CONNECTIONS

MT. DIABLO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

MDUSD FRIENDS AND FAMILIES

February is traditionally the month of love, family and connecting to others - a time for Valentine's Day, remembering friends, and emphasizing the importance of those we love and are committed to in our lives.


This month, as our nation mourns the senseless tragedy at a Florida school, we are also reminded of another important commitment - another way of showing our love for our schools and students - and that is the commitment to keeping our schools and neighborhoods safe. We are so very grateful that our entire community is part of this commitment. Our community has been proactively working on this topic and the tragedy has redoubled our efforts. We share the very important work of creating and maintaining positive learning environments. The voices of our wonderful MDUSD community are heard so powerfully in this regard - sharing the grief and sending a commitment of support to the victims of the Florida school tragedy, along with their friends, families, and school families.


As a nation, we're seeing a surge among young people wanting to stand up and share their voice on issues that concern them, sometimes pushing for changes to make the world a better place in their eyes. In MDUSD, we've always believed it important to promote informed and confident student self-expression - through the visual and performing arts, the written and spoken word, and thoughtful community activism.


In our schools, we continue to create opportunities and activities for students to speak up, listen up, and stand up for what they believe in. We believe, as our future leaders, developing this 'voice' is important to the success and well-being of our students, our community, and our world.


You may have heard of a national school walkout planned for March 14, organized by Women's March Youth EMPOWER as an opportunity for students, teachers, school administrators, and parents to speak out on concerns related to gun control.


While MDUSD supports the right to protest peacefully, we naturally have concerns about the safety of students should they leave campus. We are working with schools and student groups to identify alternatives to the walkout that can afford a meaningful, hands-on and interactive civic experience that helps students see and practice how to effectively leverage their voice as part of a greater good and a greater movement. We will also be working with our schools, family groups, and community partners to help ensure that any activities that take place off-campus that day are well-supervised, well-organized, well-managed, and allow students to express themselves in a safe way. We'll provide you more information as we get closer.


Dr. Nellie E. Meyer

Superintendent

DISTRICT NEWS

NEW MT. DIABLO UNIFIED EDUCATION FOUNDATION LAUNCHED


A new MDUSD Education Foundation is here! Created by parents, business and community members in collaboration with teachers and school staff, the Foundation's core goal is to ensure that every student in the district has access to a quality education, regardless of their zip code The start-up of the Foundation was made possible by a generous donation of $30,000 from the Mt. Diablo Education Association’s Academy Awards Committee. (See photo below.)


To meet its core goal, the Foundation will sponsor educational opportunities inclusive to all MDUSD schools, providing funds and resources to enrich current K-12 STEAM activities, and collaborating with businesses to enhance career technical education and training opportunities for students. Learn more at https://www.mdedf.org/.


MDUSD is grateful for the partnership of several other district-related foundations. To learn more about opportunities to contribute or participate, please visit the following:

Big picture
Mt. Diablo Education Association (MDEA) presents a check to the MDUSD Education Foundation for $30,000 to help establish the new organization. Foundation board members, from L-R, Sharon Jenkins, Tina Segrove, Mary Gray, Linda Mayo, Cherise Khaund, Guy Moore, Anita Johnson, and Sylvia Chatagnier.

CYBERSAFETY TOPIC OF NEXT LCAP COMMUNITY SPEAKER SERIES EVENT


As part of the key goal in our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) for Parent/Family & Community Engagement, we are committed to making sure parents, families and community members are informed, engaged, and empowered as partners to support student learning. Last year, we introduced our Community Speakers Series to provide an activity supporting these goals.


Please join us on March 20 for an evening with Above the Fray, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering responsible and safe social media users. The event is open to all MDUSD parents, guardians, and caregivers to look at what's happening in the digital lives of young people - and this may be a surprise for many parents. We will proactively address topics like cyberbullying, social media, internet safety, sexting, and gaming. The objective is to give parents tangible tools to use to start meaningful conversation at home before issues arise. Spanish translations will be available.


Learn more!

CUTTING-EDGE EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY FEATURED AT 2018 MDUSD/EAST BAY STEM AND ED/TECH SYMPOSIUM


Nearly 500 teachers and administrators from the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and surrounding areas will gather this Saturday, February 24, to learn, share, collaborate, and play with new educational technology at the 3rd Annual MDUSD & East Bay CUE (Computer Using Educators) STEM & EdTech Symposium, sponsored by the Andeavor Foundation. STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math, is a critical instructional focus for MDUSD to help students develop capabilities to succeed in an increasingly scientific and technological society.


The symposium will open at 8:30 am with keynote speaker, Jon Corippo, Interim Executive Director for CUE. Teachers and administrators will have options to attend a variety of classes, including:


Learn more!

