News

Bullis seeks new school in Mountain View Whisman

A new K-5 charter school would serve low-income students

Bullis Charter School officials announced on Tuesday a proposal to open a new charter school in the Mountain View Whisman School District, aimed specifically at serving children of low-income families.

Charter school staffers said in a statement that they plan to submit a charter application to the school district to create a small school, with 320 students from kindergarten through fifth grade, set to open next fall for students up to second grade. Enrollment would be tuition-free and open to the public, with a preference given to children in the district who qualify for free and reduced-price meals.

The plan is to submit the application this fall, which should be enough of a time window for the school to open its doors for the 2019-20 school year, according to Jennifer Anderson-Rosse, a Bullis administrator leading the charter's new school proposal.

"We really feel confident that we can get it approved and then open a school in fall 2019," she said.

The announcement caps off three years of planning among Bullis parents and staffers weighing what it would take to expand the charter school into a new community. The team ultimately landed on Mountain View, Anderson-Rosse said, for a host of reasons including the city's diverse demographics, growing enrollment and funding model.

She said the demand certainly seems to be there, given that 200 Mountain View families seeking a spot in the charter school were wait-listed last year, and both of Mountain View's choice programs -- Dual Immersion at Mistral Elementary and Stevenson PACT -- are both popular alternative choices to traditional public schools.

Bullis parent Grace Yang, a long-time member of the team planning for the new school, said Bullis Charter School's expansion mindset has been baked into the school's strategic plan since 2012, with the bulk of the planning occurring over the last three years. She said it's arguably been a long-time coming, and that Bullis is kind of an anomaly for sticking to just one campus for well over a decade. The short list of partner agencies included school districts in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, she said.

Where exactly the school would be located remains unclear. Anderson-Rosse said the first step is to put together the application and receive approval from the school district before deciding on its facilities.

Plans for the new Mountain View school are entirely separate from the ongoing debate over where the existing Bullis Charter School will be housed within the Los Altos School District and the effort to secure for it "permanent" facilities. Bullis is currently located in portables and split between two Los Altos public school campuses.

Outreach to Mountain View residents on the proposal has mostly been isolated to one-on-one conversations with interested families up until last week, when the district held a parent night at the Mountain View Senior Center on Aug. 30. The meeting, which was posted on a Bullis Mountain View Facebook page, was not meant to be widely publicized, and drew about 20 predominantly Spanish-speaking families.

The Mountain View Whisman School District confirmed it has not received a formal application from Bullis Charter School as of Tuesday, Sept. 4, and had no prior warning about the announcement. Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph said Bullis officials had met with him twice over the past year and a half to discuss their expansion goals and spoke broadly about their desire for a "partner district," but did not talk about a direct partnership with Mountain View Whisman.

"Their announcement to you, and the subsequent Voice article, come as a complete surprise to me," Rudolph said in an email.

For the charter school to open in fall 2019, the district would need to receive the application and provide a response by Feb. 1, Rudolph said.

The plan is to draw heavily on the curriculum at Bullis' existing charter school in Los Altos, with a heavy emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), project-based learning and personalized education plans for students.

One of the big differences proposed in the application is that incoming students will have transitional kindergarten and full-day kindergarten to ensure students without access to high-quality preschool don't enter the public school system behind their peers.

Yang said lower-income families often struggle to pay the high cost of preschool and have difficulty working around a half-day kindergarten schedule. Offering both of these at the new charter school would be a game-changer, Yang said.

"What we're really offering is a solid path for their kids," she said.

Bullis is among the highest-performing schools in the state and popular among families in the county, with close to 1,000 families seeking to enroll children in kindergarten each year. Of those families who apply, only one in ten are admitted through a lottery process. Bullis board members have expressed interest in accommodating more of the demand through a new school as well as increasing enrollment at its existing school.

The strategy for financing the school's operations will likely differ significantly from the existing charter school, where close to one-third of Bullis' annual budget comes from parents and community members. Bullis parents are encouraged -- though not required -- to consider donating $5,000 per student per year. By drawing from lower-income families in the community, the funding may need to instead come from state, federal and private grants, and would be eligible for more state funding to support "target" students who are either English learners or come from low-income famlies.

Anderson-Rosse said the new school will seek to benefit from grant funding made available to charter schools, but would be able to survive solely on public dollars provided by state and local funding.

Upcoming information sessions on the charter school proposal include a Saturday, Sept. 8, meeting at 9 a.m. at 102 W. Portola Avenue in Los Altos, followed by a Tuesday, Sept. 11, meeting at 7 p.m. at 1124 Covington Rd. in Los Altos.

Comments

41 people like this
Posted by Uh No Thanks...
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2018 at 2:17 pm

With how Bullis Charter has negatively impacted Los Altos School District and how charters have negatively impacted school districts across the country, why do we want a charter school in MVWSD? Public money with no public accountability? Thanks, but no thanks. Why don't you open another charter school in Los Altos instead?


27 people like this
Posted by @ no thanks
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2018 at 2:21 pm

No, we don’t want another bullies either! Let’s play hot potato or something.


Like this comment
Posted by Choice!
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 4, 2018 at 2:40 pm

I am so against all the re-distribution of students back to there "neighborhood" schools, so I welcome a charter school as an option for those of us who don't want options.


22 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2018 at 2:57 pm

These comments are amazing. A group of do-gooders are donating their time and efforts, offering to implement a program that might significantly help low income students and so far, only negativity. So sad.


22 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm

psr is a registered user.

@Wow

"Do-gooders"? Are you serious?

Maybe you missed it, but those "do-gooders" have no problem dragging the school district to court every time they think they are being treated "unfairly". They lose every time, but the district still has to waste time and money defending against these foolish lawsuits. Rather than spend their huge endowment on educating children, they prefer to file lawsuits, all the while drawing resources away from the district they are suing.

If you want to borrow that kind of trouble, feel free, but don't say you weren't warned.


38 people like this
Posted by Seen both sides
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 4, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Having had 2 kids both start in Mountain View schools, and then have both kids switch to Bullis Charter School (and finish 8th grade there) I can tell you from first hand experience that anyone that doesn't want a charter school in Mountain View doesn't understand the value that Bullis brings. When our daughter switched in the middle of 3rd grade (off the waiting list) the math program she moved into (@Bullis) was already almost a full year ahead of what she was studying at her local Mountain View school. There are both differences in how subjects are taught and the level in which they are taught at Bullis (predominately in the math and sciences areas).

A student can excel at any school - but after having experienced both first hand, I would tell you that the Bullis program works, and it works by having a larger % of the students in every class excel. The standards in each class are higher, and if you look at the test scores, you'll see that the middle of BCS is "learning" at a higher level than the other schools in the area (and yes, I know test scores aren't a great standard to use, but they do indicate a significant difference in achievement based on how & what the students are being taught).

