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Not enough students, not enough money to open ninth campus

Original post made on May 22, 2015

Months of long, difficult and sometimes bitter meetings came to a head in a marathon Mountain View Whisman school board meeting Thursday night, when board members narrowly decided in a 3-2 straw vote not to open up a new school in the Whisman and Slater neighborhood area.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 22, 2015, 1:59 PM

Comments (99)

19 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 22, 2015 at 2:18 pm

No. School Board says that they have enough money to open the school.

They are saying that they just want to use for something else. No one knows where they going to school district money if not on school.

School Board member says they would like to open 21st Century school (Someone please tell them, we are in 21st century.. they can google it if dont believe it)

I hope board members term would have been ending this year instead of next. Lets see how many of those gets re-elected.


29 people like this
Posted by Greg
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 22, 2015 at 6:20 pm

If it is a question of demographics, the area south of El Camino and west of 85 does not have enough students to justify keeping two schools open.

If we only have funds for eight schools, why not open one in the northeast, and close a school in the south? Then most of us would have a neighborhood school.

Answer: The south is richer and has higher voter turnout. The school board would never consider moving a school from the rich half of town to the poor half of town. It is apparently better to leave the richer part of town with 2 schools and the poorer part of town with none.


10 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Willowgate
on May 22, 2015 at 9:52 pm

Glad about the 8 school leaning. Glad that the committees and board seems to be acting rationally overall.


9 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 23, 2015 at 7:16 am

In reply to the Sylvan Park parent's important question:
What is 21st century learning?

Visit any private school in the Bay Area, they are building maker spaces and focusing high order skills for the jobs and problems of the future. They have more resources to do this, if public schools want the same opportunities for their children, we must target our much fewer resources with sharper intent and long term vision, both mean hard sacrifices.

A 21st century education, must not be, and isn’t limited to those who pay $30,000 in tuition. This week, Crittenden Middle School employed 20% time, where students were presenting their own research, made possible by their 1:1 computer setting that allows each student to find and make limitless materials in limitless self-directed directions. Last week, Stevenson held project based exhibitions, where students focused on interdisciplinary learning, and were doing real work for real audiences.

Personally, I feel making sure our children can thrive both social-emotionally and economically in the future is our largest challenge.

Invited to learn more at these following resources:
Reinventing Education for the 21st Century by Dr. Tony Wagner:
Web Link

Maker Spaces (where many of our teachers have been getting training and express interest, but the equipment (3D printers, laser cutters, we don't yet have, and are expensive and require innovative views of common learning spaces like libraries and pooled investments in hardware):
Web Link

AltSchool Micro Schools (and their utilization of Silicon Valley engineering talent):
Web Link

Trailer to Most Likely to Succeed (documentary on 21st century learning shown two weeks ago two packed auditoriums in Palo Alto):
Web Link

The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Mountain View Whisman School District or the school board.


26 people like this
Posted by Aamir Farooqui
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 23, 2015 at 10:29 am

Hi Chris,

I totally disagree with your model school vision. You need to come out of the ideal world and be pragmatic, especially when you are dealing with public money and you have the future of thousands of young kids in your hands.

You should know all these ideas are unproven and have no research or evidence which supports a positive impact on the lives of young children or future nations. These ideas are created by Corporate America who wants to make money and kids' well being or positive impact on nations is secondary to them.

If you need to improve the education system then look at Singapore education system and understand why they are the best. If not Singapore, look at India and China, why they are producing the work force for USA. They all emphasize on high quality Maths education only. They have limited resources, but they have good teachers and they are pretty tough at kids when it comes to their progress. This type of education model is not acceptable in USA culture but it helps building the nations.

Maker Spaces with expensive high tech devices at elementary school level makes no sense for kids of ages 5-10. The kids in elementary schools are too young and are still learning the basic skills like reading, writing and most importantly the discipline needed to be successful in life. I am very successful as a Technocrat, and that is why I always say, technology is the most unreliable thing to invest in, it keeps changing every six months. If the basics are not strong you cannot do anything. Kids have limited time at schools, either they can spend that time on learning technology or learning basic skills not both.

In USA, students are treated as Customers and schools follow the rule that Customer is always Right! Kids are not pampered by getting fresh hot kitchen meals etc...This was another ridiculous proposal discussed at the Board meeting to improve the kitchen quality of the elementary schools. At one end they do not have money to increase the pays of the teachers while on other hand they are creating liability for the schools. Once you have hot kitchen then you need to hire cooks, get expensive insurance and keep money for suing the schools from injury (search for Starbucks cases for serving hot coffee).

IF you want to improve the education system, then spend money on TEACHERS these are your biggest assets, increase their salaries, training, awards. We have dedicated teachers at Theuerkauf, but they need encouragement.

We had the choice to go to Stevenson and Landels, but we decided to join Theuerkauf. We have started STEM club at Theuerkauf which is producing encouraging results and next year we will be starting Robotics club, Math Olympics through our own resources. These after school clubs are just to introduce 4th and 5th graders to the advancements in Science and Technology. All these are done through personal resources and not through public money. My target is to change Theuerkauf perspective in the next three years and you will see the difference, if there is no disruption by bringing the PACT to Theuerkauf and/or construction.

Please do justice to your voters, keep idealism aside, read and analyse the data, especially be careful when it comes to $ and cents. Few thousand dollars can make a big difference in the children's future.

If you want to do experiments with hi-tech schools then do it through private venture (valley is full of VCs) NOT public money, at your own Personal level NOT as a member of the Board of Trustees.


27 people like this
Posted by Joel Lachter
a resident of North Whisman
on May 23, 2015 at 10:33 am

The thing I found most interesting about Thursday’s meeting was that the superintendent, a couple members of the BATF, and several board members used terms like “urgent” and “highest priority” to describe the fact that children in multi-million dollar houses across from Huff are being forced to enter a lottery to win a spot in their neighborhood school, while at the same time, those same people were voting to exclude the families in the apartments across form Whisman from their neighborhood school.


7 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 23, 2015 at 11:18 am

Dear Joel, I agree that it should not matter more that Huff residents can't walk to school, when the entire Whisman neighborhood can't either.

That said, opening a Whisman school under the current restraints is wrong for the impact it would have on the greater needs to build a better instructional experiences for children and urgency to pay teachers more to afford to live.

Whisman vs Huff is unfair, but it would be even more unfair if we
can't provide all our kids a great education to prepare them for "the world ahead" that is exponentially more challenging. If you can walk to school, but the school is under-resourced, is that a gain?

If opening one new neighborhood school means all schools don't get properly updated to be schools of the future, than I can't support that, nor can I ignore that if the existing schools do indeed get properly updated, all kids benefit, including Whisman students who do go to those schools (albeit they aren't local).

That doesn't mean Whisman can't get a school if we think innovatively
about our partners like Google. Google offered and the city rejected, a $200 million public benefits package including a North Bayshore science center that neither the city nor residents sought, but no Whisman school or actually any benefit for schools. Google has been a very generous partner of MVWSD in the past, but this coming year we have no funding partnership with Google planned. Linkedin is providing $115,000 for the city Teen Center, but has never done anything like that for the school district.

I take no pleasure in highlighting the funding inequity, nor do I enjoy the personal criticism it draws, but until we can provide the resources to MV's children and K-8 teachers that they deserve, I feel obligated to continue to highlight it.

The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily represent
the views of the Mountain View Whisman School District or the school
board.


11 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 23, 2015 at 11:33 am

Dear Mr. Farooqui, thank you for your concerns regarding 21st century learning, which I recognize is an overused phrase.

Yet, does it not alarm you that more affluent districts like LASD are diving into having students focus on creativity, STEM, and self-drive learning? Web Link along with the private schools Web Link, where parents are even more reluctant to simply follow a fad after paying what they do, but have all dived into 21st century learning as well.

There is a great injustice if affluent schools prepare future leaders and the other schools prepare workers, and perhaps not even workers who can keep jobs in an increasingly automated future.

I completely agree with Mr. Farooqui about the power of teachers. In 2012, I posted this short video of Singapore's teacher support systems:
Web Link

The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Mountain View Whisman School District or the school board.


19 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm

I agree with Mr. Farooqui, this is not a proven fact that adding more technology in schools fosters leadership skills in children that are still in Elementary school. Looking at private schools, Challenger schools are a good example of failure of unproven technologies applied on students. Now, Champion school is the buzz word. Even, Waldorf schools that use no technology at all are also going in the extreme direction by keeping the kids away from the actual world.

We love our public schools, and as much as we want STEM education to be incorporated into the school curriculum like LASD, use of too much technology and new gadgets is costly and lasts only for a few years and then it has to be replaced with new gadgets. Young minds at the age of 5-11 are not old enough to take advantage of these costly labs. They are more helpful to Middle and High school aged kids and can been seen in the weblinks as well.

Good teachers are the most important and valuable asset of a school. I applaud the Theuerkauf teachers who stood up for their school, their voices should be heard.


18 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 23, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Fellow Trustee Chiang - you have been speaking at several Board meetings, and posting multiple times about what great Google money might quite possibly, by some magical finger of fate, be guaranteed to the District operations fund (say for a decade). As Bd. President - when are you going to announce this? I am also skeptical of this fiscal magic - should we really forget the Google city-wide wi-fi public benefit?

these are my own opinions as an elected Trustee of the MVWSD
we have reached 'the limit' on public discussion outside of meeting


12 people like this
Posted by Aamir
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 23, 2015 at 4:52 pm

Hi Chris,

Regarding the following,

"There is a great injustice if affluent schools prepare future leaders and the other schools prepare workers, and perhaps not even workers who can keep jobs in an increasingly automated future. "

Again, this is an ideal world philosophy. What is the definition of a good leader?... Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison .... NO we do not need such leaders. We need only good citizens and good humans from our school system, that should be the goal of all our schools. We are so focused on technology and pushing minds towards technology, that we will miss good Doctors or Surgeons of future. In my opinion, mastery of basic concepts and learning good human values is the key to success.

Thanks,
Aamir


12 people like this
Posted by Respectfully disagree
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 23, 2015 at 8:58 pm

Amir,

Thank you for all the hard work you are doing at Theuerkauf. This is great, and maybe if more of this had been in place sooner we would have chosen to have our kids attend Theuerkauf. instead they are at a private school which seeks to foster problem solving skills, analytical skills and creativity through inquiry and project based learning methods. my kids are fully engaged and love school. This is the 21st century education that Chris refers to and it does not necessarily require a lot of expensive technology that gets outdated. I'll note we applied to Stevenson but like so many other families we did not get in.

I disagree with your comments and I feel it is very sad that our district is so slow to expand the wonderful things happening at Stevenson to the other schools. Comments like yous make me feel relieved that my kids are at private school where the teachers, parents and administration get it. We would have loved to be a part of our local public school system and to help to improve it, but not if there are enough parents who feel the way you do. I agree with Chris, it is sad to see private schools and better funded distrcts doing these things while Mountain View is not.


14 people like this
Posted by just another voice
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2015 at 9:44 pm

To educate. That's both a political (cultural) and a technical challenge. Chris is all focused on the logistics of the mission. He even reduces teachers to a logistics issue: "provide the resources to MV's children and K-8 teachers that they deserve" and problem solved.
Teachers are part of the cultural equation, as are the parents and school leaders. Who are these people? Are the teachers modeling the 21st century skills their students are supposed to acquire? Are the parents focused on the kids or on their own professional advancement? with little time to stop, to listen to kids, follow their lead, nurture their creativity without pushing it? And who are the district leaders--better not go there.
MV has a lot going for it but is missing just plain decent people, focused on making their world more humane, being kind to the planet... Too many residents focused on their own boundaries, home values, Huff scores, computers, coding, opportunities, leaders...stress, stress..stress
A great place actually takes less money and some vision. And vision takes stepping out and looking in. Reflection.
Is that a 21st century skill? I hope so.


24 people like this
Posted by Joel Lachter
a resident of North Whisman
on May 23, 2015 at 11:17 pm

Chris,

You will pardon me, but I really don’t understand your 21st Century School idea. On the one hand, you point to many examples of schools already doing this, including some in our district. On the other hand, you say that you don’t want to build a school in the northeast quadrant of the city until we know how to build a 21st Century School. These statements seem to contradict each other, but I am sure I am misunderstanding something.

