Boards may meet without a physical meeting space for the public, and may receive updates on COVID-19 from officials

1 Apr
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On March 17, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a second executive order impacting meetings held by school district and county office of education boards. Executive Order N-29-20 superseded paragraph 11 of the March 12, 2020, Executive Order N-25-20, which required local educational agencies to provide a physical location from where members of the public could participate in a board meeting. This overriding Executive Order N-29-20 provides that boards no longer need to make space available for the public to appear...

FERPA and virtual learning during COVID-19

31 Mar
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cybersecurity
With the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, and the social distancing and other safety-related restrictions being implemented to contain it, schools throughout the country have almost universally switched to distance or virtual learning. The switch has raised countless questions for parents and school leaders alike. One critical question is around how the confidentiality of student education records will be maintained as required by law, when schools adopt virtual means to educate their students. The U.S. Department of Education,...

Districts receive flexibility in providing schools meals to hungry students

30 Mar
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Several waivers aimed at helping ease school meal distribution requirements were announced by United States Department of Agriculture officials on March 26 in an effort to ensure all children eligible for federal nutrition programs have access to meals they would normally receive in school despite school closures. The waivers relax regulations that made school meal distribution more difficult in light of federal health guidelines calling for social distancing to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and the upending of...

President’s Message: Help make sure that every student is counted

27 Mar
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By CSBA President Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez As school board members and education leaders, we all agree that every student counts. That mantra will be put to the test this month as invitations to complete the 2020 U.S. Census begin arriving in mailboxes. While U.S. Census Bureau and California officials will ramp up their outreach efforts in the coming weeks, we also play a key role in making sure school-aged children are not forgotten. Traditionally, some of our youngest citizens have not...

Coronavirus update: Stimulus set to deliver $13.5B in emergency funding for K-12 schools; a look at CalPERS and CalSTRS impacts

26 Mar
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The U.S. Senate on Wednesday night unanimously passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill to aid the country amidst the massive economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of note, the stimulus will deliver $16.5 billion in emergency funding for K-12 education, with $13.5 billion via formula grants for elementary and secondary education. A share of $3 billion will also be available for governors in each state to allocate to local educational agencies hardest hit by the pandemic. Importantly, in addition to...

Serving students with disabilities during school closures: Updated federal guidance

25 Mar
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public school building
California schools are taking extraordinary measures to continue to provide high-quality educational opportunities to all students while school sites are physically closed. According to the California Department of Education’s Special Education Guidance for COVID-19, at this time, the federal government has not waived the requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. When a school district continues to provide educational opportunities to the general student population during physical school site closures, the district is obligated to provide students with disabilities...

Coronavirus, school closures bring major changes for testing season

24 Mar
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test answer sheet
Tests used for K-12 accountability, advanced course credit and college admissions are the latest segment of education to experience major repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting school closures. Standardized assessments will likely be cancelled in most states this school year, high schoolers will take their Advanced Placement exams at home, and the SAT and ACT won’t be administered until at least June, among other changes. Waiver flexibility for standardized state testing California is among the long list of states...

Study finds schools increasingly rely on and benefit from anonymous school safety tip lines

23 Mar
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More than half of U.S. public middle and high schools operate a tip line aimed at increasing student safety, and more than three in four principals reported that tip lines made them more aware of overall safety issues at their schools, according to recent survey results. The study, “Tip Lines for School Safety: A National Portrait of Tip Line Use,” was conducted by RTI International with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice. Findings were based on responses from a...

Resource suite for schools and families during COVID-19 closures

20 Mar
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Student health and well-being Suggestions for educators on addressing the social and emotional needs of students from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Materials for schools and districts to support for their students and community around COVID-19 and pandemics from the National Association of School Psychiatrists Resources for COVID-19 from the California Association of School Psychologists Pandemic flu checklist: K-12 school administrators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Countering coronavirus stigma and racism: Tips for teachers and other educators from the...

Coronavirus update: California officials to provide ongoing guidance to LEAs dealing with COVID-19 closures

19 Mar
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State education and health officials convened March 18 for a webinar meant to ease some concerns held by county and district leaders surrounding the long-term, widespread school closures caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Currently, more than 98 percent of the state’s 6.2 million public school students remain out of school due to the rapidly evolving pandemic. During the webinar, officials from the Governor’s Office, California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Health and...