School board postpones vote on giving Egan to Bullis Charter School | Town Square | Mountain View Online |

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School board postpones vote on giving Egan to Bullis Charter School

Original post made on Apr 26, 2019

Los Altos School District board members agreed Thursday night to delay the vote on whether to relocate Egan Junior High School and give the campus to Bullis Charter School, citing a need for more community buy-in.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 26, 2019, 12:49 PM

Comments (69)

27 people like this
Posted by Buy The Land NOW
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Who goes to the new Mountain View site is not the issue but the ever increasing cost of land and construction is significant, and the awaited park for The Crossings. The City of Mountain View will only wait so long, with many who supported and developed the TDR and Park funding mechanisms now off the Council and no longer on City staff. It is an affront to Mountain View residents what some Egan parents' said last night, especially when many of them did the reverse commute. Be very careful sideline quarterbacks because more is at steak here than just seemingly endless public input and spectator comments over what will amount to only two years, maybe three, at a junior high. BCS may very well take over LASD if silliness persists.


16 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 26, 2019 at 4:08 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

Hey Santa Clara County Office of Education, here's what you need to do:

"Pull the charter of Bullis Charter School. It was awarded for the WRONG reason - it was awarded because parents were angry their "high dollar" school in Los Altos Hills was not immediately being rebuilt. It was a 100 percent political sham."

It has been kept alive only because you, the County School Board members including the County Superintendent, are afraid of being sued, personally and professionally, by the Bullis Charter team of attorneys - which (by the way) are very good and would probably have stripped you of whatever wealth you may have accumulated - now and forevermore. Why, if you revoked the Bullis Charter's "charter" you'd all be living on the street.

But sometimes one needs to step in and do the right thing. What is that? Why it's returning all Los Altos students to the proper Los Altos School District and telling the Charter School "Adios Amigo."

Thanks for listening.


10 people like this
Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2019 at 5:48 pm

I'm glad to see that LASD BoT is going to take some more time to evaluate and make the best decision. In my mind, these should be the top two priorities:

1) Every LASD student should be able to REASONABLY AND SAFELY walk or bike to school
2) Secure a long term agreement with BCS that caps enrollment

I will support LASD if they can achieve these two priorities. I don't care if schools need to close or attendance areas re-arranged.


12 people like this
Posted by Wake up
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2019 at 5:49 pm

Wake up is a registered user.

If BCS disappeared tomorrow, the district would have a lot of kids to accommodate. Goodbye small neighborhood schools and classrooms. People like to ignore that BCS has keep the neighborhood schools small. 1000 kids or so by Fall 2019? And no they wouldn't all run off to private schools unless you know of private schools who would take hundreds of kids from BCS for each grade. That is also a silly statement people like to spout.


9 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 26, 2019 at 8:29 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

The entire Bullis Charter has me torn asunder. I like Wanny. It's obvious the parents of Los Altos really do enjoy the charter school and I'm SURE that Bullis Charter could easily raise the number of students to 1,500 without batting an eye.

That being said the other side of this equation has to do with the REASON the charter school came into existence and that's a huge problem. It began because parents were angry and Gardner Bullis wasn't immediately rebuilt and remained closed for several years.

The charter school essentially runs a closed campus with appointed school board members and frequent closed meetings. Something doesn't "click" with this as Bullis Charter is, in fact, a public school. What happened?

And now the LASD and Bullis Charter relationship is defined by lawsuits, lawyers, threats and . . . well . . . I think that pretty much sums it up. Since the original charter was based on a flawed scenario I think it makes THE MOST SENSE to simply pull the charter, put all the Bullis Charter students back into Los Altos (or their home district) and move forward.

Otherwise it'll go on for decades with no winners whatsoever.


2 people like this
Posted by J
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2019 at 9:13 pm

@ buy the land

It is my understanding that the land is being purchased regardless. The issue is who or what (district office and a school?) goes there.

As of now it only seems like LASD is rejecting the offer so they can garner community suooort for moving Egan between now and January. They will not get mine, but I’m glad they aren’t signing on Monday.


10 people like this
Posted by What to do With 10th Site?
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2019 at 10:37 pm

What to do With 10th Site? is a registered user.

This debacle was more about what to do with the 10th site than what to do with BCS. Using this as an opportunity to incite more anti-BCS sentiment was just a nice bonus for the trustees.

The most sensible solution would be to make 10th site a choice school. That way, the socio-economic demographics would be more balanced. But, as I said, this would be the "sensible" thing to do - which means the trustees won't be doing it.

I think they'll pick Santa Rita for the 10th site. In fact, one of the trustees mentioned this as an option when it looked like there was a lot of push-back from the Egan community. Personally, I think that's a horrible choice.


10 people like this
Posted by Facts
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2019 at 10:50 pm

The cost of construction goes up with every passing month. LASD is estimating now a land cost of $20 Million to $40 Million to add to the TDR's and MV contribution. That is not really firm. They hope to know by June how much the tab will run, but even then it won't be a final cost of the land investment. Likely they will have only $100 M total to spend on construction. Schools cost a lot to build, especially 3 story buildings built for compactness the way they describe. Building the sports facility that MV requested will cost at least $10 Million by itself. You don't need such a facility for an elementary school or even for the charter school. I'm thinking the costs on this have run away. It may seem like a great deal, but there is a question what can be built with this much money. Using portables reduces costs, but the city of MV doesnt' want a lot of portables at this new location. The land has too many strings attached. LASD is not being up front about costs and plans. I think the idea of moving the Jr High has the best cost efficiency, because the enrollment at Egan is on the decline. $1000 per square foot of building space is a likely cost to construct. There will be overruns. Egan is 65,000 sq ft currently. It has plenty of space and lots of empty rooms at various parts of the day. You could make a new Egan with the budget.

