Feb 4 2018
Feb 1 2018

Recreation Supervisor Marissa Clavin Resigns  –   Michael Murphy Appointed Interim – 

Marissa Clavin has resigned her position as Recreation Supervisor for the City of Piedmont effective February 1, 2018. Her resignation comes on the heels of an extended medical leave.

“It is difficult to overstate the impact of the loss of Marissa Clavin on PRD,” said Recreation Director Sara Lillevand. “We are grateful for all she accomplished here in her relatively short tenure and wish her nothing but health and happiness in her future endeavors.”

Longtime Schoolmates Site Coordinator Michael Murphy has been appointed as Interim Recreation Supervisor to fill the newly vacant position. Mr. Murphy has served the City at Havens Schoolmates for more than 35 years and understands the inner workings of the Recreation Department as well as the Piedmont community. As a participant, coach, parent, and staff member, Mr. Murphy is well suited to oversee Piedmont Recreation Department (PRD) sports programs, which is one of the primary areas of responsibility of the position he is filling. He also has a thorough understanding of PRD Summer programming and will be able to provide solid leadership during the department’s busiest time of year.

“The Recreation Department is very fortunate that Michael Murphy will assume the role of Interim Recreation Supervisor,” Ms. Lillevand stated. “His knowledge of Recreation Department programs and the community make him a great fit for this position. I am grateful for his willingness to step up and in to the role of Recreation Supervisor.”

Longtime Wildwood Schoolmates Site Coordinator Sena Weidkamp will join David Hopkins to lead Havens Schoolmates for the remainder of the school year.

The search for a permanent Recreation Supervisor will be held off until decisions about future staffing models for the department are made.

Contact: Recreation Director Sara Lillevand – January 31, 2018 –     420-3070

Jan 22 2018

School Board will consider a number of policies on sexual harassment, complaint procedures, hate incidents, suspension and expulsion at their 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 23, 2018 Board meeting in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.  The meeting will be broadcast on Cable 27 and from the City website under videos.

Readers accustomed to one click access will find a different process for the Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) staff reports.

Readers must first click on each link (noted in blue below), then download the report to their personal computers, after which the School District staff reports can be read. (See links in blue below.)

The following links go to the PUSD staff produced documents to be considered by the Board. The policy considerations are to begin at approximately 7:30 p.m.

1. Background – Healthy Relationships and Sexual Harassment
2. BP-AR 6142.12 Healthy Relationships/Sexual Assault Prevention
3. BP-AR 1312.3 – Uniform Complaint Procedures
4. BP-AR 4030 – Discrimination – Hate Motivated Incidents-Hate Crime- Harassment-Bullying – Employee Version
5. AR 4031 – Complaints Concerning Discrimination in Employment
6. BP 5131 – Discipline Code – Schools Rules and Procedures
7. BP-AR 5141.4 – Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Procedures
8. BP-AR 5144.1 – Suspension and Expulsion Due Process
9. AR 5144.2 -Suspension and Expulsion Due Process – Students with Disabilities
BP-AR 5145.3 – Discrimination / hate-motivated incidents and hate crimes / hazing / harassment (including sexual harassment), intimidation, bullying
VII.B. Presentation and Acceptance of 2016-17 District Annual Financial Report (Auditor’s Report) 

Annual Financial Report 2016-17
VII.C. Review Schedule of Board of Education Meetings for 2018-19 

2018-19 Regular Board Meeting Dates
VII.D. Approve 2017-2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding between the California School Employees Association (CSEA), Chapter 60 

8:35 PM
Speaker: Randall Booker, Superintendent
The Board will be requested to approve the collective bargaining agreement  and Memorandum of Agreement for 2017-2020 between the District and the California School Employees Association (CSEA), Chapter 60.
Attachments:
Background – CSEA Contract Approval
CSEA Tentative Agreement
CSEA-PUSD Memorandum of Understanding

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Comments may be sent directly to School Board members by clicking their email addresses below:

Sarah Pearson
President
spearson@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Amal Smith
Vice President
amalsmith@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Doug Ireland
direland@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Cory Smegal
csmegal@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Andrea Swenson
aswenson@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Dec 15 2017

PRESS RELEASE

December 15, 2017

Piedmont Unified School District Saves Taxpayers More Than $26.1 Million with Bond Refinancing

On Tuesday, December 12th, the Piedmont Unified School District issued $27 million of 2017B General Obligation Refunding Bonds. Through the refinancing, property owners within the District will save more than $26.1 million over the remaining life of the bonds, equal to approximately $10.85 million in present value savings or 68.14% of bonds refunded. The substantial amount of savings generated from this refunding are primarily attributable to the Board’s decision to replace outstanding Capital Appreciation Bonds (CABs) with more cost effective Current Interest Bonds (CIBs). Refunding bonds, which are similar in purpose to refinancing a home mortgage, pay off existing debt with funds borrowed at a lower interest cost.

