Vaccine mandates

Did you know: as of Sept. 22, 2021, everyone 12 years and older must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, or a negative test result, before going to high-risk indoor businesses such as restaurants, bars and gyms in Contra Costa County?  This is in addition to the state’s similar mandate for all public school employees, and MDUSD student athletes are also now required to show proof of vaccination or weekly COVID tests.  (A few school districts are even beginning to mandate that ALL students 12+ to be vaccinated, however those are currently facing some legal and logistical challenges) 

We know that getting vaccinated is the best way to stay safe from COVID, to keep any quarantining to a minimum, and to protect those around you.

Do you still have questions about the vaccine? Concord High School student Lucy Goetz created a website compiled with credible resources addressing FAQ's about the COVID-19 vaccine. It's a convenient, succinct, one-stop resource, with graphics, videos, and links to accurate information. There are many convenient, free vaccine locations throughout our area.

Plus, any school or group with at least 5 people who want to get vaccinated can request the county mobile vaccine clinic to come to them! 

Read on for:

  1. Superintendent’s Sept 17th message

  2. School Board meeting September 22nd

  3. No Place for Hate - Registration Now Open

  4. “Highway 5 to Higher Ed” - UC Berkeley Black Recruitment

Superintendent’s Message

Read Dr Clark’s September 17th Friday message here, including:

  • MDUSD Virtual College Fair Tuesday Sept 21st - middle and high school students or parents are encouraged to register at strivescan.com/mdusd/ 
  • Contra Costa Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) webinar: Tobacco, Vaping, and Cannabis: Everything Adults Need to Know - in English & Spanish on Thursday, September 23 at 5:30 PM. No cost to attend. Pre-register Here.
  • MDUSD is revising the Parent/Guardian Involvement Board Policy (BP) and Administrative Regulation (AR) 6020. Please find the newly revised policies HERE including Spanish translations. After taking the time to read the policies please complete a brief parent survey HERE. Your feedback and input is greatly appreciated.  

School Board Meeting September 22nd

Our board meeting will again be located at Monte Gardens Elementary to provide adequate space for the public. Find the agenda and details here

You may send a public comment via email: emails to [email protected] are automatically distributed to each board member, and will be entered into the public record when received on meeting days only. Or come in person to make a Public Comment during the meeting.  

The agenda includes:

No Place for Hate - School Registration is now Open

Did you know that noplaceforhate.org can help you build a school learning community of inclusivity, respect and equity?

Every person in your school has a role to play.  Whether you are a student, parent, teacher, admin or staff - you can get your school registered and begin to access age appropriate activity guides and research based lesson plans. Form a committee and commit to one project this year, and you’ll be on your way.

Education Director Samantha Brown says that No Place for Hate Registration is now open for the 2021 - 2022 school year with a theme of Fighting Hate for Good!  

  • All forms are now centrally located on the Regional website No Place for Hate page
  • No Place for Hate School Registration Fee: $75, but inability to pay Registration Fee will not prevent schools from participating. 
  • Adjusted requirements for 1st year schools - minimum of just 1 required schoolwide activity in addition to forming a Committee 

Visit the No Place for Hate program page to register, access the No Place for Hate Coordinator Guide, Pledge, and other important info. Sign up for ADL Education updates and newsletters here.

“Highway 5 to Higher Ed” - UC Berkeley Black Recruitment

This fall, the UC Berkeley Black Recruitment and Retention Center (BRRC) will be hosting their second annual virtual recruitment program titled “Highway 5 to Higher Ed”. This program is designed to bridge the gap between low-income Black students and higher education, but ALL Black students in California, in high school or community college, should apply. The program starts on October 11th and ends on October 23, 2021. This FREE opportunity will include: live virtual sessions with UC Berkeley students, interactive learning modules, presentations from financial aid and admissions advisors, giveaways, care packages, and more! Click here to learn more and register by Oct 1st.

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Happy Labor Day 2021

Happy Labor Day!  Much gratitude to all our Mt. Diablo school employees for their heroic work keeping schools going through a pandemic.

It’s been really tough to navigate through the ever changing health guidance, employee shortages and financial strains to keep our schools open for students. We will continue to strive to provide competitive pay & benefits, professional development and safe environments for all staff.

Now is a stressful time to be serving the public through the challenges of COVID and climate change.  Please, when you face frustrating situations in our schools, remember to take a moment to express your gratitude to those who are working above and beyond to make it better. Our principals, custodians, maintenance and grounds staff, technology team, bus drivers, union leaders, office workers, food services staff, instructional assistants, after-school staff, Adult School employees, teachers, counselors, librarians, administrators, substitutes, parent group leaders, and Superintendent are working to both educate students and keep everyone safe. They keep going with the added load of COVID protocols, even when vacancies around them make the workload even harder. Each expression of kindness and patience really does matter. 

