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Archive for April, 2014

MDUSD board to hear proposal to create a Northgate district

Here is the agenda for tonight’s MDUSD board meeting now in progress at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord. You can watch it live at http://www.livestream.com/mtdiablounifiedschooldistrict

“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.
5.0 Closed Session Agenda
5.1 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. Info/Action
5.2 Discipline, Dismissal or Release of Public Employee Action
5.3 Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation (Gov. Code Sec. 54956.9(b) Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
5.4 Conference with Negotiators – Unrepresented Employees – Diablo Managers Association. Negotiators: Dr. Nellie Meyer and Larry Schoenke, Interim General Counsel Info/Action
6.0 Reconvene Open Session
6.1 Reconvene Open Session at 7:30 p.m. Info
7.0 Preliminary Business
7.1 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info
8.0 Report Out Action Taken in Closed Session
8.1 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. Info/Action
8.2 Discipline, Dismissal or Release of Public Employee Action
8.3 Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation (Gov. Code Sec. 54956.9(b) Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
8.4 Conference with Negotiators – Unrepresented Employees – Diablo Managers Association. Negotiators: Dr. Nellie Meyer and Larry Schoenke, Interim General Counsel Info/Action
9.0 Recognitions and Resolutions
9.1 Appreciation for Service to Board Presidency Info
10.0 Board Member Reports
10.1 Board Reports Info
11.0 Superintendent’s Report
11.1 Superintendent’s Report Info
12.0 Reports/Information
12.1 Mt. Diablo High School Seniors “Sugar Smart” Info
13.0 Consent Agenda Action
13.1 (Item #1) Items listed under Consent Agenda are considered routine and will be approved/adopted by a single motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items; however, any item may be removed from the consent agenda upon the request of any member of the Board and acted upon separately. Action
13.2 (Item #2) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
13.3 (Item #3) 17.11 Approval of Provisional Internship Permit (PIP) Request. Action
13.4 (Item #4) Recommended Action for Classified Employees Action
13.5 (Item #5) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase and Decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 School Year Action
13.6 (Item #6) Approve contract with Sunbelt Staffing to provide a Teacher of the Visually Impaired for the 2013-2014 school year. Action
13.7 (Item #7) Approve contract with Exploring New Horizons (ENH) for El Monte Elementary School Outdoor Ed Program Action
13.8 (Item #8) Approval to increase Silver Spur Outdoor Ed Contracts with Highlands Elementary and Wren Ave Elementary Schools Action
13.9 (Item #9) Approve 2013-2014 Interagency Agreement #29-513-15 between Mt. Diablo USD and Contra Costa County Mental Health Services Division Action
13.10 (Item #10) Approve 2013-2014 Interagency Agreement #28-325-4 between Mt. Diablo USD and Contra Costa County Mental Health Services Division Action
13.11 (Item #11) Approve 2013-2014 Interagency Agreement #74-371-5 between Mt. Diablo USD and Contra Costa County Mental Health Services Division Action
13.12 (Item #12) Approve submission of the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grant. Action
13.13 (Item #13) Approve submission of the Farm to School grant. Action
13.14 (Item #14) Williams Quarterly Summary Report Action
13.15 (Item #15) Approve Contract Amendment Number Ten to Capital Engineering Consultants, Inc. Action
13.16 (Item #16) Award Design Services Contract to PHd Architects, Inc. for Building E Window Replacement at College Park High School Action
13.17 (Item #17) Award of Independent Services Contract to Enviro-S.T.A.R. for the Oversight of Hazardous Materials Abatement/Removal related to Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Renovations at Various Sites. Action
13.18 (Item #18) Award Project Inspector Contract to MWC & Associates to support Clayton Valley Charter High School Athletic Facility Improvements project. Action
13.19 (Item #19) Award Professional Services Contract to Capital Engineering Consultants, Inc. for auditing, planning and engineering services required by California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39). Action
13.20 (Item #20) Minutes for the Special Board of Education Meeting held on October 7, 2013 Action
13.21 (Item #21) Minutes for the Board of Education Meeting held on September 25, 2013 Action
14.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion
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 Business/Action Items
17.1 Opportunity for public response to the Sunshine Reopener from Local One, Clerical, Secretarial & Technical (CST) Unit. Info
17.2 Create Job Description for Technology Customer Help Desk Technician II Action
17.3 Revise Job Description for Attendance/Student Records Coordinator Action
17.4 Reclassification of Classified Positions in the California School Employees Association (CSEA) Unit Action
17.5 Reclassification of Classified Positions in the Local One, Clerical, Secretarial, Technical (CST) Unit Action
17.6 Reclassification of Classified Positions in the Teamsters, Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities/Transportation/Landscape/Warehouse/Food and Nutrition Services/Technology and Information Services/Substitute Custodian and School Bus Driver Unit (M&O) Action
17.7 Implement Staff’s Recommendation to Decrease the Number of Certificated Employees Due to a Reduction or Elimination of Particular Kinds of Service Action
17.8 Request authorization to submit the 2014-2017 Technology Plan to the California Department of Education Info
17.9 Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act Funds for 2014-2015. Action
17.10 Meeting Extension Action
17.11 3D Modeling Course of Study Info
17.12 Adoption of “Pre-Calculus” Course of Study Info
17.13 Request to Approve Equipment Grant Application for Nutrition Services Action
17.14 Minutes for the Board of Education Meeting held on April 9, 2014 Action
17.15 Minutes for the Special Board of Education Meeting held on March 5, 2014 Action
17.16 Draft Report to the Board of Education concerning Bay Point Master Planning Info
17.17 Proposal from Parent Organization Info/Action
18.0 Future Agenda Items
18.1 Future Agenda Items Info
19.0 Closed Session
19.1 Items not completed during the first Closed Session will be carried over to this closed session. Action
20.0 Reconvene Open Session
20.1 Reconvene Open Session Info
21.0 Adjournment
21.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Do you agree with the proposal to divide the district?