I also think you must have misunderstood me, since I don’t think I suggested doing anything that would reduce your ability to pay teachers or modernize classrooms. There were options presented Thursday that had PACT move to Slater. That would not cost more than the current option. It was rejected because some PACT parents didn’t like the idea. My current favorite idea is to move the DI program to Theuerkauf/Stevenson and move Theuerkauf to Whisman. This would result in neighborhood schools around the perimeter of the district and the choice programs in the center. Another idea someone mentioned after Thursday’s meeting was to make all the schools “choice” programs so that anyone could get into any school. This option would prioritize choice and diversity over being able to walk to school. I can see that. What I have trouble seeing is how someone can argue that being able to walk to school is a priority in the richest neighborhood but not in less rich neighborhoods.

Joel Lachter


7 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 24, 2015 at 6:34 am

21st century learning is far from simply more technology or screen time, quite the opposite, it’s at its core about: students focusing on authentic work and problems, rather than one size fits all scripted content. Or another way to see it, it’s about students having more autonomy to direct their own learning, rather than the teacher driving all students in one direction. Where technology comes in play is that it allows such personalization to be possible, but by no means is tech synonymous with 21st century learning.

Our district is using technology whether one support 21st century learning or not, the question is to what ends?
Do we use technology to more efficiently teach a uniformly standardized education?
or
Do we use technology to empower students to self-direct parts of their education, collaborate, and create things?

This doesn’t have to be an either or, but there’s room in the district to take more inspiration from PACT.

PACT’s philosophy of active parents in the classroom is an unique decision, unique to the preferences of specific families, but PACT’s focus on kids doing authentic work on authentic problems, there’s perhaps nothing more democratic or human than that.

I respect “back to basic” like Challenger or Faria fits the values of many families, and work for many families, but a standardized classroom, regardless how rigorous, is not promoting democracy or humanity, but uniformity. I would not seek all children to have back to basics just as I would not seek all parents to be working in their children’s classrooms, but I would and do seek more creativity, social emotional learning, and student direct learning in all our schools.

My opinion, the Whisman community has helped the district survive very tough times. The Whisman community deserves a true neighborhood school, not a district choice program in their neighborhood. It deserves a new school designed with the future in mind, not the past, a school that can inspire change across the district, a school that makes their sacrifices worth it! Yet, that is not our current context. The current decision is either move a district choice program to Whisman, or open a new school at the cost of all the other schools, which hurts everyone because that means all children including those in Whisman are short changed programmatically. If anyone has solutions we have not considered, I am eager to hear them with an open mind and open heart.

The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Mountain View Whisman School District or the school board.


11 people like this
Posted by BATF is biased
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2015 at 7:05 am

BATF is biased and their arguments are unfounded. This proposal should be re-discussed and not be approved by board.

- There was no representation from Huff-A or Huff-B (the only two zones that are affected by the proposal) on the BATF.

- The data and predition model used by BATF is questionable in many ways and they need to find better way to generate the data.

- BATF claims switching Huff-A residents into attending Theuerkauf is beneficial to the residents because it is closer. But it is actually worse because you need to get across two very busy major streets.


16 people like this
Posted by JW
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 24, 2015 at 9:30 am

Thoughts on moving PACT to Whisman?

It's a great program- they would be willing to drive a bit further right?

Not saying it's ideal to have Whisman in the PACT shadow but if it gets Whisman a neighborhood school and avoids opening a 9th school then why not?

The displaced Huff families hat don't want to go to Theurkauf should get a weighted chance of getting into Bubb or PACT, if they so desire.

Another idea is opening up another choice program at Monta Loma. This hasn't been widely discussed. We don't have a Mandarin Immersion program but I'd bet it would be popular. Monta Loma has the space and that would bring more kids here.

By the way, my two cents: ML is a GREAT school and it's sad that now that homes are selling for $1.5-2.1M in our little neighborhood all those kids are going private. We'd love to have you. We've got great programs for ALL levels (I consider my kids smart).


9 people like this
Posted by To Steven Nelson
a resident of North Whisman
on May 24, 2015 at 10:10 am

Totally agree with what you said!


8 people like this
Posted by Aamir Farooqui
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 24, 2015 at 10:25 am

Hi just another voice, I agree with you, we need good citizens.

Also, JW agreed with you, board members please support the idea. I am writing a formal proposal to Supervisor, etc. Is there a way, I can get signatures from supporters?


8 people like this
Posted by JW
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 24, 2015 at 12:37 pm

I also agree the task force was a bit weighted. It is/was 33% PACT parents. The recommendations are therefore possibly not in the best interest of the entire community.

Amir, which part did you agree with?

I wish there was a way for larger groups to speak out not everyone can attend the meetings. Everyone can, however, write letters.

Christopher, I do appreciate your reading these comments and educating yourself with the thoughts of the community.

May the best interests of ALL the students be taken into consideration, not rich ones, or those in choice programs, or any sub-group there in.


22 people like this
Posted by Agreed
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 24, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Ideally, Whisman would get a neighborhood school just like all of the other neighborhoods in the district. If that is not feasible then moving the PACT school over is the only reasonable compromise. This will upset some PACT parents who are accustomed to walking their kids to their school, but since it is not a neighborhood school, they should just accept it.


5 people like this
Posted by Former Teacher
a resident of Slater
on May 24, 2015 at 1:30 pm

"In USA, students are treated as Customers and schools follow the rule that Customer is always Right! "

This type of model represents foolish thinking and is not applicable to teaching and learning.


18 people like this
Posted by let's be clear
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Joel, Since you have misrepresented the issue 3x and nobody corrects you, I'l do it.
(everyone is too busy displacing kids from their schools, sending messages to board members, displaying all the wrong 21st century skills and hitting on PACT Parent (I agree, he is annoying!..)

Nobody is concerned about Huff kids walking or not walking to school. What BATF was concerned was about packing kindergartners like sardines in a classroom, and having people who live far away contribute to that problem.
It was out of concern for a school that will always have crowded conditions if the situation persists. even rich kids deserve to have a nice school...It was also and most of all, because, those "families in the apartments across form Whisman" are not numerous enough to warrant opening a school. if the situation changes, a new BATF will redraw boundaries as needed.

Everyone,
It is also not true that BATF had a lot of PACT parents. i don't think it had a single PACT parent or teacher there.
If this is an interesting subject to you all why didn't you follow what was being discussed at BATF meetings? All your scenarios have been proposed, analyzed and rejected.
Not enough money and above all Not Enough Kids (as of 2017-18). How's that?
Go raise the money so we are ready to open the school when the kids show up!


9 people like this
Posted by JA
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 24, 2015 at 6:10 pm

So the question was asked why not move PACT to Slater/Whisman and have 2 schools operate on that campus. Its sort of funny how that would in fact be going full circle. PACT was originally at Slater, moved to Castro and now to Stevenson. If I recall, when the program left Slater there were about 180 families in the program. When it moved to Stevenson the program grew to its present size and continues to be a popular choice.

I am all for choice, it is important to feel positive about your child's school and to feel that you had a choice in where to go. In Redwood City there is a choice High School that draws students from the entire Bay Area. It was recently named in the top 25 high schools in California. The program was so popular, a second school was added following the same alternative philosophy. I believe they are both Charter schools, you may know of them, Summit and Everest.

The point is that since the program is so popular and there is a desire is to expand it and allow more families to have a greater choice, why not open a 'second' choice program at Whisman/Slater. Since all the students at the school would be new, there would be ample space for all, PACT 2 and Neighborhood kids. We may even see some families come back into the district from private schools.

I see this as a win, win, win, win.....
win #1 The current PACT families would have a choice, stay in the portables (no new building/no new facility upgrades) or move to the PACT 2 over at whisman/slater in brand new state of the art facilities.

win #2 The Huff A families could have a choice to go to Theuerkauf,OR whisman neighborhood OR PACT 2

win #3 No disruption to Theuerkauf students at all and the need to update at that site could be delayed/postponed since the needs are the lowest in the district.

win #4 The PACT families who remain at Stevenson have the opportunity to reach out and work with the Theuerkauf families

This provides something for all parties involved. If we don't have the students then we lower class size back to 20 and operate with smaller schools. Nobody questioned PACT as a stand alone school with less than 400 students.....it has been operating as a stand alone school with 360 for the last 6 years without any problem. Why do those numbers all of the sudden constitute a potential school closure?

As Trustee Chiang has stated, we need to think creatively as we go forward in these choices.


10 people like this
Posted by Sugar Daddy MVWSD
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2015 at 6:38 pm

it all sounds great JA
except the district can only support one small school- they said so during BATF meetings, more than once.
They can't have 2 PACTS
Otherwise they would have supported opening Whisman.
MV Community: listen: your disttric does not have enough kids and enough money for a new school.
Go raise the money (and make kids??)


17 people like this
Posted by SF
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 25, 2015 at 8:53 am

Why can't we move PACT to Slater site? It is the cheapest option and since it is a Choice program it can be located anywhere in Mountain View.


7 people like this
Posted by ask the right question
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2015 at 9:07 am

why should we move PACT to Slater? (not why can't we...)
who gains? who loses?
and pay attention: the answer is a couple posts up, above yours


14 people like this
Posted by SF
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 25, 2015 at 9:45 am

As far as I see, the PACT program comprises mainly of the neighborhood parents who don't want to move due to their own convenience and they also do not want to work with SED families at Theuerkauf.

Since their school is not a proper school, lacking a library and MUR, they now want to take over Theuerkauf to get the best of both worlds, without having to work with SED families. When moving existing PACT to Slater is the cheapest option it should be the one we should use. Choice Programs are for all and not for just specific neighborhoods. BATF did not give any specific reason why they rejected the $142M option other than PACT parents not wanting to move from their location.

If they don't want to move then PACT should share families from Theuerkauf or the very least their programs. A good program should be benefited by as many people as possible. That way two schools can get better. Sharing facilities is for their own benefit, they still want to keep the segregation between themselves and SED families.


8 people like this
Posted by Joel Lachter
a resident of North Whisman
on May 25, 2015 at 10:26 am

Chris,

I offered two solutions that, as far as I can tell, you have not considered: 1) moving DI to Theuerkauf/Stevenson and the neighborhood program from Theuerkauf to Whisman or Slater and 2) doing away with the boundaries altogether as San Francisco has done. I think it is pretty clear that neither of these options hurt everyone, although obviously there would be winners and losers. I am not going to detail the second suggestion beyond saying that it seems to fit with your professed desire to create modern competitive dynamic schools. With respect to moving DI, among the parents I talk to (admittedly a biased sample) this is strongly preferred to the current plans to cram 900 students onto that tiny footprint. The losers on this model would be the Castro neighborhood families that go to DI (a minority in that neighborhood, the majority would benefit from more space), and the families that currently go to Theuerkauf from the Theuerkauf neighborhood. The issue for Castro neighborhood families could be partially mitigated if the proposed bike/pedestrian bridge connecting Escuela and Farley were built. Current Theuerkauf families from the area around Theuerkauf would be adversely affected by this proposal however, current Theuerkauf families from the area around Whisman would benefit. Adjustment of the boundaries would mitigate these issues for future families. E.g., expanding Monte Loma into the Theuerkauf area closest to it. Also, families in the area right around Theuerkauf could be given preference in applying to DI or PACT. As I said, there will be people who do not like such a proposal; however, I think that if you polled the entire district, this proposal would be found preferable to “Option A”, and I think that it presents strong advantages for families entering the district in the future.


Joel


12 people like this
Posted by Joel Lachter
a resident of North Whisman
on May 25, 2015 at 10:27 am

Hello “let’s be clear”,

I apologize if I am misrepresenting the issue. I assure you it is not willful. I got my information from the school board meeting on Thursday. If you look at the video (Web Link) at about 2:20 Superintendent Skelly discusses the problem of over-enrollment at Huff. He doesn’t mention the kindergarteners packed like sardines in a classroom; he only mentions the family across the street from Huff who can’t get in and has to send their child to a more distant school. I couldn’t bear to watch the whole meeting again from the beginning after having lived through it Thursday, but if you would like to I am pretty sure you will find a couple other examples of people mentioning this unfortunate family and none of them mentioning sardine kindergarteners. My point was meant to address this sort of rhetoric. It is hard for me to feel sorry for a family across from Huff when a whole block full of families in apartments across from Whisman also can’t go to the school across the street. Further, if Huff parents are unhappy with the facilities at Huff, I am pretty sure they can get an intradistrict transfer to Theuerkauf.


