List of Possible Budget Reductions - coming soon

Dear community,

I've received hundreds of emails in the past few days asking us not to cut certain programs or positions. Please know that I have received and am reading each message in detail, but it will take time to reply to each one. Your perspectives are all so important and valuable to these heartbreaking decisions. Thank you for taking the time to speak up.

In the meantime, I want to be sure you know that at the Board meeting on Monday Feb 24th, the staff said they would provide 2 items by this Friday Feb 28th at 5pm:
1. a list of possible budget reductions by item and cost
2. a draft PKS list - this is the list of positions to receive pink slips, which our board is scheduled to vote on at our Monday March 2nd board meeting.

(What is a pink slip? the state of CA requires all certificated employees to receive a "pink slip" notification by March 15th. This tells the teacher/staff that his/her position "might" be lost due to reductions for next school year. It is not a final decision, as the state doesn't give their final budget until May, and then school districts vote on their final budget for 2020-21 in June)

Thanks to staff diligence, our budget reductions are now targeted at $21.1 million instead of $22 million. They continue to work to find any/all savings possible.

We added a Special Board meeting for this Monday, March 2nd at 7pm, specifically for budget and PKS decisions. You are welcome to attend, speak, or watch online. Agenda will be posted here: https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes

What else can you do to help? Please call the governor and all state legislators who represent our district, to ask them to significantly increase funding for public education immediately.  

From the grassroots Contra Costa Coalition to Fund Education Now (follow them on Twitter @cccfunded )

Frustrated with cuts in your school district? Seeing them in nearby districts too? Enough is enough. Call the Governor TODAY plus every state legislator that represents MDUSD: bit.ly/FENWcallscript #FundCAEd

Districts across CA are in the same boat, reducing budgets and cutting positions and programs that are crucial and valuable, but that simply are unaffordable when the state funds districts at significantly less than the expectations and obligations it sets for us.

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Feb 2020

Did you see that MDUSD is looking at approximately $22 million in necessary budget cuts?

Here are details and actions you can take:

1. Community Input on Budget - attend final meetings TONIGHT

2. Fund Ed Now - call the Governor

3. African American Awareness Month - share your actions & photos

4. Superintendent letters & Next School Board meeting

 

Community Input for Budget Decisions

Attend meetings TONIGHT! 
Thursday, February 20th - 5:30 pm Riverview Middle School Multi Use Room
Thursday, February 20th - 7 pm Pleasant Hill Middle School Multi Use Room

Visit https://mdusd.org/budgetsolutions for details, presentations, surveys and more.

Can't attend in person? You can still give your ideas online in English or Spanish at bit.ly/mdusdfeedback

Fund Education Now

Fund Education Now Week is over, but our advocacy has just begun. This week, take 5 minutes to call the governor & our local state legislators.

  • --> Call to say that MDUSD is right now needing to make $22 million in cuts due to years of state under-funding of public schools. A Stanford 2018 study showed that to simply fund a basic level of adequacy for CA public schools, there should have been an additional $25 billion of state investment.  For MDUSD that would be an additional $150 million!  If the state even invested one quarter of that, we could keep and grow opportunity for our students. Urge the state for #FullandFairFunding of public schools. 
    • Governor Newsom (916)445-2841
    • Asm Tim Grayson (916)319-2014
    • Asm Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (916)319-2016
    • Sen Steve Glazer (916)651-4007
    • Bill Dodd (916)651-4003

Stay involved!

  • Follow @CCCFundEd and @MtDiabloUSD on Twitter
  • Visit www.cocoschools.org/cccfunded 
  • --> Share your story on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram about what significant cuts could mean for your classroom or school, and copy/paste these tags: @GavinNewsom @BauerKahan @AsmGrayson @Steve_Glazer @BillDoddCA @CCCFundEd #FundCAed

African American Awareness Month

The school board passed a resolution on January 27th in recognition of February as African American Awareness month.  This includes encouraging all schools to "commemorate the occasion with appropriate instructional materials.  My next blog will feature a compilation of student, parent, teacher and staff actions in Mt Diablo schools for African American Awareness month. 

Do you have a photo or story to share? Please send it to me and I'll include it!

