News

MV Whisman schools hit with big wait lists

Hundreds of parents seek to get their kids into Stevenson, Huff and Bubb schools

Parents looking to send their kids to some of the city's highest-performing schools in August had better get ready to wait in line. Last week, the Mountain View Whisman School District released the wait lists for kindergarten enrollment for the next school year, showing lopsided demand to get into the district's schools.

The largest wait list by far is for Stevenson PACT, the district's popular choice program that encourages strong parent participation in the classroom. As of March 10, the school had 129 students on the wait list for next school year's kindergarten class. Wait lists for the school have steadily increased since the district started using an enrollment lottery system in 2009, as more and more parents seek to get their children a coveted spot in the school.

Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph told the Voice in an email that the number of families looking to get into the PACT program this year is particularly high, in part because the number of kindergarten classes varies from year to year. The school will have only two kindergarten classrooms next year, compared with three this year, because of building constraints at Stevenson, Rudolph said. The result is not only longer wait lists at Stevenson, but longer wait lists all over the district.

Things get even trickier for schools like Huff Elementary, where students living within the school's boundary may not even be able to attend their own neighborhood school. Wait lists show that 11 students zoned for Huff are on the wait list for kindergarten, and 11 more students are seeking intradistrict transfers into the school. Bubb Elementary had 13 students requesting enrollment from other areas of the school district. Rudolph said that last year the district was able to eventually place all of the students in the Huff area into the school within the first few weeks of the term.

School board member Greg Coladonato called the wait lists at schools like Huff and Bubb a major problem that needs to be addressed, particularly when students are unable to enroll in the school that they've been zoned for by the school district.

"If the number of people we assign to a neighborhood school don't fit, I consider it an acute problem that we need to address immediately," Coladonato said.

While it's typical for Huff and Bubb to experience wait lists, Landels is a bit of an anomaly this year. The school has nine students on the wait list in the neighborhood, according to the district, and has had 20 requests for intradistrict transfer across the rest of the district. Rudolph said that the lack of space at Stevenson created a "domino effect" that prompted more demand for enrollment at Landels.

"It's important to know that there are spots in our schools for all registered students," Rudolph said in an email. "(The district) does its very best to honor families' requests, but we are limited by building capacity."

But the issues go beyond building capacity. Huff Elementary is nearly busting at the seams with enrollment of nearly 600 students, and recent efforts to bring that number down with new school boundaries fell flat last year. Huff Elementary boundaries include the area around the school, as well as a noncontiguous chunk of the northeastern end of the city, known as the Wagon Wheel neighborhood. The area has 149 students, of which 69 go to Huff Elementary.

An attempt to rezone the area to the closer school, Theuerkauf Elementary, didn't go over very well. Test scores at Theuerkauf are significantly lower than Huff, and a survey last year showed just about every prospective parent in the area would apply for intradistrict transfer, send their kids to private school or leave the area entirely rather than have their student attend Theuerkauf.

Another solution would be to increase the capacity of the PACT program, giving more families an opportunity to have their children attend the popular school. As of last year, 368 students were enrolled in Stevenson Elementary, which is relatively low compared with neighborhood schools in the district. But Mountain View Whisman board members have signaled that they would be reluctant to support a big increase in enrollment. Last year, board member Bill Lambert said at the Dec. 10 board meeting that there needs to be a cap on choice schools in order to make sure enrollment remains steady at all the other schools. In other words, too many families may flock to the higher-achieving PACT program across the city rather than stick to their own neighborhood school.

Coladonato, who has two children attending Stevenson, said it would be entirely unrealistic to meet the demand for kindergarten at Stevenson, which would require the district to add an extra five kindergarten classrooms this year. Instead, he said, it would "behoove" the school district to survey parents and find out what is drawing parents to the school. It could be the parent participation, the project-based learning or other philosophies that could be exported and used to attract families to other schools.

