Sun10262014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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BCS projects 127 additional students next year

Bullis Charter School submitted its 2013-2014 enrollment projections to the Los Altos School District last week, outlining plans to expand from 517 students to 644.

The jump in enrollment is attributable in part to the addition of kindergarten, first-, second- and third-grade classes, an attempt to serve greater numbers of in-district students who have been wait-listed in the past.

Of the 644 students projected to attend the charter school next year, 615 are estimated to be in-district students.

The enrollment projection is the first step in resolving the 2013-2014 Proposition 39 facilities offer, which requires that the Los Altos School District provide reasonably equivalent facilities for Bullis Charter School’s in-district students. Members of the charter school’s board of directors assured the public that the added classes would accommodate in-district students.

The charter school board based its in-district projections on waitlist data. Last year, 189 children – 89 of them from the district – were wait-listed for kindergarten. In first and second grades, 181 children – 103 in-district – were placed on the waitlist.

The board’s report included affirmative statements from families who planned to enroll their children in the charter school for the 2013-2014 school year if given the opportunity. The board listed 101 of those students, by their neighborhood district school and grade, showing 29 first-graders, 23 second-graders and 28 third-graders of “meaningfully interested” in-district families.

In addition to the new K-3 classes, the charter school plans to add sixth- and eighth-grade classes as a part of their growth model.

The total overall projected growth for the school in 2013-2014 is 127 students, or 24.5 percent.

Many community members have questioned whether expansion of more than 25 percent is allowable under education code. Charter school board member Janet Medlin said the 25 percent figure is “unsupported,” and that education code states that charter schools “shall admit all pupils who wish to attend” and “the chartering authority shall make reasonable efforts to accommodate growth.”

“BCS seeks to serve all in-district students who wish to attend BCS,” she said. “Our community deserves ‘choice, not chance,’ and as long as there continues to be a lottery for in-district students because demand remains higher than supply, then chance is the result. Those who believe BCS is growing too fast or too big do not speak for the numerous community members who continue to register with BCS and pray for openings or pray to have their number drawn at the lottery.”

The charter school’s initial enrollment projection for this school year was 493 in-district students. The number of in-district enrolled this year is 475, according to court documents

The district sent a letter to the charter school last week requesting more specific information, including the names and addresses of charter school students. The charter school’s enrollment report states that “the statutes and regulations do not require charter schools to submit this information with a request for facilities.”

District officials have grappled with the authenticity of the charter school’s “in-district” numbers, because the information in the facilities request does not include addresses to verify its claims. Currently, the charter school’s chartering authority – the Santa Clara County Office of Education – certifies the names and addresses of students.

The community is scheduled to offer feedback on this year’s district-charter school facilities process at a Monday meeting, after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

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