Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for the 'Mt. Diablo school district' Category

Mt. Diablo school district could be held in contempt of court for failing to release court-ordered documents to Bay Area News Group

The Mt. Diablo school district could be held in contempt of court for refusing to turn over documents in connection with a lawsuit filed last year by this newspaper.

Last month, a Contra Costa County Superior Court judge ordered the district to release eight documents to this newspaper in response to a California Public Records Act request and subsequent lawsuit seeking all writings related to complaints, investigations or discipline of former Woodside Elementary teacher Joseph Martin, who was charged last year with 150 counts of molestation involving 14 students.

A jury acquitted Martin in August on 21 counts involving three accusers and deadlocked on 95 other counts involving 11 accusers. The deputy district attorney dismissed 34 counts before jury deliberations began and has not yet decided whether to retry Martin on the remaining charges.

Martin was placed on a leave of absence in April 2013 after a parent complained to the principal about suspicions of inappropriate touching. Martin was arrested two months later and remains in jail in lieu of $10 million bail. Civil lawsuits filed by the accusers and their families against him and the district are pending.

In response to this newspaper’s lawsuit, a judge reviewed documents the district considered exempt from disclosure “in camera,” or in the judge’s chambers. Following this review, the judge ordered the district to produce the following eight documents, saying they were not exempt:

1. Phone message of May 22, 2013, for Julie Braun-Martin, then-assistant superintendent of personnel, from a parent.

2. Letter to Martin from a parent.

3. Email from Martin to Braun-Martin dated May 16, 2013.

4. Phone message of May 22, 2013, for Braun-Martin from parent.

5. Emails from then-Woodside Elementary Principal Jenny Cronan to Braun-Martin dated May 26 and 27, 2013.

6. Letter from Cronan to “Parents of H-I Students” dated May 28, 2013.

7. Phone message of June 7, 2013, for Braun-Martin from Cronan.

8. Email to “Board Members” from then-Interim Superintendent John Bernard dated June 28, 2013.

The district’s outside counsel from Meyers Nave filed a Motion to Reconsider, arguing that the documents were produced through an “improper” inspection in the judge’s chambers. They further argued that the documents are not public records by definition, that they are not responsive to this newspaper’s California Public Records Act request, that they are privileged attorney-client communications, are subject to attorney work product privilege, and they pertain to pending criminal and civil litigation. In addition, the district argued that disclosure would infringe on the privacy rights of families whose children attend Woodside Elementary in Concord, where Martin taught fifth grade.

The district included a declaration under perjury signed by Jayne Williams, who was the district’s interim general counsel when Martin was arrested, arguing that the documents should be exempt from disclosure because they were “retrieved solely from the general counsel’s legal files.”

Regarding Bernard’s email, Williams said: “I am informed, believe and thereon allege that email was sent on June 28, 2013, following the district meeting in closed session on June 24, 2013, to address these matters.”

She attached a copy of the agenda from the meeting, which she asserted “confirms the district’s meeting in closed session to discuss a matter related to a public employee.”

However, the minutes from that meeting — which she did not attach — state that no closed session took place because the public employee issue “has been resolved.” This newspaper asked the court to order the district to show cause why it should not be held in contempt of court for failure to obey the Aug. 14 order, and the judge agreed. Both the motion to reconsider and the contempt of court order are set for Oct. 15 hearings.

Staff writer Matthias Gafni contributed to this report.

Here is the district’s Motion to Reconsider: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKcecFAxSk9jU0lYUGM/edit?usp=sharing

Here is Meyers Nave attorney Kevin Gilbert’s statement in support of the MDUSD motion: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceSTJWRU5US3V0Wkk/edit?usp=sharing

Here is former Interim General Counsel Jayne Williams’ declaration in support of the MDUSD motion: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceZlVDYTY4UEZjZTQ/edit?usp=sharing

Here’s BANG’s Application for Order to Show Cause Why MDUSD Should Not Be Held In Contempt for Failure to Obey Aug. 14, 2014 Disclosure Order: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceekFrT0pOMTg4SmM/edit?usp=sharing

Do you think the district should turn over the documents or be held in contempt of court?

SEPT. 29 UPDATE: BANG filed this Petition for Writ today, which calls into question the actions of former Interim General Counsel Jayne Williams, who appears to have compiled certain documents in a “legal” file, while allowing all other copies of those documents to be discarded, in an apparent attempt to withhold them from release to BANG’s CPRA: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceWEFsWDYwNXhJZ2s/edit?usp=sharing

Posted on Friday, September 26th, 2014
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 12 Comments »

Poll shows Americans think teachers need better training, longer student teaching stints

As the debate over teacher tenure and teacher evaluations continues, a new poll released last week showed Americans support more stringent admission requirements for teacher education programs, more rigorous evaluations and a “bar exam” type of certification test.

Those surveyed in the second release of information from the 46th edition of the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools believe performance evaluations are important to help teachers improve and to identify those who are ineffective. But they do not support the use of student test scores as the primary tool for evaluating teachers.

These are issues that those who educate prospective teachers are already beginning to address. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation has implemented new rules that will set minimum academic standards for students seeking admission into university schools of education. In addition, more than 100,000 teachers throughout the country have earned national board certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, including many in Contra Costa County.

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education has endorsed a performance assessment developed by Stanford University, which is built on national board certification and has been compared to a bar exam, to determine whether a teacher candidate is ready to teach.

“Many programs designed to help teachers improve their skills already exist,” said William Bushaw, chief executive officer of PDK International and co-director of the PDK/Gallup poll in a news release. “But this year’s results show that more work, study and action by district, state and federal leaders is needed to implement these programs that Americans support.”

The poll also asked about the public school calendar, curriculum and educating undocumented children.
Key findings include:

— 81 percent of those surveyed said teachers “should be required to pass board certification in addition to earning a degree.”

— 60 percent said entrance requirements to education schools should be raised.

— 44 percent said student teaching stints with a certificated teacher should last one year; 27 percent said two years; 4 percent supported the most common practice of six-week student teaching assignments.

— 45 percent said the number of instructional days should remain the same, but vacations should be spread throughout the year instead of mainly in the summer; about 44 percent generally supported adding more instructional days.

— 31 percent generally supported adding more hours to each school day.
Support for educating undocumented children varied, depending whether or not the question included the word “illegally.”

— 56 percent supported “providing public education to children of immigrants who are undocumented.”

