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Today is deadline for educators to register for peace conference

By Theresa Harrington
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 at 2:04 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Teachers or after-school program providers who would like to learn how to teach about nonviolence and conflict resolution are invited to attend a “Creating a Peaceful School” conference Saturday at Acalanes High in Lafayette. The deadline to register is today.

Here is more information about the program, from a news release:

“What: Creating a Peaceful School Conference
When: Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 8:00 to 3:00
Where: Acalanes High School, 1200 Pleasant Hill Road, Lafayette, CA 94549

The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek is sponsoring an innovative and inspiring all-day conference for anyone who works with young people in middle and high school: Teachers, Administrators, Classroom aides, School personnel, After-school program providers. Participants will learn to create peace in their world, in the lives of your students, in the classroom, the school and the community.

Rep. George Miller (D-CA 7)will start the program with an inspiring welcome to teachers about the importance of their work. Professor Ian Harris will give a keynote speech about peaceful classrooms.

Workshops and classes will cover a variety of topics:

The Brain Science of Fear and Anger
Gandhian Nonviolence Curriculum
High School Peace and Conflict Studies curriculum
Journaling for Peace and Human Rights
Worldview Literacy
Peer Mediation/Conflict Resolution
Creating Watercolor Imagery around words of Peace
Yoga for teacher relaxation
HeartMath for Resilient Educators and Youth

Registration is $35 through February 2, 2012. Pre-registration is required.

Delicious boxed lunch from Sunrise Bistro is included, with many choices to suit you.

Five instructional hrs. (.5 CEU) of Continuing Education available from St. Mary’s College for an additional $25. Forms will be available at the conference.

Renew yourself for the Spring Semester, meet colleagues and network with other educators.

The Conference is being organized and planned by:

Ian Harris – retired Professor, author Peace Education and Peacebuilding for Adolescents
Dan Reynolds – teacher of the year for Mt. Diablo Unified School District
John Marvin – retired teacher, Pleasant Hill Middle School
Lorin Peters – retired teacher, Bishop O’Dowd High School, Gandhian Nonviolence, 39 years
Jill Johnson – teacher, Freedom High School Peace and Conflict Studies, 17 years
Chris Giotta – teacher, Walnut Creek Intermediate Art
Marti Roach – Facilitator & Trainer
Mary Alice O’Connor – Executive Director of the Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center

Full descriptions of sessions and registration information at

Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center
55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, California 94596
(925) 933-7850

Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center was founded in 1969 and is your local voice for peace. Volunteers and contributions are welcomed.
It is a tax deductible 501(c)(3) organization”

The conference will provide teachers with tools they can use in their classrooms, as well as personal experiences that may help them to communicate messages of peace and nonviolence, O’Connor said.

“I’m hoping the experience of being there will imbue their souls with peace and kindness that a nonviolent atmosphere brings,” she said. “Maybe the experience of being there will be transformative in some way. It’s really possible.”

O’Connor said this is the first such conference the Peace Center has hosted. But, if it’s successful, there could be more in the future — or possibly even a Peace Camp for teens.

“My goal and vision is always to make a tangible result in the community,” she said. “When I first took this job, I thought, ‘What would it be like if people woke up and said, ‘I can feel peace in the air?’ And that’s how I feel about schools. Is there something we can create so that a school will be different? It’s that little bit of peace. It’s like that first drop of rain that brings the storm.”

Do you think it’s possible to create peaceful schools?

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20 Responses to “Today is deadline for educators to register for peace conference”

  1. g Says:

    Sorry, but mankind has failed “peace class” since the beginning of time.

    It all sounds deep-breathing and benign enough. Dan and other educators seem to feel good about it, so who am I to differ?

    But, know your presenters, their causes, ambitions and where they expend the rest of their energy and resources. If you like all that you feel when you check them and their affiliations out–then go for it.

    p.s. ROTC promoter types need not apply.

  2. Doctor J Says:

    I think the subjects are right up Gary’s alley. His re-election campaign slogan could be a knock-off: Creating a Peaceful School District.

  3. Anon Says:

    What’s this governance workshop scheduled for Saturday? Don’t they know how to govern themselves…..they need a workshop?

