MVLA, LASD teachers share housing woes

Grace Hase/Los Altos Town Crier
Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, at the podium, moderates a town hall on affordable housing for teachers. Teachers from local school districts shared with Simitian their struggles to afford living in an expensive housing market.

At the Peninsula Teacher Town Hall last week, local teachers told horror stories of enduring two-hour commutes, living in their childhood bedrooms and coming to the realization that they would never be able to own a home in Silicon Valley.

Co-sponsored by Bay Area Forward and Support Teacher Housing, the town hall, held at Almond School March 27, focused on the “missing middle”: people who make too much money to qualify for affordable housing but not enough to buy a house in the area. Teachers are a large part of the missing middle, and they showed up in droves to vent their frustration. Dozens of teachers from the Mountain View Los Altos Union High District and the Los Altos School District packed the Almond library to tell their stories to Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian.

LASD turns off solar panel lights at Egan, but not Santa Rita for a reason

Inundated with complaints from the schools’ neighbors, the Los Altos School District has switched off the bright solar panel lights in the parking lot of Egan Junior High School, but not those at Santa Rita School.

At the district trustees’ meeting March 12, Randy Kenyon, assistant superintendent for business services, said district officials were unable to power down the solar panel lights at Santa Rita because they are connected to all of the school’s external lights.

Loyola students build literacy skills through Reader's Workshop

Loyola School students stepped into the spotlight at the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees meeting Feb. 13 to promote the school’s Reader’s Workshop.

Accompanied by Loyola Principal Kimberly Attell and teachers Charity Mastropietro, Leslie Rainforth, Tracy Grinberg, Esther Cho and Gina McDonell, the students highlighted their accomplishments in the Reader’s Workshop, which is based on the new English curriculum guidelines the district adopted last fall.

Blindsided by new lights at LASD schools

Solar panel lights
Paul Erickson / Special to the Town Crier
Lights affixed to Santa Rita School’s newly installed solar panels triggered a recent wave of complaints from residents.

The Los Altos School District installed light shields on its schools’ parking-lot solar panels after neighbors complained about the glare shining into their homes.

A resident-generated online survey indicated that 95 percent of the 38 respondents found the new lights intrusive.

MVLA officials play down cost of bond measure

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees voted Feb. 5 to place a $295 million bond measure on the June ballot to fund its Facilities Master Plan, leaving residents to wonder how much it could cost them if it passes.

Anticipating the question, district officials were armed with an answer: Homeowners’ contribution will be based on the assessed value of their homes.

MVLA trustees consider bond to fund facilities plan

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees was scheduled Monday to consider approving a resolution to place a General Obligation Facility Bond on the June ballot. If passed, the bond would fund the $295 million Facilities Master Plan the trustees authorized Jan. 22.

The Facilities Master Plan directs the construction of at least 24 classrooms at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools. Each school also would get a new food court, student union and wellness center, as well as new or expanded performing arts spaces and athletic facilities – including an auxiliary gymnasium. In addition, the plan proposes a new Freestyle Academy of Communications Arts & Technology facility to replace the aging portables that house it on the Mountain View campus.

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