News

Los Altos School District offers to give Egan campus to Bullis Charter School

10-year deal would move junior high to new LASD site in Mountain View

Leaders from Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District announced a deal Wednesday that gives Bullis most of the Egan Junior High School site permanently, and relocates Egan's students to a yet-to-be-built campus at San Antonio shopping center in Mountain View.

The announcement caps off more than a year of closed-door negotiations between the two parties to craft a long-term agreement for school facilities, which has been a litigious sticking point between Bullis and the school district for more than a decade. It also has the potential to supersede facilities negotiations under Proposition 39, which proposed putting some of the charter school's students at Loyola Elementary.

The framework of the agreement grants the charter school a majority of the Egan site -- 16 acres in total -- to house all of its students, and restricts Bullis Charter School from growing beyond 1,111 students. The agreement would last for 10 years and would finally unite the school, which has been split between between two campuses.

In order to make room for Bullis, Egan Junior High would permanently relocate to a new school site planned half a mile north in the San Antonio shopping center. District officials are negotiating to buy 9.5 acres of land at the corner of California Street and Showers Drive.

Los Altos School District board members met numerous times in closed session to discuss the real estate transaction in March, and expect to finalize the deal sometime this year.

Moving Egan Junior High and allowing Bullis to expand into its old campus would happen "no sooner than 2023," according to the agreement. In the meantime, Bullis Charter School's growing student body will be housed at its existing sites at Egan and Blach Intermediate School.

The deal reserves roughly 2.8 acres on the Egan campus for a future teacher housing project for the Los Altos School District, according to the terms of the agreement.

The negotiating team from the district -- board members Jessica Speiser and Bryan Johnson -- have been quietly meeting with their Bullis counterparts for mediated negotiations on a long-term agreement on how to house the charter school, which has sought to grow beyond its 900-student cap under an expired 2014 agreement. Failing to come to an agreement would mean returning to the state's Proposition 39 process, which calls for a rigidly scripted back-and-forth over the district's obligation to provide "reasonably equivalent" facilities.

Speiser said the negotiations vetted pretty much every option to place 10 schools at 10 sites -- instead of wedging Bullis onto Egan and Blach -- which was the promise made to voters when they passed the $150 million Measure N bond. This included vetting the possibility of closing a school campus and placing Bullis on it.

"We've considered every aspect we can," she said. "We have been working very hard for a year considering every single possibility we could."

The terms of the agreement show compromise on both sides. For years, Bullis officials have lamented that they can only serve roughly 10 percent of the children who apply to the successful charter school, and last year announced its intention to grow from 900 students to 1,200 over the next few years. The deal for 16 acres of Egan's campus in exchange for an enrollment cap of 1,111 students is a chance for Bullis to meet some of the "overwhelming demand," said Francis La Poll, a charter school board member.

Egan has been the center of focus as district and charter school officials have sought a more appropriate home for the charter school. Last year, Bullis Charter School filed a Proposition 39 request asking for exclusive use of the Egan campus, but didn't offer suggestions for where to relocate the junior high school's students. Bullis leaders insist they were required under state law to name a site, and didn't necessarily mean the charter school wanted for Egan to close. Logistically, however, it made sense: Most of the charter school's students are already at Egan, and it's in a convenient location for the families it serves.

When the school district convened a task force of school officials and community members on its future school in the San Antonio neighborhood, Mountain View Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga suggested that the best use of the site would be to move Egan Junior High there and allow Bullis to expand into its former campus. The idea was dismissed by a majority of the task force, and Los Altos School District board members bristled at the idea. Abe-Koga's proposal is remarkably similar to what's in the newly announced 10-year agreement.

There's still plenty of work to do before the agreement is set in stone, Speiser said. Los Altos School District trustees still have to discuss the terms and allow for public comment, and are scheduled to discuss the proposal on Monday, April 8. Bullis' board of directors are also scheduled to discuss the agreement this month, and both boards are expected to vote on the deal by the end of the month.

"We have a fiduciary duty to take into account public input," Speiser said.

For months, the prospects for a long-term agreement between the district and the charter school looked pretty grim. Early negotiations didn't go well and required mediation, with talks between the two parties ceasing at some point last year before starting back up. Falling back on the Proposition 39 process, district board members voted to essentially split the charter school between three campuses -- with Bullis students at Egan, Blach and Loyola -- in order to accommodate a planned enrollment increase to 1,105 students in the 2019-20 school year.

The unanimous vote was made reluctantly as the best of many bad options, and Speiser said that no one felt good about the decision. But just one week layer, both Bullis and the district agreed to pause the process and extend the Proposition 39 deadline out to mid-April in hopes of putting together a better deal.

If the new deal struck between Bullis and the district doesn't work out, both parties will have to fall back on the Proposition 39 process, which will continue simultaneously until the long-term agreement is finalized.

Anyone interested in giving feedback on the 10-year agreement can contact Los Altos School District's board of trustees at trustees@lasdschools.org. More details on the proposed agreement can be found on the April 8 agenda.

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Comments

104 people like this
Posted by Public School Choice Advocate
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 5:11 pm

Public School Choice Advocate is a registered user.

This is an excellent outcome after 15 years of discussions. The LASD Board is to be commended for seeing the bigger, long-term vision and commitment to students and the BCS board is to be commended for its patience and for showing there are other ways to educate students. No one school fits all students. LASD can phase this in for middle school students with minimal impact while delivering a shiny new campus. Congratulations to the LASD and BCS teams for a solid agreement.


11 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 3, 2019 at 5:19 pm

Bla, bla, bla. Does anyone really care anymore? It's like Trump and the Russians at this point. It all just proves that the community is not a community. We are divided and will remain so forever.


84 people like this
Posted by Lori
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 3, 2019 at 5:35 pm

Isn't this what MV Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga proposed when she volunteered for a task force last year? But if others want to take credit, who cares?


36 people like this
Posted by People are fuming on FB
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 3, 2019 at 5:59 pm

Bullis making friends in the community again.


60 people like this
Posted by Bullis Admissions Scandal
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 3, 2019 at 6:27 pm

To funny. MV puts pressure on Bullis to have a good look at their admissions, Bullis does an about face cancels plans for the MV school and grabs a spot in Los Altos.
Too bad Los Altos didn't or wouldn't do what MV did to vanquish the demon.

To the parents who bought a home in the Egan area with dreams of your kid getting a neighborhood school experience, I'm sincerely sorry. Know that majority of the community is still behind you. If it were up to us this would not happen, but the Bullis lawyers really did a job on you poor folks.
It's just not right at all.


64 people like this
Posted by JW
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 6:49 pm

@ Bullis Admissions Scandal
Thank you. We are heartbroken. It may sound silly but Egan is really special. For LASD to do such an about face and cave to BCS is so maddening it’s just enraged 4 schools that funnel into Egan. No one trusts the entire Board anymore and there’s nothing we can do about it. We feel so defeated. I’ve never been so disappointed in LASD BOT.

@Observer
Scroll on by, be my first.


61 people like this
Posted by MV House w/ LASD School
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 3, 2019 at 8:01 pm

Congratulations to both LASD and BCS for continuing to mediate, and coming to a hard decision. This wasn't easy for anyone, and I am glad there is a permanent solution to this divisive issue.


