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Urgent Message Regarding Your Child's School Schedule

Original post made by Concerned Parent, Del Prado, on Jun 4, 2014

Urgent Message Regarding Your Child's School Schedule
Who: The Pleasanton Unified School District is planning to vote to dramatically change the school calendar for your child. It would mean starting school in early August, have a week vacation in October, and they haven't quite figured out the rest of the year.
Why: The top 1% academic elite high school students and their parents have complained that because finals are held in the third week of January that they are being forced to study over the Christmas break and they feel "stressed".
What: The school board feels that a radical change to the school calendar is necessary so that there can be a balanced number of days in each school semester and that finals can be held before the Christmas break to take the "stress" off the academic elite high school juniors and seniors. The radical schedule will mean that the remaining 99% of the students in the district will be thrown under the bus and lose a big chuck of their summer vacation and family time. In addition, you will be sending your child to school in the hottest month of the year – how stressful will this be to the remaining 99%?
Where: This is a district wide policy and will affect all students from Kindergarten to Seniors in High School. This is not a joke.
When: This will start in the 2015/2016 school year. The board is voting on the matter the week after school gets out. The board has used "unusual" communication techniques because they don't want opposition or the word to get out. You may be receiving a "survey" in the mail or by email. This will be a sideshow and they will make it complex so that most people won't bother filling it out. Vote to keep the existing calendar.
How: The school board has unfortunately lost touch with what the parents ("Customers") want. They seem to feel that because they spent a lot of time on this issue they need to force it through the system. We thank the school board for their hard work and sacrifices, but they are coming up on the wrong side of history here.
Please call, text and email the board members below and let them know that a radical school schedule isn't what is best for your family and child. They announced at the board meeting tonight that they want to hear from you – please let them have it.
Name Title Phone email
Jamie Yee Hintzke Board President 925-846-0185 jhintzke@pleasantonusd.net

Joan Laursen Board VP 925-399-1763 jlaursen@pleasantonusd.net

Chris Grant Board 510-701-1000 ChrisMGrant@gmail.com

Jeff Bowser Board 925-858-0480 jeff.pusd@gmail.com

Vallerie Arkin Board 925-417-1969 varkin@pleasantonusd.net


There is no political agenda here just the need to rise up and let your voice be heard, whatever that may be.

If you want to help spread the word please email me at: putkidsfirstpusd@gmail.com

Comments (18)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Margaret
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jun 4, 2014 at 7:05 am

Wow, you really need to get a life and stop with the incessant posts and scare tactic emails. The truth is that the vast majority of parents k-12 want a slightly modified calendar, the modified lite, which differs by one week from our regular calendar. I also find it incredibly selfish of you to not be flexible enough to change by one week to help the high school students have a holiday break that will truly be a break. What happens when your kids are in high school? This change makes sense, get over it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by The real Laverne
a resident of Castlewood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 7:31 am

Thank you for posting this, you obviously have a life & really care about decisions made that will affect your child/children. The district has left you no choice than to continue posting, because they have done very little to actually communicate with the parents. There have been emails about the meetings, but if you breeze through those emails like many of us do, you would not stop to read it...because it never says "modify" the calendar. When your kid gets to high school, they will do fine...unless you are one of those parents who forces their kid to get into too many AP classes, then yes..they will be stressed out. Otherwise...they will do fine, like mine do....regular high school kids doing good things, preparing for college & having a life at the same time. You are not being selfish, you are simply trying to get the word out..and I thank you for that.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:05 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I think the concern is fairly stated.

Moving testing prior to winter break is beneficial. However, there is no need to start August 4. It can be pushed back at least a week by eliminating the proposed October break. The example provided Web Link does not include all the holidays or even Thanksgiving week, making it seem like the only time off is a few spare spots in yellow. Staff should be providing a full calendar, and certainly the staff narrative to the board should provide full analysis of their proposal -- yes, in writing, so it is accessible. The alternative, in the meantime, is to watch the video when it is uploaded.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:33 am

This is a good schedule. Exams are finished before break. The school year ends closer to the fixed AP exam dates so that students aren't sitting around with nothing to do for an entire month at the the of the year.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:30 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Parent, I don't disagree with your comment. There are other options that don't start as early and then add artificial breaks. I think parents of elementary students might prefer a mid-August start and no break in October. The calendar is for all students in the district, not just to suit high school exam periods.


