Town Square

Post a New Topic

Bullis may be spread across three LASD campuses

Original post made on Jan 15, 2019

In just a few short weeks, the Los Altos School District will need to figure where to put 200 students already enrolled in Bullis Charter School and in need of classroom space by August.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 1:54 PM

Comments (40)

Posted by Los Altos Observer
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2019 at 2:54 pm

The BCS/LASD joint settlement agreement provided five years for LASD trustees to develop a solution. It is a shame that instead of doing the hard work of developing a solution, they continue to drum up community opposition through their inflammatory remarks and continued inaction. BCS students are public school students and state law mandates that LASD trustees must provide equitable access to public school facilities for all public school students.


Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 15, 2019 at 3:48 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

Obviously the Los Altos community has embraced Bullis Charter. I've watched the enrollment climb steadily year after year. So what should LASD do?

The answer is simple: Give them EGAN's campus - all of it. Consolidate the decreasing number of LASD Junior High students at Blach and put a few in portables at Santa Rita.

As time goes by more and more Los Altos parents are deciding to send their children to Bullis Charter. Regardless of your political leanings it's hard to argue that the community has not thoroughly embraced the charter school concept.

So why not do what's best for all concerned? Give the STUDENTS what they truly need. I'll bet that within another few years the Bullis Charter enrollment will easily reach 1,500 and perhaps even more.

Sorry to disappoint LASD but it seems as if Bullis Charter is leaving you guys . . . in their dust.


Posted by CB
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2019 at 4:24 pm

I hear a lot of complaints from LASD parents about the hardship put on them by BCS. Have any of them considered the hardship put on BCS parents? Four school closures in LAH alone, with the land sold to developers or put on long-term lease instead of held for future growth? 15 years in portables? Substantially less funding per student than the other LASD schools? Shutting down after school care for BCS kids?

Kids from both sides are being punished by decades of poor management from the district.


Posted by A Prediction
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2019 at 4:43 pm

I predict LASD will put 200 BCS students at the LOYOLA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL campus next year. Why? Well Loyola has declined the most of any school in the district over the past 6 years. It was once 200 larger than it will be next year. It's a 10 acre site and the district leases an ample portion of the campus to a private preschool that operates on the same site as the public school, during the day.

The Covington site has 16 acres by itself but they have pumped that up to 585 students this year. Clearly, LASD is gearing up to make Covington look full. Covington also has 2 private preschools there operating during the day, about the same space usage as the one at Loyola.

Loyola's triple-use future is already decided by LASD, but they just want to fool around and pretend they are looking for input.


Posted by Crystal Ball
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2019 at 4:57 pm

Crystal Ball is a registered user.

I doubt Loyola makes sense to LASD. There is basically only one way in and out. You need another access point to the BCS portables. Gardner Bullis or Oak could make sense from that aspect. There are side streets to Gardner Bullis and the church parking lot at Oak. Oak parents will throw a fit. There hasn't been too much noise coming from GB and less LASD voters in LAH. How ironic would that be to put BCS #3 at GB?? GB enrollment has shrunk so maybe that frees up space. Who knows. We shall see in two weeks.


Posted by LAHS Parent
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2019 at 6:23 pm

LASD Board of Trustees has screwed this up mightily. They should have given Covington to BCS in exchange for a permanent enrollment cap. Their strategy of protecting Covington at all costs has been an epic failure and a disaster for the rest of the district.


Posted by Why protect Covington
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2019 at 7:19 pm

All of this could be solved by giving up Covington. The kids could go to Oak and Loyola, Egan and Blach could have their space back. And BCS could all be together. Win-win-win. There is too much money/power at Covington.


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 15, 2019 at 7:46 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 15, 2019 at 8:09 pm

psr is a registered user.

As usual, the BCS machine has all their minions out in force to comment on this article, trying to make it sound as if their voice is the majority opinion. Also, as usual, it's fake news.

Any issues BCS has with space are self-inflicted. They already know that the parents in LASD will not give up a campus - any campus - to them for their "exclusive use". What a telling phrase that is - "exclusive" use. They think their bruised egos warrant the displacement of other children in order to balm them. What complete hogwash. It's about time they rub some dirt on it and get over it.

