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April 24, 2020 Friday Letter Volume 1, No. 33
Posted 4/24/20

#TogetherWeGrow. . . #JuntosAprendemos…#TogetherWeLead. . .

#JuntosCrecemos…#TogetherWeLearn…#JuntosLideramos!

#LeadWithResilience…#LiderarConResiliencia

 

 

Connecting, Engaging, and Supporting Our Community.

     The Mt. Diablo Unified School District Educators and Employees, from all facets of the District are continuing to connect, engage, and support our students, families, and each other during this unprecedented and uncertain time. As a District we have come together to provide for the essential needs of our students in so many ways, and will continue to provide resources, distance learning opportunities, and encouragement during this pandemic.   

     Our MDUSD Food and Nutrition Services Department is continuing to provide close to 42,000 meals per work to not only students, but seniors in the City of Concord, and families in Bay Point. Through partnerships with “Meals on Wheels,” the City of Concord, and through the ingenuity and creativity or partnerships, they are continuing to provide food to individuals across the County, and will work to extend these services as long as possible.

     The Food and Nutrition Department will continue to provide meals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Families may pick up meals for students for the day, and the next morning, at the nine District locations. As access to some food sources may become more limited, the flair displayed by our Director of Food and Nutrition, Chef Dominic Machi, is simply incomparable. We continue to salute these Food and Nutrition Heroes who are serving so many people each day.

     The District has deployed over 7,000 technology devices to students since this pandemic impacted on-site education. We continue to recommend that students and their families reach out directly to the principals of their schools should you need a device. The principals are working together to provide devices to students, and are working with staff members to ensure that students are connecting, engaging and ae supported.  One indicator found that close to 96% of our elementary students had connected with their teachers in some form or another over the last few days, however, our goal is to connect with 100% of our students. We want to first, make sure they are safe, second, provide access to our distance learning options, and third, support them as they conclude this school year, and plan for their transition to next school year.

     As we continue to look ahead at the unfortunate reality of no on-site instruction for this year, our focus is turning towards the continuation of educational opportunities for all students via distance learning. While is type of instruction can never take the place of on-site, in-person teaching, we must support our children in their quest to learn. We are also working to craft some level of graduation ceremonies for our seniors, and are striving to provide resources for our students, employees, and parents, as each person seeks to exist under these unique set of circumstances. The MDUSD website provides a plethora of information for everyone in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Importance of Self-Care

     Your health is so incredibly valuable, and the impact of added stress from the state of our world today cannot be underestimated. The good news is that there are simple things you can do every day to relieve stress and improve your health. I recommend this guide published by the California Surgeon General that is specific to our current circumstance. Adopting just one or two of its simple activities can make a huge difference to how you feel.

     The activities are evidence-based and demonstrated to be effective. Healthy nutrition, regular exercise, restful sleep, practicing mindfulness, staying connected to our social supports, and getting mental health care can help decrease stress hormones and improve health.

     Additional resources are available to extend a helping hand:

Contra Costa County Childcare

     Contra Costa County essential workers, who are on the frontlines of responding to the COVID-19 health crisis, may be eligible for free or low cost care through the County’s Emergency Child Care Program. An Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Task Force developed the program to provide childcare to the County’s health care and other essential workers, ensuring they can receive support and continue serving in the fight against COVID-19.

     Spaces are available in centers and family childcare homes for infants and children up to school age, whose primary caregivers are medical and other essential workers living or working in Contra Costa County, and for vulnerable children and teens, specifically youth who are homeless, at risk of abuse or neglect and those in the foster care system. In-home care may also be available for eligible families.

     Childcare centers and homes are located throughout the county and staffed by qualified early care and education professionals. Per the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing and CDC Guidance for childcare settings, classrooms will follow social distancing, sanitation and hygiene practices and small group care.  

     English Flyer | Spanish Flyer | Childcare FAQ

Gratitude for MDEDF’s Coronavirus Remote Learning Fund Donations

     As of this morning, $27,325 has been donated to the Mount Diablo Education Foundation’s Coronavirus Remote Learning Fund, with the single goal of closing the, “digital divide,” that is present in the MDUSD community. Mount Diablo Unified School District is so impressed! In our families’ time of need, individual donors and corporate donors are rising to the occasion, generously giving towards technology purchases that will enable our students to connect with their teacher and peers and to engage in distance learning.

     We are incredibly grateful for those who have been able to contribute. Right now, connection means so much more than ever. Our work continues to close this digital divide and to assist our families who need it the most. The fund is still accepting donations. If you are able to contribute anything towards this cause, please know that you would be making a larger impact than you might realize. Please find the Coronavirus Remote Learning Fund information here.

Several Activities in My Calendar This Week

Monday, April 20, 2020

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

  • Met virtually with staff and consultants regarding potential bond planning
  • Met with select Cabinet members individually for continued coronavirus response planning

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

  • Met with Cabinet members
  • Met with Digital Advisors and staff

Thursday, April 23, 2020

  • Met virtually with Board President Lawrence, and Board Vice-President Mason to discuss ongoing issues, and review the upcoming Board meeting for April 27, 2020
  • Participated in the Contra Costa County Office of Education Superintendent’s Council Meeting
  • Met with select Cabinet members

Friday, April 24, 2020

  • Met with Director of Instructional Support Jennifer Sachs
  • Met with Cabinet members
  • Went live on Facebook as many of the Monte Gardens Staff was heading out on a parade through the Monte Gardens neighborhood.

 

-Superintendent Dr. Rob Martinez-