Read on for:

  1. Superintendent’s Sept 3rd message

  2. School Board meeting September 8th

  3. Suicide Prevention & Mental Health

    • Suicide Prevention Forum Sept 9th

    • Mental Illness High School Trainings Sept 16 & 17th

  4. High School Voter Education Weeks Sept 13-24th

  5. Feria de Educación - 1 Y 2 De Octubre de 2021

Superintendent’s Message

Read Dr Clark’s September 3rd Friday message here, including:

School Board Meeting September 8th

Our board meeting will be back in person again, located at Monte Gardens Elementary to provide adequate space for the public. Find the agenda and details here

You may send a public comment via email: emails to [email protected] are automatically distributed to each board member, and will be entered into the public record when received on meeting days only. Or come in person to make a Public Comment during the meeting.  

The agenda includes:

Suicide Prevention & Mental Health

Suicide Prevention Forum Sept 9th

Join CCHS (Contra Costa Health Services) for a virtual conversation on youth & suicide, Sept 9th, 4-7pm. Learn how to support yourself or a loved one. 

Register here

If you or someone you know is experiencing an emotional crisis or having thoughts of suicide, call 211, 1-800-833-2900 or text HOPE to 20121

 

Mental Illness High School Trainings Sept 16 & 17th

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) California and the CDE will be hosting several virtual trainings for NAMI On Campus High School in the Fall semester, so don't miss out!

Also check out this Toolkit for “Demystifying the Mind” 

High School Voter Education Weeks Sept 13-24

It is never too early to motivate our students to get involved and become engaged participants in our democracy. We encourage schools to participate in High School Voter Education Weeks from September 13 to September 24, to put students on the path to a lifetime of civic engagement and voting. Share the news that 16 & 17 year old students can visit www.RegisterToVote.ca.gov and click Pre-Register to Vote!

Read more: https://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/el/le/yr21ltr0826.asp

California Secretary of State's High School and Youth Initiatives portal: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/high-school-programs

Feria de Educación - 1 Y 2 De Octubre de 2021 

The ninth annual Feria de Educación will be held virtually on Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2! Feria de Educación is hosted in partnership with Univision 19, Sacramento State, and the California State University. The event aims to empower thousands of Spanish-speaking parents and students with information and resources to help them succeed in California’s educational system and pursue higher education.

Website: www.csus.edu/feria

Español: www.csus.edu/feria-es/

Read more: https://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/el/le/yr21ltr0817.asp

Don’t forget to follow MDUSD on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (new profile), and LinkedIn.

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A great start to in-person school

I hope everyone had a great start to the school year!

It is a stressful time as the pandemic numbers are rising again.  I visited many schools sites in the first days of school though, where I witnessed heroes everywhere: teachers and counselors working to build a positive space for students transitioning back to in-person school, custodians taking extra care in cleaning, food services moving outdoors and serving exponentially more meals, substitutes filling in where vacancies arose, parents rebuilding supportive networks, and principals managing unpredictable enrollment along with COVID protocols. 

Truly, you are showing with your actions that “Together We Can” make our public schools great spaces of learning and hubs of our community.

   

Read on for:

  1. Superintendent’s message

  2. Expanded COVID testing at Mt Diablo Schools

  3. COVID Vaccine Fully Approved by US FDA Today

  4. School Board meeting August 25th

Superintendent’s Message

Read Dr Clark’s Aug 20th Friday message of the year here, which includes:

  • Back to school FAQ

  • COVID protocols and district dashboard

  • Independent study FAQ

  • Highlight: Mt. Diablo High School's garden and food and nutrition program lauded during Congressmen's visit

  • Highlight: Mt. Diablo Unified gets 16 electric charging stations for its small fleet of electric buses, which it hopes to expand in the future

  • Highlight: Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark shares back-to-school presentation with Concord Chamber committee, highlighting career education

Expanded COVID Testing at Mt Diablo Schools

Mt. Diablo expanded COVID testing starts today, now offered at 15 different sites for you to choose from throughout the week.  Visit https://mdusd.org/covidtesting for details, locations and forms.

You can also contact your health care providers and take advantage of COVID-19 testing available through Contra Costa Health Services.

COVID Vaccine Fully Approved by U.S. FDA Today

Did you know that today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially approved the Pfizer COVID vaccine?  

The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

Access your free COVID-19 vaccine for people ages 12 and older through Contra Costa Health Services, Kaiser Permanente, John Muir Health and at other locations in the community including CVS, Walgreens and the Bay Point Family Health Center.

All public school staff throughout California will be required to show proof of COVID vaccination or submit regular COVID testing results to their employer.

School Board Meeting August 25th

Due to limited staff and school openings, the August 25, 2021 Governing Board meeting will be held through Zoom.  This will allow access to the meeting by staff and the public, as well as the ability to participate in public comments.  We plan to transition back to in-person meetings in September. Find the agenda and details including a Zoom link for accessing the meeting here

You may send a public comment via email: emails to [email protected] are automatically distributed to each board member, and will be entered into the public record when received on meeting days only. 

Or to make a Public Comment during the meeting, it will be via zoom: please send an email after 10:00AM on Aug 25th to [email protected]  A link and instructions will be sent for participation.

