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Public Safety Power Shutoff FAQs


Public Safety Power Shutoff FAQs in regard to funding for generators, instructional time requirements, and the Form J-13A.

  1. Is there any funding for generators that would at least keep food storage safe during power outages?

    There is no state funding currently available for generators to keep food storage safe during power outages. Some options that CDE has found include: checking with city, county and state surplus property sales for potential generators. Additionally, contact your local air quality district for advice on suitable generator equipment, permits, and recommendations.

  2. How many minutes are required to be scheduled to meet the minimum school day requirements in order to generate attendance for apportionment in an event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)?

    In order for a school district to claim attendance on a day that school closes early due to a PSPS, the part of the day that school remained open would have to meet the minimum school day requirements. The minimum school day requirements vary by grade span as outlined in the table below.

    Note: school district minimum school day requirements do not apply to a charter school. There are different minimum school day requirements for county programs. For minimum school day information for a specific county program, please email attendanceaccounting@cde.ca.gov.

    Grade Span Minimum School Day Requirements Minimum School Day Requirements - Averaging Option
    TK/Kindergarten 180 instructional minutes The average of the total instructional minutes scheduled over a span of 10 consecutive school days is equivalent to or greater than the minimum school day of 180 minutes and any given school day is not less than 60 minutes.
    Grades 1-3 230 instructional minutes The average of the total instructional minutes scheduled over a span of 10 consecutive school days is equivalent to or greater than the minimum school day of 230 minutes and any given school day is not less than 170 minutes.
    Grades 4-8 240 instructional minutes

    Elementary School Setting

    The average of the total instructional minutes scheduled over a span of 10 consecutive school days is equivalent to or greater than the minimum school day of 240 minutes and any given school day is not less than 180 minutes in an elementary school setting.

    Junior High Setting

    The average of the total instructional minutes scheduled over a span of 2 consecutive school days is equivalent to or greater than the minimum school day of 240 minutes and any given school day is not less than 180 minutes in a junior high setting.

    Grades 9-12 240 instructional minutes The average of the total instructional minutes scheduled over a span of 2 consecutive school days is equivalent to or greater than the minimum school day of 240 minutes and any given school day is not less than 180 minutes.
  3. If there is a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in the morning or afternoon, can a school district adjust the start of the school day to meet the minimum school day requirements?

    Yes. A school district may accommodate for a PSPS by starting the school day earlier or later in order to provide enough instructional minutes to meet the minimum school day requirements.

  4. Can a school district offer independent study as an alternative instructional option for all students during a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)?

    The California Department of Education encourages school districts to consider alternative ways to provide instruction during a PSPS. Education Code Section 51747(c)(7) requires an independent study program to be voluntary and provide a classroom option for the student. To the extent that the district does not have a classroom option for the students during the PSPS, the district cannot generate attendance for apportionment for students that do not have a classroom option. The district can give the student academic credit but they cannot claim attendance credit if the school district did not meet all the apportionment significant requirements for independent study.

    For charter schools and county schools/programs planning to offer independent study as an alternative way to provide instruction during a PSPS, please email attendanceaccounting@cde.ca.gov for further guidance.

  5. If a local educational agency (LEA) closed school or had a loss of attendance due to a Public Safety Power Shutoff, would the LEA meet the conditions of the Form J-13A request?

    While the California Department of Education cannot provide an approval in advance, to the extent LEAs have to close due to an unforeseen power outage that causes participation in school to be unsafe, or LEAs find that that they can keep schools open but in doing so experience a material loss of attendance as a result of an unforeseen loss of power, they would most likely meet the conditions for a J-13A waiver.

  6. Is a local educational agency (LEA) expected to add built-in emergency days in their school calendar for Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS)? If so, what is the California Department of Education’s (CDE) guidance for determining the number of built-in emergency days to add to a school calendar?

    To the extent a LEA anticipates a school closure for any reason in advance, they should plan ahead by adding the number of days they foresee needing to close. Historically, CDE’s guidance on determining whether or not a school site within a LEA should have built-in emergency days in their calendar is based on an evaluation by the school’s closure history. The school’s closure history should include all closures regardless of whether a J-13A request was submitted to CDE. The LEA should also examine the last five fiscal years to help establish a case for the number of days that school may reasonably be expected to be closed due to extraordinary events or conditions. In locales where an emergency event will predictably force school closure for a day or more every year, the school should foresee the need to close and build in emergency days to their school calendar in order to compensate for the foreseeable loss of instructional time. Since PSPS days are relatively new, a LEA may not have a history upon which to rely for these types of weather related outages. The CDE recommends that LEAs contact their utility provider to help determine the number of expected PSPS days so that LEAs can plan accordingly.

  7. Should a local educational agency (LEA) use their built-in emergency days for any school closure due to a Public Safety Power Shutoff?

    Please refer to question number 23 on the Form J-13A frequently asked question web page.

  8. Does the California Department of Education (CDE) provide any additional guidance about the Form J-13A waiver process?
    Yes, the CDE has additional Form J-13A information including FAQs and instructions available on the Form J-13A web page.

For questions regarding J-13A waivers for instructional time and attendance losses, please email attendanceaccounting@cde.ca.gov or call 916-324-4541.

Questions:   Jeffrey Reyes | EmergencyServices@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0327
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 26, 2019
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