a wildfire and has students who are quarantined and unable to attend in-person instruction during the closure period can the LEA submit a school closure Form J-13A request? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    Yes. If an LEA must close a site or sites due to an emergency event such as a wildfire or other qualifying event and some of the students at the site or sites that close have been quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance, the days on which school was closed due to the non-COVID-19 related event are non-instructional days and the LEA may submit a Form J-13A request. If the event occurred on dates after September 1, the Form-J13A submittal should be accompanied by certification to the independent study plan and a copy of the certified plan to offer independent study.

Material Decrease

  1. Is student quarantine due to COVID-19 a qualifying event for a material decrease Form J-13A request for the 2021–22 fiscal year? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    With limited exceptions, a loss of attendance due to students who have been quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance during the time period of September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, inclusive, is not a qualifying event for a J-13A request. Local educational agencies (LEAs) with students who are unable to generate in-person attendance due to these circumstances must generate attendance for apportionment through independent study for impacted students while quarantined.

    However, if any LEA experiences a loss of attendance prior to September 1, 2021 due to students who have been quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance, the LEA may submit a Form J-13A material decrease request for the days on which there was a material loss of attendance prior to September 1, 2021 for consideration of approval.

  2. Can school districts submit a Form J-13A request to mitigate attendance losses at community day schools due to students who have been quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance or closures due to COVID-19? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    A school district may submit a Form J-13A request to mitigate attendance losses at community day schools due to students who have been quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance or closures due to COVID-19.

  3. Can a local educational agency (LEA) submit a Form J-13A request to mitigate attendance losses due to students with exceptional needs with individualized education programs (IEPs) that do not provide for participation in independent study? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    Yes. An LEA may submit a Form J-13A request for a material decrease due to a loss of attendance occurring as a result of students with exceptional needs whose IEPs do not provide for participation in independent study that are quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance and/or for a closure of a school site or class that only serves students who are individuals with exceptional needs, whose IEP does not specifically provide for participation in independent study.

  4. Is a material decrease in attendance due to COVID-19 related staffing shortages, a qualifying event for a Form J-13A request? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    Local educational agencies (LEAs) that remained open but lost attendance due to COVID-19 related staffing shortages during the time period of September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, inclusive, may submit a Form J-13A request for attendance credit if additional conditions are met and affirmed via an affidavit of members of the LEA’s governing board and the county superintendent. The additional conditions are as follows:

    • The LEA is unable to provide in-person instruction to students due to staffing shortages as a result of staff quarantine due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance.
    • For certificated staff shortages, the LEA has exhausted all options for obtaining staff coverage, including using all certificated staff and substitute teacher options, and has consulted with their county office of education and the Superintendent in determining that staffing needs cannot be met through any option.
    • For classified staff shortages, the LEA has exhausted all options for obtaining staff coverage, including using all staff options, and has consulted with their county office of education and the Superintendent in determining that staffing needs cannot be met through any option.

    LEAs that incurred a loss of attendance due to quarantine or experienced a COVID-19 related loss of attendance prior to September 1, 2021 can submit a J-13A to mitigate losses of average daily attendance and receive instructional time credit for losses of attendance that occurred prior to September 1, 2021.

  5. If a school district or county office of education that has a waiver of the requirement to offer independent study experiences a material loss of attendance due to quarantined students can that school district or county office of education submit a Form J-13A request to recover lost attendance due to quarantine? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    As is the case for all local educational agencies (LEAs), school districts and county offices of education who have received a waiver of the requirement to offer independent study may only submit Form J-13A material decrease requests to recover lost attendance due to students who are quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance under the following conditions:

    • COVID-19 related staffing shortages, that meet specified conditions.
    • Material losses of attendance due to community day school students who are quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance.
    • Material losses of attendance due to students who are individuals with exceptional needs, as defined in Education Code Section 56026, whose individualized education program does not specifically provide for participation in independent study and are quarantined and unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance.
  6. If a local educational agency (LEA) experiences a material decrease in attendance due to a non-COVID-19 related event, such as a substantiated threat to student safety and has students who are quarantined and unable to attend in-person instruction during the substantiated threat can the LEA submit a material decrease Form J-13A request? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    Yes. If a LEA experiences a material loss of attendance due to a non-COVID related event that qualifies for a Form J-13A material decrease approval, the LEA can submit a Form J-13A request to receive credit for the material loss of attendance due to the event. Students enrolled in the site or sites that experienced the emergency event and are quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance would continue to generate attendance through independent study on the day or days the site or sites experienced a material loss of attendance. If the event occurred on dates after September 1, 2021, the Form J-13A submittal should be accompanied by certification to the independent study plan and a copy of the certified plan to offer independent study.

