Mountain View Voice

News - November 18, 2011

New school boundaries for MV Whisman?

Changes in store for Bubb, Castro and Monte Loma students

by Nick Veronin

The Mountain View Whisman School District may change the attendance boundaries of three local elementary schools next year.

The changes are being considered to control school size, encourage students to walk to school and to reduce the demand for busing in the district, according to Superintendent Craig Goldman.

"We're doing our best to get kids into their neighborhood schools," Goldman said.

Should the district approve the changes, two areas currently assigned to Bubb would become a part of Castro's attendance pool, and students from a third area, currently assigned to Castro, would switch to Monta Loma.

No students will be transferred out of their current schools, Goldman emphasized, and siblings of current Bubb and Castro students would be given special consideration for intradistrict transfers.

The three areas under consideration are:

Area No.1, currently a Bubb attendance area, would switch to a Castro attendance area and comprises all homes bounded by Latham Street, Escuela Avenue, El Camino Real and South Rengstorff Avenue.

Area No. 2, currently a Bubb attendance area, would switch to a Castro attendance area and comprises all homes bounded by Central Expressway, Chiquita Avenue, California Street and Escuela Avenue.

Area No. 3, currently a Castro attendance area, would switch to a Monta Loma attendance area and comprises all homes bounded by Central Expressway, South Rengstorff Avenue, California Street and Ortega Avenue.

The board of trustees plans to discuss the boundary changes at its Nov. 17 meeting with the aim of making a final decision by Dec. 8.

Goldman is optimistic that the changes will be agreeable to most parents in the affected neighborhoods. The new boundaries will make it much easier and safer for children in Area No. 1 to walk to school. Before, students living in this area would have to cross El Camino Real and walk about two miles to Bubb; should the changes go through, that walk would be cut down to a little more than a block at most, and students would no longer have to cross El Camino Real.

"We think, for the most part, parents will prefer to send their children to a neighborhood school, rather than putting their children on a bus," he said, adding that the proposed boundaries make more sense for the students that would be affected by them.

For example, Goldman said, currently — and "ironically" — there are some students who walk right past Castro to catch a bus that takes them to Bubb.

Additionally, he said, the district already receives many intradistrict transfer requests from families wanting to move their children from Castro to Monta Loma, because it is closer.

On top of that, the district has seen an influx of families with children moving into the neighborhoods closer to Bubb; it only makes sense to do some shuffling, Goldman said.

"By shifting some of the students from the Castro area to Monta Loma, it frees up space for kids who live closer to Castro to attend their neighborhood school."

Goldman said that Mountain View Whisman has been considering making many of these changes for some time. However, an unsafe crossing at the Caltrain tracks on Rengstorff Avenue had stopped the proposal from going forward. Upgrades have since been made to that crossing making it safer, the superintendent said.

Comments

Posted by Outraged, a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 18, 2011 at 12:00 am

We bought a home specifically for the schools associated with it and I imagine many people rent or bought homes for the same reason. I think it is unreasonable, unfair and just unnecessary to change these at will, for feel-good reasons. The next action will be moving around the middle and high schools I'm sure. Stop trying to do this type of busy work that has major ramifications to many citizens of Mountain View and focus on getting scores up in the existing environment.


Posted by Concerned, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 18, 2011 at 8:14 am

This will serve to further segregate the Mountain View schools into racial and socio-economic sections/schools. I noticed that the boundary changes move the children living in "high density housing" to lower performing schools. Many parents do rent or buy based on the school the property is associated with, it can be a significant change in property value if a property is associated with a different school. FIY, my student will not be impacted by this change, but I see the trajectery of the proposed changes as a concern.


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