CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (July 14, 2021) — Mt. Diablo Unified School District plans for reopening its campuses with full-time instruction is moving forward.
However, state regulations on issues such as face coverings and social distancing in the classroom and other school facilities have not all been ironed out weeks before the opening day of instruction Aug. 12.
Superintendent Adam Clark begins his second year in charge and recently told a podcast with Concord Mayor Tim McGallian, “For the fall, what parents can expect is that their students will be invited back to school – every student, five days a week, all day.”
However, he said the district is still awaiting final guidance regarding mask requirements and other details from the governor’s office and the California Department of Education, as well as from Cal OSHA for employees. “But even with three-foot distancing, we are still confident we can fit all our students in our classrooms every day, all day,” Dr. Clark said.
Traditional school day
The district plans to return with a traditional school day, including before and after-school programs including enrichment opportunities, sports teams and extracurricular events. However, the district is awaiting guidance on school assemblies, he added.
“Clearly, this is going to look different at different sites because different schools have different programs,” he said. “But overall, it is going to be full speed ahead for providing basic support and also providing those extra-curricular activities that our students have missed out on over the last year-and-a-half. We’re really excited about providing opportunities for our students to re-engage with their classmates on sports teams, in clubs, in drama departments and through other things like that.”
MDUSD students who do not wish to return to campus can sign up for the Virtual Academy. This will be a distance learning model. Dr. Clark said about 40 families have opted for this option so far. The district does not intend to offer hybrid learning in the fall. However, students who initially opt for distance learning will have opportunities to return to campuses full-time later in the year, should they so desire.
School District offering $1500 bonus for new hires
MDUSD is hiring for a variety of both classified and certificated positions. The District currently has 112 openings for special education assistants one month before the new term begins.
The District sent a letter to all District families which read in part, “We are looking for individuals who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of our students and this can be done through various positions. We are currently offering a $1500 hiring bonus for our Paraprofessional/Instructional Assistant positions.”
MDUSD’s new public information officer Theresa Harrington encouraged interested people to visit rebrand.ly/mdusdhiring1 for complete details on available positions and the $1500 bonus program.
School bells to ring soon
The first day of school for 2021-22 term is coming soon:
Clayton Valley Charter starts Aug. 10.
Contra Costa School of Performing Arts begins Aug. 11.
MDUSD begins Aug. 12 for its kindergarten through 12th grade sites.
Most parochial and private schools in the area begin between Aug. 10 and Aug. 23.
Former Superintendent Martinez takes helm of Vallejo charter schools
Dr. Robert Martinez lasted less than a year as MDUSD Superintendent. The district terminated him in the early days of the pandemic last year. Recently, Griffin Technology Academies in Vallejo introduced him as their new suprintendent. Martinez took over the position July 1. He has spent 32 of his 35 years in education in Solano County.
Griffin Technology Academies comprises four charter middle and high schools serving diverse, primarily low-income students. Founded in 1999, GTA schools serve over 1,300 students.
While with MDUSD, Martinez spoke out against Clayton Valley Charter High School when the Concord school sought a renewal of its charter at the Contra Costa County Office of Education in 2020.
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.