Superintendent’s Friday Letter

Read Superintendent Dr Martinez’s February 14th letter here, including celebration of Silverwood Elementary's Distinguished School Award, and the following Mt Diablo winners from Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 6: 

  • Classified Leader - Dominic Machi
  • Adult Education Administrator - Cynthia Paige Endo
  • Special Education Administrator - Jenny Vargas

These are always posted at mdusd.org and on Facebook & Twitter.  To receive them as emails, write to superintendentsoffice@mdusd.org to request to be added to the Superintendent’s email list.

Next School Board meeting February 24th

Budget discussion will continue, including data & results from surveys & meetings.  Visit https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes to see the agenda when it is posted, and all meeting agendas & videos.

Thank you to all who are participating!

Sincerely,

   

p.s. OGMS 8th grade students organized a successful Community Immigration Fair this month! 

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Tough Budget Decisions

Did you miss yesterday's MDUSD school board special budget meeting?

It was chock full of information and a road map for tough decision ahead.  Here's a summary with links to how you can get involved.

1. Schools & Communities First Initiative

2. Community Input on Budget - answer online survey this week

3. Fund Ed Now Week - post your story on social media 

4. Mt Diablo Community Against Vaping - join this new Facebook group

5. Superintendent letters & Next School Board meeting

School Board endorses Schools & Communities First ballot initiative

We began the meeting by unanimously passing a resolution endorsing Schools and Communities First Initiative, which is gathering signatures now for the November ballot. We join a long list of supporters including CTA, MDEA, and national PTA. Learn more & get involved at www.schoolsandcommunitiesfirst.org

Next, CBO Lisa Gonzales gave an in depth report of state impacts on our finances.

Community Input Plan for Budget Decisions

District staff then laid out a full plan for community input & engagement around tough budget decisions. See the new Budget Solutions district webpage at https://mdusd.org/budgetsolutions for details and please

--> fill out a quick online budget survey there in English or Spanish, open until this Friday Feb 7th, 5pm.***

That page also links to https://mdusd.org/communityforuminvitations - in person opportunities for you to give input. In addition to presentations at existing committee meetings, the community and staff are invited to the following meetings:

Tuesday, February 18th - 7 pm Ygnacio Valley High School Multi Use Room
Thursday, February 20th - 5:30 pm Riverview Middle School Multi Use Room
Thursday, February 20th - 7 pm Pleasant Hill Middle School Multi Use Room

Thank you all for sharing your perspective online, in person, in English or Spanish or other translation as needed. Please share this out and bring your friends/colleagues to the table too. The more voices involved, the better decisions we can make.

(p.s. Yesterday's budget mtg is online. Watch video, see agenda here: https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes)

Fund Education Now Week Feb 3-7, 2020

This week is Fund Education Now Week!  Join parents, students, teachers, superintendents, school board members in Contra Costa and Alameda counties - the more voices the better - in contacting our state legislators and the governor.

Join us!

  • Follow @CCCFundEd and @MtDiabloUSD on Twitter
  • Visit www.cocoschools.org/cccfunded 
  • --> Share your story about what education funding looks like in your classroom or school on any social media, and copy/paste these tags: @GavinNewsom @BauerKahan @AsmGrayson @Steve_Glazer @BillDoddCA @CCCFundEd #FundCAed

 

In other news...

Mt Diablo Anti-Vaping Group Forming

Also last night, Monument Youth Alcohol & Drug Coalition (MYADC) presented at YV High PTSA meeting about a new group forming to help parents, students & community encourage cities within Mt Diablo school district to ban the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping devices. 

--> Join their Facebook group here:  Mt Diablo Community Against Vaping.

Learn how to contact city council members and speak at meetings to encourage them to take action as soon as possible for the health of our youth in Concord, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Clayton, Pittsburg and Martinez .

The FDA, CDC, and California Department of Public Health have issued health alerts urging everyone to quit vaping altogether, no matter the substance or source.

Superintendent’s Friday Letter

Read Superintendent Dr Martinez’s January 31st letter here. It includes resources to prevent Human Trafficking that you can bring to your school.

These are always posted at mdusd.org and on Facebook & Twitter.  To receive these as emails, send a message to superintendentsoffice@mdusd.org to request to be added to the Superintendent’s email list.

Next School Board meeting February 10th

District staff will present results of this week's budget survey.  Visit https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes to see the agenda when it is posted, and all meeting agendas & videos.

As always, share your ideas with our board via email or attend and speak at our board meetings.

Sincerely,

   

Community leaders & partners are so important in this work for our students!  

