MDUSD Superintendent Provides Update On Returning To In-Person Education – Distance Learning Will Continue Through March

January 21, 2021 11:54 am · 35 comments

The Mount Diablo Unified School District Superintendent has provided an update on the school district and where they are in the process of returning students to the classroom.

The following is from MDUSD Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark:

Dear Mt. Diablo Unified School District Parents/Guardians,

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, 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 Tier, California’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 below). 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.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Adam Clark, Ed.D.

Current memorandums related to Phase 1: 100% Distance Learning:

remember January 21, 2021 at 12:08 PM

what a shock, once again Newsom shows how he is in the pocket of the unions rather than serving the children and parents and our society especially in these difficult times.

#RecallGavinNewsom
https://recallgavin2020.com/

Truth January 21, 2021 at 4:24 PM

There is so much misinformation going around about the teachers union. Teachers unions work to not just help advocate for teachers, but also kids. MDUSD has become notorious for not investing money in education. If it wasn’t for the union, basic needs wouldn’t be supplied to classrooms.

Teachers are overworked, underappreciated, and not paid a wage that matches their level of education and training. Teachers are not the bad guy here. You have every right to be upset, but it isn’t the teachers or the unions fault. Education is underfunded not only at the state level, but also at the federal level. Private school, which requires tuition is very different, because they have the funds to pay for not only basic needs, but also some extras. If you want things to be better, we all have to invest in education by paying the teachers more and adding funding for educational programs and supplies.

Oh, please January 21, 2021 at 8:13 PM

Truth- this is nothing but FALSE. Teacher’s unions advocate for teachers ONLY. If they cared about kids, they would make the district account for all the money they recklessly spend. They don’t spend enough on kids because they are too busy paying for meals for kids whose parents refuse to take care of them. They are also busy embezzling that money and creating food warehouse supervisor positions that are overpaid. And, have you seen how well these local teachers are paid for a mere bachelor’s degree? They are getting exactly what they deserve (more so) especially when considering the staggering amount of time they get off. This false narrative that teachers have poor pay is straight propaganda from the unions.
Education is not underfunded, but smart choices with money is apparently not common sense. You don’t keep flushing money down a broken toilet, which is exactly what MDUSD is. And, most of the teachers are not really qualified to teach. They read out of a lesson book and barely graduated themselves.

TTD January 21, 2021 at 8:46 PM

@Truth, I appreciate reading comments that offer opinions that differ from my own, it enables me to perhaps see situations In a different light. I would like to point out a few points that I feel you are quite off base. 1) I have yet to see where the teachers union represent the kids during this pandemic. 2) if the teachers feel they are underpaid and under appreciated then get another job. Not all jobs pay according to the level of education that an individual has ( social workers, priests, etc ). 3) teachers do get paid a nice salary – when taking into account benefits and pensions. Their wages are public knowledge. Employees in the private sector don’t even come close to the medical and pension benefits that teachers receive. 3) private schools also struggle with funding; however, parents are expected to volunteer a certain amount of hours each year, budgets are prepared and adhered to and their is no political bs going on.
The unions are doing a major disservice to the teachers and the kids.

JRocks January 21, 2021 at 10:28 PM

@Truth
You have to change your name. Your comments about private schools are not true. Most private schools do more with less.Teachers that work for private schools make less money than the public school teachers. Private schools provide a better education with less funds.

Everyone should have the choice of where to send their children to school, not just rich people. Do me a favor and talk to your union buddies and get them to support school choice.

Led January 22, 2021 at 1:47 AM

“Teachers are … not paid a wage that matches their level of education and training.”

