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Original post made
on Oct 4, 2013
"The last time the district had as many students as it does now -- roughly 5,000 -- was in 1973, he said, and back then the district had 12 schools, while today it has only nine campuses."
This is ridiculous. It had 5000 students and there are 5000 now, so is he saying we desperately need an average school size of 408? (5000/12) The district was in the process of closing schools at that point and got down to 9 well before the number of students dropped much below 5000.
That's right, and not only that, but the district went on to drop down to only 8 schools before too long. The current config of 9 includes having reopened a new school back in 2008 which was not even justified. Even today that school only has 350 kids, and to fill it that much a bunch of them are let in from Palo Alto. Are we building a new school so that Palo Alto can send kids to Los Altos schools? The planned capacity of the district was 9 schools of 600 kids or 5400 students. Yet we now already have a 10th school, housed in two sets of portables on spare land. This means we have 5000 kids spread out onto 1 more site than was meant to hold 5400.
Watch out for public officials who speak deceptively like this.
As for the district enrollment growth, please see the final report of the task force, located on the district web sit.
For those who are keeping count, the District has filed one request for declaratory relief in the past year. That is the only legal action we have initiated in the past year. A request for declaratory releif actually is an action that seeks to avoid a lawsuit, by asking the court to evaluate unclear areas of the la wand provide the party with guidance. BCS has filed a total of eight actions and/or appeals with the court over the past year, and in each one the courts had upheld the District's action.
I take exception to the comments attributed to Mr. Hurd regarding the adequacy of BCS facilities, The District has never stated that the facilities offer in inadequate, because it is not true. In point of fact, BCS litigated this year's offer, and once again the courts ruled that our offer was compliant. To suggest otherwise is mean-spirited and counter to productive discussions between the two organizations. I hope that his comments are not reflective of the BCS board as a whole.
LASD has specifically stated that the BCS short term requests are above and beyond what is required by Prop 39. If we are to ask the community to endure the impact of those requests, we need to be able to show them a path to a successful resolution of the longstanding issues. However, that will require BCS cooperation in making it possible to pass a bond.
"For those who are keeping count, the District has filed one request for declaratory relief in the past year. That is the only legal action we have initiated in the past year. A request for declaratory releif actually is an action that seeks to avoid a lawsuit, by asking the court to evaluate unclear areas of the la wand provide the party with guidance."
Is that the one where you decided to ask the court if you could move BCS to a site in Santa Clara School District? Where you wasted tax payers money? How could you not know that it was completely illegal for a School District to purchase land out side of it's boundaries? I suspect that your legal council told you as much, but still you went ahead, because well, in your constant sceming with other board members and the HAE you came up with a plan.
The plan goes something like this - move BCS far away and it will cease to exist, there won't be any choice for parents anymore, it will be the LASD way or the highway, which is exactly how you want it to be. Those who don't like the LASD one size fits all style of education can go to private school, decreasing district enrollment, and in turn, district employees. Also if you get a new site or two built then you can rent that out ( maybe to a private school serving the kids who didn't do well in the one size fits all LASD schools) and get more funds that way. The end result is bigger benefits packages, salaries and retirement funds because LASD is a Basic Aide district with a fixed pot of money.
That alternative is that you just didn't think at all and you are throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall and hoping it sticks. Spending funds on things you shouldn't even be considering. So it's either a not very well thought out conspiracy or unplanned flaying. I guess you could pick one, but neither one is very flattering. I'd go with second because the first has all sorts of unpleasant ramifications.
You are responsible for providing facilities to all public school students in the Los Altos School District. Right now you are not treating some of those children fairly. Do your job, use the existing property to create a school for BCS and for the NEC.
Stop using facilities as a way to complete, improve your own programs instead.
So where did the 4 of the 12 schools go, the ones that were closed since the last time LASD had 5000 students? Well, there used to be one called Carmel Elementary. This is still there but it's a 7th Day Adventist school now. It's located behind the rear bike entrance to Blach. Carmel and Oak together used to serve the area now served by Oak. Oak barely has 500 students now. Should we reopen Carmel so that each of these schools can serve 250 students? Is that the solution that the reference to back in the past is desired to create?
Two LASD schools were closed in Los Altos Hills. The district technically still owns one of them but is leasing it to the Waldorf school. Should we reopen that? Does Los Altos Hills need 2 more LASD schools? One of these had already been closed by the time we got down to 5000 students previously.
The other 2 LASD schools closed since then were Covington which was closed as a Jr High and Portola Elementary which was near Egan. Should we have reopened Covington as a Jr High? Do we need 350 student school size limits for our Jr Highs? Ooops, we already reopened Covington as a new Elementary school. Too late.
Portola would be good to reopen. But it has been sold and turned into 50 homes, near the Mormon church on East Portola. This school served the NEC area back in the day. It's really too bad we don't still have that school. But what we can learn from that is that it can work to have a school for NEC located south of El Camino Real, because that's were Portola was.
If we do reopen a school on Portola to serve NEC, should that be limited to 500 students? The growth is supposed to come largely from NEC. If there get to be 800 students NEC, shouldn't they all get to go to a school near their homes? Is it serving these kids well to limit the size of their assigned school such that 35% of them can't fit into it?
If we do build a new school for Bullis, what does it due to the plans for having 11 schools in LASD? Bullis is headed toward housing 900 students. The LASD may not want its schools to get larger than 450 students, but Bullis does not mind. It will want its school to have driveways and traffic patterns that permit 900 students, or even 1200. A good location would be right on San Antonio Road with a direct driveway and a signal to control traffic at the driveway.
So if we have 11 schools and one of them has 1200 students, how many will be left in the other schools? Well the projection is talking about under 6000 students at the future max, well under. So say 6000. With Bullis at 1200, or with the projection at 5700 and Bullis at 900, that leaves 4800 students spread into the other 10 schools. So that is 480 students average per school. This is a pretty small size. To get there we have to hold the NEC school to 480 too and we have to spread the other 320 NEC students out into various other schools located far from their homes. It seems to me that we should be evaluating a larger school for NEC too, like Bullis, and then have one less school in LASD.
Having fun today David Roode, aka X-Strong? Is there a succinct message you are trying to get across David, or are you just repeating all your facebook posts? You are essentially trying to treat our kids as a fungible quantity, to be dispersed and divided up without any regard. BCS may be happy with over 900 on a single small site. They're obviously doing very well with 600 on the sites and facilities they have now. There's a reason that LASD parents like the school sizes we have that I don't think you will ever comprehend. It's very arrogant or extremely naive of you to assume that NEC would want such a super sized school.
Wow that's pretty funny pretending to live on Mayer Ct. You do realize that you are claiming would be the worst thing to happen to kids in the LASD run schools has already happened to the students at BCS?
If you are going to assign schools by addewaa and you are going to cap the size then you are going to have to redraw boundaries every few years.... BCS has been keeping it from happening but no one ever thanks them for that. In fact you have got to keep your little parent social cliques in tact at those schools. How Nice.
Who is this guy MayerCt? Throwing around wild comments that make no sense won't solve anything. All the previous comment said was that those people in their $2Million dollar homes in Los Altos shouldn't presume to forbid the NEC parents from having a neighborhood school based on their own priorities. If NEC parents want everyone there to have access to the same school, it's ok if they agree 700-800 students is acceptable. It's not exactly unusual, and in other cities with less large lots, it's common. Look at Cupertino. Some of their schools are that large and they have more in common with the NEC area than NEC does with Los Altos. No one person gets to decide. Your criteria of ultra small schools have been formulated without offering the NEC area a chance for its own school. Stop with the accusations and look at the idea.
'LASD has specifically stated that the BCS short term requests are above and beyond what is required by Prop 39."
- Doug Smith
Will you ever learn, Doug? Just because you repeat something over and over again, it doesn't make it true. Clearly the Los Altos School District has never offered anything close to what it is required to offer under prop 39. This year's offer is over the top in it's design to short BCS facilities, dictating a grade level configuration and curriculum to Bullis Charter School AND wildly underestimating the number in district students.
What's going to happen when it all comes crashing down? Are you going to continue on with your false statements?
Who am I? I am an Almond parent who lives on Mayer Ct that cares a lot about my school. I also believe I am in touch with what other parents want. How about you? Are you in touch with what NEC parents want out of a school? Are they unhappy? Because Cupertino has large schools means we should? I think you're doing a disservice trying to speak for a community you know nothing about and trying to make up an issue where there is none. Your idea is ridiculous Are you even a parent? Love how you are either adopting Roode's notion of housing wealth disparity, or you are him. Another unsound notion.
I guess you are my neighbor, because I live ih H2G. My kids went to Almond, we walked there, but then in the last boundary redraw we were moved to Springer, which is far enough away that we had to drive. The other problem is that we are in the LAHS attendance area, but most of Springer is in the MVHS attendance area. So we had the difficult choice of sending our kids with their friends to Blach, or sending them to Egan. Many people in my neighborhood went to BCS instead of moving to Springer. We stuck with LASD, but that doesn't mean I don't feel mistreated by the LASD decision making process. Like many other MV residents that live in LASD I feel that the LASD Board is really oriented towards Los Altos. Same thing for the PTA and LAEF leadership. Even at Springer, which is now almost entirely Mountain View families, there is still a weird undercurrent (should I say snobbery?) that views Mountain View parents as lesser able to contribute. It's almost assumed that we won't contribute the ask to LAEF or the PTA. That we are unable to help in school because we are scrapping by just to pay the bills. I can't tell you how many times I have overheard, " Why doesn't Mountain View go to school in the Mountain View Schools?"
