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Los Altos board asks MV to fund park purchase

Original post made on Jun 19, 2015

The Los Altos School District is looking to partner with the city of Mountain View to build a new school in the San Antonio area and provide green, open space to go with it, but that's a part of the city where parks and grassy fields are pretty hard to come by.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 19, 2015, 11:28 AM

Comments (132)

78 people like this
Posted by LASD Resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2015 at 12:14 pm

Has LASD committed that a new school at this site would be for Mtn View LASD kids (aka NEC) and not BCS? Mtn View should be concerned that LASD will try to place BCS in that location once the school is built.


12 people like this
Posted by Wait a Minute
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2015 at 12:33 pm

This story is too nice to the school board. At 4 acres and with a 70,000 square foot 2 story office building on it, there is ZERO open space currently, unless you count parking? The other LASD schools have about 3/4 of an acre devoted to parking and drop off, and that's for just a 500 student school with about 45,000 square feet of inside space. For this one, they are talking about 900 students, so that would mean more teachers. They really need a full acre of parking alone. So, unlike all the current schools in Mountain View, there's no playground space in this one. All the elementary schools in the area also have over an acre of blacktop space. The blacktop space is even used for picnic lunch tables outdoors, typically with a shared structure of some sort, as our schools don't have cafeterias.

The district would be asking the city to build blacktop (hardcourt) space on the requested park land too.

So to say that there is no accommodation of a "large, open space" is quite misleading. The more even way to put it would be that there is not much of a yard for this school, and not even any normal outdoor space for blacktop.


32 people like this
Posted by Dazed
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jun 19, 2015 at 1:33 pm

I guess Los Altos hasn't been keeping up on the Mountain View news that we can't even agree on putting a school in the Whisman area...where apparently 600 new homes have just been approved.


11 people like this
Posted by LASD Observer
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Another detail about this story. The 600 kids living North of El Camino in Mountain View within the LASD system of schools are not all traveling 3 miles to Covington School. They are split among 3 LASD sites. Under 200 kids in the area represented by Morimoto's organization, namely The Crossings and Old Mill Condos travel to Covington. GCSA doesn't cover the other areas around there, mostly apartments, split between 2 addiitonal schools. Another 200 kids on the Del Mediao Avenue (Palo Alto) side of San Antonio Road are assigned to Santa Rita Elementary School which is much closer. You do see some of these folks crossing ECR at Los Altos Avenue and continuing on up about 1/4 mile to Santa Rita School on foot. This is an area with about 20% low income families. It also includes the Monroe Park area of Palo Alto. On the Showers Avenue side of San Antonio, believe it or not there are another 200 kids attending elementary school at Almond School. They are mostly located along Ortega and California Avenue in condos and apartments. This area is also about 20% low income. Some of these kids walk to Almond. It's more feasible than walking to Covington at least. They cross at Ortega and travel on up Jordan Avenue toward Almond.

Of course, some of the 600 kids are in Jr High and they head still closer to Egan Jr High on San Antonio. It's the closest of all. A small number of the 600 also attend Bullis Charter school which is colocated at Egan. It's the closest LASD elementary school at present, to the homes of any of the 600 kids in the overall area.

A new elementary school at the Safeway site would have about 500 potential students K-6, from the larger overall area, of which maybe 150 would come from Morimoto's group. That's IF LASD did use it for a local neighborhood school. The entire LASD territory north of ECR in MV and Palo Alto is about 1/3 of a square mile, pretty small as elementary school attendance areas go--much smaller than any other school in either LASD or MVWSD.

So there's your boring details....


33 people like this
Posted by BAD IDEA
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 19, 2015 at 2:24 pm

This looks like a loose loose for MV. We loose the space for future use, the money and the control over the area.

No thank you Los Altos, you're cute for asking though.


7 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 19, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Hum - Castro School Park (aka MVWSD land) Is the Mountain View City Council willing to commit buying parkland (via the Park Dedication Fund) in the middle of the highest density area in MV? There are now two residential properties - adjacent to Castro School, that could be bought and used for "dedicated parkland". The current tot lot - is on MVWSD land that is technically not open till 3:45 PM on school days. (you really want school district to kick out the young kids and families using it during school hours)?

Time is of the essence! The corner lots at Toft and Latham (future bike blvd.) will go fast.

SN is a Trustee of the MVWSD, I believe that Dan R. already knows of 'this opportunity'
Or does Board have to send a letter and 'just ask' publicly?


11 people like this
Posted by Still a Bad Idea
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 19, 2015 at 2:25 pm

sorry, lose/lose


11 people like this
Posted by Monta Loma mom
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 19, 2015 at 2:49 pm

If it would help reduce traffic this sounds like a great idea. That immediate area is exploding with growth and it's barely drivable. We could definitely use more park space in that area-- there's almost none and lots of families with kids. Love to see kids being able to walk to school.

And if this project could incorporate some pedestrian friendly crossings and study about how to make the area more walkable I think it would be a good use of parkland funds.


15 people like this
Posted by Former LASD parent in MV
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 19, 2015 at 2:59 pm

I actually think this could be a very good idea if, and only if, the site is for a neighborhood school for the NEC area. If the LASD trustees are targeting a new site for BCS, then the Civic Center option that is also being evaluated is a much better solution. Using this site for the charter would both alienate the NEC students AND invite the inevitable lawsuits from the BCS litigation machine.


27 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 19, 2015 at 3:36 pm

@ LASD Obs.

You are off on your distances. My son attended Santa Rita and we live on Monroe in Mountain View (the street is 1/2 Palo Alto and 1/2 Mountain View, FYI) and the school is almost exactly 1 mile from our house, not 1/4 mile as you claim.

Also, you all should consider thinking a little outside the box. It would be rather foolish to try to build a K-6 school on the site. It is too small for that. However, it would be possible to build a K-2 or K-3 school there. This would take pressure off the other schools, keep the youngest children closer to home and allow the schools to remain small.

As for keeping the charter out, I think that's a given. That could be written into any agreement by the city and the site is too small for that anyway. I don't think they should be given any new site.

Finally, as a Mountain View resident with a child in LASD, it is imperative that the city of Mountain View agree to help with this issue. If they wish to keep approving more building in the area, then they need to help arrange for educating the children brought in by all the new housing. I don't appreciate having my city cause strain on the district I pay for and my son attends without any thought to contributing toward fixing a problem they are largely responsible for causing.

It is time for Mountain View to act in a responsible manner here. They need to work with the district to solve this problem. If they don't, it will be another example of their short-sighted greed.


3 people like this
Posted by Hmm
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 19, 2015 at 4:38 pm

I think Los Altos is afraid MV will develop everything so they're trying to get their stake in the ground (our ground) because they have no ground left to put a stake into in their own town.


7 people like this
Posted by adding Park
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Adding a city park but Castro Elementary makers a lot of sense. So many users of that school as a park. Very crowded. The Crossings has little internal parks. I'd say split the money and buy equal amounts at Castro and at the new school. LASD needs to buy more than 4 acres itself. Some open space has to come from them, not just a big office building. Tell them if they buy 3 acres then the city will buy 1 acre to go with.


9 people like this
Posted by Dazed
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 19, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Would love to have another school or 2 or 3 in MV, but we need to finish the unfinished business with the schools that we have. Maybe the kids that go to LA can be moved back to MV, which will increase our enrollment, adjust the boundaries, then open Whisman. Here we go again...back to the drawing board.


17 people like this
Posted by K-12
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2015 at 5:26 pm

Merge all the districts. The schools own 10 acres at Cooper Park. What a waste. 5 acres for Cooper is enough. Sell 10 acres for houses, get $80 million. Buy the Safeway site with that. Buy the office building with the bond money. Combine them. 8 acre school/park. No city money needed.


3 people like this
Posted by adding park
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Careful. To cut costs still more, they have talked about just leasing for 25 years or so. That might keep the schools from funding purchase of any park land there.


3 people like this
Posted by Srihari Yamanoor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 19, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Wouldn't it be better to focus on building more high-density housing for the super rich, mixed in with a few more offices for Google? Doesn't look like the Old Mills Neighborhood is home for sensitive species, the destruction of which is a prelude to Google being interested in it, but surely, there are others in the bubble that might want it?


9 people like this
Posted by csea member
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 19, 2015 at 6:47 pm

If there is going to be a new school built it should belong to the MVWSD if it's going to be in the city of Mountain View.
Wait is there another school merger in the works with Los Altos and MVWSD?
That could solve some of the issues with replacing the MVWSD Board and the administration and other employees bailing.


8 people like this
Posted by LASD Observer
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2015 at 6:57 pm

The CSEA member has a point. The district with all the extra land is MVWSD. Cooper School, Whisman School and Slater School are all 10 acre sites owned by MVWSD. MVWSD only serves 80% of the territory of the city of Mountain View but it owns 3 CLOSED school sites within that portion of the city. Adjacent to Cooper is 5 acres of city park. Adjacent to Whisman School is 1.5 acres of city park. In both cases, the city operates not only their owned park but a large portion of the school property (nearly all in the case of Cooper). They use this combined space to provide park space to surrounding housing. That hasn't changed in the neighborhood of Whisman school even with the 2 private schools leasing the school space. At Slater, there never was a city park operated there. I wonder why.

But MVWSD always operated 2 schools on the land near Stevenson. At one point they were a lower grade (k-3) and upper grade (4-6) school each sharing the very large site. At some point the district sold off its district office sites and moved into a portion of the upper grade school. It was originally 2 separate districts which were consolidated in the past.

Also, people don't realize that the city of Los Altos is only 75% served by LASD. 25% of Los Altos is served by Cupertino Union School District. LASD serves 2/3 of Los Altos Hills, 20% of Mountain View, 75% of Los Altos and the Monroe Park neighborhood of the city of Palo Alto. MVWSD serves a tiny fraction of Sunnyvale on the other side of the 85 freeway!

No rule says cities coincide with school district boundaries. CUSD serves Sunnyvale, Cupertino and other cities, but not 100% of any one.


5 people like this
Posted by csea member
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 19, 2015 at 7:04 pm

The old Mountain View District Office was leased not owned by them.
Whisman District owned their offices.


19 people like this
Posted by Doug Pearson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 19, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Doug Pearson is a registered user.

Are K-12 and I the only ones who think it would be a good idea to have a Mountain View Los Altos Unified School District (combining LASD, MVWSD and the existing unified high school district)?


8 people like this
Posted by Jes' Sayin'
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 19, 2015 at 10:25 pm

Isn't California pretty busy for a school location?


10 people like this
Posted by I heard
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 20, 2015 at 1:03 am

I heard that Steve Taglio spoke to a group of realtors and said that the San Antonio site was targeted for BCS with no mention of putting an NEC school there. There's no doubt that BCS needs a permanent building but considering the bond money was specifically slated as needed to reduce "overcrowding" I don't see how they can use the money to build BCS a school there. That would do nothing to alleviate overcrowding- all it would do is empty out the portables. Plus the site is too small to accommodate the 900 kids BCS is planning to expand to. And besides all that- the park they want MV to build would be unavailable to MV residents during school hours. This is litigation waiting to happen... Hard to believe they can't come up with better ideas than this.


3 people like this
Posted by 2010 Building Code
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2015 at 2:01 am

Now when a school district would buy an office building constructed in 1988, and then seek to remodel that to convert it to school uses, would that building then have to comply with they updated structural integrity and safety standards as incorporated in the 2010 California Building Code? It seems like they should. That would cost a mint.


6 people like this
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 20, 2015 at 12:13 pm

I think Mountain View should go ahead with the idea for adding the park space next to the future school. Do it now before the price goes up even more, this city is being overbuilt with dense development, save the space now don't delay we will find the money.


9 people like this
Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm

This is what happens when the City of MV irresponsibly encourages and enables the construction of thousands of housing units with absolutely no regard to its impact on the local school districts. Sooner or later, something's got to give, and the responsible people in Los Altos get screwed due to Mountain View's mania for more and more housing.


19 people like this
Posted by clarification needed
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 20, 2015 at 4:04 pm

It would be helpful for the Voice to supply a map that shows the city and school district boundaries for Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Sunnyvale, and Cupertino. It's obvious that many people do not understand that cities and school districts are entirely different entities that have only some overlap.