The agenda includes:

Don’t forget to follow MDUSD on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram  (new profile), and LinkedIn.

  

p.s. I saw such wonderful use of the great outdoor spaces on our campuses, and so enjoyed hearing the laughter of students!

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Back to School 2021

Welcome back to school!

We are so excited to welcome students to the first day of school this Thursday.  Staff and teachers have been working hard to get schools ready: new staff have been hired, COVID protocols are in place, and new student orientations are happening. 

Read Dr Clark’s First Friday message of the year here, which includes everything from free student meals and introduction of new principals, to celebrating the successful summer internship program and sharing business and operational reports.  Also the new Public Information officer has been very busy posting key information on the website and social media. For example, see the MDUSD Action Plan for AQI Ratings in case of smoky air.

I recommend following MDUSD on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram  (new profile), and LinkedIn.

Read on for:

  1. Parent Information session TONIGHT 

  2. COVID testing at Mt Diablo Schools

  3. School Board meeting August 11th

  4. Free bus passes for students

Parent Information session TONIGHT

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District Community Advisory Committee invites all parents and guardians to join a virtual meeting from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10 titled "Success-Fall: Helping your children transition back to in-person instruction."

We know that returning to school will have different impacts on individual students and families. We will provide tips to help students be successful this fall as they return to campuses on Thursday, Aug. 12. Spanish translation will be available. The Zoom link and details can be found HERE.

Also, do you have questions about Virtual Learning / Independent Study?  Click HERE to see presentations and Q&A in English and Spanish. 

COVID Testing at Mt Diablo Schools

Mt. Diablo Unified is pleased to announce that we have partnered with PMH Laboratory to offer optional weekly COVID-19 testing as a convenience for staff and students and their families at three locations starting Monday, Aug. 16. Pre-registration is recommended on the district website at https://mdusd.org/covidtesting, but forms will be available at sites.

Testing will be offered: 

  • 3-6 p.m. Mondays at Ygnacio Valley High, 755 Oak Grove Road in Concord;

  • 3-6 p.m. Tuesdays in Room 904 at Concord High, 4200 Concord Blvd. in Concord; and 

  • 3-6 p.m. Thursdays at Riverview Middle School, 205 Pacifica Ave. in Bay Point, at the end of the 300 Hallway on the quad side.

If requirements change for athletes or if there are other situations that increase the demand, we will work with the testing company to increase days, times and location availability. However, we also encourage you to contact your health care providers and take advantage of COVID-19 testing available through Contra Costa Health Services.

We would also like to remind you that COVID-19 vaccines for people ages 12 and older are available through Contra Costa Health Services, Kaiser Permanente, John Muir Health and at other locations in the community including CVS, Walgreens and the Bay Point Family Health Center.

School Board Meeting August 11th

The Mt. Diablo Unified School Board will hold its first meeting of the new school year on Wednesday, Aug. 11. The meeting will be held virtually on Zoom to accommodate parents and staff preparing for the first day of school the next day on Thursday, Aug. 12. Find the agenda and details including a Zoom link for accessing the meeting here

You may send a public comment via email: emails to [email protected] are automatically distributed to each board member, and will be entered into the public record when received on meeting days only. Or to make a Public Comment during the meeting, it will be via zoom: please send an email after 10:00AM on Aug 11th to [email protected]  A link and instructions will be sent for participation.

The agenda includes a key fiscal health risk analysis report and the adoption of the districtwide Technology Strategic Plan.  During the meeting, the board’s new student member, Kaleena Fowler, will take the oath of office. Welcome, Kaleena!

Free Bus Passes for Students

Pass2Class offers free bus passes to Contra Costa students at the beginning of the school year to encourage the use of bus transportation to and from school. Pass2Class reduces traffic congestion and air pollution by reducing the number of cars being driven to school. Up to two months of rides are being offered for the 2021/2022 school year to help students as they return to in-person learning.

https://511contracosta.org/schools/pass2class-program/

El Pass2Class le ofrece pases de autobús gratis a los estudiantes de Contra Costa al principio de cada año escolar, para incentivarlos a utilizar el autobús como método de transporte para ir y venir de la escuela. El Pass2Class ayuda a reducir el tráfico, el congestionamiento y la contaminación, al utilizar menos vehículos como método de transporte escolar. Estamos ofreciendo hasta dos meses de viajes en autobús para el año escolar 2021/2022, para ayudar a los estudiantes a retornar a la escuela y a las clases en persona.

En Espanol

Have a wonderful first day of school on August 12th!

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Summer 2021 update

I hope you are enjoying your summer, getting away from screens out into nature, and creating memorable moments with family and friends.

District and school staff have been really busy getting schools ready to open!  I know there have been a lot of questions about what that will look like, and the state guidance just came out last week.

There’s also more information now being posted on MDUSD social media sites now that the Public Information Officer position has been filled, so I recommend following MDUSD on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram  (new profile), and LinkedIn.