Then there is the NEC which I feel has been totally neglected by the school district. There seems to be a significant part of the Los Altos parents that wish that they could break off all the Mountain View sections of the district.
Sorry, the last 2 posts were accidental. Some sort of browser problem.
Some sort of prejudice is evidenced by the postings of the MayerCt guy. He won't even entertain the thought of what happens should NEC receive its own school. HE'S SURE BEFORE THE SCHOOL EXISTS, how its parents will feel in 5 years when it has begun and then grows to exceed 600 kids. He's sure they will back the idea of sending the overflow off to a Los Altos school because the worst thing in the world would be a school sized at 700. He's sure they would all prefer (well, the 150 overflow) to trek off to Los Altos, maybe Gardner. After all it's only 10-15 minutes away. Every neighborhood should be treated identically, even if there is one that packs more kids into 1/3 the space than exist in any 3 times larger Los Altos attendance area. Seems like prejudice to me, as alluded to by the H2G parent.
What do you think is more important, keeping schools under 600 students, or keeping the attendance boundaries that we currently have? Redrawing the attendance boundaries seems like it was a very big deal to the person posting as MV vs. LA. . I worry that we will have to redraw boundaries soon. I always think about how crowded Santa Rita would be without BCS. We have had a bunch of Santa Rita families transfer to BCS over the past couple of years. I have heard that there is something like 100 Santa Rita students at BCS. We have had a few come from BCS as well, but I know that we have had many more leave.
With all the building going on I think that they are going to have to redraw attendance boundaries anyway. I have heard that they might have to send the area around BCS and some more of the NEC to Covington. We really need another school somewhere in the north end.
I think that the six graders should be moved to the junior highs. If we did that we could keep elementary schools under 600. I guess Egan and Blach would go over , but they have much more space there. The last step would be moving BCS somewhere - maybe sharing Covington? Or to a new site in LAH. We still might need a school in the NEC but it could be a smaller school.
LA vs MV-
Regarding this statement ...
"There seems to be a significant part of the Los Altos parents that wish that they could break off all the Mountain View sections of the district."
If this were possible, the district would lose Springer School as it has a Mountain View address, you do realize that, right?
I'm sorry you had the experience you describe while at Springer because my experience there was so completely opposite and I am a Mountain View parent.
The Springer parents fought against including part of NEC and H2G in the Springer attendance area back in 2008. A lot of their arguments stemmed from the project lack of donations on the part of the prospective Springer students. This is sad, and highlights the problem with viewing the PTA's as the 3rd tier of fundraising for LASD schools. Too much money is raised this way, and it should not be encouraged. It promotes discrimination both real and perceived as explained by the LA vs MV commenter. That person was in no way advocating that Springer be transferred to Mountain View Whisman, but was complaining against that bias in the community. What really ought to be done is to merge LASD and Mountain View Whisman together into a single elementary school district.
Problem solution in three easy steps:
Step 1 - Give BCS the Gardner Bullis Campus
Step 2 - Convert Egan/Blach to grade 6-8 middle schools
Step 3 - Redraw attendance boundaries
The district is not overcrowded. If that were true, why is the district considering moving to a district-wide full day kindergarten program next year?
Springer Observer makes some fairly offensive claims and was clearly not actively involved in the Springer community during the last boundary re-write. Springer families NEVER objected to the addition of the new incoming students, and they were all welcome with open arms. The issue was losing some of the core families that has been so generous with their time and money in supporting the school community. We consistently said we'd accept a larger enrollment to keep the core of the community together. The District chose not to listen. It was never about excluding anyone.
@Voice of Reason is posting this nonsense solution on every forum imaginable. He would disrupt the experience of a huge percentage of LASD students all to satisfy BCS demands. Never mind that GB is now too small to handle the current BCS configuration, let alone accomodate their aggressive growth plans. The only ones who think this is a good idea are the vindictive old-guard LAH contingent who have covted that campus for a decade. They would gladly cut loose 50% of the existing BCS students to finally accomplish that goal...
Here is a sample letter that was sent out members of the Springer Community in the 2007 redraw - It was suggested that Springer parents write members of the Board with one of two sample letters. The Goal? To keep the west of Springer Ave Los Altos addresses at Springer, and keep MV out.
Financial Impact Sample:
Dear LASD School Board Members,
Given the three latest boundary adjustment
scenarios posted, I have concerns regarding the
potential funding impact on Springer school. Each
scenario's proposed enrollment additions could be
accommodated without removing existing children
from Springer and changing the third level of our
funding base (PTA budget).
It is important not to confuse 'what should be'
with 'what is', and currently the third level of
the funding model covers, among other things,
facilities line items, additional aide funding, and
core curriculum support. Given that another campus
will be opening up in the district, the state and
LAEF funding will be divided among yet another
school. There is also the potential need to
replicate services available at campuses such as
Santa Rita to work with a dispersed ELL population.
Considering these changes, this third level funding
will play a role, whether that role is ideal or
not, in providing equitable opportunities for
students at each of our district's
elementary schools. Removing the proposed students
from the Los Altos neighborhood west of Springer
from the Los Altos neighborhood west of Springer
Road and replacing them with Mountain View
residents will lower Springer's fund-raising base.
There are other ways to balance the student
populations within the district without negatively
impacting Springer's ability to supplement state
and foundation funding. All three of the proposed
scenarios, under every forecast, would indicate
that Springer can accommodate new students without
excluding any of the existing children within our
boundaries. I urge you to include this financial
variable, along with ELL counts, when assessing the
equity and diversity across LASD elementary
Here is the second sample letter. These letters are from the last boundary redraw. It is interesting to note that Springer didn't get what they wanted. Sure, they didn't get any NEC students but they also lost most of the west of Springer Ave section. I think this letter is very interesting. Indeed it suggests what we all know, that you could easily combine Covington and Gardner and end up with one school.
It is also interesting to note that one year later that most the special education services were moved from Covington to Springer a year later.
Dear Members of the Board
Thank you for uploading the maps and data for the 6/11 study
session. As you work with the other board members to make a boundary
decision I would like you to consider the following points:
- The part of Springer's area west of Springer Road (the "Springer
Rectangle") is completely within a 0.5 mile radius of Springer
School, so kids in this area can and do walk to Springer school.
Removing any part of the Springer Rectangle would mean replacing
those students with non-walkers. This would be a net loss of walkers.
- There are several other areas around Covington into which
Covington's boundaries could extend; namely, the University/Orange
area of Bullis, the University area of Loyola, the Santa Rita
Triangle, and the southwestern part of Almond's boundary. These
areas are either within 0.5 miles of Covington (and could be
walkable) or aren't walkable distances to (aren't within 0.5 miles
of) any elementary school. Please don't move a walkable Springer
area from Springer to Covington while these other options are available.
- There is a small group of students at Springer who will later
attend Los Altos High School (LAHS)--roughly a quarter of Springer's
population. Removing the Springer Rectangle from Springer
dramatically reduces the Springer-to- LAHS cohort group by more than
- The Hollingsworth- to-Gilmore area (H2G) are walkers to Almond. It
makes no more sense to remove them from Almond than it makes to move
the Springer Rectangle to Covington.
- It makes little sense to send any North of El Camino (NEC) areas to
Springer. This area doesn't want to drive to Springer and doesn't
want to be a tiny population that moves solitarily from Springer to
- Covington has too few students. Almond has too many. To fix the
imbalance, move some of Almond's NEC area to Covington to help spread
out high growth areas to a third school. Then move some students
from the southwestern part of Almond's boundary (an area greater than
0.5 miles away from Almond) to Covington.
Thanks for your consideration. Have a nice weekend.
The second letter does make some very logical points. Sadly the Giant elephant in the room was that the LASD Board should have placed BCS at either Covington or Gardner in 2007. WE WOULD NOT BE IN THE CURRENT SITUATION that we are in right now if they had done that. The really stupid idea was reopening Covington in the first place. It should have never been opened as a neighborhood school. IT IS RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO SPRINGER. and a hop and a skip from Almond and Loyola.
I agree Springer Observer,
Covington is serving a neighborhood that already has 3 neighborhood schools. The original plan was to move Loyola to Covington and then rent out Loyola. The better idea would be to have Covington operate as a magnet school, or place BCS there. Gardner is too small for BCS, but Covington is the right size and every student at that school would have a neighborhood school to attend ( well except the Crossings - which is why we should be building a school in the north end.)
Regarding 6th grade to middle school, at least the decision on that should be made before campaigning for a bond issue. Either way it's going to go, it changes things a lot, and in the 1999 bond, the question was being contemplated.
My kids are at Oak. There is some bias against Mountain View here, but it's not too bad, in fact some of the more expensive homes over here are in Mountain View.