Give Bullis a chance, and you may just find that it helps the entire school district by introducing new ways of teaching and a higher standard of accountability placed on the students.


21 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm

@psr - yes do-gooders- trying to help poor kids to have a better shot. As far as the lawsuits, those were clearly never one-sided. I didn’t live here at the time that it all came down but from what I’ve read it’s apparent that both sides dug in. Regardless of the emotions, the law says they’re entitled to comparable facilities and BCS has been operating out of portables with limited access to outdoor area, gyms etc for over a decade. LASD could have accommodated them long ago but chose to feud instead and have wasted millions on “not providing” equivalent facilities simply because they “need to win”. . Now they’re engaged in throwing more money down the toilet on this crazy shopping center scheme. It’s all politics so please don’t whine that BCS is the problem.


28 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm

@Wow Believe it. There is a lot of hate for Bullis on these boards. It does not matter what the truth is as to Bullis' efforts. Many hate it purely because it is a charter school. Charters are always seen as the enemy, particular by the public school unions.

@psr Bullis' suits have pretty much always been over truly being mistreated by the school district, which would do ANYTHING possible to kill them. And no, they have not always lost.

Good luck to Bullis' latest effort, but I do expect it to be an uphill battle in this environment.


18 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 4, 2018 at 4:31 pm

MVWSD already offers Transitional Kindergarten and full-day Kindergarten, so how is their proposal a “game-changer”?
I hope they do more through research before writing their proposal than they did in providing quotes for this article.


8 people like this
Posted by @Uh No Thanks
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2018 at 5:30 pm

How has Bullis Charter negatively impacted LASD? Please be specific as to how the LASD kids are worse off than before BCS entered the arena.


16 people like this
Posted by @ seen both sides
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2018 at 6:02 pm

I know what you’ve been through as I had kids at monta loma for 5 years and then moved to Los Altos. They were so behind and LASD blew me away in a good way. But o don’t think it’s Bullis Vs. LASD there, I think it’s Los Altos vs. MVWSD, the latter simply being so far inferior it’s oranges to rotten apples. I’m sorry you also had this experience of playing catch up. It’s so hard!


22 people like this
Posted by @Seen both sides
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 4, 2018 at 6:11 pm

Before we bought in MV, my daughter was attending Cherry Chase elementary (not a charter school) in Sunnyvale and was a full year ahead in math. Just saying, the regular school can implement a special program for the talented kids.


3 people like this
Posted by MVWSD
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2018 at 8:05 pm

I am willing to bet that MVWSD will be inclined to welcome BCS than LASD ever has in the last 15+ years.


8 people like this
Posted by @MVWSD
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2018 at 8:27 pm

Of course MVWSD wants BCS. All MVWSD elementary schools are rated like 5-8 (ones an 8, most are 5s and 6s). Bullis would be higher because they teach to the test. MVWSD is desperate for some direction. LASD doesn’t need Bullis but MVWSD certainly does.


26 people like this
Posted by Mtn Vw resident
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 4, 2018 at 9:15 pm

Mtn Vw resident is a registered user.

Why does BCS have to launch another, separate school vs. doing a better job recruiting lower income families? Better yet, allow those families priority in the lottery, like d-Tech does: Web Link. The reason BCS does not want to do that is that they worry that the free and reduced price meal kids will drag down their scores. Benevolence is not driving this. MVSWD is better off opening another innovative choice school (PACT and Mistral are amazing) instead of a charter school that has no accountability. I do love the idea of the transitional kinder and full-day kinder, but, again, MVWSD does not need BCS for that.


11 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2018 at 10:26 pm

Again - such negativity toward a group that’s trying to help low income kids. It’s shameful.

@@MVWSD - Bullis teaches to the test?? Where on earth do you get your information? Or did you just make that up?

@ Mtn View resident - trying to recruit low income kids into a fast-paced, hi intensity, Tiger-mom attended program (such as BCS LA) is a recipe for frustration and failure for those kids. It makes no sense (just look at the success/failure/dropout rate for the Tinsley Project in Palo Alto). Trying to establish an innovative, progressive program for disadvantaged kids to progress with their peers is commendable. Let’s applaud them instead of shooting them down. Some of these programs on the east coast have been highly successful.



12 people like this
Posted by Tried both
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2018 at 1:24 am

We moved to Los Altos ten years ago and enrolled in an LASD school. It was good. We wanted our kids to get a foreign language, and set up a Mandarin program. Interest from other parents and students was minimal.

Could be we just didn't sell it well enough. Okay.

We heard about Bullis, which offered Mandarin for K-8. We switched the kids over. It's just as good as the LASD schools, and:
* Mandarin! It could be better but they must be doing something right, one of the kids is winning regional public speaking contests in Mandarin. (Neither parent speaks a word.)
* Super engaged parent community.
* The choral program is awesome. Part of this is deep parental backing.
* The field trips. These cost extra, just like the choral field trips at Mountain View High School. They are fantastic growth experiences.

The STEM program is reasonably good and fun, but my guess is that the LASD STEM program is just as good. The facilities are lousy, but the kids don't know any different -- it's probably a bigger issue for the staff.

Will Bullis be able to replicate their success with poorer kids? I don't know. I can say that Grace and Wanny are incredibly talented people and really want to make it work. Give them a shot; it won't be perfect but it'll be interesting.

As for all the negativity, just follow the money. Bullis gets about $4k less per student than LASD gets, and the Bullis parents make it up. Bullis and LASD spend about the same per student, but the Bullis parents donate around $5k/year and the LASD parents donate around $1k/year. So that's effectively a subsidy from the Bullis parents to the LASD kids. If the Bullis kids went to LASD, LASD wouldn't be able to raise that $5k/year from that population, so LASD would lose the subsidy.

It's in LASD's interest for Bullis to get bigger, so long as Bullis can keep the donation level per student high. I don't know that anyone's done a survey to figure out how much more of the Los Altos parent population is willing to donate more time and money to get the better experience.


20 people like this
Posted by @Tried both
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 8:46 am

Let me get it straight: do you expect low income families to pay extra $4K a year? If not, why are you talking about the field trips etc.?


2 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 9:04 am

@ @Tried Both (you are supposed to put the @ in your response, not your name).

They DON'T expect low income families to pay an extra 4K a year. That is why they are looking for a new school for low income families, rather than just force them into the existing program. It is a different approach for a different family-base.


14 people like this
Posted by Separate
a resident of Jackson Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 9:08 am

@Ron, would you say that they want to build a school that's separate, but equal?


5 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2018 at 9:15 am

@Uh No Thanks...
"With how Bullis Charter has negatively impacted Los Altos School District..."