32 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 8:10 pm

LASD and BCS parents begged both Boards to find a peaceful solution. This is what it is. Everyone can decide to be angry but in reality there were not many options. Loyola parents freaked out when told they had to share with BCS. LASD had to go back to the drawing board. Some school community was going to be impacted. They chose the oldest kids who are in a school community for two years. Many LASD parents feel this is the best way to go instead of impacting an elementary program of kids who are in their communities for 7 years. It’s ridiculous to continue to blame and cause hysteria. BCS is not going away but it’s growth had been capped. Isn’t that what the haters wanted?


194 people like this
Posted by JB
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 8:51 pm

For those of you attacking the LASD board for their decision, you should understand that the parents served by LASD made this decision inevitable. BCS enrollment growth didn't come from a draft, it came from parents choosing to move their child to a school they felt better fits their needs. With 1100 kids and a waiting list of about 1000, BCS would have consumed a large portion of the district if the board had not compromised.

Personally I commend both boards for compromising and making the difficult choices.


41 people like this
Posted by Egan Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 10:18 pm

What an absolute disaster! The entire LASD Board should be recalled! I am thoroughly disgusted that they are doing this to Egan. The sensible thing to do would have been to close Covington and move BCS to the Covington campus. Use the newly acquired land in MV for teacher housing.


33 people like this
Posted by Unreal
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 10:34 pm

Unreal is a registered user.

Egan Parent says it all right there. This is why the drama will never end. Each LASD school really is only interested in their own community. The heck with any other LASD school that is not their own kid's school. Egan Parent prefers that LASD closes Covington and moves BCS there. Why not? Covington doesn't matter to Egan Parent. Really? With this selfishness, LASD could never possibly come up with a solution that makes everyone happy. LASD parents say they are part of a community. This is hardly a community. Here come the petitions from Egan parents crying that BCS needs to end up on someone else's school site. NIMBY at its best.


42 people like this
Posted by Egan Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 10:41 pm

There is a big difference between Covington kids having to attend another nearby high performing LASD school and Egan kids now having to cross El Camino and navigating their way through a heavily commercial district to attend a downsized Jr. High that nobody wanted! So yeah. Call me selfish if you want to. The bottom line here is that Egan was sacrificed because Covington controls the board.


29 people like this
Posted by Egan Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 10:56 pm

Also, I predict that almost every family in the Egan attendance area will now be applying to BCS. We can expect enrollment at Santa Rita, Almond, Gardner and Covington to plummet. BCS will become the preferred Jr. High and the only students at the "new" Egan will be the unlucky ones who didn't get into BCS.


4 people like this
Posted by Unreal
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 11:00 pm

Unreal is a registered user.

I am betting that you voted the current trustees into office? Constituents voted for them knowing that they protect Covington but seem to dismiss that when campaigning for these people. LASD will hopefully offer buses to get the students across El Camino. That has been discussed. Spend the energy on advocating for buses as that will certainly cost LASD money. Apparently they will build a new building for Egan. Clearly they will not be attending classes in Kohls.


1 person likes this
Posted by Unreal
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 11:03 pm

Unreal is a registered user.

Good luck with the cap at 1100. That is why there is a cap. Only way to enter BCS is if someone leaves or in K. Your prediction? Not so much.


14 people like this
Posted by Egan Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 11:14 pm

No, I did not vote for the current LASD slate of trustees. I knew that the "don't close any existing school" strategy would eventually lead to disaster since BCS would just continue to grow (and here we are!)

I propose that the new Jr. High should no longer be called Egan. It should be called Johnsonville. As in Bryan Johnsonville.


43 people like this
Posted by NO.to.Privatization
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 11:16 pm

10 years isn't long at all, and then what? A sudden increase to 2000 students, demanding 3 more campuses within LASD? And what on earth did BCS sacrifice here to equal the loss of the site of a truly public and top-performing school? Billionaires win again. USA USA USA


15 people like this
Posted by Unreal
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 11:19 pm

Unreal is a registered user.

That is why LASD should set up a permanent cap. Not 10 years. No Billionaires winning. Question the LASD Board.


9 people like this
Posted by NO.to.Privatization
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 11:21 pm

@Egan Parent, You're barking up the wrong enemy tree. I understand your anger, but it is misplaced. Charter law and the people making money off of its loopholes and taking your tax dollars to help do it -- they're the ones to blame.


6 people like this
Posted by NO.to.Privatization
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 11:28 pm

@Unreal, you do know there was mediation going on, and you do know that LASD had to have asked for a permanent or longer term cap. 10 years was the result. And you are following news stories about the people making billions off of charter law loopholes, right?


20 people like this
Posted by Egan Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 11:40 pm

When the LASD Board says that they considered all options, they are lying. Did they consider moving 6th grade to Egan/Blach? No. Did they consider anything that involved BCS use of Covington? No. Did they consider any of the proposals from the Creative Facilities Solutions group? No. These fools went and purchased the 10th school site which was not needed and which nobody wanted. Now they have to find students to place at the site. Egan is the designated loser.


16 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 4, 2019 at 12:49 am

Politics is a registered user.

Egan is the headline, but LASD has not in fact committed to moving Egan.

The proposal gives LASD so many ways out that I wonder whether Egan is really on the table. For example LASD can abandon the agreement at any time simply by declaring that it's not in their interest to continue it (!). And LASD has almost 8 years (from now) before there's any potential consequence for not delivering, and that consequence is simply that the agreement could end (!).

Here and now, though, Egan is again a focal point stirring up strong feelings in the community. Maybe that's the point?


9 people like this
Posted by JW
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 6:01 am

@Politics
I’d absolutely love for you to be right.

However, to answer your post- the only feelings this has created. And they feel permanent, are throes or large distrust and anger at the board. So if they are playing a game, which I wish they were, they have no ones trust anymore regardless.

I knew Jessica would never give up the Covington fortress.


24 people like this
Posted by Seriously, look past grade school
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2019 at 6:24 am

The BCS kids and LAHS kids will all be mixed into he same high schools and colleges.
There is no loser if you don't qualify for BSC (or buy your way in like some)
though attitudes toward the BCS kids from the other kids may be a bit strained for a while until they all melt together.


141 people like this
Posted by Diogenes
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 7:09 am

People make money off Bullis? What a weird comment. No one makes money off BCS any more than people make money off LASD. It is a not-for-profit. And, no, LASD cannot terminate the agreement at any time. LASD gets its cap and Bullis receives reasonably adequate facilities. It’s called a compromise. And perhaps more teachers can afford to live in the community.


40 people like this
Posted by Poor decision-making
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 7:35 am

Such a bad decision for so many reasons:

K-6 students who live north of El Camino will continue to be split between 4+ schools - Santa Rita, Almond, Covington, BCS - to which most will need to be driven. No hope of a neighborhood school for the NEC area now.

As the north of El Camino area continues to grow in population, where will the additional students go? Springer....? This option leaves no wiggle room for an upsurge in LASD population even though construction and densification continue in the NEC area.

As it is, there are too may biking accidents as students travel to and from LASD schools. I would not, as an adult, feel safe riding my bike or walking across the very busy and dangerous El Camino/San Antonio/Showers Drive intersections. Sidewalks and bike paths are too narrow where they exist at all, there is far too much traffic, and the intersections are crazy. I would never let my 12-14 year old junior high student do it.

Students from the NEC area in MV and PA will continue to be driven to their various elementary schools in Los Altos, and students will continue to be driven from all over to BCS, but now we will also have junior highers needing to be driven from all over north Los Altos to Mountain View. This is a horrible solution for our roads in Los Altos and for the environment.

