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New Options at MDUSD

Aug 27, 2017 10:53PM ● By Elena Hutslar

New Options at MDUSD

Exciting and Innovative New Programs


Students in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District will have more options than ever before for a rich educational experience, with extensive opportunities to engage in challenging instruction in science, the arts, languages, technology, and project-based learning to help prepare them for the future and global world.


International Baccalaureate School

Ygnacio Valley High School is MDUSD’s first International Baccalaureate School (IB World School, Diploma Program), an assessed program for students aged 16 to 19 that is respected by leading universities across the globe. Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate is a non-profit educational foundation offering four highly respected programs of international education that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. The curriculum in the Diploma Program (DP) is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, which is comprised of theory of knowledge creativity, activity, service, and the extended essay. Through the DP core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research, and undertake a project that often involves community service.


The Diploma Program was established to offer students a balanced, global education that facilitates geographic and cultural mobility and promotes international understanding. The school will offer 14 different IB courses this fall and offer YV students exclusive onsite and remote access to a vast collection of databases through Gale, a global online research resource.


The District is working to have Oak Grove Middle be the second IB school under its Middle Years Program (MYP) for students ages 11-16, and hope to establish an IB Primary Years Program as well.


New Regional Magnet Schools


Holbrook Language Magnet Academy in Concord

As a language magnet, Holbrook will be offering an exciting Two-Way Dual Immersion program for Transitional Kindergarten to 5th grade students that places English-dominant speakers with Spanish-dominant speakers. Students will receive instruction in both languages. The school will follow a 50/50 model, in which students spend 50 percent of their day learning to read and write in English and the other 50 percent learning to read and write in Spanish. The goal of the program is to develop academic language proficiency in English and Spanish, master grade level core standards, and develop cultural proficiency. Students at all grade levels will be offered opportunities each week to learn a variety of languages.


Holbrook had been closed in previous years and has undergone extensive modernization work and technology upgrades for the new year.


Sun Terrace Elementary STEM Magnet School, Concord

In a STEM learning environment, powerful critical thinking and exploration practices commonly used in high-performing science, technology, engineering and math classrooms will be drawn across disciplines and connected by cutting-edge technology and extensive hands-on experiences. In the Sun Terrace STEM Lab, students are encouraged to tinker, create, play, and explore without the constraints of an objective or directions to follow. Students also engage in design challenges and activities that offer opportunities to meet California’s Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in an engaging and exciting hands-on environment.


Wren Avenue Elementary Visual and Performing Arts Magnet, Concord

Research has shown that what students learn in the arts may help them master other subjects, such as reading, math, or social studies. MDUSD states that the evidence is clear: study of the arts contributes to student achievement and success in school and beyond, and it empowers students to excel and thrive as creative, innovative and flexible thinkers, ready to meet the demands of the 21st century. Along with a rigorous academic program, Wren Avenue will offer dance, theatre, music, and visual arts experiences to all students, both as independent classes and as interdisciplinary subjects integrated into all core content areas with state-of-the-art technology. Wren Avenue’s philosophy for students is that they are the artists at the school, whether as visual artists or performers.  Not surprisingly, the school’s orchestra and band performances are highly popular.