May 28, 2020
Dear Superintendents,

I’m writing to follow up on the issues we discussed during our meeting last week and a few additional topic areas.

Updated Drive-Through/Drive-in Graduation Guidance
The County Heath and Human Services Agency has released updated guidance on holding drive-through or drive-in graduations. The guidance describes allowable formats for drive-through and drive-in graduations, and includes protocols for sanitation, physical distancing, and face coverings. View the updated guidance.

Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment
SDCOE's purchasing department has reached out to all districts with vendor and purchasing consortium information for personal protective equipment procurement. Please let Deputy Superintendent Mike Simonson know if you have any questions. 

CDC Reopening Guidance
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released interim guidance, laid out in a series of three steps, to inform a gradual scale-up of school operations to resume in-person learning and provide support for parents and guardians returning to work. The school-specific guidance starts on page 45.

The guidance affirms SDCOE’s planning assumptions and recommendations. All decisions about following the CDC recommendations should be made in collaboration with local health officials and other state and local authorities who can help assess the current level of mitigation needed based on levels of COVID-19 community transmission and the capacities of local health systems, among other relevant factors. 

COVID-19 Response: The TLC School Equity Model
During our meeting last week, Dr. Robin Avelar La Salle, chief executive officer of Orenda Education, walked us through the TLC School Equity Model, an equity-focused approach to reopening campuses. View her presentation here. If you are interested in reviewing the model in more detail, she will be hosting a meeting today from 2 to 3 p.m. Email Genny Cadena, director of education partnerships for Orenda Education, to register for the webinar.

Food Assistance for Families
While campuses are closed due to COVID-19, families with students who were receiving free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school can get up to $365 per child for groceries this summer. This federal nutrition benefit is called Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) and is available for families in addition to continued grab-and-go meal services at many school sites in San Diego County. 

Families of students who received free or reduced-price school meals and did not receive a P-EBT card in the mail by May 25 must apply online before June 30 to get their card. Districts and charters may use this Pandemic EBT Outreach Toolkit to bring awareness about this new COVID-19 response initiative to families whose children are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals.

Padres Video for Graduating Seniors
SDCOE and the San Diego Padres teamed up to celebrate local high school seniors whose graduation ceremonies have gone virtual or been postponed until health conditions allow gatherings to take place.

The Padres created a special video message congratulating the Class of 2020 on their upcoming graduation. The video features Ty France, a third baseman for the Padres who graduated from San Diego State University. Feel free to share the video with your school community.

Thank you for your continued efforts to support San Diego County’s children during these uncertain times. I'm looking forward to speaking with you tomorrow!


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