Oct. 8th
Debra Duardo, M.S.W., Ed.D.
Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools

I was thrilled to host the first meeting of LACOE's new Superintendent's Student Advisory Council today. The group was formed to bring to the table the first-hand experiences of our youth who don't often have a voice in how their education is designed and delivered.

We had the difficult task of selecting a group of 35 diverse high schoolers from a pool of more than 200 applicants from districts across the county.

How refreshing to hear their candid views on distance learning, racial and social justice, maintaining mental and emotional health and other issues affecting their lives during the pandemic.

The goal is to bring our students' voices into conversations and decision-making about public education with a focus on equity. I look forward to being their spokesperson with education leaders and policymakers as we look at enacting needed reforms.
Public Health Update

  • Temperature screenings are recommended as feasible by LA County Public Health.

  • Symptoms: A fever is 100.4 or higher. Symptoms can include fever, sore throat, new cough with shortness of breath, diarrhea/vomiting and new onset of a headache. Students or staff who are sick with COVID-19-type symptoms are to be sent home. Students with symptoms of illness that are not COVID-19 should also be sent home. Follow LA County Public Health’s Decision Pathways document.

  • Teachers assigned to cohorts: staff can be assigned to a maximum of two cohorts. The cohorts can meet on different days or on the same day in an AM and PM schedule.
Accountability, Support & Monitoring
The signing of SB 820 has implications for both the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California and Physical Fitness Tests. SB 820 provides an extension of 45 days to the timeline for administration of the Initial ELPAC. LEAs have a total of 75 days to administer the Initial ELPAC.
The Physical Fitness Test has been waived for the 2020-21 school year. LEAs will not administer or report on the results of the PFT this year. Further, the State Board of Education has directed the California Dept. of Education to conduct a study regarding the purpose and administration of the physical performance testing of students. CDE will provide a report and recommendations to the SBE by November 2022.

SB 820 also waives the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress ELA requirement for the Seal of Biliteracy for 2020-21 graduates.
Attendance Accounting
The CDE has released a newly updated and optional resource to assist schools with meeting statutory requirements for tracking daily participation and engagement.

The guide was developed in recent weeks in close collaboration with the Association of California School Administrators, California Association of School Business Officials, California School Employees Association, California Federation of Teachers and California Teachers Association.

This new user guide is designed to provide LEAs with a menu of options for tracking attendance and engagement, including samples. The CDE hopes this resource provides responsive solutions — and reduces some stress — at a time when educators need support and flexibility.
PBIS Coalition Webinar
The California PBIS Coalition in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is hosting a webinar to support the health and well-being of school staff in an MTSS model. The webinar will take place Oct. 15 from 2-3 pm.

Return to School Plan for Small-Group Services
The LACOE team is pleased to share a template for districts to use for their return to school plans to provide 1:1 or small-group in-person services for students with special needs.

LACOE developed the plan for its International Polytechnic High School. LA County Public Health visited the school last week, provided positive feedback and gave approval the same day. The plan contains the return-to-site checklist, exposure plan, expectations, sample bell schedules and more.

Technology & Cybersecurity
Free WiFi locator tool:

LA County has created a free online WiFi/hotspot locator tool to support the increasing number of residents who are working and attending school virtually and may not have affordable, reliable internet access.

Resources for Districts & Schools
Wide Open School (resources to enrich and support distance learning) click here

COVID-19 Open Educational Resources (LACOE) click here

Distance Learning Instruction Planning Guidance (CDE) click here

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