Welcome back to school. I hope you had a rejuvenating summer! I was out of town for much of it, including an educational trip to Israel & Palestine (see my reflection & photos here) and volunteer staffing a girl scout camp in the mountains. It was an adjustment for me to get used to being away from my cell phone, and a needed respite. Our family also hosted students who were visiting here from Japan, which was a heartwarming cultural experience.
For those of you who don’t receive the ParentSquare messages within the district, here are highlights of the last school year: MDUSD Year in Review
And remember you can always read the weekly Friday letters, see Superintendent Goals, and more at mdusd.org/about/superintendent
Next School Board meeting Aug 16th
The next school board meeting is tomorrow night, Wednesday, August 16, 2023. We welcome your input via email or in person! See details at mdusd.org/boardmeetings
The agenda includes:
Revisions to the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan)
Consideration of the change of mascot proposed by Concord High
Review/Approval of textbook for new Financial Algebra course
Review/Approval of Tentative Agreement for a 3 year contract with Teamsters Local 856
First Day of School
On Thursday after dropping off my high schooler, I visited new Principals in my trustee area to wish them a happy first day of school. This beautiful art piece at Mt Diablo Elementary conveyed what I saw out at our schools, smiling students coming together in a warm and welcoming environment!
Here you can read bios of each of these new principals:
Mt. Diablo Elementary: Principal Sara Harris
Diablo View Middle School: Principal Vicki Wilson
Foothill Middle School: Principal Crystal Stull
Pine Hollow Middle School: Principal Andrew Strawbridge
Ava Sudduth SummerBridge Academy
Another highlight of the summer was the Ava Sudduth Academy, where Dr. Lamont Francies brought incoming 6th grade focal scholars to Riverview Middle School for a 2 week summerbridge orientation, academic support, and enrichment to bolster their readiness for success.
Community partners such as Village Keepers and AKA Sorority contributed food, resources and volunteers. Young Audiences of Northern CA and the Mt Diablo Education Foundation provided an awesome body percussion class there, taught by the amazing Antwan Davis. Antwan has performed all over the world, including in the Broadway show STOMP! I reveled in the chance to stop by and join in his class.
It is by strategically investing in positive, culturally responsive pedagogy and building up tight knit communities like these, that we will begin to break down long standing inequities in our public schools. We are deeply grateful to all who lead this work with hope and determination.
Successful Districtwide Parent Conference
It was a joyful reunion to run into so many parents, students and staff at the Parent Conference last Saturday. I was impressed with the wide variety of workshops in English, Spanish and Dari; the room full of free backpacks, books and school supplies; and the gym full of community organizations sharing their information. Not to mention a tasty lunch for all. Thank you to our Mt Diablo Adult school for organizing and hosting!
Happy First Week of School, from our family to yours!