March 11th
Debra Duardo, M.S.W., Ed.D.
Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools

It is hard to believe that March 13 will mark one year since I recommended the closure of all LA County schools to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the community.

As we begin to open our campuses, let's remember the vital role that schools have played in the pandemic response. Across the county, educators have done their best to make distance learning work and to keep our students physically and emotionally healthy as much as we can.

But the challenges will continue as our students and teachers return and we begin to address the setbacks in student wellbeing and learning.

We've been in this together since day one, tackling an unprecedented crisis as a collaborative countywide education community.

My commitment is to harness this powerful partnership into the next phase of COVID-19 and beyond.
Public Health Update
LA County Public Health Safe Schools for All: 

Web page includes information on:


Travel Advisory: 

  • There are no exceptions to the travel advisory for anyone traveling out of state. All persons must quarantine for 10 days after returning to LA County. Anyone who is fully vaccinated would still need to quarantine. This is per federal, state and county Public Health guidance.
Budget & Finance
President Biden has signed into law the updated COVID-19 relief bill known as the American Rescue Plan. The new law includes about $129 billion for public K-12 schools to safely reopen for in-person learning, address learning loss and support students as they work to recover from the long-term impacts of the pandemic. Following are key items for education:  
  
  • About $3 billion for states to provide services to non-public schools that serve a significant percentage of students from low-income families.

  • A “maintenance of effort” provision to protect against K-12 education cuts at the state and local level. A “maintenance of equity” requirement to ensure higher-poverty school districts and schools do not shoulder a disproportionate amount of any state or local education cuts. 

  • $122.75 billion in funding for the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund. States are required to subgrant at least 90 percent of ESSER funds to districts to support the implementation of public health protocols to safely reopen schools for in-person learning, address learning loss and meet students’ long-term academic, social and emotional needs. Districts and states are required to use at least 20 percent and 5 percent, respectively, of ESSER funds to implement evidence-based interventions to address learning loss. States are also required to use an additional 1 percent of their state-level ESSER funds for evidence-based summer enrichment programs and an additional 1 percent of their state-level ESSER funds for evidence-based comprehensive after-school programs. 

  • $800 million in dedicated funding for the identification and provision of wraparound services for students experiencing homelessness and more than $3 billion in funding for programs authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Child Care
A question has been raised about whether preschool students can remain full-time on distance learning without jeopardizing early learning program funding. Both the California Dept. of Education and Office of Head Start require early learning programs to resume services as soon as the Dept. of Public Health allows. They must maintain cohorts of no more than 14 children, following the Public Health Guidance for Early Care and Education Providers. To serve all children, a hybrid model may have to be implemented.

Programs funded by LACOE should contact LACOE’s Head Start and Early Learning Division. Programs funded directly by the CDE should contact their assigned consultant.
Facilities & Construction
School Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program – Assembly Bill 841 | California Energy Commission has two new grant programs for eligible parties within the service territories of the large electric and natural gas utilities in California. The programs will provide funding to lead education agencies to upgrade heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems in public schools and to replace noncompliant plumbing fixtures and appliances that fail to meet water efficiency standards. Funding will be available for three years from 2021 to 2023. Applications are due May 1.

Foster Youth
Visit the LACOE Foster Youth Services Upcoming Events page for the month of March. This month’s trainings and webinars focus on a wide variety of topics, including trauma-informed practices, self-care and reopening of schools (for caregivers of students in foster care). 

Nutrition and Meal Service
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture extension of free meal service:

The USDA announced on March 9 that several meal program waiver flexibilities have been extended through Sept. 30 to allow LEAs to continue to provide critical meal services during the pandemic. Get more information.

Pandemic-EBT:

For eligible students to receive a P-EBT card, LEAs are required to update student address records in CALPADS by March 12 to ensure P-EBT cards are mailed to the correct address. Get more information.

LACOE will host a P-EBT Collaborative meeting on Friday, March 19, 10-11:30 am, to provide an overview of P-EBT 2.0 and discuss considerations for students experiencing homelessness. Register for the meeting.
State of the State
Governor Newsom delivered his State of the State address March 9 in a virtual presentation from Dodger Stadium, one of the nation’s largest community vaccination sites. The Governor highlighted the state’s continued progress in battling the pandemic, reflected on the Californians who have been lost to COVID-19 and recognized everyday Californians who have risen to meet the challenges of this unprecedented time — including the health workers now vaccinating some of the most vulnerable Californians at the stadium.  

Newsom also highlighted the urgent relief the state is providing to the hardest hit Californians and small businesses, and how the state is working to accelerate the reopening of schools across California. He laid out the work ahead to continue to safely reopen and ensure the state emerges from the pandemic in an equitable, broad-based recovery.

Resources for Districts & Schools
Rising from COVID-19: Recovery, Resilience and Acceleration (LACOE) click here

Supporting the African American Learner (LACOE) click here

AB104: Overview & Planning Tool for Expanded Learning Programs (LACOE) click here

State of California Safe Schools for All Hub click here