Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stephanie Cudd: Missing College Park teen, found!

Well, thank goodness she was found.  Certainly we don't know the whole story, but in the facebook update , it indicates she is (has been perhaps?) nearby...

BREAKING NEWS! Message from the Cudd Family: "Our Prayers have been answered. Carl Marino of Butler and Associates Investigation has located Stephanie. While she is not home, we know that Stephanie is safe and nearby. The Cudd family would like express their deepest gratitude for all those who helped us in our time of need (continued)...
 Thank you so much for emotional support, the prayers, and of course all the footwork. The Cudd’s requests some privacy while we try to reconcile the family." (steph/admin)
Here's the facebook page for more:!/helpfindstephanie

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

MDUSD board meeting tonight

Should be airing live at beginning at 7:30pm.  Or , if not on the blog you can view directly at live stream:  MDUSD Board Meetings

It *is* on live now 1/25/11.  The sound is bad though on livestream, so turn down the sound on livestream, and listen live at .  The lips don't match as there is a radio delay but the sound is perfect.

I couldn't watch it on livestream this time as the audio was so bad, so I turned to the radio.  Thanks to the staff /students at KVHS at Clayton Valley High, the sound quality was excellent, and I was able to run errands and even go to the store during the meeting and listen in on my car radio!  When I heard there were 80 speakers, I knew I couldn't watch it, but I am hoping to get to the next meeting live. 

Did anyone learn anything new through the speakers? Or any sparks? Theresa Harrington was tweeting but I don't see any new tweets since about 8:20pm.  I'm sure she'll recap later .

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

School Closure Joint Study Session - aired LIVE now

Sounds like it's standing room only so far.  There will be public comment, beginning about 6:50pm and will be limited to about 30 minutes.  (3 minutes each speaker, though may be shortened per board discretion)

Go to Gary Eberhart's blog for live streaming to view the meeting :

Also, you can see the agenda HERE and also see the presentation (powerpoint) online.  AGENDA

Theresa Harrington (Times) posted a side by side comparison of the Mt. Diablo schools recommended for closure.  You can view that HERE.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Did you know MDUSD has an anonymous tip line and online form for safety concerns?

Check it out, for at least the last few years I know of MDUSD has had an anonymous tip line designed to allow students, or others, concerned for safety or with knowledge of a crime, vandalism or other factors on school campuses.  Given the disturbing gang information on the other blog today, I thought it would be good to post up the information so students or parents could feel comfortable reporting suspicious or possible dangerous circumstances.

Let's keep our kids safe!

District Hotline
We encourage the use of our district tip line to confidentially report rumors, potentially dangerous situations or vandalism that may impact our schools - (925) 709-4847

Online form:
MDUSD Safe School Form 

Now, related to this, and to Claycord's post about the increased patrols at, at least one, MDUSD high school campus today due to gang activity - I do wonder why they don't advise parents.  Do they tell the kids anything on campus at all?  (if they do, they should definately also be filling in the parents) I ask because, in a timely coincidence UCSC (UC Santa Cruz) is reported to be on high alert after "threatening" graffiti was found on campus last month. They've increased training, patrols and presence, as well as alerting the community. 

Well, we've heard that there was graffiti at MDHS this weekend (threatening? Not sure)  But in a "gang" retaliation type situation, should students/families be told?  It's finals week though..... how many would stay home?

Here's the story from ABC News on UCSC:
UCSC on high alert

Monday, January 17, 2011

New High School option coming to MDUSD this fall

This came from a reader, and I thought it would be great to get some discussion going. My dream? Wouldn't it be fabulous if there was an online option for supplementary coursework? What about classes your kids couldn't get into , or aren't offered at your home school? How about summer school? Need a class? Take it online over the summer! Could it be in the future? Well if education ever wants to meet the new age in technology it will! Our educational system needs an upgrade and needs to reach into the 21st century. Our kids deserve it. Let's utilize all options available to educate our kids.


FLYER AVAILABLE here - Flex Academy EVENTS next week, Jan 24 and 26 (PDF)

Flex was approved by the County Board of Education in October. It will be an innovative and state-of-the-art school in the Mt. Diablo School District attendance area and is tuition free.

Students will be in school during regular school hours.

Flex offers the following:

  • A school facility designed with learning in mind
  • California-credentialed teachers and computer-assisted instruction. This provides teachers the opportunity to facilitate discussions, mentor students, and tutor those who need help.
  • The program provides a consistent curriculum and frees up teachers to hold small group discussions and implement small group projects.
  • A complete college prep curriculum that meets University of California “a-g” requirements and the core classes all have Honors/AP options.
  • A wide selection of electives like Computer Programming, Introduction to Entrepreneurship, and Anthropology, just to name a few.
  • Unlike most traditional schools, there just needs to be one student interested to offer an elective class - no minimum class sizes needed.

  • College and career planning and placement tools
  • Science and Art labs
  • The ability to participate in school clubs, activities and sports teams
  • Offline materials and textbooks to supplement the learning experience as well as a laptop for each student's use.
  • A self-pacing curriculum where a student can slow down when needed or move ahead if ready. Students will have small break-out sessions with a teacher to go over certain concepts they may be struggling with or to delve deeper into curriculum where they excel.
  • The online instruction provides teachers daily assessments of a students progress and the faculty will meet weekly to review the data and develop individual plans for students based on their progress.

The people behind the organization are well-respected and experienced with charter schools.

