Mountain View Voice

Opinion - April 11, 2014

Whisman-Slater residents want schools reopened

by Jessica Gandhi

I need to voice my concern and raise awareness to the residents of Mountain View regarding the lack of a walkable neighborhood school in the Whisman-Slater quadrant of this city.

As a leader of the North Whisman Neighborhood Association, I have been involved with other nearby leaders to address the concern that both of our neighborhood schools (Whisman and Slater) have been closed for several years.

The citizens of Mountain View recently approved a bond measure (Measure G) to upgrade district schools and we want the Whisman-Slater area to benefit from these upgrades just as every other school in the district will. We also want a safe, local alternative for our children who attend three schools in other parts of Mountain View.

Through attendance at many school district board meetings, our neighborhood has seen little compassion or attention from the school board and administration in regard to our plight. We attribute much of this problem to the incompatibility among several of the district decision-makers who consistently bicker and bully one another when this topic arises.

The Whisman-Slater area is a part of this school district and deserves to have the same consideration as all of the other areas. Why does the Whisman-Slater have to do without a walkable neighborhood school? We must transport our children across town to various campuses and watch as our schools get passed over for renovations time after time.

Whisman-Slater parents will attend the April 17 school board meeting at the district office to present ideas and proposals on how the district can support our neighborhood. We have repeatedly urged the board to hold the meeting within our neighborhood boundaries (Highway 101, Route 85, and Route 237), in the large auditorium at the Whisman School campus. This location would be more convenient for our residents, similar to what was done in the Castro neighborhood when neighbors opposed the idea of moving the Dual Immersion program to Slater.

We are reaching out to the community to gain awareness and support for this issue. Mountain View is growing larger each day. The schools are exceeding capacity in most cases and are well over the size that was considered normal in prior years. The need exists to address our city's schools — all of them — and all neighborhoods should be treated equally regardless of economic status.

Please attend the school district board meeting April 17, especially if you live within the Whisman-Slater area, to show your support and fill the board room with concerned citizens and children. If you plan to come, please sign up on our attendance sheet at http://bit.ly/whisman-rsvp.

Jessica Gandhi is president of the North Whisman Neighborhood Association

Comments

Posted by Great Auntie, a resident of Slater
on Apr 11, 2014 at 5:37 pm

More and more housing is being built in the Whisman/Slater area. I see lots of babies in strollers on the sidewalks. This area definitely needs an excellent public elementary school for the "growing" population.


Posted by Jessica Gandhi, a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 12, 2014 at 8:37 am

Please note that the Whisman presentation at the Thursday, 4/17 Board Meeting does not start until 7:50pm +/- a few minutes. We are asking people to arrive by 7:30pm. Please do not come at 6pm which was stated in this week's newspaper article as that is when the Board has their closed session meeting.
The Board Meeting is held at the District Office Board Room, 750-A San Pierre Way (located on the block behind Safeway on Shoreline).
Thank you and hope to see many people in attendance.


Posted by Garrett83, a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

Just they build housing doesn't mean children will be born, yes keep a eye on the birthrates in the area. Don't really see another baby boom, what you need to watch for is the Senior Citizen Boom.


Posted by Traffic Management, a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm

@Garret83 - Another way to look at this is that each kid born or moving to MV will be a (school) commuter for 12+ years (think twice-a-day mini-van type commutes). The whole City benefits from having kids commutes as short, as safe and as green (walk/bike) as possible.


Posted by bob, a resident of Slater
on Apr 14, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Twice, the school district has needed to be bailed out, and twice the District has asked the Whisman/Slater neighborhood to give up a school! Residents of the former Whisman School District, currently pay 20% higher school bond taxes than those from the former Mountin View School district. Our neighborhood pays more and gets less. All we want is parity with other neighborhoods in the form of a walkable neighborhood school.
Every school day, 611 elementary school children are transported from our neighborhood to schools in other neighborhoods. This results in thousands of miles of needless driving and time impacts on parents. The traffic impact this creates at those schools during the drop off period and pick up period is getting increasingly aggravating.
Please come the April 17 School Board meeting and support our efforts for our children and our community


Posted by Uhoh, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 14, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Isn't Whitman full of TCE? Why would anyone raise a family there? Certainly wouldn't want a school there either....


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