News

School board agrees to limit transfers

Open enrollment policies would only apply to under-enrolled MV Whisman campuses

School board members tentatively agreed to restrict the free-flow of students between schools in the Mountain View Whisman School District starting next year, ending a long-standing practice that caused overcrowding at some campuses and chronic under-enrollment at others.

With virtually no discussion, school board members on May 31 largely accepted recommendations from a district task force that completely revises the rules dictating where children can attend school, moving away from the current model where parents could choose from a menu of campuses across the entire district. As long as a seat was open, it meant their child got in.

The existing policies have led to a whole host of problems, particularly overcrowding at the district's popular, higher-performing schools. Bubb, Huff and Landels elementaries have historically been packed to the brim, and at times families who moved in right next door had to send their children to other schools across town. After a big uproar last year, district officials opted for a Band-Aid fix, adding more portable classrooms in lieu of displacing students.

It also led to a large contingent of families transferring their children away from lower-performing schools to a more desirable option across town, leaving some of the schools with the largest campuses under-enrolled. Historically, only about one-third of families with incoming kindergarteners request their own neighborhood school if they live near Theuerkauf or Castro elementary schools, compared to more than 80 percent among families living near Bubb and Huff.

These loose open enrollment policies are likely to change in the 2019-20 school year, after the Enrollment Priorities Task Force forged a new set of rules that largely enforce attendance boundaries, meaning children are funneled to their neighborhood school. Board members are expected to formally vote on the proposal at the Thursday, June 14, meeting.

The streamlined policies state that students living within a school's attendance boundary get top priority to attend that school, regardless of capacity. Last year, Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph and school board members doubled down on a commitment to prevent students from being displaced, which forced parents to drive their children across town to a school they didn't want to attend in the first place. Instead, the district provided portable classroom space to accommodate students.

The new priorities still allow for some limited movement. Under the proposed rules, families would be allowed to send a child to a school elsewhere in the district if the campus is deemed "under capacity," which means that school is below 75 percent of its maximum number of students. That designation, which would be up for revision each school year, currently applies to Monta Loma, Castro and Theuerkauf elementary schools. But the transfers, as envisioned by the task force, would have some significant strings attached, Rudolph told board members.

"It would be on a year-to-year basis and does not apply to siblings," he said. "Which means that if you enroll two kids, you have to apply (separately) for both."

Rudolph said the district also plans to do residency checks, and families who move out of a school attendance boundary would be required to move their children to their new school at the end of the academic year.

Bubb parent Matt Grunewald questioned the idea of not giving enrollment priorities to siblings through intradistrict transfers from one school to another, and said it's not clear whether siblings would be given priority in deciding who gets to attend a school with a limited number of open seats. Allowing transfers can be a valuable tool in keeping enrollment balanced across the district's schools, he said, but parents may be hesitant to move around if siblings aren't given preference.

Under the task force recommendations, the district will also set up a formal process for requesting transfers due to special circumstances, which could include children who need to be moved because of bullying or compliance with federal Title IX civil rights, as well as special education placement for special day classes at designated school sites.

Parent Christine Case-Lo told trustees she worried that the transfer requests would only apply to kids in special day classes and wouldn't extend to special education students in general education classrooms. She said the district is seeing "wonderful" results from inclusion, but it needs to be incorporated into the enrollment priorities to avoid uprooting children who may not be able to handle displacement as well.

"They are doing great, but their neighborhood school is across town," she said. "And they're being told if you move into general (education) you have to move to your neighborhood school."

The task force held back on big changes to enrollment priorities for the district's choice schools -- the PACT program at Stevenson Elementary School and the Dual Immersion program at Mistral Elementary School -- citing a need for more time to explore all the options that could increase diversity at both schools.

The core problem that task force members grappled with is economic diversity, particularly at the PACT program. Stevenson has traditionally enrolled far fewer low-income families than the district's demographic reflect, despite drawing students from every single neighborhood. That's something that could be evened out through changes to enrollment priorities. Task force members considered a myriad of ways to prioritize lower-income families -- some of which may not be legally permissible strategies -- before asking for an extension. Tentative plans call for revisiting choice school enrollment priorities in the fall.

Comments

12 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Bill is a registered user.

Next step is to redraw attendance boundaries so low income and minority students are more equally distributed between each school.


15 people like this
Posted by Elephant in the room
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm

Great news! Time for the liberal parents of our district to walk the talk! Send your kids to your neighborhood school- immigrant kids won’t hurt your “high achieving” kids!
Also, put in some time and effort and maybe a donation into your neighborhood school, not into a self-segregated creation like Stevenson. However, the district needs to do their part as well, and address the needs of kids who have their basic skills down and need enrichment beyond the endless worksheets.


7 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 11, 2018 at 10:21 pm

Weird is a registered user.

Elephant in the room, what does sending their kids to their neighborhood schools do? Our school attendance boundaries are already segregated. I'm 100% on board with desegregating our schools (looking at you Huff/Bubb). However, your calling out of "liberal parents" makes it seem like you're not actually interested in addressing the problems, but rather with "owning the libs" as so many conservatives these days.