For those suggesting that MVWSD, MVLASD, and/or LASD merge, can you say "when hell freezes over?" For starters, why would a mostly affluent, mostly high socio-economic school district want to merge with MVWSD which has 40% of kids on free lunch, revolving administrators, and a board that is total chaos? The possibility of a merger is zero.

I think it's great that LASD is trying to provide a neighborhood school for families who lack one. Would be nice if MVWSD did the same.


4 people like this
Posted by I heard
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 20, 2015 at 10:41 pm

@ clarification needed- Except that they're not trying to provide a neighborhood school for families that lack one. They're trying to put BCS out to pasture there. So an NEC school that NEC kids can't attend unless they win a lottery spot at BCS. What a slap in the face to all.


3 people like this
Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 20, 2015 at 11:04 pm

Just wondering...even if LASD put a school at this proposed site, they can't make any current Covington, Santa Rita or Almond students to transfer, right? That would unfairly disrupt their already-established relationship with teachers, friends & other families. AND, with this new site supposedly being a LASD school, students in the immediate area can still asked to be transfer to any LASD schools of their choice, no? So how exactly would this solve the growing enrollment issues?


5 people like this
Posted by Katherine
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 21, 2015 at 12:07 am

It wouldn't solve any growth enrollment problem. Just the BCS problem. Lasd will do anything to get bcs out of their hair. They know bcs isn't going away so why not buy expensive property with under 8 total acres that's not even big enough to house any of the lasd schools and stick bcs there with 900 kids? Perfect way to waste the bond money. Oh and have MV contribute premium land whose kids attend lasd schools 2-3 miles away but can only walk to this school if they win a spot from the lottery? MV is foolish if they fall for lasd's song and dance. The only right thing to do is to re district and let the children north of el Camino attend this as their neighborhood school. But lasd is also worried about their scores and contributions so the population served by this school would skew their numbers. Maybe they can put the district offices and private preschools like Stepping Stones they house on district land here and use the park for tot time and exercise for district staf and board members. At least neighborhood kids can attend the preschool!


5 people like this
Posted by Question-man
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2015 at 12:35 am

If they build a school on that property, they cannot put BCS there. Many prior comments agree that 900 students cannot fit on 4 acres without violating a state proposition. It is too small.
Keeping BCS at the same place would also ignore the same requirement regarding providing equal facilities.
It seems to me that providing a school for NEC would mean that we need to close another neighborhood school, and give it to BCS. Not sure how that would fly, but it would be the only logical conclusion. I am not sure what is the goal of the board here, but maybe show to some of the election supporter that they did something, but it didn't work because of some reason ? Maybe blame it on MV city council or nearby property owner. I would bet that this is just for show, and nothing is going to happen on that land.



4 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2015 at 8:51 am

@ LASD Parent - where did you get the idea that parents can choose their school? When attendance boundaries are redrawn the kids have to move- otherwise the boundary change would be meaningless. Perhaps they make some exceptions for kids in their last years at their current schools, hard to say. But all of the Crossings kids would be moving together so the disruption would certainly be manageable and their friends and other families (that aren't NEC) are still nearby so no ties need be cut.

It's interesting that there has been lots of noise about the lack of a neighborhood school for the NEC kids but the noise doesn't seem to come from the NEC folks. I'd be interested to hear how NEC actually feels about having their own neighborhood school rather than commuting to Almond, Santa Rita or Covington.


3 people like this
Posted by Population Growth
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2015 at 1:09 pm

The fact is that the student population growth that is being addressed has occurred over the last 20 years. It has already happened. It is not from new construction. 1200 new students in that time. 600 moved into or were born in existing single houses. 400 moved into or were born in existing apartments or condos. Only 200 came from newly built housing, and these were almost all not in the Mountain View North of El Camino area. Like everywhere else, the kids added there came mostly from existing housing.

There have ALWAYS been kids living north of El Camino in Mountain View. There are 600 there now but in 1998 it was already over 300 kids. There were spread around on two or three different LASD schools. Then by 208, the number had increased to over 500 kids. LASD choose to add a fourth school to the mix, and split the Crossings kids onto yet another site, this one 3 miles away versus just 1 mile or less for the original 3 schools. But the total number in the Crossings and Old Mill combined was still under 200.

This student population growth in Mountain View is nothing new, but it is only a quarter of the overall 1200 growth in LASD schools. It has already happened at a rate of 120+ average per year. Now actually things are slowing down. The growth has slowed and shows signs of showing further for the next 5 years. After that, it might increase again. But, the "growth" that is needed to be dealt with is indeed the 700+ kids attending BCS. They are in temporary portable buildings, 500 at Egan Jr High and 200+ at Blach Jr High. Blach especially is a small spot bursting at the seams, as BCS has only been allowed to use under an acre of land there, and it is crammed with all buildings and no blacktop to speak of. All of the LASD schools have over an acre of blacktop for the 500 kids there, and MVWSD schools are the same. The Blacktop space is a key feature of the schools around here, and is used more than the grassy areas at the playgrounds.

So, all this discussion should pay attention to what's real. The only reason Covington could be opened was because Santa Rita was not serving just the 300 kids around its area, but it had 300+ kids from the Crossings and Old Mill as well as Monroe Park and Del Medio Avenue in MV. So, the district moved The Crossings and Old Mill kids to the new Covington, dropping Santa Rita down closer to 500. This was in 2008. As growth continued everywhere, Santa Rita climbed back up to 560 kids. Covington was for a while below 500 back in 2008. Lots of other things were going on, but in the end Covington too climbed in size as more and more kids attended school from The Crossings and Old Mill Condos and the immediate area around Covington. Some kids were shifted to Covington from Almond and Loyola. Almond too has 200 kids coming from the North of El Camino area in Mountain View, and has since 2008.

If you address the current issue of the 1000 enrollment growth that is requiring the creation of BCS portable sites, you need to address BCS. If you just move the 500 K-6 kids out of the 600 kids (Jr High stays the same) by making them a school, then Covington will drop back to 400 kids. So will Santa Rita and Almond How is cutting 3 schools back from an average size of 540 to be 400 or less kids going to help enrollment growth? Even if you do MAKE the North of El Camino kids all attend this new 4 acre school with room for 700+ kids? How does that help?


3 people like this
Posted by Population Growth
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Like Donald Trump, I need to sum up. There are a lot of things that make this like a shell game. Move the kids around, which shell are they under?

These Mountain View kids are living in homes that have ALWAYS had kids forming a large part of the students at Santa Rita and Almond School. When Covington School was reopened after 30 years back in 2008, it too started to serve Mountain View kids. The Mountain View kids used to attend Portola Elementary School in Los Altos near the Mormon Church. It was closed in the 1970's and since then the area started providing a key portion of the student bodies at Santa Rita and Almond.

Move the Mountain View kids away from Los Altos, and you under-size the toal population at Santa Rita, Almond and Covingon. You undersize them by 500 kids total. That is not a small rounding error. That's real. You make maybe a 700 student school serving the MV kids at 201 San Antonio Center and you drop the 3 Los Altos schools down to under 400 kids each on average.

How is that fair? How does that even work? The 201 San Antonio Center site doesn't even have room for BLACKTOP to serve 500 kids, let alone 700.


6 people like this
Posted by No thank you.
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 21, 2015 at 7:14 pm

I fully believe they just want to put BCS in Mountain View ("go that way, folks! Cross El Camino and turn left!"). So then we have our own major issues and theirs?! Noooo thank you, sir. We clearly have enough of our own issues cough cough PACT, 8 vs 9 schools, etc etc.

UNLESS you mix BCS and PACT at the old Safeway site. Kidding! Sorta.


3 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 21, 2015 at 9:13 pm

what is going in at the old Safeway site?


12 people like this
Posted by Speak Up
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Clearly, the elephant in this room is what is LASD planning to do with this site? Why is it such a secret to LASD tax payers and apparently MV City Council? Why is Steve Taglio telling realtors he wants to put BCS on San Antonio Circle when everyone else seems to be intelligent enough to realize that 900 kids or a sub set of BCS won't fit? Not to mention, BCS is not a neighborhood school. Are we to assume that LASD has good intentions to use this land appropriately to balance the "enrollment growth"? It's time for LASD to be up front with everyone. It's irresponsible to be secretive with your tax payers who are funding this bond.


5 people like this
Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 21, 2015 at 10:07 pm

@ Huh, call the LASD office and they will tell you that you can choose whichever LASD school to attend as long as you live within the school boundary. We verified it when we were looking to move to where Springer would be our neighborhood school, LASD told us we could stay at Covington, we just need to submit a form to the office.

So yes, the boundary change would be meaningless. And from what I learned during the strategic online forums, redrawing boundaries is least favorable.


7 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2015 at 10:36 pm

@LASD Parent - that may be the case for a single child but obviously if attendance boundaries were changed the district couldn't allow the whole school to stay. Also, the district may have accommodated your child because he was already enrolled in Covington before you moved but a child entering school doesn't get to pick his school- he's assigned to his neighborhood school and can only transfer if there's room at the school of his choosing. In fact, there's no guarantee that a child can attend his neighborhood school if his class is full. It depends on the enrollment numbers.


6 people like this
Posted by School selection
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2015 at 11:03 pm

@ Huh and @ LASD Parent - if a child attends another school in the district other than her home school, there is no guarantee she gets to stay subsequent years. The parent has to submit a request each year to the district. One reason to attend another school is if the child was enrolled late and there is no space at the home school. If you are a brand new child enrolling in the district during enrollment time, the district office does not let you choose any school you like. This is not Saratoga. That would be a mess. Of course it makes sense if you are moving to a different boundary area to request to stay at your former school.


16 people like this
Posted by Close Covington
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2015 at 8:02 am

There is only one viable solution to the BCS problem and that is to close Covington and move BCS to that campus. $150M is not enough money to purchase 10 acres of land and build a new school within the LASD borders.


9 people like this
Posted by Huh
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2015 at 10:03 am

@ Close Covhgton - you're right but LASD is not considering this option. It's interesting- for the LASD online strategic sessions they offered a bunch of non-viable options then asked which ones you liked best. They were all bad ideas, none of which would solve the current problems. They keep talking about leaving Covington open and sharing that campus w BCS. Can you imagine the traffic nightmare and cramming 1500 kids on that campus? Just so the Covington families don't have to relocate to their other neighborhood schools.

They also said the LASD board won't close a campus unless the parents want it! That statement was actually included in the presentations/ options to consider. I found that statement incredulous - the idea that the self-serving parents of 400 students could make a decision that affects 10,000 taxpaying households is so wrong.

Regardless of what decision they make the first thing they need to do is expand the middle schools to accommodate the 6th graders. Once the 6th graders are moved it will expose the fact that the elementary schools aren't overcrowded at all. Perhaps that truth is what they're afraid of...


6 people like this
Posted by David Speakman
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 22, 2015 at 11:13 am

That is a horrible place fro a school and park; it is too close and sandwiched between a growing Caltrain station and the new San Antonio developments. And it will be overshadowed by an overpass.

This would a be a prime spot for new Class A office space or taller high-density housing.


5 people like this
Posted by Park Thoughts
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2015 at 1:01 pm

The new Park on the Safeway site would be a nice amenity for the high end hotel to be built across California Avenue. It begs the question though about what will be done with the strip mall between the Safeway site and San Antonio Avenue. Buy that too and make the park be fronting on both streets? Hmm. It does seem odd to have a large park here and only such a small one at Del Medio Park and for that matter Klein Park but especially Castro Park. Spread some of the park funding around, please.

Maybe the hotel developers would kick in for the park land?


5 people like this
Posted by More Park Thoughts
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2015 at 1:03 pm

How about a pedestrian bridge over California Avenue mid-block? Then the developments Merlone Geier is doing would all have easy access to the new park.


5 people like this
Posted by Nuh-uh, Noooo Way
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 22, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Los Altos is trying to sneak in the back door and have MV help deal with their BCS nightmare. Clean up your own garbage Los Altos.


12 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 22, 2015 at 1:35 pm

@Nuh-uh, Noooo Way -- Actually, they are asking MV to step up and finally be accountable for contributing a solution for the long term enrollment problem that is partially caused by increase in Mountain View population. I am a MV resident living within the LASD boundaries and it's far past time for our city to do the right thing here. All that said, this option should be considered for an NEC neighborhood school only, not a "permanent" site for BCS. We should ask for clear direction from the Trustees before shooting this down.


