News


Parents against proposed calendar modifications in Pleasanton schools

12 parents, one student speak during public comment session

The district's boardroom was standing-room only with parents eager to learn more and voice their opinions about the non-traditional calendar options at Tuesday night's school board meeting.

Contrary to the May 27 board meeting, most parents that spoke during Tuesday's public comment session were against the proposed calendar change, many saying the communication regarding this topic was handled terribly.

"I feel like you're trying to slide this under us," said Pleasanton Middle School parent Tracy Whelan.

Many parents echoed her statement saying that they didn't know the district was looking at modifying the instructional calendar.

However, a Pleasanton parent that asked to remain anonymous said, "Those parents have to be out of the loop to not know about the change. This has been in talk since October. There were forums and emails about the calendar options, and all the information is online."

In response to a modified calendar reducing student stress, Pleasanton parent Rodney Rolaff stated that the district should not be eliminating stress for students, but teaching them how to deal with stress by keeping the traditional calendar.

"If the biggest thing that you have is to reduce stress, then you're missing the point on what you're supposed to be doing for these kids," he added. "They're supposed to get trained on how to handle their life after they get out of school."

In addition, Hart Middle School sixth grader Julia Thomas presented the board a petition with 163 signatures of Hart students that are against shortening summers.

Katie Brewner was the only parent speaker that supported a calendar change stating that even though the modification is mostly for high school students, all kids would benefit from the change because eventually all younger kids become high school students.

"While change is often hard, the change and modification of our school's calendar is in the best interest of our students," she added.

After hearing the public's comments, board members approved the motion to send out a parent survey created by the calendar committee.

The school board also approved the Deferred Maintenance Five-Year plan, which outlines anticipated major capital repairs needed on school campuses. According to the plan, repairs will cost around $5 million.

In other business, the school board recognized 15 Pleasanton students for their accomplishments.

Foothill High School's salutatorians include Yandi Wu and Akshay Ravikumar, and the valedictorian is Bryce Wang.

Amador Valley High School's salutatorian is Brian Shimanuki, and the valedictorians are Christine Xu and Ian Zhou.

Hart Middle School students -- Daniel Jorgenson, Valentina Im, Yuna Jeong, Eleanor Savas and Alpine Tang -- were recognized for qualifying for the state's National History Day Contest at Alameda County History Day.

Pleasanton Middle School's eighth grade associated student body president, Nicole Zhang, was recognized for raising $3,000.10 in just over a year to help resurface the school's track.

Chloe Connolly (not present at meeting) from Amador, Olivia Brown from Foothill and Connor Castaneda-Warren from Village High School were also recognized for being the student board members.

Also on Tuesday, the school board appointed the new vice principal of Fairlands and Vintage Hills elementary schools as Shay Galletti, who is currently a Foothill teacher and Regional Occupational Program administrator.

The agenda also included an annual report from the Parent Teacher Association council. At the end of the report, the PTA council president Beth Limesand presented the board members a symbolic check for $1,938,960 representing the volunteer hours PTA has contributed over the year. According to the IRA, each volunteer hour was valued at $20.

Other matters discussed at Tuesday's meeting included a discussion about the implementation of the homework policy, the 2014-15 proposed budget and the Local Control Accountability Plan.

The next school board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on June 17 in the district boardroom, 4665 Bernal Ave.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Beth Limesand
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:04 am

To clarify this part of the article:
"The agenda also included an annual report from the Parent Teacher Association council. At the end of the report, the PTA council president Beth Limesand presented the board members a check for $1,938,960 to support students and staff."

The "check" I presented was symbolic, representing the volunteer hours PTA has contributed over the year. The IRS attaches a value of $20 per volunteer hour. The giant check showed the total value of the time our wonderful volunteers have given to serve our community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by bobbie
a resident of Pleasanton Village
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:39 am

I can't believe all those parents 'say' they didn't know about the change proposal.Like the lady said, they've been on about it since October. My friend & I attended a meeting about it months ago. All advertised on school website & district. This change I am totally in favor for. Not the short 7 week one but the rest are fine. It's the students that this is for. Not the parents vacation schedules or sports. The kids forget so much. The extra time at spring break or fall would help students & teachers. A week is not enough time for the student to study & also have relaxing, down time days. Having 2 weeks would mean having time for both.
Change is hard for everyone, but sometimes we need change to grow. After all, the work place continues to change or they lose money & close down.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by school parent
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:53 am

I'm totally in favor of the change. It's in the best interest of the STUDENTS! Those that claimed not to be aware of this discussion is just ignorant, or they are just saying that as an excuse for waiting till the last minute to say something. People, look at the big picture and you will realize the change would have many benefits. Summer is not going away, it's just going from 10 weeks to about 7. So please don't use the "lost summer" as an excuse.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hopeful
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:00 am

The discussions regarding changing the calendar have been going on for months. There may have been a number of people speaking up against the calendar at last night's board meeting, but at previous school board meetings there has been A LOT of support from teachers, parents and students in favor of modifying the calendar.

I am in favor of shifting the calendar to early August so that the kids finish before Memorial Day. I also hope that we maintain a 9 - 10 week summer (which is possible with the early start/early finish proposal or the modified lite proposal). The transition year (summer of 2015) would stink, but I think the benefits of the early start/early finish schedule in future years outweigh the inconvenience of one short summer.

I am grateful that the school board is looking into this change even though they surely knew that it would be controversial to some since people have a hard time with change in general. I do think this change would be beneficial for our kids. I am hopeful that the school board members vote for the early start/early finish or modified lite proposal so that my kids will benefit from this change when they are in high school.


