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MDUSD board to meet Monday with Walnut Creek City Council

By Theresa Harrington
Sunday, October 6th, 2013 at 4:17 pm in Mt. Diablo school district, Walnut Creek, Walnut Creek City Council.

One of Mt. Diablo school board President Cheryl Hansen’s goals has been to begin meeting again with City Councils in each of the cities served by the district. Although the board did this many years ago, it stopped the practice and has had sometimes icy relations with some city leaders, such as those in Clayton, due in part to the Clayton Valley High charter conversion.

When I covered the Walnut Creek City Council several years ago, city leaders met about once a year with the Walnut Creek School District, but complained that Mt. Diablo district officials did not seem interested in holding similar meetings.

Now, the idea is being revived and the leaders of both agencies will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Walnut Acres Elementary to discuss issues of mutual interest. The meeting is in the multiuse room at 180 Cerezo Drive in Walnut Creek.

Here is the agenda:

“1. OPENING
a. Pledge of Allegiance
b. Roll Call
c. Comments from (Board President) Cheryl Hansen, (Mayor) Cindy Silva

2. WALNUT CREEK SCHOOLS
a. Boundaries / Enrollment (handouts)
b. Programs
c. Building Projects
d. Academic Achievement

3. SCHOOL SAFETY – CITY / SCHOOLS

4. BUDGET / ACADEMIC SHIFT
a. Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)
b. Common Core

5. CITY BUDGET / CITY SERVICES
a. Crossing Guards and Crisis Counselors
b. After School Programs
c. Other (AAA, CAE Programs, Library Services, Aquatics, Ball Fields)

6. PUBLIC COMMENT

9. ADJOURNMENT

Directions to Walnut Acres
From Walnut Creek: Ygnacio Valley Rd. to Wiget Ln. Right on Wiget Ln. to Cerezo Dr. Left on Cerezo Dr.
From Concord: Oak Grove Rd. to Ygnacio Valley Rd. Right on Ygnacio Valley Rd. to Wiget Ln. Left on
Wiget Ln. Left on Cerezo Dr”

Although both agencies livestream and videotape their regular board meetings, it is unclear whether this meeting will be livestreamed or videotaped. I have been told by the Walnut Creek city clerk that the city won’t be videotaping the meeting. I have left messages with the district to find out if the district will.

As a reminder, the board met with the Pleasant Hill City Council April 15.

What issues do you think are most important for district trustees and Walnut Creek council members to discuss?

OCT. 7 UPDATE: I have been informed that tonight’s meeting will be livestreamed and videotaped.

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  • Doctor J

    No sound, great picture.

  • Doctor J

    Common complaint about Common Core in MDUSD: The District has worked on it for two years and failed to include parents in the development and planning. To the parents who voiced that: Sorry, but that’s how Rose Lock works. It will be forced down your throats — Rose doesn’t want input from parents.

  • tmharrington

    The district has to solicit input for its Local Accountability Plan.

    Regarding the meeting, I’m just now watching it and I see that the sound kicks in a little after 42 minutes into the video.

  • Doctor J

    Almost every federal and state program has a parent/community input requirement, but that has never stopped MDUSD & Rose Lock from ignoring it or just giving lip service to it. Maybe there will be some specific state regulations adopted with appeal rights to the State Board of Education.

  • tmharrington

    It’s my understanding that the County Office of Education has to approve each district’s Local Accountability Plan, just as it approves district budgets. If the community is not involved in the creation of the district’s plan, community members could ask the county not to approve the it.

  • tmharrington

    The Northgate HS student who wrote to me in frustration about the condition of Northgate High’s tennis courts could feel vindicated by the comments of Barry Gordon, who works for the city. He said the city owns four of the 12 tennis courts at Northgate and that the city has been trying to work with the Northgate Athletic Director to upgrade them. But, he appeared to indicate that the school had not been very responsive.
    When Board President Cheryl Hansen asked what the district could do to improve relations with the city, Gordon again brought up the tennis courts.
    I have sent an email to the Northgate student suggesting that she might want to contact Gordon and the school’s Athletic Director to find out why this upgrade isn’t moving forward. Like the student, Gordon said the courts are “not in great shape.” Upgrading them, he said, would be beneficial to the school as well as to the community.

  • Doctor J

    Its one thing to have a “plan” and its another to follow it — remember when Rose Lock got caught by the Federal audit on the SIG grants — the Feds/State stopped the money until a “Corrective Action” was not only adopted but implemented, with follow up audits. Rose admitted she had no intention of increasing the instructional time until the last year of the grant. Districts have become too used to the “wink and the nod” about saying they will comply and then not doing it without consequence. I still remember how embarrassed the State Board of Education was at the large number of districts who “promised” in order to get the money, but ignored their promises after the money started flowing. Its too bad that MDUSD has never made public the SIG compliance audits.

  • tmharrington

    If the district doesn’t get the results that it expects from its plan, the County or state will intervene, just as they do when districts can’t balance their budgets. Local control means local accountability.

  • tmharrington

    Regarding the meeting, it lasted about 1 hour and 40 mins. It’s too bad the first 42 mins of the video have no sound. By the time the sound kicks in, they were already on the last agenda item before public comment.
    Speakers addressed issues including: traffic and safety around schools, Common Core Curriculum implementation, the desire to have all Walnut Creek schools in one district, frustration with school boundaries, the need for a parcel tax, and students being bumped from neighborhood schools due to transfers.

  • Doctor J

    If indeed the City of W.C. owns 4 of the 12 tennis courts on MDUSD property, isn’t there a “lease” or other joint use agreement that spells out whose responsibility it is to maintain and repair the tennis courts ? Perhaps a PRA to both the City and MDUSD would produce such documentation.

  • tmharrington

    It does seem logical that there must be some sort of joint use agreement.

  • tmharrington

    There are new developments in the YVHS field lights debate. New blog post to come…..

  • Doctor J

    I posted on this blog there was no sound 26 minutes into the meeting. Somehow the word got to the school.

  • tmharrington

    Yes, thanks for doing that, since I was unable to watch webcast live.

    Here’s the new blog post, which includes a letter from YVHS neighbors asking the MDUSD board to postpone its vote on the field lighting project: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2013/10/08/ygnacio-valley-hs-neighbors-ask-mdusd-board-to-delay-vote-on-field-project/

  • tmharrington

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  • tmharrington