Read Dr Clark’s Welcome Back message here, which includes that schools are opening full time in person without distancing restrictions, that masks are required indoors for everyone, and that masks are optional outdoors.  Stay tuned for more specific information from your school principals very soon.

In the meantime, if anyone in your family aged 12+ has not yet gotten vaccinated, now’s the time! We know the Delta variant is highly contagious, that the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths are in unvaccinated people, and that the COVID vaccine could be made mandatory at some point.  Plus it’s easy and free to get!  I’ve listed 2 options for this weekend below, including free family passes to Oakland zoo.

Read on for:

  1. Information session July 26 re Virtual/Independent Study

  2. Get Vaccinated at the Oakland Zoo on July 24 - get a free family zoo pass!

  3. Free Vaccines at a local church on Sunday July 25

  4. Apply to work in MDUSD

  5. Early Bird Register by July 31 for Break a Sweat for Education

  6. Next School Board meeting August 11th

Information session July 26 re Virtual/Independent Study

To help families navigate the different independent study programs and to provide more details on the models to be provided by Mt. Diablo, please attend an Information Session on Monday, July 26, 2021 at 6:30 pm on Zoom at the following link:  HERE

Spanish translation will be available during the meeting. The meeting will be recorded and posted online for those who are unable to attend.

Get Vaccinated at the Oakland Zoo on July 24, 9am-2:30pm 

Receive a Free One-Day Family Pass

Receive your free COVID-19 vaccine at Oakland Zoo's pop-up clinic on July 24, and get a free Oakland Zoo Family Pass*, good for a one-day admission for 2 adults and 2 children, plus free parking for one vehicle (a $98 value). You may use your pass the day of your shot, or at a future date of your choice.

Drop-ins welcome, or pre-register for an appointment here** or call 650-623-5280. Insurance not required. Citizenship not required.

Second dose clinic will be scheduled for Saturday, August 14 at the same location you receive your first dose.

*Offer valid for one pass per family, to be received at the time first dose is administered. If you would like to use your family pass on the same day as your vaccination, please enter through the Lower Entrance. For a future visit, see offer code for online reservation at oaklandzoo.org.

**If you choose to pre-register, you must create a free Carbon Health Patient Account in order to schedule your appointment.

Clínica de vacunación emergente COVID-19

Presentado por la Agencia de Servicios de Atención Médica del Condado de Alameda, Carbon Health y Nate Miley

Auditorio Zimmer en el zoológico de Oakland

24 de julio de 2021

Adolescentes y adultos

9:00 am - 2:30 pm

Vacuna gratuita disponible para cualquier persona mayor de 12 años (para humanos, no para animales)

Reciba su vacuna COVID-19 gratis en la clínica emergente del zoológico de Oakland el 24 de julio y obtenga un pase familiar gratuito del zoológico de Oakland * , válido para una entrada de un día para 2 adultos y 2 niños, además de estacionamiento gratuito para un vehículo (un Valor de $ 98). Puede usar su pase el día de su inyección o en una fecha futura de su elección.

Las visitas sin cita previa son bienvenidas o preinscríbase para una cita aquí ** o llame al 650-623-5280. No se requiere seguro. No se requiere ciudadanía.

La clínica de la segunda dosis se programará para el sábado 14 de agosto en el mismo lugar donde recibe su primera dosis.

* Oferta válida para un pase por familia, que se recibirá al momento de administrar la primera dosis. Si desea utilizar su pase familiar el mismo día de su vacunación, ingrese por la entrada inferior. Para una visita futura, consulte el código de oferta para reserva en línea en oaklandzoo.org.

** Si opta por preinscribirse, debe crear una cuenta de paciente de Carbon Health gratuita para programar su cita.

¡Queremos agradecer a todos aquellos en nuestra comunidad que ya han sido vacunados! ¡Estamos agradecidos de que su elección de vacunar sea la razón por la que el zoológico de Oakland y tantos otros lugares y negocios pueden operar como lo hacemos hoy!

Free Vaccines at a local church on Sunday July 25

 

Apply to Work in MDUSD

Interested in a job in education? Mt. Diablo USD is hiring for both classified & certificated positions. We are offering a hiring bonus of $1,500 for all Paraprofessionals/Instructional Assistant positions. Click here to view the openings or visit bit.ly/TeamMDUSD 

Early Bird Register by July 31 for Break a Sweat for Education

Break a Sweat for Education® 5K Run & Walk and Kids Fun Run will take place on Saturday, October 2, at Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek. Join our team and a percentage of funds will go to MDUSD Education Foundation!  Early bird discount if you register by July 31!

Click here and scroll down to View Teams and join ours (MDUSD Education Foundation). See you there to #BreakaSweatforEducation

School Board Meeting August 11th

Find the agenda and viewing/participation information here: https://mdusd.org/boardmeetings  

School starts August 12!

 

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End of School Year Wrap Up

I’m thrilled to announce that last night’s final school board meeting of the school year was extremely productive. It included an excellent superintendent evaluation, key appointments in preparation for school starting this fall, adoption of the LCAP and budget, and appointment of our next student trustee, as well as unanimously approved resolutions on “Excused Absences for Mental Health” and “Inclusive School Messaging, Names, and Imagery.”

