April 28, 2020
Dear Superintendents,

I’m writing with an update on a number of issues that have arisen since my last message.

State’s Roadmap to Recovery
Gov. Gavin Newsom today unveiled additional details on the indicators needed to modify California's stay-at-home order. In his remarks, he referenced the possibility of starting the 2020-21 school year as early as July or August amid concerns of learning loss. There was no mention of funding or logistics of making such a shift, or any acknowledgement of previously agreed upon calendars.

We are seeking clarity on the governor’s plans and will share additional details as soon as they are available.

Updated Planning Assumptions 
The SDCOE team continues to add and refine our planning assumptions and recommendations for reopening. Our guidance has been expanded to include additional considerations for special education, social-emotional learning, and parent and student involvement, among other items. 

Social-Emotional Learning Resources 
Social-emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

To support your district in infusing SEL strategies in their distance learning plans, SDCOE has created and curated a number of SEL resources

Infusing SEL into teaching and distance learning is intended to create safe spaces for learning and help address the global trauma we are experiencing, but is not a substitute for crisis counseling by a professional. 

Action Requested: Superintendent Video for Our Community
As I shared recently, our iTV Cable 16 team is putting together a video to show unity and support for the communities we serve. 

The final video will be a compilation of all San Diego County superintendents reading the same script, conveying messages of unity, support for our students and families, and inspiration that we will all get through this together.  

Because of social distancing, we are going to produce this in a low-contact way, with everyone filming themselves using their personal devices. 

Here are the pieces you need to record and submit your video:
The script 

To get the final piece produced as quickly as possible, please submit your video by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13.

The iTV Cable 16 team is available if you would like support for filming, which can include advice on your background, lighting, flattering camera angles, etc. Someone from the team will reach out to you and your executive assistant this week to make arrangements if you need support.

Friday Superintendent Meeting
Our meeting this Friday is intended for superintendents only; not cabinet members. We will hear an update from San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten and break up into small groups to discuss hot topics before coming back together as a large group.

Look for a calendar invite later this week with login details for the Friday meeting.

Thank you for your continued efforts to support San Diego County’s children during these uncertain times.


Dr. Paul Gothold
San Diego County Superintendent of Schools
phone: 858-292-3514