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does someone know why the PTSA says this?

Original post made by Resident, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2013

I just learned that the graduation ceremony from AVHS used to be held at the fairgrounds, with only 3 tickets per students. ow it is held at the school, with 8 tickets per student; they say that thanks to funding from the PTSA it is possible.

Can someone please explain?

How can it be more expensive to hold the graduation at the school site than at the fairgrounds?

Please, someone from the PTSA explain because to many of us (we talked about it his morning at coffee), it simply does not make sense. The school ceremony should be cost free, right? It is at the school, in the football field, people sit on the bleachers. Those selected for "premium seats," ie, on chairs on the grass, closer to the graduates, pay 500 dollars in an auction for such seats! I can't understand why thanks to funding from the PTSA we are able to allow more tickets per student! The fairground, I can see how that is expensive as it would mean rentiing the place, but graduation held at school? Please explain

Comments (24)

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2013 at 1:06 pm

" ow it is held at the school, with 8 tickets per student; they say that thanks to funding from the PTSA it is possible."

should read

" Now it is held at the school, with 8 tickets per student; they say that thanks to funding from the PTSA it is possible."


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Moving it from fairgrounds to the school cut costs. More seats available so more tickets.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm

anon,

That would make sense, except they say that the extra tickets are thanks to funding from the PTSA! It make no sense. Yes, moving it from the fairgrounds to the school should right there cut costs, but why the funding needed from the PTSA? They keep saying we need to thank the PTSA for their funding that makes the extra tickets possible. It does not make sense.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

It costs around $20K to put On graduation at the school ( chair, tent rentals, etc) PTSA is obviously paying for it. Last year foothill asked parents for $40 per graduate To cover the cost of graduation


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm

20K? Seems too much, I went to last year's graduation and nothing about it seemed that it would cost that much. As for the chairs, by now they should have bought them instead of paying high rent. They are jut simple, cheap chairs. No, that does not explain as it does not make sense.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm

@Resident. I am not making this up. We received numerous emails and even the Mr. Dwyer prerecorded phone calls asking for the voluntary $40 "donation" to cover graduation last year at Foothill. They broke down the numbers and it came to just over $20K to have graduation at Foothill. Seems Amador knew about this at registration in 8/11 and collect what they needed then. Foothill waited until May of 12' to start asking the parents for it.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Thanks for the information, Anon. But it seems to me that if that is the case, then the PTSA and AVHS are being quite careless with money. Chairs and the tent would not cost that much if they bought them, it would be a one time expense and could be reused each year. Maybe they are renting inexpensive stuff at a high price because they are giving the contract to a friend or acquaintance? Just guessing. It should not cost 20K to put together the ceremony they do, with people sitting on the bleachers and only students and a selected few sitting on inexpensive chairs on the grass (those who pay 500 dollars), and the tent? See for yourself, there is even a video on youtube. Not 20K worth for sure, not even close.


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Posted by SLJ
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm

my guess is you should attend a PTA meeting at your school and find out what the cost are for graduation. Every PTA has a budget and goes over their budget at the beginning of the school year and the general membership has to vote on the budget. I imagine they are paying gowns,diplomas, rental of chairs, tents etc (which to purchase one time would be more efficient, however, then it needs to be stored somewhere)programs. It all adds up. You can ask someone on the PTA board at your school and they can answer specifics


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Caps and gowns expense of student. They supplied water. Foothill had the center tentef stage. Tented (canopyed) sections either side of stage. White picket femcing surrounding seniors. Cost of diplomas and case they are in. Flowers, etc. Etc.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm

cost of diplomas and flowers would be about the same whether it is at the fairgrounds or at school. But at school there is no rental of the facility, the caps/gowns are paid for by each student. My question is why they say that thanks to additional funding they can allow more guests per student. At the fairgrounds and school, the number of students is the same, and as for the additional guests... ALL guests except for a selected few (who pay 500 dollars) get to sit on the bleachers (no cost there, already built in). THe "special" chairs are for very few, and they pay 500 dollars (surely that buys plenty of chairs).

I thought about going to the PTSA meeting, but no time anymore for that. I just want to know why they are telling us that they need additional funding from the PTSA for the additional guests (they are already saving the rental fee for the fairgrounds and again, guests get to sit on the bleachers now that the ceremony is at school)


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Posted by AVHS Parent
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 13, 2013 at 12:50 am

Resident. Good questions, but I think if you don't have time to attend meetings, then go to the PTSA website and send an email to one of the officers. They have the expenses for this year's graduation.

