Superintendent's Newsletter

January 2023

Students return to School tomorrow, Wednesday, January 11th.

Happy New Year!

New Year's Day is a day of mixed feelings for many people. On one hand, it is a time to celebrate the end of the year gone by and on the other it is to welcome what is in store in the New Year. As we move into the MUSD New Year, more commonly known to us as the 2nd semester, we celebrate the many successes of the first semester and take advantage of the opportunity in the 2nd semester to make adjustments and improvements as necessary.

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The Great Kindness Challenge

The Great Kindness Challenge Week is a global campaign that promotes kindness, social-

emotional health, and bullying prevention in pre-kindergarten through grade twelve. During this powerful, unifying, and uplifting week, students are challenged to complete as many acts of kindness as possible using customizable checklists. The GKC gives every student an opportunity to model kindness and develop key social-emotional skills that are vital for school, work, and life success. PDFs of sample GKC checklists are available here. Students will speak about their experiences and Acts of Kindness at the January 30th MUSD Board Meeting at 6:30pm at 921 Susana Street.

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2023 The Year of the Rabbit!

2023 is a year of the Water Rabbit, starting from January 22nd, 2023 (Chinese New Year), and ending on February 9th, 2024 (Chinese New Year's Eve). The sign of Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture. 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope.
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What to do when the power goes out at school?

A power outage is unpredictable, and its duration may range from less than a minute to several days. During any given year, schools may experience a power failure at various locations ranging from a few minutes to several days. Typically, we do not close school unless there are compelling reasons to do so.

  • Should a power outage occur at a school site, unless otherwise specified by the school superintendent, the school site shall remain open during regular hours and, if safe to do so, classes/work shall operate as normal. It is the expectation that all staff remain on-site until otherwise directed.

  • All persons shall avoid unnecessary movement throughout the campus to avoid injury resulting from slips, trips, or falls. During regular business hours, there is typically sufficient natural light to safely remain in place for a period of time.

  • Each worksite shall assess where staff and students shall relocate to if they are in an area with no natural light. As certain areas of a building are more appropriate than others to occupy during a power outage, safe areas must be identified and utilized (rooms with natural light, close proximity to washrooms, centralized area for communication purposes).

  • Emergency lights only last for approximately one hour, therefore the following, but not limited to, best practices should be kept in mind:

  • Battery operated lights, lamps (previously delivered to sites), or cellular phone flashlights can be used as possible light sources for bathrooms and any other areas that students and staff will need to access when there are no lights.

    • Make sure all staff are aware of plans for any areas where there is no natural light.

  • Communication:

    • School phones require power. The battery backup will only last an hour. Each room is equipped with a battery operated walkie talkie which should be used in such a manner as to save the battery life.

    • Admin will communicate with parents/guardians that the phones are not working by sending an email through black board (DO generator powers servers).

  • If the failure lasts more than a few minutes it will be necessary to evacuate persons from darkened areas (washrooms, gymnasiums, cafeterias or other areas with no windows or natural lighting) to one of the identified safe zones.

  • Administrators/supervisors should ensure their employees are accounted for and are working in a safe/designated area.

  • Non-essential electrical equipment, computer equipment and appliances should be turned off or unplugged.

  • All light switches should be turned off.

  • In secondary science labs, fume hoods shall be closed, and experiments secured. Depending on the experiment at the time of outage, the science area may need to be evacuated due to the fume hoods not operating.

  • Elevators should be checked to determine if anyone is trapped inside. Passengers should follow procedures posted in the elevator.

  • The use of open flame devices for supplementary lighting is strictly prohibited.

  • Refrigerators and freezers should be kept closed throughout the outage to help keep them cold.

  • Alternate procedures should be considered for certain site-specific powered equipment in the case of a power outage. (e.g., elevators and handicapped students or personnel)

  • The Admin will use the walkie talkie system to announce the following to reduce the risk of an unknown person entering the worksite during an extended power outage:

    • Lock all external doors and post signs indicating all persons are to enter the building through a designated entrance.

    • Assign a staff member to monitor the entrance and only allow students and staff to enter.

    • Use the two-way radio to communicate potential emergencies to all staff.