4 people like this
Posted by Nuh-uh, Noooo Way
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Oh, I read what your position was earlier in the thread but thanks for restating it, but respectfully, I just don't find it convincing.

Despite the other issues, this specific issue, is a terrible idea. MV loses everything, there is no win for MV in this.
Maybe we'll write them a check if it's that bad. I might support that, but not this land grab. Try again Los Altos.


10 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 22, 2015 at 2:28 pm

No win for Mountain View? How about a neighborhood school for a sizeable number of Mountain View residents who have gone without one for years? How about park space (available to MV residents after school hours) where only empty commercial space sits today? And how about the city of MV finally simply doing the right thing instead of laying off the impacts of their growth decisions on our neighbors? This is no "land grab" it's a viable option that should be explored.


9 people like this
Posted by prs
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm

It seems that a great many people are confused about details here. @Population Growth thinks there are less than 500 children attending Santa Rita. Sorry, but that is REALLY wrong. The enrollment is over 600. There are also a lot of logical errors here as well.

First, closing Covington is NOT going to happen without a major fight. Ditto for ANY LASD school. The only reason the bond passed is so that would NOT happen. If the board tries that, the outcry will be deafening.

Second, what makes anybody think that the two ciies can't come to an agreement about how the school will be used? That wuld be something BOTH would have to agree to, and, as has been stated before, Mountain View is causing the bulk of the overcrowding. To ignore it and try to throw it in the lap of LASD is reprehensible.

Finally, it is about time Mountain View step up and contribute to the community rather than just build housing for the tax dollars. They want to get revenue while providing nothing. Have they even verified there is water available for all this building, or did that just not matter? It is disgusting that they would not contribute while making the problem much worse each year.

Those who say the area is too crowded for a school, I guess you just have to deal with it. In New York, they have multi-story schools in their urban areas. Since so many here want to urbanize the area, I guess it is time you deal with the fallout of that, including having schools that don't look like what we usually have in suburban areas. I can't imagine where else you think there is room for a new school to serve all these kids from Mountain View.


4 people like this
Posted by Nuh-uh, Noooo Way
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 22, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Why does Los Altos have to be involved? If Los Altos has an issue, let Los Altos create ordinances that address it. If MV is operating outside the law, that's another story(but it is not).

MV has full control over the land now. Control we can use one day to decide our OWN destiny and what is best for MV. We would lose that in this deal.

Why the rush to build/develop everything now? No need. We have time to make the right decision for MV, not rush into a decision in order to bail out Los Altos, and definitely not because of some guilt trip trying to be played.

If MV is currently breaking any law then enforce it. If MV is somehow "getting away" with something, Los Altos needs to shore up that loophole and make MV pay. MV is not in the "We fix Los Altos problems" business. Los Altos needs to be a big girl and take care of herself. Daddy MV is busy right now.


14 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 22, 2015 at 2:53 pm

@Nuh-up, Noooo way -- you need to understand the distinction between "Los Altos" the CITY, and Los Altos School District. ~20% of LASD students are residents of Mountain View, which makes this a legitimate issue for Mountain View, which they have been punting on for years. Whether they have a legal obligation or not I can't say, but they have a duty to ALL MV residents, even if they happen to attend a LASD school. Right now, MV does not in fact have "control" over these properties (outside of zoning controls) as they are privately owned. This proposal would actually INCREASE the amount of land under MV "control" by having the city acquire the adjacent land for park/playground.


5 people like this
Posted by Nuh-uh, Noooo Way
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 22, 2015 at 3:12 pm

The school was there, Los Altos closed it, now it says "Help us MV, we do not have the room for everyone".
Deaf ears.


16 people like this
Posted by Close Covington
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2015 at 3:23 pm

I really don't think there would be a deafening outcry from the community if Covington were to be closed. Outside of current Covington families, LASD teachers union, and some hardcore Huttlinger types at the other schools, nobody cares.


4 people like this
Posted by Population Growth
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2015 at 4:52 pm

Someone wrongly calculated my opinion of Santa Rita's enrollment. I never said it was less than 500. I believe it has been 560 or so for several years, including this past school year's 11th day number.

Now if it really has ballooned by 40 students during the year, then that's interesting. Where do they live, these new students?

With the number of 560, 200 or so were from MV north of El Camino. That means only 360 were from the areas closer to the Santa Rita school.

If 40 have been added and they all came from MV, we're still left with just 360 to remain when this new school at Safeway and 201 San Antonio Center opens. Hmmm. Similar situation at Covington and Almond.


6 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm

@ "Close Covington"

If you believe that, then you must be on the BCS board or haven't been paying attention the past few years.

LASD parents like the system of smaller neighborhood schools. That's why we move to the area, regardless of what city our address says. We are very involved in our schools as a community and nothing gets the hackles up like disinterested parties threatening that.

Once again, Mountain View needs to man up and be responsible for the overcrowding it is causing in the school district. If you don't have kids, I see why you don't care but there are enough of your neighbors who do that you should take heed.

Voting to have more open space should be a no-brainer.


3 people like this
Posted by Park Benefits
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2015 at 4:57 pm

When you have projects like the Merlone Geier one underway currently, which is temporarily staging at Safeway, you are seeing a massive increase in density in the "Greater San Antonio Community". So, there is some logic to adding a nice 2 acre park as an oasis amidst all the new 6 story buildings with many other 4 story buildings. Can the city afford to make that a 4 acre park? Hard to say. At $15 Million per acre, that's pretty pricey. But it has the trick of allowing the owner to separately sell development rights to other nearby properties so that they can be taller still. That's under consideration. Some of the new developments along San Antonio may be taller and denser than currently envisioned. In exchange that Safeway property owner could take a lower price per acre for the park land. But how much lower?


6 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 22, 2015 at 5:03 pm

@ Population Growth

I say, once again, your numbers are wrong. Santa Rita had over 600 kids (about 615 actually) this year. I know that for a fact, since my son attended Santa Rita. I don't know exactly where they all came from, but it's a sure bet that at least some (perhaps most) came from the new developments. They sure didn't materialize out of thin air.

It is obvious that not many people are thinking carefully about this site. It does NOT make sense to open a K-6 school there. It's too small. However, it DOES make sense to open a lower grade school (K-2 or K-3) that feeds into Santa Rita and/or Almond. That will take pressure off both schools and allow younger kids to stay nearer home.

I can't imagine how a resident of Mountain View can honestly say our city shouldn't pitch in to solve a problem that involves Mountain View families and is caused by our city's actions. It's just plain selfish and irresponsible.


9 people like this
Posted by False Growth accusations
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2015 at 5:04 pm

@psr. Look at these facts. Over 20 years, school population growth of 1200 students. 600 in existing Single family residences, 400 in existing condos and apartments. No city did anything during that 20 year period to cause the growth of 1000 of those 1200 students.

There were only 200 students added due to new construction. Just 200. You know, so far, almost none of that has been in the Mountain View north of El Camino area. This is since 1995.

Portola School was sold off in 1980. It had previously served the residents of Mountain View north of El Camino since the mid 1950's. Staring in the mid 1950's the whole LASD area developed and doubled in population. How far back do you want to go with blame for growth?

This is NOT a case of Mountain View allowing the development which caused any of the growth cited in the LASD Measure N population growth.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it.


8 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 22, 2015 at 6:12 pm

"So put that in your pipe and smoke it." What a brilliant, scathingly witty retort... I'm speechless in the face of your artful rebuttal... Ok. Not really.

Look, there is no denying the fact that there are over 600 children in the NEC area attending LASD schools. And there is no denying the fact that Mountain View has done nothing to help identify a solution for creating a neighborhood school for that population. Growth has come from all over the district, and much has been absorbed by BCS, yet there is only one part of the district without a neighborhood school. If the city of MV actually gave a damn about the MV students and their families attending LASD, they would help find a solution to that problem. The city council is not obligated to maximize the tax generating revenue from each and every parcel. It is clearly within their remit to prioritize the creation of park spaces accessible to MV residents and students. Smoke that...


9 people like this
Posted by Artful Dodger
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2015 at 6:42 pm

Hey "about time". I don't think so. Back in the 1950's when LASD was growing, it picked a school site to serve the area which included the part of Mountain View north of El Camino Real. It picked Portola School. At the same time the developer of Blossom Valley donated a school site for Springer School. LASD built a school there, and at a dozen other locations throughout the district.

This issue of a city "owing" LASD a school site is fallacious. LASD at one point owned 3 different school sites in Los Altos Hills. One by one it chose to closed and consolidate these sites. When it closed Eastbrook in Los Altos Hills, it consolidated most of those students into Loyola, located in Los Altos. As a result many of the kids around that area are now in private schools. But this does not mean that Los Altos Hills "owes" LASD a school site. Same thing for the former Portola School area. LASD is an agency of the state with powers of taxation and a mandate to provide education to the students within its boundaries. Just because the students in Mountain View north of El Camino have now cyclically increased from 400 to 600 students doesn't affect things. These kids have the right to attend LASD facilities, which LASD relied on when it swapped the sale of Portola for increased student counts at Almond and Santa Rita. It was LASD that created this problem. It should have held onto Portola School. If LASD still had that school to put back into service, here would be no issue. It doesn't matter that this school was located in the city of Los Altos.

In truth, I can just as easily say LASD created the problem as you can say that Mountain View did. It does not matter. LASD didn't pay attention. It could have bought land much more cheaply 3 years ago, let alone 10 years ago. This population growth was obvious in 2008. At the time LASD choose to FORCE 150+ Mountain View resident students to travel 3 miles each day to Covington School. This is all because the tax revenues (a lot of which come from North of El Camino in MV) aren't sufficient to operate under 400 student neighborhood schools. No, not at all. LASD has to operate 500+ student schools to stay in its current model. It can't get more than maybe 400 (350 for Covington) at Almond, Santa Rita and Covington unless it coopts 150-200 Mountain Views students to round out the classes at these schools. That's the long and the short of it.

It's unfair to deny Mountain View students access to their own assigned neighborhood school, but that school doesn't need to be in Mountain View. Portola was fine. Oak Avenue School services kids near Blach. That's quite a distance. Half the kids in Los Altos Hills have a long distance to travel to reach Loyola. We're certainly talking 3/4 of a mile.

What LASD could do is to use the Bullis camp school site at Egan Jr High permanently as a replacement for Portola School. Then once again these kids north of El Camino would once again have a school such that they only need to travel 1/4 to 3/4 of a mile to reach school from home. They don't need to buy more land. THey have been operating 7 acres of land as a K-8 school for 10 years, at Egan.


8 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 22, 2015 at 7:50 pm

I'd like to understand the true motives of those who oppose considering this option. Are they developers in disguise who have other plans for those parcels? Are they bitter, vindictive souls who have some strange jealousy or inferiority complex about our neighbors in Los Altos, and resent any "ask" whatsoever from LASD (despite the fact that 20% of LASD students are from MV)? Or are they among the faction of maladjusted people who just oppose and criticize anything the LASD trustees suggest on general principal? What's your motive @Artful Dodger?

With perfect hindsight, should LASD have kept some or all of the former school sites? Maybe. But 15-20 years ago, demographers were not exactly spot on in their predictions. Not to mention that other factions would be screeching at the trustees about their "fiduciary responsibility" to not let assets sit idle. In either case, "water under the bridge".

My motives are simple: (1) I think a healthy, highly performing LASD is core to maintaining the quality of life, and the property values, within the district (both Los Altos properties AND Mountain View properties btw!). (2) I think real estate has become one of the scarcest, costliest assets in this area and the district should use what is perhaps their last opportunity to secure long term possession of another site if at all possible. Population density and property values are likely to continue to rise within LASD (and MVW) boundaries, and this (or the Civic Center option) may be the last, best opportunity to secure an additional school site. And finally, (3) I think it sucks that LASD students north of El Camino do not have a neighborhood school of their own and must travel greater distances, and be spread across multiple other schools, thus potentially detracting from their overall school experience and sense of community.

So what is your issue really @Artful Dodger (and any other alias you used above)?


