The carnival hosted by the Mountain View Parent Nursery School celebrated Tim Dobbins' 25 years of teaching earlier this month, but the preschool will be saying goodbye to more than just Teacher Tim. The Parent Nursery School is working with Parent Observation preschool to relocate, and soon will say farewell to their current location between Alta Vista and Mountain View high schools.
The preschools have to move in order to make room for the growing Mountain View-Los Altos High School District. Enrollment in the district is projected to grow by 20 percent over the next five years, and with it come a growing need for the facilities currently occupied by the preschools, according to Superintendent Barry Groves. Groves said the plan is to use the facilities to expand Alta Vista High School and offer a place for the district's career technical education program.
The carnival on May 4 doubled as a fund-raiser for the Parent Nursery School and Parent Observation's $200,000 capital campaign to raise the final amount necessary to move, according to Marie Faust Evitt, a teacher at the Parent Nursery School. The campaign raised about $60,000 going into the carnival weekend, and has since grown to $86,000.
The cost to move goes well beyond $200,000, but will help close the gap between planned and actual expenses, according to the Parent Nursery School website.
The new proposed site is in an empty lot next to Oak Elementary School, adjacent to the Foothill Covenant Church, just across the street from the Mountain View High School's football field. Groves said the preschools have city permits to move to the new location, and tentative approval by the city of Los Altos for three buildings at the site.
A rendering of the new site is available on the Parent Nursery School website, and also is displayed inside the current preschool classroom as a giant poster board. The rendering includes swing sets, slides and sand boxes, as well as more than dozen trees that would surround the preschool campus.
Evitt said the new site puts both preschools side-by-side and merges them into a consolidated program for children between the ages of 15 months and 5 years. It will also include a third building between the school classrooms to act as a meeting room for parents.
Both preschools are included in the Adult Education program at the Mountain View Los Altos School District. Groves said the district provides personnel and publicizes the preschools, but they are independently run and self-sustaining. He said many preschools closed when the state cut funding for adult education in 2008-09, but both the Parent Nursery School and Parent Observation have been able to survive.
The district's growing need for the facilities is not a surprise for the preschools. Associate Superintendent Laura Stefanski said the district has had conversations with staff at the Parent Nursery School for the last couple of years years about growing enrollment and the possible use of the parcels the preschools occupy.
Stefanski said a lot of plans are in flux right now, and district administrators will be meeting with preschool staff over the next few weeks to hammer out more specific details about the move. She said both parties are encouraged to talk about different options and have a conversation about what the next steps will be.