Joel


4 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 25, 2015 at 12:16 pm

I share neither opinion for or against Joel Lachter's model, but here is a visual representation of it, and I would appreciate learning what community members think for or against it. What about it works, what about it doesn't.
Web Link

Thank you,
Chris


5 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 25, 2015 at 12:58 pm

In the map link above Theuerkauf community can possibly get lottery preferences into either district choice programs if they are both located in that community. Moving DI to Theuerkauf could also mean that Castro can expand preschool. It's been reported that DI and PACT would have an easier time sharing adjacent facilities.

I welcome any opinions for or against Mr. Lachter's proposal above. Thank you.


9 people like this
Posted by TH
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm

What about the existing Theuerkauf families how many can you accommodate at the Choice programs? Also where will all the Theuerkauf teachers go? Can all the families living close to Theuerkauf get into Monta Loma? It will be overcrowded.


9 people like this
Posted by TH
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 25, 2015 at 1:41 pm

This model is suggesting to close down Theuerkauf school in simple words! Why is PACT so important that it cannot be moved?


13 people like this
Posted by Christine Case-Lo
a resident of North Whisman
on May 25, 2015 at 1:58 pm

I am very familiar with the issues addressed in Thursday's Board meeting as I am an advocate for funding Special Day Class permanent classroom. I'm hoping for a quick decision so that funds saved from construction inflation could be used for SDCs with accessible bathrooms, therapy space and safety equipment that will our Special Ed kids to have the best chance to thrive and be first class citizens in our school community.
But I am also a a resident of Huff-A. I am trying to be understanding that my two year old daughter will not have a place at Huff, and the negative impact on my housing price of this change. But for crowding I can understand this. But to also further impact Theuerkaff by combining facilities with Stevenson? My child is being hit twice. There are plans in place for over 100 homes to be built in the next few years in Huff A, with many halfway finished already. Please don't hit our kids with a boundary change and a heavily impacted school. I support moving PACT to their own site within the Slater/Whisman area so that each school has room to grow. One day we could open that site up to include a neighborhood school as well.
My son has gone to an SDC at Huff, and a SDC at Stevenson in the many times he and his cohort were moved. It was actually harder to get to the Stevenson area across several busy streets from my neighborhood than to take back streets to Huff. Theuerkaff is not effectively closer for our kids. If it is also crushed in space with Pact, it is even more difficult. Please move pact to a permanent site in Whisman/slater.


29 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Dear other Trustee. Although it is fun to 'legislate by email' or speculate by posting, I do not consider it a great way to set public policy or get excellent and representative public input. I would have much rather have seen the President of the Board of the MVWSD call several Special Meetings, around the different Quadrants of the district, where Public Hearings on these matters could have been discussed with the Board directly. But, it's only the President who can alone call these meetings - and a Board majority does not seem interested in doing so.

Steven Nelson is one of the elected members of the MVWSD Board. This are his personal opinions.


8 people like this
Posted by Private School
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

30% average use of private schools in MVWSD is a bit high. As I understand it, those assigned to Theuerkauf are more likely to pay for private school than those who are assigned to Huff. By moving Huff-A to Theuerkauf, the district is seeking to reduce enrollment by getting those new homes to send their kids to private school. Certainly Theuerkauf is a long distance from Huff-A even if allegedly closer. It's not a neighborhood school assignment for sure.

This is all very discriminatory. While there may not be enough kids to open a school at Slater now, there quite likely could be in a year or two. The fair thing to do is to delay issuing a portion of the authorized bonds in order to facilitate responding to changes that may occur prior to the district being able to request more bond authorization. With 30% of the Theuerkauf attendance area already picking a private school, it might be fair to wait to see how many really neighborhood kids there are in the area of Theuerkauf who continue to attend that school. Maybe it really should be the one to be closed. How can anyone tell now?


32 people like this
Posted by @steven nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 25, 2015 at 3:04 pm

I am tired of your constant usage of terms such as legislate, public policy, etc. Most people run for the school board to help students get a better education, All you wanted is to be a politician. Get your priorities straight or resign. The students of this district are paying the price for your insulting, rude behavior.


11 people like this
Posted by let's be clear
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Joel and Chris,
The poor Whisman families in apartments need their school.
But the poor DI Castro (multiple) families in one apartment can... what? drive to Whisman?
Why are the poor people in Whisman more important than poor people at Castro?
Because you live there?
I thought I heard you say Castro should not be split. Now you want to not just split, you want to destroy the program.
Why?
Because you are mad you didn't get your way? and the poor people at Castro did, didn't they Joel?
You need to inspect your motives.
And Chris,
You told the Castro families that they would not be moved.
Does your word count for something?


17 people like this
Posted by Jeanie Light
a resident of Slater
on May 25, 2015 at 3:15 pm

My daughter isn't in school yet but I'm watching these conversations with strong interest since we'll soon have to decide on a school for her. I see the theme in the comments that people are moving into Mountain View, but when they have kids, they move elsewhere or send them to private school; thus the number of public school children is holding steady. And it sounds like if we had more kids going to public school, it wouldn't be such a hard decision to open another school?

How large is the delta between what our public schools offer and what people are looking for? How much is perception vs reality? What would it cost (money / additional teachers / parent power / community advertising effort) to focus on this gap to the extent that we could win back enough students from private school to be able to eventually reopen Whisman or Slater? I haven't seen that strategy discussed. Its not a quick win, but it would benefit students city wide. We don't have to convince everyone - it sounds like even 200 students returning to public school could tip the balance?

Are these the types of things our schools are missing?
- additional teaching aids to help with individualized learning and lower teacher to student ratios?
- after school programs? (private schools offer longer days making it easier for two working parents)
- STEM programs? (parent led using examples that have worked well in other schools)

Since my daughter isn't in school yet, I don't know what it would take - but these are things I will care about when I eventually decide between public and private school.


3 people like this
Posted by let's be clear (Ks & Sardines
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Joel,
I won't check the video- I believe you.
The arguments of K like sardines were made at the meeting when they decided what to present to the Board, a couple weeks? ago.
We're probably both right-when they got to the Board meeting they all misrepresented what had been discussed.
thanks for clarifying


6 people like this
Posted by respectfully disagree
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 25, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Chris, I like this proposal a lot. Having the two choice programs together makes a lot of sense. The Castro school then gets space for the kids who want to go there and for the preschool which seems important to Castro improvement plan. If the district were able to fund a bus from the Castro neighborhood to the choice programs that would hopefully help the kids from that neighborhood attend both choice programs, hopefully making Stevenson more diverse.

I believe a large number of kids attending Thereukafu currently live in the Whisman neighborhood, so moving Theuerkauf to Whisman would help them. Theuerkauf kids living in the Rex Manor neighborhood could continue to attend the new Thuerekauf at Whisman (maybe a bus there would help until those kids graduated).

If the neighborhood got priority to the choice programs for a couple of years, that might help make up for losing a neighborhood school. I hate to be mean, but it's honestly a neighborhood school that many already chose not to attend.

Just have to think about how to manage the traffic in the area with two primarily commuter schools. Traffic on Montecito is already pretty crazy during school drop off.


14 people like this
Posted by let's be clear
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Dear respectfully disagree and Chris:

What value do you think we should give to the input of the Latino families attending Castro DI?
They did not like the proposal you like a lot.

They like to walk to school (and they do), they like to be able to meet with their children's teachers, help out when they can and pick up their students when they get sick in the middle of the day. Just like most people do. Only some of them don't have cars available to them in a moment's notice so they like to be in walkable distance of the school.They don't want private buses and they don't think they should be asked to fill in diversity quotas for other choice schools

Should we forget their input and ignore them because they cannot participate in this forum?
How will this benefit their achievement?

Actually, how will this proposal benefit the other students in the district?

How will this proposal benefit Theuerkauf students? Should we also ignore them?
They said they did not want their school closed. So even if they live close to Whisman as you believe they'd rather walk then have us close their school.

And honestly people do not choose to go there because the choice programs are killing neighborhood schools.
Do you want to close choice programs? And improve the offering at all other local schools?
I like that proposal a lot!

But that is not a boundary issue and we are getting mixed up about this.

Boundaries wise BATF made the right decisions-sorry, they are not dramatic ones, but they are the right ones.
Go check their meetings-not a single scenario was left unturned. Including DI at Theuerkauf, PACT at Slater
All were analyzed and rejected.
Your eleventh hour scenario is just plain old news.





17 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 25, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Chris,

This new proposal will result in no neighborhood school for Rex Manor. We will be fighting our odds to get admission in one of the Choice programs always or go to Private school. You will basically shift the Whisman neighborhood problem to us.

I still have not heard any reason from you as to why we cannot move PACT school to Slater/Whisman? I understand the DI program is encouraging Spanish learning but PACT program has nothing new to offer. If you go and look at all the other schools like Landels, Huff, Bubb, Monta Loma and Theuerkauf, you will see active parent participation everywhere. Parents volunteer actively in not only classrooms but in all school programs. PACT is not offering anything new. They mention a lot of Art programs that are offered in no other school but the fact is all these can be done in after school programs as well.

You will be displacing kids from two schools if we follow this new model.


11 people like this
Posted by Respectfully disagree
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 25, 2015 at 11:07 pm

At Theurkauf parent,

With all due respect your comment shows you know very little about PACT. The value of PACT is not that parents volunteering in the classroom, or the art programs. The value of that program is in the way all subjects are taught thru inquiry and project based learning methods that focus on creativity and problem solving skills. They do not teach to the test as the other, more traditional schools do. You may not prefer this method for your child, but I do. Parents in the classroom help to facilitate this style of learning in such a large class, but if you think all PACT offers is parent volunteers and more art you've missed the point of that school.


9 people like this
Posted by Drawing Kids to Public
a resident of another community
on May 26, 2015 at 3:30 am

Interestingly, the local schools get a fixed amount of local funding equal to $12 Million per year these days (Parcel tax, Shoreline District Phase Out In Lieu funds, and leases of unused district property). There is about $7500 per student funding from the State, but this is the average. Not all students are equal. Those designated low income or foster child or English learner get more revenue for the district. It's about 50% of the students who merit this extra funding at present. No doubt most of the private school students would not get the bonus funding if they attended district schools, but some would. There's also some federal funding for the disadvantaged kids.

In any event, the effect of some of what the district does is to discourage those not considered "disadvantaged' from attending district schools.

This is just interesting. Castro (both programs) is largely composed of the kids who get the extra state funding. Also interesting. I guess one thing the district sort of does is to use the local funding to equal out what is spent on the non-disadvantaged. How complicated. But if the district attracted another 500 of the 1700 or so kids who go to private school, it would get no extra local funds for them, as that income is fixed and they are mostly not disadvantaged.


7 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 26, 2015 at 4:25 am

@Jeanie Light resident of Slater,
But for everyone to think about!!!

Jeanie, (of Slater, cool!) your post is the brightest shining "Light" I have seen in any post relating to the Boundaries and Schools open/close issues ever! What you have said is at least as inspirational and important as any speech I have seen given at any MVWSD School Board meeting ever.

In your thoughtful, not angry, not selfish, objective post, you have shined your light on the true issue we ALL should focus on, we all should put our efforts towards, we all should be able to cooperate towards.

Several historical factors, we can't fix now, caused the serious reduction of K-5 public school enrollment to the point where the various politicians on the School Boards decided to start closing schools. One can certainly argue over the details and if the various Boards over the years made proper decisions or not, but the past is gone and the scars of old wounds cannot be erased now by wounding yet another set of innocent parents who had NOTHING to do with those closures.

What we all should be able to agree on is that if we improved our existing public schools and improved the public perception of our public schools and how our district operates to the point where we gained a few hundred new K-5 kids, then we would easily be able to safely open a 9th new Whisman/Slater school. If we did a really good job of making our existing public schools into great schools and made our district the model of a stable, reliable, sane district, then we might well be able to open a 10th school.

By working together to improve ALL our existing schools, we all win and Whisman/Slater gets the traditional neighborhood school that they want.

By continuing to attack and forcing the families of various schools to keep on defending their own school against attack, all we are doing is telling, no, screaming to, the general public that the MVWSD school district is an unstable dis-functional mess and utterly unreliable.

Why should families bring their K-5 kids to our district when the district leaders keep creating such chaos year after year for 5-10-15 years and counting?

Jeanie Light wrote:
"And it sounds like if we had more kids going to public school, it wouldn't be such a hard decision to open another school?"

Exactly! This is the actual point that matters.

"that we could win back enough students from private school to be able to eventually reopen Whisman or Slater? I haven't seen that strategy discussed."

