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MDUSD seeks holiday donations for foster youth and homeless students

As we prepare for the holiday season, the Mt. Diablo school district asks community members to consider donating food, checks, gift cards and/or hoodies and sweatshirts to foster youth and homeless students.

James Wogan, who coordinates the annual program, sent the following e-mail to remind the public of the program:

“Dear Friends, In the spirit of the holiday season, I am writing to ask for your consideration to contribute to a foster youth or homeless student. Last school year, the Mt. Diablo Unified Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE) served 457 homeless students and the Mt. Diablo Unified Foster Youth Services Program (FYS) served 268 foster youth. We help students in kindergarten through high school to overcome trauma and hardship to do well in school. Education is the key to their future. Your contribution will help make the holidays a little brighter for our students.

Donations made by check can be made payable to ‘MDUSD HOPE.’ Please indicate if you would like a receipt for tax purposes. Donations of Target, Safeway, or other gift cards are also helpful because they are easy to distribute and allow students to choose their own gifts.

Please send contributions to:

James Wogan and Elsa Dalpiaz
Mt. Diablo Homeless Outreach Program for Education (MDUSD HOPE)
2730 Salvio St., Concord, CA 94519

‘Food insecurity’ is a challenge for our homeless families. Homeless students and families especially need open-and-eat food such as power bars and fruit roll ups. Nonperishable food donations or grocery store gift cards can be dropped off at the Mt. Diablo Unified District Office, 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519.

If you would like to sponsor an individual foster youth or homeless student for the holidays, please go to www.mdusd.org/hope or www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0F49AAAF22A6F85-holiday. We don’t use the words ‘adopt-a-family’ for the holidays because this is a loaded term for foster youth.

We are also collecting new hoodies and sweatshirts for our homeless students and foster youth. New hoodies and sweatshirts can be dropped off at three locations:

1) The Mt. Diablo Unified District Office, 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA.
2) The Willow Creek Education Center, 1026 Mohr Lane, Concord, CA.
3) The Mt. Diablo Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE), 2730 Salvio St., Concord, CA, Room 24.

Please feel free to share these opportunities to help children in need.”

Wogan — who has been named a Bay Area News Group Hometown Hero for his work with at-risk students — spoke about the youth he serves at a recent school board meeting.

“Our programs provide great support for our student who have faced trauma — some of which you couldn’t believe — hardships and stressors that can be hard to imagine,” he said. “We know that working together takes a village so that kids can thrive in the classroom.”

Wogan thanked companies, individuals and board members who have already contributed.

“People have been so generous in this district,” he said. “It baffles me at the holiday season that sometimes people who are struggling themselves contribute to the welfare of (other) people who are struggling.”

The sweatshirt program, he said, is called “Hoodies for Hope.” The district accepting the sweatshirts in sizes extra small through double extra large.

Wogan also stressed the importance of what some might consider “little things,” such as the ability of parents to buy gifts for their children. The donation of checks and gift cards makes this possible.

The sponsorship program allows donors to purchase gifts from an anonymous wish list provided by a student. Donations of nonperishable foods assist families who live in cars, runaways or other students without permanent homes.

“We have about 60 families who have no access to cooking,” Wogan said. “Kids can’t learn on an empty stomach.”

Here are links to Wogan talking about the programs at the Oct. 23 board meeting: http://youtu.be/WHwbb9oz4B0

Do you have suggestions for other ways Wogan could get the word out about these programs?

Posted on Friday, November 15th, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 2 Comments »

MDUSD board to meet tonight to appoint an elementary principal, vote on Northgate aquatic center

The teachers’ union is planning an rally tonight before the school board meeting to protest the district’s last, best and final offer before impasse was declared. Union members and their children will participate in fun activities from 4-6 p.m., followed by a rally from 6-7:30 p.m. outside the Dent Center and Monte Gardens Elementary.

Here is the agenda for the meeting, which is slated to begin at 7:30 in the district office at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord. However, it could be moved to Monte Gardens Elementary next door in the event of a large crowd. Interestingly, one of the elementary principals has been moved from an action item to an information item/report since the agenda was originally posted. Yet, there is no indication on this agenda that the item was changed.

