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MDUSD board to meet Wednesday to vote on several items and hold a public hearing on planned Northgate High aquatics center

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 at 10:56 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board will meet Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the district board room at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord to vote on several items of interest, including: several lease-leasebacks that still aren’t labeled with the names of the projects, an $11,700 consulting contract with the company that Dr. John Bernard works for to mentor Dr. Nellie Meyer for nine months, the YVHS field lighting project, a public hearing regarding the Northgate Aquatics project and several new and revised board bylaws, including some related to the use of social media.

Here is the agenda:

“1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order Info
2.0 Announcements
2.1 In closed session, the Board will consider the items listed on the closed session agenda. Info

3.0 Public Comment
3.1 The public may address the Board concerning items that are scheduled for discussion during closed session only. These presentations are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers or the three minute limit may be shortened. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info

4.0 Adjourn to Closed Session at 6:00 p.m.

4.1 Negotiations – The Board may discuss negotiations or provide direction to its representatives regarding represented employees, pursuant to EERA (Govt. Code Section 3549.1) Agency negotiators: Julie Braun Martin and Deborah Cooksey. Agencies: MDEA, CSEA, Local One M&O, Local One CST, MDSPA, and Supervisory. Action
4.2 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (1) regarding Taylor, et al v. Mt. Diablo Unified School District, et al, Contra Costa Superior Court Case No. C12-00609. Info

4.3 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9(1) regarding Bay Area News Group v. Mt. Diablo Unified School District, et al, Contra Costa Superior Court Case No. N13-1551. Info

4.4 Anticipated Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel regarding the initiation of litigation in one (1) matter pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (c). Info

4.5 Potential litigation based on facts and circumstances in four (4) matters pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9(3) (c). Info

5.0 Reconvene Open Session
5.1 Reconvene Open Session at 7:30 p.m. Info
6.0 Preliminary Business
6.1 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info
7.0 Report Out Action Taken in Closed Session
7.1 Negotiations Info
7.2 Pending Litigation Info
7.3 Pending Litigation Info
7.4 Anticipated Litigation Info
7.5 Potential Litigation Info

8.0 Student Representatives
8.1 Student representatives will report on activities at their schools. Info

9.0 Board Member Reports
9.1 Board reports Info

10.0 Superintendent’s Report

11.0 Expulsion Recommendations

12.0 Consent Agenda Action
12.1 (Item #1) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action

12.2 (Item #2) Ed. Code 44263 – BOARD AUTHORIZATION Action

12.3 (Item #3) Student Placement Agreement between Saint Mary’s College of California and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action

12.4 (Item #4) Memo of Understanding between Contra Costa County Office of Education Intern Program and Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action

12.5 (Item #5) Memorandum of Understanding between University of the Pacific and Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action

12.6 (Item #6) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action

12.7 (Item #7) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase Positions Action

12.8 (Item #8) Fiscal Transactions for the month of September 2013. Action

12.9 (Item #9) Approval of Contract with Non Public Agency STE Consultants for Services for the 2013-14 School Year Action

12.10 (Item #10) Adjustment to the Agreement Between Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) to Provide Temporary One-to-One Assistant Agreements for Special Education Students During the 2013-2014 School Year. Action

12.11 (Item #11) John F. Kennedy University – Independent Services Contract for counseling services at designated schools. Action

12.12 (Item #12) Award of RFP No. 1647: LEA Medi-Cal Claims & MAA Reimbursement Services including CRCS Services Action

12.13 (Item #13) Increase to Independent Service Contract with AA Medtrans Action

12.14 (Item #14) Final Change Order for LLB Project #1642 – Remodel of Art Classroom (Auto/Metal Shop) at Northgate High School Action

12.15 (Item #15) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1642 Action

12.16 (Item #16) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1632 Action

12.17 (Item #17) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1633 Action

12.18 (Item #18) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1620 Action

12.19 (Item #19) Amended Certificate of Signatures Action

12.20 (Item #20) Agreement Between Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and Total School Solutions to Provide Consulting Services to the Superintendent During the 2013-14 Fiscal Year Action

12.21 (Item #21) Approval of contract with The YMCA at Camp Arroyo for Bel Air Elementary School Outdoor Ed Program Action

