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School board to receive update on superintendent search

Original post made on Apr 18, 2017

The Pleasanton school board will receive an update on the search for the district’s new superintendent and discuss the next steps in that process at its only regular meeting of the month Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 17, 2017, 3:27 PM

Comments (21)

6 people like this
Posted by Empty classrooms in buildings
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 18, 2017 at 11:57 am

I don't know who PUSD is trying to fool this time, but the bottom line is that there are many empty classrooms in elementary locations all over Pleasanton including Mohr with NO STUDENTS in them. When they increased K-3 class sizes from 20 to the current size, this freed up dozens of classrooms in all the elementary schools all over the District. There are currently dozens of empty classrooms not being used or used for storage or for one time events (like the book fair) all over Pleasanton schools. Yet, PUSD maintains the portables with students while it has empty classrooms in the buildings? This makes no sense.

To give you an idea, here are the stats for Mohr:

2009-10: K 112, 1 123, 2 122, 3 101, 4 132, 5 129 Total enrollment 719
Now: K 116, 1 95, 2 96. 3 94. 4 97 5 94 Total enrollment 592

In 2009 (K-3=20 students), there were six classrooms for 1st grade and six classrooms for 2nd grade, four classrooms for 4th grade and 4 classrooms for 5th grade (you get the idea). Now for the 2016-2017 year, two classrooms for 1st grade are no longer used, two classrooms for 3rd grade are no longer used, one classroom for 4th grade is no longer used and 1 classroom for 5th grade is no longer used. This means at least six classrooms are free at Mohr with no permanent kids in them.

But obviously, the District has not rehired the teachers it had employed in 2009-10 and after it adopted staggered start and end times. Plus many parents have removed their children and sought alternate choices to educate their children, thus many of the classrooms are empty all over the District.

Someone from the Pleasanton Weekly and city (not the district) needs to count/inventory all of the empty classrooms all over District facilities and let the public know how much we are being conned by PUSD. Actually, what needs to happen is that the PUSD needs to come clean on how many classrooms are empty, how many "shade structures" they counted as portables that aren't and explain why classrooms are empty at some locations while students are in portables there. In the end, school boundaries need to be re-drawn.

Also, I don't know why the school district is even discussing Valley Trails as a location for a school because Ponderosa, the developer, has been working with the city and the neighborhood to put a small housing development there for 12, yes 12 years. I attended meetings at least 12 years ago about this that were publicized. And after 12 years, the school district comes out of the woodwork saying it could be a possible school. I agree this is the worst possible location for a school per Tim Hunt's article.
Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 18, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here is a link I hope will work: Web Link This is a response to my PRA about the inventory of all our sites based on a prior report to the board. I added columns for empty classrooms and one for classrooms used as labs (other than a classroom). The response is incomplete at this time.

In case the link is unique to my request, here is what is provided thus far at the elementary level:

School Empty Lab
Alisal, 1, 2
Donlon, 0, 2
Fairlands, 1, 4
Lydiksen, 2, 3
Mohr, 3, 3
Valley View, 1, 3

These empty space (could be a portable or a classroom) does not come close to being enough housing for all the students in portables. And it is a value judgement, and still not enough space (portable or classroom) to house students, as to whether we want to take away lab spaces.


5 people like this
Posted by Empty classrooms in buildings
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Kathleen, the link worked, but if you were given this by PUSD staff, it does not seem to reflect accurate data.

There are far more than 3 empty classrooms in the buildings at Mohr. Many are set up to be rarely used (once or twice a month), but they do not have students in these rooms on a daily basis. Some are set up with a table and that is it.

I don't know what they mean by 3 'lab' spaces at Mohr either. There is a science lab and a computer lab.

If you resubmit your request for information, you should ask for an inventory of all rooms on campuses like Mohr, the square footage of each, what teacher is assigned there, how often it is occupied, when students are present (hour range), how many students occupy the class, and what the primary purpose is. You should also ask about classes dedicated to after school and before school child care at each site. Are they using existing or separate classroom space for this activity? Are they including the library as a classroom? Or a speech therapy office? Are they converting classrooms to meeting spaces and teachers' lounges? And how many are used for storage.

This should tie out to their classroom enrollment data, because if it does not, this signals that the data they are providing are not accurate. Also they should be able to provide a map of the school with teacher's names labeled in the classes they are assigned to.

Until the city/district tell the truth about how many actual classes are really empty, no one is in a position to say whether new facilities are need or not.