We must stop the pattern of pitting one group of families against another to decide who the winners or losers are, the we can see your idea discussed. We all know that there are no winners, not ever, when a school is closed not even if another school is opened as a result.

Jeanie wrote:
"Since my daughter isn't in school yet,..."

Which means Jeanie has not yet been forced by the district to fight to protect her school, which is probably why she was able to clearly see what really needs to be done.

Thank you Jeanie Light of Slater!
I would love to see you as the head of the Slater neighborhood association.


6 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 26, 2015 at 10:16 am

@ALL interested parties

I just thought it would be helpful to provide some real numbers to show where kids are commuting to/from as things are today. There seems to be some confusion about this. These numbers come from a document published by the MVWSD.

The largest group of PACT kids come from Landels with Theuerkauf as second and draws kids from all other areas with 8 from outside our district.
Theuerkauf draws kids from all other schools, 23 kids from Huff, (20 Huff-A) and 4 from another district.
Huff-A only 69 kids go to Huff the rest are already spread out across all the other schools, including 20 to Theuerkauf.

2014-2015 Attendance Matrix
Boundary Attending
Area Stevenson PACT
Bubb 36
Castro 13
Huff 26
Landels 115
Monta Loma 59
Theuerkauf 109
Other Dist. 8
Total 366
=====
Boundary Attending
Area Theuerkauf
Bubb 6
Castro 32
Huff 23 (20 Huff-A)
Landels 24
Monta Loma 81
Theuerkauf 242
Other Dist. 4
Total 412
======
Attending Boundary
School Huff-A
Bubb 5
Castro 1
DI 10
Huff 69
Landels 22
Monta Loma 11
Stevenson 11
Theuerkauf 20
Total 149

Just to aid the discussions.


26 people like this
Posted by @BATF Slammers
a resident of North Whisman
on May 26, 2015 at 12:37 pm

I've been looped into theses issues via the MV Voice, live streams and attending meetings as a by-stander, city resident and working parent. I'm so floored to hear the Huff A community ranting that they were not invited to the table. I know that volunteers were sought from all parts of our city. No one stepped up from Huff-A, who could have - and now you are all whining that things cannot happen becuase you were somehow left out?

Mr. Nelson himself expressed shock that no one from Huff A was included. With his "stature" in society and such care of the various constituents of the city, why did he not solicit participation if he felt so strongly about groups being left out? Instead, our elected board member and the whiners of Huff -A, will claim something malicious and intentional was done.

I hear the threats of some Huff A residents in the threads, who will move as a result of all this... I'll help you pack. We don't need mean spirited people in our beautiful community.


5 people like this
Posted by @PACT Parent
a resident of North Whisman
on May 26, 2015 at 2:41 pm

@PACT Parent that posted the 2014-2015 Attendance Matrix -- thanks! Can you link to the document? If not online, then can you also post the statistics for:
Attending School - from Boundary Huff (exclude Huff-A/B)


21 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on May 26, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Cfrink is a registered user.

As a member of the BATF, what's most troubling to me in all of this is the fact that so many parents have no idea what it is that makes a school successful. We have great teachers, great administrators and great students. What's often missing is great parents. Parents are the missing elements. A group of dedicated folks who believe in their school and are willing to do the work to make sure that the school and it's staff has what it needs to make their school the very best. The flight from one school to another does not make any particular school any better than any other. There is no reason all of our school's can't be among the best in the state. It's up to us to provide the resources to make this a reality. The 21st Century school is about critical thinking. Critical thinking can be achieved in a variety of ways. Some of it involves technology, some of it involves creative teaching methods. But all of them require parental involvement.

The reality at the current moment is that opening a school in Whisman or Slater reduces the resources for the district's other schools. I am not willing to be party to closing another school for a less affluent or less mobile community just to open a school for a more affluent community which is what's being covertly suggested. I am for finding creative avenues to opening a new school at Slater. I am for finding ways to make each of our schools stand out in a particular way, for STEAM, for STEM, for Coding, for Languages, for Arts. If we focused our efforts on crafting incredible educational experiences for our public school students, we would be able to make our schools the envy of the Peninsula, attract many of the 2000 private school students back to the district, and provide funding to re-open the Slater school without worrying about drastically reducing the population of all the other schools and thus their funding.

This decision was not a hard decision. It's simple math. We do not currently have enough students or enough money to open a 9th school. That's our reality. So, with that in mind, let's get to work on making the schools we have incredible so that we can attract more students, more funding, and reopen that 9th school.

Cleave Frink
Member BATF

The views expressed here are my own and do not reflect the views of the BATF


3 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 26, 2015 at 3:04 pm

MVWSD Attendance Matrix:
Web Link

MVWSD Attendance Map:
Web Link

Regional School Size Matrix:
Web Link


11 people like this
Posted by Aamir Farooqui
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 26, 2015 at 9:51 pm

Hi JW and Steve Nelson,

I am thinking of the following proposal, we can have it posted on change.org and get signatures:

0. Permanent classes for special needs should be the top priority.
1. Based on the data presented at the meeting, moving existing PACT to Slater is the cheapest option it should be the one we should use. Choice Programs are for all and not for just specific neighborhoods. At the same time, there is demand from the Slater/Wishman area to open a school in that neighborhood, therefore, opening a choice program with more enrolment will help everyone including Huff-A parents. A good program should be benefited by as many people as possible. That way two schools can get better.
2. There should be no disruption for Theuerkauf students by overcrowding MUR and library.
3. Abolish the lottery system for PACT program, instead allocate 75% seats for Whisman/Slater/Huff-A residents and SED. The rest 25% can be on merit or first-come first serve from the waiting list.
4. Increase the enrollment of PACT to 450-students.
5. Follow transparency in all Committees formation, and dissolve BAFT and DFC, and disclose the compensation paid to these committees.
6. Slater should be the permanent location for PACT.
Thanks,
Aamir


15 people like this
Posted by @Aamir
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 27, 2015 at 6:37 am

In response to item 5 above, let me update you since you have been asleep for the past two years:

- Compensation to BATF or other committee members = $0.00
- "Severence" for former superintendant who "resigned" = $230K
(Ask Nelson about the money the district had to pay to mitigate litigation, all done behind closed doors)
- Measure G money for Castro DI = $50+M
(Ask Nelson about this school that robbed Whisman of a neighborhood school, and why this decision was not brought into the current committees to weigh pros, cons and impacts to all students in Mountain View.)

BATF and other Committee members are pure volunteers. They gave up nights wiht famliy, last hours after work, spending weekends analyzing facilities, ect... agonizing over data and proposals, within Board defined criteria of saftety, school size, ect. They came up with a solution that addresss our even smaller budget and current overcrowding and facilities limitiations at current schools.

I want to be clear that no one disagrees that a WS school would be great to have, but from the math above I think you can see where the Board's previous closed door decisions have taken from that cause right?

Now the question to ask Aamir: What kickbacks are some of our elected officials salivating over - that is driving them to delay decision (further eroding our current and limited pot of bond money) and still push an agenda for a WS school???


5 people like this
Posted by To answer "@Aamir"
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2015 at 9:21 pm

I don't know but could the answer be PACT?

Or Google? Google must be an answer SOMEWHERE in here.


24 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on May 27, 2015 at 10:18 pm

Cfrink is a registered user.

Not sure why people are maligning the process, the Board, or the committees. The district put out all kinds of invitations and notices and provided plenty of opportunities for people like Aamir to participate in this process from the beginning. No takers. There are no "kickbacks." The reason the Board really wants to open a school in Whisman or Slater is because that was promised to the residents of Whisman/Slater and because there are approximately 600-700 children in that neighborhood that have to go across town to get to school rather than walk down the street to their neighborhood school. The city of Mountain View is small enough that almost all of our students should be able to walk or ride a bike to school. That is such a luxury but it's not an extravagance. Unfortunately, the reality is that we do not have enough kids to open a new school at this time. And while everyone likes smaller schools, smaller class sizes, we don't have the funds per student that other districts have so smaller schools and smaller classes on an on-going basis is unsustainable. Going forward, as a community, we need to figure out how to increase our enrollment and bring back some of the students we lose to private schools. Until that happens, we don't have the headcount for a 9th school.

Moving PACT seems like a grand idea (especially if you don't have any kids at that school) but the charge wasn't to put any school in Whisman Slater. The charge was to put a neighborhood school in Whisman Slater. PACT is not a neighborhood school. It's a program school that has a specific curriculum and teaching philosophy. It is not for everyone which is why it's a school for which you must apply. Inundating that program with parents and children who are "forced" to attend the school for any reason (location or lack of other choices) would likely weaken the program's vitality.

As it stands, the PACT program could probably grow. But it is a strong program because of it's current size. Increasing it's size requires planning and thought so that the experience isn't diluted. It also requires additional resources not currently available.

What we should be focused on is improving our current schools, finding additional resources to continue renovating and improving our schools and attracting more students. If we could just get back 500 students we could possibly open a 9th school.

For almost 6 months we've been working on this process and now the process, which was dutifully considered and explored, is just about finished. If you want to get involved, go to the district website, fill out an application and join us. We've got more work to do. But the bickering and maligning that I see here is not helpful or productive.

Cleave Frink
Member, BATF

The opinions expressed here are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the BATF


7 people like this
Posted by Priorities
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 27, 2015 at 11:57 pm

Well, it seems that since we cannot afford another school and whisman deserves to have one, then that means another has to move over or close.

Moving or closing another neighborhood school just transfers the problem...
Apparently, moving PACT will not be desirable to the whisman parents so we cannot do that.
Apparently if too many whisman parents/students are "forced" to enter the waiting-list only school, it will destroy it.
That leaves us with the only reasonable option...close PACT and use the money to open a school in Whisman.

This is completely reasonable and fair. The suggested alternative to "make neighborhood schooling more attractive" is a red herring. 5-10 years if done at full tilt.

Let's do the right thing here and then we can work on a longer term approach.


11 people like this
Posted by Jeanie Light
a resident of Slater
on May 28, 2015 at 12:03 am

Thank you to the BATF volunteers. It clearly is a huge challenge set before you and the school district and its clear to me the committee worked hard to analyze the data and put together the best plan for the success of the schools - within the constraints set out.

There are many of us passionate about continuing the debate around a Whisman Slater school - and about doing it in a positive community building way.

We are also asking each other - how did we miss coming to the table on something that is so important? This doesn't speak for all people but for those with very young children, this is how it can happen...

1. The decisions being made right now have the greatest impact on families with young children who aren't yet in school - they still have a choice to make on where to send their kids.
2. Those who don't have kids in school yet know the least about the school situation and school politics.
3. Our community did rally and a lot of effort was put into the effort to open a school in Whisman-Slater. In 2014 it sounded like it was going to happen (Web Link). So heads down and back to raising a kid.
4. If you don't know anything about school boundaries and school politics, do you know what a request for volunteers for a "Boundary Advisory Task Force" even means? Sadly... no. :(

From my side - I don't want to question the findings of the BATF team against the data and constraints available. I want to question the assumption that the total number of kids we would see in Mountain View public schools would stay constant even if a 9th elementary school was opened in the Whisman-slater neighborhood. With the high number of kids attending private school - to me its very worth it to collect more data around how the families choices would change if a neighborhood school were in the picture.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 6:25 am

