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S.O.S. PLEASANTON SCHOOL CALENDAR CHANGE

Original post made by Ruthann, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2014

The time is almost near.. PUSD will decide next month, May 2014 what our new school calendar will look like...starting 2015/16...the most extreme possible change would make summer 7 weeks long. That is 6 weeks shorter than it was 25 years ago. Forget those lazy days of summers from our childhood, it is the new generation of stressed out little kids, with busy schedules being forced to grow up faster than we ever imagined!
Now is the time to voice your opinion.
You can email your opinion to: instcal@pleasantonusd.net
Or...email or snail mail the board members:
Web Link
4665 Bernal Avenue Pleasanton, CA 94566
Dont forget to include the Superintendent:
Web Link
Please consider what is best for kids...being a kid is a tiny portion of our lives, we are adults a lot longer than we were kids. Lets help slow things down for them... keep their 10 week summers, they only get a shot at childhood.... once.

Comments (74)

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Posted by Steven
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Thanks for the reminder to let them know we support this change. The modified schedule is a huge improvement, and I hope the PUSD adopts it. I'm encouraging others to let the board know they support it as well.


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Posted by Emmett
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 21, 2014 at 8:31 am

My teenage daughter actually brought this issue to my attention and encouraged me to support the change. Contrary to Ruthann's opinion, my daughter feels (and I agree) that shorter, more frequent, breaks in the school year will help to alleviate stress for students, giving them more chances to catch their breath or catch up. Speaking as a parent -- and I can only imagine teachers might feel the same way -- I can completely relate.


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Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2014 at 8:40 am

I hope the board really considers that any change they make impacts people in more ways than just how long the summer is. For some it will mean changing family traditions as to when they can vacation with extended family like grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. For others it will mean having to find child care when they normally would not have had to. For parents who are teachers, and work in other districts, they will lose time with their kids that they would have had and instead of spending this time as a family, the kids will be spending this time with a day care provider.

There is something about a long, extended time of being able to disconnect from the rigor of daily schoolwork and hours of homework. Although the idea of more breaks in the middle of the year sounds nice, one week does not allow for the same rest as an extended summer.

While attending one of the parent meetings, I was so annoyed that part of how this is being sold to the community is that plane flights are cheaper in October and March, and Disneyland isn't as crowded. Please…

I hope the board looks at the community. At the meeting I attended, it was made loud and clear that the district will do what they think is "best for kids," but if it causes stress for the parents, then I am not sure how it can be best for the kids. To be honest, after listening to the administrator who also joined into telling the people in attendance why this is the better idea, it truly sounded like the district has made their decision and we just better like it.

Enjoy this summer! It may be the last long summer your kids have. If these new schedules are implemented, summer of 2015 could be very short!


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Posted by Sirena
a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 21, 2014 at 8:52 am

We as parents have no say so. Look at the Common Core.


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Posted by Sirena
a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 21, 2014 at 8:52 am

We as parents have no say so. Look at the Common Core.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 21, 2014 at 9:02 am

I miss the long, seemingly endless summers of my youth. After several days of shaking off the discipline of school, my mind and soul was free to explore the world around me. Unlike many kids who waited for college to "find themselves", I found myself in the freedom of those summer breaks. I connected with nature, explored my part of the world and developed my "self", free from the direction of encumbering institutions. It was a special time that I sorely missed once I began college and realized that I would have to work full time throughout much of the summer to pay for school.

Short breaks throughout the year will not be the same as those seemingly endless summer days.


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Posted by KR
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 21, 2014 at 9:02 am

As a working parent, I would welcome a shorter summer vacation. Trying to keep my kids busy and/or find care for three months is a huge source of stress, and a major expense.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 21, 2014 at 9:06 am

I honestly remember getting bored after about two months of summer vacation when I was a kid. My own kids turn into zombies by August.

Go with the 7 week summer vacation, and add more breaks throughout the year. Very good idea.


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Posted by Leslie
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Apr 21, 2014 at 9:10 am

Support this change? This is the most ridiculous, short-sighted proposal. What's best for the children is what's best for the family - and this is not good for most families in Pleasanton. It's not what's best for the community. This is not a popular school year - what happens when new families stop moving into town for the schools? Your homes will lose value when people choose San Ramon, Livermore, and Dublin over Pleasanton because they adhere to a manageable school year.

This will be devastating to working parents, who will suddenly need to find childcare during the normal school year, when it is not usually available. Summer camps will not change their offerings to accommodate the one school district in the area to shorten its summers. Organizations will not automatically begin to offer new camps to fill the holes during the school year. Parents will not instantly be able to afford daycare to fill the gaps the selfish Pleasanton school board decides to impose on us because they want more time off during the year. Our bosses will not gives us additional weeks of vacation just because the school board wants to experiment with out lives.