12.22 (Item #22) Resolution 13/14-16 Disability Awareness Month Action

13.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

14.0 Recognitions

15.0 Public Comment
15.1 The public may address the Board regarding any item within the jurisdiction of the Board of Education of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District that is not on this agenda. These presentation are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers, or the three minute limit may be shortened. If there are multiple speakers on any one subject, the public comment period may be moved to the end of the meeting. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info

16.0 Communications
16.1 District Organizations – At regular Board meetings, a single spokesperson of each recognized district organization may make a brief presentation following the Consent Agenda. Items are limited to those which are informational. Info

17.0 Reports/Information

18.0 Business/Action Items

18.1 Appointment of Coordinator, Student/Community Services 9-12 – Ygnacio Valley High School Action

18.2 Final Change Order for LLB #1632 – HVAC Modernization at Bancroft, Mountain View, Silverwood and Valle Verde Elementary Schools Action

18.3 Final Change Order for LLB #1633 – HVAC Modernization at Gregory Gardens, Hidden Valley, and Strandwood Elementary Schools Action

18.4 Public Hearing Regarding the Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Northgate High School Aquatic Center Info

18.5 Adoption of Resolution Accepting Final Environmental Impact Report for the Ygnacio Valley High School Sports Field Lighting Project Action

18.6 Approval of Ygnacio Valley High School Stadium Lighting Project Action

18.7 Award of Bid for Bid #1645 Sports Field Lighting Action

18.8 Award of Inspector of Record (Project Inspector) Contract for Sports Field Lighting Project at Ygnacio Valley High School Action

18.9 Final Deductive Change Order – L/LB #1620 – Taber Construction, Inc. for Construction of Twenty-four (24) New Classrooms at Eight (8) Sites and Five (5) General Science Buildings at Five (5) Middle School Sites Action

18.10 New and Revised Technology Policies – BP 3513, BP/AR 4040, BP 6162.7 Action

18.11 Board Bylaw 9323 – Meeting Conduct Action

18.12 Board Bylaw 9323.2 – Actions By The Board Action

18.13 Board Bylaw E 9323.2 – Actions By The Board Action

18.14 Meeting Extension Action

19.0 Future Agenda Items
19.1 Future Agenda Items Info

20.0 Closed Session
20.1 Items not completed during the first Closed Session will be carried over to this closed session. Action

21.0 Adjournment
21.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Just as there are neighbors around Ygnacio Valley High scrutinizing the proposed field lighting project, there are also neighbors around Northgate High who are carefully reviewing the planned aquatic center. Here’s information I received in an e-mail from one neighbor:

“The Pool WILL be available for Open Community Swim and Clinics all year. The following is included in the Mitigated Negative Declaration in small footnotes below Table 1 on page 18:

e) Open community swim may occur all year when school is not in session and the pool is not in use by MDUSD. During the summer, open community swim use would include lap swimming, which could occur Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It is possible that community use lap swimming may occur during the school year, but that use would only occur during non-school hours when the pool is not in use by MDUSD. For community lap swim use. it is assumed that there would be a maximum of 96 swimmers per hour (6 swimmers per lane). On Saturdays, the pool would be open from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for open recreational pool time: however, there may be events for which the pool is open until 9:00 p.m. It is assumed there would be a maximum of 100 swimmers in the pool at one time for open recreation pool time.

f) It is estimated that the pool deck could accommodate up to 500 spectators and 100 competitors/coaches. However, given the length of swim meets (approximately 13 hours for Championship and Invitational Meets), and how spectator and competitor attendance at swim meets typically occurs (spectators and competitors come and go during the event), it is assumed that the maximum number of spectators (including the general public as well as swimmers/players at the meet) would not exceed 500 people at any one time. It should be emphasized that this is a very conservative estimate (so as not to underestimate impacts). Most Championship and Invitational Meets would experience far lower maximum attendance levels.”

Neighbors are concerned about how this community use will affect them.

What items on the agenda are the most interesting to you?

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • Doctor J

    Missing from the Agenda are the appointments of Woodside and Sequoia principals — advertisements taken down a long time ago. Did Julie B-M give up ?

