As the fires rage and COVID is still strong, many of you have been asking how you can help those most deeply affected. Read on for specifics on:
- How to help
- School District Friday letter
- School Board meeting tonight
- Student help & leadership opportunities
- Teachers - coping tools for challenging times
How to help
- Fire Victims: Local firefighters are asking that donations be directed to those who are being directly affected by the fires. The American Red Cross is helping evacuated residents find temporary hotel rooms. If you’d like to support them, please donate at: https://www.redcross.org/local/california/northern-california-coastal/ways-to-donate.html
- Food & toiletry donations: Monument Crisis Center has been providing essential food & toiletries to hundreds of local families, and your donations can help! Visit https://www.monumentcrisiscenter.org/ to learn how to host a donation drive or volunteer. For a quick dropoff donation, they are always in need of diapers & baby food. Karla Tinajero also runs the High School & Beyond program, helping students access college & scholarships. She and the rest of the staff collaborate with Isabel Lara and Mt. Diablo Unified School District.
- School Supply Donations: Please share out this flyer - donations are still welcome to help ensure all our Mt. Diablo Unified School District students have the school supplies they need. Especially needed are headphones, dry erase boards & markers. El Dorado Middle School is where the supplies are being organized for students districtwide, so please drop off or mail directly to 1750 West St, Concord, CA 94521
MDUSD Education Foundation Distance Learning Fund: This all volunteer nonprofit is dedicated to ensuring quality STEAM opportunities for all MDUSD students districtwide. Your donations to their COVID Remote Learning fund this spring/summer already provided 100 chromebooks to MDUSD students! Give today to their Distance Learning Fund at https://www.mdedf.org/donate to meet ongoing student needs.
- Does your business support our local schools? Check out their Honor Roll Business & Honor Roll Professional programs too!
MDUSD Friday letter August 21st
Read Dr Clark's MDUSD Friday letter - chock full of information for you: from the Organizational Update to new flyers & application for free school meals, from Parent Academy training to hotlines and resources for disasters, stress relief, and emotional well being.
This part really spoke to me, and I hope it does to you too:
“When the smoke clears, I hope you remember that you faced these challenges with great courage and resilience. When the smoke clears, I hope you remember that you had been kind to yourself and that you had taken opportunities to extend a helping hand. When the smoke clears, I hope you remember that you were not alone. We will make it through!”
School Board Meeting Tonight, Aug 24th, 6pm
This Monday’s meeting includes appointments of several Vice Principals and a Database Adminstrator, as well as a vote on the Board Bylaw for a Student School Board member, and votes on technology infrastructure projects.
Find the agenda here, and look at the agenda header for information about the live broadcast and the opportunities for public comments.
- School meals: the government is no longer funding school districts to give out meals to all children, as was allowed during school closures and summer. So parents should fill out the Free & Reduced Lunch application as soon as possible. Here are the direct links to English and Spanish applications.(more languages available on the application page)
Much of school funding is based on the percent of students who qualify for free & reduced lunch. It is used as an indicator of poverty, and our state provides "weighted dollars" to give higher poverty schools extra resources to meet student needs. Federal dollars and grants are based on this as well. So it is crucial that we encourage all families who may qualify to fill out the application. Learn more at Ed100 Parent Leader Guide- School Funding: https://ed100.org/plg-school-funding
And, please spread the word that applying for free school lunches does not have any effect on immigration status or public charge. So even if a family is undocumented, they should feel it is safe to apply for school meals.
Get involved: MDUSD has advisory committees where you can share your ideas & experiences. Anyone is welcome to attend since these are public meetings, or you can reach out to your site principal to inquire about being added as the official site representative. Find details here. Next meetings coming up:
- Community Advisory Committee: Sept 1st, 8pm
- Equity Advisory Committee: Sept 3rd, 3:30pm
- District English Learner Advisory Committee: Sept 17th, 5:30pm
- Parent Advisory Committee: Sept 17th, 3:30pm
- Budget Advisory Committee: Sept 23rd, 5pm
- Need help getting school supplies, tech, internet? Please be sure to contact your school and ask for help with anything you need. We want to make sure every student has what they need for successful distance learning.
- Student Advisory Committee (SAC) for MDUSD Education Foundation - Apply Now! (Deadline extended to Aug 31st) They are not only looking for students who are passionate about making a difference within MDUSD, but also those who represent the diversity and unique experiences that is a cornerstone of our district. Find the application here
- Free High School Engineering Program for Female-Identifying Students - apply by Sept 12th at swe.berkeley.edu/hsep
- AP Class Free Online Digital Tools: Did you know that https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/ provides digital tools to help you improve your performance all year long? Their online resources are mobile-friendly, so you can access them anytime, anywhere. To get the most out of AP, sign in there and use the join code your AP teacher shares with you to join your class section.
- Having trouble checking your school email? Vice Principal Arianda Hernandez at Oak Grove Middle School made a tutorial to help you out! Feel free to share 👌🏽 She also made it en español 💃🏻 Here is the Oak Grove MS YouTube Channel where you can find those and more: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Y-V5UNxw61qRooFMNLBuA
Congratulations on surviving week one! Thank you all for your amazing creativity and dedication to engaging students through distance learning. It’s a daunting challenge, and an opportunity to redesign education to be more inclusive, culturally responsive, and student centered. I share the resource below as not only a set of tools you might find useful, but also a potential community of educators you can join who are supporting each other in small yet powerful ways.
Free Coping Tools for Challenging Times: MDUSD parent and psychologist Katie Raher shares free resources, printables and ideas for compassionate self care and teaching social emotional wellness on her website here.
Take care out there! Wishing you all safety and good health.