4 people like this
Posted by Facilities???
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 18, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Not sure why posting about facilities are made on an article about the new superintendent. Unless of course people just want to continue to flood the postings with their individual complaints, regardless of relevance.


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 18, 2017 at 5:09 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Kathleen,

In the column for "Number of Classes" for elementary schools, you indicate 220 in your sum but the count is 254.
I think you auto-summed and it didn't pick up the Donlon count because it included text.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 18, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I don't know why Empty posted here. I'm just responding with what I learned. These are additional responses to questions I raised:

Response to request #1:
PUSD school site leadership helped compile this information and District Office staff will be spending the next few weeks visiting sites to conduct the actual review and verification. I've attached what we have to date.

Response to request #2:
The Class Size Reduction (CSR) for grades TK-3 is 25 students.
At this time, the average class size by grade level, for K-3 is:
Kindergarten: 23.7 students
Grade 1: 23.9 students
Grade 2: 22.6 students
Grade 3: 22.4 students

Response to request #3:
At this time, the average class size, by grade level, for grades 4-5 is:
Grade 4: 29.32 students
Grade 5: 30.5 students

Response to request #4:
At this time, the average class size for grades 6— 8 is 30.34 students.

Response to request #5:
Traditionally, larger classes at District middle schools include band, chorus and physical education. Special Education and English Learner classes are, in general, more likely to have fewer students than the average class size for District middle school courses.

Response to request #6:
At this time, the average class size for grades 9-12 is 32.4 students.
Broadly speaking, what courses are outliers to those ratios at high school, for example, are foreign language classes smaller?

Response to request #7:
Traditionally, larger classes at District high schools include band, chorus and physical education. Special Education and English Learner classes are, in general, more likely to have fewer students than the average class size for District high school courses.

Response to request #8:
PUSD school site leadership helped compile this information and District Office staff will be spending the next few weeks visiting sites to conduct the actual review and verification. I've attached what we have to date.

Response to request #9
PUSD school site leadership helped compile this information and District Office staff will be spending the next few weeks visiting sites to conduct the actual review and verification. I've attached what we have to date.

Response to request #10:
We are discussing a timeline and plan to report at a future public Board meeting (planning for May 2017).

Response to request #11:
We are planning to issue bonds by Summer 2017


1 person likes this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Using the data from Kathleens' spreadsheet and her last post, current "fixed" space (non-portable) classes in Pleasanton elementary schools can accommodate up to 6,456 students at an average of 25.42 students per class.

This would indicate that if only "fixed" structures were in use, the 2016 number of 6116 students would fill all but 13 classes district wide.

Now, if you add the additional 60 portables (Kathleen your number of 36 is incorrect), and apply the same 25.4 average, the districts elementary schools can accommodate an additional 1525.2 students.

Given the above, the issue here seems to be one of ALLOCATION, rather than space.

So, there are either too many fixed structures that are not being used, or too many portables. Which is is?

Either way, we are THROWING OUR MONEY AWAY!

Dan


3 people like this
Posted by Empty classrooms in building
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Dan, I agree. Allocation is the issue. What needs to happen is that the PUSD needs to redraw the boundaries to downsize the overloaded elementary school sites and fill up the empty classrooms in school sites that have unused classrooms.

There is no reason portables should be used on campuses when there are empty classrooms in buildings. I don't know if District HR is using portables as a tool to punish teachers like some do (they move the teachers they want to get rid of to portables), but obviously if they are doing that, this needs to stop.

Also, they just need to get over the holy wars that existed between the west side and east side of Pleasanton where west side favored K-8 schools and the east side favored separate small K-5 schools and small 6-8 schools. Flexibility is key. The smaller sites should remain K-5, but if a large site can handle K-8 like Donlon, it should be re-configured to do so.


1 person likes this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 18, 2017 at 10:22 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

ECB,

Allocation clearly is the issue. What I find utterly intriguing is the call for more schools when, given the demographers recent study, Pleasanton clearly doesn't need new schools according to Kathleens' numbers.

The real question is: Who is contributing campaign funds to those politicians that are calling for more schools?

Developers?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 18, 2017 at 11:05 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I sent the district their original presentation with the addition of two columns. None of the data points are mine; they were done by staff and they created the link.


1 person likes this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 18, 2017 at 11:05 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Hold the phone: I was wrong about the number of portables.

The district OWNS 60 portables at the elementary level, but leases another 6.

Given the numbers from Kathleen, what is the need for the 6 portables when we already have enough portables to accommodate 1500+ kids OVER the current population?