7 people like this
Posted by Enrollment Numbers
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2015 at 9:09 pm

@ psr - Santa Rita had 568 students for 2014-2015. Anyone can look up school enrollments here:
Web Link
CA Dept of Education
Education Demographics Unit
Almond: 545
Egan: 619
Covington: 553
Gardiner: 337
Blach: 525
Loyola: 526
Oak: 459
Santa Rita: 568
Springer: 538


10 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2015 at 11:55 pm

@psr - why would the outcry be deafening if Covington were closed? Covington was never designed or located as an elementary school- it was a middle school and as such ALL Covington kids have another neighborhood school. Small neighborhood schools are not the least bit threatened. If 6th grade is moved to Blach & Egan, Covington closed, and those kids redistributed all schools would be under 500 kids. Failing to do this because the Covington parents are whining is fiscally irresponsible.

As for the NEC site, if needed, why not build it at Egan? There's plenty of room there. The district is cash strapped with a long wish list and not nearly enough money to fulfill all the wishes. Spending money to buy land and construct a school NEC would be incredibly wasteful and short sighted. Let's move 6th grade to middle schools and then reevaluate the numbers.


7 people like this
Posted by Not my school
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 12:10 am

The Covington parents will not put up with any talk about closing Covington. Nor will the 2 LASD Trustees whose kids attend Covington. Even if it is fiscally responsible to reassign the kids to other schools, politics speak louder in this district. These Trustees would prefer to buy land with your bond money then use what they have. It's made sense for years to use the land at Egan for NEC school. So what are they doing with this expensive purchase at San Antonio Circle and why is it not public knowledge?


11 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 12:24 am

@Not my school: frankly I'm tired of hearing about what the Covington parents want - who are they to say how the district funds are spent? I think it's high time that the public rallied to shut down the tyranny that this small group of parents seem to be wielding. We all pay taxes and no special interest group should be determining how our money is spent. The statistics show enrollment is flat and soon to be declining. After they spend money to build a new school they'll find in a few years that they don't have the enrollment or funds to administrate it and will end up closing another school. Oh wait- it's okay to close a school- it's just not okay to close a school and give it to BCS. We'd rather litigate.


6 people like this
Posted by Why to oppose
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 12:45 am

Lots of areas of Mountain View need parks. The city has addressed the need continually. But they have only been adding small parks of a size on the order of 1 acre. Why should this spot be so different? Complementary to a school would be just 1 acre. The school district needs to provide at least 7 acres of land on its own. Sure, that 1 acre could help. But let's not get crazy. The city could do this by itself with a 1 acre park. It could make it a condition to approve construction on the Safeway site, or it could encourage that benefit. All it has to do is to allow a slightly taller building on the remainder of the site. The new park will make the apartments on the Safeway site much nicer (4 stories tall already discussed mixed with some 3 story). By the Office building and retail this could really be 5 stories tall. Then slope down to 4 stories and a 1 acre park on California and Pacchetti Way. What a wonderful idea. It will not look tall at all considering what is already approved to go in across the street.

So there you see, why any logical person would disapprove of this potential 3 extra acres given away to a non related government agency, LASD. Why should Mountain View favor LASD over MVWSD? Makes zero sense.

20% of LASD is in MV, sure, but LASD has made it clear that they have grown 30% in the last 17 years. So what if 25% of the growth has been in Mountain View. 75% of the growth has been OUTSIDE of Mountain View. The question might be viewed as where will the growth be in the future. That's not so easy to call. ABAG has mandates that will force even Los Altos to add a lot of residential housing. Los Altos already approved the nearly completed construction at the former Garden Center on El Camino Real. Should Mountain View provide school space for this kids? Palo Alto approved loads of housing at the former Palo Alto Bowl site. More kids. Force the new school site to be in Mountain View? Pleazzzzze. Move thy head from under the sand....


3 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:14 am

@Why to oppose (aka Artful Dodger, etc). You just answered my question. Clearly you fall in the "developer" camp which explains why you are so prolific on this issue and so opposed to a potential solution that would take prime real estate off the table for yet more development. It's fine to have that perspective, but at least be honest about it.

@Huh? -- What data are you looking at? LASD + BCS enrollment has continued to grow and any projections of future declines simply don't pass the sniff test. The district needs to secure an additional site before land values become so high that it's impossible (if we haven't already reached that point). This is why partnership with either the city of MV in this case, or the city of Los Altos for part of the Civic Center site is so critical. No reasonable person can look at the current dynamics locally and think that we will see anything other than increasing population density and growth. Finally, don't think for a second that LASD families won't stand with Covington against closure and hand over to BCS. Just because their school might not be impacted doesn't mean they won't join to fight against that injustice. We've just ended 10 years of conflict and litigation. Let's not start another decade of community discord with a stupid decision like that.


9 people like this
Posted by No Solicitors
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:40 am

Sounds like Los Altos needs better organization and forward thinkers in order to get their house in line. I support MV giving tutoring or training to LA for this so that they can then solve their issue without looking hungrily at MV land.
It's the old "Give a man fish" vs. "Teach a man to fish" adage.


18 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 10:32 am

@ About Time - if you look at the enrollment numbers you'll see that there are fewer kids in the lower grades than in the older grades - hence, if this trend continues, the total enrollment in a few years will be less than current enrollment. And since BCS is planning to expand to 900 they will be absorbing any growth if the downward trend reverses and without reversal the other schools will become even smaller.

LASD doesn't need to procure another site- we have tons of available land in the Egan, Blach and Covington sites to accommodate all our kids for now and the future. Moving 6th grade to middle, giving Covington to BCS and possibly, if needed, adding a small NEC school at Egan accomplishes all of our enrollment goals. Why would we waste our money purchasing expensive land and building s new school unnecessarily?

As for Covington being "handed over" to BCS, it appears that is the issue, not the actual closing of the school. I'm not sure how you feel you've ended 10 years of conflict and litigation- you have a few years of reprieve but per the agreement BCS needs a permanent home with equivalent facilities or the litigation will start all over. Building an NEC school in MV does nothing to solve the BCS problem.

Regardless of the emotions surrounding the LASD/BCS feud, folks need to put on their big girl/ big boy pants, buck up and give Covington to BCS for the good of all. It's the most economically feasible and really the only practical solution. I live in the Covington attendance area. According to google maps I am a 3 minute drive to Covington, a 5 minute drive to either Almond or Springer and a 6 minute drive to either Gardner Bullis or Santa Rita. Who could argue that I won't have a neighborhood school if Covington is closed? Leaving that school open as an LASD school is a waste of valuable resources- resources that are desperately needed elsewhere. And for the record I'm not a BCS person- I've no kids in the district so no dog in the fight. I'm coming from a taxpayer perspective.


5 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm

@Huh? -- David Roode has been making this same observation for over three years now, and yet, magically, LASD + BCS total enrollment continues to increase every. single. year. At the end of the day though, we fundamentally disagree on two key premises: (1) Whether or not the district should try to acquire additional land for a new campus (with or without partnership from local city gov't), and (2) whether or not an existing neighborhood school community of nearly 600 kids, should be sacrificed for short term optimization of campus use or to give the charter a dedicated campus. I'm pretty sure we'll never convince each other, but these are the key areas where the trustees need feedback from their constituents. I think the voters have spoken on this time and time again (and that they agree with me), but we'll have to see how this plays out.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Funny thing is I remember reading when MVSD sold some of their properties to the city of MV/developers that some agreement was made that if needed that some of the land could be devoted to schools. Whisman hadn't yet merged with MVSD, Whisman sold of their school sites.

MVWSD could gain 5 sites for schools, some could be used for K-1 or 2 if you could design a school right. Other sites could be used for full schools or partail schools.

But we are talking LASD which so many years ago sold Portola School in which the present school board should not be blamed for this past mistake. I think the Target Store sit to me will make the best school site. Yes the land is owned by another person who doesn't want to sell but I think leasing the site for a long term amount, the owner gains a huge property tax break but makes money in long run. The City of MV and the LASD gets a park/school that is large enough for use. Move Target across the street into what will became a new shopping cetner


6 people like this
Posted by David Speakman
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 23, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Why I oppose:

It is a BAD spot for a school and park. The commercial land is less than a block from a Caltrain Station. That makes it a prime location for high-foot-traffic commercial or mixed-use development.

Taking that land off the tax-generating rolls by making it a public school and park is idiocy - especially when it is counter to smart development.

that site should be taller, higher-density office and housing.


6 people like this
Posted by multi-story school on San Antonio & California Av
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 1:57 pm



Mountain View loves high density everything...

Los Altos does not add commercial buildings at the astronomical rate that
MV does. Los Altos does not want high density. Los Altos does not care for
money from commercial developments precisely for this reason.

MV adds commercial buildings at blinding speed and then in the name
of housing balance adds 1000's of apartment units.
So it makes sense to build multi-story school building at San Antonio
and California.

MV can't keep building 1000's of apartments and throw up their
hands when it comes to land for school and adjoining park.
MV can't have the cake and eat it too :-)

LASD of course includes parts of MV ... but that doesn't mean
Los Altos should allow LASD to keep adding traffic because of the
massive number of MV kids being driven to schools in Los Altos.
The numbers may not be massive today... but they will be when
people living in the 1000's of apartments (MV is allowing in
LASD area) start having kids.

We need to think long-term always.
We need to use data to make our case. The real data here is the
high residential density of MV and the projected growth.


39 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm

@About Time - the enrollment numbers are posted here: Web Link

As you can see, LASD elementary enrollment is the same this year as last. I don't know about the BCS enrollment as it is irrelevant since their goal is to GROW to 900.

I'm not sure how you see closing Covington as "short term" optimization. If 6th grade moves to the middle school that's a long term (forever) plan. The middle schools have extremely large campuses, easily capable of accommodating 6th grade and moving those kids creates plenty of room for all the remaining K-5 kids including those that are displaced from Covington if it's given to BCS.

While I agree that we disagree on your two issues, I don't understand why we disagree. I've given you concrete reasons for not obtaining new land (we have lots of excess land at Blach, Egan and Covington) and for closing Covington as an LASD elementary school (all Covington kids have another neighborhood school and if a 6-8 configuration is used and the kids distributed thru the remaining 6 elementary schools there's room for everybody without creating a new school - which would save the districts millions of dollars.

Please explain your rationale for purchasing new land and for "not" giving Covington to BCS (keeping in mind that per the agreement BCS must be given a permanent home within the 5 years, 3 of which remain as I recall). I would like your rationale to be based on facts and economic practicality and not the emotion of "hating" BCS.

Also, please explain how the district can afford to purchase new land + build a school for $150M. At best the district would barely be able to afford this venture, leaving zero funds for the other improvements which have been targeted for bond funds. Are you willing to forgo all other improvements?

Lastly, we agree on one thing - the trustees need feedback from their constituents. But the constituents need to be given the truth and the whole truth about all options available to the district before they give feedback. To date, LASD feeds the public a biased, one-sided story and doesn't include all the options available (as evidenced by their online strategic sessions). To my knowledge the voters have never spoken on this issue (at least in the many years that I've lived here the topic has never been brought up for MY vote).


6 people like this
Posted by multi-story school on San Antonio & California Av
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 2:47 pm


Mountain View loves high density everything...

Los Altos does not add commercial buildings at the astronomical rate that
MV does. Los Altos does not want high density. Los Altos does not care for
money from commercial developments precisely for this reason.

MV adds commercial buildings at blinding speed and then in the name
of housing balance adds 1000's of apartment units.
So it makes sense to build multi-story school building at San Antonio
and California.

MV can't keep building 1000's of apartments and throw up their
hands when it comes to land for school and adjoining park.
MV can't have the cake and eat it too :-)

LASD of course includes parts of MV ... but that doesn't mean
Los Altos should allow LASD to keep adding traffic because of the
massive number of MV kids being driven to schools in Los Altos.
The numbers may not be massive today... but they will be when
people living in the 1000's of apartments (MV is allowing in
LASD area) start having kids.

We need to think long-term always.
We need to use data to make our case. The real data here is the
high residential density of MV and the projected growth.


5 people like this
Posted by David Speakman
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 23, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Then, perhaps if LASD should cede the land north of El Camino to another school district is if is is so strapped for cash (likely caused by Los Altos' unwillingness to increase the tax base by adding upgraded commercial). I'm sure that PAUSD would love to take over the San Antonio area from LASD (and get its tax levies).