Congratulations to Michelle Alas for completing her term as the 1st ever official student trustee on the Mt Diablo School Board! She laid a strong foundation for student leadership in our district, including last night’s approval of bylaws for a districtwide Student Advisory Committee. Student leadership is truly growing in our district and helping us to improve education for all.

Read on for:

  1. Student Trustee Appointment for 2021-22
  2. Superintendent Evaluation
  3. Resolution on Messaging, Names and Imagery
  4. Mt Diablo Peace & Justice Awards for Mt Diablo Students
  5. Next School Board meeting August 11th

Student Trustee Appointment for 2021-22

Welcome newly elected student trustee, Kaleena Fowler to the MDUSD School Board!  Trustee Fowler is an incoming senior at College Park High School and President of the Black Student Union.  She is passionate about the importance of student voice, student clubs, and improving communication between the student body and the school board.

Superintendent Evaluation

Congratulations to Dr Adam Clark on a successful first year as Superintendent of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District! Last night our school board unanimously decided on a Satisfactory evaluation (the choices being satisfactory or unsatisfactory), and added this public statement:

“We, the Mt Diablo School Board, voted unanimously to give Dr Clark a Satisfactory rating on his superintendent evaluation for the 2020-21 school year. Dr. Clark skillfully guided our district through the most difficult of times. He kept a laser focus on providing excellent education to all our students, and balanced many considerations, interests and partnerships in pursuit of that goal.  He consistently demonstrated grace under pressure, patience and persistence, and has begun to build a foundation to successfully create a more welcoming environment for all. We wholeheartedly support Dr Clark and look forward to our continued work together in the coming year.”

Resolution on Messaging, Names and Imagery

This resolution is grounded in research, state law and a Systemic Instructional Review and clearly states our board’s values and vision. It provides a framework not just for any one school decision, but for how every school site team can proactively create welcoming environments and together address any barriers to student learning. 

Here is an excerpt:

BE IT RESOLVED that the Mt. Diablo Unified School District Board sees an urgent need to establish a welcoming and safe environment for all students in our schools and community; and if necessary, schools shall choose a non-human mascot/name replacement within 1 year, and the district budget shall bear the costs of the transition rather than the school site budget.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Mt. Diablo Unified School District Board encourages all schools to utilize proven, high quality tools to create welcoming environments such as: 

  1. registering as an Anti-Defamation League No Place for Hate School
  2. teaching the four domains of Social Justice Standards to all students (identity, diversity, justice and action), 
  3. teaching lessons from the approved California Ethnic studies model curriculum;

Many thanks to the students, teachers, and community members at multiple school sites who have worked to educate their colleagues, community, and this school board on these issues. It is your persistence, research, and workshops that led to this unanimously supported resolution. 

Mt Diablo Peace & Justice Awards for Mt Diablo Students

The Mt Diablo Peace & Justice Center is recognizing some Mt Diablo student leaders this Saturday!  The event is June 26th at 10AM, in-person and outdoors at the Peace Center, located at 1035 Carol Lane, Lafayette. Click here to register.

They will be presenting awards at both the High School and Middle School level, in areas of visual art, creative writing, and essay. Plus they also selected two activist award winners: 

  1. an 11th grader from Ygnacio Valley High School - Alex Hagerstrand - who led brave work at their school around LGBTQ issues - through raising awareness, organizing actions, and facilitating teach-ins for the community. 
  2. the Ygnacio Valley Racist Mascot Removal Committee - a group of six Mt Diablo students who campaigned throughout the year to educate around the harmful stereotypes and indigenous imagery used by their school. They organized a number of educational workshops and connected with local indigenous groups to educate the community on why this imagery is harmful. 

School Board Meeting August 11th

Our board takes off the month of July for a much needed break!  See you all in August. Find the agenda and viewing/participation information here: https://mdusd.org/boardmeetings  

Thank you to my colleagues on the School Board for your hard work and constant study, and for always bravely sharing your perspective. Now let’s all get offline as much as possible to rejuvenate this July and be ready to get back to work in August!

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Happy Summer 2021

I hope you are all enjoying your summer, whether it includes summer school activities, work or travel!  Our final school board meeting of the school year is next Wednesday, and then we will take a break for the month of July.

I want to share 2 things to do today:

  1. If you or anyone you know has still not gotten vaccinated, today is the last day at Ygnacio Valley High, 8am-3pm. With your shot you'll receive a $50 gift card and a chance to win big prizes, as well as the peace of mind that you are helping protect your whole community and school from COVID.  
    •  
    •  
  2. Today is Juneteenth, a day that is now recognized nationally as the day enslaved Black people in Texas learned they were free - more than two years AFTER it was officially so.  This is a part of our history that I did not learn in school, and many of you may not have either. (the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect Jan 1, 1863 and yet it was on June 19, 1865 that union troops rode into Texas and announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree.)
    • Here are two local Juneteenth events that you are invited to attend.
    •   

School Board Meeting June 23rd

Next week’s board meeting is a full one, including personnel appointments, approval of LCAP and budget, mental health days for students, and the appointment of our student school board member for 2021-22.