Here I am with my EmergeCA sister Tiffanee Jones, who shared her powerful story at the 32nd District PTA Gun Violence Prevention Forum.

And Antioch Council member Monica Wilson hosted #RedSandProjectAntioch to raise awareness for Human Trafficking. You can bring this hands on project to your school to protect even more kids.

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Jan2020 - Vaping, Fund Education Week, & Foundation Launch

Happy 2020!  Here are some highlights of the year so far:

  1. School Board Passes Anti-Vaping Resolution

  2. Fund Education Now Week Feb 3-7, 2020

  3. EduTrack Foundation launch

  4. Superintendent Friday Letters

School Board Passes Anti-Vaping Resolution

On January 13th, our first MDUSD school board meeting of 2020, we unanimously passed a resolution asking local cities to ban the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping devices.  

I encourage you to read the entire resolution and share it out far and wide.  Then please call or email your city council members in Concord, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Clayton, Pittsburg and Martinez to ask them to take action immediately.

As a school board member and parent, I've been hearing a lot about students in our high schools and middle schools that are vaping, that are addicted, and that are struggling to cope.  Contra Costa County Supervisors passed a similar resolution on November 12, 2019.  I joined MDUSD parents and students, along with TUPE and many community members at that meeting, to speak in favor of the resolution.  The stories the students told were heartbreaking, and the county found that the vast majority of students get vape devices from storefronts.  The county ban is only for unincorporated areas, so banning the sale within city limits would make a huge difference.

The FDA, CDC, and California Department of Public Health have issued health alerts urging everyone to quit vaping altogether, no matter the substance or source.

The popularity of electronic vaping devices has soared among youth, with a national increase of 135% within the past two years. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, 1 in 20 middle school students, as well as 1 in 4 high school students are vaping. A 2016 survey showed that one in three 11th graders in Contra Costa admitted to having vaped.

Fund Education Now Week Feb 3-7, 2020

We also passed a resolution recognizing Fund Education Now week, Feb 3-7, 2020, in which school districts throughout Alameda and Contra Costa will have actions each day to inform the community and state legislature of our dire need for education funding.The growing Coalition includes Contra Costa County students, teachers, staff, school board members, parents, and superintendents united to bring full and fair funding to California public education.

Join us!

EduTrack Foundation Launch

Dr Martinez often talks about the importance of student voice. Here's some news about students taking action right here in MDUSD!  Concord High graduate and former ASB President Aasim Yahya is now a university student at Cal, but he's still working on building up student leadership here in our high schools.  On Saturday he, sister Azeema, mom May, and a dedicated new team of Board members launched the nonprofit EduTrack - to provide scholarships as well as student-led college and career programs.

"We believe that students are the best individuals to educate and equip their own peers with college and career resources. That's why our high school programs provide students with the ability to empower their peers. All of our high school programs are led by high school students who use both the resources and guidance of our EduTrack staff and digital tool box to build their own on-campus programs. We are committed to creating our high school programs at sites that serve students who identify with primarily underrepresented or underprivileged communities." Interesting in bringing a program to your campus? Visit http://www.edutrackfoundation.org/get-involved2.html

Superintendent’s Friday Letter

Read Superintendent Dr Martinez’s January 10th and January 17th Friday letters. They include key information such as the newly elected DELAC leaders (District English Language Advisory Committee) and DVC's Diamonte Scholars (offering college credit during high school on a path to transfer & career for STEAM - science, tech, engineering, art, math).

These are always posted at mdusd.org and on Facebook & Twitter.  To receive these as emails, send a message to superintendentsoffice@mdusd.org to request to be added to the Superintendent’s email list.

Next School Board meeting January 27th

Here is the agenda.  Items include reports on Holbrook Dual Language expansion and Governor's budget, info/discussion of draft 2020-21 School calendars, and a resolution to support the Public Preschool, K-12, and College Health and Safety Bond Act of 2020 that is on the March ballot.

Visit https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes to see all meeting agendas & videos.

As always, share your ideas with our board via email or attend and speak at our board meetings.

Sincerely,

It was great to see recent Concord High ASB President Hannah Jenevein at the EduTrack event!

 

Thank you East County NAACP for organizing another beautiful MLK Jr Day celebration!

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December2019

Hi friends,

I hope you all have a restful and rejuvenating winter break!