To be perfectly clear, LASD has no obligation whatsoever to house BCS on one campus. They are entitled to equivalent facilities - period. If they don't want to be spread out, then stop expanding. They only exist to provide segregation for those parents who want the private school experience financed on the public nickle. The performance of their students is no better than that of the district kids once you compare apples to apples (i.e. normalize for the fact that Bullis won't accept children who require any special needs services), so their existence is superfluous.

It is about time that this group of selfish, entitled toddlers stopped attempting to steal a campus from the district children who belong there. The parents in this district will stand up to your bully tactics for as long as it takes. As stubborn as you are, we are just that much more firm than you. Stop trying to get your pound of flesh and try to coexist.

You want to have a campus to yourselves? Then go to the one that will be built and agree to instruct ALL the children in that attendance area - without asking for the usual $5000+ per child. You want to be treated as a district school? Then accept ALL children who have learning disabilities and teach them without complaint or attempting to shame them into leaving. You want to be seen as something other than selfish and entitled? Then stop acting like spoiled children who will kick and scream (and sue) until they get their way.


Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2019 at 8:18 pm

I agree that growing BCS that quickly places a unfair burden on LASD to provide space in a short period of time.

However, my sympathies are limited because LASD had FIVE YEARS to figure out with BCS a long term solution that INCLUDED ENROLLMENT CAPS and nothing was accomplished during that time span.

Although I have little hope, I am asking the LASD and BCS trustees to consider ALL the children in the district and come up with a long term solution that satisfies all. Please do not embark down the road of lawsuits and mudslinging. We already have enough of that on a national scale and our lovely community deserves better.


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 15, 2019 at 9:12 pm

psr is a registered user.

@ Concerned Parent

I suppose that it would seem that LASD should have planned ahead for this issue, but that would not take everything into account in this situation.

If you consider that BCS refuses to accept anything that doesn't begin with stealing a campus from the current community, it's hard to blame LASD. The district parents have made it abundantly clear that they are not willing to give up their schools to make BCS happy, especially since there is absolutely no evidence that they would stop at just taking one campus. If they decide to continue to grow and if they were allowed to steal a campus, what would stop them from taking another, then another? I don't believe they would settle for just taking the Sudetenland. That would be naive thinking.

LASD has entered each negotiation with BCS trying to find a way to house them equally while still serving the district children first, which is as it should be. By contrast, BCS enters every negotiation by demanding sole use of a campus, then refusing to engage when they are told that isn't what they are being offered. If BCS puts their children first, without regard for the effect their action would have on the LASD children, then LASD must do the same.

What LASD has, and will continue to, offer BCS is a compromise. What BCS has always asked for is a sacrificial lamb. I watched them "measuring drapes" at Santa Rita when they were attempting to take over that campus and now they are trying to take one of only two junior high facilities. How is handing their 1000+ students a junior high campus, while leaving the remaining 3500+ students with just one junior high "equivalent facilities"? Why do their elementary students deserve access to junior high facilities when the rest of the district children don't have it? There is nothing "equivalent" about that at all.

I hope the board does what they were elected to do, which is to do what is in the best interest of the children in this district. They have, and will continue to, show far more regard for the BCS children than the BCS board has ever shown toward the LASD children. BCS children deserve equivalent, not superior, facilities and that is what the district should provide.


Posted by Waldorf site
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2019 at 9:19 pm

Everyone seems to forget that LASD leases out district land to the Waldorf School for way below market rate. Maybe a few BCS portables can share the Waldorf site? Or put 150 BCS public school students in Waldorf buildings and put Waldorf in portables at GB. Something like that. A private school uses district land while this war rages on. Isn’t that odd?


Posted by Hateful Rhetoric
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 1:26 am

Above someone states some terrible untrue things about the situation. BCS has not turned anything down. They have not even been offered anything. The district went off on a tangent of opening a neighborhood school for the NEC area, which, while a potentially good thing, has nothing to do with BCS. BCS is the equivalent of 3 combined LASD schools. Obviously they aren't being offered 3 sites from LASD, not really. There is this whisper that they will be offered pieces of 3 different sites by LASD for next year. It's pretty clear really. That's where LASD is heading. But BCS hasn't turned this down.