Form J-13A Submissions

  1. Does a local educational agency (LEA) need to submit a plan for offering independent study with Form J-13A requests submitted due to events occurring after September 1, 2021? (New 17-Sep-2021)?

    Yes. Pursuant to Education Code Section 46393, all LEAs must submit a certified plan for which independent study will be offered to students that accompanies all Form J-13A requests submitted for a school closure and/or a material decrease in attendance due to a qualifying event occurring after September 1, 2021.

    Any Form J-13A submission that includes emergency dates occurring after September 1, 2021 must be submitted with a signed ‘Certification Form for Independent Study plan’ and a certified plan to offer independent study within ten days of the first day of a school closure or material decrease.

  2. What elements must be included in the certified plan to offer independent study required to accompany Form J-13A requests for emergencies that occurred after September 1, 2021? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    The plan for offering independent study must comply with the following:

    • Independent study is offered to any student impacted by any of the conditions listed in Education Code (EC) Section 46392 within ten days of the first day of a school closure or material decrease in attendance. Students who are individuals with exceptional needs shall receive the services identified in their individualized education programs pursuant to EC Section 56345(a)(9) and may participate in an independent study program.
    • Require reopening for in-person instruction as soon as possible unless prohibited under the direction of the local or state health officer.
    • Include information regarding establishing independent study master agreements in a reasonable amount of time.
  3. Is approval of a Form J-13A request contingent upon implementation of the plan for offering independent study certified to pursuant to Education Code Section 46393? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    No. The approval of a Form J-13A request for emergency dates occurring after September 1, 2021 is not conditioned upon implementation of the certified plan to offer independent study.

  4. If a local educational agency (LEA) has a waiver of the requirement to offer independent study pursuant to Education Code (EC) Section 51745(g), is the LEA required to submit the plan to offer independent study? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    Yes. However, if an LEA has a waiver of the requirement to offer independent study pursuant to EC Section 51745(g), the independent study plan is not required to include procedures for tiered reengagement strategies, a plan for daily synchronous instruction for students in grades K-3, or a plan to return to in-person instruction within five instructional days if requested by the parents or guardians pursuant to EC sections 46393(b) and 51747(d)-(f).

  5. Are there new certification forms or addendums that must accompany a Form J-13A waiver request? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    Yes. The California Department of Education (CDE) has developed a certification form for LEAs to use for the independent study plan required of all Form J-13A submittals for all events occurring after September 1, 2021 as well as an addendum to the Form J-13A that LEAs will use to provide required staffing shortage information when submitting a Form J-13A for a material decrease or school closure due to a COVID-19 related staffing shortage. Both the certification form and the addendum are available on the CDE’s website at: Form J-13A Submission Documents web page.

  6. If an event begins prior to September 1, 2021 and goes past September 1, 2021 what is the requirement for submitting the certified independent study plan with the Form J-13A? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    If the Form J-13A request includes requested emergency dates that occur after September 1, 2021, regardless of when the event began, the request must be accompanied with a signed ‘Certification Form for Independent Study plan’ and a certified plan to offer independent study.

  7. Do Form J-13A requests for events that occur only on September 1, 2021 require certified plan and certification? (New 17-Sep-2021)

    No. If the Form J-13A request is due to an event that occurs on or before September 1, 2021 a certified plan and certification is not required to be submitted with the Form J-13A request.

  8. What supporting documentation is required to substantiate Form J-13A school closure requests for events occurring on or after September 1, 2021? (New 8-Oct-2021)

    School Closures for Non-COVID-19 Related Events

    For all school closure Form J-13A submissions for non-COVID-19 related events occurring after September 1, 2021, provide the following:

    • The Certification Form for Independent Study plan AND a copy of the LEA's plan.
    • If applicable, the state or local public health or public safety order that required school closure.
    • If a state or local public health or public safety order was not in effect during the school closure, the LEA should provide any supporting documentation, such as news articles, emails, board meeting minutes, or any other documentation that substantiates the decision for closing school.
    • The completed Form J-13A request.