Who will pay for athletic facilities at the new junior high campus? Tennis courts, indoor basketball/volleyball courts, track, baseball/softball and soccer fields... These are not necessary for an elementary school, but they are very important to our local junior highs that compete against each other. Student fitness and is important, especially for jr highers who will no longer be walking/biking to school.

This was not the only solution! Better solutions would have been to give either Blach or Covington to BCS. They are similar size campuses to Egan, but are in less populated and slower-growing parts of the district.

My kids are long beyond elementary and jr high. I have no skin in the game, but I am so disappointed in this poorly designed decision.


3 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 4, 2019 at 7:52 am

Politics is a registered user.

This is how LASD can abandon the agreement:

"The District’s successful acquisition of the Prospective Property and construction of the New School are not certain to occur. Moreover, the District retains the discretion to abandon the Proposed Long-Term Solution if, in the judgment of the District’s Board of Trustees (“Board”), such plans are not in the best interest of the District."

The "Proposed Long-Term Solution" is defined in a way that includes the "Interim Solution" as a component part, so in effect LASD can choose to abandon the whole thing.

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 4, 2019 at 8:02 am

Politics is a registered user.

Politically, the board is safe so long as they keep their patrons happy.


12 people like this
Posted by Egan Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 8:27 am

Historically, Covington families have been given the choice of attending Egan or Blach. Once the new jr. high is open at the Kohl's site, I imagine that most of the Covington families (except for those in The Crossings area) will choose Blach. Blach will become the dominant Jr. High in Los Altos with 600+ kids with the new Egan Jr. High likely having less than 350 kids.


Like this comment
Posted by Kehlar
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 8:45 am

@Poor decision-making. Agree on the nightmarish traffic situation surely to occur. But Blach is not an option because there is nowhere else to put the Blach students who live in the southern end of Los Altos. I hope you're not suggesting that kids living by Fremont and 85 commute to the new site at Kohl's.


172 people like this
Posted by Big Picture
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2019 at 9:39 am

Get over it people and stop whining! Forgot about past grievances. The Board made the best decision they could given the reality of today's situation. There was no perfect solution, this is the real world. My kids are out of college but I have the perspective of hindsight. Your kids will be fine whether they attend Egan on Portola or attend Egan at a state of the art new campus in North El Camino! They are resilient. Use this as an opportunity to teach your children about conflict resolution using compromise.


8 people like this
Posted by Egan Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 10:26 am

Hello Big Picture. Yes, the kids will be fine. This isn't really about that. This is about the nightmare which LASD is creating for the next generation of Egan parents getting their kids to and from school. This is about a history of terrible decisions from the LASD BoT which have brought us to this point. When you say that the board made the best decision they could, you are wrong. They did not make the best decision. They made the most politically expedient decision.


8 people like this
Posted by LosAltosMom
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 10:50 am

Egan Parent, what is the best decision, given that current charter laws give enormous favor to charter schools and almost zero power to districts? If you were an LASD board member, what would you propose? All options I can think of suck, because charter laws suck. But really, I look forward to hearing your solution.


13 people like this
Posted by Egan Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 11:04 am

Hello LosAltosMom,

Thank you for asking. Here is the solution which most BCS and Egan families prefer:

-Drop the pursuit of the 10th school site at Kohl's
-Use the $150M of measure N bond funds to BUILD ON EXISTING LAND at Egan, Blach and/or Covington

There was a group called Creative Facilities Solutions which had some great ideas.
For reasons which they will never explain to their constituents, the LASD board has refused to consider this option.


3 people like this
Posted by LosAtlosMom
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 11:22 am

Egan Parent, that sounds outstanding, and I'd fully support that. I like that BCS families you know also support it; however, from what I hear, BCS leadership does not as they want their own entire school site, which means to take over one of our existing campuses altogether. Their leadership, again, from what I hear, is not driven by parent wishes. So, I do wonder if that idea was proposed and shut down during mediation.


8 people like this
Posted by JW
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 12:28 pm

@ Los Altos Mom

Honest question here: why do we have to care what BCS “wants their own campus” but can’t care that we don’t want Egan at Kohl’s? I frankly don’t really care that they want their own campus. Egan and Blach don’t have their own campuses.

How is that at all fair? What is NCS giving up in this “solution”?


12 people like this
Posted by Egan Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 12:34 pm

LosAltosMom, I am hearing that the BCS leadership DOES support the idea of using the bond funds to build on existing land. It is the LASD BoT which doesn't like that idea. My guess is that it has something to do with the 2.9 acres they are trying to carve out at Egan for teacher housing. Who knows, though. LASD has not been transparent about the negotiations and I doubt we will get straight answers from them.


16 people like this
Posted by Mad LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 2:32 pm

I'm mad, but not at LASD. BCS chose to grow by increasing the number of classes per grade. Regardless of what they say, the purpose was to outgrow whichever site they were on. This has been the strategy of BCS for many years. LASD is restricted by state law and by the fact that they don't charter BCS - the county does. They are required to give BCS a certain amount of space per in district kid. However, they students don't all have to be on the same campus. LASD could have put the BCS elementary school on the new site and put BCS jr high on Egan. And I don't think 10 years is long enough to lock in this huge sacrifice the district is making.


4 people like this
Posted by Unreal
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 2:43 pm

Unreal is a registered user.

@Egan Parent - Isn't the purchase of the 10th site a done deal by LASD? Based on all of their closed meetings and discussions with the seller, looks like they have spent an undisclosed amount of money on that site. Now something has to go there. Does anyone know if the district could back out if they so choose?


16 people like this
Posted by 10th site purchase
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 2:50 pm

10th site purchase is a registered user.

BCS Board has been asking forever to use current land and not purchase additional land. The purchase of a 10th site is all LASD's idea. Code for "enrollment growth" was to really put BCS there and it has now backfired. Now they have to put something there. It feels like this is the only option for LASD to make up for their huge mistake of the land purchase. They didn't negotiate with BCS last year when the 10th site purchase became inevitable. They could have worked it out for BCS to go there but now it's too late. To give Egan back to Egan families, perhaps the best idea is to cancel the 10th site purchase and use the money to repair Egan's facilities. Then they are left with placing BCS at Covington in multiple story buildings and using some of the bond money for that instead.


5 people like this
Posted by Invest in the future
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2019 at 3:01 pm

Invest in the future is a registered user.

I know that this is also controversial, but move the senior center, and make that a school. That location should be acceptable to any of the LASD and BCS schools. The city should in investing the future, namely in the children.


4 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 4, 2019 at 3:30 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

Next week's school board meeting is going to be . . . VERY interesting.

Since the original charter was based on false pretenses (failing school? In Los Altos? Seriously?) there's always the possibility that Bullis Charter will LOSE its charter. Unlikely but in today's world . . . who knows.

Watch the school board meeting and better have some guards stationed to keep order.


1 person likes this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 4, 2019 at 3:31 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.


4 people like this
Posted by Los Altos Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 3:57 pm

Los Altos Parent is a registered user.

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Just some interesting reading material since someone said earlier that profiting doesn’t happen off of charter schools and the idea is “weird.”


8 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 4, 2019 at 4:02 pm

psr is a registered user.

This is outrageous.

This gives a junior high school and the advanced facilities to K-6 children at Bullis while the rest of the district children get nothing.

