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Bullis, LASD continue to butt heads

Original post made on Feb 2, 2012

The battle between Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District continues.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 2, 2012, 12:18 PM

Comments (40)

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Posted by LASD tax payer and BCS parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I am bewildered by the resolution and the preliminary offer voted by the LASD Trustees on Monday night.
The 3 Appellate Court justices and the 7 California State Supreme Court justices have unanimously ruled that the 2009 Facilities offer was illegal. It defies logic then that the Trustees would offer the same facilities again for 2012, this time stating that the space offered is better than what the district students receive.

The BCS parents pay property taxes. Lots of it. And the parcel tax. And we are still paying, just like all the other LASD parents who send their kids to district schools, for the $94.7 million bond measure that was overwhelmingly passed by the voters in 1998 to renovate and upgrade the public school facilities. And yet, the Trustees continue to treat us as non-entities and refuse to share the public resources that we all pay for. The Trustees and some of the district parents act as if they own the facilities and they are entitled to it. I want my children and all the other children at BCS to finally get their fair share of the pie.

The preliminary offer also splits up our K-8 school into 2 campuses in opposite sides of the district. They make the argument that it is better for K-6 students to be physically separated from the 7-8 students for their well-being. If that was their only concern, why not offer to put that one middle school portable on the other corner of Egan campus away from K-6 space, thus allowing for the least amount of disruption for the students, teachers and parents who will now have to shuttle back and forth between the two campuses? Perhaps they are hoping that many prospective BCS middle school parents will throw up their hands and say "Uncle! We'll just go to Egan!" This offer to make life as difficult as possible for BCS community seems petty and definitely was not made in the spirit of "working together" or "mending bridges" or any other conciliatory words spoken in public by the Trustees.

I hope the Trustees do the right thing by 450+ Los Altos School District students who attend BCS, on their own volition, before the Court orders them to do it.


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Posted by Don't BCS a BCSer
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm

This BCS disgusts me. Its clear they simply want an exclusive school that keeps out the riff-raff by demanding $5K per year.

Sue them again you [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]. Lets make sure you harm the entire district because some people don't want their kids associating with too many kids from the east side of El Camino.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Wrong BCSer, they did something illegal because they philosophically hate the charter school concept, then they get told to comply by the courts, so they propose something they know Bullis will reject so they can buy more time by claiming to comply. It is like a pet store giving you a dead cat, and when you complain they give you two squirrels and say "well if you hold them end to end they are pretty much the same size as a cat, so what is your problem?" You are trying to turn this into a class warfare issue (such the hip trend these days) when it is a fairness and legality issue. It is the district idiots who are going to wind up costing the district more money though the courts.


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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm

This is more about people with money acting selfishly on both sides than anything else. BCS should get it's own campus and LASD be done with it. There are more important things for LASD and BCS to focus on.


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Posted by taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Totally agree. How about focusing on consolidating this micro school district (a la Grand Jury recommendation 2010) with another one or two. Seems like this one, as much as I love my neighborhood school,has been totally ineffectual. Time for a change and the State budget doesn't look good.

If it comes down to layoffs and program cuts, the first to go should be our trustees and staff.


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Posted by Carl
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

LASD's approach is disingenuous, laughable, and almost deliberately antagonistic. Since when has depriving students of a neighborhood school ever made a difference. The Crossings kids already have to go clear across town to Covington. Let the Gardner Bullis kids come down off the hill and give that campus to BCS which has already shown they know what it's like to have to travel to a public school.


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Posted by LASD parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I agree, Carl, the attendance boundary adopted by the Trustees (3 vs 2) was quite flawed. To address the enrollment growth in the northern part of the district and to address the potential overcrowding at Santa Rita and Almond, they inexplicably opened a school far far away from the high density area. To all the parents who think their "neighborhood" school is so great, how about the parents who have to pass 2 closer schools on their way to Covington (the Crossing neighborhood), parents who have to drive to Springer when they live 1/2 mile from Almond (H2G neighborhood) and the parents who live just south of Santa Rita but they have to drive their kids across Foothill Expressway to Gardner Bullis (Yerba Santa Triangle)?? The most logical thing would have been to locate BCS at the old Bullis Purissima site, and renovate the Egan Camp site to a proper small elementary school to create true neighborhood schools for the kids in the northern part of the district. This is nothing new - many many parents gave this input to the Trustees back in 2007 but it fell on deaf ears, in part due to very small minded parents who wanted to keep status quo at the expense of many other families and kids. Now we are ALL in this rock and a hard place.


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Posted by BullisCharterScam.org
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm

BCS operates at the expense of the rest of school district and costs MORE MONEY when everything is taken into account than public schools.

So:

* BCS people think that WE SUCKERS in public schools should pay for the education of disadvantaged or "different" kids, not them.

* BCS people think that WE SUCKERS in public schools should pay for campuses, not them.

* BCS people think that WE SUCKERS should pay for teacher pensions (promises made years ago, whether you like it or not), not them. They don't agree with teacher pensions, which they think entitles them not to pay for them even though the rest of us are legally required to do so.

They hide behind "the law" as if it's the Word of God even though anybody can plainly see that what they are doing is cruel and awful and wrong. They rob from the poor and give to the rich.

As you can see, this argument breaks down as follows:

LASD Parent: "what you are doing is immoral and wrong"

BCS Parent: "we won our most recent case in court, so we are right"

This is never going to end. We need to put this school out of business.

