I'm Running for Re-Election

#BREAKINGNEWS - I’m excited to announce that this week I pulled papers to run for re-election to our Mt Diablo Unified School District Board!  

This time the election is by Trustee Area, and I’m here in Trustee Area 4 —which includes the cities of Walnut Creek, Clayton, and part of Concord.

I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish so far in my first term:

  • Increased student voice through creation of the official student school board position and championing student leadership opportunities
  • Opened schools safely during a global pandemic, following county health guidance
  • Upgraded technology with 1:1 chromebooks for every student grades 2-12
  • Adopted needed Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) curriculum
  • Improved district finances from qualified to a positive certified budget, and refinanced bonds to save taxpayers millions
  • Secured raises for all teachers & staff, via contracts with every employee group
  • Improved communication in all languages, email & text via ParentSquare, Superintendent Friday letter, and weekly Organization Updates
  • Passed board policy to enable students to take a sick day for mental health
  • Authored the district’s first PRIDE Board Resolution, flying the rainbow flag to raise awareness and inclusivity. Championed the first ever districtwide PRIDE prom.

And yet there is still much to do.

I look forward to the progress we can make together in the next four years, especially to:

  • Prepare every student for success in a global economy
  • Listen to parents, teachers & staff from every community
  • Invest every dollar wisely & clearly for student success
  • Adopt updated curriculum in areas such as history & math
  • Ensure safety in and around our schools

Join us! Please click to Join on my website https://www.cherisekhaund.com/join


(p.s. If you previously joined my email list with a school district email address for my board member updates, you will need to re-join now with a private email address in order to receive any campaign messages. Any district email addresses will be removed.)

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Northgate petition was denied by State Board of Education

Last Wednesday I presented with a team on behalf of our district to the CA State Board of Education, sharing detailed data as to why they should reject the petition to create a new Northgate school district.  

After presentations and public comment, the ten State Board of Education members voted unanimously to reject the petition. 

A huge thank you to my fellow team presenters which included expert legal & data team David Soldani and Shin Green, as well as Meg Honey, who volunteered so much of her busy summertime to bring her teacher/parent perspective and expertise on nationwide trends of segregation to the table.  This was all well supported by Superintendent Clark, his cabinet, and especially his assistant Laura Juranek, PIO Theresa Herrington and district IT team Eric Stephens & Mario Hernandez.

And thank you to each of YOU - parents, teachers, community members, staff, elected officials - who wrote or called in to the State Board!

One of the board members even described public comment as "thunderous". One hundred percent of the public comment calls were in opposition to the petition.

Details are posted at mdusd.org/northgatepetitionupdate, and a recording of the July 13th State Board meeting will be posted at the Board archived meeting page

Settling this issue means that we can now unite in working TOGETHER for excellent education for all.

There are so many ways for everyone to get involved, and all of your perspectives are important:

  • Visit this district page to see how to volunteer in a classroom or join a district parent or student advisory committee,

  • ask your principal how to join your school site council,

  • join your school parent group - PTA, PFC or PFA, or

  • volunteer for the community led nonprofit Mt. Diablo Education Foundation.

I started my involvement as a kindergarten room parent, and from there volunteered in different ways each year - from organizing the school science fair or bike to school day, to coordinating with my city for safer routes to school. I've been a PFC president and PTSA member, so I love to share tips between parent groups.  

What are your ideas?  I'd love to hear them. Please reach out to me directly or attend one of my coffee meetups.

Together we can build even stronger public schools & communities for everyone.

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Action Alert: tell SBE to reject Northgate petition

#ActionAlert - Did you know the State Board of Education will be hearing the appeal next week of the Northgate petition to form a new school district?

Your perspective is needed!  Please e-mail the state board of education today/tomorrow to ask them to reject the Northgate district petition, then sign up to participate in the hearing next Wednesday.

    • Email: [email protected]
    • The following information should be included in the body of the email:
      • Commenter’s first and last name
      • Organization affiliation
      • Agenda Item number 5.
  2. Then sign up here to let us know you can join us July 13 in attending the hearing to comment in Sacramento or by phone.

Visit the MDUSD webpage for more detailed information that is updated regularly: https://www.mdusd.org/northgatepetitionupdate

Northgate Petition Update

Public Hearing Set on Northgate Petition

Please take notice that the hearing on the petition to create a "Northgate Unified School District" carved from Mt. Diablo Unified School District territory including the following schools and attendance areas: Bancroft Elementary, Valle Verde Elementary, Walnut Acres Elementary, Foothill Middle, and Northgate High School, will be held on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at or soon after 12:00 PM.

The petition was previously denied by the Contra Costa County Committee on School District Reorganization because it failed to meet the criteria necessary to approve such a petition, including:

  • the petition would not result in an equitable division of property between the districts;
  • each affected district would not have the ability to educate its students in an integrated environment and would promote ethnic discrimination or segregation; 
  • the petition would not promote sound educational performance and would significantly disrupt the educational programs in the affected districts;
  • the petition would increase school facilities costs in a significant way;
  • the petition would not promote sound fiscal management and would create negative effects on the fiscal statuses of each district.

