Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:
2021 Countywide Plans for Provision of Educational Services to Expelled Students
I am writing today to remind you that your 2021 Countywide Plans for Provision of Educational Services to Expelled Students (Countywide Plans) are due to the California Department of Education (CDE) no later than June 30, 2021.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Conditions
We realize that we are currently in a year that is presenting challenges local educational agencies (LEAs) have never encountered. LEAs need to consider how to provide educational services through distance learning while planning for a time when these services will be provided through in-person, direct contact with students. Since expelled students still need to be enrolled in and served through schools, the operations of their educational placements during Coronavirus (COVID-19) conditions should be addressed in the local Learning Continuity and Attendance Plans. These approaches can also be discussed in your Countywide Plans. Additionally, you should address service delivery for post-COVID-19 conditions.
California Education Code Requirements
California Education Code (EC) Section 48926 requires county superintendents, in conjunction with superintendents of the school districts within the county, to develop a plan for providing educational services to all expelled pupils in that county. The initial plan was to be adopted by the governing board of each school district within the county and by the county board of education and submitted to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) in 1997. EC Section 48926 also requires that each county superintendent of schools, in conjunction with district superintendents in the county, submit a triennial update to that plan to the SSPI.
EC Section 48926 provides specifically that:
The plan shall enumerate existing educational alternatives for expelled pupils, identify gaps in educational services to expelled pupils, and strategies for filling those service gaps. The plan shall also identify alternative placements for pupils who are expelled and placed in district community day school programs, but who fail to meet the terms and conditions of their rehabilitation plan or who pose a danger to other district pupils, as determined by the governing board.
Countywide Plan Requirements and Recommendations
As you are aware, the recommended content of the Countywide Plan for provision of educational services to expelled students must address additional, more detailed questions that were raised and supported by the State School Attendance Review Board and the Student Programs and Services Steering Committee of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association. These questions concern behavioral intervention approaches used to minimize the number of suspensions and expulsions, including a focus on how such practices may impact the disproportionate number of minority students being suspended or expelled.
- The Countywide Plan must list and describe the educational alternatives currently available for expelled students. It is recommended that the plan also describe strategies for improvement during the next three years, including:
- Any behavioral intervention practices, at the site and district levels, and options used to:
- Minimize the number of suspensions leading to expulsions
- Minimize the number of expulsions being ordered
- Support students returning from expulsions
- Specific explanation of how those practices relate to any disproportionate representation of minority students in such interventions. For assistance in this area, you may review recent guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice on the U.S. Department of Education School Climate and Discipline web page at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/school-discipline/index.html.
- The Countywide Plan must address gaps in educational services and strategies for filling them. If a 2018 Countywide Plan identified gaps in educational services to expelled pupils, it is recommended the 2021 plan include the following information regarding the implementation of strategies outlined for filling those service gaps:
- Were the strategies successful or not? Please explain why and how they were or were not successful.
- Were any additional strategies implemented? If so, explain why and how they were or were not successful.
- For strategies that were not successful, describe any additional measure(s) or approach(es) taken, and the outcome(s).
- Identify alternative placements for pupils who are expelled and placed in district community day school programs, but who fail to meet the terms and conditions of their rehabilitation plan or pose a danger to other district pupils, as determined by the governing board.
Please submit both a hard copy and an electronic version of the 2021 Countywide Plan no later than June 30, 2021.
Submit the hard copy of the plan to:
Dan Sackheim, Education Programs Consultant
Educational Options Office
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901
Send an electronic version of the 2021 Countywide Plan, and links to the 2018 and 2021 Countywide Plans posted on your county’s website, by email to both Dan Sackheim at firstname.lastname@example.org and the Educational Options Office mailbox at EOO@cde.ca.gov.
Please maintain links to both the 2018 and 2021 Countywide Plans on your county’s website. The CDE will establish an outside link on the CDE Countywide Plans web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/eo/ex/countywideplans.asp to each county plan. The purpose of the availability of both plan versions posted on the CDE Countywide Plans web page is to show each county’s progress in providing educational services to all expelled pupils.
If you have any questions regarding the electronic version of the Countywide Plans, please contact the Educational Options Office by phone at 916-323-2183 or by email at EOO@cde.ca.gov.
If you have any other questions regarding the requirements for Countywide Plans, please contact Dan Sackheim, Education Programs Consultant, Educational Options Office, by email at email@example.com.
Kindra Britt, Deputy Superintendent
Access for All Branch