Please read more about how to do this at:

Web Link

And just for fun, check out the NUMBER ONE video on YouTube for Bullis Charter School:

Web Link


Thank you.


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Posted by Former LASD Student
a resident of Gemello
on Feb 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Bullis Charter School was created by a bunch of angry parents with tons of money, when their school in the hills had to shut down temporarily due to state budget cuts. When it was first proposed, the creators didn't even have any educational plan. As it said it would, LASD successfully reopened Bullis School, now renamed Gardner Bullis. The district has top state testing scores, therefore there was no reason to open a school for improvement of programs.
Unfortunately, the overly-rich people have NOT stopped trying to bleed the district dry of public school funds. The school district is not overflowing with money. Aide time and programs are being cut while teachers and staff are working hard to keep the educational experience strong for ALL students. The charter school focuses on families that can pay $5000 a year, on top of what they receive from the school district. They serve no children at risk. Even at the county level, it was said that Bullis is a private school operating as a charter school.
It's disgusting that people will use their power of money to keep throwing law suits at a hard working district that wants to provide equitable education for all students. Many of the public school families don't have $5000 to give. They do have schools that support their kids. Many charter schools are thankful for whatever space they are given, taking space in strip malls, etc. Leave our schools alone!!!!!


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Posted by Soh Ken Wee
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Like many other public school's across the nation, this is a sad case of only seeing the trees and not noticing the forest....We are fighting over mice nuts!

The US ranked #17 in the world test results conducted by PIMA last year while Shanghai ranked #1. The US graduates about 150,000 engineers every year; China graduates over half a million. Kids in China go to school an average of 41 days more than kids in CA schools. Crouching tiger, hidden dragon, people!

For those of you who have been living under a rock, China is currently the largest CREDITOR in the world and the 2nd largest economy after the US. It is projected to become THE largest economy sometime in 2020, just as our kids will be entering the workforce. Will they be ready to compete in the global economy at that time?

Other communities around us seem to recognize the importance of Mandarin in public school curriculum. Both Palo Alto and Cupertino public schools offer Mandarin programs in addition to three additional alternative choice programs each. Even a district as small as Mountain View, offers at least two alternative choice programs. Why is it that the LASD school board, with all its over-credentialed and overeducated 'talent', refuses to understand what is happening from a global perspective and start offering curriculum that better represent the skillsets our children will need?

Bottom line is that all our kids will get a pretty solid basic education at any of the LASD schools including BCS. They'll learn to read, write, do basic math, etc. However, I chose to send my kids to BCS because this is the ONLY public school in LASD that offers Mandarin starting in Kindergarten. Countless studies have shown it's best to teach foreign language early (not in 6th grade - too late by then, don't even bother!)

My family is not a small minority group at this school that ubderstands the importance of Mandarin. (Our family BTW is NOT Chinese). The majority of parents at BCS understand the importance of Mandarin education. In addition to Mandarin, Bullis faculty at BCS undertands the importance of project-based learning and integrating technology as well as leadership skills into the curriculum.

The LASD community needs to recognize the value of CHOICE . It not only helps those of us who attend BCS, but it helps your school Board stand accountable. In order for LASD to maintain its great schools and remain competitive, you need to start thinking about and embracing 'Choice'. BCS is a choice program, and it is here to stay. LASD needs to understand that having BCS located in Los Altos helps everyone's property value and helps boost up the educational standards of all the children in our community.

So let's just get over the fact that your kids do not go to BCS. This will cost all property owners more money in the end if we don't start working together to come up with a fair and equitable solution. It's going to happen; BCS will have a real campus. You can kick and scream all you want, but time and the courts are not on your side LASD. The question is how much will it cost you? It's the LASD budget and the LASD students and teachers that will suffer the most.


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Posted by LASD dad
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm

So much for open dialog... Just read that BCS has already gone back to the courts with the preliminary offer. There is little hope if both parties aren't free to sit down across from each other and brainstorm over a long term solution. It's hard to make that first step when LASD is fearful of anything it openly says being used against it by BCS in court and when BCSs own board members use harsh language in describing LASD while refusing to come to the table.

We all should pay attention to what was said by the board and the community last Monday: This preliminary offer is not a long term solution, but one which presents a realistic short term solution given priorities of all students in the district, available land, and finite resources. LASD is committed to working with BCS on a long term solution, and acknowledges it's going to be a difficult path. Out of the box scenarios are needed. Not just from LASD but BCS as well.

People need to cut the harsh rhetoric and cynical views of LASD & BCS that have dominated the discussions on all the comment boards. BCS is not about a bunch of 'billionaires' taking revenge on the district just as LASD is not a corrupt, union-loving organization. Both have generated some of the best schools in the country.


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Posted by Not a lawyer but I play one...
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm

LASD dad, before you jump to conclusions, how about a little research?
What probably happened today is that Appellate Court issued a remittitur to the trial court, and so the lawyers went back to the trial court to get the status conference scheduled.
Since the Appellate court ruled that the trial court erred on this case, they sent the case back down so that trial court can now issue and order consistent with the findings of the higher court. Since the Supreme Court denial, the next step was this remittitur, and the next step is the issuing of the order by the trial court for which LASD and BCS will have to go back to the courts.