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of another community

on Jun 23, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


4 people like this
Posted by Population Drop
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Over time, MVWSD and LASD have increased in remarkably the same proportion per year. They remain about equal sized districts. There's an LASD myth that numerous people relocate to within the district boundaries, just to attend LASD schools. But even in LASD, 20% of the potential kids go to private school. So, their parents didn't need to move to LASD to obtain access to LASD schools. It's true that in MVWSD there are 30% of eligible attendees who opt for private school, and that is a larger number than in LASD. Still, it's not so terribly different. MVWSD has large area of the city where the kids are broken up and split across multiple distant schools. That has to increase the comparative desirability of private schools for those residents, so that alone could account for a lot of the difference.

After all the kids have chosen private, what is left in MVWSD is about 39% socioeconomically disadvantaged kids. In LASD it's a mere 4.8%.

In both cases, these are kids whose parents have to pay rent. Rent is increase dramatically in the entire county, and particularly in Mountain View, these low income people are being displaced. Already in MVWSD the low SES number has fallen from 44% to 39% over just the past 2 years.

Half of the low SES kids in LASD live in the north of El Camino MV area, so they are experiencing similar rent increases.

So this rising rent is a factor which is converting apartments previously rented to family to be apartments rented to young single people with no kids. That reduces the school enrollment, or at least adds a factor which hinders the previously experience growth.

LASD's growth rate has slowed down. It was about 2% last year, but it was ony 1% the year before that. Mysteriously, the 2% growth (125 students) last year breaks down into growth of 69 students caused by added students in 7th and 8th grade and growth of 56 students added in K-6.

It doesn't matter who notices this. We can't expect to see 70 added students per year in grades 7 and 8. Bullis Charter has not yet been increasing enrollment too much in grades 7 and 8. They probably added under 10 students in each of those grades. Some of the grade 7 students went to grade 6 at Bullis, but that's always been the case. It is highly unlikely that we will see a higher rate of growth in grades 7 and 8 next year. If so, it would indicate families moving in perhaps with an aim to have their kids attend MVLA in high school. There is no other logical reason why families moving in would tend to have mostly kids in Junior High. It is most likely some kind of fluke.

Couple that with the fact that BEFORE adding 70 students in grade 7 and 8, these grades were already averaged at 80 students more per grade than what was present in K-2, and you have a population drop off happening. It was just disguised by the mystery addition of the 70 students in Jr High this past year....


3 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 23, 2015 at 4:40 pm

@Huh? -- lots of questions there but I will try to address at least a couple. First, I don't fully accept the premise that LASD has more than enough land today for all future requirements. I believe that enrollment will continue to grow and we will need an additional campus over time. I'd rather see bond funds spent on real estate rather than skylights or solar panels since it's a permanent asset.

In terms of the voters speaking on this, here is my perspective: The voters elected trustees who all laid out a commitment to try to preserve existing school communities wherever possible. You may also recall the public blowback a couple years ago when the trustees briefly entertained an option that would have given Covington to BCS if a new campus could not be found by a specific date. Finally, the voters also approved a bond to address enrollment growth, and much of the campaign rhetoric around the bond focused on the need for an additional site. I think all of that combined sends a pretty clear message around this from the voters: Covington stays Covington, and the district should find a way to secure a new site.

And again, if a partnership with the city of MV or LA minimizes the acreage that LASD must actually *purchase*, then it would be a win for everyone and enable more bond funds to be used for renovations. Lastly, as others have said here before, this is a pretty highly educated, well informed community and it's pretty damn hard to pull the wool over people's eyes. Those that disagree with you are not deceived by the trustees, we just give the various outcomes different weighting than you do.


8 people like this
Posted by Let's share
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 7:36 pm

Yes, it's a lot of fun to praise these fabulous elected LASD trustees for preserving the neighborhood schools which are small because of BCS absorbing some of the kids that would otherwise make the LASD schools larger. So the LASD folks are looking forward to the trustees *purchasing* a new site because no one wants to share THEIR campus with BCS. Good times. Will LASD preserve the BCS k-8 program on one site that has the same 17 acres as Covington who houses 553 kids in K-6? How about Santa Rita at 12 acres (or 10?) who houses 568? Of course not. Where would they find 10-17 acres of land? It's silly to even put it out there that maybe we could put an LASD school at a new site because then the LASD school that empties out is considered "closed" and given to BCS! No one wants that! Oh my. So yes, please be in love with the idea of wasting bond money on new tiny pieces of land that will likely bring litigation again anyway. IF someone would share THEIR campus with BCS, there would be more money left over for repairs and solar panels to all LASD schools and everyone is happy. We teach our kids how to share. Why can't the adults? Don't let the trustees make an expensive decision that will not keep permanent peace in this community. Someone has to share. Is it Covington, Egan, or Blach? Or maybe put BCS behind Santa Rita or Almond on their big beautiful empty land. Kidding. For anyone who really despises BCS, imagine all of the kids returning to your school and you will lose your small neighborhood school which the bond promises to protect. And no, majority of people would not run off to private.

Unfortunately, the wool is pulled over eyes quite often. It's not publicly realized because a person has to spend ions of time uncovering the stuff that happens behind closed doors or in emails. Or connect the dots when things just don't add up.


5 people like this
Posted by School Location
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:21 pm

I see no way LASD would put BCS on a small lot on the other side of El Camino. After going through years of legalities related to lack of "equivalent facilities", it would seem a no-brainer that BCS will be on a "regular" school site.

This may all just be posturing...Shoot down possibilities until Hillview becomes the "obvious" choice.


9 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2015 at 10:47 am

@ About Time - what I'm hearing from you is rhetoric, not facts, and you have no plan for solving all the problems LASD is currently faced with, namely, alleviating the current overcrowding and finding a permanent home for BCS.

"I don't fully accept the premise that LASD has more than enough land today for all future requirements. I believe that enrollment will continue to grow and we will need an additional campus over time".
Egan has a 20 acre site, Blach has 18 acres and Covington has 16 acres. These are huge parcels relative to what is required by the State of Calif for a school site, each easily enough for two sites (especially considering the land they're considering purchasing is a 3-acre site).

"I'd rather see bond funds spent on real estate rather than skylights or solar panels since it's a permanent asset."
Really? $150M for a 3-acre site? Is that the best use of taxpayer dollars? Keep in mind that adding a new school doesn't just involve the purchase of real estate. The administration of an additional school requires lots of funds. Where is that money going to come from? With a fixed budget it will have to cut programs or staff on the existing campuses.

"The voters elected trustees who all laid out a commitment to try to preserve existing school communities wherever possible."
Really? I don't remember any of the candidates in the last election supporting (publicly) that position. That issue was entirely sidestepped.

"the voters also approved a bond to address enrollment growth, and much of the campaign rhetoric around the bond focused on the need for an additional site. I think all of that combined sends a pretty clear message around this from the voters: Covington stays Covington, and the district should find a way to secure a new site."
That's not my interpretation of the bond campaign. What I remember is that there was much controversy regarding the bond primarily because the trustees would NOT specify how and where the money would be spent. BCS supported the bond presumably because they felt the intention would be to give BCS a home. To extrapolate the passage of the bond to indicate that the voters feel "Covington stays Covington" is a real stretch.

"if a partnership with the city of MV or LA minimizes the acreage that LASD must actually *purchase*, then it would be a win for everyone and enable more bond funds to be used for renovations."
That's a pipe dream. There is zero chance that the city of MV is going to purchase expensive land and give it to LASD! A win for everyone? A win for LA but clearly a loss for MV residents whom would see city funds used to purchase a park they can't use during school hours. And if you're talking about seizing Hillview for a school site, again, with the existing excess of land that LASD is sitting on, why should the city give up land to benefit only LASD? LASD users are a small percentage of the total households and 25% of Los Altans reside in the Cupertino school district so they get no benefit at all.

Lastly, what are your plans for BCS? You support spending all the bond money to purchase a small plot of land to accommodate NEC kids (although that's not what LASD has said they have planned for the parcel). How do you plan to accommodate BCS? The problems are a package. You can't isolate parts of a solution without analyzing the whole.


5 people like this
Posted by Greedy
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 24, 2015 at 10:59 am

LASD is really looking like the greedy neighbor. They sold (and continue to sell) their land, have vast expanses of acreage on their own campuse then expect others (i.e city of MV and city of LA) to give them some of their land. They're looking rather like spoiled brats.


5 people like this
Posted by @Greedy
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 24, 2015 at 11:21 am

I know, right? They're sitting on far more unused land than they need yet they are coming to MV for a paltry 3 acres.

Egan = 20 acres
Blach = 18 acres
Covington = 16 acres

I just bet there are 3 acres to spare in Los Altos that Los Altos won't have to beg MV for at all. They should use it.


3 people like this
Posted by multi-story school on San Antonio & California Av
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm



MV needs to care about the MV kids and schools instead of eying the
open space that Los Altos has. Los Altos and the sprawling schools
are intentionally designed that way. It is not intended
for serving hyper-growth hyper-density hyper-commercialized MV.

Los Altos schools have acres of land because that is the ambiance
that the city of Los Altos requires. LASD can't just split these
lands to make schools for the kids from out-of-control high-density apartments that MV is building.

MV must provide the opportunity to buy land in MV by LASD. MV
must provide parks instead of signing off over-the-top developments
such as San Antonio Phase-1 and phase-2. MV needs to plan for
land for schools and parks that kids need. Kids are our future.
The earlier posting below clarifies why MV needs to allow
multistory schools::::

Mountain View loves high density everything...

Los Altos does not add commercial buildings at the astronomical rate that
MV does. Los Altos does not want high density. Los Altos does not care for
money from commercial developments precisely for this reason.

MV adds commercial buildings at blinding speed and then in the name
of housing balance adds 1000's of apartment units.
So it makes sense to build multi-story school building at San Antonio
and California.

MV can't keep building 1000's of apartments and throw up their
hands when it comes to land for school and adjoining park.
MV can't have the cake and eat it too :-)

LASD of course includes parts of MV ... but that doesn't mean
Los Altos should allow LASD to keep adding traffic because of the
massive number of MV kids being driven to schools in Los Altos.
The numbers may not be massive today... but they will be when
people living in the 1000's of apartments (MV is allowing in
LASD area) start having kids.

We need to think long-term always.
We need to use data to make our case. The real data here is the
high residential density of MV and the projected growth.


3 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 24, 2015 at 12:31 pm

@Huh? -- Not surprising that we interpret the mandate from the election differently. To your other points: First, no 3 acre parcel would cost $150M, and I was hardly suggesting that ALL of the bond proceed go to real estate. But I think you know that and were intentionally trying to obfuscate. Second, regarding the long term home for BCS, I see two options: (1) Partner with the city of Los Altos for a portion of the civic center property and build them a dedicated campus there. Then convert the current Egan BCS campus to a school for NEC students. Or (2) secure the site in this article along with the adjacent property for park/playground (in partnership with MV) and then upgrade and make permanent the existing BCS campuses. I would actually prefer option (1), but would be fine with either one and think it would solve the problem long term without destroying an existing school community. And for the record, I am not a Covington parent nor do I have any other affiliation with that school


3 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 24, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Sorry, just to clarify: In option (2) listed above, I think the MV campus should be for a neighborhood school for NEC students.


3 people like this
Posted by School Size
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2015 at 1:20 pm

The LASD plans for that office building are to remodel it to become a school building. It has 68,000 square feet. They have some idea that in this case the 2 story building could house 900 kids in school.

The area might need that much. It already has 600 kids attending LASD schools. If the population increase they are worried about shows up all focused in that area north of El Camino, in Mountain View and a bit of Palo Alto, then they would have to provide school for 900 kids.

I just question the idea that the other LASD schools should have 400 to 500 students and be on 10 acres (or more) of land, while this little school would be 4 acres of land for 900 kids, augmented by whatever park land the city will provide. It doesn't seem fair to the kids living in Mountain View. There should be no favored class where Los Altos based schools serve Los Altos children in more deluxe facilities. At 10 acres each, they do have somewhat more land than is really needed for school for 500 kids, let alone only 400.

So that's why to me at least, it seems LASD has land which it is not planning to use effectively.

One thing LASD does with the extra land in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills is that it leases that land out to private preschool operators. You won't find that in Mountain View Whisman School District. They only lease their 3 closed school sites with no students using the same site.

