I Pleasanton Schools!! Save Our Schools NOW!
Funds Raised: ILPS = $377,053; PSEE (music) = $90,309; TOTAL FUNDS RAISED = $467,362.00
The goal of the fundraising effort, I Love Pleasanton Schools was to raise $2.8 million to support four critical areas: class size reduction, reading specialists, counselors, and the K-5 band and strings program. Based on the funds raised ($467,362.00), the cabinet recommendation (approved by the school board, PPIE Board & PSEE Board) on how to best utilize the ILPS raised funds includes:
1) Fund a full time reading specialist at every elementary school site, 2.5 full time employees (FTE) were added. Reading skills are the main indicator of student success. These reading specialists will be assigned classroom time (different from past years), and the goal will be to increase access to highly trained teachers in primary classrooms and lowering the student – teacher ratio for the entire class. This is the objective of class size reduction (CSR)…..thus, we have impacted CSR somewhat. The funds raised fell short of funding any opportunity to improve on CSR in any way other than what is described above.
2) Add to the counseling staff for the K-5 grade level span (1.5 FTE), to specifically focus on the most at-risk students who have been identified. The addition at the elementary level would increase services by a third, with a counselor on site every other day instead of every third day. The student to counselor ratio would decrease from over 2,000 students to each counselor to approximately 1,375 students to each counselor. Additionally, two days of counseling time to be added at each comprehensive high school. Additional funds will be made available for outside counseling referrals K-12 on an as needed basis for those who require this type of service.
3) Fund a modified strings and instrumental music program for students in grade 5.- In previous years, the strings program was made available to students in the fourth grade on a pull out basis. Band was made available to fifth grade students on the same basis. The modified proposal would consolidate both programs into the fifth grade. Students will select either strings or band instruction. These will be scheduled on a pull out basis at the same time during the school day to minimize interruption of the fifth grade program. Both elementary and middle school music teachers felt that this change would have a positive impact on the program, which has seen a drop off of continuing strings students at the sixth grade level. Elementary principals felt that their fourth and fifth grade teachers would also prefer this model because it would be less disruptive to their classrooms.