A huge thank you to all of you who have engaged with our district.  Together we are making a difference - every one of you who donated to HOPE or MDUSD Education Foundation, taught students and are grading finals, led field trips, wrote school goals as a site council rep, coached a team, negotiated a contract, led a student or parent organization, drove a school bus, or much much more. We should all be #MDUSDProud.

The biggest #breakingnews this week is that MDUSD reached a Tentative Agreement with Mt Diablo Education Association (MDEA)!  This was made possible by many hours of negotiation by dedicated teams of teachers and administrators.  See details and quotes from MDEA president Anita Johnson and Superintendent Martinez here.

And here are a few key updates from this month:  

December 16 School Board mtg 

We held the last MDUSD school board meeting of the year this week on Monday. The agenda included:

  • Organizational meeting - Congratulations to President Lawrence and Vice President Mason!  
  • Review of SPSAs (single plans for student achievement) - Have you read your school plan? Find every school SPSA plan here on MDUSD website (under Parents/Reports&Plans).  Have ideas about how to improve it?  Contact your principal or site council reps.
  • Review & approval of tentative agreement between CSEA & MDUSD for 2018-19 - Note that Contra Costa County sent MDUSD a letter in response to this, asking us to make $5 million in budget adjustments in order to stay fiscally solvent.  Truly, our state must do better to fully fund our schools.

Also at the meeting, President Lawrence encouraged people to donate to HOPE (homeless & foster youth in MDUSD - Venmo @MDUSDHOPE), and last I heard your donations surpassed $10,000!  Truly when we act as a community, we can all help take care of every student. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.

Visit https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes to see all mtg agendas & videos.

Threats

In two of our schools recently, as has happened at schools in nearby districts and nationally, students have made threats of harm.  In both cases, thankfully, the police investigated and found them to be non-viable. I think it’s important now to clarify our district policy for these types of instances, and also to remind everyone how each of us can “Say something” as Sandy Hook Promise encourages. 

Did you know our County Office of Education houses a full time coordinator for Sandy Hook Promise, and a team of fully certified trainers who will implement the SHP Know the Signs programs in every high school and middle school in Contra Costa County?  These programs include:

  • Signs of Suicide,
  • Threat Assessments,
  • Say Something, and
  • Say Hello. 

Find descriptions & contact information on the CCCOE website.  Ask your principal if this has begun yet at your school. 

There’s also a volunteer group that speaks to parent groups about Be SMART – BeSMARTforKids.org that reduces child gun deaths by encouraging responsible storage of guns and providing free gun locks.

  • Secure all guns
  • Model responsible behavior around guns
  • Ask about presence of unsecured guns in other homes
  • Recognize the risks of teen suicide
  • Tell your peers to be SMART

We all can help ensure that every student feels valued and included, in a safe and welcoming school environment.

Budget

Many parents, teachers and community came to ask our school board to increase salary, lower class sizes, and add more nurses, librarians and counselors.  I hope that all of you will campaign for and vote for the needed revenue to make that possible. Right now the revenue we receive from the state has not kept up with expenses, and so districts across CA are deficit spending and making major cuts.

One source of revenue that we can act on is the Schools & Communities First measure, gathering signatures now for the Nov 2020 ballot.  This initiative would be a start, but still not nearly enough for what we need, and IF it passes it won’t go into effect until 2022.  Out of the $11 billion it expects to raise, just $4 billion would go to schools statewide. 

That sounds like a lot, until you realize the Stanford Getting Down to Facts II study found that our state needs $25 billion in education funding just to reach national average. The study has a calculator where you can enter a school district and it will estimate needed dollars based on demographics. It says MDUSD would need: $5,067 more per student = approx. $150 million more per year.

This is why other school districts are exploring or placing parcel taxes on the 2020 ballot.  We can’t wait for 2022 and we are all facing major cuts right now.  Local taxes might be the only thing that can avoid massive cuts.

Save the date for a week of action called Fund Education Now, Feb 3-7, 2020, in which school districts throughout Alameda and Contra Costa will have actions each day to inform the community and state legislature of our dire need for education funding.

Superintendent’s Friday Letter

Read Superintendent Dr Martinez’s December 20th letter here.  These are always posted at mdusd.org and on facebook & twitter.  To receive these as emails, send a message to superintendentsoffice@mdusd.org to request to be added to the Superintendent’s email list.

Happy Holidays and Winter Break!