Does ANY government agency know how to budget, track and spend their funds wisely??


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 18, 2017 at 11:08 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Dan, we posted at the same time. See above. Owning portables does not make them proper housing for students.


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 18, 2017 at 11:09 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Kathleen,

I didn't mean to imply that is was you.

Someone in our district government can't do a simple spreadsheet...sigh.


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 18, 2017 at 11:13 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Kathleen,

"Proper" is subjective.

Enough capacity exists to to accommodate our students in comfortable and safe surroundings. In fact, there is over 25% OVER-capacity according to district numbers.

The solution isn't always spending more money. As you can see from the numbers YOU POSTED, we overpaid for what we have.

This is not opinion, just simple math.


1 person likes this
Posted by Empty classrooms in buildings
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 18, 2017 at 11:49 pm

Dan, I don't know who is funding campaigns. I have a map of all the proposed school sites, and I do know that consultants originally proposed 16 K-5 elementary sites and 5 6-8 grade sites for the Pleasanton Elementary School District and the Murray School District proposed 7 K-8 schools. (That would be 28 schools in Pleasanton in grades 8 and below). 4 9-12 high schools were envisioned.

The number of 28 school sites grades 8 and below seem to me to be very excessive. It is a $$$$$ dream certainly a builder of schools sites would love.


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Posted by Empty classrooms in buildings
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 19, 2017 at 12:37 am

Dan, here is the map of the original Pleasanton school sites as envisioned throughout Pleasanton that I referred to. See page 2 from this link. Most of the school sites were turned into churches, but a few became parks, and a few just became housing developments such as the HIGH SCHOOL in the Vineyard Corridor. It is almost the same map I have a paper copy of that I received a few years ago. I did not know it was online, but here it is.

Please take a look at the PDF. Pine Street is roughly equivalent to West Las Positas. Pico Street no longer exists, but is roughly equivalent to Bernal.

MAP OF SCHOOL SITES (see page 2):

Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

ECB,

I stayed up way past my bedtime last night working the numbers from Kathleen and I'm still scratching my head.

In simple terms, given the current inventory there is no justification for another school, no matter how you cut the numbers. Those schools that have excessive populations greater than 25 (Fairlands, Valley View and Vintage) are close enough to other schools that have a lot of excess space (Hearst, Alisal, Donlon, and Mohr) - the longest distance is 8 min drive time.

Why the district would not allocate students differently is a mystery to me.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 19, 2017 at 9:26 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Dan, I can't spend the time on this until this afternoon. All I did was post what I'd been given, and it is incomplete. We need the school; we need two elementary schools eventually. There is no question. You have to also consider class room size, recommended at 960 sq. ft. in elementary; 1,350 for K. You need to look at acreage, much of it already taken up by portables. Pretty sure I posted all this before: Web Link

Elementary-450-750 students; 9.6-13.8 acres
Middle-600-1,200; 17.4-23.1 acres
High-1,800-2,400; 44.5-52.7 acres

In the meantime, there is a website that shows demographers talk about declining enrollment, but we continue to hold steady. Web Link Unified&cCode=0175101


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 19, 2017 at 9:57 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Don't know what the enrollment link broke: Web Link


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 19, 2017 at 3:43 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

So you were given incomplete information and you are still calling for up to two more schools?

As I've shown using the district numbers you presented, Pleasanton elementary school have additional space for up to 1500 additional students. The demographers report says enrollment district wide will go down by 3% in 10 years. In addition, with some very easy reallocations made by the 3 schools that seem to be the most compacted, you could fit every child currently enrolled within the originally built structures, then utilize the portables for growth.

Its all there in black and white.

I know that you've shown a lot of opinion and I get that you are passionate, but the numbers as you've shown do not add up to making the expense. I don't know what else tell you.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 19, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Your demographer is stating two more schools. I provided what I was given because I had no reason to withhold it and who knows when I'll receive the rest. Look at the enrollment chart, the demographers rely on many factors, including birth rates. The always say we are going to lose enrollment, yet they agree there is a need for two elementary schools. I enrollment hasn't dropped significantly for years. Old housing stock keeps turning over to families with children because we have a good, probably great, school system. They are not expecting to then have to take their child across town because the school by them is FULL.

You have proven nothing because the idea is to provide our youngest, voiceless citizens with the educational experience they deserve and our teachers with a, yes, *proper* place for exploration and learning. I'm sure you'll say I'm wrong, but I don't think you would work in a space separate from the rest of your campus and with 30 other people jammed in it.


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