Jan. 14th
Debra Duardo, M.S.W., Ed.D.
Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools

As we celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, let's make this a time to renew our commitment to achieving educational equity.

So much work remains to realize Dr. King's dream of an education system that truly provides equal opportunity for all our children.

Below is information on equity-focused professional development being offered by LACOE to help you put Dr. King's aspirations into action.
Public Health Update

Child Abuse Reporting
Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, all mandated reporters may use the Child Abuse Reporting Electronic System to submit non-urgent reports of suspected abuse or neglect. Ten pre-qualifying questions at the beginning of the report help users determine if the report is non-urgent. Non-urgent reports include situations or incidents of suspected child abuse and neglect that do not require immediate attention, or when the victim is not in immediate danger.

The 36-hour follow-up written report is not required when using the online system. 

Learn more about CARES by viewing this short video

To request a virtual training contact Gary Burks at burksg@dcfs.lacounty.gov or Teri Johnson at johnsti@dcfs.lacounty.gov.

To use CARES, visit the website.
COVID Surveillance Testing
LACOE is in the initial stages of establishing a relationship with state-owned Valencia Branch Labs to provide districts with a viable option to conduct COVID surveillance testing when schools return to in-person learning. 

Once LACOE makes the initial arrangements with Valencia Branch Labs, the Office will provide districts with contact information and instructions for next steps. Districts will then be able to make their own arrangements with Valencia Branch Labs. 

Details will be provided to districts as soon as they become available.
Equity-Focused Professional Development
“Navigating Difficult Conversations During Challenging Times” — 4-part series begins Jan. 25 
Offered by LACOE in collaboration with Museum of Tolerance and partners 

This workshop series for teachers and administrators will offer insights and strategies for navigating challenging conversations in schools, exploring what makes conversations difficult, the opportunities they present and the mindset and skills to lead them with better outcomes. The series includes live sessions with speakers and asynchronous experiences such as virtual museum tours, videos and readings. 
Participants will walk away with toolkits and teacher guides. Certificates of completion are provided for 7.5 hours including synchronous and asynchronous learning. 

"Critical Media Literacy for Social Justice” — Jan. 22, 3-4 pm 

Words matter. Spreading disinformation has consequences. UCLA professor Dr. Jeff Share will lead this session on how educators can guide students in analyzing the messages and information they see online and on social media platforms. The workshop will offer practical strategies on how to begin this important conversation.

“Nurturing Positive School Culture and Climate to Facilitate Anti-Bias and Social Justice Education” — 4-part series begins Feb. 15 

In this virtual institute, participants will focus on cultivating a school climate that supports the goals of anti-bias and social justice education. Live workshops will be led by Sarah Wicht from Teaching Tolerance. Guest speaker Dr. Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine, will talk with participants about how to grapple with difficult history and perspectives on achieving racial justice in schools today. Asynchronous content includes on-demand museum virtual tours, videos and readings. 

Expanded Learning Time & Academic Interventions
The Administration proposes to allocate $4.6 billion in one-time Proposition 98 General Fund for early action by the legislature to address learning loss due to the pandemic as part of its early action budget proposal.  

This will provide districts with time to design targeted interventions that focus on students from low-income families, English language learners, youth in foster care and homeless youth, including an extended school year or summer school. These funds will be eligible for targeted strategies that address learning loss related to the pandemic, including community learning hubs and can be used in the fall. 

Details regarding this and other funding allocations will be released in the coming weeks.
Foster Youth
Happy New Year from LACOE Foster Youth Services: 

As we start 2021, many of us make resolutions on things we may want to improve about ourselves. Some stick to it, others may forget my mid-March! Our team in Foster Youth Services is not making resolutions, but we are making promises to continue to provide all stakeholders with the information needed when it comes to working with students in foster care. The FYS team is looking forward to collaborating with districts this coming year.

Human Trafficking Awareness Month: 

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Sixty percent of all child sex trafficking victims have had a history of child welfare involvement. Students in foster care are at greater risk of being targeted. There are many ways to help support students by getting involved in local, state or national programs working to end slavery and human trafficking and providing training to staff, parents and caregivers on the issue.  

Look for warning signs in victims that may include: change in appearance; not wanting to attend or participate in school; new clothes, phones, electronics or other items for which a parent/caregiver did not provide money; new tattoos; coming home late or not at all; and sexually explicit content on social media accounts.

Many students in foster care are searching for affection or feelings of stability and acceptance. Groomers/pimps are very aware of the depression and trauma they may have experienced. Be aware, provide the necessary trainings and do not let any student fall prey to the hands of a trafficker. 

