Concord July 4th

Measure C projects winding down as measure J gears up

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Voters in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District have passed four bond measures since 1989 for facility improvements in the District. The third of those four programs, Measure C 2010, is winding down quickly while the MDUSD board is about to approve the newest Measure J, which was passed last November.

Measure C has sold $350 million in bonds and earned almost $4 million in interest. That revenue funded the installation of solar at every MDUSD school and district site as well as physical improvements around the District and technology enhancements at every school.

The program has spent or committed $334.5 million with the majority of the remaining $20 million to be spent before the start of the 2019-20 school year. The final projects include restroom renovations, hardscape improvements, food service warehouse projects, field repairs, fence enhancements and exterior landscaping.
Among the recently completed projects are field improvements at Mt. Diablo Elementary in Clayton. Measure C contributed $310,504 to the project with the school’s PFC adding $360,000 to complete the $670,504 project. A $40,000 Clayton Business and Community Association grant to the PFC was added to a myriad of fund-raising efforts to reach the total.

Held in abeyance are Measure C funds due Clayton Valley Charter High School for lockerroom improvements and other projects. The charter school and MDUSD are engaged in litigation over the amount of annual payments (in effect. rent) due the District. Charter officials have told the Pioneer they are actively working with MDUSD to resolve the matter. CVCHS has been setting aside funds to cover the final amount it is determined they owe the District.
The District has successfully gone to the electorate four times in the past three decades. Measure A was a $90 million Mello-Ross parcel tax in 1989 while there were Measure C general obligation bonds approved in 2002 and 2010.
The new Measure J will fund repairs and improvements to school facilities, which the District says will enhance school safety and classroom performance.

The District board agenda for Mar. 25 is slated to include board discussion and action on certifying the bond measure results and set in motion the process to allocate the $150 million of general obligation bonds that will be sold.

That evening the board will also establish a citizens oversight committee for the new bond projects. The appointment of committee members is scheduled to take place within 60 days of the board action.

Carondelet Dance teams Vegas winners

Carondelet Dance took three first-place finishes at the recent JAMZ School and All-Star Dance and Cheer Nationals in Las Vegas. The CHS varsity jazz and varsity pom both took first place while dance style (jazz) were overall grand champions.

State funding for MDUSD students

The MDUSD board approved $2.1 million from the State to go to low-performing students in the District. Through a somewhat complicated formula, these students are being identified by their performance relative to other students at their school.

Kindergarten online registration ends Monday

Incoming MDUSD kindergarten students for the Class of 2032 can register now for this fall.  Enrollment is also open for transitional kindergarten students for Class of 2033 – the first year of a two-year kindergarten program. The 2019-2020 school year begins Aug. 15.

Parents can take their online enrollment summary and required documents to their resident school site. Registration packets are available at each elementary school. Kindergarten/TK intradistrict transfer applications will be available online only through Monday. TK transfers for two-way dual immersion and bilingual programs will be available online only during that same time period.

For more information, go to the MDUSD Student Enrollment website or contact Student Services at (925) 682-8000, ext. 4069.

Carondelet juniors ­advance to State history competition

Students in Phil Miller’s A.P. History class at Carondelet High School participated in National History Day competition which requires each student to participate in a rigorous year-long research project and develop a historical topic of their own interest. Students enter their project into the National History Day local competition with projects judged and students interviewed about their research process.

“This assignment was so different than anything I’ve ever done in school. National History Day required me to do in-depth research and design a website to present our project. I enjoyed being able to combine my interest in history and design into one project,” said Francesca Arrigoni.

Arrigoni and fellow students Ella Scarlett, Jasmine Smalling and Carly Oshel have all advanced to the state competition in May.

Peace Center art ­contest announced

Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center recently announced its 2019 competitions for local youth in connection with its Creating Peaceful Schools programs. Both are open to middle and high school students in Contra Costa County.
The 21st annual Dennis Thomas Art & Writing Challenge has prizes ranging from $25 to $500. This year’s topic/prompt for the Art & Writing Challenge is: Cultivating A Peaceful World: Visions for the Future.

Deadlines for Art & Writing submissions and Youth Activist Grant nominations is April 12.  Contest rules, forms and more information may be found at 2019CAPS, contact the Center at 933-7850 or email

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Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Pioneer

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