Agreements reached

I have not written for some time, while both Omicron and union negotiations took center stage. It was incredibly disheartening, but I’m glad to say that after a ton of diligent work by many, the clouds are parting. Contracts have been agreed on and ratified by both our school board and the membership of MDSPA (school psychologists) and Teamsters.  And on March 19th a Tentative Agreement was reached with MDEA (teachers), averting a potential strike.  

It is crucial now for us all to unify once again.  After so much negativity and misinformation flooding our community, we must move on to support and champion our local public schools together. Each of us can do this by highlighting and sharing the many successes & opportunities of our Mt Diablo school district.  For example, today three Mt Diablo students won Youth Hall of Fame Awards at the County Board of Supervisors Cesar E Chavez Celebration. Congratulations to Mark Rainier Catapusan from YVHS for the Perseverance Award, Seena Farhadi from NGHS for the Leadership & Civic Engagement Award, and to Krish Veluthakkal from Sequoia Middle School for the Leadership & Civic Engagement Rising Star Award!

Read on for:

  • Open Job Listings to Share

  • Seniors - fill out your FAFSA or CADAA by April 1st
  • School Board meetings
  • Superintendent Friday Letters

  • Next blog - how to increase funding for our public schools

Open Job Listings to Share

There are many open jobs in our district for all levels of skills & experience, part-time or full-time, so please share this link far and wide: EDJOIN.ORG/MTDIABLO

The new higher salaries get listed as each of the agreements are ratified by employee groups and the board. We look forward to welcoming excellent new members to #TeamMDUSD!

High School Seniors - fill out your FAFSA or CADAA by April 1st

Did you know the deadline was extended for financial aid forms?  

EVERY senior should turn in either the FAFSA or CADAA by April 1st. 

These make you eligible to receive money to help with college, DVC, or Adult/Career Education. How to Apply:

School Board Meetings

At our March 23rd board meeting, we voted to approve the Teamsters agreement, and celebrated their hard work and creativity in crafting a win/win agreement with overwhelming support from their members.

We also recognized Adult Education Week - check out the wide range of Mt Diablo Adult Ed offerings here, from parent education, family literacy and cooperative preschool, to career tech certification and English as a Second Language: 

Students then took center stage, with YVHS students presenting how they are building school unity around a new mascot, and MDHS students advocating for retroactive granting of high school diplomas due to Japanese internment.   

Our next board meeting is April 13. Find all agendas, videos, and how to participate at

Superintendent Friday Letters

If you are a community member or leader who does not receive the Friday letters directly in your email, I recommend you view them at They are full of successes that you can share out to your network to champion our local public schools, and the Organizational Updates there show reports from every department from facilities to fiscal. 

The March 18th letter included: A closer look at three Teacher of the Year finalists; District news including Teamsters Union reaches Tentative Agreement; Ygnacio Valley High's Robotics Team hosts "Robot Reveal"; Staff News and Social Media Shout-outs; Student Athlete spotlights, important dates, and more!  

The March 25th letter included: Students advocate for a mascot change and honorary diplomas for those interned during WWII at recent School Board meeting; the community mourns the loss of a YVHS student; District news including Riverview MS Tree Planting Day was a success and MDUSD is hiring for many different positions; School news including actor and comedian Zooms into Northgate Film Studies Class.

Next blog - How to Increase Funding for our Public Schools

Stay tuned for my next blog, where I will write in detail about ways that we can all advocate for increased funding for our public schools.  We've heard from so many parents, teachers, and community members who passionately believe that our schools should be offering more - more music, counseling, nursing, smaller class sizes. Our school board agrees, but has had to carefully balance student offering and salary raises within the confines of finite resources and declining enrollment.  Together we can make a difference, whether locally via the nonprofit MDUSD Education Foundation, or through state advocacy with groups like Evolve California.

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First School Board meeting of 2022 tonight

Happy 2022 everyone. It sure has been a tough start to the year with the Omicron variant. The good news is that our schools here in Mt Diablo Unified remain open, thanks to the "all hands on deck" amazing dedication and hard work of so many teachers, staff, administrators and volunteers. 

This included handing out over 50,000 free COVID home tests to students in December and January, ramping up PCR COVID testing sites even more, communicating out new guidance from county health, and filling in for each other when staff are out quarantining.  Our district will also soon receive and distribute N95 masks from the state to all staff.  

Tonight is our first general school board meeting of 2022, which will include consideration of raising substitute pay (hourly rate plus a $1,000 bonus), resolutions for MLK Jr day and Human Trafficking Prevention month, revision of high school English courses, and key reports on Maintenance & Operations and Facility Assessment.

Read on for:

  • Substitute Jobs & Open Job Listings to Share
  • La Clinica COVID vaccine & booster appointments open TODAY & Friday
  • January 7th Superintendent Friday Letter
  • January 12th School Board meeting
  • Human Trafficking Prevention month resources

Substitute Jobs & Open Job Listings to Share

YOU can help us keep our schools open! The District encourages parents and community members to consider becoming substitute teachers in the District and to share information about these opportunities with friends and neighbors. Please click here for the job description, which lists the current pay rates: More information about the requirements to become a substitute teacher in the District is here.

