ASCD California


  • 03/31/2020 11:22 AM | Cheryl Casagrande (Administrator)

    California districts move to extend school closures to beginning of May — at least


    MARCH 30, 2020


    Maria de Jesus fills out paperwork with her son, Joshua Garcia (center) and his friend Pablo Carrillo (right), both sixth graders at Burbank Elementary School in Hayward, Calif., before they pick up laptops. About 150 of the laptops were made available for students to participate in their school studies while sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Even before President Trump announced Sunday that he would extend federal guidelines to “shelter in place” to April 30, most of California’s largest school districts had already announced that they would be closed for at least another month.

    According to an EdSource review on March 29, 2020 of the state’s largest 30 districts say they will be closed for in-person instruction through May 1.  Another two will be closed through April 30.  Two have not set any date. One (Elk Grove Unified near Sacramento) will offer online instruction through the end of its school year.

    Even while they extend closure dates, a smaller number of districts are setting exact dates for when they expect to roll out a more formal distance learning program.  Elk Grove, for example, says it will formally begin its distance learning program on April 16, while San Diego Unified will fully launch its program on April 27.

    When schools initially closed, mostly in mid-March, administrators had to make quick decisions — in some cases almost overnight — about what they would tell students, staff and parents. They set the dates for closure — and potential reopening — not based on solid health grounds, which weren’t available at the time, but to coincide with the end of their spring breaks. Districts said they would open during a range of dates during the first, second or even third week of April — dates which are now coming up rapidly.

    As a result, last week the pace of districts announcing that they would be closed until the end of April — in some cases with the proviso that even those dates might have to be revised as well — accelerated


    These are the school closure dates of California’s 30 largest school districts for in-person instruction. Some districts have announced dates for launching a formal distance learning program.

    Los Angeles Unified: May 1

    San Diego Unified:  No date announced

    Fresno Unified: April 13

    Long Beach Unified: May 3

    Elk Grove Unified: May 29 

    San Francisco:  May 1

    Capistrano Unified: May 1

    Corona-Norco Unified: May 1

    San Bernardino Unified: May 1

    Santa Ana Unified: May 1

    San Juan Unified: May 1

    Oakland Unified: May 1

    Sacramento City Unified:  May 1

    Clovis Unified: April 14

    Garden Grove Unified: May 1

    Riverside Unified: April 30

    Stockton Unified: April 17

    Sweetwater Union High: No Date Announced

    Kern High School District: May 1

    Poway Unified: April 6

    Fontana Unified: May 1

    Fremont Unified: May 1

    Irvine Unified: May 1

    Moreno Valley Unified: April 30

    San Ramon Valley Unified: May 1

    West Contra Costa Unified: May 1

    Lodi Unified:  April 17

    Twin Rivers Unified: May 1

    San Jose Unified: May 1

    Mt. Diablo Unified: May 1

    ∗ As listed online as of March 29.

    The five remaining school districts with earlier opening dates in April are reviewing their plans.  Presumably the federal guidelines, which are expected to be reinforced by local and state authorities will accelerate that process, and schools throughout the state may announce that they will be closed for the next month. Exact dates may well vary from district to district.

    Unlike the first rush of closures, districts are increasingly  coordinating with county offices and county health officers on when to reopen, at least in part to avoid confusion among nearby districts. Over the last 10 days, several countywide closures were announced (including Los Angeles County, six Bay Area counties and Sacramento County, with total enrollments of over 2 million students).

    The district with the earliest remaining opening date among the largest districts is Poway Unified in San Diego County. It was scheduled to open next Monday, on April 6.  But in a message on the district’s website, superintendent Marian Kim Phelps said that “while our initial intent was to physically return back to school on April 6, unfortunately, the likelihood of that happening is remote.” Phelps said she would be consulting with the San Diego county superintendent and other local superintendents “to discuss the extension of our emergency closures.”

    Fresno Unified is still scheduled to be closed until April 13, but Superintendent Bob Nelson in a video to the Fresno community said that the board of education will review whether to extend its closure date during its meeting on Wednesday this week. “This is not a decision we take lightly,” he said, acknowledging that other districts have made different decision.  The meeting will be held virtually, and Nelson encouraged parents to submit their comments via email.

  • 03/27/2020 5:12 PM | Cheryl Casagrande (Administrator)

    News Release. California Department of Education official seal. Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-5901, 916-319-0800,


    CONTACT: Communications


    PHONE: 916-319-0818

    March 27, 2020




    State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Preliminary Federal Approval of Testing and Accountability Waivers for 2019–2020 School Year

    SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that California received preliminary federal approval to waive assessment and accountability requirements for the 2019–2020 school year. The California Department of Education (CDE) and California State Board of Education (SBE) formally requested approval for these waivers from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in a letter sent on March 26. A formal approval from the ED is expected in the coming weeks.

    “During the current COVID-19 public health crisis we are all facing right now, we don’t want our districts worrying about testing requirements or students worrying about testing,” said Thurmond. “We are currently experiencing very difficult times and are thankful that the U.S. Department of Education responded quickly to our request for testing and accountability waivers. California will continue to address the current needs of students, parents, and school communities, and we are anticipating and preparing to solve further issues that will arise, including applying for further waivers as needed.”

    “The federal government’s fast approval of our waiver request provides welcome relief to our educators and students, and for that we are very grateful,” added State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond. “The waiver allows our local leaders to focus on what is most important right now: Their students’ health, safety, and learning.”

