at Wednesday, 23 January 2013 15:01by Millie Gong
|Bullis agrees to idea of an Egan/Blach split|
|Written by Traci Newell|
Bullis Charter School Board Chairman Ken Moore announced today (Jan. 23) that the charter school has agreed to the idea of a split campus for its facilities next school year.
The charter school requested that sites at both Egan Junior High and Blach Intermediate school be self-contained, with facilities that all other sites have such as a playground, library, school office, teacher work areas and more.
At a charter-hosted luncheon, Moore described what the charter school would like at the facilities on the Blach campus.
He said they created the schematic after looking at what the old Blach camp school site looked like in 2004.
Moving forward, Moore said he wants to establish a working group with representatives from the charter school and the Los Altos School District to make the Egan/Blach split work as a short-term facilities solution.
For more information about the announcement, pick up the Jan. 30 edition of the Town Crier.
at Wednesday, 23 January 2013 15:01by Millie Gong
I applaud the BCS board for making lemonade out of lemons. I urge the two boards to work in a true spirit of cooperation to make this short term solution workable until a longer term solution can be found. I hope that we as a community will keep both boards accountable to make it a truly equivalent solution so that ALL students’ educational needs will be met.
at Wednesday, 23 January 2013 17:27by Logistics
How would Blach students access the field/track? Is there a way through the tennis courts (assuming they are not in use) and then a path along the back edge of the property? How would staff supervise the path/field/track during the day if they don't have a line of sight from the playground?
Also, what grades and how many students would BCS plan to put in the BCS space with this configuration?
3"Short and Long Term Solve"
at Wednesday, 23 January 2013 17:28by Joan J. Strong
Here's to hoping this arrangement can be made to work for BCS until we build out the excellent new facilities that all of our students here deserve. Our two neighbors raised over $400 million in the last election and they are not... Los Altos. None of our schools should have portables or less-than-ideal facilities. The North of El Camino neighborhood should have its own school. We should convert Hillview back to a school while building out a much improved Senior Center in a better location.
A school bond will pass by a landslide if the BCS board gets behind it with the rest of us. Lets start now.
at Wednesday, 23 January 2013 17:28by Lynn Reed
This is a big step forward, splitting our school will be difficult, but this looks like a workable plan. I hope LASD Board will work with BCS to design a site that provides a safe facility were children can learn and play.
at Thursday, 24 January 2013 09:49by End to Lawsuits?
This is very promising. Thank you, BCS, for making this offer. I hope it can work out for all parties. Since this is proposed/agreed upon by BCS, this should mean an end to lawsuits, right?
at Thursday, 24 January 2013 10:38by LASD Parent
And how much money is the district going to have to spend to bring this new Blach camp site up to par? Millions? Seems like a lot of waste just to keep Gardner Bullis away from the charter school. Has LASD ever bothered to survey the Gardner Bullis parents to see if they would:
A) be open to the idea of attending Covington
B) be open to the idea of attending BCS @ Gardner Bullis campus
My guess is that a lot of current GB parents would be amenable to A or B and there is a vocal minority who are driving the LASD agenda. LASD needs to do the survey and think about putting GB back on the table. And don't tell me that BCS is "too big" for GB. It's not true. BCS has not admitted a single new student for 2013 yet. Their board has the power to keep current enrollment levels (or even lower by reducing Kinder enrollment) making GB a viable option.
7"GB is too small, wrong"
at Thursday, 24 January 2013 11:03by Joan J. Strong
@LASD Parent -- BCS has 600 students *this year*. They would need to get rid of half of their students in order to fit into the current GB campus, or the District would need to spend millions retrofitting GB in order to hold that many. And no, doubling the size of GB is not even remotely possible for parking, traffic, etc.--have you ever even seen that campus? Moreover, BCS is a commuter school which means it gets students from all over the place. A location up in the Hills on a far edge of our school district is the least practical.
Finally, no, I do not expect that parents at GB want their neighborhood school eliminated (200 of the 300 students at GB live in LAH and for most others it is their closest school). I suspect that most of them do not want to go to BCS since they all had an open chance to do so because of the lottery preference.
Curious though--what is your interest in this?
8"JJS facts are wrong"
at Thursday, 24 January 2013 12:12by LASD Parent
Joan J. Strong, your facts are incorrect.
BCS has 475 in-district students this year. (source: 2013/14 Facility Location for BCS, LASD Board Meeting, 1/14/2013)
149 of the 300 students at GB live in LAH (source: LATC, "Hills education report highlights challenges", 11/28/2012)
GB is underutilized and can accommodate 475 students. Given that only half of GB students are actually from LAH, I would say that it is just as much of a commuter school as BCS is.
at Friday, 25 January 2013 09:08by Joan J. Strong
To clarify, BCS has over 500 students this year total, and the request they have submitted back in November--the amount they have ALREADY demanded, in writing, from our District is over 600.
So can you please point to the empty classrooms at GB where the extra 300 student will go, please?
There's no chance GB could accommodate 475 students, let alone 600, let alone the 900 to which the the BCS board has promised to IMMEDIATELY grow.
GB is the #1 school in LAH. According to that same study, another 50 come from close by in the Hills, and another 50 come from the University corridor, which is the closest campus which does not involve crossing a dangerous major roadway, and is physically the closest for about half of that neighborhood. The current district lines are there for a reason.