— 49 percent favored “providing education to children of immigrants who are in the United States illegally.”

— 91 percent said a college education is “fairly important” or “very important.”

However, the 2014 poll found an unexpected change in those categories compared to four years ago. In 2010, 75 percent of those surveyed said college was “very important,” while 21 percent said it was “fairly important.”
This year, 43 percent categorized college as “very important,” while 48 percent responded “fairly important.”

“We were genuinely surprised by the divided response on the importance of college,” Bushaw said. “Americans seem to be rethinking the idea that a college education is essential for success in the U.S. economy, perhaps in part because parents are less certain they will be able to pay for it.”

PDK, an international association of education professionals, has conducted this poll annually with Gallup since 1969. The most recent findings are based on telephone interviews completed in May and June 2014 with a national sample of 1,001 American adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.6 percent.

Complete results are at www.pdkpoll.org.

Do you agree with the poll results?

Posted on Friday, September 26th, 2014
Under: Mt. Diablo school district, Teaching | 1 Comment »

MDUSD tonight to appoint a Northgate HS principal, vote on board benefits and counselor positions

The Mt. Diablo school board will meet tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the school district office board room at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord. Here is the agenda, which includes several items of interest, such as the appointment of a principal for Northgate High in Walnut Creek, a vote on board benefits, the restoration of hours for special education assistants and the creation of 12 counselor positions.

“1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President Will Call the Meeting to Order at 6:00 p.m. Info

2.0 Public Comment
2.1 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
3.0 Announcements

3.1 In Closed Session, the Board will consider the items listed on the Closed Session Agenda. Info
4.0 Closed Session Agenda
4.1 (Item #1) Readmission of Student #15-13 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.2 (Item #2) Anticipated Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Sec. 54956.9(b, Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
4.3 (Item #3) Conference With Labor Negotiator(s) (Gov. Code Sec. 54957.6; Agency Negotiators – Dr. Nellie Meyer; Unrepresented Employee: DMA Info/Action
4.4 (Item #4) Conference with Labor Negotiator(s) – Unrepresented Employee – Superintendent. Negotiator: Barbara Oaks Info/Action
5.0 Adjourn to Closed Session at 6:00 p.m.
5.1 Adjourn to Closed Session at 6:00 p.m. Action

6.0 Reconvene Open Session
6.1 Reconvene to 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 (Item #1) Readmission of Student #15-13 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.2 (Item #2) Anticipated Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Sec. 54956.9(b, Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
8.3 (Item #3) Conference With Labor Negotiator(s) (Gov. Code Sec. 54957.6; Agency Negotiators – Dr. Nellie Meyer; Unrepresented Employee: DMA Info/Action
8.4 (Item #4) Conference with Negotiators – Unrepresented Employee – Superintendent. Negotiator: Barbara Oaks Info/Action

9.0 Recognitions and Resolutions
9.1 Resolution 14/15-12 Disability Awareness Month Action
9.2 Resolution No. 14/15-14 – Attendance Awareness Month Action

10.0 Public Employee Appointment
10.1 Appointment of Principal – Northgate High School Action

11.0 Board Member Reports
11.1 Board Reports Info

12.0 Superintendent’s Report
12.1 Superintendent’s Report Info

13.0 Reports/Information
13.1 Measure C Project Update Info

14.0 Consent Agenda Action
14.1 (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
14.2 (Item #2) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
14.3 (Item #3) Request to Increase Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2014-2015 School Year Action
14.4 (Item #4) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase/Decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2014/15 School Year Action
14.5 (Item #5) Fiscal Transactions for the Month of August 2014 Action
14.6 (Item #6) Approval of contract increase with Non-Public Agency, Creating Behavioral and Educational Momentum (CBEM) Action
14.7 (Item #7) Renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding with Spectrum Center for 2014/15 Collaborative Program Action
14.8 (Item #8) Execution of Non-Public School Master Contracts for the 2014-15 School Year Action
14.9 (Item #9) Approval of master contract with Non-Public Agency Community Options for Families & Youth (COFY) Action
14.10 (Item #10) Approve Independent Services Contract with Mary Phalon, Support Counselor and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
14.11 (Item #11) John F. Kennedy University – Independent Services Contract Action
14.12 (Item #12) Educational Testing Service (ETS) High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) Action
14.13 (Item #13) Approve contract with Talk Solutions/Pleasant Hill Middle School and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
14.14 (Item #14) Approve contract with Marin County Office of Education (COE) Outdoor School of Walker Creek Ranch for Walnut Acres Elementary School Action
14.15 (Item #15) Approve contract with Westminster Woods Camp and Sequoia Elementary School Action
14.16 (Item #16) Firedoll Foundation Grant Action
14.17 (Item #17) Field Trips: Sequoia Middle School Action
14.18 (Item #18) Approval of text for Honors Economics course: Krugman’s Economics for AP (bfw Worth) Action
14.19 (Item #19) Memorandum of Understanding for Facilities Use between the City of Concord and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
14.20 (Item #20) Notice of Completion for Bid #1649: PE Building Renovation at Mt. Diablo High School Action
14.21 (Item #21) Approve Final Change Order (FCO) #1649-001 to B Bros Construction, Inc. Action
14.22 (Item #22) Approve Resolution 14/15-13 for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District for acceptance and consent to a deed or grant of real property. Action
14.23 (Item #23) Approve Quitclaim of Easements between the Contra Costa Water District and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
14.24 (Item #24) Temporary Suspend Board Policy and Administrative Regulation 5116.1 (Intradistrict Open Enrollment) Action
14.25 (Item #25) Memo Of Understanding Between Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) for the 2014-2015 School Year Action
14.26 (Item #26) Minutes for the Board of Education Meeting held on May 20, 2013 Action
14.27 (Item #27) Minutes for the Special Board of Education Meeting held on May 15, 2013 Action
14.28 (Item #28) Minutes for the Special Board of Education Meeting held on May 8, 2013 Action
14.29 (Item #29) Minutes for the Board of Education Meeting held on May 6, 2013 Action
14.30 (Item #30) Minutes for the Special Board of Education Meeting held on May 1, 2013 Action
14.31 (Item #31) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action
15.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

16.0 Public Comment
16.1 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 presentations 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

17.0 Communications
17.1 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

18.0 Business/Action Item
18.1 Approve creation of 12 School Counselor Positions Action

18.2 Authorizing Investment of Monies in the Local Agency Investment Fund (LAIF) Action

18.3 Adoption of Beginning Guitar as a year long course of study. Action

18.4 Revision of BB 9250 Heath and Welfare Benefits Action

18.5 Additional Monthly Meeting of the Board of Education Info/Action

18.6 SEA Hours Restoration Action

18.7 Agreement for Facilities Use between City of Clayton and MDUSD Action

18.8 Minutes for the Special Closed Session Board of Education Meeting held on June 30, 2014 Action

18.9 Minutes for the Special Closed Session Board of Education Meeting held on July 14, 2014 Action

18.10 Minutes for the Board of Education Meeting held on August 13, 2014 Action

18.11 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 Reconvene Open Session
21.1 Reconvene Open Session and Report Out Info

22.0 Adjournment
22.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Do you think board members should get paid benefits?

Posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 51 Comments »

MDUSD board tonight to approve Teamsters contract, approve counselor position and policy prohibiting tobacco use, and discuss board benefits

The Mt. Diablo school board will meet tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the district office at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord.

Here is the agenda:

“1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President Will Call the Meeting to Order at 6:00 p.m. Info
2.0 Public Comment
2.1 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
3.0 Announcements
3.1 In Closed Session, the Board will consider the items listed on the Closed Session Agenda. Info
4.0 Closed Session Agenda
4.1 (Item #1) Readmission of Student #16-13 into a school in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.2 (Item #2) Anticipated Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Sec. 54956.9(b, Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
4.3 (Item #3) Conference with Labor Negotiator(s) – Unrepresented Employee – Superintendent. Negotiator: Barbara Oaks Info/Action
4.4 (Item #4) Conference With Labor Negotiator(s) (Gov. Code Sec. 54957.6; Agency Negotiators – Dr. Nellie Meyer and Lawrence Schoenke; Unrepresented Employee: DMA Info/Action
5.0 Adjourn to Closed Session at 6:00 p.m.
5.1 Adjourn to Closed Session 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 (Item #1) Readmission of Student #16-13 into a school in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.2 (Item #2) Anticipated Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Sec. 54956.9(b, Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
8.3 (Item #3) Conference with Negotiators – Unrepresented Employee – Superintendent. Negotiator: Barbara Oaks Info/Action
8.4 (Item #4) Conference With Labor Negotiator(s) (Gov. Code Sec. 54957.6; Agency Negotiators – Dr. Nellie Meyer and Lawrence Schoenke; Unrepresented Employee: DMA Info/Action

9.0 Board Member Reports
9.1 Board Reports Info

10.0 Superintendent’s Report
10.1 Superintendent’s Report Info

11.0 Reports/Information
11.1 Transportation Report Action

12.0 Consent Agenda Action
12.1 (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
12.2 (Item #2) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
12.3 (Item #3) Request to Increase and Decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2014-2015 School Year Action
12.4 (Item #4) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action
12.5 (Item #5) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase/Decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2014-15 School Year Action
12.6 (Item #6) Education Code 44256(b)- Board Authorization Action
12.7 (Item #7) Contract/Purchase Order with Beyond the Words, Inc. for the services of Educational Interpreters for the Deaf for School Year 2014-2015 Action
12.8 (Item #8) Approve contract/purchase order with Marie Wyman, SLP for Speech and Language services for the 2014-15 School Year Action
12.9 (Item #9) Memorandum of Understanding between The University of the Pacific and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
12.10 (Item #10) Approve grant submission to Dow Chemical to support Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Launch Action
12.11 (Item #11) Approve grant submission to Tesoro for STEM After School Club Action
12.12 (Item #12) Approve acceptance of grant from Kaiser Permanente to Food and Nutrition Services for the Homework Café pilot at Meadow Homes and Riverview. Action
12.13 (Item #13) RFP #1684: Translator Support Providers Action
12.14 (Item #14) Disposal of District Surplus Vehicles Action
12.15 (Item #15) Field Trip: Mt. Diablo High School Action
12.16 (Item #16) Minutes for the Board of Education Meeting held on June 3, 2013. Action
12.17 (Item #17) Minutes for the Special Board of Education Meeting held on May 28, 2013. Action
13.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

14.0 Public Comment
14.1 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 presentations 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

15.0 Communications
15.1 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

16.0 Business/Action Item
16.1 Request to Approve Tentative Agreement between Teamsters Local 856 M&O and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action

16.2 Approval of School Counselor Position Info/Action

16.3 Certification of the District’s 2013-2014 Unaudited Actual Financial Report Action

16.4 Adoption of Resolution #14/15-4 Adopting the District’s 2013-2014 Appropriations Limit Calculation (GANN Limit) Action

16.5 Request approval of the Independent Services Contract with Mt. Diablo Unified School District and New Tech Network, LLC. Action

16.6 UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project Action

16.7 Adoption of Beginning Guitar as a year long course of study. Info

16.8 Adoption of Essential Elements for Band – Book 1 with EEi and Essential Elements for Strings – Book 1 with EEi method books for the Elementary Instrumental Music program. Info/Action

16.9 Contract for EL Achieve to Build District Capacity in the Constructing Meaning Framework Info/Action

16.10 BP 6174 Education for English Learners AR 6174 Education for English Language Learners Action

16.11 Creation of Board Policy 5131.62 and Administrative Regulation 5131.62 to prohibit students against tobacco use. Action

16.12 Revision of Board Policy 3513.3 and Administrative Regulation 3513.3 (Tobacco-Free Schools). Action

16.13 Revision of Board Policy 5030 (Student Wellness). Action

16.14 Revision to BP 2310: Conflict of Interest Info

16.15 Revision of BB 9250 Heath and Welfare Benefits Info

16.16 Minutes for the Board of Education Meeting held on June 25, 2014. Action

16.17 Meeting Extension Action

17.0 Future Agenda Items
17.1 Future Agenda Items Info

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

19.0 Reconvene Open Session
19.1 Reconvene Open Session and Report Out Info

20.0 Adjournment
20.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Although the district has been promising for weeks to appoint a new principal for Northgate High in Walnut Creek, no appointments appear on this agenda.

One controversial issue is Item 16.15, which suggests that board members pay for their own benefits.