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

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

4.0 Adjourn to Closed Session at 6:00 p.m.
4.1 Negotiations – The Board may discuss negotiations or provide direction to its representatives regarding represented employees, pursuant to EERA (Govt. Code Section 3549.1) Agency negotiators: Julie Braun Martin and Deborah Cooksey. Agencies: MDEA, CSEA, Local One M&O, Local One CST, MDSPA, and Supervisory. Action
4.2 Readmission of Student #32-12 Action
4.3 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9(1) regarding matter of D. Reynolds v. MDUSD Info
4.4 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9(1) regarding Rhinehart v. Mt. Diablo Unified School District, et al, Contra Costa Superior Court Case No. C13-00297 Info
4.5 Pending Litigation – Confeence with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9(1) regarding I.H. (a minor) v. MDUSD, OAH Case No. 2013090182 Action
4.6 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9(1) regarding N.M. (a minor) v. MDUSD, OAH Case No. 2013080665 Action
4.7 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9 (1) regarding Bay Area News Group, et al v. Mt. Diablo Unified School District, et al, Contra Costa Superior Court Case No. N13-1551. Info
4.8 Potential Litigation based on facts and circumstances regarding various J.Doe claims pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9(3)(c) Info
4.9 Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint – Three (3) Cases Info
4.10 Public Employee Performance Evaluation. Title: Interim General Counsel Info

5.0 Reconvene Open Session
5.1 Reconvene Open Session at 7:30 p.m. Info
6.0 Preliminary Business
6.1 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info
7.0 Report Out Action Taken in Closed Session
7.1 Report Out of Closed Session Info

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

9.0 Board Member Reports
9.1 Board Reports Info

10.0 Superintendent’s Report
10.1 Superintendent’s Report Info

11.0 Consent Agenda Action
11.1 (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
11.2 (Item #2) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
11.3 (Item #3) Request to increase Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2013-2014 school year Action
11.4 (Item #4) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action
11.5 (Item #5) Internship Agreement between Brandman University and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
11.6 (Item #6) Approve contract/purchase order with Marie Wyman, SLP for Speech and Language services for the 2013-14 School Year Action
11.7 (Item #7) Approval of Non-Public School Contracts/Adjustments Action
11.8 (Item #8) Approve Independent Services Contract with Sacramento Childrens Home Action
11.9 (Item #9) Approval of independent contract with Carol Teltschick-Fall for $55,000 as S3 Grant Coordinator for College Park High School. Action
11.10 (Item #10) Fiscal Transactions for the month of October 2013. Action
11.11 (Item #11) Williams Quarterly Summary Report Action
11.12 (Item #12) Approve submission of the Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) grant to support secondary schools. Action
11.13 (Item #13) Increase to Independent Services Contract with AA Medtrans Action
11.14 (Item #14) Disposal of District Surplus Vehicles Action
11.15 (Item #15) Request contract approval for design services Action
11.16 (Item #16) Final Change Order to LLB #1617 – S-Wing Modernization at Mt. Diablo High School (XL Construction, Inc.) Action
11.17 (Item #17) Final Change Order for LLB #1593 – Window Replacement at College Park High School Action
11.18 (Item #18) Award of Contract with McGrath Corporation dba Mobile Modular Management Corporation for the Lease of Interim Housing Units Necessary for Projects Being Implemented through the 2010 Measure C Facility Improvement Program Action
11.19 (Item #19) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1617: Science Wing Renovation at MDHS Action
11.20 (Item #20) Notice of Completion for L/LB #1593: Window Replacement at College Park High School Action
11.21 (Item #21) Contract Amendment: LSA Associates, Inc.: Provision of Requisite Environmental Consulting Services Related to the Revised Stadium Lighting Improvement Project at Ygnacio Valley High School Action

12.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion
13.0 Public Comment
13.1 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

14.0 Communications

14.1 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
15.0 Reports/Information

15.1 Annual Report on Schools Identified in the Williams Settlement for Fiscal Year 2013-14 Info

15.2 Appointment of Principal, Elementary School Info

16.0 Business/Action Items

16.1 Appointment of Principal, Elementary School Action

16.2 Appointment of Program Specialist, Categorical Programs, Site Based – Rio Vista Elementary Action

16.3 Appointment of Program Specialist, Categorical Program, Site Based at Bel Air Elementary Action

16.4 Public Hearing Regarding the Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Northgate High School Aquatic Center Action

16.5 Adoption of Resolution Accepting Final Initial
Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Northgate High School Aquatic Center Action

16.6 Approval of Northgate High School Aquatic Center Project Action

16.7 Request to Approve Tentative Agreement between Public Employees Union Local 1 (CST) and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) Action