This board should be recalled. They just gave in and got nothing.

Disgusting.


14 people like this
Posted by Los Altos Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 4:34 pm

Los Altos Parent is a registered user.

It’s not the LASD board that needs recalling. It’s CA charter law that does since it puts districts in such an outrageous position to favor charters. Do some reading, people. LASD isn’t the only district dealing with animosity, and it can’t be because all publicly elected school district boards are mean and evil... There’s a common denominator here, and it isn’t one that is invested in all the community’s children...


308 people like this
Posted by Charter Savings
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 4:53 pm

What's happened is that LASD now depends on the charter school in order to operate. LASD spends about $15,000 for every enrolled student. For the charter school they contract that out for about $8,000 per student. With 1000 kids that means that every year LASD avoids $7 Million in costs by having the charter school take responsibility for 1/5 of all of the students in the district. LASD has gradually adapted to make use of the extra funding.


9 people like this
Posted by Egan Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 5:05 pm

That's rich, psr. I would think you would be the most happy about this. Now the shy kid at Covington won't be traumatized by having to attend another nearby high performing LASD school and have to make new friends. Isn't that what you wanted? Measure N, the $150M "Covington stays Covington" tax? They should rename it to Measure N, the $150M Egan families get screwed tax!


19 people like this
Posted by A Community Ripped Apart
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2019 at 5:16 pm

Compliments of the Bullis people. Thanks!!


11 people like this
Posted by Los Altos Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 5:17 pm

Los Altos Parent is a registered user.

Charter Savings, where and in what galaxy is this true? Interesting twist in math. Do you have the financial reports from the district to support this claim? Outrageous. Numerous reports are out there to support that charters drain public school district resources. I imagine you followed the issues related to the recent teacher strikes? To save you the time if you’re still confused, I’ll paste some info here:

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Stop trying to brainwash people. It has literally been national and state news and is a fact that charters drain district resources.


257 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 4, 2019 at 5:17 pm

Politics is a registered user.

The main message that anti-charter folks are currently promoting statewide is this idea that CA charter law grants great power to charters to the detriment of traditional school districts. Let's look into this.

The law grants only enough power to ensure that public charters have access to an equitable share of reasonably equivalent public school facilities, and to the state minimum share of public funding (excludes local levies amounting to $thousands per student per year, which the districts keep). In theory. No power is granted beyond this even in theory.

In practice the ideas of "equitable" and "reasonably equivalent" facilities are only partially enforceable, mainly because the districts retain ownership and control and have learned to leverage power out of them. The total effect is that the public charters are disadvantaged, not the districts.

The anti-charter arguments assume that public charters don't have a right to exist and to share in public resources. So districts are entitled to a monopoly on public education and are within their rights to keep charters out using any means available whether legal, political or bureaucratic.

Public charters and traditional districts are all public schools! In an ideal world everyone would share and cooperate for the purpose of providing excellent public education which is supposedly the point of all this.


14 people like this
Posted by Los Altos Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 5:33 pm

Los Altos Parent is a registered user.

Politics, I know, right? How can our public roads have such a monopoly? And our public parks, too! And my goodness, what is with the monopoly of our police department? And don’t even get me started on the monopoly of the US military. Please stop with the pro-privatization rhetoric. Our democracy depends on a strong public education system. Our tax dollars should go to that, just as it does to the other “monopolies” above, because a well-educated public benefits us all. If you don’t like your public school, go to private and pay your taxes. And if districts really had the power, do you really think LASD likes this decision of having to give away a school site to bullies and anger over half of its community’s families? Come on. Last point and I’m out of here... BCS is a privately run entity and there is no law that requires their transparency or accountability to their communities — yet. Until the law changes and they are controlled locally, not really public.


10 people like this
Posted by Poor Decision-Making
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 6:02 pm

@Kehlar In answer to your questions:

My first choice would have been to move Blach Jr High to the Covington campus (where it could helpfully absorb some of the growth from the northern part of the district if necessary), and then to move BCS to the current Blach campus (where BCS already has a presence). My second choice would be to simply move BCS to the Covington campus (leaving Blach as is).

What to do with the current Covington students? My first choice would be to move the entire Covington school community intact to the new NEC campus. Many Covington students already live in the NEC neighborhood anyway.(Others could potentially be bused for a while.) Over time as the NEC neighborhood grows, families entering the district who live closer to Springer, Almond, etc could be re-absorbed back into those schools, much like the boundaries were before Covington re-opened.

This would have kept all school communities intact in the short term, while at the same time creating long-term solutions that work district-wide.


25 people like this
Posted by Big Picture
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2019 at 8:04 pm

I am a former LASD parent (kids are grown) and I want to tell all you people who are upset about this: instead of fighting your School Board, spend your energy to get the California Legislature & Gov Newsom to change the charter laws. Charter Schools have run amok in California and the law is on their side. The LASD board had to deal with the realities of the situation and have tried to make the best deal they could. Kudos to our LASD Board for making the hard compromises. And shame on all you who are focusing your anger on them, instead of working for positive change of the charter laws in our state.

And I will point out that North of El Camino families have to cross the big street to get to school for 7 years of elementary. Let's give them a break by putting a middle school in their neighborhood so they can take time off from making that trek for a few years. And it's going to an awesome, beautiful state of the art campus. And LASD gets land for affordable teacher housing too!! Stop the NIMBY attitude and have a can-do attitude!!


11 people like this
Posted by JW
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 8:56 pm

@ Big Picture

1) I agree that the charter laws are important and Gov Newsom is doing some great things. Some of us keep up to date on both though.

Warning: not politically correct but solely factual: 2) this is gong to come off mean but here goes. The people who love on the other side of el Camino and have to cross it now are lying THOUSANDS mess and still attending SR/Almond/Egan. They made that choice. It’s a free choice. NOW, a new school at Kohl’s. This isn’t JUST crossing el Camino with a crossing guard. This is crossing El Camino, walking past numerous shopping center driveways with cars exiting, turning down showers, walking past not 1 but THREE bus stops, past Walmart and it’s loading dock, and all the homeless waking up, and eventually getting to school. This is WAAAAY different than “crossing El Camino in a safe sidewalk” (which I do allow my 7th graders to do but they don’t go to the Walmart loading dock or bus stops, no thank you.


262 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 4, 2019 at 9:09 pm

Politics is a registered user.

Public charter law was created in the first place to prevent incumbent special interests from snuffing out public charter schools through bureaucratic maneuvering and political power. Now the special interests are campaigning hard to knock down the law.

BCS is working to get access to equitable and equivalent facilities to operate a public school. Period.

I'm pro-public school and I'm utterly appalled at the gossip tactics and misinformation about BCS with the intent to harm them and their ability to educate children. That's why I'm here. Every "Los Altos Parent" political warrior creates more like me.


10 people like this
Posted by Outside eye
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2019 at 6:49 am

Why are charter schools so much better then the regular schools? Could it be because they are lean and effective at what they do. Where as the older public schools are fat, bloated and don't care about anything except for their big Union pay checks and big pensions. The bigger the paycheck, the more the Union thugs can take out.

There is a reason why Companies no longer have Unions, because they eventually force whatever company to go bankrupt. Ever wonder why every govt. agency is always asking for more and more money?


21 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 5, 2019 at 8:46 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

I think all residents of the City of Mountain View, especially those not part of the LASD, should applaud our Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga for her forceful advocacy for THE BENEFIT of MV families. That is what she brought to the table, by her innovative original advocacy of this public policy solution.

