April 1, 2020
Dear Superintendents,

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

Messaging on Indefinite Closure
"Schools are closed but classes are in." That's the gist of our latest template letter to inform your school community about our plans. Thank you for your input on the letter, which is available in English and Spanish, and which you should edit to fit your particular circumstances. We also posted a version on the county office website as a message to the community; feel free to link to it or reference it in your messages.

Scheduling Weekly Meetings
We have set up a standing Zoom meeting with district superintendents (and your cabinet members, if you’d like) each Friday at 11:30 a.m. This situation continues to move very quickly; we will monitor if more or less frequent meetings are necessary and adjust the schedule accordingly.

State Management-Labor Agreement
You can view Framework for Labor-Management Collaboration: Serving Local Communities During the COVID-19 Emergency, the management-labor agreement mentioned by Governor Newsom during today’s press conference.

The Association of California School Administrators, California Association of School Business Officials, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, California School Boards Association, and the Small School Districts’ Association issued this statement regarding the agreement.

Distance Learning Templates
Our Learning and Leadership Services team has put together two tools with embedded resources to assist our districts in the development of a distance learning plan with considerations for your local district context.

Today we shared with your assistant superintendents a companion piece to our distance learning plan template that is specifically to support English learners. View it here.

We will continue to push out resources for specific student groups and to support elements of your district distance learning plans.

Food Service Workers
To support the protection of public health and slow the transmission of COVID-19, the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) is reminding operators – including our school nutrition programs – that state law requires notifying DEH when an employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is a presumptive case.

If a food handler becomes a confirmed or presumptive COVID-19 case, immediately notify DEH by calling 858-505-6814.

SDCOE’s Food Service Program Supervisor Jerry Smith has shared this information with nutrition directors. Please be sure your nutrition services leads are working with Jerry, who can be reached directly at jerry.smith@sdcoe.net

Form 700 Deadline Extended
On March 17, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) issued a press release advising that, despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) filing deadline remained April 1 and the law did not allow an extension of the filing deadline.

On March 26, the commission extended the deadline to June 1 for those required to file a Form 700. Any Form 700 filed prior to June 1 or postmarked by June 1 will be considered timely. The FPPC is still encouraging those required to file to do so sooner rather than later and to utilize the online filing option if possible.

COVID-19 Closures and College Admission
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who joined Governor Newsom by phone at Governor Newsom’s press conference today said that the California Department of Education (CDE) is working with colleges and universities to ensure that COVID-19 school closures won’t negatively impact students seeking admission. This was echoed by State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond, who noted that colleges and universities will be flexible with admissions standards, including accepting pass/fail grades, not using the SAT/ACT for admissions, financial aid, etc.

If you have questions about these materials, please contact SDCOE Chief of Staff Music Watson at 858-292-3719 or via email. We will continue to share updates and resources as this situation continues.  


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