News

Foothill High prom facing fundraising shortfalls

Admin looking into options to hold both Junior Prom and Senior Ball while remaining 'fiscally responsible,' principal says

Foothill High School's annual end-of-year dance extravaganzas for the junior and senior classes may see some changes in the spring due to fundraising shortfalls, according to a letter to the school community from principal Sebastian Bull last week.

The Junior Prom and Senior Ball both happen in the spring, and are hosted by the respective leadership classes. Both classes hold fundraisers throughout the year to offset ticket costs for students, but for the past few years, they have not been able to raise much money, according to Bull.

As a result, funds from the Associated Student Body's general account were used to bring down the overall ticket costs -- a problem, Bull said, because general account dollars are supposed to be used for the entire school community.

"This model of ASB contributing to the classes for the events is not sustainable, so alternatives have to be identified to ensure the financial stability of each of the classes to be able to organize events for their entire grade level," Bull said in his letter, which he posted on Twitter and also sent out via email to the school community.

Junior Prom has recently been held at the Livermore Community Center, and since 2015 has seen an overall cost of between $34,000 and $39,000, which includes the venue, the DJ/music, photo booth and snacks and desserts, according to Bull. The Senior Ball takes place at venues such as the Exploratorium or the San Francisco Academy of Sciences, costing between $88,300 and $101,000 per year since 2016, accounting for the venue, charter bus, photo booth, finger foods and access to the venue's activities.

Last year's ticket prices were between $90 and $110 for the junior class dance and between $170 and $180 for the senior event, depending on when a student bought a ticket.

This year's Senior Ball is currently set to take place at the SF Academy of Sciences on May 11, as reservations had to be placed about a year in advance, Bull said. The event's contract in place totals $100,000, though this doesn't include the price of charter buses to transport students to and from the event.

"As it stands now, prices for each Senior Ball ticket would be about $250, which is an increase of between $80-$90 over the past few years," Bull said. Junior Prom ticket prices are unknown at present, since they depend on the chosen venue and other costs.

One option, Bull said, would be to combine together the Junior Prom and Senior Ball into a larger event at the Academy of Sciences, though they are still working to find ways to hold both events separately. The $100,000 cost estimate would remain the same even with both classes, as the venue can accommodate a large number of people, according to Jenna Hewitt, the activities director and leadership teacher at Foothill.

"We want to provide opportunities for the student body to have enjoyable experiences as part of the social aspect of high school, but at the same time have to fiscally responsible," Bull added in his letter. "We know there has been a lot of energy around this topic, so please understand that we are trying to best support our student body and allow for events to be affordable for all students to attend."

The practice of combining events is one being adopted by many schools across the Bay Area, Hewitt said.

"Based on a survey that went out last school year, the student population was split just about 50/50 on this idea, which is why we are going back to the drawing board," she said. "We are talking with students, parents, and administration to make an informed decision about how to move forward. Ultimately, we want to make sure that we are creating a more sustainable practice around finances and these events."

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Comments

79 people like this
Posted by Had my high school prom in a gym
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Oct 2, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Sounds like a great opportunity to teach kids about living within their means and how to have a realistic budget. Academy of Sciences - seriously?? Lots of nice venues in the Tri- Valley for less money. Or how about a hotel. I have not an ounce of sympathy for these kids and I would not give them a dime for this.


59 people like this
Posted by Howard Merrill
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 2, 2018 at 7:09 pm

I absolutely don't get this! My junior AND senior proms were held in the gym!


67 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 2, 2018 at 7:10 pm

Can we please try to make prom more affordable so that more students can attend and not make this an “elite” event.


53 people like this
Posted by Silverfox
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 2, 2018 at 8:35 pm

Silverfox is a registered user.

have it in the gym-if Grease could do it so can Foothill and Amador. Saves a lot of money and no buses needed.


11 people like this
Posted by FHS c/o 2018 parent
a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 2, 2018 at 10:38 pm

Yes, these events are crazy expensive. The buses are necessary. Do some research about the past few FHS classes and the upcoming c/o 2019. Have they done fundraising each year to support prom and ball? The class of 2018 did not do much fundraising and maybe only one senior year. The Senior Ball tickets were $170 with ASB and $180 without. It's a cumulative effort. Most class officers and those in the leadership class are over committed with many activities and lots of school work.

As for support from parents and others in the community? Remember when the parcel tax failed? Just an example that people expect a lot without contributing. We can't have top schools with great extra curricular activities.


36 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 2, 2018 at 11:01 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

FHS c/o 2018 parent - there is a big difference between requiring busses and an event at a private venue vs what myself and others experienced with our proms - a high school gym.

Using an existing school structure eliminates the rental costs associated with transportation and venue.


34 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 2, 2018 at 11:04 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

.........additionally if parcel tax money is used to fund dances in San Francisco - just autovote "no" for me for the next (infinite) number of parcel tax initiatives.


11 people like this
Posted by FHS c/o 2018 parent
a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 3, 2018 at 8:34 am

@Pleasanton Parent-- parcel taxes don't pay for school dances or any extra-curricular activities, but it's failure made it loud and clear that all residents do not support the schools for basic needs.