As for this new site that can open in 2025, well, let's get closer to 2025 before
we accuse anyone of turning that down. The board of trustees of LASD seems determined to get BCS to expand to 1500 students by that time. That's really their idea, which they are transmitting by induction to BCS. The best I can figure is that LASD wants to make two schools on the new land, one 400 for the neighborhood and one 400 portion of BCS. But BCS will still need the other 2 sites since they are going to be 1100 starting in 2019 and grow from there.

BTW, psr doesn't live in The Crossings. psr lives in Palo Alto. What are we to make of that? Why does he care what happens to the Mountain View land? Why does he claim to know that was actually offered to BCS? The article documents that BCS wasn't even asked about this weird neighborhood preference plan.


Posted by Conflicting Interests Abound
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 16, 2019 at 4:02 am

Give Bullis Charter the Covington school campus only if (1) the district office clears out and (2) Bullis agrees to accommodate and supply kids for Stepping Stones Preschool and Daycare operated at Covington by Mountain View City Councilmember John McAlister and friends.


Posted by LAHS Parent
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 9:34 am

Why won't LASD Board of Trustees listen to the Creative Facilities Solutions group? They are presenting valid solutions but, for some unknown reason, LASD absolutely refuses to consider. LASD BoT continuing down the current path toward disaster which will eventually result in the closure of multiple neighborhood schools.


Posted by Tone it down PSR
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 10:35 am

@PSR - I am an objective observer (and TAXPAYER) with no dog in this fight but everything you ever post wreaks of nastiness and hatred toward BCS. It’s obvious that your goal is to screw BCS at any cost but that’s not what’s in the best interest of any of the kids nor the taxpayers.

You say that “The district parents have made it abundantly clear that they are not willing to give up their schools to make BCS happy.” Excuse me but that’s not really a unilateral “district parent” decision. There are many taxpayers in the district that are not district parents that have an equal voice that are not interested in having our tax dollars squandered while this ridiculous feud is used as the basis for fiscal decisions. The Covington families should not be an entitled group of “protected residents” just so that the anti BCS crowd can “win”. Move 6th grade to middle and either give Covington to BCS or move Blach to Covington and give Blach to BCS. This is an easy problem to solve if solution is really the goal.


Posted by Tone it down PSR
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 10:44 am

And as LASD Parent says “LASD BoT continuing down the current path toward disaster which will eventually result in the closure of multiple neighborhood schools.” In their stubborn foolishness of refusing to negotiate with BCS (including an enrollment cap) BCS will continue to grow and force more schools to close as LASD enrollment shrinks. You’re not seeing the forest for the trees and in the end you’ll end up with no neighborhood schools because the district won’t be able to maintain all of them with reduced enrollment. Swallow your anger and your pride and use your head.


Posted by Thomas
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 11:44 am

Thomas is a registered user.

The Los Altos School District shared in a recent meeting that they may not be able to afford operating 10 schools or maybe even the 9 that they support right now. I think they are allowing BCS to grow and suck up multiple students every year from the LASD schools so they can point the finger at BCS for causing the downfall. It is too late to go back now and try to reclaim their students and their finances. Why didn't they cap BCS enrollment this past summer when they had the chance? Because they know they cannot financially carry on with dropping enrollments in every school. It makes sense publicly to place the blame on BCS and use them as their scapegoat. LASD wants to be on every LASD parents good side and won't make difficult decisions to change boundaries or admit that they are in financial hardship. If everyone took the time to research the finances and did the math, it would be clear that LASD is struggling. LASD parents are screaming that BCS is taking over the district. Why doesn't anyone ask why students are leaving the district schools for BCS? These are all hard questions but important to explore. Very poor leadership and mismanaging our tax dollars. Hard to believe that Los Altos one of the wealthiest zips in the country has a school board that can't properly manage the money.


Posted by LAHS Parent
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 12:39 pm

Here is your solution, folks.

