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February 19, 2021 Friday Letter Volume 2, No. 35
Posted 2/19/21

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FEBRUARY 19, 2021 FRIDAY LETTER VOLUME 2, NO. 35


MDUSD's Friday Letter—updates and stories prepared weekly for the school district community.



Three Steps Forward: Local COVID-19 Metrics Improve; Educator Vaccinations Begin; Union Agreements Progress

     We Have a Plan

     The backbone of our reopening plan is a 27 page document named Reconnect Safely, Return Strong, and it contains procedures, metrics, and conditions of reopening that align completely with county and state public health guidance for schools. This was approved at the February 10 Board Meeting, at which Superintendent Adam Clark Ed.D. added that our goal is to reopen, "When we get to the Red Tier."

     We're getting closer. Although Contra Costa is in the Purple Tier right now, COVID-19 metrics have shown continuous improvement, and the Red Tier seems to be within sight. 

     Steps Forward

     Contra Costa County has administered 238,955 vaccine doses to date. This week, vaccination Phase 1B was announced, meaning educators and essential workers are now eligible to schedule vaccination appointments. Superintendents across the county have been encouraging staff to schedule vaccination appointments.  
     Track our progress at the negotiations table with the negotiations update below. Generally, the MDUSD Governing Board and Superintendent are firm on all areas detailed within Reconnect Safely, Reopen Strong. Still, other items are being prioritized in negotiations to round out the finer details of what reopening will look like.

     The Superintendent will present another update at the February 24, 2010 Regular Board Meeting to communicate our concurrent progress.

     This Week's Negotiations Update
     Excerpt from the weekly Organizational Update to the Board

     "MDUSD and MDEA had a productive negotiation session on Wednesday 2-17-21 and examined a merged document with the latest Hybrid proposals from both teams. Based on the direction given by the board in the last board meeting, the District continues to develop plans to reopen our schools (and we are now targeting March for a return to school).
     MDEA and the District also added five additional bargaining days for the next upcoming weeks, with a commitment from both teams to complete an agreement for a Hybrid plan by March 15th that allows for students and teachers to safely return to school.
     MDUSD and MDEA did joint elementary school visits on Tuesday 2-16-21 to examine district preparedness for opening in a Hybrid format.  Future joint secondary school visits to continue in early March. 
     Teamster bargaining continues on Friday 2-19-21 and Tuesday 2-23-21.  The CBO will be answering Teamsters submitted questions on Tuesday 2-23-21.
CSEA is expected to propose a Hybrid MOU plan to the district this week as well as a list of questions for the CBO to prepare for in a later meeting.
     The CST Successor Contract was approved at the last Board Meeting on Wednesday 2-10-21.  The District is reorganizing their negotiation team with CST to address CST’s desire for a Hybrid MOU.
     MDSPA Hybrid MOU meeting date discussions are underway." - Dr. John Rubio, Chief of Human Resources

View Previous Negotiations Updates (Organizational Updates to the Board Archive)
View Additional MDUSD COVID-19 Response Information and Resources
View Reconnect Safely, Return Strong


You're Invited:
District's Open Conversations Series Continues

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MDUSD's Open Conversations About Mental Health Series continues after the first webinar proved to be helpful for many district families.

     New topics are ready for exploring. Preview the session lineup below, which starts on Tuesday evening. Going forward, each webinar will be from 5:00PM - 6:15PM on Zoom. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available, and audience members may choose to participate and interact, or watch only. Our mental health professionals are also taking questions in advance to help guide future discussions.

  • 02/23/2021 - Students Helping Students
  • 03/09/2021 - Parent Self Care
  • 03/30/2021 - Recognizing When To Get Help Beyond The Home
  • 04/20/2021 - Anxiety And Depression
  • 05/11/2021 - Parents Of Teens And Tweens- How To Facilitate Independence When They Can't Leave The House
  • 06/01/2021 - Parents Of Elementary Age- What Skills Can We Increase During Distance Learning
  • 06/22/2021 - Finding Community Supports And Summer Activities

     Bookmark the new Open Conversations page for Zoom information, which will be posted on the day-of. 

     Our Why

     Our professionals are here to help. The stress and responsibilities of ordinary life are already difficult to manage, and this pandemic has created conditions that challenge our mental health and wellbeing even more so. Still, there are practical skills, remedies, and tools that can make all the difference. Tune in to ask your questions, express your concerns, and hear from our mental health professionals.

     To promote wellness, answer questions, and address common student and family mental health concerns, MDUSD has assembled a panel of mental health professionals to host this webinar series that is free and open to all. The panel consists of MDUSD mental health staff, including school counselors, school psychologists, social work specialists, behavioral health specialists, and college and career advisors. 

     From MDUSD's School Counselors

     Our counseling team is pleased to share the 3rd Edition of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District Counseling Corner Newsletter! This newsletter shares relevant tips and resources to support, engage, and connect students and families TK-12. This newsletter and other resources can also be found at our MDUSD Counseling page, which is under the Parent Portal tab on the district website. February Counseling Newsletter - English; Spanish


Nominations Begin for Teacher of the Year 2021-22

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You know a teacher that deserves this recognition—nominate them today for Teacher of the Year 2021-22!
We are on a compressed timeline; nominations for Teacher of the Year are due by February 26, which is next Friday.
Simply review the requirements memo and submit a nomination form to our Educational Services Department.

Nominate a Teacher

Nominar un Maestro

View Nomination Requirements and Deadlines


Spread the Word - County to Host Virtual Job Fair

Recruitment Fair


This Week in District Operations

     Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark is continuing to publish transparent, detailed operations reports on a weekly basis. You can read department updates directly from our district leaders in our weekly Organizational Update to the Board, which is continuously archived for reference. Click the image to read this week’s full Organizational Update to the Board:

Organizational Update



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Each week, the MDUSD Friday Letter is written and compiled by the district's Communications Specialist and sent to a staff and community audience totaling around 32,000. To sign up for our distribution list, send an email to breidenthala@mdusd.org. To view an archive of district communications, visit the Superintendent's Office page. Do you have a story or event to share with our community? Contact me (breidenthala@mdusd.org) with your ideas or suggestions.

Austin

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