Oct. 1st
Debra Duardo, M.S.W., Ed.D.
Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools

Today I had the privilege of announcing the 2020 LA County Teachers of the Year in an online ceremony.

These 10 extraordinary educators are bringing care, compassion and ingenuity to their virtual classrooms in the face of a pandemic. It is especially important that we pay tribute to them and to all our wonderful teachers who remain committed to helping our young people reach their full potential.

The winning educators represent diverse districts and communities, and teach a range of grades and subjects. But the one thing they have in commmon is a love of their profession and a dedication to their students.

If you need break from all the negativity in the world right now, be sure to watch the 2020 LA County Teachers of the Year virtual ceremony. I know you will find it uplifting and inspiring.
Public Health Update
  • The LA County Dept. of Public Health is scheduling site visits for schools that are opening up for small group cohorts and/or individual assessments. The purpose of the site visit is to review whether the Reopening Protocols for K-12 Schools are being implemented with fidelity. Schools should have in place all components of the protocol. This is an opportunity for schools to ask for guidance and for County Public Health to provide technical assistance. 

  • A substitute teacher can be assigned to a cohort when the teacher is out so as not to cancel on-site instruction.

  • ASES or other expanded learning programs are not included in the 10% cap for small group cohorts to support students with high needs. Expanded learning programs fall under the umbrella of child care.

Accountability, Support & Monitoring
Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan:

LACOE expresses its gratitude for all the hard work done by our LEAs in completing the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan. As a reminder, all plans were to be approved by the local governing board by Sept. 30. Within five days of approval, each LEA must submit its plan to LACOE; charter schools must also submit a copy to the authorizing entity.

LACOE’s LCAP office will review district plans and, in accordance with EC 45309(c)(1), may send the school district recommendations, in writing, for amendments to the plan by Oct. 30. Should a district receive written recommendations, its governing board shall consider the recommendations in a public meeting within 15 days of receiving the recommendations. Districts may contact their assigned LCAP Coordinator with questions.

Weekly Engagement and Attendance Reporting:

Through SB 98, Education Code 43504(e) requires completion of a weekly engagement record for each pupil that verifies participation and tracks assignments, documenting synchronous or asynchronous instruction for each whole or partial day of distance learning.

The purpose of the weekly engagement record is to provide evidence of meeting compulsory education requirements (defined in EC 48200 as students aged 6-18 years) and providing data on chronic absenteeism (students in grades TK-12). Schools should maintain records verifying the minimum number of instructional days that have occurred, as well as the minimum number of daily instructional minutes that are met (either synchronously, asynchronously or a combination of both).
All Families Need Help
The Dept. of Children & Family Services and 2-1-1 LA invite districts and other organizations to share the good news about free services and resources available to LA County families. 
The goal is to make it easy for families to seek help by way of Prevention and Aftercare Services before their needs or challenges become unmanageable. Connecting families to helpful resources close to home enhances the child safety net for home-bound families.
Below is a link to the “All Families Need Help” digital materials in English and Spanish that may be customized and shared on social media.
Curriculum & Instruction
Outdoor and Marine Science Field Study Webinar — Moving Education Outside for a Safer Reopening:

As schools plan for partial or full reopening for in-person learning, many are considering ways to move education outside for safety. LACOE's Outdoor & Marine Science Field Study unit has more than 60 years' experience educating students outside and offers a free webinar with ideas for districts and schools.

Learn more about how to plan, allocate space and what to consider to successfully educate students outdoors in the webinar.

Contact: Shaun MacDonald Hawke, LACOE project director, Outdoor & Marine Science Field Study, (562) 922-6330, hawke_shaun@lacoe.edu.
Federal Action on School Finance & Liability
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met Sept. 30 regarding negotiations on COVID-19 relief aid. They are expected to continue meeting on Oct. 1. Secretary Mnuchin presented the Trump administration's official counteroffer to Speaker Pelosi in the meeting, reportedly outlining the following:

  • $250 billion in aid for states and localities 
  • Renewing the pandemic unemployment assistance program at $400 per week 
  • $150 billion in education support 
  • $75 billion for COVID-19 testing and tracing efforts 
  • $60 billion for housing assistance 
  • $15 billion toward food aid 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated that he could get enough votes from Republicans in the Senate to pass this proposal. If Democratic leadership does not support this proposal, it is expected that the House will take up the amended HEROES Act (text; summary; one-pager) for a vote on Oct. 1. Members are expected to receive 24 hours' notice of any scheduled votes should the talks extend into the October district work period.

In addition, Governor Newsom released a statement yesterday in support of the HEROES Act and urged the White House and U.S. Senate to pass it without delay. He stated, “In particular, the bill’s $436 billion in assistance for state, local, territorial and tribal governments, if provided by October 15, would help California avoid difficult reductions in the 2020-21 fiscal year." Read the full press release.
Foster Youth
Students in foster care are often living with caregivers, resource parents or in short-term residential treatment placements. Frequently, these are not the adults who hold their educational rights. When it comes to schools reopening, it is critical to involve the educational rights holder in the decision to return to in-person instruction. The educational rights holder may be difficult to identify and contact.

To help with this process, LACOE has assigned a team member in the Edelman Children’s Court to obtain educational rights holder information that comes out of the court cases. This information is forwarded to school district foster youth liaisons.

If school sites have difficulty accessing educational rights holder information, email the Dept. of Children and Family Services, Education Unit, at youth.education.support@dcfs.lacounty.gov.
Resources for Districts & Schools
Tools for Teachers (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) click here

Health & Safety Guidebook (CCEE) click here

Keep Learning California (Attendance Works, Families In Schools, PIQE) click here

eLibrary Services (LACOE) click here