The boards of Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District voted unanimously last week to approve a five-year facilities agreement, putting to rest the long-standing dispute over the allocation of public school facilities in Los Altos.
The agreement clearly outlines the charter school’s facilities over the next five years – spaces at Egan Junior High and Blach Intermediate schools – and ends the litigation and time-intensive annual facilities allocation process.
“We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all parties and the community at large, and provides an opportunity to focus our attention on what’s most important – our students,” said John Phelps, newly elected chair of Bullis Charter School’s governing board. The agreement provides charter school students with additional classroom space and an expanded campus-sharing arrangement.
“Los Altos School District kids deserve the full attention of our staff and resources,” said Tammy Logan, president of the district board of trustees. “We can continue with our innovative programs and focus on improving facilities with the upcoming bond.”
The final agreement takes effect immediately, with increased allocation of outdoor and physical education space for the charter school beginning in 2014-2015 and incremental facilities expansion continuing in the 2015-2016 school year.
The charter school and the district agreed to:
• Drop all pending litigation in Santa Clara County Superior Court and initiate no new lawsuits.
• Locate charter school facilities at Egan and Blach, with expanded space at Blach after terminating the lease with Stepping Stones Preschool.
• Cap enrollment at the charter school at approximately 900 students.
• Phase out the Bullis Charter School admissions preference for Los Altos Hills residents in the former Bullis-Purissima Elementary School attendance area.
• Cooperate on a bond measure for the November ballot and work together to draft ballot language.
In addition, the charter school agreed to add a section to its website and other promotional materials providing more information on how it successfully educates various groups of students with unique needs, including those requiring the full spectrum of special-education services and/or classroom accommodations and students who are English Language Learners.
For 2014-2015 and beyond, Bullis Charter School will have on-site access to an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a psychologist and a teacher with an Educational Specialist credential to work with students with disabilities.
To review the approved agreement, visit lasdschools.org or bullischarterschool.com.