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No room in popular MV Whisman schools ... again

Original post made on Mar 30, 2017

Hundreds of Mountain View families have grabbed a ticket and staked out a place in line, hoping for a spot in one of the Mountain View Whisman School District's highest-performing schools.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 30, 2017, 9:46 AM

Comments (143)

4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:46 am

I hope the Board can "direct" the Administration to put all haste on building the new 450 student school at Slater (and drop their distracting new Administration District Office effort until that school is finished). The decision was made - by a 3:2 Board majority in 2015, to build Castro+Mistral to 900 students using "stick built." I favored the Administration/construction manager's proposal for faster / cheaper permanent modularized construction (large building assemblies shipped in and assembled together on-site.) {ps Stevenson and Slater new designs}

The current Administration is in a hard place / but with only $198 M for the $423 M Student Facilities Improvement Plan (2010 FSIP) and past administrations insistence on 'no student growth expected' = what the hey?

The Castro+Mistral site facilities are to be built to 900 student capacity - per the 3:2 vote in 2015. $198 M was never, ever going to be enough Bond money to build up Bubb, Huff and Landels to 650 permanent student classroom capacity. The construction manager, Mr. Lee, convinced the Board of that years ago. [ if a rich neighbor want to contribute $50-$100 M ??]

SN is a retired MVWSD Trustee

PS Ms. Robinson has done (IMO) an increasingly excellent job in making school assignments and waitlists understandable and publicly accessible


11 people like this
Posted by Stan
a resident of Bailey Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:58 am

What is the status of extending the private lease for what used to be named WHISMAN SCHOOL?


93 people like this
Posted by OBSERVATION
a resident of Bailey Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 11:05 am

New major residential 5 story buildings are going to worsen this problem. Do people not care about the drastic effects that has? Schools already have an extremely long waitlist and not every child is going to get good education. In fact it's going to get worse. Just an observation


14 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 11:36 am

I'll be the first to admit I don't have all the background, but Steven's comments concern me. Why is our city spending hundreds of millions of dollars to increase the size of the lowest performing school to 900 students while simultaneously decreasing the size of our 2 most desirable schools (Huff and Bubb) to 450 students? I know it's 450 for Mistral and 450 for Castro, but I believe that was a mistake that was made a few years ago and should be modified. In business we call this failing fast - do an experiment, get the results, make adjustments and try again. If there is new data that shows Huff and Bubb need to be bigger and that students want to transfer OUT OF castro, why not change course? Sure it will cost money to change the construction plans, but won't we be back at the same place in a few years and have to spend ALOT more money if nothing is changed?

I think another thing that should be considered is moving Stevenson to the 900 student site. If there is so much demand, shouldn't that be accommodated with a larger campus? It would also be much more centrally located and then people from the Bubb and Huff neighborhoods would actually consider choosing it (and alleviating some of the capacity constraints.) Right now, it's just too far away.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 30, 2017 at 11:40 am

@OBSERVATION

So, what's the alternative, block construction in an area of growing population so that the schools don't get overwhelmed? We pay a lot of taxes for government services, and these services need to grow to service the population, schools included. Sadly, government is paralyzed by its own rules which make everything take twice as long and cost many times as much as they should.


7 people like this
Posted by Stan
a resident of Bailey Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 11:54 am

Slater is a short distance from the Whisman School site on Easy Street just a hundred yards from Middlefield. Why are you not asking about that site?


39 people like this
Posted by Common sense
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Yet one more example of why the Supe needs to go and why we need to replace the current board with more competent leaders. This problem has been apparent for years, and they've been unwilling to move with a sense of urgency. The BATF discussions have been ongoing for far too long. At this point, we don't need "all options" on the table - we need two or three solid, reasonable alternatives to deal with the present issue. "All options" will just drag the process out. Opening satellite campuses for Bubb and Huff is ridiculous - many of families that could be sent to the satellite campuses moved to their neighborhoods because they wanted their kids to be able to walk or ride their bikes to school.


6 people like this
Posted by BD
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Moving to 1/2 day kindergarten at those two campuses is option #8. No thank you. Making the two schools worse is a perverse way to solve this problem.

(As I see it, having one early release day a week means our kids already miss out on 10% of their education, which adds up to an entire year behind their peers educated elsewhere by the time they're in 9th grade).


5 people like this
Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 30, 2017 at 2:14 pm

Simple solution.. EXPAND Huff, Bubb, and Landels.

We don't need an additional campus. We need to expand existing schools.

Of course the parents of those three schools think this is a terrible idea.. because it opens the school up to students from outside the attendance boundaries.

But no.. let's focus on Slater.. with all the overhead associated with an additional campus.


70 people like this
Posted by Cuesta Park Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 2:45 pm

There are only two ways to solve the situation at Bubb and Huff:

1. Change the district boundaries to restrict the number of kids at these two schools.
2. Expand these two schools so they can handle all kids within their boundaries

There does not seem to be the political desire to do 2, so that leaves 1. The longer you wait, the worse the situation gets because new kids start off in school creating an obligation for their younger siblings.

Unfortunately, the board and superintendent haven't had the guts to make the decision to do this, pushing the decision off to the various Boundary committees and intermingling this issue with the decision to reopen Slater.

So they wait until the situation gets completely out of hand and then Rudolph comes up with a list of 11 options:

"Some of these are extremely doable, some of these are extremely expensive, and some of these are not viable options," he said. "We want to explore what these options look like."

It seems like if you want to consider non-viable options, you could come up with more than 11 options.

How about renting out the district office to Google to help finance expansions at Bubb and Huff?

Or asking Elon Musk to install a Hyperloop transport system from Cuesta Park to Monte Loma?

Back to the article:
**********
Construction is set to begin in just a few months at Bubb, Huff and Landels, and each school is only going to get 18 permanent classrooms -- enough to house about 450 students with three classrooms for each grade level.
**********

No-one mentions the fact that the "desired" 450 size for schools makes no sense. Why? Having 450 kids means having around 25 kids per class with 3 classrooms per grade and six grades (K through 5). But in 4th and 5th grade the classroom size expands to 30.

If you start off with the max allowed K-3 size of 24, you get 3*24 = 72 kids per grade and you can't divide them very well in 4th and 5th. (Two classes with 36 kids each? Three classes with 30, 30 and 12?)

Assistant Superintendent Karen Robinson pointed this out in her 3/16 presentation to the board. So not everyone in the district is stupid ...

On the other hand, if you start with 4*24 = 96 kids per year in K-3, you can divide into three classes of 32 kids. (This example also in her presentation.) But this yields a school with 576 kids (96 kids in each grade level times six grades). Well of course, a school of that size is just unworkable and would lead to horrible test scores. Oh, you say, that's the current size of Bubb and Huff? Hmmm ...

So tell me why we're moving to 450 student schools??? Or why we didn't solve the Bubb/Huff overcrowding problem a long time ago?

Is it too much to ask to have a competent MVWSD Superintendent with some real leadership abilities?


50 people like this
Posted by kinder parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 30, 2017 at 3:25 pm

The elephant in the room here is the fact that this whole fight has a lot more to do with money, racism, and economic/class differences within Mountain View than anyone wants to admit.

Huff and Bubb are the most desirable schools in the district because they have the best test scores. They have the best test scores because Huff and Bubb are located in the most expensive part of Mountain View (comprised mostly of expensive single family homes, without many rental properties). So these kids have the richest (and also whitest) parents, and are more likely to be native English speakers and otherwise privileged, which makes them top performers on standardized tests. The demographics of each school (which are public record) make this very clear.

If we tightly restrict school boundaries to their local neighborhoods, then this result is inevitable, and we end up with a class system within Mountain View, with "top tier" schools in some neighborhoods, and schools in the less affluent neighborhoods that nobody wants to go to because they are perceived as "worse". If we're not careful, the best teachers and staff also gravitate to the most prestigious schools, further reinforcing this perception.

How do you fix this situation? One way is to mix up the boundaries a bit. The district was doing an admirable thing by including Shoreline West and Wagon Wheel within Huff/Buff districts - this helped to diversify the student body. It's sad that this will most likely be undone when Slater opens. The end result is likely that Huff and Bubb will become even more exclusive and rise farther above the other schools, and we may end up with Slater being an unpopular stepchild of a school that nobody wants to go to... AGAIN. After all, this is why Slater was closed in the first place. It was the least popular school that could not maintain enough students, because nobody wanted to send their kids to the school considered the "worst" in the district at the time.

The truth is that the differences between schools are probably not as great as we imagine them to be, but parents tend to naturally want to eke out every tiny advantage for their kids. However, from what I've seen from talking to parents and staff at several schools, all the mountain view schools are comparable and of high quality. All have great teachers and staff. The difference in test scores seems to mostly be due to demographics and English language skills, but for any individual kid, they will probably do well at any given school in the district. That said, it really does suck to live next to a school and not be able to send your kid there if you want to.

Unfortunately there's no easy solution to all this, but I agree that expanding capacity in the most desirable schools/neighborhoods seems like a better option than restricting these schools to all but the exclusive families who live next door. Personally I'd be in favor of a compromise where "core" boundaries are established for each school so that families within a few blocks are guaranteed access to that school. Really the best option would have been to open a new elementary school near Huff/Bubb instead of Slater! But that ship has sailed unfortunately.


4 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 30, 2017 at 3:30 pm

@Stan of Bailey Park

"What is the status of extending the private lease for what used to be named WHISMAN SCHOOL?"

Last year the Board voted to extend the German School lease on the Whisman site for 30 years at double the rent they were paying.

A similar extension for the Google lease of the old Slater buildings has been discussed and may happen at some point. They also talked about easily doubling the rent Google pays.


44 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 3:56 pm

@kinder parent: thank you for saying it so well and not being afraid to name the elephant on the room.

People need to stop being scared of the so called "low performing schools". Their underperformance is not caused by anything but the fact that potentially high performing students avoid those schools.

I cannot speak for the other schools, but at Theuerkauf the teachers are competent and dedicated; the new principal is wonderful to work with and is very invested in the school- his own child attends it.
If more neighborhood families went to the school instead of trying to transfer out or go private- it would have become on par with the best schools in the district pretty fast.

Yes, I get the upset of the families zoned for Bubb and being transferred to Monta Loma. But believe me, Monta Loma cannot be really bad, and it will become even better if parents who can make a difference keep their kids there, volunteer in the PTA board, and help the school to do an even better job.
Also, there have been drastic changes in the demographics of the district, and the trend will no doubt continue. Something to keep in mind.


11 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 30, 2017 at 4:26 pm

@Resident of Cuesta Park

"I'll be the first to admit I don't have all the background,"

That is clear, so let me help provide some background, I've been paying careful attention and attending the meetings for the past 4+ years.

"but Steven's comments concern me."
To take a quote from a Star Wars scene: "Oh he excels in that..."

"Why is our city spending hundreds of millions of dollars to increase the size of the lowest performing school to 900 students"

OK, first, there are already over 700 kids attending school on the Castro site. This includes about 400 for Mistral (Dual Immersion) and about 300 for the "neighborhood school" Castro.

Second, the total cost of building a NEW built 450 school for the CASTRO kids is about $23 million and the cost of a full renovation of the OLD Castro buildings for the Mistral kids will be about $20 million. That will allow for the potential of 450 at Mistral and 450 at Castro.

"while simultaneously decreasing the size of our 2 most desirable schools (Huff and Bubb) to 450 students?"

Not quite, the existing Huff, Bubb & Landels campuses facilities are actually just barely to properly support 450 kids NOW. It's only because of portable classrooms that have been added over the years to allow for enrollment growth beyond 450. The major facilities, like bathroom capacity, MUR building, administration, playgrounds, etc. are all barely acceptable for 450 kids and seriously undersized for 600.

The plan is to IMPROVE facilities at Huff, Bubb & Landels to the point where they all properly accommodate 450 in the major facilities and KEEPING the portable that are serviceable. In classrooms the schools will NOT be losing capacity.

By the way, the above also goes for Monta Loma, Theuerkauf & Stevenson, except that Monta Loma has some really bad portables that may need to go and Theuerkauf has plenty of rooms, but a too small MUR and Well, Nothing about the facilities comes even close to district standards now for even 300, let alone 450. No MUR or kitchen at all, for example.

"I know it's 450 for Mistral and 450 for Castro, but I believe that was a mistake"

No, the whole point of Dual Immersion at Mistral is to get 50% native Spanish-speaking kids and 50% native English-speaking kids. The Castro school neighborhood is the center of Spanish-speaking families, so putting Mistral there is perfect. Besides, Mistral grew out of Castro to begin with.

"If there is new data that shows Huff and Bubb need to be bigger and that students want to transfer OUT OF castro, why not change course?"

Ask Todd Lee about his calculations for what it would cost to build giant-sized schools at Huff & Bubb. The costs are NOT linear, they go up drastically as you increase the maximum enrollment. If we spent every dollar on expanding Huff & Bubb to meet the local desires, those would be the ONLY schools to get ANY improvements at all!

"Sure it will cost money to change the construction plans,"

You have no idea how much! The cost of delaying just ONE WEEK is well over $200,000 for every week of delay. We have already wasted the past 3 years of time we COULD have been building on political games by the Board & District.

"but won't we be back at the same place in a few years and have to spend ALOT more money if nothing is changed?"

No, much is being changed. We are expanding to 9 schools each with a MINIMUM capacity of 450 kids.

The best projections we have of future K-5 child population wanting into out public schools show we are doing the correct thing here. If the city of MV approves vast new child-friendly housing projects, then they will also need to allow space for additional schools near that housing.