  • Doctor J

    Can Meas C funds be used for projects that are now officially described as being “joint use” with the community — alas, another reason for taxpayer groups to challenge the “Aquatic Center” as not meeting the “specific project” requirement of a 55% bond approval. I am surprised that Dr. Nellie has not spoken up publically about the lawsuit she endured in San Diego over a “non specific” project of stadium lighting and the high cost to the district — does our district really have that much to spend on “extras” ? Likewise, can Meas C funds be used to rehab the four tennis courts on MDUSD property that are owned by the City of Walnut Creek ? Oh what a tangled web CUES created.

  • Doctor J

    More hidden legal expenses ? Agenda 12.8 Page 27, General Fund warrants: Torfiriana Carpenter, $18,000.00 Deductable Liability Loss, and Edward Collins, $15,000.00 Deductable Liability Loss. (000-2630-10-5868).

    And; Page 11, Ronald P. Rives, (Pittsburg attorney?) $9,995.85 Deductable Liability Loss. (000-2616-53-5868)
    And again; Page 19, Ronald P. Rives, $9,995.85

    charges coded to: Theft and Vandalism and Legal Settlement 2011, and both “Administration” and “Student Instruction.”

    Deductable Liability Loss? For What? Never showed up on any closed or open session agendas.

  • Phoenix

    Dr. J: it bothers me that you refer to Dr. Meyer as “Dr. Nellie.” She’s not Madonna or any other celebrity who chooses to go by his or her first name. Doesn’t she deserve to be addressed with respect and referred to as “Dr. Meyer?” Every time I read your posts and see you referring to our Superintendent in this manner, it strikes me as offensive. I think she has earned it. It is almost as though you want to make her less of a professional than her experience demonstrates. In my opinion it detracts from your own credibility every time you insist on refraining from calling her by her proper name.

  • Doctor J

    San Diego lawyer poised to file lawsuit to stop YVHS Stadium project. This is the same lawyer that successfully sued San Diego Unified on their lighting project — Dr. Nellie is very familiar with him. He has all of his briefs written. FCMAT picked up Theresa’s article from last evening. http://www.contracostatimes.com/east-county-times/ci_24268350/lawsuit-threat-behind-neighbors-request-postpone-school-stadium

  • Doctor J

    Why does Julie B-M want prospective administrators names kept secret from the public until announced at the Board meetings ? So the public doesn’t have a chance to find out who these people are until its too late. The public should be demanding of the Board to release prospective administrator names and brief history [and all info given to Board members] at the time of posting of the agenda at least 72 hours prior. Remember Julie’s blunder in 2010 when she presented Christopher Nugent’s name for Principal and before Gary Eberhart got home from the meeting, Nugent’s mugshot and criminal history was plastered all over the blogs. Now read this article — thank goodness the public in Monterey found out about this before the appointment. Was this the same district where Dr. Bernard was the state appointed administrator ? http://www.montereyherald.com/news/ci_24268433/settlement-lawsuit-that-torpedoed-mpusd-candidate

  • Doctor J

    I’m sorry Phoenix you feel that way — I have been Dr. Nellie’s biggest supporter [I have continuously promoted her on this blog more than any other supporter of hers including you], having known of her career accomplishments prior to her application in MDUSD. My references to her as Dr. Nellie, are in total respect. In San Diego she preferred to be known just as Nellie. She earned her EdD. a couple of years ago with some stellar research and a brilliant dissertation about high school dropouts — I have read it, have you ? I highly recommend it. Its principles translate very well in MDUSD –which has been sorely lacking in leadership in Secondary for many years. I was very surprised Dr. Nellie wasn’t appointed to be Supt in San Diego and in fact posted on it on this blog — but it is our fortune in MDUSD. She is young and this is her first time to “captain the ship”. Apparently the Board tonight will hire a company Dr. Bernard is affiliated with to provide Dr. Nellie with 18 tutoring sessions — its unknown to the public at this time if it will be one tutor or 18 tutors or in betwixt. Personally, I would rather have the Board spend this money on hiring Admiral Bill to help tutor her, help her restructure the MDUSD organization, and help simplify the confused accounting system Bryan Richards has used. If MDUSD is really going to include the general public in the decisions on the LCFF, the public must be able to understand more than last minute powder puff PowerPoints prepared by Bryan that are so simplistic they don’t allow the public to evaluate the choices being made by staff and the Board. Yes Phoenix, Dr. Nellie has earned respect and that’s why I call her “Dr. Nellie”. Did you ever notice I never used “Dr.” with old what’s his name ? And please read her dissertation.