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Posted by David CourtsRight
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm

BCS is great for the Los Altos School District. Next to private school students, they are by far the most profitable students for our district. We get to pocket the tax dollars paid by the chumps who are the parents of these 500 students, provide an armpit of a campus and not spend any of our bandwidth worrying about educating these 500 students that would otherwise crowd our public schools. Afterall, it was their CHOICE to go to BCS.

Anyway, if BCS did not exist, this district would be even more financially strapped than it is now. It's much easier for us to throw a few hundred thousand down the drain in legal fees than pay the $1.2mn every year that we would otherwise have to spend to educate those BCS kids.

What I don't understand is why BCS applications keep going up every year? And why do these LASD parents keep applying when their chances of getting in are really LOW? They can only get in if an existing kid leaves BCS. BCS claims it has tried to accommodate demand by adding classes and that is why the school has been growing, but I don't buy that line of reasoning. They can barely fit the kids they have now. Why keep packing these kids in there like sardines? Actually, it's more money for LASD in the end so we can play that game of chicken too!

More annoying to me is the fact that BCS teachers are not unionized. If a teacher is not excellent, he/she gets the boot from BCS. That puts some strain on LASD teachers so I can see why the unions are threatened by the lack of tenure system at BCS. It's un-American. It's much better for this district to have no competition and mire in mediocrity and the status quo.

Back in the 1950s, opponents of desegregation believed busing would destroy neighborhood schools and community pride. It is now 2012, and I still believe that providing equal educational opportunities for all children is not constitutional. I want to live in my bubble and only think about me. Who cares about civil liberties? Screw the CA Supreme Court.

Charter schools are probably here to stay and I do believe that they will be one of the ways that the US educational system stands a fighting chance. The fact that we have one of the highest performing charter schools in the country is not lost on me. I realize that it does help property values around here. But I don't want to have to give up that free money we currently have from them! Why is that selfish?!

History may look back to this unfortunate time and paint people like me the same way as supporters of Jim Crow laws are viewed today, but I don't care. A few years from now, I will probably have to explain to my children why my insular and selfish perspective hurt innocent children, but I think I can still look at myself in the mirror.



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Posted by parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm

We need a "like" button. Bravo, David CourtsRight!


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Posted by LAHillarious
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Best post yet! Love the name! Haven't heard much from Joan J Strong on the matter. Perhaps no one has told her that a judge has been assigned?


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Posted by LA Mom
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I was at the board meeting monday night and quite a few community members spoke. One thing that I noticed is that the LASD parents all said the exact same thing - here is the script:
1. Neighborhood schools are the best.
2. We love our neighborhood school we can walk there.
3. The principal and the other teachers know the name to my child. ( Wow!)
4. I want to thank the board for making this offer to bullis, and not closing my school.
5. Thank you for making such great schools for all the children in the district. ( gush gush)
6. Bullis should compromise, I am sure this generous offer will go long way to healing our community. (gag)

Really? I don't think so. We are very unhappy with the illegal offer.

I would like to hear from some LASD parents or supporters that:
1. Are not DC Sybil
2. Are not Trustees, or CTA members.

Any takers?


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Posted by LASD dad
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I haven't seen the court documents. I'll trust what others have heard and seen and posted to the parents network: That BCS has gone to the courts with LASDs preliminary offer. This isn't a formal motion of the Appeals court back to the trial court.

While "David CourtsRight" copies and pastes amongst the comments board, causing no further headway in the dialogue, I would like to hear a BCS supporter or parent or board member come up with a reasonable, out-of-the-box, solution that is viable for the long term. LASD made their first attempt. An admitted short term solution, but one that is different from keeping all of BCS in one spot. It's time for BCS to counter in a non-binding dialogue before their March 1 counter proposal. In public, not in court.


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Posted by to LASD dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Curious how the parents network is privy to such information, hot off the press...


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Posted by lahillarious
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Spoon fed by the trustees, no doubt. So much for LASD Voices being "organic" and "grass-roots." Just like David CourtsRight is spoon-feeding TLogan. And the scam website? Also created by them.

If LASD is so desperate for all this to end, why didn't they just produce a compliant offer? Or at least a roadmap to get to one? They have had years. Now the clock is in hyperdrive. LASD families, when are you going to stop blaming BCS and start demanding answers from our leaders?


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Posted by David CourtsRight
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:25 pm

LASD Dad, here is my understanding of the facilities situation:

Before the re-opening of the Gardner-Bullis campus, the BCS Board made a formal offer in 2009 of $3mn dollars to the LASD school board in exchange for long term use of this campus. Don't know if BCS still has this money as a lot of it has been spent on lawyers...
Web Link

Several years later, BCS made another offer which would allow newly matriculated students on the Gardner Bullis campus to have a choice: Receive enrollment priority to BCS at the Gardner Bullis campus or choose to be relocated to another LASD campus location. LASD parents had the choice to remain at a neighborhood school or be re-located within district. Again, BCS was rejected by the Board. This offer is no longer on the table now as BCS has grown larger since then and can no longer accommodate the likely deluge of students that would opt to attend the charter school.

The LASD Board has a past track record of re-drawing district lines every 4-5 years. This has been the pattern and will continue to be the pattern in order to accommodate changing town demographics. Current numbers show that all LASD elementary students, including those at BCS, can be accomodated on the existingg 7 elementary school campuses. The Courts will no doubt be able to calculate the enrollment math - it is not complicated.

The February offer to put 439 K-6 students on no more than the same amount of space LASD offered three years ago for 327 K-6 students is the same logic that has cost LASD over $800K in legal fees. Fees which have needlessly taken valuable budget dollars away from educating the children of this community.