BCS gets students--by definition--from all over our District. BCS is a commuter school as all choice schools are.
Read what Mr. Moore says--even he is no longer for closing a school.
10"a GB Parent"
at Friday, 25 January 2013 09:09by A GB Parent
Dear LASD Parent,
While you are correct that approx 1/2 of the student population is from LAH, you need to consider where the other 1/2 of the Los Altos population actually resides. According to a quick count in the GB directory almost 75 students live on Palm, University, Orange or other small streets in that vicinity on the GB side of Foothill (all technically Los Altos addresses and not included in the LAH count), which are much closer to GB than most schools on the other side of Foothill Expressway. Many of these families walk/bike to school each day and come up the S curve or the back way to GB along the LAH paths off of Robleda. To call them commuter students is probably a stretch, since they are probably much closer to the school than many of the LAH families who live way up in the Hills near the barn who are going to commute anywhere.
at Friday, 25 January 2013 09:10by LASD Parent is wrong
No, "LASD Parent" (actually BCS Parent), you are not correct.
BCS has long ago passed the point where it can fit into GB.
Even if BCS were to get limit itself to 475 which you claim is the capacity of GB (which is wrong since GB was 368 when it closed, and 414 at it's peak), that 475 would then not leave any room for any of the 300 students currently attending GB.
Please GB is not reasonably equivalent at all as a 7-8 campus, track, tennis courts, science rooms, gymnasiums, etc.
BCS has hopefully found a good interim solution until the community can fund a better permanent solution. We should look forward to these solutions, not the political ones of the past that simply do not work at this late date.
at Friday, 25 January 2013 09:11by LASD Taxpayer
I agree, GB would work as a campus to house BCS. However, cost wise, there would need to be more portables added to GB than are needed to build this entire new school proposed in the central slice of Blach between the school and football field/track. So cost-wise, it's cheaper to use Blach. But GB could definitely be home to an 800 student school with the right configuration. You'd have to stop offering that preschool at GB, but that could be housed at Covington. Remember, there are buildings for a preschool already in place at Blach that could be the K area. There are 4 portables that LASD already placed there last year but they have not yet been used.
13"800 students = dreaming"
at Friday, 25 January 2013 11:16by Joan J. Strong
@LASD Taxpayer -- Please, to prove to everybody you are not just blowing smoke, consult with the Town of Los Altos Hills leadership and ask them about the viability of 900 (where did 800 come from?) students in a school campus that is already causing traffic jams with 300. Mention that unlike the current student population who mostly live near the school and in LAH, tell them that now students will be evenly dispersed all over Los Altos and Mountain View, meaning virtually all of these students will commute from far away.
Also give us a layout of where on that campus the necessary tripling of portables could be placed.
Also, make sure you copy the BCS leadership on all of this since even they no longer indulge in these fantasies.
Yes, the GB campus is the reason why BCS was formed, and it's original purpose. Those days are over and have been for years.
at Monday, 28 January 2013 09:59by LASD Parent
Joan J. Strong, you are mistaken if you believe that BCS leadership would not jump at the chance to have the Gardner Bullis campus. There are lots of things BCS could do to reduce enrollment to a level which is appropriate for the GB campus. They could reduce kindergarten enrollment. They could drop 7th and 8th grades. They could give their non-district kids the boot.
Fortunately, for you, the LASD Board continues to treat GB like a sacred cow which cannot be touched. Why, I have no idea.
at Monday, 28 January 2013 10:02by Data We Need Data
Why not do anonymous survey of current LASD families as ask them if they would be interested in having:
Go to BCS - if there was room available>
If they would like magnet school choices
If they would be willing to change to another school.
If they think that schools should go over the 600 mark or be rebalanced.
If they would give more to the LAEF if more money stayed at their home school
IF they are willing to vote for a school bond to fund a school for NEC
If they are willing to move their school with the same students to a new school at a new location
I would love to know. Maybe everyone loves the LASD schools as much as they claim. This survey could confirm it. We might find out some information that could be used by the Task Force, although it looks like it is all smoke and mirrors anyway.
16"Bigger Step for Mankind"
at Monday, 28 January 2013 10:02by Another LASD Parent
The Blach/Egan relocation is a temporary band-aid solution that dances around the obvious answer – give up Hillview to Bullis Charter School and call it a day. We all know the current Hillview Community Center is very important but is there any way relocate the community center (which currently occupies a fraction of the old Hillview school)? Of course there is! It's in the best interest of the city council to help solve the 10 year old BCS crises and give up the Hillview property to a school which has clearly outgrown its Egan portables.
On the heels of celebrating the great Martin Luther King, Jr., maybe we can absorb some of his wisdom...certainly he had bigger challenges in his lifetime than relocating the Bullis Charter School…
“ The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.
Let’s all dig a little deeper and find a permanent solution for our friends & neighbors
at Tuesday, 29 January 2013 09:30by Let's move forward
BCS is NOT going to get rid of its 7th and 8th grades to move to GB.
LASD is NOT going to kick out a perfectly running school community out of GB.
So, let's all NOT bring up the past. We are all past that point.
There are solutions to where to locate BCS -- Hillview is an excellent choice, Egan/Blach less optimal but ok for the interim, and new bond funds to purchase another site is another possible choice should BCS decide to give up its admission preference to LAH, allow an elected and publicly accountable board, and become a true community school.
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