Town Square

Pleasanton school board to consider longer school year at its meeting tonight

Original post made on Oct 8, 2013

The Pleasanton school board tonight will consider extending the school year, possibly beginning classes in mid-August or as early as late July.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 7:15 AM


Posted by Jill, a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Oct 8, 2013 at 11:24 am

Am I reading this correctly that the school year won't be longer in the sense of more instructional minutes, just that the days will be scheduled differently?

Posted by JA, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm

So glad my kids are not in public school any more. How does all this "re-scheduling" help kids learn? It doesn't. It's about getting time off - nevermind academics. If you have any money at all-put your kids in private school so they can get a real education.

Posted by Beth, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Oct 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm

It would be better if we could get back the 45 minutes cut from each and every school day when "staggered reading" was implemented.

Posted by Mother of Three, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Oct 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Agree with Beth to just extend the day back to where is was before. Starting in July with more breaks? Terrible idea.

1) Absenteeism would increase tremendously. We have family in Europe and their kids only get August off. Not only do they really hate that they get such a short amount of time off and the random weeks off they do get are when the weather is not as good, but also we would need to pull our kids out of school to visit them during their break. I am certain many other families have demands in July & Aug as well. Also, I see a ton of kids missing before & after each of our breaks now to extend their vacation, more 1 week breaks means more people leaving before or after it.

2) It is hard enough to find childcare in the summer for working parents but at least you can lump 3 months in the offer. It would be even harder to find help for just a part of May & June. Most parents dont get enough vacation at their work to cover all the proposed 1 week breaks that are very challenging to find coverage for.

3)Our kids would miss out on a ton of summer/sport camp options and be at odds with other communities and their events. Could there be summer swim teams anymore? What happens to all of the great service & volunteer trips, or summer jobs that the older kids currently can do. Don't some HS kids take Jr College summer courses during their break?

4) Finally, kids(and parents)need a break from school and homework demands. One week is not enough, you don't fully wind down in that short amount of time. Let the kids get a real summer break while they are still young. They have enough stress as it is.

Posted by tim, a resident of Pleasanton Village
on Oct 8, 2013 at 5:49 pm

more day of school= more money to district

Posted by Karen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Tim, I didn't read it to mean that there would be more days of school. I read it as they would just extend out the school year, with more breaks within the year. That doesn't mean more money for the district.

Posted by Sue Kemsley, a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Our grandcildren , who live in Arizona, are on a similar schedule at their Charter School. The parents and kids love it. A needed break from school but not to long so they don't loose knowledge and have to catch up when they get off vacation.

Posted by Judy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I agree Sue- this is similar to many year round school models. It is really good for kids to not have such a long break and have to spend so much time catching up each year. Looking at different models that meet the goal of helping our kids is what I like best about PUSD. Including staggered reading. Its not about my carpool schedule- its really about the small class size my child is now getting with reading instruction. Since the community didnt feel class size reduction was not a priority, I appreciate the district continuing to work to find ways to help kids in small group instruction.

Posted by Just Say NO, a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 9, 2013 at 8:10 am

Silly people come up with silly ideas. What's new?

Posted by Kate, a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 9, 2013 at 8:48 am

Everyone I know that has this school schedule loves it and the kids love it. Not only do the kids not forget over the long long summer that we have now, but it actually helps lower absenteeism by allowing for more breaks throughout the school year. I am for this and think this the best thing for our children.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm

How did they vote? Longer school year? If so, my kids will be missing the few first extra weeks, as that early start interferes with a lot of things including vacation. I have the feeling we would have a high absentee rate especially in elementary where it does not matter if kids miss school because the material can be taught at home in no time, and the grades don't matter

Posted by fire the superintendent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Let's see, the superintendent shortens the SCHOOL DAY and now wants to extend the SCHOOL YEAR! Amazing!

The superintendent has to go. And the board.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

My first comment is how devoid of information board reports continue to be, despite the availability of better examples.

There should be serious concern in the community if there is no parent committee and/or parent meetings for feedback on these calendars. I hope there will be outreach beyond board meetings.

Moving the date earlier in August so finals occur before winter break is workable and successful elsewhere. Our family experienced year round schools. I have nothing good to say about merely spraying 180 days around the calendar.

