CA Department of Education: Health & Safety Measures for Re-Opening
The California Department of Education released its guidance to school districts and parents for safe and healthy re-opening measures in the coming school year. The guidance recommends that each school district require physical distancing among students and school personnel, and for school campuses to meet personal protective equipment standards. Implementing these guidelines is up to each local districts, which should tailor a plan that reflects the desire of their students and community. The state of California will provide assistance to school districts in the development of their measures that will keep students, staff, and families safe.
Here is a summary of the guidance (released June 8, 2020):
- Instructional Scheduling Options:
- Two-day rotation: Students report to school on 2 designated days based on grade level for in-person instruction (Monday/Wednesday for grade levels K-3 and Tuesday/Thursday for grade level 4-6). On the other days, students would be offered enrichment opportunities aligned with academic goals. This could mean small group instruction for certain student groups such as English learners. On Fridays, all students would be engaged in distance learning opportunities.
- A/B Week: Half of the student population attend in-person learning opportunities 4 full days per week while the other half is engaged in distance learning. Students would alternate each week. One day of the week, all students would be engaged in distance learning.
- Looping: For schools serving grade levels TK-8, students can stay with the same teacher in cohorts for multiple grade levels. For example, a teacher and student cohort would stay together for first and second grade, increasing the opportunity for literacy rates.
- Early/Late Staggered Schedules: Grade levels have staggered start and dismissal times such as AM/PM rotations.
- Face coverings for students and staff at all times (at school or on a bus)
- Physical distancing of at least 6 feet of spacing between seats and hallways and on buses
- Consult with local public health officials to ensure adequate tests and tracking are available for schools to reopen and allow for regular system screening for students and staff
- Purchase no-touch thermal scan thermometers for symptom screenings
- Limit access to campus for parents and other visitors
- Prioritize virtual activities in lieu of field trips or intergroup events
- Suspend use of share tables and self-service buffets for food and condiments and have staggering cafeteria use
- Conduct universal screening to identify social-emotional needs of students
- Seat one student to a bench on both sides of the bus, skipping every other row.
For the full set of guidelines, click here.
CA Department of Education: Mental Health Resources
To support students, schools, and communities during COVID-19, CDE has developed new web pages with information regarding mental health resources, including links for students to get direct access to mental health professionals. Here is the link that includes crisis and warm line (peer-to-peer telephone support service) numbers.
CA Department of Education: AP Computer Science Course Support
Students can register for laptops at home to finish their AP Computer Science course and take the exam this year. Availability is limited on a first-come, first-served basis. Students can use the laptop for the AP exam and keep it afterwards to pursue online learning. To register, click here.
Local Distance Learning
Antioch Unified School District has offered guidance in distance learning. This guidance includes information on how schools will provide its instruction through distance learning, how students with limited access to technology will be served, and where parents can pick up a meal for their child. To view this information, click here.
Danville Area School District has offered distance learning resources in a variety of subjects for parents and students in the community. These resources include ELA/reading, Math, Science, social studies, physical education, Music and Art. To view these resources, click here.
Dublin Unified School District is offering hotspots and Chromebooks to check out for students to ensure they have access to remote learning. To view this information, click here.
Lafayette School District will be offering chromebooks for families to check out during the school closure. If you are in need of one, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and specify the school and the grade level of your student(s).
Mount Diablo Unified School District has offered a detailed list of tools and resources to help parents and students transition to online learning. These tools include affordable internet options, guidance for distance learning, parent guidance on how to talk to children about COVID-19, and where to pick up a free meal for your child. To view these tools, click here.
Orinda Union School Districts is lending Chromebooks to students who need a computer to access distance learning. The school district has provided resources for transitioning to distance learning for parents and students. To view these resources, click here.
Pleasanton Unified School District advises students in need of a Chromebook or Wifi hotspot to access remote learning materials through the district website. An email will be sent to students once their devices are ready for pickup at the district office, 4665 Bernal Ave. Distribution is scheduled to begin March 17. For more info, please visit the PUSD website.
The Charter School Association has offered tools and best practices for schools, parents, and students in the charter school community. These tools include guidance for distance learning, how to receive free meal service pick-ups, and special education distance learning resources.To view these tools, click here.
Feeding Kids During COVID-19
Walnut Creek School District will be providing free lunch from Monday to Friday from 11 am to 1 pm. No ID or proof of school enrollment is required, but a child must be present. For more info click here.
A Pleasant Hill-based food rescue, White Pony Express, will deliver food to those served by its School Food Pantry Program. This includes 11 free-lunch schools in cities such as Antioch and Pittsburg. For updates, click here.
Pleasanton Unified School District will offer meals at no cost to students till April 3rd. All meals will be grab-and-go style. Families can go here to review the menu and preorder meals.
Dublin Unified School District students currently receiving meal assistance can still have access to a “grab and go” bagged breakfast and lunch. Meals will be available at Dublin High School and Cottonwood Creek Elementary from 7-9 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch. Meals will be available but seating will not be offered at either site. Families can review the menu and pre-order meals on the DUSD website this week. Those who need meal assistance can apply here at least 48 hours before they plan to receive breakfast and lunch.
Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District will offer all children aged 18 and younger free meal pick-up service at East Avenue Middle School, Junction Avenue K-8 School, and Marylin Avenue Elementary School. Each child will receive a breakfast and lunch from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Monday - Friday, March 16 - April 3. For more info, click here.
Pittsburg Unified School District will be offering free breakfast and lunch, “Grab N Go” for all Kids in Pittsburg. Students will be offered 2 meals per child from 9am-11am on Tuesday and Thursday at Foothill ES, Marina Vista ES, Willow Cove ES, and Martin Luther King Junior JHS. For more info, click here.
Mt. Diablo Unified School District will provide food service at eight locations throughout the District that will provide meals to students 18 and under. The sites include: Cambridge Elementary, Meadow Homes Elementary, El Dorado Middle School, Foothill Middle School, River View Middle School, Valley View Middle School, Ygnacio Valley High School and Mt. Diablo High School. Meals will be provided from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. For more info, click here.
Department of Education Guidance on Food-Serving Distribution
On March 13, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-26-20 regarding the physical closure of schools by local educational agencies (LEAs) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more, please read here: School Meals
The California Department of Education has created an app called CA Meals for Kids which will direct parents and students to emergency school meal sites throughout the state.
Department of Education Guidance for K-12 Schools
This is an uncertain time in California, and we have entered uncharted territory. Local educational agency officials are on the front line in making decisions for the health and safety of students and staff, and school officials have been faced with agonizing and difficult choices.
For additional resources and new COVID-19 guidance for K-12 schools from the Department of Education, please visit here.
Department of Education Distance Learning Guidance
Of the recent COVID-19 emergency bills passed on March 17th by the California Legislature, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) were authorized to receive $100M to be used for distance learning and other resources. To receive funds, eligible LEAs have to be operational as of March 4th and funding is allocated to LEAs based on 2019-20 average daily attendance (ADA). Eligible LEAs will receive $17.37 per ADA, with a minimum funding allocation of $250. For breakdown of each county, click here.
COVID-19 Financial Aid and Basic Needs -- Student Resources
Federal Student Aid
Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents: Information for students, borrowers, and parents on federal financial aid by the Federal Student Aid.
Federal student loan servicers: The Federal Student Aid website lists servicer contact information for borrowers who want to ask questions, request a deferment or forbearance, etc.
What’s in the CARES Act: Higher Education & Student Debt: Information about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security (CARES) Act regarding higher education and student debt.
CalFresh: Information on CalFresh eligibility and application process. If applicable, we encourage students to visit their campus’ website for resources or assistance on the CalFresh application.
California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) Student Support: Questions about Cal Grants, California Dream Act, Middle Class Scholarship, California Chafee Grants for foster youth, CalFresh eligibility notifications or how to apply for a Cal Grant? Visit www.csac.ca.gov or e-mail Studentsupport@csac.ca.gov
Private Discounts for College Students
UHAUL: UHAUL is offering free 30-day storage to any college student during this time (The free month applies to new customers with college IDs and is a limited-time offer subject to availability).
Enterprise Car Rental: Enterprise Car Rental is lowering their age to rent a car from 21 to 18 and waiving the young renter fee for rentals until May 31st. If students need to get home and don't want to risk getting on a plane/train - this could help!
Spectrum is offering 60 days free broadband and WiFi to students. Anyone wanting to enroll for the free offer can call 1-844-488-8395. For more information on how to use this resource, visit Spectrum's website.
General Information, Higher Education
University of California
The UC is relaxing undergraduate admissions requirements for students looking to enroll at UC for fall 2020 and future years. The system has ensured high school and transfer students are not penalized by their inability to earn letter grades for academic classes or take standardized tests during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more info, click here.
California State University
CSU East Bay has transitioned to online instruction. Gatherings and events including commencement ceremonies are postponed. CSUEB has also dedicated space on campus (the Learning Commons) where students can access a desktop or temporarily checkout a laptop with mandatory social distancing requirements in effect, M-F from 9 am to 5 pm. For more info, click here.
California Community Colleges
California Community Colleges Chancellor Oakley signed an executive order ensuring that students who drop a class while campuses are closed due to the coronavirus will not be academically or financially penalized. The order allows students to drop classes as an “excused withdrawal,” which will not count against them. It also allows students to be refunded enrollment fees for those classes. For more info, click here.
College students are eligible for a $500 grant to help with financial needs including class material, rent, and personal expenses through the MAF College Student Support Fund. To apply, CA students must be a Pell Grant or the California College Promise Grant Fee Waiver recipient. To apply, here is the link.
Internet/Video Conferencing Services
Comcast Cable will be offering low-income families free internet during this coronavirus pandemic. Two packages will be offered to families. To sign up, applicants can visit here or call 1-855-846-8376 for English or 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
Zoom is temporarily lifting the 40-minute time limit on free Basic accounts for schools affected by the Coronavirus. To get access for your school, go here.