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Posted by Thanks Beth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:12 am

Thank you Beth for clarifying the article's reference to the $1.9M. I was reading the article and thought something was very wrong. I was about to post up it was symbolic (as you said), when I saw your post.

WEEKLY: Please correct the article and the caption in the picture!


Thank you to all the volunteers...and to teachers and staff.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:25 am

Unfortunately you didn't mention my comment about the board being pompous and intellectually dishonest. Yes they may have been promoting this through the 1% academic elite stakeholders, but it only took my friends high school daughter 10 minutes to set up a facebook page opposing the change. Go to facebook.com/putkidsfirstpusd and "like it". The school board is benchmarking Pleasanton with Tracy and Byron School Districts. Did you buy a house in Pleasanton to be benchmarked with these district? Are you kidding me? I didn't think so. There is an agenda to address the needs of the academic elite and it will hit a raw nerve with the other 99%.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pam
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:44 am

That facebook page has 1 like, apparently not such a popular subject matter. I don't understand where you are getting this 1 percent elite statistic. Finishing and having a clean break benefits all high school students. Since you are into comparison, Palo Alto has also moved to a modified schedule, do you mind being benchmarked with them?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rod
a resident of Nolan Farms
on Jun 4, 2014 at 10:08 am

The largest frustration that I saw last night with the parents was the amount of double speak coming from Superintendent Ahmadi and the the head of the Calendar Committee.

I was emailed by a board member that the stress level in the students was a main reason for the change. Then after the parent comments, the head of the the calendar committee said it was just a by product of the change and not one of the main concerns.

This same person was asked by a board member if there were any parents on the committee, but would not give the straight answer of No. Instead he listed who was on the committee. Another board member asked him if the athletic directors at the high schools were consulted, again he refused to give a simple no answer and instead he said that he thought they would adapt to the new schedule.

I left the meeting not knowing what the main reason is for the proposed change to the calendar.

It would be great if they would just tell the truth to the parents instead of what they did last night, which was very frustrating to most of the parents there.

By the way, 12 parents spoke at the meeting. One was in support and 11 against. The parent that "wanted to remain anonymous" is a great example of not understanding communication.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hearst Parent
a resident of Walnut Hills
on Jun 4, 2014 at 10:35 am

I agree that you would have to be pretty out of touch not to know that this was being considered. The district e-mailed out surveys and held several open forums on the topic. It has been in our e-connects and on school board agendas. All school board agendas are public. If you don't agree with the calendar, you are entitled to that opinion. Just don't blame the district for not telling you.

I think the calendar change would be the best thing for kids, although it has some drawbacks for adults. Let's put kids first here. It makes no sense to end the semester a month after all of the final assessments are done (at the high school level), and it would benefit everyone to have the semester break coincide with the winter break.


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Posted by Katie Brunner
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 10:46 am

For parents and community members interested in learning more about the instructional calendar options being considered in Pleasanton, the school district has additional information, research, and FAQ on their website here: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 4, 2014 at 10:59 am

'Concerned Parent' appears to be a bit of a nutter.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by School board/supt are idiots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 11:58 am

When they have some kid die of heat stroke trying to do PE in 104 degree heat the first week or two of August, then get sued for $20 million or so, they'll say, "Gosh I didn't think about that. Golly! I didn't realize there was sweltering heat in the East Bay. Isn't the weather like Palo Alto?"

The out of touch, completely incompetent administration and the board does not think about those things, the fact that most working parents have jobs and can't even go on vacation until August, that parents will not be able to accompany their college age children to college, and that children actually need a summer break.

These people are completely out of touch.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by To Hearst Parent
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Hearst parent - Can you please tell me when the calendar survey was sent to the parents? Because my understanding is that it was teachers only, which is my biggest complaint.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Another parent
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 4, 2014 at 2:14 pm

I've never seen a survey. How many parents have been pro or con at these meetings versus how many total parents are in the district. Don't think there has been a true showing of what the true majority would like. Some of my concerns are: really ANOTHER break in the fall/winter? Exactly how many instructional days are there in November and December (and February for that matter) as it stands now? Do like the clean break for high school semesters. But the REAL concern- how many kids get projects etc they have to work on over these so called "breaks". I know at the middle school level teachers still pile on the homework regardless of the "homework policy" we all took surveys for!


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Posted by L
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jun 4, 2014 at 2:17 pm

. . . It's pretty hot in September too. I've lived in this area almost my entire life. Summer weather really does extend into September and even early October fairly consistently. Late August is no different than early August.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm

It would be nice to end the semester before going on winter break, but starting in early august is not required. Just do away with the thanksgiving week break. If they start in early august, there will be a lot of absences, as many families already have vacations planned and paid for. We do not need more breaks in the fall.

Start year at the end of august, no thanksgiving break, end semester before going on winter break, keep spring break to one week and end school year first week of june.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Community not heard
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm

There has been no survey to the parents. The committee running this thing and the board haven't done everything they could have done to get people informed. If they really wanted to know how the community felt they should have done these three things out of the gate:
1. Sent paperwork home with each student in PUSD to inform parents
2. Set up a meeting at each school site
3. Then, after 1 & 2 in educating the parents, take a survey so the parents know how to vote.

The communication has been very poor out to the community. Yes, they had 3 meeting in March which were all poorly attended due to lack of communication.

