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School board OKs lease for cell tower at Cal High, with a catch

Original post made on Jan 15, 2016

The San Ramon Valley school board endorsed a lease agreement with Verizon Wireless to allow the telecommunications company to install a cell antenna on a California High School light pole, but the board added a caveat to the contract proposal that could send the deal back to the negotiating table.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 14, 2016, 11:14 PM

Comments (14)

Posted by Unite
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 15, 2016 at 7:24 am

"...The teachers union has asked for a 6% ongoing salary increase, plus a one-time payment of 4% of members' annual salary this year..."

Hold out for what you believe in, teachers!


Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Jan 15, 2016 at 11:21 am

6% every year is RIDICULOUSLY LARGE! That's 6% compounded income.

How much BETTER is your teaching getting every year, year after year?
How much more valuable are you than you were the year before at doing the job of teaching basic info to students?
What makes you worth a raise every still year for the rest of your working life?

It's like, if you show up for work, then you deserve a raise.
And if you show up next year, you deserve more.

No wonder our society is so screwed up. We're all being taught from the cradle by entitlement freaks!


Posted by District Teacher
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 16, 2016 at 11:29 am

PSMacintosh, ongoing does not mean a 6% raise every year. It means a permanent 6% raise. The language is to clarify that it is not a one time payment.

Last year was the first year in 8 years that SRVUSD teachers received a raise from the district. The 6% being asked for is in recognition of that.

How sad that you think teachers do nothing more than teach basic information to our students.


Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Jan 17, 2016 at 2:53 pm

District Teacher,

Well, thanks for the clarification that the raise wouldn't be compounded annually. That's a relief to hear!
Please tell me, how long of a period will that 6% raise be good for? How long will it be until the next unionized request for raise?

As to your comment, "How sad that you think teachers do nothing more than teach basic information to our students." How would you characterize the level of information that is being taught?

But don't try to pull the wool over my eyes.
I've seen the dumbing down of the curriculum and the study requirements.

And I've seen some of the "teaching":
For instance, I've seen a PE class held on the tennis courts of one of our local High Schools, where 50 kids were in their street clothes, most standing/sitting around the perimeter of the courts doing nothing, while a few played at playing paddle ball, with little to no intensity, sometimes without scoring, sometimes just waking the ball as far and hard as they could, most bored out of their minds, some vandalizing the court surfaces and nets, and the PE Teacher gone after the first five minutes and not visible until 45 minutes later. No kids were even breaking a sweat....and, of course, none were taking showers afterwards.
And that's just a PE class--essentially worthless, time filler!

Don't try to tell me that CA schools have gotten better over time.
Many schools are teaching to the lowest common denominator--the foreign immigrant student that can't speak English and is years behind our courses. That's where the money is going.

And how many times have the school books been changed and hordes of new ones purchased.
Has the mathematics of Algebra I and II changed so much over time. Has it changed at all in the last 30 years.
Why do you need new books? (Because its taxpayer money.)

And please explain what this is:
"The spending plan includes $1.1 million for Common Core professional development coaches..."
Please explain WHY there needs to be 1.1 million for coaches, especially if the teachers are doing the job in the first place?


Posted by District Teacher
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 18, 2016 at 10:23 am

PSMacintosh,

I teach 8th grade English and US history. I try to make my curriculum as rigorous as possible. Students read a great deal in my class. We learn about the events from history and connect them to current events today. I push my students to become better speakers, listeners, and thinkers. I think if you visited classrooms throughout the district at various levels, you'd be impressed by the rigor.

As for the textbook issue, there are multiple things involved. First, textbooks don't last forever. Students can be rough on textbooks, and when you have a class set of 30 books that you've had in your class for 8 or 9 years, they definitely start to show their age. The second issue is content. Content changes as teaching changes. Teaching is not a static profession. How many teachers teach now is not how classes were taught 30 years ago. And I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing. Teaching evolves and progresses just like any field/profession in America. Do you want doctors to operate as they did 30 years ago? Do you want your car to be built as it was 30 years ago? We accept and applaud innovation in every other sector of America. Why not education too?

Lastly, the Common Core professional development is partially dictated by the state in earmarked funds. Coaching comes from teachers having time to go to various sites and provide ideas, lessons, and guidance to other teachers in the district. The positions are called "Teachers on Special Assignment" in our district and these teachers are given that position for a year or two in lieu of being in the classroom.


Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 18, 2016 at 9:26 pm

PSMacintosh, you spent at least 45 minutes watching children with great interest during PE???


Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Jan 18, 2016 at 10:12 pm

Longtime Resident,

You have a sick mind!
And you obviously didn't get the level of disgust that I had in watching this pathetic PE class....and my resultant sympathy for the kids.

1. I had other legitimate reasons for being in that area for that time.
2. But, while I was there,yes I was interested in seeing the level of education that our kids were obtaining at the time. (Now I am less interested--as my kids are through the system, but still generally concerned for the rest of humanity.)

