July 24, 2020
Dear Superintendents and School Leaders,

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

Updated Local Public Health Order
County of San Diego Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten made additional updates to the local public health order. The section on schools now reads, in part: “All public, charter and private schools shall not hold classes on the school campus, and shall conduct distance learning only as required by COVID-19 an Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year issued by the California Department of Health Services.”

County Telebriefing Presentation
The County of San Diego shared this presentation on the updated state guidance at this week’s K-12 education sector telebriefing. I'm sharing this it in case you were not able to attend the briefing or would like to pass this on to your teams.

Day Camps and School-Based Child Care
Under the public health order, schools may operate day camps with any focus as long as the program follows the COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Day Camps. There is a time limit under state law as to how long camps can run while being excluded from licensing. In addition, criminal background checks and a health supervisor are required. Most day camps operate under Section 101158 of Community Care Licensing policies and procedures and are therefore exempt from having to be a licensed child care facility, provided time limits are followed. 

Schools may only continue to operate child care if they have a license, and child care programs must create a COVID-19 prevention plan.

After School Education and Safety (ASES) is the only school-based program that is license-exempt because it is not considered child care -- it is a school-based program to expand the learning opportunity of marginalized student populations. The emergency exemption to blend ASES in the provision of child care expired June 30. ASES programs can begin operating once the school year officially begins; however, programming is limited to virtual/distance support per local health order.

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) team has created an industry guidance comparison that covers rules for child care, day camps, and schools/school-based programs. You can view the document here.

Safe Reopening Plan Supports
The SDCOE team has made updates to the template Safe Reopening Plan for K-12 Schools based on the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) revised industry guidance:
  • COVID-19 Prevention Plan for Schools Checklist: Designed using the same organizational format as the COVID-19 industry guidance for schools, the checklist is intended to provide schools that have already created COVID-19 prevention plans with a means of evaluating them to determine that they address all of the elements described by the CDPH.
  • COVID-19 Prevention Plan for Schools: Schools that are just beginning to develop their reopening plans can use this template, which is modeled on the CDPH guidance, as a scaffold that will ensure that they address each element in the guidance.

We recommend districts and schools use these documents, which are customized to consider school operations; however, there is no requirement to do so.

Tips for Parents to Support Distance Learning
Last week's announcement from the state that all schools in counties on the state's watch list would have to start with distance learning was tough to hear for many families. The SDCOE Wellness and Positive Climate department put together tips in English and Spanish that can help parents support their students in distance learning. Feel free to use these resources with your communities.

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: 858-292-3514