Amador Valley High School will have a new bell schedule next school year after the Pleasanton school board unanimously approved the change at its meeting Tuesday night.
The school will pilot an “access” period during the 2017-18 school year, setting aside 40 minutes every Wednesday and Thursday for an advisory time with an assigned teacher.
During the access period, students will get support based on their individual needs, according to school staff. They will be able to do things like get organized for the week ahead, study for a test or seek help for stress.
Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays will remain traditional school days, with students having all six regular periods, but the bell schedule Wednesdays and Thursdays will shift to a modified block schedule. On those days, students will have the access period and one half of their classes.
Class periods on Wednesdays and Thursdays will last about 90 minutes, with the access period scheduled from 10:26 to 11:06 a.m. Like Wednesdays currently, both block days will have "late start" components in which most students will start class at 8:50 a.m. and end the day at 3:01 p.m.
First period on regular schedule days will start a minute earlier than now -- at 8 a.m. -- with the school day ending at 3:11 p.m., and most class periods lengthened from 57 to 59 minutes.
The early "A" period will run from 7-7:55 a.m. on regular days and on Thursdays from 7-8:45 a.m., with no session Wednesdays.
School staff said during a Feb. 28 presentation to the board that the proposal was a move meant to target student stress and address other student needs. It was brought to the board after the school researched the concept and surveyed students, parents and staff, finding the majority of each group supported it.
No changes are currently proposed to Foothill High School’s bell schedule. Two students, the only ones to offer public comment on the matter, advocated for an access period at Foothill.
Later in the meeting, Foothill High principal Jason Krolikowski said the school was interested in the access period concept.
“Amador was ahead of the game and had those conversations much earlier,” he said. “We have had small discussions at our site and we’re going to make them bigger.”
In other business
* After hearing concerns from several teachers, interim superintendent Micaela Ochoa tabled a recommended English language arts/English language development curriculum adoption to bring back a modified proposal March 28.
District administration brought the proposal to the board for its second reading Tuesday, which called for implementing Benchmark Advance curriculum integrated with Heinemann Units of Study across PUSD elementary schools for 2017-18 and beyond.
However, board members expressed hesitance about voting on the item after hearing from several teachers who expressed a preference for the Units of Study curriculum and against having to use two programs. Teachers also pointed out that while the programs were piloted, they weren’t tried out together.
After Ochoa pulled the item, Laursen said, “We’re not going to have 100% (agreement)...but we really want to get it right.”
* The board appointed nine community members to its Measure I1 citizens’ bond oversight committee Tuesday, with one seat still needing to be filled.
The committee’s purpose is to ensure bond funds are only spent on school projects listed in the approved bond project list. Money generated by the new property tax will go toward safety, energy and water improvements, and modernized and new school infrastructure.
The district received 33 applications for a maximum 10 spots. However, no one applied to the seat representing a person active in a bona fide taxpayers’ organization.
PUSD will leave that seat vacant until a qualified applicant comes forward.
The committee is comprised of the following members, who serve two-year terms:
* Jill Buck, representing the Pleasanton business community
* Patricia Kohnen, who is active in a senior citizens' organization
* Steve Zevanove, who has a child enrolled in PUSD
* Samantha Webb, who has a child enrolled in PUSD and is active in a parent-teacher organization
* Yi Huang, representing the public at-large
* Keith Lam, representing the public at-large
* Rashmi Nijagal, representing the public at-large
* Nicholas Olsen, representing the public at-large
* Kathleen Ruegsegger, representing the public at-large
Voters passed the $270 million school facilities initiative in November with a 69.1% yes vote. The initiative needed a 55% majority yes vote to pass.