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MDUSD superintendent to hold feeder pattern meetings

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 at 11:53 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Mt. Diablo district Superintendent Steven Lawrence has decided to hold meetings with parents in various feeder patterns of the district. Although trustees have not publicly discussed this idea, board candidate Brian Lawrence told me the superintendent informed him the meetings would replace former Parent Advisory Council meetings, which were not well-attended.

Board President Sherry Whitmarsh told me that she has been working with the superintendent on this idea. However, neither the superintendent nor Whitmarsh made any announcement about it during the last board meeting and there has been no districtwide communication from the district about the meetings.

Since questions are arising in comments on this blog about the purpose of the meetings, I am posting a letter I received from a Diablo View Middle School parent about the meeting in the that school’s feeder pattern:

“Oct. 2, 2012

Good Morning

Our superintendent, Dr. Steven Lawrence, will be holding four feeder pattern meetings throughout the year. The purpose of the meetings are:

To increase the opportunities that he has to speak with a broader group of parents.

To address concerns that parents on our leadership teams (PTA, PFC, School Site Council, ELAC) have around district issues.

To provide a more comfortable setting to have parents and the superintendent to have a conversation in.

Improve overall district communication.

The first of these meetings will be on Wednesday, October 3rd at the Pine Hollow Library at 7:00 p.m. Subsequent dates are December 5th, February 13th and May 1st. Besides Diablo View and Pine Hollow, additional schools in our feeder pattern are Ayers El, Mt. Diablo El, Highlands El and Siverwood El.

Patti Bannister”

Do you think the district should let the entire community know the times, dates and locations for all feeder pattern meetings?

7:10 P.M. UPDATE: Board President Sherry Whitmarsh has clarified that the feeder pattern meetings were the superintendent’s idea, which she supported. They are not board meetings and she does not expect to attend most of them, although she said she would likely attend the Ygnacio Valley HS meeting, since she lives in that feeder pattern.

OCT. 11 UPDATE: After calling Northgate High, I have found out that the Northgate feeder pattern meeting is at 7 p.m. tonight in the Northgate staff lounge at 425 Castle Rock Road in Walnut Creek. Unfortunately for some parents, this conflicts with a concurrent meeting at 7 p.m. in the Little Theater for juniors and their parents.

Here is a link to video of Superintendent Steven Lawrence telling the school board about his decision to hold feeder pattern meetings: http://qik.com/video/54936052

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  • Doctor J

    @TH #99 — Yes, I remember Linda’s suggestion — but she never made a motion or got staff to support it. The rich schools sharng their donations with the poor schools — blasphamy in the eyes of the rich. AB 1575 will require the district to fund more programs and cut out nonsense like Board MDV. No longer will teachers be able to write on the board: Johnny has donated yet; or Debbie hasn’t been to the fundraiser.

  • Anon

    Dr. J.,

    I’m confused. If a principal has shared the “estimated” API score with parents, and that score is worse, is it the principle or Lawrence who purposely misled the parents?

  • Doctor J
  • Doctor J

    @Anon#102 I doubt the PrincipAl knew that the data needed to be “cleaned up”. Why did Steven Lawrence feel such an urgent need to share the API scores that were “just estimates” ? Remember that the release of the STAR scores and API scores were delayed from August release due to the widespread posting of pictures of the test on Facebook and other social media because the test givers: TEACHERS were not monitoring the test giving closely. Those teachers and schools who performed poorly have already started to suffer the consequences — SASS increasing in size.

  • Random Thoughts

    Random Thoughts

    Brown Act Violations – did some research on this and talked to an attorney who has a strong background in school law. He said that he doesn’t know of anybody at a school board level charged or removed from office for a Brown Act violation and that some boards use the Brown Act to hide their activities from the public. He explained that 99% of the time it is an attempt to hide their incompetency from the public. This gentleman also explained that some attorney’s working for a board will use “potential litigation” to hide from the public. By claiming someone “might sue” the board can hide a multitude of issues ( and sins) from the public.

    So, from an experienced attorney versed in ed. law, we find that all this posturing about violating the Brown Act, is simply that, posturing, because they know nothing will happen.

    Interesting, no?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s a new blog post regarding tonight’s meeting: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2012/10/08/mdusd-10-8-12/

  • Anon

    I am having such a hard time with prop 30 and the statement of 6% paycut for teachers. What about the kids. Is it about the kids or the adults? 11 less days of school would be criminal.

  • anon

    I’m sick and tired of the Sacramento pols always blackmailing taxpayers by threatening to cut teachers, firefighter, and police funding. How about cutting the freeloaders who constantly eat from the public trough.They tax us to death and want to tax us some more. Jerry Brown is an idiot.

  • anon

    Yes, many parent groups are raising funds to fill some of the gaps at their schools. Claiming that the “rich” schools are getting more can easily be countered with all the extras the Title 1 schools get. I am tired of all the categorical funding.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Please note that I have added an Oct. 11 update to this post to alert parents in the Northgate feeder pattern that their superintendent meeting is tonight at 7 p.m. in the Northgate HS staff lounge.
    No word yet on when and where the planned YVHS feeder pattern meeting will take place next week.

  • g

    It is for items like fresh clean drinking water laws, and the district’s complience—or NONcomplience that the “Board Action Progress Report” was intended.

    The board votes to DO something, considers its job ‘done’ and drops the ball. Then the staff just lets it die for lack of follow-up! Current board ‘leadership’ (ha-ha) is a joke!

  • Anon

    Northgate tonight? During the A’s game? ROFLOL

  • Theresa Harrington

    Perhaps that’s why it’s in the staff lounge. Is there a TV in there? :)

  • Hell Freezing Over

    @G # 111 – exactly. This could have been just one of those “feel good” endings the district could publicize – but 15 months later and access to free fresh water in at least one school out of the 10 listed appears to still be a need to be filled instead of a reality required by law.

  • Theresa Harrington

    This didn’t qualify for the board action progress report because it didn’t cost enough money and it is related to food service.
    I wonder if this shows up on the Bond Oversight Committee reports.
    With the accelerated Measure C timeline (thanks to the property tax rate increase), perhaps the district will accomplish this in five years instead of seven — after installing field lights at YVHS.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Please note that I have added a new blog post, in which the superintendent revealed the dates and times of future (and past) feeder pattern meetings: http://bit.ly/QsE5eK