Also, Item 12.16 on the consent calendar – minutes for the board meeting of June 3, 2013 – are confusing. They note that Interim Superintendent Bernard requested that three items from the “confidential agenda” be added to the public agenda. The board voted to add the three items, but there was no report out regarding those items. The video from this meeting (as well as several others from last year) has disappeared from the district’s website. Where is the transparency and accountability that was promised when the board agreed to begin videotaping meetings?

Posted on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
Under: Mt. Diablo school district | 72 Comments »

Kudos to Meadow Homes Elementary in Concord for hard-earned White House recognition!

I was excited to visit Meadow Homes Elementary in Concord earlier this week to see the students, staff and parents showing famous artists and White House officials how they are turning around their school by integrating visual arts, drama and music into their classes.

Alejandra Ceja, executive director of The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence said Meadow Homes is a model for underperforming schools around the country that want to engage students in learning.

“I want you to know you’re putting this conversation on the map and people are paying attention to what’s happening here,” Ceja said during a round table discussion with Mt. Diablo school district staff, Monument Community Partnership representatives and parents. “This is exactly what we need to continue to do across the country. And for us, it’s going to be so critical when we go into those emerging communities — Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee — where there’s parents and students that are trying to figure out: How do they become more of an community in the school district? And so we’re definitely going to take away a lot of the information that was shared and follow up.”

Principal Mary-Louise Newling, teachers and parents talked enthusiastically about how rigorous instruction in painting, drawing, dance, singing and instrumental music is lighting a fire in students for learning, including some who previously didn’t want to come to school or who had behavior problems. Vice Principal Margo Peckham said the parent community at the school is very active and interested in what their children are doing, with some meetings drawing 100 people.

John Abodeely, deputy director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, said hearing about the parent involvement at the school gave him goose bumps. At some schools, he said, the only time parents visit is for disciplinary issues.

The premise of the “Turnaround Arts” program Abodeely is overseeing, he said, is that art is not a flower, it’s a wrench.

“The arts are not something you provide to students when you’ve fixed all the other problems,” he said. “Just like music is not something that’s been a part of humanities after we’ve figured out all of our other problems. It’s been a part of our soul and heart forever. So, the arts are a critical element in reform strategies.”

Despite the impressive work going on the Meadow Homes, some parents and teachers expressed frustration about the negative reputation the school has in the Concord community. Many people don’t understand how special the school is and some students fail to live up to their potential after they leave, one teacher said.

“We want them to take that empowerment with them beyond Meadow Homes,” she said. “They sense it here. We believe in them. But, there’s a point where I see them come back — and I know how smart they were and I know what they could have achieved — and I see that they didn’t. And so that saddens me.”

The teacher said that when she tells people where she works, she often gets the response: “Oh.”

Instead, she said she wants people to say, “Wow, that must be a great place to work!”

“Because that’s what I feel every day,” she said. “I feel honored to come to work here.”

Choking back tears, she added: “And I just want the community of Concord to realize that.”

Opera singer Carla Dirlikov, who dazzled the students with a mezzo-soprano song from Carmen, along with two Spanish songs, said she wants to reach out to other artists to help bring music into schools. Representatives from the Monument Community Partnership said they believe more community members — including elected officials — may be willing to visit the school and possibly partner on programs or activities. Newling said the school will need these kinds of partnerships to continue to flourish after the campus’ School Improvement Grant runs out in June. She described the school’s transformation as nothing short of a “renaissance.”

How do you think the community can help to support the arts in schools?

Posted on Monday, September 8th, 2014
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | No Comments »

MDUSD board to make several appointments tonight

Here is the agenda for tonight’s Mt. Diablo school board meeting, which is at 7:30 p.m. in the district office at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord:

“1.0 Call to Order

1.1 Board Member, Brian Lawrence, will participate via teleconference from Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Business Center, 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 Info
1.2 President Will Call the Meeting to Order at 5:00 p.m. 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 5:00 p.m.
4.1 The Board of Education will adjourn to Closed Session at 5:00 p.m. to consider items listed on the Closed Session Agenda. Action
5.0 Closed Session Agenda
5.1 (Item #1) Expulsion of Student #14-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
5.2 (Item #2) Discipline, Dismissal or Release of Public Employee Action
5.3 (Item #3) Discipline, Dismissal or Release of Public Employee Action
5.4 (Item #4) 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, Teamsters M&O, Local One CST, MDSPA, and Supervisory. Info/Action
5.5 (Item #5) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of California Taxpayers Action Network v. MDUSD, MSC14-00996 Info/Action
5.6 (Item #6) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of Rhinehart v. MDUSD, USDC 4:13-CV-05919-CW Info/Action
5.7 (Item #7) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of John Does v. MDUSD, Case Nos. MSC14-00262, MSC14-00289, MSC14-00312 Info/Action
5.8 (Item #8) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of Kovasti v. MDUSD, EEOC Charge No. 555-2009-01175 Info/Action
5.9 (Item #9) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of Richard Heyer v. MDUSD, Case No. MSC11-01425 Info/Action
5.10 (Item #10) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of Roaldson v. MDUSD, MSC11-02675 Info/Action
5.11 (Item #11) Anticipated Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Sec. 54956.9(b, Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
5.12 (Item #12) Conference with Negotiator(s) pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54957.6; Agency Negotiator: Barbara Oaks; Unrepresented Employee: Superintendent Info/Action
5.13 (Item #13) Conference with Negotiator(s) pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54957.6; Agency Negotiator: Dr. Nellie Meyer; Unrepresented Employee: Director Info/Action

6.0 Reconvene Open Session at 7:30 p.m.
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 (Item #1) Expulsion of Student #14-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.2 (Item #2) Discipline, Dismissal or Release of Public Employee Action
8.3 (Item #3) Discipline, Dismissal or Release of Public Employee Action
8.4 (Item #4) 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
8.5 (Item #5) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of California Taxpayers Action Network v. MDUSD, MSC14-00996 Info/Action
8.6 (Item #6) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of Rhinehart v. MDUSD, USDC 4:13-CV-05919-CW Info/Action
8.7 (Item #7) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of John Does v. MDUSD, Case Nos. MSC14-00262, MSC14-00289, MSC14-00312 Info/Action
8.8 (Item #8) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of Kovasti v. MDUSD, EEOC Charge No. 555-2009-01175 Info/Action
8.9 (Item #9) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of Richard Heyer v. MDUSD, Case No. MSC11-01425 Info/Action
8.10 (Item #10) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of Roaldson v. MDUSD, MSC11-02675 Info/Action
8.11 (Item #11) Anticipated Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Sec. 54956.9(b, Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
8.12 (Item #13) Conference with Negotiator(s) pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54957.6; Agency Negotiator: Barbara Oaks; Unrepresented Employee: Superintendent Info/Action
8.13 (Item #12) Conference with Negotiator(s) pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54957.6; Agency Negotiator: Dr. Nellie Meyer; Unrepresented Employee: Director Info/Action