In LASD, there are private preschools operating during the school day on separate dedicated parts of the school grounds. Then after school the same operator provides an after school program which does serve some of the students attending the school. You find this at Oak Avenue, Loyola and Gardner Bullis. The amount of land varies, but the largest such creation is at Loyola. Also, the Blach Jr High site leases land to a preschool as well. At Covington, there is land leased to a preschool that operates independently of the after school program for Covington students.

So, you can demonstrate that LASD has excess land, because it is in fact leasing it out during the school day. You don't find private preschools at Santa Rita, Almond in Los Altos or at Springer in Mountain View. LASD is not consistent about which locations offer preschools to their neighborhood.


11 people like this
Posted by Share with Blach
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Sooo much time and potential money wasted. If Los Altos works with the district to put the 10th site where the police station, youth center, city offices now sit, that would be a huge compromise. Where would those offices go? What price or rent will the district have to pay? That's under acres including the orchard. I cannot imagine the city knocking down those buildings and moving all of their employees. Anyone who thinks the civic center area will work for a 10th site is dreaming. I applaud Jean Mordo for reaching out to these district people to try and make something work.

It boils down to sharing.
1. Little San Antonio patch worked sites are too small for BCS.
2. Civic center (old Hillview reference) is just too unlikely to be knocked down to build a school

What's left? Nothing folks. Covington, Egan, or Blach has to share. It's not even a matter of agreeing or not agreeing to buy a new site. There is none out there that will equally accommodate 900 kids. Doesn't anyone realize this?

It's very kind and sweet to provide district land to private preschools who enroll children from outside of the district. Well, there are 17 acres of land at Covington so lots of available space to rent out to 2 private preschools and one after care facility. Is Covington saying they will only share with preschool children? Blach staff have shown the other schools they are great at sharing with BCS. Put BCS there so Covington can maintain their exclusive existence in the district. Maybe the new principal won't mind.


3 people like this
Posted by Share with Blach
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Oops there are supposedly under 12 acres at the civic center including orchard. Can anyone confirm?


5 people like this
Posted by Stan
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 24, 2015 at 2:35 pm

That makes sense. Put all BCS at Blach and make the land at Egan the permanent site for kids who live across El Camino. Problem solved. No need to buy any new land. Yeah, too bad Covington doesn't want to pony up the land. I have never lived in a district where the individual schools get to make decisions like this. School boards should make the best decision for all of their constituents. Not leave it up to one school to decide for the rest of the district. I haven't lived here long enough to understand why Covington carries so much clout in Los Altos.


5 people like this
Posted by C'mon Los Altos, be proud!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2015 at 2:41 pm

I agree Stan. Great solution. Los Altos will also feel more proud that they can stand on their own 2 feet, so to speak, instead of humbly shuffling up to MV, hat in one hand while the other is extended asking for "Just 3 acres of your land"


3 people like this
Posted by multi-story school on San Antonio & California Av
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2015 at 2:44 pm



MV needs to care about the MV kids and schools instead of eying the
open space that Los Altos has. Los Altos and the sprawling schools
are intentionally designed that way. It is not intended
for serving hyper-growth hyper-density hyper-commercialized MV.

Los Altos schools have acres of land because that is the ambiance
that the city of Los Altos requires. LASD can't just split these
lands to make schools for the kids from out-of-control high-density apartments that MV is building.

MV must provide the opportunity to buy land in MV by LASD. MV
must provide parks instead of signing off over-the-top developments
such as San Antonio Phase-1 and phase-2. MV needs to plan for
land for schools and parks that kids need. Kids are our future.
The earlier posting below clarifies why MV needs to allow
multistory schools::::

Mountain View loves high density everything...

Los Altos does not add commercial buildings at the astronomical rate that
MV does. Los Altos does not want high density. Los Altos does not care for
money from commercial developments precisely for this reason.

MV adds commercial buildings at blinding speed and then in the name
of housing balance adds 1000's of apartment units.
So it makes sense to build multi-story school building at San Antonio
and California.

MV can't keep building 1000's of apartments and throw up their
hands when it comes to land for school and adjoining park.
MV can't have the cake and eat it too :-)

LASD of course includes parts of MV ... but that doesn't mean
Los Altos should allow LASD to keep adding traffic because of the
massive number of MV kids being driven to schools in Los Altos.
The numbers may not be massive today... but they will be when
people living in the 1000's of apartments (MV is allowing in
LASD area) start having kids.

We need to think long-term always.
We need to use data to make our case. The real data here is the
high residential density of MV and the projected growth.


3 people like this
Posted by LASD
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2015 at 3:34 pm

LASD gets tax revenue from a lot of land. Some of the most high revenue land is the area north of El Camino Real. But beyond that, LASD is only half composed of students from Los Altos. One factors is that 1/4 of Los Altos students are living in Cupertino Union School District territory. But the other part of LASD's tax revenue base and student population comes from Mountain View, Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills.

As I understand it, the biggest contributor to per student is Los Altos Hills. In this city, the private school attendance is over 30%. It too has 1/3 of its territory served by Palo Alto Schools, and in fact, PAUSD is leasing one of its owned school sites in LAH to Pinewood, a private school. This is because of the high private school attendance, with all that tax revenue still funding PAUSD and LASD and MVLA.

So, it makes no sense to claim that Los Altos should use revenue from Los Altos Hills and from Mountain View and then treat those students differently. Los Altos does not "REQUIRE" a lot of land per school for "ambiance." That's some real B.S. there. Just take a second to appreciate the selfishness and absurdity of that statement. Look at the elementary school in Woodland Acres. That's an elementary school that serves Los Altos too. Those property values are through the roof, just like the rest of the city. Well, Montclaire Elementary, which is the school in Woodland Acres only occupies 7 acres of land! CUSD actually OWNS 8 acres there, but they LEASE 1 acre of that CUSD land to the city of Los Altos to serve as a park for the area. I.e. this is the REVERSE of what LASD is asking Mountain View to do.

So stop the B.S. 8 acres is enough land for a full size completely wonderful Los Altos Elementary school. Just use that arithmetic at Covington and put 2 such schools there. 7.75 acres is enough land for a good elementary school. FOUR ACRES and an OFFICE BUILDING however is NOT up to ANYONE's standards, not for 400 kids, and certainly not for 900.

Or else buy 8 acres of land in Mountain View using eminent domain and pay maybe $120 Million if you are lucky. Perhaps the city can help with some development rights transfers to get the cost down to $80 Million. Now spend another $30 Million to tear down the office building and put up a real school building, versus $10-30 Million to remodel the office building. Construct a new school that could serve 650, not 900. And then you still hopefully have $40 Million left for other LASD construction needs.


3 people like this
Posted by multi-story school on San Antonio & California Av
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2015 at 4:30 pm

@LASD
Cupertino is not on a building frenzy on the border of
Los Altos like MV is. Just look at the development frenzy on
San Antonio Road and El Camino corridor, thanks to
MV's voracious appetite for commercial development. MV then
says they need housing balance and builds 1000's of apartments.
Very clever.

MV needs to do its part for MV kids... MV needs to provide
a park adjoining the multistory school that should be built at
San Antonio & California Ave.

The number of NEC kids will be much higher in the near future
and MV needs to take care of this growth MV created.

MV needs to balance commercial development with parks, provide
land for school (land that LASD can purchase). MV can't demand
Los Altos to bear the brunt of MV's lack of balance and foresight.


Earlier posting for reference:::
MV needs to care about the MV kids and schools instead of eying the
open space that Los Altos has. Los Altos and the sprawling schools
are intentionally designed that way. It is not intended
for serving hyper-growth hyper-density hyper-commercialized MV.

Los Altos schools have acres of land because that is the ambiance
that the city of Los Altos requires. LASD can't just split these
lands to make schools for the kids from out-of-control high-density apartments that MV is building.

MV must provide the opportunity to buy land in MV by LASD. MV
must provide parks instead of signing off over-the-top developments
such as San Antonio Phase-1 and phase-2. MV needs to plan for
land for schools and parks that kids need. Kids are our future.
The earlier posting below clarifies why MV needs to allow
multistory schools::::

Mountain View loves high density everything...

Los Altos does not add commercial buildings at the astronomical rate that
MV does. Los Altos does not want high density. Los Altos does not care for
money from commercial developments precisely for this reason.

MV adds commercial buildings at blinding speed and then in the name
of housing balance adds 1000's of apartment units.
So it makes sense to build multi-story school building at San Antonio
and California.

MV can't keep building 1000's of apartments and throw up their
hands when it comes to land for school and adjoining park.
MV can't have the cake and eat it too :-)

LASD of course includes parts of MV ... but that doesn't mean
Los Altos should allow LASD to keep adding traffic because of the
massive number of MV kids being driven to schools in Los Altos.
The numbers may not be massive today... but they will be when
people living in the 1000's of apartments (MV is allowing in
LASD area) start having kids.

We need to think long-term always.
We need to use data to make our case. The real data here is the
high residential density of MV and the projected growth.


8 people like this
Posted by No Solicitors
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 24, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Actually, MV doesn't have to do a single thing you said it "Must do". That's just your opinion.
My thought is that Los Altos MUST stop begging for handouts. It's so unseemly and beneath what I thought was once a respectable little town.


3 people like this
Posted by No Solicitors
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Blach has 3 acres to easily spare as does Covington, but Los Altos is still begging for handouts of MV land.

We should pull all the MV kids out of LASD so they can quit blaming MV for their woes.


3 people like this
Posted by hey now
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2015 at 5:18 pm

The only new development during this past school year in the Santa Rita attendance area was on the former Palo Alto Bowl site! That's in Palo Alto. That could maybe account for adding 30 more kids during the year.

Next year, we will see how many kids from the new Los Altos development where once was Marie Calendars and the garden center. Both likely more kids than the near zero from Carmel the Palace apartments.


3 people like this
Posted by Los Altan
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 9:00 am

@No Solicitors
I agree. You SHOULD pull all of the MV kids out of LASD! That would be just fine with us. We are tired of giving your piece of crap town a free ride in our top rated school district.


7 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 25, 2015 at 9:12 am

@Los Altan,

Ever consider why your cute little town's aging stock of ranch homes are now worth so much? Tech workers from Google, Linked in, etc don't make their money in Los Altos now do they? The kids from NEC and the new Property Taxes from San Antonio center would likely make MVWSD a locally funded district, while LASD would then be dependent on the state for LCFF money. Think of all the education money spent on lawyers for LASD and BCS! I'm not picking a side, I just think all of the adults involved should try growing up a bit. I've told at least one of our board members that as well, to his face.


8 people like this
Posted by Free Ride
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 25, 2015 at 9:28 am

What free ride? MV residents within LASD pay the same parcel tax to the district and are asked to make the same suggested contribution to the Los Altos Educational Foundation. We pony up just like the Los Altos families, which is fair. It's not your school district, it's for everyone that is within it's borders and pays into it.

As for the poster who commented about pulling all MV kids out of LASD, worry about your own kids.

Some of you people are pathetic.


3 people like this
Posted by Los Altan
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 10:10 am

Sorry about the "free ride" comment. Poor choice of words. It was not directed at the parents or taxpayers but toward the city for approving unmitigated growth in that area without any provision for parks or schools.


4 people like this
Posted by Probable outcome
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 11:19 am

Most likely the Old Mill campus will be assigned to BCS for their unified campus. LASD offered them a facility in Sunnyvale, but the laws are that the school must remain in the LASD physical boundaries. This is probably the only place LASD could find that would move them the furthest away from the Bullis-Purrisma enrollment area without breaking those rules.

I know that there has been some commentary that the campus would be too small to accommodate so many students. I disagree. I think that the Charter school has some very bright people running it and I have absolute confidence that they can build an environment that would work with their mission. If they can't excel in this environment, then I question how special the charter school truly is. The argument from the charter school would be something like: "But, other schools in LASD get more land for fewer students! Why don't we get the same!?" Well, BCS, you keep saying that your school is special-- superior to the truly public schools within the district, and this is because of the differences. So, the argument is that your school must get exactly what it wants (unified campus for a large amount of kids is one example) to meet it's "unique" needs, yet it also should get everything that the other schools have too? That doesn't make a lot of sense, but I understand why they would advocate for such a contradicotry position, given that they don't have the facts behind them.

