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Amador Valley parking solutions, possible bond measure top packed PUSD agenda

Suicide prevention policy, bell schedule changes among other meeting items

This week’s agenda for the Pleasanton school board meeting is packed with updates, including one on a possible new bond measure on next year’s ballot and the Amador Valley High School parking lot makeover.

Bell schedule changes, infrastructure projects, a tolerance and diversity training report, and a proposed suicide prevention policy also add up for a busy evening Tuesday starting with a closed session at 5 p.m. concerning the appointment of a new Pleasanton Middle School principal. Afterward, the Board of Trustees will convene for its regular open meeting at 7 p.m. inside the Pleasanton Unified School District headquarters, 4665 Bernal Ave.

PUSD issued a survey several weeks ago seeking feedback from staff, parents and students about parking options and alternatives when construction begins this summer on a solar panel structure installation and the re-orientation of the Amador Valley campus parking lot facing Santa Rita Road.

With the project expected to continue into the fall semester, neighbors around Amador Valley are also concerned about how the loss of more than 400 parking spaces while work is underway will impact them. Staff will present the results of that survey during the meeting Tuesday night.

About 50 parking spaces for staff will be available on the first day of the 2019-20 school year, but the district and city are still unsure how to manage parking for students. Some ideas like using the softball field for parking were rejected, while staff said renting the Alameda County Fairgrounds parking lot would be too costly and presented liability concerns. Staff are still exploring other private busing options and hiring Bay Area Traffic Solutions to manage traffic.

Work is scheduled to begin in June after students are gone for the summer but district officials recently said that the community should “expect a significant impact to parking availability at the beginning of the school year, as construction for the parking lot will potentially be ongoing through October 2019.”

Families and neighbors have suggested delaying the project until next year but PUSD said they “would lose approximately $1.3 million dollars for energy efficient projects and to improve facilities” due to state Proposition 39 clean energy fund deadlines for this year.

The district estimates that approximately $1.8 million in energy costs will be saved over the 25-year lifespan of the structure, while also enhancing pedestrian safety, providing covered parking and reducing the school’s carbon footprint.

In other business

The Board of Trustees will revisit the possibility that evening of placing a new bond measure on next year’s ballot.

Back in March, the board debated whether the public would vote to extend the current revenue brought in by previous bonds, noting that a number of Measure I1 projects like the Lydiksen Elementary School remodel are still unfinished. The trustees agreed to decide eventually whether to initiate public polling to determine voter support for a possible $120 million bond measure for next year.

At the time, district officials also said a new bond would present "an opportunity to fund approximately $120 million" for potential future projects like upgrading Vintage Hills Elementary and general facility and equipment upgrades.

The district’s Facilities Master Plan was approved last year but an estimated $846 million is needed to complete projects for all 15 campuses, some of which are already covered by the $270 million Measure I1 bond from 2016. About three dozen are still unfunded, including $6.34 million for traffic mitigation related to the Donlon Elementary School property redesign to split it into a K-3 campus and another new school for fourth and fifth grades. There is just over $145.5 million left in funding to allocate for projects on the Measure I1 list.

The board is expected to vote on issuing a public poll next month; if approved, polling would take place for several weeks in late August and early September.

* Trustees will consider implementing a district-wide suicide prevention policy based on staff recommendation.

Student ID cards would “include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline telephone number and may also include the Crisis Text Line and/or a local suicide prevention hotline telephone number” if enacted.

“Suicide prevention training shall be provided to teachers, counselors, and other district employees who interact with students” as part of the policy, as well as “procedures for intervening when a student attempts, threatens, or discloses the desire to die by suicide,” according to district documents.

* Bell schedule changes to several K-12 campuses will be up for a vote Tuesday night; access periods for the 2019-20 school year are pending at all three middle schools -- Hart, Harvest Park and Pleasanton -- plus Foothill High School.

Adding an access period twice each week at the middle schools would “allow teachers time to reteach essential standards, provide additional supports, and extend the learning for students who have mastered the standards,” while a late start period at Foothill twice weekly would “allow for student access to academic/social-emotional support and/or enrichment.”

Surveys conducted at all of the schools show that 75 % to 92% of staff who responded overwhelmingly favor the proposed bell schedule changes. The board will vote on whether to make those permanent after more updates and discussion at the meeting.

* Contracts for fixing the fire-damaged library at Harvest Park and replacing the roofing at several campuses are also up for approval.

Last summer a fire damaged Harvest Park’s library and campus-wide low voltage systems; the board will decide whether to award a $397,506 contract to Integra Construction Services Inc. for the demolition portion of the project.

The board is also set to vote on a contract to re-roof multiple buildings at Pleasanton Middle School, Amador Valley, and Donlon and Valley View elementary schools. That work would be paid for using $604,000 in deferred maintenance funds.

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