Step 1 - Close Covington and move BCS to that campus (in exchange for a permanent enrollment cap for BCS)

Step 2 - Move 6th grade to Egan/Blach

Step 3 - Spend the Measure N bond funds to upgrade existing schools

Done!


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 16, 2019 at 12:39 pm

psr is a registered user.

@ Hateful Rhetoric

You are completely wrong with every assumption about me. Since The Voice doesn't bother to have Monroe Park as a location, I have to use The Crossings as it is the closest location they do list. I do not live in Palo Alto. I live in Mountain View and have for years. I know what has been offered to BCS over the years because I attend school board meetings. I went to many while my child attended LASD schools fairly early in this battle. You should try that so that you can get informed rather than believe what you read from biased sources.

@ "Tone it down psr"

Where do you get the impression I want to "screw BCS"? They are welcome to get what the law allow - but nothing more then that.

Your "inspired" solution is to force LASD to move 6th grade to junior high, then allow BCS to steal one of the junior high school facilities! Did you even read that before you posted it? That would force ALL LASD junior high students into ONE campus. That is NOT "equal" treatment. That would give BCS elementary students better facilities than all their LASD peers, paid for by TAXPAYERS (I wonder why you don't think I pay taxes. I imagine they are higher than yours). Does your plan include BCS financing the entire cost of the upgrade of all the other schools in the district being upgraded to junior high school level standards, since they would be the cause of the change and the LASD elementary children would have inferior facilities to theirs?

You also failed to address my main question, which is why do you think the BCS elementary kids are entitled to junior high grade facilities? Answer that before you cast any more stones my way.


@Thomas

BCS exists so wealthy parents who don't want to pay for private school can get the same effect while stealing facilities and money from those who can't afford the $5000+ they get for each student, over and above the state allotment.

LASD isn't the problem. BCS has no reason to exist in the first place. Charter schools are supposed to exist to help districts that are under-performing. LASD is a top district in the state. Every school is highly rated. People move here to have their kids attend school here. BCS offers Mandarin, so parents would rather pay for BCS than pay for Chinese School after the regular day. That is a draw, as is the trips they provide overseas. Why have your kid spend a week at Walden West when you can send them to China? I would like you to find even one other charter school that does that. It's fine to do it - if you are a private school. Otherwise, this is just gaming the system. Anyone who doesn't realize that isn't paying much attention.


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm

psr is a registered user.

@ LAHS Parent

Why should the Covington community be torn apart to benefit BCS? Why should they lose their school when BCS gives up nothing? How is that compromise?


Posted by @psr
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 1:08 pm

Stop being so melodramatic. There is no community being "torn apart". The current Covington kids will go to another nearby high performing LASD school and they will be fine.


Posted by @psr
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 1:15 pm

Also, you say that bcs gives up nothing. That's not true at all. BCS would be giving up the right to outgrow the Covington campus. That would be an absolutely huge concession on their part. BCS has the upper hand. If BCS wants to, they can continue to grow every year until they have over half the students in the district. Is that what you want?


Posted by Speculation
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Speculation abounds here with some ideas being more realistic than others. I'm afraid that Bullis saves LASD much money because only 50% of the revenue per student comes with them when they choose BCS. As a result, LASD can afford to operate many small schools, since they save so much on teachers. Teachers are the big ticket item in LASD's budget, which is normal. Half as many students means they need half as many teachers. So they can afford extra principals and school staff, because they have so few teachers overall. So LASD can afford to operate 10 schools now, because of BCS (and not counting BCS which operates itself). Not only that, but the total number of students is declining anyway, so LASD saves money on teachers there, not just from farming students out to BCS (when the student requests this).

This also means LASD has no reason to move 6th grade to middle school. The elementary schools are already getting very small. They don't want to lose 6th grade too!

So don't expect any schools to close because of BCS. But what this does mean is that you have multiple 10 acre sites with only 300 students, and plenty of parking, blacktop, outdoor space and even empty classrooms. BCS expansion will be dealt with by letting them have 300 students on the site too, i.e. sharing. Of course you have a site like Covington which is 16 acres and could be better as a shared resources.

