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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LASD board continues to define BCS facilities for 2014-2015

January may have heralded a new year, but the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School still face the same old facilities problems.

The two parties undergo the facilities allocation process every year, a back-and-forth negotiation that begins in November and culminates in April with a final offer. Under state Proposition 39, the school district is required to provide facilities for the charter school’s in-district students.

Bullis Charter School officials recently reaffirmed their projected enrollment of 678 in-district students for the 2014-2015 school year. In December, the school district countered the charter school’s projection, estimating that 73 fewer in-district students would attend the charter school next year.

“It is unfortunate that (the district), with yet another under-projection of Bullis Charter School students, apparently plans to continue its annual pattern of providing facilities insufficient to accommodate (charter school) students as they would be accommodated if they attended a (district-run) school,” stated the charter school’s response to the district’s counter projection. “We respectfully ask you to reconsider.”

The charter school’s response pointed out that district facilities for the current year did not account for 34 in-district K-5 students. The district’s counter estimate indicated that the charter school’s projection exceeded its current enrollment by 32 students. The district requested a number of data points regarding enrollees and registrants from the charter school to confirm its enrollment projection.

Bullis Charter School parents circulated an informal survey of current sixth-grade parents who plan to enroll their students in seventh grade at the charter school next year. The survey recorded that approximately 60 sixth-grade students would return next year.

The district estimated that number at 34 students, and the charter school projected 66, the number of sixth-graders currently attending the charter school. The district backed its claim, citing historically over-projected data for sixth grade, when many students enter or return to district schools or the private school population.

Defining details

Randy Kenyon, district assistant superintendent for business services, requested that district trustees clarify some points at their Jan. 13 meeting to enable him to draft a preliminary option for Monday’s board meeting.

Despite the results from the Bullis Charter School parent survey, the trustees continued to use their projected counter enrollment.

“The survey is interesting, but it does not rise to the standard of scientific data,” said Trustee Doug Smith.

He added that the district’s projections are historically more accurate and that its count is supported by solid analysis.

“When we came back with our (counter), we asked for specific data, but all we received was a rant,” said Tammy Logan, district board president.

Kenyon also asked for instruction on how to design the offer, including whether he should assume that the charter school’s K-4 students would attend the site on the Egan Junior High School campus and fifth- through eighth-graders would attend the Blach Intermediate School site – or whether K-5 students would attend Egan and 6-8 attend Blach.

The trustees agreed that the preferred split would be K-4 and 5-8, which would likely require tweaks to the shared space and play area at Blach. The shared space at Blach must be addressed, trustees said, because they don’t want the current conflicts repeated next year. District trustees did not back away from the grade restrictions currently imposed on the Blach campus.

“I’m not uncomfortable with flexible use of our spaces as long as there is a conceptual way of how to operate, but it is contingent on having a collaborative relationship,” said Trustee Mark Goines. “I don’t think we can get there while in litigation.”

To view a copy of the charter school’s letter, visit losaltosonline.com.

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