OK, so the only things I know about Bullis is what I read on the MV-Voice web-site, I have no personal or direct knowledge of Bullis.

I do have a great deal of knowledge about Mountain View schools and the MVWSD. I am well known to the Board and Super and many others, and I write pretty good speeches...

Basically, I would like to know in more specific terms WHY I should try to prevent Bullis from coming to Mountain View.

Vague and generalized statements that boil down to "Bullis=BAD" wont cut it. I need good solid reasons and specific details before I can decide to work against Bullis.

The complaints I have read so far have no meaningful information and the way people complain all sounds like it's just a personal grudge.

If there are actual facts and events and actions or other specific reasons why Bullis is bad, then please someone educate me so I can take action.

OK, let's get specific folks!

Why do you hate Bullis?


39 people like this
Posted by Uh No Thanks...
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2018 at 9:34 am

BCS amounts to a publically subsidized private school for the children of Los Altos.

Over and over again it's shown that kid's test scores correlate to parents socio-economic status, not the educational program, which is why they would silo low-income kids in a separate school in Mountain View. And which is why BCS test scores have very little value in demonstrating how their model would work within a different socio-economic demographic.

And BCS does take public moneys and school space *AWAY* from the public schools as well as the high performing children/active parents that might go to LASD, which DOES have declining enrollment numbers (though there are other mitigating factors). So yeah it is a disservice to public education, which I guess many of the people on this forum don't really care about anyway.

Charter schools are not a boon to a community or even just benign. Maybe do your own research on the effects of charters. Read some Diane Ravitch.

MVWSD does not need a charter school. Keep your condescending do-gooders in Los Altos. And yeah MVWSD has Transitional Kindergarten (like everywhere else), full day Kindergarten, *and* a preschool. Many MVWSD schools already have project based learning, not just Stevenson PACT. By virtue of how BCS wants to move into MVWSD, doesn't demonstrate an actual understanding of what the needs of the community are, rather some colonial missionary attitude of how they must know better and what a great opportunity they are giving the children of MVWSD.

MVWSD has many things they could improve, but I don't see how adding a charter would help when it will just divert funds, space, and people away that MVWSD needs if they are to improve.


46 people like this
Posted by BCS magic
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 10:07 am

Before MVWSD parents get excited I'd ask a few questions:

-What is BCS's track record of educating low-income, EL and special ed students?
Looking at their school data, it doesn't seem like they have one. The kids who attend BCS are, by and large, extremely privileged. Enough to have parents who write a check for the $5K shortfall and then some. Their foundation raises *millions* in addition to the regular parent donations. They have virtually no experience with kids living in poverty and kids learning English. If I were the chartering agency this would give me pause.

-BCS has demonstrably done a great job of educating the children of very wealthy parents. But that is the easiest job in education. There is no secret sauce (OK -- money is the secret sauce) in their approach. There are a lot of fun and nice extras that they offer. But their achievement data is only marginally better than LASD and at that level what difference does it really make? I'm not sure why they feel their approach will succeed when faced with kids facing serious challenges.

If I was a parent from a low-income or EL family I would really and truly think hard before letting this *experiment* take place on my child. If you think there's some magic that will somehow appear in MVWSD when BCS arrives, I fear you'll be disappointed.


82 people like this
Posted by Then same college as everyone else
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2018 at 10:17 am

Oh this BCS cult, haha. Yes, thankfully our younger kids get great benefits and results from our schools. Some benefit greatly from charter formats, some benefit greatly from a tightly knit neighborhood school, and some benefit greatly in more a religious school.
Then they all end up at the same colleges in the end, so not sure why all the hullabaloo about BCS, except that some people still think there is a "Best" label they can slap on something. THAT'S the hilarious part about many in this area. The known by many fact is that there is no "Best" school, only a school that's best for your kid.
Many only realize this on dorm move in day.


11 people like this
Posted by @Um No Thanks
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2018 at 10:48 am

@ I’m No Thanks- I’m not seeing an argument here. “BCS amounts to a publicly subsidized private school for LASD kids” has become so cliche. A baseless mantra really. LASD parents have every right to expect their kids education to be publicly subsidized. It’s an alternative approach to education. Just because parents voluntarily contribute a relatively small sum each year (lets be real - private schools cost $45K per year. The $5K donation pales and I don’t hear anybody complaining about the full court press for donations by LASD each year). Also kids need to test into private schools. Admission to BCS is done by lottery so all LASD kids are eligible.

The argument that BCS takes money *AWAY* from LASD also makes no sense. Yes they take money away but they also take the need for LASD to educate 1000 kids away. Therefore LASD needs less money because they’re educating fewer kids. It’s like saying Covington kids are taking money away from Loyola kids.

And no, I’m not a BCS parent. Just a neutral observer that’s puzzled by the animosity toward that school by what appears to be a very vocal (and apparently well funded) minority (based on the high interest in attending BCS and their continued ability to expand their enrollment).


14 people like this
Posted by Wondering
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 10:57 am

What’s the harm in trying something new? The test scores for low income kids in the area are dismal. I’m beginning to wonder if the opposition to a BCS charter in MV is a fear that they might be successful in raising the educational outcome of these kids. Afraid of having mud on their faces maybe?


10 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2018 at 11:00 am

@Uh No Thanks...
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
So, you don't know where you live?

"BCS amounts to a publically subsidized private school..."

Making false accusations does not help your position.

That same accusation was made against Stevenson and PACT for the past 21 years. It was never true about PACT and is not true about Bullis.

Bullis must abide by all the laws of a public school. They have a little more flexibility in their teaching methods, more even than Stevenson does, but otherwise, they are still a public school.

"Over and over again it's shown that kid's test scores correlate to parents socio-economic status,"

Well, you're much closer to the truth there, but not quite true.

It has been proven over and over again that kids's test scores track the prior educational background of the PARENTS, mostly the MOTHERS education. Whichever parent is the most highly engaged in the education of their child, that parent's education is the primary variable that determines future educational achievement of their kids.

The individual schools or the level of volunteerism at the schools does NOT track with the educational outcome for the kids nearly as well as parental education does. Nothing tracks better than that.

The reason it LOOKS like family income is the cause is because generally the better educated the parents are, the more money they make. So, income is also caused by parental education AND parental education directly effects kids school performance.

"not the educational program,"

Educational program choice allows parents to figure out which style of education works best for their kid. Having a choice is better than every child getting stamped out like a cookie-cutter.

"BCS test scores have very little value in demonstrating how their model would work within a different socio-economic demographic."

Now you're contradicting yourself. Either the kids educational performance depends on the school and the other parents or it depends on the kid's own parents, you can't argue it both ways.