Whether you are for it or against - not everyone is going to agree, but not do everything possible to inform the community on something that affects everyone's lives is just not right.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hearst Parent
a resident of Walnut Hills
on Jun 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Sorry, it wasn't a survey. Below is the e-mail I received from Hearst on Feb. 27th. I also received one from the school district that had a similar message on Feb 24th and again before the school board meeting on Tuesday. Each e-mail solicited feedback, either by encouraging you to go to a forum, a school board meeting, or by e-mailing this address: instcal@pleasantonusd.net. It has also been in more than one e-connect that I've received. My point: this hasn't been something the district was keeping a secret and is not something anyone should suddenly be surprised by.



Hello:

I wanted to bring to your attention to a very important matter currently being discussed within the Pleasanton Unified School District. A proposal has been made to the board and district officials that we move to a modified year-round calendar system. This new system, should it be approved, would take effect Fall 2015. In talking with a few community members, it has been made apparent that many, if not most, parents are unaware of such potential changes. Hence, I am writing to you now to bring this to your attention.

There are a few calendar options/changes being discussed, most of which have PUSD starting in early-mid August and one has PUSD starting school in late July. Clearly these calendar shifts are a notable change from what we are all used to.

I strongly encourage you to attend one of the community forums on calendar modification (see dates/times at end of email). If you are unable to attend one of the forums, I highly suggest you email your thoughts and input to this email address: instcal@pleasantonusd.net.

We have been told they would like to make a decision about the new calendar by June 2014. That means our input and feedback needs to be given now.

Thank you for your time. Please let me know if you have any questions.


Parent Presentations on Calendar Changes
Come learn about & give input on the potential changes to the Instructional Calendar!

Pleasanton Unified is exploring the idea of moving to a modified form of the traditional calendar for the 2015/2016 school year. The district calendar committee has developed a few options around this concept, varying from an "Early Start-Early Finish" to several versions of "modified" calendars that offer more or longer breaks than the traditional calendar.

In an effort to gain valuable feedback on the calendar, and provide information and answer questions related to the calendar, we have scheduled a number of times and places for staff and the community to share their views. Representatives from APT, CSEA, and management will attend and facilitate each meeting. Informational Flyer

March 13, 2014, 6-7:30 p.m.
Pleasanton Middle School, Multi-Purpose Room

March 17, 2014, 3:30-5 p.m.
Fairlands Elementary School, Multi-Purpose Room

March 20, 2014, 6-7:30 p.m.
Foothill High School, Room C-6


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 4, 2014 at 3:20 pm

To those who say that the school district did fine in announcing the ongoing topic, my answer is "Not for something of this magnitude." You can't simply be satisfied with reaching those who have "opted-in" to the e-connect. As the outcry would indicate, many of your customers were not reached by this effort. With even a basic sense of PR acumen, you would have realized this ahead of time. Is it that hard to send home a flyer?

To the poster who said Palo Alto has something resembling the options being considered by our school board, my answer is "Not exactly".

Web Link

Palo Alto accomplishes a pre-winter break end-of-semester by having 84 days in the first semester and 96 days in the second semester. They start and finish one week earlier. To this observer, it's a little creative thinking that our folks have never mentioned as an option. Note that it also gives another week of instruction for AP courses.

Also note that they actually go to school in November...gee, no late start weds either. Huh, I wonder if PA does staggered start reading? And they don't seem to have minimum days very often.

The other poster was at least correct in that PA does a calendar we should consider adopting.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm

It was commented on that Dublin and Livermore are going to do the same as your modified calander.

I have not heard that this is correct.

Will someone from Dublin and Livermore please respond - are you changing your calendar year?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Honestly, it seems as though we have lost sight of the issue at hand. It shouldn't matter when you first saw the information regarding the calendar changes. Now you have, so together we can make the right choice for all of the students. Let's figure out how we can help alleviate the issue of stress during Winter break without thrusting the rest of the district into this ridiculous new proposed calendar year. How about a trimester system? No one at that meeting last night offered any options beyond completely changing the make up of the school year. Show me my options before you throw my family into this crazy new modified calendar. Yes, I want the best choice for my children, my family and my community. But until I understand what those options are, esteemed Board Members, please don't assume and make the choice for me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I don't even have children in the school system anymore and I have known about these proposed changes for quite awhile. In addition, when my children were in high school it would have been nice for them to have their exams before Christmas break.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by School board/supt are idiots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Peggy Green, the supt 'coach' is from the Byron school district and was hired by the District to 'coach' Ahmadi. This is probably her idea. Google 'Byron' and 'Peggy Green' to see who is running the District.

A calendar change will affect the entire community.

-Teenagers in Pleasanton will not be able to get summer jobs. Jobs will go to Dublin and Livermore teens that can work the entire summer.

-The Pleasanton pool probably will have to close in early August because they will have no lifeguard staff.

-Special education students who have Extended School Year will be forced to go to school year round with absolutely no summer break.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by To concerned parents
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm

To concerned parent -
I was at a meeting where it was asked if other districts were considering the new calendar. We were told maybe. There hasn't been a vote yet in either of those cities. I believe Dublin teachers were surveyed, but I could be wrong.

At the board presentation over a week ago, it was stated that it was discussed in San Ramon, but they are very aware that they border other districts besides Pleasanton (Lafayette, Mt. Diablo).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Christal
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm

This is about 1 week! Is that really that big of a radical change? By that 10th week of summer, all the kids are doing are playing video games anyway. Geeeeshh... it's not that big of a deal people!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by L
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jun 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Dublin teachers were surveyed, but that's as far as it's gone.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Interested party
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm

The calendar change is about one week, true, but it's about more than that. First of all the idea that our kids would have 4 weeks of vacation between October and end of December is crazy to me. It's too many stops and starts for kids & difficult for some to reengage. Then there are 5 months with only one week. Novato school district starts 3 days before us and still has finals before the winter break. They get a week in February and one in April, and will finish school the same time we do now. So there definitely are other options. The district needs to take more time to consider ALL the potential calendars.

