COVID-19 Pandemic Information

Updated September 28, 2020

This page provides current information to assist California’s early intervention programs, preschool special education programs, practitioners, and families to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reopening of Schools Guidance

California Department of Education

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and Digital Divide Task Force Identify Resources, Partnerships Available to Support Successful Distance Learning in the Fall (July 23, 2020)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and leaders serving on the Closing the Digital Divide Task Force identified new resources and partnerships to support California schools preparing for distance learning this fall. The task force, co-chaired by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), has been working since April to help equip all California students with computing devices and connectivity as schools prepare for the new academic year.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Issues Statement in Response to Governor's Updated School Guidance (July 20, 2020)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued this statement in response to the Governor's updated guidance for schools.

CDE Review of Updated School Guidance Webinar (July 20, 2020)
Recorded webinar on the Review of Updated School Guidance from the California Department of Education. During this webinar, officials from CDE and the California Department of Public Health provide local educational agencies (LEAs), county offices of education (COEs), and all educational stakeholders a detailed overview of the Governor's updated COVID-19 guidance for schools and answer questions as districts and educators navigate implementation. (Runtime: 1 hr. 20 min.)

Stronger Together: A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools (June 10, 2020)
This guidance was created through the statewide reopening schools task force and informed by the technical assistance and advice of many health and safety organizations including the Centers for Disease Control, California Department of Public Health, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. This is a guide for the local discussion on safely reopening schools.

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California Department of Developmental Services

Department Directive 01-071720: Providing and Claiming for Non-residential Services during the State of Emergency (July 17, 2020)
As follow up to the Department of Developmental Services' June 18, 2020 guidance, the purpose of this correspondence is to extend retention payments to nonresidential providers for consumer absences through August 31, 2020.

For the related documents, see the Coronavirus Information and Resources page.

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California Department of Public Health

COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year (July 17, 2020)
CDPH developed the following framework to support school communities as they decide when and how to implement in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year.

COVID-19 Update Guidance: Child Care Programs and Providers (July 17, 2020)
The state recognizes this health crisis is a fluid situation and is coordinating joint efforts with state and local agencies to provide support, as well as current information and guidance that is responsive to questions and suggestions from providers, families, and stakeholders.

COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Schools and School-Based Programs (June 05, 2020)
This guidance provides guidelines to create a safer environment for student, family, and staff populations. This guidance will be updated as new data and practices emerge.

Statewide Public Health Officer Order (July 13, 2020)
The order directing all individuals living in the State of California to stay home excep as needed to facilitate authorized, necessary activities or to maintain the continuity of operations of critical infrastructure sectors.

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Federal Guidance

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA Center)

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has designated the ECTA Center as the clearinghouse for COVID-19 related information for early intervention and early childhood special education. This site provides state Part C and Part B, Section 619 programs with the latest information on funding and guidance, as well as information on talking to children and families during this national emergency.

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Tele-Intervention and Distance Learning

Information compiled by ECTA on effectiveness, service delivery, technology and privacy, and state guidance on tele-intervention.

screenshot of video Supporting Grayson's FamilyVideo: Supporting Grayson's Family (May 27, 2020)
In this video, Grayson's parents Niki and Matt describe how home visits they receive via video conferencing engage and support the entire family during stresses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Early interventionist Jenny Seuntjens highlights key strategies including focusing on all family members, embedding intervention in typical everyday routines, and following the family's lead.

screenshot of video Build Your Video Conferencing SkillsVideo: Build Your Video Conferencing Skills: For Home Visitors - And Everyone Else! (May 13, 2020)
This entertaining video presents important tips for improving your video conferencing skills. The lighthearted narration and whimsical illustrations help you identify key technical, environmental, and interactional aspects to keep in mind. Download the accompanying one-page checklist to assess your skills while watching the video.

screenshot of video A Home Visit with Ares’ FamilyVideo: A Home Visit with Ares’ Family (May 05, 2020)
In this video, Ohio speech-language pathologist Lindsay Miketa delivers an early intervention home visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video illustrates the experience of a family new to early intervention that has only received home visits via video conferencing. The story is accompanied by insightful observations offered by Lindsay and Ares' parents, Jacqueline and Daniel.

screenshot of video A Home Visit with Sam's FamilyVideo: A Home Visit with Sam's Family (April 29, 2020)
This video illustrates an early intervention home visit delivered by Ohio occupational therapist Angela Spano via video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video shows how home visits support the entire family and features insightful observations offered by Sam's mother Kayla and Angela.

screenshot of video A Home Visit with Zander’s FamilyVideo: A Home Visit with Zander’s Family (April 27, 2020)
This video illustrates an early intervention home visit delivered by Ohio physical therapist Paula Clark via video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic and features insightful observations offered by Zander's mother Margaret and Paula.

