School board approves contract amendments, recycled water resolution

Board approves hiring new director of elementary education

The Pleasanton school board Tuesday reviewed an updated fiscal year budget and approved recycled water for irrigation at a local school.

The board also announced that Jennifer Tyson has been hired as the district's new director of elementary education, replacing Mindy Bolar who left to become a school superintendent in Mariposa County.

Tyson most recently was the principal of De Vargas Elementary School in the Cupertino Unified School District.

“I'm very pleased to be here this year," Tyson said at the meeting. “I'm looking forward to a productive and joyful school year."

Board member Chris Grant was out of town on business and unable to attend Tuesday night's meeting.

The board also approved district educational expense payments stemming from four items labeled as anticipated litigation in closed session. Further information was not available as of Tuesday night.

In open session, Micaela Ochoa, deputy superintendent of Business Services, gave a report to the board on the district's 45-day budget revise, a required practice that follows the governor's sign-off of the annual state budget. The board approved the 2016-17 PUSD budget on June 28, so the budget revise accounts for changes to forecasted revenues and expenditures.

According to a general fund summary shown at the meeting, the district is anticipating deficit spending $276,050 greater than originally forecast. District revenue this fiscal year will be slightly less than anticipated, $142.8 million versus just shy of $143 million.

Ochoa said the district planned to absorb the difference from its undesignated ending balance, which will go down from an anticipated $6.1 million to $5.9 million as a result.

The board also approved a resolution allowing Hart Middle School to use non-potable recycled water for irrigation. The school district and the city of Pleasanton have been working toward converting the school's irrigation system from potable to recycled water since last year.

The city has received approval from the State Water Resources Control Board to proceed with the connection of Hart Middle School to the city's recycled water system.

“This is an exciting time," said David Young, the district's director of Maintenance and Operations. “This is our first school site with a connection to recycled water."

Young added that he is interested in seeing other district schools possibly do the same in the near future.

There are no health concerns should a student accidentally ingest the recycled water, he said.

There were also several consent items approved by the school board, including an addendum to the employment agreement with Superintendent Rick Rubino amending the life insurance section of the contract.

The original agreement stipulated that the district would purchase a life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit, with 40% of the benefit going to PUSD and the other 60% to a beneficiary of Rubino's choosing. Now the district plans to reimburse Rubino for the annual policy premium and change the death benefit to $300,000 with the superintendent able to designate the beneficiaries.

The board also amended the change order with Alaniz Construction for the playground paving project at Harvest Park Middle School. The deferred maintenance project, slated to cost just over $200,000, needs an additional $20,850 so the contractor can install pavement fabric across the entire playground.

During the project, which started July 21, the contractor discovered 118 abandoned 2-inch diameter steel pipes cut flush at abandoned concrete footings under existing asphalt. The district believes this is the result of several playground additions and eliminations undertaken over the years.

The pavement fabric will overlay existing subsurface to the steel pipes and concrete footings.

The board also approved a waiver application to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing requesting authorization so the district can bring on a new resource specialist for Harvest Park Middle School. School boards may approve such a waiver application when a fully credentialed candidate is not available for a posted position.

The next board meeting will be held on Aug. 23.

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2 people like this
Posted by meadowlark
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 10, 2016 at 11:25 am

Will someone explain to me why the district needs to pay for a life insurance policy for the superintendent?

2 people like this
Posted by Paving also needed at FHS
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Aug 10, 2016 at 7:55 pm

FHS is in need of some paving. There are huge potholes by the gate that separates the senior parking lot from the lane that goes by the small gym. This area is a pedestrian path between the Junior lot and campus and is a trip hazard. Perhaps some patching can be done when they close up the hole from the water main break?

@Meadowlark - life insurance is a normal benefit.

2 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

If you want some paving done, I recommend you vote for the bonding November.

Like this comment
Posted by local
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 10, 2016 at 8:35 pm

Using scare tactics that if you do not approve a $270M bond that the safety issues due to paving maintenance will not be paved. Don't think we need $270M to patch a pothole.

I guess we will be hearing this until the election. Anything that needs to be done for maintenance and the answer will be we need the bond first.

1 person likes this
Posted by HSMom
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 10, 2016 at 9:02 pm

Meadowlark, pardon me but don't most employers pay for benefits, such as life insurance. So why wouldn't the district pay for Rubino's life insurance? He is an employee of the district, correct?

Like this comment
Posted by Local
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 17, 2016 at 6:08 pm

@HS Mom, I don't think district employees receive life OR health insurance paid by the district. There was a lot of talk about teacher benefits and the fact that they had to pay for their own. If the district doesn't pay for health benefits for teachers, I would think that goes for all employees of the district (except superintendent). I can't imagine that they offer life insurance to any "regular" employees. Could be wrong.

2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 17, 2016 at 6:45 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

It's not that the district doesn't pay for benefits for teachers, the teachers union voted for the District not to provide them so they could receive higher pay in turn as most qualify for spousal benefits through amother companies provider. This boosted their annual salary, step and column, and retirement payout.

The statement is not that the district doesn't pay for them, the statement is that teachers voted to not have them.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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