Los Altos School District enrollment is down 157 students since last fall, with 4,243 students in kindergarten through eighth grade as of Oct. 3, according to Superintendent Jeffrey Baier.
The district’s total enrollment has been hotly contested amid the district’s decision to purchase a 10th school site in Mountain View. District officials have sought to acquire a 10th site for the past six years for two primary reasons:There are more students than the existing land can support, with 10 schools on nine sites.
- There are more students than the existing land can support, with 10 schools on nine sites.
- The district is obligated to provide facilities for the students at Bullis Charter School who come from within the district, and the district has set 4,800 as the upper limit for the number of students the current sites can hold while maintaining a small-school model. The charter school population is currently split between Blach Intermediate School and Egan Junior High, housed in portable classrooms.
Last spring, the district demographer calculated high, medium and low forecasts for 2018 enrollment. The actual enrollment is slightly higher than the “low” forecast for the year: 4,201 students.
According to district officials, the new site makes sense for long-term growth and flexibility, regardless of short-term enrollment fluctuations. Enrollment in the north end of the district is growing more quickly than enrollment elsewhere, and many new apartments are being built there, but the board of trustees has not made a decision about whether to put the charter school or another neighborhood school on the 10th site. The district is expected to use some or all of the $150 million in bond funds from Measure N, approved by the voters in 2014.
“When you do a 30-year bond, you think in the long term, not in the next five or six years,” said Tamara Logan, former trustee, at the Oct. 1 Bullis Charter School board meeting.
However, charter school supporters argue that the district doesn’t need a 10th site given the district’s recently declining enrollment and sprawling campuses.
The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet Monday at the district headquarters, 201 Covington Road, Los Altos.
- Almond School: 488 students
- Gardner Bullis School: 302 students
- Covington School: 585 students
- Loyola School: 404 students
- Oak Avenue School: 387 students
- Santa Rita School: 524 students
- Springer School: 468 students
- Blach Intermediate School: 499 students
- Egan Junior High School: 586 students
- The district also has 28 students in a special-needs preschool program.