Nov 23 2010

Piedmont Middle School Parent Meeting Covers Budget, Contract Negotiations, and More

On Thursday, November 18, 2010, a group of approximately 60 Piedmont Middle School parents heard presentations from School Board Member Ray Gadbois, School Administrators, and parent leaders.  Highlights included the good news that this year’s budget is solid due to unforeseen funds coming to the District from State and Federal distributions. The bad news is a $4 million deficit is still projected for the following 2 years.  There was reassurance that employee groups share district and resident concerns about the budget deficit and were responding accordingly in contract negotiations.

Budget Decisions: A primary purpose of the meeting was to inform parents of recent budget discussions and engage parents in the process of budget decisions.  A number of methods to help close future budget gaps were identified:  reducing the educational programs offered, working with teachers and staff to control costs, increasing donations from the community, and implementing a 5% increase in the parcel tax.  Waiting to see the State budget results is also important to the decision making process. View BAC Powerpoint Presentation on Budget

Speakers placed tremendous emphasis on involving the community in district decisions and wanting to know what questions or concerns the parents have regarding any aspect of education in Piedmont.  School Superintendent Connie Hubbard noted that, although contract negotiations with District employees have been ongoing for months, nothing has been finalized. As a result, community input regarding budget choices can still be considered. Final decisions by the Board on the next two-year budget are scheduled for June, 2011.  See Budget Information Below


Community Input: Contact School Superintendent Connie Hubbard at or 594-2614;  Residents may also email the Board of Education or contact other district personnel.


Contract Negotiations: By law the negotiation process is confidential, however, Hubbard could say that she was gratified by how well the negotiations were going.  As the negotiation process continues, anyone with suggestions or issues regarding the contracts was urged to contact the District.

Current Contract Provisions

Curriculum and more: The meeting also included presentations and discussions on curriculum, STAR test usefulness, Language Arts emphasis, new software programs for assessing student programs, Saturday School for students breaking certain school rules, teaching to meet individual student needs, emphasis on respect and inclusiveness, teacher conferences, school calendar planning,  new Monday early release days for Teacher Common Planning, Wellness Center, Counseling, Special Education, and many other Middle School topics.

In response to a question about large class sizes in some subjects or core classes, it was explained that the ratio of teacher to student goal for the current year was 28 to 1.  Sometimes, the chosen ratio can prove to be impractical and overly expensive and, as a result, some classes exceed the desired ratio.

The repeated message was for parents and the community to be involved, a known element of successful schools.  Several parents urged other parents to go to Site Council meetings where teachers, administrators, students and parents come together to discuss various issues.   Additionally, anyone with an interest in the Piedmont Unified School District policies or budget can find more information on its website.

The group was frequently directed to the Piedmont Unified School District’s website to learn about the District’s strategic goals, Shaping Our Future Initiative, priorities, and the variety of ways parents and the community can provide input.

David Roth, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, talked about Piedmont High School being in the top 100 high schools as rated by US News and World Report, (see #73).  Of the students graduating from Piedmont High School, 99% meet the prerequisites for the University of California and California State University systems.  Piedmont engages students beyond rote memorization of factual material and focuses on critical thinking, problem solving, listening, leadership and skills for working with others.

Superintendent Hubbard encouraged community groups to invite her to come and provide information on the District.


Budget Information


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