March 19, 2020
The March 17, 2020 CDE guidance appeared to be a call to action to California school districts to develop a plan for distance learning. CDE emphasized that such plans would need to be flexible, varied for both short and long term goals, and factor in delivery of services to economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, and English language learners to ensure equitable access.
Each school district will have its own unique system already in place, but key steps in developing distance learning include:
- The California Constitution prohibits school districts from requiring students to purchase devices or internet access, provide their own devices, or pay a fee to access these resources.
- The California Constitution and Williams Act requires that all students have access to instructional materials. However, CDE stated that equitable access does not require exact same content must be delivered through the same channel for all students.
- Emergency Resolution is required to procure on an emergency basis. (Public Contract Code section 20133)
- Contract Review for data privacy, term length, termination, insurance, etc.
- At this time, we are unaware of any additional flexibility of eRate funding from the FCC, but this may change as there is pressure to provide more financial resources to acquire devices and include wifi hotspots to be covered.
- Online instruction
- Online resources and enrichment
- Televised instruction
- In-person distribution of learning packets, U.S. mail, or email
- In-person locations with wifi hot spots, with small numbers and social distancing measures
- Opportunities for teachers to engage with one another
- Review contracts to ensure content meets standards, data privacy, etc.
- We recommend establishing a record keeping protocol and tracking of materials and instructional time
- Establish a process and protocol for deploying devices, i.e. record condition, serial numbers.
- Require Agreement or Policy (for staff and students) governing topics such as expectations of use, consent to recording, and FERPA compliance .
- Evaluate insurance coverage for damaged or missing devices.