"I think another thing that should be considered is moving Stevenson to the 900 student site."

So, put another 450 kids on the Castro school site?
YOU want to put 1350 kids at the Castro site?
That's nuts. The traffic around Castro is already terrible.
The Theuerkauf site is the most central site in the district and it has the most space available for 2 K-5 schools PLUS a pre-school PLUS the District Office.

"If there is so much demand, shouldn't that be accommodated with a larger campus?"

The current Stevenson campus is very badly inefficient in it's use of land. It's terribly over-crowded to fit the 400 kids we have now, but the NEW Stevenson campus as designed will properly fit 450 kids with all proper major facilities. The new Stevenson design is far more efficient in land use.

"It would also be much more centrally located"

Have you bothered to LOOK at a MAP????? Theuerkauf and Stevenson ARE NOW on the most central location!

"and then people from the Bubb and Huff neighborhoods would actually consider choosing it"

I know quite a few Stevenson families who live quite close to Huff and Bubb.

"Right now, it's just too far away."

No, Stevenson is right in the middle of the district where it is the most available to the most families.

I'm glad you understand that you don't have the background in all this.


27 people like this
Posted by Mistral DI Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 30, 2017 at 4:43 pm

It's become a well-known fact among parents in the Gabriel Mistral Dual Immersion program that Superintendent Rudolph is seeking to undermine the program by reducing Kindergarten admissions. This doesn't help when enrolling siblings of different ages and will effectively kill the Dual Immersion Choice Program within a few years. He has already gone on the record to teachers stating that he doesn't even know why the program exists. It's all part of his belief that choice programs that cater to and promote the upper end of student achievement don't belong in public schools. But this is what happens when the past board (Chiang and Co.) went out and sought a superintendent to deal with the achievement gap; the hired someone whose limited experience to begin with (none of it at the superintendent level) was to improve test scores at the lower end. Not hard to do exactly when you are starting so low to begin with.

The Board needs to have a long sit down with the supe and explain a few things to him. If he does shape up, show him to the door.


11 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 30, 2017 at 4:43 pm

@Common sense of Cuesta Park

"Yet one more example of why the Supe needs to go and why we need to replace the current board with more competent leaders."

Just to be clear, the PRIOR 2 superintendents made ZERO progress on what to do to solve anything related to enrollment or boundaries or construction. ALL the actual progress to accomplishing anything has happened under Rudolph. I grant you the TTO screw-up was really bad and made worse every time the District or Board members say anything about it, but that has ZERO to do with these issues.

And the Board of Trustees spent at least 4 years playing political games instead of doing their jobs to make a plan for the 9 schools. Instead years and millions got wasted BEFORE Rudolph got here.

"This problem has been apparent for years, and they've been unwilling to move with a sense of urgency.

Indeed, since at least since the SPIF of 2010 which said we needed $423 million to fix our schools. Rudolph was not here then. Other Supers were and accomplished nothing.

Now, of course, the Board was the main problem since they couldn't make up their dysfunctional minds to just go ahead and make 9 schools of 450 capaqcity. That's what the Board should have decided shortly after the passage of Measure G.

"The BATF discussions have been ongoing for far too long."

Because the Board wanted one outcome for political reasons, but the numbers didn't support it, so they scrapped the BATF results.

NOW, under Rudolph and with the Board finally agreeing to give us 9 schools of 450, the new SAATF is making true progress to suggest rational solutions.

"At this point, we don't need "all options" on the table"

We need short-term ideas ASAP to deal with the time between now and 2019. If the new Board does it's job as it seems they will (unlike prior Boards), then we will have a good set of boundaries for 2019 which will deal with the over-crowding problems. We need all options available for the short-term.

"All options" will just drag the process out."

The old Board, you would be correct, but this new Board may be able to function better.

Besides, remember the BATF did come to a clear result, but the old Board just tossed it out.

If the new Board is given options they don't like, they may just start brain-storming ideas on the fly with no in-depth study on the consequences.

That we don't want to happen!


4 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 30, 2017 at 5:00 pm

@Otto Maddox of Monta Loma

"Simple solution.. EXPAND Huff, Bubb, and Landels."

Simple-minded maybe. But we don't remotely have the money to expand those schools to the desired size of the moment. Costs drastically escalate when you try to expand those schools to those levels.

You want to give all the money to those schools and leave all the rest of the K-5 schools with no improvements?

That's NOT what the voters approved when they passed Measure G.

"We don't need an additional campus. We need to expand existing schools."

We do need another school, expanding the already over crowded schools is not a sustainable solution.

...

"But no.. let's focus on Slater.. with all the overhead associated with an additional campus."

I grant you that Slater will be the most expensive K-5 school in the district, but still, we need 9 schools now and may find we need another within a decade.


12 people like this
Posted by MV_Local_ECH_Nurse
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 30, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Tired of everyone harping on MV whisman school district. I grew up in this city and still love it. Went to Theuerkauf, Crittenden, Los Altos HS, UC Berkeley, Drexel University, and Emory University. Your kids will be OK as long as parents DO THEIR JOB.

Here's what needs to happen:

1. Stop inter-district transfers.
2. Go to your neighborhood school.
3. Or put your kid in a private school.


18 people like this
Posted by Wagon wheel kinder parent
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 30, 2017 at 5:17 pm

I'm fortunate that my child got into Mistral this year and we aren't in the Huff waitlist. I just find it hilarious that the Whisman and Dlater neighborhoods begged for years for a new school, and were told there were not enough students according to demographic studies. We told them they were crazy and a deluge of students was coming. Well it is here and Slater alone is not enough.


11 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 30, 2017 at 5:23 pm

@Cuesta Park Parent

"There are only two ways to solve the situation at Bubb and Huff:

1. Change the district boundaries to restrict the number of kids at these two schools."

Currently in the works to take effect for the fall of 2019 when Slater opens.

"2. Expand these two schools so they can handle all kids within their boundaries"

This was considered and the math done, but since the voters only gave us $198 million instead of the $423 million the district actually needed, we are limited in what we can actually do.

Expanding Huff, Bubb & Landels would use up all the Measure G money and leave the other schools with no improvements.

I can certainly see why someone from your area would be happy with that.

"Unfortunately, the board and superintendent haven't had the guts to make the decision to do this,"

The Board rejected the idea of 8 schools offered by the BATF.

The SAATF started out with the idea of 9 schools and that looks like it's going to work.

"pushing the decision off to the various Boundary committees"

So, you want such a political issue decided by edict from the Super?
Oh, yeah, that will fly with the public.

"and intermingling this issue with the decision to reopen Slater."

Boundaries are directly impacted by how many schools you have and where they are, so, yes, you must intermingle them.

"So they wait until the situation gets completely out of hand"

The Board wasted 4 years playing political games, nothing to do with Rudolph, before his time.

"and then Rudolph comes up with a list of 11 options:"

To deal with short-term problems until Slater opens.

"No-one mentions the fact that the "desired" 450 size for schools makes no sense."

It actually makes more sense than spending all the Measure G money only on Huff, Bubb & Landels and the rest of the schools get nothing.

Again, I can see why someone from your area is fine with that.

"If you start off with the max allowed K-3 size of 24, you get 3*24 = 72 kids per grade and you can't divide them very well in 4th and 5th..."

The problem is that kids are NOT just predictable cogs being churned out according to a manufacturing schedule at just the right mix of ages in all the right locations to fit the school size.

It's way more complex than that.

"So tell me why we're moving to 450 student schools???"

Because we don't have enough money to just pile up more kids in Huff & Bubb.


"Or why we didn't solve the Bubb/Huff overcrowding problem a long time ago?"

Because until Measure G, we had NO money to solve anything.

"Is it too much to ask to have a competent MVWSD Superintendent with some real leadership abilities?"

Whom would you suggest? Yourself?

OK, then lets just close all the K-5 schools and build a high-rise school on the Huff campus so all of the kids in Mountain View can say they go to Huff!


20 people like this
Posted by @ ST parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 5:40 pm

ST Parent,

WOW! You are on fire! But, don't wear yourself out. Don't you know that most of these people simply want to complain. They don't know the first thing about most of these issues. Their solution is to fire the Super...and complain more about the next one.

I appreciate how much you understand about the District and the history of the schools and boundaries. Clearly, you have done your homework over the years.

Thank you for being sanity in all this.

It is MOST surprising - ummm, no, change that to Disappointing to see Steve Nelson giving bad information. He was voted in as a School Board Trustee. He should have been learning. Instead he spent his time arguing which cost us money when our Super left. AND, we did not get anything done!


13 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 30, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

The district's well intended logistical aspirations to standardize school sizes has been the bane of school construction and boundaries conversations for several superintendents. It's time to retire the goal of uniform school sizes.

No nearby district has uniform student size across their schools. You'll find great learning happening in micro-schools of one class strand to large schools of five or more class strands. Mountain View neighborhood safe routes around schools are not standard in any way, nor or neighborhood densities, nor are school lot acreage.

While, I wish the district would do more to show parents how there are professionals leading each of the schools, this does not change that everyone should expect they can attend their neighborhood school, why else have a construction bond? Likewise, we should create boundaries to foster all of MV's neighborhoods, holding none more or less important than the other.

Most school districts with a five-year-old bond would be near done with construction, and planning the next one, if not already on to the next one. This long-term relationship needs to be built on solid trust and reciprocity. The board needs to take control of policy and align it with the community.

Your current board members are who represent you. Be actively involved, show up to meetings, serve on committees, and help fix things.


10 people like this
Posted by Easy Solution
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 7:15 pm

What's so hard, simply stop sending the northeast corner children to the school on the overcrowded schools all the way to the other side of town and instead send them to Theuerkauf for a few years and they can go to Slater when it opens.


10 people like this
Posted by Suggestions
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 7:16 pm

Since both Castro and Theurkauff are under-enrolled while the other schools are impacted, why not turn Castro into another PACT Choice school and re-route the existing Castro kids to Theurkauff? OR expand Stevenson PACT to the entire Theurkauff campus and send the existing Theurkauff kids to Castro?

And then, besides re-drawing logical geographical boundaries, stop all the nonsensical enrollment priorities and always prioritize neighborhood kids over others (i.e. stop the "once you're in, you're in" policy, send kids no longer living within the boundaries back to their home schools, stop sibling priority, allow neighborhood kids to bump intra-district transfers at any grade level and stop the policy of allowing kids of school staff to attend MV schools (if you want to attend a MV school you should be living within that school's boundaries and paying taxes here as is true for employees of any other business sector).


5 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 7:56 pm

Combining Castro and Theuerkauf in any way will kill both of the schools. They both already have quite a few disadvantages kids. If anything, both schools need more middle class families to improve their scores.


19 people like this
Posted by @ kinder parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm

"The elephant in the room here is the fact that this whole fight has a lot more to do with money, racism, and economic/class differences within Mountain View than anyone wants to admit."

Really? The racism card? Both Huff and Bubb are about 40% white which obviously equals 60% non-white. This isn't about money, racism, or class differences, this is about parents wanting the best education for their kids - something that most educated professionals want so it really isn't fair to accuse those parents of being racists or snobs.

It is naive to pretend that creating socioeconomic diversity within a classroom doesn't present problems. It's very difficult to teach a group of kids with vastly diverse abilities and backgrounds. Unless you have LOTS of extra staff within a classroom, inevitably kids at each end of the spectrum (or maybe mostly those in the middle) will be waiting on the other group, slowing the progress of all. Test scores indicate that the low socioeconomic group performs no better at the strongest schools than at the lowest performing schools so it isn't helping the kids at the bottom.

So don't be so quick to climb on your soap box. In addition to wanting their kids to attend a neighborhood school with their neighborhood friends, many parents aren't willing to let their kids be used as guinea pigs or test cases as they wait for a non-neighborhood school to improve.


14 people like this
Posted by Won't help
a resident of Gemello
on Mar 30, 2017 at 8:09 pm

@ Theuerkauf Parent:
Adding middle class families will improve the overall school scores at Castro and Theuerkauf but it won't improve the education of the disadvantaged kids so it's kind of meaningless. The populations at Castro and Theuerkauf are similar so the needs of the kids are similar. It makes more sense to put those kids together and develop specialized programs to try to bring the disadvantaged kids up to speed.


6 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 8:27 pm

@won't help
But what do we do with middle class families at both Theuerkauf and Castro? There are some; in fact, quite a few at Theuerkauf. Automatically enroll them in choice programs?
The solution you offer is not fair not just to disadvantaged kids who will lose their exemplary peer group. It is not fair to high performers who attend those schools.


12 people like this
Posted by Sick of MV parents complaining
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 30, 2017 at 8:34 pm

@Resident of Cuesta Park and @ST Parent and others....

As a long-time MV parent, I am so sick of everyone blaming the board and Sup't for every problem under the sun!! Sorry to inform you, but these are huge challenges and the sup't/board can't just snap his fingers and make magic happen overnight. Every solution has its pro/cons. Someone is always gonna complain. Bottom line is lack of money. The neighboring districts' parcel taxes are $700-800 range, while ours is measely $191, but even that is too much apparently for these people. Many of these problems have been brewing for quite a few years, atleast Rudolph/new board are trying to tackle it after coming on board. If you think they suck, maybe you should step up. Nahhhh....you all only know how complain and point fingers.


12 people like this
Posted by Shoreline West Parent
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 30, 2017 at 8:40 pm

I just have two things to say to all the parents who only want to send their kids to the "best" schools in Mtn View- we only have two middle schools, and two high schools. So, guess what, those kids you've been fighting to stay away from (the lower performing/ lower SES kids at Castro and Therakauf- they'll be with your kids either at Graham or Crittenden. Then they'll also be with your kids at Los Altos or Mtn View High.