For many of us., August is the only downtime for our families . I have purposefully for years left that month as family time. I do not look forward to losing August, because the other months of the year are difficult for us to take vacation.

Lastly, I'd like to point out that the district and teachers have been in turmoil all year regarding Common Core, and most recently the debacle at Amador and the AP exams. It seems to me the district should finish one thing before rushing to the next. Take another year to rely look at the options.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sue
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm

ok, for all those uninformed parents and those that just like to complain, you can now go to the district website and fill out a survey giving your opinion regarding the calendar change Web Link

Just received an automated phone call with the info. So now, let's see how many parents actually fill out the surgery or how many will complain that they have heard nothing about this. I think modifying the calendar is a great idea especially for high school.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Interested party
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Disagreement does not equal uniformed. I knew about the proposal last October, went to a forum in March and still don't like the proposals. Plenty of people were very informed and still aren't sold.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"ok, for all those uninformed parents and those that just like to complain" So Sue, you don't feel parents should have an opinion, even an informed opinion (as Interested party points out)?

From Rod's post above, I am glad board members are asking questions. This is a change that has implications for all students, families, staff, and programs. All those stakeholders should have had representatives on at least a subcommittee to the calendar committee (acknowledging the calendar committee is likely teachers and other staff because calendars are a negotiable item for at least the teachers' union). This is not something where everyone should be expected to "adapt"; it requires buy in, support, and solid reasoning.

The survey of parents is only one of the necessary steps in the right direction of making the best decision.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent of 2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Kathleen, you are a perfect example of what Sue is talking about- how ironic you would point it out. Here is a situation where PUSD has listened to all stakeholders and followed through with what people are expressing.

When people complained they didn't know about it, the district delayed a final vote.
When people complained the calendar didn't have actual dates, the district created one with dates.
When people complained there was no survey for the parents, the district created one.
When people complained that they weren't notified, the district sent automated phone calls to all PUSD families. (a very LONG and detailed message)
When people complain that communication shouldnt be digital (funny they complain on the blogs!), the district offers paper surveys.

This is the kind of district Im glad to be a part of. Im allowed to voice my opinion and the district hears it and puts it immediately into action. Im curious when your appreciation for the action taken throughout this process begins. OR more likely, where your moving target of expectations will move to next.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by School board/supt are idiots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm

The school board needs to table any decision on this until next year. The Board and superintendent (hopefully a new one) must repair their toxic relationship with the parents and the community.

The Survey that the robocall just announced should have been done at the beginning of the process and should have included all stakeholders. It should have been done at the beginning of the process, not the end of the process.

Instead the superintendent this year has been focused on a toxic campaign of defamation and negative backstabbing removing a principal based on no concrete charges and instead operating the District based on gossip and innuendo and intimidation.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm

"let's see how many parents actually fill out the surgery or how many will complain that they have heard nothing about this. I think modifying the calendar is a great idea especially for high school. "

I got the v. mail just now too. Problem? They make you give student's ID and DOB in order to take survey. Sorry, but why?

I am against the change because there are sports and activities taking place the first week of august. I am ok with ending the semester before winter break, but that can be achieved by getting rid of thanksgiving break and starting the third week of august (rather than early august)

I would be happy to fill a survey but anonymous.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by why?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:42 pm

"I got the v. mail just now too. Problem? They make you give student's ID and DOB in order to take survey. Sorry, but why? "

Um, why? Of course they are doing it to prevent people from hacking it and voting many many times! The same people who spend all day writing into this blog would fill out the survey 125 times to get what they want. Big deal, so they want to know you area legit. What exactly are you worried about? That you will somehow be targeted if you disagree? There will be all sorts of people who disagree...so what.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by control
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:49 pm

I was happy to fill out the survey in support of the modified lite calendar. I know that many people support this change and hopefully most will take the time to fill out the survey. I know there has been a vocal minority are totally opposed to any changes, but I do believe that rational thinking majority will prevail. I do appreciate that the board listened and is surveying people. Pleasanton sure is full of some overly controlling parents though. It also seems like very few of these parents have high-schoolers yet.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Parent of 2, I am in favor of finals before winter break; not in favor of an August 4 start nor an October break. I am in favor of a calendar presentation that shows all the breaks and holidays for a completely informed decision. I am in favor of parents seeing those calendars for three years out. I am in favor of coaches having input. I am in favor of this calendar making sense for all students. And saying the district is listening -- after the fact rather than being proactive and thoughtful in advance -- doesn't cut it. This is a great district and this community has the right to expect better work from the people directing the education of their children.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Ruegsegger needs to think about home schooling, so everything can be "just right" for her.

Fill out the form, and sit down.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:13 pm

" It also seems like very few of these parents have high-schoolers yet. "

No, you are wrong. But it seems like perhaps your kids do not do outside of school activities or sports that would prevent them from attending school in early august. Fine, go for it, vote for it, my High schoolers and others will just have to be absent the first week or two of school, losing ADA money is what you want? well, you got it, keep voting....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent of 2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Kathleen- just as I expected- Target....moved.

I appreciate a district that steps up when it's community asks for something. A service oriented district that asks and follows through with solutions to what was asked. Parents have plenty of opportunity to express, share, state what they want, just as you did here once again.

