Local schools back on campus amidst new pandemic fears

Ygnacio Valley Elementary.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Aug. 19, 2021) — School’s back in session and students are on campus for full-time instruction wearing face coverings under a state-wide health policy. The return this month of full on-campus instruction is the first since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown campuses around the country and it comes with increased concerns regarding the Delta variant especially as it has been affecting children.

State health regulations mandate everyone on campus must wear a face covering when they are indoors and on school buses. All adults must wear a face covering in the presence of students. Physical distancing is no longer mandated but many classrooms are setup to allow for social distancing.

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District has partnered with PMH Laboratory to offer optional weekly COVID-19 testing as a convenience for staff, students and their families at three locations starting this week. Pre-registration is recommended on the district website, but forms will be available at school sites.

COVID-19 tests

Testing will be offered:

  • 3-6 p.m. Mondays at Ygnacio Valley High, 755 Oak Grove Rd., Concord
  • 3-6 p.m. Tuesdays in Room 904 at Concord High, 4200 Concord Blvd.
  • 3-6 p.m. Thursdays at Riverview Middle School, 205 Pacifica Ave., Bay Point, at the end of the 300 Hallway on the quad side

Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark welcomed everyone back on campus.

All MDUSD students as well as those at Clayton Valley Charter High School can receive free breakfast and lunch at no cost in 2021-22 thanks to a USDA Meal Waiver for all school children in the country. This program means that families are not required to fill out applications to be eligible for School Breakfast or National School Lunch programs. However, families may still apply to be eligible for the USDA Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, which provides money for food that can be purchased using P-EBT cards.

The MDUSD Board lineup was completed last week with College Park High senior Kaleena Fowler taking her position for the 2021-2022 term as the second-ever student board member. She is active in the Boys and Girls Club of Contra Costa and is president of College Park’s Black Student Union, where she has worked to create a close-knit community that advocates for social justice, equality and equity for the Black community. In addition, Fowler is a member of multiple clubs at CPHS including “Be the Change,” Interact (Rotary) and the environmental club.

CVCHS continues interim contract for executive director

At its regular August board meeting, the Clayton Valley Charter Governing Board of Directors voted unanimously to extend the contract of Dave Fehte as interim executive director.

A report to the school community stated, “After a lengthy search and interview process, the Board was convinced that given the current climate surrounding school reopening and the need to minimize any education disruption for our students, extending Dave’s role as Interim Executive Director was the best course to begin the school year. Dave has provided able and focused leadership to CVCHS since his arrival on campus this past Spring. He has built positive relationships and is known as a strong collaborator bringing student success to the forefront.”

The board further stated that they will be “revisiting and reworking its executive director search process” and that information will be shared when plans are finalized.

The board also lauded teachers and staff for their efforts during the summer that helped some students graduate, bringing the school’s Class of 2021 graduation rate up to 98%.

MDUSD appoints 8 new principals

Eight schools have new principals in charge as the 2021-22 MDUSD school year begins:

Fair Oaks Elementary Carolyn Hull

Highlands Elementary Kelly DeTorres

Holbrook Language Academy Aya Rubio

Pine Hollow Middle School Laurie Clark

Riverview Middle School Suleyma Moss

Shore Acres Elementary Ariana Hernandez

Sun Terrace Elementary Eric Wood

Ygnacio Valley High Jonathan Pike


Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | sports@pioneerpublishers.com | Website

Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.