The flight of families away from lower-performing schools and toward Huff, Bubb and Stevenson has been an ongoing concern for the school district. Kindergarten requests from recent years show that just over a third of families in the Theuerkauf, Castro and Monta Loma attendance areas had requested their own neighborhood school for kindergarten enrollment. None of the three school has a wait list for the upcoming year.

Lambert's notion that the PACT program may be sapping enrollment from nearby schools was mostly validated last year, when former Interim Superintendent Kevin Skelly revealed that well-to-do families in the Theuerkauf Elementary attendance area were flocking to other nearby schools.

In a memo, Skelly said that the number of economically disadvantaged students within Theuerkauf's boundaries represented about 45 percent of children living in that area, but the number of economically disadvantaged students at the school itself jumps to 69 percent of student enrollment. Sharing the campus next door to Theuerkauf is Stevenson Elementary, where the latest data shows that only 7 percent of the students are economically disadvantaged. A 2014 demographic study showed that 109 students from the Theuerkauf attendance area attend Stevenson, making it the largest migration away from a zoned school to the PACT program.

The constant pressure to enroll more students in Huff, Bubb and Stevenson prompted community members on the Boundary Advisory Task Force last year to question whether school boundaries were really the primary problem. Some parents wanted the district to explore why parents are choosing to send their kids to anywhere but their neighborhood school, and go from there to find a strategy to even out enrollment. District administrators said analyzing parent preference was beyond the task force's role, and did not study it any further.

A new boundary task force is expected to convene later this year to talk about redrawing school boundaries, and it's likely that the problem of school preference will bubble to the surface again.

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Comments

23 people like this
Posted by Steve Bell
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 17, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Steve Bell is a registered user.

The overcrowding at Landels isn't surprising in the least. Mountain View is growing, and the area around Landels (as well as the Wagon Wheel area assigned to Huff) is growing the fastest.

Reopening Slater would resolve the pressure on both Landels and Huff. If executed well, it would help relieve pressure on Stevenson as well. I agree with Coladonato that we should be looking at what draws parents to Stevenson and try to do more of that at the other schools.


34 people like this
Posted by More PACT
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm

I thought PACT was supposed to be a laboratory for innovation and ideas that could then be rolled out to other schools.

So we know it's working; it is an amazing school and lots of people want their kids there. So why isn't the district doing anything about this?

I personally know families on the kindergarten waitlist who are going to private school since they didn't get in. Dr. Rudoloph, are you just going to let them go? Why not phase in another PACT program at another school right now? Monta Loma would be a great place to start. It's got capacity and needs a draw. It doesn't need to be the whole school, like the failed CEL program. Make it a choice. We know how to do this.


29 people like this
Posted by Careful
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 17, 2016 at 4:04 pm

Some parents are flocking to PACT because of test scores. Once they arrive, they want to change things: I can't work in the classroom, I want my child to have more homework, I don't think you do enough math/science, etc. etc.

Look at the actual school - not just the test score


10 people like this
Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Mar 17, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

If you're a parent who's got a child on one of our wait lists, I would be interested in hearing from you privately about what alternatives you're considering if your child doesn't get in off the wait list he or she is currently on.

My school district email address is gcoladonato@mvwsd.org.


8 people like this
Posted by Reality
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 17, 2016 at 6:19 pm

Has anyone at the district level actually acknowledged the differences in the socio-economic/demographic backgrounds among the schools identified as highly desirable and those that are not? Or differences in the emphasis that families across the various schools place on education and learning? There certainly are families in the lower-performing schools that value education highly - unfortunately those are the same families that attend private school if their transfer request is not approved.

Regardless of the reasons for the lack of emphasis on education among people of certain backgrounds (not looking to start a discussion re who is to blame), test scores and overall climate for learning will increase in the lower-performing schools only when all of the parents appreciate the value of education and instill the same values in their children.


15 people like this
Posted by Other reality
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 17, 2016 at 6:33 pm

@reality
Test scores and overall climate for learning will also increase when parents who care about their kids' education and are willing to invest in it keep their kids in the district instead of leaving for private school. That's why I want to see more choice programs and I agree that another school should host a PACT or STEM program as a school within a school asap.


