Action alert: Maps & Ed Funding

How was the first day of school?

We have so many positive and wonderful teachers, staff and parents in our district who worked hard for a smooth and welcoming start to the school year for all students.  Thank you all!  It was not easy, especially with that off-the-charts heatwave.

At the school board meeting last week, we officially appointed Dr. Robert Martinez as the new MDUSD superintendent.  The decision was unanimous, and we are looking forward to seeing his experience and passion take flight here in our schools, bringing everyone together to ensure quality education for every student.  His first official day is today.  Welcome Dr. Martinez!

Meanwhile we have also been busy with two key items that need your attention:

  1. Maps for the 2020 by-trustee-area election: attend a community meeting
  2. Full & Fair Funding opportunity: will you take action?

And this week Congressman DeSaulnier is holding an Immigration Town Hall.  See details below.

Community Meetings for By-Area Trustee Elections

Your perspective is needed! 

Please plan to attend any one of these community forums to give your input on draft maps for the five trustee areas. See the conceptual maps and details at

Flyers publicizing the forums have been translated into multiple languages:  
Arabic | Chinese | Dari | EnglishFarsi | Hindi | Korean | PashtoSpanish | Tagalog |Vietnamese

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Loma Vista Adult School  Noon – 1 p.m.

Willow Creek Center 5 – 6 p.m.

Pleasant Hill Middle School 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Pine Hollow Middle School 5 – 6 p.m.

Foothill Middle School 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

District Office/Board Room 5 – 6 p.m.

Riverview Middle School 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Translation available upon request. 


Full and Fair Funding on the March 2020 Ballot?

Are you feeling frustrated with the budget reductions our schools currently face?  I am. And we are not alone.  Schools across CA are in the same boat.

CSBA (CA School Board Association) just informed us that there is serious momentum for the legislature to place a Full and Fair Funding education initiative on the March 2020 ballot and to have a bill number for this by Labor Day. That will give us just a couple of weeks (September 13th is the deadline)  to push it over the top.

We need you now as together we try to make a seismic shift in school funding in California.

Background on Measure

This measure would raise $15 billion dollar a year for K-14 education through increased taxes on incomes over $1,000,000 a year and a 5% increase in corporate taxes. This initiative would provide approximately $2,000 per ADA in each district (i.e. almost $60,000,000 extra a year for MDUSD). CSBA just got back poll results that show that such an initiative placed on the March ballot would be almost unstoppable given its popularity with voters.

What you can do

  • Social Media: Post this to twitter and Facebook:

@BauerKahan @AsmGrayson, The time to be BOLD is NOW! will you be bold and stand with educators, students, and the community to put Full & Fair Funding on the March 2020 Ballot so voters can decide to support education funding? #FullandFairFunding #March2020 #Education #BeBold

Immigration Town Hall Thursday Aug 22nd

6:30-8pm, Meadow Homes Elementary, 1371 Detroit Ave, Concord.

Congressman DeSaulnier will provide a firsthand account of what he witnessed at detention facilities during his two visits to the southern border and share the work he is doing in Congress to protect immigrant rights and ensure detainees are treated with the dignity they deserve. 

Legal resources and information about immigrant rights—regardless of immigration status—will be available in English and Spanish. A translator will be on hand during the event. RSVP online: For information call 925-933-2660.

Please share this Safe Haven Resolution with parents & community, to know that the Mt Diablo school district is dedicated to educating all children regardless of immigration status. This resolution was unanimously passed by the school board in Feb 2017, and includes stating that no student data on immigration status is collected by MDUSD, and ICE officials are not allowed on any school campus without prior approval from the superintendent.

Also, here is a useful article with recommendations on how schools should respond to ICE raids.

Next MDUSD School Board Meeting - Monday August 26th

See all board meeting agendas and schedule here:


Thank you for joining together for all students!


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Back to School

Can you believe that school is starting soon?  I hope that you all had a wonderful summer.  Mine was busy with quite a bit of school board work, but I did also get away with my family for some much needed unplugged adventure.  My daughters both have walk throughs this week, and I love seeing students as they excitedly gather to share schedules and sign up for sports and clubs!  I am so impressed with the dedication of our district administrators, teachers and staff as they navigate through the busy preparation needed for the first day of school.

Here are some ways you can get informed over the next few days about district news & resources:

Superintendent Meet & Greet: Friday August 9th

Our School Board held interviews this summer, and has chosen a finalist for Superintendent. You are invited and welcome to come meet Dr. Robert Martinez tomorrow, August 9th, at the district office!

