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March 20, 2020 Friday Letter Volume 1, No. 28
Posted 3/20/20

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

#JuntosCrecemos…#TogetherWeLearn…#JuntosLideramos!

#LeadWithResilience…#LiderarConResiliencia

 

March 23, 2020, Governing Board Meeting Cancelled:

The regular Governing Board Meeting previously scheduled for Monday, March 23, 2020, has been cancelled. The next regularly scheduled Governing Board meeting scheduled for Monday, April 13, 2020, is anticipated to remain on the schedule, and will be conducted under exceptions to the Brown Act to allow for remote participation. More information will be provided on how the public may participate in that meeting as we have more clarity on the parameters of the meeting.

 

MDUSD Town Hall Webinar: Answering the Call to Service During this Time of Crisis

On Monday, March 23, 2020, at 03:00PM, the District will be holding a virtual “Town Hall” webinar. We will live stream this meeting where we will provide additional information to all regarding our student feeding programs, continuation of education opportunities for our students, reports on how our employees are supporting the essential functions of the District, and any new information that becomes available over the weekend.

 

Governor’s “Stay at Home” Executive Order N-33-20:

During the evening of Thursday, March 19, 2020, Governor Newsome issued a “Stay at Home” Executive Order N-33-20 for the entire state of California. This is another in the line of unprecedented acts by our California Governor. The Governor indicated his desire to have all Californians to stay within their residences as much as possible to increase the social distancing between us as individuals, and to slow the curve of the spread of the coronavirus.

While the District had already taken steps to close schools to protect students potential exposure, limit expectations on thousands of employees, we also continue to hold responsibilities under the Governor’s Executive Order N-26-20. That Executive Order indicates the District should prioritize these services for students: must continue to provide:

  • Distance learning and independent study opportunities
  • School meal delivery
  • Accommodations for students with disabilities

Hence, while we are reviewing the expectations for the handfuls of employees that have continued to be called to provide for services to students directly we are further limiting the expectations on employees to now only “Critical” areas of need, and working to keep as many employees at home where possible.

Only Essential Personnel on School Grounds and at Worksites:

While we have made it very clear that only essential personnel directed by either the Superintendent, and or through Executive Cabinet, should be on our school sites, I have continued to hear of other individuals coming onto our school sites during this time of closure. Everyone should refrain from coming onto our school sites unless you are directly providing service to the Feeding programs, or supporting the continuation of our delivery of educational options as indicated in our distance learning programs, and are working under the expressed consent of the Superintendent, Executive Cabinet, and in the presence of the site administrator.

 

District Employees:

Governor Newsome’s Executive Order, N-26-20, provides for the continuation of funding for the District without harm. As such, it is our intent to provide a continuation of pay and associated benefits for all contracted employees of the District during the school closures. We have been communication with all of the employee association groups, and have confirmed this to be the case.

In addition, while there is a “Stay a Home” Executive Order, the District continues to be identified as an essential service provider to the community, and we will continue to have some employees working to maintain our District facilities and capabilities to provide for students during this unprecedented time. We have tremendously dedicated employees who understand that part of the responsibilities of working in a school District are to sustain our collective ability to provide for students.

Please join me in thanking all of our employees for staying connected to their email, working from home when possible, coordinating the initiation of distance learning for our students, and continuing to protect the infrastructure of the District, to name a few of the responsibilities and duties that have impacted them, as they also have sought to care for their personal needs and families.

 

Our Future:

At the present time of this writing we are still scheduled to resume classes on site on Monday, April 13, 2020, however, I have grown increasingly aware that this more than likely will not occur given the information that has been shared by the Governor, and expansive grasp of the coronavirus on our nation. That being said, while we are focused on the next three weeks and the things that we will look to accomplish during that time including:

     -Continuation of Feeding Programs

     -Actively increasing the knowledge, skills, and ability of our educators to launch on-line distance learning.

     -Actively provide devices to students, and expand opportunities to access online and distance learning opportunities.

     -Sustain the structural integrity of our Fiscal Department and budget

     -Sustain the structural integrity of our schools and departments with regards to safety, cleanliness, and security

We will also be looking to determine how our educational landscape will change. We will continue working with the California Department of Education, Contra Costa County Office of Education, Governor’s Office, and state and county Public Health Departments to build a system of educational opportunities that will support our children to move into their futures. Some of our students may not return to our campuses before moving onto college, and that is a shocking level of reality that we must face. We are working to find solutions to the many questions that our parents and students have with regards to high school graduation requirements, college acceptance requirements, AP assessments, and the myriad of decisions that have yet to be made that impact our students.

As an educational institution we are and will remain committed to ensure that we are connecting, engaging, and supporting all of our students as they personally and individually work with their families to face a future that will be very different into the foreseeable distance.

 

Free Community Meals at 9 School Sites District Wide:

I have been proud to witness the efforts of our Food and Nutrition Staff and the administrative support for our continuing food services to the community. With the addition of Bel Air Elementary, we are providing free community meals at 9 school sites district-wide for all children 18 years and younger. Please see the attached flyers for a list of locations and details: English Flyer | Spanish Flyer 

 

During these difficult times please remember to

turn to each other, rather than on each other.

Several Activities in My Calendar This Week

Monday, March 16, 2020

  • Met with my Cabinet regarding coronavirus response coordination
  • Met with my Executive Cabinet regarding coronavirus response coordination
  • Met via conference call with Teamsters union leadership
  • Met via conference call with Local 1 CST leadership
  • Met via conference call with CSEA leadership
  • Met via conference call with MDEA leadership
  • Facilitated communication with MDSPA leadership

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

  • Met with my Cabinet regarding coronavirus response coordination
  • Met by phone conference with Board Member Linda Mayo
  • Met by phone conference with Board President Brian Lawrence
  • Met with my Executive Cabinet regarding coronavirus response coordination

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

  • Met with my Cabinet regarding coronavirus response coordination
  • Met by phone conference with Board Member Joanne Durkee
  • Held interviews for the Risk Manager position
  • Met via conference call with MDEA Leadership

Thursday, March 19, 2020

  • Met with my Cabinet regarding coronavirus response coordination
  • Participated in California Department of Education webinar regarding guidance for schools on distance learning
  • Participated in meal distribution at Riverview Middle School, Mount Diablo High School, and El Dorado Middle School
  • Met with Contra Costa County school district Superintendents regarding coronavirus response coordination
  • Met via conference call with MDEA leadership

Friday, March 20, 2020

  • Met with my Cabinet regarding coronavirus response coordination
  • Met with Maintenance and Operations Managers Melanie Koslow and Richard Jackson
  • Met via conference call with Teamsters union leadership
  • Met via conference call with MDSPA union leadership
  • Held a final meeting with the Accounting Supervisor position candidate

 

-Superintendent Dr. Rob Martinez-