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Task force dumps new school plan

Original post made on May 15, 2015

Plans for a new school in the Whisman and Slater neighborhood area of the city may be on the ropes after members of Mountain View Whisman School District's Boundary Advisory Task Force agreed last night that a new school would siphon too many students from existing schools and threaten a school closure in the future.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 15, 2015, 10:21 AM

Comments (147)

7 people like this
Posted by newkid
a resident of North Whisman
on May 15, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Does anyone know when these new boundaries will take into effect?


16 people like this
Posted by NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 15, 2015 at 3:48 pm

I WANT UNICORNS!


26 people like this
Posted by Solange
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 15, 2015 at 5:09 pm

I applaud the well-reasoned conclusions the group came to. This is a reasonable solution and the best plan given the circumstances.


52 people like this
Posted by Kindergarden parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 15, 2015 at 5:31 pm

They have been discussing about school boundary for few years. But now they have taken decision in hurry by setting up task force in Feb and after 6 meeting they come up with redrawing boundary like little kids.

I attended those meeting. People in those meeting came from another world and no idea what is going in mountain view or silicon valley.

its bad decision


5 people like this
Posted by Desi
a resident of North Whisman
on May 16, 2015 at 1:44 am

On one hand the Task Force is making a enrollment assumption on the other hand based on enrollment forecast it is predicted enrollment will decline.

Is there a actual head count to redraw the boundary?Justification must be based on data.


31 people like this
Posted by Ravi
a resident of Slater
on May 16, 2015 at 7:38 am

First Kudos to MV-Voice for a fantastic writeup on the work and result of the task force.
Based on this report alone, I am going to withdraw my signature from the petition to reopen Slater.

The task force has used data and come to a conclusion that to me seems reasonable and valid - esp when forecast data indicates the enrollment will decline.

Yes - this means that when my little one has to go to school, she will go to Landels. That is a minor inconvenience compared to the benefit it provides to the kids going to Castro and Monta Loma.

As citizens and participants in a community, we are frequently called upon to give up something we cherish for the greater good. I believe this is one such occasion.


44 people like this
Posted by Whisman Parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 16, 2015 at 8:06 am

I just don't understand how enrollment numbers can be declining in the next 5 years when: there are new housing developments going up around the area (including a new one in Whisman Station at the antenna farm), Google's new campus going in, and the general trend of young tech workers having their children later in life (so, many of the younger childless folks in the area now will likely be having kids over the next 5 years).

Also - is the data showing that "enrollment" will decline or that the school age population will decline? There's a big difference and if it's enrollment, I'd like to understand the board's assumptions on who will enroll in public and who will not.


36 people like this
Posted by A Googler
a resident of North Whisman
on May 16, 2015 at 8:47 am

This is a bad proposal. The school age population will grow rapidly in the following years given the number of hirings in Silicon Valley Companies. If we do this now, there will be big chance we will reconsider opening a new school in the next 2-3 years, and revise school boundary again. Therefore, the right decision is to either

- Open a new school so that it better accommodates the rapidly growing new enrollments, or

- Keep the boundary as is to minimize the impact to any neighborhood, and revisit in 2-3 years so that we are more clear what we should do by then.


25 people like this
Posted by Bravo
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 16, 2015 at 8:58 am

Well-done task force, for responsibly acknowledging a solution that does not put existing programs at risk, but at the same time acknowledges the real budget challenges faced by the district. We simply cannot at this time afford to build another school.

Now I hope the board will be just as responsible in acknowledging this solution. Let's build a Whisman school when the numbers and budget support it. We don't just need schools, we need to use budgets to support educational programs and resources to better our children. I hope the school district puts rigid policies into effect immediately to support whatever decision is made - so that we don't have to wait ten years to see the changes.

It was not an easy task with many variables to consider, many late hours away from family ect. Those who criticize the task force should step up when the community calls for volunteers - and show how you could approach this problem any better --- yes you Kindergarten Parent!


3 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 16, 2015 at 9:09 am

data on population/enrollment projections?: This article is about the Superintendent's group, and not the Board of MVWSD. This also is not about the Demographers that were used as expert consultants, they were only at earlier meetings. If you find the videos - where the Demographers speak on this: 'where in district, is enrollment increase expected?' you may find a different perspective than the District Office / BATF spokespeople. [or, transcribe and see if it is the same]

SN is 1 of the 5 Trustees on the MVWSD Board, this is not authorized by the Bd. President - but is his own opinion/comment


24 people like this
Posted by Whisman Parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 16, 2015 at 10:22 am

The task force should focus on the root of the problem...why is public school enrollment down? Maybe it's because the quality of the schools in MV are not up to par with the rest of its neighborhood areas. Yes, there are numerous new housing developments but people who buy in MV tend to accept the fact that the high price of living in MV isn't housing but the tuition for private schools. It's a sad fact.


21 people like this
Posted by Catch 22
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 16, 2015 at 11:11 am

Whisman Parent, you bring up a good point. But it isn't the quality of the schools, its the quality of the parents. When all of the higher-income, higher-resource parents choose private over their neighborhood school, you lose the demographic that contributes to the higher test scores.

Do you think Huff is such a "good" school because its teachers are "better" than Castro or Theuerkauf? Teachers in the district prefer teaching at the latter two. No, the reason Huff has such high test scores is because all of the post-graduate degree, dual-income, high-resource parents choose to attend their neighborhood school.

When all of you Whisman Station parents choose to attend Landels, you would immediately raise the test scores and the darn "Great School" score to something you can brag about. You only have yourself to blame.


20 people like this
Posted by @ Steve Nelson
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 16, 2015 at 12:15 pm

You are doing it again!

Don't speak until the School Board has a chance to talk about this. With you coming out and speaking against what this task force recommends, you are:
1) making the parents never want to volunteer to be on a task force, since you are so unappreciative of their time and effort, and
2) putting your School Board team into a very hard place. When 1 member comes out with his own decision, it makes it seem like the Board is not a team, but individual members with their own agenda. I suggest you read "5 dysfunctions of a team" - I believe you might be creating them all.


15 people like this
Posted by LASD Observer
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Something really odd. The two districts have the opposite conclusion. LASD is acting like growth will never end. MVWSD has this task force at least which skews the demographer's data to claim enrollment will decline. Similar demographer data. Opposite attitudes.

In both cases, there is data that suggests the opposite end of the demographer's spectrum. In LASD, you can better make the case for a decline than in MVWSD. In MVWSD you can better make the case for growth than in LASD. Just goes to show what you can do with numbers.

One thing to keep in mind is we just went through an expansion of K from covering 12 months' of births to K plus TK covering 16 months of births. That's a 33% bump in the size of the K population, just through legal magic. It's real. It takes space and costs. Moreover, for this past 4 years, each of the current grade 1 through grade 3 populations covers a 13 month birth group. So you will eventually see that bubble on up through graduation. It's a temporary 8% increase in the population of 4 different grades, IN ADDITION to the permanent 33% increase in K+TK population.

I don't have this year's numbers, but in 2013-2014, K=661 Grade1=636, Grade2=640,Grade3=582,Grade4=591,Grade5=530, Grade6=462, Grade7=460,Grade8=490. Notice how much lower are grades 6 through 8 compared to grades 3 through 5? Is this because in middle school, a notable number of students depart the district for private school? Is this due to fewer kids born that year? This affects the issue of overall growth. How do you predict what will happen in the future with the given year age group of kids? It would look that as time goes on smaller middle school classes will be replaced by 25% larger ones at least. Grades K-3 will each drop by 8%, first K, then 1, then 2 the next year, then 3 the 4th year later.

This note is NOT posted by a Former Trustee of LASD, and the MVWSD Board Chariman has not approved it.


4 people like this
Posted by Points of Order
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm

The guy chastising Steve Nelson is making assumptions. Nelson didn't ridicule the Superintendent's group's conclusion. He didn't claim they were citizens, when in fact they include a bunch of district staff, not just citizens, and don't include reps of non-citizens with kids in the district.

I think the point to keep in mind is that good planning requires allowing for a range of developments, with a high and a low, and not just picking one point somewhere in the spectrum, whether low medium or high. Demographers always do this. Statistically, that is mandatory. It's probability and not a guarantee.

How to compare the conclusions of the people the superintendent picked (and some of them are paid to meet and present data to the group), who met behind closed doors, are different than the conclusions of the elected trustees, who have to form their opinions in public, subject to the Brown Act? Maybe the board will reach the identical conclusion of the superintendent's people. It just hasn't happened yet, one way or the other. That's not to say one group is right and the other wrong.


17 people like this
Posted by Other factors
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 16, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Part of the reason it may feel counterintuitive is that there are multiple factors that play in to mvwsd demographics. First, while some new students are moving in, there are also many families with young students being forced out. Secondly, some of the development in mountain view falls within the Los altos elementary boundary. Third, some of the new residents are high income earners with no kids. Will this last group have kids someday? Who knows, but It would be irresponsible for the district to build a school for them today.

Demographers generally do a pretty good job of considering all of the relevant factors. If they want to stay in the business, theyre incented to be as accurate as possible. They don't forget to consider large development projects.


4 people like this
Posted by where's the data?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 16, 2015 at 10:29 pm

How does one find this demographic data? Where and what are these numbers that the task force says do not support a new school? Source of demographic data please?


16 people like this
Posted by Abigail
a resident of Willowgate
on May 17, 2015 at 1:49 am

The demo graphic study is online as part of the 1/27 BATF agenda packet. It starts on page 10.

Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by Data Data Data
a resident of another community
on May 17, 2015 at 2:12 am

Another factor about demographics is that kids come in different ages. Those aged over 14 are in MVLA High School District. Most kids are in elementary for 9 years and in High School for 4 years. Not so many families with high school age kids have kids in grades K-5. It's a progressive thing, but they still live in their houses, and continue on after the kids are mostly in college, at least for a while.

The other elementary 1/2 of the overall MVLA area is LASD. Here's their demo data in their meeting packet: Web Link You want to scroll down to Demographer Report (item G-2, an especially apropos item number).

There are a great deal more of a fraction of the kids in apartments in MVWSD as opposed to MVLA.... not that they don't both have plenty of kids form apartments and condos (multi unit developments of all sorts).


5 people like this
Posted by Timing Matters
a resident of another community
on May 17, 2015 at 2:18 am

You can accept the committee position that TODAY the numbers don't justify opening a new school. They were never really talking about building one. They get $2.6 Million annually from leasing out schools that they own. They were just going to place portables in an area of one of the currently leased out school sites, and perhaps expend a modicum of bond funding to do so.

Things could change. In two years, the pattern may indicate support for an additional school, or maybe not. Given the resources of land that MVWSD owns, it's also not responsible to rule that out at this point. There should be some bond money preserved for responding to changes within the next 5 years. The changes can be sharp and sudden. Since the district owns the land, it should also write its lease renewals to support this option, while still garnering that same amount of revenue. This costs nothing. Any decision at this point needs to maintain flexibility, which was not something addressed one way or another by the committee meeting at the Superintendent's design for the purpose of addressing IMMEDIATE changes in attendance boundaries.


21 people like this
Posted by Give me a reason
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm

I agree with "Other Factors".

Yes, there is a lot of new housing being built, but the majority (with few exceptions) are smaller 1-2 bed. apartment rentals for high income people with no kids.

I'll be blunt here and say the changing demographics means that many families with a higher number of kids per family are being pushed out of MV at the same time new people are moving in. Families that average 4-5 kids per household are being replaced by families that average 2 kids per household (or less). When you consider this it's easy to see how we can have more families moving in, yet not add enrollment to the schools. No one wants to come out and say that, but that's what I see happening.

Also, more families moving in are higher income, likely choosing private schools over public schools. I've even seen a big increase in homeschooling in my neighborhood specifically through new online charter schools. Families with higher incomes are more likely to have a parent stay at home, a parent who also has a good education and can easily teach children with the help of readily available online resources.

I think MV could easily lure many of these families into the public school system by offering innovative programs like the Stevenson PACT program which emphasizes project-based learning or the DI Program for language immersion, but our district moves too slow, or is simply complacent and is happy to let 80 kids just sit on the waitlist for a kindergarten spot at Stevenson. I wonder how many of those families would have happily joined a district school offering an interesting program? How many will be lost to private schools, charter schools or homeschooling? How many didn't even apply to Stevenson knowing they had so little chance of going there they just opted for private schools?

The district has the ability to increase enrollment by offering something beyond a regular neighborhood school, but they choose not to. Maybe because they know they get our property tax dollars anyway, even if we attend private schools, so they have little incentive to provide a product that is highly desirable?

I'm glad the task force recommended against opening a new school. I looked through the numbers and I don't see how an additional school would at all be needed. If Whisman families are upset, maybe they should look to the district and ask for a better product so that more MV families are excited to choose their public schools.


6 people like this
Posted by Elephant in the Room
a resident of another community
on May 17, 2015 at 5:33 pm

4-5 kids per family? Are you kidding? How many of these are there now in Mountain View Schools?

What about the low income numbers? When slogging around these changes in enrollment numbers, consider the effect on income equality across the various school populations. Take a look at Huff. 8% Free Reduced Lunches versus the district average of 43%. Now reassign the area near Slater School to Theuerkauff. Who wants to bet that this makes the FRPL at Huff go DOWN? Has to. Look at Theuerkauff. FRPL at 76%. The number there will probably drop due to the reassignment of those kids from near Slater School. It will reduce to 73%. Now we are left with Huff at 5% and Theuerkauff at 73%, or maybe 70%. Is this a desirable change?

I can see that there will be changes in population as housing changes hands. You may think no kids will live in a 2 bedroom apartment, but when houses rent for $6000 per month, a $4000 2 bedroom apartment does not seem so bad for a family with 1 or 2 kids. Rather than move to God knows where, they may swap into a 2 bedroom apartment, yep, even a new one.

If you bank on displacing low income families where 2 share a 2 bedroom apartment and have 3 or 4 kids because it's 2 different families, you are looking to displace the large low income portion of the community. That may happen. But a just as likely result is that some of the 30% families now paying for private school will return to the public schools when they aren't faced with classes that are 75% low income. If it gets down to under 50%, that changes things, and the lower it goes, the more. It is un-natural to have 30% of the kids in private school. So don't think shoving out the low income will stop so called enrollment growth. Really we are in an enrollment depression caused by the flight to private. As housing costs increase, one way to manage household income now diverted to more rent is to stop paying for private schools..... whether that be St Simon's Catholic School or St. Nicholas Catholic School. The private option looks less attractive by comparison when the demographics remove the hard to educate very low income kids. It's not that some low income is inherently different than catholic parochial schools, but you don't find 75% in ANY of the local private schools, parochial or not.


14 people like this
Posted by Prospect Kindergarden
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 18, 2015 at 1:16 pm

If the data shows that school enrollment going down in next year, Why they even changing school boundary at this time.
Why not keep the same as last 10 years as it was. Why mess up with peoples life?
It looks like boundary task force team don't have any impact on their kids.

It is ridiculous decision.


7 people like this
Posted by Huff school
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Why BATF are trying to reduce huff school attendance?
Currently Huff and Bubb which are top schools in MV had kids to teacher ratio around 22. Which is less than Cupertino schools and around same as Los altos school.

So not sure why they are trying to avoid people going to these good schools. Is Board sharing this data with mountain view residents?
School district should share the data and have discussion with residents before making any drastic changes that impact to peoples life.



16 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of North Whisman
on May 18, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Wow, being reassigned from the best elementary school in the area to the worst school is a tough pill to swallow. If this proposal goes through I guess we will have to chose between selling our home and moving somewhere with a better elementary school or sending our child to private school. The school our children would attend when they reach school age certainly influenced our decision to buy here.


16 people like this
Posted by Hugely Disappointed
a resident of North Whisman
on May 18, 2015 at 5:37 pm

This is a HUGE slap in the face to Whisman residents.

I really hope that when making the final decision, the Board chooses to look out for ALL Mountain View residents.

I fully back up the philosophy that some groups must take minor inconveniences for the sake of others, but in this case it is way too extreme. First dumping the idea of re-opening our neighborhood school (slap in the face), then moving the boundaries so that our kids move from Huff *API~960* to Theuerkauf *API~800* (kick in the butt). If this proposal goes through, my family will be forced to decide on the following:
1) Sell our house. (while taking a hit on the property value due to the new school assignment)
2) Pay $250K for private school for two kids.

At some point, it's just not fair. And this proposal is way past that point.


16 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 18, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Friends in North Whisman,

Before you get worked up about attendence boundary changes, remember a couple of things: Most of the time, most current students are grandfathered into the school they already attend. API is no longer published, as new testing will begin next year. API never accurately measured school "quality" in terms of program or teachers, because the only variable it has ever been shown to correlate well to is the "educational attainment of the mothers of the tested students". In other words, one of our neighboring districts has high API's because many students come from families where both parents are members of the faculty at an internationally renown research university. My kids went to Theuerkauf by choice and I, along with many of your neighbors are insulted by your somewhat threatening insinuations.


