Schools

BCS facilities planning delayed amid outbreak

The Los Altos School District is putting the process to identify long-term facilities for Bullis Charter School on hold, at least for now.

The district’s board of trustees had planned to review an analysis of various facilities scenarios at a special meeting last week but delayed the discussion, citing the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t know when we’re going to reschedule that discussion, because as far as I’m concerned, we need to get to a place where the community can fully participate again, and right now it’s hard to say exactly when that will be,” board president Bryan Johnson said.

Previously, Johnson had said he hoped the school district and charter school would be able to reach an agreement on facilities by the end of the school year. Given the virus’ spread in the county, Johnson said it is now too early to tell whether that will still be possible.

At a March 12 meeting, the board was set to review a detailed analysis of the six facilities configurations trustees had selected for further evaluation. District staff had prepared a review of factors including enrollment data, operational and construction costs, and time frame.

However, at the meeting the trustees agreed to delay evaluating the options further, citing the impact of the spread of coronavirus. The board room was relatively empty, with just a few people in the audience, despite meetings about charter school facilities drawing large crowds in the past.

The following day, the Santa Clara County Office of Education announced that all public schools in the county would be closed until April 3. The Los Altos School District’s spring break was already scheduled April 6-10, so school is set to resume April 13.

Johnson said the board wants to ensure community members can participate fully in the discussion over facilities and that in the present pandemic situation, that isn’t possible. He added that he didn’t see the board taking up the discussion again before schools reopen.

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