I'm pretty sure that if one were to poll the parents in the area of Old Mill, then the results would be that they would not want to attend an untested new school, but rather keep attending the top ranked schools in Los Altos. So, let's not pretend that this is to benefits kids on "the OTHER side of El Camino". I do believe that moving BCS to Old Mill would help with overcrowding within the district. It's ridiculous to argue that moving almost a thousand kids out of the existing facilities and into a new one wouldn't help by freeing up space--portables or not.


3 people like this
Posted by Mistaken
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 11:25 am

For those that believe that MV has been contributing to enrollment growth in LASD without contributing funds I think you are mistaken. The developers have to initially pay the school districts as a condition of development. Then, all the new homes/condos that have been built pay the LASD parcel tax as well as the percentage of their property taxes that go to LASD. Considering the dramatic increases in property values these NEW properties amount to a windfall for LASD.

The idea that MV will buy LASD playground space is crazy and shouldn't be considered part of any plan because it will never happen. For MV to purchase prime real estate at an exorbitant price to build a park that their residents can't use during school hours could be considered malfeasance. Besides the aforementioned it's a very poor location for a park considering its one of the busiest intersections in MV and would create safety concerns for families using the park.


11 people like this
Posted by Oh brother
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 25, 2015 at 11:42 am

@ Probable outcome,
Wow- that's quite a statement- too bad it doesn't make any sense. Looks like you both forgot to do your homework AND put your thinking cap on.

First, the law says that BCS must be given equivalent facilities which would include adequate outdoor facilities. Any attempt to to sidestep that will result in more litigation for which all taxpayers pay. Your commentary is just silly (so silly that it was maybe meant to be facetious?).

Second, it's the elementary schools that are overcrowded. BCS is currently located in portables at Egan and Blach. So how is emptying the portables at the Jr Highs going to alleviate overcrowding at the elementaries? I'd love to hear...


8 people like this
Posted by Realism
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm

The diversity of comments here shows that the intent to operate a neighborhood school for the Greater San Antonio area is not firm. The city better nail this down before going to a lot of trouble.

What has been proposed is a very shoddy attempt at creating a school. I think the city better also consider being perceived as aiding and abetting a travesty of fairness in the commission. This applies no matter WHO attends this weird school.

Plus the whole thing is mucho expensive for all involved.


5 people like this
Posted by multi-story school on San Antonio & California Av
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 12:14 pm



In response to @Mistaken's earlier post above:

Of course MV side of LASD is contributing via parcel tax. That
is not the point here.

The point is, MV's voracious appetite for commercial development and the
1000's of apartments (now and in the near future) will mean immense
growth in enrollment in the FUTURE. Not to mention the traffic into
LASD schools in Los Altos (the San Antonio area).

This is why having a school in NEC wherever LASD can purchase the
land in MV makes sense. MV must cooperate with LASD on this front.
MV must create a park adjoining the land that LASD will purchase
for the school. MV must plan accordingly.

The elephant in the room is the hyper-growth, hyper-density,
hyper-commercialized city MV is and there is no sign of abatement :-( .
MV needs to accept the fact that the LASD school in MV also
has to be high-density (i.e., multistory). MV is directly responsible
for this state of affairs.


3 people like this
Posted by Take take take
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Yes, the answer is to get MV kids out of the LASD and send Los Altos packing.
Los Altos can help itself. Well, it can try anyway.


5 people like this
Posted by scale and proportion
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Mountain View has not added housing to go along with the expansion of R&D square footage, which is proving to mostly be for Google.

Kids don't live in R&D buildings. The yield rate for students from apartments has historically been fairly low. That may change but there's no basis to project that.

The enrollment growth that LASD is addressing has ALREADY occurred. They have allegedly got 1200+ students in temporary housing. Only 25% of this growth has been in Mountain View. Would you kick the Los Altos students out of Springer School? That has absorbed some of the growth. So has Oak Avenue School, which has the 2nd lowest enrollment of any LASD school.

All this arguing about "massive growth" in Mountain View is not related to school population. Certainly Mountain View has added more Single Family residences in the area OUTSIDE of LASD, i.e. in MVWSD. MV continues to project new housing developments in MVWSD (like the 600 new homes recently approved). This would tend to increase enrollment in MVWSD, but they are forecasting a DECREASE in enrollment.

So, the need for a new school in MV dates back 20 years to when The Crossings and before that the Old Mill Condos were built. The Old Mill Condos were built BEFORE LASD elected to close Portola School, which had served that Mountain View area for 30 years.


3 people like this
Posted by Mistaken
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 2:28 pm

@ Multi-story
" MV must cooperate with LASD on this front.
MV must create a park adjoining the land that LASD will purchase
for the school. MV must plan accordingly."

"MV must, must must". MV doesn't have to do anything! And it isn't just the parcel tax that MV residents in LASD pay, it's a considerable portion of their property taxes. IF an additional school is needed for NEC it could be located at Egan where there is plenty of land. LASD sold off their land that was intended for NEC kids (Portola School) a long time ago. They pocketed that money so can't now demand that MV cough up not only land, but their most expensive land, to LASD.

Also, remember that since all of the low-income kids reside NEC that an NEC school will be a lower scoring school. Are the NEC parents going to want that? Or would they prefer those kids be co-mingled with the high-socioeconomic kids in MV and LASD?


3 people like this
Posted by Casual Observer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

So a few posters (I skimmed the long list of comments, I must admit) seem to think that if they put BCS at the new site in Mountain View, BCS becomes MVWSD's "problem" -- but of course, they don't, they would still be in LASD despite a mailing address in Mountain View. And as to "pulling the MV kids back out of LASD" -- no one has the authority to do that unless the voters of both MVWSD and LASD approve a complete redrawing of district boundaries, as I understand it. The school district boundaries are older than the city boundaries, and have nothing to do with what city you live in -- it's where your house is located on the school boundary map. Just like some students who live in parts of Los Altos attend Cupertino Union schools; same with some Sunnyvale kids, etc. So MVWSD can't take any students back, and LASD can't shed students who live within their boundaries.


3 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 25, 2015 at 3:51 pm

@Casual Observer = Casual Reader: The new proposed site (whether for BCS or a NEC neighborhood school) is within the boundaries of LASD, not MVWSD. Nobody is proposing moving students from one district to another (well, except a few whack jobs above) or trying to make this MVWSD's "problem".


3 people like this
Posted by Will Beg for 3 Acres
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 25, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Sign seen outside WalMart being held by someone in a LASD T-Shirt.


3 people like this
Posted by Land Swap
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 4:13 pm

There are 8 acres needed for a new school site, costing $120 Million if located in the Greater San Antonio Area. That's for a school site for 600 or so kids max, not 900.

So if LASD doesn't want to buy new the entire 8 acres, how about a land swap!
Santa Rita has 11.5 acres. It could get by on 8 acres also. So swap 3.5 acres of that land to the landowner in Greater San Antonio. It might get the whole 3.5 acres in credit, or maybe a smaller size. But LASD has that resource available, and it is admitting it doesn't need it for educational purposes because of the original idea of a school on just 4 acres.

So you could repeat this at other schools. Swap out 4 acres from Blach for residential development compatible with that neighborhood. Swap out 8 acres of Covington land for residential development so those neighbors don't have to put 2 schools next to them.

Land is land. It is all worth $10 Million to $20 Million around here these days. This is not cheap. LASD needs MORE LOCATIONS, not MORE LAND.

Oh yeah, big deal, the city could locate a 1 acre park next to whatever location LASD acquires. That could help too. Open space in Greater San Antonio Center area. Amazing! What a wonderful idea.


4 people like this
Posted by Great idea
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 25, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Comical! Naughty, naughty Landswap! Could you please run for the LASD board? We need a sense of humor. One correction. Swap out the land beside Covington School for residential development so the PARENTS don't have to have a school next to them. Don't forget to keep the space for the private preschools!


10 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2015 at 8:16 am

@ About Time - you have two plans (for solving the overcrowding + a home for BCS but neither make sense:
"regarding the long term home for BCS, I see two options: (1) Partner with the city of Los Altos for a portion of the civic center property and build them a dedicated campus there. Then convert the current Egan BCS campus to a school for NEC students."
First, this plan requires a gift from the city of Los Altos- something they've said they don't want to do. If they gave the land to LASD then they have to forgo their plans for the community center (which would benefit all Los Altans, not just the small portion that attend the schools).
Secondly, this plan includes the construction of TWO new schools. The current Egan BCS campus is a bunch of smelly portables- do you plan to stick the NEC kids there? I think not so we'd need to construct a new school on that campus. I don't think $150M will be enough for the construction of two schools.

"Or (2) secure the site in this article along with the adjacent property for park/playground (in partnership with MV) and then upgrade and make permanent the existing BCS campuses."
This plan of yours requires a very expensive gift from the city of MV (something they're NEVER going to do). And what do you mean by "upgrading" the existing BCS campuses? They're portables - you'd have to get rid of them and construct schools. So in this plan you'd be constructing THREE new schools!

It's very difficult to understand the practicality of these solutions! Your priority of "preserving Covington" at any cost is a very expensive hit to the taxpayers. We're not talking about shipping those kids to Siberia - they'd transfer to a school about 1 mile down the street. Is there some reason that these families can't continue their relationships?? And that they can't build new relationships within their new school communities? The whole premise is ridiculous.

Move the 6th graders to middle schools. Give Covington to BCS. Use the bond money to expand Egan + Blach and to expand Covington to accommodate 900 kids and to do needed improvements to the other schools. Best use of the taxpayers money.


5 people like this
Posted by Better Solutions
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 26, 2015 at 8:36 am

Lots of alternatives...LOTS, but they still want 3 acres of MV's land.
Do they want a good solution, or just <V's land/ If they cared, thety would go with one of the many better solutions posted here


3 people like this
Posted by About time
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 26, 2015 at 10:01 am

@Huh? -- A couple points, then I'm going to stop debating this with you. First, as I mentioned before, I think the voting public have implicitly endorsed the priority of not displacing an entire school community to address this issue. You are free to interpret differently, but I don't believe the plan you are pushing is politically feasible no matter how much you and a few other die-hards keep repeating it. Second, I think the City of Los Altos' plans for a community center, pool, etc. are a pipe dream. They've never been able to secure the votes or polling results to support it. It's a vanity project that is unlikely to ever be delivered. They would be better served to work with LASD to create a mixed use plan for the entire civic center site that includes a new school and some shared space for playground, parking, etc. I think the voters would be much more inclined to support a city bond measure for that than for the plan they've been pushing for the last several years. But this is all just my opinion. Finally, you may be right that MV will never willingly partner with LASD for the additional acres suggested here, but that's more a reflection on the integrity of MV City leadership than on the validity of the plan.

There are clearly a few people here for whom NO other option than handing Covington over to BCS is acceptable. We will never agree on that, so I will respectfully withdraw from further debate with you. I've said my peace and we'll have to agree to disagree.


4 people like this
Posted by New School Needs
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2015 at 12:59 pm

First of all, what is needed in LASD is indeed TWO new schools. LASD has created that situation by inaction since 2008 when the last kludge was put in place. We currently have two separate huddles of temporary portable buildings, each forming a school site. One is at Blach and it is the most substandard. All year long 250 students have attended this cluster of portables on under 1 acre of land. Totally abhorent to fairness and equality. Meanwhile, for the last 10 years, over 400 students (now nearly 500) students have had a similar huddle of portables at Egan. The Egan site has was always much better than that at Blach, and it has now grown to about 7 acres in size.

So for next year, finally, additional portables are being added to Blach to pretty much double that cluster of temporary buildings and bring the site up to 1.5 acres. This is being done by relocating a private preschool which had leased a portion of that site for its own 5 portable units and a large custom play yard. Still about 250 students but room for still more portables and expansion to 400 or so students over the next 3 years following. That's going to clearly be temporary school #2. Temporary school #1 at Egan will also get more portables for next year and it will hold steady at about 500 students for next year and the following 3 years.

So people should stop being surprised that we are in a situation when 2 new schools are needed. This is all separate by possible growth in the district going forward, including in the north of El Camino Area (NEC). NEC currently has numbered 600 students for 5 years now and it has not grown much more during that time. Prior to that it has been a hundred or more students smaller. This motivated the big boundary redraw in 2008, where NEC was split between 3 (had been just 2) different elementary schools and of course the one Junior High.

