The Pleasanton school board will hold a public meeting tonight to interview four firms it has chosen as candidates for conducting a national search for a new superintendent.
The board chose to interview Atlantic Research Partners of Chicago, McPherson & Jacobson LLC of Omaha, Dave Long & Associates of Laguna Beach and Leadership Associates of La Quinta, all of whom are vying for a district contract to be the mediators for its ongoing superintendent search.
The district is looking for a superintendent after former superintendent Parvin Ahmadi left the district earlier this year to become Castro Valley's superintendent. Interim superintendent Jim Hansen has been filling the post since this summer and will continue until June 2016.
The board was initially planning to choose three firms to interview, but board members' votes were close between Atlantic Research Partners and Dave Long & Associates as the third choice, so they decided to interview both.
The four firms will be interviewed publicly at Tuesday night's special board meeting. Board members recommended vetting each firm on their views about whether to allow community access to the candidates in the name of transparency or whether discretion is required to attract the best candidates.
Atlantic Research Partners put in a contract bid of $23,000, McPherson & Jacobson LLC bid $28,000, Dave Long & Associates bid $25,950 and Leadership Associates bid $27,950.
Last Tuesday, the board also heard a presentation on plans to restart the district's adult education program, starting with English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in the spring.
Pleasanton Unified shut down its adult education program in 2012 when the impact of the recession required money to be moved around to other more pressing needs. However, a change in state funding opportunities opened the door for Pleasanton Unified to bring back adult education classes, which could include computer classes, resume classes and courses for adults with disabilities, said Glen Sparks, Pleasanton Unified coordinator of career technical education.
The district has received approval for a state grant of $256,789 in one-time funds through a local consortium, which is expected to cover the cost of the program implementation, said Odie Douglas, assistant superintendent of educational services.
The money comes via Assembly Bill 104, a recent piece of legislation which allocates money for adult education programs and filters those funds through local consortiums. The Mid-Alameda County Consortium is in charge of adult education dollars for this area and approved Pleasanton Unified's funding request, Douglas said.
The board will vote whether to restart adult education courses at its next regular board meeting on Nov. 10.
The board also heard a presentation from a district committee dedicated to researching the idea of changing the district's instructional calendar. The committee is working on a survey to send out to parents, teachers, staff, students and other stakeholders, which can be filled out starting Nov. 30, according to the timeline presented Tuesday.