Campus critics doubt need for 10th school site

Megan V. Winslow / Town Crier
Bullis Charter School and its 800-900 students currently share space on the Egan and Blach campuses.

Supporters of shared campuses in the Los Altos School District made their presence felt last week during a public forum they organized. Meanwhile, district officials said purchasing land for a new campus remains the top priority for them and the community at large.

The advocacy group Creative Facilities Solutions organized the Sept. 27 forum, moderated by Los Altos Hills City Councilman John Radford, a Bullis Charter School supporter. Radford advanced the argument that district campuses such as Covington and Egan are large enough to support two campuses.

State Board of Education plan affirms commitment to local control of schools

The State Board of Education recently approved a plan for using federal assistance that upholds California’s commitment to the educational reforms of the Local Control Funding Formula. This gives school districts the authority to decide which programs and services to spend state funding on.

Every state that receives federal funding to support low-income students and English-language learners is required to submit an Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan to the U.S. Department of Education. Several states submitted their plans earlier this year, while California and more than 30 other states will be submitting their plans this month.

Measure N watchdog suggests residential land for 10th school site

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A 10th school site could provide a new campus for Bullis Charter School, which currently shares land with Egan Junior High on West Portola Avenue in Los Altos, left, and Blach Intermediate School.

As the Los Altos School District continues to explore commercial Mountain View properties for housing a new school site, a member of the committee tasked with overseeing the purchase is questioning whether it makes more sense to target residential properties in Los Altos or Los Altos Hills instead.

In two open letters presented to the district board of trustees early this month, Measure N Bond Citizens Oversight Committee member John Swan offered three examples of residential properties priced or valued between $1 million and $3.5 million per acre, a comparatively paltry sum compared to the estimated $15 million-per-acre cost for commercial Mountain View land.

South Los Altos parents: Bring on the buses to improve safety

Town Crier file photo
A Montclaire Elementary School student gets off the bus on the first day of school last August. Parents in south Los Altos have asked the school district to provide more buses.

This is the second in a two-part series on traffic safety in south Los Altos. The first, "Standing up for safe school routes," was published in the Town Crier's June 7 edition.

Egan community unsettled by 'nasty, cruel' vandalism

Students’ discovery of a swastika drawn on the blacktop at Egan Junior High April 21 has sparked schoolwide conversations about religious intolerance and the school’s values.

The symbol, which appeared to have been drawn with pencil lead, was discovered by students Friday afternoon, quickly reported to staff and removed. Egan Principal Keith Rocha said the school is still investigating, but that a student is believed to be responsible.

TDR could be useful tool for future LASD land purchases

A new acronym driving the latest round of school-site searching in Los Altos, the TDR, or transfer of development rights, seeks to use a school’s humble scale as an asset with a concrete dollar value.

If the district buys expensive land near where students need a school and “underdevelops” it by building a school rather than high-rises, a TDR might allow the district to recoup a non-trivial chunk of the land’s purchase price.

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