31 people like this
Posted by Local Neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 17, 2016 at 7:00 pm

What is the district doing to verify that families of current/returning students meet residence requirements and not using a relatives address within school boundaries?


9 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 17, 2016 at 7:39 pm

I wonder what the actual number of out of district students actually is? They're definitely in our schools.


4 people like this
Posted by Another patent concerned about crowded schools
a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2016 at 8:33 pm

Overcrowding is terrible for the students - Stocklmeir Elementary in the Cupertino Union School District has about 1500 students. I definitely feel there is a disconnect between students, parents, and faculty when a school is that big.


32 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 17, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Cfrink is a registered user.

What really frustrates me about how people "refuse" to send their children to this school or that school is the sheer ignorance. Kids with families who pay attention are what makes a school perform well. It's not about tests scores, or socio-economic status. It's about parents who are paying attention. If more of these well to do families simply sent their children to their neighborhood school all of our schools would exceed expectations. It takes the will and work of the community to make a school successful. Schools that suffer suffer because they don't have the community leaders present to help push a school toward success.

My hope is we stop being lazy and take all of these schools by the collar and shake things up to get what we want out of them. Get involved. Stop running away from a school to another school where other parents have already done all the work. Be a part of the solution and get involved in making the neighborhood school nearest you a great success.

What we need most in these schools is participation. In each of our schools you'll find classrooms full of children with fantastic test scores and excellent motivation. If you don't want to make the commitment to improve your community and your neighborhood school but you are willing to uproot your family and spend the money on private schools, etc, you're not doing your community any favors. I can't fault anyone for doing what they think is best for their children. At the same time, I'm not going to miss anyone who can't participate in making our community better.


42 people like this
Posted by AA
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 17, 2016 at 9:20 pm

Wow, what a timely topic. I can only speak for my family. My oldest child was only 18mo old when I attended my first Stevenson open house and absolutely fell in love with the school. I had never before seen a school like it, and I knew that was where I wanted my children to attend. This was back in 2010 when the waitlists weren't so long and the test scores weren't as high, but we didn't care about the test scores. We loved the teaching philosophy. Instead of moving to Los Altos or Palo Alto as many of our friends were doing, we decided to stay in Mountain View and attend the sweet little school just a 2 minute walk from our house.

Well, it's been 3 years straight that we've put in for the Stevenson lottery with 2 different kids, and we've never been picked. But we are so passionate about the Stevenson style of teaching (introduced to us by Stevenson itself!) that my children are now at a private school that offers the same thing. It is frustrating to pay a lot of money, and drive my children to another city for their education, but I still feel like one of the lucky ones. My children are getting an amazing school experience, but what about the 128 children on the kinder waitlist this year? Many of those parents can't afford private school, so I guess their children will just have to do without?

I know the Stevenson method isn't the preferred method for everyone, so I mean no slight against the more traditional neighborhood schools, but for those of us who do really believe in this method, it's a shame the district isn't able to accommodate more children. I know the Stevenson site has some physical limitations, but what about opening a similar program at another school? I would have been completely happy with a school within a school model. If our neighborhood school (Theuerkauf) had converted to or opened a sub-program offering what Stevenson does - project-based learning, hands on, experiential learning, child inquiry, social-emotional learning, arts focus, lots of field trips, less homework, minimal testing and (less importantly) some level of parent support and involvement we would have enrolled in a heartbeat. I would have volunteered my time and money (through donations) to make that school great. Instead, I now give my time and money to a private school. Since we wanted this style of education for our kids, with no lottery win from Stevenson, private school was the only way to get it.

I'm the child of a 35 year veteran public school teacher, a strong supporter of public schools (I spent almost 3 years volunteering for MVEF before my children even reached school age). I always thought my kids would attend public school, and yet here we are in private. I doubt we are the only family in this situation.