Posted on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 66 Comments »

Congrats to National Merit Scholarship Corporation winners and to top high schools in US News and World Report rankings!

Congratulations to the 22 East Bay high school seniors who are National Merit Scholarship Corporation Program winners!

The students were chosen based on their strong performance on the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, along with essays and information submitted with applications about extracurricular activities, awards, leadership, academic accomplishment and a recommendation.

Corporate sponsors provide National Merit Scholarships to finalists who are children of their employees, residents of communities the companies serve, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers encouraged by the sponsor. Scholarships range from $500 to $10,000 per year and be used at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

Here is a list of the 13 Alameda County students and nine Contra Costa County students who will receive the awards, in alphabetical order by city, followed by the student’s name, school, probable career field and scholarship sponsor:

ALAMEDA COUNTY
Albany: Suzanne Becker, Albany High, computer programming, Novartis
Albany: Naomi Hamada, Albany High, engineering, Chevron Corporation
Dublin: Florian Stumpf, Dublin High, medicine, Nelson F. Peterson scholarship from Hoffmann-La Roche
Fremont: Eric Deng, Mission San Jose High, mechanical engineering (automotive), Lockheed Martin
Fremont: Anish Kannan, Mission San Jose High, computer science, Macy’s Inc.
Fremont: Sanjay Sreekumar, Mission San Jose High, computer science, E*Trade Financial Corporation
Fremont: Grace Wu, Mission San Jose High, English literature, Automatic Data Processing, Inc.
Fremont: Jonathan Xu, St. Francis High in Mountain View, computer science, MetLife Foundation
Livermore: Steven Wang, Granada High, computer engineering, Boeing
Pleasanton: Melody Huang, Amador Valley High, economics, Moody’s Foundation
Pleasanton: John Malchar, Amador Valley High, public service, Calmer L. Johnson/John W. Leslie scholarship from Illinois Tool Works Foundation
Pleasanton: Alicia Yang, Foothill High, oncology, Nelson F. Peterson scholarship from Hoffmann-La Roche
Union City: Katie Chang, James Logan High, business management, CSC

