Oct. 26, 2020
Dear Superintendents and Charter School Leaders,

I’m writing with updates on several COVID-19-related items that have come up since my last message.

Using School Sites as Polling Places
The Registrar of Voters (ROV) is working closely with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency’s Public Health Services Division on the COVID-19 prevention procedures that will be used in polling places located on school campuses. Many of these precautions will be familiar: face covers, hand sanitizer, physical distancing and spacing markers, and frequent cleaning and disinfection. The ROV has provided this sample site-specific plan to help school leaders understand the protocols being implemented at school polling places.

SDCOE has put together a series of recommendations on how to minimize the risk to students, staff, and school visitors when using campuses as polling places during the pandemic.

CDC Updates "Close Contact" Definition
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its definition of a "close contact" to someone who was within 6 feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. It had previously defined a close contact as someone who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes within 6 feet of a confirmed coronavirus case. This change reinforces the importance of physical distancing in all settings, including classrooms and school sites.

Updated Guidance for Expanded Learning Programs
The Expanded Learning Division of the California Department of Education (CDE), in collaboration with the California Department of Social Services, has updated guidance for those expanded learning programs that operate more than 60 hours or for students that attend for more than 30 hours. In a nutshell:

  • ASES programs may operate for up to 60 hours per week without obtaining a license, providing that a pupil shall not be allowed to attend the ASES program for more than 30 hours per week (Ed Code 8484.3).
  • If an ASES program wants/needs to operate beyond the limitations in Education Code Section 8484.3, Health and Safety Code Section 1596.792(h), and 22 CCR Section 101158, a waiver is required. Note: As per communication from the CDE, schools that have been operating only in the manner permitted under Cohorting Guidance from the California Department of Public Health are therefore not “open” under the July 17 framework and should follow Health and Safety Code.
  • Please refer to this step-by-step guide for obtaining a waiver.

Thank you for all you are doing during these unprecedented times. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if I can be of assistance.


Dr. Paul Gothold
San Diego County Superintendent of Schools
phone: 858-295-6641