30 people like this
Posted by My opinion
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 8:39 am

My opinion is a registered user.

Completely agree with PP -- even the mention of using a parcel tax to fund "extra curricular activities" has placed me on the permanent "vote no" list.

These overly entitled kids need to learn what it will be like in real life when mommie and daddie cannot helicopter their way into the working world. Can't afford to buy a house in Pleasanton? Find one in an area you can afford, or rent, or move to a cheaper state. Stop thinking that just because these kids want something that makes it the responsibility of all of us -- who have WORKED FOR what we have -- to pay for it. Any parent or school employee who has even suggested that someone should cough up money so that their privileged kid can go to a fancy prom should be forced to pay the entire cost themselves. Don't you even dare to suggest that the taxpayers should fund these type of events. Bad enough to be so heavily taxed for pay for real education. A prom is NOT real education and has no business being linked in any way at all with funds that are used for education. And should your kid be stupid enough to knock on my door asking for donations, they will get a full on rant about reading my "no solicitors, no exceptions" sign. Too stupid to comprehend that? Go back to school and try to actually learn something.


17 people like this
Posted by Oh really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 9:32 am

@Pleasanton Parent, @My Opinion
FHS parent did not say the parcel tax funds extra/fun activities. Read more carefully before responding and stirring up controversy.


8 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 3, 2018 at 9:33 am

Can someone show me where it was stated in the article that parcel tax would be used to fund this type of activity? Or is this un-supported conjecture that is now started to become indignant spinning? Just wondering...,.


21 people like this
Posted by Proud FHS past parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 9:44 am

With the exception of FHS c/o 2018 parent, none of you know what you are talking about -- just internet trolls waiting to say negative things.

I bet most or all of you are homeowners who benefit from the Pleasanton schools making this a desirable community, and your property values have risen accordingly. Pleasanton is just about the only community in our area that does NOT have a parcel tax to help promote top schools and San Ramon and Danville and Dublin have all just surpassed Pleasanton in a poll about the most desirable places to live and raise a family in California. Parcel taxes are not used for extra-curricular activities, so don't use that as an excuse for being stingy.

Our kids deserve a good education and it is their hard work that will pay for your Social Security and other benefits as you demand what you "worked for."


8 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 3, 2018 at 9:56 am

Jack is a registered user.

Since the parcel tax money has bought computers and paid for the maintenance of roofs and air conditioners, items that should've been paid from General Fund dollars, where is all the general fund money? We are one of the most affluent cities in Notthern California but we can't afford a Prom? We can't afford to keep our fields green and mowed? This is ridiculous...


17 people like this
Posted by Let's be Respectful
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 10:08 am

For those of you who said I had mine in a GYM...that's why you are able to respond so quickly- probably retired and have nothing better to do with your time as well as being far removed from today's events! Times have changed. If you raised children who went to High School recently, you would know that the gym has not been an option for sometime now so don't have that recommendation. I went to a different high school not in this area and had my venues at hotels - again not a GYM!
Stop degrading these kids and families about how these kids are entitled. Every family who lives in this area have the financial means and because these schools provide a great education so our children can be self-sufficent later in life. So why don't you become educated and stop being so rude. I'm fine with your opinions but it can be respectfully given.
Families with high schoolers have no intentions of bothering you for funds that is why a meeting is set up to have this discussions.
But remember it's a two way street - when you need help or there is any emergency, I hope these kids just walk past you!


33 people like this
Posted by Working Parent
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Oct 3, 2018 at 10:16 am

Let's Be Respectful:

"But remember it's a two way street - when you need help or there is any emergency, I hope these kids just walk past you!"

If my "emergency" was needing money to fund my vacation to Tahoe, I hope these kids would walk right past me!

We are talking about funding for a high school dance that takes place in venues that cost $100,000 for space alone! And that are so far away - they need to rent buses. That is an entitlement, not an emergency.

If you want $$ to support having textbooks in the school or a librarian - I will contribute to that.


27 people like this
Posted by Lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 3, 2018 at 10:31 am

I agree with many of the comments may be the location needs to change and the cost needs to be lower.

But there is a large systemic problem. My wife and I have been involved with PUSD and other clubs in Ptown for 20 years. We have given both our money and time. The trend I see is fewer people are volunteering and providing support each year over the last 10 years. So yes maybe many of the kids who do feel they are entitled to need a life lesson. When they say the classes before us got to do it and this is not fair maybe some truth would help.

The kids and parents before you got involved and did not feel they were entitled.



14 people like this
Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 10:33 am

Wow! There are a lot of opinionated people! All that FHS is doing is trying to separate the Prom from the Ball! The leadership made a game time decision last year to combine them at a nice place. Maybe when they separate it will be at two ‘lesser’ spots! Lesson learned - it will be the STUDENTS who do the fundraising to keep their ticket cost down, not the stated ‘helicopter’ parents! They will not be coming to your door, and if they do, all you have to do is kindly say ‘not at this time,’ or ‘yes, I’m so grateful for the people that helped contribute even the smallest amount of $ to MY Senior ball to make it a night I will never forget.’ Donating is OPTIONAL!
Where has the kindness and compassion gone in our beautiful Pleasanton? FHS has had a lot of changes in leadership the last few years and some things have mistakenly been overlooked, give them a break while they figure it out! They are trying to make everyone happy, Pleasant-on!