25 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 18, 2015 at 6:33 pm

Considering the age distribution of residents of this neighborhood, and the typical age when this specific population (many of them tech workers at Google, etc) have children (hint: a lot later than average), it is absurd to think enrollment rates will be declining.
Also, it's just not right to be paying taxes while not having any schools in our vicinity


14 people like this
Posted by Nwhismanparent
a resident of North Whisman
on May 18, 2015 at 8:56 pm

Ironic that school district leases facilities to google in Whisman neighborhood in order generate revenue - and instead of bringing any additional benefits to the neighborhood, makes things more difficult for parents in this neighborhood. So, parents in Whisman - suck it up. By mountain view standards, you are poor! And do not have the same rights to a good education for your child as the other neighborhoods. Want better education for your kids - spend more money and move out!


9 people like this
Posted by New Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 18, 2015 at 11:23 pm

This year, there are close to 80 kids on the PACT program’s wait-list. Just like the past few years. Many of the kids will be sent to private school, or get relocated to a better school district because their families can afford to do so. Those families have relatively higher education background and higher income, and they are the ones who can transform the school district and the neighborhood.

MVSD wasted tax payer dollars, and they continue to ignore the public demand for excellent schools. I wonder why we don’t have a system to vote them out of the office.


11 people like this
Posted by Middle Age Steve
a resident of North Whisman
on May 19, 2015 at 12:04 am

Old Steve: First, congratulations on having a great name.

Second, no one means any disrespect to Theuerkauf. However, you must also understand the disappointment felt by parents of young kids who have spent close to their life savings on a house with consideration of the school district, only to have a task force recommend that it be changed to something rated not as highly. I understand that API scores are subjective and may not be accurate, but we need SOMETHING to judge by. greatschools.org paints an even bigger difference between the schools.

The fact is private schools and relocating are options that are being discussed in houses in our neighborhood, including ours.



6 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 8:50 am

@Middle Steve

When we bought near Theuerkauf we selected a school the old fashioned way: We visited classrooms, spoke to faculty, asked our potential neighbors about the school. Schools open and close in communities as a matter of course. If you need to move, you do. My only point is only stay calm about it, make sure all the hassle you are choosing is worth it. MVWSD's charge is to do the best they can for the most kids with the resources available. BATF was formed to provide a broader perspective to help the district do just that. When people volunteer their time, and work hard, getting angry with them just because you don't like the answer will not solve anything.


14 people like this
Posted by Lisa Burns
a resident of North Whisman
on May 19, 2015 at 9:28 am

a. Whisman residents pay property taxes just like all Mountain View residents. Why are we the only neighborhood to be without a neighborhood school? Why are our taxes going to schools in other neighborhoods?

b. Enrollment is declining, according to the task force - we hope that the board can gain insight into the true enrollment forecast by talking to the community in question, rather than taking this assumption as fact based on a task force who hasn't reached out to our community or done any surveys.


10 people like this
Posted by Christina Oran
a resident of North Whisman
on May 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm

The article states:
"One of the problems identified by task force members was the potential reduction of classrooms per grade level from three to two..."

I don't know the numbers at every school, but at Huff, the kindergarten classes are each 27 students (with 1 teacher and no aide). Reducing elementary class sizes to a more reasonable 18 students per class would easily fill another school without affecting the number of classrooms per grade level at other schools. Smaller classes will also allow our teachers to provide more individual attention and instruction, which will allow them to provide a better education to all students across the district. Of course, this means hiring more teachers, but I believe the benefits of growing our teaching staff far outweigh their costs.


5 people like this
Posted by Christina Oran
a resident of North Whisman
on May 19, 2015 at 12:30 pm

For anyone who wants to get more involved:

The next School Board meeting is this Thursday 5/21 at which the board will hear the recommendations of the BATF. The agenda indicates that there will be time for community comments at 7:20pm and will hear the BATF recommendations at 7:40.


3 people like this
Posted by Class Size
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Here's Monta Loma's historical size:

2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Kinder 92 66 105 101 77
Grade 1 82 107 72 99 99
Grade 2 99 63 97 73 94
Grade 3 78 90 64 86 79
Grade 4 96 79 85 62 77
Grade 5 71 99 85 89 59
Total 518 504 508 510 485

As you can see, with 77 students, their 3 classes were 27 students each as well that year in K. If you get enrollment drop offs, far from needing to reduce to 18, you are likely talking about reducing to 24 students per class, and keeping 3 classes. If you went to just 2, that might be 36 kids per class.

Just because it hasn't been a problem to date, that doesn't mean that having some class sizes at 24 or even 22 at some grades at some schools is that big of a problem. Much better than the alternate of going to 2 classes of 33 each, if that grade level has 66 students that year.


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 12:49 pm

@newkid North Whisman asked:

"Does anyone know when these new boundaries will take into effect?"

A policy called "grandfathering" applies specific rules about when a boundary change will effect the kids who are currently in a specific school and their younger siblings. There are various layers to "grandfathering", so do look up the full text, however, under the current rules, if you currently have a kid in a specific K-5 public school in the MVWSD district, then your kid may continue at that school (assuming that school has not been closed). If your child has a younger sibling who will start K before your older child leaves 5th, then your younger child may attend that same school. Unless of course you move from your current boundary area to another, then grandfathering does not follow you.

So, exactly which year the Board will officially enact new boundaries is up to the Board, they are not required to take action at any specific time, NOR are they required to accept the BATF suggested changes.

My guess would be that the soonest new boundaries could be enacted would not effect next school year (2015-2016), but would effect the following school year (2016-2017).


7 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 1:12 pm

@Kindergarden parent of Whisman Station wrote:

"They have been discussing about school boundary for few years."

Perhaps so, but the first I and most of the PACT families I know found out was early last year, not even 1-1/2 years.

"But now they have taken decision in hurry..."

That's what the families of PACT saw. The original schedule was for the BATF to come up with their decision back in March and te District was going to make it's final decision by April 16th.

Read up the MV-Voice news article describing how the BATF "balked" on that.

When the BATF members were pressured to make a snap decision, they balked and said they needed a lot more meetings and better more productive meetings. The BATF stood up together and refused to give any feedback until they were comfortable that they had made every effort and looked at all the data before giving any feedback. The BATF won the point and several new meetings were added and other smaller group meetings as well.

If you were to look at all the BATF packages of information, you would see something like 30 or more "scenarios" they considered and did the math on and eventually found only one scenario they felt satisfied the critical needs that factually existed. They have said they will be including details on their work and reasoning in their final documents.

"by setting up task force in Feb and"

I think you need to re-check, the first BATF meeting was held Jan 13th.

"after 6 meeting "

Again, re-check, there were 11 official meetings and they had some additional sub-committee meetings as well.

"they come up with redrawing boundary like little kids."

Well, the BATF made the absolute minimum changes to solve the serious over-crowding problem at Huff. These changes added some kids to Theuerkauf (where there is extra space for them) and a tiny number to Bubb where they can fit fine as well.

"I attended those meeting."

Really? I attended all of them, I don't recall seeing anyone there as consistently as myself, but was not taking names or anything.

"People in those meeting came from another world and no idea what is going in mountain view or silicon valley."

Really? Like who? I know one guy who has only lived here a couple years, but I recognized almost everyone else as being longer-term parents or active in school Board politics and even Mountain View City politics.

"its bad decision"

Ok, you're welcome to your opinion, which if the dozens of "scenarios" the BATF carefully considered for more than 4 months would you feel was batter?

The many many scenarios are on-line at the BATF page.

The BATF made the choic with the minimum negative impact, minimum risk and offered a list of factors to keep a careful eye on as key to opening a Whisman/Slater school in the future.

But, hey, if you thnk your idea is better, let's hear it and do email it to the BATF.


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 1:29 pm

@Whisman Parent of Whisman Station wrote:

"I just don't understand how enrollment numbers can be declining in the next 5 years when:"

The "decline" was small, maybe 5%, not really enough of a swing to matter for how many schools can be supported by the available K-5 public-school kids.

This is the best-guess based on available data for births and the types of housing changes that are known to be in the works. Demographics is not an exact science, but it's the best info available. The types of housing changes are away from family oriented to singles and dual-income couples.

Yes, it's possible the demographics will turn out to be wrong and perhaps even be wrong by a large margin and perhaps the Whisman/Slater area will get some huge windfall of K-5 public-school kids. But as of now, that's wishful thinking.

To be clear, I wish that families with kids approaching K age would move here in droves and surprise us all. Or, if the families of the 2,000 kids we have in the district who go to K-5 in private schools or other districts would change their minds in droves, but as yet they have not.

"there are new housing developments going up around the area"

Yes, but based on past behavior, those types of housing changes are NOT usually filled up with K-5 kids families. If people change habits and decide they will raise kids in that type of housing, then great, we will know that well ahead of time.

"Google's new campus going in, and the general trend of young tech workers having their children later in life "

Exactly, kids later in life, and they move to different types of housing to raise their kids. NOT the types in the pipeline now.

"(so, many of the younger childless folks in the area now will likely be having kids over the next 5 years)."

Contradictory, but when those people do have kids, they move. And we have birth data, so we will have years of warning before they are ready for K.

"is the data showing that "enrollment" will decline"

Yes, public-school enrollment.

"or that the school age population will decline?"

Yes, them too.

"I'd like to understand the board's assumptions on who will enroll in public and who will not."

The full demographic study is available on the MVWSD web-site.

The last time something happened which drew a significant number of kids into the MVWSD public school system was when the Stevenson PACT school was opened in 2009.


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 1:42 pm

@A Googler North Whisman Wrote:

"This is a bad proposal."

Ok, what's your proposal?
Personally, I wish that we could bring 500 new kids into our MVWSD public school system so that Whisman/Slater would get a new traditional school.

There is still time to come up with a "better" proposal to give to the Board.

Please provide the math to support it, the BATF spent 4 months and 11+ meetings and did the math on over 30 suggested scenarios and only came up with one that worked with the available information.

"The school age population will grow rapidly in the following years given the number of hirings in Silicon Valley Companies."

Historically, new jobs don't equal new public-school kids now. High-tech workers tend to wait until later in life and they tend to use private schools. Granted, past behavior may not be a perfect indication of future behavior, but wishful thinking has an even lower accuracy rate.

"there will be big chance we will reconsider opening a new school in the next 2-3 years, and revise school boundary again."

That's exactly what the BATF said, to look for specific factors as flags to then get a 9th school in the works when the indicators are really there.

"- Open a new school so that it better accommodates the rapidly growing new enrollments, or"

There is no existing evidence that K-5 public-school-bound kids are on the way.

"- Keep the boundary as is to minimize the impact to any neighborhood,"

Actually, the BATF made the minimum NEEDED changes for 2 small boundary area to help relieve serious over-crowding at Huff.

" and revisit in 2-3 years so that we are more clear what we should do by then."

That is exactly what the BATF said, they have a set of indicators to be watching and to keep the plans for a 9th school in-mind while watching for the indicators.

So, what's your complaint?


10 people like this
Posted by @Pact Parent
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Serious overcrowding at Huff? Huh? It's no more crowded than other schools. The Castro site is going to be really crammed with still more kids than ever before. If Huff were crowded, pay $50K out of bond money and you can add a rented portable, which you rent for about $8K per year thereafter. The $50K is the cost of site prep. With $20 Million in operating reserve, the district can afford a little portable setup and rent.

But hey, you said there will be a 5% enrollment decline. Won't that alleviate crowding at Huff?


6 people like this
Posted by Castro Enrollment
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Castro
2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Kinder 107 122 123 141 155
Grade 1 99 106 116 122 112
Grade 2 96 82 104 112 119
Grade 3 102 80 79 98 111
Grade 4 77 78 74 72 102
Grade 5 62 71 78 74 76
Total 543 539 574 619 675


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Prospect Kindergarden of Whisman Station wrote:

"If the data shows that school enrollment going down in next year, Why they even changing school boundary at this time."

Because one school, Huff, has had a serious over-crowding problem.
That's why the BATF made only the MINIMUM changes which both together makes a reduction of kids at Huff by putting some at Theuerkauf and a few to Bubb.
As things have been in recent years, there have been some kids who should have been able to get into Huff who could not.

"It looks like boundary task force team don't have any impact on their kids."

Not true at all.

"It is ridiculous decision. "

Ok, other than allowing Huff to continue to be over-crowded, what's your idea?
There is still time to get your ideas considered.


6 people like this
Posted by Huff Enrollment
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2015 at 1:55 pm

2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Kinder 98 98 100 96 100
Grade 1 84 101 88 104 96
Grade 2 81 97 100 89 105
Grade 3 98 86 94 96 93
Grade 4 80 105 87 95 93
Grade 5 85 87 103 90 92
Total 526 574 572 570 579


8 people like this
Posted by Bubb Enrollment
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2015 at 1:57 pm

2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Kinder 104 101 101 97 69
Grade 1 112 108 102 100 101
Grade 2 104 105 110 102 101
Grade 3 80 101 92 100 93
Grade 4 103 79 100 90 88
Grade 5 72 100 77 92 85
Total 575 594 582 581 537


Not that different from Huff..... too quick to claim a trend, apparently.


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 1:59 pm

@Huff school a resident of Cuesta Park

"Why BATF are trying to reduce huff school attendance?"

Pretty much all of the BATF documents explain this.

It would help everyone to go read the document packages posted on the MVWSD BATF page.

There are kids who live in the Huff area who cannot attend Huff because there are no open seats available.

The BATF only changed 2 small areas of Huff boundary to reduce the over-crowding so that every kid who should be able to go to Huff may do so.

The total attendance may be going to increase after the Measure G money construction on Huff is used for improvements.


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 2:09 pm

@Ed of Whisman Station wrote:

"Also, it's just not right to be paying taxes while not having any schools in our vicinity"

So, how "fair" is it for a couple to pay school taxes for 25 years with ZERO kids?

The school taxes issue in the Whisman/Slater area is confusing because of the history of an old district that failed and was forced to merge.

The taxes the people in W/S area does support the schools their kids go to.

I was only able to walk to my grade school in 2 grades, I had 3 city-blocks to walk to school those 2 years.
The rest of my school-age life I spent at least an hour on the bus each day and as much as 2.5hrs per day one year I got driven.

W/S kids have it a whole lot better than I did.

And, yes, we voted FOR the school bonds even though we had no intentions of having a kid, (then we changed our minds and had one).


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 2:17 pm

@New Parent of Rex Manor wrote:

"This year, there are close to 80 kids on the PACT program's wait-list."

Actually, it was a total of 170 kids on the PACT waiting-list, if you count all ages K-5.

The last time there was a significant increase in public school attendance in the MVWSD was in 2009 when Stevenson PACT opened and that drew loads of kids back into our public-school system.

Stevenson intendeds to add one more classroom next year to get to 390 total.

We know that there are about 2,000 kids in our district who choose to go to private school or other districts or homeschooling.

It would be great if we could pull at least 500 of those kids into the public system, but how?

Ideas are welcome.


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 2:23 pm

@-@Pact Parent
a resident of another community wrote:

"Serious overcrowding at Huff?"

That's what the district has been saying. It's in all the documentation I've read. It's been a core part of all BATF and other relevant meetings I've been to.

If it's not true, argue that point with the Huff principal and the Board.
I've been assuming that if this was wrong, someone would have mentioned it before now.


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 2:27 pm

@Castro Enrollment:

Question, does this include the kids in the Dual-Immersion school located on the same site as the Castro Traditional school is?

Castro
2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Kinder 107 122 123 141 155
Grade 1 99 106 116 122 112
Grade 2 96 82 104 112 119
Grade 3 102 80 79 98 111
Grade 4 77 78 74 72 102
Grade 5 62 71 78 74 76
Total 543 539 574 619 675


21 people like this
Posted by no surprise
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2015 at 2:40 pm

@Pact Parent
Don't you have a classroom to be in, or a garden, or a field trip or something? How arrogant you sound.


14 people like this
Posted by Really PACT Parent?
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 2:50 pm

You say:

"The last time there was a significant increase in public school attendance in the MVWSD was in 2009 when Stevenson PACT opened and that drew loads of kids back into our public-school system."

Could you back that up?

PACT for years was under-enrolled and open to students from other districts. Only parents who truly believed in its mission attended.

In addition, PACT was not "opened" in 2009. The Stevenson campus was refreshed and the PACT program moved there in 2009, at which point the program became its own "school" and thus received its own API score. For its first three years, it was still under-subscribed, so much so that when the Romero act was applied to Theuerkauf and Monta Loma, Stevenson was one of the two options for students to transfer to.

When Stevenson PACT's API scores were published, it brought a new influx of parents to the school who were influenced by the numbers, and not by the program.

Although I find your posts enjoyable, they would be more palatable if you tempered the hyperbole and stuck to the facts.




6 people like this
Posted by Question Assumptions
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Regardless of the current crowdedness or non-crowdedness at Huff, the changes in the enrollment boundaries seem unlikely to affect it very soon.

