How was the first day of school?
We have so many positive and wonderful teachers, staff and parents in our district who worked hard for a smooth and welcoming start to the school year for all students. Thank you all! It was not easy, especially with that off-the-charts heatwave.
At the school board meeting last week, we officially appointed Dr. Robert Martinez as the new MDUSD superintendent. The decision was unanimous, and we are looking forward to seeing his experience and passion take flight here in our schools, bringing everyone together to ensure quality education for every student. His first official day is today. Welcome Dr. Martinez!
Meanwhile we have also been busy with two key items that need your attention:
- Maps for the 2020 by-trustee-area election: attend a community meeting
- Full & Fair Funding opportunity: will you take action?
And this week Congressman DeSaulnier is holding an Immigration Town Hall. See details below.
Community Meetings for By-Area Trustee Elections
Your perspective is needed!
Please plan to attend any one of these community forums to give your input on draft maps for the five trustee areas. See the conceptual maps and details at https://mdusd.org/boardelections
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Loma Vista Adult School Noon – 1 p.m.
Willow Creek Center 5 – 6 p.m.
Pleasant Hill Middle School 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Pine Hollow Middle School 5 – 6 p.m.
Foothill Middle School 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 29, 2019
District Office/Board Room 5 – 6 p.m.
Riverview Middle School 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Translation available upon request.
Full and Fair Funding on the March 2020 Ballot?
Are you feeling frustrated with the budget reductions our schools currently face? I am. And we are not alone. Schools across CA are in the same boat.
CSBA (CA School Board Association) just informed us that there is serious momentum for the legislature to place a Full and Fair Funding education initiative on the March 2020 ballot and to have a bill number for this by Labor Day. That will give us just a couple of weeks (September 13th is the deadline) to push it over the top.
We need you now as together we try to make a seismic shift in school funding in California.
Background on Measure
This measure would raise $15 billion dollar a year for K-14 education through increased taxes on incomes over $1,000,000 a year and a 5% increase in corporate taxes. This initiative would provide approximately $2,000 per ADA in each district (i.e. almost $60,000,000 extra a year for MDUSD). CSBA just got back poll results that show that such an initiative placed on the March ballot would be almost unstoppable given its popularity with voters.
What you can do
- Social Media: Post this to twitter and Facebook:
@BauerKahan @AsmGrayson, The time to be BOLD is NOW! will you be bold and stand with educators, students, and the community to put Full & Fair Funding on the March 2020 Ballot so voters can decide to support education funding? #FullandFairFunding #March2020 #Education #BeBold
- Op-eds: Write an op-ed using this template: https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmfpubkWg1sdhRBuAEpX6aS1dEl2
- Call your legislator:
- Spread the word: Reach out to your fellow parents, teachers, and neighbors to ask that they join in this historic fight!
Immigration Town Hall Thursday Aug 22nd
6:30-8pm, Meadow Homes Elementary, 1371 Detroit Ave, Concord.
Congressman DeSaulnier will provide a firsthand account of what he witnessed at detention facilities during his two visits to the southern border and share the work he is doing in Congress to protect immigrant rights and ensure detainees are treated with the dignity they deserve.
Legal resources and information about immigrant rights—regardless of immigration status—will be available in English and Spanish. A translator will be on hand during the event. RSVP online: https://desaulnier.house.gov/town-hall-rsvp For information call 925-933-2660.
Please share this Safe Haven Resolution with parents & community, to know that the Mt Diablo school district is dedicated to educating all children regardless of immigration status. This resolution was unanimously passed by the school board in Feb 2017, and includes stating that no student data on immigration status is collected by MDUSD, and ICE officials are not allowed on any school campus without prior approval from the superintendent.
Also, here is a useful article with recommendations on how schools should respond to ICE raids.
Next MDUSD School Board Meeting - Monday August 26th
See all board meeting agendas and schedule here: https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes
Thank you for joining together for all students!
