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In response to recent legislative action, CSMC would like to provide this quick update with additional guidance, information and helpful links. Our CSMC family continues to wish you, your family, and your school community good health, safety, and calm during this unprecedented challenge.

FAQ’S FROM OUR COMMUNITY

General Questions

Do I need to submit a J-13A form for my school closure?

 No, instead of the J-13A form, a school that closed school in response to COVID-19 must submit to the CDE the Certification Form for COVID-19 Closure (COVID-19 Closure Form). The school does not need to submit the COVID-19 Closure Form now but should submit the COVID-19 Closure Form to CDE as soon as possible once the emergency is over. This way the school can determine the exact number of school closure days to be included in the certification.

Do I need a letter of substantiation from my local public health office for a COVID-19 school closure?

No. While initially a letter from the local public health office was required to substantiate a COVID-19 school closure, the March 13, 2020 Executive Order N-26-20 provides the authority to reduce the number of school days offered for the 2019-20 school year by the number of days school was closed in response to COVID-19 without substantiation from the local public health office. 

Can the LEA Response funds be used for hazard pay in conjunction with maintaining nutrition services?

While the guidance provided does not explicitly state that the LEA Response funds may not be used for hazard pay in conjunction with maintaining nutrition services, you should consider the optics of it coming across as bonus pay for staff instead of it being used to improve learning especially within the political landscape of your local district.

According to the CDE: https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fo/r14/sb11719apptltr1.asp “SB 117 Funds are allowed to be used for costs associated with maintaining nutrition services, cleaning, and disinfecting facilities, personal protective equipment, and materials necessary to provide students with opportunities for distance learning. The priority for these funds is health and safety needs for LEAs, including for student meal access, during COVID-19 closure periods. Due to the emergency nature of these funds, the funding allocation formula and allowable uses of funds contained in this letter may not closely align with the appropriation language in Section 9 of Senate Bill 117, but are in concurrence with the Department of Finance and the Legislature. Clean-up language will be forthcoming in future legislation.”

Attendance Related Questions

When completing our P2 ADA, the form asks us if the charter school ceased operation during this school year. Should we mark Yes or No?

The specific question refers to schools that permanently closed. Answer “No” unless your school closed indefinitely. For example, if your charter school was not renewed and/or dissolved or a district school that will become a new charter next year.

How do we collect attendance for independent study during a school closure?

For purposes of attendance accounting to claim apportionment, days school is closed are considered non-instructional days. Although LEAs are encouraged to provide independent study or other types of distance learning to the extent possible while closed, no attendance for apportionment should be claimed for days that school was closed.

Should schools claim attendance for apportionment for participation in independent study or other types of distance learning while school is closed in response to COVID-19?

No. For purposes of attendance accounting to claim apportionment, days school is closed are considered non-instructional days. Although LEAs are encouraged to provide independent study or other types of distance learning to the extent possible while closed, no attendance for apportionment should be claimed for days that school was closed. 

How did SB 117 change how ADA is calculated for the second principal (P-2) and annual apportionment periods?

For the purpose of preventing losses of attendance based funding as a result of reductions in ADA due to COVID-19, SB 117 provides that the ADA used for both the second period and the annual period apportionment includes all full school months from July 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020.

In effect, SB 117 mitigates the effect of lost attendance due to COVID-19 that occurred after February 29, 2020. This bill is a companion to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-26-20. 

How will COVID-19 affect chronic absentee data?

LEAs are not expected to collect “attendance” for chronic absenteeism purposes during school closures, even if distance learning instruction is occurring. The CDE also recognizes that the COVID-19 may have impacted student attendance prior to the school closures and will likely continue to impact student attendance should schools reopen this year. As noted above, the collection of chronic absenteeism data in the CALPADS EOY submission, and any adjustments to how the metric is calculated based on the data collected, are larger policy decisions that have yet to be determined.

Do we have to take attendance during the closure? Are students considered “present”?

Per CDE guidance, attendance should not be taken for days that school was closed.

CALPADS Related Questions

Will the Fall 2 submission deadline be extended due to COVID-19?

Due to recent school closures stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Education (CDE) has extended the certification deadline for the Fall 2 submission from March 20, 2020 to April 24, 2020. 

How will End-of-Year (EOY) submission be impacted?

With regard to the upcoming End-of-Year (EOY) submissions, the CDE is fully aware of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on schools and students, and consequently on any data collected and submitted for state and federal reporting and accountability. The CDE is in communication with the United States Department of Education (ED), the Governor’s Office, and the State Board of Education regarding these impacts and expects new guidance to be forthcoming. The CDE will keep LEAs informed as information becomes available. 

What should LEAs do about students who were unable to complete CTE pathways?

TBD. We are waiting on the Career Technical Education Leadership Office for further guidance.

Will English Language Proficiency Assessments (ELPAC) be required?

Summative ELPAC testing has been suspended for 19-20. However, Initial ELPAC has been postponed while schools are closed. Once student’s return to school, the CDE expects students identified as requiring the initial ELPAC be tested. Senate Bill 117 extends the timeline to conduct the ELPAC by 45 days (75 days total).

Will EOY 4- Special Education require certification?

Yes. While California received preliminary federal approval to waive assessment and ESSA accountability requirements, IDEA information is not waived and will be reported.

How will this affect students that were set to graduate this summer?

While physical school locations will remain closed, LEAs are encouraged to continue instruction through alternative platforms. The assignment of grades and credits is ultimately a local determination made in consultation with teachers.

If an LEA switches to a “credit/no credit” “pass/fail” grade scale, how will that impact a student’s admission to UC or CSU?

Leaders of CDE, the State Board of Education, and each of the higher education segments who are part of the Governor’s Council for Postsecondary Education – the University of California, California State University, and Community College systems and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities — have been meeting to discuss the impact of school closures on this year’s high school students to make sure that students are held harmless from any impacts of school closures.

 

The university systems are willing to accept credit/no credit grades in lieu of letter grades for all courses, including A–G courses, completed in winter/ spring/ summer 2020 for all students. Grades of credit/no credit will not affect the UC or CSU calculations of GPA.  In addition, the universities have identified a range of other flexibilities they will offer to support students’ access to college during this time.

Updated Guidance for ADA Funding

In accordance with Executive Order N-26-20, schools will continue to receive state funding to:

  1. Continue delivering high-quality educational opportunities to students to the extent feasible through distance learning and/or independent study, among other options.
  2. Provide school meals in non-congregate settings through the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, consistent with the requirements of the California Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture
  3. Arrange for, to the extent practicable, supervision of students during regular school hours; and
  4. Continue to pay its employees

Updated Guidance for P-2 ADA Reporting and Funding

The “P-2” attendance reporting cut-off date has changed to the end of February for schools that closed due to COVID-19 and that comply with the terms of Executive Order N-26-20.

This change should hold closed schools “harmless” from any decrease in attendance from March 1, 2020 forward.

The full text of the bill can be found by clicking here. 

Helpful Links & Subscriptions

CDE Frequently Asked Questions

https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/pa/covidfaqs.asp

CSDC Frequently Asked Questions

www.chartercenter.org/resources/cbo-direct/csdc-s-coronavirus-19-faqs

CCSA and CSDC have been providing updates on crucial information for schools. You can subscribe to receive these updates.

 

Questions?

In an attempt to help our charter schools across the state navigate through these unprecedented difficult times, we are fielding questions that you may have utilizing this form. Please be assured that your name and information will remain confidential unless you prefer otherwise. We will be reviewing questions in the order received and publishing answers towww.csmci.com/charterschool-coronavirus-faqas they become available. Please submit your questions HERE.