Submitted by: Chris Grant
Current School Board Trustee Chris Grant is filing for the November School Board election. Grant’s desire to continue on the School Board is rooted in his passion for public education and his numerous years of service to Pleasanton schools. Grant is the most tenured current School Board Trustee and has served over 5 years and twice as Pleasanton’s School Board President.
Grant has extensive governance experience and a long record of Pleasanton community involvement. He is a parent of three children in Pleasanton schools and a Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Investments for Kaiser Permanente.
During his tenure on the School Board, the district dramatically increased academic test scores, added new science specialists at each elementary, maintained critical support services in elementary, middle and high schools, advanced academic intervention programs in reading, science and math, upgraded athletic fields at Amador and Foothill high schools and maintained important art, music and athletic programs.
“Over the past six years, our school district increased API test scores by 25 points to 906, ranking Pleasanton Schools among the best in the state,” said Grant. He added, “The addition of full-time science specialists to every elementary school has resulted in California standards scores increasing
to 90% proficiency or advanced in science, up from 76% in 2007.” Grant stated, “I firmly believe that Pleasanton Schools can continue to excel and perform at the top in state despite a challenging California budgetary situation.” “It is a matter of careful planning, smart decisions, innovative approaches and enduring partnerships with our highly talented teachers, staff and community.”
Grant noted “97% of Pleasanton students pass the California High School Exit Exam on their first attempt in 10th grade, making Pleasanton the envy of many surrounding school districts.” Pleasanton has excelled in math, with a 99% proficiency rate in seventh grade Algebra 1 and 157 students taking
Geometry in 8th grade, one year ahead of schedule with 100% proficiency scores on the CST. Grant credits this progress “to amazing teachers and administrators.”
Grant added, “hiring the best and brightest teachers, administrators and staff and working hard to retain them is essential to our success and future.” Grant was central to hiring Pleasanton’s Superintendent, Parvin Ahmadi, serving as the Board President during the selection process.
He also was instrumental in increasing the number of school based nurses through his close collaboration and efforts with Valley Care Hospital. Grant
stated, “Together through a great partnership and the generosity of Valley Care Hospital, we were able to triple the number of district school nurses. For many families this has been essential during this difficult economic time.”
In Board meetings, Grant has been a strong and vocal proponent for counseling services, class size reduction, reading, science and math intervention programs and the continuity and support of music, art and athletic programs.
Grant noted, “In Pleasanton, we seek to develop well rounded students that
can be highly successful citizens in our community, as well as globally.” Grant added, “Top academic performance is essential as is robust music, art and athletics programs.” Grant has represented Pleasanton on the Joint Powers Board for Special Education and has been an important and longtime advocate for children with special needs.
“Despite a very challenging State budgetary situation, through careful fiscal planning and strong partnerships with our teachers, administrators and staff, we have been able to maintain the most essential programs and even expand critical programs that affect student academic performance and
well being,” said Grant. Adding “this has been done while maintaining and rebuilding our budgetary reserves.”
Grant indicated that the State fiscal situation will likely be challenging for the next 2-3 years and felt his knowledge and experience in business planning, finance and budgeting will be
important to the district.
Grant has served Pleasanton schools as a founding member of the Excellence in Education Committee, on the PUSD Academic Achievement Committee, Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation Board, Joint Powers Board for Special Education and school site council.
His community involvement
extends beyond the schools as well, serving on the City of Pleasanton’s Economic Vitality Committee, the Health and Science Advisory Board of Dominican University, on the board of directors of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Council, as a trustee to a community charitable fund for
Education in Health and coaching youth sports. Grant also served on the CA Governor’s Job Creation Committee.
While Grant is pleased with district performance, he stressed the need to focus on further improvement and the need for careful management during this difficult economic cycle. Grant noted student safety, continual student achievement improvement and fiscal responsibility among his top priorities.
Grant said “We have a real obligation to help every child reach their greatest potential.” Adding,“I consider public education among the highest priorities of a community and am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve.”
Grant, a product of public schools himself, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from the University of California, Santa Barbara and completed executive leadership programs at Kenaan Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He lives in Pleasanton with his wife and three children.