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
Moraga: Jennifer Li, Miramonte High in Orinda, biological engineering, Bayer
Moraga: Julia Shen, Miramonte High in Orinda, medicine, Nelson F. Peterson scholarship from Hoffmann-La Roche
Orinda: Talbot Jacobs, Oakland Preparatory School in Oakland, economics, Chevron Corporation
Pleasant Hill: Larry Wang, Acalanes High in Lafayette, computer science, Bayer
San Ramon: Aditya Bhumbla, California High, computer science, Chevron Corporation
San Ramon: Liyang Huang, Dougherty Valley High, biotechnology, Nelson F. Peterson scholarship from Hoffmann-La Roche
San Ramon: Jamie Shen, Dougherty Valley High, history, Chevron Corporation
San Ramon: Allison Zhong, Dougherty Valley High, medicine, Novartis

Here is the a link to the entire list of California winners: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceQ1MtWFNHY0NKTFk/edit?usp=sharing

Congratulations also to East Bay schools named in US News and World Report’s recent ranking of the best high schools in the state and country. Here are 13 that made the top 80 in California, listed by state rank, national rank, school, city and county:

6, 44: American Indian Public High, Oakland, Alameda
11, 67: KIPP King Collegiate High, San Lorenzo, Alameda
20, 143: Campolindo High, Moraga, Contra Costa
29, 184: Leadership Public Schools, Hayward, Alameda
34, 200: Piedmont High, Piedmont, Alameda
43, 248: Miramonte High, Orinda, Contra Costa
46, 256: Amador Valley High, Pleasanton, Contra Costa
47, 257: Aspire Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy, Oakland, Alameda
48, 260: Acalanes High, Lafayette, Contra Costa
64, 327: Foothill High, Pleasanton, Alameda
67, 334: Dougherty Valley High, San Ramon, Contra Costa
74, 363: Oakland Charter High, Oakland, Alameda
80, 373: Leadership Public Schools, Richmond, Contra Costa

Here is a link to the entire California list: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/california/rankings?schooltypepublic=y&schooltypemagnet=y&schooltypecharter=y

Many of the highly ranked schools in low-performing districts are charters, while others are in high-performing districts, such as Piedmont, Pleasanton, Acalanes and San Ramon Valley.

What do you think is the secret to their success?

Posted on Friday, April 25th, 2014
Under: Education | 5 Comments »

Schools mark the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath

photo 2 (3)

Northgate students were encouraged to post this photo to Instagram to mark the 75th anniversary of Grapes of Wrath

Northgate students were encouraged to post this photo to Instagram to mark the 75th anniversary of Grapes of Wrath

To mark the 75h anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath today, schools throughout the state are participating in a variety of activities as part of the California Teachers Association’s “California Reads” program of teacher-recommended books for students of all ages.

The epic struggles of the Joad family in John Steinbeck’s novel are being rediscovered and honored in classrooms, theaters and lecture halls today, this month and throughout the year, according to a CTA news release.

Northgate High English teacher Daniel Reynolds has taught the book for nine years to his high school juniors in the Mt. Diablo school district.

“The ‘Grapes of Wrath’ is relevant to students today because the struggles of the Joad family, and of all the families dispossessed by the Depression, are the struggles of millions of people today,” Reynolds said in a prepared statement. “Steinbeck reminds us that people want to work, they want to provide for their families, they want a little piece of land they can call their own, an education for their kids, they want to be healthy, and ultimately they want all these same things for everyone else too. Students feel a lot of this already, but struggle to put their feelings into words. The ‘Grapes of Wrath’ helps them do that.”

Reynolds’ students at Northgate High in Walnut Creek will participate in a variety of activities during lunch today. Projects include a 75-foot multimedia timeline based on events in the book, an interactive social media experience designed by Reynolds, an Instagram scavenger hunt related to the novel, a student’s website documenting what other classmates are doing to honor the book, square-dancing instruction in the gym, birthday cake, outfits created by students similar to what the characters wore, and an art show with music.

The book tells the story of the Joad family’s migration from their farm in Oklahoma to California, where they were exploited and forced to work for starvation wages by unscrupulous growers. Reynolds said the book shows the power of working together against great and menacing odds.

“The ‘Grapes of Wrath’ evokes the American themes and progressive ideals of collective action and reasoned dissent,” Reynolds said, “and reminds us that we all do better when we all do better.”