  4. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The governance workshop Saturday is a public meeting where trustees plan to discuss policies and procedures:
    Trustee Cheryl Hansen voted against spending $2,000 for a facilitator, when the board agreed Dec. 13 to hold the workshop:
    Other trustees said it was important to have a facilitator.
    The district provided more information to the public about the workshop in the December agenda packet than it is presenting now.

  5. Doctor J Says:

    Board Agenda Feb 6: #7.6 Another Supts eval ! 9.2 Minutes approval but only signature page is attached, not the first eight pages ! And don’t miss the Disneyworld trip for an undisclosed number of Wren Staff July 25-27, see #9.9. Nice to see a semblance of cost comparison, but I am thinking that since staff is “off” July 25-27, they will be required to be paid their daily rate (including extras) could be about $400 per day x four days, and add an extra $1600 per person for a total cost of $3,480 per person, making it the most expensive trip. I just doubt their contracts allow them to travel without being compensated at their regular rates. But I could be wrong. And don’t miss that Mike Langley is retiring as MDEA President on June 30.

  6. g Says:

    and the Superintendent’s Report has no “hidden items” for a change.

  7. The Observer Says:

    Good for Trustee Cheryl Hansen for continuing her efforts to drag the board majority kicking and screaming to accountability.Despite the boards unwillingness to even discuss her Accountability Report she is bringing it back – Item 14.10 on the Feb.6 agenda. It makes sense, it lets us taxpayers know where our money is going, and pinpoints who is responsible for what. Let’s hope that the board sees its duty for accountability to the public and adopts it.

  8. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The accountability report is up for discussion and will be voted on at the second meeting in February:

    Dr. J: I informed the superintendent’s secretary that the minutes were not uploaded properly and she said she’d fix it today.

  9. Doctor J Says:

    Legally they can make any changes or corrections to the Agenda by 6pm tonight, which is 72 hours before the start of the meeting — which contrary to one part of the Agenda, actually starts at 6 pm. With the AB 1344 on line agenda posting requirement 72 hours ahead, they are pretty stuck if they don’t do it right.

  10. Doctor J Says:

    Notice that Cheryl did make some changes to the accountability — added a $100,000 level, excludes routine things, allows other issues to be added, and has a yellow highlight provision for overdue issues. She is learning that when it comes up for a vote, the board can exclude discussion by not seconding it, but at this stage, at least she gets to talk about and try to get some discussion going.

  11. Theresa Harrington Says:

    They might be able to add it later as a clearly marked addendum, the way the state Board of Ed. does. As long as there is an agenda item 72 hours in advance, they sometimes add addenda attachments before the board meeting. This is preferable to MDUSD’s practice of adding Powerpoint Presentations the day after the meeting.

    Also, regarding accountability, the graduation requirement item is holding the district accountable for the projections it made when it reduced grad requirements and eliminated summer school for most students:

  12. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#11 The SBE practice is to clearly identify “additional information” as an addendum, not a new subject which violates the agenda notice rules.

  13. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, I’m referring to the minutes, which were not properly uploaded. I meant the district could reload them as an addendum. I’m not talking about adding completely new items.

    Also, I have requested a copy of the Superintendent’s budget Powerpoint.

  14. g Says:

    OK Clayton Valley, you can keep the sports equipment and other goodies your parents paid for, but you are going to pay through the nose if you want to keep that radio station.

  15. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Since the County Office of Education operates the radio station through its ROP program, it may be unclear who owns it.

  16. Doctor J Says:

    Who is the listed owner on the radio station FCC license ?

  17. Doctor J Says:

    FCC records indicate the licensee is CVHS — so the district isn’t really going to be able to “move it”. Who paid for the equipment ?

  18. g Says:

    It will be interesting to see if the District tries to hold them up at some point. From an article written about the station’s 40 yr anniversary in 2009, “What couldn’t be had by donation they built or modified with school and vocational education funds”. (

    Someone is likely going to have to spend a lot of time digging out district expense records if they want to mess with the station this late in the game.

    Charter folks might want to get a head start checking the school’s own records if they kept any from back then.

  19. Doctor J Says:

    @G, Some nice history at . Someone had better start trying to locate some of those old advisors to see if they can document from them to who or what was the equipment donated. There is probably a file over at the County ROP office also.

  20. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I have just posted a blog about the board’s plan to hold a Governance Workshop on Saturday, which includes video clips from the Dec. 13 discussion about it:

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