The rest of MV, will be suffering some for the reallocation of Development Rights from the San Antonio area to other MV neighborhoods. More destiny / more traffic / etc. But, it is to the great benefit of the families in the San Antonio (North of El Camino Area), who will get one neighborhood school, and will get community facilities as our City Council majority has insisted (park/fields/use of gym?). This is a higher density area, with many existing and new multi-story apartments, that need exactly these types of city services.

As a single family homeowner in the Cuesta Park neighborhood - I will probably not suffer increased density issues in my immediate area. But - at least in the San Antonio III development of a public school, and the retention of hundreds of NEW HOUSING units right across the street (California Ave. former Safeway) it seems to me to be a better URBAN solution (more housing, more local schools) than anything previously suggested out of Loss Altos.

FRESH OUT OF Mountain View- yeah Margaret.


6 people like this
Posted by Wondering
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm

Where will the funds to build teacher housing come from??


13 people like this
Posted by Sally Fauske
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Outside Eye, you are completely misinformed about public schools! I was a teacher and the union took very little from my paycheck. (I joined for the moral support.) Have you any idea about how many hours teachers put into their jobs, how stressful the job is and how low their salaries are? I'd like to know who is making these big paychecks you mentioned. After so many programs like the arts and daily P.E. have been cut would you also tell me what you mean by fat and bloated?

Charter schools are quasi-private schools. Parents are pressured to donate several thousand dollars to them which is less than a private school would charge, but more than some people can afford what with their housing costs. Some charter schools have agendas that the public may not agree with. (Betsy DeVos wants government-funded fundamentalist Christian charter schools.) I do not know what Bullis' agenda is, but I sure don't want my tax dollars going to exclusive schools.

I went to Egan School in the mid-1960's (when Los Altos was more economically diverse and Silicon Valley was called Santa Clara Valley). It was a great school and I was lucky to be able to walk or ride my bicycle to the school. I can't imagine young kids having to cross the busy intersection at El Camino and San Antonio road! What are they thinking?

How did BCS end up camping out Egan's athletic field? And now they want the entire campus? This sounds like bullying to me.

Do the Los Altos residents know that, back in the late 70's, the Los Altos School District made the poor decision to sell the large Portola Elementary School campus (located at E. Portola Ave. and Jordan) to a housing developer? Can we trust those folks to make the right decision for the community?


7 people like this
Posted by A Better Idea
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2019 at 8:27 am

-LASD builds a new K-8 school at the Kohl's site and invites a competing charter school organization (not BCS) to run the school with an enrollment preference for the NEC area. LASD holds the charter.
-Move BCS to Egan
-Move Egan to Almond
-Distribute the Almond kids to Santa Rita, Covington, Springer
-Move 6th grade to middle schools


3 people like this
Posted by Rethink what you have now.
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 6, 2019 at 10:14 am

Sounds like no one wants their kids to go to a school across from the Walmart parking lot.

If BCS takes Egan, (some will start attending BCS/Egan) move the remaining Egan to Springer. Use the ex-BCS classroom space at Blach to add sixth grade as well as add sixth to Covington. Consolidate and redistribute K-5 students to the current LASD schools and use the money from the Kohl's location to upgrade Black and Covington to real middle schools. Most kids attending these schools now will have graduated before the new change is made, so they and their parents won't miss it.


17 people like this
Posted by Friendly Neighborhood SpiderMan
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 6, 2019 at 8:49 pm

A few things that people seem to forget...

Bullis Charter School(BCS) as of the 2017-2018 school year enrolled over 98% in district students...That means it is a larger "Neighborhood school" than most of you are willing to acknowledge.

BCS currently has over 1000 students on its waiting list. The agreement caps BCS enrollment to 1111 making it so thousands of students do not have the opportunity to attend this choice school.

BCS is a tuition free school of CHOICE.. What you need to be asking yourselves is why does your community continue to send their children to BCS if it is the devil you say? Maybe the program is amazing? Do they provide programs that other schools in the area do not? Hmmmm?

Poster "Charter Savings" hit the nail on the head earlier.. Districts often LOVE charter schools especially Basic Aid districts. These families are not stealing anything from the district as the parcel tax ( which is also their money ) mostly goes towards other schools students.

There are a lot of great ideas in this thread and you should all share them at the upcoming board meetings this week. Don't let the miss information being spread by angry "Los Altos Parent" scare you. I feel these are the same feelings that end up making "educated adults" not vaccinate their children. That is a scary thought.


14 people like this
Posted by Bullis Admissions Scandal
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2019 at 7:42 am

To the poster above, you're confused about the definition of "Neighborhood School" that the rest of us understand.

If Bullis card about offering everyone a chance to get in they would hold a simple blind lottery. Anyone in the district applies for a number which is kept anonymous. No questionnaires would be used to weed out the undesirables and no buying your way in, ala USC. The drawing would be simply pulling numbers with no reference at all. They won't do this and we all know why. It's more about who you keep out than who you let in.

It's most important to keep certain students out because they can bring down test scores.


10 people like this
Posted by @Bullis Admissions Scandal
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2019 at 8:38 am

Do you have proof that Bullis has violated the lottery rules stated in their petition? That is a serious claim that if true would result in the charter being closed, so I find it unlikely, and needs proof. And while it is true that Bullis strongly encourages donations, every allegation that they require [or shame to elicit] donations has been proven false, if you have evidence otherwise, present it.

Shouldn't every public school in the economically diverse Silicon Valley encourage their parents to donate to the school community if they can? The fact is Bulis admissions next year will be getting more inclusive, as 19-20 will be the first year that the Bullis-Purissima priority if finally fully removed.

Odd that we vilify Los Altos residents who seek a choice program where admissions is done by lottery (blind of economic standing), and we claim them to seeking something unfair. Yet traditional school boundaries are solely defined and exclude by property values. Charter or traditional, they all serve the community's children.


17 people like this
Posted by Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 7, 2019 at 8:43 am

You pretend that there is an admission scandal to make up for the fact that their educational model is superior and more successful than the other schools in the area. There is no admission scandal, just upset parents who cannot get their students into the school because of the incredibly large waiting list. If you are upset about the student preference ( which is the same as any district school ) IE: once you get in one child through the lottery, it is simple to get your other children in, argue with the LASD board who helped set the preference for the school. This is usually done to help the families not be split...

Charter schools are held to such a high standard, especially BCS. If there was an admission scandal you better believe the LASD, SCCOE, or another group would have found out about it by now and closed the school.

The school DOES hold a simple blind lottery, some of you find reasons to attach why you didn't get in. A little self reflection of yourself would go a long way for your community. Bullis is playing chess and you are all playing checkers with rocks you found in the backyard. Again, there is a reason why EVERYONE chooses BCS.

The real scandal are the amount of Mountain View parents who lie about their address to get their students into LASD schools. See how easy that is? Throwing out an unsubstantiated claim...

Try adulting every once in a while. It will help the community.


12 people like this
Posted by Lottery
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 7, 2019 at 9:25 am

When was the last time the Bullis lottery was audited? Where's the report for its results?


