Palisades News Letters: Parent Unhappy About PaliHi Start

PPRA Supports Pad-Mount

Pacific Palisades Residents Association (PPRA) supports the pad-mounted alternative for the “temporary” distribution station to be constructed on Sunset near Marquez. The pad-mounted alternative is economically feasible, can be constructed as quickly as the pole-top station and is environmentally preferable as it reduces EMF emissions and reduces visual blight along Sunset (as required along a Designated Scenic Highway).

Unfortunately, the Department of Public Works completely ignored the pad-mounted alternative (made possible by the adjacent property owner’s offer to provide a cost-free easement over its property), and therefore incorrectly applied existing regulations. We expect this denial to result in significant delays in construction of this needed distribution station, as appeals of this decision are pursued. (Visit: the Pacific Palisades Resident Association Facebook page. Or sign the petition: www.change.org/p/protect-sunset-boulevard-s-scenic-highway?recruiter=172453614&utm_source=share_pet ition&utm_medium=copylink).

Sarah Conner,
PPRA President

Parent Unhappy About PaliHi Start

I am writing to comment on the Palisades High School start date reported in the Palisades News (“PaliHi School Calendar Set for Next Three Years,” March 1, page 1). My son attends Palisades High as a ninth-grader. We have a Paul Revere Middle School student as well as a Marquez student.

We have signed every petition offered for a more appropriate start date to the school year; hoping for at least an August 21, but most preferred August 28.

To clarify; when reported that 70 percent of the parents chose the August date, PaliHi did not elaborate its methods. During Christmas break, a time when I assume most families finally take a break from a very busy school year, PaliHi sent an email giving parents an option of an August 7 or 14 date, under the guise of a “survey.”

When I realized there was no other option, I contacted the office staff to ask for the option “none of the above” or “later start than August 14.” The office staff reported these were the ONLY options and a meeting for parents would be held to take matters further.

A meeting was held, but it was not heavily announced and was during a work day, so I was unable to attend. At this point, after numerous requests, I still do not understand WHY the early start to the school year. I asked principal

Dr. Pam Magee, in an email and still have not attained a response. I feel that PaliHi determined the start date and steered the parents to its decision without proper vetting. I know NOT one family that agrees or supports this early start which essentially robs our children of a much-needed break.

Tricia Baak

(Editor’s note: We contacted Principal Dr. Pamela Magee about Baak’s letter, her response is below.)

School Calendar Discussed

School calendar discussions bring out a wide variety of opinions and are seldom easy decisions. In the recent discussion regarding the PCHS start date, a primary consideration was providing the best educational opportunities for all students. While we understand that the decision to start school on August 14 [students start on the 16th] may not be supported by all families, PCHS seeks to ensure that students have sufficient time to prepare for national Advanced Placement tests and that transcripts for college applications will be prepared in time for submission to universities with competitive admission requirements. The August start date for the 2017-18 school year aligns with the LAUSD start date, an important consideration for many families.

PCHS collected input from current parents via a survey posted in the weekly school newsletter and on the website. The survey closed on January 13, the Friday after school resumed from winter break. The parent survey was one of several sources gathered to provide feedback to the Board of Trustees. In addition to the parent survey, students and staff also provided their input regarding start and end date preferences. It is important to note that the school start and end dates are tied to the UTLA-PCHS contract. The survey options provided to parents reflected the same options included in the faculty vote.

Ms. Baak’s feedback sent to Board Chair Emilie Larew and to me was received and included in the information provided to the PCHS Board of Trustees. Ms. Larew responded to Ms. Baak’s email dated December 12, 2016 on December 14, 2016. We appreciate the feedback provided by Ms. Baak and all PCHS families and will continue to strive for clear and transparent communication.

Dr. Pam Magee,
Principal, Executive Director

Palisades News welcomes all letters, which may be emailed to letters@palisadesnews.com. Please include a name, address and telephone number so we may reach you. Letters do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Palisades News.

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