Fact is the 3 elementary schools serving NEC students are in the mid 500's of students or in the case of Covington in the low 500's. Subtract the NEC students and each of these schools drops to the mid 300's of students, i.e. the temporary school sites are both significantly larger than the 3 subject schools which might lose their NEC students if a school were opened actually in or near NEC.

So yeah, I don't see the need to close Covington. Just add a 2nd school there along with keeping Covington. Make that 16 acre site home to 2 different schools. Infeasible? Much more feasible than creating a new school with no playground and no blacktop on 4 acres of office building land in NEC.... especially with an idea of keeping the office building as the school.

As for cost, the office building and 4 acres purchase has to be $80 million if the owner will sell, perhaps more. The building has life as an office building renting at $50 per square foot and 4 acres of land with development rights to expand the building is quite valuable.

But construction cost for a brand new 500 student school on existing land is about $30 Million, not as much as some of imagined above. The LAND is the big ticket item around here. Up that school to serve 1000 and the price doubles to $60 Million. Use a cluster of portable buildings and you can install them for $2 Million if the site is flat and buildable, and then lease them for another $400,000 per year. This issue is not a need for new land. The issue is spending the $30 Million to construct the school at Egan, the temporary school, up to the standards of the rest of the district schools. At Egan, you can do it for $30 Million. At 201 San Antonio Center you can do it for $80 Million but you still need to add 3 acres or so of playground, costing another $40 Million easy, even with city help. The city can't pony up $40 Million any more than LASD can.


7 people like this
Posted by Rent!
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 26, 2015 at 11:27 pm

LASD may in fact use the bond money to purchase the land off of San Antonio and rent it out to businesses or some private entity. The revenue from the rent can be deposited into the general fund which can then be used for teachers salaries, pensions, etc. They love being landlords and making a profit from leasing district land to non public school affiliates. Good thing one trustee has his real estate license. They have 4 years max to let BCS exist at the jr high sites. Meanwhile, they can make a nice profit. Or maybe that's their long term plan. They can make a lot more money through leasing than throwing BCS or NEC school there. Eventually they can use the 4 acres to combat enrollment growth and build a sky scraper with playground on top. They know MV will say no way to tossing in park space. But they can say they tried to get MV to contribute.


4 people like this
Posted by Renee
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jun 28, 2015 at 7:33 am

@ Rent! Interesting idea, I hope that the LASD BOT is not trying to pull yet another fast one on us. They could lease this building back at a loss, it wouldn't matter and then transfer money to their pet projects, like retiree benefits and hiring lawyers.

The history of bond spending in LASD is not a good one. Money spent on office buildings that were not needed, leaving nothing for actual classrooms and other things that students actually will use. I was hoping that things would be different this time.


13 people like this
Posted by Renee
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jun 28, 2015 at 7:54 am

The choice for spending the bond is simple - buy very expensive unsuitable property for a school or use existing LASD property and have enough bond funds left over to make improvements at every campus. Going with the first option will take up most of the bond and leave little if anything to show for it.

If the Los Altos School District is so interested in building a school at a small office building site with a city funded park nearby why not use their own space?

The District office site is around 5 acres and Rosita Park is right next door - about 5 acres. The benefit of this site is that it doesn't waste most of the bond buying very expensive property.

LASD Board President, Mr. Taglio has made it clear that he doesn't want to "share" the Covington site. He is willing to spend the bulk of the bond making sure that doesn't happen. Mr. Taglio's children go to Covington and he lives right down the street. He is doing his utmost to prevent even discussing it. Is that fair to everyone else in the District? Should we be willing to forgo improvements at our own neighborhood schools and at the Junior Highs just so Covington doesn't have to share? I am certain that is not what the voters had in mind.

LASD Board of Trustees please spend this bond wisely. The voters put their trust in you and you are about to let them down. Move the District Office to another location and build a second school at the Covington site. It is the best way to solve our overcrowding problem as it preserves funding to create new facilities at every campus.


6 people like this
Posted by LASD Mom
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2015 at 12:23 pm

I agree with Renee. I understand that the children of two trustees, Mr. Taglio and Mr. Peruri attend Covington. My children attend another LASD school. I would love to see improvements to my school but I know there is a slim chance of that happening if our Trustees buy that crazy land we don't need and put BCS there. Please move the district offices and share Covington with BCS. If St. Williams land is available, we have their property, the Covington land, and Rosita for day use. That's around 22 acres. It's just ethical to share this much land. I ask that Mr. Taglio and Mr. Peruri and the others make this decision to benefit our whole district. I voted in favor of the bond money under the impression that all schools in the district would receive improvements. Please don't throw away this bond money on unnecessary land purchases. Move the district offices to Egan or Sita Rita or Blach. I am sure we can find space for those offices at any of the schools. Or get the land back from the Waldorf School if we need land so badly. That lease can be terminated if there is a need to use that land. Well, there is a need now. Trustees, please don't let us down who voted for you to make the right decision on enrollment growth.


3 people like this
Posted by naming contest
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 28, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Well, get ready for The Crossings Elementary School. Or maybe Taglio Elementary. I hope the kids enjoy going to the office each day.


9 people like this
Posted by HOA
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Guess this will give LASD membership in The Crossings master HOA. Wonder how that HOA board will treat LASD. They best not make too much noise.


10 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2015 at 10:51 pm

@ Better solutions - you're right, there are better alternatives available but unfortunately there's a small, moneyed, very vocal group in town (that has the LASD trustees in their pocket) that's committed to sticking it to BCS so they don't want to explore practical solutions to the problem. Their top priority is "not handing Covington over to BCS" so even though that's the best academic and economically practical solution they'll fight it at all costs. It's not about disrupting a school community (they seem to have no problem ripping the NEC kids out of their community and sending them packing) it's about not letting BCS win. So we'll all pay for their silly feud and the kids will suffer.
@LASD mom - sharing Covington with BCS is not a solution. There is not room for 1400 kids on one campus and the neighborhood can't take the traffic. Also the district has promised the Rosita neighborhood that they won't steal their park. There's no reason to share BCS with Covington- Covington is not needed as an elementary school if 6th grade is moved to middle schools (except to enforce the "not giving Covington to BCS" policy). Move to a 6-8 model, give Covington to BCS and spend the excess bond funds on improvements to all schools. Best bang for your buck if the "Covington stays Covington" crowd could muster up some maturity.


3 people like this
Posted by A More Likely Scenario
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2015 at 3:32 pm

LASD purchases the 4 acre site and together with the city an adjacent 4 acres for open space fields and park space. The school there is opened not for the entire North of El Camino area in LASD (which includes Palo Alto) but just for the San Antonio Center area including The Crossings and Old Mill Condos. The school starts with 350 students and room for growth, with a lot of empty office space that is not immediately needed.

The students on other side of San Antonio including in Palo Alto may as well continue at San Rita. Their numbers will drop as the low income renters are forced out by rising rents.

The reductions from the new San Antonio Elementary School drop Almond and Covington to 350 students each. That makes room for BCS at both of those locations, splitting them again, but managing traffic as each site just serves 750-800 students even with BCS included. Clever construction can easily add space at both Almond and Covington to bring those sites up to suitability to serve 800 students, whether in 1 or 2 separate schools at the site. Traffic concerns are managed easily compared to Blach or Egan. If LASD goes to a 6-8 middle school model then that drops 70 or so kids and makes it only 730 per site.

Over time, it depends on enrollment. What area grows, or does BCS grow in size. If NEC grows then the San Antonio School can expand. If BCS grows, then you can expand most likely at Covington. You could relocate the district offices or leased out childcare space to the site at 201 San Antonio Circle. If Covington and/or Almond drop still further, you could consolidate those 2 schools at either Almond or Covington, and assign the other to BCS.

Lots of options to accomodate growth. The one unavoidable truth is that just as nature abhors a vacuum, the residents of San Antonio Center are going to wind up lobbying for that school right next to them to serve their area. Any other predicted outcome is really surreal. New residents will come in and they won't like the long trip to Covington or Almond. Time will bring about the use of this site as a local neighborhood school. That's assuming it is a legally acceptable equivalent school for use in LASD when compared to the other schools. This is mandatory because of the low income concentration, however small, which lives fairly close to the 201 San Antonio Center site. They legally demand equal treatment.


5 people like this
Posted by Sequence of Events
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2015 at 4:09 pm

LASD readies this 4 acre site for use, together with whatever land for outdoor turf area they can screape together. Then they try to get BCS to move to this location. If it's only 8 acres and the existing office buildings, they can validly make a case that the temporary space they will then be occupying is much fairer in terms of matching what LASD has over all the schools. They can cite increased traffic concerns caused by the location and the fact that so few of the BCS students live locally. They can just stay where they are. Then what will LASD do? If they make a lot of noise about forcing BCS to use this site instead of the portables, it will call attention to the traffic issues and the fact the NEC area doesn't have a neighborhood school. It will increase demands to use the site for some kind of neighborhood school for the NEC area, but to hold the student numbers down to 500 or so. It provides a place for the district offices to relocate in order to free the full 16 acres at Covington for use by schools. A can of worms, to say the least.


9 people like this
Posted by Sharing is nice
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2015 at 9:40 pm

Here is an idea on how to share Covington with 2 schools by removing the district offices and private preschools and replacing with 2 story school building. Leaving Rosita unscathed! Hooray for NIMBY's!
Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by MVer
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm

I am sad to see that the MVCC has agreed to maybe help fund the Los Altos School District in their crazy efforts. Sure having a school up here would be nice, but only it can actually function as a neighborhood school. It just doesn't look like they are doing that.

Recently LASD hired a real estate broker for $7500 a month - for the next six months. Putting aside the tremendous waste of money this represents - money that should be spend improving our classrooms - this money is actually being spent on a wild goose chase. Here is what the broker is tasked with:
Locate land and or buildings suitable for new school facilites, approximately 2 -6 acres pr ;amd pr 30,000 - 60,000 SF of buildings.

Does two acres seem like a reasonble school size? Might be nice for a neigborhood park, but a school - no way! So really it just seems that they are looking for a place for the charter school because they don't care what size of property that school gets crammed into.

There just isn't anything available. We all know it. Maybe they are hiring a magical broker who has a magic wand? Shazamm - property created out of thin air.

Mountain View by all means build a park. Los Altos School District don't send your traffic problems up here. Any school that you put in here needs to be a neighborhood school.


7 people like this
Posted by Idiocy
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2015 at 6:24 pm

This is all the more questionable when you recognize the fact that LASD has room to add new schools to several of its existing sites. A purpose-built solution at Egan Jr High could be much better than the camp school which has endured these past 10 years. That location is quite proximate to the MV kids north of El Camino Real. The only reason for considering other wise is some psycho-somatic. The body public is imbued with a prejudice against such a simple, more economical solution. How could things be that simple?

But they are.

Moreover, the situation is much the same at Covington Elementary School, which was reopened as an oversize elementary site in 2008. To fill it, kids from The Crossings were assigned there despite forcing them to travel 3 miles to reach school. No problemo. The total student count at Covington has really only reached 500 students on that 16 acre site. Simple common sense says a site which is 16 acres in size (not counting the adjacent city-wide park Rosita Park purchased in 1998 which is nearly 6 acres itself). In 1998, the Catholic church sold the Rosita land to Los Altos since it had discontinued operating an elementary school there, next to Covington which had been closed in 1980. The city of Los Altos bought this land as a city-wide park in 1998, but neighbors protested using it for an Aquatic Center, and the city finally remodeled it as tennis and softball field in 2012. How odd, to buy park land next to a school site which itself serves as a park.....


9 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2015 at 9:18 pm

This problem is easily solved,all we need is a board with courage. We didn't vote for a board to represent the interests of one school, we elected you to look out for the entire community and right now you are failing.

There isn't any real estate large enough for a school in the NEC, give up on that now. It's a waste of time, effort and money. Do the right thing:

1. Move BCS to Covington.
2. Move six graders to the middle schools.
3. Build a school for the NEC at Egan.
4. Move this District Office to Blach.
5. Use the bond for improvements at every campus, not on very expensive property purchases.

Covington should be able to share with charter or if they can't possibly do that then it's time to think about disbanding it all together - with six graders at the middles there should be enough room for Covington students at the other schools.

LASD Trustees are you brave enough to do the right thing? So far you are on the path to ruin, here's hoping you see the light.


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