This proposed change will ripple changes into the community in ways that, clearly, no one has considered. It will eviscerate the summer parks and rec programs. What do the police think about suddenly having kids out of school and wandering the town? It's not as though Pleasanton has many resources for junior high age kids.

There's a reason more school districts don't this. Children need a break. Parents need a break. More importantly, parents need a consistent school schedule that enables them to get their children to school on time, every day, without compromising their employment.

Also, consider who's been pushing this change: a high school teach whose wife works in Brentwood. He wants to sync their holiday schedules at the expense of everyone else in this town.

The Pleasanton school board has forgotten that this town has changed. There is not a stay-at-home in every household who can drop everything to make sure that each child is dropped off and picked up from school at the whim of the powers that be. This will be a disaster.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 21, 2014 at 9:48 am

I have to admit that my joys of childhood occurred in a slower, less stressful time for kids (1970-87). It was before widespread helicopter parenting, two working parents, and a fully planned activity schedule.

These days, it's become almost impossible to set aside some time to teach our kids ourselves. Our schools or tutors do a much better job anyway.

Our kid's lives are so busy, we barely have enough time to speak with them over a meal before it's off to softball practice. If we allowed them to slow down, they might have to use their imaginations, or read. So it's probably best for them to be raised by our schools anyway. In the end, common training will build a better society.


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Posted by Mark
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Apr 21, 2014 at 9:52 am

From my understanding of the new calendar I clearly support the change. We are a 2 parent working household. The breaks throughout the year will give us opportunity to vacation without pulling our kids out of school. Less crowds and usually less expensive vacation rates because they are off season. Also, time off work is easier to take because everyone else is working. Getting the breaks through out the year will make it easier to manage our schedules.

As far as my memories of the long summers. They were fantastic! I could hop on my bike and be gone all day. No phone, no computers, and no worries. What parent today let's their kids jump on a bike and be gone all day??? No one I know. We schedule play dates and manage their every move. So in today's world those times are long gone.

Shorter more frequent breaks will give us those opportunities to get them out to explore the world. This is far from a disaster...I am excited for the change!!!


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 21, 2014 at 10:10 am

In reality, school schedules don't affect vacation planning much anyway. If I need to plan a vacation during the summer, I'll take the kids out of school for two weeks. There are Pleasanton kids in the 4th grade that can barely read, so please don't suggest that 2 weeks off will hurt my kids, or that they will actually be held back.

So who really cares about the schedule other than the advantages it will provide for working parents.


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Posted by K
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Apr 21, 2014 at 10:43 am

My best friend since childhood has been an elementary school teacher for 27 years, the past five on a "year-round" schedule, and he loves it. According to him, instead of spending the first two weeks of every school year re-teaching what kids learned the previous year, but forgot over the long summer, he's able to move right into that year's content.

We already have one of the shortest school years in the world, in terms of days of instruction, why waste two weeks of it?


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Posted by Lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

I can tell from many of the post you never attended any of the informational meeting because many of you have miss information.

I attend, going in I was not in-favor of the plan walking out I was a supporter of the change.

To start the kids attend school the same amount of days 185.
There are 3 plans on the table
9 week
8 week
7 week
summer breaks

The breaks remain the same over Thanksgiving and Xmas.

The kids get a week in Oct and depending on the plan 1 or 2 weeks for spring break.

I thing I like is the breaks line up with the ends of the quarters.
Kids take there exams and then go on break.

I support this plan and many schools in the area are moving to this format.





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Posted by NotATeacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Lessismore -

Thank you for the irony in your post concerning education:

"miss information" -- who is she?
"I attend" -- currently?
"in-favor" -- as opposed to "out of favor"?
"there exams" -- as in "that there exams"?

...and many, many missing commas.


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Posted by Ruthann
a resident of West of Foothill
on Apr 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Lots of comments...that's good...because at least the word is getting out. For the most part the district has been very hush, hush about it. I doubt that even half of the parents know the change is coming.
Thankfully I attended a meeting, I got all of the facts & they would NOT guarantee that they are not going to continue to modify the calendar within 2 years.
Sure...there will be more "breaks." But...who are the breaks really for? The kids?? What does a true break look like to a kid? SUMMER IS THE ONLY TRUE BREAK FOR KIDS. Once kids are in middle school, and even sometimes in elementary school...they start receiving projects & homework during breaks. That is not a break. SUMMER IS THE ONLY TRUE BREAK FOR KIDS!!!!
As far as the semester ending on winter break, or the breaks line up with quarters...has no affect on...nor do most kids in middle school & elementary school care about that. If we are saying it is better for high school kids, ok...maybe I could see that, but are we really going to uproot thousands of families schedules, for 1/3 of the school population in Pleasanton? It's surprising, but once upon a time I was a kid, and...before high school...I didn't care about the "breaks" lining up with the quarters or semesters, my true break was my summer..full of long, lazy summer days... under a tree, playing The Doobie Brothers on my transistor...riding my bike, staring at the clouds , running through sprinklers...etc... 10 weeks is short enough.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Ruthann,

Thank you for understanding the value of a long summer break. If kids are bored because it's so long, it's a sign that they need to build their imaginations. You are exactly right about so-called "breaks." Children know that their studies will continue when they return, so there isn't time to relax and ponder non-school-related subjects.