Maybe if YOU were more caring and concerned about others, then you'd spend some time investigating the classes yourself.

However, you should know going in that, regardless of their lip service to the contrary, the school administration and teachers do not want the parents around their classes and schools to see what really happens in an uncensored fashion.

Don't question or challenge the system. It's not open to that. It's not setup to even allow that.


Posted by District Teacher
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 19, 2016 at 10:47 am

PSMacintosh,

I can only speak for my school, but we welcome parents to class whenever they'd like. Needless to say, it needs to be something that they sign in as a visitor for. We can't just have parents and adults dropping in without having a visitor badge, but we do welcome them. I'm curious what your experiences have been in your attempts to visit classrooms that make you feel as if you were not welcome. That's unfortunate to hear.

Also, in regards to what you witnessed with the PE class, there could have been numerous factors in play. Could there have been a sub? Could the class plans have had to been changed at the last moment due to equipment issues?


Posted by District Teacher
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 19, 2016 at 10:47 am

PSMacintosh,

I can only speak for my school, but we welcome parents to class whenever they'd like. Needless to say, it needs to be something that they sign in as a visitor for. We can't just have parents and adults dropping in without having a visitor badge, but we do welcome them. I'm curious what your experiences have been in your attempts to visit classrooms that make you feel as if you were not welcome. That's unfortunate to hear.

Also, in regards to what you witnessed with the PE class, there could have been numerous factors in play. Could there have been a sub? Could the class plans have had to been changed at the last moment due to equipment issues?


Posted by JRM
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Jan 19, 2016 at 11:45 am

The key words for PizzMac's rant are "vandalizing the courts and nets".
He and a group of old codgers think the tennis courts are primarily theirs to use and have behaved accordingly for years. I agree it is a little weird for him to observe for such a longtime and feel he has the right to make negative comments and judge others. I remember reading "Dennis the Menace" growing up and Pizzmac's numerous posts on youth and education always remind me of "Mr. Wilson" and his crusty jaded view of contemporary life.


Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 19, 2016 at 12:42 pm

PSMacintosh, I asked a simple question. You're the one who became extremely defensive and I am the one with a sick mind?


Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Jan 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm

"Could there have been a sub? Could the class plans have had to been changed at the last moment due to equipment issues?"

District Teacher,

Those are reasonable ponderings.
But, no, it was not a Sub, I know it was the regular PE Teacher. And it was the regular class location, equipment, and program/instruction.


Posted by Kimo K
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 21, 2016 at 9:50 pm

I wanted to voice my concern as a registered voter, a parent and concerned citizen of San Ramon regarding the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) Board's failure to communicate, in a manner which would indicate not only due diligence and transparency, but also an honest, good faith effort to communicate such a controversial and hot button topic such as the recent approval on January 12, 2016 by the Board to install a cell tower on the school grounds at Cal High.

Based on discussion with other parents, I am finding that many parents with students at Cal High were unaware that this process was even taking place! Parents of incoming 9th grade students had zero knowledge. And if one goes to the SRVUSD office to share their concern they will be told essentially that it's too late, it's a done deal, the tower is going to be installed.

Also, in the news article by Jeremy Walsh dated January 14, 2016, he writes, 'No citizens attended the meeting to discuss the Cal High project.' Didn't you, the SRVUSD Board, at any time think it odd that there were no parents concerned enough to voice an opinion about an issue which has met stiff resistance by parents and concerned citizens in other Districts in the region?

One could assume the silence equates to acceptance of the Board's action and approval OR may give an observer with a more critical eye the impression that the lack of response is due more to the Board's failure to communicate in an effective manner which would invite it's constituency to be part of the process, especially regarding a decision which could potentially affect the health of the students and staff conducting school under this new cell tower.

The SRVUSD Board should do the right thing and revisit to allow parents and concerned citizens, whether it be 1 or 1,000, whether for or against, an opportunity to voice their opinion about Board approval to allow GTE Mobilenet d/b/a Verizon to install a cell tower on school grounds at Cal High.

Are other school sites within our District next? This is an EPIC FAIL by the SRVUSD Board. It is your dedicated teachers, principals and admin staff at your school sites that make this District shine. Some would argue that their success blinds us to business happening behind the scenes at the District level.

This is your opportunity to do the right thing - to regain the trust and confidence of us voters who put you there. Don't dismiss concerns regarding the safety of your students and staff for the sake of business and expediency. You owe it to your constituents. You owe it to the parents. You owe it to the students and you owe it to the dedicated teachers and admin staff at Cal High. Do the right thing.


Posted by Sarah
a resident of Diablo
on Jan 29, 2016 at 4:59 am

"Also, in the news article by Jeremy Walsh dated January 14, 2016, he writes, 'No citizens attended the meeting to discuss the Cal High project.' Didn't you, the SRVUSD Board, at any time think it odd that there were no parents concerned enough to voice an opinion about an issue which has met stiff resistance by parents and concerned citizens in other Districts in the region? " Well Jeremy is right in my opinion.

Sarah

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