If BCS methods don't help low-income kids equal high-income kids performance, then why do you want to eliminate BCS and all other charter schools? You're being illogical and contradictory.

"And BCS does take public moneys and school space *AWAY* from the public schools"

NO, BCS IS a PUBLIC school and it uses public resources for public school kids.

"as well as the high performing children/active parents that might go to LASD,"

Your assumption is that parents who are "active parents" at Bullis will also be equally active at the traditional schools in LASD. I think it's clear this is simply NOT the case. I know this is NOT the case in the MVWSD. None of the neighborhood schools has even a serious fraction the level of parental volunteerism that Stevenson gets. Not even Huff.

For parents to be "active" the schools need to have a structure in place that can manage high levels of parental volunteerism. I'm not aware of any traditional schools that have that ability. The traditional PTA has very limited ability to take advantage of potentially "active" parents.

As for the "high performing children". you have already stated that the educational performance of kids has to do with the income (actually educational background) of the parents. You seem to be claiming that the low performing kids will suddenly begin to learn better by osmosis. This is NOT supported by the statistics of low-income kids attending the perceived high-performing schools. Not even Stevenson, though we are getting better at it.

"MVWSD does not need a charter school."

We have 2 "choice" schools and neighborhood schools. This combination has prevented any efforts to get a charter school.

But, the proposed Bullis would NOT be in the MVWSD anyway, it would be in that portion of Mountain View that is zoned for LASD boundary.

"MVWSD has many things they could improve, but I don't see how adding a charter would help when it will just divert funds, space, and people away that MVWSD needs if they are to improve"

That's exactly what people claim about Stevenson PACT too.

If you don't like charter schools, you have not provided any meaningful explanation as to why they are "bad".

All your accusations about Bullis Chater School are made against Stevenson PACT and they are not true about Stevenson either.

So, what's your REAL gripe with Bullis?

Mosttly when people get honest, they will admit they wanted to get their kids into the school they now hate, but were not lucky enough to win the random lottery.

So, they hate and want to destroy something they could not get for their kids, they just don't want any other kids getting it either.

Or, maybe you have not explained other gripes I am not aware of yet?


36 people like this
Posted by Zero Track Record Helping Under-Served Kids.....
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 5, 2018 at 11:05 am

BCS has absolutely zero track record helping socio-economically disadvantaged kids. The population they do serve is ~46% Asian, 27% White, and only 4.4% Latino. An astonishingly small 0.8% of kids are socio-economically disadvantaged (see report link below). The kids they do serve come into BCS with enormous competitive advantages given their high socio-economic status. These kids have affluent parents, have been read to in one or more languages since birth, they've had the best pre-natal and pediatric health care money can buy, the best nutrition, the best child care, the best pre-school, the best of the best. If BCS had a track record of helping the kids they are claiming they intend to serve, this might not seem so outlandish. But they do not. BCS hasn't even been in direct contact with MVWSD, which in itself suggests they are not intending to build relationships founded on mutual respect and educational outcomes.

The report below is from their own website:
Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2018 at 11:17 am

@BCS magic

"Before MVWSD parents get excited I'd ask a few questions:"

There is NO reason why MVWSD parents should even care about a new Bullis, since it will NOT be in the MVWSD NOR will it be taking kids from the MVWSD. Perhaps a tiny few may get in, but crossing district lines is usually tough and not many do.

"-What is BCS's track record of educating low-income, EL and special ed students?"

Probably no better than ANY other public school.
The primary variable in student achievement is the prior educational background of the PARENTS, normally, the MOTHERS of the kids. Income is usually driven by educational background, so people are always getting cause and effect mixed up by thinking it's income that matters most.

"-BCS has demonstrably done a great job of educating the children of very wealthy parents. But that is the easiest job in education."

NO, again, the issue is always the educational background of the parents, not the income that matters most.

"There is no secret sauce" (OK -- money is the secret sauce) in their approach."

So, you think all we have to do to make a low-income school like Castro into a school with top performing students is to throw money at the school? I see no evidence of that at any Santa Clara county school, or bay area school for that matter.

"There are a lot of fun and nice extras that they offer. But their achievement data is only marginally better than LASD"

Then Bullis is doing it's job and lots of parents like the educational style Bullis has, sounds OK to me.

"If I was a parent from a low-income or EL family"

Then you would have to look at your own educational background first, then learn about your local neighborhood school AND any other options and then pick the one that fits YOUR kids best. Don't go by ANY web-site claims about any school, learn DIRECTLY first-hand and then decide.

"I would really and truly think hard before letting this *experiment* take place on my child."

Bullis, like Stevenson and Mistral are ALL "choice" schools, NOT mandatory enrollment schools. A parent NEEDS to CHOOSE to apply to any charter or choice school, it is NOT imposed upon them. So, yes, think long and hard before making a choice, as all parents should do for their kids.

"If you think there's some magic that will somehow appear in MVWSD when BCS arrives, I fear you'll be disappointed. "

That's a redundant statement since the new Bullis wont even be in the MVWSD so few if any MVWSD kids will be able to attend.

I'm still waiting for an actual explanation for all the hate spewed towards Bullis. Keeps sounding like personal sour grapes from parents who did not win the random lottery.


22 people like this
Posted by @ST parent
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 11:24 am

As usual, you don't let complete lack of knowledge stop you from commenting ad nauseum.

This IS a proposal to open a BCS campus in MVWSD. Did you read the article? That's why MVWSD parents should care. BCS is a school that has achieved great results for very wealthy kids but they have no track record of doing that for others and that is the issue.


Like this comment
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2018 at 11:26 am

@Mtn Vw resident

"Why does BCS have to launch another, separate school... MVSWD is better off opening another innovative choice school (PACT and Mistral are amazing) instead of a charter school"

First, the new BCS will NOT be an MVWSD school and few MVWSD kids, if any, would get in.

More to the point, EVERY accusation spewed against Bullis is also routinely spewed at Stevenson PACT and always has been false accusations.

So far, I can only assume that the same reason why some people spew hate at Stevenson is exactly the same reason some people spew hate at Bullis, namely, they want to destroy Bullis (just as many want to destroy Stevenson) because they wanted their kids in Bullis but did not win the random lottery, so they wish to destroy Bullis so other kids can;t have it either.

So, unless the people who hate Bullis (or Stevenson) have some ACTUAL FACTUAL reasons for their hate, I have to assume it's all just sour grapes from envious people who wanted to be one of those Bullis families themselves.

Any other factual complaints? Anyone? Anyone?


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 11:28 am

@Separate No....silly person who doesn't know how to use the "Name" field, I would NOT use the phrase "separate but equal" at all. That is a pretty poor attempt at putting distasteful words in my mouth since you can't actually debate the issue honestly.