Posted by oliver, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 9, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Schools were excellent in 2006 when I moved here. Then changes were made at the top of PUSD, school ratings went down. Now more bad decisions will follow. In Danville they call us Fremont North. Pulled our daughter out of public school system last year.

Posted by fire the superintendent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm

THe reason PUSD is 'exploring' year round school is because the facilities will soon be so overcrowded that PUSD will not be able to educate them all.

Multi-track year-round schooling, outlawed by the Williams Act (earth to PUSD, read the Williams Act) is a specific type of year-round education with the primary purpose of alleviating overcrowding in schools for school districts like PUSD, who seem incapable of building new school facilities to keep up with population growth. In this system, students and teachers are divided into groups, or track of about the same size. Each track follows its own schedule, so that one track is on vacation while the others are in school.

Of course, if PUSD were to do this, those voting for this on the Board would be recalled and the superintendent would be terminated.

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm

It appears there are a lot of uniformed and ignorant people posting here. It is not "year-round school" and it is not adding or subtracting minutes in the classroom. It is looking to adjust the calendar based on actual research of how students learn and retain information. Many schools in CA are already on a similar calendar as well as other schools across the country. I don't see these schools lagging behind CA, in fact it would appear that many are moving ahead of CA. So stick with your motto "I fear change" and go on about your existence, just don't let actual evidence get in the way of your opinions.

Posted by fire the superintendent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Actually, evidence shows that the start-and-stop and start-and-stop year-round schedule results in dismal outcomes as indicated here Web Link that also indicates people were so outraged, some people even held demonstrations to stop it.

The link above indicates it handicaps the students, scores decline, reading scores decline and morale suffers. Sounds like this idea comes from Lodi as well, which according to this article and of course, the teachers will all want a raise, along with the administrators!

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 10, 2013 at 5:17 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Me too, which similar calendar? Starting school earlier in August to get finals before the winter break is becoming more common. But I don't see how starting in July and ending in June isn't year round schooling.

Posted by Tenielle, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2013 at 7:36 am

My first comment is how poorly written this article is. My second is that despite the unclear factual claims presented in the story, there are so many who are willing to spray their ill-informed views all over this thread.

Posted by NO, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Oct 10, 2013 at 9:41 am

We have relatives in Arizona, Canada, and East Coast---- this is a very bad idea and makes our life much more difficult.

Posted by Pleasanton teacher, a resident of Danville
on Oct 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm

We have to start coordinating Pleasanton USD with San Ramon Valley USD. Many of us have kids that have child care, sports, activities, camps, etc. in cross districts. How can two districts be so near, in yet seem so far away with simple things such as the calendar?

Posted by Karen, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I work in San Jose Unified and we recently changed our school calendar. It seems to be very effective and I believe it also works well for parents.

We normally start school the second week in August and end either the last week in May or the first week in June. Our district has figured out that it is in the best interest of students/teachers/families to end the semester before Christmas break. That way families can enjoy the holiday season without their students needing to finish assignments/projects/etc. It's also nice to wrap up the semester and "start fresh" in the new year.

Our students also get a few breaks that Pleasanton students do not have at this point. Just a couple years ago, we started having a "Fall Break" and students take the first week of October off. Families and students really seem to appreciate this break because the weather is still nice enough to take a vacation somewhere. In February, there is another break for President's week. Historically, most districts have a problem with attendance this particular week in February because many professionals get some days off due to the holiday, and families go on vacation. We have found that by giving this break, our ADA isn't affected. Spring break is consistent and predictable and has absolutely nothing to do with when Easter is. Every year, our district does Spring Break the second week in April. Never changes.

Finally, the other thing San Jose Unified does, that Pleasanton should note, is that all our professional development days/staff development days, are before the student school year begins. Teachers/Staff report back to school 4 days before students. I think parents in PUSD would appreciate this because instead of having to find childcare for random Fridays/Mondays, the Staff Development days/Professional Development days just happen before the student school year begins.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 10, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

From the other thread: "An early start calendar would have classes beginning in mid-August and ending in late May or early June. A modified calendar would start classes in late July or early August, also ending in late May or early June." Having to find child care for additional breaks is not always easy for working single head of household or dual working families. Not everyone can schedule or afford vacations or stay cations.

And here is the link to the board narrative. The presentation is linked at the bottom of the page: Web Link

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I recommend starting on July 1 and ending on July 10th!

tee hee...