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Exciting and innovative new programs and initiatives to welcome Mt. Diablo Unified School District families for 2017-2018!


Contact:  Ursula Kroemer Leimbach / communications@mdusd.org / Mobile: (760) 705-6919


Exciting and innovative new programs and initiatives to welcome Mt. Diablo Unified School District families for 2017-2018!


CONCORD - The Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) is very pleased to launch some exciting new programs and initiatives for the 2017-2018 school, offering families more options than ever before for students to have a rich educational experience with extensive opportunities to engage in challenging instruction in science, the arts, languages, technology, project-based learning and develop 21st century skills will help prepare students for the future and global world.  Some of the major programs include:



Ygnacio Valley High School this year will open as MDUSD’s first International Baccalaureate School (IB World School, Diploma Program (DP)).  The efforts to be approved for this prestigious and rigorous program were significant, taking the better part of three years and hundreds of hours or training, planning and creative problem-solving.  The addition of an IB program to MDUSD IB Logocreates an incredible opportunity for students and offers numerous benefits. The Diploma Program was established to offer students a balanced, global education; facilitate geographic and cultural mobility, and promote international understanding. The school will offer 14 different IB courses this fall, and offer YV students exclusive onsite and remote access to a vast collection of databases through Gale, a global online research resource.


We are also pleased to pursue authorization to establish Oak Oak Grove Wildcats LogoGrove Middle School as the District’s second IB school under its Middle Years Program (MYP) for students ages 11-16.  The MYP is a five-year program, which can be implemented in a partnership between schools, or in several abbreviated (two, three or four year) formats. Students who complete the MYP are well-prepared to undertake the IB coursework at Ygnacio Valley.  The District is also looking to establish an IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) as well.



We are very excited to offer three new regional magnet school options for our families for the 2017-2018 school year!  Magnet schools are highly specialized public schools with curricula that are theme-based and technology-rich. Any child can enroll, as enrollment is based on their interest, not where they live. Each subject is aligned to our local, state and national standards but is taught within the theme; teachers receive special training on the best practices for integrating the ‘theme’ throughout the curriculum.


MDUSD’s new magnet schools are:


Holbrook Language Academy

As a language magnet, Holbrook will be offering an exciting Two-Holbrook Language Academy LogoWay Dual Immersion (TWDI). The TWDI program at Holbrook will be a TK-5 program that includes English-dominant speakers with Spanish-dominant speakers.  Students will receive instruction in both languages. The program will begin at the Transitional Kindergarten (TK) level for the 2017-2018 school year, and be extended to the next grade level in each successive year until it is TK-5. The school will follow a 50/50 model where students spend 50 percent of their day learning to read and write in English, and the other 50 percent learning to read and write in Spanish. The goal of the program is to develop academic language proficiency in English and Spanish, master grade level core standards, and develop cultural proficiency.

Students at all grade levels will also be offered opportunities each week to learn a variety of languages. Numerous multi-cultural events will be held throughout the year, including grade-level presentations emphasizing a unique language and cultural practices for countries where the language is spoken. 


It is not necessary for the new language to already be used at home. Dual immersion teachers are specially-trained as both subject area and language teachers, and will work together with families to make sure students are developing both their first and second languages from the early childhood grades.


Holbrook had been closed in previous years, and has undergone extensive modernization work and technology upgrades for the new year. Media interested in doing a preview of this reopened school can arrange for access on Friday, August 18, with the principal and other staff and visiting families. A ribbon-cutting for the re-opening will be held on the first day of school, August 22, at 9:30 a.m.


Holbrook Language Academy

3333 Ronald Way, Concord, 94519

(925) 685-6446

Web: http://holbrook.mdusd.org/ 

Twitter: @HolbrookMDUSD

Instagram: http://instagram.com/holbrook_language_academy   

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Holbrook-Elementary-School/117971588253343



Sun Terrace Elementary STEM Magnet SchoolSun Terrace Logo

In a STEM learning environment, powerful critical thinking and exploration practices commonly used in high-performing science, technology, engineering and math classrooms will be drawn across disciplines and connected by cutting-edge technology and extensive hands-on experiences.  These have been qualities embraced by Sun Terrace for years and will expand as a more formal magnet program.