I believe that the choice the school faces is incur less of an expense and hold graduation at the fairgrounds, but due to capacity constraints, only receive 3 invitations, or incur the additional expense of chair and stage rentals, but provide 8 tickets to each student. I believe families would want the latter.

As for purchasing chairs, I believe the schools are now considering this as an option for future years. It is just a significant one time expense.

By the way, it is not a select few families that sit in chairs on the field, but hundreds of people.


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Posted by Hester
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2013 at 5:32 am

The chair rental fees includes the cost of delivery, set up and take down. Renting vs buying - the problem with buying is where to store all the chairs when they are not in use. Would require purchasing or renting a storage locker - and then volunteers would have to be found to transport, clean off, and set up/take down chairs. (these are the hundreds of chairs on the field where the seniors sit)
Additionally, custodial staff must be on duty whenever an event is held at the high school and remain after an event to do clean up.
PTSA also provides any flowers for the podium and walkways, and has provided bottled water for attendees.
The PTSA uses funds it raises throughout the year to cover all the graduation ceremony related expenses (there are others I probably haven't included) so graduating seniors' parents are not asked to contribute. The expenses related to transporting flowers, bottled water, or overseeing the accurate set up of the chairs and other items - this is work done by volunteers.
As one poster said, if you're unable to attend a PTSA meeting, contact an officer via email for a breakdown of the expenses for more information.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 13, 2013 at 8:37 am

Perhaps if more people spent time volunteering for the PTSA, in particular, on the committees that host graduation and the finance committee, they would have better information. This is typical of many in our society to sit in their armchair and second guess what hard working parent volunteers do. Countless hours are volunteered by too few to make these things happen. Get involved! Get in the game! Replace your complaining with donating of time. Make a difference yourself! Instead of commentary criticizing and second guessing hard working volunteers, perhaps a simple "Thank You" is in order.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2013 at 8:46 am

"The chair rental fees includes the cost of delivery, set up and take down. Renting vs buying - the problem with buying is where to store all the chairs when they are not in use. Would require purchasing or renting a storage locker - and then volunteers would have to be found to transport, clean off, and set up/take down chairs. (these are the hundreds of chairs on the field where the seniors sit)

Additionally, custodial staff must be on duty whenever an event is held at the high school and remain after an event to do clean up.

PTSA also provides any flowers for the podium and walkways, and has provided bottled water for attendees. "


These costs would have been the same or higher at the Fairgrounds. Again, why do we need additional PTSA funding for the extra 5 guests per student? You know very well that the majority of people sit on the bleachers, the chairs are reserved for students (same case as would be at the fairgrounds) and a few others (some who pay 500 dollars). Flowers, etc would be the same with 3 or 5 guests per student. But somehow the PTSA claims their extra funding makes the additional 5 guests per student (who btw must sit on the bleachers of the already built football field at AVHS), possible...does not add up.

Plus they are saving the rental fee for the fairgrounds. That would cover cost of chair rentals since again most must sit on the bleachers, except for students and a selected few.

Say what you want, get defensive, but it does not make sense and I am not the only one who thinks that way.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2013 at 8:50 am

"By the way, it is not a select few families that sit in chairs on the field, but hundreds of people"

It is the students who sit on chairs (would be the same case at the fairgrounds). A few selected families (one was auctioned with starting bid of 500 dollars) sit on chairs, the rest on the bleachers.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2013 at 9:19 am

"I believe that the choice the school faces is incur less of an expense and hold graduation at the fairgrounds, but due to capacity constraints, only receive 3 invitations, or incur the additional expense of chair and stage rentals, but provide 8 tickets to each student. "

I doubt the chair and stage rental is higher than renting the fairgrounds.


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Posted by Jandi427
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 13, 2013 at 9:23 am

At Amador's 2012 graduation if you got there early enough you sat on the field on chairs and did not have to pay anything for it. The tents that they put up are an expensive investment and then the storage of that and the staging pieces as well as the chairs would be an issue. Are all the people who want the schools to buy the items willing to volunteer for all the set up and tear down it will require? If so then attend your PTSA meetings and get involved.


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Posted by confused
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jun 13, 2013 at 9:40 am

I had two children graduate from Amador. I sat on a chair, on the grass both times and did not pay extra for my seat. There are more non-students than students seated on the chairs on the grass. If you have a storage facility and the means to set up and take down the chairs, ramps and "tents", I'm sure the PTSA would love to hear from you! In my case, I'm glad that they moved it from the fairgrounds with a limit of 3 tickets per student. I would have hated to have to choose which grand parents didn't get to go. I'm assuming this thread was started by someone who has never attended a graduation cermony at Amador or the fairgrounds. If, after you have gone, you still don't understand the expense involved, then get involved with PTSA and see where the money is going.


