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February 14, 2020 Friday Letter Volume 1, No. 23
Posted 2/14/20


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




A Tragic Loss:


     This week we lost one of our Concord High School students, Joe Barratt. It has been reported that Joe was a victim of a hit and run incident this past Monday evening. Principal Pfaltzgraf shared this message with students and community members yesterday after hearing of his passing:


            “It is will great sadness that I share that Concord High School Senior Joe Barratt has passed away. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and our thoughts are with them as they deal with this difficult time.


            We will have counselors available on Tuesday to support any students who may need a space to process this.  If you have any concerns about your child over the four day weekend, please feel free to email any counselor, administrator, or teacher so we can provide support when we return on Tuesday.


            We will keep the community informed about services or celebrations that may be held in memory of Joe.  Joe was a kind and thoughtful young man and he will be dearly missed by many.


            Thank you for your support and compassion.”


     Our hearts and thoughts go out to Joe’s entire family, friends, and those who knew him. In times of loss such as this there are few words that can console Joe’s family and heal the loss that they will feel for some time to come. We can only work to take great care to ensure that those we love, care for, and tend to will hear and understand how much we care for them as much and as frequently as possible. 


Silverwood Elementary School – A Newly Recognized California Distinguished School


     On Monday, February 10, 2020, Silverwood Elementary School was recognized as a California Distinguished School. Principal Julie Johnson, Teacher Jennifer Dunne, and Director of Elementary Marji Calbeck were able to attend the ceremonies in Anaheim, where they were able to meet the Honorable Mickey Mouse during the awards presentation. We are thrilled with their accomplishment, and celebrate this fine achievement.


     A component of the California School Recognition Program (CSRP), the California Distinguished Schools (DS) Program recognizes schools that demonstrate exemplary achievements. The California DS Program recognizes elementary and middle and high schools in alternate years and allows eligible schools to apply for the California DS Award once every two years. Schools recognized as a California DS Awardee hold the DS Title for two years.


     In 2020, California is recognizing outstanding education programs and practices in elementary schools. California is using a multiple measures accountability system to identify eligible schools based on their performance and progress on the state indicators as specified on the California School Dashboard.


Mount Diablo Unified School District Administrators Receive Awards:


     Several Mt. Diablo Unified School District Administrators are being recognized this year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 6!


Classified Leader

Dominic Machi, Mt. Diablo USD (Region Winner)


Adult Education Administrator

Cynthia Paige Endo, Mt. Diablo USD (Region Winner)


Special Education Administrator

Jenny Vargas, Mt. Diablo USD (Region Winner)


These individuals will be formally recognized at the ACSA Region 6, Awards and Celebration Dinner to be held on June 11, 2020. Each will be considered for possible state recognition as well.


Professional Development Abounds:


     On Monday, February 10, 2020, all of our Mount Diablo Unified School District certificated employees participated in professional development opportunities across the District. Our middle school and high school staff members gathered together at a variety of locations to participate in programs designed at providing information and learning about a variety of topic including: Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Trauma Informed Practices, Literacy Development, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Climate Change, just to name a few. Our elementary staff worked together at their sites focusing on instructional practices, engagement strategies, and building the capacity within the educational structures of their unique sites. These days are essential for our educators to be able to work and learn together so that they may continue to be able to provide the exceptional level of instruction that all of our students deserve. We will have one more professional development day this school year on Monday, March 16, 2020.


We Want and Value Your Input:


You are invited to participate in a virtual conversation to inform our planning and budget work at MDUSD. Our most important stakeholders are our students, and understanding what our students most need will help us prioritize as we make challenging decisions regarding budget solutions. 


MDUSD's goals are focused on providing a high quality learning environment and ensuring all students are college and/or career ready. MDUSD is also committed to having parents, family and community as informed, engaged and empowered partners in support of student learning. 


With this in mind, we are making difficult budget decisions and developing a plan to reduce spending. In this exchange, we ask that you share your thoughts about the most important things students need to be college and/or career ready. Your thoughts and priorities will support as we plan for the future of our students.  


Please follow this link to engage in our “Thought Exchange,” then click 'Participate' to share your thoughts, then consider and rate 20-30 thoughts of others. You will also be able to explore what's important to our community as shared by others. 


Coronavirus Resources and Recommendations—Repeated Information:


     At this time residents of Contra Costa County are at a low risk of becoming infected with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). According to the World Health Organization, the United States has only 15 confirmed cases of infected individuals and no deaths. 


     Our sympathies continue to be with the people of China where now over 48,000 cases of novel coronavirus have been confirmed, which is close to twice as many since the last Friday Letter. The United States has implemented travel restrictions and quarantine orders to reduce the spread of the virus into our country. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have arranged with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to offer direct support from our leading experts. United States Corporations have pledged millions of dollars towards relief and containment efforts. 


     Our office has continuously monitored the status of this virus, and we will send follow-up information if there is any increase in risk to our community. While the risk for our community is very low, preventative measures like limiting contact with those who are sick, washing hands frequently, and covering coughs and sneezes are always best practice. 


     The Contra Costa County Office of Education has maintained a coronavirus webpage for those who wish to learn more or share information with others. 


Several Activities in My Calendar This Week


 Monday, February 10, 2020

  • Held a meeting with my Executive Cabinet
  • Met with Chief Business Officer Dr. Lisa Gonzales
  • Participated in the regular Board Meeting

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

  • Held a meeting with my Cabinet
  • Held a meeting with my Executive Cabinet

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

  • Met with Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Jose Espinoza

Thursday, February 13, 2020

  • Held an All-Employee Representative Unit Leaders Meeting
  • Met with one of the District’s Fiscal Advisors
  • Met with Associate General Counsel Cesar Alvarado
  • Met with Director of Human Resources Lisa Murphy Oates
  • Met with Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Michael Jimenez

Friday, February 14, 2020

  • Met with Executive Director of Instructional Support Jennifer Sachs




-Superintendent Dr. Robert A Martinez-