I think we should look seriously at moving the six graders to Blach and Egan. Maybe it could be optional? Cupertino used to do that. I went to Cupertino Middle starting in sixth grade but most of the sixth graders stayed back at the elementary schools ( this was in the seventies - later on they switched to all sixth grade students.) In any case, moving six graders to the junior highs would give them a chance to use the science labs, and accelerate in math. our kids really need to have have more math and science before they get to high school, taught by qualified teachers. Thirty minutes of CSTEM a week is not going to cut it.
LASD is seemingly determined to become the last district in the state to have 6th graders at elementary schools instead of middle schools. As stated in the post above, this is really holding our kids back in math, science, and other subject areas. Our sixth graders need middle school! Shame on the LASD Board of Trustees for using our sixth graders as pawns in their battle with BCS. LASD's inability to articulate any kind of vision or direction for sixth grade speaks volumes to their incompetence.
Were you at the BCS Board meeting last night? Talk about incompetence! Since when do board members scream about discrimination, yell at community members who get up to speak, and say they don't want a bond that's meant to be used to build them a school?! Completely unprofessional behavior. Someone needs to broadcast these meetings live!!
I wasn't at the board meeting last night, but I understand that there were exactly three LASD peeps there. So Community Member are you Tammy Logan, Pablo Luther, or Sharon Clay? Professional conduct is indeed important, especially from our elected officials.
I also heard that Tammy Logan apparently does not under what her job is. Apparently she thinks that she is only supposed to provide facilities to students in LASD programs. She doesn't understand that she is a trustee of the states property and must provide facilities to all public school children.
Also Ms. Logan apparently sat there with a pouty face and then threw a hissy fit, stormed out of the room, then came back in and demanded things, then sat down again and started back up with the pouty face. Professional behavior at it's finest!
Hi Lynn Reed (Voter). I wasn't there, but like Community Member I also heard exactly what happened at the BCS board meeting. It's repugnant how the board members acted toward the public. Very unprofessional. Almost as bad was John Radford, a Los Altos Hills City Council member, begging BCS to grow as big as they can on Egan and Blach to get the message across to LASD to close and hand over a school! Even Lynn Reed speaking about closing a school isn't so bad and doesn't understand "what the big deal is about"! This coming from a teacher! I think the reason Tammy stepped out was to cool off and not lower herself to the level of a yelling BCS board member.
If there was a video made I sure wish the press gets a hold of it. Then people can watch that side by side with an LASD meeting to compare night vs day. To put in perspective, imagine 5 Steve Nelsons on the BCS board!
LASD Community Member,
Where you at the meeting? I was there. I didn't witness any yelling. Voter's description is a fairly accurate accounting of the events. Although I don't really remember a hissy fit. I did, in fact, speak about a school closing, but only to put it in context. My point was that we closed a High School in 1981 and lived to tell the tail, it was super difficult, especially for the Mountain View Eagle Community. Treating all kids fairly by sharing facilities equally should be a piece of cake compared to that. Ms. Logan keeps repeating that all LASD schools have a right to exist, and apparently in her opinion that right comes before her duty to provide reasonably equivalent facilities to all public school children in the Los Altos School District.
LASD could grant reasonably equivalent facilities to BCS and still operate all of it's current schools. Early this year the BCS board offered a split campus solution, that offer was turned down. Instead we have the situation that we are in now were my students are not afforded the same facilities as other public school students in Los Altos. As a teacher I feel it is important to advocate for my students when they are being mistreated.
As a teacher I should also always model correct spelling, and what I meant to say was..... We lived to tell the tale not tail. Although maybe with all the stuff that is going on right now tail might be more appropriate.
In the above remarks, an anonymous Community member, unlike me since I am an honest cousin of joanie strong, said the following:
"Since when do board members scream about discrimination, yell at community members who get up to speak, and say they don't want a bond that's meant to be used to build them a school?! "
Now if I stretch I can barely see a criticism as valid about screaming about discrimination, or yelling at community members (assuming they were not also yelling so loud that a raised voice was necessary to pierce the noise). However, I can in no way see it a bit unprofessional to voice the position that BCS does not want a bond, or more precisely does not want to have a bond blamed on them. What's unprofessional about that?
It would be a huge mistake to build a new school in the NEC. The families who live there made that decision knowing full well that there was no neighborhood school. Their kids are getting a Los Altos education at NEC prices. If you build a school in NEC then even more families will move there and the resources of the district will be further constrained as the number of students will rise but parcel tax revenues will remain constant. Essentially, a districtwide bond to build a new school in NEC is nothing but a transfer of wealth to NEC property owners from non-NEC property owners. If a new school is built then NEC property owners should be the ones footing the bill.
That comment by Observer just now is absurd. The bulk of the property value in the district is concentrated in the NEC area. It has more expensive land than anywhere else in Los Altos, and more expensive developments as well. It's paying the bills for Los Altos, and provides neighborhood parks to the Los Altos residents as a side effect.
Imagine I own an apartment complex in NEC and LASD decides to build a new elementary school across the street. The market rents I can now charge my tenants will go through the roof and yet I will not have to pay a dime more in property or parcel taxes. Ironically, many existing NEC residents will actually be priced out of the market because of the new school and will need to move elsewhere.
Lynn, thank you for commenting. I agree that LASD has an obligation to provide facilities that are in a condition "reasonably equivalent" to an LASD average (this does not mean equal, btw), HOWEVER at the same time LASD has a responsibility to not inflict a disproportionate change on the LASD population to accommodate BCS. Multiple court opinions have upheld this, imo. Simply suggesting a school closure, redraw boundaries, swapping schools, or moving 6th grade to the Jr Highs is a complex scenario that affects the majority of the LASD population and isn't one to be rushed into. Think about the recent spike in enrollment at Blach and Egan, which won't be declining any time soon due to growth, that now adding all the 6th grades to would do. What LASD has done to date has been to find the balance that minimizes the impact to both schools. It's not perfect or ideal, Egan is crowded out and BCS is cramped, but both are surviving and no child's education is suffering. We have the opportunity to find BCS a NEW site of their own and open a new LASD school, where ideally at most we have a small boundary redraw.
Frankly, there are other options BCS could be taking. Growing so rapidly (25% in one year) before you have the land, or the confidence your system can actually handle the growth, is risky and knowingly is the cause of conflict. Instead BCS could have worked out a growth forecast with SCCOE and LASD for long term facility planning. There are bond opportunities, in the 10's of millions of dollars, that BCS can be applying for from the State board of Ed, but they aren't that I am aware of. That offer you are referring to grossly ignored all the concerns and process LASD had to follow and was significantly different from what was legally being proposed at the time. Some BCS board members recently admitted such lack of familiarity with the process required and hopefully now understands it takes time. If you look at the latest short term offer a lot of headway has been made in meeting BCSs desired occupancy numbers at Egan & Blach.
I honestly would like to see BCS come back to the table and work out the issues. A big part of this bond is for BCS to find them a long term home. Short term could be trivial but it is intertwined with long term plans, despite BCSs wishes otherwise. I also don't care that the BCS board was offended at the public's perception of them. Answer those concerns and move on, with disputing evidence or intent to correct, but don't walk out and threaten to tell BCS parents not to vote for a bond.
For the record, I was not at the meeting and I don't know what happened there. However, I have been to your board meetings before and can certainly sympathize with some of the comments above about the tone to the public.
Regarding the Springer comments above (LA vs MV in particular), I am a Springer parent and a Mountain View resident. I can tell you that there is no Los Altos snobbery at the school or in the PTA. Most of the families there are Mountain View residents! Also, the families I've met from the H2G area are very pleased with Springer, despite the longer distance than to Almond. I'm sorry you feel jilted, but I don't believe a majority of Springer families share your view.
As for NEC, I can say that LASD is going to great lengths to accommodate those families. The few families I have met from NEC, that go to Covington, think of Covington as their home and don't place walkability as a primary issue. That said, LASD is working hard to find a solution for a more local school. LASD, in particular some board members and the Superintendent, are going out of their way to reach out to Mountain View City Council to start a dialog about how to address the existing and projected growth within NEC. That the press isn't covering it doesn't mean LASD isn't making sincere efforts.
The odds of actually locating a new school within the small geo area of NEC LASD are slim. The land there is very expensive. It is only about 200 acres total. Purchasing 10 of those acres as LASD always does would consume 5% of the available land! That would likely knock out quite a few of the apartment complexes you are referring to, as those are 1-2 acre properties.
More likely the land would be on the other side of El Camino and only serve the NEC area. The park included with the school would benefit a different area in terms of being across the street.
Yes, there are now around 600 K-8 LASD students living within the existing 200 acres, even if a lot of it is developed as shopping centers and for other business purposes.
Jeff is wrong in stating that the law has any additional requirement that a charter not inflict some sort of disproportionate burden on the remaining students. There is nothing like that in the law. The reasonable equivalency aspect is the sole specification about what needs to be done. He's right that equivalent does not mean equal exactly, but that is the only slop in the law. That alone reduces what Bullis can expect. If LASD has a huge charter on its hands, then it is going to need to affect the other students. It's also true that having the subtraction of the kids for the charter has increased the facilities available to the non-charter students, because the charter is over off to the side not crowding the traditional schools with students who would normally be there.
