Fri12192014

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

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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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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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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