9.0 Board Member Reports
9.1 Board Reports Info

10.0 Superintendent’s Report
10.1 Superintendent’s Report Info

11.0 Reports/Information
11.1 Presentation by the Pleasant Hill Green Team Info

12.0 Public Employee Appointment
12.1 Appointment of Director, Special Education Action

12.2 Appointment of Director, Personnel Action

12.3 Appointment of Vice Principal, High School – Concord High School Action

12.4 Appointment of Vice Principal, High School – Mt. Diablo High School Action

12.5 Appointment of Vice Principal – Northgate High School Action

12.6 Appointment of Vice Principal – El Dorado Middle School Action

12.7 Appointment of Vice Principal – Riverview Middle School Action

12.8 Appointment of Vice Principal, Elementary – Bel Air Elementary and Delta View Elementary Action

12.9 Appointment of Vice Principal, Elementary – Cambridge Elementary Action

12.10 Appointment of Vice Principal, Elementary – Meadow Homes Elementary Action

12.11 Appointment of Vice Principal, Elementary – Mt. Diablo Elementary School and Ygnacio Valley Elementary School Action

12.12 Appointment of Vice Principal, Elementary – Shore Acres Elementary and Hidden Valley Elementary Action

12.13 Appointment of Program Specialist, Categorical Programs, Site Based – Meadow Homes Elementary Action
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) Request to Increase and Decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2014-2015 School Year Action
13.4 (Item #4) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action
13.5 (Item #5) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase/Decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2014-15 School Year Action
13.6 (Item #6) Fiscal Transactions for the month of June 2014 Action
13.7 (Item #7) Correction of Funding Source for Director of Measure C Action
13.8 (Item #8) Increase of days per year for the position of Director, School Support & Accountability Action
13.9 (Item #9) Approve contract between Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and Maxim Healthcare Services, Non Public Agency (NPA) for the 2014-2015 school year. Action
13.10 (Item #10) Execution of Non-Public School Contracts for the 2014-15 School Year Action
13.11 (Item #11) Internship Agreement between San Francisco State University and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
13.12 (Item #12) Internship Agreement between Brandman University and Mt. Diablo Unified School District for Multiple Subject, Single Subject and Education Specialist Internship programs. Action
13.13 (Item #13) Student Teaching Agreement between University of Phoenix and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
13.14 (Item #14) Internship and Fieldwork Agreement between Brandman University and Mt. Diablo Unified School District for School Counseling and School Psychology programs. Action
13.15 (Item #15) Internship Credential Program Agreement between National University and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
13.16 (Item #16) Student Placement Agreement between Saint Mary’s College of California and Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
13.17 (Item #17) Approval of 2014-15 independent contract with Carol Teltschick-Fall for $55,000 as S3 Grant Coordinator for College Park High School. Action
13.18 (Item #18) Partial Award RFP #1683: Supplemental Student Transportation – Ambulatory Action
13.19 (Item #19) Partial Award of RFP #1683: Supplemental Student Transportation – Ambulatory and Non-Ambulatory Action
13.20 (Item #20) Partial Award of RFP #1683: Supplemental Student Transportation – Sports and Field Trips Action
13.21 (Item #21) Award of Bid #1682: Building E Window Replacement at CPHS Action
13.22 (Item #22) Williams Quarterly Summary Report Action
13.23 (Item #23) Approve textbook for Career Choices High School course. Action
13.24 (Item #24) Education Code 44263 – Board Authorization Action
13.25 (Item #25) Amended Certificate of Signatures 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 presentations 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 additional Sunshine Proposal from Teamsters Local Union #856 (M&O) to Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action

17.2 Approve Memo of Understanding between Maintenance and Operations, Teamsters Local No. 856 and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action

17.3 Conduct Public Hearing Regarding Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for College Park High School Athletic Facility Improvements. Action

17.4 Creation of Board Policy 5131.62 and Administrative Regulation 5131.62 to prohibit students against tobacco use. Info

17.5 Revision of Board Policy 3513.3 and Administrative Regulation 3513.3 Info

17.6 BP 6174 Education for English Learners AP 6174 Education for English Language Learners Info

17.7 Revise Job Description for Assistant Director, College and Career, Adult Education Action

17.8 Mt. Diablo Adult Education seeks approval to submit a grant application for $75,000 to Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN) Action

17.9 Meeting Extension Action

17.10 Approve agreement between Mt. Diablo Unified School District and Santa Clara County Office of Education Action

17.11 Memorandum of Understanding with City of Concord to co-fund School Resource Officers for the 2014/2015 School Year at District High Schools in Concord Action

17.12 Legal Services Contracts Action

17.13 Adoption of Middle School Math Common Core Courses of Study. Info/Action

17.14 Approve course name change from Algebra Readiness to Math 8. Action

17.15 Community Facilities District # 1 (Measure A) Action

17.16 Hold Public Hearing and adopt Resolution of Intent to Dedicate an Easement at Clayton Valley Charter High School Action

17.17 Approve Short Term Facilities Lease Agreement with YMCA of the Central Bay Area at Strandwood ES. 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”

What items are of most interest to you?

Posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 145 Comments »

Nearly 100 candidates seek school board seats in Contra Costa County

As the election filing deadline neared in Contra Costa County on Friday, nearly 100 candidates had taken out papers for more than 20 school board races.

The filing deadline will be extended to 5 p.m. Wednesday in 11 districts where some incumbents are not seeking re-election. These include: The Acalanes, Brentwood, Byron, John Swett, Lafayette, Moraga, Mt. Diablo, Orinda, Pittsburg, Walnut Creek and West Contra Costa districts.

Just before the filing deadline, it appeared that nearly all of the races would be contested, with most incumbents facing challengers. Here is a list of the races and candidates who had qualified for the ballot by 5 p.m. Friday, followed by potential candidates who had taken out papers, but had not yet completed all the ballot requirements.

County Board of Education, Area 2: Incumbent Christine Deane and Ray Andersen.

