This week for me was so enriched by MDUSD music, including Battle of the Bands and the Northgate Jazz concert.
Mr. Lejano is such a joyful force of nature! He is the Concord High Band Director and visionary of this event, hosted by Concord High that invites and includes bands from our area. They even combined a few bands to ensure students could participate from smaller programs. Each band cheers on the others, there’s a drum circle midway through that even the audience can join, and it culminates with a joint rendition of the song Born this Way that I cannot watch without a few tears. This is a shining example of how music is so powerful for social emotional learning and belonging.
Watching our various bands play always makes me so proud of our district teachers and students, and yet mindful of the opportunities that are not as plentiful at some schools in our district. That’s why I’m so hopeful about our work on the Strategic Districtwide VAPA plan, which is something I started advocating for back before I was elected to the school board. We have a unique opportunity with Prop 28 funds to create new, more equitable structures of the arts in our schools. There were exciting big ideas at the spring & summer District VAPA planning meetings, and I look forward to this topic coming to our board very soon.
Funding for Gun Violence Prevention
Big news! This week Governor Newsom signed AB28: The Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Act!
Thank you to all who advocated for this, especially Moms Demand Action local parent volunteers: Alex Navarro, Shannon Reif, Lisa Dell’anno, Nichole Hsu, Diana Honig, and Michelle Sinnott.
This historic legislation provides urgently needed, reliable, annual funding for vital programs including $75 million to the California Violence Intervention & Prevention (CalVIP) grant program and $50 million to Dept of Ed to fund school mental health, behavioral services, and school safety measures.
County Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to the Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year: Mr Alvarico and Ms Gonzalez-Ortega, as well as to MDUSD Finalist Danya Townsend, and all who were recognized at that inspirational evening.