PUSD launches online survey, sets forums for superintendent search

Public meetings Wednesday and Thursday; questionnaire open til March 31

Community members interested in giving the Pleasanton Unified School District input for its superintendent search can do so online and in person this month.

The school district has opened an online survey through March 31, and the district will hold three public forums this week to solicit input. All community members are welcome to attend the forums and take the survey, according to PUSD officials.

District leaders and consultant firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates are working to gather citizen feedback as part of PUSD's latest search for a new permanent superintendent.

The new search -- the district's second in as many years -- comes in the wake of the school board terminating PUSD superintendent Rick Rubino for undisclosed reasons in January after just over six months in the position. Deputy superintendent of business services Micaela Ochoa is serving as interim superintendent through June 30.

The school board hopes to have a permanent superintendent on the job by July 1.

The newly released online survey for the superintendent search is available in English, Spanish and Chinese. Individual responses are kept anonymous and confidential, and residents can skip questions if they want.

“This survey is designed to gather your perceptions of the school district and the importance of various characteristics found in effective superintendents,” the survey introduction reads. “The information will be used to determine the desired characteristics of the next superintendent.”

In the first section, “State of the District,” participants are first asked to rate the overall quality of education in PUSD, from unsatisfactory to excellent.

Then they are asked to what extent they agree or disagree with a series of statements about the district, such as, “The district is heading in the right direction”; “students are on track to be college and career ready,” and “there is transparent communication from the district.”

Section 2 is titled, “Leadership Profile” and includes 12 statements that are skills the district wants a leader to possess. Residents are asked to select the four statements that are most important to them.

Listed below the line, “I would like the new superintendent to:” are statements such as, “foster a positive, professional climate of mutual trust and respect among faculty, staff, and administrators”; “provide a clear, compelling vision for the future,” and “effectively plan and manage the long-term financial health of the district.”

The final section is, “Other Considerations,” and allows participants to write out any additional comments they want to make about what they believe are necessary characteristics for a superintendent.

Residents can also share the name and contact info of someone they believe would be a good candidate for the job.

There will also be three community forums this week.

Two will take place on Wednesday, with the first scheduled from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the district office boardroom at 4665 Bernal Ave. and the second from 7-8 p.m. in the Amador Valley High library at 1155 Santa Rita Road.

The third forum will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the district office boardroom.

All forums will be the same, with the intent being to gather feedback on qualities residents would like to see in PUSD's next leader. Translation will be provided in Spanish and Chinese.

Based on community and board input, consultant firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates will create a leadership profile outlining the values and characteristics the Pleasanton community is seeking in the district's next superintendent. The profile will be presented publicly during the April 18 school board meeting.

The search firm's calendar calls for the new superintendent to be appointed at the June 13 regular board meeting and start on the job July 1, the first day of the 2017-18 school year.

For more information on the district's superintendent search, visit the PUSD website.


20 people like this
Posted by School Board and District is toxic
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 19, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Given that the East Bay Times and KTVU are both reporting that Rubino, like Vranesh, was supposedly fired for inappropriate behavior which the District claims is some sort of hostile work environment according to the newspaper yesterday and KTVU, I do not believe there will be any applicants for this position.

How some off hand comment about someone not appearing as old as they said they were gets you fired is beyond me. Usually it is a compliment. Also why the supposed female who complained about Rubino was talking about her age in the first place is concerning.

I believe that for some reason the District has created a hysterical environment where all of a sudden in the course of 5 years or so, males have become an endangered species at the District because time and time again, females are making claim after claim that they are somehow mistreated or abused or harassed.

The East Bay Times yesterday stated someone stated Rubino supposedly looked downward a few times instead of having his eyes look directly at her face 100% of the time during a conversation. The employee supposedly wrote an email to the District accusing Rubino of looking in the area of her chest. When I have conversations with people, I don't look into their eyes 100% of the time, but my eye gaze shifts around, routinely look down at notes or papers on the desk or table. I wear bifocals and have to look down to read, but I am not looking down at anyone's chest. Of course, at PUSD I would probably be accused of doing so, given that they seem to be accusing every male employee of some inappropriate behavior.

I have come to the conclusion that:

-- the District is toxic, and the toxic environment affects the staff, administrators, and the Board

-- because Rubino is a Republican and part of the board of a Charter School and Teachers College associated with a Charter School according to this link Web Link he was removed

-- the District has created a hostile environment

-- the Board has hired an interim superintendent who was previously fired from her position; therefore, they fail to screen any new hires

-- the Board needs to resign along with the cabinet

12 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Unified obsession
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2017 at 6:17 pm

I have noticed that almost each and every accusation made against personnel in Pleasanton at the school district seems to be a near copy of some accusation concerning someone in the Palo Alto Unified school district that was reported in the concerning the various allegations against staff members in PAUSD. I do not think this is a coincidence. In fact, since Mary Frances Callan left to go to Palo Alto Unified and later Charles Young (former Walnut Grove principal) went to become Assistant Superintendent, I feel that much of PUSD is obsessed with PAUSD to the point of fixation.