What is known is that the sizes of K will be 8% less next year due to only covering 12 months of birthdates. I hope people don't mistake the resulting shrinking of enrollment at Huff as due to the enrollment changes.

Another factor you also have is the forced migration of low income students who leave the district because of massively rising rents.

There's already a lower population of 4 year olds this year than there has been on average historically. Historically the highest concentration has been in the Castro attendance area, and in the areas near Castro that already attend Bubb.

I think it would make more sense to hold the enrollment boundaries steady and see how things turn out next year. Too easy. They're not going to do this. Sigh.


16 people like this
Posted by Kindergarden parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 19, 2015 at 7:25 pm

@ Pact Parent,

I understand you are in favor of this decision made by BATF. But what people saying is instead of solving problem of community school or improving school. This proposal is hiding the problem for some more time.

As you mentioned you are solving only Huff overcrowding issue. Question is why Huff got overcrowded. People bought the houses because schools are good.
If city do not want the huff to get overcrowded, why they are allowing new housing in the area assigned to this school.

Just because your kid is already in school, you seems to happy with no impact to you.

if the people has put their life saving and large loans to buy house to send their kid to Huff, Are you going tell those parent and kids, " Oh.. bad luck guys, better luck in next life"... really?

Question is how many BATF members has kids that are going to school in next couple of years and how many out of them get affected by this change? Do you have data of that.

I already spoken to two board members, ( 3 out 5 are in favor of opening school) they were in favor of opening school but they also talked about politics going at school district as well.

Actually, i also have complain about complete process.

School district should share the data and share the core problem with people. Provide the option of opening new school or changing boundary.. then get peoples feedback, they based on that they should set up BATF.

It looks like BATF influencing the school board and telling them what to do. Small number of people sitting small room should not control all residents future (although they dream like that)

Have a nice dream.




5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 7:31 pm

@Really PACT Parent? of Rex Manor

You say:
"The last time there was a significant increase in public school attendance in the MVWSD was in 2009 when Stevenson PACT opened and that drew loads of kids back into our public-school system."

"Could you back that up?"

That was according to the official Demographic reports and was stated in a MV-Voice article.

I can't personally verify it is true, but you're the first person who has questioned it, oh and this was mentioned in a Board meeting as well.
Perhaps you would be happier if I said "...MVWSD was after 2009..."
Does that help you?

You wrote:
"PACT for years was under-enrolled and open to students from other districts. Only parents who truly believed in its mission attended."

You must be talking about the Slater PACT years.
I was NOT referring to those years.
It would be a very good thing if 100% of the parents who choose PACT were 100% truly supportive and believers in these teaching methods. The API score is a very poor way to choose a school.

You wrote:
"In addition, PACT was not "opened" in 2009."

I never claimed "PACT" was opened in 2009,
I specifically stated Stevenson PACT was opened in 2009.
If you're going to complain I said something incorrect,
don't miss-quote me while doing so.

I seem to recall that the PACT program was begun as an experiment back in the mid 1990's, 1995?.

The point was about the details in the Demographics reports which showed a clear one-time increase in total K-5 public school enrollment after Stevenson PACT opened and has not happened again since.

This was mentioned by the Demographers themselves in an early meeting, which is where I first heard of it.


10 people like this
Posted by OMG
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Seems to me the problem lies with the PACT program. Get rid of the program everything falls in place. Students will fall back into neighborhood schools. Simple concept.


9 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 8:56 pm

@Kindergarden parent Whisman Station
@ Pact Parent,
You seem to have some serious misunderstandings of how things work.

First, of the about 3-dozen plans the BATF examined, NONE of them kept that area called Huff-A going to Huff. Making no changes at all was not going to help Huff. The BATF plan helps Huff with the least impact on the fewest families.

With "grandfathering" the kids already in school wont be required to change schools and their siblings can go to the same school with them.

The BATF is a large group of about 20 people who deeply studied the issues to give their SUGGESTION to the Board of 5 people. The BATF has ZERO power, the Board can do anything it wants. That's how the Slater school got closed back in 2006.

Many documents have been made public and can be copied from the MVWSD web-site.

You wrote:
"I understand you are in favor of this decision made by BATF."

Not exactly true.
My preferred solution always was that the district would open a new school in the Whisman/Slater IF/when it can be done without destructive effects on or closures of currently operating schools.

I accept that the BATF did everything they could to figure out how to do that, because I went to every meeting and talked to various BATF members and read their documents. The BATF came to the conclusion that with the current enrollment numbers, a new school wont work YET.

I have no problem with 1-strand schools, but the district is firm on the goal of 3-strands per school.

You wrote:
"But what people saying is instead of solving problem of community school or improving school."

Those are 3 separate issues.
"community school" meaning "walking school" is certainly nice, but not required. In my whole grade school life, I only lived close enough to my school separate years where I was within bike-distance. In K, I walked 3 city blocks to school. How many parents today would allow their Kinders to walk that far alone?

A new school is operated with money from the operating budget.
The District has said they don't have spare money to operate a new school.
I and many others disputed this claim of the Board.

Improving schools is 2 issues.
Physical construction, that money is from Measure G and those plans are well underway. It looks like Castro/DI and Monta Loma will get money the first year of the construction program, then Huff/Bubb/Landels the next year and Theuerkauf/Stevenson and if a 9th school was going to be built, that would come from what did not get spent.

The other improvement issue is addressed by the "Parcel tax" which runs out next year. That's why they are putting up a new Parcel tax to continue various educational improvement programs.

you wrote:
"As you mentioned you are solving only Huff overcrowding issue. Question is why Huff got overcrowded."

This goes back to 2005 when the temporary Superintendent and the Board then came up with a plan to close Slater. That decision a decade ago has continued to create problems to this day.

you wrote:
"If city do not want the huff to get overcrowded, why they are allowing new housing in the area assigned to this school."

The City of Mountain View does NOT ask permission of the school district before making such plans. They may seek some input, but the city does what it wants. The MVWSD has to react to those changes.

You wrote:
"Just because your kid is already in school, you seems to happy with no impact to you."

Actually, I strongly objected to the closure of ANY currently operating schools in the district. The last time the Board closed a school (Slater) it created more problems than it was trying to solve and we are still dealing with those problems today.

you wrote:
"put their life saving and large loans to buy house to send their kid to Huff,"

The Board says Huff is so full that some kids who live CLOSE to Huff could NOT get into Huff. If you feel that your child's life will be harmed by not going to Huff, then perhaps picking a house close to Huff would have been better.

You wrote:
"It looks like BATF influencing the school board and telling them what to do. Small numbers of people sitting small room should not control all residents future "

You got that backwards. The BATF has ZERO POWER!
The BATF was the LARGE group of people, the Board is only 5 people.
The Board has all the POWER.
The District formed the BATF to get a good cross-section of people to look deeply into the issues and come back with their best suggestion to the Board. The Board can totally ignore the BATF and do whatever it wants.

That is why the Board closed Slater, they can and do ignore the will of the people.

The BATF did the best they could do, it's in the Board's hands, as it always was.


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 11:01 pm

@Question Assumptions

The Board said that Huff denied entry to some kids who lived very near Huff and that the Huff-A rectangle adds to the commute congestion and that it makes a "safe-streets" hazard. All of these were addressed by the change to Huff-A.

I do understand why the BATF made that choice.
I can't recall any of the 30+ scenarios having Huff-A staying with Huff.

If no problem exists at Huff, why didn't we see loads of Huff parents at the meetings telling the Board to leave the Huff boundaries alone?
Why didn't we see the Huff-A parents at the meetings asking to be left alone?

Grandfathering takes care of the bulk of the families concerns about their kids being able to stay at Huff until they move on to middle school.

"Regardless of the current crowdedness or non-crowdedness at Huff, the changes in the enrollment boundaries seem unlikely to affect it very soon."

Depends on your time-line for "soon".
It also depends on how many kids get denied a spot because Huff is too full.

The Demographers made predictions, only time will tell how good they were.

Most of your other points partly explain the prediction of lower enrollment and thus not enough kids for a 9th school, now.

The Whisman/Slater advocates were trying to argue the opposite prediction. They are claiming that K-5 kids were going to greatly increase.
When the Board has 2 sets of parents arguing interpretations and predictions in opposition to what their paid Demographics consultants are telling them, they are going to go with the professional opinions.

You wrote:
"I think it would make more sense to hold the enrollment boundaries steady and see how things turn out next year."

You could have discussed your numbers with the BATF and Board. I know the BATF members listened to what people had to say or email them.


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2015 at 11:25 pm

@Pact Parent
wrote:
"If Huff were crowded, pay $50K out of bond money and you can add a rented portable,"

I wish more people had come to the meetings and read all the documents that have been available.

I should have mentioned this before, the Board is really serious about NOT using portables anymore. Some of their reasons seem logical to me, some not so much, but they are really trying to avoid use of portables and getting rid of as many as possible that the schools use now.

"With $20 Million in operating reserve, the district can afford a little portable setup and rent."

Actually, no, as I understand it, operating budget cannot be used for buying buildings, but only actual operational things.

Rent on the portables, I don't know on that one.

"But hey, you said there will be a 5% enrollment decline. Won't that alleviate crowding at Huff?"

That depends on exactly where the decrease happens.
If Whisman/Slater loses kids, that wont help Huff, If Castro loses kids,
that wont help Huff. Only if the area near Huff loses kids will it help Huff crowding.

Huff is a highly desired school by public perception, so I don't think people will stop moving K-5 families into the Huff area.


8 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 12:14 am

@Lisa Burns of North Whisman:

"a. Whisman residents pay property taxes just like all Mountain View residents."

Just as my wife and I have done to support the entire district for decades before we had a kid.

Your taxes paid for the same thing my taxes pad for, the operation of a public school system. This serves everyone even if they never have a kid at all.

We now both gain the benefit of sending our kids to the public schools when we each needed them to exist.

"Why are we the only neighborhood to be without a neighborhood school?"

You do have a neighborhood school, you may not have an "easy walking/biking distance" school, but a great many kids don't either, all over the USA. That's why they invented the school buss.

I spent almost my entire K-12 life without a "walking/biking distance school" riding the school buss up to 2.5 hrs/day.

"Why are our taxes going to schools in other neighborhoods?"

Why do parents who use private schools have to pay taxes to support the public school system?

Why do anyone's taxes go to pay for public stuff located in other areas?

That's the way government taxation works, that's how the roads get built too.

"b. Enrollment is declining, according to the task force -"

No, according to the Demographics reports.
The task force has zero power, it just read the reports and worked from there.

"we hope that the board can gain insight into the true enrollment forecast"

"true...forecast"? there's an oxymoron, no such thing until it becomes hindsight.

"by talking to the community in question,"

Taking a serious survey/poll is something that has been asked by many people, including PACT families. It's not something the Board has wanted to do for various reasons.

"rather than taking this assumption as fact based on a task force"

Again, the BATF read the reports provided by the district demographers and came to the reasonable interpretation.

"who hasn't reached out to our community or done any surveys."

The BATF provided an email address and asked for public input and insisted on having many more meetings where people could provide input. I know the BATF listened and responded to emails and wanted people to come and speak at meetings.

And do remember, the BATF has ZERO power to enact anything. They just made a suggestion to the Board. The Board can do whatever they wish.

That's how Slater got closed in the first place. The public, including the Slater PACT families, did everything they could think of to try to save Slater, but in the end, the Board closed it anyway.

The BATF has ZERO power to conduct or pay for surveys, that has to be done by the Board.

The BATF had a rocky start, but quickly insisted on more time to work on things and had serious working meetings with the public present and came to the best result they could with the info they had.

Only time will tell who's "forecast" was in fact "true".


22 people like this
Posted by to PACT Parent
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2015 at 12:39 am

Wow, so many different factors, ways of spinning considerations, to make the idea of changing attendance boundaries be needed.

But this same group that reviewed what the district fed them first was supportive of opening a school up in the Slater/Whisman School territory. They initially wanted to relocate PACT and combine it with a traditional program, as it began.

Luckily the Board hasn't decided yet. The committee is just a lot of input digesters for the Board. When you come down to recommending such a really small change, the Board could still just say, "oh well, let's let it ride for another year"

One of your point was that Huff isn't staging an uprising. Well, this only affects two areas with a total enrollment of 50 to 100 students each year, and they are all grandfathered. The People who care are those in Huff-A who are going to see their kids separated from their neighbors who happen to have older kids. They will stay at Huff.

That's just more reason to wait and see. All the schools have more K, 1 and 2 grade kids this year than they should because it is each a group with 13 months of birthdates. Oddly, we see a population drop in the year right behind them. Them's the facts. Waiting makes a lot of sense.

Now, if you could make a case for opening a school in the Whisman area, well, that's a more major change, and you could argue that that is not going to get better over time. The Huff situation will get better somewhat by itself. It's a question of by how much. It's like going to a surgeon and he does a lot of work up and says, well you just need your toenails clipped. He can do that for $5,000 or you can just wait and get by with out him. The committee was set up to make major changes. What they recommend is no longer major, and it would be easy for the Board to pass on doing it for next year.


6 people like this
Posted by Kindergarden parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 20, 2015 at 11:38 am

@Pact Parent

You mentioned
"The Board says Huff is so full that some kids who live CLOSE to Huff could NOT get into Huff. If you feel that your child's life will be harmed by not going to Huff, then perhaps picking a house close to Huff would have been better. "

Board can not give priority based on who is close to school and who is not. Preference is based on home address assigned to school and not who is close to school. It was never like that in any school district and it will never be. It is just in your mind.

When people buy the houses they look at which school is assigned to it and not how many blocks away from it. Home prices are not based on how many block school is away from.

People bought the houses putting their life saving because it is assigned to Huff. Now you are saying it should not assigned to Huff school. Now you are changing boundary because Huff A is away from school.

Also, regardless of boundary or new school plan, there should not be immediate timeline on change date within a year (FY16-17). You cant expect people to sell houses and buy new one in preferred area before new enrollment starts in Feb-March (less than a year). Its just not possible.



13 people like this
Posted by Happend all the time
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 20, 2015 at 11:49 am

@Kindergarten Parent. Since you are new to this you should know that school boundaries are re-organized often.

You should never assume any house you buy will remain in the same school's zone. It SHOULD be expected that it will remain in the same district, but never assume your neighborhood will always stay assigned to it's current school. That would be a mistake made by the person assuming such things.


6 people like this
Posted by Kindergarden parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 20, 2015 at 12:03 pm

@Happend all the time

Agree, but what i am saying dont kick me out with less than year notice.

Also, you should agree with giving pref of admission to school based on distance to school. This is not the way works in any school district.


10 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 12:15 pm

CURRENT STUDENTS ARE GRANDFATHERED INTO THEIR CURRENT SCHOOLS. BOUNDARY CHANGES ONLY IMPACT FAMILIES OF NEW STUDENTS. School rankings based on API are no longer current. If ratified by the board, new attendance areas will take affect for next school year, BUT ONLY FOR NEW STUDENT FAMILIES!


7 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 12:39 pm

@Kindergarden parent of Whisman Station
@Pact Parent

"You mentioned"
""The Board says Huff is so full that some kids who live CLOSE to Huff could NOT get into Huff.""

"Board can not give priority based on who is close to school and who is not."

Well, the Board could, it would be tricky, but you seem to have missed the point of what I was saying there.

The point was that the Board was insisting that changes in boundaries be made so that, as best practical, any kid who lived in the new Huff boundaries could find a spot in Huff. The Board did not want any more cases where a kid zoned for Huff was denied a spot.

I hope that was more clear?
It was not in my mind, it was what has been on the mind of the Board that drove the change to the Huff-A and Huff-triangle areas.

You wrote:
"People bought the houses putting their life saving because it is assigned to Huff. "

People do, but, as I was saying before, which you also did not understand my point, IF you are SO TOTALLY DETERMINED that your kids MUST go to Huff, then you really NEED to pick a home much closer to Huff. The farther away you live from Huff, the greater the chance that the routine boundary adjustments might switch your area out of Huff.

School boundaries change from time to time, it's unavoidable and if you were so determined that you had to have Huff, then you should have done your homework on common changes in things like school boundaries.

Look at Slater school back in 2006, it got closed. This was in spite of huge objections from the people of the area and from people of other areas which were going to be badly effected by closing Slater.

You wrote:
"Now you are saying it should not assigned to Huff school."

No, I am saying that the BOARD of TRUSTEES has been saying this all along.
I am saying I understand WHY the Board and BATF have said this.

"Now you are changing boundary because Huff A is away from school."

No, I AM NOT CHANGING ANYTHING, I am saying that the Board made it CLEAR from the start that Huff must be reduced and that the area of Huff-A and the Huff-triangle areas were the obvious areas to change.

I have ZERO power, the BATF has ZERO power, all we have been doing is trying to talk to the Board and hope that they will make good decisions which impact as FEW families as possible and to the least extent.

you wrote:
"there should not be immediate timeline on change date within a year (FY16-17)."

