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High School 7th Period Returns?

Original post made by Foothill Dad on Jan 12, 2011

I've been advised by an administrator that high schoolers will be able to take 7 classes again. I looked on the PUSD website(s) for additional info and can't find anything. Can anyone else confirm?
Also, does this mean that the one year agreement was, truly, a one-year agreement? How can PUSD cover the costs of the sections/teachers required?

Comments (39)

Posted by observer, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I've not heard about the return of the 7th period. Why do so many parents want the 7th period? My understanding is that with the traditional 6 period day at the end of 4 years all college entrance requirements (A-G Requirements) can be fulfilled. Right? If that's true, then a 7th period seems unnecessary.

It's also interesting to note that at least one thread here on the forum deals with concerns over kids having too much homework, but at the same time many folks are upset about the loss of an extra class period.


Posted by Yep, observer!, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Excellent point, observer! Many parents want 7th period back so their children can take one more AP course. Absolutely ridiculous!

Do not count on 7th period returning. I guarantee that the teachers will be asked to make the same concessions as last year because we are short the same amount of money.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm

If 7th period comes back for high school I hope the 20-1 teacher student ratio returns for the younger ones in elementary. And if that is what the parcel tax is for, I am all for it.


Posted by Cindy, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 12, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Having had 2 children attend Amador with the 7 period day I can assure you it is not so students can take more AP classes. In order for my children to participate in the instrumental music program AND still take all the classes they needed for college, the 7 period day was critical. The reduction to a 6 period forced many students to drop their band class.I am sure the same applies to those students who have interests in other non-traditional areas.


Posted by Get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm

"If 7th period comes back for high school I hope the 20-1 teacher student ratio returns for the younger ones in elementary."

The 7 period was suspended in order for elementary to keep things like science specialists, among other things. HS students are now struggling to meet college requirements (yes, it is more competitive to get into a good college these days), and with the budget cuts at the community colleges, the required classes are not available to HS students.

I hope the elementary community stops demanding so much. Last year, because of elementary wanting to keep everything, from science to music to pe specialists, (and btw csr did not go up as much as it could have), the HS lost the 7 period.

I still remember that one parent standing before the board requesting that the HS be punished if they wanted to be able to pass the parcel tax, I think that backfired. I have not donated any money this year because of the suspension of the 7 period, and plan to vote no on any parcel tax unless I know for sure that the 7 period is coming back.

btw, I have elementary school kids too, but I know what is needed vs what is nice to have. Trust me: science specialists and such are not needed even if it is nice to have them. The main teacher should be able to handle it. 7 period, on the other hand, is needed, especially now that it is so hard for HS students to enroll into needed classes at the community colleges. PUSD students need to be competitive with students of other districts when applying to college.

If you want to keep CSR, talk to your teachers: ask them to agree to freeze step and column, that should do it.


Posted by notice the contradiction?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Yes observer - you are right. Everyone claims to have moved here "for the great schools" not realizing what it takes for a school to have a great reputation/high test scores. I grew up attending school in a high(er) achieving district a ways up 680 from here. I had MUCH more homework than my kids do here. Beginning in about 4th grade we also regularly had homework on weekends. Parents didn't complain - they expected it. If people want little/no HW there are some lousy districts in San Jose they might want to consider...


Posted by observer, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 12, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Based on Cindy's feedback, it seems appropriate that 7th period was cut. People want to see deep cuts from the district, so cutting "extras" seems reasonable given the economic circumstances. Kids can still take music classes during the 6 period day and meet college entrance requirements can't they? I don't think the music program is gone, it just exists within the confines of a 6 period schedule.


Posted by to get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm

"If you want to keep CSR, talk to your teachers: ask them to agree to freeze step and column, that should do it."

If you want to keep 7th period for band practice, talk to your teachers: ask them to agree to freeze step and column, that should do it.




Posted by to get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm

"Last year, because of elementary wanting to keep everything, from science to music to pe specialists, (and btw csr did not go up as much as it could have), the HS lost the 7 period."

The year before last year class sizes in elementary went up from 20 to 25 and high school didn't lose anything. You win some, you lose some, it works out the same "sacrifice". Any anyhow, I think only some very small % of kids take 7th period. Bigger class sizes affect every kid.


Posted by observer, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Get Real, What community college classes are needed or required for high school students entering 4 year colleges/universities? I think what is "needed" is currently offered through PUSD.


