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SRVUSD: Personalized learning initiatives met with opposition by parents, staff

Original post made on Nov 15, 2017

The much-discussed personalized learning initiatives took center stage at a heavily attended San Ramon Valley school board meeting Tuesday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 4:32 PM

Comments (12)

Posted by Dave
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 15, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Will the survey include a question regarding public opinion about the job the Superintendent and Board are doing?
Of course I am being flippant, but would be interesting to allow comments on whether he should be retained at his current salary.

Posted by CEO
a resident of Danville
on Nov 15, 2017 at 8:23 pm

He is like the CEO of a company with 3000 employees. I think his salary is justified. I do not know what he makes, I'm assuming around 350k??? Feel free to correct that figure.

Posted by Jane
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 16, 2017 at 6:56 am

Being married to a now (thankfully) retired Superintendent of a large district myself I can tell you they earn every penny of their salary! My husband was "on call" 24/7, he received hundreds of phone calls, emails & texts daily, and worked sometimes a bit and sometime a lot during every weekend, holiday & vacation. On days he had his monthly Board Meetings he would be out the door at 7:00am to prepare and not home until after 11pm - midnight in many instances. He did not answer to 1 boss, but rather 5 in my husband's case (Board Members), so you can only imagine the different personalities, many times in complete disagreement, that he had to deal with. But I can tell you the Board is nothing compared to today's parents. They have gone from "helicopter" to "snowplow" to "I can't even describe" how crazy. He was sued numerous times over the years by these overbearing parents, adding to the already unimaginable stress of his day to day job. I worried my husband might never make it to retirement as I watched his hair turn grey and the wrinkles in his face deepen. Had he actually been the CEO of a large company, he most likely would have been making many times the salary he received from his district. But my husband loves kids and started his career as a teacher, hoping to make a difference in the lives of his students. It was that love & passion for the job that drove him to climb the extremely difficult ladder to Superintendent, wanting to make a larger difference in education as a whole. Money has never mattered to him, as I'm sure everyone in education would tell you, because they don't make a fraction of what they are worth.

So Dave, please remember... you must walk a mile in another man's shoes before you can judge him (or his work). And if you live in this area, your property value is what it is because of the amazing work done by the employees of the school district!

And to CEO... first, thank you for your comment! And FYI- the current Superintendent was hired last year at $309,664 and oversees 3500 employees, 36 schools, & 32,000 students. Not to mention, SRVUSD is one of the top performing districts in the country! Web Link

Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 16, 2017 at 7:16 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

Dave: Do you really think a new superintendent would be cheaper and better than the current one, who by all accounts is doing very good? When you have seen an incoming person make less than the one prior? Hum.

Posted by Sally
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 16, 2017 at 10:27 am

I always find it interesting when family members / friends defend salary amounts, as everyone feels that they earn every cent they make, regardless of the amount. There is no doubt that a superintendent faces plenty of pressures and issues, as does anyone who voluntarily moves into top level positions, in the public sector and in the private sector. Trying to justify a salary based on pressure and stress is non-starter as there is no way to measure these variables. I would recommend instead that one compares his salary with those in the bay area of similar size school districts, and indeed, you will find that he is very well paid. It is true that SRVUSD is a high achieving school district but does that make the job harder or easier then say West Contra Costa, Oakland, or Mount Diablo districts?

As for the initiatives being considered I have two observations. It does appear that the superintendent and staff have not worked through the process before pushing out so many different ideas all at one time. Sometimes less really is more. I would also say that much of the opposition is coming from teachers who are worried about job security and are resisting change, which is disappointing for those wanting to reform public education. This is all too often the case, which I suspect adds plenty of frustration to the job of superintendent.

Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 16, 2017 at 10:41 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

Dear SRVUSD Parents/Guardians and Staff,
Over the past few months there has been a robust public discourse around the Personalized Learning ideas. Almost 1,000 parents have attended one of my fall meetings, offering ideas and asking questions. Staff have engaged through site-based and small group conversations. I have also been able to learn from our high school students through forums at each of our four comprehensive high schools about these ideas.

I am so grateful for the feedback that has helped us build upon our vision to:

Increase student, staff and family options

Improve student wellness (reduce overscheduling and student stress)

Reduce class size with no increase in general fund expense

All of these conversations are making us a better District and community as we work together to make our schools the best they can be with our limited funding. To continue to gather your feedback, today we are launching a district-wide survey for all parents, staff and 8-12 grade students.

As these ideas have evolved over time, we want to ensure that you have the most recent information available. Before you take the survey, please visit the District’s webpage where you can find more details in a PowerPoint presentation and FAQs. I encourage you to take 5 minutes to click on the following link and complete the survey.
Web Link

All responses to the survey are anonymous. The survey will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, December 1, 2017.

The results of this survey are very important. We will use this feedback to further refine our work in order to make recommendations to the Board of Education by the end of January 2018 for the 2018-2019 school year.

As we head into the Thanksgiving break, my thanks to each of you for your support of the students and staff of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. I hope you have a great week full of family, friends and happiness.


Rick Schmitt

Posted by Chavez542
a resident of Diablo
on Nov 16, 2017 at 11:00 pm

Chavez542 is a registered user.

Detoxify: this application similarly provided by us and Web Link various functions of previous designs. Latest variation.

Posted by derulo
a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 16, 2017 at 11:56 pm

Obstructed by an educator or the whole college Web Link objectives we may need to cancel.

Posted by Pamela
a resident of Danville
on Nov 17, 2017 at 6:16 am

Specifically in response to Sally, it is not limited to educator opposition, but has provoked considerable dissatisfaction and concern among parents and students. Further concern has been fueled by a confusing, poor written survey which obscures rather than ellucidates thr proposals currently on the table.

Posted by Lisa
a resident of Danville
on Nov 17, 2017 at 8:48 pm

Dave, what do you make yo be able to afford to live in the community? Why should he make any less! He deserves to make the amount he is paid. The salary complaint is so old... Can you imagine the stress, work, and care that goes into this type of a position? Most people couldn't manage it for a year.

Posted by Fred
a resident of Danville
on Nov 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm

I actually like what Sally wrote, which makes the most sense regarding superintendent salaries---and what she wrote regarding these proposals.

Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 20, 2017 at 6:31 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

Sally: I'm sorry, did you compare to PUSD? A district half the size of SRVUSD, but their super makes almost as much as ours.

I think ours is being paid exactly what he should be. and really, it is usually what the previous person was making plus a bump.

Don't pay enough and nobody applies for job....

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