Will the real Strong, I mean David Roode, please step forward and start using your real name. All your spamming posts read the same and everyone knows it's you. Are you next going to carry over your nonsensical analysis of using the Huttlinger name or your twisted logic that charter operators can personally monitize on parent contributions because it's ok if it's only a small fraction and doesn't cause harm, even if it's illegal.
I agree with you Jeff, LASD is growing. The problem is BCS has absorbed all of the growth. The growth of BCS keeps other schools from being over crowded. With out BCS Almond, Santa Rita, and Loyola would all have over 600 students.
BCS grows because residents of the Los Altos School District decide that Bullis Charter School is the best public school option for their child. Under the charter law they have that right. Prop 39 requires that the Los Altos school district provide reasonably equivalent facilities to all public school children that are residents of LASD. They are not allowed to favor students in their own programs when they do this. That is not happening right now. Under any objective measure the BCS facilities are in no way similar to what other public school students enjoy at LASD schools.
It's important to realize that Bullis is not capping its size at some arbitrary limit pulled out of the air by its board members. It is growing as best it can to meet the demand. The LASD cut its max school size to 560 students despite the fact that it averages 500 with the old limit of 600 per school. With these caps, that puts many schools near to overflowing based on last year's size. Presumably the school sizes declined because of the switch of 125 students or so over to Bullis. This switch is the only reason LASD is able to get away with a sudden drop in the max school size to just over the size of 3 of the schools (Loyola, Santa Rita and Almond). This can only result in sending away students who no longer fit onto these 3 "full" campuses. They are full at only 80 students per grade average. Or put another way, only 1 or 2 grades are permitted to operate more than 3 classes per grade. The rest get sent to Springer, Covington or Gardner.
That's OK Lynn Reed, BCS has no where near the same percentages of ESL and Special needs students as other schools in LASD so I guess we can call it even.
LASD spends way more on special education than does other districts in the area. It provides extremely high levels of funding to some students--even spending $1 Million per year to send some to private schools which specialize in them. So, of course, a charter school with a limited population is not going to offer a program to compete with that, and many special education students are going to stay with LASD. Fine, keep the space that is used to house the special education programs that Bullis does not have. But Bullis does have dozens of special education students and they need space too.
As for English language learners, LASD keeps many of them under that category for many years. They should be moving beyond. Bullis handles the kids better without classing them as ELL students. They have plenty of such students. The LASD schools have mostly ELL students from families that are very well off financially, and they are easy to help with English. Why does LASD keep them under that category for so long?
Completely untrue statements there "Accept my share" about LASD, all from an anonymous poster with nothing to back up those false statements.
The last post is completely false. What has he been smoking? I don't think that is D.R.
The story here is about bad communication. The school district cooks up a scheme to acquire 2 more campuses, needed or not, you decide. Then they try to blame the need on a charter school which plainly has said they will accept not responsibility for the claim that a new campus needs to be built just for them. The school board is so blind that they cannot even see the situation. The charter school will never support the bond as a benefit to them, and the voters will not accept the bond if it is needed mainly as a benefit for the charter school. So what is gained by dancing around that? How can there be such a far distance separating the 2 sides in simple communication?
If this bond doesn't pass, this battle will continue to escalate, and could eventually approach 20+ years and $xM dollars.
Will the community lash out and vote "no", essentially saying, "we're not bailing you out on this one...figure it out." Or will the community vote "yes", just wanting to put an end to the nightmare?
BCS rejection of the LASD offer to raise a bond to secure a dedicated campus for them speaks volumes. It's the clearest indication possible that the BCS board has one primary objective: Inflict as much disruption on LASD as possible. Whether that is out of vengeance and spite from the closure of Bullis Purissima School, militant charter reform zealotry, or a combination of the two is irrelevant. Their goals are clear. They are even willing to subordinate the interests of their own students and community to that goal. It's time to abandon any strategy of appeasement. It's become clear that these are not people who can be negotiated with. LASD leadership should (1) dig in for long and difficult court fights, (2) prepare to vigorously oppose the charter renewal, and (3) begin aggressive lobbying for charter law reform that would shut down (or at least severely curtail) abominations like BCS.
The LASD administration is deluding itself about the bond money. They can only borrow about $60Million total through 2015 if they use the 55% approval Prop 39 type bond. when they say they can get up to $150Million with that sort of bond, they are talking about waiting until 2021 to get all of the funding, and counting on property values increasing steadily through then at a rate of 8% each year. Not much chance of that happening.
So Bullis right to recognize that depending on a bond is foolhardy. There are simpler solutions that can expand facilities enough to house Bullis fully and meet the requirements of the law. LASD is saying they haven't been ahle to do that to date due to contraints on their capacity. That's just another stalling tactic.
LASD has demonstrated that they are unable to manage the State of California's property in a lawful manner. They are not granting equal access to the states property. So what we really need is a property manager that can divide up the property between all public school students. That's what prop 39 says that LASD must do, and that is what LASD has refused to do. I wonder what program that most people would select if facilities were not an issue? Some would still want the school that is next door to their house but that is a small minority of LASD students, because the majority of LASD parents drive their kids to school. I wonder how many would want an alternative if given a true option, with equal facilities?
It's a shame that Bullis continues to fight the inevitable. LASD district has bent over backwards to accommodate their requests, yet they continue to ask for more and more. The courts has ruled over and over again that the LASD offer meets Prop39 requirements, yet Bullis continues to argue, fight, threaten and the like. They are using their massive wealth and abusing the court system to this end.
If Bullis wants a private school, then they should stop demand public funding. They are abusing their charter status.
I don't know what LASD can do about this. Perhaps request sanctions against them for their frivolous lawsuits?
@Property Manager would have a "Special Master" appointed to take control and discretion away from our elected officials and apply their own judgement while being accountable to, basically no one. Brilliant. Secondly, the claims that the current facilities offers are not compliant is pure speculation. LASD adjusted their methodology after the last ruling and there has been no finding that they are out of compliance. Even if the court finds they have not followed the (still vague) guidelines 100% correctly, they will likely only result in marginal increases to allocation (if any at all). I personally think it's VERY unlikely that any gap is big enough to warrant what would effectively be a state takeover of the Prop 39 process. @Property Manager is delusional and anti-democracy.
Keep telling yourself that, BB and LD maybe you can convince yourself that it is actually true. Unfortunately for you, happily for the public school students at BCS, the day of reckoning will come. LASD will have to do one of the following:
1. Turn over a large portion of Egan to BCS.
2. Turn over all of Covington to BCS.
3. Turn over all of Gardner to BCS.
4. Switch campuses with Santa Rita.
Pick one --- which one will have the smallest effect on LASD students? Or they could go with the compromise that BCS offered and LASD refused, which was a two campus solution.
You can only stall for so long, time is about up. Trapping kids in a small cage doesn't really help the situation either. So either try and work for a compromise or take your chances, on the higher court decision. It's up to you.
I think that LASD should revisit switching Santa Rita to BCS. Especially if BCS would agree to cap growth. The current BCS could be fixed up, and we could keep the same attendance boundaries. Santa Rita could stay in it's own neighborhood. I hate to say this, but if that site is equal then shouldn't it okay for any students? If it solves the problem we should consider it.
If this guy calling herself BadBullis would think she would realize that Bullis has always asked in the past for at most one single entire campus. Saying they ask for more and more is confusing. Sure, if they grow to be 1000+ students and LASD is defining an average campus as around 500 students, then Bullis will be entitled to 2 campuses as Doug Smith has said. But Bullis not asking LASD to define a campus size as 500 students, and it's not clear they will expand past 900. If they do then that is the additional students asking for more space, not the original ones.
As for the idea that the courts have ruled on this issue, well, that's just not so, except that they have ruled in the past that Egan's camp school site was inadequate. The issue is that the school has grown since then and LASD has only marginally expanded their offer to keep pace. One court did rule that LASD was within paramters by using 2 disparate spaces which could then be totalled, but that court didn't examine such issues as how that split affects the total space required nor verify the adequacy of the total space in that particular offer.
If say 2000 students want to enroll into Bullis from say San Mateo area, then the district will have to expel current LASD students in order to give Bullis space, right? That is what Bullis's argument is. They should be able to expand to the 'demand' and that the public should pay for it. Who cares if LASD has limited facility and funds? Hand it over!!!!
It just seems that bullis is abusing prop 39 to take money from the public for a private education.
makesnosense really makes no sense. BCS is not enrolling 2000 students from San Mateo. How hypothetically deceiving you are. Nice. Way to increase the paranoia from all of LASD and make them feel even more justified in their stingy offers. Wow. BCS students are PUBLIC school students. BCS families you want to descriminate against are YOUR NEIGHBORS. They are nice people. They want other options for their kids. Your PARANOIA is driven by a school board that doesn't want to change their MO. You may be okay with their MO but some of us are not. We are the minority. Democracy should work for the minority as well as the majority. It sucks that so many want to supress the minority and do so by smearing rumors that BCS is a private school. Shame on all paranoid, change fearing folks.
