Parents turn out to oppose Dougherty Valley school boundary plan

DVHS expansion, SVMS reconstruction, superintendent contract extension among other school board topics

A group of parents voiced their frustrations to the San Ramon Valley school board Tuesday about the initial school boundary proposal for the district's newest campus.

The new Dougherty Valley elementary school, expected to open during the 2016-17 term, aims to address overcrowding concerns within the developing Dougherty Valley community in eastern San Ramon.

One issue still pending is deciding what students from existing and planned neighborhoods will go to the new school, and more than a dozen parents told the school board Tuesday in Danville that they opposed the district's initial boundary proposal.

District officials presented their proposal to parents and community members at public workshops last week at Live Oak and Quail Run elementary schools.

Speakers Tuesday primarily opposed the idea of placing several existing neighborhoods within the new school's boundary rather than having those communities remain at Live Oak and Quail Run, respectively.

Parents raised a range of concerns, including environmental impacts, traffic congestion, safety of students walking or bicycling to the new school, moving families from their current campuses and whether the school district properly notified residents of the boundary proposal.

Board members could not respond to the speakers because the boundary proposal was not listed on Tuesday's agenda. The parents were addressing the board during public comment on non-agendized items.

The school board is set to discuss the new school boundaries during a special meeting on June 2 at 7 p.m. at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon. The board is also expected to talk about the issue, and possibly make a final decision, during its regular meeting June 10.

In other business Tuesday

* The school board approved design plans and cost estimate summary for the Dougherty Valley High School classroom and laboratory expansion.

The $11.8 million project would add a new two-story building with seven laboratory classrooms, three traditional classrooms, and a green technology alternative energy room and patio area. Officials anticipate construction will begin in early 2015, with a December 2015 completion date.

Board members also looked at and endorsed a conceptual site layout for the Stone Valley Middle School reconstruction project, which in part aims to replace existing single-story classroom buildings with a modernized two-story facility.

District officials hope crews will begin demolition at the Alamo school during the summer of 2015 and finish the project during the 2016-17 school year, according to assistant superintendent Gary Black. Students will be housed in portable classrooms during construction.

Both projects will receive a bulk of their funding through Measure D, the $260 million school facilities bond approved by local voters in November 2012.

* The Measure D oversight and advisory committee presented its annual report to the board Tuesday, offering a glowing endorsement of the district's handling of bond funds. Board members voted unanimously to accept the committee report.

*The board and district staff discussed implications of Gov. Jerry Brown's May revision to his 2014-15 state budget proposal.

The governor did not change his recommendation for $4.5 billion in funding for continued implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula, with the SRVUSD projected to receive an increase of 9.05% in per-pupil funding next year, according to Scott Anderson, the district's chief business officer.

The May revision did not feature new funding for districts to address several key issues, Anderson said, including special education shortfalls, early childhood education and increased employer contributions proposed for the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS).

* Board members voted unanimously to extend superintendent Mary Shelton's contract through June 2017. Shelton, who was hired in 2012, receives an annual salary of $249,600.

* Three spots on the school board will be contested in November after board members voted to order a regular election this fall to fill the positions, which are four-year terms expiring in December 2018.

* The board approved revisions to the policy and administrative regulation covering alcohol- and drug-testing for district employees subject to commercial driver's license requirements, such as bus drivers.

Changes included requiring such drivers to have a blood-alcohol concentration less than 0.01 (twice as stringent as the prior threshold) and prohibiting drivers from drinking alcohol within eight hours of reporting to work (double the previous time-frame).

* Sixty-nine employees who retired or are set to retire from the district this school year were recognized by board members, school staff, friends and family. The employees combined for 1,593 years of service, according to district officials.

* Jenise Falk, principal of Country Club Elementary in San Ramon, presented an update of recent happenings at her school, focusing on its ideals of "nurturing minds" and "opening our hearts."


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