Sept. 10th
Debra Duardo, M.S.W., Ed.D.
Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools

I am proud to be part of the Committee for Greater LA, which came together earlier this year to understand the effects of COVID on different populations throughout LA County.

Business, philanthropy, labor, government and other civic leaders held weekly briefings on topics such as employment, housing and homelessness and youth and trauma, with COVID-19 as a through line. Following the murder of George Floyd, the committee expanded its focus to take a comprehensive view of systemic racism.

The result is “No Going Back,” a report focused on 10 key issues that combines wide-ranging data, guiding principles and a policy blueprint to reinvent our region and drive real change.

I invite you to view the report and a related LA Times story. Let’s seize this unique moment in history to make transformational change for our students and families. There is no going back.
Public Health Update
  • Exposure Management Plan: The LA County Dept. of Public Health has indicated they want to be notified of all COVID cases. Therefore, school districts are to notify LACDPH whenever there are one or more cases at a district location or school, even if only staff are at the site. The School Compliance Officer (Liaison) is to complete and submit the COVID-19 Case and Contact Line List for the Educational Sector within one business day of notification of a case. This link provides access to the form and information on where to email: Protocol for COVID-19 Exposure Management Plan in K-12 Schools 
  • Immunizations: For schools that will have small groups of students returning to school for support/services, remember to ensure students are up to date on their immunizations. They should not be returning to school if they are missing vaccines. They are to be excluded from being on campus until they come into compliance. Exception: students with IEPs cannot be denied their services at school. Students in special education should be notified as to what vaccines they are missing (and hopefully will get immunizations), but they cannot be excluded from school. 
  • Small cohorts for students with special needs are available for all grades as long as capped at 10% of the student population at any one time. The 10% cap does not include child care.
Accountability, Support & Monitoring

The Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan for school districts and charter schools must be adopted by each LEA’s governing board by Sept. 30 and submitted to LACOE for review.

Based on the review of the board-adopted Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan submitted for each school district, the county superintendent of schools may submit recommendations, in writing, for amendments to the plan by Oct. 30. The school district’s governing board must consider the recommendations submitted by the county superintendent in a public meeting within 15 days of receipt. 

Some possible reasons districts may receive recommendations for amendments are: 

  • Blank sections or responses not meeting the requirements contained in SB 98 or outlined in the instructions for the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan 
  • Descriptions (and actions) are not comprehensible to stakeholders 
  • The response does not clearly describe how the LEA plans to increase/improve services for unduplicated pupils (English learners, low-income and foster youth)

At LACOE’s State and Federal Programs Directors meeting on Sept. 3 updates were provided on requirements for the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan. Common areas for follow-up that have emerged based on initial pre-reviews of district plans were shared.

Attendance Accounting
SB 98 allows participation to be tracked daily, weekly or bi-weekly. It does not denote if this is by calendar or school day as this would be a local decision.

If a student misses three days or 60% of a week, the LEA is required to begin its tiered re-engagement strategies.

A student may have an assignment that will take several days to complete. If the student does not log in online for those days but completes and turns in the assignment on time, the student is marked as participating on all those days even if he/she did not appear online.

At times, verifying a student’s participation apart from showing up online (such as via an assignment, assessment or communication) can take time to re-evaluate. The language in SB 98 allows for flexibility to support the verification of participation required by the teacher and captured within the required weekly engagement record.

Child Care
Districts have inquired whom to contact if they will be providing all-day child care. Find your local Community Care Licensing Division Child Care Office by clicking here and entering your zip code. A list of all offices can also be found here. Offices serving LA County are listed below, and a breakdown of the zip codes served by each office can be found on pages 5–6 here.

  • El Segundo Regional Office (424) 301-3077 
  • Monterey Park Regional Office – (323) 981-3350 
  • Monterey Park South West Regional Office – (323) 981-3350 
  • Palmdale Regional Office – (661) 202-3318
Curriculum & Instruction
LACOE’s Center for Distance and Online Learning is proud to support Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 6 to 12. California’s theme this year is “Hope, Resilience and Recovery,” with a focus on promoting resiliency through social and emotional learning and celebrating recovery.

Sept. 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day. Below are resource links about the day along with LACOE’s Suicide Prevention Ongoing Resiliency Training (SPORT2) and a short video clip to support suicide prevention that can be shared with staff.

Foster Youth
Students in foster care are at a higher risk of surviving and dying by suicide. Teens in foster care are nearly 2.5 times more likely to seriously consider suicide than their peers, and nearly four times more likely to have survived suicide. Abuse and trauma increase a youth's risk of attempting suicide. Some suicide risk-factors to look for among students in foster care are: social isolation, ongoing trauma, family dysfunction and negative interactions, bullying, poor coping skills and self-injury.

Here are some ways your district may build and strengthen resilience among students in foster care: Build self-esteem, be open and understanding to the student, build trust, teach coping skills and encourage physical and self-care activities.     

LACOE Foster Youth Services Upcoming Webinars:

Sept. 18: Trauma-Informed Care for Parents and Caregivers of Students in Foster Care. Information and registration here.

Nutrition and Meal Service
LA County is working with the California Community Foundation to develop a grant program that will reimburse organizations that have a 501c3 for food-related services provided to populations in need between March 1 and Dec. 30, 2020. An Information gathering session will be held on Monday, Sept. 14 from 2:00-3:00 pm to gather input from stakeholders on the design of the grant program prior to the release of the RFA that is expected later this month.

  • Information Gathering Session - Funding for COVID Food Assistance - Monday, Sept. 14, 2:00 to 3:00 pm. RSVP on Eventbrite
Student Support Services
LACOE School Counselor Symposium:

Registration is now open for LACOE’s first LA County School Counseling Symposium, which takes the theme “Rebuilding Counseling Communities” during a pandemic and community tragedy.

The two-day event to be held Nov. 4 and Jan. 28 will focus on providing counselors with connections to provide educational support for students. Through partnerships with community educators from LA County, the symposium will provide professional development for counselors and other school-based mental health professionals. The event will feature a student panel, vendors and a host of resources.
Resources for Districts & Schools
California Parent & Youth Helpline click here

Child Protection Hotline Digital Toolkit (DCFS) click here

Practical Guide for Financing Social, Emotional, and Mental Health in Schools (California Children's Trust) click here

Let's Go to College California (SoCal College Access Network) click here