BCS students are not public school students. They are wealthy private school students stealing money and resources from our public schools.
Just an observation, you can take it for what's it's worth, but I don't think I would keep calling BCS a private school - as it clearly is a public school, at least under legal definition. The problem for LASD is that right now it is relying on private vendors to come in and offer programs at all of it's campuses after school. LASD has kind of a bare bones program, so if parents want extras they pay for them after school. It's a private school, after school. In many ways it is much more a private program than BCS, BCS offers all of the extras during the regular school day, with is longer than at LASD schools. . It also offers it's after school programs free of charge. Parents do donate a chunk of change to the BCS foundation ( similar to LASD), but again it's a donation, no requirement to do so. That is quite a bit different than the LASD enrichment program, you have to pay to stay after school.
If you want the LASD programs to continue at each campus after school, I would quit accusing BCS of being a private school, in fact, you might even one a go a step further and spread the word for everyone to cut it out. It could really get you in hot water and cause much loved after school programs to be cancelled.
makenosense - great name - because you do not making any sense, in fact you do not understand prop 39.
Prop 39 says that LASD must provide space for the students in enrolled in public charter schools, as long as those students are residents of the Los Altos School District. So if there were 2000 students from San Mateo that wanted to go BCS LASD would not have to grant them any space, as they do not live here.
I totally agree with Wow. It is really terrible that the majority is trying to deny rights to the minority. It's even more egregious that it is chidren that are being discriminated against, and all because their parents have selected an alternative public school. A right that they have under the California Education Code. They also have the right to reasonably equivalent facilities. That right was granted to them by California Voters. . Some people are such control freaks that they don't like anyone being different. They don't even like it that a different option exists. They want all the schools to be exactly the same. Sos Sad. All that does is create a school system in decline.
@ Hope it makes you happy.
I kind of get what you are saying, but I think that you are being a bit extreme. I think that a Special Master could be appointed, but they might then ask LASD what's the most important to their overall program? They might have have to rank a list:
7 -8 Junior Highs
560 limit at each campus
after school day care
rental of facilities to day care operators
maintaining attendance boundaries
BCS might also have to make a list:
All on one campus
after school day care
access to middle school facilities for 7 and 8
Then the Special Master would take those things into consideration, and come up with a solution. It would be better for both parties to work this list out now. You might not be able to get everything, and in the case of LASD you need to start thinking on what you might give. For example, it you went with 6-8 at the middle schools you could keep the neighborhood schools, and keep them under 560. You would have to turn over a campus to BCS. Under the current semi definition of the a neighborhood school, that would work, because I guess as long as entire neighborhood goes to one school it is still considered a neighborhood school, even if it is far away.
If you put maintaining attendance boundaries at the top then you are most likely looking at trading with BCS. Gardner, Santa Rita or Covington could be traded, and boundaries could stay the same.
Here's a workable long term plan.
1. Pass a Bond
2. Turn Covington back into a middle school, and science labs etc Rename it Egan. City throws in Rosita Park for fields.
3. Turn the current Egan campus over to BCS.
4. Build a school for the NEC at the current BCS camp site.
5. Add a second campus for BCS at the Blach site to meet district wide demand.
Covington students could go to NEC school at current BCS site with NEC Covington students, or could go to one of three schools in the Covington neighborhood - Springer, Almond or Loyola.
No over crowding. One school is closed - but the students who would have gone there will get to go their for 7-8 or 6 -8 which ever is best. They current Covington students can all stay with their friends from the Crossings at the new campus or they have a neighborhood option. BCS gets a full site at Egan. BCS helps pass the bond. LASD gets a brand new middle school with state of the art facilities. The south side of the district gets a BCS option, making school choice fair across the district. BCS could drop the preference area and claims on Gardner.
Recap - BCS gets a campus
LASD - gets a new middle school and a NEC school - and let's face it. Egan was not a good remodel, Blach was. Egan could finally have performing arts rooms, state of the art science rooms, and media rooms. As well as a new Gym and maybe a theater. This could be a great location to build a community theater. It could be on the Egan campus. Also NEC gets a school! That could be a viable school, with kids from both sides of El Camino. Similar to Almond and Santa Rita. Helping both schools with overcrowding.
South LA - gets school choice
Los Altos gets more gyms.
LASD tax payers spend less
All LASD students end up with a neighborhood school - including the NEC.
@"Diane Strong", good luck with that plan. I don't think there is a single legal precedent for a court ordering a district to reconfigure it's grade mix and to shut down an existing school and handing over the campus to a charter. With a $5M litigation fund, BCS certainly has the financial means to try to become the first, but I don't think the odds are high. And no elected LASD Board of Trustees will ever willingly adopt that plan.
It,s a good plan, solves quite,a few issues, with low impact.
I agree. Don't buy new land. It's not available and would be too costly. Return Covington to Jr High status. Build a 2 story good quality NEC school on the old Egan campus for NEC and let the rest of the former Egan be for Bullis.
Is anyone listening to our dear leaders ( criminals) tonight? They are basically saying that bcs kids must stay confined on the very small walkways to play no field use even though they are empty. They are also trying to pretend that it is due to the Blach principal and not their,direct order s. I would be super pissed if I was her. If I were a bot I would start being worried,about,the,personal law suits that will be headed your way. You are mdiscriminating against kids trapping them in a unsafe area, because you want bcs to agree to a bond? That is what you just said. You want more money and you are willing to hold kids hostage to get it.
I'm listening to the LASD board of trustees talk about constantly being sued over every little detail of a facility offer, so what is left over is LASD following the exact letter of the law for calculating allocated space. I'm also hearing how BCS agreed and signed a Use Agreement spelling out what the allocation and use times are and how they are now violating that agreement. BCS knew well ahead that Blach was setup for 6-8 grade kids, not K-8, so the repercussions of BCS deciding after the fact to place K-5 at Blach is their own fault. Seems like LASD would love to let BCS make use of underutilized space, but that kind of relationship can't happen with a lawsuit trigger happy BCS board.
Also heard a LASD board member account about attempting to talk with BCS at their board meeting and being berated with negative language in a highly unprofessional way by certain members of the BCS board. The same BCS board that has effectively walked away from any constructive communication at the long and short term moderated meetings.
They are lying. They under counted students then they made a fu agreement that somehow fit there exact uner counted numbers there is no way to meet the terms of an agreement that says you can only have certain grade levels at one location. That is dictating school design. Really what is this about what this has always been about is using access to facilities to compete with bcs. They can't do it on programs so instead they endanger kids just to be vindictive. It is abuse which is a criminal act. They are the trustees of the state and they are breaking the law. I think that that should be taken into custody. So they can be in jail just like bcs kids.
Letting kids run around on the grass is about the health of kids in our community and was already worked out between the school staffs. Then the mean bots stepped in and said no they must stay in the crazy messed up maze of ramps instead. Bcs is not going to stop law suits. They are not going to turn in their chips then hope lasd offers something thermis a super long history of lasd cheating bcs.
Did I hear the public comment to the board correctly? And did the board not react? Did they seriously let it go that a non student community member was running around the track in the day time while school was in session? If they don't enforce student safety this much, then why should the Bullis kids not use the track as well?
This situation is the direct outcome of years of hostility and litigation by BCS and by their utter refusal to work constructively towards a long term solution in the recent talks. They've brought this on themselves and the knuckleheads on this forum whining about arresting BoT members or filing personal lawsuits should look in the mirror. It's BCS parents and their leaders who are responsible for this situation. There are many people who fully support the LASD BoT, but still advocated for a bond to provide BCS a permanent campus. No more. BCS parents and leaders now need to live with the full affects of their decisions and their approach.
I am one of those people who has their child in one of those "non-unusual" large schools. The large schools do not make for a pleasant school experience for the children. Sure, the scores are high, however, this isn't because the school has great teaching methods, it is because the parents teach their children at home and low scores are not acceptable. There are masses of children on the playground and children are easily lost within the system. Hang on to your values Los Altos school district parents.
Nice example Cry me a River. When you say "BCS won't work constructively" what I really see is that BCS won't do things exactly like we the majority tell them to do - then we get mad at them and throw tantrums and take things away.
When you suggest to the LASD board to continue to give BCS nothing and to continue to take things away from PUBLIC school children. The example you set is if you don't play my way I'm going to take my ball and go home. Or is it more I'm going to burn your city and plant salt.
No wonder this can't be resolved without the courts.
School size is a parameter that BCS has every right to establish however they wish. If they want to have 750 students, then they can. Their kids are thriving. They have small group experiences aplenty andall is well. Stop trying to tell Bullis they need to be a tiny school.
When BCS works aggressively to undermine LASD and subvert local democracy then they should bear the consequences. I was once a vocal advocate for raising funds to provide BCS a site of their own to end this conflict once and for all. But when Francis LaPoll smugly told the LASD board to stick it, then for me "burning their city" and "sowing with salt" (to use your phrase) should be battle plan B. BCS had a path towards peaceful co-existence with LASD and they chose to spit in the face of the BoT. I say give BCS no quarter at this point...
"Sense Maker" is wrong when he/she says: "So if there were 2000 students from San Mateo that wanted to go BCS LASD would not have to grant them any space, as they do not live here."