16.8 Chabot-Las Positas Community College District contract with Mt. Diablo Adult Education and related MOU’s with Pittsburg, West Contra Costa, and Liberty Adult Education. Action

16.9 Pearson Vue contract and agreements for GED testing. Action

16.10 Firedoll Foundation Grant Action

16.11 Adult Education Board Policy and Administrative Regulations 6200 Action

16.12 18.10 New and Revised Technology Policies – BP 3513, BP/AR 4040, BP 6162.7 Action

16.13 Adoption of Textbook for Sports Medicine II – Principles of Athletic Training: A Competency-Based Approach, Prentice, 15th Edition Action

16.14 Resolution 13/14-23 regarding accounting of development fees for the 2012-2013 fiscal year in the Capital Facilities Fund pursuant to Government Code Sections 66001(d) & 66006(b) Action

16.15 Adoption of Resolution of Dedication of Easement at Shore Acres Elementary School Action

16.16 RFQ/RFP 1627 – Award of Lease-Leaseback Agreement to Taber Construction, Inc. District wide security improvements. Action

16.17 RFQ/RFP 1631 Approval of Preliminary Services Agreement with Meehleis Modular Buildings, Inc. for the Coordination, Constructability Review, Value Engineering and Recommendations related to Building a new Modular Gymnasium at Concord High School. Action

16.18 Award of Independent Services Contract to Enviro-S.T.A.R. for Pre-Construction Hazardous Materials Survey and Specification Preparation for Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Renovations for Group III sites (El Dorado MS, Highlands ES, Pine Hollow MS, Wren Avenue ES, Pleasant Hill ES, Sequoia MS, Valhalla ES and Walnut Acres ES) Action

16.19 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 Adjournment
19.1 Adjourn Meeting”

Please note that I will be covering the Contra Costa County Board of Education meeting vote on the controversial Summit Charter School proposed in El Cerrito and will arrive to the MDUSD meeting late.

What items are most interesting to you?

Posted on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 164 Comments »

MDUSD Board on Wednesday to hire new Sequoia MS Principal and enter into another lease-leaseback agreement

After its special meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Mt. Diablo school board will hold its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the district office Board Room at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord.

There are several interesting items on the agenda. The closed session agenda includes: discussions regarding union negotiations, employee discipline, the Bay Area News Group lawsuit seeking documents related to the alleged sexual molestation of students by former Woodside Elementary teacher Joseph Martin, and discussion of potential litigation related to various “J. Doe claims” that are likely related to the allegations against Martin.

The consent calendar includes: Consultant contracts related to the districts attempts to remedy its designation as being significantly disproportionate in its identification of African-American students for special education, expulsions and suspensions; a list of schools that didn’t receive textbooks on time; school bus replacements; completion of a lease-leaseback contract; and yet another inspection contract for Alisha Jensen.

The business portion of the agenda includes the appointment of several administrators, such as a new Sequoia Middle School Principal in Pleasant Hill; a lease-leaseback contract award for a science classroom at Ygnacio Valley HS; and a deductive change order for a lease-leaseback HVAC contract.

Here is the complete agenda:

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

2.1 In closed session, the Board will consider the items listed on the closed session agenda. Info

2.2 Board Member Lynne Dennler will participate via teleconference from 33 Hui Drive, Lahaina, HI. Info

3.0 Public Comment
3.1 The public may address the Board concerning items that are scheduled for discussion during closed session only. These presentations are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers or the three minute limit may be shortened. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info
4.0 Adjourn to Closed Session at 6:00 p.m.

4.1 Student Discipline – Adult student appeal of dismissal: One (1) matter from an adult education student seeking board review of the District’s decision to dismiss student from the Surgical Technology Program. Action

4.2 Expulsion of Student #01-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action

4.3 Negotiations – The Board may discuss negotiations or provide direction to its representatives regarding represented employees, pursuant to EERA (Govt. Code Section 3549.1) Agency negotiators: Julie Braun Martin and Deborah Cooksey. Agencies: MDEA, CSEA, Local One M&O, Local One CST, MDSPA, and Supervisory. Action

4.4 Conference with Labor Negotiators pursuant to Govt. Code Section 54957.6 Designated District representatives: President Cheryl Hansen, Interim General Counsel Jayne Williams; Unrepresented employee: Superintendent Action

4.5 Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint Action

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

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

4.8 Potential litigation based on facts and circumstances regarding various J. Doe claims pursuant to Gov’. Code section 54956.9(3)(c). Action

