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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Friday, March 27, 2020


From: Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Date: March 27, 2020


All Coronavirus (COVID-19) SSPI Communications

Here is a weekly update to give you an overview of items that might be of value to you as we adapt to the ever-changing COVID-19 environment. Please forward this update to anyone and everyone that might be interested. If you received this update from a forward and wish to subscribe directly, please send an email to join-covid19-update@mlist.cde.ca.gov.

If you aren’t already following us on social media, please find us on Facebook at @CAEducation and on Twitter @CADeptEd. This week we shared a special video message from our State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, and we are sharing footage from the field to highlight the amazing work happening at our schools and districts across the state.

Overview of items included in this update:

  1. COVID-19 Website Updates
  2. California Stay at Home Order
  3. Federal Updates
  4. General Program Updates
  5. Guidance Updates
  6. Upcoming/Next Week

1. COVID-19 Website Updates

  1. General FAQs posted
  2. Resources Page

We want to draw your attention to these important updates on our web page. Please visit https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/coronavirus.asp to find links to helpful information.

2. California Stay at Home Order

a. Essential Workforce List

On March 19, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order N-33-20, which ordered all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of essential critical infrastructure sectors and additional sectors as designated by the State Public Health Officer. On March 22, the State Public Health Officer released a list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.  Please view the list by clicking this link: http://covid19.ca.gov/img/EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers.pdf.

3. Federal Updates

a. FEMA Funding

If your school district has incurred, is incurring, or may incur costs responding to the federally declared emergency for the COVID-19 Pandemic, you may be eligible for federal reimbursement. To be eligible for reimbursement, you must submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) no later than close of business Friday, April 17, 2020. We highly encourage you to submit an RPA before the deadline in order to be considered for reimbursement.

Assistance for emergency protective measures includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Disinfection of eligible public facilities
  • Training specific to the declared event
  • Emergency Operation Center costs

School districts that already have a Grants Portal Account can log on to their account and submit an RPA through the portal.

For school districts that want to apply and do not have a Grants Portal Account, Cal OES Recovery will need to send them an Invitation to set up their Account, which is generated from Grants Portal. In order for Cal OES Recovery to send an Invitation, please send an email to DisasterRecovery@caloes.ca.gov with a point of contact first and last name, phone number, and email address. Once Cal OES sends the invitation, Recovery personnel will reach out to the contact and provide instructions for completing account set up and submitting an RPA.

For more information, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2020/03/19/coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-eligible-emergency-protective-measures.

b. Waiver—Accountability & Assessment

On March 26, 2020, the California State Board of Education and the California Department of Education (CDE), under Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Section 8401(b), requested a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for the 2019–2020 school year of the following sections:

  • Assessment requirements in Section 1111(b)(2);
  • Accountability and school identification requirements in sections 1111(c)(4) and 1111(d)(2)(C)-(D); and
  • Reporting requirements related to assessments and accountability in Section 1111(h) as enumerated in the template

On March 26, 2020, we received preliminary approval from the ED, and as such, have opened up the public comment period for all stakeholders and LEAs through April 15, 2020.

A copy of the Accountability and Assessment Waiver Request letter that was sent to ED and the ESEA Waiver Request is located on the CDE Every Student Succeeds Act web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/es/ under the sub-header “Waiver Requests.”

4. General Program Updates

a. Early Learning and Care

The CDE Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) is working on numerous management bulletins (MBs) to provide guidance and flexibility for contractors and providers in the areas of enrollment, emergency child care settings and care for children of essential workers, family fees, program quality, procurement, and other targeted guidance.

On March 18, 2020, the ELCD released MB 20-04, which provides guidance and direction on reimbursement and apportionments for contractors. On March 26, the ELCD released MB 20-05, which provides guidance and direction on family fees. Other MBs will follow over the next week and beyond to address critical questions and needs to waive contract and reporting requirements.

The ELCD continues to receive a high volume of questions, many of which will be answered by FAQs to be released shortly. The ELCD is also working with stakeholders and other partners to address issues in the field and will be co-hosting one or more webinars to provide additional guidance regarding the MBs.

In addition, they are holding a call on Friday, March 27 with child development staff at County Offices of Education (COEs) and Local Child Care Planning Councils (LPCs) to determine what role local educational agencies (LEAs) have played in supporting or planning emergency child care for essential critical infrastructure workers. The ELCD is also developing a short survey to go out to COEs and LPCs to collect information related to this issue.

b. Expanded Learning

Grant Protection

Any After School Education and Safety or 21st Century Community Learning Center program closure or decreased participation related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will receive attendance relief to protect grant funding per Education Code Section 8482.8(d).

As a result of SB 117, this waives the requirement for ASES programs to submit the form and any back-up documentation.

Paying Program Staff and Partners

It is permissible for grantees to develop local agreements with hourly and classified staff, partner agencies, and community-based organizations to provide financial relief to support individuals affected.

The Expanded Learning Division is also working on additional guidance related to expanded learning program grants.

If you have any questions, please contact expandedlearning@cde.ca.gov.

c. Special Education Supplemental Fact Sheet

ED released a supplemental fact sheet to help LEAs serve students with disabilities. View the information here: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/yr20spedletter0323.asp.

5. Guidance Updates

a. Nutrition Services Guidance

This week’s COVID-19 School Meals Guidance update includes a new title: School and Child and Adult Day Care Meals. The name change is in response to additional COVID-19 guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that applies to all federal Child Nutrition Programs (CNP).

What’s New:

  • A new section entitled Recent Updates that provides an overview of three new USDA meal service waivers issued on March 20, 2020.
  • The Requirements for School Meals During COVID-19 section was updated with new information on Home Meal Delivery During School Closure. The COVID-19 flexibility is only available to schools under specific conditions. There is also information regarding the CA Meals for Kid Mobile App to help families and students identify meal service locations.
  • A new section entitled Requirements for Child and Adult Care Food Program During COVID-19 provides information on how to apply for the new COVID-19 waivers, links to the CACFP meal patterns, and meal combination options. The CDE will continue to update this section in the coming days to reflect state-established waiver processes.
  • A new section entitled Use of USDA Foods During COVID-19 provides information on how to donate USDA Foods to eligible organizations and includes contact information for any USDA Foods questions.
  • More links were added to the Resource section.
  • The Frequently Asked Questions section includes additional information.

What’s Next:

The CDE will provide updated guidance in the coming days to reflect waiver processes for meal flexibilities and providing meals to parents or legal guardians of eligible children when the child is not physically present.

View updates here: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/schoolmeals.asp.

6. Upcoming/Next Week

SSPI Distance Learning Innovations for Special Education Webinar

Save the Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020, at 3 p.m.

Log-in and call-in information will be announced Monday, March 30, 2020.

Please join us to learn and listen to Special Education educators who have been innovative in meeting the needs of their students during this time of distance learning. We would also like to hear from you! If you have great strategies and lessons you have used to help meet your students’ needs, we want to hear about what you are doing. Please email us at sedinfo@cde.ca.gov and you may be featured on upcoming webinars to share your best practices with colleagues across the state.

Thank you for your continued support of our students and their learning during this challenging time. Don’t forget to take time to care for yourself.

Questions:   California Department of Education | COVID19@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 30, 2020
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