Gregory Gardens Weekly Bulletin

July 30, 2020

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A Note from Ms. Koontz

Happy Summer Families,

MDUSD announced it will be starting the school year with distance learning on Monday, August 17, 2020. I know this is not ideal for anyone but our staff has been working hard and collaborating to ensure our Gators have the best possible experience. Teachers are prepared to support your child to the fullest. While details of our daily schedule are not complete yet, please know we have your students social and academic needs at heart. Please check out the 7/30/20 reopening plan link below.


Our school uses weekly newsletters, automated phone calls and emails, our school website, and several social media accounts ( Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) to keep you connected. Be sure to follow us and check these areas often for updates. If you or someone you know is not receiving the newsletter, please email me.

At Home Supply Letters

Each grade level has created a suggested at-home supply list to help students succeed during distance learning. Please review your letter below. If you are unable to provide these materials, please let your teacher know after Gator Day and we will create a package for you.

Remember to help your child prepare for online instruction by getting dressed before school, creating a workstation where they can focus and study (bedroom, desk area, kitchen table, quiet outside space) In this workstation, students will keep their learning supplies, Chromebooks, textbooks and workbooks! We know there is a big learning curve for everyone and we are here to support you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your teachers with concerns.

Superintendent's Friday Letter

Our Friday Letter has arrived, with the following headlines:

  • Key Elements and Dates for our Reopening Plan
  • Thoughts and Encouragement From Board Member Joanne Durkee
  • Partnerships for Good: Feeding our Community

We are in this together.



If your student needs to borrow a Chromebook for Distance Learning, please complete the form below.

Important: You will be responsible for this equipment until the return date. To AVOID ANY FINE ($150), we ask you to please keep your assigned Chromebook and charger in a safe place as you will be responsible if the Chromebook it is damaged or lost.

Chromebooks will be available on Gator Day


Thursday August 13, 2020

9:00am-11:00am- Family Last Names begin A-M

11:00am-1:00pm- Family Last Names begin N-Z

Families will provide forms for the front office, have an opportunity to support PTA, receive classroom materials such as Chromebooks, textbooks, workbooks and other essentials for at home learning. Please be prepared to follow all county social distance protocols. Wear your mask and remain 6 feet apart at all times! We look forward to seeing you all on campus. Parents will receive class assignments once all documents are provided.

Please bring....

*Photo ID

*Print and complete current emergency contact card BEFORE coming to Gator Day( attached below)

*New Address??? Provide verification ( payroll stub, car registration, lease/mortgage agreement)

*Backpack or sturdy bag to carry student materials home

Parent Education

This year our school will use SeeSaw and Google Classroom for our distance learning platform. Please watch these short clips to orient yourself to the platforms your students will be using.

Students and teachers will be interacting via Google Meet ( last year we used ZOOM for live instruction). Your teacher will be in touch with information about how to log on.

Grades 3-5 Google Classroom Tutorial for Parents

Start HERE!

Grades Tk-2 Seesaw Tutorial for Parents

Recent Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How will music and library work during Distance Learning?

A. This is to be determined. Our MDUSD Board of Education will be making decisions about schedules and classes in the coming days/weeks.

Q. Will students have live instruction and a daily schedule during Distance Learning?

A. Yes. The exact details for these things are still a work in progress, but you can expect your child to have live instruction and interaction every day based on a consistent schedule. We are creating a schedule that ensures students have an age appropriate amount of screen time and independent written practice. Daily schedules will have a variety of learning on and off line.

Q. Will students receive grades?
A. Yes. The grading system will return.

Q. How will attendance work during Distance Learning?

A. This is still being worked out, but students will be expected to attend online classes and their attendance will be tracked.

Q. When will the office open?

A. The school office is closed for summer and will reopen on Monday August 3rd 8am-3pm. If you need immediate assistance please email me at

Reopening Plan for MDUSD

Click here for our Preliminary Reopening Plan

Receive Important Information via Text Message

Campus Security

I know many families are frustrated with the recent campus closure.

On March 13, 2020, MDUSD closed campuses due to COVID-19. On March 16, 2020, Contra Costa County ordered a Shelter in Place requiring all public areas to be closed. On April 1, 2020 MDUSD posted a public notice stating, “Based on the order of the health officer of CCC the playground facilities including structures, courts, fields and associated areas are closed until further notice.” As of July 8, 2020 these ordinances are still in effect. As the principal I am required to comply with county and district guidelines.

You may not know, but not all of the campuses within MDUSD have the ability to be fully secured. Nearby schools Pleasant Hill Elementary, Strandwood and Sequoia, are not secured campuses. However, College Park, Valhalla, Gregory Gardens and many other campuses are secure. Gregory Gardens has gates and access signage and pet restrictions in the front of the school and into the neighborhood. While public schools are considered to be public property, they are not generally open to the public for non-school business.

I recognize that past practice has been to keep the neighborhood gate unlocked to allow the community to use the facilities after hours and on weekends. Unfortunately, due to an uptick in vandalism and community members not being respectful towards staff and property, we have had to become more rigid in our protocols. In the past weeks we have had our gates vandalized six times ( 4/15, 4/16, 6/29, 6/30, 7/1, 7/2). In addition to the vandalism, a MDUSD landscaper was confronted in an aggressive manner by a community member while on site. Our custodian continually has to clean up dog feces left on our field and sports courts. Neighbors ride their bicycles and dirt bikes on our field tearing it up for our students making twisted ankles and injuries a common occurrence.

Aside from the vandalism and disrespectful behavior, we have students on campus from 7:30am-6:00pm, Monday-Friday. MDUSD and I are obligated to keep these students safe from the general public and unleashed dogs. We have great concerns for our students running into an unsafe community member or being chased or bitten by a dog while on our campus.

I know change can be very difficult and I do understand everyones frustrations. I hope you all know that MDUSD and I are committed to keeping our students, staff and campuses safe and secure.

I appreciate your understanding and flexibility. If directives change I will let our community know.


Food Service to Continue through Summer:

We continue to be ever so proud of our Food and Nutrition Department staff, community partners, and volunteers who are on the front lines serving meals to our families. These basic needs are so vitally important, and when our scale is now approaching close to 50,000 meals each week, it takes a tremendous amount of creativity and logistical expertise to make it happen. Our hats are off to them, and our hands are across our hearts, acknowledging and grateful for the great,

Grade Level Optional Supply Lists for at Home Learning

What's Happening Around MDUSD

Check out how we spend our days!

Twitter - @gregory_gators, @RSP_MDUSD, @MsKoontzMDUSD

Instagram - @gregory_gardens

Facebook- @gregory.gardens.elementary

Looking Ahead

As soon as information about the 2020-2021 school year becomes available I will share it with you.

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived ancestry, age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, actual or potential parental, family, marital status, or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Questions, concerns or complaints regarding compliance with Title IX student issues, please contact the Title IX Compliance Officer, Michael A. Jimenez, Assistant Superintendent High School, at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519, by phone (925) 682-8000, or email at Questions, concerns or complaints regarding compliance with Title IX employee issues, please contact the Executive Director of Personnel, Lisa Murphy Oates, at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519, by phone (925) 682-8000, or email at Questions, concerns or complaints regarding harassment, discrimination, intimidation and bullying, please contact the Equity Compliance Officer, Jennifer Sachs, Executive Director of Instructional Support, at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519, by phone (925) 682-8000, or email at