If that were true, then why would Bullis' registration process indicate that the following may apply in addition to residents within LASD?
"Siblings of current BCS students who reside out-of-district are given priority after that.
Out-of-district students without BCS siblings receive the final priority."
Given that anyone can apply to go to Bullis and that they want to grow to "meet the need", then why wouldn't they push out current LASD students from their school?
Also, Prop39 doesn't say that you have to give charter schools specific configurations (unified campus for example). Bullis obviously wants this and will use (really abuse) the court system to keep pushing for this until they get it. Or if they don't get it, then they can take satisfaction that their attempt at revenge cost the district money to defend itself.
If Bullis parents want to create a school with it's own custom programs, campuses and whatnot, then they should form a truly private school. Stop trying to steal the public's money by abusing Prop39, which was created to help poor performing districts. Stop stealing your neighbors money!
You are lying. Francis LaPoll said to share the bond money equally between schools. He said that BCS does not need a shiny new school. That is not telling the BOT's where to stick it. Also I noticed that Tammy Logan was again twisting what Mr. LaPoll said. Last night she said that BCS want's 11/2 acres of each school site. Again this is completely incorrect. Long Term - BCS would like a campus to place it's students. All of it's students. OR two campuses to place a reasonable amount of students at each one. Short term it would like the BOT to let BCS kids use the unused fields at Blach. Kids need a place to play. Also short term LASD owes BCS a bunch of classroom space at the Egan site.
You are correct that La Poll said he does not want a shiny new school. So what does that leave since BCS is not happy with their current situation? It means that BCS wants an existing school to use as their own.
BCS was created because a group of parents were upset their school was closed. Now they want to do the same thing to another school. That is wrong.
And yes, BCS can determine its size within the 25% allowed growth per year. However, their charter says they were intended to be a "small school" and their marketing pamphlets say the same thing. They are no longer a small school so change your charter!
The answer lies in sharing and using property wisely. That means that some LASD students might move schools, similar to 2007 when LASD had to fill two schools with only one school's worth of kids. . I don't know about you, but if I was a resident at one of the crowded schools, or if I had been moved around in 2007 I'd be angry at LASD. LASD built not one, but two schools where they were not needed and continued to ignore the crowding at the North end. They moved over 400 students, an entire's school worth of kids, instead of of giving one of those two schools to BCS. That would have been a much better solution. So really it's time to put that plan in action NOW. It starts with a better use of Covington either as a new site for Egan or BCS. Then it continues with moving sixth graders to Egan and Blach and building a new school at the North end. That's were a school is needed. The best place for it is at the current site of BCS. BCS can be located at Egan, or at Covington.
Voice of a dimwit... The community does not, and will not support either a grade reconfiguration nor closing a school in favor of BCS. The bond for a new campus remains the ONLY solution that addresses the goals of BCS and the clear desires of the majority of the commuinty. That's why LaPoll's arrogant and dismissive position is so clearly hostile and offensive. If BCS parents feel uncomfortable now wearing their "spirit wear" around town, and ostracized at their local block parties, just think how it will be if Francis (and his bad haircut)and the BCS cabal prevail. There was a reasonable and generous proposal on the table. BCS should support it or prepare for endless conflict.
I agree with Voice of Reason????? it is time to hit BCS where it hurts. I mean really who cares if some of their little spoiled darlings are trapped in some portables. That is their problem. They had totally awesome schools but it just wasn't good enough for them. They should go back to their private schools where they belong. Los Altos Schools should be Los Altans. Shouldn't be for Mountain View, or Los Altos Hills or Palo Alto. We need to redraw boundaries to match city boundaries. That will solve so many problems. We pay a lot to live here and part of that is our schools, I am tired of Los Altos Hills and Mountain View folks trying to take them over. Springer should be part of Mountain View Whisman and Montclaire should be part of LASD. BCS can go find a private school somewhere.
Also that will solve the NEC problem - MV can go to MV schools. Let Mountain View build schools for Mountain View - we shouldn't have to do it. Or better still make BCS do it. Los Altos Schools for Los Altos. I'd vote for that.
Wow Joah that is one crazy comment. Hope there are not too many of you out there. A big part of mv is in lasd. Los altos needs to get over it self.
Uh Joah Jackwagon, I live in Mountain View...
I don't know what community Voice of reason??? Is referring to, but I know quite a few people that support moving 6th grade to the middle schools, not sure it has anything to do with BCS. I'm not a fan of Bullis, but I like the idea of a 6 -8 middle school. Also I think that they should turn over Gardner to bcs and be done with it.
Name them Anna..
Who is Roode?
Name the people that want six grade in middle school? Not on your life... Are you kidding me? It's just way to controversial because some people are super worried about their kids growing up too fast. I'm not so concerned about that, it's not like the 7 - 8 graders are so much different, at least here in LASD that's the case. There is a bunch of us who feel that moving six grade to the middle school will give them better access to good teachers, especially in Math and Science. Also for the music programs and sports. I guess it is a trade off. I just think that one more year at Blach is better than one more year at Springer. I know many others are right there with me.
@Anna -- the "Roode" comment was not directed at you. Sorry for the confusion. I think there are valid arguments on both sides about whether 6th graders are better served by staying with the Elementary schools or moving to the middle schools. It's a debate that is worth having, but it should be purely based on educational goals, not as a way to appease the BCS zealots. To your point, a move like that will upset many people regardless of the rationale. If caving to BCS is the primary driver, expect some pretty serious blowback...
The LASD BoT is dragging their feet on the 6th grade to Middle School question. They know that it should be done. They know that the community wants it. But they won't do it or even bother to plan for it because they also know that will destroy their "overcrowded schools" argument they are using to block BCS from taking an existing campus.
@ Middle School Now! -
Do you think that Bullis is the reason that they are dragging their feet? I really hope that they don't let that get in the way of doing what is right. I hope that they are not delaying this because the entire charter issue, that's just wrong. I have heard that moving six grade would let kids stay at their current schools. Almond and Santa Rita are supposed to get a bunch of new students in the next few years, from the new housing, so moving six grade would open up room at those schools.
Absolutely. BCS is the reason they are dragging their feet. Despite the official demographers projections to the contrary, LASD needs to perpetuate the myth that the schools are headed for a wave of overcrowding. To do this, they will keep sixth grade at the Elementary Schools and they will quietly move to full day kindergarten next year to keep the elementary school enrollments as high as possible. All to keep BCS away from Gardner Bullis. Meanwhile, our kids will be paying the price in classrooms that are more crowded than they need to be and sixth graders falling behind their peers in other districts who are reaping the benefits of the Middle School model.
@ Middle School Now! Why oh why is everything about BCS? So sick of hearing about that school. Anyway I do see what you are talking about but I think some people do like the idea of all day K but I think it is actually less than the amount of parents that want six grade at the middle schools. Anyway as I said above I think they should turn over Gardner to BCS and be done with it.
Whoops, yes I am a proud resident of MV - not another community. Sorry about that. Want to make that clear especially after the comments of that Joah person.
Mountain View would love to have the tax revenue from the San Antonio business district. LASD has not complained about that so far. It's a lot of moolah. If you want to send part of LASD over to Mountain View Whisman, then we'll take it, so long as you include the Egan campus. After all with 20% of the LASD students, if we take back 60% of those (12% of LASD), then we at least deserve 12% of the existing school resources. We'll shuffle things around to provide better service to the students who move over to Mountain View Whisman, even those few from Los Altos. It's about time we had some of those Los Altos residents. After all you'll get to keep the ones who attend Springer....
Is some LASD PR firm suggesting the titles for these articles. First we have this one:
Bullis, LASD may be on way to compromise -
MAY be the operative word. I would say not so much.
but this one is mild compared to Today's Los Altos Patch:
Bullis Charter School, Los Altos School District Agree to Seek Bond Issue
- REALLY? What planet are you on? A real head scratcher. Sounds like something Tammy Logan would come up with.
Nobody reads Patch anymore, so who cares.
Now that David Roode was outed on patch again multiple posting behind aliases, this time disguising himself as a "parent", which he admittedly is not, how many of the anonymous posts above are all coming from him? A lot read the same as his patch comments. Thankfully I don't think anyone takes these message boards seriously.
I don't think anyone really cares. People are concerned with issues. I am concerned that the LASD Board of Trustees are trapping kids in small hallways, with no place to play, because they want BCS support their need to purchase expensive real-estate. We do not need to buy expensive land anywhere in the district, or out of the district for that matter. We need LASD to use it's own open property which it has in abundance and do the following:
1. Create a school for the NEC at the current Egan Campus.
2. Move BCS to Covington
3. Move six grade to middle schools.
4. Move current Covington population to the new school at Egan Campus, Gardner, Almond, Loyola and Springer.
If you look at last years enrollment, most schools had huge decreases in their kinder population. It is only Santa Rita and Almond that are maintaining enrollment. Time to quit this crazy game, and follow the law. BCS should be allowed to grow to fit demand, even if that means 2, 3 or 4 full schools.
