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As Pandemic Worsens, Board to Consider Reopening Postponement
Posted 12/8/20

For immediate release: 

As Pandemic Worsens, Board to Consider Reopening Postponement

Concord, CA—For many bay-area school districts, including MDUSD, mid-January was a target to introduce a hybrid model option, but now a worse-than-expected, "dark winter," in the COVID-19 pandemic is calling for districts to postpone reopening. In a letter to district staff and families on December 8, Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark outlined the same, citing new information from state and local health authorities that ultimately informs his recommendation to postpone reopening. Here is that message in its entirety: 

"Dear Mt. Diablo Unified School District Parents/Guardians and Staff,

     I hope this message finds you well during this challenging time. As you may recall, we made a commitment to our families to partially open schools on January 11, 2021. Over the weekend, we received the sobering but not surprising news that Contra Costa County residents will need to adhere to the State’s Regional Stay At Home Order. This news along with worsening pandemic trends will affect the timing of our direction as a district, like many districts across the state.
     Opening our schools in a manner that protects the health and safety of students and staff is our number one priority. Currently, according to the Contra Costa County Department of Public Health (CCCDPH), Contra Costa County remains in the Purple Tier indicating “widespread”  COVID-19 as measured by testing positivity rates, hospitalizations, and ICU rates. Additionally, health officials are warning that a holiday surge of the virus may lead to a significant increase in hospitalizations. These factors are further compounded with the onset of what is expected to be a serious flu season that may further complicate contact tracing. 
     Thus, out of an abundance of caution, at the December 14, 2020 Board of Education meeting (6:00PM), I will be recommending that our schools remain closed until a re-evaluation takes place at our January 13, 2021 board meeting. If the Board agrees with this recommendation, students will remain in distance learning, then we will re-evaluate on January 13 when to partially open schools.
     Our Board had the foresight to continue a 100% Distance Learning Model for our students in grades TK-12 until the end of the first semester—at a minimum—as the concurrent COVID-19 data pointed to a surge heading into winter break; the magnitude of what is happening now is even graver than what the experts had anticipated.
     I know that this pandemic has created hardships for many of our students and families and that for many this is not the news they hoped to hear. However, please know that this recommendation is solely based on our desire to keep our students, staff, and families as safe as possible. Thank you, as always, for your continued support and understanding during these challenging times.

Superintendent Adam Clark, Ed.D.
Mt. Diablo Unified School District"