In Fremont, American High School English teacher Deborah Thorsen recently finished teaching the book for a fifth time to her junior students.

“I tell my students that this is the kind of book that can change the way you look at the world,” she said. “It tells them that they have a chance to change the world. It shows them that society isn’t nice. They come away from the book with a sense of injustices, but wanting to do something about it.”

The book, which won a Pulitzer Prize, is on the California Department of Education’s recommended literature list. It has sparked numerous teacher lesson plans, both in high schools and colleges.

The Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University houses extensive archives — including “Grapes of Wrath” manuscripts and first editions –- on the fifth floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. main library downtown, next to SJSU. The campus plans a Wednesday stage production of the novel, immediately followed by a discussion with Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw, who teaches English at the university and will speak about her new book, “On Reading the Grapes of Wrath.” An opera based on the novel will be performed May 9 and 11.

APRIL 1 UPDATE: I visited the Northgate campus after school Monday and saw some of the signs Reynolds had posted to get students thinking about themes in the book.

One sign asked: “When someone warns you about the negative consequences of an action, do you stay away (and learn from their warning), or do you do it anyway (and learn from doing things for yourself — even if that means taking negative consequences?”

Reynolds said afterward that he considered the day a success.

“The idea was to have a celebratory nature, encouraging the students to think about the quotes,” he said. “All over campus during lunch and most of the day it was everywhere for people to see.”

Do you think “The Grapes of Wrath” is relevant today?

Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2014
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Walnut Creek | 2 Comments »

Concord police chief and MDUSD teacher express support for mandated reporting bill

Earlier this week, Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger and Mt. Diablo school district teacher Anita Johnson spoke in support of AB 2560, which is related to mandated child abuse reporting, at an Assembly Education Committee hearing.

The bill, proposed by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, would require all teachers to read a statement and attest that they understand their responsibilities to report suspected child abuse to Child Protective Services or law enforcement when they apply for and renew their credentials.

“In my district and cities throughout California, there have been cases of unreported student physical and sexual abuse,” Bonilla told the committee, which is headed up by Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo. “There’s been a growing trend where mandated reporters have reported suspected child abuse only to school administration and not to law enforcement or Child Protective Services.”

Johnson discussed three instances in which children might have been better protected if teachers had reported their suspicions to police. In one, Johnson said a teacher noticed that her student came to school with bruises the day after calling a parent to discuss missing homework.

When the principal found out, he reprimanded the teacher for calling the parent, saying he knew that would happen, Johnson said. When asked if he would report the incident to Child Protective Services, the principal said that was not the appropriate thing to do because the agency might remove the child from the home and put her in the “system,” which would be far worse than where she was.

In another incident, when a middle school teacher told a student she was going to call his father because he hadn’t turned in an assignment, the boy said, “Don’t tell me Dad. He’ll beat the crap out of me.”

The boy seemed truly frightened, Johnson said. Yet, the principal told the teacher it wouldn’t be right to report this to authorities, because parents have the right to reprimand their children.

“My final example is the situation from my own district, Mt. Diablo Unified, in which many teachers at a particular school reported to their administrator that they felt there were odd things happening in a certain classroom and that the teacher had made some weird comments about young boys,” Johnson said. “The administrator assured these teachers that she would investigate.”

Yet, it wasn’t until the boys themselves accused that teacher of molestation that the teacher was removed from the classroom, Johnson said.

“The bottom line,”Johnson said, “is to make sure teachers know they are responsible for reporting to an outside agency and not their administrator.”

She said teachers want to do the right thing and reminders are always good.

Swanger, who worked in the San Diego police department before coming to Concord about three years ago, expressed strong support for the bill.

“It’s a time-tested formula that some form of in-service training and/or ongoing communication is the key to compliance,” he said. “And I believe that there is no more important law that we should require 100 percent compliance (with) than following the mandatory reporting law.”

He said these laws are violated when a person working in the school system who suspects abuse does not completely understand or know their legal requirements.

“They believe notifying a supervisor, a principal or a peer meets their requirement,” he said. “And worse, that supervisor or peer does not understand their legal requirements.”

