Town Square

School board to consider five plans to cut early elementary class sizes

Original post made on Feb 25, 2014

The Pleasanton School Board will look at two new scenarios for cutting class sizes for kindergarten through third grade at its meeting tonight.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 6:40 AM


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Posted by Frank Lynn
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Feb 25, 2014 at 9:13 am

To me it just seems like common sense to prioritize class size reductions from the bottom up. Kindergarten is where most children develop foundational skills for reading - this is where they'd benefit the most from more individual attention.

I think the reality is that the district has a difficult time planning for the demand (and therefore knowing how many teachers to hire/classrooms to prepare) in advance as it's pretty common for families to move into Pleasanton the summer before Kindergarten starts. So first grade gets reduced but Kindergarten doesn't. Just because it's tradition doesn't mean it produces the best outcomes for kids.

That being said, from personal experience, Donlon is doing the best it can with limited resources - staggering the Kindergarten start times so that there is time when the teacher only has 15 students - and also using volunteer reading coaches and parent volunteers in the classrooms.

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Posted by Have we forgotten
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 25, 2014 at 9:39 am

How about telling us how much it would cost to get back to where we expect to be, as a supposedly strong, well-funded school district?

that is, K-3 at 20! kids per class

This was, after all, what most of us who moved here for the schools were expecting. If the state funding cuts are so draconian, at least show us the numbers, not these half-measures.

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Posted by Great!
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Feb 25, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Really great news!! So glad to see 25 students in 1-3. Thanks to all who have worked so hard to make this a priority! CSR is not where it should be yet but it's a big step in the right direction.

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Posted by P-Town Neighbor
a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 26, 2014 at 9:17 am

Let's go to charter schools and end schools controlled by teacher unions. My son has a teacher that shows up late for class two or three times a week (says her daughter is hard to get up and ready for school)and this same teacher REFUSES to use the school website to posts info like grades, homework, or progress reports.

I am a business owner - if I had an employee like this (won't adapt to the new system and can't make it to work on time) - well, this person would get three warnings they would be gone. But with teacher unions - the employee cannot be scolded or warned - she makes full pay, enjoys fabulous benefits and gets 6 weeks of vacation every year?

Note we all have stories like this - so it is time to break this union, and go with schools and teachers that are about the kids and not what the union can force on the taxpayers.

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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2014 at 10:48 am

Hi "P-Town Neighbor",

This post was about reducing class sizes, not about teacher's unions. If you want to start a charter school, more power to you, but for now, let's get our classes back to a reasonable size.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm

well...if somebody has a teacher who shows up late to work 2-3 x's weekly what about you showing up to your business 2-3 x's weekly? Wouln't that even up the score in your head?

make it even steven...i rest my case...