  • Phoenix

    Dr. J: unless you know Dr. Meyer personally and she has told you she prefers to be called Dr. Nellie by those who don’t know her, I don’t think you should presume she wants to be referred to in that matter at MDUSD. She also was not the Superintendent in San Diego, therefore in that context she may have been more comfortable with “Nellie.” Her position and status have changed considerably. Calling her “Dr.” and then using her first name is still a way to minimize her status, even if done unintentionally. Given the shame experienced by this District, I would think referring to the new leader by her proper title would go far to engender the respect for leadership needed in this district. Sorry, what you are doing is the same thing as praising a woman for her accomplishments while simultaneously referring to her as a “girl.” If you are genuinely her biggest supporter (indeed, you are by far the most frequent blogger), you should show that support by both noting her accomplishments AND referring to her as Dr. Meyer. If you were meeting a new physican for the first time named Dr. Sally Smith, would you say, “Hi Dr. Sally?” In this forum I believe Dr. Meyer deserves to be referred to by her proper name. I also recall that while you referred to the former Superintendent as Dr., I believe you also called him “Stevie” unless I am confusing your posts with those of “G.” We can agree to disagree on this one.

  • Doctor J

    @PHX I understand your feelings and please understand my use of “Dr. Nellie” is a term of respect I use on the blog. I have never used the name “Stevie” in reference to the former Supt. I don’t think G did either. I recall a couple of other bloggers using that, who if I recall correctly since we no longer have access to those threads were MDUSD Board Watcher and Wait a Minute. BTW, I do call my physician and dentist by their first names, preceded by their professional title.

  • Doctor J

    MDUSD subtly admitted last night it violates the California Public Records Act by destroying and not properly retaining electronic copies of documents — including emails. Interim General Counsel Jayne Williams said “we are working on it” as to a revision of Board policy. I wonder if this has arisen in the BANG lawsuit against MDUSD ? Thank you Dan Reynolds for pointing this out along with other crazy proposed changes to the Board policy. I also note that Deborah Cooksey erroneously submitted to GAMUT the revisions to the Uniform Complaint procedure [BP 1312.3 & AR 1312.3] was modified on “February 25, 2013″ when in fact it wasn’t presented to the Board until the March 11, 2013 meeting and not meeting the California Statutory deadline of March 1, 2013. Why didn’t Ms. Cooksey abide by the law and present it to the Board before March 1 ? She was on vacation in the Bahamas. Please don’t compound mistakes with cover-ups.

  • Doctor J

    I can’t believe that Dr. Nellie is on the wrong side of a Stadium light controversy in MDUSD as she was in SDUSD, “”Why does the District continue to push aside projects specifically listed in the bond measure and instead implement controversial projects that are not specifically listed in the bond or supported by the Districts’ own facilities needs assessment? Due to the strict requirements of a Prop 39 school bond measure, the District needs to stop making promises to the schools it can’t keep. We hope this is a wake-up call to the District to start acting more responsibly when spending taxpayer money because its actions have consequences for the students, the surrounding communities, and taxpayers”. Ron Anderson, president of TAXPAYERS FOR ACCOUNTABLE SCHOOL BOND SPENDING commenting on the Court’s ruling turning off the lights at Hoover High School’s new stadium project built in violation of Prop 39′s “specific project” ballot requirement.

