If developers have an interest in defeating a bond measure, what do you anticipate they will say or do to attack a bond proposal?
The developers will not oppose a bond measure, in fact they will likely support it. Developers want our schools to be built as it assists them in selling homes.
Did the community survey take into account the anticipated dollar amount of the bond and the expected cost per resident?
Yes, these were taken into account.
Why does the bond measure include aging/existing facility? It should only be high school.
The Board of Trustees has not yet determined whether to place a General Obligation Bond Measure on a 2016 ballot. Staff has been directed to form a committee to propose projects for the potential measure. All measures are voted upon by the entire community. Recently approved measures (C & E) were carefully designed to meet the needs of the community as found in the results of surveys prior to establishing project lists. The District has significant facility needs beyond a second high school. Many of the schools on the west side of our community are 50 years old with aging classrooms and other modernization needs. The District has successfully completed more than 40 projects over the past decade. Still, much needs to be done to provide a world-class environment for all students. Hence, the need to ensure that the potential measure support both growth and modernization needs.
It sounds like you are pushing for the bond measure in the next election. On the last bond measure, can you tell us what it was supposed to be used for, what it ended up being used for, and what is pending?
Measure E had specific projects identified for all schools in the District. Many of those projects have been completed. Bond Progress Reports are published annually with specific projects identified. The 2015 Report is available on the CBOC section of the district website under the “Committees” heading (lower right side). The measure also provided the District flexibility to use funds to assist with growth issues in the District. This was a very important part of this measure due to the fact that at this time, the state of California is not participating in the school facilities program and does not provide constitutionally required “matching” funds for projects. This has put a tremendous burden on the district to manage both growth and modernization issues locally.
The Board of Trustees has voted to delay certain Measure E projects so that growth needs may be met.This included funding for Amador Elementary and the proposed Jordan Ranch School under design.The Board has made it very clear that projects being delayed will be completed as funding becomes available.
Fremont USD said no designated school. Can DUSD do the same?
The Board of Trustees establishes boundaries for all schools in the district. We believe and support neighborhood schools as an important element in school environment. However, the Board may determine that designating “no school of attendance” is a necessary step at some point to manage the growth issues faced.
What is Plan B if local bond doesn’t pass?
The District is required to respond to student needs regardless of the facilities available. Districts in similar circumstances have had to add portables, move programs, provide double sessions, and in some cases have had to put multi-track year-round calendars in place. All of these options are less than desirable. The District is making every effort to avoid having to take these steps.
Explain what a $283 M bond will pay for? Which projects can we afford if it passes?
The Board of Trustees has not determined which projects will be included in a potential GO Bond Measure. From the recently completed community survey it is clear, however, that projects will need to include meeting both growth needs and modernization projects. This includes funding for high school, middle school, and elementary school facilities needs.
Why is the size of proposed bond $283 M? Why not include cost of comprehensive high school? We do not support the bond without that.
Community assessed valuation is the framework for determining the amount of bonded indebtedness a district can take on. At this time, $283 M is the maximum amount the District can place on the ballot due to this factor.
Can we negotiate more than Level 2 but not up to Level 3 fee? Is that legally allowed?
SB 50 clearly establishes the formula for Level 2 fees. The annual School Facilities Analysis is the mechanism by which the fees are established.The District may negotiate separate mitigation agreements with developers. In fact, the District has negotiated multiple agreements in the past that have benefitted the District, including agreements that have brought more than $15 million to Dublin High School through the years.We will continue to focus our efforts on what is best for the District.
Is Pleasanton at Level 2 fee?
Why haven’t we moved to Level 3 fees if no state funding is available?
According to SB50, Level 3 rate must be authorized by State Allocation Board (SAB) when no state funding is available. The Level 3 rate has never been authorized by the SAB since introduced in 1998.
SB50 was a 2-legged stool, why was that fact not stated?
A close look at SB 50 shows that in order to charge Level II to Developers the District must meet two of four requirements.Those include: 1) attempting to pass with at least 50% plus one vote a local GO Bond Measure every four years; 2) Bonded indebtedness at 15% of maximum of assess valuation; 3) 20% of student population in portables; and 4) 40% of students in multi-track year round education.The District meets this requirement through 1 and 2 above.Hence the “three legged” stool concept, which refers to the passage of a local GO Bond.
You refer to state bond in 2016, even if it passes, does it guarantee funds become available?