BCS has been requesting permanent facilities for over 8 years. The LASD community is really only paying attention now. If the Board doesn't start getting compliant, the courts will do it for them and LASD parents will have no say in the matter. We all have 8 weeks to figure it out. Tick Tock.


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Posted by Alexander Atkins Design, Inc.
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I think the firm of Alexander Atkins Design, Inc. will be issuing a cease and desist and/or take-down order for this bullischarterscam.org website. It is clearly a copyright violation of the web design work done for the official Bullis Charter School website.


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Posted by Joan J. Strong
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:52 pm

I won't repeat my reply to this poster ( see: Web Link ).

Suffice it to say that the BCS people appear to be up against a wall, rhetorically, and now they are resorting to hateful personal attacks.

They are now showing their true colors: a bunch of entitled, lying creeps who will hurt ANYBODY to get what they want (which in this case is a taxpayer-funded discount on their private school).

I've said this before and I'll say it again:

This is a battle for the heart and soul of our community. Who will win?

Well suffice it to say that when a little money and a lot of talent goes up a LOT of money and NO talent, the former has usually prevailed. No guarantees, mind you, but history is on our side.



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Posted by OnThePoorSideOfTheBCSTracks
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 3, 2012 at 7:24 am

@ Joan J Strong BCS does benefit from your tax dollars as LASD does. The school receives the ADA allotment from the state and the facilities ONLY from the LASD. LASD would be required to provide that space to the 470-ish in-district BCS kids if they attended LASD schools, and they are required to provide it for them now. Period. That is ALL they provide BCS. All this talk of taxpayer money being shunted away from other LASD kids is fabrication meant to make LASD parents fired up against BCS. It appears it's working. Fabulous.

We are not rich. We live in 1000 sq ft. We have 2 bedrooms and three kids. We are NOT required to pay $5000 per child to attend BCS. They are a public school with lottery enrollment, and we won that lottery. BCS does ASK (as LASD asks for approx $1000) for a gap bridge donation from parents, which is higher for two reasons, one, they have chosen to provide more programs, and thankfully, they can afford to with this ask. The second reason is as above, we receive less money than the rest of LASD per child.

So when I hear Los Altos parents complaining about how BCS is some borderline private school for the rich LAH kids, I really have to just sit back and laugh.


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Posted by ThePoorSideOfTheBCSTracks
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 3, 2012 at 7:26 am

Do NOT, first sentence typo, darn phone typing. BCS kids do NOT benefit from tax dollars like LASD kids.

Wow one word changing the entire meaning...


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Posted by BCSCostsMoney
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2012 at 7:53 am

@OnThePoorSideOfTheBCSTracks:

If even a small portion of parents at BCS were like you, the school wouldn't exist. The whole pyramid scheme would crumble. Their programs depend on the $5k donation, and they depend on a fragile "honor system".

As for my other point, it's a bit complicated so you need to follow along carefully:

The extra money LASD gets goes to all of the things that BCS does NOT have to pay for but LASD does. In other words, if BCS was itself the whole District and got all of the money, they would STILL need to collect $5000/student from parents in order to offer all of the programs BCS does. The BCS management is not "magical" like they tell you they are--they simply don't have to pay for many things the District does.

Now, based on the CURRENT location and demographic of most of the BCS student population, statistically LAEF would get donations equal to a significant portion of the $5000 as well--a lot more than the average (easy point to make since almost all BCS parents currently give $5k).

Meanwhile, BCS is demanding a campus that is unlike any campus in the district and is a complete "district within a district" which increases overhead and removes flexibility in the use of facilities. In other words, folding in the current population of BCS into our campus all over would save the District a LOT of money.

So yes, BCS absolutely, positively costs the District money and sucks money away from less advantaged kids in our District.

Or, you can tell me what, in the District budget, the BCS model would cut and save us a lot of money. Be specific, and don't select impossible things like, "I would not pay pensions" or "students would do their own facilities maintenance", etc. None of these things are LEGAL or possible.

BCS lives in a budget fantasy land where they don't have to pay all of the real costs of running a District and benefit from the donations from the very richest part of our District.


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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 3, 2012 at 9:06 am

"BCS lives in a budget fantasy land where they don't have to pay all of the real costs of running a District"

Do you mean BCS should hire a unionized over-priced teaching staff with tenure based on length of service rather than merit, over paid staff and administrators, and an ineffectual and unqualified superintendent who has made poor management and leadership decisions? And either way, they will all get their pensions no matter what they do? And all the while parcel taxes keep going up and up and up. It should be a fantasy land, but it is the reality of LASD.


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Posted by Ron Haley
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2012 at 9:24 am

With enemies like these, who needs friends?

Over the weekend, while studying the latest LASD facilities offer, I had an epiphany. I realized that the LASD board members are really closet charter school supporters. The evidence for this is compelling - I'd just missed it. Let's take a look!

With absolutely no demand for a charter school, LASD created that demand by closing the Bullis Purissima school, and then Superintendent Gratiot recommended opening a charter school in its place. Voila - just like that BCS was formed!

Then, when BCS offered to take over the closed Bullis site and renovate it at its expense, LASD said "No No No, save your money - we'll renovate it. And we aren't going to locate you there on the outskirts of the district; we'll put you right in the middle so you can draw from all over". So LASD went ahead and spent $14 million to renovate the Bullis site, and located BCS centrally on the Egan campus.