  • Doctor J

    Why is MDUSD “not ready” for the Common Core testing ? Perhaps its spending too much time and money on Stadium lights and Aquatic Centers ? http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/most-districts-say-theyre-equipped-and-ready-for-new-common-core-tests/40254#.UlgV56Pn_IW

  • Doctor J

    Neighbors sue school district over stadium lights and noise causing “loss of quiet enjoyment” of their homes by renting to outside youth groups . Same thing could happen in MDUSD. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/school-530417-high-league.html

  • Doctor J

    Gomer Pyle: “Gol. . .ly!” Woodside Principal position finally “reposted” after being down for a couple of weeks — both Internal and External “until filled”. Uh, that’s what the Aug 9 Woodside posting said too and then it was taken down. However, Sequoia Principal posting “internal” still remains but the “external” posting remains taken down since a couple of weeks ago too. Never any explanation to the public. Thank you Trustee Brian Lawrence for once again standing up that the PUBLIC is entitled to know at least 72 hours before the meeting who the candidates for positions are. It was a little embarrassing when Cheryl asked for a motion to approve the Appointment of Coordinator, Student/Community Services 9-12 – Ygnacio Valley High School Action [Agenda 18.1] at the last Board meeting, and the motion would never have disclosed the name since ONLY the board and staff had the name and resume of the candidate. I wish the Board would follow through with its claim of transparency.

  • Doctor J

    Guy Moore forgot one thing — any “extra” money he identified is going to pay molestation claims because teachers and administrators failed to report Martin to the police or CPS. While I am sure the teachers and administrators are going to point fingers at each other — the guilty teachers and administrators should resign or be fired; not because there isn’t money for the raises and medical — but because their failure to follow the law, has hurt so many children and will take years for these children to recover. So sad for the children.

  • g. de la verdad

    It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist OR formal staff training to know that if you suspect child abuse of any kind, anywhere, anytime — you have a moral obligation to report it. And if you report it to someone who ignores or lightly dismisses your concerns – “Oh, but his class gets such good grades…” – you need to go to the police and report it! Immediatly!
    Schools, from districts to administrators to teachers and aides – have a history of allowing a fox to be in charge of their hen-house.
    That has to stop. Maybe seeing how much money — not available for their own pockets — will wake up 3-4 thousand MDUSD employees.

  • Doctor J

    BANG’s lawyer is the best of the best. How much money will MDUSD spend before losing the BANG lawsuit ? Hello Board — turn over the documents, discipline those who failed to report, and let the chips fall where they may. Its better to put hundreds of thousands of dollars toward settling the case rather than towards attorney fees. Dr. Nellie does not need to be saddled with the sins of past Boards and past administrators. http://www.dwt.com/people/duffycarolan/

  • g. de la verdad

    Is there an attorney out there who will allow, much less recommend that the board to do the right thing for the taxpayers/parents/students? I don’t think so. Attorney for the board first? Ha! Regardless of how they try to hide it in their “opinions” attorneys are for self first, firm second, board/employer–third, at best!
    In the past general counsel’s case it was, attorney for self first, the buddy system second, then usually followed by (undisclosed) settlements. The employer/board/taxpayers didn’t even come in a close third.
    Why would the board or its attorney choose to let these offending employees hide behind “personnel/privacy” codes, when those same employees gave the children no place to hide–no protection at all?

  • Doctor J

    Why isn’t MDUSD doing class size reduction ? EdSource on CSR — Will MDUSD lose funding ? http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/new-funding-formula-revives-push-for-smaller-class-sizes/39804#.UlwW8qPn_IU

  • tmharrington

    I attended the district’s Common Core parent meeting tonight and was surprised district staff was unable to answer pointed questions that had previously been raised at the joint MDUSD/Walnut Creek City Council meeting, saying they hadn’t heard of those concerns. Someone needs to let staff know when public comments address their areas of oversight, if they’re not at the board meeting where the questions come up.
    Also, one staff member inexplicably said the Common Core standards don’t tell teachers what to teach, only how to teach it. Later, Bill Morones essentially said the opposite, when he pointed out that the Common Core standards have reduced the standards that were previously required. Morones also said “how” to teach is wide open.
    In addition, the staff Powerpoint didn’t give contact information for SASS staff or show the district’s website. Instead, staff told the audience the Powerpoint would be available on the district website after the last parent meeting next week.
    Later, the SASS staffer said he may have misspoken and that he was thinking of the ELA Framework, which hasn’t yet been updated. He also told me the Common Core is the test students will take. I said, “Don’t you mean Smarter Balanced?”
    One parent said afterward that she was very frustrated that the staff essentially told her she didn’t have a voice in what MDUSD is doing and that she should address her questions and concerns to the state Dept. of Ed.
    I will post video from the meeting at YouTube.com/tunedtotheresa shortly.

