Mt. Diablo USD superintendent says schools could reopen March 22

Mount Diablo Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark said in a statement Thursday that a hybrid model of in-person and online learning could start as early as March 22. 

The district's trustees will likely discuss and vote on the proposal at its meeting on Wednesday.  

In a letter to the MDUSD community, published on the district website, Clark wrote that the state and county have approved the district's re-opening plan. 

"We are pleased to report that several surrounding counties have moved into the Red Tier, and it appears that Contra Costa will be moving into the Red Tier on March 9 or March 16, 2021." 

As of Thursday, Contra Costa County was still in the purple tier of COVID-19 restrictions -- the state's most restrictive level -- around 10 reported cases per day, per 100,000 residents. 

Clark also wrote the district collected more than 27,000 surveys from district families over scheduling preferences, and that schools are already re-building classes. He wrote the district has "tens of thousands of cloth and surgical masks, over one thousand gallons of hand sanitizer, thousands of safety signs and markers and plexiglass shields for staff."  

"With materials secured and protocols in place, our campuses are prepared to open to students and families," Clark wrote. 

The superintendent recommends a "phased-in" re-opening timeline, with staff working remotely returning to school sites March 17 and "campus previews" for students and parents on March 19.  Preschool, kindergarten, and first and second graders, self-contained SDC classes, and the Bridge Transition Program would return March 22. Grades 3-5 would return March 25, and all other grades would return March 29. Spring recess would happen April 2-9.

"I realize that this recommendation may not be perceived as ideal by all members of our Mt. Diablo Unified community," Clark wrote. "Starting this process now will allow us to effectively systematize processes and protocols to support student needs and work towards a full reopening in fall of 2021. I make this recommendation with the full understanding that we are still in a global pandemic and the safety of all stakeholders continues to be our highest priority. We will continue to work with our labor partners in good faith."

He said, "We are quickly approaching our one-year anniversary of being closed. I am beyond confident that we can serve our students in person safely."