County Board of Education, Area 4: Incumbent Richard Asadoorian and Mike Maxwell.

County Board of Education, Area 5: Incumbent Cynthia Ruehling and Jeff Belle.

Community College, Ward 1: Incumbent John Marquez and Cheryl Sudduth.

Community College, Ward 3: Tim Farley and incumbent Matthew Rinn.

Community College, Ward 4: Incumbent John Nejedly (unopposed).

Acalanes: Incumbent Susan (Susie) Epstein, incumbent Nancy Kendzierski, Kristen Correll and Robert Hockett.

Acalanes (short term): Incumbent J. Richard Whitmore (unopposed).

Antioch Unified School District: Incumbent Joy Motts, Incumbent Gary Hack and Debra Vinson and Walter Ruehlig.

Brentwood: Incumbent Emil Geddes, incumbent Heather Partida, John A. Fjeldstad, Scott S. Dudek, Susan Wallace, Johnny Rodriguez, Christina Bell and Marci Lapriore.

Byron Union: Incumbent Jill Marlene Sprenkel, Felicia Schweller and Tania Salinas. Not yet qualified: Karri Jo Murayama.

Byron (short term): Incumbent Betty Sanchez. Not yet qualified: Gina Larmar Parish.

Canyon Elementary: Incumbent David James Smith, incumbent Ian Llewellyn and incumbent Geronimo Bernard.

John Swett: Incumbent Brian Colombo, Michael Kirker and Deborah A. Brandon.

Knightsen: Incumbent Liesel Williams, Patrick Hulleman and Kristen L. Fuller, incumbent Ralph Adam McMeans and Robin Denise Pastor.

Lafayette: Incumbent Teresa Gerringer and incumbent David Gerson and Suzy Pak.

Liberty: Incumbent Roy Ghiggeri, incumbent Daron Spears, incumbent Joanne Louise Byer and Pauline Allred.

Martinez: Incumbent Deidre Siguenza, incumbent Roberta “Bobbi” Horack and Ronald Skrehot.

Moraga: Incumbent Parker Colvin, Heather O’Donnell and Jonathan Nickens.

Moraga (short term): Not yet qualified: Heather o’Donnell.

Mt. Diablo: Incumbent Linda Mayo, incumbent Cheryl Hansen, Michael Langley, Herbert Lee, Debra Mason and James Ryan Egnor-Keil.

Oakley: Incumbent Gloria Jean Lott, incumbent Mark Jordan and incumbent Arthur Fernande.

Orinda: Incumbent Juliane Rossiter, Hillary Shayne Weiner, Carol Brown and Jason Kaune. Not yet qualified: incumbent Christopher Clark Severson.

Pittsburg: Incumbent Joe Arenivar, incumbent Duane Smith and De’Shawn Woolridge. Not yet qualified: Daniel Borsuk.

San Ramon Valley: Incumbent Ken Mintz, incumbent Rachel Hurd, incumbent Denise Jennison and Jerome Pandell.

Walnut Creek: Incumbent Barbara Pennington, Stacey Schweppe, Aimee Moss, Heidi Hernandez Gatty and Sherri McGoff.

West Contra Costa: Incumbent Madeline Kronenberg, incumbent Elaine Merriweather, Elizabeth (Liz) Block, Chester Stevens, Raquel Donoso, Otheree Christian, Mister Phillips and Peter Nicholas Chau. Not yet qualified: Charlene W. Harlan-Ogbeide, Valerie Cuevas and Giorgio Cosentino.

Which candidates do you support?

Posted on Friday, August 8th, 2014
Under: Contra Costa Community College District, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa County Board of Education, Education, Election, John Swett district, Lafayette school district, Liberty district, Martinez school district, Moraga, Mt. Diablo school district, Oakley district, Orinda, Pittsburg school district, San Ramon Valley school district, Walnut Creek School District, West Contra Costa school district | 14 Comments »

Principal of Northgate High in Walnut Creek resigns

I have received the following message from the Northgate HS Parent Faculty Club in Walnut Creek from Principal John McMorris, announcing his resignation.

“Dear Northgate Community,

It is with great regret that I announce to you that I have resigned as principal of Northgate High School.

For six years, it has been my biggest honor and highest accomplishment to be your principal. Together, we have moved Northgate forward and created a strong, collaborative and supportive community between all the stakeholders of our school. We have transformed Northgate into a school that we can all be proud of — Bronco spirit pervades our community; test scores are up; AP classes have increased; football lights shine and a pool is being built; dedicated teachers have been empowered to create dynamic and collaborative professional learning communities; WASC commended us for our outstanding leadership and direction; our athletes perform at the highest levels; our performing arts continue to win awards and recognition; and our students are learning at high levels and are committed and involved in their school. We have a lot to be proud of.

There is still work to be done, and I am confident that the collaboration between students, teachers, staff, administrators and parents will continue to build on our past successes. I know you will continue to fight for the best education for all of the Northgate students.

I have too many people to thank to name them all here. And, frankly, every parent, student, and staff member who has walked through those doors over the last 6 years has helped make Northgate a better place, and I am forever indebted to everyone’s hard work, dedication, and support.

As I have said over the past six years, Northgate has the best students I have ever had the privilege to work with. I leave with countless memories of these amazing students. Your children give me great hope for our future!

It has been a great six years to be a Bronco!

Most sincerely,

John McMorris”

Posted on Monday, June 30th, 2014
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Walnut Creek | 39 Comments »

Mt. Diablo school board to make appointments, approve accountability plan and budget

Here is the agenda for tonight’s MDUSD board meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at the district office, 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord.