3 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 7, 2019 at 10:39 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Friendly Spiderman - wooh there! Most of what you have posted about choice and funding and a 'nice education model' are right. BUT there is really NO STATISTICAL DATA (that I know of) when you use a comparative parent socio-economic status ranking system, that shows BCS or LASD is anything other than:

Standardized Academic Testing, they do 10/10 or 9/10 of comparable economic wealth community schools (Los Altos is 100/100 in the wealthiest rankings).

You so smart? Nay, you just so privileged BCS and LASD! God bless you Loss Altos. Sometimes.


13 people like this
Posted by ResidentSince1892
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 7, 2019 at 3:19 pm

ResidentSince1892 is a registered user.

Somebody, please show me even one single charter that has (and fulfills) a mission of supporting struggling students by prioritizing enrollment for the students lagging the median academic performance standards.

BMV talked a good line but clearly was never dedicated to the mission of serving struggling students. BCS' mission has always been remedying injustice by heaping ever more privilege on the aching backs of snowflakes already overburdened by privilege and entitlement.


9 people like this
Posted by Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 7, 2019 at 5:34 pm

@ResidentSince1892 First, you are super old. Congratulations...

BMV would have done an amazing job supporting struggling students. They have already been supporting the students for over six years with a tuition free camp for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch from the Mountain View area.

Unfortunately, the district tried to force its archaic and failing testing systems/curriculum on them. They took away the freedom that allows charter schools to meet the needs of their students. BMV is the only hope for students in that community. If you were at the district meetings between the two schools you would know Dr. Rudolph has 0 integrity. I have never seen a district superintendent lie through their teeth so fiercely before. He sure is good at underdelivering promises...

I highly recommend you look up Geoffrey Canada and the work he has done in Harlem with HCZ. His program is probably one of the most recognized success stories around the world and shows the flexibility and strength of those giving back to their community. Other than that, you can look at many charter schools in our own state in lower income areas. Many start because traditional district schools are hellbent on increasing their math and english scores (Thanks NCLB) and got rid of the soul which made schools great.

Here is a link to more information and studies that you are looking for:

Web Link

Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Armchair Counselor
a resident of another community
on Apr 7, 2019 at 9:04 pm

For all those helicopter mums freaking out about this, here is something to remember.

The five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the school we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.


41 people like this
Posted by Wow, Touch-eee
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2019 at 6:28 am

Look at how prickly the Bullis apologists get once people start aggressively inquiring about independent audits and 100% transparent and 10% ANONYMOUS admissions.

They need to keep the low performers out and let the "Right" people in, and they will fight tooth and nail to keep this information hidden.


27 people like this
Posted by Elizabeth J
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2019 at 8:13 am

Elizabeth J is a registered user.

Look at how entitled people are in this community! We all live in a bubble. Go to East San Jose. LA. Pakistan. Seriously, people. Get a grip on yourselves. Shameful behavior.


13 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 8, 2019 at 9:05 am

Politics is a registered user.

The gossip-mongers don't care about truth. Their objective is to paint an ugly emotional picture with whatever claims inflame people successfully. They use their rhetoric to create "facts" to their liking by playing a number of games.

Burden of proof game: their claims are presumed to be true unless the target can produce irrefutable proof otherwise. So they claim BCS has corrupt and biased admissions unless BCS can prove otherwise. Any evidence provided (e.g. public lottery) is refuted. Of course the claim is cheap and irrefutable proof is not so cheap. That's why we have this rather important idea of innocent until proven guilty.

Definition game: "public school" is a common object of this game. Charter opponents use a complex and restrictive definition that just so happens to coincide with the traditional model of public schools, or to charters operated directly by the traditional system. Anything else is not "really" a public school (see: "No true Scotsman" argument).

Innuendo game: create the impression of "fact" through emotionally-loaded claims of association ("billionaires" etc.). As an unrelated example of how this works, Putin allies have been known to insinuate that a person is gay to damage them politically. Yes, that's evil.

I look for games like these being played so I can avoid being manipulated.


26 people like this
Posted by LOL Spiderman
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 8, 2019 at 9:38 am

Equating Jennifer Anderson-Rosse and BMV/BCS with Geoffrey Canada and the work of Harlem Children's Zone just made me choke on my oatmeal. Honestly, you are spitting in the eye of people who have actually seen low-income children and worked on their behalf with that nonsense. Bullis has NO experience with children who have grown up in poverty. There is NO evidence that they actually want to fill their school with them (they'd rather pull out of MV than do that in fact!) They are good at educating the kids who already have the most advantages and their hubris is such that they think this makes them good at something else.


10 people like this
Posted by ResidentSince1892
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 8, 2019 at 11:31 am

ResidentSince1892 is a registered user.

I'm going to start a new charter school.

we'll serve every family, all children are welcome, and there's no tuition.

our program will put strong emphasis on computer programming starting in kinder, so every child should have their own laptop. we'll teach half the day in Mandarin immersion, so supplemental language support at home is highly recommended. we take three annual field trips, flying to distant lands for cultural exchange and enrichment, and parents are welcome to join and encouraged to chaperone.

of course, our amazing program will rely on annual family contributions of many thousands of dollars for its very survival.

OK, who wants to throw their name into the admissions lottery? Remember, it's open to everyone!

WHAT?! low-income first-generation students aren't interested?

That's so weird.

I guess we'll focus instead on serving all these well-heeled children of wealthy, highly educated parents

oh, what a community we will build


14 people like this
Posted by BCS is Not For The Rich
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2019 at 1:42 pm

The programs that differentiate BCS from other schools do not require extra spending from the students:

- BCS has free after-school enrichment classes. They *refuse* to invite off-site paid vendors, as most of the other schools do, so that *every student* could afford those enrichment classes!
- They have an amazing theater program open to everyone. All the sets and costumes are built by parent volunteers.
- They have a very strong art program, that does not ask for any supplies.
- They have a great choir program.
- They do have foreign language classes, but most parents do not supplement those with extra lessons. To the contrary, I suspect those who do supplement, would not benefit from these classes much as they are for beginners.
- They focus is on Project Based Learning curriculum other than teaching to the test, which does require a lot more work from the teachers but does fit kids from every income level.
- They refuse to hire lunch duty help and rely on volunteers as well to save money for these programs.
- Parents in the BCS community openly say that it is not important how much families can donate. You donate only if you can. (BCS does need donations because they receive much less money per student than LASD schools.)

There is a lot of guessing going on here. I wish people would try to understand why families choose BCS rather than assume they know the answers and post them here as if their assumptions were the truth.


13 people like this
Posted by Joan B. Karlin, Ph.D.
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2019 at 1:46 pm

Dear LASD Trustees,

I have lived in Los Altos for 33 years. This is my “OUT OF THE BOX” suggestion for not turning over Egan School to Bullis Charter.

MOVE THE LOS ALTOS SENIOR CENTER TO THE CA AVENUE SITE IN MOUNTAIN VIEW. RENOVATE THE HILLVIEW SCHOOL SITE FOR BULLIS CHARTER.

ADVANTAGES:
1. Residents of North Los Altos will still have a local Middle School.
2. Keeping Egan in North Los Altos will insure that students who ride bikes
or walk to Egan will be able to do so. They also will be able to be independent for sports activities and other after school activities.
3. If Egan will be located @ CA Avenue Site in Mountain View, property
values in North Los Altos will decline.