But there is the argument that the rest of the world has far longer school years than we do, and other school systems are better than our schools. Now I took Logic in college, and such arguments are generally considered fallacious, but maybe not in Pleasanton.


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Oh my gosh, Ruthann: "For the most part the district has been very hush, hush about it. I doubt that even half of the parents know the change is coming." Are you kidding me with this comment? The district held three well attended public meetings at different corners of the city. They basically begged people to attend, to comment and ask questions, and to share negative and positive feedback.

The number one thing I took from the meetings is that every district that has had this schedule has had no thoughts of changing back. If people didn't like it, then I'm guessing a district somewhere would have gone back, and no one knows of one who has.

A couple more things, 185 days was quoted above. That's teacher days, student days are only 180. Also, the shortest summer would be seven weeks, only three weeks less than our current summer and still over two months long. Is that not long enough of a summer? But I doubt that one will pass anyway. Here are the different proposals, in case you'd like a review: Web Link

This change seems inevitable. Are we going to be one of the early districts to change, or one of the last? I vote for option A, I'd like to be on the front end of change.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 21, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I don't see why there is a need to have a week in October and/or March. You can start earlier. finish the semester before winter break, have a few extra days off to spread around, end in May, and still have nine or ten weeks of summer, depending on the year. It's already being done.


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Posted by -Ruthann
a resident of West of Foothill
on Apr 21, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Dear Get the Facts...
As for being "on the front end of change," I guess that's where you & I differ. I am not concerned with keeping up with the Jones's...or who has the biggest SUV, or even being "on the front end of change" or "being one of the earliest districts to change."
My relaxed attitude & lack of competiveness has left me with a very fulfilling & wonderfully happy life & low blood pressure. :) But...my lack of competiveness has not taken me to the top of any ladder that would impress you, but.. then again...I'm not trying.
Thanks for your opinion, with your help more people are hearing about the calendar changes coming.-Ruthann


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Ruthann, maybe the problem is that you make assumptions about me.

-I hardly "keep up with the Joneses". I do not own an SUV. My car is 14 years old, older than my kids.
-I never said you aren't fulfilled, wonderfully happy, and having high blood pressure. I would say the same things about myself. It's great we are so happy.
-"But...my lack of competiveness has not taken me to the top of any ladder that would impress you". I can guarantee I would be neither impressed nor unimpressed by whatever you do, I do not care whatever "ladder" you have climbed or not climbed. Why on earth do you think I would care???

By the way, just an FYI, if I could choose, I'd keep things the same. But this is about the greater good, and listening to all aspects, and hearing those parents who have kids in high school and how this will help them, I am open to the change. The summers will be plenty long, either eight or nine weeks (I don't think the seven or ten week summer plans will pass, I hear very little support for either one).

And to Kathleen, the October week is to break up the weeks between the start of school and Thanksgiving week, which by my count is 15 weeks, with only Labor Day and Veterans Day to break it up. Nine weeks between those dates (again by my count) with no day off, brutal for both kids and teachers. Plus many parents will take a break, pull their kids out of school anyway, the October break would hopefully encourage parents to use this break, rather than making their own.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 21, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Well, yes, if you start way too early in August it seems long. Here are Palo Alto calendars (links on the right): Web Link Parents will pull their kids out when they want/need regardless of calendars. There are options that still allow for a decent summer.


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2014 at 9:54 pm

But Kathleen, the semesters aren't even in Palo Alto! I know there are less classes that are the same both first and second semester, but they do still exist! It's a bit ingenious to say that Palo Alto does it and the Pleasanton possible models do not, it's kinda like cheating.

"...options that still allow for a decent summer". Are seven, eight, or nine week summers not decent? Holy cow! I know of no one in the private sector with seven (or more) weeks of vacation. Two months is quite a decent summer, by most anyone's standards.



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Posted by Look at the research
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Apr 21, 2014 at 10:46 pm

A quick look at the scholarly research around a more balanced schedule shows that the modified calendar is the way to go. I know change is hard but it's necessary in all aspects of our lives. Our kids are not sitting under a tree listening to their transistor radios. Let's make sure we give them the best.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2014 at 6:37 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

True, semesters are as close to 90 days each as the community was willing to go (unwilling to start far earlier in August--see next paragraph). You can read the board reports and the minutes online, and I think the actual meeting videos may still be online. Those reports and the discussion included conversations with districts that had already switched their calendars.

