Other Voices: Sharing is the solution for BCS, LASD

At the April 8 Los Altos School District board meeting, families expressed their outrage with the proposal to relocate Egan Junior High School. Our community believes, and I agree, that the proposed Bullis Charter School/Los Altos School District agreement is not in the best interests of our children. We all want peace, but not at any cost. We must find a better solution.

I request that the district and charter school boards work together to implement a groundbreaking district/charter collaboration that benefits all students.

I propose joint collaboration to improve programs:

• Share gyms, labs and specialized teaching spaces.

• Jointly hire specialized staff for electives.

• Collaborate on staff training.

• Offer joint after-school programs.

• Share day care facilities.

• LASD offers access to programs serving special-education and low-income students.

I also propose facilities sharing to accommodate 900-1,200 Bullis Charter School students:

• Two collocated schools at the Mountain View site to help serve 800-plus neighborhood students: 300-400 elementary students for the Los Altos School District and 300-400 elementary students for Bullis Charter School.

• 600-800 Bullis Charter students share Egan and/or Blach Intermediate School with district students.

• All neighborhood schools preserved.

• Dramatic increase in facilities and field space for Bullis Charter School.

Benefits for both district and charter school families:

• Facilities certainty.

• State-of-the-art neighborhood schools in Mountain View.

• Learn from each other’s innovative programs.

Benefits for the entire community:

• Reduces, disperses traffic.

• Ends lawsuits and divisiveness.

• Allows community to heal and move forward together.

• Uses taxpayer funds more efficiently.

We can implement a win-win solution without painful loss to any single community group. We must urge the charter school and district boards to consider collaborative alternatives to relocating Egan.

Sangeeth Peruri is a former president of the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees.

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