8 people like this
Posted by P'Town Mom
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 3, 2018 at 10:44 am

Hmm, well parcel tax or no parcel tax- I think its a shame that the ASB is having such a tough time raising money this year. This is one of the wealthiest communities in the Bay Area. Why aren't fundraisers working? About the venue- you know, its all gone crazy- birthday parties used to be cake and ice cream and now everyone tries to outdo everyone else with venues and thousands of dollars for a party. Even Prom Proposals have become outrageous- it used to be that ya asked the girl, or later, the guy- now it involves sometimes extraordinary planning and money.
I'm not saying its a bad thing-yes, things change-But mine was in 1973 and at the Trans Am Pyramid "Electric Underground" LOL- so yes we were doing them outside of the gym then too~ I feel very fortunate that our son was able to go to his in San Francisco, with Amador- to the top of the beautiful Metreon. A night he will never forget. I also remember helping him with fundraising and parents were more than generous. It is hard to understand that this is a school in Pleasanton that we are talking about merging proms in. And yes, to the person who said to stop saying our kids are entitled- well, they kind of are :) Keep them grounded.


4 people like this
Posted by Prom Supporter
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 3, 2018 at 11:03 am

Wow Let's be Respectful - your comments were anything but! How dare you say that retired people have nothing better to do. Are you clueless? BTW be grateful that you live where you do and that your kids can afford better than a gym for prom because guess what? There are still schools and communities that cannot afford anything else.
This community can but is not supporting its own kids to enjoy something better.
Senior Ball is hallowed ground, it should never be combined with Junior Prom and I'll bet the kids feel the same way-
If they don't have to do this in lower economic based communities, why in an area where the median price of a home is over a million dollars, where kids are driving Teslas and Lamos to school, can the community not support these fundraisers?


11 people like this
Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 11:06 am

Shame on Pleasanton Weekly for publishing that principal’s letter and trying to raise controversy and divide the community! This should have been kept within the school as it was meant to be. Gotta love media creating drama! Shouldn’t you be focusing on bringing people together???


1 person likes this
Posted by Bettie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 11:12 am

I have to agree with others here, Parcel taxes can not be spent of parties.

I just have to say I worked in education for 28 years I believe in education but I think maybe the reason the parcel
tax didn't pass is because Pleasanton does not allow their senior citizens to be exempt. I have paid for years for education which I was very happy to do. I had two children that went through public education......now I feel that I and other senior citizens should be able, if they wish, to be exempt. I think if our city would give seniors the option to opt out they would have less NO votes, the seniors are voting N0. Many other places you as a senior citizen have the option to opt out!!


7 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Taxpayer
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Oct 3, 2018 at 11:38 am

Someone named "Let's be respectful" wrote:

" why don't you become educated ..."

" when you need help or there is any emergency, I hope these kids just walk past you!"

Hilarious!


Like this comment
Posted by Loved Neighbor
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Love your neighbor
who doesn’t


12 people like this
Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2018 at 12:37 pm

It would be nice to see a breakdown of costs going back 15 years. Maybe it isn’t the fundraising that is most of the problem, but the price of the venues has gone up.

Also, there are plenty of locations in the tri-valley I can guarantee would be able to do it for less and be nice enough.


6 people like this
Posted by Kk26
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 3, 2018 at 12:54 pm

It seems this is already been decided, but combining the two makes sense. I did not have my prom in a gym, but it was Jr & Sr Prom at a hotel ballroom. Transportation was not provided, but I do see the need for that and safety. I do not however agree with calling this a basic need! That being said, it is a momentous event for kids and I would think an affluent community like ours can do better with fund raising. $250 per ticket is quite steep, and could eliminate the ability to attend for kids. Add that to the dress/suit, dinner and other expenses it’s out of reach for those barely making ends meet. There are those families in Pleasanton as well. We used to hold car washes, sell Sees candy, cookie dough, wrapping paper etc. Maybe we are stretching these kids too thin with other activities and requirements that we are not allowing them the education of working hard to earn money and budget expenses. We are also taking away that sense of accomplishment that comes with it, and practical skills required for living, while we are making it harder to get into college, and less affordable. Those car wash type of things were work, but fun and let’s kids be kids too. There are skill sets out there to be learned other than just how to get into college that will be useful for life!


10 people like this
Posted by Insanity
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 12:56 pm

What the Pleasanton Weekly needs to do is do an entire article on how the proms and ball have become out of control in Pleasanton.

Along with extravagant costs (yes, it should be in a gym, not a fancy ball room somewhere in a distant city), the thing that the Pleasanton Weekly needs to also bring up is this -

The girls spend thousands on prom dresses and then once they find a 'pick,' they then show their 'pick' of a dress by putting a photo of it and other identifying information on social media pages set up specifically for each school. The 'pick' means no one else can wear the same dress that the person who initially posted it to social media.