  • Doctor J

    Thank you for confirming the chaos I have observed in SASS for the last three years — its very sad that after two years of “working on it” under Rose Lock’s direction , those in charge really “don’t get it” on Common Core — so how do we expect the principals and teachers to “get it” ? Its the Rose Lock style of “leadership” — hold hands, don’t say anything that is critical or not positive, sing Kumbaya, and the problems will solve themselves. As Dr. Phil says, “How’s it working for ya ?” NOT. Tomorrow morning, at the first K-12 Principal’s meeting — Dr,. Nellie is taking charge of the meeting, not just making a cameo appearance like “the former guy”. I wonder if its a sign of the Swan Song for Rose Lock’s tenure in MDUSD ?

  • Doctor J

    More shocking than the contradictory presentations, was perhaps Rose Lock’s attendance — clearly her understanding of Common Core is deficient. Her answer to parent’s questions: write your legislator. Working on this two years, really ???

  • tmharrington

    I was also surprised that Bill Morones said he feels very comfortable about where MDUSD is in relation to other districts as far as implementing Common Core. Yet, the first presentation for elementary teachers is happening today. Other districts have this rolling already.
    Yes, the SASS rep who gave out the misinformation actually said the standards were the same as last year, just that the way they are being taught is different. Then, as I already pointed out, Morones essentially said the opposite, without actually correcting him.
    Lock arrived late, so I’m not sure if she heard the first man give out the misinformation.
    Also surprisingly, there was no wi-fi in the library and apparently no computer hookup either, since the SASS staffers apologized for not being able to show a video clip of Common Core teaching and instead displayed a very long website URL on the screen. With all the Measure C money being spent on technology, why doesn’t the El Dorado MS library have an internet connection?

  • Doctor J

    The Common Core computer enhancements are not scheduled to be completed until end of August 2014. Only 5 elementary schools will be completed by end of Feb 2014. El Dorado MS common core lab was to be completed by end of Sept — was it ? Theresa, it goes back to Morones lack of track record of success — SASS is willing to say anything to appease the parents and take off the heat. You need to see their project schedules and the TAC minutes.

  • g. de la verdad

    And yet, some of what is said ad- lib might be far more telling than any powerpoint. To paraphrase: “I’m confident about the transition, but I can’t speak to that.” “I’m not on that committee.” “I only know what I hear around the office.”

  • Doctor J

    DELAC meeting agenda for TODAY suddenly appears on the website — interesting format. Says “Public attendance and testimony are welcome at this meeting.” Yet, the agenda, not posted within Brown Act requirements of 72 hours, does NOT provide for “public comment”. http://www.mdusd.org/Lists/UpcomingEvents/Attachments/382/delac-agenda-10-16-13.pdf

  • Doctor J

    G, you are so right. When they go off script, its very telling. These parents were not satisfied. The meeting smelled more like a cattle yard than a florist shop.

  • tmharrington
  • tmharrington

    WCCUSD is also holding its ninth annual Parents as Partners and Leaders conference on Friday, focusing on bullying, Common Core and other issues of interest to parents: http://www.wccusd.net//site/Default.aspx?PageID=2&PageType=17&DomainID=1&ModuleInstanceID=1459&EventDateID=7817&CurrentView=month

    MDUSD used to hold a similar annual parents’ conference, but discontinued it several years ago due to budget cuts.

  • Doctor J

    Yeah, but MDUSD has its “good news” newsletter. Which is more valuable ? Common Core ‘Monthly Reporter’ ; or Parents as Partners conference; or the ‘Good News’ newsletter ?

  • Steve

    Dr. J… given your sincere and intense interest in the district, not to mention a wealth of information, why the hell don’t you run for the board next year? There will be two current board members who need to be replaced….one is Dennler always a non-presence, and the other is Mayo, the last member of the Whitmarsh, Eberhart alliance Go, Dr. J. Go!