5.0 Reconvene Open Session
5.1 Reconvene Open Session at 7:30 p.m. Info
6.0 Preliminary Business
6.1 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info
7.0 Report Out Action Taken in Closed Session
7.1 Student Discipline Info
7.2 Expulsion Info
7.3 Negotiations Info
7.4 Conference with Labor Negotiators Info
7.5 Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint Info
7.6 Pending Litigation Info
7.7 Anticipated Litigation Info
7.8 Potential Litigation Info

8.0 Student Representatives

9.0 Board Member Reports
9.1 Board Reports Info

10.0 Superintendent’s Report
10.1 Highlights in District Info

11.0 Consent Agenda Action
11.1 (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

11.2 (Item #2) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action

11.3 (Item #3) Request to increase and decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2013-2014 school year Action

11.4 (Item #4) Approval of Variable Term Waiver Requests Action

11.5 (Item #5) Amended Declaration of Need for Fully Qualified Educators Action

11.6 (Item #6) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase and Decrease Positions Action

11.7 (Item #7) Changes in status of the following employees Action

11.8 (Item #8) Student Teaching Agreement between Grand Canyon University and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action

11.9 (Item #9) Approval of independent contract with Martha Pollock for $36,500 to provide specialized counseling services at Mt. Diablo High School. The contract amount should not exceed $46,080 as per contract amendment dated Sepember 19, 2013. Action

11.10 (Item #10) Approval of Non-Public School Contracts/Adjustments Action

11.11 (Item #11) Agreement between Mount Diablo Unified School District and Independent Contractor Jon Eyler Action

11.12 (Item #12) Agreement between Mount Diablo Unified School District and Independent Contractor Dr. Mary Bacon. Action

11.13 (Item #13) Approve submission of the CalSTAT grant to support district professional development during the 2013-14 school year. Action

11.14 (Item #14) Approve submission of an application to the State Board of Education to serve as a Supplemental Education Service (SES) Provider. Action

11.15 (Item #15) Public Hearing regarding Sufficiency of Textbooks and Instructional Materials for 2013-2014 for Pupil Textbook and Instructional Materials Incentive Program and Williams Settlement Instructional Materials Funds Action

11.16 (Item #16) Approval of contracts with Exploring New Horizons (ENH) for Bancroft Elementary, Monte Gardens Elementary, Strandwood Elementary, and Valle Verde Elementary School Outdoor Ed Programs Action

11.17 (Item #17) Approve contract with Westminster Woods Camp and Conference Center for Sequoia Elementary School Action

11.18 (Item #18) Budget Transfer and/or Budget Increases/Decreases for July-September 2013. Action

11.19 (Item #19) Annual Renewal of Bi-Tech Services Contract Action

11.20 (Item #20) Request Purchase Order for (2) 78 Passenger Buses Action

11.21 (Item #21) Replacement School Bus Purchase Action

11.22 (Item #22) Award of RFQ for RFQ#1657 – Integrated GPS System Action

11.23 (Item #23) Award of RFP #1665 – Swimming Pool Maintenance Service Action

11.24 (Item #24) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1634 – Bell Products Inc. Action

11.25 (Item #25) Award of Design Services Contract: MU Modernization at College Park High School. Action

11.26 (Item #26) Award of Inspector of Record (Project Inspector) Contract for New Chemistry Classroom Building Project at Ygnacio Valley High School Action

12.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

13.0 Recognitions
13.1 Announcements/Awards Info

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 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

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 Reports/Information
16.1 Information Provided to Board and Community Info

17.0 Business/Action Items

17.1 Appointment of Administrator, Special Education Action

17.2 Appointment of Program Specialist, Special Education Action

17.3 Appointment of Principal, Sequoia Middle School Action

17.4 Appointment of Coordinator, Student/Community Services 9-12 – Olympic High School Action

17.5 Classified Personnel: Appointment of Transportation Dispatcher Action

17.6 Public presentation of the Initial Successor Agreement Proposal for Mt. Diablo School Psychologists Association (MDSPA) and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s Initial Successor Agreement Proposal to MDSPA Action

17.7 Adult Education Board Policy and Administrative Regulations 6200 Info

17.8 Proclamation of October 23 – November 1, 2013 as “Red Ribbon Week” Action

17.9 Resolution of Intent to Dedicate an Easement at Shore Acres Elementary School Action

17.10 Resolution 13/14-21 Native American Heritage Month Action

17.11 Award of Lease/Lease-back Agreement with Taber Construction, Inc. to support RFQ/RFP 1644 – Ygnacio Valley HS – SMART Science Building Action

17.12 Final Change Order for LLB #1634 – HVAC Modernization at El Monte ES, Monte Gardens ES, Westwood ES and Shadelands/Sunrise School. Action

17.13 Adoption Textbook for Sports Medicine II Info

17.14 Meeting Extension Action
18.0 Future Agenda Items
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 Adjournment
20.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Which items pique your interest?