21 people like this
Posted by @ local neoghbor
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 17, 2016 at 9:23 pm

It's actually even easier than using a relatives address.
It's harder to register for kindergarten in mountain view. Hard to fudge that. However, once you're in, you can move. Rent an apartment for a month, register, and move. You're golden because all you need to do each year is tell the school if you're coming back or not.
If we are worried about out of district kids taking up space at our better schools, which I think is a fair worry, we need more than a snap code each year to register ... We need to show proof of residency every year, not just for kinder. I'm all for it.


52 people like this
Posted by AA
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 17, 2016 at 9:58 pm

@Cfrink

"Stop running away from a school to another school where other parents have already done all the work. Be a part of the solution and get involved in making the neighborhood school nearest you a great success."

I agree with your statement, except, it's not that easy. There needs to be a tipping point, there needs to be enough other parents "doing the work" as you say to make a difference. If it's just a handful of parents always doing the work, those parents get burned out, tired and demoralized. I've seen it happened too often.

I really believe the school district needs to act first. The district needs to give a large number of parents a reason to invest in their local school. That's when progress really starts to happen. In a perfect world it would work the other way, but that's not reality.


8 people like this
Posted by Jim
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 17, 2016 at 10:40 pm

It's sad that this district doesn't practice equal education across the board. After all it's all out tax money. Not just pacts.


21 people like this
Posted by @CFrink
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 18, 2016 at 6:20 am

I totally agree that if everyone jumped up and helped in the classroom the schools would change, but how do you make that happen? At Monta Loma, {for example} in the upper grades, teachers are begging for a third chaperone to go on a field trip. This year there was a "please, someone volunteer or we have to cancel one of our two planned trips this year" cry. They can't get any parent volunteers for anything. We've been there for 5 years and it's always been this way. Either parents work or don't speak English, or just don't care. There's no one helping yet you see tens of parents chatting out front for an hour after drop off. It's really hard to be one of the only 2 parents you ever see in the classroom. Burnout happens quickly. I can't imagine how the teachers feel.
But my point is- you can't force change that hasn't happened over 5+ years already.


22 people like this
Posted by Laura
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 18, 2016 at 9:13 am

Why don't the parents on the Pact waitlist start a petition to open a new program with a similar philosophy and send it to the school board and supe? We don't need a survey to know why people love the school and there's no reason a group of parents couldn't pioneer another program. That's how it got started after all.


18 people like this
Posted by Another parent
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 18, 2016 at 11:17 am

We can see that significant numbers of parents who don't get what they want will go elsewhere. That's unfortunately not going to change. Why can't the other schools have PACT programs? It would bring some of those parents back into the public school systems and increase the overall success of the schools.


18 people like this
Posted by Monta Loma
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 18, 2016 at 11:31 am

Monta Loma is in a tough spot. There are two excellent choice programs within an easy drive of the neighborhood. So the parents who are naturally most invested in the school, those who own homes nearby, often send their kids elsewhere.

I really think the district needs to help this school by giving it a choice program of its own, helping it energize its existing volunteer community, or something new I haven't thought of. Its asking a lot of parents to forgo a great choice program when you often hear the kinds of stories Cfrink talks about-- seems like no one cares in that school so those who might, stay away. Its a catch-22 and they will need help to break the cycle.


3 people like this
Posted by MamaLynx
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 18, 2016 at 1:02 pm

I've called the MVWSD office to request this information, but had no reply yet: how can we find out how many of the students admitted to Stevenson this year were NOT siblings of current students (or recipients of other preferential status)?

Obviously there are reasons for sibling preference, such as the convenience of having only one drop-off per family. Just as obviously, sibling preference is - statistically - unfair to families with fewer children.

Do we as a community care about fairness in this area? (I'm not saying that we should, just that I'm curious about the official answer.)

It would be interesting to find out how birth order interacts with the learning style practiced at Stevenson, if indeed it does so.


5 people like this
Posted by @mamalynx
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2016 at 9:30 pm

Are you suggesting that Stevenson's teaching style works better for second (or later) children? Or are you saying it doesn't work as well for first or only children? I am confused by what you think birth order has to do with teaching style.