Plus, there are many open jobs in our district for all levels of skills & experience, part-time or full-time, so please share this link far and wide as well: EDJOIN.ORG/MTDIABLO

We look forward to welcoming new members to #TeamMDUSD!

La Clinica COVID vaccine & booster appointments open TODAY & Friday

Please get your COVID vaccine or booster to keep our communities as healthy as possible. is a great place to find one near you.

We are pleased to share that La Clinica Monument in Concord has COVID-19 immunization appointments available for Moderna and Pfizer 1st and 2nd doses, boosters and Pfizer vaccines for children ages 5-11 years today, Wednesday (Jan. 12) and Friday (Jan. 14) from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Appointments are required.

To make an appointment, please call (925) 510-1226.
La Clínica Monument is located at 2000 Sierra Road, Concord CA, 94518

January 7th Superintendent Friday Letter

This Jan 7th letter is chock full of information and good news to celebrate, including:

A Concord High teacher is honored at a 49ers game, Congrats to the Fall Mt. Diablo Adult Education Surgical Technologist Grads, District news including the distribution of rapid COVID tests and future school year calendars coming soon, Student Board Member Spotlight, important dates and the Superintendent's Weekly Organizational update.

Jan 12th School Board meeting

Here is tonight's January 12 board meeting agenda. The meeting is in person at Monte Gardens as usual. Find all agendas, videos, and how to participate at

Human Trafficking Prevention Month Resources

Please share the Human Trafficking tip line: 925-957-8658.  Visit or at for local help, resources, and educator training.


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December 2021 update

This is my last week as President of the Mt Diablo School Board, and the annual board reorganization will occur at our December 8th meeting. I am so appreciative of my fellow board members and Superintendent Clark, for their willingness to work as a team on the shared vision of providing excellent education to all students. And we are all deeply thankful to every teacher, admin, and staff member who give so much every day to make this vision a reality, even through the struggles of a global pandemic.

Last week I attended the state school board association conference, where I enjoyed celebrating our Holbrook Language Academy with Principal Rubio, teacher Karen Hernandez, and Superintendent Clark!   MDUSD was awarded a Golden Apple Award in recognition of the excellent educational opportunities provided to students districtwide by this two way dual language immersion school. 

The conference had excellent speakers, including a panel of student board members, as well as Dr. Victor Rios who spoke on equity and promoting prosperity for at-promise students.  I was also very impressed by a workshop on mental health for teachers/staff/students featuring the Stanslaus County Office of Education Lifeguard Initiative and the CareSolace solution that “calms the chaos of mental healthcare”.

Read on for:

  1. School Board meeting December 8th
  2. Superintendent’s message
  3. SMART - secure guns to keep youth safe
  4. Free Hour of Robot Activities for CSEdWeek
  5. Congratulations, La Clinica!

School Board Meeting December 8, 2021

Our board meeting will be at Monte Gardens Elementary. The agenda has a lot of important items including: 

  • Appointment of Vice Principal to Bel Air and Rio Vista Elementary
  • Staff Presentation on TUPE - Tobacco Use Prevention Education Support for Students
  • Progress report on District Strategy Technology Plan
  • Fiscal Health Progress Monitoring report
  • Board reorganization with election of new President and Vice President
  • review School Plans for Student Achievement - find your school plan here
  • Approval of First Interim Financial Report - read finance update here 
  • review of draft calendars for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years
  • update to the District's Suicide Prevention Policy

Find details here. You may send a public comment via email to [email protected] or come in person to make a Public Comment during the meeting.  

Superintendent’s Message

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

  • information about the Golden Bell Award received by MDUSD for the Holbrook Language Academy;
  • the District's budget to be discussed at the Dec. 8 School Board meeting;
  • School News including art activities at several elementary schools, a robotics club at Ygnacio Valley High, and the Adult Education Annual Open House and Art Sale;
  • the Concord tree lighting featuring two District school groups, and Concord youth commissioner openings;
  • a District reminder about the Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE) holiday drive;
  • Student spotlights on two Northgate High students;
  • a Staff Spotlight on MDUSD's Food and Nutrition Services Director;
  • important dates; and
  • the Superintendent's Weekly Organizational update.

Be SMART - secure guns to keep youth safe

The recent school shooting tragedy in Michigan is another reminder that secure gun storage is essential to keeping our schools and communities safe. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond stated in a 2019 letter, “District and school administrators must help educate parents and guardians about California’s child access prevention laws; it is a crime for a person to negligently store or leave a loaded firearm in a place where a child is likely to access it.” 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


Free Hour of Robot Activities for CSEdWeek

Celebrate CSEdWeek with Hour of Robot!

Computer Science Education Week (December 6-10, 2021) is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field. Visit for resources & activities.

