Superintendent's Message

  • September 23, 2022

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) COVID-19 guidance has shifted from a strong recommendation for masking in all indoor settings, to the use of the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels (CCL) to help inform masking recommendations.

    Persons should use information about the current CCL in their county to decide which prevention behaviors to use based on their own risks for severe illness and that of members of their household.

    The CCL is based on hospitalization rates, hospital bed occupancy, and COVID-19 incidence during the preceding period.

    As of today, (09/23/2022) the COVID-19 Community Level in Lake County is low. People may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

    We ask that you still respect others’ personal choice to wear or not wear a mask. No one should make assumptions regarding someone’s beliefs or health status based upon their choice to wear or not wear a mask, nor should they comment on them.

    CDPH continues to strongly recommend that all persons:

    • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, including all primary series doses and boosters.
    • If you've been exposed, wear a mask for 10 days.
    • Stay home when sick and know what to do if you have been infected with COVID-19, including seeking treatment early.
    • Test if you are sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
    • Improve ventilation and air quality in their setting.
    • Wash hands regularly.
    • Sign up for CA Notify to receive alerts when you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

    Thank you for your continued collaboration as we move toward an endemic state.

    February 28, 2022

    Given some recent questions about our state’s masking regulations at schools, I wanted to clearly communicate what you can expect in the coming weeks. On February 28, 2022, the Governor announced the timeline and details for ending the indoor mask requirement for school settings.

    This announcement provided the current regulations:

    • Masking is still mandated indoors until the end of the day Friday, March 11.
    • The first day of in-class instruction with highly recommended masking will be Monday, March 14.
    • There is no distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated in the new state regulations.
    • Local health departments may issue stricter regulations.

    LCOE will follow Lake County Public Health and CDPH regulations for indoor masking. Therefore, masks will be strongly recommended, but not required, indoors for students and staff effective March 14, 2022.

    How Does This Impact Your Child?

    Currently, all students in California are required to wear masks indoors to remain in compliance with state law. CDPH will be updating K-12 Schools Guidance to reflect that masks will be strongly recommended, but not required, while indoors for students and staff, beginning Monday, March 14. 

    Respecting Personal Choice

    • The state is providing personal/parental choice for student masking while at school with the expectation that individual choices are respected.
    • No one should make assumptions regarding someone’s beliefs or health status based upon their choice to wear or not wear a mask, nor should they comment on them.
    • For students, we are asking families to please let teachers know their wishes. Classrooms will discuss the change with students in a developmentally appropriate manner, including how to respect everyone’s personal choice.
    • If your student(s) expresses any anxiety, feel free to reach out to our school counselors for additional support as needed.


    • Students and staff should continue to remain at home when sick.
    • Students and staff are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test if exhibiting symptoms and/or if they have a known exposure to COVID-19.

    Thank you for your continued collaboration as we move toward an endemic state. I appreciate your patience and understanding as we take every step to preserve the health of our students and staff while keeping our community as safe and healthy as possible.

    Pautas de enmascaramiento en español

    January 3, 2022

    As we welcome back students and prepare for a successful second term of the 2021-2022 school year, I wanted to take a moment to review a key mitigation strategy made available to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This key mitigation strategy is COVID-19 testing. In order to assist families with testing, the State of California has provided free at-home test kits available for students enrolled in public schools.

    Read the full text of the superintendent's memo.

    Lea el texto completo del Memorando del Superintendente en español.

    July 28, 2021

    As required by California law, we have provided information on an independent study option for the 2021-2022 school year. This must be completed within 30 days of the start of school, which is September 22, 2021.

    We have also provided information on new California law (AB104) which addressed learning recovery for last year. Please note that action must be taken on these very quickly.

    January 27, 2021

    As required by the California Department of Public Health, we have uploaded our COVID-19 Safety Plan to our website. You may access it by clicking on the link in the previous sentence or by clicking on the "COVID-19 Safety Plan" tab in the left column.

    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