An elementary school for 550 would be about 45,000 sq ft. It would be cheaper. But the charter school serves as many as two elementary schools. So quite a bit more expensive.

The district has revealed these facts slowly over the years and they are not keeping them in the forefront in this current presentation. I'm not optimistic that this gets better with more time spent. They spread a lot of lies about Mountain View kids in the area during all of this, and no one corrected them. They mislead about the charter school too. This is not a recipe for success in any protracted further planning stages. They are just sort of killing time with nothing being accomplished while construction costs run up and up.


12 people like this
Posted by What to do With 10th Site?
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2019 at 11:31 pm

What to do With 10th Site? is a registered user.

@Facts

Thanks for sharing the facts. One would think the info sessions were to learn about some of the pros/cons and facts that you mentioned about the 10th site, but one would be wrong. The sessions I went to were pretty much dedicated to BCS hate.

They've decided to involve the community in deciding what to do with BCS, which is great.

But, shouldn't they get our input on 10th site too? Sure, MV is chipping in on the land, but we are paying for the buildings. If the 10th site is going to be a neighborhood elementary school or choice school, the community would be for it. But, if they are going to relocate a school, like Santa Rita, we might have the same problems we had with Egan.

Sounds like they are going to purchase the land without involving us. Not wise.


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Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 27, 2019 at 12:49 am

Politics is a registered user.

Here's the agenda for LASD's April 29th meeting:

Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Rossta
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 27, 2019 at 9:15 am

Rossta is a registered user.

Mountain View is giving large concessions with the TDRs for this new school. But, moving Egan to this location does not seem to have any benefit to Mountain View students. Am I missing something here? I thought the deal was that those Mountain View residents would be getting a neighborhood grade school.


18 people like this
Posted by ResidentSince1892
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 27, 2019 at 10:17 am

ResidentSince1892 is a registered user.

James Thurber is correct in placing the blame for this whole debacle at the feet of the county board of education. The original BCS impetus was a disagreement about LASD facilities, rather than any actual educational issues, which helps explain why BCS has always aggressively fought facilities battles and intentionally grown beyond their site capacity. Blame Craig Jones. Blame Francis Lapoll. Blame Wanny Hersey. And Ken Moore and John Phelps and Joe Hurd. Blame Grace Mah. Blame Margaret Abe Koga. This high rent charter scam has become a darling of SCCOE and the CA charter school movement, but a disaster for the community it is supposed to be serving.


7 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 27, 2019 at 1:28 pm

Politics is a registered user.

Interesting that the people who argue for BCS's destruction say they know the motivations behind BCS and its founding. I wonder how truthful and accurate they are?

And the same people claim that BCS is to blame for the fighting and disrupting, while urging the community and LASD to never give an inch to BCS and "let them sue."

And the same people spread their version of what the "facts" are and how to interpret them. And of course these "facts" support their arguments to kill BCS...

Interesting indeed.


2 people like this
Posted by Wonder
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2019 at 1:49 pm

Wonder is a registered user.

If these guys checked with Mountain View City before delaying their vote or if they forgot.


5 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 27, 2019 at 4:54 pm

Politics is a registered user.

In the 10-year agreement LASD gets its top priority (cap BCS enrollment) and BCS gets its top priority (permanent facilities).

In the 2-year proposal, LASD would get its top priority (enrollment cap) and BCS would get... no permanent facilities, just interim facilities and a pinky promise.

We're at the end of a 5-year agreement where LASD had promised BCS permanent facilities in return for supporting the Measure N bond and capping enrollment growth. Whoops.

The 10th site property deal with Mountain View requires a public school to go there. The 10-year agreement would have fulfilled that requirement. The 10th site deal could be in jeopardy because the window of opportunity is now, not 2+ years from now.

LASD insists they're not rejecting the 10-year agreement, they're just not approving it "yet." For BCS the effect is the same - they can't count on permanent facilities. If BCS refuses the 2-year proposal will anti-BCS people try to blame them for the whole thing falling apart?


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Posted by Santa Rita
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm

To those thinking that Santa Rita would nice to the 10th site, why is that? If LASD gave Santa Rita to BCS, it would not fit. Curious about the reasoning there.


8 people like this
Posted by What to do With 10th Site?
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2019 at 8:47 pm

What to do With 10th Site? is a registered user.

@Santa Rita

Personally, I don't think Santa Rita should be relocated to the 10th site. Taglio mentioned it at an info session.

Someone in the audience said that what the Egan community really wants is to stay on the Los Altos side of El Camino and suggested that Egan be relocated to Covington, sharing with Covington. Taglio replied that there would be too much traffic at Covington. Someone else mentioned that families want choice, so how about a choice school at the 10th site. He said LASD can't afford to do that without closing an elementary school, so he vetoed that idea as well.

Later on, sort of thinking aloud, he talked about combining 2 elementary schools in South Los Altos OR relocating Santa Rita. I don't see how these 2 solutions would solve the BCS problem, but it might solve the "who's going to the 10th site problem".

The trustees' decision-making seems to be driven by "who" should go to the 10th site. BCS was just a convenient excuse.