Only someone with an education degree would believe this. Look up ‘GRE scores by intended major’ or ‘SAT score by intended major’ and see where people score, comparatively, who go into education as a field. There are lots of exceptions, sure, but the general picture… Usually when people in public service jobs are overqualified for their salary, they can get more by going to the private sector. That’s not generally true for teachers, certainly not if you include benefits!

remember January 22, 2021 at 2:39 AM

@T

sounds like you got some feedback, i.e. you should change your name, so not to pile on too much just one thing:

“MDUSD has become notorious for not investing money in education. If it wasn’t for the union, basic needs wouldn’t be supplied to classrooms. ”

hmmm, so you are saying that parents don’t care if their kids don’t get what they need? that at some point those same parents wouldn’t complain that their tax dollars weren’t going to support their children’s education. that only the unions love and compassion can save us. well i have a bit more faith that parents care about their children than you do. and a lot less faith that the union cares about anything but their own power, i.e. forcing everyone to pay dues and using those for political purposes even if the members reject that.

https://www.americanexperiment.org/2020/08/teachers-union-message-to-its-conservative-members-your-views-dont-matter/

https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/01/05/unions-gave-more-than-1-1-billion-to-democrats-liberal-groups/

Tammy Martin January 21, 2021 at 12:22 PM

What a complete freak show! Orwellian and dystopian; right where ‘they’ want us. Can you believe the fear-state we now live in and under? I can’t, but too many people fall hook, line and sinker for this nonsense which ensures that this bizarre ‘new normal’ agenda further destroys us. Again, WAKE UP, people! The so-called virus has NEVER been isolated so therefore it cannot be designated as a virus. This dog and pony show is destroying our children keeping them from their friends and peers and a ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ life not to mention stealing what should be enjoyment through school experiences such as sports, dances, camaraderie, etc. Why is the cure worse than the disease the so-called but surely bought and sold mainstream news and scientific community tells us? A 99.97% recovery rate and we live under this protocol? Again, WAKE UP, people!

Anon January 21, 2021 at 12:56 PM

Yes, Totals BOLLOCKS!!!

But the Sheep made it so easy by caving in to FEAR….that they’ll be rolling out another “mutated” version along with SPARS.

People love their Tinfoil masks.

Jimmy January 22, 2021 at 12:14 AM

We have an all inclusive and systemic problem here with the MDUSD and the teachers union. And I’m not talking about race.
I will bet they will not be back in the classroom until next school year. It’s easy to see that has been the plan since way back.

Justifiable languor January 21, 2021 at 12:30 PM

Well! Biden getting in was good for something!

TTD January 21, 2021 at 12:37 PM

I will start by saying that I am fortunate enough to not have any family members in school at this time (they are all grown and out of college). That being said, I am not sure how I would feel about my children doing distant learning (long term) and/or going to in person teaching if they were in school.
However, in my opinion (for certain industries) unions do more damage than good, as in this case. Private businesses were able to adapt fairly quickly (given the circumstances) in acquiring ppe (masks, hand sanitizers, and plexi glass) and the school districts (10 months later) are still trying to figure this out! Total incompetency! Private schools were able to get this accomplished months ago. The teachers’ union do not represent what is best for the children; in fact, the union only cares about their interest. This whole situation is beyond frustrating – get a private company in their to whip the school district in shape and then we will see results!

LimeRidge Larry January 21, 2021 at 12:41 PM

Where are the details of the plan like SRVSD has? Why is the MDUSD always so far behind?

The Mamba January 21, 2021 at 4:16 PM

Lack of leadership.

Oh, please January 21, 2021 at 8:14 PM

MDUSD is so bloated to hide their embezzlement of funds. All they want to do is screw the kids over.

parent January 21, 2021 at 12:45 PM

Not surprised and still disappointed in the MDUSD and Teachers Union. Both of those institutions have failed the students they used to represent.

Some teachers may be home teaching more … but I doubt many because of what I see with my kids and friends children in this district.

Since their is still NO contract, I am beginning to think that someone in the UNION is still just trying to be difficult or someone in MDUSD cannot agree. Hey folks! You are adults, learn to negotiate! This should not be taking a full year! What are you doing with your time if you are not teaching and not negotiating?

I have personally sent 6 emails to Adam Clark, still NO response. I know I am not the only one he has failed to respond to or represent.

Now for those that will say teachers should be vaccinated … why? If I have a decision in who get vaccinated first, it will be grocery store clerks, gas station, restaurants and all those who cannot control who they interact with every day. You as a teacher have the SAME contacts day in and day out.

And those workers I cited, they have been out every day since you started your stay-at-home vacation while only some of you teach.