So unless you plan on sending your kids to private school for middle school and high school, you better get your kids used to seeing kids who might not have such a privileged life. Or maybe our fair city will be so totally gentrified that you won't have to worry about these kids.


7 people like this
Posted by Oh Geez
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 30, 2017 at 8:41 pm

thank you ST Parent in Cuest Park and others for injecting some common sense into these non-sensical discussions. Agreed - past boards/supe's make Zero progress. where were the complainers then?? let's fire this super and then next one and next one.

cuz don't you know, there's a long line of experienced sup't professionals waiting in the wings to be the whipping boy by esteemed MV residents who can't even shell out a little bit of tax money for their schools.

good luck morons


3 people like this
Posted by Shoreline West Parent
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 30, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Yes, why not open a "choice" school for the under-performing students. Then extend Mistral or make the two schools no one wants to send their kids to into neighborhood schools that would rival the gold standard...Huff.


5 people like this
Posted by cue the tiny violin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 9:06 pm

"Keeping her options open by applying to private school"... just think, if all of the people who could afford to send their kids to private school did, seats would open up at the public schools for the kids who need them.


19 people like this
Posted by a parent
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 30, 2017 at 9:09 pm

One problem no one talks about: that people temporarily rent homes/apts zoned for Huff like Americana and then move next year to other cheaper areas in MV, but are still allowed to attend the original school they started at. We attend Huff and we know *a lot* of Huff families who live *no where* near the school. I am glad that this is finally being looked into by Dr. Rudolph and Co. and boundary task force and will probably change in the near future, but for now, some of these are the people who are displacing families who should be at Huff. Don't know why past boards/leaders didn't try to fix this before.


16 people like this
Posted by Cuesta Park resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 9:19 pm

It saddens me to hear that many children will be unable to attend their neighborhood school. How does the district verify residency of its students? Every day I look out my window at about 7:45am and see a vehicle pulling into the driveway of a neighbor's house a couple doors down. Mom or dad piles out of the vehicle, along with 2 elementary school age children and a little one. Out of the house comes grandmother/grandfather, who then take the older two and walk them down to Bubb School. Could they be granted attendance in the district? Yeah, perhaps. Or not. If not, there's 2 student spaces being denied to neighborhood children, with a third student space being used in a couple years.


21 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 9:27 pm

Yes, I agree, MVWSD is about the only district I know that doesn't ask for verification/proof of address every year. Let alone home visits and checks.


5 people like this
Posted by won't help
a resident of Gemello
on Mar 30, 2017 at 9:27 pm

@ Theuerkauf Parent:
The PACT program is extremely popular. Opening up more PACT options would do a lot to even out the enrollment because I'm guessing that many middle class families at Theurekauf and Castro would welcome the opportunity to attend PACT as would families from Huff, Bubb and Landels. It also might improve the impaction at Huff and Bubb because the reason enrollment is so high at those schools is because that's where all the parents want to buy their homes (because of the schools).

As is mentioned in a post above, in looking at school scores, the disadvantaged kids don't seem to be benefiting from their exemplary peer group as their scores aren't any higher than in schools in the lowest socioeconomic neighborhoods. By offering another PACT program, the high performing kids could move from Castro or Theuerkauf to PACT.

@ Shoreline West Parent:
When kids move to middle and high school they're tracked so will be in classes with kids with more similar abilities. Therefore less impacted by diverse abilities within a small classroom with a single teacher trying to teach at different levels.


13 people like this
Posted by Easy solution
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 30, 2017 at 9:31 pm

I'm not surprised this is happening at all. We have enough classrooms for all the kids, Theurekauf and Monta Loma sit half empty!

Many families in those neighborhoods apply to choice programs, and if they don't get in, they move... to Huff and Bubb! Duh. Of course those schools are now full.

Maybe instead of spending loads of dough on opening another school, we could have used that money to add an interesting program to the empty half that would have attracted more middle and upper class students to attend those school. A STEM focused program would have brought a lot of people in, I bet. Maybe even a Chinese immersion program like other districts have. Then those schools would be just as highly rated as Huff and Bubb and we would have much more even enrollment and space for all our kids to attend the schools they choose, either a neighbrood or choice program.

It's almost too easy.


14 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:19 pm

I might be wrong, but my impression was that you can't just "open" a choice program. There needs to be an enthusiastic group of parents and educators who make this happen.

As for the benefit of middle class and disadvantaged kids being together. Life is so much broader than test scores. Disadvantaged kids see examples of love of learning, college aspirations, visit the homes where kids have lots of books, educational toys, and such. Middle class students learn that they are privileged in so many ways, and "these poors" are really their neighbors and friends who deserve compassion.
I don't deny difficulties of teaching to academically diverse groups. But this can be solved by giving extra money to schools specifically to hire additional aides and teachers. Segregation is not the answer.


8 people like this
Posted by @Sick of MV parents complaining
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:19 pm

YOU CLEARLY DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!!! The board and superintendent is highly over-payed. A salary > 500k is more than what most surgeons make. In fact, the board is asking for MORE all the time while haven't even established a PLAN yet. How are they going to do anything without a simple plan? Any why are they asking for more money to fund these schools? Because the money is directly going INTO THEIR SALARIES AND LEAVING ALL THESE KIDS IN MOLDY CLASSROOMS, TWIDDLING THEIR THUMBS AND LEAVING PARENTS CONCERNED!!


3 people like this
Posted by Shoreline West Parent
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:22 pm

@won't help- the only subject they track at middle school is math.


8 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:24 pm

Also, as we can see with both Stevenson and Mistral, once the choice programs get up to speed, they tend to separate themselves from the initial "mother" schools... and the latter (being in less demand than ever) are left in the dust...
I hope that as fewer and fewer middle class parents are afraid of sending their kids to Monta Loma and Theuerkauf, and as the demographics continue to change, the enrollment will even out somewhat...


10 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:49 pm

In response to: Posted by @Sick of MV parents complaining
a resident of Cuesta Park

you think supe is paid $500K!?!

And someone correct me if I'm wrong...but doesn't board earn only a stipend, and not any type of salary?? Essentially its volunteering.

And they are not asking "for more money". They are are asking to renew the same funding that has been there for last 8-10 years + inflation.

And...they do have a plan. As a matter of fact, ayinde was the first one to get a strategic plan going, something the previous ones failed to do.

Where do you get your info? Bureau of ignorant BS? Maybe Trump's white house has a place for your "alternative facts". Certainly struggling MV students don't need this


16 people like this
Posted by um
a resident of Slater
on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:52 pm

@ @Sick of MV parents complaining

I think you'll find the board is on considerably less than $500k a year. I believe it's closer to $250 a month as per Education Code 35120. You can say what you like about the board, and folks who run for the board each term, but none of them are in it for the money.

The superintendent's salary is well documented on the mv-voice. It's closer to ~$230K a year.


9 people like this
Posted by Orka
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 30, 2017 at 11:09 pm

1. Huge surplus in Mountain View budget ($13 000 000) was allocated for bonuses for existing staff and 20 new staffers: Web Link

2. Mountain View school district now has virtually no residence validation to help kids from oppressed or undocumented families. I wonder if this has something to do with soaring admission rates.

3. Mountain View council freely spending Mountain View budget money on suing Mountain View property owners (this is not a joke, MT View council are actually spending tax money collected from MT View property owners to sue MT View property owners): Web Link

4. Mountain View elected council: Web Link

5. Recreation Supervisor
Recruitment No. 25986
Job Title: Recreation Supervisor
Agency: City of Mountain View
Location: South Bay
Job Category: Recreation
Open Date: Wed, 11 May 2016
Close Date: Tue, 24 May 2016 5:00 PM PST
Control Point Salary: $84,623.00 - $105,779.00 Annually

NICE...


11 people like this
Posted by Patrick Neschleba
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 30, 2017 at 11:34 pm

Please check your reporting. Monta Loma had 10 kids on the kinder waitlist as of a couple days ago, compared to the 5 families referenced for Landels... we're not even getting some siblings of current students in. And yet you write a story about how Bubb/Huff/Landels are the high demand schools... hmmm.


13 people like this
Posted by Common sense
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 8:05 am

@ST parent: You're right about the ineffectiveness of the prior boards and supes. That does not change the fact that the current supe has been here for a year, and in that year has focused his attention on a few non-urgent areas, hiding the ball from parents when questioned (see, e.g., TTO), and preparing propaganda to support the parcel tax (which, for the avoidance of doubt, I am in favor of - just not in favor of district funds being used for this purpose). Let's not make excuses for him just because he may be marginally better than those here before him. The overcrowding issue was clear from Day One when he showed up and, until parents once again spoke up with outrage, he did nothing to actually get in front of the issue.

I'll grant you that he has launched surveys and studies that may someday have a positive impact, but thus far, he has accomplished nothing.


6 people like this
Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2017 at 8:17 am

@ Patrick Neschleba - are those 10 kids on the wait list Monta Loma neighborhood kids? Or are they intra-district transfer kids from Castro or Theierkauf that are hoping to get into Monta Loma as an alternative to their home schools?


5 people like this
Posted by Lilia
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 8:56 am

I am not sure why re-drawing school boundaries is the accepted solution. What about all those people who bought their ridiculously overpriced homes in hopes that their children would be going to the good schools the neighborhoods were zoned for? Redrawing the boundaries at this point would simply mean that all those families have been deceived. Is that really a good solution, and would it really achieve anything? It's a much larger problem that needs to be addressed at a global level, instead of putting patches which will likely make many people unhappy.


8 people like this
Posted by Easy solution
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 31, 2017 at 9:02 am

@Theurekauf parent

You are probably right, the district shares those views that you can't just open a choice program, but I would ask, why the heck not?!! The district has years of documented, official requests for Stevenson that they have not been able to accommodate in the form of years of ridiculous waitlist and frustrated parents.

I'm already incredibly busy, we both work full time, sit in traffic, I have to prepare healthy meals for my kids, take them to school events and other activities, make sure we all get exercise and lots of sleep, and help with homework, take care of elderly parents, and on and on.

Now on top of all that I'm expected to have to lobby my school district to get additional space in a popular program in order for them to find a way to accommodste families on the waitlist?! That's ridiculous! Why can't they start the process themselves given the obvious demand??

Start a Stevenson type program at Theurekauf school, a school within a school that plenty of other districts do. All you need is to hire a teacher willing to do project based learning and parents willing to volunteer. It's really not rocket science people.


10 people like this
Posted by Stats?
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 31, 2017 at 9:19 am

@ Orka

I may be wrong, but I think you are getting the MV council confused with MVWSD school district while citing your statistics above.


10 people like this
Posted by Bubb parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 9:24 am

Option 5 of the PowerPoint, the first 'con' is: 'doesn't relieve enrollment pressure on Bubb and Huff'. This district really needs lessons is how to identify an issue, generate solutions, and problem solve for the particular issue. The issue is over enrollment at bubb and Huff. No other solutions should be vetted that don't address the core issue. As a person who worked at large corporations for many years, I knew how to identify issues and subsequent strategies by the time I was 30. What is wrong with these people? Do they need a facilitator to come in and show them how to problem solve and prioritize for issues? I could help them for free... but they will probably want to hire some educational consultant who is $50,000, to tell them why the issues are....SMH


9 people like this
Posted by Everyone's busy
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 31, 2017 at 9:27 am

@ Easy Solution

"I'm already incredibly busy, we both work full time, sit in traffic, I have to prepare healthy meals for my kids, take them to school events and other activities, make sure we all get exercise and lots of sleep, and help with homework, take care of elderly parents, and on and on..."

I hear ya, but I believe the school board members are all volunteering their time. And I'm sure they also have full-time jobs, kids to feed, parents to take care of, etc...." So its hard for me to get on the band wagon of bash them all while suggesting there "easy solutions" for everything on comments section. There are usually never as easy as they sound. There are always pro/cons to each solution and always the fact that someone is gonna be unhappy. And these guys are always gonna be blamed and scapegoated no matter what. I for one would not sit on the board even you paid me a million dollars!!! The stress and hate from all sides would kill me.


16 people like this
Posted by over it
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 31, 2017 at 10:14 am

How about stop letting MV district employees who do not live in MV enroll their kids into overpopulated schools.. If they want their kids in MV schools then have them go to schools that do not have wait lists or in the district where they live? I know some teachers live outside of MV and their kids got to Bubb and Huff because they teach or work there. Their kids should only be allowed into their preferred school if there is room AFTER neighborhood kids. That would open some spots at Bubb and Huff.



18 people like this
Posted by Hang on...
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 31, 2017 at 11:15 am

@ over it

I think it is pretty misguided to not allow children of teachers/principals to attend that teachers school. You need to look at the bigger picture. Firstly there are not very many of these cases. 2ndly, MVWSD has been losing good teachers and has high teacher turn over rate compared to other districts for many years. This is well-documented. Teachers do not make enough to live in many decent parts of Mt. View so they have to commute from other cities. So you really want a teacher to drive 30- 40 minutes in morning commute and then drop off their kids at some other school in MV and then still has to make it to their own school 7:15am-ish....that somehow just doesn't sound right to me.

If you take away this incentive, the good teachers will move on to other districts where the pay is on par or better and they can live near their schools and their children can go with them.... and we will be stuck with the bottom of the heap teachers. Believe me we have had a couple bottom of the heap teachers who no one else would have hired but we had no choice because most of the good applicants accepted offers elsewhere. A good/bad teacher can make or break a classroom.