I think I said that for the 2015-2016 school year, I don't think it's possible to implement changes to effect the coming school year 2015-2016.

I think that the Board could make the new changes to apply to the following school year 2016-2017. But I also said, the date is something the Board decides on.

And grandfathering will allow kids who are in a given school by the time the new boundaries get officially implemented will be allowed to continue.

It would really help if you went to the MVWSD web-site and read the many many documents explaining all of this.

You have much mis-information which could be corrected with some reading of the available documents.

I've spend hundreds of hours on all this between going to the meetings and reading the documents and reading Mountain View Voice news articles and in small group discussions with other parents from various schools.

It's a lot of work, but if you actually care, you need to do the research.


13 people like this
Posted by Happend all the time
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Also, just to add, when you buy a home that is a remote "satellite" area of a school's zone, that area will likely be the first to be affected when they re-zone things. Buyer beware if that is important to you.


23 people like this
Posted by Whisman/Slater Plan
a resident of North Whisman
on May 20, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Step 1: Close down two neighborhood schools in the same area
Step 2: Do not re-open one of the schools despite public tremendous population growth in a booming economy
Step 3: Move kids from the highest rated school to the lowest rated school in the district.

Sounds like an excellent plan…if your goals are to:
* Continue overcrowding of schools
* Increase traffic and congestion in existing neighborhoods with schools
* Exacerbate the issues of an already underserved neighborhood
* Encourage parents to have their kids join the 2,000 others who are already in private schools/out of district

Separately, but related: regardless of whether not people have kids, all taxpayers benefit from having a neighborhood school.


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 1:05 pm

@ to PACT Parent

"Wow, so many different factors, ways of spinning considerations, to make the idea of changing attendance boundaries be needed."

Yes, it's a massive and complex job to do the boundaries adjustments carefully. The BATF was expected to do all this in a couple meetings, but
they balked (look up the Voice news article on this word) and demanded much more time to do the job to the best they were able.

"But this same group that reviewed what the district fed them first was supportive of opening a school up in the Slater/Whisman School territory. "

Some members were, some were not. Helps to be at the meetings.

"They initially wanted to relocate PACT and combine it with a traditional program, as it began."

Well, no, that was the Board and interim Super pushing that. The Board has been pushing closing Stevenson to rent it out to the highest-bidder private school all along. Moving PACT over to Whisman/Slater killed 2 political birds with one stone. For the politicians it was a win-win, for everyone else it was a lose-lose. Even the Whisman/Slater people would NOT be getting what they wanted. An exclusively traditional neighbor-centric school, but moving PACT would NOT get them that.

That was the disaster the Stevenson families have been desperate to avoid.

"Luckily the Board hasn't decided yet."

That is an assumption. After going to every meeting for almost 1.5 years, I have not seen anything yet that makes me think the Board has changed it's original plans one bit. If they have changed their minds, they are playing it really close to the vest.

"the Board could still just say, "oh well, let's let it ride for another year"

Perhaps, but that would be politically bad for the Board. And really send the message that citizens should not bother putting in thousands of hours of effort on these committees because the work is pointless.

"One of your point was that Huff isn't staging an uprising."

I am saying that IF there are some parents who think Huff boundaries are perfect as they are, I didn't see those people at the meetings.

If people think Huff has plenty of room to spare, I didn't see them saying so at meetings either,

Every person who spoke about Huff was either saying Huuf is a great school, or saying Huff is over-crowded.

"Waiting makes a lot of sense."

Then why didn't anyone come to the Board meetings and say so?

"The Huff situation will get better somewhat by itself."

Perhaps, perhaps it will get worse, we can't know, we can only take the best guess and that's what the BATF put in thousands of person-hours working on.

"The committee was set up to make major changes."

Yes, the Board and interim Super were trying to get the BATF to say that closing Stevenson and moving PACT to Whisman/Slater was a good idea and the Board/Super wanted that conclusion done quickly. The BATF balked at that and demanded more time and did a great job of examining the real needs and real consequences of changes. The BATF found that only these small changes were reasonable and needed.

" What they recommend is no longer major, and it would be easy for the Board to pass on doing it for next year."

The Board could go back to their original plan to close Stevenson, move PACT to Slater and rent-out Stevenson to the highest bidder. That's what they have been pushing for 2 years or more.

PACT would lose, Whisman/Slater would NOT get what they have asked for, the only winners would be the politicians and whichever wealthy private school won the bidding war for Stevenson.

That is what we've been fighting to prevent.

We have also been trying to push the Board to re-examine their operational budget to find a non-harmful way to open a Traditional Neighborhood-centric school somewhere in the Whisman/Slater area.

The BATF examined many potential ways of doing this, but all of them had severe enrollment side-effects on multiple other schools. Right now, a new school in the W/S area would damage Monta Loma, Theuerkauf, Landels and Castro.

The BATF created a set of factors to address so that a 9th school for W/S could be done. Carefully watching those factors or trying to improve them would lead to a new 9th W/S school being practical without harming other schools.


7 people like this
Posted by Really PACT Parent?
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 1:11 pm

My post must not have been clear enough for you. Let me rephrase it:

The Stevenson campus was refreshed and the PACT program moved there in 2009, at which point the program became its own "school" and thus received its own API score. For its first three years AT STEVENSON, it was still under-subscribed, so much so that when the Romero act was applied to Theuerkauf and Monta Loma, Stevenson was one of the two options for students to transfer to. Those years were 2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012.

The PACT program has only been "popular" for the last few years, once its API scores bested Huff.

And I can find no where in the demographers report to back up your statement that "a significant increase in public school attendance in the MVWSD was in 2009 when Stevenson PACT opened and that drew loads of kids back into our public-school system."

Again, PACT was still an under-subscribed program until at least 2012.

Lastly, I was shocked by your statement that PACT was an "experiment". They must have proven their hypothesis.

- Former PACT parent who am glad I was there in the old days


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 1:19 pm

@Whisman/Slater Plan North Whisman
You wrote:
"Step 1: Close down two neighborhood schools in the same area"

Actually, those 2 schools were closed several years apart and for very different reasons. Whisman was almost totally dependent on the military kids, so when the military base of Moffet Field closed, that forced the closure of Whisman.

Slater was closed for less clear reasons, you should ask the Board members and the temporary Super in power in 2005 to get a beter explanation why they insisted on closing Slater.

Slater was part PACT and part Traditional at that time. The PACT families did everything short of locking themselves into the buildings to try to stop the closure of Slater, but the Board ignored them and closed Slater anyway.

"Step 2: Do not re-open one of the schools despite public tremendous population growth in a booming economy"

I suggest you re-examine the various Demographic studies for the relevant K-5 aged kids in the district.

"Step 3: Move kids from the highest rated school to the lowest rated school in the district."

That is because the Huff-A kids are in an isolated section surrounded by kids going to either Landels or Theuerkauf AND Huff has an over-crowding problem so that some kids living close to Huff could not get it to Huff.
Anyway, this is the Board's choice.

"Sounds like an excellent plan…if your goals are to:
* Continue overcrowding of schools"

Huff gets less crowded.
Castro got over-crowded when Slater closed. They helped fix that by moving PACT to Stevenson. They are now going to re-build Castro to increase capacity.

"* Increase traffic and congestion in existing neighborhoods with schools"

Actually, moving Huff-A to Theuerkauf reduces traffic congestion.

"* Exacerbate the issues of an already underserved neighborhood"

How does this change of Huff-A to Theuerkauf change anything else?
It means that the Traditional kids of Whisman/Slater now go to only 2 traditional schools instead of 3.

"* Encourage parents to have their kids join the 2,000 others who are already in private schools/out of district"

Closing Stevenson would do that one but much worse!

"Separately, but related: regardless of whether not people have kids, all taxpayers benefit from having a neighborhood school."

All taxpayers do have neighborhood schools, just not every single family has an easy walking/biking distance school.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 1:30 pm

@Really PACT Parent?
you wrote:
"The Stevenson campus was refreshed and the PACT program moved there in 2009,"

Correct, I am well aware of this fact.
The Board chose to do this because, they said, it was the only way to reduce the severe over-crowding at Castro that could be done quickly enough AND the PACT families agreed that it would be better to move PACT than to move DI.

"The PACT program has only been "popular" for the last few years, once its API scores bested Huff."

If so, that's not what has been said in the meetings and Voice articles and what I took from the Demo reports.

In any case, regardless of what the timing was, the only thing which drew new kids into the MVWSD district enrollment in any significant numbers was Stevenson PACT.

Parents often pick where to move because of some factor relating to the schools and if we are trying to get some of the private school kids to come to the public system, we have to offer them some real choices that will appeal to them. Like PACT and DI or some other ideas not yet heard from.

"I was shocked by your statement that PACT was an "experiment"."

What else would you call a new non-traditional educational style?

"Common Core" is an experiment, we wont know how that worked for a decade or more.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 2:49 pm

@Really PACT Parent? of Rex Manor
YOU FALSELY CLAIMED:
"For its first three years AT STEVENSON, it was still under-subscribed, so much so that when the Romero act was applied to Theuerkauf and Monta Loma, Stevenson was one of the two options for students to transfer to. Those years were 2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012."

REALLY? THEN READ THIS!
Fri, Jan 16, 2009, 12:16 pm
Parents cry foul on enrollment
MV Whisman uses lottery to decide who gets into schools
...
The district will first hold the PACT and Dual Immersion lotteries after open enrollment is completed.
...
Thu, Jul 14, 2011, 1:41 pm
Parents fed up with school district's wait list
Overflow at Stevenson roils parents, is a good sign to officials

by Nick Veronin / Mountain View Voice

More than 170 would-be elementary and middle school students have been placed on the Mountain View Whisman School District's waiting list for the 2011-12 school year. While parents are complaining, district officials said that this year's waiting list is not all that unusual compared with past years.
...
The bulk of that group -- 52 -- are kindergarteners whose parents are vying for a spot in Stevenson, the district's PACT school.
...
Superintendent Craig Goldman said that demand is especially high this year for the PACT -- or Parent, Child, Teacher -- program, he noted that there is almost always a longer waiting list for Stevenson,
...
According to Goldman... "I think the fact that there is a wait list at Stevenson is validation that PACT is a strong, choice program."
...
Dergun's son, an incoming kindergartner, is 45th on the waiting list to get into Stevenson. "We are very disappointed," Dergun said,
...
In the coming years, Goldman said, Stevenson will continue to grow. Last year, the school served about 280 students and this year it will serve about 310, he said. The target is to reach eventually reach an enrollment of 360, he said."
...

YOU CLAIMED:
"The PACT program has only been "popular" for the last few years, once its API scores bested Huff."

Seems the Mountain View Voice disagrees with your assertions.

REALLY?


3 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 20, 2015 at 4:01 pm

"The Stevenson campus was refreshed and the PACT program moved there in 2009,"

The Board chose to do this because, they said, it was the only way to reduce the severe over-crowding at Castro that could be done quickly enough ..."

The Stanford Public Policy Program report instigated by CFO Goldman had many other options, most of which cost significantly less money. Note 2009 was in The Great Recession. (National Bureau of Ecomnomic Research 12/07-6/09)


3 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 20, 2015 at 4:12 pm

@ PACT Parent / Rex Manor That was a very interesting target school size quote from Goldman. I wonder what research (data-driven) he used for his enrollment target, and how the research has changed since that time. The DO staff has obviously changed their minds, or am I understanding the reports/meeting presentations wrongly?

we are a data-driven district, but IT'S DRIVING US ALL CRAZY?

SN is a MVWSD Trustee - who will see ya'l Thurs evening


16 people like this
Posted by Tamara Wilson
a resident of North Whisman
on May 20, 2015 at 4:12 pm

A quick run of the numbers from the demographer report for the upcoming school year (2014/15) applied to the proposed new school boundaries would result in the following school population at Theuerkauf:
693 students!!!! Seriously?? Is this how they will justify the new property tax legislation. The last one was to reduce class sizes. Hmmmmm......

This demographer used ESRI mapping products produced from US Census data which assumes fairly linear trends in population growth/change (think population pyramids). These kind of data are much better applied to non-volatile regions with fairly stable and predictable economic growth (think slow growth, retirees stick around). The numbers above make no sense to me. How does a projected population increase of 11.33% by 2014 lead to only 10% more students when a 4.45% increase led to a 26.9% increase????

Bottom line is this kind of move will only make the waiting lists for choice programs grow exponentially. Already over 2,200 students go to private school in our community. Our schools should be some of the best in the country. Please give Whisman back it's school. The district operates 4 schools on 2 school sites. Seems ridiculous! We have 577 students in our neighborhood. And it is only going to grow.

I do not feel like our neighborhood has had a voice on the BATF and that without a voice the decision does not at all represent the community it will impact, which is not acceptable. Our community is fast growing, with massive home sales at inflated values and ours is the last area with large land holdings available for future, already-approved new home construction projects (nearly 400 single family homes with 870 additional units approved - this includes 1,120 units approved for the South Whisman development). A quick analysis shows the school district will likely make $2.5 million more in school monies from property tax collection from new home construction alone. This is an underestimate and does not account for home sales where home values have doubled in the last 8 years, after many people had their property values reassessed at the lower market rate to lower property taxes. More sales at the higher market value will create a HUGE influx of money for the MVWSD. All this development will also bring a HUGE influx of children. The jobs are here, the retirees will cash out, and our schools will expand.


9 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 20, 2015 at 4:26 pm

@Tamara Wilson

yes As per Web Link Theuerkauf school will have 693 student which is more than 50% of its capacity.

it looks like BATF is moving problem from one school (Huff) to other (Theuerkauf) instead of solving it properly.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 5:05 pm

@Steven Nelson of Cuesta Park

"@ PACT Parent / Rex Manor That was a very interesting target school size quote from Goldman."

Interesting in what way? I just took it as Goldman's guesstimate.
Stevenson had 366 (as I recall) in this current 2014-2015 school year. I was recently told that the plan is for 390 for the 2015-2016 school year. I've seen 16 classrooms at Stevenson, so I think we can do that.

"I wonder what research (data-driven) he used for his enrollment target, and how the research has changed since that time."

I did not research that detail deeply.
My point was that one person had kept claiming that PACT was NOT popular until after 2012 when (he says) the Stevenson PACT API score was higher than Huff. He claims that was why people suddenly started being interested in PACT. He claimed that PACT was "under-subscribed" until after then.

You would certainly know far more than I about what was in Mr. Goldman's mind, having spent so much of your time with him.

"The DO staff has obviously changed their minds, or am I understanding the reports/meeting presentations wrongly?"

Well, that quote from Goldman was back in 2011, so I imagine thinking on many things has changed since then.

Remember, back in 2005 the district was convinced that closing Slater was best for the district, in spite of public outcry and the warnings of over-crowding that came true, so yeah, people do change their minds over time and staff changes happen too.

That is what I hope for, that people do change their minds and recognize the practical realities, such as the BATF has offered in it's advisory capacity.

If Slater (enrollment 397 PACT + Traditional) had stayed open, it's hard to say how different things would be today, but we need to deal with where we are now. Like when the military moved out, that set up a whole series of events too.

"we are a data-driven district, but IT'S DRIVING US ALL CRAZY?"

Well, some of us...er, never-mind ;-),
Yes, data can drive people to distraction, if you let it.

Try arguing with people over what the actual data in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports actually say. That's far more difficult.


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 5:19 pm

@Theuerkauf of Whisman Station

"Theuerkauf school will have 693 student which is more than 50% of its capacity."

I think you meant to write that Theuerkauf has 363 current enrollment,
but the capacity is 463? (Not counting the portables.)

One of the things about moving Huff-A to Theuerkauf was to make sure Theuerkauf stayed with a higher enrollment. Other plans dragged Theuerkauf down to 333 or less. Making it a potential target for closure in the near future.

The other choice was Landels, but Landels, as I was told, does not really have as much open capacity as Theuerkauf.

Moving Huff-A may also bring other benefits, but those are speculative and not really part of the boundaries and enrollment issue.

"it looks like BATF is moving problem from one school (Huff) to other (Theuerkauf) instead of solving it properly."

I would have liked a 9-school option, but anyway you slice 9-schools, it endangers at least 3 other schools in the process.

And it was much worse back in 2006 when the district closed Slater. That pushed Castro to the breaking point and forced PACT to move out (2009) to make more room at Castro.

Things change, stuff gets moved, we only hope the powers that be make the best choices for the least disruptions at any given decision point.


9 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm

@ Pact Parent,

I was referring Web Link - Scenario 4A. That shows current # of students are 544 and will increase to 693 and facility capacity is 463.

I ll stick to my statement of "it looks like BATF is moving problem from one school (Huff) to other (Theuerkauf) instead of solving it properly." unless you prove without pulling random data current enrollment and portables.




