Celebrating Increases in Academic Performance
We would like to thank all of the students, parents, teachers, support staff, and administrators who collaborate to help our schools continue to improve. At this coming Tuesday night's Board meeting we will recognize all of the schools that achieved a double digit increase in their API or achieved a score of 700, 800, or 900 for the first time.
Measure C Update
At the September 14, 2010 Board meeting the Board approved a preliminary project schedule. This project schedule and other important Measure C information will be posted on a webpage that is currently under development. We plan to have the webpage up next week and will provide a link in the next News Update.
Shining the Light on Solar
The Solar RFP review panel has done a thorough job reviewing the solar proposals and checking company references. Information from the proposals was shared with the Board at the Board Study Session last Thursday evening. You can view the Power Point shared at the Board Workshop at www.mdusd.org/NewsRoom/Pages/BoardWorkshopSolarPowerPoint.aspx . Thepanel is currently on track to make a recommendation to the Board this Tuesday evening at the Board meeting. Staff will recommend the Board approve a primary and secondary company with whom to negotiate a contract.
Important Safety Conversation with your child
Since the start of school there have been three incidents where 12-14 year olds have been approached by unknown adults in cars and offered rides. Two incidents occurred in Pleasant Hill and one incident in Walnut Creek. Parents in schools in these communities where contacted by their school's principals about these incidents. In all three cases, the adults remained in their vehicle and the adolescent found a trusted adult to report the incident too. Also, in all three incidents police were notified and interviewed the adolescents. None of the descriptions of the vehicles or occupants have been similar. So there is no common description to share. The two incidents in Pleasant Hill took place while students were on their way to or from school. The Walnut Creek incident happened at a local shopping center. Please take the time to talk to your children about speaking to strangers and what to do if a stranger approaches them. It is important to have them think about where they should go and who they should notify.
School Closure Committee
A webpage has been set up for the School Closure Advisory Committee at www.mdusd.org/Community/Pages/scac.aspx . You will find the dates of the committee meetings, a roster of the committee members, and the minutes of the meetings. In addition, the PowerPoint for MDUSD Demographic Study Part I which was presented at the September 14, 2010 committee meeting is also available on the webpage.
As you may know, California is experiencing a significant increase in the number of reported illnesses due to pertussis (whooping cough). Sadly, there have been 8 infant deaths in California from pertussis. Currently, we have had 3 unrelated reported cases of pertussis in our schools. In all three cases we worked with the Contra Costa Health Services to get there guidance before notifying parents. If a case occurs within your child's school, we have begun the practice of having principals notify the other families in the school.
The following information is from Contra Costa Health Services.
From Contra Costa Health Services:
Pertussis is a contagious illness spread by coughs and sneezes. People of all ages can get very sick from pertussis. Adults with pertussis may have milder symptoms and unknowingly spread it to others, including children and infants. Infants under one year of age are most likely to get very sick from pertussis. Infants can have seizures, may stop breathing, and may require hospitalization.
It is expected that there may be more pertussis illness as children return to school and spend less time outdoors and more time indoors..
Parents can take steps to help keep their families healthy during this pertussis epidemic:
- Vaccinate your children and yourself with the pertussis vaccine or booster. Protection from pertussis vaccine wears off so it is important to be up-to-date with immunizations. Contact your medical provider about vaccine. Free or low cost vaccine is available at Contra Costa Public Health immunization clinics: cchealth.org/services/immunization
- Check your children for symptoms of illness (please see attached Fact Sheet).
- Keep sick children at home. Children with a bad or unusual cough should see their medical provider.
- Teach your children how to cover coughs and sneezes and to frequently wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Contra Costa Health Services continues to monitor pertussis illness in the community and will keep school districts updated.
More information about pertussis is available online at: cchealth.org/topics/pertussis
Pre-recorded information is also available by calling the Contra Costa Health Services Health Emergency Information Line at: 1-888-959-9911.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) for Parents
What is Pertussis?
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a bacterial infection of the lungs that can cause severe coughing fits. Pertussis is contagious and is spread by coughs and sneezes. Once a person is exposed to the pertussis bacteria, it can take 5 to 21 days before she/he becomes sick. Children younger than six months of age are the most vulnerable to serious illness if they develop pertussis. To date, there have been 8 deaths in California due to pertussis; all were under 3 months of age.
Is Pertussis Preventable?
The most effective prevention against pertussis is vaccination. We encourage vaccinations for parents, caregivers, siblings, and healthcare workers. This helps reduce the chances of a young infant being exposed to pertussis.
Children should be up-to-date with their immunizations. Children six and under should receive DTaP vaccine. Anyone over seven years of age can get the Tdap pertussis booster shot. Contact your health provider about getting pertussis vaccine for you and your family. Currently, Contra Costa Public Health immunization clinics offer free Tdap vaccine: cchealth.org/services/immunization
What Are the Symptoms of Pertussis?
Symptoms of pertussis can vary depending on your age and vaccination status. Adults and adolescents may have milder symptoms and unknowingly spread it to others. Symptoms can begin with cold-like symptoms (cough, runny nose, sneezing) for 1-2 weeks followed by many weeks of coughing fits. Vomiting or gagging after coughing is common. Fever is rare.
How Long is a Person Contagious?
A person with pertussis is contagious when the cold-like symptoms begin and continues to be contagious until 24 hours after finishing antibiotic treatment, or if untreated, after three weeks of severe coughing. People with pertussis should stay home from work or school until they are no longer contagious. Even with treatment, people may continue to cough for several weeks.
Household members and others with close contact to a contagious person should receive antibiotics to prevent them from getting the pertussis illness. As long as contacts do not have symptoms, they may continue to go to work or school.
How is Pertussis Treated?Early treatment can reduce the chance of spreading pertussis to others. People with symptoms should see their health care provider for testing and diagnosis. Household members of a contagious person can be given antibiotics to prevent illness.