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School board votes to fence off parts of Monta Loma despite disagreements over the process

Original post made on Sep 8, 2023

The Mountain View Whisman school board voted at a Thursday, Sept. 7, meeting to fence off portions of Monta Loma Elementary School, but not without disagreements among board members about the three year process that led them there.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 8, 2023, 1:54 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by Really.....
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2023 at 2:57 pm

Really..... is a registered user.

I really believe that the entire school and students should have the widest access to as much open field space as possible between 7:30am-4:00pm....mirroring the other school sites in the district. Joint use means just that, one uses it during their school needs and the community has access when the school use is over. Fair is fair. Option 1 creates a 2nd tier approach to what the other school sites have access. The City has been involved in these discussions for over three years. The City and the community should realize how lucky they are to have a JUA....other cities and school districts don't always share.

Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 8, 2023 at 6:04 pm

SRB is a registered user.

Don't really understand the pushback by the City about the fence. seems incredebly generous from the school district to provide more access to the public DURING school hours (and yes at the expense of teachers and kids).......

Posted by LG
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 9, 2023 at 9:22 am

LG is a registered user.

As a former Monta Loma elementary student myself (2002-2007), I could only think that the Conley's statement is a bit over the top: "'The idea that if you go to Monta Loma as a student, you have less access to open space during the day than your peers at any of our other schools in the district – and it was by deliberate choice of the board – it's difficult to swallow,' Conley said."
While attending Monta Loma elementary, I remember clearly that students chose not to play on the large Multi Use Field. I only have memories of being forced to run the mile on the large field, (during P.E. which happened not more than 1 or 2x per year in 4th/5th grade). But during recess my peers and I would either play on the large playground, the concrete areas surrounding the classrooms (basketball, swings area) and on the little league field. Not because the large field felt too exposed or unsafe, but it was simply further from all the games we liked to play during recess. Distances just feel that much bigger when you're a kid.
I'm relieved that the decision was made not to fence off the entire park, which make schools look more like prisons. Thank you to the district for taking the time to listen to Monta Loma residents.

Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2023 at 11:08 am

MV Resident is a registered user.

Equity across the district used to matter. Something needs to be done to get the kids safe access to the field during school hours. Otherwise the district has effectively ceded the field, which it owns, to the city, for free. Great deal for the neighborhood! Maybe in return, they can take up a collection to pay for a security guard during PE classes that need more than a little league field.

Posted by Abe
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 9, 2023 at 1:01 pm

Abe is a registered user.

Option 1 is quite a good compromise considering the complexities here.

Teachers rarely bring students to the grass field. At those times additional staff & volunteers could help.

A fence across the entire front would close off the city park strip along the south side. That strip has a walking path and the neighborhood's only public restroom, picnic tables, and exercise equipment (2 chin-up bars).

A fence around the large field would cut it off from the city strip, interfering with most of its uses (field playing, neighborhood social events, etc.).

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 10, 2023 at 2:28 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Abe, to be honest, you should Really Listen to the comments that Trustee Conley made about 'listening to the teachers' (actually, in-person) and her direct experience working as a 'small kid' public school teacher.

@Really and @MV Resident / yes, it seems like 4 Board members 'forgot' about equity in public school student access to fence-protected "open green space". But you are exactly right - this (option 1) is at the expense of public school children / "DURING school hours". A very big shame and I think, a shame on 4/5 of this "Trustee" board for public school students!

The City ... @SRB, what you may have mistaken for The City Position was really just Superintendent Rudolph's 'personal interpretation' of what 'he thought' the City was asking!

former MVWSD Trustee Steven Nelson
(former Trustee Ellen Wheeler and Trustee Blakely 'side' with Superintendent)
(same-old same-old?)

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 10, 2023 at 2:52 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Can anyone remember (and point to Voice reporting or Board Meeting recording)
1) Blakely voting NAY on a Superintendent Rudolph's recommendation?

2) A meeting where Blakely does Not diss Trustee Chiang's option, recollection, or experience! ???

("Outgoing President Laura Blakely nominated Coney" to be VP ...", Lambert nominated Chiang ...). 2023/01/05
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