Lastly, when BCS offered LASD $3 million to meet its proposition 39 obligations, LASD again said "no! no! no! Keep your money. Just sue us". And they did! LASD's genius here was to make their facilities offers so blatantly non-compliant that the court had no option but to find in favor of BCS.

So, thanks to the LASD board, here we are today, with a charter school boasting a huge waiting list, centrally located and drawing from all parts of the district, $17 million better off, and able to approach LASD each year for fair and equitable facilities at minimal cost to it for whatever student population it decides to enroll.

More of that same canny LASD genius is on display in the latest facilities offer. Another blatantly non-compliant offer - LASD knows what the courts will do with this - but this time with a twist! Currently there's no consensus at BCS to expand beyond a single school. But by placing BCS on two sites, LASD is settling that argument once and for all. BCS parents will now fall in line behind an expansive, accept every applicant strategy. And what's more cost efficient than two schools - three or more! Once again the LASD board shows its closet support for the charter by mandating its expansion to multiple sites!!

As someone who supports public school choice for all LASD students, I thank the board for their continuing efforts towards realizing this goal!!!


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Posted by Ron Gross
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 3, 2012 at 9:46 am

Thank you Ron Haley for so perfectly summing up this whole situation. There will still be plenty of hate on this comment board, but it is nice to see someone lay it out calmly.


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Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 3, 2012 at 9:47 am

Ron -
Best post ever.

I want to thank LASD personally for all of their efforts, with out you we couldn't have succeed.


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Posted by SiliconSerf
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 3, 2012 at 11:35 am

SiliconSerf is a registered user.

Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Saint Clara was a tiny but prosperous District of Sotla. There were three villages in the district, Upper Sotla which was tiny but very prosperous; Middle Sotla which was large, populous, and prosperous but not quite as prosperous as Upper Sotla. Oh and finally there was the small village of Lower Weiv, which sat on the other side of the Royal Road. But such was the prosperity of the district that even the serfs living in Lower Weiv were also prosperous.

All were happy, for their castles were great centers of learning and were governed by a board of Elders. One smaller castle was in Upper Sotla, and the rest were scattered throughout Middle Sotla, and alas, there were no castles in Lower Weiv. Fortunately, the residents of Lower Weiv were welcomed at the nearby castles in Middle Sotla. All were happy, until one day it was decreed that the castles needed to be renovated, for indeed the battlements were beginning to crumble. Gold was collected across the district for the renovation, and it came to pass that the castles were renewed one by one. Now whether it was intentional, or not, the small castle in Upper Sotla was left for last. And the worst fears of the villagers of Upper Sotla indeed came to pass, for while the castles of Middle Sotla were made shiny and new, it was decided that their small castle would be closed, for the board of Elders had spent all the gold on the castles of Middle Sotla. Truth be told, the castles in Middle Sotla looked half shiny and new, for much of the renovation seemed to center on the administrative parts of the castle and not the parts of learning, which was strange, and made many in the district wonder if the gold was spent wisely?

Intentional or not, best intentions or worst, the people of Upper Sotla were greatly angered by this slight and resolved to open their own castle and indeed this is exactly what came to pass. The Overlords of the Kingdom of Saint Clara decreed that equal space should be provided for this new castle. Now remember, the board of Elders could have given the old run down castle in Upper Sotla to the people there, but their hearts were filled with jealousy, and they feared that a new castle might eventually surpass their own. So instead the elders chose to spend additional gold on a temporary castle placed on on the jousting grounds of one of their castles nearest the Royal Road far from Upper Sotla. Indeed, they expected the people of Upper Sotla to abandon the project, but they did not. Soon, the shabby little temporary castle lead by the people of Upper Sotla was turning out scholars and craftsman, knights and archers of the highest quality. This without the large jousting grounds, and archery ranges of the other castles. Despite the lack, they began to win many tournaments and ribbons.

Recall the serfs of Lower Weiv, for they had no castle of their own. While they were welcomed at the nearby castles, each year the board of Elders debated which castle the serfs of Lower Weiv should be sent, to start their studies. And so, over the years, the serfs were scattered across many castles, and this too angered the serfs of Lower Weiv, for again, intentional or not, Middle Sotla was slighting them. Recall too, that in placing the temporary castle for Upper Sotla as far from Upper Sotla as they could, or so it appeared, the board happened to place this temporary castle very close to Lower Weiv.

The success of the new castle was like a thorn in the side of the board of Elders, for this new castle was not under their governance. In hopes of cutting off support for the new castle, or so it appeared, they reopened the castle in Upper Sotla at great expense. Surely the people of Upper Sotla would be satisfied now! But alas, the Upper Sotlian memory was long. Other events came to pass as well. When the board reopened the castle they held a great gathering, for they would need to move people from castle to castle to fill up space, and it was decreed at that gathering that all of the serfs from Lower Weiv would be sent to the castle farthest from home, on the other side of the district. Additionally many in Middle Sotla would need to be moved as well. This angered Lower Weiv, and recall again, the new temporary castle was placed closest to Lower Weiv. But many others were angered as well, and the applications for the new castle that lacked the spacious jousting grounds, and archery ranges soared anyway. And so it came to pass, that instead of cutting support for the newest castle, the board of Elders instead succeed in swelling support for the new castle and many traveled there from across the district.