CONSIDERATION OF RESIDENTS USING THE SENIOR CENTER & BULLIS CHARTER SCHOOL.
1. Currently most of the seniors who attend classes @ Hillview drive to this location. It will not be a huge inconvenience to the Seniors if they drive to CA Avenue in Mountain View.
2. Senior Programs do not use the huge fields that are adjacent to the Hillview site.
3. Students attending Bullis Charter come from all over Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. I believe that most of these students are driven to school. Therefore, whether these students are driven to Hillview or to Egan will not make a big difference in the enrollment of Bullis Charter.

LOW COST HOUSING FOR TEACHERS:
With all the new apartments being built in Los Altos and Mountain View, it seems feasible that teachers can live in these apartments and their rent subsidized by the LASD. The teachers do not need to live in homes adjacent to a school site.

Thank you for considering this OUT OF THE BOX suggestion which keeps all the schools in Los Altos.

Sincerely yours,

Joan B. Karlin, Ph.D.


24 people like this
Posted by The Real Story
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2019 at 1:54 pm

The new location is a 12 acre area coming from Federal Realty. It is essentially, the California Avenue side piece of land formed by splitting their property by the Hetch Hetchy easement between Showers and Pacchetti. Taken together with the Hetch Hetchy land, it will be a 13.5 acre piece of low density development amidst a lot of new residential development occurring in the area. Greystar, Prometheus and others are building 2000 new apartments over the next 5 years, and then beyond that directly adjacent on the rest of the Federal Realty property there are plans for another 2000 new apartments as well.

The new residential construction in that area has nothing to do with any charter school. The LASD demographer has documented the beginning of a massive shift in the location of the LASD student population. Planning ahead 5 years is a smart and responsible thing to do.

By the time this move happens in 2025, Egan Junior High School will most likely have a majority of its students come from this area. Student density in Los Altos has actually decreased and we know the number of kids aged 1 to 12 years at the present. Their numbers are 25% lower aged 1 to 10 than the past population feeding Egan. The only reason Egan won't shrink more in size is the new population around the new school location.

Some can argue that the elementary schools will see this change too, but it's a little uneven. As currently assigned, The Crossings and Old Mill Condos are the group that attend Covington, and there are no new buildings in that area. So Covington will in fact decline in population. But Santa Rita and Almond will both see a similar change to where a majority of both of their populations will come from the area around the new Junior High. LASD believes in small schools. The only way to keep a small elementary school to serve this area is to continue the
current trick of sharing 3 elementary schools with Los Altos. A new elementary school in the area would need to serve 700+ students, which LASD has constantly said is too large. No one should be surprised about this. Also, without those 700
students, the LASD schools Covington, Santa Rita, and Almond would all get to be very small. Cost pressures would argue for consolidating them into fewer schools, i.e. truly close one of them.

So the real story is that the future location of Egan is being targeted at the majority of its students, with a brand new $88 Million school being built on the land arranged by the Mountain View TDR's. It only makes sense.


17 people like this
Posted by BCS parent of 2
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 9, 2019 at 4:52 pm

Having had two kids go through BCS (both started in LASD schools) I will reiterate what I've said before... the focus on math and science was just better than we experienced in out local neighborhood achool. It wasn't even close.

I will also add that although BCS does ask for additional donations from families each year we donated varying amounts based on the value of the education we thought was being delivered. There was never an issue with donating less than what was suggested.

After spending several years living through the land issue, I will tell you that the previous LASD board certainly did nothing to help solve the problem, and in many ways created the need for the current outcome through their innaction.


73 people like this
Posted by Ripping communities apart
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Bullis is a four letter word with 6 letters. Until an independent 3rd party auditor evaluates their admissions it will be assumed, rightly IMO, that the admissions are not entirely fair to all and that some are excluded because of monetary or possible performance issues.

THAT is the ONLY issue I have with Bullis, but it's a huge one.
The truth lies in the secretive enrollment and secretive board meetings, behind closed doors and well away from prying eyes.


9 people like this
Posted by Messaging
a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2019 at 2:49 pm

The problem with the proposal is one of messaging. The trustees have a problem with the new development within LASD boundaries in Mountain View. This is the solution to that. Don't just focus on where to put BCS. There needs to be a future plan for the growth that is occurring in the greater San Antonio right now and will intensify over the next 5 years. It's not a shopping center any more. Thousands of new residential apartments are being built. Many many businesses are being torn down to make room. In other cases office buildings of 6 stories have been put up replacing former parking lots. The new housing units are definitely coming and fairly soon. The effects will be more obvious before 5 years from now.

LASD trustees went to the Mountain View City Council and demanded that they provide a new school location to serve this impending growth. That was 5 years ago. Now Mountain View has arranged for $100 Million of free land for LASD. LASD has repeatedly said they cannot use the location for an elementary school for sundry reasons. Chief among them is basically that there are TOO many elementary kids to fit into any single school. However, for a Jr High, the land works. Over 50% of the students at Egan are going to be from that very area.

Bullis has little to do with it.


1 person likes this
Posted by alexprime
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 10, 2019 at 4:37 pm

alexprime is a registered user.

@Dr. Joan,
Most of your comments seem right-on.

However as far as I've been able to tell, MV has not built enough below market or affordable rental units to make up for what's being razed to build ridiculously expensive condos. At the point wether its owner retirement or developers getting rich off of rent stabilization laws, it doesn't really matter when you need an apartment. $1.5-2M is not a reasonable starter home for anyone who's working here on a teachers salary.

I'd love to be proven wrong but I'm not expecting it.


12 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 10, 2019 at 7:36 pm

Politics is a registered user.

Here's how BCS's admissions work (spoiler - they do an open and public blind lottery):
Web Link

Both LASD and BCS boards have public meetings and they both have closed sessions as described on their agendas. Is it a good use of their time to discuss nefarious conspiracies, consort with hellspawn and cherrypick admissions? Well unless they're recorded and audited that must be what they're up to! (end sarcasm)

Bullis has long been the target of an organized smear campaign. The smears fall apart with basic fact-checking, but when repeated often enough they can start looking like conventional wisdom.


3 people like this
Posted by Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 11, 2019 at 12:13 pm

Web Link

@Ripping communities apart apply and show up to the next enrollment. It is public and outlined in the link above. You would be lucky to join a real supportive community.


82 people like this
Posted by When was the last independent audit
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2019 at 1:40 pm

Regarding the lottery, we KNOW what Bullis SAYS what they do. LOL.
Read the comments and tell me this Bullis issue isn't dividing the community. Yah, do that. We LOVE our neighborhood school and the unique benefits they bring, but Bullis just plows through it all saying "Tough luck" to the neighborhood school community. Their answer? Join Bullis if you don;t like it.
They are the repulsive pariahs of an otherwise wonderful community.


2 people like this
Posted by Not about Bullis Really
a resident of another community
on Apr 11, 2019 at 6:29 pm

The new school is intended to serve the entire Egan population, including most importantly the 50% living right around the new school in Mountain View. It's not for Bullis. It's a brand new school with state of the art design. These same idiots would be lamenting that Bullis doesn't deserve it if they were placed there.
However, even though Egan is headed toward 700 kids (580 now) in 5-10 years,
it still is smaller than the 1111 cap agreed on for Bullis.

But if the deal falls through, Bullis has no cap. Bullis will continue to accept more students. There's still a lot of interest in Bullis despite all the negative statements here. It's an asset to the community. What is meant by an audit. Audit LASD's finances and you see that they spend $8000 for each Bullis student but $15,000 for each of their students remaining in traditional schools. You want Bullis to spend more of LASD's money? What's the idea with the audit. What's it supposed to show. All the public money flows through LASD and it's remarkably less than LASD spends on itself, per student.


