Wed12172014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Rotary marks 25th anniversary of AIDS project

Rotary marks 25th anniversary of AIDS project


John Hammerschmidt/Special to the Town Crier
Celebrating the anniversary of the Los Altos Rotary AIDS Project are, from left, front row: Greg Hoblit, Dude Angius, Mary Prochnow and Robin Young. Back: Greg Betts, Joe Renati, Roy Lave, Bob Berka, Dic...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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