8 people like this
Posted by Elephant in the room
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2018 at 12:00 am

I don’t consider myself a conservative, but I am tired of hypocrisy of parents who CONSIDER themselves liberal, yet send their kids to schools that don’t have too many minority students. They come up with all sorts of excuses like the schools are not the right fit for their child but come on, it is just code for “I don’t want to be around poor kids”.
Fwiw my child attends one of the undernerolled schools. And so should all neighborhood families who opt for public education, instead of finding loopholes to attend “better” schools.


2 people like this
Posted by Segregation? How about extermination?
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 12, 2018 at 1:04 am

Segregation? How about extermination? is a registered user.

Low and middle-income families will be leaving Mountain View with the impending repeal of rent control.


6 people like this
Posted by Elephant in the room
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2018 at 6:53 am

Middle income families have for the most pet already left (leaving the “underenrolled” schools as barebones in terms of high performing kids as they are today).
Low income families? Not so much; they have their ways of coping and as long as there are apartment rows and mobile home parks, they will be here.
The problem for the next few years is how to make sure that everyone is getting more or less equal access to such “soft” tools of education as extracurricular activities and field trips, art and music. I think MVEF and the district is doing all they can to ensure that the schools where there are no big donations still do pretty well in this regard; the rest is our responsibility (tending to the school our kids attend). This is why it is so important to not huddle together at Huff or Bubb but to support whatever neighborhood you are a part of.


1 person likes this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 12, 2018 at 8:45 am

Weird is a registered user.

Elephant in the room, instituting your preferred policy of forcing students into their neighborhood schools will heighten segregation. Why are you ignoring the true elephant in the room here, which is that the district just drew new school attendance boundaries that have made segregation in our schools even worse?


Like this comment
Posted by BoredM
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 12, 2018 at 8:53 am

I want to get on board with "Elephant...", but it's hard to when your first post starts with a divisive comment that clearly creates sides.

You're right, neighborhoods need to take ownership and control of their local school, which I think many do. Could it be better? Sure, what couldn't? I also am of the belief that no one should be guaranteed or denied a right to live anywhere, particularly when it comes to taking away people's economic rights so we've created a mess with the Middle Class.

Also, I don't understand why the dig at Stevenson. I think that's the model you're asking for (r.e. "Also, put in some time and effort and maybe a donation into your neighborhood school...") where parents agree to put in extra time to help the education and curriculum. If nothing else, create the model for that to be expanded beyond throughout the district.


2 people like this
Posted by StoptheBiad
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2018 at 5:11 pm

I truly hope the underlying reasons have nothing to do with socio-economic bias, which in our overpriced area seems to lean toward who do not have white skin, as the outcome of all of this strongly points toward a level of discrimination.


5 people like this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

@Bill

"Next step is to redraw attendance boundaries so low income and minority students are more equally distributed between each school."

How, exactly? Only one way has ever been suggested that might do it, but you probably won't like it.

If you had examined our district demographics data, or paid attention to what the district has been doing the past 5 years, you wouldn't make such a statement.

The MVWSD has worked on a new set of boundaries for years.
More than 50 members of the public volunteered at least dozens of hours each to work on this issue in meetings open to the public.

The BATF and SAATF examined about 100 different maps and none of them would have been able to make Huff, Bubb or the newly named "Vargas" school noticeably better on either ethnicity or income levels distribution.

Because of where people live in relation to income level, it's essentially impossible to twist and wind boundaries around in a manner which might accomplish any sort of even distribution of low-income families. Look up the term gerrymandering.

Ethnicity is not really concentrated in any neighborhood and is widely mixed across the district already, except for the low-income Hispanic group which is highly concentrated in very specific areas where housing is affordable. Higher-income Hispanics are widely spread.

People talk about increasing "diversity" in our schools, but NOBODY has ever provided ANY idea that might accomplish this goal, except mass busing.

You want mass busing of the low-income kids to spread them out to all the schools of the district?
OK, come to the next Board meeting on June 14th and suggest it.


2 people like this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2018 at 2:23 am

@BoredM

"...neighborhoods need to take ownership and control of their local school,..."

And influence their school to meet the specific educational needs of the neighborhood kids. Like having all the teachers being fluent in both Spanish and English for example.

"...no one should be guaranteed or denied a right to live anywhere,..."

NOBODY is taking away anyone's rights to live anywhere they can afford.
OR are you suggesting that owners of rental housing should be forced to let each prospective renter decide how much they want to pay?

"Also, I don't understand why the dig at Stevenson."

Stevenson (ie PACT) has been the whipping-post (pun intended) for pretty much everyone who wanted to get their kids into PACT, but didn't win the district lottery to get in. It's almost exclusively a matter of sour grapes and utter ignorance about the school and it's families.

"(r.e. "Also, put in some time and effort and maybe a donation into your neighborhood school...")"

For those who have heard of the MVEF, Mountain View Educational Fund, you should know that Stevenson parents are highly involved in volunteering their time to that org even to the executive level. Stevenson parents also donate money to the MVEF at a level about as high as the Huff families do.