Soon though, the news of the space the board of Elders placed the new castle reached the Overlords of the Kingdom of Saint Clara and they were angered, for they had decreed a castle with equal space, and low, where were the jousting grounds? And the spacious archery ranges? And so they decreed again, more forcefully that the new castle be given equal space.

Oh how this new decree caused much tearing of hair and beards throughout Middle Sotla, for in their minds, hadn't they been generous? Would they need to give up one of their castles? Which one?! Might it be the one their own children attended? They could not see, nor remembered the slights, intentional or not they had caused Upper Sotla and Lower Weiv. Nor did they recall that they had repeated opportunities to make amens. And so our tale continues. For the board of Elders is indeed prideful, and more jealous than ever of the success of this new castle and this is overcoming what should have been frugality with their own gold. After the Overlord's decree they sent forth a messenger with an insulting offer that flew in the face of the Overlord's anger. Peace and calm in the district would not be restored with the path chosen by the Elders. Who knows where this tale will lead, but I fear it will be quite some time before we can say the lines, and they lived happily ever after.


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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Bikes2work is a registered user.

Awesome story, Serf. Something about it reminds me of another tale about the Sacred Rac. I hate those dangerous polluting things.

I look forward to chapter 2. And maybe the introduction of some new characters like Sheriff Noynek and Maid Yesreh?


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Posted by MV Native
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm

MV Native is a registered user.

SiliconSerf-
You Rock.

This is the best forum - forget about those ones in Middle Sotia


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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Bikes2work is a registered user.

"The preliminary offer also splits up our K-8 school into 2 campuses in opposite sides of the district. They make the argument that it is better for K-6 students to be physically separated from the 7-8 students for their well-being. If that was their only concern, why not offer to put that one middle school portable on the other corner of Egan campus away from K-6 space, thus allowing for the least amount of disruption for the students, teachers and parents who will now have to shuttle back and forth between the two campuses? Perhaps they are hoping that many prospective BCS middle school parents will throw up their hands and say "Uncle! We'll just go to Egan!" This offer to make life as difficult as possible for BCS community seems petty and definitely was not made in the spirit of "working together" or "mending bridges" or any other conciliatory words spoken in public by the Trustees."

I totally agree with the above statement by the first commenter. To take it one step further, why has LASD allowed BCS to exist on the Egan campus at all for all these years? If it is not safe, kids at BCS or Egan are in danger from this 'alien' co-mingling of children of different ages. Or maybe it is just as Randy Kenyon said, "the only choice is to BREAK UP BCS". That has been his goal for a long time. I don't think it is the only choice, however.


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Posted by Been around awhile
a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Been around awhile is a registered user.

The proposal splits BCS because BCS has outgrown the Egan site. Locating the BCS 7th-8th grade elswhere on the Egan campus would not solve the problem of too little space for both Egan and BCS. Another difficulty is that BCS 7th-8th grade now shares Egan's gym, tennis courts, track and science labs. Only Egan and Blach have those kinds of "junior-high" facilities, which means that BCS can probably no longer be housed on one of the LASD elementary school sites. If neither Egan nor Blach is big enough to house BCS in its entirety, and the other LASD sites do not offer "reasonably equivalent" junior high facilities, then what do you propose as a viable alternative to splitting BCS between 2 campuses? Also of note is that Blach has far fewer students than Egan, so is in a better position to share athletic and classroom space with the BCS 7th and 8th graders than Egan is.
Another point is that the "northern" part of the district is and has been growing the fastest. Already the area north of El Camino has 500 students,about a school's worth, where there is no school. With all the residential units now being built in and around San Antonio shopping center, LASD needs all available space in the northern part of the district to accomodate the growth. I often wonder why Mountain View has not required space to be set aside for a school when approving these projects (where Safeway or Target currently are would be great locations, since I believe they will move into the new shopping center when it is finished). But as it is, Covington and Gardener are both necessary to keep Almond, Santa Rita, and Springer under 600 students. (All 3 schools had been close to or above 600 students previously). Space will also be needed at Egan to accomodate the growth.



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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Bikes2work is a registered user.

Sharing the Egan facilities has not been working very well. I don't believe it would work better at Blach. I'm not aware that the Egan science lab has ever been shared (definitely not for 7th grade). The gym and the track have been shared (one day per week), but instruction is difficult while the Egan announcements are being blasted over the PA system. It is not my definition of sharing. More like giving the leftovers to homeless people.

Siting grades 7 and 8 across town from grades k-6 will simply not work. End of story. Try again.


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Posted by sam t
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 8, 2012 at 10:03 am

sam t is a registered user.

Cross posting from another thread:

I'm seeing a lot of nonviable options being proposed by BCS supporters, namely that there is plenty of LASD space to accommodate BCS students. To be realistic, LASD will not redistrict a large portion of its students to give BCS an existing facility. Neighborhood and lottery free schools are a cornerstone of LASD. Nevermind that there is no elementary school facility suitable for the needs of 7 & 8th graders.

So, two out of the box solutions:
1) Split BCS up among the various LASD elementary schools. Honestly, BCS clearly does not want to be split up but this would allow both LASD and BCS to maintain a neighborhood school. However, this would require a significant cost to BCS to duplicate its teaching staff amongst N sites.
2) This is more out of the box than 1: I've read that BCS doesn't accept that many LAH students anymore and is accepting more throughout the district. So, there clearly is no need for any geographic preference (be it in LAH or anywhere within LA that feeds into LA-High). So, why not find an outside site. LASD encompasses LA, and parts of MV & PA so consider a site in one of those cities. Or, anywhere within Santa Clara county as BCS is a County charter. Where within Charter law/Prop 39 does it say a county chartered school MUST physically reside within the school district it originally petitioned, let alone the feeding high school. LA land is scarce and expensive. A site outside of LA would be more available and cheaper.