Notice how you have LASD board members saying the shared sites should have 2 access points. This is pretty irrelevant. If 600 kids can use the site in one
school, why can't 600 use the site in 2 schools? Why do they think it needs 2 access streets. That might apply if they put 1200 kids on one site, like Egan, but it goes out the window if the TOTAL is only 600. Someone above said Gardner Bullis had multi-access because of the town pathways. Argh. That doesn't count. Ditto for saying Oak has multi-access because of the church nextdoor. Also doesn't count. If you count things like that Covington looks great:

a) Church nextdoor
b) walk in access from Arboleda and Rosita as well as Covingoton, i.e. 3 sides
c) Very large front access with large distance of driveway looping around

The two choices for sharing next year are Loyola and Almond. Almond does have a back connection to El Monte Road, but I just don't see LASD making a driveway there and putting portables for BCS on the Almond field. It would get pretty expensive to do that. I don't see Almond being used, even though it has no private preschool lease to contend with and is 10 acres with the back section that is hardly used by the school (just the neighborhood as a park).

I think the board has decided on Loyola even though it already has a 2nd school on the site (Private preschool). That preschool could be bounced, for one thing. With all the money BCS is saving LASD, the revenue is not needed any more. The state is going to require public preschool anyway, and every site is going to have its own LASD preschool before long. Luckily that takes little space and can easily fit it, since it won't need to be separated from the school like the private ones are. It looks clear to me that LASD will be putting 200 BCS kids at Loyola next year, that they have already made that plan, and that they won't announce it until January 25th.


Posted by Speculation
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Regarding Loyola, what makes it stand out as what Randy Kenyon has already picked is that it was already once near 600 students with the preschool operating there too. So it has been demonstrated before. Oak never got much past 500 students. So that's why it's clear they'll pick Loyola. Just wait and see.


Posted by Thomas
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 3:07 pm

Thomas is a registered user.

What is Loyola enrollment this year and how much classroom space is empty?


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 16, 2019 at 3:12 pm

psr is a registered user.

@ psr

You have very little experience with young children if you assume that there will be no effect from their being uprooted from their school, losing contact with their friends and all the rest that goes with losing their school. If they will be "just fine", then I suppose the BCS children will be "just fine" not being on one campus together. Taking a school from others to give to them is a terrible lesson. It would teach them that being a bully is the way to get what you want. Is that what you want?


@ Speculation

It is unrealistic to continue to claim that enrollment will continue to decline. Mountain View is building hundreds of housing units and many of them are in the LASD attendance area. Assuming no increase from that is silly.


Posted by @psr
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Ah, yes. Joan once again makes the snowflake argument that kids are not resilient and will have their lives ruined by having to go to a different school. The $150M Measure N bond fund (paid by taxpayers!) is going to be wasted so that little Steven at Covington doesn't have to go to Springer and make new friends. And while Covington stays safe, Santa Rita, Almond, and Loyola will be closed in a few years due to massive and unchecked BCS growth. We will all look back on this in a few years and ask why the LASD BoT did not do something when they had the chance.


Posted by @@psr
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 4:09 pm

Half of Covington comes from the Crossings anyway. Wouldn't they be happy to move to a school in their neighborhood so they could go to school with kids from Monroe Park? You wouldn't need to close Covington. It could stay open as a school for 300 kids that live nearby. If they did need to close, it could happen over several years and just stop taking kids at the K level one year, till the school was empty.


Posted by Los Altos Observer
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 4:52 pm

@@psr “If they did need to close, it could happen over several years and just stop taking kids at the K level one year, till the school was empty.” THIS is what LASD has had fifteen years to do to accommodate the increasing number of in-district public school students choosing BCS. There is a way to solve the facilities issue. Unfortunately LASD trustees are still so mired in anger (based on their own public comments) that they are unwilling to explore reasonable solutions.


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 16, 2019 at 7:16 pm

psr is a registered user.

@ psr

Who is Joan? Are you again assuming that those who support LASD are part of some sort of cabal like that of you BCS supporters? Did it occur to you that some of us actually observe what happens and are not swayed by BCS propaganda?

You may think you know who I am, but, as I said before, you are 100% wrong. That should be no surprise though, since you are wrong about quite a lot.