Find the agenda and viewing/participation information herehttps://mdusd.org/boardmeetings  The public may attend in person or view the livestream video.  Submit a public comment in person or send via email to [email protected] . 

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Happy Graduation 2021

Happy Graduation 2021!  We are so very proud of every single graduate who persisted through the pandemic to complete all requirements, and we know you will go forward in your careers with competence and compassion. Thanks to City of Concord for broadcasting MDUSD graduations live on TV. Videos of the ceremonies are posted on the city YouTube channel here.

  

Great news! At our last school board meeting every action item passed with flying colors, from our resolutions about Jewish Heritage month and PRIDE month, to a $1500 stipend for staff in recognition of their hard work through a pandemic, to a $19 million grant submission for Extended Learning opportunities.  I am so full of hope about the coming year, and of gratitude to all who work so hard to make all of this possible.

The PRIDE flag now flies at district headquarters and at many of our schools to show students, employees and community that we welcome everyone. The PRIDE resolution goes beyond words to highlight actual board policies that govern transgender rights, proper use of pronouns, and staff training on these topics. Thank you to Claycord PFLAG and Rainbow Community Center for partnering with MDUSD to provide support and training to students and staff.  Going forward we hope to acquire a "progress" PRIDE flag for the district, and to ensure every school has a PRIDE flag to fly by next June.

Though the school year has ended, our board’s work continues this month with detailed fiscal, educational and technology plans.  See the June 9th meeting agenda for draft plans that have incorporated your input, as well as public hearings where you can still comment before the final approvals June 23rd.

Read on for:

  1. School Board meeting June 9th

  2. What is LCAP?

  3. COVID vaccines at MDUSD schools for everyone 12+

  4. Superintendent’s Friday letters

School Board Meeting June 9th

This week’s board meeting includes two key opportunities for your comments:

The final versions of these will be voted on by the board at our June 23rd meeting.

Other key items on the agenda include:

Find the agenda and viewing/participation information here: https://mdusd.org/boardmeetings  The public may attend in person or view the livestream video.  Submit a public comment in person or via email to [email protected]

What is LCAP?

LCAP stands for Local Control Accountability Plan, and is required by the State of California. See MDUSD’s current draft and prior plans in English & Spanish at https://www.mdusd.org/lcap/lcapnews.

This year staff carefully incorporated recommendations from our recent CCEE Systemic Instructional Review. Community input for this plan was gathered in a variety of ways (see page 7-9 here). One goal I’ve had since before joining the school board is to more clearly involve a diverse range of parents, students, staff and community in key school & district decisions. While we have made significant improvements these last few years (e.g. translation, Friday letter, weekly Operational Report, ParentSquare, student board member, student advisory committee), there is much more to do.  See details on pages 35-40 of “Goal 3: Parents, family and community members will be informed, engaged and empowered as partners with Mt. Diablo Unified to support student learning and improve student outcomes.” This includes specifics such as “Actively recruit parents/ guardians of underserved student groups to be represented at all advisory meetings.”

Useful LCAP resources for you:

  • California Department of Education website "Frequently Asked Questions" https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc/lcffaq.asp 

  • ED100's "What is the LCAP?" https://ed100.org/blog/lcap-hub.  This explains the 8 priority areas that all LCAP plans must cover and much more about how this plan intersects with school site plans and the complexities of state funding. It includes a PTA created checklist that can be used at the school site or district level.

COVID Vaccines at MDUSD schools

COVID-19 vaccine continues to be available on our school sites for anyone who is 12 or older. Concord High School, Ygnacio Valley High School and Mt. Diablo High School are hosting a no-cost clinic.  See the dates and times below.

Everyone is welcome, including students who are 12 or older, family members and members of the community.

La vacuna contra el COVID-19 está disponible para cualquier persona de 12 años de edad o mayor. Para ofrecer a nuestras familias la oportunidad de vacunarse, Concord High School, Ygnacio Valley High School y Mt. Diablo High School estará realizando una clínica de vacunación sin costo.  Vea las fechas y horas a continuación.

Todos son bienvenidos, incluyendo a los estudiantes de 12 años de edad o mayores, los miembros de sus familias y los integrantes de la comunidad. 

Find school flyers, forms and more in Dr Clark’s May 14th Friday letter here.

Superintendent's Friday letter

Click to read Dr Clark’s May 28th letter, and June 4th letter.  These letters and the Organizational updates within them contain details from all departments. Here are a few highlights:

Congratulations to all graduates, including the 291 Seniors who earned the California Seal of Biliteracy! The Seal is given to students who have demonstrated to be proficient in two or more languages. The requirements are rigorous and students need to demonstrate oral fluency proficiency as well as proficiency  in reading and writing in both languages.