“1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order Info
2.0 Announcements

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 Closed Session Agenda
4.1 (Item #1) Expulsion of Student # 10-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.2 (Item #2) Expulsion of Student #11-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.3 (Item #3) Expulsion of Student #12-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.4 (Item #4) Expulsion of Student #13-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.5 (Item #5) Readmission of Student # 24-12 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.6 (Item #6) Readmission of Student #20-13 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.7 (Item #7) Readmission of Student #21-13 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.8 (Item #8) Readmission of Student #2-14 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.9 (Item #9) Denial of Readmission of Student # C-14 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.10 (Item #10) Denial of readmission of Student #8-13 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.11 (Item #11) Denial of Readmission of Student #19-13 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
4.12 (Item #12) 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, Teamsters M&O, Local One CST, MDSPA, and Supervisory. Info/Action
4.13 (Item #13) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of Richard Heyer v. MDUSD, Case No. MSC11-01425 Info/Action
4.14 (Item #14) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of John Does 1-15 v. MDUSD, Case Nos. MSC14-00262, MSC14-00289, MSC14-00312 Info/Action
4.15 (Item #15) Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation (Gov. Code Sec. 54956.9(b) Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
4.16 (Item #16) Conference with Negotiators; Unrepresented Employees; Diablo Managers Association and others. Negotiators: Dr. Nellie Meyer and Larry Schoenke, Interim General Counsel Info/Action
4.17 (Item #17) Superintendent’s Evaluation Info/Action
5.0 Adjourn to Closed Session at 6:00 p.m.
5.1 Adjourn to Closed Session Info

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 (Item #1) Expulsion of Student # 10-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.2 (Item #2) Expulsion of Student #11-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.3 (Item #3) Expulsion of Student #12-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.4 (Item #4) Expulsion of Student #13-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.5 (Item #5) Readmission of Student # 24-12 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.6 (Item #6) Readmission of Student #20-13 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.7 (Item #7) Readmission of Student #21-13 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.8 (Item #8) Readmission of Student #2-14 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.9 (Item #9) Denial of Readmission of Student # C-14 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.10 (Item #10) Denial of readmission of Student #8-13 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.11 (Item #11) Denial of Readmission of Student #19-13 into the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action
8.12 (Item #12) 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, Teamsters M&O, Local One CST, MDSPA, and Supervisory. Info/Action
8.13 (Item #13) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of Richard Heyer v. MDUSD, Case No. MSC11-01425 Info/Action
8.14 (Item #14) Existing Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) regarding the matter of John Does 1-15 v. MDUSD, Case Nos. MSC14-00262, MSC14-00289, MSC14-00312 Info/Action
8.15 (Item #15) Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation (Gov. Code Sec. 54956.9(b) Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
8.16 (Item #16) Conference with Negotiators; Unrepresented Employees; Diablo Managers Association and others. Negotiators: Dr. Nellie Meyer and Larry Schoenke, Interim General Counsel Info/Action
8.17 (Item #17) Superintendent’s Evaluation Info/Action

9.0 Recognitions and Resolutions
9.1 Recognition of 2014 High School Valedictorians and Salutatorians Info

9.2 Recognition of MDUSD’s District English Learners Advisory Council (DELAC) Info

10.0 Board Member Reports
10.1 Board Member Reports Info
11.0 Superintendent’s Report

11.1 Superintendent’s Report Info

12.0 Reports/Information
12.1 Community Advisory Committee Annual Report Info

12.2 PULLED BY STAFF: Presentation by the Pleasant Hill “Green Team” Info

13.0 Public Employee Appointment
13.1 Appointment of Principal, High School – Concord High School Action
13.2 PULLED BY STAFF: Appointment of Vice Principal, High School – Concord High School Action
13.3 Appointment of Principal, Middle School – Riverview Middle School Action
13.4 PULLED BY STAFF: Appointment of Principal, Middle School – Oak Grove Middle School Action
13.5 Appointment of Director, School Support and Accountability Action
13.6 Appointment of Administrator, Equity & Disproportionality Action
13.7 Revise Job Description for School Support Administrator Action
13.8 Appointment of School Support Administrator Action
13.9 Appointment of School Support Administrator Action
13.10 Appointment of School Support Administrator Action
13.11 Appointment of School Support Administrator Action
13.12 Appointment of School Support Administrator Action
13.13 Appointment of Director, Facilities, Operations and Resource Conservation Action
13.14 Appointment of Interim Manager, Building & Grounds Action
13.15 PULLED BY STAFF: Classified Personnel: Appointment of Occupational Therapist Action
13.16 Classified Personnel: Appointment of Occupational Therapist Action

14.0 Consent Agenda Action
14.1 (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
14.2 (Item #2) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
14.3 (Item #3) Request to Increase and Decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2014-2015 School Year Action
14.4 (Item #4) Approval of Variable Term Waiver Request Action
14.5 (Item #5) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action
14.6 (Item #6) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase/Decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) and Change Funding for the 2014-15 School Year Action
14.7 (Item #7) Revision of Administrative Regulation 4317.1 Action
14.8 (Item #8) Fiscal Transactions for the month of May 2014. Action
14.9 (Item #9) Request to Approve Independent Services Contract with Mt. Diablo Unified School District and Solution Tree, Inc. Action
14.10 (Item #10) Approval of School Site Comprehensive School Safety Plans for 2014-15 Action
14.11 (Item #11) Approve Increase to Contract between Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and Paradigm HealthCare Services, Inc. for the 2013-14 Fiscal Year Action
14.12 (Item #12) Increase of Independent Services Contract with Martha Pollock, LCSW at Ygnacio Valley High School. Action
14.13 (Item #13) Approve contract increase to independent service contract with Kristin Obrinsky, Physical Therapist Action
14.14 (Item #14) Adjustments to Non Public Agency Ed Support Services for the 2013-14 school year for services rendered Action
14.15 (Item #15) Approve Master Contract/Purchase Order with Non-Public Agency Ed Support Services for the 2014-15 School Year Action
14.16 (Item #16) Execution of Master Contracts/Purchase Orders for Non-Public Schools for the 2014-15 school year Action
14.17 (Item #17) Approval of Master Contract between Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and Speech Pathology Group for Speech and Language services for the 2014 Extended School Year Program and the 2014-15 school year. Action
14.18 (Item #18) Approve contract between Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and AccentCare Home Care Services, Non Public Agency (NPA), for the 2014-2015 school year Action
14.19 (Item #19) Memorandum of Understanding between Mt. Diablo Unified School District and the Contra Costa County Probation Department Action
14.20 (Item #20) Approve Independent Service Contract between Mt. Diablo CARES After School Program and Bay Area Community Resources (BACR) Action
14.21 (Item #21) Approve Independent Service Contract between Mt. Diablo CARES After School Program and Resource Development Associates (RDA) Action
14.22 (Item #22) Renewal of Independent Service Contract with David H. Costa for Courier Service for Food Services and site pick-up to financial institution. Action
14.23 (Item #23) Resolution #13/14-54 for Authorization to Award Summer Contracts Action
14.24 (Item #24) PULLED BY STAFF: Award of RFQ #1683: Supplemental Student Transportation Services Action
14.25 (Item #25) Food and Nutrition Services Purchase order 2014-2015 Action
14.26 (Item #26) Food and Nutrition Services Purchases 2014-2015 Action
14.27 (Item #27) Revise Environmental Course of Study Action
14.28 (Item #28) Approve 2014-2015 Single Plans for Student Achievement Action
14.29 (Item #29) Approval of Final (deductive) Change Order to Taber Construction, Inc. for LLB #1644 – New Chemistry Classroom Building at Ygnacio Valley High School Action
14.30 (Item #30) Award Design Services Contract to Verde Design, Inc. for Athletic Facility Improvements at Mt. Diablo High School Action
14.31 (Item #31) Notice of Completion for Lease Leaseback #1644: New Chemistry Classroom Building at Ygnacio Valley High School Action
14.32 (Item #32) Increase to Independent Services Contract with AA Medtrans Action
14.33 (Item #33) Request to increase Purchase Order for VeCare Health Services. Action
14.34 (Item #34) Minutes for the Board of Education Special Meeting held on August 21, 2013 Action
14.35 (Item #35) Minutes for the Board of Education Special Meeting held on August 5, 2013 Action
14.36 (Item #36) Minutes for the Board of Education Special Meeting held on July 31, 2013 Action
15.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

