Feb. 12, 2021
Dear Superintendents and School Leaders,

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

State Launches Safe Schools Reopening Dashboard
Gov. Newsom announced today that the state has launched the Safe Schools for All Plan’s interactive Safe Schools Reopening Map, an online tool providing a statewide snapshot of the status of school reopenings across California. The school district dashboard is available here. The charter school dashboard is available here. The private school dashboard is here. They can all be accessed from the State of California Safe Schools For All Hub.

Safety Review Process Details
I shared earlier this week that the state announced a Safety Review Process that provides some local education agencies (including some private schools) with an opportunity to seek an exception on two elements in the Jan. 14 consolidated guidance for schools and local education agencies asserting that compliance with the guidance would mean offering fewer students in-person instruction than previously planned. 

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) has received some additional information from our legislative advocates clarifying the situations in which the review process may be used. Read the memo from Capitol Advisors.

New CDC Guidance on School Reopening
Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation. This operational strategy presents a pathway to reopen schools and help them remain open through consistent use of mitigation strategies, especially universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing. The strategy emphasizes phased mitigation measures linked to local conditions.

The SDCOE team is reviewing the strategy and will share updates as appropriate. As a reminder, the CDC strategy is non-binding for local schools, which must abide by state and local health guidance. 

Engaging Students Throughout the Pandemic and Beyond
To support districts and schools in addressing the current challenges of teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to address longstanding inequities in grading and assessment practices, SDCOE has developed Engaging Students Throughout the Pandemic and Beyond. This resource can help you identify key leverage points to shift mindsets and practices associated with measuring and monitoring student learning.

Encourage Medical Staff to Volunteer for Vaccine Effort
As you know, the County of San Diego is rapidly vaccinating eligible individuals for COVID-19 at sites across the region. As supply increases, so does the need for personnel support. We can help with that effort by encouraging our school medical professionals to volunteer to help ensure the vaccination effort is a success. 

Here’s a video that has been shared with your school nurses and health techs with information from me and Nick Macchione, director of the County Health and Human Services Agency, about how they can volunteer. Please encourage the medical personnel on your team to help if they can. More information is available on the county’s vaccine website

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