Posted by Get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 9:16 pm

"If you want to keep 7th period for band practice, talk to your teachers: ask them to agree to freeze step and column, that should do it. "

Cost of 7 period: 440K

Cost of CSR in elementary, to maintain 25:1 ratio: 1.3 million

From: Web Link

Concessions last year included eliminating the 7 period. See what was funded with the concessions:

"With the concessions, many programs mentioned during public comment portions of recent meetings were able to be spared. These programs include: maintaining class sizes in kindergarten through third grade at 25:1 ($1.3 million) as well as ninth-grade English and Math at 25:1 ($404,000); elementary physical education, science and vocal music specialists ($931,000); elementary reading specialists at one full-time position per site ($720,000); maintaining current counseling services at all levels ($752,000); and restoring the Barton reading program ($106,000)."

Even if the 7 period does not come back, chances are you will not see the 20:1 ratio you want. CSR in elementary is simply too costly.


Posted by Get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm

"I think what is "needed" is currently offered through PUSD."

In order to get into a top university, a student must go above and beyond the "required" classes, and above and beyond the "recommended" classes.

I think many PUSD graduates move on to community colleges or not so good colleges, that is because they take the minimum required classes and are not competitive for the top universities. Remember that our students compete with students across California and with out of state students as well.

Top colleges require more classes, and even if they are offered in PUSD, students cannot take them with the limitation of 6 periods, especially in 9 and 10 grade, where PE is mandatory and students are then limited to 5 periods (on top of PE)

The irony of the music situation is that elementary school raised money because they had to have strings and band in elementary, and for what? You cannot take it in high school, there is no room, so why tease the kids with that if they have to drop it in high school?

With the 7 period gone, I do not see why we waste money on band and strings in elementary and middle schools. No 9th grader will jeopardize core classes because of music. Again, PE is mandatory,so students only have 5 periods on top of PE


Posted by to get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm

"Concessions last year included eliminating the 7 period. See what was funded with the concessions . . ."

Yes and I'm glad the concessions were made and these items were kept. These were not things being added to the program, they were things removed from the chopping block. The year before a hugely disproportional amount was taken from elementary (including raising class sizes from 20 to 25).

And there is no chance of anything coming back this year, we all know that.

It's just how bad the additional cuts are and that will depend on step and column (1.5 million savings), a parcel tax (2 million additional revenue) and furlough days (4.5 million?).




Posted by to get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm

"The irony of the music situation is that elementary school raised money because they had to have strings and band in elementary, and for what? You cannot take it in high school, there is no room, so why tease the kids with that if they have to drop it in high school?"

It's great for brain development and all sorts of other things as I'm sure you know. It doesn't have to be a profession. And I'm fine with band types of things being after school for elementery, middle and high and paid for by parents. I don't think it's one to ask the community to raise funds for.


Posted by Get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 9:34 pm

"Bigger class sizes affect every kid."

Bigger class affects only k-3 students, and I personally do not think csr is needed in 9th grade.

Beginning in 4th grade, students are put in classes that are 30 or more students. That is a big change from 3 to 4 grade. Then it stays that way (30 or more students) through 8 grade, and then CSR in 9th grade for english and math? Gee, that makes very little sense.

Maybe there should be 20 students in K, 22 students in 1st and 2nd grade, 25 in 3rd grade. That would prepare students for the inevitable: 4th grade big classes, which have been that way even before the budget cuts.

So not every kid is affected by csr, only k-3. 4-12 do not have csr except for some in 9 grade (which again, is not needed imo)


Posted by Get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm

"It's great for brain development and all sorts of other things as I'm sure you know."

Agree 100%

" It doesn't have to be a profession. And I'm fine with band types of things being after school for elementery, middle and high and paid for by parents"

Yes, but let's be fair. If HS students have to go outside of school for music, why do we still have such music (band and strings) in elementary and middle?

Elementary parents demanded a lot last year. In fact, almost all of the 4 million in concessions went to elementary programs. Let's see how they do this year, now that they have alienated the upper grades (I do not worry about my little one: been there, done that, and know that half the stuff in elementary is nice but not needed)


Posted by Get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm

"And there is no chance of anything coming back this year, we all know that."

I agree. I think it is all games the district is playing. They are hoping we will all think 7 period is coming back and vote yes on the parcel tax.

Do they think we are that stupid? I am voting no on any parcel tax that does not guarantee the 7 period. That is unlikely, so you know how I will vote, right?