If kids are so resilient, then you should have no problem with the BCS kids moving around. Unlike the kids in the schools they are trying to take, they can afford any therapy that is needed after their lives are disrupted.


Posted by QVC
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 7:38 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Posted by Private preschools
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2019 at 7:45 pm

Private preschools is a registered user.

Are the LASD trustees going to address the elephant in the room at all during this Prop 39 process? We have private preschools sitting on each elementary campus. Why do they have more rights than the charter school? Covington has 3. Why does Covington need 3 private pre schools? Stepping Stones and John McAllister really need to find private land to site his preschool.

For LASD enrollment numbers, here are some links to data
Web Link


Posted by Another LASD Parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2019 at 9:32 pm

As a parent living in LASD, I would like my children to have the best education but also live in a welcoming community. It is very painful to see people (including the LASD board members) continue playing with the future of kids in the district just to settle some kind of score from the past.

"Not to cede any ground" is not important! Do your job! *Try* to find a solution that actually works in the long term! And stop spreading animosity toward members of the community including district children depending on which school they choose!





Posted by to psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 17, 2019 at 11:06 am

You continually use phrases such as parents will not allow "their school..." The schools are not OWNED by the parents but are OWNED by the LASD taxpayers which include lots of people with no K-8 kids and BCS parents. They are assets of the district and should be used in the best way for everyone in the district.

Your viewpoint is the entitled one -- "don't touch my school" even though that is how things should work. Circumstances change, populations change. Time to accept that.

I am sure that the children who are impacted can adapt -- it's been done before when school boundaries have been changed and when the BCS community was forced to split between Egan and Blach. Everyone survived. You underestimate the resilience of children when they have supportive parents who help with the change rather than tell their kids how awful it will be.


Posted by BCS wants special treatment
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 17, 2019 at 3:20 pm

BCS wants special treatment is a registered user.

BCS should spend more time providing value to the larger LASD community that does not attend BCS. If BCS did something for children other than BCS students, the conversation would go a lot better.

Instead a win for BCS is a loss for other LASD students. I haven't heard any attempt at providing value FIRST before demanding more from the LASD.

(not psr nor any previous commenter)


Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2019 at 8:32 pm

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

BCS gets special treatment alright. LASD collects over $15,000 of revenue per student in various taxes including a high parcel tax and a lot of ad valorem property taxes. BCS makes do with around $7800 in shared revenue for each of its students. So yes, BCS gets special treatment, i.e. greatly reduced operating funding.

Then look at the school facilities. The LASD students have an average of 460 students on spacious 10 acre sites with lots of garden space around each and every classroom. Lots of MPR, Library, Flex, STEM, Computer, and other special faiclities, including the kiln and outdoor stage at most schools. About 75% of space uses is in permanent buildings and then 30% of space is in portables, including the library at one school and the MPR at another. Exception for Covington, which has 585 students on over 13 acres out of a 16 acre campus shared with the district overhead staff (Superintendents and so forth). Covington also has a spacious site with lots of garden space around each and every classroom, and has all the special facility space found at the other schools, plus much larger flex rooms and additional special space beyond what the other schools have. All LASD schools have an after school program in a separate dedicated 3000-6000 square foot building, which is operated by a contractor but is conveniently reserved for use by the attendees at that school. Several LASD schools even have private preschools operating to serve little brothers and sisters too young for public school. This is a side benefit to living by those schools.

Then you have BCS which has entirely portable buildings with less of each category of space in all categories on a per student basis. LASD provides BCS with no room for an after school childcare operator. There is no private preschool program operating at the BCS sites. The BCS sites are carved out from the Junior High locations using only extra space the Jr High was not previously using. This means in one case (Blach) that 300 BCS students have only about 2 acres of land. Nearly as many kids as Gardner Bullis, but only 2 acres of land (vs. 10) and no drop off area AT ALL. They are dropped on the street for for the most part because the one small parking lot just won't work for teacher parking AND drop off. In the other case (at Egan, the 15-year old BCS site), the space is about 7 acres of land with a minimal drop off facility built into the parking lot there, for 600 kids. More kids than Covington, 7 acres vs 13 acres.

