PIEDMONT -- School board members and several speakers expressed disappointment over the defeat of Measure H, the $13.5 million ballot measure to upgrade Alan Harvey Theater.

"I am disappointed with the results and the process," former school board member Grier Graff said at the June 11 board meeting. "I expected an honest debate, but the opposing literature was misleading at best."

Mark Becker, who conceptualized designs for the theater upgrade, said: "It is what it is. But I feel undeterred. I think it was a sound plan."

The board decided not to decide at the meeting what steps to take next.

Trustee Sarah Pearson suggested perhaps putting another measure on the November ballot. Trustee Doug Ireland disagreed.

"We need to make the right decision for the right reason at the right time," Ireland said. "It may take time."

Board President Rick Raushenbush said arguments against the measure "were varied and contradictory. We look for specifics on an alternative plan, not just 'we don't want it.' No guessing games on a next election. Let's flush out claims and issues."

Raushenbush was asking that opponents come forward in September with plans spelling out what they would like to see done at the aging theater. The public at large is also invited to provide input so the board can decide what to do.

The next school board meeting is on an off-day and location: at 10 a.m. July 1 in the district office conference room. The primary agenda will be installation of new school board officers. Andrea Swenson will be sworn in as new board president, with Pearson as vice president.

An item that generated much attention by parents and students is the new pilot bell schedule for Millennium and Piedmont high schools that will begin with the school year in August. Its purpose is to provide more rest for students, increase tutorial periods, offer more flexibility to students who have athletic activities and build student-teacher relationships.

"It's a benefit for students, a collaborative effort. We are optimizing a five-day rotation, " Piedmont High School Principal Brent Daniels said.

Class will begin at 8 a.m. every day, with tutorial 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesdays. Classes end Tuesdays and Fridays at 2:50 p.m. Class ends 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and 3:05 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. Staff collaboration will be from 8 to 9 a.m. Fridays.

Parent Inga Hauser said parents "were blindsided by the new schedule. A half-hour doesn't make a big difference. I don't think a tutorial period is needed for my 'A' student. I think a lot of parents feel that way."

Daniels responded that the mandatory tutorial is only eight times per school year, that students can use that time to make up work and build student-teacher relationships.

Former PHS parent club President Dane Copeland said she was in favor of the new pilot bell schedule to mitigate student stress and give an opportunity for feedback.

The school board also approved a new course beginning this fall: physics of alternative energy design and construction. Assistant Superintendent Randy Booker explained this new course replaces a current course not approved by the University of California system.

"It will be hands on and lab heavy," Booker said. "It replaces the introduction to physical science for ninth-graders, for the next generation of science standards. Students need one year of physical science and one year of life science to graduate."

Retiring employees were feted at the start of the meeting, and gifted with wind chimes.

"Most of them average 20 years service to the district," Superintendent Connie Hubbard said. "We can't do gold watches, but changed from plaques to wind chimes, in hopes wind chimes would spark some pleasant memories."

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