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Pleasanton school board to take second look at calendar tomorrow

Original post made on Sep 8, 2014

The Pleasanton school board could possibly take action tomorrow evening to rescind June's adoption of the new 2015-16 school calendar.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, September 8, 2014, 7:31 AM

Comments (40)

Posted by Parent
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Why are we changing the calendar just for the seniors? It impacts MORE students to change it. The seniors will survive and if it doesn't coincide with the other school districts that is not good.

Posted by Get Real
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:59 pm

I may have missed it but maybe PW can get the evidence from the board that shows results will improve from making a calendar change and publish or post it online. What studies show marked improvement (not marginal) will occur? And with everything else occurring the last few years with this district, do we need more controversy and divisive action? I vote for a little stability instead of ongoing tumult.

Posted by Clarence
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Also, to make changes like this, shouldn't the board be able to demonstrate that each and every one of them can do 30 push-ups and 4 true handstands? And what are they doing in Finland? And has a board member called me personally at a reasonable hour to get my feedback? Without doing these things I afraid I cannot support the change.

Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm

I sure hope lots of people show up to say these things at the actual meeting!
Fingers crossed it will be changed back!

Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 6:37 am

Our kids need to be in school longer so they can compete on the world stage. We are wasting time if we are just adjusting the dates. They need to be in school more days and more hours. If the teachers do not want to work - lets get new modern thinking teachers.
We also need to add Mandarin and start languages in elementary school.

Posted by Nonsense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 6:57 am

The Supt, a serial slanderer who has poisoned political debate, weakened teacher, administrator and parent morale, whose recklessness with the truth and ugly attacks on her critics have contributed to a climate of deep fear and repression in Pleasanton and made Pleasanton look ridiculous in the eyes of the neighboring communities in Alameda County, has changed the calender to be longer to eliminate summer so in the long run:

1. She gets more money
2. The union (certificated) gets more money
3. The union (classified) gets more money
4. The district contractors get more money

The 'world stage' competition stuff is just completely bogus.

Posted by citizen
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 9, 2014 at 8:28 am

Right on Tim, we need the new school calendar! Hope the school trustees stick to their guns and do what is right for kids, not screaming parents!

Posted by Replying to Parent
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 9, 2014 at 8:56 am

Parent - every child in the school system will be a Senior and so will benefit. You can't impact "MORE" students than that!

Posted by ICU
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:19 am

Let's send kids to school year round. We don't really want to spend any quality time with them anyway. We would rather fill their schedules with busy activities, stare at our phones, facebook, chat & spend time with our friends, than spend quality time with our kids. Let's get rid of their long summers, they don't need that. They need to be more competitive & worry about what others think about them, like we do. Eventually they will be seniors in high school, and adults competing on the world screw their childhoods! Let's continue to rush them to grow up. Let's continue down this road of keeping them busy, so we dont have to spend quality time with them. We wont say that's what we are doing. We will say that the kids want all of those extra activities, they want to be busy ALL of the time, they love it. They love feeling like a little stressed out adult, when they are just a child. Long summers & childhood memories, who needs them. Not the kids in Pleasanton.

Posted by Change
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm

It's not so much the calendar change for me but the way it was done. Parents were given a survey that had five possible choices. At the council meeting the Superintendent said the only choices that could be voted on were no change and modified light. What is up with that? Why do a survey with 5 choices then only vote on two. Makes no sense.

BTW - "Screaming parents" are INVOLVED parents. School districts with involved parents tend to do better than districts where parents aren't involved. Parent input should be welcomed, not ridiculed.

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 9, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Fortunately, the voice of the union will be heard! I have already submitted my ideas re: teacher's who represent various races/cultures in Plutonia.

Racial/ethnic diversity will always matter when it comes to quality of education for American youth.


Posted by Thank you to the sweet elementary girl who spoke!!!!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Thank you so much to the sweet elementary girl who spoke at the board meeting tonight! As a teacher in the district who has children attending another district, I appreciate your comments.

You are adorable and are supported by many Pleasanton teachers!!!!!

Posted by Change
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 9, 2014 at 9:38 pm

The meeting is not quite over but here is what we found out.

1) an agreement was made with the unions before it ever went to the parents

2) Bowser didn't know who was even surveyed. He thought kids were surveyed when they weren't. Bower is often confused at the meetings. Infact just a few meetings ago he was confused by the fact that kids get LESS instructional time with a staggered start.

3) Joan Laursen confirmed that staff was first approached about changing the calendar without consulting the community. "A year ago we directed staff" no mention of parents or the rest of the community". She also said that she planned from the start the changed would be decided in June 2014 to give the community a year to change their lives. Sounds like right from the start she knew there would be change. She also talked about having whip lash from folks saying change and don't change yet at tonight's meeting only two people out of I think 18 that said keep things as they were.

4) Bowser also helped confirmed the calendar committee only is administration and the unions. No parent or community involvement.