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Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Mountain View Voice Editor
on Feb 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

The following comments have been moved from a duplicate thread, which has now been closed:

The Los Altos School District is under capacity and even their own demographers project a reduction, not increase, in student population. LASD just changes the data (or ignores it) to create the conclusion they've predetermined. LASD is 1) operating more school sites than it has money to run and redrawing attendance areas will not only reduce LASD's overhead (which subsidizes Palo Alto Unified School District Students attending LASD schools--which is insane in a basic aid district--) but will help the LASD kids have MORE, not less programs if LASD would be fiscally responsible in this regard; and 2) even after redrawing attendance areas to consolidate so that a permanent site is available to BCS PUBLIC school students, NONE of the remaining LASD schools will be full in terms of capacity. After redrawing attendance areas to provide the Charter school with facilities reasonably equivalent to those the LASD students enjoy, the LASD schools will not be overfilled--and to suggest the community should go into debt to build a new school site is simply a ruse to delay equitable treatment to charter school students and is fiscally irresponsible given there is ALREADY enough permanent facilities to house ALL public school children in LASD. Finally, the claim that LASD families enjoy "neighborhood schools" ignores those hundreds of families who used to be able to walk to their school (like Santa Rita) but who now have to drive across town (to Gardener Bullis) to fill that WAY under-capacity school. Those crying about "neighborhood schools" are in it for themselves and disregard the inconveniences the other LASD families have been dealt by LASD's redrawing attendance areas back in 2008. Oh, let's not forget to mention the closure of Bullis-Purissima, a neighborhood school.
by LASD taxpayer fedup Feb 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm

in case you missed it: Posted by SiliconSerf, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, 20 hours ago SiliconSerf is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Saint Clara was a tiny but prosperous District of Sotla. There were three villages in the district, Upper Sotla which was tiny but very prosperous; Middle Sotla which was large, populous, and prosperous but not quite as prosperous as Upper Sotla. Oh and finally there was the small village of Lower Weiv, which sat on the other side of the Royal Road. But such was the prosperity of the district that even the serfs living in Lower Weiv were also prosperous. All were happy, for their castles were great centers of learning and were governed by a board of Elders. One smaller castle was in Upper Sotla, and the rest were scattered throughout Middle Sotla, and alas, there were no castles in Lower Weiv. Fortunately, the residents of Lower Weiv were welcomed at the nearby castles in Middle Sotla. All were happy, until one day it was decreed that the castles needed to be renovated, for indeed the battlements were beginning to crumble. Gold was collected across the district for the renovation, and it came to pass that the castles were renewed one by one. Now whether it was intentional, or not, the small castle in Upper Sotla was left for last. And the worst fears of the villagers of Upper Sotla indeed came to pass, for while the castles of Middle Sotla were made shiny and new, it was decided that their small castle would be closed, for the board of Elders had spent all the gold on the castles of Middle Sotla. Truth be told, the castles in Middle Sotla looked half shiny and new, for much of the renovation seemed to center on the administrative parts of the castle and not the parts of learning, which was strange, and made many in the district wonder if the gold was spent wisely? Intentional or not, best intentions or worst, the people of Upper Sotla were greatly angered by this slight and resolved to open their own castle and indeed this is exactly what came to pass. The Overlords of the Kingdom of Saint Clara decreed that equal space should be provided for this new castle. Now remember, the board of Elders could have given the old run down castle in Upper Sotla to the people there, but their hearts were filled with jealousy, and they feared that a new castle might eventually surpass their own. So instead the elders chose to spend additional gold on a temporary castle placed on on the jousting grounds of one of their castles nearest the Royal Road far from Upper Sotla. Indeed, they expected the people of Upper Sotla to abandon the project, but they did not. Soon, the shabby little temporary castle lead by the people of Upper Sotla was turning out scholars and craftsman, knights and archers of the highest quality. This without the large jousting grounds, and archery ranges of the other castles. Despite the lack, they began to win many tournaments and ribbons. Recall the serfs of Lower Weiv, for they had no castle of their own. While they were welcomed at the nearby castles, each year the board of Elders debated which castle the serfs of Lower Weiv should be sent, to start their studies. And so, over the years, the serfs were scattered across many castles, and this too angered the serfs of Lower Weiv, for again, intentional or not, Middle Sotla was slighting them. Recall too, that in placing the temporary castle for Upper Sotla as far from Upper Sotla as they could, or so it appeared, the board happened to place this temporary castle very close to Lower Weiv. The success of the new castle was like a thorn in the side of the board of Elders, for this new castle was not under their governance. In hopes of cutting off support for the new castle, or so it appeared, they reopened the castle in Upper Sotla at great expense. Surely the people of Upper Sotla would be satisfied now! But alas, the Upper Sotlian memory was long. Other events came to pass as well. When the board reopened the castle they held a great gathering, for they would need to move people from castle to castle to fill up space, and it was decreed at that gathering that all of the serfs from Lower Weiv would be sent to the castle farthest from home, on the other side of the district. Additionally many in Middle Sotla would need to be moved as well. This angered Lower Weiv, and recall again, the new temporary castle was placed closest to Lower Weiv. But many others were angered as well, and the applications for the new castle that lacked the spacious jousting grounds, and archery ranges soared anyway. And so it came to pass, that instead of cutting support for the newest castle, the board of Elders instead succeed in swelling support for the new castle and many traveled there from across the district. Soon though, the news of the space the board of Elders placed the new castle reached the Overlords of the Kingdom of Saint Clara and they were angered, for they had decreed a castle with equal space, and low, where were the jousting grounds? And the spacious archery ranges? And so they decreed again, more forcefully that the new castle be given equal space. Oh how this new decree caused much tearing of hair and beards throughout Middle Sotla, for in their minds, hadn't they been generous? Would they need to give up one of their castles? Which one?! Might it be the one their own children attended? They could not see, nor remembered the slights, intentional or not they had caused Upper Sotla and Lower Weiv. Nor did they recall that they had repeated opportunities to make amens. And so our tale continues. For the board of Elders is indeed prideful, and more jealous than ever of the success of this new castle and this is overcoming what should have been frugality with their own gold. After the Overlord's decree they sent forth a messenger with an insulting offer that flew in the face of the Overlord's anger. Peace and calm in the district would not be restored with the path chosen by the Elders. Who knows where this tale will lead, but I fear it will be quite some time before we can say the lines, and they lived happily ever after. Report Objectionable Content
by Fan of SiliconSerf Feb 4, 2012 at 8:28 am