GrannyC January 22, 2021 at 8:12 AM

I agree. My grandkids have been going to Daycare since May of last year and those teachers show up everyday to work. The daycare teachers vaccine should come before “teachers” who are at home and not returning to the classroom. Those you listed above and private school teachers should get priority as well IMO

Pulse January 21, 2021 at 12:59 PM

The california teachers union has its claws dug deep into the California government. They pressure are representatives to inact policies benefiting themselves (teachers Union) to the detrimental effects it has on the public at large as well as the teachers.
Are socialist california government is in lock step.

The Mamba January 21, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Every other state in the nation’s kids are back in school, this is such a joke. I don’t even think they plan on going back in the fall, to be honest, and the the kids are suffering. The teacher’s union and Adam Clark can kick rocks. I hate to say it, but I think the only answer left is to go private or move.

bdml January 21, 2021 at 2:24 PM

@ The Mamba

I fully believe that your answer and 2 options are the best to take. It would be nice to see these private schools sponsor some children’s tuition and get all kids out of the school district. Then the teacher’s unions would have zero power over us and our children…

Pulse January 21, 2021 at 2:27 PM

another doctor with little information. Though he did say that they were giving vaccine to healthcare workers first at the current rate of 4000 per day. John muir employees 6000 plus. A day and a half and there done.
I bet Keiser has fewer then 12000 employees. In a few days to week there done.
Mitchoff and Anderson, sounds like a comedy.

Pulse January 21, 2021 at 2:31 PM

private school is the only way that a child in California will get an education. The rest will grow up to flip burgers

Amateur Teacher January 21, 2021 at 2:33 PM

Vote of not confidence.

Unseat the board.

Remove the superintendent.

Dissolve the union contract.

Open schools tomorrow. Stop lying to us.

Oh, please January 23, 2021 at 9:31 AM

This is my current top fantasy.

Diane January 21, 2021 at 2:36 PM

I wonder how we can all best serve our most vulnerable
Kids are homeless how are they supposed to do distance learning?
What a joke !!! Failure of public schools we need to recall Dr Clark !!!!!
This guy makes 300000 airing his negativity on board meetings and no progress whatsoever been made in 10 months while kids suffer !!!!

Oh, please January 23, 2021 at 9:32 AM

For a district that proports to care so much about equity and the most vulnerable, MDUSD has shown they actually don’t give a crap. It’s al talk. They will just keep passing these kids along in the system, not caring that many are failing.

RANDOM TASK January 21, 2021 at 2:54 PM

We understand that the public may not fully understand the bargaining process and pace, but this is a necessary process.

lol no we know how the process works

thats why we are miffed and fed up

you work just like bart and any other union

if it rains need more money

if its hot you need more money

if its a holiday you need more money

i understand that not everyone can do private school or homeschool

but if you can please do

these entities are not only taking all our money ….

but now putting them first instead of childrens education

the unions and councils and governor and state judicial dept
are all democrat leftists …..

raking in our money and conspiring against us as a whole

let the state gov implode

dont use bart or public anything force them to our negotiating table

or just bend over like usual and give your children more mediocrity and have them be a welfare democrat like they want

you voted for this and allowed it

dont put it on your children and grand children

just look around and tell us that yeah this is great

chuckie the troll January 21, 2021 at 4:28 PM

The Teachers Union demanded less work for more pay, and the school board caved to those demands. Since ALL of the evidence confirms that distance learning is an abject failure and harms the poor and people of color disproportionately, you would think returning to in classroom instruction would be a priority.

But this is California, so forget evidence and settled science. Symbolism is more important than facts, and teachers need the vaccine before everyone else because you can catch coronavirus via Zoom evidently.

Ricardoh January 21, 2021 at 4:43 PM

Here is good news for you libs. Biden just OKed confused boys to compete in girls sports and use their bathrooms. Not sure if they can shower together. We tried to warn you he is nuts but you wouldn’t listen.