Then the girls who plan on going to the prom must scan hundreds of dresses already picked, in order to attempt in some way to find something unique and not on the photos of previously identified 'picks.'

Sounds like something out of Mean Girls yes? But no, I kid you not.


5 people like this
Posted by Hvuheard
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 3, 2018 at 1:36 pm

I really have a hard time with these kids needing a venue that costs that much and so far away. There are places that can be rented closer to home for far less. However if this is what the parents are okay with, they can still do fundraisers before their prom in 2019. A fundraiser I have seen that raises good money is wrapping gifts at the malls and stores at Christmas time. But you have to contact these places before others do or you will miss out on an opportunity. And your kids should be required to work their shifts if they are planning on going to their prom. It doesn’t hurt to have them do something to lessen the cost of their ticket. And to get even mire of a profit, someone can contact stores like Walmart, Target, Costco, Walgreens, etc. to see if they would be willing to donate wrapping paper and tape and ribbon to this fundraiser. Or even parents could donate paper. People are willing to pay to have their gifts wrapped for a reasonable fee. You could charge $2, $4, $6... depending on the size of the gift. Or a flat rate for a certain number of gifts. It’s not too late to earn some money to help reduce their costs but it has to be something they are all willing to do.


17 people like this
Posted by My opinion
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 1:45 pm

My opinion is a registered user.

How many times are you people going to say that "the community" should step up and donate? The PARENTS should donate. Those of us who have no kids, and pay tens of thousands of dollars in taxes anyway, have no obligation to fund a party for your children!


9 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 3, 2018 at 3:05 pm

A gym would be abysmal. I'm sorry so many had to deal with that.

Hotel ballrooms are much nicer. Where the hotel is doesn't really matter. We had ours at the Hilton Towers in SF. I take a LOT of classes in hotel ballrooms around the Bay. Ballrooms look the same at (almost) every other conference hotel in the U.S.

I would expect costs could be lowered by 40% going with local caterers and local hotels. San Francisco is unreal how expensive everything is. Oh, and there will be city fees tacked on in San Francisco. Fees...for Everything.


7 people like this
Posted by Senior Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 3:32 pm

It concerns me that this school private email that was sent out to parents and students has found its way onto Pleasanton Weekly. The intent of the email sent, was to explain the situation to parents and students and provide clarity on what was going on, instead of rumor mills providing false information.

People are so easily ready to pass judgement. It has nothing to do with Helicopter parents, paying parcel taxes, it was merely stating that extra fundraising maybe needed.


16 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Let’s clear up a few things:

1. The parcel tax failed for lack of specificity, not because people don’t care. The district didn’t believe that message the first time and tried and failed again because there weren’t any specifics. Get a parcel tax that says something like two counselors at high school and X librarian hours and anything that is specific enough to track and I’ll go out to support it.

2. Seniors *were* given exemptions.

3. The bond is paying for repairs, roofs, and computers, not a parcel tax.

4. District employee email is *not* private; in fact, anyone emailing a district/school employee can have their correspondence caught in the search net. You can request any and all emails—exceptions, those about a particular student or employee—they are considered public documents under the Public Records Act.

5. Not everyone in this community can afford this prom or many pricey extracurricular activities.

Back to the proms or balls—why are people so fussed about this? If your comments are not about your child, I’d suggest stepping back. Let the students be entrepreneurs. They can choose a venue, plan the event, raise funds, and succeed or fail on their own efforts. Much to learn in that process, and fun if they make their goal.

This feels a little like the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day off: Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Yes
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Oct 3, 2018 at 7:02 pm

and Kathleen was out selling our 3rd bond because we were going to get a school. Where is it? Bait and switch.


4 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 3, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Kathleen is right:

let the students organize, cordinate, fund raising, prom selection site, transportation, entertainment, etc.

Students organize every fifteen minutes at both campuses, alternate years, at Foothill and Amador. They have been highly proficient organizing this event.


6 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 3, 2018 at 7:09 pm

@KR. That parcel tax will never pass unless the PUSD does specify what those funds will be spent on and we all know that “they” don’t want to be herded into a corral and controlled and restricted to what they can spend those big bucks on- No more open checkbooks!!!
As for those poor kids it might be time to hit the pavement, start getting creative, and maybe pay your own way for a change, adulthood is just around the corner.


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 3, 2018 at 7:25 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Yes, I was one of four people who asked the board for the new elementary school before we voted for the bond—they agreed; I supported the bond. I also got board commitment that if they do not build a school, they cannot sell the $34MM in remaining bonds earmarked for the school. They cannot spend the money elsewhere and we will not pay that amount in tames ($135MM instead of $170MM). No bait and switch.

Map, no disagreement. Districts want flexibility and often use funds in unintended ways.


4 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 3, 2018 at 8:18 pm

Wow. Nicely done. In 24 hours and with no reference in the article to the parcel tax, we are now debating... the parcel tax. Really people? We were supposed to be discussing thoughts, opinions, and possibly offer constructive ideas about the Senior Ball and Junior Prom. Obviously it's Fake News.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 3, 2018 at 8:48 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Joe, I responded to some inaccuracies posted above my first post. I think it’s important to keep the facts straight so errors aren’t left as possible truths. I also stated the students should be allowed to handle their prom/ball. There isn’t really anything else to say about it (imho). If a fundraiser is needed, those interested can help. Do you have any thoughts, opinions, or constructive ideas that might help them?


