A new approach to navigating negotiations between school administrators and staff members is one of three discussion items on a light agenda docket for the Pleasanton school board's regular meeting on Thursday, starting at 7 p.m.
Following months of strained negotiations between the Pleasanton Unified School District and Association of Pleasanton Teachers, union members voted to authorize a strike in October. The school district is considering adopting interest-based bargaining (IBB), called "a non-positional approach to negotiations," as a conflict resolution model that would "be used at all negotiation tables to various extents."
According to a staff presentation scheduled on Thursday, IBB "begins with listening, and understanding each others’ interests." When used, staff said IBB protects traditional rights and practices, improves the outcome of negotiations, and "enables both parties to achieve shared goals and achieve individual goals."
"It will improve communication and trust, and thereby build a more cohesive school community," staff said.
San Lorenzo Unified School District's successful reconfiguration of the district at various grade levels was one example of how PUSD officials said IBB "can result in win-win outcomes."
If adopted, the model would be used districtwide by leadership and others including the PUSD Board of Trustees, cabinet members, and both the executive boards and negotiation teams for APT, as well as the California School Employees Association.
In other business
** The board is set to review and possibly approve a list of criteria to award students the State Seal of Civic Engagement (SSCE) on Thursday.
Last year the district approved and started using interim criteria for awarding the SSCE to students "who demonstrate excellence in civics education and participation, and an understanding of the US Constitution, the California Constitution, and the democratic system of government."
Students hoping to earn the SSCE recognition this year must meet the five criteria that were adopted in 2021, which require they be on track to graduate or earn a Certificate of Achievement under district requirements, and also complete their grade-level history-social science (HSS) course requirements of World History, U.S. History, and Civics with a passing grade.
Additionally, students must have "active verifiable participation in an activity, club, or organization focused on addressing problems in their communities, influencing institutional policies, and/or reflecting their actions to develop their identities as citizens with rights and responsibilities." Their participation will be judged by its "duration, depth, and/or impact of engagement in the school and/or community."
A written statement "that illustrates how the student worked to advance a common good (for the community and/or society as a whole) or democratic ideals, such as equity and justice," must also be submitted. Students also need an advisor to recommend them for demonstrating – among other qualities – "concern for the rights and well-being of all," "proactive commitment to equity, inclusivity, racial and ethnic diversity," and "appreciation for a variety of perspectives and valuing differences."
Should the board approve the criteria, students would be able to apply for SSCE recognition by early May. During the next school year, staff will work with high school teams to review the SSCE evaluation process and revise if necessary.
** Close to $1 million in Measure I1 funds for upgrading the security video systems at Hart, Harvest Park and Pleasanton middle schools is set for board approval on Thursday.
Among the projects planned under the bond measure, funds were specifically allocated for security improvements including upgrading existing infrastructure and adding security cameras at all 15 PUSD sites.
Following the installation of security cameras at Foothill and Amador Valley high schools last year, staff said the project "is ready for the next phase for the deployment of video surveillance and access control at the three secondary sites." Staff has recommended using the same contractor as before, citing previous "collaborative experience with district leadership, and then taking into account site feedback and product performance."
Following a walkthrough of all three middle schools with the contractor and the district's construction management team, staff received an estimate that includes procurement, cabling, power, and installation, as well as programming the security cameras and access card control card readers at each site.
Like before, when the cameras were installed at Foothill and Amador, staff said that "normal school operations are not expected to be impacted and disrupted by this project as cameras and access controls will not be installed in any classrooms."
The total cost of the Measure I1-funded project including a 10% contingency is $950,418.