As for elementary: good luck because the concessions were a one time deal and even though I donated a ton of money to the I love pleasanton schools (even though none of that money would go to HS), I won't do it again, not after seeing how selfish the whole thing turned out - I mean, elementary parents speaking before the board asking to punish the HS - well, the community has more than just elementary parents. Think before you attack, because you need more than just the elementary community support for taxes, fundraising.


Posted by to get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm

"Maybe there should be 20 students in K, 22 students in 1st and 2nd grade, 25 in 3rd grade. That would prepare students for the inevitable: 4th grade big classes, which have been that way even before the budget cuts."

This makes sense and I'd be very happy with that solution. The problem when they're little as you know is that they come in at such different levels, especially in K and 1. Some are reading, some are learning the language. Once they are a bit older it's less of an issue as they have more of a common base to work with.

I'm sorry you felt attacked last year. That certainly wasn't the intention. Elementary had a hard time the year before with class sizes going up and many teachers lost and were fighting to save something (you saw the list of 4 million in extra cuts that was aimed again at elementary for last year). Yes, many things were saved and I honestly don't know where the 7th period thing came into discussion as I can't remember it coming up in any of the meetings, so I doubt you had a chance to defend it. Anyhow, I don't recall anyone trying to "punish" high school, that never came up in any private or public conversation I heard, although I read on here that there was one remark at a board meeting that was unfortunate. And for that I'm sure you're owned an apology.


Posted by Teri, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2011 at 8:51 am

According to the Scheduling Information that just came out in the mail, "there will be an option to flex a 6 period day from the typical 2nd through 7th period to 1st through 6th period. This option will be available in March when we send home letters confirming your course selections." This may just be a way to get around the overcrowding in the classrooms as there is no mention of a student having the option of taking 7 classes.


Posted by minimum wage taxpayer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm

What 7 periods also allowed was for those students who have jobs etc. to do an early class and get out at 2 pm. For me, it helped so my high schooler could be home when my (then elemetary schooler) came home to babysit. Because of the lack of 7th period my student had to go back to the 8-3 day, and I had to cut back on my work hours. Not everyone in P-town has middle-class jobs...and some of us rely on older children to babysit younger ones.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm

" I mean, elementary parents speaking before the board asking to punish the HS "

Let me come right out and say it. Are you nuts? What one person said does not in any way represent the community.


Posted by Status Quo, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I believe even with if a parcel tax passed the programs and personnel that were cut from last years' budget will not return. We may lose even more. Quite a bit of items were "saved" with concessions, Federal one time money and a community fundraising effort. If I were a betting man I would say that there will be no parcel tax passage, no concessions from the unions, Federal money not coming and the community too tired to donate any more money.

Welcome 30+ in K-3...goodbye strings/band in elementary school...goodbye Barton...goodbye library techs...goodbye speech therapist, reading specialists and counseling ratios...goodbye technologist at elementary and middle school - those were all the items that were saved by the union concessions, federal money and community fundraising.


Posted by Agree with Status Quo, a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm

"status quo" nailed it. Everyone is just kidding themselves
with all this ill-informed rhetoric, bottom line "there is no money"
the state tax initiatives will likely fail, the
Pleasanton community will not fund local education (though
per this blog & countless others they sure have lots of expectations),
Teachers will not subsidize again - so the reality
is more cuts than last year in all sorts of areas
resulting in a bare bones, basic public education. The
"best case scenario" objective now is not to be taken over by the
State for not balancing our meager budget.
Sad, but true. The writing has been on the wall for
over two years.


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm

"In order to get into a top university, a student must go above and beyond the "required" classes, and above and beyond the "recommended" classes."

Millions of people go on to do great things that did not go to a "top University". A top University is usually only in the eyes of the parents that want to brag about their students. There is a right college situation for all college bound students. If you can't get into your "top university" you can always transfer in after a year or two.

It is not PUSD's responsibility to make sure your student gets into a top university. It is its responsibility to meet the HS educational requirements of the state of California.

How is it that all non-band students manage to fit in the arts electives in a 6 period schedule, yet band students have problems. Perhaps there is an issue with the band program.

As was said above. There is no money. Even if the teachers do the same concessions as last year, I can just about guarantee there will be less money from the state. Cuts are going to continue and no reasonable parcel tax (anything less than $1000/yr) is going to make much of a difference.

Its time to face reality. Public education in CA is going to continue to degrade at every level. If you want the best, you need to pay for it and for most people that's going to mean leaving the state, private school or a large parcel tax.