Brilliant.
by Observer Feb 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm

This whole thing just looks crazy to us from the outside, but we have choice programs here in Mountain View that fluctuate with demand so we have looked at the issue very differently. We haven't looked at it as an us vs. them problem, but as an issue of how we allocate resources fairly across different educational wants and desires. If I were an LASD parent I would be asking myself how I could get BCS programs at my neighborhood school. BCS seems to have really good programs--Mandarin, lots of interesting electives, music, drama, PE, a very collaborative environment. Wouldn't it be a good thing for a larger campus to welcome BCS and have the kids at that school possibly stay at BCS as part of any rezoning? I don't get why this is so divisive - think about the education your kids are getting not just about whether it's convenient for your kids to walk to school. Change can be a very good thing, especially in regards to education in this country. There's lots of work to do to make it better for our kids. Even in LASD.
by outside observer Feb 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm

What a poorly written tale. Gardner was renovated ($12M) before reopened, and some BCS parents returned to that school. Till these days, BCS continues to operate and discriminate Hispanics, Disadvantaged, English learners, Special Education students, and students from most of the LASD District. Effectively, it is trying to close one of the highest performing schools in California.
by BCSisAprivateSchoolPubliclyFunded Feb 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Gardner was renovated at a cost 0f $13.9 million. BCS students selected as follows; 1. Sibling preference 2. Old Bullis district 50% preference (less than 30% of current population) 3. Double blind lottery. There is no discrimination.
by Ron Haley Feb 7, 2012 at 8:58 am

That's the best you can do David? Poorly Written!? It's the best item that anyone has ever posted on the subject pro or con.
by Fan of Silicon Serf Feb 7, 2012 at 9:53 am
IP: 66.92.48.49 Id: 0 Edit | Hide this comment from view
Who is David? Is it another person who is "jealous" of you? Ron, check your BCS' annual report about its students' make-up.
by yourVeryMisleadingQuarter-truths Feb 8, 2012 at 12:26 am
IP: 76.103.102.99 Id: 0 Edit | Hide this comment from view
Web Link Why does BCS want to hide its agenda from the public?
by BCSwantsToHide Feb 8, 2012 at 12:37 am

Earlier quotes from Doug Smith indicated he was trying to get BCS to sign a confidentiality agreement. BCS didn't think that was necessary. How can you have open meetings with a confidential agreement, Doug?
by LASD twists the truth Feb 8, 2012 at 9:02 am

Since we're all showing off our creative side (see the above 500k post in which all of the BCS "PR Firm Talking Points" are weaved into some sort of... story)... Take a look at this hilarious send-up from one of our community members who is against the closing of thriving neighborhood community schools: Web Link For more information and background on this "school" which is intent on closing our public schools, please see: Web Link
by Joan J. Strong Feb 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm


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Posted by MV Native
a resident of another community
on Feb 8, 2012 at 4:25 pm

MV Native is a registered user.

to very whatever
- we all know who David is -- or maybe you are not aware of him? He is the guy who is obsessed with Bullis Charter School. He made the boring Robot Theater video that Joanie keeps trying to go get people to look at.

Anyway -- I really enjoyed the story by SiliconSerf. Really creative and well written. I think it captures all the historical events accurately.


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Posted by SiliconSerf
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 9, 2012 at 8:03 am

SiliconSerf is a registered user.

Could we stop using the term "neighborhood" school. It's code for Los Altos proper first, to heck with everyone else in the district. From now on, could we just say that instead? It would be so refreshingly honest, wouldn't it? And yes, it is terrible to have your child uprooted and forced to go to another school against your wishes. I don't think anyone wants that. Unfortunately the LASD has done it not once, but twice in the recent past. Many of the people who now go to BCS were told by the LASD they had to move schools, including my family. What a shocking coincidence!


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Posted by MV Native
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm

MV Native is a registered user.

Another fantastic post from SiliconSerF!

That is so true. There are not any neighborhood schools. We need to think of a new name for them - what should we call them?


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