Summers, the community wanted nine or ten. There was a lot of discussion about summer school (now decimated--another discussion entirely) and a variety of camps and competitions for subjects like music and dance. There was also concern about sports seasons, getting students back before the start of school for training.

As to giving students the best, peppering 180 days all over the place does remove other opportunities for families--many who can't take off in October or March. My question would be who is driving this change for Pleasanton and what is the purpose? Is it academic?


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2014 at 7:40 am

The change is being suggested/driven by the administration, for the main purpose of getting the semester break at the Christmas break, where it truly makes sense (this is where colleges and universities on the semester system have their break).

You mentioned sports, actually, this would make a lot of sense for sports. Currently the Fall sports start before the school year begins. Now those sports would start after the school year begins. Amongst the benefits are that teachers who are coaches of less popular Fall sports (water polo might be an example) would be able to talk up their sports and hopefully have a greater turnout for tryouts. And early start is a HUGE win for athletics.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2014 at 8:22 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

You can get semester break before winter break (we don't say Christmas, or Easter, anymore) and not take a week off in October and start one week later in August. You can skip the week of in March and end school in May. You can vary that a bit and sneak in a three or four day weekend in October and March and still have the finals before break. You seem set on one idea. The notion that every family is going to run off in October and March to Disneyland or points far away is misleading. While you could speculate that would indeed happen the first year (yeah, lines are short!), what you likely will have is a lot of latchkey kids home alone for those two weeks. And what about daycare? Will Kids Club stay open those two weeks? Will the costs increase?

Sports like football or other events like cheerleading and band have a week or more of practice--long days of practice--prior to school starting. If you start too early you push that back (into July?) and risk losing students who are with their families. Or do you suggest they can cram that practice in before and after school?

I would hope the administration is looking at the whole picture and making sure they are planning so no student or family suffers from unintended consequences.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2014 at 8:37 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

It would actually be more interesting if the administration was looking for ways of extending the school year and instead of weeks off they added four weeks of remediation and enrichment courses; one per quarter?


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

Kathleen, you know better than anyone that takes money, and there still is very little of that to go around. (I don't disagree with what you have said, however.)


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2014 at 9:14 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

About $13 million by my wild guess. $650 parcel tax. I'd back it (and hey, why not just the two weeks they are already talking--October and March--at about half the cost as a pilot?). If we are trying to do what is best for students, reaching those who struggle (and in this case, right before some major testing) and those who excel and all who would benefit from creative juices being stimulated rather than sitting at home, why isn't there more of this kind of thinking? Otherwise, we're Eeyore.


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Posted by Ruthann
a resident of West of Foothill
on Apr 22, 2014 at 10:57 am

Get the Facts,
You are right.. I apologize, I should have never made assumptions about you.
I am glad I found something we can agree on... your statement... when you said: "By the way, just an FYI, if I could choose, I'd keep things the same."
Peace ☮ -Ruthann-


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Posted by lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 22, 2014 at 11:35 am

To
NotATeacher
Thanks for pointing out my short comings.
It must be nice to be flawless.
It's because of ASS***** like you I question why I donated over 250k within the try tri-valley last year and most of that in Pleasanton. Plus the number of hours I spent volunteering.


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Posted by lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 22, 2014 at 11:36 am

To
NotATeacher
Thanks for pointing out my short comings.
It must be nice to be flawless.
It's because of ASS***** like you I question why I donated over 250k within the try tri-valley last year and most of that in Pleasanton. Plus the number of hours I spent volunteering.


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Posted by Sad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2014 at 1:55 pm

I am sorry and saddened at the changes that are undoubtedly going to happen. The long, lazy summer days of my youth are over, that's for sure! But they shouldn't be over for my child. Personally, I could care less about other school districts and their achievements or failures. All I care about is where my child goes to school and that's here, in Pleasanton. It was the towns reputation for having an excellent public school system that helped my family in deciding where to live and buy a home. We love Pleasanton and regardless of the calendar change, we will adapt(begrudgingly).


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Posted by NotATeacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2014 at 6:26 pm

lessismore -

"shortcomings" (one word)

Next time, use "*" to obscure the letters in the vulgar words. "Hole" is actually quite acceptable. My children say "hole" all the time.

While I'm sure we should fall at your feet for donating $250K in the Tri-Valley area, you must still strive to speak and write correctly.

Many of our elementary school teachers have the same trouble that you have. I get the impression that they have spent too much time communicating via email and instant messaging, and too little time studying English grammar. I don't blame you. I'm sure you're a nice person, but you really need to use a dictionary and learn English grammar.

