Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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