Parents, teachers, students and other stakeholders may be able to have their say in how -- and whether -- Pleasanton's public schools should adjust their instructional calendar.
The Pleasanton Unified School District board will be presented with the proposed survey questions at its public meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at district headquarters on Bernal Avenue.
The survey will address if the district should adjust its instructional calendar -- whether by shortening the summer break, altering vacations or through other variations.
The issue of making changes to the instructional calendar caused tension in the district over the past couple years, and Pleasanton Unified decided in January to take a step back and begin a calendar committee to research the issue further before implementing schedule changes.
The survey questions to be proposed Tuesday are a result of work done by that calendar committee, which includes district staff, students and other stakeholders.
Questions on the proposed draft survey include, "In your opinion, how well does the current PUSD calendar fit students' academic, social and emotional needs?" and "How open are you to a change in the current PUSD calendar?"
If the board decides to move forward with the survey, the questions will be sent out on Wednesday to as many stakeholders as the district can reach, interim assistant superintendent of human resources Dianne Howell said.
"We're really going to try to blast it out everywhere we can," she said.
Students in grades 8-12, managers, Association of Pleasanton Teachers members and California School Employees Association members will receive the survey via email, families will get the survey via the electronic newsletter E-Connection and the survey will be posted on the Pleasanton Unified's website, Howell said.
In addition, the district plans to use its auto-dialer system to remind families to fill out the survey, and it expects to send postcards home to families as an additional reminder. Howell also said there are plans to put a reminder in the PTA newsletter.
The school calendar has been on the front burner for many in the Pleasanton school community since 2014.
The school board that June approved switching to a modified lite calendar for 2015-16 that scheduled school to begin early August and end late May. The calendar also included a one-week break in October, the first semester ending before winter break and a nine-week summer break.
But the board rescinded that calendar plan in January 2015 amid criticism from some residents and new board member Mark Miller, who was elected in November 2014.
The district opted to revert back to the traditional calendar for 2015-16 and allow time for more public debate on potential future changes. The traditional calendar has school starting in late August and ending in mid-June, the first semester ending in January and a 10-week summer break.
Howell said if the calendar survey is approved by the board and distributed next week, she plans to have analysis on the community's thoughts available for the board by January.
A proposed timeline for the measure will also be presented and discussed at Tuesday's board meeting.
In other business Tuesday
* A new board president and vice president will be elected by the board during the first part of the meeting as part of the board's annual reorganization. Current board president Valerie Arkin and vice president Chris Grant will hand over the reins to the new president and vice president.
The annual organizational meeting will cover several agreements and permissions -- such as allowing the superintendent and cabinet-level employees to sign contracts approved by the board -- selecting representative to regional decision-making groups and deciding whether county and state resources can be utilized for competitive bid processes.
The regional groups that will be appointed a Pleasanton Unified representative include the South County Transportation Group Joint Powers Board of Directors, the East Bay Schools Insurance Group and the Tri-Valley Special Education Local Plan Area.
* The board is also expected to announce a new director of technology, a new director of adult and career education and a new coordinator of communications and community engagement, who acts as the district's media spokesperson.
The district was searching for a new director of technology after Chris Hobbs resigned this fall to take a job in Union City and was searching for a new spokesperson after Nicole Steward resigned to take a job at Milpitas Unified School District.
The director of adult and career education appointment is the result of the district restarting its adult education courses after mostly closing them after the recession.
* Board members will also hear a presentation about the most recent budget update. The updated total district expenditures will be $145.8 million, up from $130.6 million at the last budget update, and the updated revenue will be $145.7 million -- up from $138.1 million.
* Closed session runs from 5-7 p.m. at the district's headquarters on Bernal Avenue, the annual organizational meeting begins at 7 p.m. and the regular board meeting will begin afterward, according to the district's board meeting agenda.