I appreciate the great work this district is doing on this issue. My glass is half full. Cant wait to see where your target moves to next! It's become quite a comical joke amongst my neighbors and school volunteers to watch you in action.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sue
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Kathleen, the comment that I made about uninformed parents or complaining parents was in reference to people saying they were never informed of the purposed changes. It was not in regards to people expressing their opinion. If I felt like people shouldn't express their opinion, I wouldn't be posting on these blogs.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm

calendar options: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Parent, On another thread I thanked staff for creating a calendar example with planned dates. I also asked about sports in a much earlier discussion. There was no change of target.

Sue, fair point.


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Wowsa, not mentioning any names, but some former parents who seem to have no skin in this game other than that which covers their nose, also seem to have a real affection for dirt.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 5, 2014 at 5:16 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I think you need to ponder the notion of being a former parent and having no skin in the game.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 5, 2014 at 8:04 am

Let me take a stab as to what is actually (Word removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff) people off:
1) Just because information is posted somewhere on your wildly dysfunctional websites, does not mean your communication obligations have been met.
2) The district's lack of transparency… which in 2014 is how you have to say "lack of honesty" and the reason you have to say that is because you can't say "They are liars." "Pleasanton Unified has been exploring the concept of moving to a modified form of the traditional calendar." That is how they introduce their survey (Which by the way was opened yesterday, and closes on the 9th). Phrases like "exploring the concept" when the truth is they "have their finger on the button to move to…" BE HONEST!!! The district would like to make the change! Say it that way!!!
It wasn't the break-in that got Nixon in trouble, it was the cover-up!!!
3) How about addressing the problem? My kids had 10 full days of instruction last November. How 'bout considering a 5th option, "Traditional Traditional," whereby you add back some of those days in November, and start a little earlier… Problem solved! Stress relieved!


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2014 at 8:17 am

Because this issue is so critical, perhaps pivotal to the future of PUSD:
Wowsa, not mentioning any names - she's done it for me - but those who no longer have kids in the system apparently still think they have skin in the game, even if the skin amounts to little more than having a nose for dirt.

At any rate: Let the people decide! Because the schools are corrupted by unions and parents are better at figuring schedules and curricula than are sock puppet administrators who, because they belong to the state, want to lord over us parents as best they can.

Because, see, ponder this people: Public schools are nothing but an extension of the growing socialist state. And their imposition of a new calendar is nothing more than a dress rehearsal for when they come to take our children away from us and put them in liberal doctrine concentration camps.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 5, 2014 at 10:12 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

So Kevin, When left with no actual point to make, use the tactic of immediately switching to the absurd.

If "skin in the game" is the measure, how many people on the calendar committee, making the proposals, have . . . let's call them children instead . . . in the game? What about the administration and those making the final decision? Do you suggest they step aside and/or not vote?

Good luck suggesting current parents should have no input into the process.


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm

You left out 'what about former parents who have no kids affected by the calendar, who hold no elected position, who have not been appointed to any relevant position.' You know, like KR.

Yeah, I'd feel pretty comfortable stating that Lil' Miss Nose for Dirt should be omitted from the decision-making process.

But of course those who have a nose for dirt -- who have an agenda against those terrible union-dominated, tyrannical state institutions -- will poke their nose anywhere, even if they have to manufacture dung to satisfy themselves.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 5, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

You assume I have no one affected by the calendar, incorrectly. I'll simplify the rest to say I have more than sufficient relevant experience to comment.

I don't expect to be part of the decision. I do, however, have valid questions; one which the district responded to and I have thanked them.

The last section of your comment is either just lies to attempt being demeaning, or you don't know me at all. It could be both. Sticks and stones, Kevin.


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Posted by Someone
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 5, 2014 at 9:52 pm

This survey that is being mandated is absolutely worthless. It is not a scientific survey. Can someone who is adamantly against a calendar change, please tell us why you are against it? I also see things like "they didn't tell us," "we didn't know," "I'm not sold," yet not one reason as to WHY they don't like the change. I'm sure someone has a real reason they are against the change, so why not tell us.

For the Parent of 2 that is going to keep there kid out of school for sports, what sports would require your kids to miss school?


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Someone,

This is not about change of calendar. This is about a slough of malcontents who look for any possible reason under the sun to criticize the school district.

Look at the names of many administrators; look at the names of valedictorians at the various schools; take into consideration there are people who have an agenda against unions. All of these add up to resentment among the less progressive elements of our community (read: old, right-wing zealots).

Typical among these I mention are the nose-for-dirt types who think because they have a neighbor whose son is a student, or because of their oft-criticized competence as a clerical in another district of many moons ago, they can now butt in and spread their anti-union teacher, anti-public school dung all over the wall, all under the auspices of "community voice." They are not kidding anyone.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 6, 2014 at 6:07 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

This is about the change to the calendar. This is about having sufficient information from all stakeholders (coaches, for example) for parents to understand the proposed change. Asking for information or a survey does not make it a critique of the district nor is it an agenda about unions--well, unless you are overly touchy.

We've covered the territory before Kevin--not about a neighbor, not old, not right wing, not anti-teacher, not anti public schools, not even many moons ago--which tells me just how out of touch you are--and not against a calendar that puts testing before winter break.

Someone, I can't speak to sports other than the push into early August does impact the high school programs. There are, however, many camps and competitions, often out of state and covering a variety of talents, which are held in August. Certainly those organizations can change their own calendars if a majority of districts create similar calendars to the one proposed here, but I don't believe it has happened yet.


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2014 at 7:01 am

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm

@ Someone
I am against change for change's sake. When I was in school we came back from vacation and took exams. And we had a helluva lot fewer school shootings and massacres then than we have now…
I think Summer should start in the middle of June and end around the first of September. Why? Because that's the way it's always been. But then again I think the sky should remain blue and my ice cream should be served cold...


