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Principal's Message

The Little School on the Hill

Mt. Diablo Elementary School was founded in 1862 as a two-room, wooden building situated on the hill above the center of Clayton. Though the original location of that "little school on the hill" is only an historical memory identified by a stone marker in the playfield, the original bell used to call students to class currently resides in the bell tower over the school’s main office and can still be rung. Just as over 100 years ago each day was begun with a salute to the flag, each day now is begun with a Pledge of Allegiance.

In 1865, the school had 41 students and only one teacher. Today, Mt. Diablo is one of the largest elementary schools in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, with over 800 students and a staff of 28 fully credentialed teachers. Our school has a deep commitment to educational excellence. Expectations for student achievement are high, and the realization of those expectations is reflected in high student performance on state standardized test scores.

It is clear that, in 1862, the founder of Clayton, Joel Clayton, understood the importance of education for all its citizens when he sold a parcel of land for $1.00 to be used for a “public school.” That tradition continues. The Mt. Diablo Elementary School community recognizes that each student must become a successful learner according to the terms dictated by our complex society.  The importance of education for the “whole child” is recognized and supported by the entire community within which the school resides, from parents to local businesses. High parental involvement is welcome and has created a stable and strong PFC, one that is committed to providing the support needed to fashion a quality educational experience for our students.

I am proud to be a member of the Mt. Diablo Elementary School community. I look forward to helping educate our children to the best of our ability, so that they can grow up to participate in society to the best of their ability.


Mrs. Linn Kissinger


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Additional school history can be found at the Clayton Historical Society .