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PUSD student enrollment remains steady for 2019-20 school year

Also: Board OKs Measure I1 project contracts, takes positions on ballot issues

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Student enrollment in the Pleasanton Unified School District has stayed steady over the past five years, staff reported at Tuesday night's meeting of the Board of Trustees.

PUSD has 102 fewer students enrolled in grades TK-12 than last year but 109 students more than nearly six years ago, according to the district.

"The good news is overall we're relatively stable with enrollment," said Katherine Rief, director of student services for PUSD, although she noted exceptions for all grade levels.

Local high schools have experienced the biggest increase; enrollment for students in grades 9-12 is at a high from five years ago. A total of 4,886 students were enrolled in October 2014 but that number spiked by 248 students in October 2019, bringing the total number of PUSD high-schoolers to 5,134.

Middle school grade enrollment has remained fairly level the entire time but saw a slight dip this year with 52 fewer students enrolled at the moment. Elementary school enrollment during that same six-year period also dropped by 87 students -- from 6,269 down to 6,182 students as of October 2019.

Donlon Elementary, where a new school serving grades 4 and 5 has been planned for construction, has experienced the most overflow at the elementary level with 111 more students enrolled than the campus was designed to accommodate.

At the high school level, Amador Valley has 2,734 students onsite while Foothill has 2,217. Students who live in the district's "choice area" can enroll at either high school (as well as either Vintage Hills or Valley View for elementary students).

Open enrollment in the choice area is encouraged for Foothill, according to Rief, although staff told the trustees that "there are always opportunities to have that discussion" when asked about possibly changing the choice area.

The enrollment report also found the largest racial demographics in PUSD are Asian (45.6%), white (35.27%) and Hispanic (9%). The number of Asian students has increased by 12% over the past five years while the percentage of white students fell by the same amount during that same period.

There are also 346 elementary students enrolled in the Valley View Elementary dual immersion language program and 180 secondary students attending alternative education programs like Village High School, independent study, middle college or adult transition.

In other business

* The school board also approved a slew of construction projects and related services on Tuesday night. Among the more notable items passed were a $2.3 million leaseback agreement with Bothman Construction Inc. for rebuilding Lydiksen Elementary School.

Last summer PUSD began pursuing the lease-leaseback option in an effort to attract better contractor bids for district construction projects like the Lydiksen remodel. PUSD had only received one bid for the project at the time, which was over budget.

Under the agreement, the district will lease the Lydiksen property to the builder and pay their fees instead of paying upfront for the entire project. Once the work is completed, the contractor will lease the upgraded site back to PUSD and the lease would terminate upon final lease payment. The board also approved a $131,902 consultant services agreement with BSK Associates for the Lydiksen rebuild. Money for both contracts will be funded by Measure I1 revenue.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the project will be held Friday starting 11 a.m. at Lydiksen Elementary, 7700 Highland Oaks Drive.

* The board also voted to ratify contracts for several facilities projects this week, including $819,998 from the Measure I1 fund for replacement of the Hart Middle School portable classrooms and adding a new science building on site. Construction is expected to start next spring and finish by July 2022, according to PUSD.

Another Measure I1 project will take off this spring, after the board gave the greenlight to a $1.07 million agreement for HVAC and roofing repairs and replacements at six PUSD campuses: Alisal, Fairlands and Valley View Elementary, Pleasanton Middle and Harvest Park Middle, and Amador Valley High.

Damaged curbs in the pickup and dropoff areas at Valley View Elementary will also be fixed soon, after the trustees approved $28,300 for repairs from the general fund. The district said that "conditions are not safe and require repairs" at eight locations in the Valley View parking lot. Work on the lot is expected to end by mid-April.

The board will also spend $7.6 million for construction management of the Measure I1 program and $153,595 for services related to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review. Both contracts will be paid through the Measure I1 fund.

* The trustees also approved resolutions in support of two ballot initiatives that will be decided in the March 3 primary election. The resolutions are symbolic in nature and do not impact election results or district funds.

One declares the district's support for Proposition 13, a proposed $15 billion bond measure for fixing the state's public preschools, K-12 schools, community college and four-year academic institutions that PUSD said "will also provide funds for matching Pleasanton USD bond funds, allowing for addressing more facility needs."

The other resolution is in support of Measure C, which would create a new, one-half percent sales tax in Alameda County to raise $150 million annually for childcare, preschool programs and pediatric healthcare and emergency services. Trustee Valerie Arkin said during the meeting that she had asked to place the Measure C resolution on the meeting agenda.

Julia Baum is a staff writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. Reach her at jbaum@pleasantonweekly.com or 925-600-0840, ext. 111.

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Comments

6 people like this
Posted by steve milina
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 13, 2020 at 4:05 pm

wow first more property tax possibility and now a half percent sales tax increase when is it going to end I am glad I already voted no to both


Like this comment
Posted by Andrea Charles
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2020 at 12:19 am

Blogs like this are very motivating, for letting everyone know about the statistics of the school enrollment and other developments in the locality. It keeps the people well informed about the activities and helps in better integration with the teams at work. A similar picturesque blog can is witnessed at Web Link.


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