15 people like this
Posted by Rejoin the Community
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2018 at 11:38 am

Shame! These BCS people will do literally anything to avoid enrolling "those kids" in their current school. They purposefully created a student body composed of certain privileged demographics and have done backflips to avoid conforming to state law WRT equity and community composition. If they really wanted to serve these MV families equitably, BCS would give them enrollment preference at their new NEC campus, but they don't want them mixing with their "high achieving" and "gifted" kids. This is classic Brown v BOE "separate but equal" segregation along different ethnic and socioeconomic lines.


4 people like this
Posted by Separate
a resident of Jackson Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 12:12 pm

@Ron, it's cute how once you realized what you were advocating you flipped out and attacked me. You think that the poor kids should have their own school (separate) which will be just as good (equal). Where am I mistaken?


4 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm

@ Rejoin the Community
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Another hater who does not even know where they live.

"Shame!"

Yes, you should be ashamed.

"These BCS people will do literally anything to avoid enrolling "those kids" in their current school."

What the heck are you talking about?
Enrollment in Bullis is by random lottery for any child who lives in the LASD.
Anyone who does NOT live in the LASD comes last, which is normal for any public school.

So, please EXPLAIN exactly what you CLAIM the enrollment lottery does to exclude "those kids"????

"They purposefully created a student body composed of certain privileged demographics"

Parents need to choose Bullis and any family living in LASD can apply and every new family goes into the random lottery. Only residency in the LASD matters to the lottery results.

If the demographics are not to your liking, don't apply to Bullis.
If you feel the educational style of Bullis is the best fit for your kids, as many LASD parents do, then why should the demographics bother you so much that you would avoid Bullis?

Sounds like you are the one with the discrimination problem.

"and have done backflips to avoid conforming to state law WRT equity and community composition."

Bullis must comply with state and fed laws. I am not aware of any state or fed laws that require any public school to be composed of any demographics as long as the school district has not imposed rules to force segregation, which Bullis has NOT done.

The same accusations were spewed at Stevenson PACT and they were never true. The school has ZERO control over the enrollment lottery process and cannot exclude anyone who lives in the district.

"If they really wanted to serve these MV families equitably, BCS would give them enrollment preference"

Wait a minute, you are advocating intentional QUOTAS based on demographic factors! THAT would be ILLEGAL discrimination!

"This is classic Brown v BOE "separate but equal" segregation along different ethnic and socioeconomic lines."

I call BULL****!
The Brown v BOE case was a district that which had set up different schools and then making it MANDATORY that all the whites went to one school and all the minorities went to the other school regardless of where they lived or how far the schools were from their homes.

Brown/BOE does NOT require that all schools in a district MUST have the same demographics, nor to match the demographics of the district as a whole, nor any other "matching" requirement. Brown/BOE only required that the school district may NOT use income or ethnicity or other demographic factors to select which school kids can attend.

After reading countless posts and stories about Bullis, I have found ZERO to show that Bullis in any manner manipulates the enrollment process based on ANY demographic factor. If you live in the LASD, you can apply for your kids to go to Bullis and you have exactly the same chance as any other kids in the LASD.

Lying does not help your arguments against Bullis.

Anyone got a true complaint?


2 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2018 at 12:20 pm

@@ST parent

"This IS a proposal to open a BCS campus in MVWSD."

OK, my mistake, my question still stands, WHY are people claiming Bullis is so evil?

So far, every single complaint about Bullis are also commonly spewed against Stevenson PACT. Stevenson is NOT a charter school, so what specifically is wrong with Bullis?

I hear loads of vague generalized claims, but nothing true and specific.

If the new Bullis sits within the MVWSD, then the MVWSD Board will have to administer it. If the new Bullis is near a high percentage of low-income families, then why not let those families have the choice to apply?

We already have 2 choice schools, adding a charter school, what's the harm?

Somebody please explain why all the hate?


11 people like this
Posted by Separate
a resident of Jackson Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 12:31 pm

ST Parent, no one cares about you, so stop losing your mind on this website. You have a very high opinion of yourself, but that's about the only person around here who does. You make Stevenson parents look really bad by association, so go outside, get some fresh air, then take a nap. You'll feel better.


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Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2018 at 12:40 pm

OK, so I'm confused by the recent stories about Bullis opening a new campus.
The other articles sounded like Bullis wanted to put a new Bullis campus into the area of Mountain View that is zoned for being controlled by the LASD and thus NOT part of the MVWSD.

Now this article seems to be talking about another new plan, but this time to put the new Bullis in the zone controlled by the MVWSD. Even Supr Rudolph seems to have been surprised by the reports:

"Their announcement to you, and the subsequent Voice article, come as a complete surprise to me," Rudolph said in an email."

So, how many plans are there for Bullis?

But more to the point, what is the true cause of so many people being haters of Bullis?

Their accusations and warnings all amount to nothing of substance and always sound like sour grapes from parents who wanted their kids in Bullis but did not win the random lottery so they want to destroy for other kids what they could not get for their own.

What am I missing about Bullis?


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Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2018 at 12:43 pm

@Separate
a resident of Jackson Park
ST Parent, no one cares about you,"

Meaning, you have no actual answer to my perfectly reasonable question, right?

You cannot address the question, so you attack the person asking it.


11 people like this
Posted by Good for bcs
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2018 at 12:53 pm

They have planned this publicly for a year. Only 220 low income in all of lasd 2000+ in mvwsd. Lasd actively thwarts efforts to recruit low income kids because they have to pay bcs more for them though not to much. This will be good for mvwsd kids.


1 person likes this
Posted by So size
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2018 at 1:25 pm

So about 100 or 150 next year? Maybe only 70. Not too hard to find space for that. Not at Huff or Bubb. Fewer low income there. Could fit in at Mistral easily.


26 people like this
Posted by Here are the Facts
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm

For full disclosure, I am a BCS parent and a relatively happy one. My two older kids went to school in MV before we moved to Los Altos. BCS is different than any public school in our area. Period. They are not bound by the traditional contracts and restrictions of traditional school districts. The teachers are creative, passionate, young and eager – something you may not see as often at traditional schools. The best way I can describe the difference in Silicon Valley terms is working at IBM vs. working at an innovative start-up that people want to be at. The school is forward-thinking, nimble and responsive. My kids love coming to school everyday AND they are eager to learn. While our kids enjoyed our local school and our teachers were great, there was not the same challenge or excitement for learning. My kids rave about their PBL (project based learning), ask lots questions at home and have learned over time to take ownership for their learning thru focused learning goals. I haven't heard or seem similar teaching methodology at other schools.