21 people like this
Posted by Santa Rita
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2019 at 9:08 pm

@ what to do with

I completely agree that there are two issues at hand: 1) who to put st the tenth site and 2) where to house BCS. The district is trying to solve both at the same time.

Covington is one of the sacred cows of the district. Taglio will vote to move Egan or another neighborhood school until the world ends. What he’s not seeing is that this will hurt his main hope. If he puts BCS at Egan, it only makes BCS more desirable since when you buy a home in Los Altos you don’t want to go to middle school at Walmart.

I personally think BCS to Covington would be fine! There would be traffic. Yep. How would traffic be with 1111 BCS students at Egan, + nearby Santa Rita, + new teacher housing on site, at San Antonio and Portola?! Horrible! But the superintendent also lives by Covington and doesn’t like the Covington traffic either. We have to think outside ourselves. For the kids. Why is it so hard for them to see this?

~ a very happy Santa Rita & Egan mom, feeling frustrated with the decisions being made :)


7 people like this
Posted by Touchdown Tony
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2019 at 9:17 pm

-Build the 10th campus in MV for NEC K-5
-Give the two smallest campuses to BCS (Gardner & Springer)
-Move 6th grade to Egan/Blach
-Redraw attendance areas


1 person likes this
Posted by Santa Rita
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2019 at 9:55 pm

I like your idea. However, I’ve been told that BCS gets to accept the offers they get...or not. They would like ONE site. One site for 1111 kids. So splitting them wouldn’t work.

Why do they want one site? To collaborate. Is that equal to what LASD has? No. Do BCS PARENTS want one site?? Who knows. Other rumors say they can’t speak about this.

Otherwise, while I personally love 6th at elementary,


10 people like this
Posted by Touchdown Tony
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2019 at 10:02 pm

BCS would accept Gardner and Springer if that were the offer. They would be thrilled. There's an awful lot they could do with exclusive use of those two campuses.


3 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 28, 2019 at 9:07 am

Politics is a registered user.

BCS needs facilities for K-8.

Facilities for junior high (or middle school) are fundamentally different from elementary e.g. athletics. The sites with these facilities are Egan, Blach and Covington. Of these, Egan and Covington are each large enough for BCS.

Egan would need fewer changes than Covington, and Covington would be more challenging politically for LASD to agree to. Blach isn't big enough and would need upgrades that are expensive because it's on a flood plain, or a 2nd site.

So the viable options look like 1 large junior high site (Egan or Covington), or 1 junior high plus 1 elementary.

To my eyes 1 site looks less disruptive than 2, and Egan looks less disruptive than Covington. If there are any other ways to fit the need let's get those on the table - a bunch of people have tried but it's always possible they missed something.


6 people like this
Posted by Touchdown Tony
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 10:52 am

Ah, yes. Look at "Politics". Demanding that LASD turn over Egan, Blach, or Covington because BCS is "K-8". Such entitlement! Two smaller campuses would not be good enough for BCS and "Politics".


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2019 at 12:11 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

People love to go after the poor, elderly, disabled individuals for the cost of entitlements

Historically, CORPORATE entitlements are the big scam.

Please refer to Web Link

The fact is that this is just another "privatization" corproate welfare, transferring the public wealth to the private via corruption.

Everyone knows that Bullis is a business owned and operated by John McAllister, the report provided here Web Link

This is just another example of corporate welfare.


9 people like this
Posted by Historian
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 1:16 pm

@Touchdown Tony

You seem to be forgetting that GB is a sacred cow. It was reopened to prevent Los Altos Hills from breaking off and forming a new school district. As such, LAH would be taking an enormous tax revenue with them. LASD and PAUSD got together to help prevent that.

‘Politics’ is just stating facts. You are somehow reading the word ‘demand’ when it isn’t here.


9 people like this
Posted by Touchdown Tony
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Yes, you are right. GB and Covington are both treated like sacred cows but they shouldn't be. No school should be untouchable.


2 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 28, 2019 at 2:19 pm

Politics is a registered user.

My intent here is to find the least disruptive option that meets the needs of K-8 public school kids, and to describe the thinking behind it. The LASD-BCS negotiating teams would have gone through a similar but exhaustive process. The negotiating teams can't talk about what they discussed but I have no such constraints.

If we're looking at two elementary sites, then it would be necessary to build new junior high facilities on one of them. If LASD would rather get behind an idea like that it's up to them, though I don't see how 2 sites plus an upgrade would be less disruptive than 1 site.

If anyone knows of a less disruptive option that still meets the needs of all these students and is politically feasible I'd love to hear it and I bet so would everyone else working on a solution.


20 people like this
Posted by Need New Trustees
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 5:51 pm

Need New Trustees is a registered user.

We need to elect trustees that actually care about the community. As @Rossta astutely points out:

"I thought the deal was that those Mountain View residents would be getting a neighborhood grade school."

It's obvious to many that the kind of school that serves NEC neighborhood best would be a "grade school". But, instead of fulfilling this simple goal, the trustees created this Egan mess, which was entirely UNNECESSARY.

The LASD BoT have 2 goals: 1. protect Covington, and 2. pit LASD parents against BCS parents.

They are still playing games: now they want a 2-year interim deal. So, BCS has waited for 5 years for permanent facilities; now, it has to wait for 2 more.

In the next 2 years, I predict that the trustees will offer up different schools: hey Springer you are next; now you Santa Rita. The goal is to create more outrage against BCS.