12 people like this
Posted by Tamara Wilson
a resident of North Whisman
on May 20, 2015 at 7:43 pm

The demographic data shows for the 2014/2015 school year Theuerkauf has 544 students. Huff A has 149. If merged today, the school would have 693 students. The majority of new single family attached and detached homes will be built in the Whisman area of town. This boundary change is an erroneous quick fix to a longer term problem - tremendous growth in our neighborhood. As long as the district can justify operating 4 schools on 2 campuses, the problem will not go away. Traffic, inability to walk to school, misrepresentation abound. If you change the boundaries, your choice program wait list will grow exponentially. Maybe the goal is to chase people towards private school. Remember this when they start asking for more bond money. The problem seems to be the residents demand more choice programs and population growth in undeserved Whisman (with existing facilities) will explode. Who has the answer?


6 people like this
Posted by Abigail
a resident of Willowgate
on May 20, 2015 at 9:31 pm

That is 693 residents but 507 actual students if you take out the ones that already attend PACT or DI. Still over the 463 capacity but not if parents exercise their Romero Act right to move to another school.


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 10:15 pm

@Theuerkauf Old Mountain View wrote:

"That shows current # of students are 544 and will increase to 693 and facility capacity is 463."

FYI, one of the considered choices was to cut the Huff-A rectangle in half and send the top half to Theuerkauf and the bottom half to Landels.

The total potential number of students in a boundary area is not the point, what matters is how many kids actually choose to attend the public school in their named boundary.

Theuerkauf boundary area has 544 kids, but only 408 actually go to Theuerkauf in 2014-2015 school year. Officially, Theuerkauf has 463 "permanent" capacity. This capacity does NOT include any portables.
This is one of the problems with the way the stats are spelled-out,
they have non-obvious ways of counting "permanent capacity".

The other important point is what the projected enrollment will be in Theuerkauf by the time the change takes full effect. Remember, grandfathering will see to it that the full effect wont take place for 5 years from the year these new boundaries become official.

One could certainly argue that Landels would be a "better" location for the Huff-A area to be assigned to. Officially, Landels has capacity of 625 and enrollment of 535 out of 629 resident K-5 kids. Based on that limited info, it may seem Landels is better equipped to take in the Huff-A kids.

The way to choose which traditional school is best able to absorb the Huff-A kids requires a lot more info. What other uses does each school have for that seemingly "unused" capacity? What will the projected enrollment be by the time the grandfathering effect is done? I must assume the BATF was well aware of these facts and more and used that info to choose Huff-A would be the best of the 2 choices.

We can certainly email a BATF member to ask the question of projected enrollment after Huff-A goes to Theuerkauf.

"I ll stick to my statement of "it looks like BATF is moving problem from one school (Huff) to other (Theuerkauf) instead of solving it properly."

Depends on your definition of "properly". If your only "solution" to all "problems" is to open a Whisman/Slater traditional school and that's your only "proper" outcome, then I understand your view.

I also would like W/S to get a 9th school and have said that the planning should continue along the lines of when rather than if.

However, for now, a 9th school would cause bigger problems than it may solve.


14 people like this
Posted by Realtor
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 20, 2015 at 10:32 pm

To all the folks complaining that their homes will "unexpectedly" drop in value due to boundary changes - you must not have read your disclosures when you purchased your home. Realtors make HUGE points of telling all buyers that there is no guarantee that their children will be able to attend their neighborhood schools and that there is always the possibility of boundary changes.

Your only guarantee when purchasing in a neighborhood, is that the school district will not change. Boundary changes are an ongoing fact of life and anybody moving into a "remote" neighborhood that's nowhere near its assigned school should expect that they'll be the first to be reassigned as their assignment never made sense in the first place. "Heads Up" folks living in Shoreline West - you live right nextdoor to Castro School. It's odd that you're assigned to Bubb. Beware that your assignment may not last. Nobody's talking about it yet but reassignment to Castro seems logical if and when Bubb outgrows itself.


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 10:37 pm

@Tamara Wilson of North Whisman wrote:
"The demographic data shows for the 2014/2015 school year Theuerkauf has 544 students. Huff A has 149."

Tamara, you need to dig deeper.
Only 69 of that 149 actually go to Huff. The rest are split up.
Huff-A kids:
5 to Bubb
1 to Castro
10 to DI
69 to Huff
22 to Landels
11 to Monta Loma
11 to Stevenson
20 to Theuerkauf <== see, 20 are already at Theuerkauf!

So, we are really only talking about 69 kids at most.
More Huff-A parents may choose some other choice.

You wrote:
"fix to a longer term problem - tremendous growth in our neighborhood."

IF the W/S population of K-5 kids does indeed meet your prediction, then the district will open a new school in W/S. The parents and school staff have not been silent when a school gets overcrowded.

The Demographers have pretty good numbers on births by address, and they are not projecting an additional 400 K-5 kids in the entire district, let alone in W/S alone.

If the total of K-5 kids for the district expands by enough to make a 9th school for W/S, then we will see it coming in advance and have time to re-build Slater or take-over Whisman from the German/Chinese school.

I don't support creating a risky situation where we will be forced to close some school, but I do support being fully ready to add a new school when the need shows up.


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 11:16 pm

@Tamara Wilson of North Whisman also wrote:

Tamara, when the MVWSD Board called for people to volunteer for membership in the BATF, did you apply? How many W/S people applied?

And FYI, the BATF has ZERO POWER to make decisions, they only give advice based on their careful evaluation of the available information. The Board can totally ignore them and do whatever they wish.

"Bottom line is this kind of move will only make the waiting lists for choice programs grow exponentially."

That would be impossible. The "choice" waiting-lists may grow a little because some of those 69 Huff-A families will choose not to go to Theuerkauf, but certainly "grow exponentially" is impossible.

It would not surprise me if more Huff-A kids get sent to various other Traditional schools, as they are now.

"Already over 2,200 students go to private school in our community."

Close but not quite accurate, for our whole district, about 2,200 kids go to some school other than one of our public schools. Most do go to private schools, but some go to other districts and a few are home-schooled.

When the district has figured out a way to get lots of those kids to enter the MVWSD public schools, we will see the trend shifting.

Most of those kids wont ever come to a public school for various personal reasons. Nothing we could do will change that. Some MIGHT be drawn back from other neighboring districts. Some might move from private to public if they fall on hard times and can't afford it.

I would find it a great success if we could draw 400 of those missing 2,200 kids into our MVWSD public system, but adding a Whisman/Slater school wont do it unless that new school is somehow so compelling that families will feel the new school is more valuable than their current school.

"Our schools should be some of the best in the country."

Well, "should" is quite a claim, but "could be significantly better" is certainly a good goal. That takes a lot more money and a lot more effort from a lot more families and some really compelling new ideas.

"I do not feel like our neighborhood has had a voice on the BATF"

If you feel so strongly, did you apply for membership in the BATF when they called for volunteers in December?

And, I did hear various BATF members pushing hard for a W/S school. Many options with a W/S school were considered, MOST of the 30+ options included a W/S school, but none of them would work.

" and that without a voice the decision does not at all represent the community it will impact, which is not acceptable"

I remind you that 3 out of 5 Trustees openly stated they want a new school in W/S.

The BATF does NOT get to vote. The Trustees are the only votes that matter.
Well, until the 2016 election, that is.


6 people like this
Posted by Just Wait
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2015 at 3:32 am

Next year's K class will cure the temporary imbalance at Huff. Wait another year before making changes. Don't make me say I told you so next August.


18 people like this
Posted by T Wilson
a resident of North Whisman
on May 21, 2015 at 9:52 am

Kindergarten and TK enrollment have been steadily increasing since closing the W/S schools (from 529 students in 2005/06 to 696 in 2014/15). If more than 100 children are using the Romero Act to opt out of Theuerkauf, but it is acceptable to move a community into Theuerkauf, why not move and improve Theuerkauf within the Whisman neighborhood, and expand PACT on the existing site? There is a clear demand for choice programs. I even preferred PACT to Huff, but couldn't justify risking loss of Huff as my home school if my son didn't get into PACT. Bottom line is there appears to be is a dis-satisfaction with Theuerkauf, as evidenced by the people who opt out of attending. I have learned that 302 students opt out of Theuerkauf choosing Romero Act and choice programs. That is almost as many students as needed to start a new school. That number will increase if the BATF option is approved. I appreciate all of the efforts of the BATF and think you made the right decision given the assumptions you were provided. That said, in reading through the demographic report, it is unclear why flat enrollment was one of the primary assumptions provided to the BATF. The report states that enrollment across all grade levels has increased annually and 23% since 2005. The slight drop in K enrollment in the 2013-14 school year was due to passing of the Kindergarten Readiness Act which lowered enrollment by 37 from the previous year. This rebounded in the current school year with nearly 700 kids entering K. I'm excited to see the prospects and options for the future of Mountain View's schools. Change is never easy, but I hope we can work towards a better future for all of our kids.


3 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 21, 2015 at 10:31 am

Given that the district works hard to distribute resources as equitably and effectively as possible, what besides API scores makes Huff a better school? Remember, API does not actually measure teachers or students. It only strictly correlates to "mothers' educational attainment" and also probably listing prices chosen by realtors. If your goal is to educate your children in a school with limited diversity, go for it. Just remember, the world will never look like that again. Even 20 years ago, 27 languages were spoken in the homes of Theuerkauf students. That and the community we experienced as we checked out the school is why I can still walk there to use the field.


16 people like this
Posted by T Wilson
a resident of North Whisman
on May 21, 2015 at 10:52 am

The District does not work that hard to redistribute resources equitably. Whisman residents north of Middlefield Road pay 20% more in property taxes than the rest of MV and we do not have a school. The District operates 4 schools on 2 school sites? Why should your neighborhood have 2 schools and ours none? You can walk there because there is a school there. Why are we continually overlooked? I'm not looking for homogeneity in my school. I'm wondering why many flee Theuerkauf and why I should want it to be my home school? I would prefer to go to Landels given that I can bike there and my son could too, one day, by himself. As is, he will never be able to bike to Huff and if he went to Theuerkauf, it is a fairly risky adventure on bike/foot from Whisman.


7 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 21, 2015 at 11:14 am

Just to clarify. I chose to buy a smaller house near the school we wanted, not some bigger house in an area where schools had been closed. Given that many parents choose schools they need to drive to anyway, why does your area "deserve" a walkable school when the two that were there had to be closed due to financial realities. Slater was operating well below capacity when it closed. I agree, you could bike your son to Landels. If a W/S school was not a top school when it opened, how many parents with access to Huff would move?

If we could open W/S as a charter, parents would have to commit their students before the school opened, but a charter is not a neighborhood school.


13 people like this
Posted by Sylvie
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 21, 2015 at 11:48 am

I don't understand why Whisman/Slater folks keep saying they "don't have a school."

That's ridiculous-- you have a school just like every other family in the district. It might not be located precisely where you would like, but a LOT of people in the district have to cross major roads to get to school.

Incidentally, I don't hear the Huff A folks complaining about having to drive across town for their school. So which is it? Sounds to me like you need to be honest with yourselves about what's really going on: that you don't want to go to school with the population at Theurekauf.


11 people like this
Posted by Huff
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2015 at 12:12 pm

@ Sylvie from Blossom valley

You said.
"Incidentally, I don't hear the Huff A folks complaining about having to drive across town for their school."

Yes, we have been complaining about it and many discussion / presentation has been done with School district in past. You were not just in those meetings.

School and most of its board member showed interest in opening of school in whisman area. But now as we are just redrawing boundary, district may not look at opening new school soon.

You are just enjoying because it does not impact to you.



19 people like this
Posted by Patrick Neschleba
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 21, 2015 at 12:21 pm

A few reasons to send your kids to Theuerkauf if you live in the area that is proposed for reassignment from Huff:

1. New leadership. Great opportunity to drive changes you want for your kids (note this does require you get involved... but you should do that anyway...).

2. Diversity. Great opportunity for your kids to meet other kids from different backgrounds. Great opportunity for you as a parent to do the same with other parents.

3. Same District curriculum! Really!

4. Updated facilities (we hope!). Modern classrooms, etc that aren't different from the other schools. This of course is pending Board decisions. By the way, just looking at what's there now, have you seen the library at Theuerkauf and compared it to the other schools? It's pretty nice.

5. Athletics! If you're in one of the leagues that uses Stevenson field a lot, like MVLAGS or AYSO, you're already there for after-school practices.

6. You don't have to deal with the traffic light at Grant and El Camino anymore. :)

I am sure there are other reasons. There are always tradeoffs, but sometimes I think people fail to see the glass-half-full perspective on these changes and take advantage of the opportunities they present for their kids.


21 people like this
Posted by Ridiculous
a resident of North Whisman
on May 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm

@Sylvie

What is REALLY ridiculous is that there are TWO public school buildings located in the Whisman/Slater area, yet not one of them are being operated as a public school. At the same time, there are 4 schools being operated on 2 different campuses elsewhere in the district. Is it really a surprise that we are where we are at with the overcrowding, traffic, kids from multiple areas having to cross major streets, etc?

While it is true that many do not want to go to Theuerkauf, this neighborhood has been screaming for years to have one of our two school to be reopened.

We have the opportunity to fix everything now, by reopening one of the Whisman/Slater schools. It's time.


21 people like this
Posted by Huff resident
a resident of North Whisman
on May 21, 2015 at 3:03 pm

@PACT parent and @Old Steve

Folks,

We see a lot of comments in the favor of this re-zoning from people who are not impacted by the re-zoning.

Is there anyone here who will be rezoned who is in the favor or this re-zoning ? Which Huff parents in Huff-A would rather send kids to Theuerkauf than the short commute to Huff from Huff-A ?

Theuerkauf parents paid on average $250K less for their housing. Huff-A parents have paid $250K+ premium for Huff school. Why are current Theuerkauf parents cheering this decision ? What is in it for you ?

Let's get down to the bias here:
1. How many members on the Task Force actually live in the Huff-A region, with a kid who will go to Huff in the next few years ? My guess is 0
2. How many members here who are in favor of this plan live in the Huff-A region with a kid who will go to Huff in the next few years. Again my guess is 0.

It is very easy to provide ridiculous and baseless proposals when you are not impacted but the lives of those parents who live in Huff-A will be turned upside down and they will be devastated if this re-zoning were to take place.

Essentially, what you are proposing to Huff-A is this:
a. take a loss of $250K on your house price - something you have paid dearly with all of your life's savings. (I would like to ask who will refund us this loss ? Will the county refund the price and the additional taxes they collected because we paid a premium for Huff-A)
b. Even though we paid a premium for the best school, send our kids to the worst school in the neighborhood. WHY ?


@Patrick Neschleba - You have a long list of why we should attend Theuerkauf - yet I am willing to bet that you will gladly send your kid to Huff if you got that chance. WHY THIS DOUBLE STANDARD ???

In this proposal, it is very clear that this was a one-sided agenda by the Task Force without any representation from the households who will actually be affected.

Yes we do have to take responsibility that the Huff-A parents were not involved. That should and will change. I will attend every meeting and oppose this proposal as well as hold the school district accountable for their actions.

There are other proposals on the table that should be seriously considered by the Board before making such drastic actions.

Even if the rezoning was the only way around this problem, don't penalize families that have already bought a house for the Huff school - let their kids attend Huff and make the re-zoning effective for houses sold after the decision date. The Grandfather plan should not only allow current kids and their siblings but also kids who are not of K age yet but will be ready in the next 1-4 years.


9 people like this
Posted by Huff resident
a resident of North Whisman
on May 21, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Another thing the board should consider is that by re-zoning:

1. The house prices will fall in HuffA and will fall a lot 20-30% on average. $250k or so. This will result in some people moving out off Huff-A to other school districts and will also generate lesser revenue for the school district.

2. The families in HuffA would be in a very stuck up situation. After the fall of house prices, many families will have upside down mortgages. They will not be able to move out even if they want and they will not be able to cough up enough money to send their kids to private school.


15 people like this
Posted by Helping Rich People
a resident of The Crossings
on May 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm

By Solving Huff school crowd issue, it looks like BATF has many friends in Huff area homes and trying to help them.

North Whisman is like poor people area for mountain view, BATF or school district dont care them. No neighborhood school and now remove highly rated school.

@ Sylvie from Blossom valley

If you dont have problem with going across the area through major roads why dont you send your kids to Theuerkauf. I am ok to send my kid assigned to your home. What do you think?




9 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 21, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Sorry Huff Folks,

Please re-read the comments by the realtor above about disclosures. As far as district revenue goes, As an LCFF (state funded) district, our property taxes do not fully support our district, and the state makes up the difference, whether local property taxes go up or down. Palo Alto and Los Altos have basic aid (community funded) districts with bigger budgets and higher home values (generally). MVWSD can't afford to re open W/S, and cannot keep supporting the crowded conditions at Huff. There is currently no valid, objective data for "best" or "worst" school in a district, or any means toward a "refund".


