What wildlife is reclaiming your campuses?

I am not suggesting you try to adopt a bobcat. If I caught your attention with this photo and the caption from todays LATimes it was for a reason. Your empty campuses are homes to many varieties of wildlife besides students, staff and human visitors. Do you need to do anything to check for unwanted animals vermin and insects before you reopen your campuses whenever that may take place. Sorry, but I think I just added something else to your list.

Since Yosemite closed to visitors last month, the park’s natural wildlife has started to reclaim the land. LOS ANGELES TIMES

This article is from Education Week and just expands your knowledge of what is going on across the country.
States Face Thorny Issues in Deciding When to Reopen Schools Post-Pandemic – Education Week

April 15, 2020  by Evie Blad


They’ll have to balance health concerns, practical challenges in getting children back to class, and pressure to get schools open so parents can get back to work.



Fast Company Magazine’s article may be useful if you’ve been on too many Zoom meetings lately.

How to protect your energy during Zoom meetings https://www.fastcompany.com/90490716/ill-be-right-back-how-to-protect-your-energy-during-zoom-meetings

Here are some simple reminders that your tech support must continue.



Gerry Shelton of Capitol Advisors shares some news. 

Last week we provided you with an update that focused on a number of smaller issues that had not made it into our previous updates. There continues to be so much “big” news in California K-12 education about which we are informing you in most of our updates; however, we also want to fill you in on those issues that are related to the COVID-19 crisis, but that may only affect some of you or that don’t rise to the level of a full update.


FEMA Funding

This is a reminder that the deadline for school districts, county offices of education (COEs), or direct-funded charter schools to file a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the close of business on April 17, 2020. Any of those local educational agencies (LEAs) that have/are/will be incurring costs associated with “emergency protective measures” related to the COVID-19 response may be eligible for this Stafford Act funding. Generally, this funding covers up to 75% of eligible costs; those costs can include, but are not limited to, training specific to the event, disinfection of facilities, purchase and distribution of food, water, personal protective equipment, and communications of health and safety information to the public. LEAs should go online to file an RPA in order to be eligible for reimbursement. Information about this funding and the application process can be found on the California Office of Emergency Services website.


More on Assessments – SAT and ACT

Last week we reported on the decisions and schedule that the College Board had made with respect to Advanced Placement (AP) Exams. The College Board followed this week with some news about the SAT. First, the June administration date for the SAT has been cancelled. Students who were unable to take the SAT at any of the spring dates, including June, due to the COVID-19 emergency orders will have monthly opportunities to sit for the exam starting in August. As with AP exams, the College Board is also preparing for the possibility of providing digital access to take the SAT, should social distancing and school closure rules remain in effect.

Also, as they did with the AP exams, the College Board is committed to ensuring access for all students and security in any digital administration of the SAT, as well as to providing preparation materials for students. To that end, the College Board and Khan academy have developed a set of SAT resources for students, including SAT practice tests.

ACT, which had previously rescheduled its April 4 testing date to June 13, is also retaining its July 18 testing date. Students are being allowed to reschedule their ACT testing dates without incurring a rescheduling fee. ACT has also made no changes to its exam dates for the fall, with exams scheduled for September, October and December. In addition, ACT has indicated that testing at home is an option during those fall dates. ACT offers preparation materials that are described here.

The University of California, along with many other colleges and universities, has announced that they will not be requiring freshman applicants applying for fall 2021 to submit SAT or ACT scores to be considered for admission. California State University is developing a policy with respect to admission requirements for applicants applying for fall 2021.



Medical Supplies in CTE Programs

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) have issued guidance that authorizes career technical education (CTE) programs to donate or loan personal protective equipment or medical supplies purchased with federal funds to help with the coronavirus response. This guidance allows CTE programs that have supplies such as unused gloves, masks, face shields, gowns, swabs or other needed items that are in short supply, and that were purchased with federal grants (e.g., Carl Perkins funding), to provide those items to hospitals, other licensed health providers or public health agencies. You can get more details here.


Title IX Rulemaking

Though not related to COVID-19, we have been tracking continuing developments in the almost three-year process to rewrite the Title IX rule that defines how schools are required to handle reports of sexual assault and harassment. The next to the last step in this process, review of the proposed rulemaking by the White House Office of Management and Budget, was completed last Friday. This clears the path for Secretary Betsy DeVos to issue this new and controversial rule, as it was posted in the Federal Register in November of 2018 (here). No release date has been provided by the U.S. Department of Education, however, there are indications that a report on the rule will be issued in this federal fiscal year, which runs until Sept. 30.


Frontier Communications Files for Chapter 11

We ordinarily wouldn’t be informing you of the bankruptcy proceedings for private corporations; however, telecommunications is a very important issue with the COVID-19 crisis raising the importance of distance learning and connectivity. Frontier Communications is a Connecticut-based corporation providing both telephone and broadband internet services to residential and business customers in 29 states in the country, including California. Frontier has more than 2 million customers in California, mainly in rural areas of the state.

Frontier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday and, as required under Chapter 11, offered a restructuring plan to deal with the debt problems that have haunted it in recent years following an expansion that overextended the company. While Frontier has stated that all of its consumers will remain connected despite this bankruptcy filing, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a statement saying that it is “pleased that Frontier has made clear that consumers will remain connected’ and that the FCC “will be vigilant in ensuring both that Frontier’s customers stay connected to vital 911, voice, and broadband services.” Still, if you are in an area that receives services from Frontier, please keep an eye on developments.

Coincidently, Capitol Advisors Group is coordinating a call Thursday (4/16) afternoon with the Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, and the executive directors of our statewide education organizations. The purpose of the call will be to ask the Chairman to leverage, to the fullest extent possible, the resources of the FCC and the President’s authority relative to supporting the provision of technology for distance learning.