Although the mandating reporting law has been on the books for 29 years, Swanger said it’s evident by the large number of cases involving failure to report, particularly in districts where he has served, that the law is not sufficient. He said some teachers have received little or no training regarding the law, while others are told they must report suspected abuse to an administrator.

“The most troubling scenario that some of them have shared with me,” he said, “is that the worst failures occur when the offender works in the system.”

Here is a link to the committee testimony, along with more information about the bills on the agenda that day: http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=2019

Do you support AB2560?

Posted on Saturday, April 12th, 2014
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 3 Comments »

YVHS presents “Legally Blonde” this weekend and next weekend!

Members of YVHS Legally Blonde cast join De La Salle and Carondelet Legally Blonde cast members on YVHS stage after show.

Members of YVHS Legally Blonde cast join De La Salle and Carondelet Legally Blonde cast members on YVHS stage after show.

Ygnacio Valley High invites the community to come to its production of “Legally Blonde” this weekend and next weekend. Kelly Cooper, the school’s Performing Arts Chairwoman and Dance Director, is trying to get the word out about a show she says shouldn’t be missed!

“This is our most ambitious musical to date, with a ton of music, a huge 38 person cast, 8 person backstage crew, and literally 116 costume changes,” she wrote in an e-mail. “Parents and students have worked over the weekends to build outstanding sets (our wings are exploding!!) and we have put together a cast and a musical we are proud to present to you and to the community.”

The show opens today at 7:30 p.m. and continues at 2 p.m. Saturday at Ygnacio Valley High, 755 Oak Grove Road in Concord. It will continue at 7:30 p.m. Friday April 11 and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Legally Blonde is based on the movie of the same name, but a ton of hilarious scenes and great songs that will get stuck in your head for days (trust me on that one),” Cooper wrote. “A musical without an audience is a tragedy (pun intended) and WE NEED YOU!!”

Tickets for evening shows are $8 for students and $12 for adults, while tickets for matinee shows are $5 and $8.

“Come support this completely self funded program and (see) these VERY talented and supremely dedicated students shine,” Cooper says.

Here’s a list of some of the key roles played student stars, along with their grade levels:

Elle Woods- McKenna Duncan (11)
Warner Huntington III- Matt Boer (12)
Emmett Forrest- Devin Rader (12)
Vivienne Kensington- Rory Tank (12)
Brooke Wyndham-Danielle Tortolani (12)
Serena- Kayla Samuels
Pilar-Rhyndyl Sardina
Margot- Maddie King
Paulette- Aaliyah Minor

Here’s a link to a flyer for the show: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceeWttZ1I3azBISHM/edit?usp=sharing

Let us know what you think of the show!

April 8 update: Please note that I have added a photo to this blog post of the Legally Blonde cast members from DeLaSalle and Carondolet’s production who came to see YVHS’s Legally Blonde show last Saturday night posing together on stage!

Posted on Friday, April 4th, 2014
Under: Mt. Diablo school district | No Comments »

MDUSD logs documents related to teacher molestation arrest withheld from Bay Area News Group’s Public Records Act request

The Mt. Diablo school district’s attorney has responded to a court order to produce logs of documents being withheld from Bay Area News Group’s Public Records Act request seeking “Any and all writings pertaining to Mt. Diablo Unified School District teacher Joseph Andrew Martin, 45, relating to allegations of wrongdoing (including inappropriate behavior with students), complaints, investigations, findings, discipline meted out or other action taken against Mr. Martin during his tenure at the district…”

Martin was placed on administrative leave in April and was subsequently arrested and charged with 150 counts of molestation involving 14 former students while he taught at the Concord campus. His trial has been postponed until May.

The district provided Bay Area News Group, or BANG, with two notices related to the court order.

The first is a Notice of filing, which includes a short list of two documents the district is withholding from Bay Area News Group that are not protected by attorney-client privilege:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceZ2I4OXZCS0Z4amc/edit?usp=sharing

It lists two e-mails from the district’s associate general counsel Deborah Cooksey to Concord Police Detective Tamara Roberts, which discussed criminal charges against Martin. The district claims several privileges that it argues entitle it to withhold the documents from the public, including official information, pending investigation, confidential information, attorney work product privilege and deliberative process privilege.