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Nov 2019 Board mtg

Hi everyone,

Our MDUSD school board meeting for November is tonight, 7pm at Dent Center at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord.  See agenda here. You can attend in person, or to watch from home go to https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes to watch the video of any meeting live or recorded.

Board Policy for Emergency planning 

As mentioned, we are analyzing and updating Board policies related to Emergency management.   See tonight's agenda item 19.2 - where information and sample policy will be provided. Your feedback and ideas are welcome!

You can also share your ideas on your local school safety plan anytime, directly with your Site Council or Principal.  Each school Site Council approves and submits one for their school for district approval by March 1st of each year, and all are listed on the district website here: District list of school safety plans

Presentation of Mt. Diablo Unified School District's Enrollment Data for the 2019-2020 School Year

This is item 16.1 on tonight's agenda.  The District carefully reviews attendance each year in order to ensure that services provided to students at each school site are responsive to the needs of the students attending our schools. This presentation will provide data on the overall enrollment of the District and schools based on California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS) data that is certified each year.

The variance from the 2018-2019 and the 2019-2020 school years will be reviewed, and the District will share enrollment data for each District school. Further, staff will share information regarding some of the steps that will be used to project enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year.

Superintendent’s Friday Letter

Read Superintendent Dr Martinez’s Nov 15th letter here, including student safety, special ed resources and more.  These are always posted at mdusd.org and on facebook & twitter.  To receive these as emails, send a message to superintendentsoffice@mdusd.org to request to be added to the Superintendent’s email list.

See you tonight!

p.s. I got to meet my idol, Dolores Huerta, this weekend!  Si se puede!

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Emergency Planning & Finance

Hi everyone,

It is a busy time in MDUSD, and the past few weeks have included everything from election map decisions to negotiations, with PG&E power outages thrust into the mix to keep us all on our toes.  Here are highlights, information, and how you can be an active part of solutions:

Superintendent’s Friday Letter

Read Superintendent Dr Martinez’s Nov 1st letter here, including his take on responses to emergency events and more.  These are always posted at mdusd.org and on facebook & twitter.  To receive these as emails, send a message to superintendentsoffice@mdusd.org to request to be added to the Superintendent’s email list.

By Area Trustee Election Plan decided – maps & order

At the School Board meeting October 28, 2019, the Governing Board approved a resolution calling for a transition to Trustee Areas, beginning with the November 2020 election. We selected the “Purple-A” map and indicated that new Trustee Areas 3 and 5 would be the two areas up for election in 2020. All elected members of the Governing Board, whether they continue to be from “At-Large” elected areas or by “Trustee Areas” will continue to hold the responsibility of governance for the entire District.

Thank you to everyone who gave feedback at meetings and online!  Your ideas really shaped the map design and our decisions.  See details at https://mdusd.org/boardelections

Emergency planning

Have you experienced a utility emergency at your school site recently?  My kids have, and my home was without power for 3 days.  When emergencies happen, we all pitch in to help.  That is why Trustee Lawrence and I went to Northgate on Oct 28th - to help in whatever way we could.  We ended up volunteering on fire watch, checking each classroom & hallway for any fire danger, and ensuring areas were cleared of people once the decision was made to gather in a central location.  The principal, superintendent, fire marshall and facilities director were there and leading the situation.  But for us as school board members, experiences like this help inform our decisions on how to improve the big picture policies we decide on.  That’s why I visit and volunteer at as many sites as I can across the district. 

Here is some relevant information:

  • At the Board level, we are analyzing and updating Board policies related to Emergency management. This will be on a future Board meeting agenda, where you can give input as well.
  • Did you know about your specific school safety plan?  Each school Site Council approves and submits one for their school for district approval by March 1st of each year, and all are listed on the district website.  Be sure to give your site-specific input to your principal or site council.
    • District list of school safety plans
    • Oak Grove Middle School safety plan – Page 37 lists utilities emergencies. Given the very difficult circumstances that OGMS went through last month, what do you think should be added to ensure this school (and every school) can handle water shutoff more effectively in the future?
    • Northgate safety plan – Page 55 lists how to sign up for community alerts. Page 48 lists items for the school toolkit, including “1 flashlight (batteries in package)”.  What should it say instead - “1 flashlight and 1 lantern per classroom.”?   Should crank or solar powered be recommended?  Together as a team, your school community can determine the most effective plan for the unique layout of your school.
    • All Site Councils: have you ensured that all of your school parents know what is in your emergency plan? I know that the full plans are long and dense, but perhaps share out specific items from it like your school communication plan and Appendix B: ABC’s – Three Steps to Protect Your Child During Emergencies in The School Day

Finances

I was heartened to see so many teachers, staff and parents out rallying on Oct 28th, showing through action how much they care about our students.  Our community is passionate about educating every student well, and achieving that by providing more nurses, librarians, and counselors, high enough pay for teachers and staff to afford to live here, and low class sizes. 