Highlights from Adult Education include: In our Certified Nursing Assistant Program, we started with 15 students and anticipate we will have all 15 students graduate Friday, June 4th at 10:00 at the Loma Vista Adult Center.  The program was chosen as the model for the state in the Master Plan for Aging. We are currently part of the team through our Healthcare Career Pathway (HCP) model partnership presenting to Legislators a $5 million budget proposal to expand the HCP model to 6 counties in California.  Also as part of HCP we have food supports for our students.  Through our partnership with Loaves and Fishes we served over 300 meals to students and through the Contra Costa Food Bank we handed out over 3500 pounds of food, which included dry goods, fresh vegetables & fruit, dairy products, and frozen foods!  For the 2019-2021 Surgical Technologist Program (extended due to COVID): 12 of 13 finished the program and all 12 passed their National certification exam. We just finished an EMT cohort.  All students passed their final skills tests, are finishing their ride along requirements and then headed out to start their careers as first responders.  Despite the pandemic, our adult high school students, many of whom are parents, are finishing up their last high school equivalency tests and their last credits to be 2021 graduates.  

And congratulations to the MDUSD Food & Nutrition Services Department, which has been recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in their newly published Brief, "Healthy Eating Research''. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked for the last 45 years to improve the health and well-being of all Americans in the United States. The " Healthy Eating Research" Brief, evaluated and analyzed the benefits school districts performed around the country serving children and their families during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Mt. Diablo Unified School District Food & Nutrition Services Department, is one of three school districts from California highlighted in the Brief and analyzed the district's food service program for "Serving Multiple Meals at Once" and the high volume preparation of scratch-made meals served in multiple days to address Food Insecurity in the district's multiple communities.  Congratulations Food Services!

I hope you all are enjoying the start of summer break safely with family and friends!

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COVID Vaccines at MDUSD Schools

I was excited to get my kids both vaccinated last week when it opened to ages 12+. Did you know we’re offering the vaccine now at school sites? This week Tuesday-Saturday, 8am-3pm it is at Ygnacio Valley High, free and open to anyone 12+ with no appointment needed. Details and flyers linked below.

Last week I also had the pleasure of visiting Horizons and Prospect High school to congratulate Teacher of the Year Libby McDonough. Principal Brennan showed me around, explaining the nuances between the various alternative education offerings. These are crucial for MDUSD parents and students to know about when they are seeking flexible, personalized learning options.  I’ve summarized some of them below.


Read on for:

  1. School Board meeting May 26th - in person
  2. COVID vaccines at MDUSD schools for everyone 12+
  3. Superintendent’s Friday letter 
    • Student School Board member applications
    • New summer meals schedule & flyers
  4. Alternative Education options

School Board Meeting May 26th - in person

This week’s board meeting will again be fully in person, and held next door to district headquarters at Monte Gardens Elementary school (3841 Larkspur Dr, Concord, CA 94519). The public is welcome, following all COVID safety protocols including distancing and required masks.  The open meeting will begin at 6pm.  Members of the public may submit a card to comment.

Alternatively, there are still distanced options: the public may view the livestream video and/or may submit a public comment via email to [email protected]

Find the agenda and viewing/participation information here: https://mdusd.org/boardmeetings

Recognitions/resolutions on the agenda include:

Key business items on this agenda include:

COVID Vaccines at MDUSD schools

COVID-19 vaccine is now available for anyone who is 12 or older, and to help our families find a convenient vaccination opportunity, Concord High School, Ygnacio Valley High School and Mt. Diablo High School are hosting a no-cost clinic.  See the dates and times below.

Everyone is welcome, including students who are 12 or older, family members and members of the community.

La vacuna contra el COVID-19 está disponible para cualquier persona de 12 años de edad o mayor. Para ofrecer a nuestras familias la oportunidad de vacunarse, Concord High School, Ygnacio Valley High School y Mt. Diablo High School estará realizando una clínica de vacunación sin costo.  Vea las fechas y horas a continuación.

Todos son bienvenidos, incluyendo a los estudiantes de 12 años de edad o mayores, los miembros de sus familias y los integrantes de la comunidad. 

   

Find more school flyers, forms and more in Dr Clark’s May 14th Friday letter here.

 

Superintendent's Friday letter

Click here to read Dr Clark’s May 21st letter, full of information including: 

  • Garden plant giveaway success
  • Foothill Middle School recognized as CA Distinguished School
  • Student School Board member applications
    • 10th or 11th grade students in MDUSD - check with your school for the application form and email our current student board member, Michelle Alas, with any questions at [email protected]
  • New meal distribution schedule
    • FOOD & NUTRITION SERVICES - Curbside Meal Distribution and Bus Meal Distribution will end on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 except for Foothill Middle School and Valley View Middle School which will end on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. All Curbside Meal Distribution Centers will be closed on Friday, June 4, 2021. The following Curbside Meal Distribution Centers will reopen on Monday, June 7, 2021. Here are the flyers in Spanish and English

Alternative Education Options

Are you considering Independent Study or an alternative education option?  