  • Doctor J

    Dr. Nellie has ordered ALL employees to be retrained in “mandatory reporting” since apparently the Power Point training earlier this year cooked up by Assoc General Counsel Deborah Cooksey and Asst. Supt of Personnel Julie B-M did NOT meet the legal requirements of content and length — aren’t they supposed to be the experts ?? This time the training will be done by Contra Costa County Child Abuse Prevention Council. Things are “a changing” in MDUSD and its clear that Dr. Nellie is not putting up with mediocre performance. Let’s remember the contracts of the “3 Survivors” — Julie B-M, Rose Lock, and Bryan Richards — all expire on June 30, 2014, in just 8 1/2 months. Hmmmmmmm.

  • tmharrington

    I don’t think Mayo would consider herself to be part of the “Whitmarsh, Eberhart alliance.” She actively supported April Treece, who lost to Eberhart and Whitmarsh. She has also been portrayed by some as having taken Dennler under her wing to mentor her. And she has not been a supporter of Rolen, whom Eberhart, Strange and Whitmarsh championed. Now that Hansen, Oaks and Lawrence are in the majority and a new superintendent is in place, it will be interesting to see how Mayo and Dennler end up voting. As I recall, there should be a board retreat coming up soon so everyone can learn to gel with the new superintendent.

  • tmharrington

    The Joseph Martin case is a strong wake-up call to all employees that they need to report suspected abuse to authorities and NOT merely to their supervisors — even if the suspected abuser is another employee.

  • Phoenix

    I am trying to wrap my brain around what went on in the Martin case. The AALRR investigator most likely did not have access to any of the children and would have interviewed the adults at the school site and others who had information. From what I have read in the news articles, she did not believe she could substantiate child molestation by a preponderance of the evidence, but stated her opinion that she suspected it had occurred. In that instance, CPS or even the DA’s office needed to conduct an investigation where they could interview the alleged children involved. It is hard to imagine one of those agencies not getting involved if the Superintendent made a call and said we have a situation and need these children interviewed. Which leads me to ask, who made the decision not to go to an outside agency for further investigation? Yes, I know that everyone at the site had a duty to report, but one thing we don’t know is if CPS received anonymous reports and did not go out. CPS has a tool it uses to decide whether or not to “go out” on a report or to do an “evaluate out” meaning they decide to abstain from going out due to lack of sufficient indication of child abuse. I am asking people to consider that we don’t know what we don’t know, and there are more questions than answers at this point. If CPS did receive reports from Woodside, that would only be discoverable in litigation. The complaint may allege that no one made a report to CPS, but that has not been proven yet. Just my two cents to keep an open mind as the facts come out in discovery in the case.

  • Phoenix

    To continue my post, my question is not, did anything go wrong, but, what went wrong and when? Clearly there are 189 counts of child sexual assault something went VERY wrong. Even if CPS came out to Woodside in 2006, which we don’t know right now, we don’t know that the children were willing to say anything against their teacher. If children were interviewed in 2006 (a fact we don’t know for sure) and were unwilling to disclose, and the District’s own investigator could not substantiate the allegations of child molestation, then you don’t have a preponderance of evidence needed to dismiss a tenured teacher, and the directives may have been all that could be done at that time. If that is the case, then the case may turn on what was suspected after the 2006 investigation, and why the directives were not followed and why the employee was not carefully followed by all responsible District staff.

  • Doctor J

    Once BANG gets the police report and supporting materials, a lot of these questions should be answered. I would guess the MDUSD internal investigation led to the sudden reassignment of the Woodside principal — I am anxious to see the scope of the BANG request, which should be identified in the lawsuit. Hopefully Theresa can post that soon.

  • tmharrington

    I have uploaded it to my google drive and will post it soon in a separate blog post.

    Meanwhile, here’s how SRVUSD is introducing Common Core to its community, in sessions that include 45-minute workshops presented by the district in partnership with the PTA and teachers’ union: http://www.contracostatimes.com/san-ramon-valley-times/ci_24308194/common-core-parent-educations-nights-san-ramon-next

  • Doctor J

    From the description, the PowerPoint shown to the Board on Feb 25 and the one shown to parents on Oct 15 — six months apart — are nearly identical. So if they are so identical, why couldn’t the SASS staffers [Bill, Lisa and Chris] [each $100,000 plus employees] ‘get it right’ ? Here is the link to the Board presentation: http://www.mdusd.org/Departments/sass/commoncore/Documents/Board_Presentation_2-25-13.pdf

  • tmharrington
  • tmharrington

    Thanks for the link to the previous PowerPoint. It does look very similar, with some of the slides exactly the same, such as pg. 5, which shows what the standards do and don’t do.