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Posted by Staff Reporter Amanda Aguilar
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Staff Reporter Amanda Aguilar is a registered user.

If there is anyone that is in favor for the modified calendars, please feel free to email me at: aaguilar@pleasantonweekly.com


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Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm

I have a fantastic idea!
Since all the good this has done is split out town apart, and if the real reason to change the calendar is due to the stress that students have over Winter Break studying for finals, then I say "Let's just get rid of finals!"

How about testing students once a month, up until December and then when they come back from the break, they actually work on something to demonstrate what they learned from the coursework?

I don't see why a grade has to come down to one test… test along the way, see how they are doing, make adjustments. If this is truly about making Winter Break a break, then adjust the testing.

This whole thing is crazy. I attended the last few board meetings and to think some of the board didn't think it was necessary to survey the parents blew me away. It should have started with a parent survey. They could have possibly saved a lot of hours on meetings, presentations, etc.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2014 at 7:40 pm

"Because that's the way it's always been."

Pretty stupid reason to keep doing it, no? But then some people still want to believe the earth was created 6000 years ago, you know because we always used to think that.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 6, 2014 at 9:45 pm

So John, to follow your logic: Should we revisit Christmas being on December 25th? Should Thanksgiving always fall on a Thursday in late November? Halloween should always fall on a Friday or Saturday, so let's move it off the 31st. Valentine's Day should always be on a Saturday, great date night and all… Does Easter always need to be on a Sunday? Does Good Friday need to be stuck on a Friday? Moving 4th of July is going to be tough… even for someone as open minded to change as you seem to be… Try moving your anniversary, or your wife's birthday, see how that works for you…
With a calendar, "because that's the way it's always been" might not be so stupid after all…
If you've got a good reason for giving kids two weeks off in October (as PUSD has done in their "Modified") I would love to see them explained...


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2014 at 11:11 pm

"Christmas being on December 25th? Should Thanksgiving always fall on a Thursday in late November? Halloween should always fall on a Friday or Saturday, so let's move it off the 31st. Valentine's Day should always be on a Saturday, great date night and all… Does Easter always need to be on a Sunday? Does Good Friday need to be stuck on a Friday?"

Sure, why not. Changes in schedules can have benefits. Take daylight saving time for instance. Question everything.

"Try moving your anniversary, or your wife's birthday, see how that works for you…"

We've moved anniversary and birthday celebrations on many occasions, to accommodate travel or other commitments.

"because that's the way it's always been" might not be so stupid after all…"

No it seems plenty stupid to me.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2014 at 9:18 pm

"I think Summer should start in the middle of June and end around the first of September." - well, summer starts on or about June 21 and ends on or about September 21 depending upon the suns alignment with the with the Tropic of Cancer and the equator. I don't think your opinion is going to change that, but good luck.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2014 at 9:23 pm

So from what I can gather there are at least 5 people against a calendar change and the top 4 reasons they are against it:

1) They hate the unions
2) they hate the school board
3) they didn't know about it
4) Why change from the way I did it in school> (30+ years ago)

I've have yet to see an real reason to be against a change (while some have a valid concerns for themselves and scheduling that really isn't a good reason not to look into things that would actually benefit the students)


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2014 at 9:28 pm

jack - how can you possibly explain how the PUSD calendar changes every year? How did you adjust when they decided that spring break shouldn't be aligned with easter? Apparently you survived that change, so any other change is going to put you over the edge. And what about the school year not always starting on August 25th? How do you possible deal with that?

By the way, in case you didn't pay attention to the school board meetings (which you really should if you are going to have this very strong opinion) the schedule that give a 2 week october break is out. And basically it is down between having a 1 week october break and not (but starting earlier in both cases)


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 7, 2014 at 11:15 pm

You guys sure don't like any of my reasons for wanting to keep things the same… Yet you don't really offer up any good reasons to change…
For the record: I could and would support the Early Start option. Yet I think that could even be improved by adding back some instructional days to November (last year my kids only had 10 full days), including M-W of Thanksgiving week, and starting as late as possible in August.
Yes, I am traditional, maybe even "old school," and any calendar that shows a week (or two) off in October seems to be overreaching a solution to a problem that does not exist. I'd rather have that week given back to me in August…

Now, why is a week off in October a good idea?


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Posted by Michelle
a resident of Las Positas Garden Homes
on Jun 8, 2014 at 7:52 am

Do most parents know that the board will not guarentee that they arent going to modify the calendar again in 2 years? I heard Mr. McCoy say that at one of the meetings.
I have a feeling there are more than 5 people who dont want the calendar change. Either way it is good they are finally doing the survey, so they can find out exactly how many do & how many dont want the modified calendar.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 8:39 am

Jack - reasons for change. Reduced discipline issues. Increased attendance. Improved test scores (slightly, but I will agree that the data is not conclusive).

You have yet to list one reason not to change other than we shouldn't "change for changes sake"

Last November there were 7 non-student days in November, not sure why you think your students had 10 days off. Yes, elementary students had minimum days.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 9:28 am

Some more reasons to change:

Reduced student stress
Increased instruction time before AP exams
Possible remedial time for those that are struggling early in their classes

And on a personal note, I would like to be able to vacation with my kids in October when it is a great time to explore other parts of the US (i.e. the beauty of the NE) and other countries and can often be cheaper to vacation.


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Posted by member
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 8, 2014 at 10:22 am

I am not clear why calendar changes are a big idea in the first place. Is this really a top priority? If we are going to make this a top priority, shouldn't there be compelling evidence that it will really matter? The material I found on the net, shows that the evidence is mixed.

