April 6, 2021
Dear Superintendents and School Leaders,

I'm writing with updates on several COVID-19-related items that have arisen since my last message.

Governor Announces Next Steps in Pandemic Recovery
This morning, Gov. Newsom announced that the state is aiming to fully reopen the economy by June 15 so long as sufficient vaccines are in supply and the hospitalization rates remain low. While a mask mandate would remain in place, June 15 could be the date the color-coded tiered system is officially ended. Operations would still need to adhere to Cal/OSHA requirements. When asked at the press conference about reopening K-12 schools, Gov. Newsom said he anticipated no barriers to getting all K-12 schools safely back open.
San Diego County to Move to Orange Tier
Now that California has officially administered 4 million vaccine doses to our most vulnerable communities, the requirement that counties have to record fewer than four new cases per day per 100,000 people to move to the orange tier has been loosened to six cases per 100,000. Because of this, San Diego County will move to the orange tier tomorrow. 

Physical Education Clearance Recommended
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended that all students with a past history of COVID-19 (even asymptomatic positive) need to have medical clearance from their doctor before they participate in physical education or exertive activity. 

This document, which includes a form and decision tree districts/schools may follow to determine actions based on the severity of symptoms the student experienced while positive, can assist schools in following the AAP recommendation.

State Issues Graduation Guidance
The California Department of Public Health has released guidance for commencement and graduation ceremonies. The guidance provides recommendations to help students, teachers, families, and school administrators celebrate academic milestones while also preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ceremonies must adhere to all California COVID-19 protocols for schools, travel, outdoor events, and lodging. Our team is in the process of creating a COVID-19 checklist to assist with graduation planning; we will share it when it's completed.

Thank you for all you are doing during these unprecedented times. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or need support.


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