In its discussion of the documents, the district states that the e-mails contain information regarding an “unfinal personnel decision by the district’s legal counsel.”

“If the district is required to disclose this information, it will commit the district to premature personnel decision and expose the district’s legal counsel investigatory process,” the district argues.

“Said communication also evidences the legal counsel’s work product and impressions. Further, said document may potentially be excluded from the definition of a public record,” according to the district.

It concludes by arguing that the e-mails reveal the district and legal counsel’s “investigatory efforts both as to allegations of wrongdoing and on confidential personnel decisions,” which it argues are expressly excluded from disclosure.

The second item provided to BANG is a Notice of Lodging Privilege Log, which states that a confidential privilege log of documents protected from disclosure due to attorney-client or attorney-work product privilege has been lodged with the court: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceWlhqcUdqVW1UUDQ/edit?usp=sharing. It does not include Exhibit A, which is the list of documents being withheld.

Interestingly, the district did not list the letter that was sent home to Woodside Elementary parents when Martin was placed on his leave of absence. It is difficult to imagine how that letter could be construed to be subject to attorney-client privilege or attorney-client work product.

Do you agree with the district’s decision to list only two e-mails as potentially responsive to BANG’s Public Records Act request and to keep the list of “confidential privilege” documents provided to the court secret?

Posted on Friday, April 4th, 2014
Under: Mt. Diablo school district | 77 Comments »

MDUSD board to meet tonight with Concord City Council

The Mt. Diablo school board will hold a joint meeting tonight with the Concord City Council to discuss issues of mutual interest.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the district office board room at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord. The public is invited to comment on items on the agenda, which include:

A Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) presentation by MDUSD Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer.

An oral presentation regarding the Family Justice Center by Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger.

An information exchange between the school board and city council including updates on items of mutual interest and a discussion of partnerships and other areas of cooperation. Discussion items may include: district enrollment, student achievement, Common Core State Standards, development and educational opportunities for high school students, school/community safety, shared fields, updates on current and planned improvement projects, MDEA Second Annual Academy Awards and the communication between the district and city council. No formal action will be taken.

Here is a link to the agenda, which didn’t show up on the district’s web site home page until today: http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Documents/agendas/2014/04-02-14.pdf

Because the media was not notified in advance of this meeting, I was unaware of it until this morning, so was unable to inform the public about it in today’s Contra Costa Times.

Other items of interest that could be discussed include Clayton Valley High’s expansion plans and De La Salle’s planned middle school academy in Concord.

Do you believe the district adequately informed the community about this meeting?

Posted on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Under: Concord, Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 12 Comments »

Northgate HS music student seeks support for Eagle Scout project refurbishing music stands for Foothill Middle School

A Northgate HS senior is seeking donations for his Eagle Scout project to refurbish instrumental music stands at Foothill MS in Walnut Creek. Here is his statement asking for community support:

“I’m Matthew Assily, a senior at Northgate High School. I have been involved in instrumental music in the Mount Diablo Unified School District since fourth grade, and am heavily involved in the music program at Northgate.

I am also a Life Scout in Boy Scout Troop 494. For my Eagle Scout project, I am refurbishing the music stands at Foothill Middle School, which includes painting them and stenciling ‘FMS’ onto them for ease of use in the future. In order to carry out this refurbishment, I need to raise funds for tools and supplies.

If you are so inclined, I am looking for voluntary donations of between $5 and $10 to go towards the paint and the safety equipment required for the project. Donations can be sent to Matthew Assily, c/o John Assily, 3240 Stone Valley Road West, Alamo, CA 94507 and checks can be made out to Matthew Assily. I will send you a receipt for your donation. Any funds raised beyond the required money for the project will be given to the Foothill Middle School Instrumental Music program.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at mjassily@aol.com. Thank you so much for your contribution and for supporting instrumental music in the Mount Diablo Unified School District!”

Here is a video clip of Assily (second from left) playing “Almost Tango” by Gianfranco Gioia with his classmates Eric Nakanishi, Massimius Watson and Ben Lugten: http://www.tout.com/m/0aaowr

Posted on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Music | No Comments »