As part of CSEdWeek, the UC Davis C-STEM Center and its partners have put together a series of fun and engaging "Hour of Robot" activities that can be done using either on-screen virtual robots or hardware robots. The activities are divided into K-12 grade levels and do not require previous computing knowledge or experience. They're a great way to introduce students to computing and robotics, while also learning some math along the way, so be sure to check out the Hour of Robot home page!

  1. Anyone can organize an Hour of Robot event anywhere freely
  2. No experience needed
  3. Hardware robot is optional

Congratulations, La Clinica!

Senator Steve Glazer recognized La Clinica today as nonprofit of the year for region 7. I was happy to attend in appreciation of La Clinica and all they do to provide affordable, culturally appropriate healthcare in our community and schools. They have been a crucial part of making COVID testing and vaccines accessible to our students and families, both at their monument location and at our school sites. They also offer all kinds of healthcare and dental care and CoveredCA is located in their building to help make sure everyone can access health insurance too. Plus, they have volunteer and internship opportunities.  Be sure to share this excellent resource -


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Native American Heritage Month

Thank you to the Big Valley Pomo Dancers - a Riverview Middle School family who performed the opening ceremony at our last school board meeting! They help to remind us all as we recognize November as #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth that indigenous people are not only an important part of history, but also are alive and thriving here in our communities and schools today. Here is the video for those who missed it.

Don’t forget, the deadline to transfer secondary schools for next year is this Monday, Nov 15th. Visit to fill out the online form.

Here’s a brochure from Career Pathways that highlights specialties of various high schools that your student may want to consider and visit: English & Spanish

Also find details on the International Baccalaureate program at They recommend enrolling in YVHS for 9th grade, so eighth graders will need to apply for transfer to the school by Nov 15th if YV is not already their home school.

Read on for:

  1. School Board meeting November 10th
  2. Superintendent’s message
  3. free math & SAT tutoring online 
  4. Walnut Creek bans sale of vape & flavored tobacco  
  5. Donate to MDUSD HOPE by Dec 4th

School Board Meeting November 10, 2021

Our board meeting will be at Monte Gardens Elementary. The agenda will include: 

  • Appointment of a principal for Meadow Homes Elementary
  • Public hearing on granting easement to Contra Costa water district at Strandwood Elementary
  • Approval of revisions to Board Policy on Public Notice for Personnel Negotiations

Find details here. You may send a public comment via email to [email protected] or come in person to make a Public Comment during the meeting.  

Superintendent’s Message

Read Dr Clark’s November 5th Friday message here, including: YoursHumanly presents a check to MDUSD Education Foundation, HOPE Holiday Drive for homeless students, Concord High marching band flash mob, Counseling news, and the Superintendent's Weekly Organizational Update. Free Math & SAT Tutoring Online

I am thrilled to share this resource that I heard about at my college reunion last week, where Sal Khan came to speak! is a platform for free, peer-to-peer tutoring–where anyone, anywhere can receive live help, build their skills, and pay it forward by becoming a tutor themselves. 

It was created by Sal Khan (founder of Khan Academy) and his college friend, Shishir Mehrotra (co-founder and CEO of Coda). Now, reaches learners from over 100+ countries, and is proud to foster a vibrant community of over 500+ volunteer tutors and 3000+ learners. They’re driven by their mission to connect hundreds of thousands of more learners with safe, equitable opportunities to learn, teach, and grow.

**This week, they are introducing Live Help every weekday evening, 5-7pm PST. Bring questions and join tutors over Zoom for 1:1 help in math–from pre-algebra to calculus.**

Walnut Creek bans sale of vape & flavored tobacco

Great news! Last week the Walnut Creek City Council voted to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and electronic smoking devices (vape). I spoke at the meeting in favor of it, reminding them that our MDUSD school board unanimously passed a resolution in January 2020 that requested all cities within our district enact a vape ban similar to the one that Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors passed in December 2019.  We will only be successful by working together to keep these dangerous products from being marketed to our youth.

A student from Foothill Middle school also spoke in favor of the ban, along with community members and the heart and lung associations. The city will start enforcing the ordinance in five months.

Donate to MDUSD HOPE by Dec 4th

The MDUSD Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE)  is requesting donations for their holiday drive by December 4th. 

Mail or drop off gift cards to Mt. Diablo HOPE, 2730 Salvio Street, Room 24, Concord, CA 94519. Or donate via Venmo @MDUSDHOPE. 

They are asking for gift cards in the amount of $25 or $50 to give HOPE students from: Target, Walmart, Old Navy, GAP, generic prepaid credit cards, and gift cards to local restaurants. Please make sure the amount is clearly marked, so recipients know how much is available to spend.

If there is cash remaining after gift cards have been provided for every HOPE student, then the money will be used to support HOPE students throughout the year (i.e. food, senior activities/pictures, fines, clothing for interviews, prom, yearbooks, brief emergency shelter, and other needs as they may arise). 

Do you know a student who is experiencing an unstable living situation or "lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence"? Refer them to HOPE at , call 925-682-8000 x3054 or email [email protected] with questions. Thank you for sharing HOPE!

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