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Superintendent Dr. Robert A. Martinez’s Friday Letter, September 6, 2019, Volume 1, No 3.
Posted 9/6/19

Friday Letter


 

#TogetherWeGrow. . . #JuntosAprendemos…#TogetherWeLead. . .

#JuntosCrecemos…#TogetherWeLearn…#JuntosLideramos!

#LeadWithResilience…#LiderarConResiliencia

 

Making Connections in the Community for the Benefit of Our Students!

 

On Wednesday, September 4, 2019, I was invited to California State East Bay in Concord, where a number of community organizations were present. Each organization there is focused on providing educational opportunities for our Mt. Diablo Unified School District students, especially in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). Several of the groups are probably well known to you all: The City of Concord Parks and Recreation, East Bay Regional Park District, Lindsey Wildlife Museum, Mt. Diablo Education Foundation, and Out of the Box 925, just to name a few!

 

Each organization provided educators’ information, ideas, and opportunities for children of the District to engage in, connect with, and consider the importance of STEAM in our communities. In addition, they provided information on how to access these wonderful resources in our community. Parents are encouraged to connect with these organizations and take advantage of these wonderful opportunities.

 

I was able to discuss the importance of engaging and empowering our students, at many levels, in particular, with Foothill Middle School Science Teacher, Devin Jackson, who had on hand several student built Lego robots for demonstrative purposes. Mr. Jackson spoke about the importance of our students, at all levels, to develop a love and understanding of STEAM. His goal is to offer many opportunities to his students so that they engage with Science throughout the school day, and beyond.

 

I was also able to meet Concord Mayor, Carlyn Obringer, at this event. She spoke on the importance of our communities working together to provide many opportunities for STEAM advancement to the students of our community. She shared some perspective on potential uses for the closed Concord Naval Weapons Station property that will hopefully further expand educational opportunities for students of the District.

 

Community TalkCommunity Talk

Community TalkCommunity Talk

 

“Back to School in MDUSD” 2019!

 

Many of our Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) Schools have held, or are in the process of holding “Back to School” Events. Parents and family members are encouraged to attend these events to meet their children’s teachers, connect with staff members, and experience just a little of what their students receive each day from the wonderful MDUSD employees. This is also an opportunity to familiarize themselves with a number of the organizations on our campuses that seek to support all of our children such as, the Parent Teacher Associations, Booster Clubs. At Northgate High School on Wednesday Evening, Principal McAllister, greeted hundreds of parents to the school, and even had time to provide me with a brisk walk through the entire facility. What a great welcome to Northgate High School. Everyone I met was so welcoming and appreciative of their teachers, leadership at the school, and the entire inclusiveness of community that is being built by all.

Northgate
NGHS Signs

 

Instruction, Learning, and Class Sizes, Revisited

 

As I shared last week in the August 30, 2019, Friday Letter, the instruction of each of our students is of paramount importance to everyone in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD), and this issue continues to be the primary focus of each of our teachers and administrators each day. With that in mind, the District Administrative Team has continued to monitor daily attendance levels at each school site. Given the data, noted class sizes, and efforts that the principals have already taken to mitigate concerns, we are taking steps to immediately add 4 elementary teaching positions effective next Monday, September 9, 2019. The increases to staffing will occur at Bel Air, Hidden Valley, Pleasant Hill, and Sun Terrace Elementary Schools. We will continue to take steps to monitor and review all other school enrollments, and we will fill these positions with well qualified educators as needed.

 

Making the decision to increase staffing levels at these schools was accomplished by reviewing issues specific to: instructional delivery, contractual limitations, TK-3 class size, equity, and additional options that were available to the school sites. As we continue to monitor the daily attendance reports, there is a possibility that we may also increase staffing at more school sites. In each case, these changes and potential changes, are being implemented at the school sites with thoughtful consideration, with input and reflection of the site principals, and with a comprehensive understanding about the unique programs and characteristics of each school. Once a decision is made to increase staffing, each school will follow an action plan specific to their needs, and the principals of the specific schools will be following up with parents and families for those children who may be impacted by the additional staff at their schools.

 

I continue to receive a number of emails and requests to provide additional staffing at many of our schools and I appreciate the care and concern that each person has for the education of their child, and the children in their communities.   

 

#MDUSDWellness

 

Many of our students, parents, family members and employees are focusing on their own wellness, and this is so important. Whether your wellness includes, meditation, exercise, reading, sitting, breathing and thinking, engaging in strenuous athletic endeavors, or as my sister might say, “I like to dance my cares away,” it is so important to focus on your own wellness, and that of your family.  One option for you might be to consider participating in a 5k Run and Walk, like the “Break a Sweat for Education” event that will occur on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek. The Mt. Diablo Education Foundation and “YoursHumanely” have teamed up for this event, and you can register today at the following website: https://raceroster.com/events/2019/23025/break-a-sweat-for-education

 

break a sweat for education
Break for education in Spanish

 

 

Several Activities in My Calendar This Week

 

September 2   

 

Labor Day

 

September 3   

 

Meeting with Wendi Aghily, Executive Director of Special Education

Meeting with Board President, Joanne Durkee

Meeting with Executive Cabinet Members

 

September 4   

 

Meeting with Joe Estrada, Director of Technology & Information Services

Visit to Cal State East Bay to meet with Community Organizations supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM)

Attended the District Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Meeting

 

September 5   

 

Attended and presented to the TK-12 Principals Meeting Executive Cabinet Meeting Review of “Unaudited Actuals”

Meeting with Guy Moore, Safety Coordinator

Northgate High School Back to School Night

 

September 6

 

Meeting with Joe Alvarez, Principal College Park High School

Meeting with Dr. Fred Wood, Contra Costa College District Chancellor, and Susan Lamb, President Diablo Valley College

Held interviews for Senior Executive Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent

Meeting with Mike Jimenez, Assistant Superintendent, High Schools and Jose Espinoza, Assistant Superintendent, Elementary Schools

Meeting with Kris Martin Meyer, Cindy Matteoni and Theodora Pappas, Diablo Managers Association (DMA) Executive Board