Posted by Get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:15 am

"It is not PUSD's responsibility to make sure your student gets into a top university."

It is the student who applies, gets in, does everything, that is responsible for his/her acceptance into a top university; what PUSD is responsible for is to offer the opportunity for any student to fulfill the requirements for a top university.

If it is not PUSD's responsibility for anything (same argument of the parent who suggested to punish the HS), then it is also not our responsibility as taxpayers to make sure we have good schools in k-8. Why have good schools in k-8 when we have bad HS?

"It is its responsibility to meet the HS educational requirements of the state of California. "

Those requirements (state of CA) are so low that they don't even help students meet the criteria for a mediocre university. Students who only meet the requirements for HS graduation will not be prepared/qualified for a 4 year university and must move to a junior college such as Las Positas. Look at the paperwork, I think it is online. THey have HS requirements for graduation and then they have the requirements for the college bound students (students who want to attend a 4 year university right after HS). For example, the HS requirements do not include the 2 years required (3 recommended) of a foreign language required for college admission. College bound students have as much right to equal opportunities as do the special ed kids to all their programs, etc.

One thing we can all agree on is this: nothing is coming back, not the 7 period, not CSR, and the district is playing games, trying to fool the community into voting for a 98 dollar parcel tax that we all know won't pass, and even if it did, it would not be enough to fund anything except step and column.

That is what really bothers me: that on top of the cuts we saw last year, we will see more cuts to programs because the district has to somehow come up with the money needed for step and column.

Don't be fooled: if the district cuts more programs, it is because they are taking the money to fund step and column, not because the money is not available. Sure, there is less money because of the state deficit, but what money we do have should be used for programs, not for teacher raises/step and column.

I was at a neighbor's house last night when she got a call from the "tax suvey" people. The questions asked could not possibly make anyone help decide if the person is for or against the tax and why. My neighbor kept telling them: I will support the parcel tax if it is guaranteed to go for programs, and if no money, current funds or tax funds is guaranteed not to go for step and column, yet the person taking the survey kept saying: is that a yes or a no or a no effect? Whatever results of this survey, they won't be accurate, they are not asking the right questions.

PUSD: Many people will vote no on a parcel tax if you insist on keeping step and column, whether that is financed through current funds you have or through funds you get from the state this year, or through funds you expect from the parcel tax. Freeze step and column, the economic times do not justify raises for anyone.

And again, if we are going to have bad HS, why on earth do we need good k-8 schools? If the district is going downhill and everyone is on their own, it should be across the board. I will not subsidize elementary when my HS is seeing more and more cuts to the HS.

My kids will be fine, btw, I will make sure of that. Just don't bother me with taxes, I will vote no and will be as selfish as those who request the HS be punished, and as those who say it is not PUSD's responsibility to offer the opportunity for students to meet requirements for top colleges.


Posted by to get real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:46 am

"My neighbor kept telling them: I will support the parcel tax if it is guaranteed to go for programs, and if no money, current funds or tax funds is guaranteed not to go for step and column, yet the person taking the survey kept saying: is that a yes or a no or a no effect"

This is the part that annoys me, they're either not hearing or they are choosing not to listen.

What is the point of doing a survey if you are not listening to the results. The good people of Pleasanton will support a parcel tax to save programs, but not to pay for raises. That's completely irresponsible in this economy.

It bugs me that the people trying to appear "virtuous" about all this are actually the ones who are going to cost two teachers jobs by wasting money on consultants and a proposed election that will not work in the format they are proposing.

I don't agree with you continuing to say high school is being punished though, all levels have had their fair share of the pain over the last few years.


Posted by do the math, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Many keep focusing on step & column as the
savior to the educational budget woes of the
district- such misguided angst against the folks
who actually provide the high quality education
the Pleasanton community has grown accustomed
yet are unwilling to pay for. The district will be about
8MM in the hole, yet folks are attacking/obsessing
on the 1.6MM in annual compensation going to the folks who will actually
have to continue to provide the necessary service under
what will be
less than ideal circumstances, regardless
of how this all shakes out. Not exactly the
motivational message I would like to send our
Teachers- but maybe that's just me.


Posted by local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm

It's partly the message we were sent - saying everything that could be cut had been cut. Well raises aren't cutting, they're adding to the cost. And also that money raised would go right to the classroom.