Posted on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 71 Comments »

MDUSD board to hold Wednesday governance workshop and determine evaluation goals for new superintendent

Now that the Mt. Diablo school board has hired a new superintendent to try to remedy problems perceived under former district leadership, trustees are ready to sit down and hammer out goals for their hand-picked Superintendent Nellie Meyer.

The board will hold a special meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday — before its regular Wednesday night meeting — that will include a Governance Workshop to discuss the roles and responsibilities of the board and superintendent, as well as possible performance goals for Meyer based on the district’s strategic plan.

Here is the agenda for the meeting, which will be held in the board room at the district office, 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord. The public is invited to comment on the superintendent’s evaluation goals before trustees go into closed session.

“1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order at 2:00 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 Business/Action Items

3.1 Governance Workshop – The Board and Superintendent will participate in a governance workshop led by Dr. Sally Frazier, consultant with Leadership Associates. There are two major outcomes: 1. Gain a clear understanding of the Board and Superintendent Roles and Relationship. 2. Determine the Superintendent’s goals for 2013-14 in alignment with our District Strategic Plan. Action

4.0 Adjourn to Closed Session #1
4.1 Adjourn to Closed Session at 4:00 p.m. Action

4.2 Superintendent’s Evaluation – Based on the determination of the goals for 2013-14 that occurred in Open Session, the Board will develop criteria and expectations for the Superintendent’s performance evaluation. Action

5.0 Adjournment
5.1 Adjourn meeting at 5:00 p.m. Info”

What performance goals would you suggest the board use to evaluate Superintendent Nellie Meyer?

Posted on Monday, October 21st, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 43 Comments »

BANG v. MDUSD lawsuit lays out chronology of abuse suspicions, charges, claims and reporting related to Woodside Elementary teacher

JOSEPH ANDREW MARTIN

A lawsuit filed against the Mt. Diablo school district last month by The Bay Area News Group provides a comprehensive look at the circumstances that led to Woodside Elementary teacher Joseph Martin’s arrest and the subsequent claims made against the district.

As reported by Times writer Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Bay Area News Group is asking a judge to force the district to release internal records about Martin, 45, who has been charged with 125 counts related to the alleged sexual molestation of 13 young male students between 2006 and April 2013. He was arrested in June and is in jail on $10 million bail. He pleaded not guilty in July. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

The district has refused to produce documents pertaining to Martin, citing personnel and investigatory exemptions in California’s public records law. The news organization argues in its lawsuit filed in Contra Costa Superior Court that the records are not exempt and must be produced.

BANG attorney Duffy Carolan’s 175-page lawsuit includes a 12-page complaint that outlines the chronology of the state’s case against Martin, along with three subsequent claims and a civil rights lawsuit. It also details investigative reporter Matthias Gafni’s attempts to get records related to Martin from the district.

In a June 29 Public Records Act Request, Gafni sought: “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.”

BANG is seeking district investigations into incidents that were allegedly witnessed and reported to district officials by other teachers. For example, one complaint alleges that a teacher walked in on Martin and a male student one evening and saw that they were behind a closet door with their shoes off. Another teacher said older boys who had graduated often returned to the campus and went into Martin’s room alone, with the classroom door locked, according to claims.

In the most recent claim, a 2013 police report is quoted, which cites a 2006 internal district document that found “potential child abuse” by Martin. The police report says no one from the district reported Martin to Child Protective Services or to law enforcement authorities at the time. Instead, the district created new rules for Martin, such as keeping his classroom door open at all times, according to the claim.

Here is the complete lawsuit: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceZU5UbDZYenlsdVE/edit?usp=sharing

This is not the first time BANG has requested personnel-related documents from the district. In the past, I have received large files from the district in relation to personnel decisions that led to separation agreements with employees. These files contained numerous memos documenting complaints and meetings to remedy those complaints. No such documents were released to BANG in relation to Martin.