When there's uncertainty, the entire community suffers. How many people are watching this mess and thinking to themselves, "I'm moving to Palo Alto"?

Failure of leadership.


2 people like this
Posted by Santa Rita
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 6:04 pm

@ Politics

Why do you feel that BCS needs K-8 when no LASD campuses are k-8? It doesn’t seem like the district needs (aka needs to cave to demands) to provide this as its not equal to what the community schools have. Honest question, not snarky.


1 person likes this
Posted by J
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 6:05 pm

@ Need New Trustees

Many families are discussing going private, yes. Haven’t heard the Palo Alto possibility floating around.


4 people like this
Posted by Need New Trustees
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 6:15 pm

Need New Trustees is a registered user.

@J

Yes, agree that the private school option has been mentioned often. During the protest, someone interviewed mentioned moving away, although not Palo Alto specifically.

Not everyone can afford private school. So, what option would those people have but to move away. How about families that have yet to purchase - looking at this mess, do you think LASD looks as appealing as PAUSD?

Moving to Palo Alto is an option that our family is personally pondering.


7 people like this
Posted by Sacred Cows
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 7:27 pm

Sacred Cows is a registered user.

GB is really not a sacred cow in the district. Only Vladimir's existence keeps it somewhat protected. It is the smallest school in the district and is easily forgotten like Oak. Covington is the only sacred cow as far as protection from the charter school.


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Posted by Private Schools
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 7:41 pm

Private Schools is a registered user.

As a former LASD parent with high school kids in private schools, I always chuckle when everyone assumes kids from BCS would all run off to private school or now all of the angry Egan parents will ship their kids off to private school. It is private school and the competition is fierce on the peninsula. We are competing with San Francisco as well. Let's bring this into perspective. In addition to the obvious costs involved, it is not easy to get into these schools. Based on my experience, here are some guesses for 6th grade admissions each year on average for LASD area for the most popular private schools in the area. Competition would increase if angry Egan parents throw their kids' hat in the race.
Nueva takes around 6-8
Menlo seems to take less
Harker maybe takes up to 10
Crystal Spring takes maybe 5 or so
Pinewood 7th grade maybe under 10
Sacred Heart no idea
Casti under 10


2 people like this
Posted by Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 28, 2019 at 8:07 pm

Politics is a registered user.

Looks like I should be clearer that K-8 refers to kids, not a campus or program. Trying again: BCS needs facilities that in total are appropriate for K-8 kids.

BCS doesn't have enough 7-8 kids to fill a junior high. K-8 kids could fill one junior high site. Otherwise we're looking at sharing a junior high site and adding a second site for K-6 (or K-5) kids. Which of those would be less disruptive to the community?


12 people like this
Posted by J
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 9:01 pm

@ Politics

I’d rather them share Egan and Blach as they’re doing. But if they don’t accept that, then a new site for K-5 and share a site for 6-8. (They do 6-8 for middle). But they want all together to collaborate. They being the board. Who knows what parents want, they seem to be silenced.

@ Private- you’re right, they are full.

@ Sacred Cows- GB absolutely is a sacred cow due to $$. It shouldn’t be because it’s such a small campus numbers-wise but it is. The district would give up Oak, Loyola, Springer, Almond, or SR before GB.

@ Need New Trustees- no, actually PAUSD has some major issues I’m not interested in. For example: suicides, pressure, rape culture, stress, less community appeal, more teacher turnover, a volatile board, Stanford expansion, superintendent turnover, Kim Diorio ... I could go on. I’d much rather move to San Ramon or Danville. Excellent schools and wonderful communities. That is super tempting actually. I don’t think LASD is at all aware of how many families are serious about leaving. I think they think the threats are just that...empty threats. But to lose a huge amount of students and also funding would in fact give in more to BCS. Jessica seems to think her way or the highway but in fact her way = the highway. She is so stuck on being right that she cannot see past her own nose.


3 people like this
Posted by LASD empty promise
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 9:14 pm

The 2 year agreement idea is misleading. It's only 6 months until the start of the next Prop 39 cycle. Asking BCS to wait more than 6 months is not needed. The district needs to gather their plans together within 6 more months. They have already had 5 years. If BCS would spend the funds to install more portables at Egan, that's a big risk for them if they have only a 6 month deal. If they prefer the 6 month deal to the 2 year deal, then it should be up to them.

But failing that, if they seek to delay 2 years, they only can ask for an 18 month agreement. That covers 2 full school years.

The idea of using Santa Rita comes from the district's past suggestions that BCS could fit on first 7.6 and then 9.6 acres on California Street. They only said it was too small when the number increased by 200, i.e. it was large enough or 900. Santa Rita is 11.5 acres. It's large enough for 900 by the district's past size planning.

It's true that BCS can make a case they deserve 20 acres, and the compromised on 16 acres. They have 20% of the kids and they agreed to make do with 14% of the land. It the public wants to preserve Egan of other uses, it is not out of the range of possibilities for BCS to fit onto 11.5 acres at Santa Rita. Also, another option is for BCS to also keep 7 acres at Egan and have 2 proximate sites. They need more space if split in two. This avoids the problem the board has noted about having a nearby BCS site drawing interest. Both Santa Rita and Egan are located in the SAME NEIGHBORHOOD. Both are neighborhood schools FOR THE SAME NEIGHBORHOOD.


