November Message from the Principle

posted Jan 16, 2014, 6:27 PM by Jana Corral   [ updated Jan 16, 2014, 6:27 PM by PFC Webmaster ]

Happy Thanksgiving to You, Walnut Acres Parents,


During this special season there is personnel-related news...

We have a new custodian! Consuelo Sanchez has accepted the Walnut Acres Head Custodian position effective Monday, November 18, 2013. Ms. Sanchez has been with MDSUD since 2004 and she has most recently served as night custodian at Valle Verde. She is very excited to join us. I encourage you to introduce yourselves to her and make her feel welcome at our site.


A big thank you to Alex Helton who has been a superb substitute head custodian! I have passed to Alex the many compliments you have shared with me regarding his hard work, his dedication, and his eagerness to serve our children. Please feel free to send along a note of thanks to him directly during the week of November 12th, his last week with us.    


We need a parent to join our School Site Council (SSC). Mrs. Halverson, who represented parents well, is stepping down as a representative. Please send your request to be a SSC member to me at by Friday, November 22, 2013, with a brief statement about why you would like to serve. Your time commitment will be the first Thursday of the month from 3-4:00 p.m. Parents will vote the week of December 2, 2013, for one new parent via a ballot process to complete our SSC of 5 school staff and 5 parents.


District-related news and reminders to offer...

MDUSD has a facebook page! Enjoy reading the Special Edition of the Mt. Diablo Unified GoodNEWS Letter to announce and invite you to "Like" them on the "official" District Facebook page recently launched!  The Special Edition "Good NEWS" Letter is viewable online or on Facebook 


I have previously suggested that you visit the MDUSD website for information about Common Core State Standards (CCSS). I recommend it to you again as you read more about Common Core in the media.


Intradistrict Transfers for grades K-12 must be submitted between 0ctober 1, 2013-January 15, 2014, for the 2014-15 school year. No application will be accepted after the January 15, deadline! Visit the district website for complete information on types of transfers and for an application to transfer or come to the school office for an application.


Intradistrict transfer applications for incoming kindergarteners may be requested after the student is registered at a school of residence on kindergarten registration day, February 4, 2014. Applications should be submitted no later than February 28, 2014.


Other school news and reminders to share...

Hooray! Construction on our second ball wall will begin this week! During the building process a small portion of the playground will be cordoned off for student protection.


Speaking of student protection, I feel compelled to remind everyone of school safety rules. Some of us are rather lax regarding school safety and I think it's because we can't imagine anything untoward really happening in our idyllic setting. With that mindset I realize that my cautions may seem capricious to you, but our rules exist for very good protect our children.  It may not be likely that a horrific incident could befall a child, but it is our collaborative responsibility to insure that nothing does. Let me share a quick story that certainly brought the point of proactive safety home to me. Years ago, my husband and I had a recurring argument about whether it was safe to keep my daughter's second-story bedroom window open at night when we first moved to Las Vegas. We decided to ask and comply with the advice of my boss at the time, a wise man who had lived in the community for many years. Following the plan, I asked my boss if our open window practice was safe. He replied, "It depends." Of course, I countered, "Depends on what?" Without missing a beat he whispered, "On how much you love her." 


Please do not leave your student unsupervised on the playground before 7:45 a.m. or after school, follow drive-through rules, and keep non-therapy dogs off campus. We all care deeply about the beautiful children who trustingly join us here at school every day, and while no one can guarantee safety, we want to do everything possible to reduce the risk of a child being harmed.


And my gratitude...

To all of you who send your unique learners to Walnut Acres every day to be challenged and encouraged and engaged, thank you for your trust. Thank you as well for working passionately through PFC donations, events and volunteering to help our school become a place in which every child feels empowered and excited about learning.  Thank you for believing that our work together is a mission of profound import both on the grand scale of shaping the future and in our seed work of instilling a love of learning and self-confidence in every child. Thank you for working with me to bring to life the words of the classic Whitney Houston song, "We believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside."


I wish you and your family a memorable Thanksgiving!



Colleen Dowd