- I led and managed a reading program for struggling students in 10 MDUSD schools that showed significant, measurable results for 300 students per year.
- Serving as PFC President, I launched innovative technology that streamlined communication and increased parent involvement.
- Working with a coalition of students, parents, and employees, we sent drafts and spoke up at two school district board meetings, resulting in the MDUSD School Board passing a Safe Haven Resolution.
- I initiated Safe Routes to School by writing a change.org petition to gain community awareness and to advocate for pedestrian safety. Construction is now complete on two new flashing pedestrian beacons, 3 new crosswalks, a new bike lane, digital speed signs, and sidewalk bulbouts that show down cars and create safer and shorter crossings for pedestrians.
Did you hear? We selected a Finalist for MDUSD Superintendent! I am proud of the work our School Board team did together to unanimously support Dr. Robert Martinez as our Finalist for the position of Superintendent of Mt Diablo Unified School District.
Here is a message from School Board President Joanne Durkee:
The Mt. Diablo Unified School District Board of Education is pleased to announce that a finalist for the position of Superintendent has been identified. Pending a site visitation to the candidate’s current District and final negotiation of a contract, it is anticipated final approval of the appointment will occur on August 12, 2019, at the regular meeting of the Board of Education.
Currently Dr. Robert A. Martinez is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District where he has served the students, families, and employees of FSUSD for thirty-two years. A native of Baldwin Park, California, Dr. Martinez completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at the University of California, Davis, and his Educational Doctorate Degree from Drexel University.
Dr. Martinez says he is humbled and honored to be provided the opportunity to serve the students, families, employees, and broad stakeholders in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. He is excited about the opportunity to enhance services to students, bring our diverse community together on their behalf, and work with courageous leaders at every level of the District. “I am honored that the Board of Education has selected me as the finalist for Superintendent. I am especially proud to be part of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Mt. Diablo has shown a clear commitment to creating learning environments that are based in equity, strive to assist each child with excelling academically and socially, and are focused on readying students for college readiness, careers, and as citizens of their community.”
The Board of Education made its decision with input gathered from key stakeholder groups regarding the qualities of our next Superintendent. Based on the feedback received from our parents, staff, and community members, we sought someone who is a collaborative, energetic leader, who values our accomplishments, and wants to continue our efforts to provide the quality education our students deserve and our families expect. After a rigorous screening and interview process, Dr. Martinez was chosen as the best fit. He brings the skills, intellect, heart, and passion to lead our District into the future.
The Board of Education looks forward to introducing Dr. Martinez at a ‘meet and greet’ to our entire community in early August.
Joanne Durkee, MDUSD Board President
We have a busy School Board meeting coming up tomorrow night! Be sure to attend or watch online if any of these topics interest you.
Members of the public may comment on any agenda item - during that item in the meeting. Just be sure to turn in a yellow speaker card ahead of time with that agenda item number on it.
Here's the agenda, which includes:
- Appointments of Interim Superintendent and 2 Principals
- Public hearings for:
- and adopting of SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area)
- LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan)
- Proposed Budget 2019-20
- Composition of Areas for By Trustee Elections
Can't attend? That's okay, you can also find information and give feedback online:
- To give your feedback or ask questions on the LCAP, there is an online survey at the district website here - until June 24th.
- Budget information is here. Adoption is scheduled for June 24th.
- And for detailed information on the By Trustee Area Elections process, there is a new webpage here including FAQ and timeline.
Happy summer, and stay cool in this heat wave!
Congratulations to all MDUSD graduates! See list of ceremonies here.
I enjoyed speaking at College Now's graduation this week, and look forward to representing the board at YV High's on Tuesday as well.
Trustee Mason gave a truly inspiring speech at Mt Diablo High's graduation last night, about the strength, diversity and persistence of students there as well as strong family values - the community has so much to be proud of. Go Red Devils!
I also enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for engineering with Rio Vista Elementary students at their career day. They showed me how they incorporate engineering into classes with projects like bridge building, how to clean up oil from the oceans, and building circuits with EiE (Engineering is Elementary) kits. My student ambassador was a 3rd grade impressive student council leader and peacemaker.
Great to see so many other professions represented too - here are counselor/equity coordinator and coach/accountant!