As requested and VERY INTERESTING!!! I set a better format.
2014-2015 Attendance Matrix analyzed re-structured
Boundary--Attending
Area------Stevenson PACT-MOST INCLUSIVE school
Bubb--------36
Castro------13
Huff-ABCD---26
Landels----115
Monta Loma--59
Theuerkauf-109
Other Dist---8
Total------366
=====
Boundary--Attending
Area------Theuerkauf
Bubb---------6
Castro------32
Huff--------23 (20 Huff-A)
Landels-----24
Monta Loma--81
Theuerkauf-242
Other Dist---4
Total------412
=====
Attending-Boundary
School----Huff-A-scattered as parents choose
Bubb---------5
Castro-------1
DI----------10
Huff--------69
Landels-----22
Monta Loma--11
Stevenson---11
Theuerkauf--20
Total------149
=====
Boundary-Attending
Area--------Huff---MOST SEGRAGATED school
Bubb---------15
Castro-------12
Huff-ABCD---500
Landels------28
Monta Loma---13
Theuerkauf---13
Other Dist----0
Total-------571
=====
Attending-[Neighborhood]
School----[Whisman/Slater]
Bubb--------15<-They lose BIG
Castro-------4<-They lose BIG
DI----------20<-They lose BIG
Huff--------88<-They Lose
Landels----136<-They lose
Monta Loma--23<-They lose
Stevenson---73<--They gain by taking PACT to WH/SL
Theuerkauf--91<-They lose
Total------450
=====
Attending-Boundary
School----Huff-C+D-MOST EXCLUSIVE boundary
Bubb--------23
Castro-------4
DI----------10
Huff-------420
Landels-----39
Monta Loma---3
Stevenson---15
Theuerkauf---2
Total------516
=====
Attending-Boundary
School----Huff-ABCD-2nd MOST EXCLUSIVE boundary
Bubb--------37
Castro-------5
DI----------22
Huff-------500
Landels-----64
Monta Loma--14
Stevenson---26
Theuerkauf--23
Home School--1
Total------692
=====
Boundary-Attending
Area--------Bubb
Bubb--------415
Castro-------58
Huff-ABCD----37
Landels------13
Monta Loma---10
Theuerkauf---15
Other Dist----2
Total-------587
=====
Boundary-Attending
Area-----Landels
Bubb---------28
Castro-------34
Huff-ABCD----64
Landels-----279
Monta Loma---25
Theuerkauf---40
Other Dist----1
Total-------471
=====
Boundary-Attending
Area----Monta Loma
Bubb---------11
Castro-------60
Huff-ABCD----14
Landels-------7
Monta Loma--310
Theuerkauf---60
Other Dist----2
Total-------464
=====
Boundary-Attending
Area----Dual-Immersion
Bubb---------33
Castro------143
Huff-ABCD----22
Landels------67
Monta Loma---54
Theuerkauf---56
Other Dist---11
Total-------386
=====
Boundary-Attending
Area-----Castro Traditional
Bubb---------30
Castro------254
Huff-ABCD-----5
Landels------13
Monta Loma---19
Theuerkauf----9
Other Dist----2
Total-------332
=====


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 6:46 am

@Priorities of Rengstorff Park

Yeah, sure, lets take the one school that has a long history of the best results for the least amount of money sitting on the oldest campus after already forcing them to start all over again twice, the one school which is so highly in demand that it is not only always gets quickly filled, but has a waiting-list of 170 kids and lets kill the one school that has a long history of drawing more families into the district. The one school with the highest level of parental volunteerism.

The one school that draws the greatest percentage of kids from every boundary are in the district, yeah, lets kill that school.

The one school with the WORST campus, the SMALLEST campus and yet, we really couldn't care less if ANY MONEY gets spent on upgrades at all!

=>YES<= we WOULD RATHER get ZERO Measure G money than to get moved or closed.

Go ahead, keep ALL the Measure G money for the other schools, set-aside $20million or more for the future of Whisman/Slater, give PACT ZERO, just leave us alone, we are FINE as we are.

"Well, it seems that since we cannot afford another school and whisman deserves to have one, then that means another has to move over or close."

Yeah, because if we learned NOTHING from the closures of Whisman and Slater school, that's it's really no big deal to shove 400 families out the door and close their school. No big problem there. That was just fine for the Slater kids, right?

FYI, of the 400 kids who got tossed out of Slater, 40% were PACT kids.

"Moving or closing another neighborhood school just transfers the problem."

Moving or Closing ANY school is just as damaging as it was when Slater was closed. If that was a terrible injustice, then doing it again to another set of innocent families is twice the injustice because we now KNOW the terrible effects of moving or closing ANY school.

"Apparently, moving PACT will not be desirable to the whisman parents so we cannot do that."

OF course, they only want it all and they don't care at all how their desires to walk to school will damage the rest of the district.

"That leaves us with the only reasonable option...close PACT and use the money to open a school in Whisman."

No, the problem is not the money, it's the enrollment of kids.

Keep the money for a future Wh/Sl school, just leave Stevenson PACT alone.
PACT has been the punching-bag for the district right from the start, it's long since time to find a way to do things without always attacking and totally disrupting the MOST DESIRED school in the whole district!


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 7:14 am

@Aamir Farooqui of Rex Manor
Hello neighbor

Speaking of signed petitions.
The Whisman/Slater advocated started and published the notice of an on-line petition for WH/SL people to sign on to say they want a school in the WH/SL area and shows how many K-12 kids they have in the MVWSD district.

This petition ONLY managed to get 170 total signature, but the IP addresses showed that there was only 146 households who signed, mom+dad signed in some cases.
This petition also showed that 56 of those 146 said they had ZERO childred.
1 said they had a new-born and 1 said they had 6 kids.
The total listed kids was only 87.

This was the best the WH/SL advocates could even inspire to sign a simple on-line petition! How many WH/SL families are actually going to go to all the work to actually enroll their kids in a NEW WH/SL school?

Certainly NOT anywhere near the 400 the district wants to see.

"0. Permanent classes for special needs should be the top priority."

Unless this requires closing a currently operating school.

"1. Based on the data presented at the meeting, moving existing PACT to Slater is the cheapest option it should be the one we should use."

NO, the cheapest would be giving PACT ZERO Measure G Money and set-aside $20million or so for the future use of WH/SL to be used when they add 400 new K-5 kids to the district.

"Choice Programs are for all and not for just specific neighborhoods."

Which is why PACT is located at the most central location in the district and why PACT is the MOST INCLUSIVE school accepting the best most even spread of kids from all other boundary areas. See the chart about where PACT kids come from.

Moving PACT to WH/SL will make PACT ONLY for WH/SL benefit and the rest of the district will lose out big-time!


"At the same time, there is demand from the Slater/Wishman area to open a school in that neighborhood,"

Sure, but only from a small long-term group of loud wealthy advocates we have heard make the same claims for a decade. The actual petition showed very little interest in a new WH/SL school. And this petition was run and advertised by the WH/SL advocates themselves and even they couldn't drum up enough interest to get many people to even sign the on-line petition!


"therefore, opening a choice program with more enrolment will help everyone including Huff-A parents."

No, it will only help the 73 kids who now attend PACT who live inthe WH/SL area, EVERYONE else will LOSE!

"A good program should be benefited by as many people as possible."

Which is why PACT should STAY at Stevenson, where it is most available to the MOST PEOPLE from ALL OVER the district, NOT shoved off into the extreme-right-corner of the district behind 85.

"2. There should be no disruption for Theuerkauf students by overcrowding MUR and library."

As I have been saying for well over a year, I don't support the idea of a re-positioning of PACT anywhere, not even up against Theuerkauf. I think TH should have the freedom to keep all that they have and NOT SHARE ANY of it with PACT.

"3. Abolish the lottery system for PACT program, instead allocate 75% seats for Whisman/Slater/Huff-A residents and SED."

And this is the real agenda, steal away the PACT program for the exclusive use of the WH/SL advocates so that ONLY they get the benefits of PACT!

"4. Increase the enrollment of PACT to 450-students."

The WH/SL families have not even demonstrated they can come up with 200 kids who want PACT, or even a new traditional school over there. How are they going to fill 75% of 450?

"5. Follow transparency in all Committees formation,"

The BATF and DFC have been the MOST open and transparent committees this district has ever formed!

"and dissolve BAFT and DFC, and disclose the compensation paid to these committees."

ZERO DOLLARS! ALL of these people who you hate because they came up with an answer that did not provide you and your neighbors with the exclusive rights to the PACT school, they got paid NOTHING for there hundreds of hours of work.

"6. Slater should be the permanent location for PACT."

So, you and your friends can exclude everyone else from the district from the benefits.

I guess you're saying:
"If I can't have it all, I want the best stuff destroyed so nobody else can have it."
Yeah, that sound like what you're saying.

Look at the charts I posted, PACT where it is has been the most inclusive of people from all over the district of any public school in the district.
Most of that comes from the central location. Moving PACT will only lead to it becoming the private property of one loud and wealthy community.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 7:28 am

respectfully disagree of Rex Manor
Hello neighbor

"I believe a large number of kids attending Thereukafu currently live in the Whisman neighborhood,"

Disagree, please check my charts I posted showing where kids come from.

There are only 91 kids from the WH/SL area going to Theuerkauf.

There are 73 kids in WH/SL who go to PACT, those are the ONLY kids to benefit from moving PACT to Slater. All other kids in the rest of the district lose out so the WH/SL advocates can keep the PACT program to themselves hidden over behind hywy85.

Stevenson PACT gets the widest spread of kids from the entire district than any other school. Stevenson actually gets more from Landels 115, then Theuerkauf 109, Monta Loma 59, Bubb 36, Huff 26, Castro 13, and even 8 from out of district.


7 people like this
Posted by Christine Case-Lo
a resident of North Whisman
on May 28, 2015 at 9:11 am

Why do so many people here need to insult and deride in order to make their point. There is no conspiracy, no huge anti-PACT or pro-PACT forces at play. There is a district with a wide variety of needs and socioeconomic factors, and not enough funds for everyone to be happy. I'm a resident of Huff-A and I'm not happy about the proposed plan, I want a neighborhood school. But I can understand that we don't have the money or numbers to make that happen. We need to focus on making the schools we have functional and exceptional, to attract those private school families back.
As for the local Whisman/slater petition, I would like everyone to remember that it was an online petition. I heard about it from a friend who sent me the link on Facebook. But in my neighborhood not everyone has frequent internet access. Not everyone speaks English. Some people are working two or three jobs to afford to live here and have no clue about school politics because they just don't have the time or energy. We could probably apply that across many any families in Mountain View. I'm impressed they got as many signatures as they did!
If we went door to door and spoke to every resident of this neighborhood about having a local school, that number would be much higher. I wish we could set up an investment fund to save toward the goal of having at least a small local school at Slater or Whisman. I'm sure kids from the neighborhood would be thrilled to go.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 9:20 am

If PACT is so sought after then moving to Slater provides more space for its growth. I don't see how PACT can expand at its current without either taking over Theuerkauf or using up the precious playgrounds for kids. Aamir's proposal is not so bad if you think about it in the long run it will benefit PACT.

Slater is very close to Landels community. Kids who get enrolled into Choice programs are already at advantage as compared to other neighborhood schools, therefore location should not be an issue.

The other option would be to start another PACT at Landels too so that more kids can share the program and keep the existing one as is.

BTW, I have never seen PACT like programs at other more successful elementary schools in Cupertino, Fremont, Palo Alto or Los Altos. I believe that people found a way here in Mountain View to distinguish themselves from the latino community and started this program. Public education should be equal and available to all.


5 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 9:52 am

When Slater was closed there were kids in the neighborhood who could have enrolled sufficiently to keep it open. Parents choose private schools for many reasons, and it takes years to make a new school perceived as exceptional in any community. For a K-5 school it is typically an entire cohort of students moving through for those perceptions to be created.

MVWSD's next three budgets already spend down reserves, some state funding will end over the next several years. W/S had unsustainable neighborhood schools a decade ago. If the community has changed and is ready for a neighborhood school again, based on all the effort already expended, the community should now have the burden of proof. Show us 300 actual students committed to attend the first year of a new W/S school (and parents committed to walk or bike with them), and we are a district of really smart people, we'll find the money. But not for maybe 100 Kinders. Forcing folks to move their kids to a brand new school just to create community focus is just not realistic. I have written before that even with a neighborhood school, many parents still need to drive younger students as a function of time. Once the kid is in the car, why does it matter where the drive is to?


13 people like this
Posted by To Resident Rex Manor
a resident of another community
on May 28, 2015 at 11:30 am

"BTW, I have never seen PACT like programs at other more successful elementary schools in Cupertino, Fremont, Palo Alto or Los Altos. I believe that people found a way here in Mountain View to distinguish themselves from the latino community and started this program. Public education should be equal and available to all."

Actually, Ohlone Elementary in Palo Alto and Christa McAuliffe in Cupertino have similar models that PACT uses. They are both choice schools in those districts.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 12:07 pm

@Resident of Rex Manor

By the way, you really ought to look at a map once in a while, it's clear that Whisman/Slater is a terrible place for a "choice" school of any type, as that area is geographically cut-off from the rest of the district by 85 and there are few ways for the rest of the district to get into that area. It's one thing for the smaller number of kids to come out of that area to other schools, but it's a whole different problem when you have hundreds of parents who will have to come from all over the district through the couple of passes to get into either WH or SL. And for PACT, we not only have hundreds of parents at 8:30 drop-off and 3:30 pick-up and 6pm pick-up, but all through the day we have dozens of parents coming and going and parking for day-time volunteer work.

Both WH and SL sites make this entirely unworkable.

You asserted:
"If PACT is so sought after then moving to Slater provides more space for its growth."