Don't believe or care about my anecdotal experience? I created a folder where I put up CA School Dashboard results for BCS, Los Altos School District and MV Whisman School District. I also included Gardner Bullis because I saw a lot of comments about how BCS was just a "rich" school. Well Gardner Bullis, for those who don't know, is the public school located in Los Altos Hills, the highest household income town in this area by a wide stretch. Gardner is a public school, part of LASD, and their numbers (I’m sorry) don’t hold a candle to BCS’s results.
Web Link

I wanted to clarify a few of the comments made by others as there seems to be a lot of misinformation out there.

1. BCS actually won its lawsuit against LASD, but LASD won in an appeal so in my book, that is a wash. No side won or lost in the end as millions in legal fees were wasted and a facilities problem was not solved. The only gain from that experience should be that both sides should not go down the litigation slope again and endeavor to come up with mutually acceptable solutions.

2. The MV District does NOT offer full-time T-K or Kindergarten. Looksee here: Web Link. If the new charter can offer full day (ie. past 3pm) free kinder and TK, that is something value added which MVWSD schools currently don’t offer.

3. BCS does not turn away disadvantaged students. It is a free public school based on lottery and its demographics mirror that of Los Altos School District where it is based. Don’t believe me? Here are the CA Dept of Ed Stats: Web Link. If anything, BCS is MORE diverse than the LASD population as it’s only 26% white vs. LASD’s 45%.

4. Because of Prop 39 (request for facilities), BCS has to have a preference for LASD students, the District in which it is located. Since LASD provides facilities, it will only provide space for in-district students. As a result, BCS students are 99.5% from Los Altos School District and therefore its demographics mirror the census data in the District. As dictated by the Santa Clara County Board of Ed, the school’s authorizer, BCS holds a lottery when there is more demand than availability. Each year, more than 1000 students apply to attend the school. The lottery preferences were established with the SCCBOE and are on the BCS website. Please check them out before spreading incorrect information.

5. BCS, like all charters, are held accountable. Its students are required by law to be tested annually, using the same testing standards as other public schools. Some even think that charter schools have higher standards as most charters need to show that they are outperforming the local public schools, otherwise what’s the point of having them? Google it if you don’t believe me!

6. Charters are not forever. Most charter schools have to have their charter renewed every few years. If the school is not performing or the authorizer is not happy, the school can be shut down. In my opinion, there seems to be very little downside to MVWSD parents of having this school. If anything, perhaps it will force the District to raise its level of performance, or at the very least, offer more spots for choice programs.

7. Track Record. Someone asked so here it is. BCS test results, compared against LASD, BCS and Gardner Bullis (just for kicks since its another “rich school”). As you will see, BCS comes out ahead for every subgroup: Web Link

8. Yes, it’s a risk to try something new but in my opinion charters are here to stay. Enrollment in MVWSD is growing so new schools will need to be created anyway. Why not test out the BCS model? If MV parents want it, I’d rather have a nationally recognized, award-winning charter in my town than a potentially less appealing charter school years down the road.

Finally, it sounds to me like this new school is asking to be authorized by the District. This is VERY important. As the authorizer, the District retains control. Many people might argue that LASD screwed itself bigtime by declining the opportunity to authorize BCS 15 years ago. Because LASD declined, the Santa Clara County Board of Ed is BCS’s current authorizer. Some would argue that MVWSD should try to learn from the mistakes of their neighbor.


8 people like this
Posted by Ha
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2018 at 1:54 pm

Test scores are not a track record, they are evidence excluded under-performers. It's like the AYSO coaches that stack their teems with great players, then claim the competition is fair.


11 people like this
Posted by @Facts
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 5, 2018 at 3:47 pm

I don't dispute all of your points and I'm glad you've had a good experience at BCS but looking at the link you shared -- 14 students out of nearly 900 are socioeconomically disadvantaged. And those 14 presumably had advantages others do not, such as parents who are engaged and fluent enough to know how to get on the waitlist.

It's hard to make a case that serving these kids is really in their wheelhouse!


7 people like this
Posted by Reply to @Facts
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2018 at 4:14 pm

BCS serves the community in which it is located, which happens to be an area with not a lot of socioeconomic diversity. The small number of FRL kids is comparable with LASD's stats. If you look at its track record with servicing Hispanic students as well as kids with special needs, this subgroup of students far outperforms the traditional schools based on test scores.

On whether BCS has experience serving these low-income students, I think you also need to look outside of test scores and stats as one commenter mentioned. BCS has run a free preschool program (Stretch to Kindergarten) for low income families for the last several years, with its own teachers. You'd have to look at that data to see the how they've done. This program by the way was funded by BCS parent donations.


12 people like this
Posted by Oh well...
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2018 at 4:19 pm

@@Facts - “It’s hard to make a case that serving these kids is in their wheelhouse.”

So would you prefer to just let these low income income kids wallow in their dismal educational situation? Because BCS might not be good enough? Why would you let these experienced, successful, innovative educators “experiment” on the MVWSD kids? Geez. What’s the alternative? Oh yeah, it’s nothing.


5 people like this
Posted by All Day Extended Day
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2018 at 5:06 pm

Charter schools often operate from 8am to 4pm or even later. MVWSD's all-day ends at 1:30pm. It's more than a half day, but it's not all day and not even as extended as possible. A charter school might even take care of the kids until 5pm. This could be well appreciated by low income working parents.


13 people like this
Posted by Time will tell
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2018 at 5:11 pm

I am also a BCS parent with a kid in the elementary program. There is really not much to argue about at this point. BCS is proposing to open a Mtn View BCS by next Fall. As mentioned above, either MVWSD will accept the charter application to oversee the school in their district or they won't. If they do not, then BCS will submit the application to the SCCOE who most likely will agree to oversee the charter since they have been encouraging BCS to share their model with other communities for many years. SCCOE feels that kids of all backgrounds should have access to an innovative and unique program that is offered by BCS. There are not many public school programs like it in this area. Teachers from all over the county, state, and world visit BCS to learn about their practices to take back to their schools. BCS will open a school in MV or maybe another community. Are you personally affected by a group of educators who are hoping to provide opportunities to these students? Probably not. No need to criticize now. Wait for the results then weigh in. Meanwhile, ask the parents who will eligible to send their kids to this school. See if they are elitist and wag their fingers at this idea. Probably not.


11 people like this
Posted by give it a whirl, why not
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 9:12 pm

The rational risk/reward ratio is in the charter's favor. These guys think their model can also work with low SES kids? Let them try it! If it fails, it's a satisfying I told you so and a black mark that will be hard for BCS to live down. I seriously doubt there will be any real harm to students. And if they succeed, great - it's a win for everyone. Bottom line is our district is failing these kids, at least compared to other districts with low SES schools in Santa Clara. These kids need any lifeline they can get. I think a full-day kindergarten makes sesnse. My kids go to MV schools. I know for a fact that we don't have this now. I have the afterschool care bills to prove it.


