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

The holiday season is a time of giving, and each of us has something to offer. It can be a smile, a present or even an uplifting message on social media.

Far too many of our students and families are struggling with the financial and social-emotional impact of the pandemic.

Let's do whatever we can to bring light to our young people and their families. Even just making a human connection can bring hope for the future.

While it will be hard not to gather with family and friends, it is urgent we follow Public Health guidance for celebrating the holidays.

Please stay safe and well. Here's to a new year of good health and a return to the normal lives we all cherish.
Public Health Update
  • Question: If a family member in a student's house is a "close contact," does the student need to stay home (as a close contact of a close contact)? 
  • No. The student would not have to quarantine.  
  • A close contact of a close contact does not have to quarantine unless the primary close contact tests positive. 

  • Protocols for Office Worksites (Appendix D) have been updated. A district office can follow school protocols or office worksites protocols. Offices at schools are to follow school protocols. 
  • Maximum occupancy for an office worksite is limited to 25% based on the number of employees at the worksite.  
  • All employees must wear face coverings at all times. Face coverings must be worn by employees working in cubicles, including cubicles equipped with partitions. Employees are not required to wear face coverings when working alone in private offices with closed doors.  
  • When eating or drinking, it is preferred to do so outdoors and away from others, if possible. Eating or drinking at a cubicle or workstation is preferred to eating in a breakroom. 
  • Frequently touched items and bathrooms must be disinfected on an hourly basis. 

  • Question: The PSAT is scheduled to be administered Jan. 26, 2021. With the current surge, can schools still administer the exams? 
  • LA County Public Health has confirmed the current school protocols continue to permit the PSAT to be administered.

  • LA County Holiday Home Test Collection: LA County with Fulgent Genetics is offering free COVID-19 home tests to county residents from Dec. 1 to Jan. 15. This is the same test offered at the county’s drive-up or walk-up community testing sites. More information at COVID-19: LA County At-Home Holiday Testing.

Accountability, Support & Monitoring
The 2020 California School Dashboard is now available on the California School Dashboard website.

While state and local indicator data are not reported, per Senate Bill (SB) 98, the 2020 Dashboard does contain updated contact information for schools and districts as well as updated enrollment data for the 2019–20 school year. This year, two new titles were added to the “School Details” section to indicate whether a school is a charter or has Dashboard Alternative School Status. Further details on the data reported on the 2020 Dashboard are provided on a new flyer, available here.

In addition, state law requires that the CDE publish valid and reliable data that would have been reported in the 2020 Dashboard. Therefore, data for the graduation rate (combined and DASS rates) and the College/Career Indicator will be posted on the CDE’s School Dashboard Additional Reports and Data web page.

These reports, which are based on the 2019–2020 data collected in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, will be released in January 2021. LEAs will be notified of the availability of the private preview of these data. Additional information about data releases for the 2019–2020 school year are available on the COVID-19 and Data Reporting web page.
Budget & Finance
Congressional leaders continue to negotiate a deal on both government funding and COVID-19 relief that would provide roughly $900 billion in aid. The bipartisan agreement is expected to drop the two provisions that have been the most contentious: liability protections and funding for state and local aid.

The Bipartisan Emergency COVID Relief Act of 2020 and the Emergency Assistance for American Families, Workers, and Small Businesses bill (text; section-by-section; summary) include liability protections and $160 billion in state and local aid. The $748 billion Bipartisan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act touches on the rest of the relief priorities including unemployment insurance, health care and small businesses.

The compromise includes stimulus checks of about $600 per person, enhanced unemployment benefits, small business loans, rental assistance and vaccine distribution funds.

Some key provisions of the bill include:

  • $7 billion in direct grants for testing and tracing — 
  • $3.5 billion to states, localities, and territories 
  • $2.32 billion to hot spots 
  • $827.5 million to be used at the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services’ discretion to states — 
  • Includes authorization for grants to Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics, school-based health clinics, schools, academic medical centers, colleges and universities, research labs, veterinary labs, nonprofits, Indian tribes, local governments and other entities. 
  • $700 million to the Secretary of Health and Human Services for additional research, procurement and medical supply needs, including — 
  • To make purchases of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies as needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Develop, purchase, distribute and otherwise ensure the timely delivery of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to the American public  

  • $82 billion in education funding, including $54 billion dedicated to K-12, $20 billion dedicated to higher education and $7.5 billion for the Governor's Fund — 
  • Includes targeted aid for private and parochial schools, minority-serving institutions, territories and the Bureau of Indian Education 

  • $10 billion to support child-care providers struggling due to the COVID 19 pandemic

  • $10 billion for broadband —
  • $6 billion for state broadband connectivity and deployment 
  • $3 billion for educational connectivity and distance learning 

Advocacy efforts are ongoing to include the Coronavirus Relief Fund deadline extension in the compromise bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had previously included in his targeted pandemic relief legislation an extension of the Relief Fund to Dec. 30, 2022 with no additional flexibility or funding.
Curriculum & Instruction
LACOE’s Reading Language Arts Unit is excited to announce a new five-part series of free online webinars to build knowledge and practice on issues related to dyslexia:

Understanding & Recognizing Dyslexia: What California Educators Need to Know 
Jan. 13, 2021, 3-4 pm 
Audience: K-12 Teachers, Instructional Coaches, Administrators 
Screening for Dyslexia: What School Leaders Need to Know 
Feb. 23, 2021, 3-4 pm 
Audience: K-12 Teachers, Instructional Coaches, Administrators 
Implementing Intervention for Students with Dyslexia: What Teachers Need to Know 
March 17, 2021, 3-4 pm 
Audience: K-12 Teachers, Instructional Coaches, Administrators 
Accommodating Students with Dyslexia in the Middle & High School Classroom: What Teachers Need to Know 
April 14, 2021, 3-4:00 pm 
Audience: Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, Secondary Administrators, Instructional Coaches 
Assessing & Supporting Dyslexia: What School Psychologists Need to Know 
May 12, 2021, 3-4 pm 
Audience: School Psychologists, Administrators, Instructional Coaches 
Also check out LACOE's new podcast with dyslexia expert Jessica Hamman.

Contact: Leslie Zoroya, LACOE Reading Language Arts coordinator, (562) 922-6348,
Foster Youth
Message from LACOE’s Foster Youth Services:

“As 2020 ends, many of us have been able to take the time and reflect on what a whirlwind type of year this has been for everyone. There are many emotions that can be associated with this year, some positive, some not so much. Whichever category you may fall into, we at LACOE’s Foster Youth Services Program want to extend our heartfelt thank you for being here. Despite the challenges, you are continuing to make the lives of so many of our students in and out of foster care much better than you can imagine. Yes, there is more work to be done, but we look forward with optimism, knowing that we work alongside so many amazing educators such as yourself. There are so many plans for you, students in foster care and caregivers in the coming year, and we are so lucky once again to share a space at the table with you all. Enjoy your holidays. Be safe, stay healthy and we will see you in 2021.”

"Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water - it will make ripples throughout the entire pond." —Jessy and Bryan Matteo 
Upcoming meetings & webinars:

LACOE Foster Youth Services will host numerous Trauma-Informed Practices trainings for staff, parents and caregivers, starting in January. Stay tuned for more information to come.  

Free training or general inquiries:

Please click here to request additional training or general information.
Resources for Districts & Schools
Holiday Assistance:

LA-area Holiday Assistance click here

Food Resources within LA County click here

211 Holiday Programs click here

The Salvation Army click here