We all need to be better examples for our children. If need be, practice their lessons right along with them. God knows they'd probably appreciate it.

I point out every grammar mistake that my child's teacher (and other adults) makes because I want my kids to understand that correct English grammar, spelling, and structure are incredibly important. Sometimes they provide another person with the only picture they will have of you.

So please, try to clean up your grammar, and your language.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 22, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I don't understand why we need a mid October break. The entire week and a half before Halloween is already a break. It's just spent in the classroom rather than at home.

There are many other examples of in-class breaks throughout the year. I'm always surprised that people can say that our school calendar is too short, considering the number of days spent on non-academic activities (at least at the Elementary School level).

If not for the CA State mandated classroom days, we could easily shorten the school calendar by at least 15 days without affecting the curriculum at all.


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2014 at 5:33 pm

"I don't understand why we need a mid October break." As I already stated in a post above, "the October week is to break up the weeks between the start of school and Thanksgiving week, which by my count is 15 weeks, with only Labor Day and Veterans Day to break it up. Nine weeks between those dates (again by my count) with no day off, brutal for both kids and teachers. Plus many parents will take a break, pull their kids out of school anyway, the October break would hopefully encourage parents to use this break, rather than making their own."

"The entire week and a half before Halloween is already a break" Really? Seven or eight days and nothing happens? I suggest you sit in your child(s)'s class on that "week and a half" this Fall and then tell us it is a "break".

"If not for the CA State mandated classroom days, we could easily shorten the school calendar by at least 15 days without affecting the curriculum at all." Hmmm, three weeks less to teach? Wow, we could have a October break, two weeks in the Spring, and an extra week in summer. Everyone wins! We could call it the Modified Super Summer (but your kids learn less) Schedule. Awesome idea!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

If you didn't start so early, you wouldn't have 15 weeks to worry about and wouldn't need a week in October. Why would you need a week in October within weeks of a week in November; why a week in March so close to a week of spring break? Show me the academic soundness; show me how this benefits student student learning; and I would guess it doesn't do much for teachers either. Spreading out some three or four day weekends could accomplish more. But starting early to squeeze in senseless weeks off makes no sense.

Are there no other options? Was this the best thinking available?


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Posted by Ruthann
a resident of West of Foothill
on Apr 23, 2014 at 7:11 pm

I can only speak for my kids... but the offer of new/more breaks, does not appeal to them.. their reason is: they all get projects/homework & various assignments during "breaks." They dont get homework/projects from all of their teachers, but they each got something they had to do during all of the "breaks" we have had this school year.
So...to my kids... the ONLY TRUE BREAK IS SUMMER...
I STILL SAY NO TO THE NEW CALENDAR CHANGE.


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Ruthann, I agree that the October and March breaks are often filled with assignments. But your comment, "the ONLY TRUE BREAK IS SUMMER," now becomes false, because the semester break will occur during the Christmas break! Right now, I hear from students that they have assignments and studying to do during that break, but once the calendar changes, they will have NOTHING during that break.

Oh, and Kathleen, I forgot to say that I will say "Christmas" and "Easter" break instead of "Holiday" and "Spring" break whenever I can. I'm old school.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 23, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Your choice, of course. I am a little more sensitive to the fact that they are just two of the many significant religious days celebrated or venerated by those of a variety of faiths.


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Posted by Ruthann
a resident of West of Foothill
on Apr 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Yes... There were 2 points at the meeting...as far as why they wanted to change the calendar, these seemed to benefit high school kids (more time for kids with AP classes to study, and the fact that the semester would end before winter break).
It is true, ending the semester before winter break will be a deterrent for homework or maybe they wont even give any-for the high schoolers...but that is "one break," and... I see it having little to no affect on the thousands of middle school students & elementary students in our town. And yes...unfortunately, along with my other kids, my 5th grader had a project & homework to work on every break this year.
I still say...THE ONLY TRUE BREAK FOR KIDS, IS SUMMER.☮


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2014 at 10:15 pm

I think both calendars are perfectly fine. Either way works.


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Ruthann, all your kids will be in high school at some point, and benefit from this.

And again, for the countless time, summer will only reduce by one to two weeks (the seven week summer will not be the winner in this competition, no one seems to want that). Is an eight or nine week summer truly too short for you???


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Posted by Ruthann
a resident of West of Foothill
on Apr 24, 2014 at 8:15 am

Get the Facts...
You are correct, my kids will all end up in high school, but that doesn't mean I will not fight for their summers now, while they are in elementary and middle school.(and I do have one in high school-she too does not want it shorter)
Of course I am happy to get any time/summer with them, but considering summer is already 3 weeks shorter than it was -makes it feel short enough.
I REALLY LOVE our summers...it feels so short every year...it just flies by to us.
So...I don't think I can honestly answer your question & I don't think I can keep coming back to answer more. I think you & everyone who has read this knows my answer. ㋡. I will not bore you with my sappy thoughts about my precious time with my family & on this planet. For now…I agree to disagree with you…☮



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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Ruthann, remember that we agree (I have said before that if it were up to me and I wasn't looking at the big picture, I'd keep things the same), though actually I would rather start after Labor Day, and go one more week into June.