We will officially vote on this at the August 12th board meeting.

 Meet & Greet Dr. Robert Martinez

August 9, 2019
MDUSD Board Room
1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Districtwide Parent Conference: Saturday August 10th

Mt. Diablo Unified School District

2019-2020 Back-to-School Parent Conference 

 Saturday, August 10, 2019

8:00am to 1:00 pm

Loma Vista Adult Education Center, 1266 San Carlos Avenue, Concord

Educational workshops and exciting keynote speaker will provide valuable resources and tools to help guide you and your children to a successful school year. Children not required to be present.

  • Free for all MDUSD families!
  • Childcare available for children 3-10 years old. (Space is limited, prior registration is highly recommended.)
  • Lunch will be provided for registered participants.
  • Free bus transportation provided from Bel Air and Riverview schools
    (Bay Point).

Online registration ends on August 8th.  Walk-ins are welcome on August 10th.

2019 Parent Conference English Registration Form:


2019-2020 Conferencia Padres de Regreso a la Escuela

Sábado, Agosto 10 del 2019

8:00am a 1:00pm

Centro de Educación Para Adultos de Loma Vista, 1266 San Carlos Avenue, Concord

Nuestros talleres educacionales y la presentación de nuestro gran orador principal, ofrecerán herramientas e información para ayudar y guiar a sus hijos a tener un año escolar exitoso. Niños no necesitan atender el evento.

  • ¡GRATIS para las familias que viven en el MDUSD!
  • Se ofrecerá cuidado de niños entre los 3 y 10 años de edad. Espacio es limitado, registración previa al evento es altamente recomendada.
  • Se ofrecerá un paquete de materiales escolares por familia (niños no necesitan atender el evento).
  • Habrá almuerzo después del evento.
  • Se ofrecerá transportación gratis desde las escuelas de Bel Air y Riverview, Bay Point

Registración online cierra el 8 de Agosto.  También puede registarse el dia del evento.

Registración Para la Conferencia:


Next MDUSD School Board Meeting - Monday August 12th

See all board meeting agendas and schedule here:

The August 12th meeting will include voting on our new Superintendent, informing the public about community input opportunities on maps for the by-area elections for school board, and more.

May you have an excellent new school year,

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Finalist Superintendent

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

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June 10th Board mtg: LCAP, Budget, ByArea Elections

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!

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Graduations, Trustee Elections, Superintendent Search & More

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!


Career Days

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.

Superintendent Search

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.  

Education Funding 

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 

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:

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!



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Two Actions You Can Take - Superintendent Qualities & Education Funding

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

Superintendent Qualities

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:

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:

  1. the 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.
  2. 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:


Next MDUSD School Board Meeting - Monday May 13th

See all meeting agendas and schedule here:

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April 2019 - Education Funding, Committees, Mental Health Resources

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. 

Education Funding

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!

Advisory Committees

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.

Superintendent Resignation

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.

Community Events

  • NAACPI 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 - 
  • 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!
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Speak out to State Legislators

Ask Your Legislators to Increase State Education Funding

Do you know that the majority of our education funding comes from the state?  and that we are in the bottom 10 of all 50 states in per student spending?  This level of investment means we also rank in the bottom 10 in class size (teachers per student), librarians per student, counselors per student and more. (see

Newly elected local Assemblymember Bauer Kahan has just become a co-author for AB39, which would significantly increase the base state funding for all TK-12 schools.  Let's get the rest of our state legislators to join her!

  • TONIGHT - Monday March 11, 6:30pm-7:30pm - You can attend the Town Hall at Holbrook Elementary School, 3333 Ronald Way, Concord, with State Senator Glazer and Assemblymember Grayson.  Call Grayson's District Office at (925) 521-1511 to RSVP. Please ask them both to sign on in support of AB39.
  • Tuesday March 12 - I'll be meeting with each of our legislators in Sacramento, along with school board members from throughout our region, for CSBA lobby day (CA State School Boards Association)


Next School Board Meeting: TONIGHT - Monday March 11th, 7pm

Watch online, listen here, or attend in person.  Key topics: budget, summer school, facilities. 


