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PUSD talks new CTE facilities at Foothill

Also: Bond financing, AVID updates, long-term debt, math placement

The Pleasanton Unified school board Tuesday night will consider approving applications for state grant money to be used for new Career Technical Education facilities at Foothill High School.

The Career Technical Education Facilities Program (CTEFP) provides California schools matching funds for the “purposes of CTE specific new construction, modernization, and/or equipment,” according to the program website. The deadline for this funding cycle is Oct. 19.

Staff from the PUSD Adult and Education Services department hope to apply for $6 million, to be matched with $6 million from the Measure I1 Facilities Bond, in order to construct two CTE buildings at Foothill.

“Industry sectors that will be represented include Engineering, ICT (Information and Communications Technology), and Health Sciences,” staff said in their report. “Students in these classes will benefit greatly by these facilities that better simulate real life work based learning environments.”

The Measure I1 Facilities Bond already provides for the construction of a new two-story building near the main entrance of the school that would replace six portable classrooms currently in use, along with funds for two new science classrooms. Applying for additional funding, though, would enhance the projects currently being planned, staff say.

Staff add that the new facilities would create a flexible workspace that would encourage and allow for student collaboration, along with giving students a better feel of professional industry workspaces.

The estimated start time of construction for the new facilities is fall or winter 2019, regardless of whether or not PUSD receives additional grant funds. And the grant application cycle is long and involved -- the California Department of Education will publish scores from submitted applications on Feb. 8, 2019, and those that receive a score of 105 or above are eligible to submit their applications subsequently to the Office of Public School Construction by Feb. 15, 2019.

Funding order of CTEFP applications is determined by June 2019.

The open session meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the district office board room, 4665 Bernal Ave.

In other business

* The board will hear an update on the district’s Advancement Via Individual Determination programs, more commonly known as AVID. AVID is currently offered as an elective at three middle and two high schools in PUSD.

* Trustees and staff will hear and discuss an actuarial report regarding the district’s long-term debt associated with Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB).

* Board members will receive a report on and discuss next steps for Measure I1 bond financing.

After voters approved the $270 million facilities bond in November 2016, Pleasanton Unified issued the bond’s first series in October 2017, to be used for facilities, technology and to prepay the district’s 2010 COPs (certificates of participation). Currently, $199.3 million remains in unissued authorization.

At the Aug. 14 board meeting, staff proposed to the board the idea of putting forward to voters a bond measure that would extend to 2020 the tax rate from the general obligation bonds passed in the 1988 and 1997 elections. This prospective measure would allow $124 million in bonds to be issued through four series of bonds within eight years.

* The board will receive an update on the annual ninth grade math placement in algebra and geometry classes.

* Board members will receive a report and update on the extended day academic intervention program. According to staff, about 750 students across the district were served by these interventions during the 2017-18 school year.

* The board will consider approving a waiver application for Bradley Dannis, so that he can serve as a deaf and hard of hearing teacher while he works toward his credential.

* The next board meeting will be a special board governance workshop on Oct. 17 from 6-9 p.m.

* During a closed session meeting starting at 6 p.m., trustees will confer on negotiations with the Association of Pleasanton Teachers and the California School Employees Association. They will also consider an unspecified compromise and release agreement on anticipated litigation.

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