And earlier this year, Times columnist Dan Borenstein asked the school board to review documents that were withheld from his Public Records Act request by then-General Counsel Greg Rolen. Borenstein asked trustees to waive the privilege asserted by Rolen and to release documents related to employment agreements with then-Superintendent Steven Lawrence, Rolen and three other top administrators. As a result of Borenstein’s appeal directly to the school board — which bypassed the general counsel — trustees agreed to release more documents.

In this case, too, the board has the right to override Interim General Counsel Jayne Williams’ denials and release documents that are being withheld, in the interest of public transparency. Trustees Barbara Oaks and Brian Lawrence were elected last November, after pledging to usher in a new era of transparency in the district. They — along with Board President Cheryl Hansen — voted to terminate the previous superintendent’s contract a year early, in part due to mistrust in the district that resulted from secrecy and stonewalling public requests for information.

Further complicating this case is the fact that previous Interim Superintendent Johh Bernard is the father of Jennifer Sachs, who was principal at Woodside Elementary in 2006 and is named in some of the claims. Trustees hired Bernard soon after Martin was placed on a leave of absence. Bernard worked through the end of September, during the time when Martin was arrested and alleged victims began filing claims against the district. He told me that the district would cooperate fully with police and his relationship with Sachs would not affect the investigation.

Newly appointed Superintendent Nellie Meyer, who took the helm Sept. 23, has entered into a contract with Bernard’s employer — Total School Solutions — for nine months of consulting as she transitions into her new role.

Do you believe the district should release documents that it is withholding related to internal complaints about Martin?

Posted on Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 120 Comments »

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

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

Here is the agenda:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9.0 Board Member Reports
9.1 Board reports Info

10.0 Superintendent’s Report

11.0 Expulsion Recommendations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12.19 (Item #19) Amended Certificate of Signatures Action

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

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

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

13.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

14.0 Recognitions

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

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

17.0 Reports/Information

18.0 Business/Action Items

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

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

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

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

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

18.6 Approval of Ygnacio Valley High School Stadium Lighting Project Action

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

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

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

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

18.11 Board Bylaw 9323 – Meeting Conduct Action

18.12 Board Bylaw 9323.2 – Actions By The Board Action

18.13 Board Bylaw E 9323.2 – Actions By The Board Action

18.14 Meeting Extension Action

19.0 Future Agenda Items
19.1 Future Agenda Items Info

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

21.0 Adjournment
21.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 62 Comments »

Ygnacio Valley HS neighbors ask MDUSD board to delay vote on field project

The Mt. Diablo school board on Wednesday expects to vote on an Environmental Impact Report related to proposed field improvements at Ygnacio Valley High, along with the project itself, a construction award and a contract for inspection of the work.

This vote comes on the heels of a Sept. 30 community meeting, where neighbors, parents and staff came together to discuss various options for mitigating some of the adverse impacts of the project such as noise, light and trash.

The meeting got off to a rocky start — with some neighbors complaining they had no input into the agenda for the meeting or the alternatives presented. However, after those present broke into groups and began talking, it appeared that the neighbors genuinely felt like the district was listening to their concerns. The groups came up with a variety of ideas for conditions that could be imposed on the project, which didn’t necessarily coincide with those laid out by Tim Cody in his PowerPoint presentation: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceQnM3eUZLc05IYlU/edit?usp=sharing.

Here are notes from the meeting prepared by a YVHS staff member, who commented at the end that some of the recommendations conflicted with each other: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/d0638c4c-2204-42b5-80e1-2e1bb7c72833.pdf

As a result of this meeting, Tim Cody compiled an “Exhibit D,” which outlines different options for possible use conditions: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/d0638c4c-2204-42b5-80e1-2e1bb7c72833.pdf

The neighbors who live around the school have sent the following letter to the school board, expressing their dissatisfaction with Cody’s Exhibit D and asking the board to postpone its vote so both parties can spend more time talking out a compromise: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceTkYzUk5ObG9fOEU/edit?usp=sharing

They have asked that this letter be included in the official record for the Oct. 9 meeting.

Do you think the board should postpone its vote to allow more time to work out a mutually agreeable deal with the neighbors?