6 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 19, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Open another Stevenson? Please look at the demographics trend there for the last 5 years.

Web Link

(top right - Free And Reduced-Price Meals chart) official state data

The entire District's Economically Disadvantaged families are now 39%, (down from 46% 2010).

Is this an "elephant in the room" that the public/staff wishes to address? Ex-Trustee Gloria Higgins?
Web Link
"We do not need to treat race and poverty like the elephant in the room anymore," she said. [2004]

SN is an elected Trustee of the MVWSD, but one of five. These are just his opinions


6 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm

@mamalynx

If the District has a report with this in it, you need to make a Public Records Act request, preferably in writing, using this link:

Web Link

[this link is a new community information initiative of the new Superintendent] [yeah Rudy!]

You are only allowed access to data (reports) that exist already, and not to 'new reports that you want made'.


Steven Nelson is a non de plum of a former community organizer, Steven Nelson (never to be confused with former MVWSD Trustee Steve Olson :)


3 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 20, 2016 at 3:51 am

@Greg Coladonato Board Trustee of Slater

"If you're a parent who's got a child on one of our wait lists, I would be interested in hearing from you privately about what alternatives you're considering if your child doesn't get in off the wait list he or she is currently on."

While you're at it, you might get some interesting results from asking how many families knew of Stevenson or Huff or Mistral before they moved into this district and if those schools drew them to our district in the first place.

Past demographics reports show some interesting correlation between more seats opening at Stevenson and new families moving into MVWSD. Perhaps the same is true for Huff and Mistral.

How many people actually move here because of one specific school they want their kids to attend?


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 20, 2016 at 4:05 am

@More PACT of Rengstorff Park

"I thought PACT was supposed to be a laboratory for innovation and ideas that could then be rolled out to other schools."

I have heard this as well and from what others have said at Stevenson, we would be quite happy if the Principal of some other school would go to the Superintendent and ask permission to try a pilot program at their school based on some (or all) of the Stevenson methods of education.

I'm sure many Stevenson parents would be happy to immerse the Principal and some teachers of other schools in the Stevenson methods so they get a taste of how it really works on a day to day basis.

Then they can go and take what they have learned about Stevenson back to their schools PTA's and figure out if some of these methods could be implemented at their school.

I would assume they would have to get an OK from the Super and some level of buy-in from the parents, but some portions of what we do at Stevenson could indeed be copied as an independent module.

Granted, any one or two slices of the PACT educational style wont provide the same teaching-the-whole-child approach and results, but it can't hurt to get our traditional K-5 schools looking at what they can adopt the easiest and soonest. Then hopefully, they will want to adopt more slices of Stevenson methods.

I don't think any school wants to make itself a full-boat carbon copy of all the Stevenson methods across their entire school all in one year. But, perhaps one school could try to use Stevenson methods in one Kinder class and continue them into 1st-5th. If it works out for that school, then they could have a one-strand PACT style sub-program for those in their neighborhoods that want that style of education.

Nothing wrong with that. Just plan it well and execute carefully and pay close attention.


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 20, 2016 at 4:26 am

@Careful of Castro City

"Some parents are flocking to PACT because of test scores."

My family didn't actually know of the test scores when we first found out about Stevenson and then heard about this "PACT" thing. Theuerkauf was where we first heard about PACT. The test scores were never driving the decision. It was all about becoming comfortable with the alternative educational style, then our daughter quickly coming to love it made us sure we chose correctly. We were fully prepared to quit Stevenson if our daughter was doing poorly or did not like the school.

Both my wife and I grew up very poor (free lunch,excess government food, etc.) but very smart and with highly motivating parents asking us endless questions about our schoolwork in the car, over dinner, while playing in the yard any minute they could find. Our parents let us know that school was vital and they were never going to let us forget that.

We grew up in schools surrounded by kids who got routinely low test scores and we both had been subjected to bullying because our test scores blew the grading curves. For me, I did homework for my own amusement and to see what else I could do with harder problems I would make up for myself. My teachers (not to mention fellow students) were not happy with the way I did homework, so I just stopped turning it in and continued to get 100% on the pop-quiz and tests.