The refunding bonds were sold through a competitive bidding process with the winning bidder, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, submitting the lowest bid at a true-interest-cost of 3.17%. Morgan Stanley was the lowest out of 7 bidders, reflecting strong demand for the District’s highly rated bonds. Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s assigned ratings to the District’s bonds at “Aa2” and “AA+,” respectively. The ratings place the District among roughly the top 15 percent of California school districts, reflecting the District’s strong financial management, steadily growing tax base and above-average economic profile.

“The Board of Education was thoughtful and deliberate during the planning stages for this refinancing and understood timing was critical as many municipal issuers fear they will lose the ability to advance refund bonds on a tax-exempt basis,” said Blake Boehm of KNN Public Finance, the District’s Municipal Advisor. The U.S Senate and House of Representatives are currently working through tax reform legislation that could eliminate municipal issuers’ ability to advance refund bonds with the pricing benefit of tax-exemption.

“The District appreciates the community’s ongoing support to our education programs and student facilities and we are pleased to have an opportunity to show our gratitude by significantly reducing the overall debt burden for homeowners.” The results of this successful refinancing reflect the Board of Education’s commitment to effectively manage its bond program and demonstrate strong fiscal stewardship of public funds. In total, the District has refinanced its outstanding bonds on six separate occasions going back to 2001, saving taxpayers more than $36 million dollars.

Randall Booker, Superintendent of the Piedmont Unified School District

www.piedmont.k12.ca.us

Dec 6 2017

    I went to the Piedmont School Board meeting of November 8, 2017. There were a total of 5 Board Members including a high school student.  During this meeting, the Board discussed new tax reforms for the upcoming year, as well as the proposed Piedmont school schedule modifications and fire relief donations for Sonoma. In the beginning of the meeting, the Board addressed the topic of the resignation of teacher Mr. Cowherd. They stated that their first priority is for the students to feel safe at all times, but also added that they would not be able to fire a teacher off of the first complaint.

    The next topic the Board talked about how to react to the new tax reform. The tax reform debate was an in-depth analysis on two different plans. The first plan the Board was considering would not allow them to switch plans until 2035 and they would stay on the current plan. If the Board chooses this option, there is a chance they would lose money depending on the new tax reform bill President Trump is evaluating. There were two men from the community who spoke in support of  this plan and both worked in the financial industry. The second option could force them to make a decision as to whether to switch to a new tax plan in the next month.

    There was another resident, who also worked in finance, that promoted this plan and he came prepared with a long slide show of how the taxes could change in upcoming years.  In the end, the Board concluded that they would schedule an emergency meeting in the upcoming weeks to decide which plan they would choose.

    I think that the Board should push for the second option which is switching the plans now. It seemed that Piedmont would save more money if they chose the second plan because they don’t know what changes Trump’s proposed taxes will have on the community and it may lose a lot of money on the current plan.

    The next topic the Board discussed was related to the Piedmont school schedule. They decided to permanently change the yearly schedule which continues to allow finals to be given before Winter Break. A positive factor for this new schedule is that students get a full week off during Thanksgiving since the school was losing money when kids took the whole week off while school was in session.

    I was torn between which schedule I liked best, because I really like the current schedule, but I also enjoy having a week off for Thanksgiving. I spoke on the topic of the schedule and pushed for the schools to stay on the same schedule they are on currently. Though after hearing what the Board had to say, I definitely do not mind switching because finals are still before Winter Break and students get a whole week off for Thanksgiving. I also really like how the Board chose to keep block scheduling because it allows students to have more time to work on their homework. Kids have so many other activities going on besides school that it can be hard to complete all the homework and with this schedule, it allows kids to get their homework done and have extracurriculars.

    Another topic discussed was the fire in Sonoma. Piedmont has been raising money for the past month to help the fire victims and ended up raising a lot of money. The representative speaking for this topic was Heather Frank and she stated that they have raised 1.8 million dollars. She said that only a small portion of the population had donated and Piedmont could do a lot better if everyone participated.

