March 27, 2020
Dear Superintendents,

The COVID-19 situation continues to develop rapidly. Here are some action items and updates on key areas.

URGENT: Pop-up Child Care
As I have shared before, after activation by the county Emergency Operations Center, schools may need to provide facilities for pop-up child care sites. Through work with the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, the county has determined there is a need to open school-based cost-free child care for dependents of hospital workers. Districts must begin planning to have your facilities and staff/contractor resources used for child care.

Many workers in hospitals and health facilities work minimum- or low-wage jobs and simply cannot afford the additional cost of child care. Therefore, referrals to existing open child care slots throughout the county’s private sector are not a viable option for these families. The need to open emergency child care is driven by a combination of school closures and additional staffing needs at our local hospitals. 

SDCOE expects to receive specific child care needs data from the Hospital Association by Monday, March 30. As soon as we receive it, we will make it available for your consideration, based on hospitals in your district attendance area(s).

We are gathering data from school districts to support the county and our schools in navigating opening and operating emergency child care, following all county and state emergency guidelines. Please complete this survey by 5 p.m. Monday, March 30, so we can identify the age groups you can serve and prioritize your needs for support. 

You do not have to do this alone. The SDCOE Expanded Learning and Early Education teams are here to support you in this process. We will share additional details about that support in our Zoom meeting on Tuesday.

Distance Learning Planning Tools
Distance learning planning tools will go out to districts Monday. The tools include resources and guidance documents to assist local education agencies (LEAs) in their planning. We will continue to develop resources and push out support as districts begin to implement their plans. 

Online Learning Platforms
During this time of emergency school closures, we are aware that many districts and charter schools have moved quickly to utilize online collaboration tools such as Zoom. As such, it is recommended that LEAs use a legally binding agreement such as the California Student Data Privacy Agreement (CSDPA) for data privacy compliance. To learn more about what student data is collected by Zoom Video Communications, Inc., view their Zoom for K12 Districts and Schools Privacy Policy

The CSDPA was created through an extensive collaborative process including California LEAs, legal firm Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, California IT in Education, and multiple vendors. In addition, the current CSDPA has received endorsement from the Privacy Technical Assistance Center and the Student Privacy Policy Office, the California Attorney General’s office, and the U.S. Department of Education’s chief privacy officer. Currently, school districts are encouraged to use this agreement as the de facto K-12 privacy agreement when engaging third-party providers that collect student data.
We have crafted a customizable parent letter in English and Spanish for use in communicating with your school community about the online learning platform(s) you may be using in distance learning.

Reports about “Zoombombing” have grown in recent days where Zoom classes and meetings have been disrupted by participants who take control of the screen and share inappropriate or irrelevant content. To help protect from this, SDCOE has created materials guidance on how to prevent Zoombombing.

Computer Delivery Times
With a move to distance learning, many districts are exploring the purchase of laptops for students and staff. SDCOE has done some reconnaissance with our primary computer/laptop vendors to gain a sense of turnaround time on orders for Windows-based laptops.  

Most vendors are giving optimistic turn-around times that do not address delays that come into play after orders are placed. Due to the impact on production/supply chain in places like China, this is not just an issue of scarcity due to massively increased demand (from public and private sectors transitioning to remote work) but also a supply issue. The supply side may take considerable time to ramp back up for most vendors.

Keeping that in mind, here is what we have learned from the four largest laptop producers:
  • Dell - Stating two or three weeks, though this is suspect as our own orders are arriving no sooner than five weeks.
  • Hewlett Packard (HP) - Nothing in stock, order delivery time currently at six to eight weeks
  • Lenovo - Nothing in stock. Unable to provide delivery timeline details at this time.
  • Acer - No response yet to our query. 

We hope this information is helpful in providing you a more accurate picture on delivery timelines for Windows-based laptops.

Notifying Community of COVID-19 Cases
Following up on my update from yesterday about the County of San Diego no longer having the capacity to conduct investigations on every reported positive COVID-19 case, I want to be explicit that we no longer believe it necessary to notify the school community when you have a student or employee test positive. The only exception to this would be if you are directed to do so by public health.

I'm looking forward to our next Zoom meeting, Tuesday, March 31, at 1 p.m. Until then, 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 continues.  


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