California Adult Education Administrators Association

CAEAA President's Message RE: COVID-19

CAEAA President’s Message RE: COVID-19

 

March 19, 2020

 

Dear CAEAA members,

 

Each of you are in the midst of mitigating the impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and I want to assure you that your CAEAA Executive Board has already engaged state leadership in supporting California’s Adult Education Program providers and students. We are in regular communication and planning with leadership from the CDE, CCCCO, CCAE and ACCE to understand the current state of events, impacts, and creation of supports for the field. Our primary focus is student and staff safety while maintaining minimal disruption to student service and access.

Our work on this has ranged from brainstorming distance learning options with the CAEP office to thinking about long term impacts on adult education and what resources we may need access to in the coming months. The situation is fluid and, as we have seen, changes daily. I encourage all of you to stay informed. The CAEP Technical Assistance Program team is working hard to provide guidance. Go to https://caladulted.org/ for up to date information and resources. Furthermore, OTAN has made resources available at www.OTAN.us. The OTAN resources including a survey for school administrators and the COVID-19 Field Support web page.

 

We have been working very closely with CCAE leadership. COVID-19 has impacted their state conference and our joint efforts on Leg Day. CCAE has done a great job of increasing information communication by creating a virtual CCAE COVID-19 Resource Center online. It can be found at https://www.ccaestate.org/covid19-resource-center. We are working to bring the same capacity to our own CAEAA website, but due to local office closure are experiencing difficulty. Plainly, my secretary is our volunteer CAEAA webmaster and her web tools are on her work computer. She is in the process of transferring everything to her home computer. Please be patient with us as we adjust. In the meantime, I encourage you all to stay connected to the sources contained herein.

 

Each region is responding differently to COVID-19. Remember that any action steps you take for your adult school must comply with your local district policy and regional adult education consortium rules. Work with your district to help them understand the unique impacts all of this is having on your adult school, students, and staff. Accurate and timely communication is more important than ever. Now would be a great time to have staff, at a minimum, call, email or text all of their students. A check in showing that students are missed and cared about goes a long way in maintaining positive student relations. It's a great opportunity to build those relationships and show their students they are valued. In the Fresno/Madera region, their Transitions Team is following up with all of the students just to see where they are now and if they need any assistance. The SAEC Navigators in the Tulare/Kings region are engaging similar work from home. Teachers are leverage every tool available to maintain access for students.

 

Our most recent update from Dawn Keopke of McHugh, Koepke, and Associates is very informative. Dawn has joined state leadership calls to keep abreast of the situation as it evolves and has continued to be a great source for succinct, current, and accurate information. Please see the contents of her most recent communication here:

 

Today, March 18th, Governor Gavin Newsom held another press conference at 5:45 PM providing an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In total, he spoke for approximately 20 minutes and then opened it up for Q&A.  The first question raised was on the issue of a statewide “Shelter in Place” order.  In response, Newsom specified that there is not a statewide directive on this yet but that many counties are instituting or have already instituted such guidelines.   The press conference concluded at approximately 6:12 PM.

 

More specifically, during the press conference, Newsom provided an overview of the series of executive orders he released last night and throughout the day today.  Those actions are outlined below in the subsequent paragraphs.   Additionally, Newsom said that by this Friday (3/20), the state will be announcing that two large hospitals will be brought online.  The state has also requested federal support, including two mobile field hospitals and asked the Navy to lend the state the USS Mercy to bolster response.  California has also requested the Federal Government more tests to increase capacity and for additional supplies. 

 

Late last night, March 17th, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to ease restrictions on commercial drivers engaged in support of emergency relief efforts.  The executive order also suspends existing law for employers directly impacted by COVID-19 and directs the Labor and Workforce Development Agency to provide guidance to impacted employees by March 23rd.  More specifically, the order suspends, as long as specified conditions are meet, certain sections of the Labor Code for an employer that orders a mass layoff, relocation, or termination caused by COVID-19.  The full executive order can be found here.

 

This morning, March 18th, Newsom issued another executive order to waive eligibility re-determinations for 90 days for Californians who participate in: Medi-Cal health coverage; CalFresh food assistance; CalWORKS; Cash Assistance for Immigrants; and In-Home Supportive Services.  The executive order also waives certain provisions of the Bagley-Keene Act.  More specifically, the order states that subject to specified notice and accessibility requirements, a local or state legislative body may hold public meetings via teleconferencing.  The full executive order can be found here.

 

This afternoon, Newsom announced the launch of a new COVID-19 public awareness campaign “to provide useful information to Californians and inform them of actions they can take to further prevent the spread of the virus.”  The campaign is anchored by a new, consumer-friendly website, www.covid19.ca.gov.  The press release on this announcement can be found here.

 

He also issued another executive order to waive, pending federal approval, this year’s statewide testing for students in K-12 schools.  The full executive order can be found here.

 

At 4:30 PM, Newsom publicized a series of emergency actions to protect Californians experiencing homelessness from the virus.  As part of that effort, the Governor signed another executive order granting local flexibility on spending and building shelters.  The full executive order can be found here.

 

As of 6 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on March 17th, the California Department of Public Health announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. California now has 598 confirmed cases – a 21 percent increase.  More information can be found here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR20-026.aspx.

 

Anticipate a more organized effort from CAEAA to understand impacts on your programs, as well as needs, in the coming weeks. 

 

If you have information or concerns that the CAEAA Board needs to be aware of as this situation evolves, please let me know. For now, the best way to contact me is via e-mail @ sequoiasadulteddirector@gmail.com.

 

--

John S. Werner

Executive Director,

Sequoias Adult Education Consortium

President, CCAE Central Section 

President, CCAEA

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