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SRVUSD board hears facilities update, OKs next years' school calendars

Rules for district-issued credit cards, Words Matter Week among other topics

The San Ramon Valley school board finally heard an update on district facilities Tuesday, after postponing the presentation from two recent previous meetings due to late-running sessions.

The update was one of a handful of discussions at the board's regular meeting in Danville, with other topics including the district's instructional calendars, a policy for district-issued credit cards and redesigning high school graduation requirements.

During the facilities discussion, assistant superintendent of facilities and operations Gary Black updated trustees on the progress of Measure D-funded construction projects, especially in light of declining student enrollment -- according to demographers' projections, the district can expect to see a decrease of about 660 students by the 2022-23 school year, an average of 132 students per year.

According to Black, the fluctuating enrollment and moving trends throughout the San Ramon Valley will affect classrooms differently across the district.

"We'll grow a couple of sites and then we'll start reducing relocatables at a number of sites, so that's actually a positive," he said. Several schools throughout the district have been using relocatable classrooms as the sites are undergoing modernizations and construction.

The key impacts could be felt most in San Ramon.

Montevideo Elementary School is projected to need an additional four classrooms by the 2022-23 school year, Twin Creeks Elementary an additional 10 classrooms by 2022-23 and Iron Horse Middle School an additional five by 2022-23.

California High School is expected to need an additional eight classrooms by the 2020-21 school year, and Dougherty Valley High School will probably need to add six classrooms by the 2019-20 school year and then remove six classrooms in the following two academic years, Black said.

Windemere Ranch Middle School is projected to see the greatest classroom decrease -- 10 by the 2021-22 school year.

Black put forward the idea that some classroom additions -- especially at Twin Creeks, Cal High, Iron Horse and Montevideo -- could potentially be included on a list of district capital improvement program projects.

He also updated the board on the progress of projects funded by Measure D, the $260 million bond measure approved by San Ramon Valley voters in 2012 that dedicated funds to district school facilities -- specifically for the purpose of modernizing elementary and middle schools, renovations and replacements at a handful of middle and high schools, a new elementary school in Dougherty Valley (Bella Vista), technology infrastructure improvements and seismic improvements.

Black referenced the construction currently underway at Alamo's Stone Valley Middle School and San Ramon Valley High School in Danville.

Stone Valley's modernization involves the construction of a two-story classroom building, a new multipurpose room and a central quad area. The project is projected to be completed by this fall.

The modernization of SRVHS is the largest project funded through Measure D and aims to replace decades-old, single-story classrooms with a modern, three-story academic building with 52 classrooms and laboratories, in addition to an enlarged quad and additional student parking.

The SRVHS modernization, which broke ground May 2017, is expected to see completion in winter 2020, Black said.

Other Measure D renovation projects are currently in design or under state architectural review -- specifically, projects at Golden View Elementary, Green Valley Elementary, Montevideo, Rancho Romero Elementary, Sycamore Valley Elementary, Alamo Elementary, Twin Creeks and Charlotte Wood Middle School.

In other business

* The school board approved the instructional calendars for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.

The calendars were negotiated and tentatively agreed upon between the school district and the San Ramon Valley Education Association as per their collective bargaining agreement, according to Keith Rogenski, assistant superintendent of human resources. They were initially brought to the board on Dec. 12 for discussion.

For 2018-19, the first day of school will be Aug. 13, winter break will take place from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4, 2019, spring break will be the week of April 1-5, 2019 and the last day of school will be May 31, 2019.

For 2019-20, the first day of school will also be Aug. 13, 2019 (a Tuesday), winter break will last from Dec. 23, 2019 to Jan. 3, 2020, spring break from April 6-10, 2020 and the last day of school will take place May 29, 2020.

Parent Monika Miller spoke during the public comments period on this item to express her discontentment with the quality of the survey released to parents, teachers and students, and asked for survey results to be released. She also spoke out against having the 2018-19 school year start on a Monday, saying that the first week was too long for younger children.

"That whole week of school is too much for little kids, after being off from school for an entire summer," she said.

She added that the survey should have asked about the timing of spring break, that the week felt too late in the year.

Board members, though, said they weren't able to create a calendar that would accommodate everyone in the district.

"I don't think you can ultimately have a calendar that is going to meet all the needs," board member Greg Marvel said.

They agreed they needed to prioritize continuing to keep final exams for high school students before winter break, to allow students time to decompress and potentially finish up last-minute college applications.

But board member Rachel Hurd agreed with Miller that it would be appropriate to publish survey results, adding that it would show the community how the administration had been incorporating their feedback, such as consolidating minimum days.

* The school board approved budget adjustments to Measure D spending in terms of spending allocations on facilities projects.

The modernization projects at Stone Valley and SRVHS constituted the largest portion of these adjustments, with Stone Valley's costing $3.08 million over the amount reported in September 2017, and San Ramon Valley's $2.07 million over the previously reported amount.

The increases in expenditures will not affect the Measure D budget, but will come out of the bond's funds that have not yet been unassigned.

* The board heard the first reading of a new policy designed to regulate the use of district-issued credit cards -- as a formal policy has not previously existed.

The proposed regulations stipulate that the credit credits are only for business purposes and should only be issued to the superintendent, assistant superintendents, chief business officer, director of technology, director of purchasing, purchasing department buyers, director of communications and community relations, SELPA executive director and the director of child nutrition.

The new regulations also specify how card holders should log their expenses and submit receipts.

A final version is scheduled to be brought to the Jan. 30 board meeting for approval.

* The board heard presentations on the upcoming School Counseling Week and Words Matter Week -- both taking place throughout the district from Feb. 5-9.

"Our hope is that the ongoing dialogue inspires students, staff and parents to be mindful of the words they choose in day-to-day conversations," said presenter Lynn Ashley, president of the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs.

* Superintendent Rick Schmitt recognized the board members for their work during the time allocated for the superintendent's report, noting that January is "National Trustees Month" in California.

"I try to thank you often, because it's real, and your work is unbelievable and difficult," he said. "And many don’t understand how difficult and how time-involved it really is."

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