1 person likes this
Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2018 at 9:42 pm

@ give it a whirl -
“If it fails, it's a satisfying I told you so and a black mark that will be hard for BCS to live down.”

Really? You live in Rengstorff Park and you would find it satisfying to see BCS fai in their attempt to help underprivileged kids? Really sad that you bear animosity towards a school with which you have no experience and that doesn’t impact your life in any way. I hope that’s not how you react to your kids when they fail.


10 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2018 at 6:23 am

Just wondering how BCS will pay the staff if the parents in the new school cannot contribute the 5k per child?

I also cannot find BCS pay rare on transparent California. Not sure why Bullis is not listed under charter schools.

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by You're just plain wrong
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 6, 2018 at 9:17 am

@Voter, please do your own research! MV does not offer full day kindergarten and TK. You're wrong.

@Curious, did you read the article? It clearly states - "the new school will seek to benefit from grant funding made available to charter schools, but would be able to survive solely on public dollars provided by state and local funding". Why would they need the $5k donation if they pay teachers with the public dollar?

Maybe some of these commenters should have had a Bullis education. You're all so ignorant and misinformed. Read and think people.


12 people like this
Posted by Seen both sides
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 7, 2018 at 3:08 pm

As I posted above... I've had kids in both BCS and other LASD schools, however - what I didn't mention is that we started with our daughter in a Mountain View public school. BCS is different - not because of economics, but because of the actual teaching program.

Much of the conversation on this board is somewhat misguided, mostly because the BCS leaders have said they will run the school in MV using the $ allocated (plus any funding they can garner specifically for Charter schools). This is completely aimed at proving out the education model they've built, and to show it can benefit all students, not just economically-advantaged ones.

This is the piece most people completely miss. Wanny and her team believe they've built a different model of education. They have tried (extensively) to share this with the other LASD schools, but because of the various legal machinations there is not a lot of collaboration within the school district (this extends to both sides).

Having had 2 kids go through BCS, I can tell you it is a different model. Others have noted some of these differences - involving (but not limited to) primarily pro-active (many times, younger) teachers that are asked to consistently challenge themselves (in how they teach) and their students (in how the in classroom program is structured). Required on-going teacher education (not teaching related, subject related) is a small (but important) piece of this.

Can the model be applied to lower income kids and remain effective? I think the answer is yes, but it will not be as straight forward as Wanny likely thinks it will be. However, this also hints at why Mountain View should absolutely agree to allow this charter school to open - because Wanny will not let this fail. So much of education comes down to the passion for teaching/learning by teachers and a school's administration. Wanny and her team are a force of nature - this charter school will succeed, and will likely end up bringing in net new/interesting resources to support it (which will end up benefiting the entire school district over time).

In short, don't bet against this team, and - this will benefit the students that participate at a level not seen in the school district to date.


6 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Sep 7, 2018 at 4:41 pm

It's very difficult for successful charters located in diverse communities to stay true to serving solely social economically disadvantaged students. In the East Bay, KIPP charter schools became increasingly affluent with their success.

The impact of a new school, that may ultimately draw away mobile (more aware) families away from local schools, needs proper consideration, if Bullis is true in its intent that it wants to help and not hurt local schools in MV.

Having spent many years visiting Bullis classrooms, I urge MVWSD to consider adopting some Bullis style priorities like more experiential learning (intersession), project based learning, lower school world language and computer science. It could do this by partnering with Bullis on teacher training, bringing back gifted programs (along with gifted programs for English language learners) and perhaps work with Bullis to launch a future school in North Bayshore, where a future residential community may warrant a new school, without gutting existing schools. Or consider reconstituting an existing MVWSD school as a charter, but waiting until there is a new school in North Bayshore for teachers not interested in such a model.

LASD made the mistake to ignore Bullis in its plans until it was too late, which then became a threat to LASD. The reality is that Bullis can open a charter regardless of any local gov's wishes, they can get approved by the county or state, so it's up to MVWSD to pro-actively collaborate to help make a possible Bullis in MV benefits all.


7 people like this
Posted by All Day Extended Day 2
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2018 at 5:09 pm

The state gives more money through LCFF for disadvantaged kids when funding a school district. Mountain View Whisman has 2 local revenue sources that supplement the state funding. The local revenue sources won't transfer to the charter school. However, there's still quite a bit of funding from the state with the disadvantaged supplement included.

The biggest difference in LASD is that LASD has so few disadvantaged kids. It's hard to get balance to match the district's 5% disadvantaged proportion, because as it was said, the rich kids in LASD are more apt to have mobile parents who will take the trouble to switch schools. LASD time after time blocked efforts from BCS to reach out to disadvantaged families at Santa Rita and Almond by presenting the option at their back to school nights. They have a 10%+ portion of disadvantaged students at each school.

Even in the portion of Mountain View that is served by LASD around San Antonio, there is fragmented community. It's difficult to reach out to the disadvantaged families there if access to the assigned school is blocked.

But in MVWSD things are different. 34% low income overall is not equally felt at the schools, and varies by much more than 10% from school to school. Approach families at Castro and Theuerkauf and Monta Loma. The lowest proportion of low income is 43%, 200 kids or more AT ONE SCHOOL. There is a community there and there are ways to reach the parents even apart from school cooperation. Plus they will put a priority on low income enrollment. This means they will most likely exceed the MVWSD average of 34% disadvantaged.

Now LASD claims it is BAD to have more than 12% low income at one school, which is one reason they cling to in refusing to open a school in the San Antonio area (for LASD). It would be about 20% low income in that new area. But BCS may prove them wrong if their new school has >30% disadvantaged.

What will be the effect on MVWSD schools? Parents at Bubb and Huff are pretty happy with their school, and they live nearby (except low income going to Bubb). With the priority, the new charter might reduce the low income proportion at Monta Loma below 43%. According to LASD, this would be good, because 43% is way more than 12%.

As someone said, time will tell. And failure isn't necessarily bad. The bar is set high. It's highly likely that the low income students will do at least as well with the all day program starting with TK, a REAL all day program, not just till 1:30 pm. Essentially it's afternoon child care with an educational component added to the base program. All that extra time is likely to work. The question is more HOW MUCH will it help, rather than whether it WILL help.


