March 24, 2020
Dear Superintendents and Charter School Leaders,

I'm writing with updates on a few key areas.

Distance Learning Plan
A team from SDCOE’s Learning and Leadership Services division is working with deputy and assistant superintendents from your districts on a template distance learning plan that covers areas such as standards-aligned curriculum, degree of internet access, and professional development considerations to support implementation of the plan. As with our template pandemic response plan, we encourage you to use this resource, customizing it for your local needs and resources. This work is a priority; we will share the plan as soon as it’s done.

Special Education
On March 21, the federal Office for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services disseminated a supplemental fact sheet entitled Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities. Most notably, the guidance clarified the expectation that school districts provide special education services to students during the extended closures.

Yesterday, the state director of special education released an official message related to the federal guidance for serving students with disabilities. The letter is available here.

Bargaining and Paid Sick Leave
On March 20, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo  released two critically important legal alerts regarding collective bargaining and paid sick leave during this crisis. In addition to covering the applicable laws, these alerts provide practical and actionable advice on these topics. If you are responsible for either of these subject areas, we encourage you to review this and other advisories and consult with your legal counsel to answer questions about your specific legal issues in this area.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
SDCOE has a template letter in English and Spanish that has been reviewed by public health if you need to communicate with your school community about a confirmed COVID-19 case.

California Department of Education (CDE) Updates
The CDE is sending an update each Friday with items that might be of value to you as we adapt to the ever-changing COVID-19 environment. The updates are posted here ; you can subscribe to receive them directly by sending a blank email to .  

Legal Resources
Some of our legal partners have done an excellent job of interpreting the various executive orders, legislation, and guidance related to the COVID-19 crisis, and providing timely and actionable advice to the field. SDCOE is using a variety of perspectives from our legal partners as well as our legal department to help inform school districts in areas where further clarification may be needed.

In addition to information available on our website, you can also refer to the links below for more information:

Thank you for your continued efforts to support San Diego County’s children during these uncertain times. If you have questions about these materials, please contact Chief of Staff Music Watson at 858-292-3719 or via email . We will continue to share updates and resources as this situation unfolds.  


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