Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. 

Residents could cast their votes as soon as November on a bond measure to partially fund the redevelopment of...

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Schools

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions


Courtesy of Jane Lee Choe
The Sharp Cheddars, a team of Oak Avenue School sixth-graders, perform at the Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Riverside.

A team of seven Oak Avenue School sixth-graders traveled to Riverside last week...

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Community

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
All in the family: Mark Heising, from left, Caitlin Heising and Elizabeth Simons make up the board of the eight-year-old Heising-Simons Foundation, now in its new headquarters at 400 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The He...

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Comment

What would Bob do?: Editorial

The recent passing of an extraordinary Los Altos resident, Bob Grimm, has generated a range of heartfelt reaction, from sympathy to fond memories, from all corners. That’s because Bob did not discriminate in his desire to help others with his money, ...

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Special Sections

Cars that are right on track

Cars that are right on track


Courtesy of BMW
The BMW M4 is packed with power, featuring 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

There’s nothing more fun than driving a responsive automobile that feels alive in the curves and eager to go when given more than a touch ...

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Business

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit Co. is on the market for $4.5 million. Its fortified steel and concrete structure has been compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s gold depository.

A downtown Los Altos structure “b...

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Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

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People

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

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Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

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Stepping Out

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View


Courtesy of Kevin Berne
The cast of “Fire on the Mountain,” includes, from left, Tony Marcus, Harvy Blanks, Molly Andrews and Robert Parsons.

TheatreWorks is slated to present the regional premiere of the musical “Fire on the Mountain” this wee...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

Oshman JCC hosts Judaism and Science Symposium

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has scheduled its inaugural Judaism and Science Symposium, “An Exploration of the Convergence of Jewish & Scientific Thought,” 5 p.m. April 12 at the JCC’s ...

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Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

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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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