    The last topic that citizens spoke about was in regards to Mr.Littlefield, the new Piedmont High School principal. It was very challenging for Mr. Littlefield in his first year as principal at Piedmont to manage the recent issues around charges of Mr.Cowherd’s harassment of students. A community member, Ms. Cooper, talked about a recent article written by the journalism class at Piedmont where students spoke about how great Mr. Littlefield is and how well they believed he handled the situation. I agree with the student who wrote this statement. I think Mr. Littlefield did a great job handling the Cowherd situation and I also believe he is a really good principal in general. He shows a lot of school spirit and always talks during school wide assemblies which shows that he cares about the students’ learning environment.

    I interviewed Ms.Cooper in reference to her comments about Mr. Littlefield and how well he handled the sexual harassment situation. She was there to give credit to the students who wrote the article and to compliment Mr. Littlefield as well. She enjoyed the meeting and was glad to get her opinion heard. In the situation Mr. Littlefield was put in, there are a lot of ways to slip up and make a big mistake and it was nice to hear someone complimenting him.

    As a high school senior, I have never been to a School Board meeting and I actually really enjoyed it. I learned how decisions are made in the community and how easy it is to make an impact on our community. Attending this meeting will have an impact in regards to my involvement in the communities in which I live down the road.

by Kai Zimmer, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Nov 26 2017

An off-camera Special Board of Education meeting will be held in the School District Conference Room starting early at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, November 27, 2017.  The public can attend the first part of the meeting, however no video recording or broadcast of any part of the meeting will be available for those away from the site.

SPECIAL MEETING
Piedmont City Unified School District
November 27, 2017 8:30AM
Board Conference Room, PUSD 760 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont OPEN Session:8:30 a.m. Closed Session: 9:30 a.m.

  IV.A. Approve Resolution 08-2017-18 Authorizing the Filing of PUSD’s Application for California Department of Education Career and Technical Education Facilities Grant 
  IV.B. Approve Job Description for District Information Technology Specialist II, District Information Technology Specialist I, Special Education Paraprofessional: Assistive Technology and PHS/PMH Head Custodian, add to salary schedule. 

Background – CSEA TA – Job Descriptions
Tentative Agreements and Job Descriptions
IV.C. Consider Approving Resolution 07-2017-18 Providing for the issuance and sale of 2017b General Obligation Refunding Bonds of the Piedmont Unified School District in the aggregate principal amount of Not to exceed $25,000,000 to refund the district’s general Obligation bonds, election of 2006, series e and Approving related documents and actions 

Click on downloadable links below for background information:
1. Background – Refunding of Outstanding CAB’s
2. Resolution 07-2017-18 – Issuance and Sale of 2017B General Obligation Refunding Bond
3. Notice of Sale
4. Escrow Agreement
5. Preliminary Official Statement
  V. ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION 
V.A. Conference with District Labor Negotiator Randall Booker regarding Negotiations with Association of Piedmont Teachers (APT) (Government Code 54956.6) 
V.B. Conference with District Labor Negotiator Randall Booker regarding Negotiations with California School Employees Association (CSEA) (Government Code 54956.6) 
  VI. REPORT OF ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION 
Nov 5 2017

Resident Comments Requested

Piedmont’s School Board is considering options to refinance outstanding Capital Appreciation Bonds (CABS). Public input on the CAB Refinancing Options is requested as the School Board continues its discussion.

Three options to consider:
1. Status​ ​Quo​: Do not refinance at this time, but continue to monitor interest rates.
2. CAB​ ​to​ ​CAB​: This would save Piedmont taxpayers $11.3M over the life of the bonds. Tax rates would stay the same until 2027, but then would decrease until 2043.
3. CAB​ ​to​ ​CIB​ (Current Interest Rate Bonds): This would save Piedmont taxpayers $19.5M over the life of the bonds. Tax rates would stay the same until 2024, would then decrease from 2024-2034, and then would sharply decrease from 2035-2043.

Read more about the CAB Refinancing Options here.

Board of Education Members

Sarah Pearson
President
spearson@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Amal Smith
Vice President
amalsmith@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Doug Ireland
direland@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Cory Smegal
csmegal@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Andrea Swenson
aswenson@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Oct 23 2017

Anti-hate signs are being made available to interested Piedmonters.

If you want to obtain a sign, contact Conna McCarthy at > 

mccarthycraigie@gmail.com.  

Also, a limited number of signs are available at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall and at the Piedmont Unified School District Office.

Oct 23 2017

The Board of Education at their October 25 meeting will discuss and consider a policy on the naming rights of School facilities and buildings.  The meeting begins at 7:oo p.m. in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.   For more information click on the agenda ITEM VII B  link HERE.

Oct 23 2017

At the October 25 School Board meeting, consideration will be given to refinancing the Piedmont School Bonds.  The link to the information is HERE.

Read the agenda ITEM VII C  information HERE.