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January 22, 2021 Friday Letter Volume 2, No. 31
Posted 1/22/21

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

Superintendent Provides January 2021 Distance Learning Update

Photograph by Austin Breidenthal
Dent Center MDUSD Office, January 2021

     From Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark on Thursday, January 21, 2021:

     Dear Mt. Diablo Unified School District Parents/Guardians and Staff,

     I hope you are safe and healthy during this challenging time. Today marks the 96th day of the 2020-2021 academic year. When schools closed in California on March 13, 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, no one imagined our campuses would now still be void of students. I am writing to update you on our District with regard to COVID-19.
     At the Governing Board meeting on Wednesday, January 13 (presentation starts at 1 hour 26 minutes), I shared that full Distance Learning must continue through at least until March, 2021. The reasoning to support that conclusion is related to Contra Costa County being in the Purple TierCalifornia’s Regional Stay At Home Order and our local vaccination timeline.
     The COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations have continued to worsen. We were warned by the staff of  the Contra Costa County Department of Public Health of the holiday surge. Unfortunately, the worsening metrics we were warned about have come to fruition, and my heart goes out to those who are ill and to all who have experienced loss. I am hopeful that a coordinated vaccination plan will soon come from the Federal Government, State of California and Contra Costa County that prioritizes the elderly as well as frontline educators.
     Although MDUSD is remaining in Distance Learning, staff members have been preparing and are still preparing for face to face instruction and learning. Safety measures are in place, which include personal protective equipment, sanitation supplies, plexiglass barriers, and six foot distance markings.
     Negotiations are continuing with the Mt. Diablo Education Association (teachers’ union). Although we have yet to reach a final agreement on a Hybrid Plan or Student Support groups, we have made considerable progress (see current agreements). We have held partial or all day negotiation sessions on the following dates: September 16; October 5, 14, 29; November 6, 13, 18; and December 2, 8, 9, 15. Both teams are also meeting on Wednesday, January 20. We appreciate the relationship with all six of our labor partners and collaborative bargaining agreements are forthcoming.
     We understand that the public may not fully understand the bargaining process and pace, but this is a necessary process. There are families and students who are struggling as a result of Distance Learning. The MDUSD team is working to mitigate these challenges but I understand that more can be done. On Monday, January 25, at 5:00PM, the counseling department will hold a webinar on student mental health. The webinar details and opportunities to submit questions will be shared on Friday in our Friday Letter.
     The Governing Board is committed to bringing students back to their physical classrooms. Each trustee wants nothing more than for students to engage with our caring staff, participate in myriad extra curricular activities, and to simply be around friends. With that said, the Board is committed to ensuring a safe process in which we continue to serve our students, families and staff. I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate the impacts of the pandemic together. 


     Superintendent Adam Clark, Ed.D. 

     Informational Resources:

District Professionals to Host Webinar Series:
Open Conversations about Mental Health

MDUSD Green Ribbon     To promote wellness, answer questions, and address common student and family mental health concerns, MDUSD is assembling a panel of mental health professionals who will host a webinar that is free and open to all. The panel will consist of MDUSD mental health staff, including school counselors, school psychologists, social work specialists, behavioral health specialists, and college and career advisors. This Open Conversations about Mental Health Webinar Series starts on Monday January 25, from 5:00PM-6:30PM. Audience members may choose to participate and interact virtually, or watch only.

     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 on Monday night to ask your questions, express your concerns, and hear from our mental health professionals.

     When: Monday, January 25, 2021 at 5:00PM Pacific
     Topic: Open Conversations about Mental Health Webinar (#1)
     Ticket Cost: $0.00 - (Free/Sponsored)

     Attending is easy—simply register in advance, and you will receive a confirmation email with all the information you need.

How Does MDUSD Spend Its Money? Why not 'Ask the CBO'

     Each week, our Chief Business Officer, Dr. Lisa Gonzales, will be responding to questions from the school district community in a new short video series called Ask the CBO. This week's topic is, "How Does MDUSD Spend Its Money?" Closed captioning is available in English and Spanish. Also—we want your questions about district finances! Please send any questions to, and your question could be featured in the next Ask the CBO. 

Ask the CBO Episode 1

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. Here is this week’s full Organizational Update to the Board:

Organizational Update

District Partners: T-Mobile Offers Free Data; Girls4STEM Offers Webinar

T-Mobile     You Might Qualify for T-Mobile's Project 10Million
     From T-Mobile Promotions:

     With Project 10Million, we’re offering help to 10 million eligible households over the next 5 years. Project 10Million’s Direct to Parent/Guardian program provides internet access to eligible families that have a student enrolled in the National School Lunch program. Approved families receive 100GB of mobile data per year for 5 years and a FREE mobile hotspot, plus the opportunity to purchase devices at a low cost.

  • New and existing T-Mobile (including Metro by T-Mobile and Sprint) as well as Non-T-Mobile customers are eligible to apply.
  • Available to residents of the United States and Puerto Rico.
  • One free T-Mobile hotspot device and 100GB/year data line per household, max one per student.
  • Data service ends when allotment is reached until the yearly renewal date (Additional data passes are available for purchase).
  • May purchase up to five select, at-cost Wi-Fi-only tablets and laptops for use with the hotspot device.

     See other district partners providing Internet options.

Girls4STEM     Get Ready for REFINERY 101 with Christy Tormey, B.S.M.E.
     From MDUSD Partner Girls4STEM:

    Christy Tormey is local to the Bay Area, and was one of a few women in her mechanical engineering classes at Duke University. She landed an internship at Chevron one summer during college and the rest is history. She will share her story of getting a mechanical engineering degree, how she got internships and a job out of college at Richmond, CA’s Chevron Refinery, and is a young women blazing a career in a traditionally male field - refinery operations. All high schoolers are encouraged to register for this free webinar taking place on January 24, 2021  at 4:00PM. Gain confidence in following your path to a STEM career. Register in advance for this webinar.

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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 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 ( with your ideas or suggestions.


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