Facilities Master Plan


Spotlight on events

Support our Mt Diablo students at:

  • Districtwide STEM Showcase - Swing by to see students present top projects from each elementary school, play with robots with our robotics teams, and more!  This Saturday March 16th, 9-11am at Willow Creek Center, 1026 Mohr Lane, Concord.
  • County Spelling Bee - winners from our school sites each compete next Saturday March 23rd at the county level spelling bee.  Tice Valley Gym, Walnut Creek.  Stop by to cheer them on!

Onwards together,

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Awards, Facilities, Apprenticeships & more

It's been a busy first month of 2019!  Please read on to see how you can nominate excellent people for awards, attend facilities town halls, share out apprenticeship opportunities, and more...


Nominate Excellence Today

Know of an exceptional person in our Mt. Diablo schools? Please nominate them for an award! Deadline Feb 28.

Categories are:

Awards for Teachers:
- Leadership & Courage
- Creative Curriculum
- Most Inspirational
- Community Involvement
- Lifetime Achievement

Awards for Non-Teachers:
- Outstanding Classified Employee
- Outstanding Administrator
- Outstanding Parent Volunteer
- Outstanding Volunteer Organization

Take a minute to click here to nominate:

All nominees will be listed in the program.

Then save the date to attend the 2019 Gala & Academy Awards - Thursday, May 9 at Centre Concord, 5 - 9 pm.


Attend Facilities Town Hall Meetings

The districtwide Facilities Master Plan efforts are moving along, and are ready for YOUR input!  Please prioritize attending a town hall meeting.  They are all taking place in the next two weeks.  See schedule below. (please note: Feb 20th, 3-4:30pm is an addition to the schedule - for Eagle Peak, Clayton Valley & Rocketship, location TBA)


Share Apprenticeship Opportunities

Our area has many well paid apprenticeship opportunities thanks to local unions, providing solid careers with minimum requirements of being 18 years old and in some cases passing a basic math test. 

Here's one from

(510) 782-9483

Next written test will be in June 2019.  Hiring every January & August.


Join Budget Advisory Committee

Each school board member may appoint one community member to our district Budget Advisory Committee. They meet Wednesday nights at 5pm every other month.  Please let me know if you are interested or know someone who is!


Next School Board Meeting: Monday February 11th, 7pm

Watch online, listen here, or attend in person.  Key topic: budget. 

Our district is facing possible budget cuts & layoffs, as are many districts around California this year.  A detailed presentation on budget was given at our Jan 28th meeting and is on the agenda for Feb 11th as well.  You can see both as attachments within the agendas online. 


Take Action for Statewide Education Funding!

Please sign the petition at

and for detailed state level Stanford study see


Onwards together,

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Thank you and Save the Date Dec 17 @7pm

You're invited! 

Thanks to all of your support, I will begin my term on the Mt Diablo School Board this December.  Our work is just beginning, as my role on school board is to represent all our constituents in our districtwide policy decisions and budget oversight.  This cannot be done alone.  As we begin this journey together, I want to recognize you for your participation and passion for our vision of a quality education for every student.

Please save the date to join me at the

Mt Diablo School Board Member Swearing In Ceremony

Date: Monday December 17th  

Time: 7pm

Location: Mt Diablo Unified School District Office, Dent Center, 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519.

This is a short ceremony at the beginning of the school board meeting that night.  (please note, this meeting was originally set for December 10th, but was rescheduled to the 17th)


What a Journey!

While an uncontested school board race meant a sudden end to my campaign, we sure didn't stop campaigning this fall.  I am so thankful for each of you who moved right over with me to volunteer for the urgent Measure J Campaign for Safe, Quality Schools.  There was so much to do, starting a bond campaign committee from scratch, and Kathryn Durham Hammer stepped up to lead the campaign with gusto.  Our small but mighty campaign team worked nonstop for months.  

We did it!  Measure J passed with an over 69% YES vote, thanks to the grassroots volunteer work of so many of you.  Together we knocked on a total of 4,584 doors, made 1,627 phone calls, sent 15,207 text messages, and planted 900 lawn signs.  Those person-to-person conversations are what makes the difference, and we worked all the way through on election day too, bringing in those last votes. 

Here's a photo of wonderful teachers rallying for Measure J.  

Parents, students, staff, principals and community groups all joined in too - walking miles for our schools. 


This Thanksgiving, I am so thankful to live in a community of people who care so much about our students and schools, who are willing to step up and do the hard volunteer work it takes to ensure all voices are heard, and to invest in public education for all.

I hope to see you December 17th.

With gratitude,

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