While there is no guarantee of funding if the State Bond passes, we have submitted our costs of Amador for land and construction to the state, as well as an application for state funding for Jordan Ranch (E-5) and Dublin Crossings (E-6). An application for funding a second high school would also be made in a timely manner. We would then be “in line” for funding with other school districts. This puts us in good position to be funded at state should bond funding become available.
When did Dublin begin collecting developer fees for high school?
We are collecting developer fees for the high school at this time and have been collecting for years. Many of our mitigation agreements with developers required for them to pay extra fees specifically for high school. In fact, developers have allocated over 15 million for Dublin High School over the years.
What creative funding options are we overlooking? (Corporate sponsorship, Mello Roos, higher developer fees, private high school, share facilities)
The district is looking into any way we can increase funding for our educational programs, and facilities funding. We are examining the potential of Mello Roos on future developments. We have reached out to corporations, and their willingness to contribute has been on one-time grants for specific programs, not facilities. We remain in negotiations with developers to increase funding for our schools. Dublin is a public school district, completely separate from private schools. Joint-use facilities are common between cities and school districts, but cities do not build schools or fund school facilities.
Builder/new residents should pay for schools – Mello Roos. Why do we have to pay for Jordan Ranch – builder is making millions in profit.
It is unfortunate that the way SB 50 is structured, developers’ interests are protected at the expense of school districts. The Governor has made it clear that he does not want to fund school facilities and expects communities like Dublin to issue bonds and pick up the slack to replace the lost state funding. We may all agree that developers should bear an additional burden in contributing to school construction, but SB 50 limits the district’s options to access that source of funding.
What is the District doing to collect Level 3 developer fees? Or finding creative ways to fund new school construction?
Annually, the district issues a School Facilities Needs Analysis and publicly presents the study at a Board Meeting. Once the study is publicly vetted and the Board of Trustees approves, the district may collect increased fees immediately. Level 3 fees are not currently available to the district. School Facilities Needs Analysis studies must be prepared within the strict state-required guidelines and limited scope.
How are we going to be informed of the progress from the first community forum (September 29th) to the second community forum (January 11th)?
This website will be regularly updated with new material as it becomes available. All presentations and meeting minutes will be posted under the ‘Outreach’ section.
Will questions be posted online for feedback from parents who could not attend the first Community Forum meeting?
There will be several opportunities for the public to provide advisory feedback including the Community Forum #2, the School Site Master Plan Committee Forum, and campus specific community events in January.
Will you post your possible options on your site before January 11th?
The options will be posted on the website once the information has been presented to the Facilities Master Plan Committee (FMPC) on January 11th. It is unlikely the District will have identified a specific site by that time. The District has begun the process of looking for potential sites. The options will be posted with the information/comments received from the FMPC.
What land could be used for a second high school?
There is currently limited land available for a school site in Dublin. The options for another high school campus and the land it would require will depend on the program and the District's ability to fund the purchase of land and construction. There are some potential sites available. Each would need to be reviewed carefully to determine if they meet the District’s program and financial needs.
Where would we get money for a second high school?
Money to build a school facility would come from general obligation bonds, state funding, developer mitigation agreements, and potentially further agreements with the City of Dublin.
What happens if a local bond and/or state bond doesn't pass?
The District has limited uncommitted available funding. A future local bond and state money are essential to meeting future facility needs.Program adjustments are the only other option if building funding is not available.
Credibility of demographics: If they were wrong before, why trust them this time? Why did DUSD stick with the same demographer?
Year-over-year projections have been within 1% of actual enrollment. Five-year projections have had a greater degree of error. Ten-year projections are subject to a number of fluctuations in the community growth cycle including economic conditions, rate of building activity, changes in birth rate, and shifts in enrollment of kindergarten students. These are more speculative. The District is making a change in demographer to provide a fresh look at projections. This will be the third review and will provide an objective comparison of the district’s former demographer, the firm contracted by LPA, and the new demographer selected by the district.
What impact did poor demographic data have in determining developer fees?
A review of Developer impact fees over the past five years show that Level 2 fees charged by Dublin have been well within the amounts charged by surrounding districts. The District will be asking the newly selected demographer to review prior School Facility Needs Analysis reports to validate the amounts charged.
Today (January 11th), the school district told us the students’ numbers were underestimated before, which we just knew intuitively and repetitively spoke in multiple meetings, but school district did not listen to the public and did not take effort to check number, until recently, and missed many opportunities which could put us in a much better situation. How do we trust the school leadership capability and credibility again?
The District has always focused on problem solving and has successfully navigated a number of important issues. A focused approach in dealing with the growth issue needs to be taken. We are confident that a workable plan will once again be found.