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 Public Comment
17.1 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 presentations 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

18.0 Business/Action Items

18.1 Walnut Creek Sister City International Program Info/Action

18.2 Authorization to proceed with execution of a short-term agreement with YMCA of the Central Bay Area for temporary facilities at the Strandwood site. Info/Action

18.3 Public presentation of an additional proposal to sunshine from Teamsters Local 856. Info

18.4 Opportunity for public response to the additional proposal to sunshine from Teamsters Local 856. Action

18.5 Meeting Extension Action

18.6 Update to the Local Education Plan: Title III Action

18.7 Approve the Submission of the 2014-2015 Consolidated Application for Funding. Action

18.8 Adoption of Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Action

18.9 Public Hearing and Adoption of the 2014-2015 Budget Action

18.10 Public Hearing for Resolution 13/14-42 to Utilize Flexibility of SBX3 4 and SB70 Action

18.11 Resolution 13/14-42 to Utilize Flexibility Authorized by SBX3 4 and SB70 Action

18.12 Application for Vendorization for Mt. Diablo Adult Education, Adults with Disabilities TOPS program to the Regional Center of the East Bay. Action

18.13 PULLED BY STAFF: Request authorization to submit the 2014-2017 Technology Plan to California Department of Education Action

18.14 Addition of Monthly Board Meeting Action

18.15 Second Meeting Extension Action

18.16 Resolution No. 13/14-55 in the matter of employment of retired classified employee Lawrence M. Schoenke. Action

18.17 Legal Services Contract with Latisha McCray, Contract Attorney Action

18.18 Post Retirement Contract for Adult Education Administrator. Action

18.19 Approval of School Counselor Position and Creation of Six School Counselor Positions Info/Action

18.20 Authorize the Superintendent to Make Interim Appointments to Administrative Positions Action

18.21 Independent Services Agreement with Total School Solutions for Consulting Services Action

18.22 Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Concord for the Restoration of School Resource Officers at 3 MDUSD High Schools Action

18.23 Minutes for the Board of Education Special Meeting held on May 27, 2014 Action

18.24 Minutes for the Board of Education Meeting held on May 28, 2014 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
22.0 Reconvene Open Session
22.1 Reconvene Open Session Info”

What items interest you?

Posted on Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 91 Comments »

Northgate High senior projects help others

After reading about group research projects presented by eighth-graders at Foothill Middle School in Walnut Creek, Northgate High parent Mark Hearn contacted me to spread the word about intensive senior projects presented each year by students at that Mt. Diablo district school.

Here is what he wrote in an e-mail:

“As a local parent of three kids all in the Mt. Diablo system, Valle Verde, Foothill and Northgate, I cannot begin to express how valuable and special the Northgate Senior project is. For the past 15 years (as I understand) Northgate seniors have been required in their second semester to participate in this event as part of their English class.

“Not only have all three of my kids participated but thousands of other students and yes, us parents get sucked into this amazing process. Each student is required to ask a question, and then over the course of the semester write a paper and develop a project around their question with a final conclusion.

These range from how to raise awareness of human sex trafficking in young girls to why do doctors only want to medicate kids with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) versus using cognitive psychology.

“I am proud that our son Kyle raised over $4,750 for the Agape International Mission, whose charter is to prevent, rescue, restore and re-integrate those affected by sex trafficking. He not only spoke at the local St. Matthew church, but also Walnut Creek Presbyterian, and was recognized at Industrial Light and Magic’s (Lucas Films) recent screening of ‘The Pink Room’ — an Emmy-nominated documentary about this horrific yet huge issue.

“Right in our own backyard on Monument Boulevard is one of the largest hubs in Northern California and California is one of the largest regions in the U.S.,” Kyle stated during his presentation to the congregation.

“I mention all of this because for the fourth year in a row I judged with other parents, businessmen and even (Walnut Creek) Councilman Bob Simmons to hear some great presentations and thought you might want to raise awareness of this great program.”

More information about Agape International and The Pink Room is at agapewebsite.org.

I have previously written about Northgate senior Anna Waletzko, whose senior project was to put on a benefit concert to raise money for the Mt. Diablo Education Foundation. She and other music advocates spoke passionately to the school board about the need to reinstate elementary music, which was cut several years ago.

Based partially on this advocacy, the school board has decided to bring back instrumental music instruction in the fifth grade.

I also attended a benefit concert put on by another senior to raise money for The Eliminate Project, sponsored by Kiwanis International, to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus worldwide by providing vaccines. The sale of concert tickets and related merchandise raised $1,806.

“That ends up being a total of 1,000 mothers and their future children that we’ve saved,” said the student, while the audience stood and cheered.

A Kiwanis rep said UNICEF started Project Eliminate in 2000, when 59 countries were facing epidemics of neonatal tetanus.

“A baby is dying every nine minutes from this dreaded disease,” the rep said. “We don’t hear about it in the United States.”

He thanked the Northgate High community for helping to solve this global problem.

“Tonight, all of you who are here and bought a ticket saved three-and-a-half or four-and-a-half lives,” he said. “And as Kiwanian, I salute all of you.”

How are students in your community making a difference?

Posted on Friday, June 13th, 2014
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | No Comments »