4 people like this
Posted by LASD Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 10:31 pm

We might all start by understanding the sizes of campuses available

Schools listed with size of Campus and enrollment fall 2018
Elementary K-6 Acres Students Junior High 7-8 Acres Students
Almond - 9.97 488 Blach - 17.95 499
Covington d 15.43 585 Egan - 18.83 586
Gardner Bullis 10 302
Loyola - 10 404
Oak - 10 387
Santa Rita - 10.29 524
Springer – 10.29 468
Bullis Charter 2018: 915 students, 723 grades K-6 , 183 Junior High grades 7-8.

Note elementary schools 10 acres. Old Covington Junior High Campus 16 acres, Blach 17, Egan 18 acres.

A Junior High school would best be on 15-18 acres campus.

Bullis needs a campus: this could be Egan, Blach or Covington.

Mountain View north of El Camino needs an elementary school so that 5-11 year olds going to k-6 can go to school close to where they live.

If Charter demands Egan not Covington ( which is 16 acres also and more central) then LASD should give use of Egan to Bullis Charter and reopen Covington Junior High School ( the original use of the Covington Campus from 1950 until it was closed before its reopening as an elementary school 15 years ago). Many students at Covington come from the Crossings in Mountain View and could go to the new elementtary school. Those at Covington who live near to Covington and value their school friends could reverse the commute that student have made from the Crossings to Covington for years to complete elementary school with their friends at the new Elementary School, or they could go to nearby Loyola, Springer or Almond Elementary in Los Altos.

In the end there is an elementary school where it is needed. Bullis Charter gets a campus, the two LASD Junior Highs have equivalent Campuses, and the students who now attend Covington can finish elementary school with their friends at a new school if they wish.


5 people like this
Posted by LASD Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:18 pm

If another campus is needed to be built to for students for the Los Altos School District then the appropriate location for this district elementary school would be in the neighborhood where the most students who are not currently served by a neighborhood elementary school reside—the area North of El Camino – where over 550 student now reside and cross State Route 82 El Camino Real each day to attend school. The presence of many board members residences near to Covington Elementary School does not give children who live near to Covington Elementary School more rights to a neighborhood school then the less well represented children living near the proposed Junior High School tenth campus in Mountain View.

Elementary schools should be neighborhood based ( meaning within a few miles of students and not across a state highway) if possible. But Junior Highs being only two in the district by nature will be spread out, but require larger plots of land for sports and other activities.

The sizes of the current school campuses is based on the original purpose of the site when the district purchased the land, Covington was initially a Junior High School when it opened around 1950 and is thus larger than the other elementary school campuses. The Covington Junior High Campus was unused for years until it was renovated and reopened as Covington Elementary in 2003 at which time it took students from surrounding schools. One school then deemed too small at that time was Bullis Purissima Elementary School which was then closed in 2004. Thus leading to Bullis Charter.

Based on best use of current resources and planning for the future the best use of the campuses currently owned by the Los Altos School District once a new elementary school is built in Mountain Vie, would be to give use of the 15.43 acre Covington Campus which is currently configured for K-6 to Bullis Charter for its K-8. This Covington Campus is a the same size as the 16 acre site at Egan Junior High school proposed to be given over to use of the Charter School, but would require less remodeling to meet the needs of a K-8 School. The Covington Campus is in the middle of the school district not on one side like the Egan Junior High Campus so it would be more appropriate for an all district magnet school. And in the future if state law should change related to charter schools then the campus given over to Bullis could be repurposed for a LASD run magnet.

It would be most reasonable to keep the current two Junior High Schools in similar campuses with similar facilities spread out across the district as to provides the most equitable school experience for the 1100 7th and 8th grade students who attend Junior High School in the Los Altos School District The best location for a single campus charter school in the district would be at the old Covington Junior High School site, but if the charter school does not accept this campus and prefers the Egan site, than the Covington school could be converted back to a Junior High while the new elementary campus would built in Mountain View. The past should not determine the future, but the half century of Covington Junior Highs existence is certainly longer than the brief tenure of the campus as an elementary school and reflects geography and the proximity to other elementary schools of the Covington Campus.

With this plan those students at Covington coming from the Crossings in Mountain View could then attend school close to their homes. Those living near Covington who did not want to attend nearby ( dare one say neighborhood) Almond, Springer or Loyola Elementary could continue with their friends at the new Elementary School in Mountain View ( called Covington – San Antonio for example )by reversing the commute that the Crossing Students have made for years and then return to Covington for junior high school at the newly reopened Egan- Covington Junior High School. Review of school locations and of the current enrollments boundaries show that a significant number of these Covington students are as close to Springer, Loyola or Almond Elementary Schools as many other elementary school students in the district are to their own schools. For those inclined to check distances, it is a 0.8 mile walk from the Covington Campus to Springer Elementary School. It is 1.3 miles from Covington to Loyola Elementary School. And it is 1.4 miles from Covington to Almond Elementary School.

Placing Bullis Charter or the reopened Covington Junior High on the old Covington Junior High Campus would require changing current elementary school attendance boundaries perhaps back to where they were in 2002. But this better use of campus space supports the goal of neighborhood schools for the whole district (not just those who live near the new Covington Elementary School). Schools should be located as close as possible to students who wish to attend neighborhood schools and placement of schools should be so as to limit students’ long commutes to schools or the crossing of high speed arterial roads when possible.

As noted above if Covington elementary were closed and a new elementary school built north of El Camino, hundreds of students who currently are driven 3.1 miles to Covington from North of El Camino would be redirected to a new neighborhood school closer to their homes. While those students who live around Covington would be redirected either to continue at the new elementary school or to one of the other nearby district elementary schools .

Thus the most rational use of current and proposed future Los Altos School District campuses would be to put the Bullis Charter School on the central Covington Campus which is currently a K-6 and would become a K-8, keep the current Junior High Schools where they are and build a new elementary school on the proposed 10 acre site in the neighborhood North of El Camino Real where there are students who are not currently served by a neighborhood school. The least wasted dollars would be spend on remodeling with this plan leaving more for actual education.

The critical need here is to build an elementary school where many students live North of El Camino and where more students will be living in the future, the secondary need is to give a campus to the students who attend Bullis Charter, thirdly the Los Altos School District needs two similar Junior High Schools on adequate sized Campuses, and fourth there should be a long term plan for neighborhood elementary schools within a few miles of each student’s home for those students who don’t want to travel to a magnet school.

Exactly why the School Board is taking an approach that does not build an elementary school north of El Camino is unclear. This focus on keeping an elementary school at one of the districts three larger campuses which is close to three other elementary schools while ignoring the needs of other less affluent students in the Mountain View portion of the district simply recreates and amplifies the errors made by the Los Altos School District in 2003. Bullis Charter School needs a campus and the Los Altos School District has to make rational choices in providing this campus while also meeting the needs of growing neighborhoods.


6 people like this
Posted by J
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2019 at 9:46 am

@ LASD resident

Would you be willing to share this at the Board meeting tonight? It’s very well-written and not full of emotion as many other statements are. You make some very well thought out points that the board needs to hear and I think MANY residents agree with. There are also many tax payers without children in the district that would agree with your statements.

I hope you can attend the board meeting and share what you have written here, even if you just read it.


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