Here is Mark Kushner's information, feel free to call him with questions:

Mark Kushner
Executive Director
555 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-1228

cell: 415.710.6759
fax 415.520.5677

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MDUSD in the news tonight

MDUSD, and specifically the rally outside Monte Gardens and an interview with Gary Eberhart, was in the news tonight.  Both on Channel 7 and Channel 5.

Here's the video from CBS5:  School Cuts Protest

And from Channel 7 KGO:  Parents rally to  keep high performing schools from closing

Good job Monte Gardens, and Gary!

Gary made certainly made an interesting point.  We used to have 50,000 students in the district, and now only 32,000 with declining enrollment.  Certainly seems school closures make sense, and it's hard to imagine just 3 schools will be enough. 

Now I know we like our grass, but....

$900,000 for a centralized irrigation system.

You can review the Request for Proposal (RFP) here.  I saw this the other day, and it didn't really sink in until now.  900k for irrigation?  I know there must be more to this. But WOWSA.  Bids are due later this month.

As all bids are due to the Measure C Assistant Program Manager, I assume then, this is a Measure C project . . . but just curious.

Here is an explanation from Gary Eberhart regarding the value of this system:
This is another step in our effort to make strategic investments in our facilities that will pay dollars into the general fund.  This is a web based irrigation control system that will take into account weather forecasts when deciding whether or not to turn on the irrigation system.  There were already systems that wouldn't water if it was raining.  Now there are systems that can determine if rain is coming.  For instance, if there is a 70% chance of rain tomorrow, do we really need to water lawns today?  This is likely to save us a couple hundred thousand dollars per year that we are currently spending on water which comes directly out of the general fund.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Board Meeting tonight @ 7:30

Gary Eberhart tells me he will continue to stream the meetings live from his site,so if you are unable to attend, tune in or listen in at KVHS 90.5 FM.

Thank you Gary. Im happy he's able to continue this service for all of us.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New blog site for Sherry Whitmarsh, MDUSD

Sherry has started her new blog. Today she has posted about the Governor's budget. Check it out. Be nice!

Thank you Sherry! I, for one, appreciate the efforts of some of our board members to communicate with us.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

School Closure decision to be made February 8th

Gary Eberhart, MDUSD's Board President, has written on his blog about the process going forward regarding the school closure decisions ahead.  First, the Board Study session (joint with the School Closure Advisory Committee members), will take place Weds January 19th at 5:30pm at Northgate High in the Little Theatre.  Mr. Eberhart has noted they will be trying to stream this meeting live so those unable to attend will be able to witness the process.  There will be a 30 minute public comment at the end of this study session meeting.

The recommendation for closure will be brought officially to the Board for consideration at the Tuesday, January 25th board meeting, with the final decision to be made at the February 8th board meeting.

Read it all here at Mr. Eberhart's blog:  MDUSD BLOG

Friday, January 7, 2011

Board Meeting Tuesday - Agenda ready for view

The agenda for Tuesday night's board meeting is online and available for viewing ONLINE.

One thing they do have is the draft of the 2011-2012 calendar approved by MDEA and set forth for approval by the board.  You'll be glad to know the proposal has kids starting back on a Weds, August 31. The last day is listed as June 13th, another Weds.  Thank goodness they're not going to do this stupid end school on a Monday thing again!     See draft 2011-2012 calendar here.

Board Meeting
Tuesday, January 11th
Dent Center, Carlotta Dr, Concord

There are a lot of special ed items on this agenda.  Take a look at this blog post by Mt Diablo Unified Community Advisory Committee on Special Education (CAC).  They need your help. 

The governor is set to release his budget Monday and all indications so far is that it is going to be U-G-L-Y.  Theresa Harrington of the Times recaps some concerns and the discussions at Wednesday nights PAC meeting.  You can see that HERE.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

School Closure Board Study Session date announced

Superintendent Lawrence has advised the PAC that the Board study session will take place on Weds 1/19 at 5:30pm.  Location will be announced by Monday.  Stay tuned.

Will you attend?

Remember you can find minutes, agendas and even the pros and cons for each scenario that the committee considered here on their webpage:  School Closure Advisory Committee - MDUSD 

And as a reminder of the 3 scenarios the board will be considering, here is a screen capture/excerpt of the December 13th minutes you can view at the link above.

Also, Theresa Harrington ( has reported that the Superintendent said the district will give parents 30 days from the date the school closures are announced to apply for transfers.  Normally, these intradistrict transfer requests are due 1/15 (which personally I'd still adhere to for now), but they will allow extra time in the event your chosen, or home school is impacted by a closure.

Parent Advisory Council Meeting is tonight 7pm

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 7:00 p.m.
Board Room, MDUSD Dent Center

I. Welcome and Introductions
II. Budget Update – Steven Lawrence
III. School Closure Update – Rose Lock

Speaking of School Closure updates, did anyone else read the minutes posted from the SCAC meeting on December 13th? This was the evening they voted on their recommendations. I found it interesting that in the public comment, there was no Sequoia parent? Was that because time was limited and a Sequoia parent was just not at the front of the line? With all the hoopla on the other post here, and no public comment? What am I missing?  Also, here are the pros and cons the committee considered with their recommendations:  Scenario Pros and Cons

P.S. If you are on the PAC, would you be willing to email a recap tonight? I can include your name, or you can be anonymous -I am unable to attend. Email THANKS! I welcome contributions from others in the community.