The suggestion above is not viable since it increases the number of students on the Egan site (creating a new K-5 school for NEC and adding 6th graders to Egan). The site (and the impact on the surrounding neighborhood) are already above capacity. This suggestion takes a congestion problem that was supposed to be temporary and makes it a permanent burden on the neighborhood.
Here is a better suggestion:
1) Turn Gardner Bullis over to BCS in exchange for a long term agreement from BCS that they will not outgrow the site
2) Move 6h graders to Egan/Blach
3) Re-draw attendance boundaries
Some will say that this is not viable since BCS has more students than the GB site can accomodate. However, those who say that are failing to acknowledge that BCS could (and would) reduce enrollment to reach an appropriate student population for the site. This could be done in one fell swoop or they could gradually draw down enrollment over the course of several years to reach the desired levels.
With their codified enrollment preference for the former Bullis Purissima attendance area, this really is the ideal solution. In time, BCS@GB would become the de facto neighborhood school for Los Altos Hills.
Your plan is interesting, Voice of Reason, but it doesn't really solve overcrowding in the North End, but I get what you are saying about too many kids at Egan. BCS has outgrown the Gardner sight. I think if you put BCS there they would also have to have a second campus somewhere else, either at the current Egan or Blach site or in a sharing arrangement with Covington.
Some alternatives are:
1. Put BCS at Egan put a small LASD school at the current BCS site. Move Egan to Covington. Move six grades to middle schools. Distribute Covington population to other schools that are close to their homes. ( all covington students have at least one school that is close to their home besides Covington.
2. Put BCS at Covington. Put a small LASD school at the current BCS site (350 or so students.) Keep six grade at the elementary schools.
Another solution might be to move the Egan Students that are supposed to be at Blach to Blach. That would reduce crowding at Egan. I continue to think that moving all of Egan to the Covington site is the best solution. That site is supposed to be a junior high and can easily be converted to one. All that is needed is a couple of labs, a gym and track. Sharing Rosita would give this site quite a bit of space. The city could build a gym at Rosita, giving Los Altos and park an drec a much needed addition.
Both Egan and Blach are growing in population, and very dramatically this year from what I have heard but also not unexpected. With each around 500-550 (?) kids the idea of moving 6th graders over will not solve any issues. For one, it only reduces the facility use of each school site by a small fraction and it doesn't solve anything for BCS. You can't just carve out 1/7th of each of the 7 elementaries and magically make a school for BCS, no matter what you do with the boundaries.
Two, it doesn't really solve any future crowding of the schools. Yes, all the elementaries are growing (that line about about shrinking kinder classes is plain false, K-6 have steadily been rising), but starting a 6-8 middle school will push the crowding onto Egan and Blach immediately in the near term, with at least 700 kids on each site, more in the future. We value small K-6 AND small 7-8 schools, especially benefits afforded by such a size.
Actually moving six graders to the middle school frees up room at Almond and Santa Rita. You can either increase or decrease class size,but you will still be able to have more kids at each grade level if you move six graders to the middle school. You can also add a class for each grade level at Springer and 2 at GB, which is where you could send the Covington students ( except for those from the Crossings which should go to Santa Rita) BCS can fit nicely into the Covington Space. Covington students can go to Springer and GB. Also Loyola, Almond and Santa Rita. Problem solved. Although if you look at kinder enrollment for last year it is down at most of the schools, down by an entire class at Loyola. Also the district can make room for Covington students by sending ODT's at GB back to PAUSD and employees kids to Oak. That will free up room at GB and Loyola.
No need to search for property that doesn't exist, at any price. No need to waste tax payers money. BCS needs a site now, bot 10 years for now. BCS is now the largest school in the district and our kids are being discriminated against. ( And that is not even counting the 7 -8 BCS is the largest k - 6 school) They are crowded into very old portables with inadequate outdoor space, at the same time other campuses have quite a bit of unused space. Covington and GB in particular have lots of extra space, and there is no reason that those two schools can't be combined to make one school. As long as you move some of the students to your school. Which should be okay since apparently, according to what I read above, Springer really wanted to keep the west Springer Road families at their school in 2007 so now you will get them back Hurray!
I am really tired of this entire school bond thing.. We don't need another school site. What we need to do is redraw attendance boundaries. Stop holding the BCS kids hostage. If you want a bond to build a school for the NEC then I will support it. I will not support a bond that doesn't include a school, right away - that means next year, for BCS. It is the fair and reasonable thing to do. The current position of the Los Altos School District Board is abhorrent at the least but more than likely it is just main criminal. BCS is not going to drop a single law suit. Their children are being mistreated. The local community and the LASD do not have the right to ignore the law. You do not need to operate every single school that you have right now. It is a waste especially Covington and GB there is no reason that they both need to exist. Sorry that's the bottom line. It makes the most since fiscally and demographically.
Put BCS at Covington... Problem solved
Your math doesn't add up there. Closing down Covington to split among Springer and Gardner will net more kids at the schools than they have today. You're also forgetting that Gardner has more of a limited physical capacity than the other schools and they have been growing faster than any other school around by at least > 3x (except for BCS). Also, last year only 23 PAUSD kids were ODTs, and about 50-75 were Egan/Blach transfers, both really small numbers. No matter how you divide it up the elementaries will immediately be near or over capacity if an elementary is closed. As I said above, we value our small Elementary AND Jr Highs, and that target school size leads to social and safety environment that pretty much most parents want. Kinder enrollment this year is similar to last years, if not more, at all the schools. What is more important is the grade progression increases (K-5 -> 1-6), which have been rising. We need to plan and build for tomorrows enrollment, not yesterdays. I know it's an easy thing to say move kids to a 6-8 middle school, give BCS X-school site, and problem solved. Really it will hurt our crowding immediately in one set of schools and only cause problems down the road for the rest as enrollment will grow.
You say you have kids at BCS, but then you talk as though you don't? Don't know if you are a real BCS parent, but assuming you are, please tell me how your kid has been negatively impacted. Serious question and not trying to belittle your facility situation (I do think you deserve better). Time and again I've heard and been told about a generic "harm" to the BCS children but at the same time boasting about BCSs academic and whole-child success that exceeds LASD.
Sorry, I was a little worked up, but I am a BCS parent. My math does infact add up. First of all there is always room at all the campuses to add more kids. Its called portables. That's what all the kids at BCS are in. You can add ;7 of them at Springer and take in kids from covington. You might say but we already have some... well you can have some more. They are equal to if not nicer than LASD classrooms at least according to Doug Smith. So it shouldn't be a problem. Same thing at GB. There is are acres of unused space there. So not really a problem. If the idea is to fit BCS into 8 acres of hill side at O'Keefe then fitting 100 or so more students into GB shouldn't be a problem. There are other things to do. Like removing preschools from the campuses, that will free up space. Or just be a little more crowded. That's what we are doing at BCS in about 1/2 the space that you all are enjoying. Maybe if you are crowded in you will build a new school. Go for it. In the mean time we need to share the state of California's property fairly with BCS. I say we because I am a tax payer in the LASD school district I am paying big bucks and not getting anything in return. LASD is breaking the law everyday. It's time to share. You have all had your turn. BCS has been bearing the burden of bad plannig on the Districts part. It is someone else's turn. There are other better ways to run a district. I am sure if you did a poll there are quite a few families that would like to go to BCS but can't because there isn't enough space. Most people are really tired of the Banana Republic Cartel that we have running our schools. It's like they are doing a good job anyway. It's the parents that make the district what it is. Not the BOTs or Staff. Anyone could get good results with the student population that LASD has. They are doing nothing special. That's why people choose BCS. Longer School Day, and much interesting curriculum. It's a public school that is operating on fewer tax dollars.
If you think you need a school for LASD then great - go out get the property and build it. I am sure many at BCS will support it. BCS shouldn't have to wait for a campus or limit growth to get a site. The law says that BCS needs an equivalent site NOW> Not if a bond passes and land is magically found. BCS has been keeping your lasd schools from over flowing. Now you need to solve the problem., but BCS needs a campus now.
Here is how are kids are impacted.
They have a tiny space of blacktop to play in. At both schools it is crowded. There is no space for small group instruction. The tables at BCI are on a slanted hillside in the hot sun. There is no place to store the kids backpacks etc. When it rains all the back packs have to come inside, crowding the classroom space. There isn't any trees or shade. The kinder play area is very small and crowded. We don't have a library anymore as LASD keeps saying that we have less students than we actually do. So they have failed to give enough classroom space for all of our indstrict students. At BCI the entire space is taken up by ramps. Kids are forced to stay in the ramp area and are not allowed to go to the empty fields that have zero Blach students in them. All because the district is holding them hostage. Most BCS families are from the Los Altos High Attendance Area. But the district has split the school into two different campuses. So now parents have to drive their kids across town instead of just dropping them off in one place. This is different than the average LASD parent who might have one kid at Loyola and one at Blach. Loyola and Blach are close together, Egan and Blach are about as far apart as you can get. Also anyone who understands how the streets run knows that they angle the other way. So it's a big zig zag. No direct route.