2 people like this
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 9:11 pm

Insanity - why do you care how much someone else spends on a dress? Would I ever pay thousands for a prom dress for my child? Of course not. But if someone has the money and that is what they choose to do, I don't see why it is a big deal. I doubt there are very many students who can tell the difference between a well chose $200 dress and a $2000 dress.

I know that if the prom/ball at AVHS were held in the gym, no one would go.


1 person likes this
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 9:17 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger - "They can choose a venue, plan the event, raise funds, and succeed or fail on their own efforts."

So what happens when the 10-20 students who are planning this event for 1000+ students all have no concept of money (i.e. their families are really well off and don't mind paying a lot of money) and end up in a space where tickets cost $500 or more because it would be so cool...

Don't you think a little adult guidance is in order?


1 person likes this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 3, 2018 at 9:28 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

FHS c/o 2018 parent - i think its fair to say that with the changing demographic in Pleasanton the same sense of responsibility to donate to the schools isnt what it once was. Now if you think its fair to make that statement you must also hold true that the teachers union holds an equally careless view to improving the student experience by prioritizing their funds over those that should go to students.


5 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 3, 2018 at 9:52 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

MT, yes there would be adult guidance; it’s high school. Didn’t think that needed to be said.


19 people like this
Posted by WHAT THEY AREN'T TELLING YOU
a resident of The Knolls
on Oct 3, 2018 at 10:14 pm

So the real story is that Foothill's PSA has struggled for years. As a member of the Amador PSA a few years back, we (Amador PSA) were asked by Foothill to go help Foothill try to raise money as the Purple & Gold event at Amador did well year after year. As it turned out after reviewing the books, was there are MANY parents at Foothill who pull from their PSA and claim they cannot pay extracurricular So Foothill's PSA will arrange on a case by case to have these families kids who want to participate in sports or band, etc. costs and those costs all families have to pay now come out of their "family in need" type fund. No one checks to see if they are actually struggling and for those who truly are its a great resource but its been abused for years. Amador has this type fund well, but it isn't as abused as Foothill's funds therefore that was their biggest drain of PSA funds. So here you live, in a community of million dollar homes, high salary's and everyone driving Tesla's. Yet one of your high schools is struggling because of PARENTS who have abused the "family in need" funds year after year. THAT, is the real story. It has little to do with inflation year after year. That is to be expected.


7 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 3, 2018 at 11:23 pm

Jack is a registered user.

Kathleen, yes, my mistake, I meant bond money, not parcel tax... My point is that the bond was supposed to be for "extras" and help us catch up with neighboring communities whose schools look much better than ours. Instead, we are spending it on what seem to be "day to day" things, not "get ahead" projects. By passing the bond, you'd think general fund monies would not be pinched to the extent where we can no longer afford a Prom and a Ball...


7 people like this
Posted by Former FHS Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2018 at 11:46 pm

1. First, PW had public access to this letter. Mr. Bull posted it on his Twitter account. @FHS_MrBull It is not a private letter to parents.

2. This type of information should have been shared with c/o 2018, c/o 2017, and c/o 2016 parents. All my kids graduated, but the statement below is new information to me.

From Mr. Bull's letter. "The past few years, the classes have not raised much money to reduce the overall cost, so the ASB (Associated Student Body) general account has provided money to the classes to reduce the overall cost. "

Parents need to know how it works to encourage their students who are not in leadership to help fund their SPECIAL event.

3. Contract: Who is signing the contract if the class does not have enough money or a plan to fundraise? This is poor fiscal responsibility and poor way to teach children fiscal responsibility.

4. Leadership Guidance: The ASB officers, class officers, and leadership classes need proper guidance including financial budgeting. (The general ASB fund should not bail out each class for prom/ball.) These kids volunteered to run for their offices and should dedicate more time and effort with encouragement and support from the leadership faculty.

5. Fundraising: Some of the classes have done little over the years. Heresay indicates c/o 2018 fundraising record was very poor. Hats off to the c/o 2020 who held monthly fundraisers last school year. Hope their effort was rewarded.

6. It takes a village to raise these kids into responsible adults. We need to support them in their fundraising efforts. Our village may be just their class or the whole FHS community.

7. All the best to the FHS students in their quest to reduce the per person prom/ball tickets. Senior Ball is so memorable for many, many kids.









8 people like this
Posted by Past parent
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Oct 4, 2018 at 6:18 am

@Kathleen: yes, would be great if the kids solved this on their own. But no one fundraisers anymore. "Fundraising" has turned into go-fund-me requests. No work ethic any more--just gimmee hands out.


12 people like this
Posted by Al
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 4, 2018 at 7:55 am

$100,000.00 to pay for a prom venue ? You have lost your mind, don't come knocking on my door asking for money unless you want it slammed in your face.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 4, 2018 at 8:34 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Jack, the bond can only pay for capital improvements. And yes, we are paying for years of neglect under another administration. General Fund dollars are pinched by other issues and that’s off topic here.