Based on projections, we will need second high school for 2017-2018 year as we would exceed 500 additional capacity by next year. How realistic is the proposal to build new high school in 1-2 years?
Building a second high school requires a number of steps to be taken including acquiring of land, design and construction, and funding. The opening of a new school will very likely need to be done on a “phased” approach, as was the case with the modernization of Dublin High School. This will take several years to accomplish and likely more than a single bond measure.
How will we have a second high school and still maintain the variety of programs people say they want?
The enrollment of a high school is directly related to the breadth and variety of programs that can be offered. The continued ability to offer a rich, rigorous and robust academic program to Dublin USD high school students as they prepare for college and career is a very important element in deciding on the right high school plan for the District and should be considered carefully as options to meet growth needs are explored.
If we build a high school will it be diverse?
All of the Districtcampuses reflect the diversity of the community in Dublin. It is in the interestof the best possible education for all students that the District createsprogrammatic opportunities that encourage students from all parts of theDistrict to interact.
Regarding the need for a new high school, is a traffic analysis part of the evaluation process?
Yes, traffic analysis ispart of the evaluation prepared when reviewing new or major renovations tocampuses.
What does your demographer use as a formula to come up with number of students per household? Is it number of bedrooms, ethnicity/family make-up, etc.? What are the numbers for Dublin?
There are multiple factors used to project enrollment including birth rates, housing square footage, and strength of schools and community. All are part of the formula to estimate a range of expected student enrollment projections.
Will you post your findings of demographics on your website? If yes, when?
Yes, we will post current demographic information on this website. It is our intent to post all information on the site during the Facilities Master Plan process. We are targeting demographic review as part of the December 7th Facilities Master Plan Committee meeting. The information will be posted once it has been reviewed by the Committee.
How accurately can the district predict enrollment in the long term? Seems like it is predicting the weather.
Enrollment projecting can be like weather prediction. It is most accurate when the key factors are already present and known.Predicting something accurately when many of the key factors are not present yet it is much more difficult and accuracy is reduced.This is true of any predictive modeling. Unfortunately the further out you go, the more variables can change, the less reliable the prediction.
How is the 'capacity' calculated?
Capacity is calculated by identifying each classroom on campus and “loading” the room with the use in that space. For example, “Room 1” is used as a 5th-grade classroom and the loading for fifth grade is 28 students so the capacity for “Room 1” is 28. The classroom loading may be different in another grade, depending on class size. The use of classrooms can and does change based on program needs so capacity if reviewed and calculated annually.
Did the District know or have SCI enrollment projections before Decision Insite did their enrollment projections?
No. SCI and Decision Insite prepared enrollment projects for the Facilities Master Plan process concurrently.
According to these numbers we do not need another elementary school (E-5). Is that the case?
The District is planning for the next campus E-5 to open in 2018.Space available at the elementary level is a based on portables currently in use on several campuses and space availability in neighborhoods where it is needed.Based on the areas of projected new housing and the goal to reduce portables at surrounding school sites, E-5 continues to be needed.
Locations of additional high school and future high school academy need to be spread out to avoid congestion on the road. Do we have potential sites for these two schools?
The District has engaged the services of a real estate consultant to study available property in the City for future school site(s). The District will establish criteria in site identification that includes infrastructure support for the site such as roads and access points.
Why can’t you have the two high school with some specific focus areas like Mandarin be in only one high school?
Schools that educate freshmen through seniors must offer classes in all core areas such as math, English, science, social studies, world language and the arts in order for students to qualify for University enrollment. With smaller high schools, programs like Mandarin, can be difficult to offer depending on the interest of the students.
What would the 1,000-1,500 student high school look like? Full school with sports, etc?
1,000 to 1,500 school could be flexible in how the curriculum in integrated. Each grade level would have 250 to 375 students depending on the enrollment limit. A smaller school size leads to a more focused and aligned curriculum. The “hybrid” option under discussion is for a high school campus with a focus on one or more academic STEAM pathways (i.e, Medical Academy, Engineering Academy, or others).Students would attend the campus for academics. Participation in co-curricular and extracurricular programs would be more limited on a smaller campus.
If we chose to do the specialty academies, what would the academies be?
The specific academies have not been determined. The District would be researching best practices, engaging the community and recommending options for the Board to consider. The academies would very likely be in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) areas.
What is the short term and long term solutions? Which proposal fits which?
Solutions proposed as part of the Facilities Master Plan process are intended to address long-term needs and long-term solutions. Interim steps in the short term will vary and are dependent upon the timing, amount and availability of potential future funding.
