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May 22, 2020 Friday Letter Volume 1, No. 37
Posted 5/22/20

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




Focused on the Future Together for a Brighter Tomorrow

     I may or may not know your name or have had the opportunity to personally engage with you in deep conversation, in a personal meeting, or even in a virtual environment, but please know that my thoughts have been focused on your children, our students, and each of you continuously. Whether you are a student, family member of a student, staff member, or community member, please know that I so dearly value the mutual commitment we have to our students’ future through educational excellence now more than ever. It is truly a collaborative effort that we share for the future of our children, and we must understand and accept the responsibility that we each hold as we each invest in the important work to steer our local public education programs and services into a brighter tomorrow.

     Along these lines, I am compelled to tell you that your feedback and communication with us has been incredibly valuable, whether you are reaching out to our site Principals, to our district administration, if you have participated in our various committees, participated in our Board Meetings, Town Halls, surveys, or even if you have left a comment on social media. This feedback is informing our conversations, considerations, and actions, and we will continue to strive to open up even more opportunities for two-way communication. While we do not always have the opportunity to respond on an individual basis to each email or post, we do look to address concerns and provide answers in our continuous messaging, and more specifically through our decisions as a District.

     It is no secret that Mount Diablo Unified School District is currently facing a number of challenges, and of course, some of those challenges are beyond our control. Still, we do have control of our responses to those challenges, and I am confident that if we focus on the most salient features of each challenge, continue to band together in force to support students, we can rise to the occasion, make tough and deliberate decisions, and strive for continuous improvement of our services to students. I have said it before—and I will say it again—that right now, more than ever before, we must remember to turn to each other rather than turn against each other.

     Please keep your head high, keep your feedback coming, lean into the difficult future, and know that each member of the Mt. Diablo leadership team, employee groups, and Governing Board are focused on improving and enhancing our educational programs and services for students, in a safe and secure manner as our primary initiative.

Reminder: You May be Eligible for Additional Nutrition Benefits

     The State of California will be providing additional nutrition benefits to families who qualify for free/reduced meals—up to $365 (card) for each eligible child. The total amount you will receive will depend on how many eligible children are living in your home.

Who is eligible for Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits?
Children are eligible for P-EBT benefits if: 1) Their school is closed due to coronavirus (COVID 19); and 2) They are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

How do I get P-EBT benefits?
Most families with children who receive CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply online. They will get their P-EBT card in the mail between May 7 - 22, 2020.
Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do NOT get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits must apply online before June 30, 2020. Applications will be available here, starting today, May 22, 2020:

Find out more information here.

Disaster Relief Funds for Undocumented Californians

     The State of California is also providing a one-time disaster relief assistance for undocumented Californians impacted by COVID-19, who are ineligible for most other forms of pandemic assistance, including direct assistance under the CARES Act and unemployment insurance.

     An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1,000 in assistance per household. Applications accepted by phone only at 1-415-324-1011 for Contra Costa County.    

     You must provide information and documents to verify your identity, your address, and to show you have been impacted by COVID-19.

Co-op Adult Education Support Highlights

     Vittoria Abbate, Director of College Career and Adult Education, shared the following photos that are being collected of our District’s Adult Ed programs being delivered via Zoom. 

     Vittoria stated, “These are of our Adult Ed Parent Ed Co-op Title I-supported classes for parents of pre-school children as they continue their learning via Zoom during COVID-19.  We are making good use of ZOOM break-out rooms for small group and one-on-one parent and child engagement, support and training.” 

     Even the youngest in our midst are working to connect, engage, and support each other during these most difficult times.

#Slay50MilesinMay – An Update!

     By the way, how are you doing with getting up, getting out, and taking some steps for your health? As of today, Friday, May 22, 2020, I have logged 39 miles running, and 39 miles walking for the month of May. This places me over the 50 mile mark, and 22 miles shy of my goal of reaching the 50/50 club (50 running and 50 walking miles by the end of the month). Given the difficult time each person may be having with pandemic related impacts, I believe that it is important to do what you can to support your personal health and for me it has been walks and runs with my wife. Do what you can do, and please do take care of yourself.

Several Activities in My Calendar This Week

Monday, May 18, 2020

  • Met with my Executive Cabinet
  • Met virtually with leadership of the Mount Diablo Black Educators Association
  • Met virtually with Board Member Joanne Durkee
  • Met virtually with Contra Costa County Superintendent Lynn Mackey and Contra Costa County School District Superintendents, Contra Costa County Public Health Officials for continued coronavirus response coordination

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

  • Met with Chief Business Officer Dr. Lisa Gonzales
  • Met with several Cabinet staff members
  • Attended the virtual presentation by School Services of California on the Governor’s May Revise.
  • Met with my Executive Cabinet

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

  • Met virtually with all school site Principals
  • Met virtually with Mount Diablo Education Association (MDEA) leadership
  • Participated in a Special Board Meeting

Thursday, May 21, 2020

  • Participated in Tony Thurmond’s, California Department of Education, Virtual webinar focused on the potential re-opening of schools.
  • Attended a virtual conference with leaders from Capitol Advisors Group

Friday, May 22, 2020

  • Met with my Executive Cabinet


-Superintendent Dr. Rob Martinez-