4 people like this
Posted by Nora
a resident of Bailey Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 11:16 am

I really think a market solution might be best here. We should carve out some percentage of the 450 total (maybe 1/3), and offer those slots at auction. It's an excellent way for the school to raise money and for more eligible families to get their children into the Whisman School District.


14 people like this
Posted by Surprised
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2017 at 11:39 am

I have to say that I am a bit surprised that so many families are shocked they didn't get into their neighborhood school. When we were searching our home in Mt. View many years ago, we asked about the neighborhood school and the realtors would name the school but said can't guarantee placement and to call the district. Our realtor told us same too, that some schools in Mt View are impacted and thus no gaurantees. I was well aware of these issues long ago and I think that either home buyers are not asking right questions or not doing enough research before buying a home, or the realtors are not being informative. Like I said I'm slightly surprised that these people had no idea Mt view schools were crowded - a google search or call to district would have helped, although I still don't blame them for being frustrated.


11 people like this
Posted by Might be a solution
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2017 at 1:36 pm

What about leaving the boundaries as is, and undo any intra-district transfers. Whatever their boundaries are now- that's where your kid will go and do not allow anyone to transfer out of their neighborhood schools. If someone is not happy with having to go to Castro or Theurekauf, then they should have priority to Mistral or PACT.

It's not very fair to the teachers to not allow them to send their kids to the schools where they teach. Where the heck are they going to put their kids at 7:30 when they have to get to school, and how the heck are they supposed to pick up their kids when most stay after school finishing their work? It's bad enough they can't live in Mountain View, and I'm sure the numbers are not that great that it makes a huge difference.

The thing that does make a difference is kids who don't live in the area who are dropped off by parents to go to our good schools. Other people have mentioned this and I think that policing the addresses to make sure no one gets into a neighborhood school who doesn't deserve to go there is the only way to address this problem. Also, the issue with renting in an area just to get into a school is an issue. If that family moves- they need to put their kids into their neighborhood school.




6 people like this
Posted by @Easy Solution
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2017 at 1:51 pm


"Start a Stevenson type program at Theurekauf school, a school within a school that plenty of other districts do. All you need is to hire a teacher willing to do project based learning and parents willing to volunteer. It's really not rocket science people."


You can be the first volunteer to get that started. Thank you for future your efforts!


11 people like this
Posted by Easy solution
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 31, 2017 at 2:17 pm

@ "@Easy solution"

You've missed my point entirely. Parents shouldn't have to start a program or school themselves. That's what we have district staff for. The fact that so many of us just assume that the only way things get done in the district is through parents doing it themselves shows just how bad things have gotten.

It should be obvious to district staff through years with hundreds of families on the waitlist at all grade levels that people desire another school like Stevenson. We shouldn't have to "lobby" for that, it's pretty obvious!

This would have helped to alleviate overcrowding at Huff and Bubb naturally with no need to redraw lines.


5 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 31, 2017 at 2:21 pm

@Theuerkauf parent

"Also, as we can see with both Stevenson and Mistral, once the choice programs get up to speed, they tend to separate themselves from the initial "mother" schools... and the latter (being in less demand than ever) are left in the dust..."

Get your FACTS STRAIGHT!
PACT did NOT willingly "separate" from it's "mother school" Slater!
PACT families fought with all they had to keep Slater OPEN and stay there.
The MV-Voice archives contain extensive information about how hard PACT tried to save Slater from closing.
The Board in 2004/2005 force the closure of Slater and decided to throw PACT across to the opposite side of the district to the already badly over-crowded Castro campus.

Then, when the situation at Castro became desperate, the Board decided in 2008 to rush the renovation of the OLD (as in 1964 built) Stevenson campus for a mere $2 million (making Stevenson by far the cheapest school in the district) to remove PACT from Castro to relieve the desperate over-crowding.

PACT did NOT ask to leave Slater, PACT did NOT ask to leave Castro.
The Board made all these decisions.
The record is clear and publicly available to anyone on these facts.

Once at Stevenson, the PACT families fought hard to stay put rather than being closed and moved to a fourth location.

It was the BOARD who failed to deal with boundaries when they should have to keep the enrollment for the remaining schools balanced properly.


3 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 31, 2017 at 2:29 pm

@ @Sick of MV parents complaining of Cuesta Park

You made nearly the most ironic opening line of any post I've ever read!

"YOU CLEARLY DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!!!"

It's ironic because nothing you have written below is factual.

I've been paying close attention and going to the meetings for 4+ years and I know you're wildly wrong about the salary claims you made AND dead-wrong about the lack of a plan. In fact for the first time in a dozen years we finally have a true 5-year plan AND we finally have a plan on how to renovate ALL 9 school campuses to meet modern standards.

You are wrong about everything!

" The board and superintendent is highly over-payed. A salary > 500k is more than what most surgeons make. In fact, the board is asking for MORE all the time while haven't even established a PLAN yet. How are they going to do anything without a simple plan? Any why are they asking for more money to fund these schools? Because the money is directly going INTO THEIR SALARIES AND LEAVING ALL THESE KIDS IN MOLDY CLASSROOMS, TWIDDLING THEIR THUMBS AND LEAVING PARENTS CONCERNED!!"


26 people like this
Posted by Pact guy calm down
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 31, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Seriously, you sound deranged.


6 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 31, 2017 at 2:39 pm

@Shoreline West Parent

"Yes, why not open a "choice" school for the under-performing students. Then extend Mistral"

The problem with Mistral is that the program relies on a near 50%/50% split between native Spanish speakers and native English speakers. The difficulty is NOT in finding English speakers, it's in convincing Native Spanish speakers to be willing to attend Mistral. It may sound counter-intuitive, but go ask the principal of Mistral. IF Mistral can convince more Spanish speakers to attend Mistral, then they can expand to 450 kids total.

"or make the two schools no one wants to send their kids to into neighborhood schools that would rival the gold standard...Huff. "

Those schools have good plans in place to improve the performance of their kids, they just need time to let the plans work.


4 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 31, 2017 at 2:57 pm

@Sick of MV parents complaining of Monta Loma

@Resident of Cuesta Park and @ST Parent and others....

Please don't include me in your group gripe.
I think the Parcel tax should be much higher, even though it would impact myself, I just know what the surveys have shown that the voters will support by the required 60% vote.

We the voters gave the Board and past Supers $198 million to build schools and the Board let 4 YEARS slide by with ZERO plan as to how to spend it!

I do blame past Superintendents for their utter failure to get their jobs done.
I do blame the Board members of the past for their failures too.

I think Rudolph really messed up on TTO and keeps making that issue worse every time he speaks about it, but on getting real plans done and on getting the schools and district examined and on getting a workable plan for 9 schools done and on execution of plans, I give him credit for doing his job.

So, don't include me in your gripe.

"As a long-time MV parent, I am so sick of everyone blaming the board and Sup't for every problem under the sun!! Sorry to inform you, but these are huge challenges and the sup't/board can't just snap his fingers and make magic happen overnight. Every solution has its pro/cons. Someone is always gonna complain. Bottom line is lack of money. The neighboring districts' parcel taxes are $700-800 range, while ours is measely $191, but even that is too much apparently for these people. Many of these problems have been brewing for quite a few years, atleast Rudolph/new board are trying to tackle it after coming on board. If you think they suck, maybe you should step up. Nahhhh....you all only know how complain and point fingers."


23 people like this
Posted by @ ST Parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2017 at 3:12 pm

Seriously, give it a rest! Insulting every other person posting here may give you a rush, but it leaves the rest of us just shaking our heads and gives Stevenson PACT a bad reputation.

How many emails do you get from fellow PACT families asking you to stop posting (or have they given up)?

And what's with your love affair with the Superintendent? "In fact for the first time in a dozen years we finally have a true 5-year plan AND we finally have a plan on how to renovate ALL 9 school campuses to meet modern standards."

The 5-year plan is a fluff-piece, as acknowledged in the last Study Session, is overly ambitious with totally unrealistic goals. We will see how the new campuses turn out. As others have pointed out, it's stupid to require that they all be of equal (450 student) capacity.

I guess you're just happy that Stevenson is finally being renovated so you don't like other people pointing out Rudolph's incompetence. I can just imagine what the reaction would be if I started listing a bunch of "not viable options" in my next meeting. Doesn't seem to bother you!


7 people like this
Posted by Suggestions
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 4:56 pm

@Hang On and @Might be a Solution

I am thoroughly confused by your rationale for allowing teachers and staff (that don't live within the neighborhood boundaries) to send their kids to the school where they work.
"Firstly there are not very many of these cases". How many are "not many"? There are neighborhood kids at different grade levels that can't attend their schools. Removing a teacher's kid might let the neighborhood kid in.

As for teachers not being able to afford to live in Mountain View, join the club. Their are folks in every profession (doctors, nurses, engineers, salespeople, administrative help, plumbers, construction workers, police officers, fire fighters (I could obviously go on for days)that work in Mountain View but can't afford to live here. What makes teachers more special than those from any other sector? These other professionals and non-professionals have to drop their kids off for school in their OWN neighborhoods (yes, in the morning!!) and then commute into MV to work. And yes, they have to drive home then pick the kids up after school too! That's life - not every employee that works in an affluent city can afford to live there.

As for losing teachers because their kids can't attend our schools, I don't think we need to worry about it. Huff and Bubb are desirable schools in which to work and the MV teachers are not under paid relative to their peers in surrounding cities. I'm sure MVWSD can effectively hire new teachers if those that have to place their kids in their own neighborhood schools quit.

And by the way, it's not just teachers kids that get to attend their parents schools- it's all staff.


5 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 5:38 pm

This hard public policy decision - is exactly why local legislative bodies, like the school Board, are locally elected.
FIRST, I think the Superintendent and his staff came up with 11 interesting Options. If the new Board President is any soft of legislative craftsman (cross your fingers and pray), this two year problem will be discussed, debated, winnowed down and "the direction of the Board" will sent the staff down the path chosen by the representatives of the people. The elected representatives of the people (need I mention again that this is local?)
The Facilities Committee (set up by Sup. Skellly and answering to a construction consultant Mr. Lee) came up with a consistent set of Points- most of which were adopted by the Board {thank you so much P. Neschlebe and the other on the subcommittee)/ As this committee learned, explained and incorporated into their thinking (ST Parent correct) there was never enough money in Bond Measure to build out Bibb, Huff and Landels to each hold 650 students in permanent facilities. The Board made it's policy clear - no trailers!! (and !) The Board also made it's policy clear (majority vote is as 'clear' as it gets) the North East Quadrant of the district gets a school! {policy, and direction given to the administration)/.
The BATF set up perviously by Sup. Goldman and under the control of his CBO (and definitely not under the professional demographer consultants) did a job (sorry Mr. Crink) that was a failure in the opinion of the elected representatives of the people, the Board. The current Attendance Task Force (set up by Sup. Rudolph) is following 'the direction of the Board'. Slater will be the neighborhood elementary school in the North East Quadrant, a different set of demographers is in control as consultants and confirms - student population growth expected in NE Quadrant!
Listen - I think Dr. Rudolph has set things up reasonably. It's a public policy question - as intense and complicated as North Bayshore development. Chris Chiang's 'vasty different size & facilities' current opinion has been rejected before. Since when does whole stack of NE quadrant parents always get WAITLISTED - by being forced to do across the district to get an elementary school for their kids? That is about as 'brown' and unfair a proposition as you can make - I think it still should be rejected.

- THE ELEPHANT. Yes it is true. Huff 'gaming' needs to be stopped by Public Policy. And maybe a 'random admit 1/4 needs to be set up - (or something else). I think Randolph made an excellent Tactical call - that swamp gets waded into AFTER the "neighborhood school" boundaries are fixed (cas' Mr. Chiang and Mr. Crink- many think they are now truly broken.)

SN is a recent MVWSD Trustee


16 people like this
Posted by Might Be a Solution
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2017 at 6:56 pm

@Suggestion- you cannot compare what teachers make to professionals who can afford $1M+ homes in Mtn View. Let's just call it a perk of the job- just like Google employees get to ride a free shuttle that causes wear and tear on our streets and clogs up traffic making it a nightmare to get anywhere in this city.

I have no idea what the numbers are but I personally see no problem with school teachers and employees getting to send their kids to school here.


6 people like this
Posted by Suggestions
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 8:18 pm

@ Might be a Solution - teachers are hardly the lowest paid profession in Silicon Valley (salaries range from $56K -$104K for 3/4 year so equivalent to $75K -$139K) but their salaries are irrelevant. The fact is that most people that work in Mountain View can't afford to live there and are commuting and teachers aren't a "special class" of citizens that are more deserving of perks than other sectors. I'm sure that all the employees at El Camino Hospital would love to drop their kids off at Huff since it's practically across the street from where they work but that's not allowed - those employee's kids go to school in the neighborhoods where they live. Bottom line is that school staff kids shouldn't be displacing neighborhood kids because the schools are intended to accommodate neighborhood kids!

And as for those Google buses, each bus replaces 50-70 cars. Would you prefer they stop the bussing and put the cars on the road? Would that ease congestion?


4 people like this
Posted by @ Steve Nelson
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2017 at 9:33 pm

Do you understand why 450 was chosen as the "ideal" school size?

Also, perhaps they couldn't be expanded, but why not keep Bubb and Huff at about 580?