3 people like this
Posted by Jim Mailhot
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 21, 2015 at 5:17 pm

@LASD Observer, @Question Assumptions, @to PACT Parent

You've all incorrectly asserted that the change from an early-December to an early-September Kindergarten enrollment cut-off date created three extra-large, 13-month grades. The opposite is actually true; current K, 1st and 2nd grades are 11-month grades.

3rd: Dec 2005 - Nov 2006 (12 months)
2nd: Dec 2006 - Oct 2007 (11 months, no Nov)
1st: Nov 2007 - Sep 2008 (11 months, no Oct)
K: Oct 2008 - Aug 2009 (11 months, no Sep)
Incoming K: Sep 2009 - Aug 2010 (12 months)

All else being equal, we would expect this year's incoming Kindergarten class to be larger than last year's.


7 people like this
Posted by Huff resident
a resident of North Whisman
on May 21, 2015 at 5:41 pm

@Old Steve

I asked a question that you knowing ignored.

How are you impacted by this rezoning? Why are you even writing here? You are not even in the Huff school zone - then why bring up all of these useless arguments

Yes there is a disclaimer on every thing. Does that mean people don't buy houses 2 blocks from a school?

The school board has a fiduciary duty to the residents of MV and need to make sure that all are treated fairly. This proposal helps the Huff main residents and is unfair to Huff-A. To make it equitable to Huff-A the board needs to provide something to Huff-A. Everything else is just noise and open to interpretation and fact bending.

The biggest winners in this proposal are Huff main residents. And the biggest losers are Huff-A residents. Why should Huff-A residents lose or sacrifice. We pay the same school tax. We have paid the same premium for Huff school in terms of 25% higher house value and 25% higher tax value.

Anyone explain how this is an equitable division between Huff-main and Huff-A ?


18 people like this
Posted by Helping Rich People
a resident of The Crossings
on May 21, 2015 at 6:02 pm

@ Huff resident

The difference is only that home value of Huff area south of el camino is higher. Even though tax % is same. City and school get more amount of money from them.

Ofcourse that is why BATF wants to help them.

by changing boundary, BATF think it will help to school API of Huff more and it will translate into more home value of that area.

On the other side, Huff-A values will go down. This is solving school problem but its about home value.


5 people like this
Posted by Budget Comparison
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Um, LASD serves 20% of Mountain View too, you know, for elementary school.

Both LASD and Mountain View had $52 Million in revenue in 2013-2014.

After the switch to the higher yielding LCFF formula in Mountain View in the curent school year, MVWSD's revenue base grew to exceed LASD's, even with LASD raising over $3 Million from its foundation.

You might think there number of kids is lower in LASD, and that's partly true. However, besides the 4600 or so in LASD's own traditional schools, another 700 kids in the Bullis Charter School are also funded by LASD, but at a reduced level. The 4600 kids use about $12K each in funding, but the 700 kids in the charter school are funded by the state and LASD around $7500 apiece.

Pretty much the same public funding between MVWSD and LASD, even when you look per student.


18 people like this
Posted by Patrick Neschleba
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 22, 2015 at 12:54 am

@Huff Resident: You seem to think my answer to your question would be "of course I would send my kids to Huff given the chance!" You are mistaken. No double-standard here. It's not that I don't think Huff is a great school - I have friends with kids there and I'm happy for them - it's just that we have a great school closer to us that fits what we want for our kids, in an affordable neighborhood.

It was great to see the Theuerkauf community standing up for their school tonight at the board meeting... and hear Heidi Smith, Huff Principal, stand up for them too!



13 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 8:33 am

Yep, I ignored the question. Schools benefit the entire school district. As a tax paying voter in the school district with more than twenty years of experience with facts that many posters seem to ignore, I am also entitled to my opinion. I would prefer, as the saying goes, that we all express our opinions using the same set of facts. I believe selecting a house based on the current school attendance area, without actually studying all the schools in a district, is an unwise investment decision. Pick a house using whatever criteria you want, but don't complain to the rest of us when well debated public decisions appear to impact your investment. If we opened a W/S school, Huff A would still be re-assigned. You don't even have a basis to opine that your students' education will suffer.


11 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 10:48 am

@Huff resident of North Whisman
You wrote:
"Let's get down to the bias here:

Ok, lets, right from the very FIRST scenarios of the 3 dozen different scenarios evaluated by the BATF, virtually ALL of them included moving Huff-A to either Theuerkauf or Landels. Huff-A was always going to be moved out of Huff. WHY is it that the Huff-A people are only NOW aware of this?

What prevented Huff-A people from applying to get on the BATF or speak up in the earlier meetings?

You wrote:
"1. How many members on the Task Force actually live in the Huff-A region, with a kid who will go to Huff in the next few years ? My guess is 0"

Since every parent with a K-5 kid in public school now should have recieved the email asking for volunteers to be on the BATF committee and since there are at least 2 Trustees who are loud advocates to put a school in Whisman/Slater and who KNEW the importance of the BATF committee, I see no excuse for the lack of volunteers coming forwards from the Whisman/Slater or Huff-A area to get on the BATF.

Or, are you claiming that there was some sort of conspiracy by the district to keep the W/S and Huff-A groups in the dark? Or are you claiming that many W/S or Huff-A parents did apply, but their applications got thrown away by the district?

How exactly, by what sort of conspiracy created the membership of the BATF?

"2. How many members here who are in favor of this plan live in the Huff-A region with a kid who will go to Huff in the next few years. Again my guess is 0."

First, ONLY 69 kids in Huff-A currently go to Huff school.
20 already go to Theuerkauf by choice.
11 to DI
11 to Stevenson
others go to Landels, Castro Traditional, Monta Loma

So, what "bias" prevented you and other Huff-A people from speaking up sooner or applying to be on the BATF?


21 people like this
Posted by Huff resident
a resident of North Whisman
on May 22, 2015 at 11:21 am

@PACT parent

We never received an email or invitation to serve on the BATF. If we had, we definitely would have represented our interests. Our kids are not yet school going - so we will also not be grandfathered in. Hence a big concern to us.

Also in talking to other parents whose kids are going to Huff currently, they also didn't receive an email inviting them to BATF.

Before yesterday's meeting, I was opposing the decision of BATF but appreciated the time spent by BATF in thinking about this issue.

However, yesterday, in the board meeting, it was very clear:

1. There was no representation from Huff-A or Huff-B on the BATF. Yet, the entire rezoning will only affect these 2 areas. Why ? Whatever you chose to call it, it doesn't change the fact that BATF didn't have representation from the areas that will be negatively affected by the changes suggested by BATF. That seriously discredits the BATF.

2. The 4th speaker from BATF (a woman whose kids go to Castro and also part of Stevenson PACT), spent 5 minutes trying to convince the board that Huff-A parents dont want to commute to Huff. She repeated this several times that this proposal is for the benefit of Huff-A parents and this is what Huff-A wants. Yet no facts were presented about which Huff-A parents, how many of them. In my conversation with 10+ families, no-one was concerned about the commute. Yes Huff-A wants a neighborhood school, but no-one wants to go to Theuerkauf to reduce the commute. There were atleast 10 Huff-A parents yesterday objecting and asserting that commute is not a problem for them.

3. The benefit to Huff-A that was proposed is that Theuerkauf is closer than Huff school. It is still not walking distance. Parents from Huff-A will still have to drive to Theuerkauf. So which parent said that they would rather drive to Theuerkauf and not to Huff school ? The proposal itself is absurd that parents would prefer to drive to Theuerkauf but not to Huff. Theuerkauf is not a neighborhood school for Huff-A.


All of the above make it very clear.

a. BATF comprises of members who are not affected by this proposed change.

b. BATF also lied to the board members when they amplified that Huff-A parents are concerned about commuting to Huff and would rather prefer to go to Theuerkauf. That is an absolute lie. Please present your data (surveys, testimonials by Huff-A parents to validate your statements).

c. BATF made a biased recommendation based on lies, protecting their own interests and hurting the Huff-A residents in their proposal.

The above seriously discredits the BATF. Several people yesterday raised questions about the assumptions and supposed facts that BATF based their decisions on.


10 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 11:44 am

Huff resident of North Whisman

Huff, the emails asking for volunteers for the BATF came out last Dec or maybe as early as Nov. Perhaps you should ask people you know to look back that far in their email inbox?

"We never received an email or invitation to serve on the BATF. If we had, we definitely would have represented our interests. Our kids are not yet school going"

I see, but there are two very LOUD and wealthy advocates for putting a school in the Whisman/Slater area who are both either in or in contact with the W/S neighborhood associations and they both KNEW what was going on and what would happen with Huff-A and they knew what the BATF was supposed too be doing BEFORE the BATF was formed.

WHY didn't your own LOUD and wealthy advocates bother to take the time to inform the people they KNEW were going to be effected?

If you know any parents who are now in the K-5 public schools, then they would have gotten the email, so WHY didn't they tell you? Why didn't they apply for membership in the BATF"

Remember, EVERY scenario of te perhaps 3 dozen the BATF worked on included moving Huff-A out of Huff. That was practically a given from day one. WHY didn't someone in the W/S or Huff areas tell you?

You asked:
"Yet, the entire rezoning will only affect these 2 areas. Why ? "

Simple, right from the start one of the problems the Board and Super indicated MUST be solved was the fact that at least 22 kids living near Huff were NOT accepted into Huff because Huff was at limit and could not hold any more kids.

This was always the major problem that Huff and the Board and Super and the Demographers said MUST be fixed. The only way to fix that was moving Huff-A and Huff-B.

You wrote:
"trying to convince the board that Huff-A parents dont want to commute to Huff."

Well, I would point out that NOW only 69 out of 149 Huff-A kids currently chose to go to Huff. The rest are scattered around. The biggest group already go to Theuerkauf by choice. Theuerkauf even has more than PACT or DI of the Huff-A kids.

You wrote:
"c. BATF made a biased recommendation based on lies, protecting their own interests and hurting the Huff-A residents in their proposal."

You should really read the data available on the MVWSD web-site. The fact is, the BATF was basically TOLD that this fix for Huff was essential and the whole board and Super wanted it.

The Huff-A and Huff-B changes were part of the very first set of scenarios the BATF was given by the Demographers. The BATF did NOT make this up, they did NOT invent the fact that Huff has been over-booked in recent years and the BATF did NOT set fixing this as the priority, the Super and Board agreed on this from the start.

Remember, the BATF has ZERO POWER, they just offer advice.
The Board and Super have the power.

The Super and Demographers and the Board set all the basic assumptions and criteria, the BATF just evaluated the available facts and gave their best advice.


13 people like this
Posted by BATF assumption wrong
a resident of The Crossings
on May 22, 2015 at 12:25 pm

I saw BATF presentation yesterday and assumption they made to made boundary changes are completely wrong.

Assumption 1) Enrollment stable and Flat in next 5 years - Really? Population of mview increase 5% from 200 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2014 - 5%.
Also have they looked at the residential construction going on in Huff A, and overall in 94043 zip code.

Assumption 2) Monta Loma and Theurkauf enrollment will be low in Future..
Really? Again look at new people coming to m view. New construction.

Assumption 3) School enrollment in next 5 years will go down?
So you think (young) people will not kids or you think they dont want them to send kids to school?

And if they think enrollment will down by 5% in mview school, why not will go down in Huff school? and if yes, they why make boundary change now?

While board members appreciated lot of data put in spreadsheet and its analysis, They problem is most of data is wrong and there is lot of assumption more than real data.

If Cupertino, Menlo Park and Redwood City opening new school to improve quality by opening new neighborhood school and bring kids to teacher ration low, Why not mountain view? or do we need to ask Google for that as well?

I really want to speak with BATF member who presented yesterday saying Huff-A resident dont want to drive to Huff to drop off their kids.. Really? I have to get into the Car to get Tomatos and Bread, so why i dont want to drop my kids to school to improve their future.

Where are BATF members.. Are they sleeping under their comfortable pillow?





19 people like this
Posted by Margo
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Huff-A parents, I feel your pain but if you would just channel all that energy into supporting Theuerekauf and making it a better school, both you personally and the entire district would benefit.


10 people like this
Posted by Another Huff-A
a resident of North Whisman
on May 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm

@Margo

Thank you for coming out with your real agenda. Why do you want Huff-A parents to help improve Theuerekauf? Why can't you do it yourself ?

If we wanted Theuerekauf, we would have bought houses in Theuerekauf zone. Please don't force us to your school.


3 people like this
Posted by Theuerekauf parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 12:36 pm

What was the outcome of the board meeting yesterday ?


10 people like this
Posted by Why Why
a resident of North Whisman
on May 22, 2015 at 12:42 pm

@ Margo,

So you need more kids and parents to improve Theuerekauf? Why is that.
If school district and current / former parent could not improve it, why you need more?

and if you are happy the way Theuerekauf is, Then tell school board member, that you do not want this change.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 12:52 pm

BATF assumption wrong of The Crossings

"I saw BATF presentation yesterday and assumption they made to made boundary changes are completely wrong."
"Assumption 1) Enrollment stable and Flat in next 5 years - Really? Population of mview increase 5% from 200 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2014 - 5%"

OK, for all Huff-A-B people, There is a lot of data ad projections given to the BATF by the Demographers and staff and yes, reasonable people can disagree as to what exactly will happen in the future, so, NO, NOBODY knows what will actually happen to K-5 enrollment anywhere in our complicated district.

Keep this in-mind, it may be comforting.
A small area change of a boundary is not remotely as disruptive as moving a whole school or closing one school and opening another, or swapping programs around. Those changes have massive long-term consequences.

A minor boundary change need not be a huge problem and may not need to be permanent or even last long. A boundary change is far easier to switch back than messing around with entire schools is.

When the Board decides, and YES, it's the BOARD that makes these decisions, NOT the BATF, to make such a minor change to such a small area which effects such a small number of families, the fact is that just because the Board makes a decision one way today, that does not prevent the Board from reversing the decision in the future as enrollment requests change.

The Board can move Huff-A-B this year and then see a surprise in the numbers next year and switch it back. If Huff has excess capacity next year, then the Board could re-consider, if Huff is still worse next year, the Board may end up making a bigger change.

If the Huff advocates are correct, then it's easy to change back.
If the Huff neighborhood loses K-5 kids and they again need the Huff-a-b
kids back the Board can do that quickly.

If the K-5 enrollment increases only 5%, then the Huff-a-b change was a good idea.

If K-5 the enrollment explodes and adds hundreds of new kids, then the Board can quickly get going on building a new 9th school for the W/S area.

If the district finds ways to draw kids away from private schools in our district and into the public system, enough of those kids could also trigger a new 9th school in W/S.

As conditions CHANGE the Board has the power to make changes to cope with those changes.

So, Huff-A-B people, you should hope for LOWER enrollment trends so you can be re-zoned back to Huff.

The advocates of a W/S 9th school traditional should be hoping for an explosion in K-5 enrollment by 400 or more new kids. Then you will get a new traditional neighborhood school.

As conditions change...make a wish!
But, be careful what you wish for, for you may get it!


12 people like this
Posted by A Third Huff A
a resident of North Whisman
on May 22, 2015 at 12:53 pm

@Margo

In an ideal world, I would certainly agree with you.

However, realistically, that's not going to happen. Those who can afford it will either go the private school route (that's currently our family's Plan A as of yesterday) or move out (as my kid's best friend recently did).

The result? Your flattening/declining enrollment numbers will be a self fulfilling prophecy.

To be clear, POPULATION of children Under five in the MVWSD is projected to increase. It's the ENROLLMENT that they are projecting to decrease. (reference pg 20 of demo report)


12 people like this
Posted by Huff resident
a resident of North Whisman
on May 22, 2015 at 12:58 pm

@PACT Parent and @BATF assumption wrong

I agree with @"BATF assumption wrong". Many of the assumptions are invalidated and wrong, plus there is a big communication gap.

@PACT Parent
"there are two very LOUD and wealthy advocates for putting a school in the Whisman/Slater area who are both either in or in contact with the W/S neighborhood associations "

Please disclose WHO are these advocates and we would like to get the full details from them as well as be part of the process. I am in touch with our HOA board and they never heard about from these 2 individuals. Yesterday, Ken Brent, who represented the Tyrella Association also opposed this move and apparently hadn't heard from these 2 advocates.

"WHY didn't your own LOUD and wealthy advocates bother to take the time to inform the people they KNEW were going to be effected?"

Yes We are asking the same question. Yesterday 10+ Huff-A residents asked the same question. WHY DO WE DON'T HAVE A VOICE on BATF WHEN WE ARE THE MOST AFFECTED ???? Please explain.

"I would point out that NOW only 69 out of 149 Huff-A kids currently chose to go to Huff. The rest are scattered around. The biggest group already go to Theuerkauf by choice. Theuerkauf even has more than PACT or DI of the Huff-A kids"

You are contradicting yourself. In one statement you say that Huff rejected Huff-A students and then you say that Huff-A parents choose to go to Theuerkauf and other schools on their own.