Here are some key schools/programs that might interest you. These are all well established programs in Mt Diablo Unified School district that continue to be available for the coming school year.

  1. Independent Study at Horizons - This is an option for grades 9-12. Here is an Independent Study FAQ from Horizons that answers a lot of questions I’ve heard lately, and feel free to call the school office to discuss further. 
  2. Horizons Home study is a program within our district for grades TK-8 as well. They provide an entire library chock full of curricula and hands-on experiences, as well as a supportive network of other Home Study families to connect with.
    •    
  3. Prospect High School, located in Pleasant Hill, is “an alternative high school focused on small class sizes, close interaction with teachers and staff, and credit recovery. We welcome all students who may perform well in a smaller high school environment or need to make up credits in order to graduate.”
  4. Gateway High School is the Bay Point campus of Horizons, providing alternative options for students in that community.
  5. Olympic High School is located in Concord. Their purpose is “to meet the needs of students who, for a variety of reasons, are not on track to graduate from high school. Teachers and staff use standards-based instruction, best practices, and data informed decision making to help each student get on track toward graduating from Olympic High School, graduating from her/his comprehensive high school, or passing the GED.”  
  6. Crossroads High School is located in Concord, and is a necessary small high school that serves pregnant and parenting teens and their children. They provide an alternative academic program aimed at high school graduation and beyond. 
  7. College Now, housed at Diablo Valley College, is a two year program for 11th & 12th grade students. (Tenth graders normally apply by February, so this is something to plan ahead for and discuss with your counselor.) College Now students take a block of three high school courses taught by MDUSD teachers, and they take the rest of their courses at DVC with other community college students.  They earn both high school and college credit for those DVC classes.

I look forward to seeing many of you at various MDUSD graduation ceremonies in the coming week!

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May 2021

May is the time to thank and recognize all our MDUSD teachers and staff for their hard work.  A special congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the MDEA Academy Awards on May 6th! The evening included a touching recognition of the Lifetime Achievement of Jesse Forsland from Olympic High, and recognized excellent talent from Classified Employee Connie Krawesky at Ayers Elementary, to student Seena Fahardi’s startup volunteer organization LEAP MDUSD that matched students tutors with homeless & foster youth who needed extra academic help.  Plus they gave the first ever Social Justice Award to Patricia Hamachi at ShoreAcres Elementary. See all nominees & winners below.

Don’t forget Classified Employees Week is just around the corner on May 16th-22nd!

Read on for:

  1. School Board meeting May 12th - in person
  2. Superintendent’s Friday letter 
    • Ask the CBO - call to action
  3. Nominate a student leader
  4. Congratulations MDEA Academy Awards Winners

School Board Meeting May 12th - in person

This week’s board meeting will be fully in person, and held next door to district headquarters at Monte Gardens Elementary school to provide plenty of space (3841 Larkspur Dr, Concord, CA 94519). The public may participate in person, following all COVID safety protocols including distancing and required masks.  The open meeting will begin at 6pm.  Members of the public may submit a card to comment, as has always been the case at our in-person board meetings. 

Alternatively, there are still distanced options: the public may view the livestream video and/or may submit a public comment via email to [email protected] . Staff is also working to add in a phone-in option for public comment as well.

Find the agenda and viewing/participation information here: https://mdusd.org/boardmeetings

Key items on this agenda include:

Superintendent's Friday letter

Click here to read Dr Clark’s May 7th letter, full of information including: 

Nominate a Student Leader

Ed100 is hosting a summer Academy for Student Leaders - and it’s free!  

Can you share this out to and/or nominate students from Mt Diablo High, Ygnacio Valley High, Olympic and Horizons? Their chart shows that there are students registered so far from College Park, Northgate, and Concord High. Let’s get reps from every school!

https://ed100.org/blog/student-leader-academy

Congratulations to MDEA Academy Award Winners

This celebration was a showcase of all of the fabulous work that dedicated community members are doing all over our district. Congratulations to all!  Please see the list of nominees and finalists:  2021 MDEA Academy Award Nominees

And the winners are…

  • Lifetime Achievement - Jesse Forsland
  • Community Involvement - Angela Bever
  • Creative Curriculum - Al Douex
  • Leadership & Courage - Hilary Garcia
  • Most Inspirational - Alexandra Kirberg
  • Outstanding Administrator - Marga Marshall
  • Outstanding Classified Employee - Connie Krawesky
  • Outstanding Parent Volunteer - Kathryn Durham-Hammer
  • Outstanding Volunteer Organization - Learning Enrichment and Assistance Program (LEAP MDUSD, founded by student Seena Farhadi) - https://leapmdusd.org/
  • Outstanding Collaborating Team - Mt. Diablo High School Counseling Department
  • Outstanding Collaborating Team - Mt. Diablo High School Math Department
  • Social Justice - Patricia Hamachi

They also recognized this year's MDUSD Teachers of the Year: Libby McDonagh and Chelsea Ridenour.

You can view a recording of the event here. 

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