2018 STEM SHOWCASE HIGHLIGHTS STUDENT PROJECTS, ENGINEERING DESIGN CHALLENGES, AND HANDS-ON SCIENCE ACTIVITIES


The traditional elementary school science fair is moving up to a whole new level! MDUSD's 2018 STEM Showcase, scheduled for Saturday, March 10, at our Willow Creek Center, will feature the projects and scientific thinking of approximately 300 third through fifth grade junior geniuses. This year, the processes reflect the alignment with the the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) which enable students to learn science by doing science.


Last year, student projects explored topics such as vehicle levitation, underwater robots, paper circuits, and from a particularly science-minded third-grader - an introduction to quantum physics.


Activities will also include DNA extraction with Bio-Rad's "Genie in a Bottle" kit and Mad Science demonstrations complete with flares, flames, and explosions.


Learn more!

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

OLYMPIC HIGH SCHOOL NAMED A MODEL CONTINUATION HIGH SCHOOL


State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson last week named Olympic High School one of only 32 "Model Continuation High Schools for 2018" - citing its "strong mental health team" for "working closely with the county mental health agency to help students succeed in the classroom and in life."


Model Continuation High Schools are recognized for creating innovative programs that focus on academics and social and emotional learning, and helping students who have face many challenges - including chronic absenteeism and truancy - get back on the path to realizing their full academic potential.


Learn more!

SERENDIPITY STUDENTS WIN BIG AT FCCLA SPRING LEADERSHIP MEETING - ADVANCE TO STATE CONFERENCE


Eight top student chefs and bakers, representing Mt. Diablo High School's acclaimed Serendipity Restaurant and Bakery, part of the school's International Hospitality and Tourism Academy (IHTA), received top awards at the recent 2018 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Spring Leadership Meeting where they competed in Patisserie, Advanced Presentation Cakes, Appetizers, and Culinary Arts.


All eight students will go on to the FCCLA State Leadership Conference to compete in their categories - and Serendipity students have a long-standing track record of walking away with the top prizes and scholarships at this state level.


Winners below, from left to right, rear row: Laura Vega, Junior, 2nd Place in Appetizers; Carlos Trejo, Junior, 2nd Place in Patisserie; My Nhi Tran, Junior, 1st Place in Appetizers; and Seth Stigall, Senior, 2nd Place in Culinary Arts. From left to right, front row: Karla Loza-Romo, Junior, and Julio Juarez, Junior, 3rd Place in Culinary Arts; Miguel Pacheco, Junior, 1st Place in Advanced Presentation; and Aaron Aldava, Senior, 2nd Place in Culinary Arts.

Mt. Diablo HS student culinary student winners include from left to right, rear row: Laura Vega, Junior, 2nd Place in Appetizers; Carlos Trejo, Junior, 2nd Place in Patisserie; My Nhi Tran, Junior, 1st Place in Appetizers; and Seth Stigall, Senior, 2nd Place in Culinary Arts. From left to right, front row: Karla Loza-Romo, Junior, and Julio Juarez, Junior, 3rd Place in Culinary Arts; Miguel Pacheco, Junior, 1st Place in Advanced Presentation; and Aaron Aldava, Senior, 2nd Place in Culinary Arts.

SCHOOL NEWS

10th ANNUAL CONCORD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT LEADERSHIP EXCHANGES DRAWS 400+ STUDENTS FROM SIX REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS


What began as a small gathering of Student Leadership classes a decade ago has grown to a professional student-led leadership development conference - marking its 10th anniversary today at Concord High School. The idea was conceived by Concord High’s Leadership class to provide an opportunity for collaboration among regional student leaders; nothing similar existed at the time. In its inaugural year, the day centered around students getting to know fellow students from other schools, team-building games, and sharing ideas about events that could be put together at the high schools to promote student engagement. While these activities continue, the event now includes student-led workshops on personal development as a leader and other topics and has grown to include a dozen schools from six regional districts.


The keynote speaker this year will be Kevin Laue, a San Jose native and the first player missing a limb to play NCAA Division 1 basketball. Kevin's presentations focus on the importance of goals and dreams, and what it takes to be a leader.


Learn more about the Leadership Exchange!

The 10th annual Concord High School Leadership Conference is drawing 400+ students from six school districts,including Antioch Unified, Campbell Union, Liberty Union, Martinez Unified, and Berean Christian High Shcool, in addition to MDUSD.

FIRST MEXICAN-AMERICAN ASTRONAUT ENCOURAGES CONCORD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS


Space Shuttle Discovery astronaut José M. Hernández recently visited Concord High School, speaking about his inspirational journey through education and life. Mr. Hernandez was the son of immigrants, learned English at the age of 12, and was the first in his family to go to college, where he graduated with an engineering degree. He went on to work for NASA and became an astronaut, achieving a goal he'd had since age six.