    Yet, as my first video shows, Chris Holleran told parents about 3:40 in: “The Common Core does not address content. It doesn’t tell people what to teach. So, teachers are still teaching the state standards in terms of content. We still have the UC A-G curriculum. Those courses are exactly the same. They’re not changing. They’re not going away. So, it’s a pedagological shift. It’s ‘What are we asking students to do?’” (in terms of explaining answers rather than just bubbling in answers).

    Yet, the Powerpoint states:
    “The standards DO define what all students are expected to know and be able to do.”
    “The standards DO NOT define how teachers should teach.”

    Lisa Boje read this to the audience, without pointing out that she was contradicting what Holleran had just said. Later, Morones also said the standards were reduced this year to focus on what was most important, clearly showing that the standards have changed and that there are fewer standards being taught now than there were before.

    Holleran made his off-the-cuff remarks in response to a question about whether the standards were being dumbed down this year. He was arguing that they weren’t, since he incorrectly asserted they were exactly the same. Perhaps SASS should try to come up with a different answer to questions about whether the standards have been dumbed down.

    Here’s a link to that video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFzI1qhUnD8&feature=share&list=UUzNb8poV27WgVD3TDzblkZw

  • Doctor J

    Watching Boje, Halleran, and Morones reminded me of several “Three Stooges” episodes. Six months after they told the Board about CCSS, and SASS still does not understand Common Core. Maybe Dr. Nellie ought to review the clips of the meeting with Rose Lock — I don’t think Dr. Nellie will tolerate that kind of mediocrity in the district administration. Or will Rose just see if they are ready for verse 2 of Kumbaya.

  • tmharrington

    Here’s the agenda for the Pleasant Hill Education Commission’s Oct. 23 meeting: http://www.ci.pleasant-hill.ca.us/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/1579

    It’s surprising that they are meeting on the same night as the board: http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Pages/boe-sam.aspx

  • tmharrington

    Here are some Touts from Montalvin Elementary in WCCUSD explaining that district’s transition to Common Core:

    http://www.tout.com/m/nd7tsu: Principal explains how elementary math will change

    http://www.tout.com/m/j74bvf: Principal explains teacher training

    http://www.tout.com/m/emtck3: Teacher talks about implementing Common Core in elementary math

  • tmharrington

    I have heard from Northgate HS neighbors that the public hearing for the proposed aquatic center is at 7 pm. in the school cafeteria. Yet, there is no mention of this on the district’s website: http://www.mdusd.org/Pages/default.aspx

    The only mention of the meeting I could find was in the Oct. 9 agenda report, which listed the date, but no time or specific place at the school: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=7583&mtgId=385

    Again, transparency appears to be lacking, despite promised improvement.

  • g. de la verdad

    Perhaps SASS should impose some Common Core type “in-depth learning” strategies on themselves–before they try to explain Common Core to others.

  • tmharrington

    Yes, perhaps they should read the PowerPoint with understanding and explain it to each other and write about it, the same way students are supposed to be learning with the Common Core.
    Here is the link that they projected for the videos: https://www.teachingchannel.org/
    Unfortunately, however, the website requires visitors to register. Considering how worried some parents were about providing personal information online, it is doubtful they will want to register just to see an example of Common Core teaching.

  • tmharrington

    When I went to the site again, it didn’t ask for registration. But, it looks like you need to register to comment. Here are the specific links provided in the Powerpoint:
    https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/12th-grade-text-analysis-lesson?fd=1
    and
    https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/analyzing-text-writing?fd=1

  • Doctor J

    When you add up the number of districts that Boje, Halleran, and Morones have bounced around to, it reminded me of some of the lyrics of that classic song . . .”They call me the wanderer – yeah -the wanderer; I roam around around around around . . . ” Dr. Nellie needs to watch these video clips to understand what is really going on.

  • tmharrington