4 people like this
Posted by Wheeler brings BCS#2
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2018 at 9:56 am

Trustee Wheeler has been in the leadership of MVWSD for 16 years now. And BCS#2 is the result! This is probably a very good turn of events - the Hispanic kids in MVWSD, under Wheeler's leadership, face one of the largest academic gaps in the nation.
Web Link

So the Theuerkauf Elementary campus just might become a Charter - slowly at first, then if successful, expanded. If BCS#2 gives permanent enrollment preference to the poor MVWSD families, it will be interesting to see how much it can close the academic gap. Stevenson - PACT program enrolls so very few poor Hispanic families. What would a Stevenson to BCS#2 academic gap look like after the first 5 year charter school period? The achievement gap could hardly be as bad, as big, as under the 16 years of Wheeler leadership.

.Wheeler brings BCS#2. How many Hispanic families endorse Wheeler's record on achievement gap?
How many Hispanic families will shun a BCS#2 opportunity for their kids to show loyalty to Wheeler?


10 people like this
Posted by Yes
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 8, 2018 at 11:46 am

Yes! This is fantastic and completely what MVWSD deserves. They've felt it's completely ok FOR YEARS to leave families and their children on the Stevenson waitlist when they could have opened another similar program at another school site and made school choice something that was truly available for all. Instead they turned families away with little sympathy. I applaud Bullis coming to our district and offering us what our school district has not been willing to do. More space for families and children who want an innovative learning program is a great thing. Too bad MVWSD didn't just do it themselves years ago.


1 person likes this
Posted by Thank you Trustee Wheeler
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Trustee Wheeler has been steadfast in her support for the importance of early childhood education. She has helped MV district improve on many levels, esp the performance of Latino students.
Bullis is likely interested in opening this school in MV because of relationship Trustee Wheeler has had with the charter school. She was there at the one random BCS board meeting I happened to be at an LASD meeting, and I was told she goes to every single one the meetings at neighboring districts, even though she doesn't have to. Thank you again for serving the students of Mountain View - poor or rich, White of Hispanic, she has their backs!


3 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2018 at 9:03 am

@Christopher Chang: “... if Bullis is true in its intent that it wants to help and not hurt local schools in MV.“

The cynicism is amazing. What motivation would BCS have to spend their time and energy to “hurt local schools”?

As for “gutting” existing schools, the MVWSD is not successfully educating low income kids. It’s not the obligation of parents who are interested in education to remain at low performing schools for the sole benefit of the kids whose parents are not interested. All that does is bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator. It doesn’t bring the lowest kids up.


19 people like this
Posted by Dump Trustee Wheeler!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 10, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Trustee Wheeler has done NOTHING to help MVWSD improve performance of Latino students. She does have shills claiming otherwise. @Thank you Trustee Wheeler

Yes, Wheeler likes to attend lots of meetings. You will find her at all sorts of meetings (invited or not) these days as she is up for election. She's quite good at that.

But don't look to her to actually do anything except smile at board meetings and make meaningless statements. Go ahead and watch any number of the video-taped meetings. They are (almost) all online.


8 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on Sep 11, 2018 at 8:41 am

Cfrink is a registered user.

I’ve had great experiences with Charter Schools in another state. My favorite kind is the publicly funded, parent managed charter school that features a board made up of parents. The school conforms to most of the district’s policies and procedures but makes smalll departures where it makes sense for the philosophy of the school. This allows parents to really dig in and get involved in the management of a school....and consequently, get a clue about what it’s really like rather than sitting on the sidelines taking pot shots at the professionals all the time. It can be done very well with the right director. The corporate managed charter schools are a bit less attractive because there is less parent involvement and more focus on profits.

Choice is always good and the public schools always benefit from another strong partner in the community. I hope this goes well for all involved.


12 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:18 pm

psr is a registered user.

BCS has been openly hostile to any child with special needs of any kind. I personally know two families who had children at Bullis. When it was later discovered that those children had learning disabilities, those families were pressured (not too gently) to return those children to the district schools because "We really aren't equipped to deal with that issue here."

It's really easy to get high test scores when you cull the "more difficult to teach" children out of the population. Just punt those kids back into the district and just keep the easy to deal with children. An actual public school doesn't have that luxury. They have to teach ALL the children, even the ones who spoil the test scores or require aides and extra time and attention. So, even if you say that BCS "saves the district" from educating a particular child that leaves, you don't account for the ones they refuse because they are "difficult" (read : expensive to educate). If the district has all the special needs children and BCS has none, do you not understand how it gets less equitable?

If BCS wants to claim to be a "public school", then they need to educate ANY kid walking through the door. No pressure to leave if you are "easy" to teach. If you want to call yourself a public school, start acting like one.


10 people like this
Posted by Please stick to the Facts
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 11, 2018 at 5:06 pm

@psr, you are wrong. If you look at this link that another commenter kindly shared, you will see the actual data: Web Link

The percentage of students at BCS who are classified as "Students with Disabilities" are essentially the same as those at LASD. Both BCS and LASD have a very low percentage overall of classified students (this classification is not a gray area defined by schools or a district, but based on IEPs as dictated by state standards). You assert "...district has all the special needs children and BCS has none...." This statement is incorrect according to stats provided by the CA Board of Ed which tracks the data annually. BCS has essentially the same percentage of students with disabilities as LASD.

Also these you assert these special needs students as "expensive to teach" and somehow LASD is disadvantaged as a result. Again, you're incorrect. The local control funding for students in this demographic are higher than students without disabilities so even if your incorrect assertion that LASD has "ALL the special needs children" were true, LASD would then also get commensurately more funding.

Please do your own research before propagating misinformation. It's slanderous, spreads misguided hatred and can't really be tolerated in this day and age of transparently availble data.


5 people like this
Posted by Context for Facts
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2018 at 11:57 am

@ Please stick to the Facts
While IEPs are related to reported numbers of students with disabilities, those numbers don't discriminate between the reasons for the IEPs.

One school could have a higher number of IEPs related to simple processing disorders requiring special writing utensils, while another could have a higher number with more severe issues requiring IAs or other extra headcount at the site. These would not be equally impactful for the sites.

Since privacy matters, the types of disabilities served through IEPs aren't transparently available for comparison. You cannot claim true equality unless you have access to know the types of disabilities are being served. We know you don't, so you can't.

That a charter expresses support for certain IEPs while discouraging others is a real concern just as it would be in any other public school.


2 people like this
Posted by @ Context for Facts
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2018 at 4:42 pm

Please tell us where this statement is a fact:
"That a charter expresses support for certain IEPs while discouraging others is a real concern just as it would be in any other public school."

I've never seen anything ever from the charter school to this effect and there are hundreds of BCS families that would say the same. As I hope your mama taught you too, please not slander others with non-facts.


7 people like this
Posted by Anthony Padilla
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 22, 2018 at 11:02 am

This is a Trojan horse. Bullis is backed by the conservative billionaires trying to privatize our public commons!! They are using the misconception that they are wanting to help disadvantaged kids to get this opened in our district. We need to act now to stop this take over of our public schools.


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