"growth" for the sake of growth is not relevant to PACT and not a priority.
It's also not that simple for PACT.
The priority is the full package of methods within the philosophy.
It's not easy to find teachers who are prepared for such a fundamentally
different way of teaching and are ready to jump in to it. Even then, it
takes training and time.
We also need to spin-up the support functions for each class added.
Also NOT something done quickly.

"I don't see how PACT can expand at its current without either taking over Theuerkauf or using up the precious playgrounds for kids."

Again, growth is not a priority, but we have grown to 390 kids for the coming school year on our existing campus. The current layout of the Stevenson campus is rather haphazard and could be made much more space efficient WITHOUT having any effect on Theuerkauf.

PACT has ZERO interest in encroaching on Theuerkauf. ANY such suggestions come from the Board or from others who want to stir up trouble for PACT, NOT from PACT itself.

"Aamir's proposal is not so bad if you think about it in the long run it will benefit PACT."

NO, anything that moves PACT away from this Stevenson location will be very BAD for PACT, both in the short-term, and worse in the long-term.

"Slater is very close to Landels community. Kids who get enrolled into Choice programs are already at advantage as compared to other neighborhood schools, therefore location should not be an issue."

The location is why PACT draws kids from ALL other areas of the district. ANY other location, the WORST being Whisman/Slater, would make it much harder for the rest of the district families to get to PACT. For PACT to be available to the MOST families, we need the central location of Stevenson.

"The other option would be to start another PACT at Landels too so that more kids can share the program and keep the existing one as is."

Ok, Stevenson PACT would have NO PROBLEM helping ANY other existing Traditional school who wants to start up a PACT program at their established school. We have made this clear for years. If a school asks, we will be there to help.

"BTW, I have never seen PACT like programs at other more successful elementary schools in Cupertino, Fremont, Palo Alto or Los Altos."

You have a lot to learn, PACT style programs are all over the place, they are not all called "PACT", but the basic philosophy is almost always very similar.

"I believe that people found a way here in Mountain View to distinguish themselves from the latino community and started this program."

That just shows how little you know about PACT, to go along with all the other proof of this lack of understanding.

PACT was begun as a little side-program experiment in Slater way back in the 1990's. It NEVER had anything to do with anything but the philosophy and methods of progressive education.

"Public education should be equal and available to all."

Which is why PACT needs to stay at Stevenson, so we are in the best location for ALL families of our district to get here.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Christine Case-Lo of North Whisman

Christine, a major factor in driving people away is the record of instability and controversy in our district. People who might want to bring their kids into the public system take one look at the history of behavior of our district and they run away from the chaos. The idea that at any time, for no good reason the district might just up and close a school when there are plenty of other options that don't close or move a school.

"Why do so many people here need to insult and deride in order to make their point."

Because they don't have any rational arguments to support their desired outcome.

"There is no conspiracy,"

That word is commonly mis-used.

Just because some people in positions of power each happen to have their own agenda which each overlaps on certain details, so they end up casting the same vote on that item does not make it a "conspiracy". However, it has the same ultimate effect. When you only have 5 people holding all the power, it only takes 3 people to have an overlap on the same item for their common goal to become a reality.

"no huge anti-PACT... forces at play."

As I said, it need not be "huge", it need only be the few who actually matter.

"There is a district with a wide variety of needs and socioeconomic factors, and not enough funds for everyone to be happy."

Actually, there is indeed enough money for the families to be happy. PACT does not even need the Measure G money, Stevenson does not need to be upgraded. PACT is perfectly happy to remain where we are and with what we have already.

It's the politicians who are making it SEEM like there is no solution, when in act there is.

"I'm a resident of Huff-A and I'm not happy about the proposed plan, I want a neighborhood school."

Then blame the Board, they are the ones setting up the restrictions that prevent WH/SL from getting a neighborhood school.

The Board is insisting all the schools must be big, 450-600, must be fully updated exactly the same, must all have MASSIVE MURs, must all be interchangeable cogs in the district machine.

"But I can understand that we don't have the money or numbers to make that happen."

As I said, we do, IF we are willing to allow schools to fit their neighborhoods rather than fitting the mandates of carbon-copy schools.

"We need to focus on making the schools we have functional and exceptional, to attract those private school families back."

Correct, which means KEEPING the existing schools intact and functioning and STABLE. Our district has a history of controversy and revolving-door Superintendents. Arbitrary closures of schools, threats of closing schools, etc.

"As for the local Whisman/slater petition, I would like everyone to remember that it was an online petition."

Yes, put up by the people who claim there is such a huge pent-up demand for a WH/SL school, it's up to them to spread the word and get people to sign up. If the community can't even get people to an on-line petition, HOW are they going to get people together to fill a NEW school?????

"Some people are working two or three jobs to afford to live here and have no clue about school politics because they just don't have the time or energy."

Fine, then the strident advocates for the area should prove their point by making the effort themselves to inform these people with little time or little access to info. But they didn't.

More than that, the people who have to work really hard and have little to show for it are also very risk-averse and are highly UNLIKELY to take the risk of switching to a NEW school when they could go to an existing school where all their friends have gone to for years already.

Most people who are not able to be deeply involved will NOT take any risks and will stick to the school they know or that people they know went to. They wont go to a new school with no track record.

"If we went door to door and spoke to every resident of this neighborhood about having a local school, that number would be much higher."

Then WHY didn't the big WH/SL advocates DO exactly that?
They have been screaming for years that the families who want a WH/SL school are here, but if they never bother to go talk to them, how do even they know if what they are screaming is true or not?

"I wish we could set up an investment fund to save toward the goal of having at least a small local school at Slater or Whisman. "

I have suggested that very thing. I said the Board should set-aside $20million or more and take care of all the other schools and do NOTHING with Stevenson at all. When all the other existing schools are upgraded, put whatever money is left from Measure G in an account and give the WH/SL people a few years to come up with the enrollment. If they do, great, give the money to WH/SL.

In any case, leave Stevenson alone, we don't need the money, we need to be allowed to continue on our own course.

"I'm sure kids from the neighborhood would be thrilled to go."

That is an assumption not supported by any as yet available facts.


3 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 1:02 pm

@Private School

"While there may not be enough kids to open a school at Slater now, there quite likely could be in a year or two. The fair thing to do is to delay issuing a portion of the authorized bonds in order to facilitate responding to changes that may occur prior to the district being able to request more bond authorization. "

You may be surprised, but I TOTALLY AGREE!

I have always said that Stevenson is fine wher we are and how we are and I have suggested to Trustees that any money targeted for Stevenson be set-aside until ALL other existing schools are fully upgraded and THEN take a new look at the enrollment and even wait a cople additional years to give WH/SL a chance to prove their claims.

If they can great, give the money to WH/SL.
I assure you, Stevenson PACT will be just fine as it is, if they will just leave us alone and stop trying to force us into their cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all mold.

Stevenson PACT has PROVEN it is highly desired with the huge waiting-list and NOBODY walks away from a chance at getting into PACT because they don't like the buildings or campus we are on. NOBODY!


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm

@TH of Rex Manor

"This model is suggesting to close down Theuerkauf school in simple words!"

These ideas that Theuerkauf families don't like are also NOT ideas that came from PACT NOR does PACT like any of them at all.

" Why is PACT so important that it cannot be moved?"

The better question is WHY are the powerful few trying to FORCE a bad situation, when PACT is quite happy exactly where we are and exactly as we are?

PACT will be seriously harmed by moving away.
The WH/SL area is the worst-case location for a move.
PACT does NOT want to encroach on or annoy Theuerkauf in any manner, it's the Board who is forcing these things to be proposed.

The whole purpose of the Board is clear, to deliberately set up arbitrary restrictions to the point where they Board can claim that moving PACT away and renting-out Stevenson to the highest-bidding wealthy private school.

That's the same thing that the Board did to the Slater school a decade ago. They wanted to rent-out Slater to Google, so they made up an excuse to close Slater.

The tactic worked 10 years ago, so they are doing it all over again now.
The wealthy private schools get all the best properties they want and the public school kids get the left-overs.


14 people like this
Posted by Christine case-Lo
a resident of North Whisman
on May 28, 2015 at 1:15 pm

@PACT Parent

You bring up some good point in your line by line rebuttal. Although I still do not think you have a true idea of how difficult it is to organize a group where people don't even have time to sleep, much less listen at the door about petitions, and language can be a barrier. It is really hard to be poor or middle class here and have time for politics like this. It's true our neighborhood needs to work hard to give "proof" that we have the kids required, if only to satisfy people like you.

You do have valid points, and I do not think moving PACT will happen due to the strength of your community and the time you have to spend on advocating. But your tone in your posts is very aggressive and sets up a fight where a reasoned discussion would accomplish more.


7 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Christine case-Lo of North Whisman

@PACT Parent

"You bring up some good point in your line by line rebuttal."
Thanks, I try.

You are aware that the Slater school was closed in spite of solid reasons that showed it should NOT have been closed, right?

One rather vital point. There is a huge difference between someone who is attacking to gain something they don't have now and someone who is simply defending something they have. The defenders need only survive the attacks to be happy. It's the attackers who need to destroy in order to gain what they want so they will be happy.

WH/SL advocates are trying to gain something and don't care who else they will be taking from or what they may destroy to get what they want.

Stevenson PACT and Theuerkauf and other existing schools are trying to protect something we have and DO WANT WH/SL to get what they want IF it can be given to them in a manner which will NOT harm the existing schools.

PACT wants everyone to be happy, the WH/SL advocates ONLY want themselves to be happy and what damage they do in the process is of no concern to them.

"Although I still do not think you have a true idea of how difficult it is to organize a group where people don't even have time to sleep, much less listen at the door about petitions, and language can be a barrier."

I do understand that, my point is that if the WH/SL advocates have been telling us the truth, then the only way they know it's the truth is if they made the effort, huge effort as it may be, to really know they are correct in their assertions.

How do they "know" what they are claiming is true and not just wishful thinking, unless they have actually done the footwork and gotten in contact with these very same people who (if they exist and would want to move to an unknown new school) they claim to know the minds of. Why should anyone take their claims seriously, when the WH/SL advocates can't be bothered to find out for themselves if their own rhetoric is true or not?

"It's true our neighborhood needs to work hard to give "proof" that we have the kids required, if only to satisfy people like you."

How about to satisfy themselves that hey are not deluding themselves?
If the WH/SL adovcates were so sure they are right, why have they not been willing to make the effort to prove it? Are they afraid they might find that they are wrong?

"You do have valid points, and I do not think moving PACT will happen due to the strength of your community and the time you have to spend on advocating."

But, how many more years will we continue to be forced to spend thousands of person-hours away from our families and from supporting our school in normal ways before the attacks STOP?

"But your tone in your posts is very aggressive"

That's because we are forced into a fight that we don't want and did NOT start and were in NO WAY responsible for. We are required to be aggressive to defend ourselves against a small but powerful group of attacking advocates who have spent a decade working on their tactics.

They have managed to select the majority of the Board members in their favor.

"and sets up a fight where a reasoned discussion would accomplish more. "

PACT didn't set up the fight any more than the 400 families of the Slater school did a decade ago. I have NOT set up a fight, I am responding to the fight that was brought to my door.

I assure you that I and all other PACT parents would LOVE to be able to spend our time with our families and NOT to be fighting anyone over anything. It's the advocates of WH/SL who want a fight, because destroying what other people have is the only way they are willing to try to get what they want.


14 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on May 28, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Cfrink is a registered user.

Folks, moving PACT simply isn't good for the PACT school and it's community. Moving a school every few years causes disruption. The school and it's families are happy where they are now. They're not asking for anything special. Their current facility is aging and needs to be renovated but they are willing to wait for that renovation. Upon renovation it's quite possible that the PACT program could accept more students. But I think that's a decision that should come from that school community and the district since they're the folks most impacted by such a decision. The rest of us shouldn't make plans for a school we know nothing about.

I think the Whisman Slater neighborhood has spoken loudly and clearly that they'd like to have their neighborhood school re-open. I think it's just a matter of time. But we've got some district wide work to do in order to make that happen. That's what we should all be focused on at this point. The Boundaries conversation has been had. We should be coming up with ideas to make our current schools better and better. That will facilitate opening a new school. I hope all the folks commenting here show up at the next Board meeting or the next Boundaries or Facilities meeting. I'll be happy to hear your voice there now and going forward.