5 people like this
Posted by Might Be a Solution
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2017 at 9:58 pm

@Suggestion- Kinder teacher at Landels-$66,542.40
Kinder teacher at Almond- $91,214.
Kinder teacher at Barron Park- $ 70,718

Not sure how long the other teaches have been at it, but the teacher from Landels has been teaching for over 20 years...so no, salaries are not competitive with our neighboring school districts.

Maybe I just have more respect for the people teaching our kids (and staff). Luckily, I don't see that perk ever going away. Considering the age of most teachers and staff, I think you're wasting your energy getting mad at the wrong group.

If they didn't offer the buses those people would probably be riding the train to work.


12 people like this
Posted by Bubb parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 11:23 pm

@Steve Nelson:

please stop commenting. Your comments are not solutions oriented and you are no longer on the board.

Also: commenters that suggest eliminating school district employees and teachers from priority attendance for their children at our schools. Seriously? Are you really suggesting that? I want you to stop and think about that.

These are the people that you expect to give 110% effort to your kids' learning endeavors. And be paid 1/4 or less of what you make to do it. Do you really want them to have to pay for child care and send their kid to another far away school, in another far away district, so they can live in a home they can afford to buy? Do you really want them to have less incentive to make their school a great school? And finally ,do you really believe that a teacher puts up with uppity parents like you and get to school at 7:30 am or earlier because they don't love what they do and have your child's interests at heart?

I think this whole discussion unveils the elephant in the room that a very early poster mentioned. Get your priorities straight, identify the issues, and problem solve only for the issue at hand. And don't be an elitist.


7 people like this
Posted by Suggestions
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 11:36 pm

@ Might be a Solution
Salaries aren't based on the grade they teach - they're based on their education and length of service with the district. I took the salary range straight from this year's MVWSD site as the salary ranges are published. But again, I'm not sure what your point is as attendance at a neighborhood school is not linked to income.
"Maybe I just have more respect for the people teaching our kids (and staff)"
More respect than for whom? Than the hospital staff that cares for our children when in need? Than the police and firefighters that protect us? Than the Starbucks barista that happily serves us our morning coffee? There are many deserving people that work in Mountain View, that's indisputable. But neighborhood schools are designed to provide education for neighborhood kids. And when it becomes more important for a school staff's kid to attend a neighborhood school than for a neighborhood kid to attend, we have a problem.


6 people like this
Posted by Bubb parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 11:46 pm

@ Suggestions:

I just reread all your posts. looking at you Suggestions.

Seriously you sound very intolerant and appear to lack any sort of empathy for MV teachers. I'm guessing you don't have a kid at one of the MVWSD schools. Or else there is no way you could look your kid's teacher in the eye and say what you are saying on this webpage. Please stop and think about what you are saying. Please ride your corporate bus back to SF


13 people like this
Posted by Suggestions
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 1, 2017 at 12:02 am

@ Bubb Parent -
1. Identify the issue: The issue is that there is not enough room in the neighborhood schools to accommodate all the neighborhood kids.
2. Problem solve for only the issue at hand: How do we create more room for the neighborhood kids? We remove the kids that don't live in the neighborhood.

You live in Cuesta Park and since you're a Bubb parent you obviously have a child attending Bubb. Would you be willing to give up YOUR spot at Bubb and send YOUR child to Castro school to make room for a staff member's kid? Because that's what it boils down to. Think about that before you start calling other people elitist. And if you feel that strongly that you would, be magnanimous and give up your spot! Be the change you'd like to see...


8 people like this
Posted by Suggestions
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 1, 2017 at 12:19 am

@ Bubb parent:
And there we have it. You don't agree with my opinion so you attack me personally. I believe that neighborhood kids should have first priority at a neighborhood school and that makes me intolerant, unempathetic, elitist and apparently a Googler?


5 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 1, 2017 at 5:52 am

Why 450 students per neighborhood school (nominal)?

(2) solving the problem at hand; limited $ for facilities: $198M Bond and not SFIP calculation of $423M, an un-schooled neighborhood ("Quadrant") of the district: Slater-Whisman, 3 schools originally with permanent building facilities for 450 (Bubb, Huff, Landels), a Board decision to build "permanent" and not with "temporary portable classrooms" (the very leaky Bubb ones for instance)
Web Link [portable leaks '15]
Web Link [originally from 2000]

There are currently, 300 students per school day crossing over El Camino to the Bubb & Huff overcrowded (Temporary Portable classrooms!) campuses. There are currently about 600 elementary students ( exact #s?), from the Slater-Whisman area (North-East Quadrant) moving daily out of that neighborhood to elementary schools in other neighborhoods. Landels has been "busting at the seams" (former Principal to her parent's PTA meeting).

Mr. Chiang mentioned that 450 students (or any other school-size) is not magical (research shows). Somehow - administrative people in MVWSD have come to the contrary conclusion that 450 represents "3 strands" and that is somehow a magical # of 3 teachers per grade (minimum). There is NO MAGIC to 450 in terms of educational (academic score) outcome.
Web Link ["base facility standard"]

(2) solving the problem at hand [not for the last 50 years - or the next 100!]

Mr. Chiang and I have been commenting on public issues for decades now. Relative newcomer Cleave Frink has also (under his own name) been commenting on public issues he has studied. I think we all choose to continue!


4 people like this
Posted by Maybe a Solution
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 1, 2017 at 7:05 am

@Bubb Parent-
Thank you! This is the problem we have today and this is what Mtn. View has become unfortunately!

Send all the kids back to their neighborhood schools and stop the transfers, that is the problem. Unless you know the numbers for kids belonging to staff stop making that an issue. Since it seems like such a bone of contention with you- do something about it.


17 people like this
Posted by LASD parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2017 at 9:58 am

Tell Mtn. View City Council to stop permitting high-density housing! MVCC is causing great harm to MVSD, LASD, and MVLA Unified High School District (i.e. our kids). Mtn. View City Council creates a terrible overcrowding problem that causes MV & Los Altos kids to not be able to go to their neighborhood schools. And it creates traffic problems. It's particularly unfair that MVCC harms LASD families by allowing high-density housing in the MV-city sections of LASD which can be advertised as "Los Altos Schools" and sold at higher prices. Los Altos residents can do nothing about MVCC's assault on LASD's schools.


7 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Once again, we argue different arguments about the same issues, Over and Over. Mr. Nelson and Mr. Chiang, former board members, happily continue to contribute ideas. Too bad they did not work together very well on the board to work their ideas into practical solutions. For newer folks here in town, or those who were not paying attention: Limiting each school to students from that "neighborhood" partially defeats the goal of reducing the achievement gap. Our kids went to Theuerkauf long ago because they could walk. They walked because we bought a home where the local school children spoke 27 different languages at home. We knew that because we interviewed the principal before we bought. Similarly, students will do better when interacting with many different kinds of fellow students every day. The world ahead is not homogenous, don't send your child to a homogenous school, just because you bought there based on real estate data about schools. Well defined policies and logical attendance boundaries should be our goal district wide.


7 people like this
Posted by YIMBU
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2017 at 12:47 pm

@LASD Parent

We're not a tiny quiet suburb anymore. This entire region is growing and it's going to continue growing. Building high density is what ever Bay Area city needs to start doing, along with infrastructure expansions including more schools.


13 people like this
Posted by @ Chiang and Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 1, 2017 at 1:48 pm

It is not the administration that set the limit at 450. They asked for a range of 450-600 and it was you, the Board, who refused to allow that range. Review the minutes and you will see that is accurate. Neither of you were top notch Board members so stop with the comments as if you are an expert.


4 people like this
Posted by Megan's Law
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 1, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Have you ever looked at the Megan's Law website and the police department's crime map? Almost all the locations are on the other side of el camino. I'm sorry if you choose to live there, but I don't want to send my little girl over there.


19 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 1, 2017 at 7:15 pm

@ Megan's Law:

It is a challenge to offer this response, I am responding to your implication, please try to forgive me if I cut too close. I have lived within 300 yds of the MVWSD office for 25 years. That means Theuerkauf, Stevenson and Crittenden are all within easy reach. Most of our population, and most of our schools are north of El Camino, so: Either you are elitist and believe your daughter deserves better than mine did. OR you are delusional and misinterpreting the facts. Mountain View is a fairly safe community, but we obviously have some income stratification from one side of town to the other. You do realize, in Middle School and High School your daughter will need to deal with both parents and fellow students from "North of El Camino", right. We choose to start that earlier rather than later, and our daughter has benefited in her teaching career, teaching students from across the Socio-Economic spectrum.


7 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 1, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Laughable , "give pact a bad name' it's the pact that year after year cause problems for this district . The big elephant no one dares talk about.


14 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 1, 2017 at 8:45 pm

@Megan's Law
Your "little girl" will most likely hangout with my kid, on my side of the tracks. Probably have fun because we don't judge. The haves and have nots. Just being real.
How deprived are you.


10 people like this
Posted by @ Megan's Law
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2017 at 9:13 pm

Wow. I have a little girl too, and while I wish I could wrap her in bubble wrap for the rest of her life I know that's not what's good for her.

I hope they let you segregate at your elementary school so she's safe there.

You know Megan's Law keeps predators far from all schools, right? Have you read the law? It's a good one.


5 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2017 at 7:07 am

@Old Steve
Since you lived it, do you mind sharing what happened to Theuerkauf that reduced it's student population from 5 to 2 classrooms per grade (at least in lower grades), and the number of languages spoken by students at home to maybe 3-4?
And, thank you to your daughter for her work with our kids. I don't know what school she works at, but what I have seen in our school- teachers going above and beyond- makes me so grateful.

I also meant to reply to a PACT parent above thread - sorry,
I didn't know that PACT was moved and hasn't orchestrated that move.


5 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2017 at 7:19 am

I also wouldn't be all up in arms about the pearl clutching poster (s)- this attitude is much more widespread than people realize.
I sort of get it, living in a million dollar house in a neighborhood where the public school was a 4 until recently (it is now a 6 on GS), not fun! Just like having to drive to another school when your neighborhood one is overcrowded. It's bad but I really don't see any solutions but two: instilling strict residence checks (it will help all schools, not just the top performing ones), and being committed to one's neighborhood school and being the change you want to see as someone said on this thread. Slater will relieve some of the overcrowding but I am thinking that school won't be on par with Huff and Bubb for a while, so not many parents from these schools are going to willingly send their kids there, which kind of defeats the purpose without solutions 1 and 2.


5 people like this
Posted by LASD parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2017 at 6:23 pm

@YIMBU:
There is no need for MVCC to turn Mountain View into an overcrowded, traffic-plagued, polluted area (like New York City) by permitting more and more high-density housing. Other area cities (like Los Altos Hills) have chosen to preserve their quality of life by preventing high-density housing. It's easy to create high-density housing, but it's impossible to create more land for parks, golf courses, open-spaces, etc.


3 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 2, 2017 at 7:50 pm

The school district did WHAT with Whisman School?


3 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:10 pm

@Theuerkauf parent

"I didn't know that PACT was moved and hasn't orchestrated that move."

From the very start of PACT 20 years ago, the families of PACT have had very little control over it's own fate. It took a huge effort to get it started, but the district wouldn't let PACT grow to meet demand. At old Slater PACT was only allowed to exist as a one-strand sub-school dependent on the whims of the administration of the neighborhood school along with the whims of the district and Board.

Each year we have no idea how many kids the district will place into Stevenson. Last year we found out at the last minute that the district was adding another Kinder class and the administration of Stevenson had to scramble like crazy to figure out how to physically do that and to find a teacher.

We have about 400 kids now, but that means nothing about what we will have next year.

Stevenson could end up being told to expand to include another class, but that would mean we have to re-purpose a classroom that is already used for other important purposes.

Stevenson has no "spare" rooms left.

So, yeah, PACT has now been in 3 sites and we were forced to fight with all we had to prevent PACT from being moved yet again.


6 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:31 pm

@ @ Steve Nelson

"Do you understand why 450 was chosen as the "ideal" school size?"

It was NOT chosen as the "ideal" school size, it was what could be done with the MONEY available. There are benefits to having 3-strands, I wont bother to describe here, but they are real.

If you studied the drawing of the existing K5 schools we have, including Huff, Bubb & Landels, you would find that each of those schools have "major facilities" that are only appropriate for about 450 kids.

In the past the Board and district just kept adding new portable classrooms without expanding all the other facilities to keep up with the increasing enrollment. Clearly, just adding classrooms is no solution and just keeps making a bad problem worse.

"Also, perhaps they couldn't be expanded, but why not keep Bubb and Huff at about 580?"

Simple, we cannot afford to do that. The voters gave less than half the money that the district actually required to make the needed long-term upgrades to all our schools.

By making best use of existing facilities and land to fit 450 kids, we can fit into the budget we have OR we end up with a few schools massively over-crowded and the rest of the schools under-used.

With 9 schools of 450 capacity, and new boundaries, we can even out the schools to the best possible levels.

Not perfect, but far better than we have now.


7 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 2, 2017 at 9:31 pm

@ kinder parent of Whisman Station

"The elephant in the room here is the fact that this whole fight has a lot more to do with money,"

That much you have correct.
For decades the voters of Mountain View have not seen fit to tax themselves as much as the voters of other districts in the SF Bay area.
You'll have to ask the voters about why.

Money also determines where people can afford to live.

Your admiration for the school boundary changes to give the people of Shoreline West and Wagon Wheel a hand-out by zoning them for Huff & Bubb is deeply mis-placed.
Those changes only helped the lucky few who owned homes in those areas at the time of the boundary changes.

What actually happened was that housing values, including rental prices, skyrocketed and those areas rapidly "gentrified" and filled up with those who could afford to buy or pay the rental increases. The lucky low-income owners just took the money and ran and the rental properties got renovated to meet the demand and rented for much higher prices.

