MVLA Foundation gives record grant

Courtesy of Jennifer Townhill Photography
Los Altos High School students work on a science lab for Meghan Strazicich's class. Strazicich received an Innovative Learning Grant from the MVLA Foundation.

The Mountain View-Los Altos High School Foundation has once again made a record grant to the high school district, raising $1.804 million, a $100,000 increase over last year.

The MVLA Foundation, which funds a variety of district programs, has a history of upping its contribution each year. The money largely comes from parent donations, as well as gifts and matching funds from local companies.

FHDA students urge board to address housing

Town Crier File Photo
Students have argued that the Flint Center at De Anza College should be turned into student housing. The Foothill-De Anza Community College District's board voted to close the Flint Center last month, but its future is still uncertain.

More than a dozen students turned out to the Foothill-De Anza Community College District’s July 8 board meeting to reiterate the need for campus student housing.

A few brought signs with slogans like “Why is this even a fight? Housing is a human right!” and more than half a dozen spoke to the board.

BCS' Bullis-Purissima enrollment preference set to return

Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, Bullis Charter School’s enrollment lottery will once again include a preference for students who live in what was the Bullis-Purissima attendance area.

For years, the charter school’s enrollment lottery included a preference for students who resided within the boundaries of the Bullis-Purissima School’s former attendance area. Up to 50% of the available openings at each grade level were filled by students who lived in that area.

FHDA board initiates process for replacing De Anza’s Flint Center

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Foothill-De Anza Community College District Board of Trustees voted to permanently close the Flint Center.

While supporters lament the loss of the Flint Center, leaders in the Foothill-De Anza Community College District are moving ahead with a plan for replacing the performing arts center.

LASD budget strives to boost reserve funds

The Los Altos School District’s 2019-2020 budget aims to tighten spending and shore up the district’s reserves to prepare for a possible recession.

MVLA approves stadium lights use policies

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District unanimously approved stadium lights use policies at a meeting last week, paving the way to illuminate the stadiums at both Mountain View and Los Altos high schools.

The decision was years in the making. Installing stadium lights has long been a divisive issue, with neighbors raising concerns about noise, increased traffic and other environmental impacts.

However, the June 10 meeting was subdued. Only a few local residents spoke, compared with the hundreds that showed up for an initial public discussion last August.

Board president Phil Faillace said he knew getting stadium lights would be a long process, but it enabled the school district to work with neighbors and hear their concerns.

“We were able to listen to a lot of opinions, give everybody a chance to have a voice and to build the spirit of community that I think makes Mountain View and Los Altos a great place to live in and to send kids to school,” he said.

Along with erecting stadium lights, the district plans to install new public address systems, aimed at stopping noise from spilling into the surrounding neighborhoods.

In addition to approving the use policies, the board also unanimously decided to complete an environmental impact report (EIR) at both schools. The reports will determine the effect that the stadium lights and sound systems will have on issues including traffic and noise.

An EIR is an extensive review that will cost the district approximately $110,000 per school and take an estimated 38 weeks. The alternative was to complete an initial study/mitigated negative declaration, which would run close to $75,000 per school and take roughly 22 weeks.

According to Superintendent Jeff Harding, because an EIR is more in-depth, it provides a stronger estimate of a project’s impact and offers better protection in the event of a legal challenge.

“We’ve discussed this with legal counsel and the recommendation is to go ahead with the full EIR and to begin the process as soon as possible,” Harding told board trustees.

At last week’s meeting, the board also approved a proposal to create the design for the outdoor sound systems. The design will cost $8,000 per high school, for a total of $16,000.

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