  • Each building’s fire alarm system has back-up battery power that will enable our monitoring company to continue monitoring the site for a period of time after the initial power outage. When the batteries have depleted, a fire watch must be implemented (Person(s) will walk the campus every hour looking for signs of smoke or fire.

In the event of a necessary school closure, parents will be notified and students will be dismissed in a timely fashion. If the State mandated minutes of Instruction for ½ days is not met, the students and staff will be required to make up the day on one of the pre-designated make up days built into the calendar.

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The City of Martinez Local Road Safety Plan Online Survey

The City of Martinez is preparing a Local Road Safety Plan (LRSP) project. A LRSP provides a framework for identifying, analyzing, and prioritizing roadway safety improvements on local roads. The objectives of LRSP are:
- Enhance the safety of the City’s roadway system
- Improve transportation safety by reducing the number of incidents and the severity
- Identify high need areas and stakeholder priorities and establish LRSP vision and goals
- Review potential solutions and countermeasures
- Develop LRSP for future funding opportunities
The city has retained Advance Mobility Group (AMG) to assist in completing the project.
One of the key tasks is to conduct an online survey so that residents could provide inputs on traffic related safety concerns.
Please take the survey and provide your comments on this important project in the city. Thank you very much!!!

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Morello Park Students Win an ECO Award from Republic Services

MPE has been lucky to have been able to partner with New Leaf Collaborative for many years now to help with their program. The Green Team started several years ago as a way to teach the students the importance of recycling and how they can make a positive impact on the Earth by doing their part. When COVID hit, the Green Team took a hiatus, but is back and better than ever before! Thanks to two staff mentors, Amy Benz and Suzanne Renaghan, who oversee the program, the program has been able to host a handful of responsible, eco-minded 4th & 5th graders who support all our students in sorting their trash every day at lunch. The New Leaf Collaborative completed a training with our Green Team students, and did lessons in every class to teach the importance of recycling, composting, and what goes in our landfill. Each of our Green Team students received an apron, metal tongs, and gloves, courtesy of our PTA, to help them complete their mission each day during lunch. Our Green Team staff mentors and New Leaf partners continue to work with our students regularly to ensure the program is running smoothly. A huge thank you to their Republic Services partner, Stephanie Ragler, for her support in ensuring that MPE is moving in the right direction with their sorting; and to the MPE PTA and parent volunteers for their donation of aprons, tongs, and gloves, and for washing these items weekly! The MPE program is strong because of the dedication of staff, community partners, and passionate, eco-conscious students!

These awards are an important component of implementing the “Mandatory Commercial Recycling” program as required by Assembly Bill 341 (AB 341), and the Commercial Organics Recycling program as required by Assembly Bill 1826 (AB 1826) and Assembly Bill 939 (AB 939). The overarching goal of both AB 341 and AB 1826 is to divert more materials from the landfill, and AB 939 focuses on reducing greenhouse gases. Recognition such as the Eco Awards program helps encourage those goals. The awards are part of Republic Services’ agreement with the City of Martinez. CalRecycle, the State agency that monitors the effectiveness of local recycling programs, fully supports these types of recognition programs throughout California. To qualify, multiple audits are done, and Republic Services’ staff check with driver’s notes to confirm that accounts are in good standing. They also look for how the nominee affects the community.

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2022 California State Dashboard & Martinez Unified School District Performance Summary

Each year the MUSD is required to participate in SBAC testing in grades 3-8 and grade 11. The scores are reported via the CA School Accountability Dashboard, which is a key component of California’s integrated state and federal accountability system. It provides communities with transparent and meaningful information about the performance of districts, schools, and county offices of education on six state indicators: Graduation Rate, Suspension Rate, English Learner Progress, Academic Performance, and Chronic Absenteeism. Additionally, local measures are available based on information collected by districts, county offices of education, and charter schools. A summary of the CA State Dashboard can be found here, on the Department of education Website. The informational flyers linked below will help simplify the use and understanding of the 2022 CA Dashboard.

The Martinez Unified School District's Performance Overview can be accessed by clicking this link. Use this school finder to see individual Martinez School's Performance Overview.