Education & Distance Learning

COVID-19
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Special Education

Supporting Youth in Foster Care in Distance Learning

Questions and answers to providing services to children with disabilities have been shared by the Department of Education here

Track the special education services your child is provided during COVID-19 school closures. This will ensure you are ready to request compensatory services once schools reopen.

Technology for Distance Learning

iFoster is currently offering technology access to foster youth ages 13-24, which include: free, unlimited high-speed data hotspots, headsets, and laptops to assist in taking online classes.  For additional information on the resources that they have, call or email iFoster at: 1-855-936-7837 or phone@ifoster.org

INTERNET:

  • LAUSD is providing free hotspots through Verizon to every student, not just one per household, to assist in distance learning. To request a hot spot device, visit device.lausd.net with access code LAUSD2020
  • Internet For All Now: The California Emerging Technology Fund has provided access to affordable offers, as well as a number to call 1-844-841-INFO (4636) to assist parents.
  • Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. To enroll: 1-844-488-8395. 
  • Comcast also announced it would offer two months of free internet services to low-income households in its service areas. 
  • AT&T is waiving internet data overage fees for customers who have capped data plans.
  • Verizon is waiving any late fees and not terminate any service for the next 60 days.
  • T-mobile announced current customers will have unlimited smartphone data, an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot / tethering service, and extra free data up to 5GB of data per month for the next 60 days.
  • Free Broadband Access for Low-income Households (Sacramento)

Learning at Home Resources

Trauma-informed Special Education Trainings

Trauma significantly impacts students in foster care, and can drastically impact their learning. The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing an increasing number of students to trauma as they are forced to shelter in place, are isolated from their peers and extended family members, face housing and food insecurities, and their parents deal with unemployment.

The Alliance offers free trauma informed education trainings for whole schools and district staff. Contact us to schedule a training for your district.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will schools be offering breakfast and lunch for those students eligible for free and reduced price meals while they are shut down?

On March 13, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-26-20regarding the physical closure of schools by local educational agencies (LEAs) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The order provides, among other things, that even if schools close temporarily because of COVID-19, LEAs will continue to receive state funding for those days so that they can provide school meals in non-congregate settings through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO), consistent with the requirements of the California Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Schools or other community organizations that are approved to operate the SSO or SFSP can serve non-congregate meals during COVID-19 at school sites that are dismissed or closed by submitting a request to the California Department of Education.

To allow for social distancing, non-congregate meal systems can vary based on community need and it is recommended that meals be taken away from the site and consumed elsewhere. Examples include:

  • Distributing meals using a school food truck;
  • Sending a box or bag meal(s) home with students for multiple days;
  • Keeping some school sites open to allow students to receive a meal;
  • Partnering with local libraries that remain open to serve meals, or
  • Setting up a drive through system in the parking lot to minimize contact. Families can drive through and pick up a meal for all children in the vehicle. Please note, it is not permissible to provide meals to children who are not present.

In order to ensure that parents, guardians, and students are aware of the availability of meals, schools and community organizations should communicate in multiple languages the availability of meals as widely as possible.

Will lessons or other resources be available from school districts?

On March 13, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-26-20regarding the physical closure of schools by local educational agencies (LEAs) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The order provides, among other things, that even if schools close temporarily because of COVID-19, LEAs will continue to receive state funding for those days to, among other things, continue delivering high-quality educational opportunities to students to the extent feasible through, among other options, distance learning and/or independent study.

The California Department of Education (CDE) and Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) are required to jointly issue guidance that will address the following subjects relevant to students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or Section 504 plans:

Implementing distance learning strategies and addressing equity and access issues that may arise due to differential access to internet connectivity and technology.

Ensuring students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) consistent with their IEP plan and meeting other procedural requirements pursuant to federal and state law.

LEAs are working to determine service delivery systems, taking into consideration the length of the closure, work restrictions on employees and contractors such as certified nonpublic schools and agencies, specific capabilities of the LEA, including technology capabilities for all distance learning, and anything else that can or cannot be implemented as specifically written in an IEP or Section 504 plan. 

Are there childcare options open?

Executive Order N-26-20 also provides that local education agencies (LEAs) receiving funding during a physical closure due to COVID-19 should, to the extent practicable, arrange for supervision for students during ordinary school hours. The California Department of Education (CDE) has issued the following guidance for parents and guardians whose current childcare facility is closed:

Contact the administrative office of your childcare program to learn whether the program has a list of pop-up programs in your local area.

Contact the resource and referral (R&R) statewide consumer education hotline at 1-800-KIDS-793 or go to the website for child care referrals.

Contact your Regional Community Care Licensing (CCL) office, which may have a list of facilities and/or providers that can serve children at this time. A listing of offices can be found here.

The Alliance for Children’s Rights protects the rights of impoverished, abused and neglected children and youth.

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