Concord High School senior Nicole Pyle was present for the assembly, and shared this write-up with us:

"José Hernandez recently spoke at Concord High school. I was one of the lucky students to attend; those of us who came to the assembly were very excited and surprised to find out that the guest speaker was a well-trained and well-spoken astronaut. Many of us felt connected to Dr. Hernandez- he came from the area, from a lower class family, and still managed to pursue school and achieve his dream. The speech was very inspirational and sincere, talking about how to identify goals and make them a reality even when faced with rejection. The idea that you must do more than what is required of you and think one step ahead to achieve what you want is something that many of us need to acknowledge to step forward into adulthood. I would like to thank José Hernandez for his time, his speech, and his enthusiasm. I hope many more students in the future can have similar experiences with influential and encouraging people like José."


The assembly was sponsored by Tony LaRussa, former major league baseball player and team manager, and founder of the Animal Rescue Foundation locally.


View news coverage of the visit:

TEAM MDUSD SPOTLIGHT

TINA EDWARDS

CONCORD HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER

(Principles of Engineering, Geometry, Algebra)


How long have you been working for Mt. Diablo Unified and at what school(s)?

I have been working at MDUSD since 2011, with all time spent at Concord High School


What do you find the most rewarding/love the most about what you do?

I love that every day is new and different. I find teenagers fascinating and I love being part of their journey of self-discovery. They are a constant source of entertainment and teach me new things daily. I always look forward to coming to work because of this.


Describe a recent “a-ha” moment one of your students had – where you could see the little lightbulb go off.

Just the other day three of my Principle of Engineering students were brainstorming ideas for their alternative fuel vehicle which will compete in an upcoming race. These three students had not demonstrated much interest in the activities leading up to this point of the design challenge and I seriously wondered if they were really learning anything. They approached me excitedly and asked if it was OK to install certain devices that would sabotage their fellow competitors’ vehicles. I was fascinated because I wasn’t really thrilled about their evil thoughts towards their classmates but they displayed a clear understanding of the circuit requirements and simple machine principles needed to implement their rather evil plans. I was thrilled to see them fully engaged and so impressed with what they had learned. It was beautiful to see.


Read Tina's full profile here!

MDUSD ALUMNI HALL OF FAME

STEVEN LUKE

COLLEGE PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CLASS OF ‘95

(Reporter/anchor for NBC News, San Diego)


Tell us about some of your most inspirational teachers. What did they help instill in you?

I think some of my favorite teachers were in elementary school as they’ve left an impression on me that lasted this long. I remember them having a good sense of humor and being just strict enough to keep us in line, but always feeling like they were in my corner and wanted me to succeed. In high school I had several coaches, some of whom I remain in contact with today, that stand out as positive influences of my youth.


How did your experiences in MDUSD help prepare you for your career in broadcasting?

MDUSD was my foundation for learning and I realized early that I loved writing (much more than math/science) I also remember doing a senior project and job shadowing a San Francisco DJ on a country music station.


What have been some of the more significant stories you’ve covered?

In San Diego the biggest stories are usually wildfires and I’ve covered all the major ones in recent history dating back to 2003. I’ve had the great fortune to cover five different Olympics and most of the major sports championships from Super Bowls to US Opens.

Some of my toughest assignments had to do with the deaths of San Diego-based/raised service members during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


You’re currently covering the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, a relatively small town with a population of 43,000 in one of the poorest places in South Korea. How have your experiences there been so far?

Things are great here in Pyeongchang as the entire region and country is rallying behind the Olympics. The people are very welcoming. They’ve built lots of infrastructure to support the games and the hope here is that the Olympics will attract more people to this part of the country for decades to come.


Read Steve's full profile here!

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Mt. Diablo Unified is always looking for potential team members. Please check our personnel website and our LinkedIn page for updated classroom positions and other positions we’re looking to fill, such as Special Education Assistants, Instructional Assistants, and a variety of administrative and clerical positions. We’re looking to hire new School Office Managers, Educational Interpreters, and Student Resource Technicians this month!


Come join #TeamMDUSD!

SCENES FROM SCHOOLS

DATEBOOK

FEBRUARY 26, 2018

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

1936 Carlotta Dr., Concord, CA 94519 (Get Directions)


MARCH 10, 2018

2018 STEM SHOWCASE

Willow Creek Center, 1026 Mohr Ln., Concord (Get directions)

  • 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
  • Free and open to the public
  • Learn more!


MARCH 12, 2018

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

1936 Carlotta Dr., Concord, CA 94519 (Get Directions)


MARCH 20, 2018

LCAP Community Speaker Series #3 - Cyber Safety with Above the FrayNorthgate High School, 425 Castle Rock Rd., Walnut Creek, CA 94598 (Get Directions)


MARCH 26, 2018

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

1936 Carlotta Dr., Concord, CA 94519 (Get Directions)