Keep Egan Jr. High where it is
I appreciate the Town Crier’s analysis of the Los Altos School District’s latest public outreach charrette at Egan Junior High School to find long-term facilities for Bullis Charter School (“Second BCS facilities meeting again draws large, engaged crowd,” Oct. 9). In our table’s conversation, I found there was strongest support for retaining traditional Egan in its present geographic site and mode of operation as a seventh- and eighth-grade junior high.
However, as the assembly was tasked to consider 20 options for Bullis Charter School sharing facilities with the district based on data of present 2017 student enrollment and projected 2019 class size allocation throughout the district, there was a good deal to assimilate.
Since then, after a more in-depth review of presented data, I believe there is a 21st option that needs be considered, which I hope the district board will include in its deliberations before finalizing purchase of a 10th school site on Mountain View’s Showers Drive by the Nov. 13 deadline.
I believe a portion of the $150 million school bond measure needs to be allocated to finding an 11th site in mid-Los Altos Hills near the original Bullis-Purissima School location. From submitted 2019 school enrollment projections, Bullis Charter School figures rise from 811 in 2017 to 1,100 in 2019, an increase of 300 to be housed at Egan, which is infeasible.
In consideration of Stanford University’s expansion plans and recent acquisition of an apartment complex in Los Altos, and Mountain View’s continued construction along San Antonio Road, the pressures on school facilities in north Los Altos have just begun to be felt, and Egan needs to be retained at full size to assimilate this influx.
Enrollment numbers in Los Altos School District elementary schools may fluctuate from year to year, but I am convinced that in consideration of the caliber of public education that is offered, Los Altos schools will always be in strong demand.
Disrupting existing long-term neighborhood schools would be a mistake, and there does seem to be a hole in coverage of Los Altos Hills residents that acquisition of an elementary school site for Bullis Charter School would remedy.