I was disheartened to be asked why the school board “doesn’t care”.  Actually every one of us volunteers endless hours of our time because we do care.  We oversee the direction of the district, and our fiscal duty as school board includes:

  • Approve and oversee the school district budget
  • Serve as good stewards of taxpayer funds

We care very much and are carefully analyzing how to prioritize budget needs in an incredibly underfunded education system.  How would you prioritize among all of those requests?

Let me share one simple way to look at MDUSD finances - how fast the ending balance is being spent down: from $70 million unrestricted ending balance just two years ago, to just $30 million in June 2019. 

MDUSD Actual ending balances:

Fiscal Year

Unrestricted

Restricted

Total

2016-17

$70,339,732

$18,449,562

$88,789,293

2017-18

$38,482,772

$19,048,201

$57,530,974

2018-19

$30,087,204

$19,402,903

$49,490,107

This deficit spending is unsustainable and cannot continue much longer.  Therefore, any new spending must come out of currently allocated expenses, and the vast majority of our expenses are in people. Yes, you did read that right.  That means in order to do all the things we agree are needed, from lowering class size, to raising teacher and staff salaries, to increasing numbers of nurses and librarians… our main means to do so is to remove current people from their jobs.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of this -

The district saved $5 million from the cost cutting and layoffs last spring, which were incredibly painful.   Parents and teachers at just about every school can tell you about losing their favorite teacher or vice principal.  I don’t know anyone who wants that to happen again.  Yet that brought our actual ending balance to $30 million (vs the budgeted estimate of $25 million).  Saving $5 million was impactful, however expenses were still more than revenue, so we spent down our ending balance by $8 million.  (see detailed actuals 2018-19 here)

And so, to give you an idea of scale: one million dollars is the equivalent of anywhere from 10 to 30 positions. 

Now consider: how much money am I asking the district to “find” for new spending?  Am I okay with the resulting layoffs, program & course cuts needed to achieve that? 

There are no easy answers.

Given all of this, are you fired up?  Worried?  There are actions you can take for the future of our schools:

  1. Learn about where CA stands as a state, and help educate others that the struggles MDUSD faces are actually what districts all across CA are facing: fullandfairfunding.org . Our state legislators had the opportunity this fall to raise education funding to the national average with a bill AB39 that was co-authored by our local rep Bauer-Kahan.  Yet that bill was watered down to an “intent only” bill and still did not receive enough support to pass.  Clearly our legislators do not understand the immediacy of our student needs.
  2. Please copy any email or speech you’ve given to the MDUSD school board requesting additional funds, and paste that into an email to our state representatives and the governor:
    1. grayson@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Bauer-Kahan@assembly.ca.gov, Senator.Glazer@senate.ca.gov, governor@governor.ca.gov, gavin.newsom@gov.ca.gov
  3. Consider what you can do to support local funding sources for our schools, while the state funding is clearly lacking. Some other districts have robust education foundations and local parcel taxes that help narrow the gap, while MDUSD has a new and growing foundation (mdedf.org) and no parcel tax.  
  4. Let me know if you are interested in joining a countywide coalition that is forming in Contra Costa, modeled from this one in Alameda: https://www.acoe.org/funding

Coming up

Speaking of funding…

The League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley is presenting the Schools and Communities First Initiative on Saturday, November 16th, 10:30 am – noon, Concord Library, 2900 Salvio St., Concord, CA 94519.  Fix Prop 13 with the Schools and Communities First Initiative on the November 2020 Ballot. This initiative will not touch Propositions 13 protections for any residential property, agricultural land, or small businesses. The money will go to schools and local governments. The League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley will describe the Initiative, answer questions, and explain how you can help.

Board meeting Monday Nov 18th

Our next school board meeting is Monday Nov 18th, 7pm at Dent Center at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord.  See agenda here once it is posted. You can attend in person, or to watch from home go to https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes to watch the video of any meeting live or recorded.

