Los Altos School District is Currently Re-Drawing its Elementary School Boundary Lines

Tanya Raschke, Santa Rita Parent
raschke@stanford.edu

NEW!! Traffic Section from CEQA report presented to the Board on 12/13/2007

CEQA Report PDF

It's been a while since I updated this page. There have been a lot of new developments.

The May 21 Public Hearing has been relocated to the Egan Multipurpose Room. It begins at 7:00 pm.

At the May 7 public hearing, The North of El Camino Neighborhood Coalition presented two new scenarios to the board: "Scenario "fair" and Scenario "dare". Both of these were included in a larger presentation.

Scenario Fair is a contiguous boundaries scenario that will accommodate the demographic projections unti 2011. This is, in fact, not an impossible task. Our main criteria are:

  1. Ensure all LASD children attend a neighborhood school by preserving contiguous boundaries, and keeping the school within those boundaries.
  2. Show flexibility and fairness by placing all children at either their first or second closest school.

Ideally, all children should attend their closest school. Unfortunately, in our district, the location of our schools and our children do not align well. The obvious, long-term solution is to work to provide classrooms where the children are. This is the heart of Scenario Dare.

I also thought that a simple, yet evenly applied travel impact measure, might be useful.

Last, but not least, there has been much discussion regarding English Learners in LASD. Mesa de La Comunidad has mentioned this situation in their blog. Vicki Hobel Schultz also compiled a rather complete report on the status of our EL group from data from the CA Dept of Education.

Background

These changes are a direct result of the planned re-opening of Bullis-Purissima Elementary School in 2008. Bullis-Purissima is being reopened to provide a Neighborhood School to the residents of Los Altos Hills. The School Board is also planning on addressing the high student density ("explosive growth"???) in the Northern Area of the District.

Los Altos School District (LASD) has formed an Attendance Area Advisory Committee whose purpose is to devise three proposals to be provided to the School Board by the end of April. Please see the Timeline file for a complete list of dates.

It appears from the proceedings of these meetings that the proposed boundary changes will significantly impact neighborhoods located within the Santa Rita Attendance area.

Three out of four scenarios that are being presented to the School Board have students from various neighborhoods North of El Camino being reassigned to schools across town (that is, NOT their first or even second closest schools)! These scenarious violate the AAAC's own criteria, but are nonetheless being seriously considered.


What Can We As LASD Residents Do?

Get the Facts

Scenarios Recommended to the School Board

The final meeting of the Attendance Area Advisory Committee (AAAC) was held on April 19, 2007. The following Scenarios were presented to the School Board on Monday, April 23, 2007:

  1. Scenario X: with North of El Camino assigned to 1 School (previously 4C)
    This scenario was NOT recommended by AAAC, but was presented for "illustrative purposes". It is a mean-spirited red herring that was was put forth to further illustrate that the logical conclusion of maintaining contiguous boundaries as a long term solution is destined to failure. This scenario has continued to rear its ugly head, even making its way erroneously into the District's English Learners memo.
  2. Scenario 1: with North of El Camino assigned to 2 Schools (previously 1Ca)
    This scenario was presented as having contiguous boundaries. While it meets many other criteria, these have been down-played. This scenario was modified from its Committee approved version before presentation to the board.
  3. Scenario 2: with North of El Camino assigned to 3 Schools (previously 2C)
  4. Scenario 3: with North of El Camino assigned to 4 Schools (previously 3C)
    This scenario sends the area North of California Street (including the Crossings and 49 Showers) to Covington and the Del Medio corridor to Bullis-Purissima
  5. Scenario 4: with North of El Camino assigned to 4 Schools (previously 5A)
    This scenario sends the area North of California Street (including the Crossings and 49 Showers) to Covington and the Palo Alto area Bullis-Purissima

These scenarios are found here.

There have been several new scenarios presented to the Board by the public. I have been told repeatedly that these would be available on the LASD website, but as of now (morning of May 17), they are not:
  1. Scenario Fair presented by the North of El Camino Neighborhood Coalition
  2. Scenario Dare presented by the North of El Camino Neighborhood Coalition
  3. Scenario 3+ presented by Katie Gray, Covington

I believe there was one more presented, but I have not obtained it, yet.

Some Travel Impact Information. I'll put in 3+ soon.

Report on LASD EL group from Mesa de la Comunidad

Grandfathering Recommendations

The AAAC will pass on two recommendations to the board on grandfathering. One is to only Grandfather 6th graders. The other is to grandfather grades 4, 5 and 6. The AAAC felt grandfathering should apply equivalently to all schools in the district.

Materials and Documents from AAAC Meetings

The LASD web site has a page with Attendance Area related Documents.

Consider the Past and Current Enrollment Data for LASD Schools

Make Up Your Own Mind and Then...

Make Yourself Heard

Petition for the Preservation of Neighborhood Schools

A group of concerned residents in the area North of El Camino are currently circulating a Petition [English] [Spanish] focusing on the importance of ensuring ALL students in LASD have the opportunity attend a neighborhood school.

Flyers for posting on doors in English and Spanish.

Completed petitions can be sent to:
Amanda Aaronson amanda@hinkty.com - 100 Hilary Ave, Mountain View [Map] or
Tanya Raschke raschke@stanford.edu - 121 Laurel Way, Mountain View [Map] - FAX (650) 724-1922

Attend the School Board Meeting and Public Hearings - There is power in numbers!

Raise Awareness in Your Neighborhood

There is a rapidly-growing Coalition whose message is that the Entire Area North of El Camino has a unified voice. We cannot justify sacrificing our neighbors for our own self-interest. It is ultimately unfair to require any group to attend a school across town. We can be reached at crossings@hinkty.com. We appreciate all our supporters, no matter where they live!

There are three Santa Rita parents on the AAAC:

Let The Board Know How You Feel

Ultimately, the final decision will be determined by the School Board. This group is charged with working in the best interest of the ENTIRE District. They must ensure that the final decision is truly fair, equitable, and in the best interest of all children in our schools. Get the most bang for your activist buck by asking them to do their job with integrity and fairness.

  1. Contact the Superintendent, Tim Justis at tjustus@lasdschools.org

  2. Contact the Members of the School Board:

    Address and Telephone Contact Information for the Board Members can be found here.