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Posted by LASD Empty Promise
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 9:16 pm

BCS isn't requesting a Junior School site because of special facilities. They just need the space. A K-8 school does not need all the same facilities as both a Jr High and an elementary school. Prop 39 matches them up as an elementary school in LASD. But IF LASD continues to put them at a Jr High site, they have a right to share those
facilities too, like a track and science labs.


16 people like this
Posted by J
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 9:46 pm

@ LASD Emory promise

Rumor has it that BCS does not want the Kohl’s site. True?

Would they want the entire Santa Rita site and nothing else? That’s going to cause the same uproar as moving Egan. All of our community schools are very special.

I’m not sure I understand your very strong feelings about Egan and Santa Rita being in the same neighborhood. Are you suggesting Santa Rita and Egan share a site? Okay, possible. But the traffic, oh the traffic. Same issue as 1,111 BCS students at one location. Neither are good— therefore nothing against BCS traffic. Same unworkable issue.

Basically LASD is moving the deadline to try to get the public on their side and accept moving Egan. LASD parents will never be on board. LASD Trustees don’t care about LASD parent input. It’s all a facade, sadly. We’ve lost all trust in them and can’t wait to vote them all out.


7 people like this
Posted by J
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 9:49 pm

@ empty promises

If you’re saying Santa Rita can fit 900 then maybe BCS should’ve stayed at 900, not 1111 +.

Also, Santa Rita are I the same neighborhood, yep. They serve different ages. That’s how LASD works, I believe, to it’s advantage. No need for TK and 8th grade to be intermingled as they’re in very different stages of life :)


21 people like this
Posted by Need New Trustees
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 10:20 pm

Need New Trustees is a registered user.

@J

Agree with:

"LASD Trustees don’t care about LASD parent input. It’s all a facade, sadly. We’ve lost all trust in them and can’t wait to vote them all out."

"Jessica seems to think her way or the highway but in fact her way = the highway."

I found the trustees' approach to all of this to be very authoritarian and irrational. Why was a choice school for 10th site dismissed so readily? Why was Loyola picked for sharing in the original Prop 39 proposal and not Covington? Clearly, the most neighborhood-serving school for 10th site would be an elementary school - so why a junior high?

Some sort of a sharing arrangement involving Covington would solve many problems, so why is it that traffic at Covington is an insurmountable problem but relocating Egan and upsetting a huge community of people is OK?

Their decisions just don't make sense. I think they are blinded by their hatred for BCS.


3 people like this
Posted by Historian
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:18 pm

“I don’t think LASD is at all aware of how many families are serious about leaving. I think they think the threats are just that...empty threats.”

LOL. Unless you are planning to move and rent your house to a special education student family, leaving only benefits LASD. The taxes will go up with a sale, and the new family will likely NOT have school age kids. Win-win. Please leave! More funding per student for those who remain.


10 people like this
Posted by J
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2019 at 6:00 am

@ Need new Trustees

I think we can agree that they attempted to pick Loyola because they didn’t realize how much opposition there would be. All of the schools, north and south, have come together to help each other. Even Oak, which feeds into Blach, has helped the Egan effort.

“ Their decisions just don't make sense. I think they are blinded by their hatred for BCS.“
Bingo. It’s so frustrating.

@ Historian
This conversation was so civil and productive until your last comment. I think more people rent than you realize.


11 people like this
Posted by Need New Trustees
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2019 at 11:47 am

Need New Trustees is a registered user.

@Historian

Telling someone to "please leave" is really uncalled for. If the BoT makes their decisions NOT on the welfare of LASD families but on purely "fiscal" considerations, as your post suggests, then they really need to be voted out.

The community agrees that we should take the needs of NEC into account - 20%+ of LASD is in NEC. So, if we had 5 junior highs, and 1 of them is in NEC, then people wouldn't be so upset. But we only have only 2, so relocating Egan is just irrational.

Again, as @Rossta pointed out, 10th site should be an elementary school.


3 people like this
Posted by Historian
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2019 at 2:44 pm

A civil and productive discussion with anonymous people on the internet? Good luck. You all are just a bunch of entitled parents worried that little Johnny will have to go to 7th and 8th grade next to big bad Walmart. Not the tragedy that you think it is.

LASD trustees have a fiduciary duty (look it up) to make the best educational policy decisions for all public students served within their boundaries. That duty doesn’t make everyone happy all the time, and it doesn’t have to.


4 people like this
Posted by History
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2019 at 3:09 pm

LASD had the idea of their own choice school long ago. It was not just dismissed lightly It has been examined over the last year not just the last month.

What people don't realize is how tight are the LASD finances. A new school costs money they do not have. Yak about a new school but it only counts if you put up $2M a year ongoing to cover increased yearly costs. BCS has to put up $7M per year to supplement what the district can afford. The district has land but can't just keep splitting into more tiny schools.


2 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 29, 2019 at 3:09 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

For all LASD and Bullis Charter parents who are thinking of sending their son or daughter to a private school I've got three great suggestions: The International School at Lausanne, Leysin American School and Aiglon College. Aiglon is located in Villars-sur-Ollon in Canton Vaud. Both are 4th thru 12th grade and give a great education.

They stress individuality, foreign language training, and success on either the "O" / "A" level testing or the SAT.

Summer is fast approaching and parents . . . you CAN get your child enrolled for the fall semester - if you move NOW!

Best of luck.


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Posted by Historian
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2019 at 5:43 pm

And don’t forget to check out Institut Le Rosey while your at it.


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Posted by J
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2019 at 5:48 pm

@ historian

Actually, there was a nice conversation going until you stepped in, among strangers, on the internet.

