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1st Annual End of the Year Counseling and Support Team Showcase highlights student supports

1st Annual End of the Year Counseling and Support Team Showcase highlights student supports

MDUSD is proud of the comprehensive supports we offer to students in grades TK-12 to help them overcome challenges in school, as well as in their lives, so they can succeed academically and grow socially and emotionally as they progress through our schools. To highlight these supports and the staff members who provide them, MDUSD hosted its First Annual End of the Year Counseling and Support Team Showcase on Wednesday June 5th, featuring counselors, college and career advisors and social work specialists from every high school feeder pattern in the District, said Stephanie Roberts, Director of the District's "Multi-Tiered System of Support," or "MTSS."  The showcase also included special programs for students districtwide including wellness centers, expanded learning programs, work-based learning, support for students who are newcomers from other countries, homeless and foster youth, and Youth Empowerment Services (YES) for those who have not graduated from high school after four years.

It included display boards featuring one-page descriptions of the work counselors, social work specialists and college and career advisors are doing at each of their school sites. One-page mid-year reports for each school program can be found here. The staff members who created the displays talked informally with District Board Members, Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark, and administrators including school principals about their goals and achievements throughout the 2023-24 school year. They also explained how they work together to help students transition from elementary to middle school, and middle school to high school - as well as how they support students who are not able to graduate with their senior class in June because they have not yet met all of the course requirements. 

MDUSD offers three tiers of supports to students, as needed. The first tier includes strong foundational academic, behavior, and social emotional support for all students. The second tier includes a "Coordinated Care Team" of staff members who work together to provide intervention supports for students who are struggling in any of the three focus areas. The third tier includes a "Student Success Team" of staff members who assess students and work with outside agencies to provide supports for more intensive needs. To help strengthen the District's support systems, the Board on Wednesday appointed current Wren Avenue Elementary Principal Celeste Kitts the new assistant director for partnerships and MTSS for the 2024-25 school year.

Northgate HS counselors Lauren Mercado and Leanne Owen said three seniors at the school were not able to graduate this June. Two will attend summer school to make up needed credits with the goal of graduating in August along with other summer school participants, and one will enroll in the Adult Education High School Diploma program. Next year, they said they will work to ensure that all students graduate on time. College Park HS counselor Morgan Gillette and Gregory Gardens Elementary counselor Carolyn Vasicek said high school counselors meet regularly with middle school counselors and middle school counselors meet regularly with elementary school counselors to ensure smooth transitions, especially for students who may need extra support. High school counselors and college and career advisors also inform 8th graders of the options they will have in high school, including career pathways and dual enrollment courses for which they can earn college credit.

Estrella Estrada is the District's newcomer social work specialist. She helps newcomer students from other countries get signed up for county resources, which can include heath care and housing assistance, as well as English learner assistance, and sometimes special education services within MDUSD. She and Homeless and Foster Youth counselor Kim Hendrick said there is often a lot of overlap between the students they serve. Isaiah Harper, a YES Program Case Manager and Work-based Learning and Career Pathways coordinator, helps motivate students who are behind in credits to take on internships or learn about careers that may interest them so they will finish up school and be ready to explore careers, college or other options. "My goal is to help them get through," he said. "Then I start working with new students who need help."

Mt. Diablo HS counselors and College and Career advisor Erika Ramos said they hope to start up senior "graduation walks" at elementary schools in Bay Point and Pittsburg next year to help strengthen the AVID college-going theme that schools such as Shore Acres Elementary are stressing with their students. This year, seniors at NorthgateCollege Park and Ygnacio Valley high schools visited their former elementary schools in their graduation caps and gowns, cheered on by current elementary students who are looking forward to following in their footsteps when they graduate from high school themselves.

Click on these Social Media posts to see showcase highlights from Monte Gardens ElementaryWalnut Acres Elementary and Northgate HS.

Counselors, social work specialists and college and career advisors


  • Counselors
  • MTSS
  • Social Work specialists
  • college and career