5) The superintendent confirmed that the 5 choices offered to the parents only 2 were viable choices at the June 2014 meeting. So what was the point of offering of 5?

6) Jeff Bowser only walked 2 people through the process. His neighbor and a student he met downtown

7) The board members who did not want to rescind did not comment on parents who said they felt they weren't heard at the meetings they attended.

8) It is abundantly clear, we need some new people on that board.

Posted by Change
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Oh and we also found out that some board members think they know, better than parents, what is best for children.

Who knew that all student stress will be relieved by having one set of exams before Christmas?

Posted by confused
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Did Chris Grant contribute to the discussion? What was the final result?

Posted by waytogoChris,Joan, Jeff
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Thank you for sticking to your original vote! Time to move on.

Posted by response
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Yes, Chris Grant spoke and was amazing, professional and spot on. I lost so much respect for the President by her behavior tonight.

Posted by Change
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Chris Grant was dramatic and theatrical although granted he was not as theatrical as Bowser who said he voted the way he did because of 4 children who committed suicide which is a salacious attempt to exploit the death of children to further his own agenda.

They voted not to rescind the original vote. Joan, Grant and Chris know better than parents what is best for children and they only need the input of the unions to make their decisions.

Posted by Finalresult
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Final result was not to RESCIND the vote in regards to the calendar...Modified Lite it will be. For those of you, who weren't at meeting or didn't watch it,I felt Jamie was pretty darn unprofessional tonight and stated her husband is the reason she changed her vote, Yes, her husband. She didn't say she changed her decision because that is what is BEST for the kids, but it was her husband that made her change her mind. Kudos to Chris, Joan, and Jeff for always being so professional. So disappointed in the President of the board on so many levels. How she treated other board members when they were talking, especially Mr. Bowser. I gained so much more confidence tonight by listening to the rationale from Joan, Chris and Jeff.

Posted by Change
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:20 pm

So it's unprofessional of Jamie to bring up her husband but not unprofessional for both Bower and Grant to bring up dead people as the reason they voted the way they did?

I would rather someone say they hand input from their spouse than try to use dead people as a crutch.

A little over 50 days people. Let's make our point at the next election

Posted by Cant wait to vote for Joan and Jeff
a resident of California Reflections
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:27 pm

As far as the next election Joan and Jeff will be getting my vote! Especially after tonight.

Posted by Change
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:30 pm

After tonight, I can't wait to vote out Bowser and Joan. Let's meet back here in November and see who is victorious.

Posted by Nonsense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Glad to hear that Laursen and Bowser [who apparently justified his vote to eliminate summer by discussing the suicides of Special Education students (Autism/Aspergers Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Dyslexia, etc) who obviously, like most of the Special Education students in PUSD, were not getting their educational needs met by the School District] won't be re-elected.

Time to vote for Paige Wright and Mark Miller and get the clueless Laursen and Bowser out of office.

In the next election cycle, it's time to remove Chris Grant.

Posted by KellyP
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Jamie Hintzke's job is to run the meeting, if she has to ruffle a few feathers to do so, I say good for her. She proved tonight she is not a pushover. IMO we need fewer pushovers on our board.

Posted by reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 11:12 pm

At tonight's meeting, kudos to Jamie and some of the speakers who acknowledged that there are more choices than just Modified Lite or no change at all. The changes to the school start/end dates (which are causing most of the dismay among parents) are a separate issue from December finals. If "research" truly supports that one less week of summer will improve learning, and December finals will really be less stressful, then go for it. But let's not move the school year back by a month and put us off cycle with everyone and everything else. Hopefully a new school board can be elected and overturn this decision. I suspect one reason the 3 voted to keep the Modified Lite is that they dread renegotiating this with the union, nothing more. Many of our kids will suffer by being out of sync with all of the activites and opportunities offered by other cities and camps.

Posted by Nonsense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 11:31 pm

Bowser using student suicides to justify shortening summer is a complete lie. He is not telling the truth. The truth is that Pleasanton Unified has created a hostile environment for Pleasanton Special Education students by not addressing the near constant intimidation and bullying of Special Education students. Several of the suicides had to do with bullying incidents that PUSD occurred on PUSD campuses, which were described in great detail and are available in on-line archives on the internet on WWW.ZOMGASPIES.COM created by one of the PUSD students posting under the name Starbuline. Bowser, being a school trustee, obviously knows that many of the suicides of PUSD students were due to bullying, e.g., Web Link states that "was born from being bullied while in school" and is not telling the truth.

Posted by Happyforfinaldecision
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 11:32 pm

I am sure most everything will be adjusted to work with the new PUSD calendar....SAT classes, internships, sports, etc. It will all work out. CHANGE is hard. I praise Jeff, Joan, and Chris for sticking to their guns.