Onwards together for our students,

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Transfers, College, Giving & Maps

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Wren Arts Magnet art show, complete with book fair and cotton candy machine.  Such fun and great parent attendance.  Thank you MDUSD Education Foundation for funding schoolwide Art in Action!  Mr Young here said he would not have attempted this bird art project if it weren't for Art in Action guidance and training.

   

And thank you Shore Acres for inviting me out to Thrilling Thursday fun runs last week!  What a wonderful way to get in shape and get the wiggles out before school to be ready to learn.  Ms Bever's class was buzzing with math epiphanies afterwards!

Here are a few highlights of events you can attend and actions you can take in MDUSD right now: 

  • Transfers
  • College Fair
  • Giving to HOPE
  • Trustee Area Maps

It's Transfer Request Time for Grades 6-12!

Are you considering schools other than your currently assigned school for middle or high?  If so, now's the time to visit schools to make an informed decision, and turn in your application to request a transfer if desired.  Find the online application and details hereDue Nov 15th!

Did you know about the Career Pathways available in Mt Diablo schools?  Take a look at all the various industry sectors and community partners throughout our district schools here. Students or parents can click on Health Science, Engineering, Transportation, Education, Computer Science, Culinary or Digital Media, and see which schools offer those pathways.

Are you a business owner or leader who would like to connect students to internships, relevant industry projects, or career exploration?  You can join the Mt Diablo Business Alliance - see details here. Their next meeting is on Dec 2nd, 4pm at College Park High School!

College Fair Thursday Oct 24th, 6:30-8pm

It's never too early to plan for college.  Stop by Ygnacio Valley High tomorrow night (Thursday) to the districtwide college fair, meet reps from many different schools, and find out how to make a plan! Details here.

Giving Season - How You Can Donate to the 2019 HOPE Holiday Gift Card Drive

Mt. Diablo Unified School District is committed to making sure that all students arrive at school ready and able to learn. To supplement services, our Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE) is requesting donations for our holiday program to support our homeless
students in the School District.  Please forward and share!

El Distrito Escolar Unificado Mt. Diablo está comprometido a garantizar que todos los estudiantes lleguen a la escuela preparados y disponibles para aprender. Para complementar nuestros servicios, nuestro Programa de Educación y Asistencia para Personas sin Hogar (HOPE) está solicitando donaciones durante la época de días festivos para apoyar a nuestros estudiantes sin hogar en el Distrito Escolar. 

Board meeting Monday Oct 28th

Our next school board meeting is Monday Oct 28th, 7pm at Dent Center at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord.  See agenda here once it is posted. You can attend in person, or to watch from home go to https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes to watch the video of any meeting live or recorded.

Agenda will include:

Final Public Hearing on By Trustee Area Election Process

At the September 23 and Oct 14 School Board meetings, public hearings were held on by trustee area scenarios.   See all maps & FAQs at https://mdusd.org/boardelections

  1. The board decided to remove three of the maps from consideration: red, green, blue
  2. The board would now like to hear community input on the remaining 3 draft maps: pink, purple, purpleA.
  3. The board is now exploring additional options of the order of elections. That means it is possible that different areas will be chosen for the 2020 election than what has so far been designated on the draft maps. 

Current draft maps (pink, purple, purpleA) show Areas 3 & 5 with elections in 2020, because all three other areas have current trustees whose terms do not end until 2022.  This ensures that all 5 areas will have representation on the board starting in 2020.

However, technically the board could choose different areas. See "Election Sequencing Selection" "Selección de Secuencia de Elecciones" district news for details on the options.

Please share your perspective as a parent, student, staff or community member to inform the board decisions! 

Tell us which map is your favorite and which 2 areas you think should be up for election in 2020 and why.  Here’s how:

  • to speak to the Board in person, attend the final Public Hearing at Board meeting October 28, 2019 or
  • to submit your thoughts online anytime (in English or any language) click on https://mdusd.org/feedbacksurvey 

I hope to see you out and about!

Sincerely,

p.s. are you receiving the Friday letter from our Superintendent Dr Martinez?  If not, email superintendentsoffice@mdusd.org and they'll add you to the list. or follow @MDUSD on Facebook or Twitter to see them.

