Mountain View Voice

News - November 25, 2011

Whisman near decision on boundary change

by Nick Veronin

The superintendent of the Mountain View Whisman School District is confident that the community approves of his district's plan to reorganize the attendance boundaries of three local schools.

The proposed changes were publicized in emails, direct mail, on the school district's website, in school newsletters and written about in news stories in the Voice and another local paper, said Craig Goldman, superintendent of Mountain View Whisman.

After hearing only a handful of concerns at the district's Nov. 17 board meeting, Goldman said he feels safe assuming that "overall, people understand the boundary changes make sense and that the district is planning to implement them in a way that is respectful."

The district will vote on the proposed changes at its next meeting on Dec. 8. Should the new boundaries be approved, 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.

Four people addressed the board with concerns about the proposed boundary changes — not enough to convince Goldman that there is any kind of significant opposition to the plan.

"If people are concerned about the actions of the district and the board, they do attend school board meetings," he said.

One of the community members who spoke at the meeting was Bridget Harrison. "School rankings are very important to home owners, home buyers and parents," Harrison told the board. She said she was concerned with what the change could portend for property values, even though she doesn't have children, and is living just outside of one of the areas that may soon change,.

Harrison was also concerned that the reorganization would make for a less diverse student population at Bubb. "I feel that redefining the boundaries as they have proposed is going to decrease diversity and increase segregation along socioeconomic and ethnic lines."

Harrison said she plans on having children some day and hopes that she will be able to send her kids to a diverse Bubb Elementary School. She suggested that instead of changing the boundaries, the district might simply increase the number of children Bubb could accept.

"We want to keep reasonably-sized schools and we want our schools to be reasonable in size," Goldman said, by way of explaining why Harrison's suggestion would not work. "We have other schools that have capacity, so it doesn't make sense for Bubb to have significantly larger enrollment, particularly when there are more logical changes that allow students to attend schools closer to their homes."

The three areas under consideration are:

-Area No.1, currently a Bubb attendance area, would switch to Castro and comprises 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 Castro and encompasses all homes bounded by Central Expressway, Chiquita Avenue, California Street and Escuela Avenue.

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

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.

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