Without any changes, Superintendent Tim Justus said, the district would surely exceed the target range of 580 students per school in just a few years.
But the northern area of the district — including the Monroe and Crossings neighborhoods in Mountain View, where children attend Santa Rita — is growing the most rapidly, while a majority of the district's nine elementary and middle schools are located in the southern portion.
Additionally, Justus said, the re-opening of Bullis in Los Altos Hills means that there are no additional resources to expand the other schools.
The result of the redistricting could mean some Los Altos and Mountain View families could be faced with sending their children to schools across town, which has parents upset, especially in light of the re-opening of Bullis as a neighborhood school in the Los Altos Hills, they said Monday.
"All Los Altos School District children deserve a neighborhood school," parent Nancy Morimoto said. "If you lived where we live, how would you feel about taking your kids to the fourth-closest school?"
Mountain View resident Beth Dinorio, whose children attend Santa Rita, said parents living north of El Camino feel picked on.
"We definitely prefer to stay at our neighborhood schools," she said. "We feel like we're being divided because we're not really part of the city."
During the meeting, a committee formed to evaluate the redistricting proposal presented four scenarios of adjusted boundary lines. Only one scenario kept the neighborhoods north of El Camino in their present formations, making adjustments to areas south of El Camino near the Covington and Springer neighborhoods. However, the committee did not favor that scenario, even though it would keep the boundaries contiguous.
"You would run the risk of filling up Santa Rita again," committee chair Stephanie Friend said. Friend said the committee preferred scenarios where "contiguous boundaries are abandoned to achieve stability."
The other three scenarios split students living north of El Camino between Bullis and Covington elementary schools. Parents sending their children to Bullis would be forced to cross the Foothill Expressway, creating a significant commute, Friend said, but those scenarios presented more permanent solutions for the district.
Board members said they needed more time to examine the issue and promised two more meetings on the topic to be held in May, with a final vote scheduled for a meeting in June.
Board president Bill Cooper said he was frustrated to have to confront a redistricting issue so soon after the Los Altos Hills redistricting, which resulted in the reopening of Bullis.
"Someone will be disappointed from this," Cooper said, adding that during his time on the school board, "It's the most frustrating issue I've ever faced."
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