It's time to celebrate! The Mt. Diablo Teacher of the Year sought nominations of outstanding educators from transitional kindergarten through grade 12 and adult education to be represented as the MDUSD Teacher of the Year. Over 60 teachers were nominated, and the five finalists were:
- David Hunter from Bridge,
- Jim Keck from College Park,
- Chelsea Ridenour from Diablo View,
- Elizabeth McDonagh from Prospect High, and
- Elisa Mendoza from Sequoia Middle.
The two teachers selected to represent Mt. Diablo in the County Teacher of the Year competition are Chelsea Ridenour and Elisa McDonagh.
I had the pleasure of visiting Diablo View Middle School yesterday to present Ms Ridenour her certificate in person! It was a beautiful day to see students engaged in hands-on learning all over campus, indoors and out, amidst the beats and improvisations of band practice tunes.
Don’t miss the MDEA Academy Awards zoom event May 6th, to celebrate excellent teachers, staff, parents and administrators throughout our district! Details below.
Read on for:
- School Board meeting tonight April 28th
- Superintendent’s Friday letter
- MDEA Academy Awards May 6th
- Vaccination Walk In Clinics
- Free Summer Education Academy for Student Leaders
- Accelerating Learning as we Build Back Better
School Board Meeting Tonight April 28th
Find the agenda here, along with information about how to watch the live broadcast as well as how to submit public comments. Key items on the agenda include:
- Teacher of the Year Recognition
- Classified School Employees Week May 16-22nd
- Enrollment and Demographic Report from Davis Demographics
- Update from Superintendent on Fall 2021
- Potential Approval of Increase to Substitute Teacher Daily Rate
Superintendent's Friday letter
Click here to read Dr Clark’s April 23rd letter, full of information including:
- Fall 2021 Return to School Survey (I’ll also send a recording of last night’s Q&A webinar)
- Mental Health webinars created by MDUSD Counselors in English or Spanish. Watch all past webinars such as “Recognizing When To Get Help Beyond The Home” or register for future topics at https://mdusd.org/mental-health
- Ask the CBO - “How is Staffing Calculated”
- Keep kids safe by securely storing all firearms: see BeSmartforKids.org
MDEA Academy Awards May 6th
You’re invited to this event on Thursday, May 6, 2021, from 6-8pm!
Meeting number: 145 364 5434
This celebration will be a showcase of all of the fabulous work that dedicated community members are doing all over our district. It will be an engaging opportunity for each of us to look up for a moment from the tasks we focus on each day and see the broader scope and bigger picture of successes across the entire district. Congratulations to all! Please see the list of nominees and finalists: 2021 MDEA Academy Award Nominees
Vaccination Walk In Clinics
Our school district has been coordinating with county health to ensure vaccines reach all families. Here’s exciting news about more accessible vaccines here in Concord and Pittsburg:
- There’s a new COVID-19 vaccine clinic opening tomorrow at 1034 Oak Grove Road in Concord
Plus these new walk-in mobile clinics (open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.):
April 26 – May 2: Albert D. Seeno Jr. Pittsburg Youth Development Center: 1001 Stoneman Ave., Pittsburg
May 3-6: Meadow Homes Elementary School: 1371 Detroit Ave., Concord
Free Summer Education Academy for Student Leaders
Ed100 is hosting a summer Academy for Student Leaders - and it’s free! Please share out and nominate students to attend.
Their chart shows that there are students from Mt. Diablo Unified School District registered so far from College Park, Northgate, and Concord High. Can you share this out to and/or nominate students from Mt Diablo High, Ygnacio Valley High, Olympic and Horizons?
Accelerating Learning As We Build Back Better
This article by Linda Darling Hammond is a must read for us all. She says, “If we focus on remediation for “learning loss” we'll go back to the unequal and inadequate pre-COVID education system. Instead, we need to set the norm for a new age that builds on how children really learn, rather than working against it...
It is critically important that we address these concerns based not on outdated notions about remediation, but on what we now know about how people learn effectively.”
Here a key excerpt, and I do recommend reading the entire article for more detail and models of best practices.
“If we really want to support learning, the return to school should not include these staple features of an outdated approach to learning that research has found actually undermine achievement:
- Testing students to label and track them into “high,” “average,” and “low” groups that are segregated by perceived ability — and often by race, class, and language background as well;
- Offering regimented drill and kill remedial instruction in these segregated groups, focused on filling gaps in basic skills in the artificial ways they are assessed on multiple choice tests, which then often causes them to be taught in equally artificial ways;
- “Personalizing” learning by putting students in front of programmed computers for machine-based instruction for long hours at a time — or piles of worksheets that offer the same decontextualized approach to learning;
- Punishing students who disengage or express frustration and despair by excluding them from the classroom or removing “privileges” like recess and library time;
- Placing the neediest students in remedial classes with the least trained and experienced teachers who are least likely to know how to create productive learning environments.
Instead, a supportive school return — both this summer and next fall — will seek to ensure that students:
- Experience warm relationships and social-emotional supports achieved by redesigning schools so that they are relationship-centered, with built-in time for creating community, trust, and belonging among students and with families;
- Engage in outdoor play and exercise, expressive arts, and collaborative activities that support brain development and learning;
- Encounter authentic, culturally responsive learning tasks and inquiry projects connected to their experiences that allow them to understand and positively impact their environment;
- Assess what students need both socially and emotionally as well as academically, address trauma with healing and support, and identify the next steps they are ready to take in their learning rather than labelling them;
- Accelerate learning through additional time and high-quality tutoring rather than tracking. Intensive tutoring, found to be highly effective, both establishes strong relationships and customizes teaching directly to student readiness and needs.”