I think $100,000 is a bit grand, as is a ticket of $250. If they can pull it off, wonderful! I don’t know that students and advisors do Go Fund Me; of all the things people need, this would be low on my list. I don’t have a problem with students wanting a different/new experience as long as they earn/pay for it and don’t make it so expensive some students can’t participate. It appears the administration is managing expectations. Let them figure it out.

Al, if a student makes it to our door, we support them. It’s no fun going out and asking for money, even if candy, popcorn, or wrapping paper are offered. Slamming a door does offer a lesson that some people are rude I guess.


4 people like this
Posted by My opinion
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2018 at 9:06 am

My opinion is a registered user.

"It takes a village to raise these kids into responsible adults. We need to support them in their fundraising efforts. Our village may be just their class or the whole FHS community."

What it takes is the PARENTS who chose to have these kids, not those of us non-parents who are sick and tired of paying for frivolous extras for overly entitled kids.

As for people being rude for slamming the door to solicitors -- that's why I have not one, but three, prominently placed signs warning of cameras and no solicitors. When someone is too stupid to pay attention to any of those signs, they absolutely will get the door slammed, if I bother to answer it at all. The last high school kid to come to me wanted funds for her summer trip to Europe, she thought it would be a great life experience and we should all be willing to contribute for it. What kind of stupid is that?


3 people like this
Posted by Get Out
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 4, 2018 at 10:46 am

Reading these comments helps me realize that this community is not going to change. Time for us to get out. Will have to reread that PW story showing six better communities in CA to raise our family.


8 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 4, 2018 at 10:48 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Not stupid. She had a goal; she had an idea how to finance it; it worked or it didn’t or she found another way. All teachable moments. I’ve met a young person that made it to their destination and worked there in order to get to the next one and so on and saw countries they might not otherwise have experienced; others who saved to bicycle across a variety of countries. I’m sure there are many other similar stories.

So if a young person ignores all your signs and comes to you with hope of support, yeah don’t answer. Or try being polite—even point out the signs—and say good luck but I cannot (do not wish to) support this idea. Setting a good example, even when saying no, isn’t that difficult.


3 people like this
Posted by My opinion
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2018 at 8:55 am

My opinion is a registered user.

@KR -- oh, please. "She had a goal". Her goal was to sucker people into paying her way for a free summer in Europe. Her goal was to get people who WORK for their money to pay a slacker who wants a free ride. Is that really a goal that is worthwhile? How about having a goal of getting a job and paying her own way? Would you be so cavalier about handing out free money to each and every entitled kid who wants to buy a Tesla, or their fifth new iphone, or pay $100,000 to rent space for a high school party? This is an event that will not be even a small blip on their lives yet some people here think we owe it to these kids to pay for an expensive venue. Should we also provide the drugs and alcohol that will most likely be a big part of this party?

I have personally paid enough property taxes to rent that venue many times over. Enough is enough. Let them learn to live within their means. If their parents want to pay up, fine. This looks just like the hugely expensive weddings that are so popular. My co-worker paid almost $200,000 (!) for her daughter to get married. Lasted less than a year, and the kid now lives back at home where mommie and daddie continue to pay all of her expenses. That's what giving these slackers everything they want does, nothing good, no lessons learned.


7 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 5, 2018 at 9:09 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I didn’t say I agreed with her goal or would support it. Just don’t think rudeness is necessary. For your coworker, live and learn or perhaps not. It isn’t your money or heartburn. I’m not going to paint an entire generation with a single brush based on a few examples.

Your property taxes go a lot of places, not just schools. And the students will learn it takes a lot of work to earn that kind of money or that they need to dial back their expectations and/or any number of other lessons. No need for all the fuss.


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Posted by Not that difficult
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2018 at 9:29 am

Just make sure the classes and class officers are aware of what the fundraising expectations are.
I think the news that PTSA has been helping subsidize should have been brought to light earlier. Sounds like a bit of a lack of communication between adults/students- but it is completely fixable.
We held fundraisers back in the day - and all students were expected to help out -even those (like me) who didn’t attend prom. It is part of being a class/community.


9 people like this
Posted by Allen
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 5, 2018 at 9:51 am

Still at it eh ? can't believe that the elite of P. Town are still trying to get someone to pay for a lavish event that will last for a few hours and will exclude so many kids who's parents can't afford it.
You are not teaching your children how to become good upstanding individuals, you are making them feel as though they are entitled.
Teach them to go raise money for the food pantry, many folks will not have enough to enjoy healthy holiday meals. Stop this elite madness a prom held in a Gymnasium is not a new Idea.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 5, 2018 at 11:57 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I believe part of graduation requirement is volunteering, but parents should be instilling values like helping others.

I don’t think they have determined how they will raise money or how they will help students who can’t afford whatever/wherever. Anyway, I can’t believe people “are still at it” complaining. Not your problem.


7 people like this
Posted by Reality Bites
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 5, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Reality Bites is a registered user.

