September 9, 2020
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Convenes California School Leaders to Review Public Health Guidance for Safe Learning
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond hosted a special webinar today for thousands of school leaders, parents, and educational partners to answer questions and assist schools in their understanding of state public health guidance as they continue to ensure the health and safety of students and staff during the pandemic.
The State Superintendent was joined by Ben Chida, Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary in the Governor’s Office, and Dr. Erica Pan, Acting State Health Officer at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
“I want to acknowledge how proud I am of California’s entire education community, and I just have to commend everyone for doing your part,” Thurmond said. “This is not easy, but I am inspired by our students, educators, administrators, families, and partners leaning in under unimaginable circumstances. Thank you to our partners in the Governor’s Office and CDPH for helping school leaders plan for the weeks and months ahead. We are grateful for all efforts to help schools navigate these complicated decisions in their communities.”
Today’s webinar was a wide-ranging deep dive into myriad issues on the minds of educational leaders, including how schools can plan for teaching, learning, and reopening under the new county monitoring system and how it relates to schools, the elementary waiver process for in-person learning, and a small cohort guidance document (PDF).
The small cohort guidance document outlines the parameters for schools to serve limited in-person groups that are targeted for specialized support and services. According to CDPH guidance, students with disabilities should be prioritized for cohorts, along with English learners, students not participating in distance learning, students at risk of abuse or neglect, and foster and homeless students.
Partner associations posed questions on behalf of educational stakeholders and their specific areas of concern, including personal protective equipment, testing, and more. Partners who participated in the Q&A session included the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, the Association of California School Administrators, the California School Boards Association, the Small School Districts Association, the California Association of School Business Officials, the California Teachers Association, the California School Employees Association, and the California Federation of Teachers.
A recording of the webinar can be found on the CDE Facebook page . Schools can learn more about the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system on the California for All Blueprint for a Safer Economy web page .
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100