Ten weeks is a long time. So is eight or nine. Just curious, how many weeks do you think they should be in school and how long should summer be, in a perfect world?


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Posted by Another perspective
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 24, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Ruthann I appreciate your perspective but I find it hard to believe that the majority of people in this town have as much privilege as you do. I too love time with my kids but since my job only affords me 4 weeks off per year having a shorter summer would not be a bad thing for us. Since I don't have the whole summer to "enjoy" them and go on vacation or whatever else stay at home parents do I constantly worry about what they could get into if they get too bored, which they do. The shorter break will be good. Our town will have plenty of options for sports and other activities without the kids getting bored after 6 or 7 weeks of the same thing. I also wonder if this calendar could help students who fall behind? Small breaks could give them time to catch up.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 25, 2014 at 6:34 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

How do you propose the catch up will occur during those October and March weeks off? Will latchkey kids be disciplined enough to use that time for academics? Will daycare centers be providing the necessary guidance for the children they care for (at multiple grade levels no less) to catch up? At least over the summer there are camps of all varieties. What is any parent with less than ten weeks of vacation doing now with nine and ten week summers?

I will look for more information beyond the PUSD web page . . . for example, has staff provided actual calendars for parents to review? Here are examples of what I mean: Web Link


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Posted by DON’T MODIFY CALENDAR
a resident of Amador Estates
on Apr 25, 2014 at 4:14 pm

This is yet another attempt at making our kids grow up faster. Can't you see what you are doing to your kids? Your squeezing childhood right out of them.

As Ruthann said… rush, rush, rush!! Kids aren't busy enough? Lets shorten their summer & make them more busy! What about the homework they will get during the new breaks? Those are not going to be real breaks. Summer is a real break. PUSD you should be ashamed of yourselves…and all of you parents who claim this is better for the kids. Ask any kid under 13…this is not for them, it is for you…the adults. Be real and be honest with yourselves!


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Posted by really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2014 at 4:45 pm

" has staff provided actual calendars for parents to review?"

It takes 2 min to actually look at the front page of the district website! Web Link That would be under School Calendar Community Conversation.

It's important that people post in a manner that does stick to facts rather than insinuate doubt and distrust.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 25, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

really? A link to the actual page would be more helpful: Web Link I looked at that page. Here is their "calendar": Web Link Tell me exactly what day school starts in 2014-15; when is the October break; when does winter break begin and end; when is the March break; when is spring break; when does the school year end?

The answer after reviewing the page I linked above is no, they have not provided actual calendars--at least not on the page where you'd expect them. So parents don't know the answers to the questions I just posed. Web Link If you start on page 37 of this packet and scroll through, you will see actual calendars that inform parents of how the school year(s) would look. I think this format is important (or something similar).


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Posted by Nurse Shark
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 25, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Staceleen, please settle down. You don't even have kids in school any more.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 25, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The questions would be pertinent regardless, but I do have a grandchild in the system.


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Posted by Stacleen
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 25, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Say what you will, what is most important is that we get these arrogant administrators and big bully unions to start heeding the words of parents like lessismore and grandparents too who obviously know what's best for Pleasanton students.

As implied by references to those who are waging war against Easter and Christmas, the teachers and administrators tend to be lefties, mostly communists and atheists, who don't have kids' interests in their hearts, only left wing dogma (for example, always telling the kids about Darwin and Thomas Jefferson and global warming and that unions are good). We need to further politicize Pleasanton's educational processes. The unions have made it too easy for the teachers and administrators to teach our kids according to outside dogma like California Educational Standards while giving little consideration to Christian tradition and faith in our Lord and Creator Jesus Christ (not Al Gore).


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 26, 2014 at 7:15 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Stacleen, It's quite a stretch to get from asking for sufficient information to declaring all the nonsense you wrote.


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Posted by really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2014 at 9:09 am

So they have loads of information, face to face public meetings, front page links, slides from the public meeting in case you couldnt be there, links to research- including PAUSD! and still that is not enough. No one can take your moving target seriously because you are never positive. We are not PAUSD, we do not have to do things like they do, especially since you campaigned hard to make sure funding was not like PAUSD!

Try being positive for once. You'd have so much to offer the community you claim to love, the teachers you claim to be friends with, the grandchildren you claim to support. It's really such a shame the alternate route you've chosen and the consequences of that.