Cleave Frink
Member, BATF

The views expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the BATF


8 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 2:25 pm

@PACT Parent,

I don't know where you got your information on the closure of Slater. I went to all of those meetings (and the one's that closed Whisman). Today's numbers are not that much different than those of a decade ago. If they have not changed much in a decade, keeping Slater then would have meant closing three schools or massive program cuts during the recent Great Recession. 450-600 is not a "massive school". It allow for at least three classrooms of about 25 students for each grade level K-5. Smaller schools provide more direct attention, but fewer options in art, music, PE and such. Since local funding is about 25% now, and does not vary by student, increasing enrollment only justifies a W/S school. It does not improve the district's overall financial position. Portables don't last forever. Maybe not while your students are K-5, but Stevenson will need to be improved. Measure G can't do everything that is needed, let alone wanted, but we need to stay current in the campuses we use. MUR's also serve as indoor eating areas, I don't know where Stevenson kids eat now in the rain. I guess that does not matter as long as the drought continues.=)


7 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 6:20 pm

Whisman/Slater advocates were invited to join BATF but refused.

From what we are told by the district in an open meeting, they made specific contact with each of the well-known WH/SL advocates and asked them to either join one of the 2 groups working on all this or to nominate someone else from WH/SL to join. They all refused to participate in the process and offered no alternative candidates.

The politics seem clear, if you think your position is very weak and wont prevail in an openly operating committee, then you wont want to participate in the process so that when the outcome is what you always knew it should be, you get to scream "BIAS" from the side-lines because nobody from your camp was part of the process...that your side boycotted.

The BATF worked openly under the ever watchful eye of Trustee Wheeler and usually one or two other Trustees and none of them saw anything improper going on.

The WH/SL advocates boycotted the whole process so they could play the victims card again. Granted, they may well have been victims of a bad decision a decade ago, or maybe it was the only decision possible a decade ago, we can't ever now know the truth, but now we know the high cost of closing any school or otherwise disrupting an entire school like moving PACT over to WH/SL. Which is the worst-case location for PACT.


36 people like this
Posted by @Pact Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 28, 2015 at 7:43 pm

If you are truly a parent of one of the PACT students, then I'm very disappointed in what that program has become. It ought not be a an exclusive, we are better than neighborhood school elitists, but that is what you are portraying. I truly hope you are simply trolling to create more divisiveness between public education and taxpayer-funded private schools.


32 people like this
Posted by My honest opinion
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 28, 2015 at 8:39 pm

I agree fully with the poster directly above. This is how I feel of many PACT parents. Not all, but many.

Sometimes it reminds me a lot of the issues that Bullis Charter School brought up in Los Altos.

At times it feels (to a non-PACT parent) that those who attend PACT are too good for neighborhood schools.

I'm NOT trying to be disrespectful; simply stating my belief/opinion and that of some close friends.

*note: I'm not a grumpy parent who didn't get into PACT- I never tried, as it's simply not for me.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 29, 2015 at 1:02 am

My honest opinion of Monta Loma

One size (or style) does not fit all. Respect diversity for all.

"At times it feels (to a non-PACT parent) that those who attend PACT are too good for neighborhood schools. "

That would be your value judgement of a minority group.

Just because some people are different and believe in a different style of education does not make them better or worse than the majority of families who believe in traditional style education.

If we were talking about a religion-based style of education, or a one-room style (where kids of all ages work together all the time), or if the style was a military school or any other non-traditional style, would you automatically assume those families wanted to keep their school intact because they believe themselves "better" then the majority of families who choose traditional style education?

If a family chose to put one child in Stevenson PACT and their other child in Theuerkauf, which some have done, would you assume that was because they valued one child over the other?

I thought one of the core values of the liberal San Francisco bay area was acceptance of all our differences, the understanding that diversity of opinions and choices is a good thing, that people are different and they have the right to make different choices for themselves and their families WITHOUT people negatively judging them for making the minority choices.

I'm very liberal on almost all issues, so it saddens me when I see such intolerance towards a group who wants to make something other than the majority choice for their family.

If we are supposed to honor and respect diversity, it has to apply to everyone equally.


11 people like this
Posted by @ PACT parent
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 29, 2015 at 8:54 pm

No, I'm sorry. I believe you missed my point. I respect the PACT program as well as the dual immersion program even if it may not be for my family.

It's the attitude of many of the parents that does me in. I have nothing against the program, students, teachers, etc. etc. but instead the attitudes of many parents that seem to think that PACT is superior to other MVWSD schools. Hopefully you aren't one of them and maybe that's why my post was misunderstood.

It does have 7 "likes" at present, so I'm not alone in this feeling.

*i do not represent my neighborhood, only my own self.


17 people like this
Posted by @ Pact Parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 29, 2015 at 9:42 pm

How many kids do you have in PACT that you are fighting for it with tooth and nail? Most of your answers are baseless and pointless. If the PACT program is only for selective number of parents who understand it then why it is part of the public school system? You have made it too exclusive for the general public and proud of it. You should feel obliged to the community that no one has sued PACT for using public money for discriminating among public. Anyone can sue PACT for using the wording "PACT program is not for everyone". This is a shame to use public money and create such a discriminating program.

BTW, kids stay in elementary school for 5 years only then PACT and non-PACT kids go to the same Middle and High School. So, I wonder what happens to this exclusive school ideology then? Total waste of public funding!


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 29, 2015 at 11:05 pm

@PACT parent of Monta Loma

"No, I'm sorry. I believe you missed my point."

You mean I perhaps misinterpreted your intent and message?
Perhaps that's exactly the problem with people who make accusations against PACT families who are still at serious risk of losing our school.

Show me ONE POST where a PACT family claimed they are "better" than everyone else. Show me anything I wrote that you assume makes that assertion.

The people who say what a tragedy it was for the Board to close the Slater school are now using any and all means to attack the PACT school to inflict the very same damage against PACT that they suffered. The irony is that when Slater was closed, 40% of the school were PACT families who also desperately tried to save the Slater school, further, the PACT families got hurt the worst by the closure because their kids got sent all the way across the district, but the traditional families only had to change to Landels or Theuerkauf, less than half the displacement. And the traditional families have had a STABLE situation since Slater was closed, but PACT was again disrupted a few years later.

"I respect the PACT program as well as the dual immersion program even if it may not be for my family."

Good, now how about honoring the desire of PACT families for STABILITY after being tossed across the district twice before?

"It's the attitude of many of the parents that does me in."

Or, perhaps it's simply your chosen interpretation, not a fact.

"I have nothing against the program, students, teachers, etc. etc.

Fine, then respect the fact that the hundreds of families of PACT simply want to stay where we are. We have NO DESIRE to take anything away from anyone, we have the oldest and least updated and least featured campus in the district and we don't complain about this fact. Stevenson never got any upgrade money from the prior bond measures. We don't wish to take away from any other schools, we just want to be allowed to be stable where we are. WHY does that mean we are bad people?

From the very start, the PACT families WANTED a NEW school for Whisman/Slater, PACT families WANTED EVERYONE to be happy, but don't expect us to cut our own throats just to make other people happy.

"but instead the attitudes of many parents that seem to think that PACT is superior to other MVWSD schools."

"seem" being a SUBJECTIVE value judgement made by critics.
"seem" being the operative word.

WHERE HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY IN PACT CLAIMED THAT?

PACT is a different educational philosophy. Different kids thrive in different circumstances. Different families have different beliefs. Like religious families prefer religious schools or military families may prefer military schools or any other non-traditional styles of education.

"Hopefully you aren't one of them and maybe that's why my post was misunderstood."

I have NEVER seen a single post from a PACT family claiming they are "better" than other people.

And I certainly NEVER claimed PACT families are "better", we just a different choice where we feel our kids are a match for.

"It does have 7 "likes" at present, so I'm not alone in this feeling. "

Prejudice is a very popular response towards something people don't understand, like anything that seems different in some way.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Lack of understanding of people who make different choices can drive some people to hate the other people who have something they wish they had for themselves. Especially when they don't take the time to get to know the other people.

The only thing PACT families want is long-term STABILITY where we are!


3 people like this
Posted by @ PACT Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 29, 2015 at 11:13 pm

Different religious beliefs and different thinking are not practiced in public schools. Go to private schools not enjoy this differentiation in a publicly funded school!!


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 29, 2015 at 11:36 pm

@other@Pact Parent of Whisman Station

Lets get one thing straight at the top, you seem to have been seriously misinformed.

NO CHILD IS EVER TURNED AWAY FROM PACT because of the inability of their families to donate money, time or materials to the school.

NO CHILD IS EVER TURNED AWAY because their parents don't really believe in the style of education PACT offers.

There is NO TEST of beliefs, NOT even a questionnaire, there is NO mandatory donation. That would be illegal.

PACT informs the parents of our style of education and what we hope they can do to help the education of their kids, but it's then up to the parents to decide if they like the style of education or not and how much if anything they will provide as assistance in the education of their kids.

PACT tries to find a way that fits the lives of the families so they can help in some way, but it's NOT MANDATORY, that would be illegal!

"How many kids do you have in PACT that you are fighting for it with tooth and nail?"

How many kids were in the Slater school in 2005 when the families fought tooth and nail to try and save their school?

Ironically, the number of kids in the Slater school when it was closed is almost exactly the same number as Slater has enrolled for this fall.

The Slater families even put on a protest march in the street to try to save their school.

"If the PACT program is only for selective number of parents who understand it then why it is part of the public school system?"

Because ANYONE who WISHES to understand it may do so. Stevenson has worked hard to offer the public information about the philosophy and methods. Stevenson offers parent educational meetings so anyone who wants to know about the PACT methods may come and learn and ask questions. You do NOT need to be a parent, NOR have any intention to send you kid to PACT in order to come to the meetings and learn and ask questions. The meetings are open to all.

"You have made it too exclusive for the general public"

Clearly, you know NOTHING about PACT!

NO CHILD IS EVER TURNED AWAY from PACT based on the inability of their families to donate time, or materials or money to the school.

Stevenson is NO MORE "expensive" than ANY OTHER public school is the district. ALL public schools "request" donations and run various fund-raisers. When I was a kid, all schools had "bake sakes" to help raise extra money for the schools.

ALL public schools ask for parents to provide assistance and support to their school, but it is NEVER mandatory, that would be illegal.

"You should feel obliged to the community that no one has sued PACT for using public money for discriminating among public."

The fact that some people who know nothing about PACT and that ignorance drives their hate of PACT and yet NOBODY has filed suit just shows that their is nothing to sue about.

"Anyone can sue PACT for using the wording "PACT program is not for everyone"."

I would also say that "Religious school is not for everyone." and "military school is not for everyone." and "Dual-language-immersions school is not for everyone." and "single-room schools are not for everyone." and "living in the city is not for everyone." and "Apartment living is not for everyone." and "Wearing a beard is not for everyone." and etc...

People are different, different schools and different homes and different clothes suit different people.

Freedom of choice is what the USA and especially, the San Francisco bay area is supposed to be all about.

"This is a shame to use public money and create such a discriminating program."

If a person chooses not to wear orange clothing, that does NOT mean that the people who do choose to wear orange clothing are involved is some sort of conspiracy to prevent that person from wearing orange.

If a person chooses to attend a church where their specific chosen religion is practiced rather than a church that practices some other religion, is either the person or the churches doing something wrong in your view?

Self-selection to choose to participate in something you believe in is NOT
wrong, nor is choosing NOT to participate in something you don't believe in.

"BTW, kids stay in elementary school for 5 years only then PACT and non-PACT kids go to the same Middle and High School."

WOW, you finally got something correct!

"So, I wonder what happens to this exclusive school ideology then?"

What "exclusive" ideology are you talking about?

NO CHILD IS TURNED AWAY if there is an open seat.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 29, 2015 at 11:43 pm

yet another@PACT Parent of Rex Manor

"Different religious beliefs and different thinking are not practiced in public schools."

There are MANY MANY public schools all over the San Francisco bay area, California and the whole USA which offers various non-traditional styles of education.

The PACT model is NOT unique, there are many other public schools around the state and USA which are very much the same style as PACT. They don't all go by the same name, but the programs are much the same. Many public schools have parental involvement in the classrooms. Almost all public schools have fund raisers and ask for donations. Almost all public schools ask parents to get involved in the schools. The most common traditional style is called the PTA.

Do you really think that ALL public schools MUST be identical one-size-fits-all factories of traditional educational style?

Is there no room for any diversity in your philosophy?

Just because a school is a public school does NOT mean they all must be identical.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 30, 2015 at 12:12 am

Reminder to all about the truth of the Slater closing from a parent who was there and saw it all happen. I have no idea who this person is, by the way, but I would love to hear more details from them.