Do you have a child? Would you like them to attend school next to Walmart? Just wondering. I shop at Walmart and target but I’m not about to let some snobby elite harder school send my school out of its own town, that’s for sure.


6 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2019 at 6:51 pm

LASD serves Mountain View. Both Egan and Blach serve 3 or 4 cities. Im starting to think more of this problem is due to the stupid name. it is not a city school district serving Los Altos only. More than half the tax money comes from other cities.


16 people like this
Posted by LASD Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Looking at the school district the critical need is a new neighborhood elementary school to serve the growing student population which lives in the City of Mountain View around the area of the proposed new 10 acre campus north of El Camino Real.

If another campus is needed to be built to house students for the Los Altos School District then the appropriate location for this district school would be in the neighborhood where the most students who are not currently served by a neighborhood elementary school reside—the area North of El Camino – where over 550 student now reside and cross State Route 82 El Camino Real each day to attend school. The presence of many board members residences near to Covington Elementary School does not give children who live near to Covington Elementary School more rights to a neighborhood school then the less well represented children living near the proposed Junior High School tenth campus in Mountain View.

Even if this school board chooses to build a middle school on that site in Mountain View, at some point it would seem most likely that a rational school board will meet the legitimate needs of that group of students to have a neighborhood elementary school, and remodel and relocated the junior high school that this board builds there. The irrationality of having k-6 students cross a state highway ( El Camino Real) when a school could be built near to them escapes me.


I appreciate that the school board thinks that it is threading a needle of school closure and not upsetting the friends and neighbors of the current school board members by closing a current junior high school, not an elementary school.


But the best solution for the needs of all the students in the district over the long term would be to build an elementary school at the proposed 10 acre site in Mountain View and then place Bullis Charter as the sole occupant of either Egan, Blach or Covington and then use the two of these campuses which are not occupied by Bullis Charter for LASD Junior High Schools.

Based on best use of current resources and planning for the future the best use of the campuses currently owned by the Los Altos School District once a new elementary school is built in Mountain View it would be best to give use of the 15.43 acre Covington Campus which is currently configured for K-6 to Bullis Charter for its K-8. This Covington Campus is a the same size as the 16 acre site at Egan Junior High school proposed to be given over to use of the Charter School, but would require less remodeling to meet the needs of a K-8 School. The Covington Campus is in the middle of the school district not on one side like the Egan Junior High Campus so it would be more appropriate for an all district magnet school. And in the future if state law should change related to charter schools then the campus given over to Bullis could be repurposed for a LASD run magnet.

I don’t think it matters for the district's best use of schools and facilities which of these campuses is occupied by Bullis, but if the political will to close a school near which so may school district board members live is not present than I would suggest transitioning Covington back to Covington Junior High School, and closing Egan as planned and opening a new elementary school where it is most needed north of El Camino.

As noted above if Covington elementary were closed and a new elementary school built north of El Camino, hundreds of students who currently are driven 3.1 miles to Covington from North of El Camino would be redirected to a new neighborhood school closer to their homes. While those students who live around Covington would be redirected either to continue at the new elementary school or to one of the other nearby district elementary schools . Review of school locations and of the current enrollments boundaries show that a significant number of these students are as close to Springer, Loyola or Almond Elementary Schools as many other elementary school students in the district are to their own schools. For those inclined to check distances, it is a 0.8 mile walk from Covington Elementary School to Springer Elementary School. It is 1.3 miles from Covington to Loyola Elementary School. And it is 1.4 miles from Covington to Almond Elementary School.

The strangest argument I keep hearing is about traffic at Covington not allowing a middle school or cahrter school at that campus. As Covington already has 585 students many of whom are driven from Mountain View North of El Camino to Covington this is a very illogical and irrational argument.


9 people like this
Posted by LASD Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Here are the acreage of the schools. Elementary 10 acres ( except Covington Campus which was Covington Junior High School from 1950-until it closed ) and Junior Highs ( Covington Junio High, Blach Junior High, Egan Junior High) 15-18 acres

Schoool Acres Students
Almond - 9.97 488
Covington 15.43 585
Gardner Bullis 10 302
Loyola - pink 10 404
Oak - orange 10 387
Santa Rita 10.29 524
Springer 10.29 468

Blach 17.95 499
Egan - 18.83 586


1085 LASD Junior High Students
On average 543 students per grade year for all of LASD, 294 per grade year at Egan, 250 per grade year at Blach


24 people like this
Posted by LASD Population by School
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2019 at 1:18 am

Santa Rita, Almond and Covington look to be the largest schools but you need to take into account
that since 2008 when the last reassignments occurred, all 3 have had 1/3 of their attendees coming from NEC. So for all that time, and indeed well before, there have been enough students in NEC to merit their own school. It's not something new.

The LASD demographers have documented first two years ago and then again one year ago in open public LASD board meetings with published agendas and supporting material that what is happening in LASD is not just more students in Mountain View NEC. Instead, there is a SHIFT of the population with fewer students per housing unit everywhere else. So if a new school is opened in NEC, two things happen.

(a) Immediately, the new school is 550 students
(b) immediately, it its THE ONLY school in LASD with more than 400-410 students. Some of the others are down around 300 or even less.

As time progresses, the NEC school would become overcrowded ever more.

Is it fair, the have Santa Rita serve 300 kids and keep it open.

No. something would then need to be done. Since Covington and Almond are also very small, the obvious solution is to pick ONE of those schools to handle overflow from the new NEC school, and then merge the other two together.

