It was standing room-only last night at the local high school district's board meeting, as supporters of a local preschool and residents of the Waverly Park neighborhood voiced their opposition to the district's proposal to remove early childhood development program from its current home on the Mountain View High School campus and replace it with an alternative high school for teens who haven't done well in traditional public education settings.
The Santa Clara County Office of Education recently announced that it would be closing Terra Bella, a county-run alternative school for high-risk students from a number of cities, including San Jose, Fremont and Mountain View. Once the school closes, all of its students will need to be moved to similar programs.
The Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District has a variety of options of where to move the 20 or so of its students currently attending Terra Bella, but Barry Groves, superintendent of the district, initially recommended to the board that relocating the Parent Observation program and putting the students there would be the best option.
The contentious proposal came as a shock to both parents and officials with the Parent Observation Parent Education Program, which functions as a preschool and as a parenting class for those living in the area surrounding Mountain View High School.
Diane Hart, director of Parent Observation, implored the board to consider her program's benefit to the community and local schools when making their decision. She quoted State Sen. Elaine Alquist, who called Parent Observation "one of the most valuable resources for parents and children in the local community," according to Hart.
Another woman, a school teacher who lives near Mountain View High School, raised concerns about bringing more high-risk youth into the area. "I have a great compassion for all students, although I do have a great concern for our neighborhood as well," said Sheri Mulroe.
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