Would kids in second smaller school facility be disadvantaged in any way? What ways?
In a smaller school, students might not have as many opportunities for a wide ranging curriculum. The curriculum for a smaller school would be more focused. If a student wished for a course of study that was broader, the comprehensive high school would be a better option. A smaller school would not be able to offer as many sports and clubs. If a student wished to participate in a sport, or club that was not offered at the smaller facility, they would have to travel to Dublin High School.
What is the difference between Comprehensive HS and New Thematic HS? Where will the additional school sites/academies be located? Has traffic analysis been done to assess traffic flow between east/west in the morning and afternoon?
The primary differences between a Comprehensive HS and New Thematic HS generally relate to size of enrollment and amenities provided. Generally a Thematic HS focuses a smaller group of students around very specific educational program themes, college and/or career pathways. Often a Thematic HS does not offer the full complement of competitive athletic or electives facilities outside of the program theme specified. The sites for potential Academies have not been determined. A traffic analysis is not a component of the Facilities Master Plan process. As individual projects move forward they will need to respond to the site approval and development requirements of the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
How would the academies be specified programmatically? Who decides what theme or program?
District staff would look at the academies for the potential for students to engage in field experiences. Staff would recommend to the superintendent and then to the School Board the programs that have community interest and college and career possibilities for our students.
Does the 75 square-feet per student include all needed school facilities such as gyms, lunch rooms, etc. or just classrooms?
The 75 square-feet per student number refers only to expansion of an existing campus and primarily includes the area for classrooms, circulation, toilets, staff work, storage, building and program support spaces.The 110 to 120 square feet per student numbers represent ground-up new high school campuses and include the other facilities mentioned in the question above.
It does not make sense that there is no cost estimate for charter school. It is not optimal to compare options side by side when the data is not at parity. When will you provide a viable cost estimate for charter school?
LPA will provide costs for charter school options at the next FMPC meeting scheduled for Monday January 25th. This presentation will be posted to the FMP website following that meeting.
How do charter schools start in other cities?
The charter school process has several steps including: formation of a proposed charter school governance team, application to home district, review by district staff, approval or denial by local Board of Trustees, and potential appeal options to County Office of Education or State of California.
What are possibilities of a charter school? Has the District received viable petitions from interested parties?
At this time, there are no applications for charter schools in the District. The District received charter school petitions on two occasions in 2010 and 2011.Both were denied by the Board of Trustees. The Alameda County Office of Education denied the appeals. The second application was denied by the State Board of Education.
What is the timeline for this new proposal? (Expand High School, Additional Facility, and Academy)
A timeline for the Facilities Master Plan proposals has not been determined. Implementation of long-term solutions and interim steps in the short term will vary and are dependent upon the timing, amount and availability of potential future funding.
How long before building new facility per proposed plan? How does that work with growth projection (ie: 2018 already will need a ready facility, is that feasible?
The timeline for building new high school space depends on the scope or extent of the work. Adding a new building to an existing site can realistically be designed, approved, and constructed in 3 years. To acquire a new site, receive appropriate site approvals, design, receive design approval, and construct a campus can take several years depending on the site, and whether the entire site is constructed or the campus has phased construction.
Do you have a traffic engineer on board?
The District works with the City Traffic Engineer when coordinating new sites. When the District does specific environmental analysis that warrants traffic review a traffic engineer is hired through our environmental consultant. Any traffic analysis the District contracts is coordinated with the City Traffic Engineer as well.
To manage future funding need, how to slow down new homes or “unassign” schools for new homes?
While declaring that a development is “unassigned” may be necessary at some point in the future, the District supports neighborhood schools as an important element in school environment.
When can school district advise the city council on overcrowding issues, and stop supporting the approval of new/non-vested home project?
The Board of Education has written a letter to the City Council, clearly indicating the challenges the District is facing from the rapid growth in the community and expressing support for the partnership that we have. The City, however, cannot use “overcrowding” in schools as a criteria for determining the approval of any development.
In addition, the District and the City hold periodic liaison committee meetings as well as annual joint Board of Trustee and City Council meetings to discuss issues of mutual concern. The issue of growth is a top priority for these discussions.
Why should we believe you that overcrowding will go away after construction? Dr. Hanke said that portables would leave after Amador was opened, that did not happen. How can we believe you now?
