California Department of Education shares FAQs on distance learning

When should distance learning be offered? What defines in-person instruction? And what’s the difference between daily live interaction and daily participation?

The California Department of Education has released a new online resource for schools and districts with answers to these distance learning questions and many more.

California Department of Education logoRecent legislation updated the state’s Education Code to define distance learning as “instruction in which the pupil and instructor are in different locations and pupils are under the general supervision of a certified employee of the local educational agency.” (Local educational agency, or LEA, refers to a school district or other oversight agency.)

The same legislation, which passed as Senate Bill 98, also says districts “shall offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible.” But Governor Gavin Newsom has said public and private schools should expect to start the year with distance learning if they are in counties that remain on California’s monitoring list for elevated COVID-19 rates — including Orange County.

The state’s distance learning Q&A says districts have flexibility to select the model that best fits their campuses and circumstances. The resource also has information on student absences, personal protective equipment, school meals, services for English learners, and non-classroom-based charter schools.

You can find it at