MDUSD targets hybrid start Jan. 11 while private, charter schools already on campuses

MDUSD targets hybrid start Jan. 11; private, charter schools have returned

MDUSD targets hybrid start Jan. 11 while private, charter schools already on campusesCONTRA COSTA COUNTY—Mt. Diablo Unified School District has been formulating tentative plans in the past few weeks for a hybrid learning program combining on-campus and distance learning beginning Jan. 11. This is transpiring after Clayton Valley Charter, Carondelet and De La Salle have already transitioned from all distance learning to various forms of hybrid education for its high school students.

New MDUSD superintendent Adam Clark and his staff have been working on plans to bring back some of their 29,000 students soon after the holiday break ends in the new year. Implementation of the plan must be agreed to by teachers and other school staff representatives before any change is made to the current all distance learning format.

“At the Oct. 26 Governing Board meeting, a date [Jan. 11] was approved to begin phasing students back onto our campuses using a hybrid learning model. Included in my recommendation to the Board was a vague and generic sample hybrid schedule. I received many emails and messages from parents, students and staff requesting a more detailed draft schedule. Also, included in these messages were pleas to keep current teacher and school assignments,” Clark reported last week.

“After receiving these messages loud and clear, I am providing an elementary draft schedule and secondary draft schedule. It must be noted that these are challenging times and anxiety levels are running high throughout our community of stakeholders.” Review proposed elementary and secondary schedules.

Dr. Clark also wrote, “It will be a top priority for our students to stay with their teachers and schools. We have heard very clearly that this is a really important factor for our families. When we negotiate to establish a schedule with our union partners, we cannot accept a one-size fits all solution.

Union Agreements Needed

“We are going to need flexibility in our agreement in order to make a hybrid model work, so that we can maintain the highest amount of consistency for our students, keeping students with their teachers and schools.”

The reopening plan implementation starts with small groups of students coming on campus. The plan calls for TK, kindergarten and grades 1, 6 and 9 to begin a hybrid learning model Jan 11. Grades 2, 3, 7 and 10 will start Jan. 19 and grades 4, 5, 8, 11 and 12 will begin their hybrid learning model Jan 25.

Key considerations in planning for MDUSD hybrid programming include socio-emotional support, pivotability, consistent schedule, access to after school programs, teacher contact daily and students staying with their same teacher.

Other schools hybrid learning underway

De La Salle and Carondelet high schools began their on-campus instruction at the end of last month. The first local school to begin on campus instruction was Clayton Valley Charter, which started with a small number of students after Labor Day, so it is now about two months into transitioning students back on campus.

CVCHS has groups of students who attend school all day in small, socially distanced cohorts including eating lunch together on campus. They are in the same classroom all day. Other students come on campus for a specific class where they sit in a classroom with their teacher while others in the class are doing distance learning.

They have yoga instruction on campus and via the internet. Clayton Valley Bowl recently re-opened and two PE classes will be held at the bowling alley on Clayton Rd. near the campus.

De La Salle reopened Oct. 26 with about 50 percent of their students on campus daily. The hybrid leaning model has students in the classroom and online at the same time. Students last names A-L are on campus Monday and Tuesday and virtual on Thursday and Friday. Students with last names K-Z have the opposite schedule.

Carondelet’s schedule is similar using Wednesday as a flex day. On weeks with a holiday the flex day goes away. The all-girls school has “classrooms” setup inside and outside as long as weather permits. There are some classes with a mix of DLS and Carondelet students.

Tabernacle School, Ygnacio Valley Christian School and Wood Rose Academy resumed instruction on their Concord campuses last month. Queen of All Saints, Saint Agnes and Saint Francis of Assisi schools began phased in return to on-campus instruction early this month.

McFerrin, Nzewi win first-ever MDUSD by-trustee elections

Erin McFerrin and Keisha Nzewi made history as the first Mt. Diablo Unified School District board members to be elected in the new by-trustee area election format.

Incumbents Brian Lawrence and Joanne Durkee both decided not to seek another term.

The new trustees will represent Area 3 (Ygnacio Valley High feeder area) and Area 5 (Concord High area), which are both Concord centric.

Nzewi, a Pleasant Hill resident, tallied 55% of the vote to finish ahead of Michael Schneider and Dennis Chow in Area 3. McFerrin, who becomes the first Concord resident trustee in several years, got nearly 70% of the vote over her Area 5 opponent Carol Trost.

They will be sworn in at the Dec. 14 board meeting, presumably virtually during the Zoom session in a fitting end to 2020.

Both incumbents running for reelection to the CCCOE Board were apparently defeated although one race has not yet been called final.

In the election for the CCCOE Area 3 Board of Education trustee, former Martinez city councilwoman Anamarie Avila Frias unseated board president Vicki Chavez. Area 3 includes Pacheco and parts of Clayton, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek. Chavez voted in favor of the Clayton Valley Charter renewal last December.

Dr. Fatima Alleyne, who cast the deciding vote to renew the Concord school’s charter, led the voting for many days after the Nov. 3 election but has been overtaken by about 400 votes by challenger Consuelo Lara from over 77,000 votes cast in Area 1.