    California will hold a public comment period for all stakeholders and local educational agencies with the submission of the waiver application through April 15, 2020. A copy of the notice and copies of all comments received by the state will be sent to the ED once the comment period has concluded. The state intends to review the comments to help inform California’s decisions moving forward about how to best support students and educators during this crisis. Any comments or questions should be sent to or by mail to the California Department of Education, Government Affairs Division, 1430 N Street, Suite 5602, Sacramento, CA 95814-5901.

    For more information on COVID-19 and the suspension of statewide testing, please view the CDE’s Assessment Spotlight, Issue 85 web page.











  • 03/18/2020 1:14 PM | Cheryl Casagrande (Administrator)

    Gov. Newsom assures school districts they'll be funded during coronavirus closures

    California districts confused by about the requirements to get the money


    MARCH 14, 2020


    A headline announces the closure of large events in San Francisco on March 13 after Gov. Gavin Newsom called for canceling all non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people because of the coronavirus threat.

    This article was updated on March 15 with data on district closures and comments from Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom has given school districts some reassurance they have been waiting for: They will be paid for days they shut down to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

    Newsom’s executive order late Friday, covering reimbursement for lost school days, includes conditions, including continuing to provide subsidized meals to low-income students, that some education officials say must be quickly clarified. The announcement came hours after dozens of school districts announced they would be shutting starting Monday.

    EdSource has estimated that as of Sunday night, more than 5.1 million students (84 percent) in two thirds of districts (at least 599) will be shut down this week. With the exception of the Kern High School District in Bakersfield, 24 of the 25 largest school districts will be closed. (Go here to check the status of your district.)


    While California Holds Off On Ordering All Schools Closed, Expected Closures Escalate Rapidly Throughout State

    With few exceptions, the districts will close for  two or three weeks. State and county health officials had encouraged closures in the hope that reducing close contact among students would slow an alarming spread of the coronavirus in California as well as reduce the risk of infection for teachers and school staff. As of Saturday, state health officials had reported 288 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, with five deaths.

    Some districts had hesitated to close schools without some confidence that they would be held harmless for a loss of revenue. Word that Newsom would agree and encouragement from medical experts prompted them to act quickly.

  • 03/14/2020 9:20 AM | Cheryl Casagrande (Administrator)

    How learning will change across California's K-12 schools amid coronavirus closures

    With online learning presenting barriers, schools across California are finding different ways to teach students remotely.


    MARCH 13, 2020


    California schools facing inevitable closures because of coronavirus outbreaks are finding various ways to keep learning going as students are forced to stay home.

    Across the state, more than 1,200 public and private K-12 schools announced this week that they will close or move to remote learning due to concerns about coronavirus, including the state’s two largest school districts, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, which announced Friday morning in a joint statement that they will close schools beginning Monday. Since Thursday night, districts including Berkeley, San Francisco, Sacramento City and others also announced they would close schools.

    But while many colleges and universities in California have switched to online classes to keep students and staff home, most K-12 schools are not equipped with the infrastructure to do so. Now schools are exploring everything from take-home projects to partnerships with local media.  

    L.A. Unified, serving more than 600,000 students, plans to transition to teaching students remotely through a partnership with local public television. The district, which will close for at least two weeks, announced Thursday it will partner with public television stations KCET and PBS SoCal to broadcast educational programming to its students while they are forced to stay at home. Similar programming will also be available in other parts of the state. KQED, the PBS station in the San Francisco Bay Area, plans to air the same television schedule as PBS SoCal/KCET. 

    For many students in Los Angeles, the programming will be accompanied by lesson plans and take-home assignments for students to complete. Austin Beutner, the district’s superintendent, said in a statement that when students leave school Friday, they will leave with a plan to continue learning that will begin on Monday. 

    For full article click this link

  • 03/10/2020 12:44 PM | Cheryl Casagrande (Administrator)

    California health officials issue guidance for schools and colleges, as UC Berkeley also suspends in-person instruction

    Elk Grove Unified School District cancels classes; an elementary student infected; recovering at home


    MARCH 9, 2020


    Monica G. wears a mask while walking through the UC Berkeley campus. A Berkeley resident with nothing to do with the campus recently tested positive to the coronavirus.

    As the coronavirus spreads to more communities in California, California public health authorities have issued their first detailed guidance to K-12 schools as well as colleges and universities about how to respond to the coronavirus.

    “It’s a question of when – not if – some California public schools will face closure because of COVID-19,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement accompanying the guidance issued on March 7. “School districts must prepare for these scenarios so that parents and children can plan for what would happen if their local school faced closure.”

    In fact, his statement and the guidance were released just hours after the 64,000 student Elk Grove Unified, the state’s 5th largest district just outside Sacramento, had decided to close all of its 67 schools for at least the next week.

    Officials Monday provided more details as to what had led to the closure.  They said two members of a household in Elk Grove had tested positive to the virus, but that none of the four students in the household who attend two different schools in the district had tested positive.  They also disclosed Monday that an elementary school student Maeola R. Beitzel Elementary School had tested positive for the virus.

    In a joint statement issued late Monday, “The Sacramento County Public Health Department and Sacramento County Office of Education will be collaborating with the 13 District superintendents to develop recommendations to implement the new state and county mitigation guidelines within the next 48 hours.”

    Although local control is a core principle of K-12 school governance, the guidance, issued jointly by the California Department of Public Health and the California Dept. of Education, raised questions about the extent to which school districts would make the decision to close schools, and to what degree they need to make the decisions in tandem with local health departments.

    For entire article please click

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