My husband and I live with our 2 kids, 1 dog and 3 chickens here in MDUSD Trustee Area 4 which includes Clayton, the east side of Walnut Creek, and part of Concord. (See blue section of the map below)
I have a bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a Masters degree in Public Administration / Education Policy from the University of Washington. I came into this role with experience from different levels of responsibility in our schools, including: Kindergarten room parent, science fair coordinator, Parent Faculty Club President, School Site Council member, and District Parent Advisory Council member. I had also led broader collaborative initiatives including Safe Routes to Schools (adding a crosswalk, bike lane, and flashing lights near Foothill and Walnut Acres schools), leading a reading program for struggling students in 10 Concord & Bay Point schools, and co-founding a new districtwide nonprofit education foundation.
When I began my school board term in 2018, our district teacher contracts had already expired, there was declining enrollment and decreased revenue from the state, and our district had been spending down reserves for a number of years already. Little did we know a global pandemic was on the horizon.
Despite those challenges, our school board accomplished quite a bit:
We hired Superintendent Dr. Clark and worked together with him to successfully and safely open schools during a global pandemic, while improving district finances and saving taxpayers millions. We raised salaries for all teachers and staff to stay competitive in attracting the best for our students, and completed contract agreements with all 5 labor groups. COVID was a very challenging time, but we took the opportunity to upgrade district technology with a Chromebook for every student, and to provide more healthy outdoor spaces for gardens and learning.
I believe in continuous learning, and so during that time I completed the Masters in Governance Course provided by our state school board association, and I stepped up to leadership roles: President of our School Board in 2021 and President of Contra Costa County School Boards Association for the last 2 years.
I believe the best decisions are made when a broad range of perspectives are at the table, and so I’ve worked to bring more students, teachers, and community members into policy discussions. We created an official Student Member position on the school board, and improved district communication in all languages.
And yet there’s still much to do. Together, let’s continue this progress to promote welcoming, inclusive, and safe schools in which every student can thrive.
Trustee Area 4: Clayton, east Walnut Creek, and parts of Concord
East Bay Times Editorial
My campaign received endorsement from the East Bay Times, and I appreciate their reasoning for recommending people to vote for me:
"During trying pandemic times, they have made tough decisions to protect teacher health and district finances".
Ballot Statement, November 2022
Board Member, Mt. Diablo Unified School District
Four years ago, I ran to bring my perspective as a parent, community organizer, and founder/president of the Mt. Diablo Education Foundation, to our school district. I understand the value of education. I grew up with excellent schools, ultimately earning my bachelors in electrical engineering from Stanford and masters in education policy from University of Washington.
I’m dedicated to ensuring every student has access to quality public education, and Mt Diablo Unified is a diverse school district where together we can truly bring that promise to life.
I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish my first term. We hired Superintendent Dr. Clark and worked together to open schools safely during a global pandemic, while improving district finances and refinancing bonds to save taxpayers millions. We upgraded district technology, provided every student a chromebook, adopted Next Generation Science curriculum, secured raises for all teachers and staff to attract and retain the best educators for our students, added a student school board position to increase student voice, ensured students can take sick days for mental health, and improved district communication in all languages.
And yet there’s still much to do. Together let’s continue this progress to provide welcoming, inclusive schools in which every student can thrive. I’m proud to have bipartisan support from Assemblymember Bauer Kahan, Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, local teachers, parents, students, and staff, as well as city leaders of Walnut Creek, Clayton, and Concord. I ask for your vote.
Experience Prior to My Election to School Board
As a parent & community activist, I experienced firsthand how working together produces REAL results to improve our schools and communities.
- I led and managed a reading program for struggling students in 10 MDUSD schools that showed significant, measurable results for 300 students per year.
- Serving as PFC President, I launched innovative technology that streamlined communication and increased parent involvement.
- Working with a coalition of students, parents, and employees, we sent drafts and spoke up at two school district board meetings, resulting in the MDUSD School Board passing a Safe Haven Resolution.
- I initiated Safe Routes to School by writing a change.org petition to gain community awareness and to advocate for pedestrian safety. Construction is now complete on two new flashing pedestrian beacons, 3 new crosswalks, a new bike lane, digital speed signs, and sidewalk bulbouts that show down cars and create safer and shorter crossings for pedestrians.