Superintendent's Message

  • September 17, 2020

    At the Lake County Office of Education (LCOE), the health and safety of our students, staff and community are our top priority. It is important that our agency keep the public informed and be as transparent as possible to foster overall community and student well-being.

    Today, my office sent a letter to the parents/guardians of one of our LCOE preschool facilities, notifying them that a student in the program has tested positive for COVID-19.

    At LCOE, we are always advocating for the best overall situation for our children. We have been working in overdrive since February 2020, to determine how to best serve students in these extraordinary times. We have been actively engaged with our local public health department. We have been in close contact with the California Department of Education. We have been working tirelessly with school professionals, administrators, and School Board members across our state. We have been listening intently to our parents’ needs and concerns. We are following all local and state guidance.

    There is a consensus among experts that in-person instruction is most effective for our youngest students. In fact, in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry, pediatric doctors “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”  Current data has suggested that younger children are at less risk of severe illness.

    Based on the data, our county’s status, and our ability to meet all local and state guidelines, we chose to open the doors to our LCOE preschools.

    The preschool cohort will be closed for 14 days after the last date of known exposure to give those who had exposure, a chance to quarantine. The physical building will be closed for the remainder of this week for deep cleaning and disinfecting.

    We will continue to work with our public health department, and partner agencies in addressing COVID-19 issues as they arise within our LCOE programs.

    If you should have any questions or comments, please call my office to make an appointment to speak with me.

    June 30, 2020

    The Lake County School District Superintendents and I continue to meet regularly. I am in direct contact with Dr. Pace, Lake County Health Officer, several times a week. We are working together to safely return our students to school. Please visit our Reopening Schools webpage to see the most current plans.

    May 15, 2020

    In mid-May, the Governor updates the January proposal based on the current information available. This is known as the May Revise. The County Office of Education and the school districts use the May Revise as the blueprint in the budget development process.

    The May Revise was released on May 14, 2020. In his presentation, Governor Newsom noted that the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis is truly unprecedented – the United States GDP fell by 26.5% just in the Spring of 2020. New unemployment claims in California have increased by 4.4 million from mid-March to May 9, as compared to total unemployment claims of about 2.6 million at the height of the Great Recession in 2010. The California unemployment rate is expected to peak at a staggering 24.5% in this second quarter of 2020. The May Revise was not good news for education or any other program for that matter.

    The Governor proposes that schools take a roughly 10% reduction to most of their funding mechanisms, and that some grants will be substantially reduced or eliminated.

    Read the full text of the Superintendent's Memo.

    May 14, 2020

    As you are aware, Governor Gavin Newsom stated on April 28th that he was, “considering the prospect” of an early start to the academic year, as early as July, provided that schools and businesses were able to continue implementing safe social distancing practices. This was not a directive, but merely a possibility among many others that is under consideration. On May 4 he announced that California is “entering Stage 2 of reopening starting Friday”, but then indicated that this stage does not include schools.

    Locally, our Lake County school district superintendents are working together to develop contingency plans for a range of circumstances schools may face once public health authorities and the Governor agree that it is safe to reopen schools. Any decision to change the start dates for the approved 2020-2021 school calendars, however, would need to be proposed by each district superintendent for approval by their school district’s governing board.

    Please read the full text of the letter here.

    Por favor lea el documento completo aquí.

    April 3, 2020

    Lake County schools will deliver distance-based instruction through the end of the school year, unless the situation improves and warrants a safe return to the classroom as determined by Dr. Gary Pace, Public Health Officer.

    Students and their families will continue to receive specific plans and instructions from their child’s school district regarding ongoing remote learning.

    Read the full press release here.

    March 26, 2020

    This afternoon, the local District Superintendents made a unified decision to extend student dismissals from regular school attendance through May 1, 2020 to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to the maximum extent. The safety and wellness of students, school personnel, and the community are the highest priorities.

    This guidance was based on consultation with the Lake County Health Officer, Dr. Gary Pace and Brock Falkenberg, Lake County Superintendent of Schools.

    Read the full press release here.

    March 20, 2020

    At the Lake County Office of Education, we understand the challenging conditions that our families and communities are currently facing with school dismissals.

    It is more important than ever that we are united in our efforts, therefore we are continuously working with our Lake County School Districts.

    We are also brainstorming ways to leverage our resources to provide other solutions, particularly in the area of childcare.

    All Lake County children under the age of 18 can receive free meals at their local school. Please check your schools’ social media or websites for meal pick-up times and instructions. Or simply call your school.

    All Lake County schools are providing non-classroom based learning opportunities for their students. If you should have specific questions, please contact your students’ schools via phone or email.

    I promise you that your educational leaders will keep the best interest of Lake County children and students at the forefront of our decision making.

    For more information about steps we are taking on a regular basis, please visit our "Steps we are taking..." webpage.

    Thank you.

    Brock Falkenberg
    Lake County Superintendent of Schools