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July 17, 2020 Friday Letter Volume 2, No. 7
Posted 7/17/20

In Case You Missed It: 2020-21 School Year to Begin with Distance Learning
     At its July 13th Board Meeting, the Governing Board of Education signaled unanimous support for returning to school on August 13th with primarily (first) distance learning. The Governing Board noted health and safety as priorities that cannot be compromised, given most recent coronavirus pandemic information. 
     With this direction, newly appointed Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark and the existing structure of Task Forces will bring reopening plans into higher resolution. This marks a transition into the, "Adjustments and Final Plan," stage in the Roadmap to Reopen.
     A new Revised Reopening Plan will be developed and presented to the Board of Education for consideration in the coming weeks. The Revised Reopening Plan will show the 2020-21 school year beginning with distance learning, and will allow for selective phasing into classroom environments only when and where the highest standards of health and safety can be achieved. 
     On the Roadmap to Reopen webpage, find out how you can participate in our planning process, or review our timeline for plan development. 
     We are sincerely appreciative of the high level of public participation in our surveys and in our public meetings. You have been excellent communicators of your ideas and perspectives, which is fundamental for healthy collaboration. We are also thankful to the Board of Education for providing direction that is essential to our planning efforts. We look forward to communicating to  you any and all reopening plan developments going forward as soon as possible. 

Thoughts and Encouragement from Vice President Debra Mason:

As board members, we take no decision lightly because we know that there will always be an impact on students, family, and staff. This becomes even more significant during a pandemic. After listening to the many public comments voicemails and emails, we can see that our communities are just as concerned and torn as we are on how to proceed. Health and safety continue to be our guiding principles, and that is why we want to proceed with caution—sometimes you go slowly so you can achieve the outcome you want, and that means being thoughtful and intentional. 

     We ask for your patience and partnership as we strive for continual improvement with an end goal of returning to in class instruction for all students. We can all do our part by adhering to the state and county health guidelines in order to help keep our communities and families safe and healthy. 

     To our students, I would say I know how hard it has been to be isolated for so long but I would encourage you to take time to enjoy being with your families, plan a movie or game night, or ask your parents what they liked to do when they were your age. You can stay in touch with friends by having a scheduled chat time each week share one new thing you learned that week; I know that I learn something new every day. 

     Enjoy your family, enjoy life in general, and be thankful for your health every day.

Partnerships Powering Communication in Native Languages

     Did you know that our families receive district communications in 32 different native languages? This is thanks to the dynamic platform School Messenger, which uses immediate, advanced translation functions that are pre-programmed with education-specific vernacular. School Messenger recognizes each family’s district communications language preference based on encrypted data fields from our secure database.

     Additionally, all MDUSD webpages host a powerful Google Translate toolbar in the uppermost menu. In just two clicks, viewers can translate webpages into 26 different languages.

     Of course, our wonderful in-house translation team also plays a major role on this front. We would like to take a moment here to publicly thank our district translators, whose services are absolutely essential for a healthy information flow. Effective business requires effective communication, and that means reaching our families where they are. Thank you, translation team!

California Child Care Resource & Referral Network

     The California Child Care Resource & Referral Network is a great resource for finding local childcare, based on your ZIP code. Visit their website or call their toll-free number to speak to an information specialist who can answer your general child care questions, or connect you with your local resource and referral agency (available in English and Spanish): 1-800-KIDS-793 | (1-800-543-7793)

Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark to Start Monday

     At its July 13th Board Meeting, the Governing Board of Education formally appointed Dr. Adam Clark as the next Superintendent of Mount Diablo Unified School District. Dr. Clark will have his first day at the Dent Center office on Monday, July 20th. Since announcing him as the sole finalist for the position, we have seen an overwhelming number of social media posts and email comments from our community showing support and encouragement. The district eagerly anticipates his starting. In a first message to district staff after his appointment, Dr. Clark wrote,

     “It is my belief that a District is defined by the individuals who show up each day to support our greatest gift—our students…

     In normal times, many staff members would be vacationing or planning for the first day of school. Unfortunately, the global pandemic has challenged our normal way of doing business. The present time and circumstance regrettably does not allow for the typical listening tours or the implementation of a 90-day entry plan. With that said, I do plan on hitting the ground running. I am ready to face the global pandemic that has not only plagued our country and our county, but most importantly, our District.

     I promise that I will build on the work that so many of you have been doing since March. We will work together to achieve our mission of educating and lifting up our students. Every single employee is vital in helping us achieve this goal. Clear and concise communication will be a critical component of keeping staff informed about current short term and long term plans moving forward. I believe in being fully transparent about the challenges and successes that we will face together.

     I am committed to ensuring that every student reaches their potential. This happens when classified and certificated staff are supported with the tools necessary to effectively do their jobs. With an equity lens, we can create experiences for our students that will have a lasting impact on their lives. All of our students need our support! There are so many amazing people and programs throughout the District. I look forward to you sharing with me the successes as well as the challenges of your role in supporting student learning.”

Summer Meal Program Continues

     Mount Diablo Unified School District is very pleased to continue free curbside meals to our community at 9 locations district-wide. Meal pick-ups are simple and safe, and our professionals are masked and socially distanced. See our flyers for more details.

     Free Community Meal Flyers: English | Spanish

The Office of the Superintendent
and Governing Board of Education