    School Closures Due to Impacts From COVID-19 (for instructional time credit only)

    For COVID-19 related school closure requests for instructional time credit only for events occurring from September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, not including closures due to COVID-19 related staffing shortages, the LEA must provide:


    School Closures Due to Impacts From COVID-19  

    For COVID-19 related school closure requests for community day students and school sites or classes that only serve students who are individuals with exceptional needs, whose individualized education program does not specifically provide for participation in independent study for events occurring from September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, not including closures due to COVID-19 related staffing shortages, the LEA must provide:


    School Closures Due to COVID-19 Related Staffing Shortages

    For closures due to COVID-19 related staffing shortages occurring from September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, the LEA must provide:

  9. What supporting documentation is required to substantiate Form J-13A requests for material decrease in attendance for events occurring on or after September 1, 2021? (New 8-Oct-2021)

    Material Decrease Due to Non-COVID-19 Related Events

    For all material decrease Form J-13A submissions for non-COVID-19 related events occurring after September 1, 2021, provide the following:

    • The Certification Form for Independent Study plan AND a copy of the local educational agency’s (LEA’s) plan.
    • If a Governor’s Declaration of Emergency is in effect for the listed emergency dates, the LEA should attach a copy of the declaration.
    • If a Governor’s Declaration of Emergency was not in effect during the period of material decrease, the LEA should provide any supporting documentation, such as articles, emails, school records, or any other documentation that substantiates the decrease in attendance.
    • The completed Form J-13A request.


    Material Decrease Exceptions Due to Student Quarantine

    For material losses of attendance for students who are individuals with exceptional needs whose individualized education program does not specifically provide for participation in independent study that have been quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance or students who are enrolled in community day schools that have been quarantined and are unable to attend in-person instruction due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance, the LEA must provide:

    • The local public health order.
    • The Certification Form for Independent Study plan AND a copy of the LEA’s plan.
    • If a Governor’s Declaration of Emergency is in effect for the listed emergency dates, the LEA should attach a copy of the declaration.
    • The completed Form J-13A request.


    Material Decrease Due to COVID-19 Related Staffing Shortages

    For material decreases due to COVID-19 related staffing shortages occurring from September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, the LEA must provide:

  10. Who must sign the Certification Form for the Independent Study Plan and, if applicable the Certification for the offering of Independent Study accompanying a Form J-13A Submission? (New 08-Oct-2021)

    The school district superintendent, charter school administrator, county superintendent, or a designee must sign the Certification Form.

  11. Who must sign the affidavit for COVID-19 related staffing shortages for J-13A requests? (New 08-Oct-2021)

    A majority of the members of the governing board or body of the school district, county office of education, or charter school and the county superintendent of schools, a witness for the board members signatures, a witness for the county superintendent of schools signature, and the charter school authorizer, if applicable.

    The current affidavit that accompanies the Form J-13A request will meet this requirement to the extent the Form J-13A submitted includes a complete addendum that details the following:

    • The category of staff involved in the staffing shortage,
    • The number of staff unable to provide instruction due to the staffing shortage,
    • The circumstances that led to the staffing shortage,
    • The exhausted options for obtaining staff coverage, and
    • The exhausted options as a result of the required consultations with the LEA’s county office of education and the California Department of Education (CDE).

    This addendum has been posted to CDE’s website on the Form J-13A Submission Documents web page.

  12. Where can the local educational agency (LEA) find additional information regarding the submittal process? (New 11-Oct-2021)

    For more information about the Form J-13A submittal and approval process, please refer to our Form J-13A web page.

Questions:   Principal Apportionment Section | attendanceaccounting@cde.ca.gov | 916-324-4541
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Recently Posted in Allocations & Apportionments

  • COVID Mitigation for Counties (added 13-Oct-2021)
    Funding in support of the COVID Mitigation for County Offices of Education for the purpose of supporting in-person instruction as established in Section 153 of Assembly Bill 130 (Ch 44, Statutes of 2021).
  • Mental Health Services (updated 12-Oct-2021)
    Funding details for Special Education Mental Health Services.
  • Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (added 08-Oct-2021)
    Funding details for Expanded Learning Opportunities Program.
  • Funding Results (added 08-Oct-2021)
    Expanded Learning Opportunities Program Funding Results
  • Ltr4-20: Third Quarter Lottery (added 01-Oct-2021)
    Fourth Quarter Lottery Apportionment letter for fiscal year 2020-21.