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Posted by Nurse Shark
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 26, 2014 at 9:33 am

Glad to see that others have caught on to the "slow poison" con job Staceleen has been working on these forums for years.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 26, 2014 at 9:41 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I'm not opposed to a calendar change and whole heartedly support finals before winter break. However, you can put up all kinds of information and still not have all the right information for making a decision. I personally think, in whatever format is chosen, that parents need to see the actual dates as I noted in my questions above. None of that is a negative.

I do not support a break in October just weeks prior to Thanksgiving or a week in March (or two weeks for spring break). There is no sound academic reason for either and it just stretches a school year out without necessity other than adding those weeks. You can accomplish finals before winter break without those additions. It's an opinion. Having divergent opinions doesn't make it negative no more than I would see your opinions as negative--just different, perhaps, than mine.

I still respect teachers, would pay the best more, and still support my grandchild's school(s). Raising questions is not a shame; it may or may not (I am realistic) inform the discussion. I may not have much faith in most of this governance team; I can't think of anything I follow blindly (I'd admit to being a huge fan of Paula Cole or Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars, though). And that still isn't a negative (and if your opinion of those performers is different, that's all it is is different).


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Kathleen, you are right, a calendar looking at actual dates would be helpful.

But you are wrong when you say, ". . . a break in October just weeks prior to Thanksgiving . . .". If one were to take the 2014 calendar, and take the first half of the school year (19 weeks) and put it before the Christmas/New Year/Winter/Holiday/whatever-you-want-to-call-it break, and put the October break after either nine or ten weeks of school (the halfway-point of the first semester), then the break would be on either Sep 29-Oct 3, or Oct 6-10. This would put the October week break with six or seven weeks of school before Thanksgiving break.

When you say "just weeks prior", to me that sounds like you are saying "a few", maybe 2-4 weeks. The current distance between the two breaks is far greater, a month and a half, that you seem to be estimating. During a sixteen week stretch of school (from the start of school to Thanksgiving break), a September or October break will be welcomed relief.


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Posted by Stacleen
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 26, 2014 at 12:59 pm

We see all the confusion in the above posts. People can't read a calendar ... but they sure can see administrative mismanagement and union bullying. If only the teachers didn't belong to unions and instead held themselves accountable to the scrutiny of those of us who are merely asking about a calendar (but which we're not really able to read or understand). Why have a union for the teachers when the teachers teach in such a warm and loving community like ours? Again, I'd pay more to the ones I like; the ones I don't like can just go work in another occupation. Community knows best. It has the expertise. What do teachers and administrators know?


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Ouch! Stacleen I'm glad I'm not a teacher, that hurts! (Oh wait, I am a teacher. I'll get over it.)

How is this "administrative mismanagement"? Do you know who gets hurt the most by a calendar change? The administration, as their summer is only five weeks, basically the month of July. Any weeks taken out of the summer get taken out of the short break they have.

So tell me Stacleen, why would they push for this if it wasn't in the best interest of the students? Why would they push for a shorter break for themselves?

As for the rest of your post . . . let me just say, go ahead and pay more to those teachers you like. I will take extra pay in any form: cash, check, gift cards, yard work, I'm not picky, however you'd like to "pay more to the one's I like" is fine with me.


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Posted by Elder Observer
a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I hope the PUSD Board and Superintendent reads this:

I support the change for my grandchildren.

As with any change, there will be opposition because we are always more comfortable with the status quo. But after these barrage of complaints and misgivings, it will all work out.

Why would the district go through all the trouble of ruffling some feathers and inciting parent uprising?

Because of all options, this is the best for the kids.

YES to modified calendar: 7-week summers and breaks in October and March! Watch, there will be less kids being pulled out for vacation during the school year, less teachers calling in for subs for Personal Necessity or "mental health" days, and less parents having to deal with "I'm bored" kids on that loooong stretch of summer. Of course, these are not the only examples for the modified calendar, but you get the drift.

Win-win for all! (And for those parents who are being inconvenienced, find a way to deal with it for the good of all. Stop the ME-ME-AND-WHAT-ABOUT-ME mentality now.)


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Posted by Staying in Sync
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 27, 2014 at 12:21 am

The problem for me with this is that I like to use the summer to explore outside Pleasanton. We travel to see relatives in other states. My kids participate in out of city summer school and activities. But with a shorter summer my kids will miss out on some experiences because our summer will be cut short and not in sync with the majority of the country.

Also, we enjoy travelling most during summer months when the weather is nice all over the country and go to the mountains or ocean and enjoy all the same. Not so in October or March when it is chilly in at least half of the country.


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2014 at 9:18 am

Keep in mind the summer will be plenty long for trips, only one or two weeks shorter than the current ten weeks. I can't think that eight or nine weeks isn't enough for family trips.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Gtf, I'm not sure how one person determines what is a long enough summer for anyone else's family. There still has been no answer about the shortened summer AND trying to fit in training that occurs prior to the start of school--football, cheerleading, band, and others I'm not thinking of.