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Posted by Shirley
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 9:40 am

I'm so irate I haven't been able to sleep for weeks. Should we not all march in protest against this horrendous tragedy? It's bad enough they didn't consult the parents. They didn't even consult former parents. Kathleen, are you with me?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2014 at 10:38 am

Kathleen, good suggestion. The October break isn't really needed. Whatever happens this is not a tragedy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 4, 2014 at 11:30 pm

This is the prelude to moving to a year round school schedule. If you went to the meeting Tuesday night it was very clear that the Superintendent didn't want to move it back a week, in fact she said that every year out it would continue to move back....August 5, 4, 3, 2.

Everyone is free to decide for themselves what is best, however, what I think is most upsetting is that this hasn't been a transparent process. It truly is an insult to our collective intelligence for how this has gone down. It is a page taken from Comrade Putin's play book, deception, distraction, then it is a done deal. I won't let this happen without a fight.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 5, 2014 at 12:54 am

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)


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Posted by Mark
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2014 at 8:44 am

I'm just curious, what do you think the benefit of having this modified school is to the sup. and board. Why would they be pushing this?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Right
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2014 at 9:58 am

In every public school district where the teachers are unionized, behind every sock puppet Board and Supervisor is a corrupt union pulling the strings. Why do I seem to be the only person who sees this while all you lib geniuses ignore it?


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 5, 2014 at 10:23 am

Kathleen is right! On the link provided, show us the entire schedule! Show us a real calendar! If the change is so beneficial, why don't they give out complete answers to simple questions?
And they wonder why people don't trust them? They wonder why the voters won't pass another parcel tax?
Nobody needs a break in October, and I'm not sure we need a whole week for Thanksgiving. Add back a few days from what everybody refers to as "No School November," start a week or so earlier, and you have one year of a slightly shortened Summer. You would make it up next year due to the earlier end of the school year.
Solve the problem!


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2014 at 11:23 am

Jack - because the calendar changes every year. Due to there being 365 days and 52 weeks, January 1st is not always on the same day. Just like the school year now, it does not always start and end on the same day.

Is it really that hard to look at last years calendar and say "hmmm, if school started 3 weeks earlier it would have started on August 4th (for 2014/2015) and end on May 29th"?


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2014 at 11:30 am

I do love how internet forums seem to be the place to make up stats. 99% thrown under the bus? Lose a large chunk of summer break? I also have troubles taking advice from someone who believes that the information the school sent out was confusing. I thought it was extremely simple to understand.

Here, I will make up some counter stats. 96.4% of students want a change. In schools that changed to a similar schedule they saw a substantial improvement in AP testing scores and less summer work for the students. 89% of parents approve a change. 99% of students will see a huge academic boost and see their lifetime income increase by 57.2% on average. 88.2% chance that the calendar change will reduce climate change effects of the next 30 years.

Let's get real. This change is beneficial to a large number of students.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Erica
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Jun 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm

It's interesting to read this. I was talking to some parents at my kids school this morning and out of 6 parents I talked to, only 1 was against this change. The rest favored the modified lite or were unsure which one they favored but were not opposed. Reading this blog or listening to the loud complainers you would think that everyone hated this change but it doesn't seem to be the case at all. The survey results will certainly be interesting.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Me Too,
Where did you get that data?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe keeps his ear to the ground
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm

I'm pretty sure the results of the data set were changed by the union. This is all part of a plot to give teachers more time off. Unfortunately for the union, it looks like all their officers may be spending time in prison.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chaka
a resident of Parkside
on Jun 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Try it, evaluate it, determine if it works. keep it or change back. It's not that hard. Waaaaaaah. I'm afraid of change. I like status quo.

Come to think of it, why do we need uniform length semesters? Make the fall semester shorter and have it end at winter break. the new semester starts when kids return from break and ends in June. They don't need to be the same length and the school calendar can begin and end as usual


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