Jan. 7th
Debra Duardo, M.S.W., Ed.D.
Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools

Following a shocking attack on American democracy, our precious system of government held strong.

The violence and objections to the certified state election results are events of historic proportions. LA County students returned to school today looking to adults to explain how and why this happened.

Education is the foundation of a safe and civil democracy, and I am personally committed to enhancing civic learning in our public schools. I urge all educators to take this moment to reinforce our critical role in preparing young people to be respectful, engaged and active citizens.

LACOE has gathered resources for helping students discuss crises and American democracy. You can find them in the Resources section below.
Public Health Update
  • LA County Public Health strongly recommends schools limit in-person activity on campus through the end of January. It is not an order, but a strong recommendation that activities be limited to meal distribution, testing and assessments and services that cannot be delayed for three weeks. Distance learning is recommended. 

  • Anyone who has traveled outside the Southern California Region (which includes Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties) is required to self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival. Quarantine may end after Day 10 if the traveler never had any symptoms and continues to monitor him/herself for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after arrival.
Budget & Finance
The California State Assembly Committee on Budget is scheduled to meet on Mon., Jan. 11, at 2:30 pm or upon adjournment of session to provide an overview of the Governor’s proposed 2021-22 state budget, including the California Safe Schools for All proposal. 
 
COVID-19 Communications
LACOE is a key partner with LA County Public Health in communicating to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

In January, LA County is likely to experience the worst conditions that it has faced the entire pandemic. Beginning next week, LACOE will share weekly messages with the 80 school districts tailored for inclusion in outgoing communications and social media platforms. Together, we have the power to reach the families of almost 2 million children to share helpful information and resources that will keep our communities safe and help propel us toward a safe reopening of school campuses. We ask that you join us in sharing a unified message with our school communities.
COVID-19 Relief Package
On Dec. 27, 2020, a $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill was signed into law (text; summary). The package provides $82 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund, which would provide $54 billion to K-12 education, $20 billion to higher education and $7.5 billion for a Governor’s education relief fund ($2.5 billion of which is reserved for supporting non-public schools).
Safe Schools for All Plan
Governor Newsom on Dec. 30 released the State Safe Schools for All plan, California’s framework to support schools to continue operating safely in-person and to expand the number of schools safely resuming in-person instruction.

The Governor is advancing a strategy that will help create safe learning environments for students and safe workplaces for educators and other school staff. The plan was developed in partnership with the legislature, and the Governor will propose an early action package to ensure schools have the resources necessary to successfully implement key safety precautions and mitigation measures. 

The plan is built on four pillars:

  1. Funding to Support Safe Reopening: The budget will propose for immediate action in January, $2 billion to support safety measures — including testing, ventilation and PPE — for schools that have resumed in-person instruction or are phasing it in by early spring. The Governor will release the 2021-22 state budget on Friday, Jan. 8.
  2. Safety & Mitigation Measures for Classrooms: To further ensure health and safety in the classroom, the Administration will support implementation of key health measures. This will include frequent testing for all students and staff, including weekly testing for communities with high rates of transmission; masks for all students and staff, including distribution of millions of surgical masks for school staff; improved coordination between school and health officials for contact tracing; and prioritization of school staff for vaccinations. New California Dept. of Public Health guidance for schools is scheduled to be released on Friday, Jan. 8 that will include testing requirements for students and staff. 
  3. Hands-on Oversight & Assistance for Schools: Dr. Naomi Bardach, a UCSF pediatrician and expert on school safety, will lead the Safe Schools for All Team, a cross-agency group composed of dedicated staff from CDPH, Cal/OSHA and educational agencies. The team will provide hands-on support to help schools develop and implement their COVID-19 Safety Plans. These supports include school visits and walk-throughs as needed, webinars and training materials and ongoing technical assistance. 
  4. Transparency & Accountability for Families and Staff: A state dashboard will enable all Californians to see their school’s reopening status, level of available funding and data on school outbreaks. Additionally, a web-based “hotline” will empower school staff and parents to report concerns to the Safe Schools for All Team, which will lead to escalating levels of intervention beginning with technical assistance and ending with legal enforcement. 

Student Support Services
PBIS training:

Whether your schools are providing virtual instruction, a hybrid model or are getting ready to transition physically on campus, the LACOE PBIS unit is here to assist your school community pivot and reimagine instructional strategies and interventions with supports. The unit is presenting training classes that address Trauma Informed Schools, Enhancing Equity by Challenging Implicit Bias and Restorative Practices.

View the PBIS Training Schedule with registration links

School health clerk training:

A school health clerk training is set for Friday, Jan. 15 from 8 am to 1 pm. Participants will gain knowledge and resources to help provide safe and appropriate school health care within the legal scope of their duties, under the direction of the credentialed school nurse.

Resources for Districts & Schools
Crises & American Democracy:

Peaceful Protests (PBS LearningMedia) click here

When Bad Things Are Happening (Teaching Tolerance) click here

California Democracy School Online Professional Development Series (LACOE) click here

Responding to the Insurrection at the US Capitol (Facing History and Ourselves) click here