Sat11012014

News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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Construction at Blach continues as BCS prepares for new facilities


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Construction continues at Blach Intermediate School in Los Altos as Bullis Charter School officials formulate a plan to use their portion of the allocated space.

As summer continues, so does the placement of new portables for Bullis Charter School on the Blach Intermediate School campus.

According to Marlene Shafran, maintenance and operations director for the Los Altos School District, construction at Blach is on schedule for completion by Aug. 1.

Each year the district is required to provide Bullis Charter School with facilities. The charter school, in an effort to meet growing demand, has added a number of new classes, resulting in accelerated growth and the need for additional facilities. Beginning this fall, the charter school’s facilities will be split between Blach and Egan Junior High School.

The charter school has been offered portable facilities at Blach before, but this fall will mark the first year the charter school has active plans to use the space.

The district designed the Blach facilities offer to serve 129 in-district charter school students, anticipating that the charter school would house its sixth- through eighth-grade students on the Blach campus.

Bullis Charter School Superintendent Wanny Hersey said the school plans to use the Blach facilities to serve different grade levels at different times.

“We plan to use the space in a way that fully utilizes the resources at the Blach campus, and that will include different grade levels over there at different times,” Hersey confirmed in an email to the Town Crier. “Our teachers will be looking at units of study throughout the year and will decide what makes the most sense in terms of resources and location.”

Restricted use

While the portable space at Blach designated for the charter school has no restrictions as to which charter school students attend, the shared specialized teaching space (such as science labs, the gym, etc.) are restricted to sixth- through eighth-grade charter school students only.

Doug Smith, president of the district board of trustees, said the district made no accommodations for safety requirements for K-3 students on the Blach campus – such accommodations are available at the portions of the Egan Junior High School site assigned to the charter school.

According to charter school officials, they plan to house the FabLab, a fabrication laboratory, on the Blach campus. The FabLab features age-appropriate tools and materials that promote scientific modeling and simulations for robotics, sensing and digital fabrication. Hersey declined to disclose whether all grade levels would use the FabLab.

She said decisions related to details affecting room setup would be made once staff reports for training Aug. 5.

“Every summer since our school began, there have been last-minute changes made regarding our facilities, so we never finalize specific details like room assignments and room setup until closer to the start of the year,” Hersey said.

When asked specifically how the charter school plans to use the portables at Blach, Hersey said they expect to house project-based learning and design-thinking units there. Such cross-discipline methodologies are built into the charter school’s curriculum in all grades.

“We have more than 20 staff members participating in a Design Thinking professional development course this week to look for even more creative, innovative ways to use the resources we have next year,” she added. “In terms of how specifically we will use each site, we are still mapping out the logistics, and we look forward to sharing that with everyone once those decisions have been finalized.”

Another unique characteristic of the facilities offer for the charter school next year is a constraint on the number of students allowed on each campus. In accordance with California Environmental Quality Act regulations, the charter school may house no more than 469 students on the Egan campus and no more than 149 students on the Blach campus. The capacity limits prevent the charter school from housing its entire program on one campus, but schoolwide assemblies are permissible at specified times.

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