 

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School Board mtg this Monday

PG&E Power Outages Over

Thank you to all who helped in planning and communicating about potential power outages in MDUSD!  In the end only one school was affected, stayed open, and handled it smoothly.  It's great to see everyone come together to ensure safety preparedness for all students and staff!

Board meeting Monday Oct 14th

Our next school board meeting is Monday Oct 14th, 7pm at Dent Center at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord.  See agenda here.  You can attend in person, or to watch from home go to https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes to watch the video of any meeting live or afterwards.

Key agenda items include:

  • State and Local Indicator Presentation 
  • Public Hearing on By Trustee Area election process

State and Local Indicator Presentation

Click here for the slidesStaff will report on the results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) assessments administered in the spring and the local district indicators which must be submitted by November 1, 2019.

MDUSD website also lists CAASPP resources for parents in various languages, including free resources to navigate parent teacher conferences and help your child succeed: https://mdusd.org/caasppresources 

Here is an additional report from EdSource: http://caaspp.edsource.org/ showing data on CAASPP statewide, by district, or by school.

Public Hearing on By Trustee Area Election Process

At the September 23, 2019 School Board meeting, a public hearing was held on by trustee area scenarios.   See all maps & FAQs at https://mdusd.org/boardelections

  1. The board decided to remove three of the maps from consideration: red, green, blue
  2. The board would now like to hear community input on the remaining 3 draft maps: pink, purple, purpleA.
  3. The board is now exploring additional options of the order of elections. That means it is possible that different areas will be chosen for the 2020 election than what has so far been designated on the draft maps. 

Current draft maps (pink, purple, purpleA) show Areas 3 & 5 with elections in 2020, because all three other areas have current trustees whose terms do not end until 2022.  This ensures that all 5 areas will have representation on the board starting in 2020.

However, technically the board could choose different areas, and a majority of the Board asked on Sept 23rd to hear all of the options. See "Election Sequencing Selection" "Selección de Secuencia de Elecciones" district news for details on the options.

Please share your perspective as a parent, student, staff or community member to inform the board decisions! 

Tell us which map is your favorite and which 2 areas you think should be up for election in 2020 and why.  Here’s how:

  • to speak to the Board in person, attend Public Hearings at Board meetings on October 14 or October 28, 2019 or
  • to submit your thoughts online anytime (in English or any language) click on https://mdusd.org/feedbacksurvey 

Enjoy your weekend!

Sincerely,

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Power Outages, Election Maps, & Running

PG&E Power Outages

As of Oct 8th, 11pm...

All Mt. Diablo Schools are Currently Open -click for more details-

Todas las Escuelas de Mt. Diablo están abiertas actualmente -haga clic aquí para más detalles-

The District will continue to monitor the events, and will provide updated information to the community should there be any need to close schools, or modify school schedules. We believe that keeping schools open provides a safe place for students to be.

Update on By Trustee Area Mapping

At the September 23, 2019 School Board meeting, public hearing #3 was held on by area trustee elections.   See all maps & FAQs at https://mdusd.org/boardelections

  1. The board decided to remove three of the maps from consideration: red, green, blue
  2. The board would now like to hear community input on the remaining 3 draft maps: pink, purple, purpleA.
  3. The board is now exploring additional options of the order of elections. That means it is possible that different areas will be chosen for the 2020 election than what has so far been designated on the draft maps. 

     

    Current draft maps (pink, purple, purpleA) show Areas 3 & 5 with elections in 2020, because all three other areas have current trustees whose terms do not end until 2022.  This ensures that all 5 areas will have representation on the board starting in 2020.

    However, technically the board could choose different areas, and a majority of the Board asked on Sept 23rd to hear all of the options. See "Election Sequencing Selection" "Selección de Secuencia de Elecciones" district news for details on the options.

Please share your perspective as a parent, student, staff or community member to inform the board decisions! 

Tell us which map is your favorite and which 2 areas you think should be up for election in 2020 and why.  Here’s how:

  • attend Public Hearing #4 October 14, 2019, or Public Hearing #5 October 28, 2019 to speak to the board in person, or
  • click on https://mdusd.org/feedbacksurvey anytime to submit your thoughts online in English or en español.

 

Sincerely,

p.s. thanks to all who walked/ran the Break a Sweat for Education race!  It was so uplifting to see so many of you from all different schools & communities join in healthy exercise together to raise funds for the MDUSD Education Foundation and Yours Humanly!

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