I am a mild supporter of changing the calendar, but I would be a strong supporter of a slightly longer school day and of adding a few more teaching days to the calendar (for middle and high schools).


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Data clearly shows that the states with the highest cumulative scores on college entrance exams, Advanced Placement testing and the National Assessment of Educational Progress also share some of the latest school start dates in the nation.

"Why Taking Exams After Winter Break is Best for Students – What the Experts Say" – The title says it all! This is a summary of research supporting giving exams after the winter break, is the best educational choice if our educational goal is retention and not regurgitation.



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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2014 at 8:57 am

Sam - data doesn't clearly show anything that you are talking about (just another person making up "facts" I guess). Also, the article you state references research on spaced learning, which is what the students are doing anyway when taking finals. The article itself is an opinion piece based on the spaced learning research, but does nto actually show any direct evidence of a benefit for having exams after break


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Posted by Lesson learned
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jun 9, 2014 at 9:07 am

I certainly hope PUSD learns something from this fiasco. Clearly change is hard for some. Indeed, there were plenty of communications about the pending change dating back to last fall... if one paid attention. I read about it multiple times on FHS and Hart newsletters and the district news. My student even wrote a pros/cons essay about it and the class conducted debates. There were website postings, parent info meetings, newsletters. Even with that, I guess it's not a surprise that at least 12 people were under a rock and oblivious to the issue. Personally, I'm not opposed to the change; most of these schedules make a change of 1 or 2 weeks. Yes, there will be way too much time off between October and December and the district should assess that as part of their decision. My friends with kids in year-round schools love it. It's just different than what most are used to. The traditional calendar is as old as time.

The bigger issue is that this is the typical way the district likes to slip these things into play. Innocuous web postings and parent informational meetings... all under the guise of "exploring" options. They should have been more transparent. (Oh wait, transparency isn't exactly their strong suit.) I knew damn well this was coming from the first announcement and it wasn't an innocent collection if parent impressions. Anyone in the district long enough should have seen that freight train coming down the tunnel. It was just a matter of time.

Now they are back peddling and taking a survey they should have conducted long ago. They should have aligned their stakeholders from the beginning vs. waiting for the train to collide with reality. This is just more mud on the face of PUSD. No a proud moment for the district.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2014 at 9:34 am

Me too,
ACT College Entrance Exams– Top Ten States and State-by-Listing of Scores, Participation and Start Dates
SAT College Entrance Exams– Top Ten States and State-by-Listing of Scores, Participation and Start Dates
Advanced Placement Exams - Top Ten States and State-by-Listing of Scores, Participation and Start Dates


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Posted by William Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2014 at 9:54 am

Her excellence, Ms. Ahmadi isn't content with showing her absolute power over staff to tear apart school sites - now she's trying to tear apart the community over a non-issue that she created. [Portion removed]


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Posted by Soccer Dad
a resident of Mission Park
on Jun 9, 2014 at 9:58 am

I am a parent strongly against the calendar change. People on this blog ask why one would be against it, yet I'd turn the question around and ask why would you be for it when there is no evidence to support the benefits and when no other surrounding district has a similar schedule? But since you asked, I'm against it because it will impact any August activities, e.g. Mountain camps, etc., it will cost money in extra cooling costs (August is 8 degrees hotter than June on average), and isn't needed. Change for change sake is not a good policy. And to clear something up for all, the favored calendar change is to start August 4. That means you're doing registration, etc. In July. Not worth it.


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Posted by Jen - Dublin info
a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Jun 9, 2014 at 11:57 am

Here is what Dublin is working on - we have only been notified in the last month via Facebook first, then by email from the Dublin High Parent/Faculty group: DHS new schedule Today at 11:50 AM June 9, 2014 Dear Gaels:
As you have probably heard by now, we are in the process of creating a new schedule for Dublin High School beginning with the new school year that begins in August. It is a significant change, but one that we believe will greatly benefit all students.

The proposed schedule, which will need to be approved by the school board, is called the College and Career Readiness Program (CCRP) and it does several important things for our students:

· It creates flexibility, giving students time to get important work done outside of the classroom, but during the school day.

· It provides access to resources. You will have access to tutoring, research materials, college and career resources, and the ability to make up tests – all without missing class time.

· It benefits all. If you are struggling in a class, or even just one unit or concept, this schedule allows you to get the help you need during the school day. If you are on top of things, this schedule will give you time – time to get started on your homework, to join a study group, to explore college and career options, to work on your college applications, or meet with your counselor. The possibilities are endless. In the end, we believe it will reduce the stress we all feel during the school year.

You have probably heard about some of the elements of this plan, which calls for:

Tutoring and Testing Centers that can be accessed by students throughout the school day; a freshman seminar class and mentoring program and an Academic Resources Period built into the day for all students.

Yes, this plan does lengthen our school day, though not as much as you probably fear. We are working right now to minimize the impact that a longer day will have on our students who participate in athletics or extra-curricular activities.

We feel strongly that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks that we know students will find in a longer school day. We know change is hard, but we think this is a change that will have a positive impact on our campus culture and the success of our students. It is something we are truly doing "for" you and not "to" you.

We want to give you a voice in this change. You have a couple of opportunities to voice your concerns in the next two days. There is a Town Hall meeting tonight in the DHS Library starting at 6:30 p.m. and there will be a Public Hearing on the topic on Tuesday night at the Board of Trustees meeting at the district office, which also starts at 6:30 p.m. We are also forming a student advisory committee to ask students to help us with planning and offer their input into this process.

We know it is finals week, so if you can't make those meetings – or you are interested in joining the student committee - please feel free to send an email to Ms. Byrne at byrnemaureen@dublinusd.net.