Why is it that several years after the Palo Alto Weekly reports on various incidents (e.g., principal accused of giving a staff member a scary "look," principal accused of saying along the lines of "butt cheeks are hanging out" to have a student change clothes, principals demand Callan's resignation due to her saying or doing something they deem inappropriate), principal accused of saying a reference to a female body part, that some close variation of some drama that supposedly happened in PAUSD is reported to have happened here in this district?

The person accusing Rubino claims to have gone through five superintendents (presumably in Pleasanton) which would mean the person was there during the tenure of Mary Frances Callan at PUSD. Yup.

I have come to the conclusion that almost all of the so-called accusations in Pleasanton Unified are coming from various articles that are in the PaloAltoOnline news site. Notice that the accusation reported in the East Bay Times came only in mid-December after Kathleen did not win a seat on the Board.

I only wish Kathleen had been elected so that she would have been present to clearly notice almost the identical PAUSD "inappropriateness" that seems to morph into some accusation against various people in Pleasanton Unified.

I agree that no decent superintendent will ever apply to Pleasanton Unified knowing the baggage with the entire organization. No one wants to have their livelihood taken away and reputations ruined by unfounded and flimsy accusations and lack of due process.

3 people like this
Posted by Rick1
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Rick1 is a registered user.

Why don't we just have the teachers union select the superintendent and save the money we spend firing the next one they don't like. That way we can have the same mediocre schools the rest of California has.

4 people like this
Posted by Jason
a resident of Las Positas
on Mar 21, 2017 at 11:16 pm

Jason is a registered user.

As a parent I received a survey and completed it. I put a great deal of thought and passion into my responses. I hope my survey will be read, shared, and carefully considered. In short, I voiced my desire to have a superintendent who:

(1) Is charter school friendly and will consider opening a district managed charter school (also known as a dependent charter school) as well as entertain petitions from external entities (known as an independent charter school) so that our community has real choices and real options for our children.

(2) Will leave partisan politics out of decision making and will make policies based on evidence and research instead of emotional responses (and reactions) or to satisfy a board who cares only about moving its own liberal agenda forward rather than considering new ways to engage kids and inspire learning.

(3) Is a maverick, a risk taker, and an entrepreneur. I believe that real educational leaders are trouble makers; therefore, I want a disruptive visionary leader to come in and shake things up and bring about real change. Moreover, my experience is that superintendents lack creativity. Pleasanton needs an innovator at the helm and not a typical one-size-fits-all or one-trick pony administrator who believes that change and innovation is taking and repurposing what he or she did in his or her previous district because it may or may not have worked there.

I also requested a follow up call (not that I actually believe I will get one) to elaborate further on my survey and to request to be a part of the search or interview committee as a parent representative. I believe my education, experience, and insight would be quite useful to the search firm and to the committee. I'm not holding my breath.


5 people like this
Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2017 at 9:52 am

FrequentWalkerMiles is a registered user.

Judging from the abundance of after school tutoring businesses in Pleasanton, and the fact that the various ethnic communities utilizing them drive much of the surging test scores in the area, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect the dots: many, if not most, parents in the district have written off the district as a trusted deliverer of education. At this point the only primary purpose the district serves is to compile standardized test scores to prop up the real estate market.

My opinion is of course just opinion, but I know I am far from the first or only one in town that have made this conclusion.

2 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 22, 2017 at 12:25 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


"Judging from the abundance of after school tutoring businesses in Pleasanton...many, if not most, parents in the district have written off the district as a trusted deliverer of education, "

I think this is only part of the equation.

Students not participating in Band are only in the class about 5.5 hours a day. That gives the time of learning concepts in Math, English and Science to roughly 3 hours a day. The rest of the time is spent in electives.

Might it also be that those who send their children to tutors after school aren't just seeking to get a better education for their kids, but MORE TIME in those subjects which they know they have to master before being accepted to college?


2 people like this
Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm

FrequentWalkerMiles is a registered user.


This part can be read as a scathing rebuke of the district's instructional competence:

"Might it also be that those who send their children to tutors after school aren't just seeking to get a better education for their kids, but MORE TIME in those subjects which they know they have to master before being accepted to college?"

If that's the sentiment you intended to convey, then I cannot agree more.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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