School Board approves new PHS principal, bell schedules, and more

New PHS principal Sukanya Goswami addresses the school board after being approved on April 27.

The PUSD Board of Education unanimously approved — and warmly welcomed — the new principal of Piedmont High School, Sukanya Goswami, at the April 27 school board meeting. Goswami will replace Adam Littlefield, who is retiring at the end of this school year. Goswami is currently serving as assistant principal at Miramonte High School in Orinda. The board and administrators were effusive in their praise for Goswami and her performance during the interview process. She was selected from 18 applicants by an interview group of 22 staff, parents, teachers, and students.

Goswami told the board that she was honored to serve in a community where everyone is very engaged with the schools. “Please feel free to come talk to me, I’m always open,” she invited the community. “Collaboration is key.”

An extra 30 minutes of sleep: New bell schedules adopted

The Board approved the secondary bell schedule for PMS, MHS, and PHS for the 2022-23 school year. Notable changes from past schedules include a new 8:30 a.m. start time for all high school students and the inclusion of an advisory period twice a week. In 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 328, imposing a later start time for high schools across California.

Read the background HERE. Full presentation HERE

Fifth Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee annual report for Measure H1

The Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) for the Measure H1 Facilities Bond Program completed its Fifth Annual Report to the Piedmont community. Facilities Steering Committee Chair Grier Graff submitted the report to the Board. The CBOC consists of community members, legal, technical, and financial advisors, and parents of students enrolled in the District. The CBOC members are Graff, Julie Caskey; Kim Dao; Andrew Hempeck; Kyung-Hee Howard; Jonathan Levine; Richard Raushenbush; and Melissa Wilk. The CBOC is responsible for inspecting bond program projects during construction, reviewing the expenditure of bond funds, and ensuring that expenditures were made for purposes authorized by voters. This Fifth Annual Report covers the period from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Read full background HERE. More information:

You can sign up HERE to tour the newly completed Performing Arts Center and STEAM buildings on Saturday, April 30.

New alternative credits toward graduation plan adopted

The Board approved moves to tighten and clarify the kinds of classes high school students could take outside of the district and how they fit into student transcripts. During the pandemic, PUSD granted more flexibility for students to take classes outside of the school district. The updated policy language:

Students are highly encouraged to pursue their educational interests which may include taking courses at an outside accredited school.

An “accredited” school is one that has received accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) or other statewide or regional commissions or, in the case of a school outside California, by the equivalent governmental or other regional accrediting agency in that jurisdiction.

Courses taken at community colleges may be added to the high school transcript.

Concurrent or dual enrollment in college courses that are equivalent to a high school-level course will not earn the additional extra grade point.

Concurrent or dual enrollment in upper division courses may receive an extra grade point as approved by the Superintendent’s designee.

For students enrolled at Piedmont High School, courses taken at a fee-based or private accredited school, while enrolled at PHS, will not be added to the high school transcript.

For students enrolled at Millennium High School, courses taken at a fee-based or private accredited school, while enrolled at MHS, must be approved by the Superintendent’s designee in order to be added to the high school transcript.

The full text of BP 6146.1 Alternative Credits Toward Graduation is attached or can be reviewed here.

New job descriptions for director and assistant directors of PUSD’s food services

To support the district’s transition to the State of California’s Universal Meals program starting with the 2022-23 school year, the district needed to update the job descriptions for the director and assistant director positions to capture the required duties and qualifications. To update the job descriptions, PUSD said it reviewed requirements provided by the California Department of Education (CDE) and the US Department of Agriculture (responsible for the federal child nutrition programs), reviewed the job descriptions posted by other districts, and discussed the job requirements with a consultant hired to assist in the transition.

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