The end of this school year is near, but school district business doesn't stop. Read on to see what's going on and how you can help in June:
By-Trustee Area Elections
Did you know that Mt Diablo is moving to by-trustee area elections? The school board passed a resolution on May 13th to move forward with this process, which is happening in school districts and cities throughout California. There will be 2 public hearings before maps are drawn (during June 10th and 24th board meetings), and then forums and community meetings to review draft map options. Here are the MDUSD notification of the meetings, draft timeline and resolution.
Wondering what is happening in the search for a new Superintendent? MDUSD hired Leadership Associates to organize and run the process, and we are fully confident in their experience and abilities. Visit the District’s website here, for timelines and up-to-date information.
Thanks to all who rallied May 22nd in Sacramento for education funding! School board members, teachers, PTA and more from all over California went to convince state legislators that full and fair funding is needed now. Thank you MDEA for organizing buses for MDUSD teachers, staff & parents to go together. Missed it? You can still sign & share the petition at fullandfairfunding.org
We learned at our Budget Advisory Committee meeting that the Governor's May revise unfortunately does not show a significant increase in K-12 funding over his January proposal. For MDUSD it looks like a net gain of just $60,000. See MDUSD budget timeline and presentations here.
Next MDUSD School Board Meeting - Monday June 10th
See all meeting agendas and schedule here: https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes
The June 10th meeting will include reports and opportunity for public input on key items like Budget & LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) and By-Trustee area elections.
Enjoy this last week of school, with graduations, celebrations & sunshine!
Your voice is needed! Can you take a minute for two important actions - on superintendent qualities and on education funding?
The Mt Diablo School Board is promoting community involvement in both of these important items: Superintendent Qualities & Education Funding Letters to Legislators
Our consultants from Leadership Associates are seeking input about the desired personal and professional qualities anticipated in the incoming superintendent.
Please take a minute to fill in this online survey which the Board encourages everyone to complete. The survey will be open through May 10, 2019, and is on the District’s website here, or by going to this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P5TR6JV
Your comments will be used in the development of the candidate profile, recruitment process, and reference checking.
Times have also been scheduled for parents/guardians to meet in person with Leadership Associates. The consultants will compile a summary of all comments received during these sessions and share the report with the Board and with the new superintendent.
During the meetings, consultants will share an overview of the process, and then ask two primary questions:
- What are the desirable qualities, characteristics, background and professional and personal experiences for the next superintendent?
- What do you see as the strengths of the district and the major challenges facing the district in years ahead?
Several meeting options have been scheduled; we invite you to attend one which best fits your schedule. The meetings will be held:
- 10:15 a.m., Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - Board Room, District Office, 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, 94519
- 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - Mt. Diablo High School – Library, 2450 Grant Street, Concord, 94520
- 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - Northgate High School – Library, 425 Castle Rock Road, Walnut Creek, 94598
- 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - Concord High School – Library, 4200 Concord Blvd., Concord, 94521
- 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - Ygnacio Valley High School – Library, 755 Oak Grove Road, Concord, 94518
- 8:30 a.m., Thursday, May 9, 2019 - Riverview Middle School – Multi Use Room, 205 Pacifica Avenue, Bay Point, 94565
- 10:15 a.m., Thursday, May 9, 2019 - Board Room, District Office, 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, 94519
- 6:00 p.m., Thursday, May 9, 2019 - College Park High School – Library, 201 Viking Drive, Pleasant Hill, 94523
Education Funding - Write to Your Legislator
The Mt Diablo School Board team finalized a letter at our last meeting, to inform the community about the statewide education funding crisis and how YOU can take action. That letter was emailed out to parents on May 3rd, and includes:
- the www.fullandfairfunding.org site, on which you can sign a petition to legislators and also sign up for Rally Day in Sacramento, which is May 22nd and includes school board members, teachers, staff, parents, and community in a joint event to raise awareness for the "silent recession" hitting our schools.