A poster above mentioned the changing demographics of Pleasanton playing a role in fundraising and supporting extracurricular activities. Not only is the demographic change affecting funding for these activities, the desire to participate in these types of activities, proms, field trips, and sports, is declining. Parents of elementary age kids don't want their kids spending time on field trips that take away classroom time. High school kids coming in from other countries don't value the prom experience. Sports participation is only seen as a checkbox on a college application so many sports are suffering especially at the middle school and high school level. These changes will continue as the demographics shift in Pleasanton and the new families prioritize college entrance qualifications over everything else. The goal is to go to college and get the well paying job rather than raising well rounded, well socialized, and happy kids.


4 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2018 at 3:08 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Reality,

People used to say that "well rounded" crap to keep Jews and other minorities out of Ivy League schools. Privileged white males didn't want the competition. The bigots didn't succeed at Harvard and I am glad to see they aren't succeeding in Pleasanton. Keep the change coming. I love it!


2 people like this
Posted by Smackdown
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 5, 2018 at 4:45 pm

@my opinion

Just going out on a limb, but I’m guessing you couldn’t score a date for the prom.


1 person likes this
Posted by Reality Bites
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 5, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Reality Bites is a registered user.

@ Bob - so you believe K-12 education is simply about academic achievement and getting into college. Do you also believe arts, music, theater, dance, sports, field trips, Outdoor Education, and other extra curricular activities are a waste of time?


5 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2018 at 5:15 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Reality,

I believe scapegoating "kids coming in from other countries" is xenophobic and bigoted. If you want more funding for the arts, get out and do something about it, and stop blaming the "others".

Sports? I don't see what you mean. Soccer is doing fine. I would like to see fewer kids playing football, personally.


7 people like this
Posted by My opinion
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2018 at 5:25 pm

My opinion is a registered user.

LMAO smackdown -- In fact I did go to my junior prom and had a great time. Did not go to my senior prom because I graduated high school a year early and was already into my second year of college at that time. Have had a long a fun career that has taken me to nearly every country in the world and never once thought it was the responsibility of anyone else to pay my way.


12 people like this
Posted by @RealityBites
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 5, 2018 at 6:07 pm

@RealityBites is a registered user.

I think what Reality Bites is saying, which is true..... and what is very obvious for those involved is that raising money for schools, sports, charities etc... used to be a slam dunk in Pleasanton.

But not true any more. If you go to a charity or fundraising event for the schools in Pleasanton (for example a fund raising ball) you will see the same people every year donating their time to run the event, and the "demographics" of the attendees (meaning those who show up and donate money) will not align with the demographics of that school's student body. Why is that? The money raised will benefit all kids at that school, but not all parents attend or donate.

It is the new reality, and it does not sit well with many who experienced times when everyone whose kids attended a school also came to the events, gave of the their time & their money etc..

It just is not happening anymore.


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Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@@Reality,

People may be less interested in proms or football (good riddance). Maybe, if you think "everyone" benefits, why not push for a tax increase?


4 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2018 at 8:39 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Reality,

I think the shift in emphasis both toward academics and career preparation is a good thing, and a healthy change for the community.


10 people like this
Posted by Stating the obvious
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 6, 2018 at 8:35 am

The demographics in Pleasanton have changed drastically in the past 10 years, and yet, the fund raising events/efforts have not. It’s time to change the fund raising tactics if you really want to raise funds. Try offering advice or programs that will help students increase their chances of getting into an Ivy League school and I am certain you will raise much more funds than those same old boring auction events. These new “rich” residents are willing to spend lavishly for their children’s academics. And you won’t find them bidding on that stupid 2-day Napa wine tasting trip on auction.


2 people like this
Posted by Hee Hee
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 8, 2018 at 2:09 pm

Academy of Sciences, Yikes nothing like starting at the top.
Should have started saving your moneys when you sere in Kindergarten.
That's not the way the world really works children.
Hee Hee


1 person likes this
Posted by Vigy
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Oct 9, 2018 at 12:31 pm

Vigy is a registered user.

Thanks for the memories folks. I saved up for a junior ball ticket and then discovered that I had enough money to buy a 22 revolver. The gun won. Cost me $32 sixty years ago. I never regretted it. Still have the gun.


1 person likes this
Posted by Lauren Andrade repay $40,000
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2018 at 4:32 pm

A few years ago a FHS teacher and swim coach and CA State Bar license holder, Laruen Andrade, self revoked her teaching credential due to a misconduct investigation. Lots of rumors that I won't mention were going around. She had a settlement given to her by PUSD for $40,000. I have reached out to her to repay that money to FHS. It could have helped the lack of prom funds. Google her name and you can find out where she lives, as well as her phone number. Maybe a little heat from the public may get her to repay her "settlement" to FHS.