A smart kid with engaged parents can flourish in any of our schools.
The problem is not the kids, nor the schools, nor the teachers, (assuming we can find enough teachers) but the real problem is the too small percentage of engaged parents in most of our K-5 schools.

"Once they arrive, they want to change things: I can't work in the classroom, I want my child to have more homework, I don't think you do enough math/science, etc. etc."

That's called PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT in their kids education!
If any parent has an idea, they are free to make suggestions and if enough parents agree to give it a try, then a new experiment is born. If the idea works well enough, it may become part of the methods we use. Look at Arts Focus for example. That started out tiny and has now become a big and effective part of the PACT methods.


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 20, 2016 at 4:42 am

@Local Neighbor of Cuesta Park

"What is the district doing to verify that families of current/returning students meet residence requirements and not using a relatives address within school boundaries?"

Absolutely NOTHING!
The way things are now, even a poor family can find a rental in our district and move in for a couple months near Huff to get their Kinder enrolled in either Stevenson or Huff and then move out of the district all together or end up living in a car and the district has NO CLUE.

Just imagine what people of means can do?
A family can get a house or rental near Huff and try to get their Kinder into Huff or Stevenson the first year, then try again the second year. Maybe they have another Kinder coming along and try for Stevenson or Huff on that Kinder. Once the family gets their kids into Huff or Stevenson, they can sell their house or leave their rental and simply move out of the district. Maybe if they have enough money, they could move a relative into a rental in our district, but the kids live in Sunnyvale or ???

The district has done NOTHING to even find out how many such cases may exist.

My wife and I bought our Rex Manor home many years prior to deciding to have a child. When signing-up for 1st grade, we were actually shocked when the district did not require us to verify our home address was legitimate and in the district.

We could have moved to some cheaper place outside of Mountain View and saved a ton of money. But, we don't believe in gaming the system.

The district has no idea how many other people have been.


9 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 20, 2016 at 4:59 am

@Laura of Rengstorff Park

"Why don't the parents on the Pact waitlist start a petition to open a new program with a similar philosophy and send it to the school board and supe?"

Laura, the sad truth is that for all their posturing and claims, this district and Board does not really support anything but cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all education and for them all this "choice" is nothing but a hassle for them politically.

The politics of pushing everyone DOWN to the LOWEST common denominator fits well into the typical politicians mindset. Anything that stands up looks like a rogue nail that needs hammering down.

Our district has such great ideas and such great teachers and diversity of opinions that the politicians on the Board can't handle it and the district finds it all too messy for them to cope with.

The Board members and Super talk about the "Achievement Gap" between the highest performing students and the lowest performing students and then the discussion ALWAYS turns around to make the "gap" the fault of the better performing students.

From the Board politiciaks and District point of view, engaged parents encouraging their kids to respect and value education by being engaged in their kids education simply creates more problem kids at the high-end which then makes the "gap" bigger.

What is easy for politicians on the Board and the district leadership to do is to insult the involved parents, discourage new parents from getting involved, blame PACT for everything and try to frame PACT and Mistral as designed to be evil.

We all know it is the hardest job in education to reach out and get parents and families to engage with their kids in the educational process so their kids can improve to reach their potential.

It's much simpler to just denigrate those who are good students with engaged parents already.

Politically, it makes no difference if you drive the best down or lift the worst up, either will "close the achievement gap", but one is so much simpler than the other, so which method do you think the politicians will do?


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 20, 2016 at 5:11 am

@Monta Loma of Rengstorff Park

"Monta Loma is in a tough spot. There are two excellent choice programs within an easy drive of the neighborhood. So the parents who are naturally most invested in the school, those who own homes nearby, often send their kids elsewhere."

Monta Loma,
I would point out that other areas actually send more kids to Stevenson than does Monta Loma.

