A BCS perspective on engagement process
In the last few weeks, the Los Altos School District hosted two community engagement charrettes about long-term facilities for Bullis Charter School. As Bullis Charter School parents, several of us wanted to share what we’ve learned and some thoughts we hope will contribute to the conversation.
It’s great that we’re talking. There is no easy or obvious solution. It’s OK if not everyone agrees so long as we hear each other and work toward our mutual goals.
Whatever the ultimate solution, we’re hearing among Bullis Charter School families there are three elements that matter most: the K-8 program, equitable facilities and practical location.
The integrated K-8 educational model is an essential part of Bullis Charter School’s program. “Providing parents and pupils with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system” is one of the several purposes of charters under the California Education Code, and K-8 has proven to work well for many.
Any facilities solution should be equitable for all students by size, condition and kind.
Because Bullis Charter School draws students from across the district, it makes sense to be located centrally enough that commutes and traffic impacts are reasonable across the board.
There are multiple options. While there’s no perfect solution, our district has the means to accommodate all public school students. Together we can find solutions that prioritize what matters: high-quality education for our children while serving the whole community.
We’re lucky to live in a community with super-engaged parents and resources to work with. We appreciate the productive conversations, and we look forward to the upcoming workshops.
Barry Austin, Jan Baer, Susan Berry, Rob Chang, Paul Chung, Donald Gardner, Ann Waterman Roy and Hui Yang
Loyola Corners project may need more parking
The recent green light from the Los Altos Planning Commission is certainly good news for developer Gregg Bunker and his Loyola Corners project (“Los Altos Planning Commission votes to recommend Loyola Corners development,” Oct. 23).
I sure hope the project conforms to the letter of all zoning rules and the Loyola Corners Specific Plan. Developers should not expect waivers to be handed out, ever, except in special and rare circumstances. For example, does the rule book allow machinery enclosures and architectural ornaments to extend above the building height limit?
Walk-in customers at Coffee Drive Up sometimes find its parking area full. The proposed increase to 14 spaces can’t hurt. Will it be enough for three new sets of residents and their guests, on top of customers and workers at the new and much larger commercial space? Does it involve car elevators, like Bunker’s 2014 plan?
Parking is one measure where I think this project needs to exceed the codified formula, to not impose a burden on existing Loyola Corners merchants. The building will occupy a block with all parcels built up and exactly zero on-street parking – unless we count a couple of spaces on the opposite side of Miramonte Avenue, by the bank. All off-street parking in all neighboring blocks is today reserved for specific businesses.