The end result was that those areas lost the very people you think were helped.

"racism,"

Really?
People play the "race card" most often when they don't have a good argument for their position. You wont accomplish anything by useful by playing that card.
Mountain View has a vast diversity of people and has for all the decades I've know the city. The "best" schools have something like half non-whites.

"and economic/class differences within Mountain View"

Ah, now you're hitting on an actual point, but offer no viable solution.

Yes, we have a massive range of incomes among the people of Mountain View.
That is exactly what happens anywhere that you have a high concentration of high-paying jobs, like in the high-tech industry.
Jobs that demand high pay become the engine to bring even more high-paying jobs as qualified people come here for those jobs, the companies come here to follow the qualified workers. It's a self-feeding cycle.

The city decides over decades about how many low-income housing units to build and the market dictates where the land is cheap enough to build low-income units. It wont help the low-income people to build an apartment building on expensive land because they would not be able to pay the rent.

"Huff and Bubb are the most desirable schools in the district because they have the best test scores. They have the best test scores because Huff and Bubb are located in the most expensive part of Mountain View..."

And the people who can afford those homes are the BEST EDUCATED, which is why their kids perform better than the kids of less educated parents.

That's how it works!
As each generation of people improve the education of their kids, the next generation does better in school and their kids do even better. Education is the way forwards and upwards, but it's NOT retro-active and it's not all done in one generation.

Look up Demming on the principal of continuous improvement.


9 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 2, 2017 at 9:43 pm

@Wagon wheel kinder parent of North Whisman

"I just find it hilarious that the Whisman and Dlater neighborhoods begged for years for a new school, and were told there were not enough students according to demographic studies."

There are NOT enough kids in the district, nor will there be enough kids in 5 or 10 years, to open a school in the Whisman/Slater area UNLESS we ALSO change boundaries so that the over-crowded schools, like Huff, Bubb & Landels get reduced as close as practical to 450 kids.

There has been NO big growth in total public school kids, nor any big growth in Whisman/Slater to justify a new school.

However, the long-standing problem of over-crowding can only be solved by spending the Measure G money and the C.O.P. money MVWSD will borrow to build a new Slater and renovate the rest of the schools so we end up with 9 schools of 450 capacity.

Building a new Slater does NOT mean we are adding 450 new kids into the district, it means we are using the available money to improve things at all 9 schools.

Which, in my opinion and the opinion of many, is a perfectly good enough reason to build a new Slater, even though it will be the most expensive of all the schools to build.

The new boundaries combined with the new Slater helps all the schools.


11 people like this
Posted by new MV parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 3, 2017 at 7:10 am

Just want to say that when people are criticizing the "racism card," they are ignoring the hispanic population entirely. Bubb and Huff have the highest native english-speaking populations, and the highest test scores. Just like the rest of the US, the test scores follow the language aptitude and affluence of the children.

As a new parent in MV, I am appalled to hear so many parents say "I want my child to attend a school with economic diversity!" but simultaneously be unwilling to actually deal with learning and building the community that supports that objective.


7 people like this
Posted by new MV parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 3, 2017 at 7:48 am

Web Link

Huff (score 10)
White 40%
Asian 30%
Mixed 15%
Hispanic 12%
Students learning Eng 19%
Low Income 9%

Bubb (score 9)
White 38%
Hispanic 28%
Asian 16%
Mixed 14%
Students learning Eng 29%
Low Income 24%

Landels (score 8)
Hispanic 41%
White 29%
Asian 13%
Mixed 10%
Students learning Eng 41%
Low Income 34%

Monta Loma (score 7)
Hispanic 49%
White 29%
Asian 7%
Mixed 6%
Students learning Eng 35%
Low Income 49%

Theurkauf (score 6)
Hispanic 64%
Filipino 11%
White 10%
Mixed 6%
Asian 5%

Students learning Eng 54%
Low-income 70%

Castro (score 5)
Hispanc 72%
White 17%
Mixed 5%
Asian 4%
Students learning Eng 58%
Low-income 60%


24 people like this
Posted by @ new MV parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 8:39 am


You leave out the other "elephant in the room". There are two schools in Mountain View with limited diversity. One of them is Huff. The other is Stevenson PACT!

I am sure ST parent will respond with a long diatribe explaining how PACT welcomes diversity, but facts are facts.

Stevenson:
Black or African American 2.1%
Asian 19.1%
Filipino 1.3%
Hispanic or Latino 12.1%
White 48.2%
Two or More Races 16.8%
EL Students 14.2%
Socioeconomically Disadvantaged 9.3%
Students with Disabilities 3.6%


10 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 8:47 am

But how could that be? ^^ PACT is strictly a fair lottery and even parents who work FT can still apply and help out on the weekends. Weird :-)


22 people like this
Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 3, 2017 at 10:08 am

What I struggle wrapping my brain around is the practice in MV to allow children to remain in a school even after they move. From what I can tell, all school districts near MV (and I think most in the US) don't allow children to stay in schools once they've moved from the area (unless, they remain the school via an intra-district transfer if there is room in their school to permit this AND they still live in the district, or they are allowed to stay in their school for the remainder of the school year after moving - Palo Alto allows this). So, for the more popular schools, we will see continuing growth with non-comparable departures. MV only requires proof of residency in a neighborhood upon initial enrollment in school (not year after year, as is the case in most school districts with over-crowding issues), and all communication with parents post initial enrollment is via email so when people move, they're still receiving pertinent messages from the school district. This practice also allows for children to move out of the district altogether, while still attending MV schools. Regardless of what neighborhood you live in, shouldn't we all care about the fact that our tax dollars are likely being used to support school attendance for non-MV kids? This is not only contributing to the waitlist problem, but over-crowded classes, lack of resources, etc. If we don't correct this residency issue, I'm not even sure how to realistically deal with the other challenges the MVWSD faces for all of its schools.


7 people like this
Posted by Are we community minded?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 11:02 am

@Shoreline West Parent
"Yes, why not open a "choice" school for the under-performing students. Then extend Mistral"

Pretty sure that would end up being a lawsuit.


@"@ kinder parent"
"Really? The racism card? Both Huff and Bubb are about 40% white which obviously equals 60% non-white."
AND
@ST Parent
"The "best" schools have something like half non-whites."

Gotta stop counting racists by the color of their skin. This is 2017. Racists come in a lot of colors (not just white) and are from a lot of different backgrounds. Some grew up here and sadly chose to ignore lessons from the civil rights movement, some are from other places where racism is accepted and diversity is minimal. Silicon Valley houses a lot of hidden racism and misogyny - all under the guise of supporting 'innovation'. *Some* of these innovators make a lot of money and they (or their spouses) don't want their kids near 'undesirable' Spanish-speaking kids and given the 'choice' of segregation say yes. They aren't interested in improving schools district-wide, making *all* schools desirable, they're interested in getting just enough for their student. Note the lack of effort to improve the 'less desirable schools' and writing-off of the more challenging children there. If it walks like a duck...


@"@ kinder parent"
"This isn't about money, racism, or class differences, this is about parents wanting the best education for their kids - something that most educated professionals want so it really isn't fair to accuse those parents of being racists or snobs."
"It is naive to pretend that creating socioeconomic diversity within a classroom doesn't present problems. It's very difficult to teach a group of kids with vastly diverse abilities and backgrounds. Unless you have LOTS of extra staff within a classroom, inevitably kids at each end of the spectrum (or maybe mostly those in the middle) will be waiting on the other group, slowing the progress of all."

Diversity reflects society - at least the part that doesn't hide behind gated 'communities'. Children actually derive benefits from learning in a group of dissimilar kids making them better functioning adults. Kids also get the chance to be in like educational groups when they receive RTI or similar programs. So, are you advocating for the more diverse, less desirable schools to receive a larger share of funding to deal with their increased challenges/needs? Bravo. Otherwise... It's best for the district to avoid costly lawsuits by giving into the pressures of elitism.


@Mom
"But how could that be? ^^ PACT is strictly a fair lottery and even parents who work FT can still apply and help out on the weekends. Weird :-)"

You do know that not everyone gets to experience "weekends" or even evenings like you do because they are working to support their family, right?!? I guess it helps that some of /those/ parents don't see any active support group for kids like theirs at PACT and so don't enter the fair lottery in the first place. Also, is PACT still also asking for donations in the hundreds of dollars per student? That can be off-putting to those who have a hard time getting $10 together for a field trip. Way to support economic diversity - shame the undesirables away!

Not so weird if you put yourself in their shoes.


16 people like this
Posted by Well, that's rich.
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 3, 2017 at 1:05 pm

@ Megan's Law

What?! Thank you for the good laugh! I practically split a gut laughing so hard at your comment. You're right, my neighbors are extremely dangerous on "this side of El Camino". All my Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tesla, Salesforce and Microsoft employee neighbors really cause a lot of trouble. And yes, the occasional teacher, city of Mountain View employee, retiree and police office also make our neighborhood really unsafe. You are really smart to stay away. Stay away from Downtown Mountain View too, because that's just more of the same bad people who you shouldn't associate with.

And it's a good thing that criminals never travel, so you are completely safe in your Cuesta Park home. The next time we are at a picnic in Cuesta Park with our friends from my children's expensive private school, we'll be sure to not let them play with your daughter, because we wouldn't want her to have to hang out with us low-lives who choose to live on "the other side of El Camino." ;)


14 people like this
Posted by Mom @ community minded
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 1:59 pm

My comment was tongue in cheek, hence the ":-)"

Please don't pretend you know what my "weekends" look like. I'm well aware that most people can't even apply to PACT because they can't pay or volunteer. That's why it's FIFTY percent white! In an area that's ~20% white. And they say it's a fair and even lottery. Ha!

Actually, truth be told, when my kids were entering kindergarten I chose not to even enter the lottery because I wanted my kids to know what real life was like. Also- in real school life you can't just wander out of classrooms when you feel like it, excuse yourself from assignments, etc. To each their own.


3 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 3, 2017 at 8:03 pm

PACT refers to them selves as family' why?
Do you feel bonded, sounds kinda cult like.?
What a wonderful district it would be if PACT got on board with the rest of the district. I can only imagine how this would free-up intra district students. More space for Mountain View kids.


5 people like this
Posted by Parent who cares
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2017 at 7:30 am

I hate to admit it but I suspect it is impossible to create a program equal to PACT without comparable donations from parents- in terms of money, time, and expertise.
Every school has a number of freeloaders - some of them are just not willing to give, some of them cannot afford it (in which case they cannot be called freeloaders but the fact is that they don't contribute anything to a school except their kids who need additional resources).
I see PACT as a community of parents willing and able to invest in their children's education. As obligated, they do take a number of "freeloaders" but if the percentage goes higher than a certain threshold, the school will not be able to excel.
Disclaimer: my child is not at PACT.


6 people like this
Posted by Parent who cares
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2017 at 7:35 am

I also see nothing wrong with kids being able to go out if the classroom to calm down or take a short break. It is much better than distracting those who are willing to learn.
Opting out of assignments is fine as long as you take on another assignment instead (I don't think they just sit there watching tv if they opt out).
In fact, public school system could learn so much from PACT. However, PACT approach would not work in many schools with a high percentage of disadvantaged kids, because many of them have no idea of self-discipline and love of learning. Public school system has to provide a safety net for these kids, but for kids from middle class families there often is nit enough freedom to explore.


5 people like this
Posted by more project based learning
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2017 at 10:11 am

Instructional quality, Theuerkauf or Monta Loma are on par with Bubb or Huff, or any of the choice programs. Although PACT does focus on more project based learning, social emotional learning, and view parents as active partners. There is no reason why these philosophies couldn't be a more central part of every school, and in many ways they are, just not advertised.

In San Jose, the Evergreen school district purposely targeted innovation and resources to transform their poorest neighborhood school, Katherine Smith Elementary: Web Link Web Link

Are there parents that fear poverty or miss the connection between test scores and poverty, yes. There are also many parents who want a diverse school, but also seek a progressive form of instruction or want there to be wrap around services to support at-risk students outside of the classroom so that they don’t overwhelm teachers in the classroom.

LCAP has helped, but we can do more to provide more staffing in counseling, academic supports, etc to our schools with more diverse populations. Parents report that too many of these responsibilities are falling on their classroom’s teachers.


5 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 4, 2017 at 10:55 am

Thank you all for some excellent 'community commentary' on how Waitlists and school scores (and perceptions) affect many things. I always like to think back on an evening in early 2015 when I was sitting directly adjacent to this young man, former Principal of Stevenson - and was extremely privileged to hear the ONLY CLEAR statement, by a MVWSD administrator, on what the majority community values are in Mountain View (it helps us recruit such administrators).

"The idea of PACT being merged with Theuerkauf and being a neighborhood preference will be a detriment PACT and its philosophy," she said. "The Theuerkauf teachers are excellent (but) it's the parents that make the difference, and that's what makes PACT stand out compared to Theuerkauf."

Stevenson Principal Tyler Graff immediately followed the comments by emphasizing that all parents in the district cares deeply about their children and their education -- just as much as the parents at PACT that spend four to five hours a week volunteering in the classroom at Stevenson.

"Some parents need to work two jobs and it's really important that we respect that they also value their kids' education just as much," Graff said.

bottom of the article:
Web Link

BTW, if you re-read this article from the top, you can see how REALLY DYSFUNCTIONAL the former administrative staff "five scenarios" were.

