Pleasanton Unified has some of the highest rated schools, yet students are struggling, teachers aren’t getting the support they need, and the schools are falling apart. Due to the high turnover in school administration and the lack of leadership at the district office, there has been little accountability over the last few years. All the PUSD accolades feel like a facade if you really dig deep into the core of the district.
There is little to no transparency and rather than confronting an issue head on, it seems as though the district either ignores or dismisses problems all together. Over the last few years, I have watched my children’s school, Vintage Hills, steadily decline in every aspect of education. The school is not a safe place, nor is it an environment where children are thriving; all due to PUSD’s negligence and the lack of leadership at Vintage Hills.
There is constant bullying and physical harm happening on the playground. The administration is aware of the issues, yet it continues to occur. Children have to dodge cars on their way to school because the traffic system is not working. The administration is aware of the issues, yet it was parents from the school who came up with the solutions. Some parents purchased cones and put them out in front of the school and others are working with the city to help provide another crossing guard.
In addition, an entire building at Vintage Hills has been leaking for years. The administration is aware of the issue, yet they ignore the problem. Their solution is to replace the rotten ceiling tiles, rather that repair the leaky roof and make the classroom a healthy, safe environment. There is mold in those classrooms, soggy carpet, damp walls, and a foul odor. As the leaking has gotten worse, more and more students have been out sick. In fact, one classroom had 12 students out sick at one time. The teachers have asked for repairs year after year, still nothing is done. Another classroom has no running water because faucets were turned off rather than repaired and in another classroom an outlet sparks. These are all unacceptable conditions and there is no excuse for our schools to be in such disrepair.
Academically Vintage Hills is a disaster as well. Many students with diagnosed disabilities are either ignored or denied services. Due to the lack of school intervention, parents are either forced to consult legal counsel to help fight for services or they end up paying for outside help. A large percentage of parents at Vintage Hills who have students with disabilities are spending thousands of dollars each month to give their children the help the school district is refusing to offer. It’s no coincidence that the PUSD legal budget has increased given the amount of legal action that has been field against the district in recent years. It’s a sad state of affairs when parents have to fight for their child to have access to a fair and equitable education.; especially given it’s the law.
Needless to say, Pleasanton is no longer the district it used to be and it’s precariously resting on its laurels. Teachers are unhappy, administrators are leaving in droves, and parents are fed up with the state of the district. There is immense room for improvement and all the stakeholders involved are tired of watching the district struggle. The bottom line is PUSD is failing miserably. It’s time for the district to rethink their priorities, learn from their mistakes, and restart the focus.