Pleasanton's school district will start identifying what construction and renovation projects it most needs after a recent poll indicated there may be community support for a schools facilities bond measure.
The district's board of trustees heard a presentation from a polling firm at last night's public meeting, which concluded the district could expect more than 55% of the electorate to support a bond measure -- which is the threshold for passing such a tax.
While the support varied based on how the bond will be introduced to the polled individual, about 66% of the 400 individuals polled said they would support a school facilities bond in general.
About 54% of those polled supported the bond after only being given information about specific cost structures. When told about the pros of the facilities bond, support jumped to 65%. When told about the cons, support dipped to 61%, according to the presentation.
The district has not decided exactly when it will pursue a districtwide vote on this measure or how much money to ask for, but the polling firm recommended adding this item to the November ballot and said a rate of $60 per $100,000 assessed valuation polled at about the required threshold.
District staff will next create a list of projects that need to be funded so the board can figure out the district's precise need.
"We shouldn't ask for more than we need, but we shouldn't shortchange kids who will be in this district 10 and 15 years from now," board member Chris Grant said.
However, a new school probably won't be on that list after a demographer's report stated Pleasanton's public school district will see declining enrollment in the next 10 years due to declining birth rates and slowing residential development.
By fall 2025, the district is expected to have 13,977 students enrolled, as compared to 14,754 in fall of 2015. While most schools will see a decrease in enrollment, Donlon and Fairlands elementary were among the schools that would see an increase over the next decade, so the district would have to weigh how to alleviate overcrowding at those schools down the line.
The report presented to the board stated the average elementary school would have 636 students, the average middle school would have 1,262 students and the average high school would have 2,669 students.
According to the district's most recent Facilities Master Plan, the acceptable range for enrollment is 600-700 students at each elementary school, 1,000-1,200 students at middle schools and about 2,160-2,640 students at high schools.
The district is expected to see an increase in enrollment until 2018, when enrollment could hit 15,000 students. The district's population is expected to decline after that point, which board members pointed out means the district would lose attendance revenue if that trend isn't reversed.
The board also approve the reinstatement of 12 instructional coaches, four of whom will be paid via donations from the Pleasanton Partners in Education (PPIE) Foundation.
While some classified layoffs will still have to take place, the board asked for staff recommendation about the impacts on the district as a whole of cutting or eliminating certain positions.
Board president Jamie Hintzke said board members want to make sure they have a full picture of the impact of losing each position before they approve any more layoffs.
"Everything has a cost and an implication," she said.
Early in the meeting, the board honored several employees who recently became U.S. citizens: Manja Benadjaoud, an Amador Valley world languages teacher; Frankie Flores, a Harvest Park custodian; Glenn Galiste, a district office assessment analyst; Julitha Mahendo, a district office custodian; and Rosa Isela Torre, a Valley View parent liaison.
The board also honored Rick Sira for his 30 years as Amador Valley's football coach and longtime career in the district.
"For 30 years, (Sira has been) a man who has always put his students above self, and in so doing, has helped those students reach their highest potential in the classroom, on the playing field and most importantly, as men and women of character in life," said interim superintendent Jim Hansen, who got choked up while reading Sira's accomplishments.