It's up to Mountain View Whisman officials to provide a site to house the new charter school.
The school district is required to move quickly on the petition, with state law mandating that the school board hold a public hearing on the application within 30 days of receiving the petition. After that, the board has 30 days to decide whether to approve the charter application.
Bullis administrator Jennifer Anderson-Rosse, who is spearheading the effort to expand the charter school's presence into Mountain View, said the school will largely mimic the successful education model of Bullis Charter School in Los Altos, with a big emphasis on project-based learning and individualized instruction. Unlike the existing charter school, the proposed school would offer full-day kindergarten and transitional kindergarten, which Anderson-Rosse said is an intentional change to serve the lower-income communities in Mountain View.
"It's taking the essence of what Bullis offers and then having some thoughtful tweaks about how to serve the Mountain View community," she said.
Mountain View Whisman Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph confirmed that the district received the 600-plus page application, spelling out the academic program, financial model and other major components of the future charter school. It also lays out a clear schedule for how the school would grow from 168 to 320 students over the course of four years. Rudolph said the board is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 1 to officially "receive" the petition, which starts the 30-day clock for a public hearing.
Granting or denying the charter petition needs to happen within 60 days after the board's receipt of the petition, which would land squarely during the holiday break and could cause challenges, Rudolph said.
The petition was submitted by current Bullis staff and families under a new nonprofit entity called Bullis Public Charter School II, and will have its own governance and oversight from founding board members Bertha Alarcon, Greg Brauner, David Jaques, Clara Roa and Patrick Walsh. Two of those board members — Roa and Jaques — serve on the Los Altos Bullis Charter School board of directors. It also names Anderson-Rosse and Bullis parent Grace Yang as co-founders of the future school.
Enrollment selection for the school will go through a lottery system, with a weighted preference for children who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals residing in the school district. Lotteries will be held for each enrollment preference "category" until all available spaces are filled, according to the petition.
How Bullis school officials will keep the new charter school financially afloat was spelled out in multiple appendices of the petition that were not immediately available to the Voice as of Wednesday morning.
The existing Bullis Charter School in Los Altos has a very different composition of students than the one envisioned in the petition, serving few low-income students, English learners and students with disabilities — even when compared to the demographics of the affluent Los Altos School District, according to state data. But charter school officials argue in the petition that Bullis' education model is focused on "high student engagement" that is universal, particularly for a diverse group of students.
"Using the BCS model, we believe we can bring differentiated value to the diverse student populations at MVWSD, including low income students," the petition states.
Anderson-Rosse said she has requested a meeting with Mountain View Whisman officials to talk about the charter petition, and that she hopes to have an open dialogue with the district through the process.
"Our aim is really to be collaborative, so I have reached out to (Rudolph) with hopes to discuss further, and we welcome any conversation around this."
At a school board meeting last month, a legal consultant told Mountain View Whisman trustees that they would only have grounds to deny the charter petition if it fails to meet statutory requirements by the state or insufficiently spells either the academic program or a sound financial model for the school. If the board chooses to deny the petition, Bullis Mountain View could instead seek approval from the Santa Clara County Board of Education.
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