"then the break would be on either Sep 29-Oct 3, or Oct 6-10" There is the problem without actual dates being presented so everyone has the same information about when these breaks will fall (and the start, end, etc.). Again, if there are ways to have finals before break without these extra weeks off, why is there a push for this particular version of the calendar (the only justification appears to be: "we need the breaks because we are starting earlier and ending later")?


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Posted by Nurse Shark
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 27, 2014 at 3:40 pm

"I'm not sure how one person determines what is a long enough summer for anyone else's family"

Unless that one person is you, right?


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Kathleen, I agree, it is not up to me to say what is a long enough summer. I am simply saying that 7 or 14 days less out of 73 days still leaves 59 or 66 days of summer. I consider that a long summer. For those that think it's not long enough, well, I'm not sure any length will be long enough for them.

As for the sports, I have already addressed that: "You mentioned sports, actually, this would make a lot of sense for sports. Currently the Fall sports start before the school year begins. Now those sports would start after the school year begins. Amongst the benefits are that teachers who are coaches of less popular Fall sports (water polo might be an example) would be able to talk up their sports and hopefully have a greater turnout for tryouts. An early start is a HUGE win for athletics."

Let me repeat that: Huge, HUGE win for sports.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Gtf, When will the training that normally occurs for some days or weeks prior to the start of school fit if those practices begin after school starts?

NS, How am I determining the summer break for anyone else?


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Posted by Stacleen
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm

I think if anyone should determine how long a summer break should be it is Kathleen. Do you all not realize she was a Secretarial Assistant in another school district? Wake up, people! The choice is clear!


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Kathleen, do you mean the double days (or triple days) football has? First off, in my humble opinion, you don't need that much practice time. But let's set that aside for now, because I am probably in the minority on that, I don't want to get beat up by a football coach who disagees. I know people who's kids are in water polo, and they have a before school practice and an after school practice. There's the double days.

Here's another advantage for Fall sports starting after school starts: the 2-3 weeks of school before the season starts can be used for weightlifting (football) or training, and other sports can hold "open gym" for their sport, which is a sly way of having practice, but anyone can come. It's subverting the rules, but is a common practice that is widely accepted. It works out great, since all the kids are in town.

The only disadvantage I see for sports is coaches complaining that they cannot overwork their incoming players with crazy double and triple days. But I predict that within five years all districts around here will be on the same early start calendar, so all schools will have the same advantages and disadvantages regarding sports.

This year in Palo Alto, school started eight days earlier than in Pleasanton. Did the coaches complain?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Gtf, Yes, days early to fit finals in before winter break; no week in October (in fact, no full week for Thanksgiving); no extra week in March; an end date of May 29; and nine or ten weeks of summer. I will ask, but I think students still show up early for sports, etc. So if PUSD starts in early August, sports students would have to come in July.






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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2014 at 7:45 am

Fall sports are not allowed to come in July! For example, the first date allowed for Football for 2014 practice is August 11! For volleyball, water polo, cross country, girls golf and tennis is August 18. They can run trainings or "open gyms", as I mentioned before, but they cannot hold tryouts before the above dates. Anything in July would be OPTIONAL.

So, start in early August, week in October (six weeks before Thanksgiving break), week in March, and we still have nine weeks of summer. This meets all your parameters except no week in October, which WILL happen, the Fall would be too long without it. And it's a big win for sports, as I have detailed at length.


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Posted by Douglas
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:08 pm

"The change is being suggested/driven by the administration, for the main purpose of getting the semester break at the Christmas break, where it truly makes sense (this is where colleges and universities on the semester system have their break)."

Both of my Ivy undergrad/grad colleges (Cornell, Penn) start late August and go to late May with 3 months of summer vacation and a 3-week Christmas break. I conclude that aligning with college schedules is NOT a valid reason for this change.

With thanks to all my great neighbors for considering this and to this paper for hosting my comments.


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Douglas: "I conclude that aligning with college schedules is NOT a valid reason for this change. "
Please notice my comment about colleges was an afterthought, in parenthesis. Read the sentence without that statement, and you will see that my point has nothing to do with college schedules. It's simply a parallel thought.

But, I will give you that it maybe was a bad choice to use as a comparison. Not because of what you said, but because college semesters are shorter that the PUSD school year. PUSD is 38 weeks long. College semesters are typically 34 weeks long.

I never said the reason to change was to align with colleges, that would be ridiculous.

Oh and congrats on graduating from Ivy League schools. My state school education leaves me very confused as to why you put that factoid on your post. Guess your education was better than mine, because I just can't figure it out.


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