So yes, BCS is getting special treatment. What they may be asking for is to get FAIR TREATMENT.


Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2019 at 8:38 pm

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

It is really inaccurate to say that BCS is asking for even as much as fair treatment. They constantly advertise how they are resigned to accepting less than their fair share. The district is running around like a chicken with its head cut off, with obscure plans and unclear details. The district has offered BCS nothing specific, only vaguely general things like a "A new school" absent any real details. But the district has made all kinds of agreements to various limitations on the new school to get approval from Mountain View to share in the cost. An elementary school with a city gym? Locker rooms, round the clock use, denied use to the school for evening programs, etc. The general feeling created is that the district is trying to make the facilities as terrible as possible, without finalizing anything. Then Vlad and others say BCS won't accept it. THe district never asked BCS what was wrong with their planning. They really never shared any plans at all. They never really offered anything to BCS. When they say that BCS wouldn't accept it, what they are saying is that the charter school wouldn't blindly commit to a pig in a poke. And it's not even clear if LASD really even has the pig or the poke....


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 20, 2019 at 4:37 pm

psr is a registered user.

I always find it interesting that the BCS people always bring up portables like they are somehow inferior to any other type of classroom. ALL the schools use portables and I imagine at least as many LASD children are educated in them as BCS children. For STEM, computer and transitional kinder at Santa Rita are all in portables. As a matter of fact, the Santa Rita multi-purpose room is a portable that has been there since before my child attended and is still there now, four years later.

I'm still awaiting the answer as to why the BCS children should all have Junior High level classrooms when that isn't available to the rest of the district children. I assume you are uncomfortable addressing how unfair that would be. Right?


Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Jan 21, 2019 at 2:14 pm

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

Such sophistry in psr's post about how wonderful portables can be. That is not the issue cited by those who favor decent treatment for Bullis. Portables CAN BE ok, but these portables are not. What they lack compared to say the portables at Oak, which comprise 40% of the school there, is obvious.

1. The layout is paramount. The portables at Oak are arranged neatly in wings such that they are very close to the purpose built wings of the cite.

2. Portables can have covered walkways just like permanent buildings, but those at Bullis do not.

3. Portables can have green space on both sides of the classroom, just like permanent classrooms, but those at Bullis do not.

4. Portables can be spaced such that there is separation between them front and back, even if not side to side. I.e. they can be just like permanent wings, but they are not at Bullis. One result is much less natural light in the classrooms.

5. Some uses are less satisfactory for portables. For an MPR, the prefab buildings used at Oak and Santa Rita are far superior to the portables cobbled together at Bullis. The floor is stronger, the HVAC is quieter, and features like having a stage area integrated into the MPR work better in the more expensive MPR portables at Oak and Santa Rita.

6. The Bullis portables do not have any solar electricity utility, and they are more expense to operate for light and heat in other ways. The result is that Bullis gets saddled with a much higher electricity bill, because the district denies them infrastructure that is standard at its traditional schools. This is directly related to the WAY the portables are used for Bullis.

7. The portables at Blach are installed in a floodplain, which means they are built up 6 feet off the ground with elevated walkways accessed by cumbersome stairs. Other parts of the Blach site are naturally higher. This is not just the portion with the Blach buildings on it, but those are indeed on land that is naturally 6 feet higher than the location chosen for Bullis. Simply using the baseball field would have given the Bullis portables at least 4 more feet of natural elevation. It would have been like Oak or Almond. NONE of these sites have cumbersome 6 feet elevated foundations.


So in summary, it's irrelevant if portables can be good or not. The concern is that they are NOT well executed in the design of the facilities for Bullis at Egan and most importantly at Blach.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

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

Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

Polar vortexes and clean energy in the Upper Midwest
By Sherry Listgarten | 6 comments | 4,213 views

'We believe in empathy and profitability.' This new company wants to redefine delivery for local restaurants
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 4,130 views

Union demands too many: Open up the schools now!
By Diana Diamond | 18 comments | 3,447 views

Couples and Premarital: How Do You Define Love?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 657 views

 

Submit your story today

The 35th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Submit your short story here by April 2 (online submissions only). Stories must be 2,500 words or less. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details