The boundry area of Landels leads the way by sending 119 kids to Stevenson
Theuerkauf area sends 109 kids to Stevenson.
Whishman/Slater sends 83 kids to Stevenson
Monta Loma sends 56 kids to Stevenson
etc.
All the school areas send kids to Stevenson,
but Landels is first.

For Mistral, the numbers are more complicated to understand because you must fist divide those into native English speakers and native Spanish speakers and then find out where each of those sub-groups come from. You also have to consider how many kids choose Castro over Monta Loma. Not to mention how many choose Theuerkauf over Monta Loma.

So, to understand the numbers for Monta Loma and how the other school effect it requires a great deal of accurate data and various ways of spreadsheeting the data so you can see the true impact.

This is one thing I found out by attending so many of the BATF meetings last year.


3 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 20, 2016 at 5:18 am

@MamaLynx of Cuesta Park

"I've called the MVWSD office to request this information, but had no reply yet: how can we find out how many of the students admitted to Stevenson this year were NOT siblings of current students (or recipients of other preferential status)?"

While this info is no doubt still in flux for this school year, we certainly have some pretty detailed and accurate information that was published about 1 year ago for the prior school year.

You can find all the info you could possibly analyze within the "full agenda packages" posted on the MVWSD web-site from late 2014 through about June of 2015.

Just down-load the "agenda" for each Board meeting and then look for items that mention demographics or measure G or Stevenson or Slater or Whisman and then when you fins some, go download the "full agenda package" for that date.

All the data is there. Just make sure you don't get fooled by certain charts with partial cherry-picked data. Do read it all to get the proper understanding of the facts.

It's all there, you just got to click a few times.

Hopefully, within the next few months we may have such information completed and available for the current school year.


7 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 20, 2016 at 5:41 am

@Jim of Cuernavaca

"It's sad that this district doesn't practice equal education across the board."

OK, then you're suggesting that we all race down to the BOTTOM and find the lowest common denominator so we will all be equal and you will finally be happy.

Kids are NOT all uniform cookie-dough and neither are families and schools are not and should NEVER become cookie-cutters.

Kids are all different, families are all different.
Ever hear the word "DIVERSITY"?????
Ever heard of celebrating our differences and supporting ALL our kids to achieve the very best they are capable of?

Some kids learn best one way, some kids learn best another way, some yet another way. If we find ways to provide what each kids need to help that kid do their best work in school, that is TRUE EQUAL education.

Equal should NOT be measured by the basement, but rather what percentage of kids reach their greatest possible achievement versus what percentage are not given parental support and school support to achieve closer to their personal best case achievement.

Among other things, Stevenson uses a "whole child approach" to adjust the lessons to the specific needs of the child. Some kids struggle with one specific concept, but once they get past that they may excel at the next one. Our teachers make adjustments all the time as they see fit to bring the kids along as best each kid can at each given point in time.

"After all it's all out [our] tax money."

Actually, NO, the money we are talking about is ONLY partly full district tax money. Much of the money that each school uses is specifically donated to that school. Every public school had various fund-raisers to solicit money from the public. Much of the seemingly "special stuff" the Stevenson kids do is paid for by DONATED money directly to the Stevenson school.

Then, don't forget the MVEF money. That too is private donations, Google gave $400,000 last year for example. The MVEF gets a substantial amount of it's donations from Stevenson parents, way more than our fair share.

The MVEF then decides where to spend the money based on needs and fairness.

"Not just pacts."

We know how to raise money, but so does every school in the district.


9 people like this
Posted by Jim
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 20, 2016 at 9:56 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment/personal attack]


8 people like this
Posted by @ Jim
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Truth. And apples don't fall far from trees so we've got more kids like this being raised right now. But at least we got all our questions answered.

Some of us actually don't want our kids at PACT. There may be a long wait list for PACT but overall more people want their kids at Bubb and Huff. There are two points to this article. It wasn't all about Pact (to start, at least)...


20 people like this
Posted by Oh man
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 20, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Looks like pact parent and Steve Nelson killed this convo.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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