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Posted by Jen - Dublin info
a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Jun 9, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Oh - my son goes to school in Dublin - that's why I know this stuff. They're not changing the school year - they're lengthening the school day. They're also going full Common Core curriculum, which they have started experimentally this spring. All California schools are just trying to improve any way they can. I wasn't in favor of Dublin's proposed change at first, but the more I read about it, the more I think they have it planned out a lot more than the first notification we received. Who knows, if the calendar change works in Pleasanton, that maybe in the cards for Dublin next?


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Sam - that data does nothing to meet a research standard. It does not adjust for income levels and many other factors. There data does not adjust properly for year-round school and does not actually point to any sources of data (which is probably the worst offensive in research). Is the only place this information is "published" is on a activist website?


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Could you please contact Livermore School District and Dublin School District and have a representative from their school boards come to the next Pleasanton School Board meeting and tell what there intentions are for the future.

We should not be a separate entity and think that only our children would have stress by not changing the calendar.
It sounds like the students in Pleasanton requiren special needs about testing. What happens when they go away to college?



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Posted by L
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jun 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Dublin is also considering a change in the school year calendar. Staff did a survey regarding starting early in August to end first semester by winter break. Nothing has been done further, though. Right now Dublin is very much consumed with the possible change to the daily schedule.


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Posted by karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Everything I have heard says that Livermore is not considering a modified calendar at this time. Livermore went to the trimester schedule for all levels a few years ago.

I am very disappointed in how the district has handled this. I have been reading articles, emails, attended a parent information forum, and have gone to board meetings. I am informed, and knew the district had made this decision as soon as I heard Mr. Mc Coy start talking about it at the forum.

In my opinion, the parents should have been surveyed first. Much more specific statistical information should have been provided.

At the forum, a lot of the discussion was about how this should reduce how many families pull their kids to go to Disneyland in the fall. Crummy to think that we all might have to make a change because of some….

At the board meeting on May 27, the focus was stress. All the student stress, yet it won't really change things for the kids who are taking the most advanced classes because they will still have work to do over the breaks. At this meeting one board member requested a parent survey and two others said they didn't think it was necessary. When the meeting was over, they had planned to vote on June 3.

Then there was an email stating more discussion would occur on June 3 instead. I am hoping that was because they finally decided to listen to the people who are not for the calendar change. It seemed like their was lots of back peddling, and the board rushed to think of things for the staff to bring back next time.

So it was requested to have information about binge drinking and other "stress" related things that tend to be higher in Pleasanton. Can we really say that the calendar is creating more binge drinking? It just felt more like they were pulling at straws to find reasons to justify the calendar change.

I like having a calendar that is like Dublin and Livermore. I like knowing that my kids can spend time with their family members who live in these cities over the summer, and that we can plan vacations at the same time.

I think that if there is going to be a modified calendar, the Dublin/Livermore/Pleasanton area should be working on this together.

Like I said before, the only thing this whole topic has done is to create a divided community. Doesn't the district have enough other items to spend their time on right now?


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Posted by parent on board with change
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Jun 10, 2014 at 9:34 am

It is definitely time for the change. It DOES benefit our children. No one needs a 10 week vacation, especially our children who then have to spend the first 4 weeks of school ramping up and training their brains to study again.

I think this is better for our kids and better for families over all. Just imagine being able to plan a vacation that is "off season" with all the standard school cycles.


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Posted by reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2014 at 1:18 pm

I feel that I've been reasonably well informed on this topic and am not against change just because "change is hard" (how condescending to be characterized this way!). I just don't agree with the modified schedules. The only semi-valid reasons I've seen are:

a) it helps at-risk students not fall behind during the summer -- Answer: bring back summer school. Accessible to all (at a sliding fee to offset cost) with at risk students highly encouraged to attend, for free.

b) it helps school staff and parents schedule vacations when flights are cheaper. Answer: This is not about the students. It is about the adults.

Moving the start date to early August means that "mandatory" pre-season (school-based) band and sports camps/practices woudl be moved back to mid-July. That leaves only June and maybe part of May for summer activities. Does the district have any idea how many really great, valuable summer activities are only available during July and August?? Anything that is not directly run by the city or school district will NOT follow this new calendar, effectively locking our kids out of all kinds of mountain camps, off-season sports leagues, and music workshops. Unless the entire camp industry moves their calendar back, our kids just miss out.

And then there is the big issue of child care for dual income families. Arranging child care for random 2 week vacations throughout the school year is not a minor inconvenience. It is a logistical nightmare if this is your reality.

As for stress over the winter break, some kids (especially those in the high stress AP classes) not only will have work over the break anyway, they actually appreciate having some free time to catch up before finals. Ask them.

Rather than make up more and more stretch justifications for the proposal and telling parents that "change is hard" and get over it, perhaps the district could take these very real concerns seriously.

If the district truly feels that the semester must end in December, then move the start date back by one week and eliminate the Thansgiving week (and maybe other minimum / days off during November). Palo Alto was able to do this. But please keep in mind that whatever change is made, it needs to address the needs of THIS community -- not Brentwood, Oakland, Stockton, or somewhere else, which may have demographically different needs.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm

I AGREE WITH KAREN.. HAVE THE SAME CALENDAR FOR DUBLIN, PLEASANTON, AND LIVERMORE.

I don't think this would be a problem and would help with all academics, athletic programs, etc.

It has worked for a lot of years (exception-I know one year they were different and then it was changed back to all districts having the same)

Let's not have one district see if it would really make a difference. If it is so great - all districts would want to do this.


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