That is a great point actually. Why change the boundary, when some Huff-A residents are anyway chosing to go to Theuerkauf. Make it a choice. Theuerkauf has open seats, if Huff-A parents want Theuerkauf, they can enroll, if not, they can stay with Huff. Why force everyone when you claim that parents are already going to Theuerkauf by choice.

"BATF has ZERO POWER, they just offer advice."

If that is the case, why are you defending BATF. BATF may have zero power, but has a great influence on the board.

In the end: We oppose the assumptions that BATF has based it's decision upon. We were not represented on BATF, no surveys were conducted, none of our concerns were recorded. So it is a biased recommendation based on incorrect data.

The board has a fiduciary duty to genuinely consider everyone's concern and especially who will be significantly disadvantaged by this move. If the board acts on this faulty recommendation, then they will be making a huge mistake and will be opening themselves to huge protests from Huff-A-B.


5 people like this
Posted by People who care
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 22, 2015 at 12:58 pm

echo Theuerekauf parent
Can someone please update the conclusion from the meeting last night?


11 people like this
Posted by Huff resident
a resident of North Whisman
on May 22, 2015 at 1:09 pm

BATF and Board Members: Do carefully consider what the residents are saying:

@A Third Huff A
"Those who can afford it will either go the private school route (that's currently our family's Plan A as of yesterday) or move out (as my kid's best friend recently did). "

This is exactly what we have also planned (private school or move out, Theuerkauf is not even a consideration).

Please Keep these things in mind.
1. Current students and siblings of Huff are already grandfathered in. So they will not go to Theuerkauf.

2. The kids (like ours) who are not yet going to Huff and will not be grandfathered. So for us this house is useless based on our selection process. Like "Third Huff-A" we will send our kids to private school. The same for many families who are Huff-A residents but dont have kids in Huff yet. We will not be sending out kids to Theuerkauf.

3. So you are not going be able to fill Theuerkauf even if you force this decision on us. What will happen is we will move out of this area to other friendly school districts. Yes you can hope that when we do move out, then the parents who are coming in will send their kids to Theuerkauf - but then from current data you already know that the current Theuerkauf residents themselves are not sending their kids to Theuerkauf. So what are you thinking ? check your facts ???

4. "POPULATION of children Under five in the MVWSD is projected to increase. It's the ENROLLMENT that they are projecting to decrease. (reference pg 20 of demo report)"

Do you understand the meaning of this ? If not, let me state it clearly for you:

Parents who can afford it will rather send kids to private school than to Theuerkauf. Recognize it and face it. You will not be able to fill Theuerkauf by forcing Huff-A into it.


20 people like this
Posted by MB
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 22, 2015 at 1:25 pm

I heard about both the BATF and the DFC looking for members through our neighborhood list-serv. I also read about it in the Voice, I believe. I don't have a child in the school district but still managed to be made aware of it.

Seems to me there was adequate notice given to the entire community that these groups were being formed. It also seems to me that the composition of the committees has been known and posted for several months. But only now that certain interest groups don't like the outcome is there an outcry of foul play or some kind of conspiracy.

It behooves us all to be engaged citizens and pay attention. This process can't drag on forever because somebody wished they had volunteered, but didn't.


9 people like this
Posted by Kindergarden parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 22, 2015 at 1:30 pm

If the BATF Plan A proposal of Boundary change pass thorough, We are moving out of this area before end year.

So tell BATF members that there will one less enrollment next year i Theuerkauf.

This is reason, people moving out of area or sending kids to private school.


3 people like this
Posted by People who care
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 22, 2015 at 1:30 pm

So sounds like the conclusion is to proceed the rezoning and ditch the idea of opening a new school? When is the effective timeline? 2016-2017?


10 people like this
Posted by No Set Conclusion Yet
a resident of North Whisman
on May 22, 2015 at 1:40 pm

@People who care

I don't think there is a set conclusion yet, although the board members did share their thoughts on the proposal.

My favorite quote of the evening:

Board Member Chiang (paraphrasing): I want us to have modern, forward thinking, 21st Century schools. I'm in favor of one day re-opening a school, but I don't think this is the right time.
Overheard: "well, I really hope we can have a 21st Century School by the 22nd Century."


8 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 1:52 pm

All the angry Huff folks,

The reality is that LCFF funds only about 75% of what MVWSD spends on each kid, and the other 25% is from local sources that do not increase per student. To the extent that enrollment goes down while population and property values go up, you can actually help improve the district financially by choosing private school or relocation. The threat is completely empty. Those of you who refuse to consider Theuerkauf actually have probably never been there, never spoken to a teacher, don't have any idea other than outdated API as to what goes on there.


5 people like this
Posted by even residents in Therukauf
a resident of The Crossings
on May 22, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Don't want to attend their home school. I bet the long waiting list for Stevenson PACT are majorly from Therukauf community...


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Huff resident of North Whisman

"I would point out that NOW only 69 out of 149 Huff-A kids currently chose to go to Huff. The rest are scattered around. The biggest group already go to Theuerkauf by choice. Theuerkauf even has more than PACT or DI of the Huff-A kids"

You wrote:
"You are contradicting yourself. In one statement you say that Huff rejected Huff-A students"

No, I am saying that the district says that there were 22 kids living near Huff who got denied a seat because Huff was over full. I did not claim those 22 denied kids came from huff-A.

"and then you say that Huff-A parents choose to go to Theuerkauf and other schools on their own."

Yes, that part is accurately stated.
Of the 149 K-5 kids currently in Huff-A, only 69 go to Huff.
The rest are split up to other schools.

I posted the exact numbers before, they are in the published documents too.
Only 69 of that 149 actually go to Huff. The rest are split up.
Huff-A kids:
5 to Bubb
1 to Castro
10 to DI
69 to Huff
22 to Landels
11 to Monta Loma
11 to Stevenson
20 to Theuerkauf <== see, 20 are already at Theuerkauf!

You wrote:
"Why change the boundary, when some Huff-A residents are anyway chosing to go to Theuerkauf."

Because Huff was still over-booked by 22 kids this year.
Not enough Huff-A kids have chosen to go elsewhere.

""BATF has ZERO POWER, they just offer advice.""

"If that is the case, why are you defending BATF."

Because people who don't know the facts, who just woke up yesterday to a process that began more than a year ago are throwing around accusations and attacking the integrity of the group of people who have spent hundreds of volunteer hours carefully evaluating the information provided to them.

You unfairly attack because you don't like the outcome.

Imagine how the Stevenson families feel knowing that our whole school may be closed to be rented to the highest bidders and our program may be shipped off to a Whisman/Slater area school. That disrupts the families of 390 kids.

"BATF may have zero power, but has a great influence on the board."

That's an assumption. The Board has not yet cast any votes nor changed any boundaries or taken any action based on anything the BATF has done.

"In the end: We oppose the assumptions that BATF has based it's decision upon."

Then argue with the Demographers, the Super, the staff and the Board.
The BATF did not make up info, they were given it.

"We were not represented on BATF,"

And who's fault is that?
This whole mess got started over a year ago.
Don't you read the MV-Voice?

"no surveys were conducted,"

Complain to the Board and district staff, only they can authorize a survey be conducted. The BATF cannot conduct a survey on it's own.

"none of our concerns were recorded."

Really? Comments given by the public are generally recorded.
Did you come to any of the many past meetings and speak your thoughts at the podium?

Did you guys even email the BATF?
Their collective email address was posted on the district web-site.

"So it is a biased recommendation based on incorrect data."

So you claim, without proof, sounds biased.

"The board has a fiduciary duty to genuinely consider everyone's concern and especially who will be significantly disadvantaged by this move."

Ah, yes, the Board does, so that's who you should complain to, the BATF did what it was told to do and did it to the best the job could have been done.

"If the board acts on this faulty recommendation, then they will be making a huge mistake and will be opening themselves to huge protests from Huff-A-B."

The PACT and Traditional families of 400 kids who all attended the Slater school back in 2005 told the Board and interim Super back then the same thing but the Board ignored the input of others and did what they wanted to do all along.

The 400 PACT and Traditional kids of Slater held a protest march with school staff too.

The Board ignored those protests and closed Slater anyway.

Again, the BATF is a red herring, they have no power they can't conduct surveys, they can't make decisions, they just evaluate the info they have been fed and by the criteria they were given as priorities to come up with the best suggestions basedon what they were told.


13 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 22, 2015 at 2:28 pm

BATF has no idea what is going on in the city. Bunch of idiots who has no impact due to this decision.

They just opening spreadsheet and putting lot of assumption number than real numbers.

Make me school board and I can start making decision, lets see how you feel.


9 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Actually, the MVWSD Board's fiduciary duties are to the voters and students of the MVWSD. To the extent that attendance area changes support more cost effective instruction, that is their fiduciary duty. And as for voters, their fiduciary is to assure that the loud complaining of special interests does not negatively impact the financial operation of the entire district. Done and Done (assuming they accept the recommendations of the BATF and DFC)


14 people like this
Posted by to PACT Parent
a resident of North Whisman
on May 22, 2015 at 2:49 pm

I really cannot get the reason that Stevenson PACT has to be at the current campus given the fact that it is a choice program. Move it to Whisman can potentially mean to adapt more kids who are waiting for spot isn't it?


5 people like this
Posted by to PACT Parent
a resident of North Whisman
on May 22, 2015 at 3:13 pm

you keep saying 22 kids couldn't get into Huff what about those 77 kids waiting for a spot in Stevenson. Are they really going to Theuerkauf? Or their home school? How many of the Stevenson PACT families actually choose the school based on the philosophy. Or API? People lets be honest and be understanding When you criticize our preference do you retrospect your CHOICE


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 3:34 pm

@to PACT Parent of North Whisman

"I really cannot get the reason "

You should have come to the meetings where the Whisman/Slater people had to say about "choice" schools. They don't want a choice school, they want a traditional school exclusively for the Whisman/Slater kids NOT so that hundreds of kids from across the district will be commuting by car into the school.

I believe that anyone can get the reason (If they want to), which is why I posted the answer before and will be happy to explain again.
There are 2 main reasons why the Stevenson site is the best site for PACT to serve the entire district.

You wrote:
"that Stevenson PACT has to be at the current campus given the fact that it is a choice program."

The reasons are all rolled up in that one word "choice".

First, geographical choice.
Of all the school sites in our district, the Stevenson site provides the very best access to commuters coming from any part of the district. Moving PACT to any other site will make the commute significantly worse for various areas of our district. Moving PACT to Whisman/Slater is the worse-case move because that area has very limited access paths for the hundreds of parents who will need to drive into and out of the Whisman/Slater area in 3 main waves.

The Stevenson site is simply the best site in the district that provides the most even distribution to the entire district.

Then "choice" and the philosophy of choice.
For any style of "choice" school to operate and achieve it's full potential, the families who choose to go to these "choice" schools need to have understood the philosophy and methods and make the informed and deliberate choice to dedicate themselves to the methods involved.

Choosing to go to a "choice" school simply because of the location being the closest school to your house, or simply because it is perceived to have some higher score on some test and NOT good reasons to choose a "choice" school. Those things are fine to inspire you to begin to learn about the philosophy and methods, but if you are not convinced to commit to those methods and help your child to do so as well, then you're not really there for a productive reason.

That's why all "choice" school need to be located next door to a Traditional school. Then the local parents can freely choose between a Traditional school OR the choice school. If any "choice" school is set off somewhere with no Traditional school next door, then the locals don't really have a choice.

Imagine if Dual-Immersion was moved to Slater, as was the plan at one time. If lots of parents who live near the Slater DI have no interest in their kids learning Spanish, but they do want the closest school, then the whole point of DI is lost. Each year more and more kids with no interest in Spanish will fill the DI school until it can no longer accomplish it's core mission. For Dual-Immersion to function it needs to have a high enough percentage of native Spanish speakers attending the DI school. Best is 50% Spanish speakers and 50% English speakers. As the percentages get farther from 50-50, the harder it is for the school to reach it's potential or even function at all.

For PACT there is the same problem. If PACT was sent to Whisman/Slater, then each year more and more of the kids will be locals who are only interested in a close school and have no interest in the PACT methods. It would only take a 3-5 years for the Traditional kids to become the majority. The families of the PACT kids will face the over whelming burden
of supporting the whole school by themselves.

PACT functions best and can reach it's full potential when every parent helps share the effort to support the program. The higher the percentage of parents actively providing support, the less each parent has to do. The lower the percentage of parents supporting the methods, the higher the burden on the fewer parents. At some point, the burden gets to be too much and things get dropped from the program and PACT cannot attain it's full potential.

You wrote:
"Move it to Whisman can potentially mean to adapt more kids who are waiting for spot isn't it?"

The kids wanting to get in to PACT come from all over the entire district. Moving PACT over to an isolated corner of the district with very few paths to get there means that the demand for PACT will drop sharply. Filling up a PACT@Slater school with locals who don't want a "choice" school with traditional kids, wont help anyone.

The families of Whisman/Slater have said in clear terms that they do NOT want any form of "choice" school in the Whisman/Slater area, they don't want hundreds of commuter-kids coming into the area from across the district. What the Whisman/Slater parents want is exclusively a traditional neighborhood preference school exclusively for the kids in that area.

They have said they want a school to join together their specific area to build a real Whisman/Slater community around a traditional school where all the kids live in the area.

So, moving PACT to Whisman/Slater not only harm PACT, it also continues to deny what the Whisman/Slater families have always said they want.

I hope I answered your question, if not, please ask for a clarification.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 3:56 pm

@to PACT Parent of North Whisman
You wrote:
"you keep saying 22 kids couldn't get into Huff"

Actually, that was in the official documents provided by the district and was a major factor which prompted the formation of the BATF.

"what about those 77 kids waiting for a spot in Stevenson."

Actually, this year the waiting-list was 170 kids, if you include all grades.

"Are they really going to Theuerkauf?"

Remember, parents who want choice can come from anywhere in the district.

I do know some who did end up at TH. I know some went to Castro. Some went to Huff. I have to assume that some went to private schools. I have to assume all the schools got some of them.

I tried to get a list from the district showing where those 170 kids ended up going and I couldn't seem to get it. Maybe it's in the material I have already, but I just have not found it yet. There is a mountain of information to read through.

"Or their home school?"

I seem to recall the district has 4 kids on home schooling, but I may be wrong about that number.

"How many of the Stevenson PACT families actually choose the school based on the philosophy."

Now that's a really good question! I'm glad you asked!

The best possible would be for 100% to be fully committed, but that's not realistic.

There is no "test" and no "legal requirement" for any family to be truly committed. All we can do is give them the information, answer their questions and hope that the vast majority are there because they want the philosophy.

Regardless, we never refuse a kid just because their parents are there for other reasons and does not actively support the program. We just hope the percentage is low enough so the rest of us can handle the added effort to fully support all the kids.

"Or API?"

Yes, that is a concern, API is pretty meaningless anyway, but it's certainly NOT the best reason to pick any school, less so a "choice" school. But, we don't exclude kids regardless.

"People lets be honest and be understanding When you criticize our preference do you retrospect your CHOICE "

Uh, what? Could you re-phrase?
I am certainly being honest and I certainly respect the right of every parent to decide for themselves which school they put their kid in. If the only thing a parent decides on is API, that's their right, if they only decide on closest to home, that's their right, if they really believe in a choice method that's their right...etc.

The point is that Choice schools operate well only with a traditional school next door so parents can choose either style they feel is best.
The Whisman/Slater families have said they want an exclusively traditional neighborhood school only for their kids, NOT for hundreds of choice kids to commute in.

Moving either PACT or DI to Whisman/Slater defeats both the choice school and the desires of the families of Whisman/Slater.


8 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 4:03 pm

PACT program by its nature promotes discrimination among rich and poor kids. How can you expect parents from a socio-economically disadvantaged background to spend 4hr per week for each kid in the school? Most of these parents cannot dedicate this much amount of time while both parents are struggling to survive and doing double shifts at work. I have big doubts about their selection process.

The whole concept of PACT is baseless, what are the teachers doing there, why do they need so much parent involvement and resources. To me it seems like, cream in and cream out just like garbage in garbage out. PACT is taking the cream and boasting their high scores. If they allow larger number of socio-economically disadvantaged students in their program, the rating will surely go down. On the other hand, Theuerkauf has over 70% population of socio-econimically disadvantaged students and hence lower school. PACT like programs should be closed, we can apply this parent participation concept at every Mountain View school without enforcing it.

We are both highly qualified professionals working in the Silicon Valley for the past 20 years. We had the choice to send our kids to PACT, Theuerkauf and Landels and comparing all 3 schools and we chose Theuerkauf because of its qualified teachers, open welcoming environment, great library and MUR, numerous clubs and a terrific coach. We ourselves volunteered and started STEM club at Theuerkauf that has sparked a great interest in kids. One of the parents from Google is now teaching Scratch programming to kids. We do not want PACT interfering with Theuerkauf resources and facilities. It is not beneficial to either Theuerkauf or Stevenson PACT. It will cause more disturbance and a security and safety hazard for all kids.


