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February 2019

Greeting Families and Community Members,

Our District's mission is to provide every student with a safe, equitable, restorative culture and community, the opportunity to realize their full potential, access to an excellent 21st century education, and the skills and knowledge to pursue lifelong learning. In order to provide our students with the opportunity to fulfill this mission, we must have state of the art schools and classrooms to fully engage all of our students in the learning process. Fortunately our community stepped up to the plate for us and passed school bonds to renovate John Swett High School and rebuild Carquinez Middle School. After careful and thoughtful planning, the current school construction bond projects are kicking into high gear. The second floor of John Swett High School is in full renovation. The entire floor has been gutted, walls removed, and all the old flooring has been chipped up and hauled away. You can see pictures of the construction progress on our website at It is important to note that there have been no change orders for this project (to date) and that we are adhering to our timelines and budget. Once the second floor is complete, we will be moving on to the kitchen and third floor. Increment two (scheduled to begin next year) will bring renovation to the shops, gym, and the theater. We appreciate the patience and understanding of our students, staff, and community during this time of construction.
We are also planning on breaking ground on the new Carquinez Middle School in the Spring. We have approved plans for the initial "below ground" work that will include grading, strengthening of the underground culvert, and the successful re-routing of an EBMUD water supply line. After a recent meeting, in January 2019 with EBMUD, it has been decided that they will perform the work.  We have successfully submitted increment two of the project that will involve the building of the new classroom wings, gymnasium, and site work to create basketball courts and play fields which are designed to be accessible to the community. You can check out the plans for our new middle school on our District's website at
Renovating and rebuilding schools is never easy. There are several steps in the process and as the various studies come in, findings are taken into account and the designs are modified to reflect this, as is completely appropriate and prudent. While we have faced some challenges, our Governing Board has steadily and calmly worked through complex issues in order to ensure that our school facilities will successfully serve our students and community for decades to come. If members of the community have questions or concerns about the school bond projects, I invite you to call my cell phone at 925-639-7408 and I will answer all questions and provide any documentation that may be needed to clarify any misconceptions that my be circulating in the community. Our District's website also contains audio recordings of all meetings by our Governing Board, Facilities Sub-Committee, and our Citizen's Bond Oversight Committee. In addition, we have documentation of studies and reports available online that have been used to make determinations about our projects. Our School District operates in the public view and we invite you to critically examine our actions to ensure we are operating in concert with the public will and in the best interest of our students.
Our small school district is a part of this community. Our growth and improvement will enhance our community.  We invite all of our citizens to be a partner in this. Throughout the coming months and years, we will be working to ensure that our projects are completed on time and on budget. Your thoughts and viewpoints about our schools and programs is important. We want to hear from you. I am available by cell phone at (925) 639-7408 or by email at If you ever have a problem or concern, please feel free to reach out to me personally and I will respond.  
Charles Miller, Ed. D.
John Swett Unified School District
Office: 510-245-4300 x2105
Cell: 925-639-7408