May 29 2011

Piedmont School Board News – May 25, 2011

  • PUSD may look at mid-year cuts or additional deferrals
  • MOU between PUSD and the Association of Piedmont Administrators (APSA) Approved
  • Facilities Use and Fees – Witter Field, etc.
  • Applications Solicited for Citizens’ Oversight Committee

And more – read the full report from June Monach

Highlights from the May 25, 2011 Board Meeting by June Monach, Board of Education Trustee

Superintendent’s Announcements:

  • Assistant Superintendent, Dr. David Roth appointed as Superintendent of Buckeye Union School District effective July 1, 2011
  • Recognition of PMS Teacher – Deborah Sorenson – Recipient of Rene Molho Holocaust Education Award of the Jewish Federation of the East Bay

The Board Voted:

  • 5-0 to approve changes to the Classified and Certificated Unrepresented Employees covered under the MOU between PUSD and the Association of Piedmont Administrators (APSA).

Board Review & Discussion:

  • Facilities Use Handbook and Facilities Use Fee Schedule
  • Draft Commitments, Goals, and Focus Areas for Action Plan for 2011-12

Information Items:

  • Governor’s May Revision Workshop of May 20, 2011
  • Openings on Seismic Safety Bond Program Citizens’ Oversight Committee for 2011-12 / 2012-13
  • 2011-12 Board Meeting Schedule

Assistant Superintendent David Roth Appointed Superintendent of Buckeye Union School District – Superintendent Constance Hubbard extended her congratulations to Assistant Superintendent Roth and his family for his appointment as Superintendent at the K-8 school district located in the Sierra Foothills. She expressed appreciation for all his work and contributions to our District in his nine years of service in our community. On behalf of the Board, President Roy Tolles expressed his congratulations noting that “we are very happy for him, but we say this with mixed feelings because he’s made such tremendous contributions” in our school system.

Rene Molho Holocaust Education Award of the Jewish Federation of the East Bay – Principal Jeanne Donovan from PMS, recognized PMS teacher, Ms. Deborah Sorenson, for this award. Each year, an educator is recognized for honoring the memory and awareness of the Holocaust in an effort to promote tolerance and understanding between people. Ms. Sorenson shared with us how moving it was to be at the Temple Sinai ceremony in the presence of twenty Holocaust survivors. As the numbers of survivors diminishes, she views the need to provide a clearer understanding of this complex history, and the stories of the survivors to be shared, so they will never be forgotten. Ms. Sorenson noted, “It was a true honor,” and accepted the award on behalf of the entire English Department, who have developed the curriculum over the last 25 years. Over the years, she has helped engage students in this tragic time in our history by inviting and making certain students have an opportunity to meet and hear the stories of individual Holocaust survivors – because “there’s nothing like talking to a survivor to make the impression real.”

MOU between PUSD and the Association of Piedmont Administrators (APSA) Approved – According to Superintendent Constance Hubbard, “Employees of a school district have designations and rights to representation based on the position and qualifications required for the position, and there are 21 employees (out of 335 total) who are designated management or termed “confidential” who are not represented by the Association of Piedmont Teachers (APT) or the California School Employees Association, Chapter 60 (CSEA).” She explained that the Board and APSA continue to enjoy an excellent relationship and discussions that mirror the Interest-based negotiations process between the District and APT and CSEA. She extended her appreciation to APSA and the other employee groups for their “incredible cooperation and collaboration with the community and parents in addressing the fiscal crisis facing our District and public education in our State.” The 3-year cumulative financial impact of the APSA agreement totals $300,000, bringing the total financial impact of all three employee group agreements to $3,738,000. The changes to the Classified and Certificated Unrepresented Employees covered under the APSA MOU were approved unanimously by the Board, and include furlough days, a cap on the District contribution toward health benefits, and contingency language that mirrors the respective employee groups in the event the State Adopted Budget includes further reductions in State funding. Superintendent Hubbard clarified that although the APSA MOU term is traditionally for one year, the agreements made in the MOU will carry forward for three years to coincide with the APT and CSEA agreements.  See pp 16-18.