Raiderette January 21, 2021 at 6:05 PM

@Ricardoh

You always open your mouth yet never make sense. This post is talking about our schools opening up not about who can use whose bathroom.

remember January 22, 2021 at 2:25 AM

@R

thank you for bringing the truth to this discussion, how creepy joe biden has destroyed girls sports and likely opened the door to assaults on the daughters of America

Biden Obliterates Women’s Sports, Reinstates Rule Allowing Transgender Students to Use Bathrooms According to Gender Identity on Day One of His Presidency

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/biden-obliterates-womens-sports-reinstates-rule-allowing-transgender-students-use-bathrooms-according-gender-identity-day-one-presidency/

God bless America

Chris January 21, 2021 at 10:02 PM

Tell newsom to stick it where the sun don’t shine. Students should not return until this Fall! Other states will successfully return their students safely, however, the liberal clowns in this state are too focused on gender signs for the restrooms, tearing down statues, and renaming schools. You know if the state announces a specific date they’ll screw it up. This place is like a goat rodeo.

Led January 22, 2021 at 1:23 AM

So dysfunctional it’s hard to believe even after we’ve seen it over and over. The fact that special ed kids and K-6 kids aren’t in real school right now is just an ongoing outrage. The costs so dramatically outweigh the benefits.

But certain things function really well:
1. The unions lobby very well for continuity of funding no matter what – “enrollments go down because you aren’t providing a real education, that’s cool, we’ll just change the law and keep our funding.”
2. They control the negotiation timeline really well – “we aren’t coming back this school year at all, so we’ll just slow walk this and have a hybrid plan set to go at the height of winter flu season, in a respiratory virus pandemic…”
3. The unions insulate the whole process from public criticism and change really well. You have a state full of desperate and fed-up parents, and the unions don’t even blink. That’s how well they have things under control.
4. The answer to the question “Are schools essential?” depends very conveniently on whether we are talking about working in person or getting a vaccine. This last one just takes the cake – after pretending not to be essential (all online), then claiming to be essential (gimme that vaccine), then we have the blatant refusal to require in-person (i.e., real) teaching even after the vaccination! Amazing! You almost have to laugh at how much they have twisted every possible thing to their perceived advantage.

If you judge our school system as something that is supposed to serve kids and their families, it is amazingly, spectacularly bad at that. If you judge it as a system to keep a certain subset of the population employed in a really stable way with great benefits, then it is kicking butt and taking names. A masterpiece of effective institutional functioning! A well-oiled machine!

Oh, please January 23, 2021 at 9:34 AM

Truer words… CTA is a bloated terrorist organization, as far as I am concerned.

David January 27, 2021 at 9:58 AM

Every time I read Claycord I become so disheartened by the amount of hate in our community. Additionally, it pains me to see misinformation thrown around as fact and opinions proclaimed as truths. As a teacher for MDUSD, I can assure you that the majority of us want to return to school as badly as you all want us to. I’m exhausted mentally (from having to completely overhaul how and what I’ve taught for over 20 years) and emotionally (from folks like you bashing us instead of supporting us and at the same time trying carry on personally with our new normal as well).

We teachers have and continue to re-create curriculum and re-think how we provide instruction— the whole time wondering what more we can do to make an impact on our students through a computer screen. I can also tell you that, while it seems like teachers have it easy right now, you can know for certain we don’t. The time I spend preparing for remote teaching is exponentially more than I typically do. Not to mention, I had to become an IT expert overnight.

Here is the truth: The teachers’s union is NOT asking for a raise in salary for teachers to return to in-person learning; they are asking for SAFE WORK CONDITIONS. For those of you who have not been on campuses since they closed (all of you?) let me tell you that the greatest mistruth the district is putting out there is the safety measures supposedly put in place. Not one thing has changed at my site— they haven’t even added hand sanitizer, much less put up plexiglass, placed 6 foot markers, or provided PPE!

What I’m hearing you all say, behind the facade of disdain toward the teacher’s union, is that you’d rather have your children return to school than keep teachers and their families from becoming ill and possibly dying. Thank you— that means a lot.

P.S. For those of you who are going to say I must have too much time on my hands if I had time to write this…. the truth I don’t, and I should have been prepping for the first of my many videoconference meetings today. The only reason I looked at Claycord this morning is because my students had an assignment to find a current news story to share with the class and I was previewing one of their submissions. After reading what my neighbors think about me and my colleagues I felt compelled to defend us.

Once again, thank you for your support.

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