SN is a retired Trustee of MVWSD


6 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 4, 2017 at 11:16 am

Really PACT parents, your arrogance is showing again.
You just can't help yourselves. This is exactly my point how this program does not serve the public educational system one bit. You rob every other child to serve yourself ways. Shame on all of you.


3 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 4, 2017 at 11:51 am

What Mom? Dystopian segregationists (wealth or race or class or religion) exist in all forms in all colors. A few of the most vocal ones, have kids in particular schools. I certainly did not intend to rouse the PACT haters! It is inappropriate because there are a majority at PACT, Huff, Bubb who buy into the MV community embrace of diversity. Many, like I know the Pollart family and Old Steve of Rex Manor, have specifically chosen to live and settle down in MV explicitly because of the diversity (no "gated communities"). ST Parent - no need 'to answer' Mom (please)


16 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2017 at 5:12 pm

If more parents stopped fretting about their kid not getting into Stevenson, and gave their $300 and 2 hrs per week to their neighborhood school, we would see transformed Monta Loma, Theuerkauf, and even Castro pretty quickly.


5 people like this
Posted by Are we community minded?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2017 at 6:39 pm

@Mom
I'm sorry if I misunderstood your humor as some parents have used that same wording without the smiley face.

@Theuerkauf parent
There's a lot of truth in what you've written. Question: do those parents who are on the lottery waitlist feel any obligation to do exactly what you've suggested while they wait at *any* school site? Y'know, because doing that might overlap a little with their philosophy.

@Steven Nelson
Re: Tyler Graff
From the article: Stevenson PACT principal resigns
Web Link

"More important than the commute, Graff said, is that he would be working in the diverse city of San Francisco, where he said he will be able to work on equity-related issues through the alternative school. He said Stevenson has been working on something similar with its five-year plan and that it's great the school is taking the issue head-on, but he said San Francisco has a very different type of diversity.
"Equity is really important to me, so moving my job to SF Unified will give a chance to work on some equity issues," Graff said."

I think we lost someone who could communicate well and who, on his exit, very gently pointed at an outstanding problem Stevenson--and really the district--has. It's sad he had to leave to go somewhere else that provided more opportunity to address the problem.


3 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 4, 2017 at 7:20 pm

@Steven Nelson

"ST Parent - no need 'to answer' Mom (please)"

No reason to, "mom" is just one of the trolls.


15 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2017 at 7:31 pm

@are we community minded?

To tell the truth, I started out as one of those waitlisted for a choice program. I decided to give my neighborhood school a shot, met the principal, some families and felt that it was a greet place for us to be. Started being active at school and I now have a group of new friends from school, my son's academics are above grade level (thanks, in part, to certain supports only available at TH), and I am excited to be part of the positive changes, albeit a very small part :)
I can say that the public school system in general has some philosophies that I am not a fan of, but they are present at most mainstream public schools, both "good" and "bad".


3 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 4, 2017 at 10:38 pm

@ @ ST Parent

You really think I cared about getting Stevenson rebuilt?
You are seriously misinformed about so many things.

"And what's with your love affair with the Superintendent?"

I have plenty of problems with our new Super, but I had even more problems with the prior Supers.

I think Rudolph messed up big time on TTO from the start and just keeps making it worse.
I have not liked many of the things he's said on Board meetings and clearly, he never figured out how to productively deal with Trustee Nelson (though, I'm not sure that's a fair complaint).
I think he's making mistakes about standing his ground out of a feeling that he has to demonstrate authority and tends to dig in his heels when he should be listening instead.

However, I know he's new at this sort of job, I know he has no political baggage that came with him, and I know I am less unhappy than I was before he got here.

"The 5-year plan is a fluff-piece, as acknowledged in the last Study Session, is overly ambitious with totally unrealistic goals."

OK, so you feel, it's better that we have zero plans at all than a flawed plan?

Trustee Wheeler is fond of saying: (and no, I have no love affair with her either)
"Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good."

"We will see how the new campuses turn out. As others have pointed out, it's stupid to require that they all be of equal (450 student) capacity."

As others have pointed out, it's insane to blow all your money on 3 schools and have nothing left for the rest of the schools.
The current buildings at Huff, Bubb & Landels were built for about 450 kids and thus it's vastly cheaper to renovate them to that capacity.

The extra capacity was gained simply by adding portable classrooms and making the schools over-crowded.
FYI, the big schools wont lose classrooms, unless they are not in workable condition, they will remain and be removed only when they are no longer needed.

"I guess you're just happy that Stevenson is finally being renovated"

I guess you never read any of my posts on that point.
Frankly, I never cared one way or the other about the Stevenson campus getting rebuilt or renovated at all.
All I wanted was for Stevenson to remain open and the home for PACT as an independent public school still in control of it's own programs.
Other Stevenson parents believed strongly that PACT was only "safe from closure" when the district spent serious money on rebuilding the Stevenson campus.
I disagreed, I believed Stevenson PACT was only going to be "safe" when the Whisman/Slater area got a new school for their kids.
The major push to close Stevenson always came from Whisman/Slater advocates, so only when they got what they wanted (a new school for them) would Stevenson be truly safe.

As things worked out, Slater gets a new school and Stevenson gets rebuilt and the rest of the district gets new boundaries to solve the over-crowding problems and all schools get at least major renovations.

That was the "win-win-win" scenario we begged Superintendents Goldman and Skelly to try to find, BUT neither of them believed that a win-win-win was remotely possible, so they never bothered to look for one.

Rudolph was willing to see if a win-win-win was possible, so he actually found one that was.

FYI, I never heard anyone at Stevenson who was opposed to Whisman/Slater getting a new school, we only objected to closing Stevenson (or any other school) to give it to Whisman/Slater.


9 people like this
Posted by Easy solution
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 5, 2017 at 10:13 am

@ Theurekauf parent

I agree with you except that Stevenson
and the DI program enroll well over half of our neighborhood kids. Asking those remaining parents who don't get in to Stevenson to attend the neighborhood school and make the school great is like asking someone to win a boxing match with one arm tied behind their back. They are already starting off at a disadvantage before they even start by losing most of their neighbors who are naturally more inclined to volunteer and help out in the classroom. The district and community should at a minimum acknowledge this loss and find ways to supply the support for those schools that has largely been taken away. Igoring this loss helps no one.


16 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 5, 2017 at 10:24 am

Gary is a registered user.

Slater is not being re-opened. Google has a lease just extended. The plan is to spend $25 million to build over the playground area at Slater and offer those buildings as a school. And Whisman School was also the subject of a new long-term lease to a private school. To the school district bureaucracy, there is something far more important than public schools in the neighborhood: discretionary income.


5 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 5, 2017 at 11:31 am

@ Easy solution of Rex Manor

"@ Theurekauf parent I agree with you except that Stevenson
and the DI program enroll well over half of our neighborhood kids."

Your numbers are WAY OFF! Stevenson only gets about 100 kids from the Theuerkauf Boundary and Mistral only gets about 50.

Theuerkauf gets 310 kids from the Theuerkauf boundary.

The largest source for Stevenson is Landels and usually is.
The Castro boundary sends about 150 kids to Mistral.

Castro gets about 300 kids from it's boundary.

Please review the factual numbers from the on-line Board meeting agendas.


5 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 5, 2017 at 11:40 am

@Steven Nelson

""The Theuerkauf teachers are excellent (but) it's the parents that make the difference, and that's what makes PACT stand out compared to Theuerkauf.""

Yes, it is the parents that ALWAYS make the difference in how their kids perform and advance in school.
PACT was formed 20 years ago partly to hyper-organize the volunteerism of parents to get the maximum possible benefit for the kids of an entire school.
In addition, they wanted a school that used alternative educational styles, including Project Based Learning, field trips, Arts Focus, and what's called "whole child teaching" and other non-standard methods.

Public schools are simply NOT designed or managed to get the most out of parental (or relatives) volunteerism capacity.
If there was no PACT then the huge majority of those volunteer hours (including for things like the MVEF which benefits the entire district) would go un-tapped.
Managing volunteerism is simply not "baked-in" to the management of public schools, it's a side-job to staff when they have spare time to manage volunteerism.
Public school staff are simply NOT trained to manage major levels of volunteerism and the PTA at public schools are no better at it.

At Stevenson, every staff member knows that the parents are not only a great resource, but that this resource is being managed well and can be relied on.

However, Steven, (as you are well aware) the biggest determining factors that tracks child performance is the past educational background of the parents AND how fully the parents are engaged with the education of their kids.

Far more than any other factors, that's what matters.

Some highly educated parents don't engage well with their kids education and thus their kids don't do as well as they could.
Other parents who have not even graduated high school can get deeply involved with their kids education and their kids will do well.
Of course, the best performing kids generally will have highly educated parents who are also highly engaged with their kids education.

These results cut across ALL economic and ethnic and native language groups.

As for parental "cares" value judgements...

"Stevenson Principal Tyler Graff immediately followed the comments by emphasizing that all parents in the district cares deeply about their children and their education -- just as much as the parents at PACT that spend four to five hours a week volunteering in the classroom at Stevenson."

How much a parent "cares" is not at issue, how well educated the parents are and how well the engage with their kids education is the issue.
Neither relates to how much parents "care" about their kids futures, but about their own personal situations and/or beliefs.
Parents can't go back in time and get a better education and most parents cannot spare time to volunteer at school and some don't believe in having parents at school and some believe their time is better spent one on one with their child.

The PACT concept is a package of alternate teaching methods that includes a highly organized level of parental participation as ONE factor.
Parents who believe in the total package are mainly the ones who apply to be a part of PACT.
If some parents are choosing PACT simply because of school "ratings" and are not believers in the whole package, then I think they should reconsider their reasoning.

How much any particular parent "cares" about their kids education is a value judgement call that strangers don't have any right to even comment on.


3 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 5, 2017 at 11:56 am

@Theuerkauf parent

"If more parents stopped fretting about their kid not getting into Stevenson, and gave their $300 and 2 hrs per week to their neighborhood school, we would see transformed Monta Loma, Theuerkauf, and even Castro pretty quickly."

Convenient theory, if your purpose is to bash PACT, but it's not based on any facts.

You're forgetting about when PACT was actually AT Castro and TRIED like crazy to encourage the Castro school to get volunteerism organized and get the most of any volunteerism capacity the Castro parents had possible. It was a failure, the Castro school was simply not interested in managing such a system and the parents never really were able to bring enough volunteer hours to the table to make any significant difference.

The cheap-shot easy theory that if PACT was closed or never existed at all would mean that the volunteerism hours we see at PACT would somehow magically have appeared and spread like a virus to all the other schools to make them better is just non-sense.

PACT got started as part of Slater and for all those years the Slater parents NEVER rose up to volunteer for Slater kids even a tiny fraction of what the PACT families did on the very same campus for years.

The parents who have had their kids in typical public schools and then came to PACT had virtually zero volunteerism at their prior public schools.

To have any significant parental involvement the whole system of a school NEEDS to have that as a core part of the school and have parents deeply involved in everything the school does and it all has to be carefully and fully organized.

No typical public school can transform itself that way, you have to make it part of the school from the start for it to work.


4 people like this
Posted by Fed Up
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 5, 2017 at 12:02 pm

You know... I hate the problems that I and my fellow MV residents face with school redistricting and being at the mercy of the board until they can do something about this huge problem. When I finally became completely fed up with the school we were assigned to, I decided to look into private and Catholic schools and am SOoooo happy I did. Catholic Academy of Sunnyvale has an education program that so blows public education out of the water. My kids are now studying engineering, graphic design, Mandarin, and other STEM focused programs as part of their regular daily curriculum. Small class sizes, safe environment. The price turns out to be affordable with the help of scholarship and aid provided by the school and diocese. My kids are rediculously happy now, and the school's test scores are shooting through the roof. Plus, I can now have ALL of my kids at one location (preschool-8th grade)... that right there is worth it's weight in gold. I know it doesn't go anywhere NEAR solving the ridiculous school problem in Mountain View, and believe me, I'm not pleased about that, but this is a great interim solution until Mountain View gets it figured out.


3 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm

@Theuerkauf parent0

"...their kid not getting into Stevenson, and gave their $300...

FYI, in normal public schools, the parents get charged a MANDATORY fee that is MUCH HIGHER than the $300 requested by Stevenson, but the other schools do it by giving the parents a list of required school supplies they must go shop for and buy and must keep filled up all year.

At Stevenson, that $300 requested donation goes directly to buy school supplies at bulk savings prices so the kids never need to provide ANY of their own school supplies.

PACT found that it was far cheaper for the parents to give $300 at the start of school and let the professional buyers purchase all supplies in bulk and then hand out the supplies to the kids as they are needed. IT also helps because any unused supplies are still kept at the school to be used the next year, not getting lost at the homes of the kids over the summer.

So, the $300 requested donation is really another red-herring used by people who wish to bash Stevenson.


24 people like this
Posted by @ ST parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2017 at 12:15 pm

$300 for mandatory school supplies? You've got to be kidding! Perhaps $30?

You do realize that no-one takes you seriously because you spew nonsense all day long?


3 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 5, 2017 at 12:25 pm

@Mom of North Whisman (no surprise there)

"PACT refers to them selves as family' why?"

Both of our recent principals came out in their first major speech to the families of Stevenson and specifically stated they were so surprised by Stevenson that it felt so much like a large family, far more than any other school they have ever been a part of.
Quote from principal Westover:
"Stevenson feels more like a family than a school to me."

Stevenson functions like an extended family with pretty much every parent knowing the majority of the parents of their same grade and many parents from the other grades. Their kids spend time together at babysitting events. ALL the kids get to know many of the parents from direct weekly contact with dozens of other parents working with them and even teaching lessons.

