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In This Moment (7/16): Learning Continuity Plan Template Has Arrived

July 16, 2020

The California Department of Education (CDE) rolled out the draft Learning Continuity Plan template sooner than expected. Here we provide more details about the template, along with information about CDE’s upcoming webinars on the topic.

Also, with the recent surge of COVID-19 cases, many school districts, and even entire counties, have indicated that they will start the school year with distance learning. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond signaled his support of this approach in light of health and safety considerations.

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Draft Template for Learning Continuity Plan Released

Ahead of the August 1, 2020 deadline, CDE posted a draft Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (Learning Continuity Plan) template as required under Senate Bill (SB) 98, the K-12 education budget trailer bill.

Instead of a 2020-21 Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), SB 98 requires all LEAs to adopt a Learning Continuity Plan by September 30, 2020. The 7-page template requires LEAs to describe how their plan will: provide in-person instruction whenever possible and a distance learning option, address student learning loss, support student mental health and social-emotional well-being, and ensure increased or improved services for unduplicated students (i.e. foster youth, English learners, and low-income students).

Following the draft template release, CDE hosted a webinar and provided an opportunity for stakeholders to offer initial feedback. CDE has two additional webinars planned as part of the roll out of the Learning Continuity Plan:

  • July 28 – Distance Learning, Pupil Engagement and Outreach, Professional Development, and Staff Support
  • August 4 – Social Emotional Learning, Nutrition, Supporting Students

Information on the upcoming webinars can be found here.

Distance Learning Plans Take Hold as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Citing health and safety concerns for students and staff, school districts and even entire counties are opting to begin the 2020-21 school year entirely online. 75 districts have finalized plans to return virtually, including some of the largest in the state: Los Angeles Unified, San Diego Unified, San Francisco Unified, Santa Ana Unified, Long Beach Unified, Stockton Unified, Lodi Unified, all districts in Sacramento and Stanislaus counties. Given this trend, it's likely more school districts will pause plans for in-person instruction and hybrid models, until COVID-19 cases level out.

In a statement released Wednesday, July 15, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond commended district leaders for putting safety first, saying, “Everyone shares the desire to reopen schools and agrees that the best place for children to learn and thrive is in the classroom connected with caring teachers and staff. We also understand that schools are more than a place of learning: They provide critical necessities like meals, relationships with caring adults, and support for working parents. But we can only open schools if it is safe to do so. As the largest educational agency in the country, our stance has been consistent during this pandemic: Science, data, and safety must guide any decision about reopening a school. The health and safety of our students and staff is too important to risk.”