Posted by local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm

And by the way, paying for step and column diverts funds that could have been used for keeping teachers. So it will cost the newer teachers their jobs in this horrible economy. Not exactly motivational either. I would definitely give a pay raise a miss if my colleagues jobs were on the line.


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 15, 2011 at 8:44 am

To 'do the math' - I don't know what math you subscribe to, maybe the imaginary kind (i)? According to PUSD Web Link (pg. 9), they will have a $2.7M surplus this year. They project a $3.2 deficit next year, but that does not account for the last $1M in additional federal stimulus money that is coming, nor $700,000 in CORE/PPIE/PSEE donations, nor $2.25M in potential savings from 5 furlough days next year. Once that is put back in next years budget, PUSD will have a surplus for 11-12.
Where you get "8M in the hole' is quite imaginary. The anti-parcel tax people will run rings around this if it gets on the ballot. Get real math, not the imaginary kind.


Posted by To Start Afresh, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 15, 2011 at 11:54 am

A "surplus" - that is great news!! we will be
the envy of every school district in CA- no need
to waste time on a parcel tax or blogging. Thanks
for keeping on top of the numbers.


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jan 15, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Any $2.7 million "surplus" is only reasonable to assume if the state makes no changes in school budgeting. That is reasonable if voters approve Governor Brown's proposed tax extensions in the June election, but if they reject those proposals, there will be no surplus.

Assuming a specific amount in future donations is dangerous and not a good way to project funding for ongoing expenses, unless the money can be in hand before June 30 when the budget must be completed.

It is not certain that the state will permit schools to shorten the school year through furlough days again this year. It is also not certain that APT and CSEA will consent to another year with furlough days.

There are three slides that follow p. 9 in that powerpoint, all entitled "components of fund balance". They spell out the consequences for the budget of different assumptions about state funding. Listening to Luz Cazares' explanation of those slides before making allegations about "imaginary math" would be wise.

No one benefits from oversimplifying these issues.


Posted by local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Strangely enough, I'd be more likely to vote for a parcel tax if there was a budget surplus. What's made me mad is the statement that cuts have to be made that will affect teachers jobs and the classroom again while still giving raises. I'm particularly upset that newer teacher jobs will be lost in the name of giving raises, I just don't think that is right.

If we don't have to make cuts, then the money raised could genuinely be used to restore services such as class sizes in K-3 and the 7th period for high school. I would be more than happy to support that.


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 16, 2011 at 6:35 am

Sandy - I'm glad you agree that PUSD's published $2.7M surplus for 10-11 is more real than the other poster's claim of "$8M in the hole."
And thanks for bringing up Luz's explanations. She said the projected $11.5M in fund balances at the end of this year is "healthy". Luz also said that the state's flexibility for instructional minutes which permits furlough days continues through 11-12.
In addition to calling out people's imaginary math, we should also stop the fear-talking and start working on solutions.
Why hasn't PPIE started a CORE campaign yet so that the funds can be determined by 6/30?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2011 at 9:34 am

"Why hasn't PPIE started a CORE campaign yet so that the funds can be determined by 6/30?"

I donated to the CORE campaign last year, but I am not sure yet about this year. Even though I gave the 150 for each grade level of each of my kids, and enough money was raised, come the beginning of the school year, I was still asked for donations for science, workbooks, etc. I gave the donations because they directly affect my children, but I still do not know how CORE funds were used by elementary, middle and high school.

Does anyone know?


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2011 at 9:42 am

The CORE campaign saved a lot. In general it was tech support and library hours. If you hang out in the classrooms, you'll know how vital the tech support is. My experience is at the elementary level and the computers are old and falling apart and it's only the tech support keeping any kind of computer service running right now. I honestly found it hard to believe that tech support was left to a fundraising campaign and not considered a vital service.

Check out this link for the details. Web Link



Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2011 at 9:50 am

By the way, one thing this community could do to help that doesn't involve the tax / salary issues is to source working computers / monitors / headphones(at least for elementary). Does anyone know anyone who could help?


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Get Real - its been a while , but I'm not sure what you are trying to say. The only thing that PUSD must offer is the educational requirements of the state of CA. I'm not sure what you are trying to argue.


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm

"I will vote no and will be as selfish as those who request the HS be punished, and as those who say it is not PUSD's responsibility to offer the opportunity for students to meet requirements for top colleges."

how is stating the legal facts being selfish? PUSD has ONE legal responsibility and that is to graduate HS students per CA requirements. That is it. The fact they we have a great school district that has gone above and beyond for years does not really matter much in our current times.


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