Posted by Laurie
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 9, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Not only was the little girl sweet and remarkably poised and courageous, but please don't let that distract you because I felt her point was the most compelling. It is the nightmare of the coordination of schedules that is most difficult for families! My husband and older daughter teach in Union City and Fremont respectively and their districts are not considering a calendar change. Many students have parents who got into teaching so they could have time with their children. Summer activities are geared for the summer --- and they are important! Family reunions, sports leagues, camps, vacations . . . all of these are disrupted. Very disappointed in the board. I felt that the 'no' votes were made, rather than consider the possibility that they got this one wrong.

Posted by Focusonthepositive
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Sep 9, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Focus on the positive.....for those of you who are teachers in other districts, be grateful for all of the vacation time you receive with your PUSD kids. Thanksgiving, Christmas, other holidays such as Presidents Day, Labor day, Easter, several weeks during summer. So much more than normal working parents will ever get most likely. Some have to work nights, weekends, etc. Be thankful for the time you do have together after school, weekends, etc. My work schedule has changed many times over the years to accommodate business needs and I have to deal with it.

Thank you Mr. Bowser, Mrs. Laursen and Mr. Grant....I have a new appreciation for you all. You made the right choice for our kids.

Posted by Smithy
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 10, 2014 at 6:38 am

Before you read this, please understand that I am a neutral observer and don't care one way or another about the calendar change. However, I hope people realize that Hintzke is using this as a wedge issue for the election in November. She was one of the leading proponents of the calendar change and said that she had done lots of research and investigation prior to casting her vote last spring. Being the opportunist that she is, she encouraged a revote and knows that this issue can get enough people riled up to split the votes in November and unseat one of the current Board members (even though she knew it would be defeated 3-2). Ultimately her goal is to gain a 3-2 majority on the Board. beware of the proverbial sheep in wolf's clothing. She is thinking of herself and playing politics with the community and the children of Pleasanton

Posted by Clean up this mess
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2014 at 7:15 am

Go Paige! Go Mark!

Need to clean house!

Posted by AgreewithSmithy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2014 at 8:05 am

Totally agree with SMITHY and I am sickened by her actions. What a waste of time she caused everyone. Smithy, can you post this on the new article that was written this morning too? A lot more people will be voting for Bowser and Laursen because of her actions tonight. I have heard it already for many folks. Their plan back fired.

Posted by Time to Flush
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2014 at 8:58 am

It is becoming apparent to me that 4 out of 5 members of the school board are nitwits. It is really time to flush and get new people on the board, and after that get rid of our incompetent and vindictive superintendent.

Posted by Alsoagreeingwithsmithy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2014 at 10:47 am

I also agree with Smithy's post above. This was a blatant political move by Hintzke. In addition, her behavior at the meeting was terribly unprofessional and inexcusable. I am grateful that Laursen, Bowser & Grant showed class and dignity while being attacked by parents and Hintzke. I wasn't sure about how I would vote this coming November, but Laursen and Bowser secured my vote after what took place last night.

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 10, 2014 at 11:39 am

[Removed because it was irrelevant.]

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 10, 2014 at 11:42 am

[Removed because it was irrelevant.]

Posted by Clean up the mess
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2014 at 11:52 am

Lauren, Bowser and Grant have ignored due process and , as a result , failed in their duty to look out for the community.

The community members have become restless because they are being ignored

Bowser , in particular, did not come off as knowledgable or competent.

Go to the polls in November

PUSD is sick. It's unhealthy when the community is so consistently at odds with the Board.

Vote for the challengers, Paige and Mark for a fresh start

Posted by Steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2014 at 1:02 pm

I really don't think the schedule change is that big of a deal for the kids. I have spoken with many, many parents and their are so many reasons why they are upset with the change, but not many of them were really geared towards the kids! It was more like it messed with their usual vacation plans that they take in August or that it would mess up sporting events that they are involved with. All I know is that these changes were probably made by board members with a self serving mentality! But ultimately, I don't think it affects the kids much at all. Also, the summer that everyone is complaining is being taken away from kids is only being shortened by 1 week when you consider a week is gained back in October! I don't know about a lot of you, but October opens up a lot of vacation opportunities that my family would not ordinarily take during the summer because of how hot and humid it can get in those parts of the U.S.

Posted by Me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2014 at 12:04 pm

@steve if you do not think sitting an extra two weeks in sweltering august temps impacts student and swapping it for a useless vacation in October (when the weather is perfect for nothing) you are mistaken. The school board members are trying to pursue their political careers - they clearly think that it will give them an opportunity to point out how progressive they are by being leaders in degrading a top school district to match Brentwood's

Posted by Be Positive
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Me- interesting, from your post, the board is to consider the weather when planning the calendar? It's been hot for the past couple of weeks, in Sept. It always has been really hot in Sept. School doesnt stop because it's "sweltering" The kids sports dont stop during this time either. What is your motive with your post?

How fortunate our students are that they have air conditioning. Im sure you read about the LA classrooms that dont have AC and were 92degrees indoors.

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