In the Sun Terrace STEM lab, students are encouraged to tinker, create, play and explore without the constraints of an objective or directions to follow.  Students also engage in design challenges and activities that offer opportunities to meet California's Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in an engaging and exciting hands-on environment.


Sun Terrace STEM offers extensive enrichment activities, including:


Sun Terrace Elementary STEM Magnet School

2448 Floyd Lane, Concord, 94520

(925) 682-4861

Website: http://sunterraceelementary.weebly.com/

Twitter: @SunTerrace1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sun-Terrace-Elementary/1622380101322566


Wren Avenue Elementary Visual and Performing Arts MagnetCute Kids Wren Elementary

Wren Avenue Elementary is transitioning to be the MDUSD Visual and Performing Arts magnet school.  Strong arts education promotes the skills students need to be successful in all areas. Exposure to the arts promotes self-directed learning, improves school attendance, and sharpens critical thinking skills.  Additionally, research has shown that what students learn in the arts may help them to master other subjects, such as reading, math or social studies. The evidence is clear: study of the arts contributes to student achievement and success in school and beyond, and empowers students to excel and thrive as creative, innovative and flexible thinkers ready to meet the demands of the 21st century.


Along with a rigorous academic program, Wren Avenue will offer dance, theatre, music, and visual arts experiences to all students both as independent classes and as interdisciplinary subjects integrated into all core content areas and with state-of-the-art technology.  A list of Frequently Asked Questions provides families additional information about the transition to becoming a magnet school. 


Wren Avenue’s philosophy for students is that they are the artists at the school, whether as visual artists or performers.  The school’s orchestra and band performances are highly popular, and the Wren Avenue Chorus, which this past year performed tributes to the Beatles as well as Michael Jackson, draws an equally fervent fan base.


Wren Avenue Elementary Visual and Performing Arts Magnet

2016 Wren Avenue, Concord, 94519

(925) 685-7002

Website: http://wrenave.mdusd.org/

Twitter: @wrenave

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wren-Avenue-Elementary/530819603688361?rf=658112497719714


Mt. Diablo Unified is launching an eight-school partnership with Classroom Champions, a program founded by Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Mesler, pairing MDUSD teachers with American Olympians and Paralympians as mentors who use video lessons, live video chats, and social media to engage students and encourage them to recognize their potential, set goals, and dream big. The focus is on social and emotional skills that students need for success in school and in life, and to help build a culture of resilience.  Classroom Champions is the first program of its kind to partner with teachers to bring these elite athletes training for their next Olympics or Paralympics into schools to provide ongoing mentorship.  Twenty MDUSD teachers will join the Classroom Champions community of 225 teachers for the 2017/2018 school year. 


In May, the teachers were surprised with a visit from local Olympic bronze medalist Kara Kohler, announcing their selection. The schools participating for this new school year include Bel Air, El Monte, Fair Oaks, Highlands, and Shore Acres elementary schools, and El Dorado, Oak Grove, and Riverview middle schools.


As part of the partnership agreement with Classroom Champions, MDUSD schools will receive:

  • Teacher development and support, training, and materials
  • Family engagement support
  • Olympian and Paralympian mentor facilitation, including live video chats


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Mt. Diablo Unified, located in Contra Costa County, is honored to serve approximately 32,000 students at one of more than 50 school sites in the cities of Clayton, Concord, Pleasant Hill; portions of Martinez, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek; and the unincorporated communities of Bay Point, Lafayette, and Pacheco. As part of a richly diverse community, MDUSD families represent numerous ethnic groups, speaking nearly 50 different languages and dialects. We offer award-winning innovative programs in Career Technical Education; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); extensive visual and performing arts programs; and rich foreign language and dual immersion offerings. MDUSD is also pleased to have launched its first middle college program, College Now, and will open its first International Baccalaureate program and three new regional magnet programs in 2017.  Learn more at http://www.mdusd.org/.

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Posted by: Debbie Maher, District Admin, Mt. Diablo Unified School District Published:8/17/17
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