Also the entire campus at both schools consists of portables. At BCS they are jammed together so that there is less light entering the buildings. Also portable are not insulated well and BCS is on a very busy noisy street with heavy traffic. The upper grade classrooms and the lunch area are right next to the road. No other LASD campus is situated this way. It is completely unfair and unjust. We know this because Santa Rita pitched a fit when it was suggested the two schools swap. So get off your high horse and your library portable at Springer and take a walk in our shoes. The district needs to to stop using facilities to compete. We all know that there are ways to place BCS on it's own site right now. The truth is that only two of the schools are crowded. And three others have lots of space. Figure it out. Someone else can live in portable land at the Egan Camp site. BCS has been there for 10 years time for an LASD run school to be there instead.
Wow, David.Roode is clearly becoming more and more unhinged. Springer Parent, Actual Parent, and Voice of Reason are all Roode having a discussion with himself. Look at the writing style, the data intensive arguments, and compare to other pats here and on other forums. Serious mental illness here...
And then Bob and Company thinks all this is some none parent making stuff up. Keep dreaming. BCS is now the biggest school in LASD. We will not be quiet any longer. Give us proper facilities now!
I agree with Springer Parent. It is tough to make the numbers work by moving the six graders. AS I understand there is a big influx of kids, a mini baby boom, that needs to work it's way through the middle schools ( kids born between 2000 - 2006) so for the next couple of years there will be more kids than usual in 6 - 8. If you combine that with the growth in the north end then you end up with a super crowded to Egan.
Springer Parent also makes a good point about the valueing small school size. I think most people in our community value small neighborhood schools.
Finally I value BCS, I think they have a great program and should be treated fairly. I think that recent improvements in LASD schools have been spurred on, in part, by BCS.
I think there are several problems to solve:
1. A new school to meet the growing needs of the district ( mostly contained to the North End)
2. A permanent home for BCS.
3. Traffic relief for Portola.
4. Maintaining small neighborhood schools.
5. Finding a location to place a new school for the NEC.
The growth is in the north end and part of the problem is that BCS has been placed right in the middle of the fastest growing area. That doesn't seem like a good idea to me. They need to be moved from that location. Secondly Santa Rita and Almond are the two schools that will bear the burden of all the new construction along El Camino and San Antonio. That is where the relief is needed. Property is expensive and unavailable in most of the district. So creative solutions are needed. Here is one that might work.
1. Move BCS to Covington as a shared campus or by itself - what ever works. The central location is away from the NEC growth area and is centrally located. Shared situation you could move the district offices to Blach where BCS has some buildings that the district office could use for office space.
2. Build a two story elementary school at the current BCS site. This should be a small school with less than 450 students ( 60 or less students/ grade). This school would take kids from the Santa Rita, Almond and Covington attendance areas.
3. 100 or so students would move from Covington to this new campus. ( the NEC kids) Covington students could also go to Loyola, Springer,and Almond which are all close by as well as Gardner. This plan frees up space at Almond for the Covington Students. It also sends much of the new growth that was slated for Almond to the new school.
This plan gives you a new small school in the north end. It gives BCS a school site. It reduces traffic on Portola and it doesn't require paying for expensive real estate. It keeps the schools small and it gives the North End a much needed school. It can be started on as soon as a bond passes.
How does that reduce traffic on Portola? With your plan, there will be over 1,000 students permanently located on the Egan site! Not to mention that nobody from NEC wants to cross San Antonio and El Camino on foot. Placing a new elementary school at Egan for NEC will only increase vehicle traffic on Portola. This plan would create a traffic nightmare even worse than the one which currently exists.
Nobody? My kids and others' cross El Camino and San Antonio everyday on bikes and scooters. An LASD elementary school on the Egan camp site would be smaller than BCS, so it would have less traffic. It would also be a neighborhood school (not a commuter school, JJS), so more kids would walk and bike. LASD could also carefully coordinate the start and end times with Egan to be staggered more.
What are we waiting for? Let's do this!
BCS currently has 480 students at the site (except on the days when they are violating the FUA). The plan above calls for a permanent school of 450 students. Not much of a difference. If and when Egan turns into a 6-8 middle school then there will be even more students. If NEC want their own school then it should be built in NEC. It should not be foisted on the Egan neighborhood.
It wouldn't be an NEC school. NEC would be served by Santa Rita, Almond and this new school. Do you really want to waste $30 million or more on land in NEC? That is a waste of bond money that will be added to our property tax bill. I would rather see nicer buildings.
To "Actual Parent ..." above, you still really haven't answered the question of how your children or their education are being "harmed" by the current facilities. "Harmed" is a word I've seen abused a lot lately, both by parents and board members. So, please be explicit. A lot of what you described are first world problems with elements shared by the rest of the district schools.
I have young kids but I know that we could safely bike ( using the sidewalk on Showers/ El Camino to get over to the Egan site. Our neighborhood needs a school. I was hoping that they would put it at the old Safeway site but that isn't happening. No way that we can bike to Covington. Putting a neighborhood school there would great decrease the traffic. It will be a small school right? And a neighborhood at that. I think they would have much less traffic. Why are you suggesting otherwise?
To Springer Parent:
So I guess when kids are damaged beyond repair you will be willing to treat BCS kids equally? Kids are harmed because they do not have the same to run around and be physically active during PE, recess and lunch. That does't help with physical fitness or health, it also doesn't help with motor skill development. Kids need a place to exercise and play to help them concentrate in class. Why don't you explain to me how Springer kids are damaged if BCS kids are allowed to play on the empty field at Blach?
I like the plan suggested by Man with a Plan. There is no reason why the school couldn't have 300 students at it instead of 450 is there? I believe he said 450 max. I think a small school, that was an LASD run school is the ideal thing to place at the Egan Campus. It will certainly cut down on traffic, as it will be a neighborhood school. Kids will walk to school. It is walking distance from the new construction at Los Altos Garden Center, which is sure to bring in a bunch of new students. This is the ideal plan. Let's do it.
People think too much inside the box when they think of traffic to Bullis. The traffic does not have to flow through any of the exiting routes. With extra work and expense, but way less than the $100 Million for a new-land based campus, one could create a driveway directly off of San Antonio. The logical spot is at the intersection of Jordan Avenue with San Antonio. Make this a 4 way signal-controlled intersection with the new driveway to the new Elementary School parking lot. It's already illogical to locate classroom buildings along so close to San Antonio. Use this area for parking and driveway instead. Redo the current Bullis Parking lot as classroom space, entered from the other side (new driveway on San Antonio). A signal would cost the city $200K or so, but it is worth it to offload the Portola/San Antonio intersection. This is roughly 20% of the way from the border of Egan with the May Lane houses, and 80% of the way from the border with Portola. The traffic patterns would become completely different with this change.
Time for LASD to open up the field at BLach to BCS kids. I drive by everyday and see the empty field. Why can't BCS kids use the grass? Stop playing politics with kids health. You are the trustee's of the state's property. Stop being evil. I think you have clearly demonstrated your lack of courage and wisdom long enough. Time to go. Time for a recall. We should of been electing new board members right about now anyway. You voted yourselves an extra year in office, like the dictators that you are.
Yet another idiot demanding a "recall" or that the BoT "resign". You know what, I would love it if you mounted an expensive recall campaign. Please, please do it. And donate lots of your own money and time to the effort. I think you'd see overwhelming support for the current board. They're not perfect, but they are doing what they were elected to do: protect our schools from the BCS menace. As blatantly stupid as the recall idea is, LASD leaders are actually subject to local democracy and you at least have a mechanism to try that if you can rally enough support. No such mechanism exists to "recall" the BCS board. Not even BCS parents can do it. They are self appointed and answerable to nobody...
You don't need to recall them. They are looking like fools already, and doing it so much more frequently that they will be caught. They lie and say the courts on their side, but nothing could be further from the truth and they know it. They're going to get forced to behave better. The PR effort they have to deny responsibility for this is astounding.
wow, the sheer volume of posts by David Roode and his alter-egos (x Strong) is mind boggling. probably 90% of the above posts are from this "character". shows just how out-of-touch with reality he is.
also, shows the desperation that he and BCS feel that they need to completely flood the forums of any other viewpoints. forget about dialogue, right?
Not a Good Sign,
I think signs are good, very good.
Personal Attacks = Desporation
There is really no defending the criminal actions of the LASD Board and administration.
What is not a good sign: An individual (Mr Roode) hiding under a false pretenses having counter arguments with himself (Leroy, LASDParent, X Strong) and lately of being a parent (has admitted many times he is not, now circles around the answer), getting caught at it, and copy & pasting his inner dialog from Facebook as multiple aliases (X Strong) here and elsewhere. Same individual who has admittedly gone and walked our campuses and is watching details of our kids days. Someone who constantly calls his opinions as facts, countless times proven absolutely wrong.
Yeah, not a good sign this person has any credibility. No need to worry about his ramblings. He only exists on the net. Ignore him and he will go away.
Hmm, so all the Nnn Strong posts are by one guy? Next thing you'll be saying that all the Joan J Strong posts are by one guy. I don't think so....
I am not David Roode. I don't care who David Roode is. I don't care if David Roode made all the posts. I doubt that anyone but Not Real actually cares.
What I care about is the criminal actions of Tammy Logan, Mark Goines, Doug Smith and Randy Kenyon.
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