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Posted by Foothill Parent
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jun 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

Hester's response was correct. Foothill has posted the costs of a grad ceremony here--it's probably quite similar to the expenses across town:

Web Link

I believe when graduation was held at the fairgrounds, both schools held their graduations on the same day, so many of the costs were shared between the two schools. And back then, the district was still funding graduation. They stopped doing this a few years ago. For 2012, the Foothill community donated to help cover the cost of the ceremony and the parent-teacher organization matched those donations so the ceremony costs would be covered and the kids had a nice graduation ceremony.

The ceremony simply has costs associated with it. An empty football field is no different from an empty rental hall that must be transformed for the occasion. Many colleges now require a fee for students to participate in graduation ceremonies. The high schools have the same need to cover costs, but request donations to cover it.

Congratulations and best wishes to all of the 2013 AVHS & FHS graduates!


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Posted by Foothill Parent Also
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 13, 2013 at 10:11 am

The costs seem pretty reasonable to me. Rental of chairs, decorations, stage, labor to put up, labor to tear down, additional custodial staff. While I do not like the fact that they asked for $40 per graduating senior so late in the year at Foothill, I was happy to give it. Since the district is providing Zero dollars toward the ceremony, I wanted to see my child graduate with a decorated stage, and chairs for their family and friends to sit in.

Oh - there are chairs ON the field for the student's families, not just the students. The students sit in chairs immediately in front of the stage. Guest chairs are on the sides - hundreds I am sure.


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Posted by hester
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2013 at 7:43 am

I'm not sure why "Resident" is so critical of the PTSA, however, I can only repeat that Resident should contain a PTSA officer for a breakdown of the costs involved, and if Resident can find ways to cut the costs, I'm sure the PTSA would appreciate the help.
Foothill Parent is correct. Prior to the 2008 graduation, the ceremony was held at the fairgrounds and FHS and AVHS shared costs and volunteer duties.
Amador switched to using their football field because parents asked for the change. Larger graduating class sizes guaranteed that no student would be allowed more than 3 tickets, and parents wanted the option of inviting more guests.
Besides limited seating at the Fairgrounds, the option to hold graduation ceremonies in the evening when it is cooler was not available.


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Posted by FHS mom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2013 at 10:20 am

I have been to graduations at both the fairgrounds and on the football field. Previous posters are correct. Both schools held ceremonies the same day, one in the afternoon and one at night. The rental fees and all expenses were shared. In fact the year u attended an AVHS ceremony in the afternoon, as we were exiting the parking lot, FHS families were already starting to arrive. So of course it's more expensive to more than double the size of the ceremonies AND not share the costs.

Resident needs to back off the PTSA and be incredibly thankful for all these dedicated volunteers do to enrich the learning environment for our children. Resident claims not to have time to attend meetings or participate, but has time to bash their amazing efforts and accuse them of wasting the funds they work so hard to raise. I for one wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to the volunteers that make up these organizations and for all they do for our students and families. And yes, I do volunteer my time, but certainly not at the level so many others do and that make these magical things happen for our children.


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Posted by Z
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm

There's always someone who shames people who post. It's similar to a clueless parent or teacher who shames a child for speaking up. Some examples:
OP-"I don't understand why so many police cars have to..."
The Shamer: "Just be grateful that we HAVE police. I, for one, bring homemade brownies to the station every Thursday."
OP- "My child is inundated with homework..."
The Shamer: "Be grateful you HAVE teachers that care enough to assign homework. I, for one, write a thank-you note for every assignment given..."
OP- "I don't understand why instead of planting groundcover along the Iron Horse Trail and other landscaped areas, we have wide swaths of dirt that we spray with Monsanto pesticides to keep as 'plain dirt'. What kind of 'gifts' is Monsanto giving to certain individuals?"
The Shamer: "You should be grateful that your children get to run on freshly-sprayed pesticides in Pleasanton! I, for one, go to Home Depot and buy Monsanto pesticides and dump them around all the trees in our parks! How do you think trees survived for millions of years before humans were smart enough to douse their perimeters with poison? Have you ever watched a child run through freshly-sprayed pesticide in a Pleasanton park, touch their shoes, and then put their hand in their mouth? I have, and it was beautiful!"


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Posted by Alice
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm

There are 3000 chairs on that AVHS field BTW not hundreds. The amphitheater at the fairground only holds about that much. The AVHS graduation had about 5200 guests not including the students sitting on the field. Sure go back to the fairground. Are you going to tell Grandma she can't come? Or what about families with step-parents? Sorry only 3 tickets.


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