9 people like this
Posted by Tired Student
a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 11, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Us students are NOT saying that we are entitled to your money in the slightest, nor that we are entitled to some mega-supreme-gala thing. This school year everything has changed for us - the rallies, teachers, schedule, and even our Ball, which is traditionally just for seniors. This class is going through it all and we're tired. We just want to be able to enjoy our senior year without feeling constantly exhausted and stressed from college applications, and Ball is supposed to commemorate us and our hard work throughout school. Homecoming may be in the gym, but it's hot, small, and uncomfortable. I'm certain that nobody had a class of near 500+ students - try fitting that into our school gym! We don't want the money of people who dedicate their lives to writing awful comments on a blog about a small, racist town that avoided low-income households by making elderly centers. If you don't want to pay for it, then don't bother commenting. Also, we know how the real world works. Some of us don't have jobs because we're too busy juggling our college level courses that we take in high school, and some of us know more about civic virtue than any of the people commenting horrible things to children on this page. Reminder: You are bullying children. And yeah, we're entitled and started at the top because of our parents and their jobs. We were raised entitled by all of you.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 11, 2018 at 7:08 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Tired Student,
You do not know how the real world works. Dont pretend you do, and to be honest youre not supposed to at this age. Your job is to grow snd learn so you can be a productive member of society- no one expects you to understand how the world works mow.

You should and deserve to celebrate hard work and success. No one disagrees with that. What that looks like we obviously do.

Youre right about the logistics and hc in a gym - and there are creative solutions between that and a chartered trip to sf. Figure them out.

Youre right that your parents contributed to any feelings of entitlement, and that only means you may have a harder acceptance of realities or a more motivated desire to achieve what you want by working for it.

I can tell you your bulley / racist comment reminds me of the lyrics, "you cant be a pimp and prostitute too"


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Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2018 at 7:47 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Tired,

A lot of the racists are leaving. Things are getting better in Pleasanton.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 11, 2018 at 8:04 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

@BobB
And a lot are moving in, just because the face the racism maybe changing doesnt mean it still doesn't exist


3 people like this
Posted by @TiredStudent
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 11, 2018 at 8:17 pm

@TiredStudent is a registered user.

Tired from what???

You live a charmed life here in Pleasanton compared to 99% of youth in the rest of the real world.

If you really have any self awareness, might I suggest global awareness, you need to keep your racist accusations/ comments in check.

You are exhausted from your college applications? Do you really hear yourself, and expect pity.

If you take AP classes, do you have any idea what the experience is for the rest of the world for kids your age is like?

You are privileged to go to school, please revise your post to an apology for the rest of us who pay taxes to send your to free public school!!


Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 11, 2018 at 8:37 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

This is a young person you are talking to; how about at least being a better example? This is for FHS to work through and if you can’t help, walk away.


2 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:26 am

BobB is a registered user.

@PP,

I haven't seen any evidence of racists moving in to Pleasanton. Most are moving out or dying (I am glad of that).


2 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:36 am

BobB is a registered user.

To the above poster who used "@Tired..." as a name. When you do that it gets very confusing.

Tired student was right to point out the racists in Pleasanton. I have seen it personally when I moved here years ago. Thankfully they are being driven underground or out.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

BobB,
......but you have evidence of them moving out and dying?

I’d love to see your data that shows who the racists are, evidence of their departure or death, plotted against the newcomers, evidence of their lack of racism, and the resulting downward trend of racism.

...:..and put an asterisk by your data as it probably doesn’t account for our new definition of racism inclusive of our unknown subconscious bias.


2 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:27 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@PP,

It is just what I have observed. I've lived here many years, and I haven't seen much of the blatant racism I witnessed even 15 years ago. I have personally seen a neighbor move away because he said he was "disgusted" with the kind of people they were allowing to buy houses in Pleasanton. I just haven't seen that with the new neighbors moving in. Have you?


1 person likes this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

BobB,
I have. And obviously i dont know your neighbors, so ill have to trust you know the difference between and disapproval/disagreement with changes to say they are genuinely racist.
I say racism is still prevalent, one because it is, and two because its changing - again, not inclusive of all experiences for people ive encountered, but ive been told non-indian girls are not ok for indian boys to marry. Ive been told by japenese individuals not to trust vietnamese individuals. Ive had a potential home buyer ask me how many black families live in the neighborhood and how is crime. Ive heard indian families say schools are only good if they see indian students, too many white, black, or mexican mean theyre bad.
Its well and alive, i do think we are getting better and less tolerant of poor behavior but our new neighbors have racist views too-


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Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2018 at 8:54 am

BobB is a registered user.

@PP,

I agree it doesn't go away completely. I haven't seen some of the examples that you have, but I'm not doubting it either. It is getting better. In the case of newly arrived Indians not marrying non-Indians, that could be purely a cultural thing having to do with arranged marriages.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 13, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Ah, if racism is culturally inherent its ok.

Perhaps this too is based in culture.
Web Link

Again, not saying historic racism isnt alive and active, but its also coming with newcomers and our desire to be pc.


1 person likes this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2018 at 12:12 pm

BobB is a registered user.

I don't think it is racism at all if an Indian parent wants an arranged marriage for their child. It would be very difficult to find non-Indian parents who would work to arrange such a marriage. I don't think there is anything racist about it. Back 20 years or so ago I had conversations with friends about that very subject. They just wanted an arranged marriage. Race wasn't a factor.


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