Upcoming meetings & webinars: 

Free training or general inquiries:

Please click here to request additional training or general information.
Nutrition & Meal Service
Donation from Imperfect Produce: 

Imperfect Produce is offering free Liviri totes to support school meal distribution efforts. These lightweight, durable totes can be used for warm and cold foods. There are approximately 450 totes that are available for pick up (by pallet) on a first come, first served basis at a warehouse in the City of Industry. For more information, please contact Maryam Shayegh at shayegh_maryam@lacoe.edu.
Parks & Recreation Virtual Classes
LA County families need a space to connect with others to promote their physical and emotional well-being. The Dept. of Parks and Recreation is pleased to offer more than 175 virtual recreational class offerings that started this week and run through February. A wide range of classes are offered and are taught by diverse and experienced instructors.

Please share this information with your families and school communities.

Physical Education & Comprehensive Health
The Jan. 20 Comprehensive Sex Education Network meeting will feature two guest speakers: 

  • Rebecca Gudeman from the National Center for Youth Law will discuss how to address minor consent laws during remote learning 
  • Sowmya Murthy from Planned Parenthood-Los Angeles will provide a presentation on how to implement engaging and safe comprehensive sexual health education during remote learning 

Contact: Tonya Moore, LACOE coordinator, Physical Education & Comprehensive Health, 562-922-8629, moore_tonya@lacoe.edu.
Safe Schools for All Plan
The California Department of Public Health has released the COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework & Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-21 School Year. The Governor’s proposed 2020-21 budget calls for CDPH to release guidance for the Safe Schools for All proposal.

This document is intended to consolidate and update prior state public health guidance and orders related to schools. Specifically, this document supersedes the following guidance, orders and frequently asked questions:

  • COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Schools and School-Based Programs (first published in May 2020; last updated Aug. 3, 2020)
  • The COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year (July 17, 2020)
  • The Elementary Education Waiver process and the associated School Waiver Letter and Cover Form and Local Health Officer Waiver Notice Form (all issued on Aug. 3, 2020) 
  • CDPH Schools Frequently Asked Questions (first issued Aug. 3, 2020; last updated Oct. 20, 2020)

This update provides additional guidance for providing in-person instruction, including:

  • Criteria and processes for school reopenings under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework
  • Considerations intended to help school community leaders plan for and prepare to resume in-person instruction, including steps to take when a student or staff member is found to have COVID-19 symptoms during the school day and while participating in before- and after-school programs
  • Response to confirmed COVID-19 infections when a case of COVID-19 is confirmed in a student or staff member and a cluster or outbreak of COVID-19 at a school is being investigated 
  • Physical distancing in classrooms
  • Implementation of stable groups of students and staff

This document does not modify or supersede the Guidance Related to Cohorts for Children and Youth (first issued on Aug. 25, 2020; last updated Sept. 4, 2020), which applies to groups of children and youth in controlled, supervised and indoor environments. The Cohort Guidance continues to allow schools that are not permitted to reopen under state or local public health directives and schools (and any grades at schools) that have not yet reopened if permitted to do so to serve students in person in small, stable cohorts, as specified in the Cohort Guidance. 
State Budget
Governor Newsom released his $227.2 billion 2021-22 state budget proposal to the legislature on Jan. 8. The budget proposes $372 million to speed up administration of vaccines across California’s 58 counties, bolstering the state’s all-hands-on-deck approach to swift and safe vaccine distribution.

The proposed budget also includes a $14 billion investment in economic recovery and relief for Californians most in need — small businesses and those who have lost their jobs or are facing eviction. It advances direct cash supports of $600 to millions of Californians through the Golden State Stimulus, extending new protections and funding to help keep people in their homes and investing in relief grants for small businesses.

The budget provides approximately $90 billion in school funding. The funding includes $2 billion to support and accelerate a safe return to in-person instruction, early action by the legislature of $4.6 billion to help students bounce back from the impacts of the pandemic and $400 million for school-based mental health services.

Along with the proposed budget, the Administration also released proposed trailer bill language to amend the deadlines for use of the federal Coronavirus Relief Funds that helped to pay for the state’s Learning Loss Mitigation Fund included in the 2020–21 enacted budget. The proposal amends state statute to incorporate the new deadline for the use of CRF money that was included in the latest federal COVID-19 relief package. 

If adopted, LEAs would have until May 31, 2021 to use unspent CRF dollars. Districts that need the additional time beyond the original Dec. 30, 2020 deadline would need to certify by March 1, 2021 that remaining CRF amounts will be used in compliance with federal law by May 31. The state would have the opportunity to sweep any unspent funds from LEAs after May 31, 2021 and reallocate them for other allowable uses in the state budget.
Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Southern California will host an event on Feb. 3 from 3-4 pm that will preview two new social-emotional wellness program offerings available to schools and districts in the Southern California region. RISE UP is targeted to teachers and school staff, while Ghosted is for students in grade 9.

Resources for Districts & Schools
Hot Topics in Technology & Pedagogy (Distance Learning Consortium) click here

The Field Guide: Accelerating Learning, Equity & Well-Being (CCEE) click here

Leading Forward in 2021: Self-Paced Education Series (CCEE) click here

Everyone On: low-cost internet access click here