The Dublin community has experienced rapid growth for several years. While the growth is scheduled to slow, it will be a part of what we are dealing with into the immediate future. It is true that portables have been used and will continue to be used while remaining schools are planned, constructed and opened. A second high school, two K-8 schools, and the potential re-opening of a closed elementary school will provide substantial growth options for the district over the next several years.
Isn’t a new high school a smarter decision than expanding? We are going to make a new high school at some point.
The District is considering a second high school along with several options to meet growth needs at the high school. All options should be reviewed carefully, taking into consideration educational vision, land availability, cost, funding options, and program options. A wise decision now will help us meet the needs of our students in both the short and long term.
We absolutely need and deserve an additional high school on the eastern side of Dublin within new construction. Why is this not the obvious solution? Additionally, a third junior high is sorely needed to accommodate the egregious and unacceptable (to me at least) overcrowding?
A second high school in Dublin is clearly needed. All options for what the school will be need to be carefully reviewed. The next two schools are being planned as K-8 schools to maximize the District’s ability to meet both middle school and elementary school needs. They are being planned as “flexible” schools that will accommodate growing needs. These schools will also provide an additional option for parents who may want a K-8 environment.
Is there space or an option to share space with Dougherty High in San Ramon in the meantime?
Sharing space with Dougherty Valley is not an option. We understand that San Ramon Valley schools, including Dougherty Valley, are experiencing many of the same conditions that Dublin is currently managing.
The current “school year” structure leaves Dublin academic facilities vacant 25-30% during the school year. Can/will the District consider revamping the school year to increase facility utilization so we don’t have to pursue so much new construction/cost? (ie: 12 month calendar)
Some school districts implement a Multi-Track year round schedule. In this “school year” structure, 25 % of the students are on vacation during either the fall, winter, spring or summer. The typical summer break thus falls throughout the year as some students rotate out of the school facility. Students and parents give their first and second choice for where their school break falls. At any one time, one fourth of the students are off track. In school districts that have used this approach, they typically have moved to a more traditional school calendar due to staff burn-out.
Most schools are overcrowded now. Do you agree or not?
The legal term “overcrowded” implies that there are no seats available. This is not accurate at this time. However, Dublin schools are very full. Some more than others. While many of our schools in the east are using portables to house students, most in the west are not. In fact, the District closed an elementary school in the west a number of years ago and has not determined whether to re-open the school at this time. In addition, while one middle school is using portables the other has seats available. Dublin High School is nearing, but has not yet exceeded, capacity. This is not unusual as a community grows, particularly as the rapid rate in Dublin. The Facilities Master Plan is an important element in meeting current and future space needs at all schools.
Have we thought about opening a private high school?
The Dublin community has two private high schools: Quarry Lane, and Valley Christian. Dublin Unified is a public school district. Private schools are completely separate from the public system and hence the District has no control of the enrollment in local private schools and no role in opening others.
How many of the 5,000 student high schools are there in Ca? Is this common?
We do not have an exact count of the quantity of high schools in California with a 5,000 student enrollment. For a school of this enrollment there are a number of strategies that a district can use to break down the perceived scale of the campus and increase program opportunities and connections for students. Some of these include School within a School, Small Learning Communities, Specialized Program Academies and Satellite Campus concepts.
Where is the 5,000 student high school in So. Cal?
The 5,000 student high school mentioned in the Community Forum #2 presentation is located in Corona-Norco Unified School District, Roosevelt High School, Eastvale community. Currently the campus has an enrollment of over 4,000 students with a 1,000 student STEM Academy expansion currently in the planning stage.
How much do portable classrooms cost to rent per month? Would it be most cost effective to build?
Portables leases vary depending on the size and type of portable rented. Rent typically ranges from $300 -$1,000 per month. The monthly lease cost is only a portion of the cost as infrastructure such as power, water, and sewer also need to be provided to the buildings at initial set-up. The infrastructure cost depends on the location of existing services on a campus and the planned placement of the portables. Portables are cost effective but do not have the life cycle of permanent buildings.
Is reopening Nielsen a possibility? What is the solution for West Dublin?
The reopening of the Nielsen Elementary site is a possibility. The Facilities Master Plan process is identifying the needs of the entire school district. Solutions for all parts of the community and District will be explored.
Will the Facilities Master Plan consider sustainability and energy management to lower DUSD operating costs?
Yes. There will be a best practices section for sustainability and energy management.
Can portable classrooms be used at Dublin High School?
While portable classrooms can be used, a long-range master plan aims to house all students in permanently constructed buildings. Portable classrooms may solve growth issues in the short term, but will not be considered a long-term solution.
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