Posted on Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 12 Comments »

MDUSD board to meet Monday with Walnut Creek City Council

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

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

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

Here is the agenda:

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

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

3. SCHOOL SAFETY – CITY / SCHOOLS

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

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

6. PUBLIC COMMENT

9. ADJOURNMENT

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Sunday, October 6th, 2013
Under: Mt. Diablo school district, Walnut Creek, Walnut Creek City Council | 16 Comments »

MDUSD Community Advisory Committee to discuss transportation issues tonight

I have heard that some parents are frustrated with the Mt. Diablo school district’s busing this year and that many are planning to show up to tonight’s Community Advisory Committee meeting, which will include a transportation presentation.

Here’s the agenda for the meeting, which will be held at the district office, 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord:

“AGENDA
DATE: October 1, 2013
TIME: 7:00 – 9:15 p.m.
PLACE: Dent Center – Board Room

1. Call to Order 7:00
2. Introductions (7:02 – 7:05)
Please notify the audience during introductions if you are recording the meeting. Please let us know if this is your first time attending a CAC meeting.

3. Adoption of Minutes – September 3, 2013 (ACTION ITEM) (7:05 – 7:10)

4. Presentation – Transportation – Tom Bishop (7:10 – 7:35)

5. Chairperson’s Report – Dorothy Weisenberger (7:35 – 7:45)

6. Ongoing Business (7:45 – 8:20)
6.1 Assistant Superintendent’s Report – Dr. Kerri Mills
6.2 Board of Education Report – Lynne Dennler and Barbara Oaks
6.3 Board of Education Comments – Dorothy Weisenberger
6.4 Budget Advisory Committee Report – Tricia Tamura-Li
6.5 Equity Advisory Team – Denise Lambert

NETWORKING BREAK

7. New Business (8:30– 9:00)
7.1 Assistive Technology/AAC – Christian Patz
7.2 Extended School Year – Samantha Espinosa
7.3 Autism Task Force – Vi Ibarra
7.4 DELAC Committee – Denise Lambert
7.5 Advisory Commission on Special Education – Morena Grimaldi
7.6 Parent Liaison – Hilary Shen

7.7 Sub-Committee Updates will be reported at November’s meeting
Parent & Community Education Committee – Julie Nibblett
Membership & Publicity Committee – Audra McDonald
Legislative Committee – Denise Lambert
Blog Committee – Autumn Green

8. Public Comment (9:00 – 9:10)
Public comment is an opportunity to share concerns and comments with the CAC. In the interest of time, speakers are limited to three (3) minutes each with a total of fifteen (15) minutes for all speakers. Please respect student and personnel privacy. CAC members and district staff might not be able to respond to individual concerns in this forum, but will take your contact information and follow-up with you.

9. Information Items/Announcements/Adjournment (9:10 – 9:15)

DON’T FORGET – - BRING A FRIEND TO THE MEETING!!”

Are you satisfied with the district’s transportation service this year?

OCT. 2 UPDATE: I attended the first part of meeting and recorded the Transportation Report. I have uploaded the six video clips to my You Tube account at http://www.youtube.com/tunedtotheresa.

Many parents expressed deep concerns about problems, including students being stranded. Transportation Director Tom Bishop was fairly candid about the problems and promised to try to rectify them. At one point, he said: “The district shot itself in the foot. But neither Kerri nor I were here when that happened.” This could have been viewed as an indictment of Greg Rolen’s transportation management.

At the end of his report, some parents praised Bishop for his dedication in trying to remedy problems.

Posted on Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 4 Comments »

Meeting about controversial Ygnacio Valley High field lights at 7 p.m. tonight

I have been informed by Tim Cody, the Mt. Diablo school district’s Measure C program manager, that there will be an “informal gathering of concerned parties” related to the Ygnacio Valley High proposed field improvements at 7 p.m. tonight in the Ygnacio Valley High School Multiuse room at 735 Oak Grove Road in Concord.

Jim MacMillan, a resident in the neighborhood near the school, said he and other neighbors were informed about the meeting by Principal Stephen Brady, who drove from home to home last Friday in a golf cart and got out and knocked on doors, then passed out letters about the meeting. However, MacMillan said he’s still unsure what the real agenda is for the meeting.

MacMillan said he and several other neighbors were at last Wednesday’s board meeting prepared to speak and were surprised when the item was removed from the agenda. He said it’s his understanding that Superintendent Nellie Meyer will be present at tonight’s meeting, along with two board members.

Do you believe the district should approve the proposed YVHS field project?

Posted on Monday, September 30th, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 7 Comments »