9 people like this
Posted by Really PACT Parent?
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 4:23 pm

I find holes in your argument:

That's why all "choice" school need to be located next door to a Traditional school. Then the local parents can freely choose between a Traditional school OR the choice school. If any "choice" school is set off somewhere with no Traditional school next door, then the locals don't really have a choice.

So the "locals" at Huff and Monta Loma and Landels and Bubb "don't really have a choice"? Poor them.

The biggest failure of the district's choice to move PACT to Stevenson was not understanding how it would effect Theuerkauf. When the parent's who lived nearby realized that they were walking to Theuerkauf already, so let's just go to PACT instead, it siphoned off those higher-income parents who provided a much-needed counterpoint.

The district originally wanted to put PACT at a stand-alone site to avoid exactly that.

As the criss-crossing across our district demonstrates, our parents will drive anywhere to attend the school they think is "right" for them. You have failed to convince us that this arguments holds up.

This same argument, and PACT's own elitist attitude toward Theuerkauf are what are going to doom any attempt to get PACT its own campus. They will shoot themselves in the foot by denigrating Theuerkauf at every turn with their "Oh, we can help you poor unfortunate souls with our money and wisdom" attitude. At that point, all the money will have been spent and you will still be housed in your portables, while all the other campuses enjoy their beautiful, new, modernized schools.


9 people like this
Posted by MB
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm

@Really, this is turning really mean-spirited. Please remember that we're talking about children here, and well intentioned neighbors who may disagree about some things but share the fact that they care about their kids' education.


12 people like this
Posted by Suck it up Huff A
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 22, 2015 at 4:36 pm

If you are going to sue anyone, sue your Realtor. They should have been very clear that boundaries are fluid and are not reliable.

Huff A belonged to Slater and was only added to Huff to bolster Huff's SED #'s. Did you know you are living in what was once of the highest-crime, gang-riddled portion of Mountain View? The board did when it added that portion to Huff.

When the building boom started, there was lots of cheap land to be developed in that "dangerous" part of town.

Well guess what! The plan backfired, and now too many higher-income families took over. And Huff A's average price per square foot is still lower than the majority of Mountain View, so if you paid a $250K premium, you got seriously taken advantage of.

Please sell and move, though, or find a nice private school to attend. We don't want unhappy and unsupportive parents coming to our schools. We will still take your property taxes, though.


7 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Theuerkauf Parent of Rex Manor

Hello neighbor,

First, PACT does NOT "enforce" parents to participate. That's illegal.
PACT does NOT enforce parents to donate money or time, that's illegal.
PACT does NOT want to interfere in ANY MANNER with Theuerkauf!

You have been seriously mis-informed about PACT, almost everything you have said below shows that you were not being told the truth about PACT.

I know that in the past there was a lot of bad information going around, but we are working hard to correct the false information and welcome anyone who believes the PACT methods are best for their kids, regardless of SED or time or money or anything else.

PACT openly WELCOMES more SED families!

By the way, the moment the district suggested that PACT take over Theuerkauf, we objected strongly and told the Board that was a non-starter for PACT. We made it clear that Theuerkauf should NOT be endangered by the final decision the Board makes. PACT families always argued that NO currently operating school should be endangered.

"PACT program by its nature promotes discrimination among rich and poor kids."

I'm sorry you feel that way, you have been mis-informed. Nobody is refused on economic reasons. In fact, PACT has worked hard to attract low-income parents to the PACT school. A high priority goal for PACT is to attract more SED families.

"How can you expect parents from a socio-economically disadvantaged background to spend 4hr per week for each kid in the school?"

We don't, that is why PACT has a whole variety of ways parents can volunteer to help. I know a few families who cannot come to school during the day, so some do after-6:30pm baby-sitting so other parents can have meetings. I know one family comes to visit on weekends to pick weeds out of our various vegetable gardens and to water the plants the kids planted. I know some people who just work on the Walkathon day. Some are only involved on Rocket day. And I do know a couple families who really cannot do much at all.

We would love it if everyone can contribute some time, even a little, but if you can't, then you can't.

No kid is refused because of such things.

If you believe the PACT methods would be best for your child, PLEASE apply, don't worry about whatever your situation may be, we want people who want PACT first.

"Most of these parents cannot dedicate this much amount of time while both parents are struggling to survive and doing double shifts at work."

That's fine, last year my wife and I were both working difficult and unpredictable jobs, we just did the best we could and that was fine.

"I have big doubts about their selection process."

The lottery rules are published and run by the district, NOT by PACT itself,

"The whole concept of PACT is baseless,"

If you think so, please ask me any questions, or go to the PACT web-site.

"what are the teachers doing there,"

They have total control of the classroom and students.
The teachers have full control over what the parents do and if they need them or not. Most of the lessons are conducted by the teachers.

"why do they need so much parent involvement and resources."

The teachers use parents to take care of many tasks which support the teacher, Like, running to the copying machine to make 25 copies of some worksheets for the kids. Putting up displays, organizing materials, sharpening pencils, fixing things, watching the kids during play times and lunch times, moving heavy objects, checking if every kid turned in their homework, filing, sorting, and sometimes, yes, running an exercise for a small group of kids while the teacher works with another small group of kids on a different exercise. The parents do whatever the teacher needs them to do to save them time.

"To me it seems like, cream in and cream out just like garbage in garbage out. PACT is taking the cream and boasting their high scores."

Personally, I ignore the API scores, they turn out to be pretty much meaningless anyway.

"If they allow larger number of socio-economically disadvantaged students in their program,"

What do you mean "allow"?????

PACT is actively TRYING to recruit MORE SED kids!

"the rating will surely go down."

Again, API is meaningless. We want families who believe in the PACT methods, regardless of their SED status.

The PACT "ratings" are due to having people who want to be here. We already have huge waiting list to get in, that wont change just because we get more SED kids.

"On the other hand, Theuerkauf has over 70% population of socio-econimically disadvantaged students and hence lower school."

I think that's just a flawed public perception. I know Theuerkaf parents, my kid spend half of her day with Theuerkauf kids. Thos parents love theuerkauf and think it's a great school.

"PACT like programs should be closed,"

So, close Dual-Immersiom because it's different too, right?

I think PACT should be bigger and that more SED parents should apply.

"we can apply this parent participation concept at every Mountain View school without enforcing it."

It's NOT "enforced" at PACT. Nor are donations "enforced".

"We are both highly qualified professionals working in the Silicon Valley for the past 20 years."

Same for my wife and I, same for MANY PACT parents.

"We had the choice to send our kids to PACT,"

Then, why didn't you apply? We wish you had applied to PACT.
When was this?

"Theuerkauf and Landels and comparing all 3 schools and we chose Theuerkauf because of its qualified teachers, open welcoming environment, great library and MUR, numerous clubs and a terrific coach. We ourselves volunteered and started STEM club at Theuerkauf that has sparked a great interest in kids. One of the parents from Google is now teaching Scratch programming to kids."

All sounds great.

"We do not want PACT interfering with Theuerkauf resources and facilities."

PACT does NOT want to interfere in ANY MANNER with Theuerkauf!

"It is not beneficial to either Theuerkauf or Stevenson PACT."

Agreed!

"It will cause more disturbance and a security and safety hazard for all kids."

Agreed!

That's why we want PACT to stay exactly where it is now.
It's also why we want Theuerkauf to stay where it is now.

Stevenson PACT LOVES Theuerkauf!


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 5:15 pm

@Really PACT Parent? of Rex Manor

Your final "warning" in your post is actually something I think is a good thing! Portable are fine by me. Nothing major is wrong with the Stevenson buildings we have right now. Save the money for the other schools. PLEASE put PACT renovations at the BOTTOM of the priority list. If all the money is gone by then, fine.

"I find holes in your argument:"

Funny how you never responded to my quotes from the MV-Voice that totally contradicted your prior assertion that PACT was NOT popular until 2012 when the API score topped Huff.

The MV Voice quotes clearly prove that PACT was always popular always had a waiting list even in 2009.

You wrote
"So the "locals" at Huff and Monta Loma and Landels and Bubb "don't really have a choice"? Poor them."

No, they DO have the exact same "choices" to go to either PACT or DI, like anyone else in the district.

The point was that without a traditional school next door, the locals don't have a close traditional school as a choice.

"The biggest failure of the district's choice to move PACT to Stevenson was not understanding how it would effect Theuerkauf."

It allowed the locals the new choice to go to PACT. That's adding a choice, which is a good thing.

"The district originally wanted to put PACT at a stand-alone site to avoid exactly that."

So, you would put DI alone too.

No matter where PACT or DI got put, the locals who prefer Traditional style will then choose to go to the close by school because it's close, NOT because they believe in or want the program.

"PACT's own elitist attitude toward Theuerkauf"

Huh? I have no idea what you're talking about there.

" are what are going to doom any attempt to get PACT its own campus"

PACT HAS it's own campus NOW, and it works quite well for PACT.
We don't want to encroach onto Theuerkauf one bit.

"At that point, all the money will have been spent and you will still be housed in your portables, while all the other campuses enjoy their beautiful, new, modernized schools."

COOL! That would make me quite happy!
We have no problem with what we have already.


5 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Thanks for a proper response and your appreciation for Theuerkauf.

However, we do not agree with all the points you mentioned about PACT program. Parent participation of 4 hours or more was clearly stated in the Choice program form. So, its a news to us that now you are accepting families who cannot commit to this requirement.

Most of our friends at Theuerkauf and other schools in district spend time in the class room or volunteer for school events as needed without signing consent forms at the time of admission. We all love our children and want to be part of their education and growth in anyway we can. Parent participation is encouraged in all schools, how is PACT different here?

In the Board meeting last night, one of the options presented was to share Theuerkauf facilities including library and MUR. We think it is too disruptive for kids at Theuerkauf and it serves no special benefit to them. If there is such a partnership, it should be mutually beneficial. Right now this plan has nothing for Theuerkauf in it.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 5:48 pm

@Theuerkauf Parent of Rex Manor

"Thanks for a proper response and your appreciation for Theuerkauf."

I was trying to find a Theuerkauf T-Shirt in my size so I could sew a new T-shirt that was Theuerkauf on one side and Stevenson on the other, and I would wear that double-sided T-shirt to all the meetings and when I got p to speak. but so far, I can't find either in my size.

I also don't want the plan where PACT moves over to share MUR and Library with Theuerkauf. I think the scheduling problems don't make it worthwhile.
That whole idea comes from the Board, NOT from PACT.

"However, we do not agree with all the points you mentioned about PACT program."

Well, I've been here 2 years, so I'm telling you what I have experienced.

"Parent participation of 4 hours or more was clearly stated in the Choice program form."

It's requested, because it would be illegal to be mandatory.
Check the law on this point.

"So, its a news to us that now you are accepting families who cannot commit to this requirement."

Ok, you have been informed now.

"Most of our friends at Theuerkauf and other schools in district spend time in the class room or volunteer for school events as needed without signing consent forms at the time of admission."

That's not what I recall, maybe the forms have changed over the years?

"We all love our children and want to be part of their education and growth in anyway we can. Parent participation is encouraged in all schools, how is PACT different here?"

It's structured as a whole-school support system, they try to be highly organized, it does not always work put that way, but we try.

"In the Board meeting last night, one of the options presented was to share Theuerkauf facilities including library and MUR. We think it is too disruptive for kids at Theuerkauf and it serves no special benefit to them."

I AGREE! I don't want PACT to move anywhere, i want PACT to stay in the buildings we have now!

"If there is such a partnership, it should be mutually beneficial."

Agreed, I don't think the idea of sharing the Theuerkauf MUR or library is realistic.

" Right now this plan has nothing for Theuerkauf in it."

AGREED! Which is why I don't support that.

It was NOT an idea from PACT, that came from the Board.


4 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Folks, Straight from the District Website:

At Stevenson we ask our parents to act as partners in the education of their children. Each parent is asked to engage in our community in a meaningful way. Our policy is that each parent gives 2 hours a week to support the classroom in addition to a school committee job. We value attracting a diverse student body and variety of families to our school. This means we work with incoming families to find a way that they can be members of our community in manageable way.

Sharing your MUR and library just means that Stevenson has access to those facilities without taking away program space or haggling with the City over the fields. Let's all take a deep breath.


14 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 22, 2015 at 6:22 pm

Anyone else here tired of the PACT?


4 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of The Crossings
on May 23, 2015 at 12:00 am

@ Pact Parent of Rex Manor

If you move you kid from Pact to Theurekauf, there will one more kid in that school. Ask more Stevenson PACT school parent to move kids to Theurekauf, So you will be happy, Stevenson kids.

That way, we dont have to change boundary and keep this as is.

Where are BATF member on this discussion Board? They acted like "Volunteers" but with recommendation they get what they want. ...


16 people like this
Posted by mv resident
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 23, 2015 at 2:43 pm

I have a question for all the people worried about being 'forced' to go to Theuerkauf. Have you ever been there? Have you spoken to a parent with a child there?

Before you go and put your house on the market or pay your application/enrollment fees for private school, I would suggest you go and take a look for yourself. Making a decision without doing at least that much due diligence is foolhardy at best. I imagine that you didn't purchase a vehicle because of what someone else told you....I am guessing you did some of your own research.

I imagine your home purchase was researched as well, in addition I would wager that you did some checking into your child's pediatrician before choosing one.

The comments above seem to be made by the kind of folks that make informed choices prior to making any significant decisions.

I am sad that I hear no evidence of that in this forum. I hear comments like best school/worst school...the only criteria used is an antiquated API system that was so unreliable it is no longer in place.

The fear and emotions coming out in these comments reflect snap judgements of the very worst kind.....those based on the perception that somehow people in the Huff A zone deserve better because they are .......better?


9 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on May 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Cfrink is a registered user.

As a member of this task force I would offer a couple of important points. First, this decision is not and does not have to be a "permanent" decision. The reality is that with only approximately 3,600 children currently attending our schools we simply do not have enough students to properly fund another school AND complete all the renovations and updates we have said we want as a community. If we weren't faced with the need to renovate and update all of our current schools with the current amount of money we have, we could certainly fund a new school opening.

But that's not our reality. Our reality is that we have many needs and limited resources. It makes no fiscal sense to add more liabilities to our limited resources at this time. If, in the future, there is a growth of children here that is unexpected, then we can always revisit the decision to open a new traditional school, raise the money to do it, and get it done within a couple of years.

Second, people often talk about the "growth" coming in and on this basis, they disagree with the demographers. Particularly people from LASD. People moving to Mountain View are mostly younger, singles or new married couples without children. Many of them do not stay in our district once they begin to have children. Most of the folks coming to our district do not yet have children. So, while there seems to be some growth in housing, and some growth in population, the information we received does not indicate that children are part of this influx. Again, that may change some day. But today, it's not what it needs to be to warrant a new school.

I completely agree that it would be nice to have a new neighborhood school for this neighborhood. My own child would attend that school. It just has to be done in a responsible way that does not endanger the resources of the other schools in our district. That time has not yet arrived. Additionally, LASD and the districts receive much more money per student than we do here in MV. That effects our ability to do some of these things. So each district is different and cannot simply be compared as some have done here.

Cleave Frink
Member BATF
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent the Board of Trustees, the BATF or the MVWSD.


8 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Hi Mv Resident,
Please read my earlier comments, "We are both highly qualified professionals working in the Silicon Valley for the past 20 years. We had the choice to send our kids to PACT, Theuerkauf and Landels and comparing all 3 schools and we chose Theuerkauf because of its qualified teachers, open welcoming environment, great library and MUR, numerous clubs and a terrific coach. We ourselves volunteered and started STEM club at Theuerkauf that has sparked a great interest in kids. One of the parents from Google is now teaching Scratch programming to kids." ...
This should be an example for others ....

Thanks,


11 people like this
Posted by mv resident
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 23, 2015 at 4:42 pm

@ Theuerkauf parent,

your comments are exactly my point, after doing your due diligence, your family made an informed decision, one that you are happy with. There are many such families attending Theuerkauf who recognize the strengths of the school regardless of the 'talk' of how it is the 'worst' school.

Untill you have been there, please stop saying that the school is so bad that you have no choice but to move or go to private schools. I have personally seen the excellent teachers, support staff, before and after school programs and the dedication from families who want what everyone wants, the best education for their children.

I take exception to the uniformed and emotional fears being raised by those affected in the BATF decision.

Please go to Theuerkauf and do your research.


3 people like this
Posted by Joel Lachter
a resident of North Whisman
on May 23, 2015 at 10:39 pm

Cleave,

I agree with what you are saying two tiny points. First: "...all the renovations and updates we have said we want as a community...." I am not sure who the "we" in your statement is supposed to be but the problem is that the community doesn't agree on which renovations and updates should be done.

Second: "we can always ... raise the money..." As Trustee Lambert pointed out at Thursday's meeting, the money is here now and is unlikely to come again any time soon. Do you really think otherwise?


Joel Lachter


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

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