Video: An Illustration of Using the SS-OO-PP-RR Framework to Guide Home Visiting (April 20, 2020)
screenshot of video An Illustration of Using the SS-OO-PP-RR Framework This video illustrates an entire home visit delivered by Iowa early interventionist Jenny Seuntjens via video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video includes an introduction by Juliann Woods and annotations throughout that point out key strategies used by both the provider and the family. You can watch the video on two different sites:
ECTA
FGRBI

Video: Supporting Families During the Pandemic: Four Therapists Share Their Wisdom (April 9, 2020)
screenshot of video Supporting Families During the Pandemic In this video, four early intervention practitioners from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Ohio) share their experiences and advice about using video conferencing to deliver home visits.

A companion viewer's guide provides space for a provider to take notes on the discussion and reflect on the content's application to their own work.

Video: SS-OO-PP-RR: Guiding Home Visiting during the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 4, 2020)
screenshot of video Guiding Home Visiting during the COVID-19 Pandemic A new video has been posted on the ECTA website, Using the SS-OO-PP-RR: Guiding Home Visiting during the COVID-19 Pandemic, which discusses the use of the SS-OO-PP-RR framework for guiding home visits, whether in-person or delivered through video conferencing, and reviews general considerations when delivering home visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PDF with more information about the SS—OO—PP—RR framework from the Distance Mentoring Model Project.

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FERPA Information

FERPA and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (March 2020)

Student Privacy Policy Office FERPA and Virtual Learning Related Resources (March 2020)

Student Privacy Policy Office FERPA and Coronavirus Disease 2019 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (March 2020)

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HIPAA Information (for covered entities)

Notification of Enforcement Discretion for telehealth remote communications during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

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California Guidance

California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response (April 29, 2020, 10:26 PM)

California Deafblind Services: CDBS has resources to share with families and child care providers for engaging children throughout the day. Assistance available in English and Spanish, by phone or Zoom.

Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order to Expand Support for Vulnerable Populations (April 20, 2020)
Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that provides additional support for older adults and vulnerable young children.

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California Department of Education

Coronavirus (COVID-19) page (June 08, 2020)

Stronger Together: A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools (June 10, 2020)
This guidance was created through the statewide reopening schools task force and informed by the technical assistance and advice of many health and safety organizations including the Centers for Disease Control, California Department of Public Health, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. This is a guide for the local discussion on safely reopening schools.

Help for Students in Crisis (April 15, 2020)
Resources for students and families for addressing mental health and wellness while school sites are closed.

Special Education Guidance for COVID-19 (April 9, 2010)

Friday Emails to the Field (April 3, 2020)

Getting Internet Access: Available Plans (March 19, 2020)

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California Department of Public Health

COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Schools and School-Based Programs (June 05, 2020)
This guidance provides guidelines to create a safer environment for student, family, and staff populations. This guidance will be updated as new data and practices emerge.

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Early Intervention

Department Directive 01-061520: Extension of Early Start Services (June 15, 2020)
New guidance to regional centers from the California Department of Developmental Services waiving certain requirements of the California Early Intervention Services Act (CEISA). The Department recognizes the transition to special education services for children at age three may be delayed as local schools face challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Department Directive on Requirements Waived Due to COVID-19 (March 12, 2020)

Planning for the Use of Video Conferencing for Early Intervention Home Visits during the COVID-19 Pandemic PDF (April 15, 2020)

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Preschool

Planning for the Use of Video Conferencing in Preschool Special Education and Early Care and Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic PDF (April 15, 2020)

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DRDP Guidance

DRDP Spring 2020 Assessment Policy Statement for Special Education
In light of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Education, Special Education Division is not requiring the submission of rating records that would have been completed between March 16th and June 30th, 2020.

Programs may choose to continue to use the DRDP (2015) to document and inform children’s learning this spring for their own purposes.

For Service Providers/Assessors

  • You should submit any DRDP rating records that were completed prior to March 16th. Do not submit any partially completed rating records.
  • Enter these completed records into your local MIS (i.e. SEIS, SIRAS) or DRAccessReports.org.
  • Adhere to your local due dates for DRDP data submission as determined by your SELPA.

For SELPA

  • Data submission due date will remain the same, July 1, 2020
  • Data collection system remains the same: DRAccessData.org

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Families

COVID-19 Resources Specific for Individuals with I/DD and ASD and their Families
Compiled by Deepika Patel, Erin Engstrom, Tamara Rosen, Katherine Pickard and Nuri Reyes Developmental Pediatrics, JFK Partners – University of Colorado School of Medicine (March 25, 2020)

Healthy at Home: A Toolkit for Supporting Families Impacted by COVID-19
Teaching Strategies
En Espanol: Sano en casa: Un conjunto de herramientas para apoyar a las familias afectadas por el COVID-19

Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times
UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute Autism Team

Tips for Families in Supporting Their Children with Disabilities in Virtual Formats
Florida Inclusion Network

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