This fact, documented in board reports starting 2 years ago, is what lead the board to reach the conclusion that it is worth making the school in NEC be the Junior High, among other factors that is.

Those arguing against a Junior High on California Street are defect arguing to close one of the existing school. The charter school has nothing much to do with it. LASD's budge is severely strained. This is also documented in open public meetings. But none of the pitchfork carriers seems to pay attention to the details.


11 people like this
Posted by Touchdown Tony
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2019 at 8:13 am

Thank you LASD Population by School. Yours is an excellent post which highlights the issue of declining number of children in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. That's why I am suggesting that LASD would be better off giving BCS two of the existing elementary school campuses (or Covington) instead of Egan. It's ridiculous that we have four elementary schools in very close proximity in central Los Altos (Almond, Springer, Covington, Loyola) and that two of these schools have to import students from NEC in order to boost enrollment to a minimum acceptable level. It's further ridiculous that LASD will not consider moving 6th grade to Egan/Blach because that would tank enrollment at the already under-utilized elementary schools.


13 people like this
Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2019 at 3:35 pm

LongResident is a registered user.

Whatever is done LASD can't afford 8 elementary schools let alone 9 if they merged in BCS kids after killing it off like some seem to want. Vlad for example is highly illogical and unreasoning in his views. Hate costs a lot of money.


16 people like this
Posted by Need New Trustees
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2019 at 3:52 pm

Need New Trustees is a registered user.

Can't agree more with LongResident that "Hate costs a lot of money."

How many hours have been wasted protesting, going to meetings, and reading these message boards? That's a few weeks wasted being angry/upset that we'll never get back.

Was it necessary? NO. There are win-wins the BoT could have chosen. Instead, they chose this lose-lose proposition: 1. Egan fears being relocated to an out-of-town shopping mall, and 2. BCS gets a non-binding promise that MAYBE they'll get Egan in about 5+ years.

What an UNNECESSARY fiasco.


7 people like this
Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2019 at 10:42 am

I've heard it suggested a few times (mostly by BCS supporters) to turn Covington into a Jr. High and move Egan to Covington.

Since the Covington campus is actually located in the Blach attendance area, wouldn't it make more sense to move Blach to Covington and then move BCS to Blach? It's a straight shot between Covington and Blach, 1.6 miles on Covington Road, and is a relatively easy and safe 9 minute bike ride. That's a lot better than having kids from NEC, Los Altos Hills, and North Los Altos trying to make their way to Covington.


8 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 1, 2019 at 12:23 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

Dear Resident Since 1892

Don't blame anybody for the current fiasco. If you want a particular group to blame consider the lawyers (Ref: Jack Cade, Shakespeare, Henry IV).

Ultimately the charter school was born for the wrong reason - angry parents.

Ultimately the charter school needs to go away. LASD schools perform at a spectacular level - there is NO NEED for the Charter School. It is, essentially, a fraud.

Ultimately the County Board of Education might develop the courage to pull said charter (Ref: The Wizard of Oz - the Cowardly Lion)

And hopefully the county will protect the Board of Education's personal assets as the lawyers for Bullis Charter will go after everything Board members own - everything - perhaps even their first born.


16 people like this
Posted by Kohl’s site disaster
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 3, 2019 at 7:05 am

As a MV resident with no horse in this race other than wanting a sensible development, the whole idea of putting a school on the Kohl’s site is just idiocy. No student/parent constituency wants to go to school there except the NEC parents who have not thought it through. If it is NEC only, it will be the least desirable of LASD schools simply because the socioeconomic mix will mean it will have lower test scores than other LASD schools. It will likely be more like Monta Loma or Castro in MVWSD than it will be like Almond or Springer: a “6” or “7” rather than a “10” rating. I know this will come as a shock to parents that spend additional money so their kids can go to the “good” schools, but there is no magic emanating from the ground in LASD (not in Huff or Bubb in MVWSD), it’s simply socioeconomics. And once that new school is a 6 and the rest of LASD elementary schools are 9 and 10s then everyone will try to move to those other schools, defeating the purpose of the new one. The board clearly sees this which is why they have not looked to put a neighborhood only school on the Kohl’s site.

The site is also just a horrible place for a school. Next to Walmart with RVs parked? Are random vagrants around the shopping center going to make their way onto school grounds? Is it going to be a walled in school with no kids allowed outside for safety?

That site should be used for retail or housing. The suitability of that site for a school has already been made clear by the aversion of parents to wanting it.


7 people like this
Posted by NEC Demographics
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2019 at 9:54 am

NEC has desireable socio-economic demographic. Maybe not as affluent as Los Altos but this area is definitely not poor. In fact, it is gentrifying with a lot of young and high earning tech workers. Lower income residents are getting pushed out. The above comparison to Monta Loma/Castro is a poor one.


3 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 3, 2019 at 3:51 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

Dear Kohl’s site disaster

You are brilliantly correct. To put a school in the middle of a (dammed) shopping mall is beyond stupid.

If that's done I wouldn't be surprised if the entire school board (LASD) was recalled and perhaps even run out of town on a rail.

Since Los Altos sold off most of the prior school sites and nobody wants to talk about Hillview School then . . . I guess idiots rule.

Such is life.


3 people like this
Posted by 10th site Debacle
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2019 at 4:25 pm

10th site Debacle is a registered user.