What I see below is that the view of the families of PACT have NOT CHANGED, that NONE of the district schools should be closed, not then and not now.
Today, the PACT families WANT a NEW school to be opened in Whisman/Slater, but the Board has set various restrictions which make this impossible for the time being. I have no objection to one or two strand schools, it's the Board who are insisting that only 3-4 strand schools are acceptable.

Check out this old post from a parent who was at Slater:
Posted by Slat3r
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm

There seems to be some thread here that claims or assumes that PACT wanted to pull out of Slater, or was happy to see it closed. That's the complete opposite of what happened. PACT and the neighborhood Slater programs functioned extremely well together, and when the board said it would close Slater, PACT parents gave tremendous amounts of their time and hard work to try to change the board's mind, and present evidence which would convince them that closing NONE of the MV schools was the best option. It was through these efforts of PACT and other Slater parents that the board was convinced to delay closing the school for a year. Unfortunately the board ultimately went along with the original plan.

I agree with the notion many have expressed that the real problem here lies with the school board. They made some extremely bad choices and were frankly too lazy to rethink those choices once clear evidence was presented to them about how wrong they were.


21 people like this
Posted by Compromise
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2015 at 7:12 am

I would have to agree that Whisman needs their school re-opened and the costs should be shared by the entire district.

I would suggest that the principals of each school get together and figure out how each could tighten their belts enough to carve out the budget to get this done. If the principals simply cannot come up with enough, then the closure of PACT should also be done.

That is the most fair and equitable idea for all students in the district. Not opening a school in Whisman is even worse than closing an extra/choice school. Remember, PACT is small, so the actual cost per student is higher than schools with more kids.

That is my two cents.


5 people like this
Posted by Paretn
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 30, 2015 at 8:10 am

Maybe they could combine two schools and open a new one.


18 people like this
Posted by Slater Gator
a resident of North Whisman
on May 30, 2015 at 9:57 am

@ PACT Parent

You have put quite the spin on the history of the Slater/PACT school closure. The collective effort by the overwhelming number of PACT parents that had the time and resources to make a difference, was primarily aimed at preserving PACT and giving the program extra time to figure out how to move their garden and kiln. Also, there is no way Pact suffered the most disruption. PACT kept everything, just moved it over to Castro and then, conveniently moved it again over to their very own Stevenson campus. Slater neighborhood families were dispersed in many different directions, losing an excellent principal, teachers, families, friends and the vital focal point of their neighborhood, Slater School. PACT made the most noise, and got exactly what they wanted. I find it odd that we could not keep all of the schools open, so we closed one....and then we opened one. Keep fighting Whisman/Slater, it is not wrong to ask for something that you deserve. Neighborhood schools first!


12 people like this
Posted by JW
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 30, 2015 at 8:58 pm

"Neighborhood schools come first" - Slater Gator
"Let's try to get together and find the money for the 9th school and if we can't, let's close Pact- their cost pp is higher (paraphrased)" -Compromise

Amen. Let's keep fighting. Good points!

And stop talking to Pact Parent/troll. It's not helping anything. Thank you to the above two posters for your helpful comments!


11 people like this
Posted by Middle Age Steve
a resident of North Whisman
on May 31, 2015 at 12:29 am

Hey PACT Parent, I've generally learned to skip over your posts, but I did want to address this:

"This petition ONLY managed to get 170 total signature, but the IP addresses showed that there was only 146 households who signed, mom+dad signed in some cases.
This petition also showed that 56 of those 146 said they had ZERO childred.
1 said they had a new-born and 1 said they had 6 kids.
The total listed kids was only 87."

You might want to check again, it's now at 216 signatures and rising daily. OF COURSE some are from the same households, but that house probably has two registered voters, too, right? It's actually growing quite steadily:
Web Link

I agree with Christine Case-Lo, it's just a matter of getting the word out to people. Speaking of, if anyone else wants to sign this petition, it's here!
Web Link

The child data in that survey is wonky...I'm in there with zero kids but I have two. According to
Web Link
we have almost 600 kids who could go to a reopened school in our quadrant of the city.

I'm not sure what makes you think that reopening either Whisman or Slater poses any threat to Stevenson PACT. No one I've talked to here is pushing for that. People who want to go to PACT just sign up to go to Stevenson and hope for the best.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 31, 2015 at 2:46 am

@Middle Age Steve of North Whisman
Wow, there are quite a few people named "Steve" interested in all this.

FYI, I (and pretty much all PACT families) have always supported opening Slater, IF PACT can stay where we are and no currently operating school closes as a result. The Board insists on large schools, around 450, not 216, or even 350. I am fine with smaller schools. I don't agree with the Board.

"Hey PACT Parent, I've generally learned to skip over your posts,"

Sure, why let new information endanger your opinions.

"You might want to check again, it's now at 216 signatures and rising daily."

Then they should thank me for the various times I've mentioned this survey to people over the past months. I just wonder why nobody "new" signed the survey until I started mentioning it to people almost 2 months ago?

"OF COURSE some are from the same households, but that house probably has two registered voters, too, right?"

How many "voters" is not relevant, the point was never about general public opinions, but rather about the doubts in the minds of the MVWSD Board about how many kids would really show up if they re-opened Slater.

I am fine with small schools, I would support a small school in Slater so they can get going.

"The child data in that survey is wonky...I'm in there with zero kids but I have two."

OK, that's a real problem, because the number of kids was the whole point.

"I'm not sure what makes you think that reopening either Whisman or Slater poses any threat to Stevenson PACT. No one I've talked to here is pushing for that. People who want to go to PACT just sign up to go to Stevenson and hope for the best."

Clearly you have NOT been to any of the Board meetings, or you would have seen why we are so worried. Not to mention the many determined Whisman/Slater advocates who constantly say that Stevenson PACT should be closed so that Slater can get the exclusive neighborhood traditional school they want.

PACT families WANT Slater to be re-opened, but we are NOT going to cut our own throats to give it to them. Slater advocates want Stevenson PACT closed so they can take what they want.

See the difference, PACT wants everyone to be happy, Whisman/Slater only wants themselves to be happy, regardless of the impact to the rest of the district.


7 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 31, 2015 at 3:07 am

@Compromise of Old Mountain View

Hey "Compromise", Middle Age Steve of North Whisman does not believe you exist.

You think PACT is "small", but Slater should have stayed open or be re-opened? Check the numbers below.

How many kids were at Slater when the Board closed Slater?
397

How many kids PACT has enrolled for this fall 2015?
390

How many total kids wanted in to PACT for the fall of 2014?
533

Fall 2014 enrollment of schools below 450, thus NOT OK the Board says:
Castro 332
DI 394
Theuerkauf 412

2014 enrollment for the schools the Board says are "OK":
Bubb 557
Huff 581
Landels 531
Monta Loma 464 (Just barely)

The ONLY reason why PACT is "small" (if 390 is small) is because the Board kept it that way. The Board could have allowed Stevenson to expand, but did not.

See, Middle Age Steve, they do exist:
"then the closure of PACT should also be done."
...
"Remember, PACT is small,..."


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 31, 2015 at 3:13 am

NO CHILD IS EVER TURNED AWAY FROM PACT because of the inability of their families to donate money, time or materials to the school.

NO CHILD IS EVER TURNED AWAY because their parents don't really believe in the style of education PACT offers.

There is NO TEST of beliefs, NOT even a questionnaire, there is NO mandatory donation. That would be illegal.

Get it yet?


21 people like this
Posted by Truth
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 31, 2015 at 7:53 am

The big problem is that the PACT school has violated the law by mandating parents to donate hundreds of hours of their time. With residents barely able to make ends meet, adding this massive burden on to be accepted is unacceptable. This is a public school and as such ought not to charge tuition, even if it is a non-cash donation of services.

Here is an excerpt from the PACT website:

"What kind of participation is required in Stevenson PACT?

The following are the parent commitments for the current year, and these are subject to change as the school’s needs change year over year:
Work in the classroom two hours per week, per child
One classroom "job" (coordinator, calendar, pet care, etc.)
Chaperone or support two offsite learning excursions (field trips) per year, per child
Serve on one committee (Publicity, Arts Focus, etc.)
Work in support of the school (library, yard duty, etc.)
Attend a 10-hour course on aiding in the classroom (new parents only)
Submit updated TB test result per district requirement"

Of course charging tuition via cash or services would cause a filtering of students and create an exclusivity. I'm sure these parents LOVE being separated from the less affluent in the district! Besides being downright illegal, doesn't this put into perspective the great injustice against the Whisman neighborhood?

Closing the illegally ran PACT school would easily allow the tax paying Whisman neighborhood to re-open their school. How quickly can we get this accomplished?


24 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 31, 2015 at 8:42 am

How can one say that no kids are ever turned away from PACT when the above requirements are true?

What about a poor immigrant whose parents work FT and can't serve on these committees and donate 2-6 hours/week? Can you honestly say their kid won't be turned away?

@PACT parent please don't yell in response

Just curious: what's the ethnic makeup of PACT anyway? I'm not sure I believe the "lottery" system - OR I do, but only rich families are able to provide the volunteer hours required so.....it's turned into a rich private yet public school.


16 people like this
Posted by before the yelling
a resident of Slater
on May 31, 2015 at 9:06 am

@WOW

The only reason they won't be turned away, is because they won't apply, because that language of "suggested" requirements is just too intimidating. It's a great way to keep out the undesirables.


32 people like this
Posted by @ before the yelling
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 31, 2015 at 12:29 pm

You are absolutely correct that although it is true that no child is turned away because of time/money the fact remains that many PACT parents have stated that if the school is filled with students who do not embrace the model (participating actively at the school) then it will cease being a unique choice program due to the dilution of the student body and philosophy of the non-committed parents.

This is the argument raised repeatedly for the need to have a separate school. For the record, the economic/language diversity rate at PACT is less than 10% (8.22%), the lowest in the entire district, even Huff (8.92%) and Bubb (24.19%) have more socioeconomically disadvantaged and second language learners. Theuerkauf tops the list of all schools in the district at 79.85% exceeding even Castro (61.6%). Source: MVWSD.org Board agenda packet page 61

The problem we have is those who can afford to choose are the ones who make the choice. As has always been the case, when you are working to put food on the table and a roof over your head, it is nearly impossible to look beyond at any other choice.

So again @ PACT parent, true nobody is turned away, but are the applications a true reflection of the diversity in Mountain View or does the diversity rate among the applicant pool mirror the current student body's high economic status?


23 people like this
Posted by mr_b
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 1, 2015 at 7:08 am

"@before the yelling" and "@ before the yelling"
You two have figured out one of the main problems with PACT (and with PACT parent).

The resources that are required to keep the program successful (something even PACT parent has admitted to in the past) without being worded as "requirements" make this program's structure dubious. One the one hand they will say that you need mass donations of time and money for the program to work but then say no one parent will be forced to give. PACT parent will spend a lot of energy defending their viewpoint but cannot defend the fact that people will not *apply* to PACT if they do not think they can *participate* in fund-raising tuition "donations" or in parental activity "suggestions" and so aren't included in the numbers of those who have, in effect, self-selected to not apply. PACT parent has had this discussion with me before and I found them to be quite loyal but rude and dismissive of any weaknesses in the program so good luck with that.

Here's what I've learned by interacting with them in a few other threads:
PACT parent owns a home and a vehicle yet dubiously considers themselves to be as affluent as the majority of those attending Theuerkauf. They have also admitted before to not participating in the parental participation time requirement/suggestion at the site yet has hours upon hours upon hours of time to rant their propaganda here. They are willing to look over any discrepancies in race, ELL, or SED statistics showing just how affluent and limited this "choice" program is and how that may not be the best use of resources when addressing district needs. They vacillate between being informative and then condescending and misrepresentative.

Again good luck. PACT parent is exhausting and a poor PR representative for their parent population. They are likely several other parents out there who have decided not to apply for their children to attend PACT because they don't want to have to interact with other parents like this one.


18 people like this
Posted by Huff Parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 1, 2015 at 10:04 am

Ok.. I have a thought.. How about moving the school district offices to a new location that is NOT on school property and expanded the PACT program into that location which will enable more families to get off the waiting list and into PACT. With Castro DI becoming its own school then the "lottery" system going away adding more class rooms.If this happens then I am pretty sure class rooms sizes will be more spread out and no more over crowding and possible less kids going to Private schools. Just a thought.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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