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Archive for February, 2012

Today is deadline for educators to register for peace conference

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?

Posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 20 Comments »

MDUSD Parent Advisory Council to meet tonight

The Mt. Diablo school district’s Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council will meet tonight. Since the district doesn’t post the agenda online, I am posting it below:


Wednesday, February 1, 2012 7:00 p.m.
Board Room, MDUSD Dent Center

Welcome and Introductions

English Learner Master Plan

Strategic Plan


This meeting is open to the public. I have heard that the English Learner Master Plan presentation will be the same Powerpoint that was presented at the Jan. 23 board meeting.

In the past, the PAC agenda has included other questions at the end. This agenda, on the other hand, does not seem to invite members to bring up anything that isn’t already on the agenda.

Note that the Contra Costa County Board of Education plans to discuss the CVCHS MOU at 6 p.m. tonight at the County Office of Education.

Do you think the district should include Public Comment in its Parent Advisory Council meetings?

FEB. 3 UPDATE: Here is a link to the Budget PowerPoint presented by the superintendent:

Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 19 Comments »