@James Thurber

You finally said something that other people can actually agree with:

"To put a school in the middle of a (dammed) shopping mall is beyond stupid. If that's done I wouldn't be surprised if the entire school board (LASD) was recalled and perhaps even run out of town on a rail."

Couldn't agree more. There WERE suggestions to recall the trustees if the Egan deal went through.

@Kohl's site disaster:

Your entire post is "brilliant". More people that can write eloquently and rationally should speak up. Particularly, you point out what many (especially in Los altos) are afraid to say:

"No student/parent constituency wants to go to school there except the NEC parents who have not thought it through. If it is NEC only, it will be the least desirable of LASD schools simply because the socioeconomic mix will mean it will have lower test scores than other LASD schools."

Thank you for injecting common sense into this argument. LASD BoT has really lost their minds.


13 people like this
Posted by open eyes
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 4, 2019 at 12:10 am

Hey wait a minute. Who says the new school is "in a shopping mall." The whole point of this is that LASD with the city would be buying all the properties that make up the mall area with Kohl's and 24 Hour Fitness Gym, plus Joanne Fabrics and the other assorted businesses, such as the boba places and the noodle places, and Game Stop. Theres's no more shopping mall left there at all. Have the people making comments like this looked into the current plans for the area?

All of Mountain View is changing rapidly. This particular area will be adding 5000 new housing units overall as we know now. That will bring the total to 10,000 total housing units in a small quarter square mile area. Commercial areas are being converted to residential. California Street is a RESIDENTIAL street with multistory apartments. The Merlone Geier property as it now exists is the closest shopping. Walmart is being converted to 2500 units of apartments and some office buildings, not shopping, when the lease runs out. The Milk Pail and the small strip mall on that corner is being converted to residential too.

So these numbskulls should open their eyes. How can you deny a local neighborhood school of some sort to a newly grown residential area, just because it USED TO BE a shopping area. The shopping area is gone or going away. Get real people. Open your eyes. Mountain View is changing, and this is not the only area of the city where it is happening. LASD residents are affected by this because for years LASD has benefits from the property tax revenue of the specific area. That area is the fastest growing value area in all of LASD. Stop the discrimination and denial.


5 people like this
Posted by open eyes
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 4, 2019 at 12:36 am

@10 site debacle

Everything you said is both not true as much as you state and also fully addressed by using the site as the new home of Egan. This kids in this area already cross El Camino Real for K-6 as well as 7-8. Egan is their 7-8. If you don't want them to have an elementary school, it works to have the Junior High be local to them. That way they get a neighborhood school for some of their years in LASD. Egan will become 50% composed of kids from this area anyway. The remainder of Egan comes from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto (around Monroe). All the non-NEC kids attend an actual local K-6 school without crossing ECR. NEC has to cross ECR for K-6. It's only fair for the kids getting the neighborhood elementary schools to then cross ECR for the Jr High for 2 of their 9 years in LASD. Fair is fair. Egan is not really a neighborhood school, but of course it will be located in SOME neighborhood. That neighborhood should be NEC. It does indeed " SAVE OUR NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS" in the above described way to relocate Egan.


6 people like this
Posted by Best Idea Yet
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2019 at 8:13 am

-Build the new school for NEC K-5
-Convert Covington from Elementary to Middle School
-Close Blach (move to Covington)
-Move BCS to the formerly Blach campus
-Move 6th grade to middle school
-Redraw attendance areas


2 people like this
Posted by Not the Best Idea Yet
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2019 at 10:43 am

Blach is built out as a middle school with a design that leaves little space between buildings. The spare space is in a flood plane alongside a flood control channel. Covington is halfway outside the Blach attendance area. It's split 50-50 between Egan and Blach geographically. Having two middle schools both in the North end of LASD makes little sense. Both would be in the Los Altos High School attendance area, and LAHS is over crowded. It would cost a lot of money to return Covington to status as a Jr High. It has no track and no room for one.

The moving of 6th grade to middle school just reduces the enrollment at Oak, Gardber Bullis and Loyola to be unsupportable. That's a red herring. Just leave that out of it.

I just don't see any logic to that idea at all.


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Posted by Not the Best idea yet
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2019 at 10:45 am

I mean to say there is no usable space between the Blach clasroom buildings because they are spaced too far. There's space but it's spread evenly all over the place with no workable chunks in which to build new buildings to hold 600 more students than it has now.


2 people like this
Posted by Best Idea Yet
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Covington's CAMPUS is fully located within the Blach attendance area and is within the southern half of LASD. Furthermore, 80% of Blach students live within 1.5 miles of Covington. There is plenty of room at Blach for the 1,111 BCS students.

So, it really is the best idea yet!


2 people like this
Posted by Best Idea Yet
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Also, while the elementary schools would lose students if 6th grade is moved to middle school, they gain students by the closure of Covington Elementary and the re-drawing of attendance areas. It's pretty much a wash in terms of total students at each elementary school. Covington was formerly a Jr. High and the cost to convert it to a middle school would be minimal. Plenty of middle schools don't have tracks.


3 people like this
Posted by DFE
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 7, 2019 at 2:44 pm

DFE is a registered user.

Buy the land and move the senior center there. Run a shuttle so that they can get there.
Build a new school at that current senior center site, and either give it to BCS, or move one of the schools there, and move BCS to the vacated site.

The Kohl's site is not a good site for kids. Kids are kids they all live in the LASD school district regardless of what school they go to. We need to be thinking of the best interest of the kids. This should be a bi-partisan objective. Stop bickering.


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