MDUSD values its ability to offer the best quality education to all its students in educational environments that center inclusion and promote respect, collaboration and creativity, and therefore opposes the petition.  

A live broadcast of the hearing will be available here.

Additional details can be found in the agenda here (Item 05).

Need inspiration for your email?

Here's a basic template for you to personalize, plus see my message below, and you can check out testimonials from community residents posted on the Northgate Uncapped facebook page.

To: [email protected]
Subject: Comment In Opposition to Petition to Form Northgate Unified School District; Item 05

In the body of the email:

Dear Members of the State Board of Education:

My name is __________________. I am (affiliated with the ____________ (organization) and/or I am (a parent of a district student that would be negatively impacted by the formation of Northgate Unified School District) and/or (I am a teacher/board member/staff member of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District).

I wish to express my unequivocal opposition to this Petition because __________________(insert specific reasons).

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at this email address or by phone at (____) _________.

Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

And here’s a copy of what I sent:

Dear State Board of Education,

Please vote to reject the petition to form a new Northgate school district - Agenda Item #5.

I agree with the California Department of Education (CDE) recommendation that you - the State Board of Education - should disapprove it, and with their concerns about how this proposal would remove the most affluent area of the Mt. Diablo USD to create a less diverse school district.

In addition to the criteria that the CDE cited as not met, I believe that at least 2 more of the state criteria to form a new district also failed:

  • #4 - no segregation of schools and
  • #6 - don't significantly disrupt educational programs.

The county board voted that these two criteria also failed.

The CDE report recognized the issue of segregation as a concern, realizing the national trend of splinter districts being formed by affluent areas in order to cement in segregation before any districtwide integration efforts can be put into place. Therefore they should have found criteria #4 to be "not met', just as the county board did. And the report failed to recognize all of the key educational programs that would be severely impacted.

The diversity of Mt Diablo school district is one of the things that drew my family to enroll our children here, along with excellent programs such as Dual Language Immersion, International Baccalaureate, and Autism magnet programs. I don't want my own or other Northgate area students to lose access to all of this, nor do I want to see the Eagle Peak Montessori School lose its longstanding charter under MDUSD.

Though they were not mentioned in the CDE staff report, Ygnacio Valley High now has the only International Baccalaureate Diploma programme in the region, a gem of excellence that currently all MDUSD students have access to. And all MDUSD students can also apply to enroll in College Now, a partnership with DVC where students get dual college credit while still in high school. Northgate area students would lose access to all of this if they have to leave the Mt Diablo school district. Plus, students from the rest of Mt Diablo would lose access to the Northgate area schools where many are currently enrolled for speciality programs - such as the Autism magnet pathway, AP Computer Science, and the Northgate High award winning jazz band.

Most egregious is the request by petitioners to allow only Northgate area residents to vote on the proposal if it moves forward, which the Mayor of Concord said would disenfranchise 85% of voters in the district.

I was part of a coalition of parents, teachers, and community that founded the new nonprofit Mt. Diablo Education Foundation five years ago to ensure that all Mt Diablo students could access quality education, regardless of zip code. Together as one community and district, we can continue to build excellent educational opportunities for all students.

Please don't disrupt the progress we are making in building more diverse, inclusive public schools. Please vote no on this Northgate petition.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

- Cherise Khaund, MDUSD School Board member Trustee area 4, and parent of 2 MDUSD students

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Happy election day 2022


Today, Tuesday, June 7, is the Primary Election for voters across California, so don’t forget to VOTE!

Your vote will make a big difference for the decisions made about health, safety & justice in our community.

Polls are open now and up until 8pm. Make your plan to vote and ask your friends and family to as well.

Drop off your ballot at any drop box or polling location in our county, or vote in person at your assigned polling place or any polling place in the county. Click here for locations.

City Council Safe Gun Storage Ordinance 

TONIGHT the Walnut Creek City Council is discussing a safe gun storage ordinance in their city council meeting. I’ll be there with Moms Demand Action to speak in support.

Click here for the agenda & how to participate. Meeting begins at 6pm and there are other items before this one. Let me know if you can join us there!

Here’s an article on how the city of Dublin successfully passed a similar ordinance already.

School Board meeting tomorrow, June 8th

Lastly, we have a busy Mt Diablo school board agenda planned for tomorrow night, including

  • a public hearing on our LCAP (local control accountability plan)

  • a resolution opposing a reorganization of the Northgate area on appeal to the State Board of Education

  • seven personnel appointments

  • a wellness assessment presentation

  • the draft 2022-23 budget

and more.

Find details & how to participate at https://www.mdusd.org/boardmeetings

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