Apr 20 2018

PUSD Parents Donations Inadequate for Chromebooks, Theater Demolished March 2019

On Wednesday, April 11th, 2018, the Piedmont School Board held their bi-weekly meeting. The meeting started at 7:06 p.m. at City Hall and concluded around 7:40 p.m., making it one of the shortest meetings in a while. The main reason for this was because there was nothing on the agenda to discuss. The real purpose of the meeting was to take questions from a few students, the Parents Club, and questions pertaining to changing the location of the fire alarm in preparation for the new building that will be built at Piedmont High School.

The first question was from a member of the Piedmont Education Foundation (PEF) and the Parents Club about the cost of Chromebooks for the Middle School and High School because of the lack of donations from 6th grade parents this year. She urged people to keep Chromebooks up to date by donating money. She also urged people to contribute to the Piedmont Spring Fling at piedmontspringfling.org .

Next, a representative from MHS updated the board on what is happening on campus such as Senior Prom, athletic events, and a dance show field trip to Alvin Ailey at UC Berkeley.

The first student to comment in the meeting was Maggie Lucas, a PHS Senior. She asked the School Board to consider investing in an “extracurricular PE class,” because PHS requires one year of freshman PE as well as another year of PE or sport. This causes many students to sacrifice academic periods. Additionally, all of the extracurricular sports are very competitive and do not guarantee spots because many athletes get cut from the teams.

Next, Drew Lali, another senior argued that the School Board should reconsider taking away the two days that are part of Winter Break for next year’s schedule changes.

I was the last PHS Senior to comment. I asked the School Board to consider investing in online textbooks for PHS or alternative online material content for classes. I asked this because for students who travel between two homes on a regular basis (like myself), it can often be a burden to have to carry heavy textbooks back and forth. Additionally, the online content is more up to date than much of the content that are in the textbooks, and is continuously being updated. Although most classes now have online textbooks, I always have two or three classes each year that still use hardcover textbooks.

Michael Braidy explained how the fire control on the 10s building at Piedmont High needs to be moved to the 30s building in preparation for the construction of the new building that is expected to start early March of next year. However, Braidy did clarify that the schedule for construction is still very flexible.

When the meeting concluded, I spoke to Doug Ireland about the meeting. He is a member of the School Board and is there for the bi-weekly meetings. He explained that he learned that the School Board should reevaluate the costs of Chromebooks based on the comments made by the Parents Club earlier in the meeting. He also noted that the Board will be going forward with looking at the costs and installation of fire alarms at Piedmont High. Last, Ireland was happy about how short the meeting ended up being.

bySaatvik Dube, Piedmont High School Senior


Relocation of Fire Alarm and School Spending

    On April 11th, 2018, at the Piedmont City Council Chambers, there was a biweekly school board meeting. The members of the school board attended, with the addition of one student from ASB for Millennium High School. Also, Students, both in High and Middle school, attended the meeting for school related assignments.

    The School Board meeting addressed the topics of school spending and relocation of the Fire Alarm system to the 30’s building at Piedmont High School. Also, a student at Piedmont High School addressed the graduation requirement for Physical Education.

First, the spending amount schools get is allocated from the Government of California, and in addition the Parents from Piedmont can donate money to foundations created by Piedmont Parents to help the Schools.  A low percentage, 35 %, of 6th Grade Piedmont Parents donated money for Piedmont Middle School.  Almost half, 45%, of 9th Grade Piedmont Parents donated money for Piedmont High School. The money parents donated can help the subjects in School.  For example, I know families that donate to Paints, an organization that helps promote Art classes in the Piedmont Unified School District.  I think all parents that are apart of any school district should donate to provide as much help as they can from these organizations.

The Second issue addressed was the relocation of the Fire Alarm system to the 30’s building. The 10’s building is going to be taken down as well as the Theater to update the buildings and make them earthquake safe and much nicer than their current status.  The school is moving the fire alarm system to the permanent spot in the 30’s building before the 10’s building is being torn down.  Sarah Pearson,  School Board President, asked the question, “Will the theater be able to put on plays and shows for the students and Parents?”  The person said that people will be able to see plays before March because the Theater will be shut down early March of next year.

After the meeting, I interviewed Sarah Pearson about the meeting. She told me, “It was the shortest meeting [she] could remember in [her] five and a half years on the school board.” When I asked why this was the shortest meeting, she replied, “that there is going to be a special meeting on Monday to go over in depth the policy.” The School Board meeting was short but packed with information about the following topics above. What will be the resulting outcome of the new theater and 10’s building over the years?

by Drew Lalli, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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