- links to email your state legislators to say - it is time to move CA to the top in our nation's per pupil funding (we are now ranked in the bottom 10 states). Mt Diablo schools and others around the state are facing painful cuts, even while our state is the 5th largest economy in the world. (include a specific example from your school too if you can) - Here are clickable links:
- Senator Glazer (Dist 7- parts of Concord and Walnut Creek): https://sd07.senate.ca.gov/contact/email
- Senator Dodd (Dist 3 - Martinez & Pleasant Hill): https://sd03.senate.ca.gov/contact
- Assemblymember Grayson (Dist 14 - Martinez, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Clayton, parts of Walnut Creek): https://lcmspubcontact.lc.ca.gov/PublicLCMS/ContactPopup.php?district=AD14
- Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan (Dist 16 - parts of Walnut Creek): https://lcmspubcontact.lc.ca.gov/PublicLCMS/ContactPopup.php?district=AD16
- And here are a few more:
- Find Your State Legislator: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/legislators_and_districts/legislators/your_legislator.html
- State Superintendent Tony Thurmond: Superintendent@cde.ca.gov
- Governor Newsom can be emailed through a web form at: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/
Next MDUSD School Board Meeting - Monday May 13th
See all meeting agendas and schedule here: https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes
Happy Spring, Passover, Easter, Bihu to you all!
Here's the latest news from school board, including resources and how you can help:
Next MDUSD School Board Meeting - Monday April 22nd
See the agenda here, including a call to action education funding letter, Measure J Bond sales, and intent to establish trustee areas. Due to high interest in public comment, the first portion of the meeting may take place at Monte Gardens next door.
Thank you to our Board President Joanne Durkee for coordinating a group of us to meet together with our Assemblymember Grayson on March 28th – including the two of us, superintendent Dr Meyer, MDEA president Anita Johnson, and CSBA organizer Gabe Weis. We shared stories from our district schools, to give him clear examples of specific successes of our schools as well as serious challenges we face. Asm Grayson stated his support for AB39 as well as his passion for special education and career tech options.
That night at the Town Hall there was a good crowd with a lot of cheering as Asm Bauer-Kahan, Asm Grayson and Sen Glazer all publicly stated their support for full and fair education funding through AB39. They asked how many in the audience were parents, teachers, or students. I think it made a big difference that so many people attended and submitted education questions that night, as well as at previous Town Halls and through emails and visits. Keep sharing www.fullandfairfunding.org!
Measure J - Citizens Bond Oversight Committee is forming – apply here! We’re seeking broad representation from all areas of the district and including parents, business members, and even a student.
I attended the Budget Advisory Committee on March 27th. CBO Rose Ramos shared details with the committee from budget presentations, as well as answered questions on details such as the line item called “books & supplies”. Don't miss the Negotiations Update that is now posted publicly on the MDUSD website: view here.
Dr Nellie Meyer announced that she has accepted a job as superintendent of Mountain View Los Altos District, starting in July. We are so very thankful for all that she has done to build community and innovation in our Mt Diablo Schools, and wish her success in her new role! She will be greatly missed, and we will strive to continue her vision of thoughtful, strategic initiatives to ensure quality education for all.
Our school board is working hard as a team to ensure a clear process for our search for a quality superintendent who will be the best match for our district. Stay tuned for details on how community will be involved.
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- NAACP: I enjoyed attending the NAACP annual membership & scholarship banquet on April 6th, which included scholarships for high school students from Pittsburg and Antioch. A big thank you and shout out to Willie Mims, Velma Wilson, and local NAACP East County leaders who volunteer countless hours for our communities.
PTA: On April 12th I attended PTA Advocacy Day for Education in San Ramon. The focus was mental health, including these resources -
- presentation by San Ramon Valley District Mental Wellness Task Force
- Hotlines to keep at hand:
- National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-TALK, suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ: 866-488-7386, TheTrevorProject.org/resource
- County Resource Guide: https://www.capc-coco.org/about/resources/
- IHTA: On April 19th, Trustee Debra Mason and I attended the IHTA Community Sponsors Presentation at John Muir. Ms Mason opened the event with enthusiastic words of encouragement to the students, along with Concord's mayor Carlyn Obringer, County Superintendent Lynn Mackey, and Visit Concord's Elaine Schroth. The Mt Diablo High seniors presented professional business plans, costs, and video commercials for their upcoming Hospitality Fest, and interacted with local business leaders. IHTA teachers & staff are connecting the dots to build relationships between school, career and community!