Looking toward a future with lower projected growth than originally predicted, the Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees will look at possibly adjusting enrollment boundaries at their regular meeting on Thursday, starting 7 p.m.
Picking up from recent conversations and a 2021-22 enrollment project study that indicated "near and long term enrollment imbalances at the elementary, middle and high schools," staff said the discussion on Thursday will be one of the first moves towards relieving overcrowding in both the eastern and, particularly, northwest parts of the district, where the board recently ceased planning for a school serving grades 4 and 5 on the Donlon Elementary site, the costs of which increased by $13 million "since original planning and reductions in other project scopes would be required."
"The latest demographics and enrollment trends indicate significantly impacted areas and imbalances within the district schools," staff said. "In the northwest of the district, schools are seriously overcrowded and are projected to continue to grow."
Staff added, "In the eastern part of the district, there is projected growth in the later years from potential residential development. Currently to mitigate impacted schools, students are redirected to other schools that have space."
The so-called E-10 school at Donlon was ultimately scrapped in November "as a result of the uncertain times of 2020, including the COVID-19 pandemic, revised demographic projections, and fiscal consideration." However, the board directed staff to look into increasing capacity at Lydiksen Elementary "as partial relief to accommodate some projected enrollment growth in that boundary area."
The action also included setting aside $35 million in Measure I1 bonds for a future 10th elementary school.
To make that feasible, staff said "additional capacity will still need to be accommodated at, or relieved from, other elementary schools within the district," and recommended a boundary adjustment study "to achieve this objective."
The district will work to create a board-approved process that includes "setting goals, establishing committees, gaining feedback and input from stakeholders and the community, and reporting out to the board who will give final direction on any boundary changes."
In other business
* The board will also receive a report on staff development and training during the pandemic. Since March 2020, staff said "the focus of professional development has been to guide PUSD educators on the journey through remote, hybrid, and concurrent instruction, while building on our collective strengths and putting student learning at the forefront of our work as educators."
A high-level review of educators' progress over the past 13 months will be given, starting with when schools closed for in-person instruction and the integration specialists "launched a week of virtual learning as teachers prepared for emergency remote teaching," then continuing with one-on-one coaching while teachers created their virtual classrooms. A centralized website that housed all of the district's asynchronous professional development was also created during that time.
Instructors also participate in monthly professional development sessions, and have access to daily office hours that "provide a place for teachers to drop in for individual support."
With the shift back to hybrid learning, planning and preparing to teach both "roomies" (hybrid students) and "Zoomies" (remote learners) began in January. A Virtual Back To School Summit also took place in summer "for teachers to participate in synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities."
No action will be taken on the item, which is slated to be a discussion only.
* A contract to construct a new science building at Hart Middle School is up for approval from the board on Thursday.
Last year the district split up project work into four "packages'', starting with the first package that will include construction of a new parking lot and drop off lane. The second phase of work will see the science building courtyard built, followed by construction of the new science building during the third phase, then finally renovating the existing science labs into general education classrooms for the fourth and final phase.
Staff said that "by dividing the project into distinct scope packages, the district and construction management team is able to have greater overall control of the project while maintaining proper infrastructure and path of travel for the site at all times."
"This also works to solicit and secure a modular contractor independently of the other scope, which in practice would allow better control of both budget and schedule," staff said.
Estimated construction costs for the first package were originally about $2.25 million, but a bid from Silicon Valley Paving Inc. would bring that down to $1,941,747. The cost would be paid by Measure I1 revenue.
If approved, groundbreaking on the building would take place towards the end of this month, with work finishing in August, according to the district.
* The scope of work on the Lydiksen Elementary rebuild is poised to increase and include additional classrooms to accommodate 198 more students expected to attend the school in the future.
On Thursday, the board will consider amending an agreement with AEDIS Architects to add four new classrooms, remodel the building B pod to accommodate support spaces that are "sized appropriately to the increased enrollment," and remodel building E to add two classrooms that would replace those removed from the remodeled building B pod.
During negotiations, staff said "areas of overlap and other efficiencies were identified that reduced the initial proposed fee by approximately $320,000." The current contract amendment shows an estimated cost of $719,395, which will be funded by Measure I1.