In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Mateo County Office of Education has pulled together State guidance, information, and best practices on funding, attendance, distance learning, testing and other topics important to operating a school or district during these challenging times. We will continue to update these pages, so please check back often for new information and inspiration.

Learn more about the Pandemic Recovery Framework

The San Mateo County Pandemic Recovery Framework for Schools provides school leaders with the health, education, and legal guidance needed to develop local plans for the safe reopening of school campuses.

The Framework provides school leaders with a continuum of learning options that support the flexible delivery of education amid further possible restrictions to in-person learning throughout the 2020-21 school year.

It is aligned with State and County orders as well as guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education. This Framework was developed as a collaboration of the San Mateo County Office of Education, San Mateo County district superintendents and administrators, San Mateo County Health, and San Mateo County Counsel. Additional technical review was provided by San Mateo County’s Coalition for Safe Schools and Communities Steering Committee.

Meals and Nutritional Services

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued nationwide federal waivers and approved state-specific requests intended to provide temporary flexibilities for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Seamless Summer Option (SSO), School Food Service Program (SFSP), and the Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP).

Updates, including new requirements, resources, and answers to frequently asked questions, are regularly posted to the California Department of Education COVID-19 School and Child and Adult Day Care Meals webpage.

Local Resources 

  • School Meal Locations: Second Harvest Silicon Valley manages a Google Document that lists school food locations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Please check the document regularly for updates. 
  • Emergency Food Information: If anyone is in need of food, they should call the Second Harvest Food Bank's Food Connection Hotline (in any language) at 800-984-3663 to get connected to a nearby distribution.
  • Farmers Markets: Several farmer's markets remain open and most accept EBT. The Pacific Coast Farmers' Markets maintains a list of open markets throughout the Bay Area, including a list of San Mateo locations.

Special Education

LEAs must provide students with disabilities (SWD) with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) consistent with their individualized education program (IEP) and meeting other procedural requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and California law. The California Department of Education (CDE) posted guidance and additional information to assist LEAs in this work. Visit the U.S. Department of Education's Special Education and Rehabilitative Services website and the San Mateo County SELPA for more information.


The California Department of Education has provided guidance on how to support students' access to technology. Depending on the extent to which students have access to devices and internet at home, LEAs should assess whether an e-learning/distance learning strategy would provide the most meaningful educational opportunity for students and, if so, steps they can take to ensure equitable access.

Additional Resources

Statewide Assessments

In September 2020, the U.S. Department of Education indicated that there would be no additional nationwide waivers such as those granted in spring 2020 to address the emergencies that came about from the COVID-19 pandemic. If severe and emergency circumstances were to arise that would significantly undermine test administration close to or during the testing window, there is a process to follow on a case-by-case basis.

Visit the California Department of Education's website for responses to frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 and its impact on assessment policies, regulations, and requirements.

General Information:


Phone: (650) 802-5515