We all understand and accept each other and work hard to be respectful of one another and the staff.

Most public school teachers these days get to feel attacked by parents, it's often an adversarial relationship all too often, but at Stevenson, teachers see parents as true partners.

"Do you feel bonded, sounds kinda cult like.?"

No, a religious based school would be a cult, religion has nothing to do with Stevenson.

"What a wonderful district it would be if PACT got on board with the rest of the district."

Ever heard of the Mountain View Educational Fund?
It raises donation money from all over the district and from corp sponsors and then spreads the money around to all the schools on things each school needs. The MVEF auction was recently held and the big-price-tag items for the auction were the result of Stevenson parents efforts.

The MVEF is mainly run by some Stevenson parents and Stevenson parents donate quite a good portion of the money that then gets spread around the entire district. Without the efforts of the parents who learned how to be organized and how to lead and how to function as a volunteer organization, MVEF would be a mere shadowm if it would exist at all.

"I can only imagine how this would free-up intra district students. More space for Mountain View kids."

The key word above is "imagine", as in all your theories are nothing more but imaginary.


3 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 5, 2017 at 12:47 pm

@Concerned Parent of Monta Loma

"What I struggle wrapping my brain around is the practice in MV to allow children to remain in a school even after they move."

You're not alone, this issue has been discussed in many Board meetings.


"...all school districts near MV (and I think most in the US) don't allow children to stay in schools once they've moved from the area..."
...
"MV only requires proof of residency in a neighborhood upon initial enrollment in school (not year after year, as is the case in most school districts with over-crowding issues),..."
...
"This practice also allows for children to move out of the district altogether, while still attending MV schools."
...
"If we don't correct this residency issue, I'm not even sure how to realistically deal with the other challenges the MVWSD faces for all of its schools."

OK, the good news is that all of these residency issues and enrollment priorities and "grandfathering" and so on are on the agenda for re-thinking and debate and study to set new rules as soon as the new school boundaries issue is settled.

We can't really make any sense of the residency or enrollment rules until after we know what the new situation will be after the new boundaries are officially set.

Now, the big question is, and we have ZERO useful data on this question:
How many kids are we talking about with these issues?

There are many claims by people with a political agenda trying to make it seem like there are hundreds if not thousands of kids attending a neighborhood school when they don't live in the neighborhood boundary.

However, we have ZERO facts and ZERO data about how many kids that are gaming the system. It might be a significant number, it might be a trivial number, but until we make a serious effort to get good solid data for the entire district, we can't have a clue and anyone who claims they "know" anything about this is lying for political agenda purposes.

Personally, I think we should immediately start by doing a 100% solid verification for all the kids at Huff & Bubb. If there is any gaming of the system going on, those 2 schools will expose the bulk of it and give us a pretty good idea of how serious the problem is.

If Huff & Bubb show trivial problems, then we don't have a serious problem and no need to make sweeping changes, if we do find serious problems at Huff & Bubb, we should give fair notice to the entire district that by 2019 every child in the district will have to provide yearly true proof of residency.


35 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 5, 2017 at 12:55 pm

If the parents at Stevenson are like this guy I want no part of it. I was exploring the school for the year after next but I am seriously put off by the tone of these comments. Plus he's completely off base. There is no such thing as a mandatory donation to a public school in Ca. That's expressly forbidden by law. This guy is just ranting and ranting-- I wish the Voice would ban him.


3 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm

@ @ ST parent

"$300 for mandatory school supplies? You've got to be kidding! Perhaps $30?"

I did forget to include all sorts of paid-for stuff, not just the pencils and lined paper. PBL and Art supplies just to name 2 more. The typical public school gets parents to buy all sorts of supplies all through the year. And from what I've seen at Theuerkauf, they have nearly continual fund-raisers through the whole year.

I saw another poster who mentions that kids at other schools have to pay $10 each to go on a field trip, no fee at Stevenson.

That $300 buys a lot of stuff that parents at other schools have to get nickle&dimed for all year long, but are paid for at Stevenson. I think we have about 8 field trips each year, that would be an additional $80 at other schools.


23 people like this
Posted by @ ST parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2017 at 1:19 pm

No cost for field trips at my school! Keep on making up fees to justify the $300.

The fact of the matter is it keeps poor families from attending (even though it's "technically" not required). Here are the stats (2015/16):

Stevenson PACT:
Black or African American 2.1%
Asian 19.1%
Filipino 1.3%
Hispanic or Latino 12.1%
White 48.2%
Two or More Races 16.8%
EL Students 14.2%
Socioeconomically Disadvantaged 9.3%
Students with Disabilities 3.6%


27 people like this
Posted by Field trips/supplies
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 5, 2017 at 1:51 pm

There are no fees for field trips, and there are no fees for school supplies at my child's public school in MV either. In fact, if you can't afford school supplies or a backpack they will be given to you at no charge. Yes, the PTA asks for a donation but it's not framed as an *expectation* or minimum and the requests are not frequent.

This PACT guy doesn't have a leg to stand on--of course an expectation of a high fee keeps poor families out--so he's making stuff up.


20 people like this
Posted by Easy solution
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 5, 2017 at 2:36 pm

@ ST Parent

I'm looking at a slide right now posted in Board notes called "MVWSD -2016 Open Enrollment". It shows that 201 students currently living in the Theurekauf neighborhood boundary attend Theurkauf. All the other students at Theurkauf are from outside the attendance boundary.

116 students currently attending Stevenson live in the Theurkauf attendance boundary. That's well over half, as I stated, so my numbers cited above are not "way off" as you've stated.

The situation is even worse if you consider the 54 students who live in the Theurkauf boundary but attend Mistral.

I'm not saying we should close Stevenson, as stated above I think we should find ways to minimize the numbers of families turned away.

I often hear Stevenson parents say the model doesn't work unless all parents are on board, but the Sunnyvale school district just next to us opened their Fairwood Explorer program (their Stevenson) to all the kids in the neighborhood and now the entire school benefits. That school is now rated a 9. They chose the exact opposite direction as Mountain View and everyone survived, the school is doing well, and even more children benefit from the joys of hands on learning.




3 people like this
Posted by @wow
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Exactly! Just skip over posts. It's what the rest of us do.


5 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2017 at 5:58 pm

@ST parent

First of all, I am not bashing anyone :) but if I were ;) I would start with parents from Theuerkauf neighborhood who do not make it to Stevenson/Mistral, but instead of giving Theuerkauf a try, they go elsewhere. Or maybe they attend Theuerkauf but treat it as something temporary, checked out in terms of time and money donated to the school.
What I was saying is: if they tried to help TH, maybe not on a large scale- just offering their child's teacher their volunteering services- the school would soon get up to speed.
As to continuous fundraising- oh come on, gimme a break! TH is a title 1 school, meaning a certain percentage of disadvantaged families. Teachers ask for school supplies in the beginning, and then there are PTA dues and Walkathon as the main fundraiser. All other events are actually sponsored by the PTA, including the majority of field trips.
Again, I do like Stevenson's model, there is a lot to learn, and I sincerely hope that this model would fail in any public school unless it is what they have from the start.


7 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2017 at 6:08 pm

@easy solution

Well, I wouldnt think of the situation as a match, or in terms of winning or losing in general.
Yes, everyone wants the other parents to carry their fair share, but when it is not possible, is the solution to just check out, while going to school? I don't think so.
I honestly think that if each family rejected at Stevenson carried their $300 and volunteer hours to Theuerkauf, only that, nothing more! The school would benefit like you won't believe. The leadership of the school is very responsive to change and improvement.
The problem is, so many people get discouraged and would not even try. I understand their reasons and I don't blame them, but hopefully my post will make someone rethink their decisions...


7 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 5, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

How much of this would be solved if choice schools (Stevenson & Mistral) were based on neighborhood lotteries, rather than city-wide lotteries, to ensure that the choice programs reflect the whole city? Choice programs offer options for families, but they should not cannibalize the neighborhoods that they are located in.


8 people like this
Posted by Theuerkauf parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2017 at 7:45 pm

While having neighborhoood lotteries would be good for the families from the neighborhoods who actually apply, it would further devoid respective neighborhood public schools of families willing and capable of supporting the schools.
I think the sad thing about public schools in general is that they cannot flourish without direct parent support. In Europe, parental donations and volunteering are almost unheard of.


11 people like this
Posted by Are we community minded?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2017 at 9:11 pm

@ST Parent
"FYI, in normal public schools, the parents get charged a MANDATORY fee that is MUCH HIGHER than the $300 requested by Stevenson..."

You have that TOTALLY backwards. Stevenson was the one using 'manditory'-style language. Stevenson even had it in documents submitted to the state. Even after the State Superintendent sent a reminder to all schools. This use of language had to be carefully monitored at Stevenson. Public schools can only request and *never* require.

Other Stevenson parents have complained about this type of problematic representation by you time and time again but it doesn't seem to stop you. Where's your "respect" for your "family"?

BTW, just how is Stevenson doing with its 'plan' to reach out and diversify its student body?

Also, every single school in the district posts its newsletters online for the public to see... Bubb, Theuerkauf, Graham, heck, even Mistral... ALL of them do it except Stevenson. Why not be transparent like everybody else?


10 people like this
Posted by IMHO
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2017 at 11:44 am

@ST Parent: I think it would be helpful if you make an effort to be more concise in your posts. You make some valid points but your ramblings go on and on and dilute your message- to the point that your readers skip your posts all together.

&Theurkauff Parent: you don't need to go to Europe to find schools that don't rely on parent volunteers. Most successful public schools in the US rarely rely on volunteers. This local phenomenon of using parents extensively in the classroom is crazy. Education shoujd be left to professional educators not parents who may not have the experience, expertise, demeanor or time to effectively work with children. The per student expenditure here is large and rivals top district expenditures in the US so they shoujd be able to hire strong teachers and aids if they're managing their budgets effectively.

Likewise alternative education programs need not rely on volunteers. What they need is a philosophy, plan and administrators/ teachers to execute the plan. Project based learning is employed in many public and private schools and is a widely popular and respected method of teaching. What MVWSD needs is vision and leadership.


5 people like this
Posted by Just trying to learn what the facts are
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 6, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Can someone let me know where I can find the actual data (number of neighborhood kids per region, number that attend their local school, wait lists per school, etc) and what the actual policies are on how kids get to attend actual neighborhood schools? Is there a link somewhere? People seem to quote conflicting information above.

My kids aren't yet of kindergarten age, but the more I look into the situation, the more confused I am.

My street is zoned for TH, but of the 5-6 families I am friendly with on my street that have elementary school aged kids, somehow they all attend different public MVWSD elementary schools- including Stevenson (which is a choice/lottery, so I understand that one), but also Castro, Landels, Huff, Monte Loma etc. They all seem to be very happy at their respective schools.

None actually go to TH. I don't understand how (or why) this is the case, but I would love for my kids to go to the same school as all their neighborhood friends.

As one example as to why - (that seems to contradict everything I've read from above) - my neighbor said that her kids go to Monte Loma, because when they moved to the neighborhood (from out of state) they did want to go to closest school (TH) but were told it was completely full, so they had to go to Monte Loma.


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 6, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Clarity on Communications (out) ask the Trustees and cc: the Superintendent, who is the manager responsible. Do it week after week after week. Enlist your friends.

I think Chris Chang's comments on 'the workings of the choice school lotteries' - make great sense (after my second What?_ What he means, (which has never been discussed On the Agenda- for improvement) is changing the rules for attendance (not the neighborhood boundaries). Former Trustee Lambert, alluded to this problem as affecting his own neighborhood school ML. Chris makes one option clear.

Each Neighborhood / Quadrant/ School Boundary area (or sub-area) GETS THE SAME Per Cent lottery allotment, Say, the ST lottery allotment is "10% of the elementary school neighborhood K students". That means - these 'district wide' programs, can take no more than 10% of the students from each neighborhood school. (Hey they are district-wide and not 1 of 2 choices of one neighborhood), This 'fixes' Lambert's softly spoken concern about ML-ST and the much bigger concerns from TK and Landels.

When realtors advertise (as I have seen) that "Stevenson" is the local school for Rex Manor - you can tell that, this is indeed a problem. Chris has one possible (even partial) solution. Here is another district (distance based priority)
"How does the algorithm work that assigns students?"
Web Link

I respect Dr. Rudolph's administrative decision to 'cross this swamp' just a little later.


3 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 6, 2017 at 2:29 pm

correct link (up the Peninsula to Belmont-Redwood Shores)

Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by @ Just trying
a resident of Jackson Park
on Apr 6, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Part of the reason so many TH kids go to other schools is that in the past TH was designated as a failing school due to its low test scores. These scores of course, are related more to family income/education levels than any other factor. The state had a rule, the Romero Act, whereby if your local school was designated as in need of improvement, you had the right to request and get an automatic transfer. Not to a choice school necessarily but to another local one.

I'm not sure about the status of that law given the change in accountability systems, but the previous rule was in place as of a few years ago.

Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by @Just trying to learn what the facts are
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2017 at 3:10 pm

I would suggest familiarizing yourself with the enrollment section of the MVWSD web site, but here are some links for you:

From the District web site re: Intradistrict requests
"Enrollment Highlights 2017-18"
Web Link

CA Ed Code re:enrollment:
Web Link

Attendance site v. area matrix in MVWSD April 5 Board Agenda packet,
refer to slide 20 titled "MVWSD 2016 Open Enrollment":
Web Link


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

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