Facilities Use Handbook and Fee Schedule Reviewed – Under the California Civic Center Act, school districts are encouraged to make their facilities available to the community when they are not being used for school purposes. In Piedmont, sports organizations and the City Recreation Department use District athletic facilities over 4,000 hours per year. The Civic Center Act restricts how much school districts may charge for community groups to use their facilities. Districts are allowed to recover their “direct costs” from community groups, defined as the incremental costs to the District for community use — “those costs of supplies, utilities, janitorial services, services of any other district employees, and salaries paid school district employees necessitated by the organization’s use of the school facilities and grounds.” The Direct costs do not include the costs to maintain the facilities in condition for use by the schools or to replace equipment, including artificial turf, track surfaces, or gym floors that are worn over time. The Board conducted a first reading of the handbook and fee schedule to be used effective August 1, 2011, with final approval scheduled for June 8, 2011. According to Assistant Superintendent Michael Brady, “The District has not raised its facilities use fees in nearly five years, in part to acknowledge the community’s generosity in passing ballot measures for school parcel taxes and the seismic safety bond.” He explained that the fee schedule is typically reviewed by the Board on an annual basis, and any fee increases to the schedule have been limited to increases in the SF Bay Area CPI. The District recommended that we increase facilities use fees by the aggregate CPI from 2007 to 2011 of approximately 7.7%. The fee schedule was augmented with the expansion of our facilities including: PHS Student Center Kitchen area, Becker Playfield at Havens. In addition, the Witter Field Pole Vault and High Jump area can be reserved separately by community groups. The Board provided suggested revisions to the handbook that would clarify use requirements and asked that language be clear in the handbook and application that there are ramifications to not following the rules. See pp 1-15.

District Commitments, Goals, and Focus Areas for 2011-12 Action Plan – Prior to adopting the budget for next year, the District begins the goal-setting and action plan development process to identify work concentration areas for the subsequent school year. At our last meeting the Board supported all of the focus areas with a few additions and/or revisions. Superintendent Hubbard reviewed the current draft which incorporated the Board’s suggestions. Board Member Martha Jones asked that some system of monitoring the volume of teacher professional development paid for by individual teachers be incorporated into the Action Plan. Board Member June Monach suggested that the study of solar projects be included in the list of projects that the Board will prioritize after the seismic related projects at each site have been completed.  She also noted that the “Shaping Our Future” vision themes would be integrated into the “Commitments and Goals” section of the document, which would be reviewed for approval at our meeting on June 8. Superintendent Hubbard noted that there is a lot to do next year, encouraging the Governance Team to set realistic expectations “so we can do as thorough a job as possible” in the coming year. See pp 19-22-A.

Governor’s May Revision – Superintendent Hubbard and Assistant Superintendent Michael Brady shared information from the workshop provided to school districts on May 20, 2011 by School Services of California. The administration has recommended to the Board that we “stay the course” with the multi-year budget plan that we have developed. Assistant Superintendent Brady reported that although the Governor has proposed spending $3 billion more next year for education, this is not viewed to be new money by school districts. These funds are a reallocation of deferred payments that are not additional  monies to the District but will assist  with cash flow issues. If the tax revenue extensions are not passed, the District may be looking at mid-year cuts or additional deferrals. The Board will need to adopt a budget by the end of June which reflects a balanced budget for 2011-12, and strategies for addressing projected shortfalls in 2012-13, and 2013-14. Revenue enhancements, one-time measures, and additional reductions will be considered to address the projected shortfalls.

Applications Solicited for Openings on the Seismic Safety Bond Program Citizens’ Oversight Committee – The District is seeking new members for the committee, charged with ensuring that bond funds are being used appropriately as authorized by voters in the bond measure. Superintendent Hubbard extended her appreciation to those who volunteer to serve on the committee. Board Member Gadbois encouraged members from the Beach community to consider applying as it will give them a better sense of the construction work that will take place next year at Beach Elementary School. Participation will begin in the Fall of 2011 (September). The deadline for applications is Thursday, July 14, 2011, 4:30 pm. For details, see:

Charge and Structure of the Committee; Application (deadline July 14, 2011.)

2011-12 Board Meeting Schedule – We reviewed the meeting schedule for the Board for next year. It was noted that the last meeting in July is July 11, 2012 (not July 13). See pg 23.


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