"where parents agree to put in extra time to help the education and curriculum."

Other schools could do the same with the neighborhood will and the cooperation of the school to accomplish that goal.

PACT was born with that idea as central to it's methods 20 years ago.
Just as is done in thousands of other schools across the nation.


2 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 13, 2018 at 5:22 am

Weird is a registered user.

EPTF member, how is it that you clearly understand the problem ("except for the low-income Hispanic group which is highly concentrated in very specific areas where housing is affordable") yet seem completely unconcerned with finding a solution?

Just because we've segregated our neighborhoods does not mean we should segregate our schools.


9 people like this
Posted by Doesn't have to be this way
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2018 at 12:36 pm

"Stevenson (ie PACT) has been the whipping-post (pun intended) for pretty much everyone who wanted to get their kids into PACT, but didn't win the district lottery to get in. It's almost exclusively a matter of sour grapes and utter ignorance about the school and it's families."

--> If MVWSD wants to offer district families a choice in their education then they should offer that option to everyone, not just those who win a lottery. The school district near Seattle does this. Any time a choice program is full, they simply open a new one the next year and thus are able to accommodate all families who desire it at least by the next year. It's not rocket science. The way MVWSD handles choice programs is horribly divisive to the community and they deserve to be called out on it.

If we want to diversify our community, then build more affordable housing (apartments) south of El Camino. Unfortunately, land is scarce and their aren't a lot of opportunities to do that, but the few that I have seen recently usually get shot down by the people living in single family homes there who don't want their neighborhoods "ruined" by other types of housing. Maybe less fighting in this regard would help to even out our school a tad more. Generous donations to MVEF are also a great way to help.


4 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 13, 2018 at 1:16 pm

To be clear, @Doesn't, I agree with you 100%. You should clarify your statement to "non-R1 zoned land is scarce." There's plenty of land where we could build apartments south of El Camino, it's just currently illegal to do so. The same families that protest new apartments in those neighborhoods are the same ones that view themselves as having purchased a slot in their private schools of Bubb and Huff.


15 people like this
Posted by Insider
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 13, 2018 at 2:38 pm

Insider is a registered user.

@EPTF member

You choose your words carefully, by omitting mention of Castro. The demographics at Castro could have been evened out by assigning the Shoreline West community to that school rather than Landels. Just look at a map to see which school is closer!

Instead your committee bowed to political pressure and assigned this area to Landels leading to overcrowding issues at that school.


10 people like this
Posted by Choice schools next
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jun 13, 2018 at 2:52 pm

If the goal is make the district more equitable without busing, you're not going to accomplish that with the current situation with PACT, where low-income/EL students are virtually nonexistent. The level of resources/special programs/field trips and on and on that PACT has compared to the school next door is untenable and though I support the program, we have to acknowledge that it is really unfair.

Here's what we could do:

-Offer a choice school enrollment preference to kids from the nearby neighborhoods. This would have less of an impact on Mistral but it might make PACT more diverse if they draw more heavily from the Theurakauf pool.

-Open more choice schools. There's huge demand. Why can't every school in the district have both traditional and choice programs? Why not put a STEM school at Monta Loma and an arts school at Landels and a Mandarin immersion program at Bubb (or whatever the interest would support at those schools). Let's be creative and take what is working and wonderful about our choice programs, which probably keep many families in the district who would otherwise go private, and spread the love out to the rest of the district. MVWSD could be a highly sought after district with creative and innovative offerings that build on the successes of PACT and Mistral.


4 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 13, 2018 at 2:58 pm

@EPTF

Kids are already being bused in daily to Huff (and Bubb?)

And if you look at budgets very few $k spent for gifted need vs $$$,sk for underperforming

Agree more should be done all around for full spectrum of need


3 people like this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm

@neighbor

@EPTF

"Kids are already being bused in daily to Huff (and Bubb?)"

As has been reported, currently about 1/3rd of kids are attending a different school than their neighborhood school, so many kids get bused now.
One big group that has to commute across the city are the kids of the Whisman area known as "The Wagon Wheel". The kids in this area were assigned to Huff back in 2006, supposedly to help the poor kids living in the Wagon Wheel area. That only made the demographics of the area change pretty rapidly to match the Huff neighborhood. The poor kids moved away.

And my point was that if anyone honestly wanted to move kids around to make our schools "diverse" with the low-income kids, then we would need to buss the bulk of the low-income kids out of Castro and spread out across the entire district.

"And if you look at budgets very few $k spent for gifted need"

Oh, I know that well. Long ago it was politically incorrect to provide ANY sort of support for the kids who showed the highest potential. Instead, we let these kids sit bored to tears (literally in fact, I've seen it) waiting for the rest of the class to catch up. Many of these gifted kids end up hating school. The politicians killed the GATE program and killed the spirits of the kids with the most potential.

" vs $$$,sk for underperforming"

I know, but this one is simply what should be done. Figure out what kids need as an individual and as a group and then supply it to them all.


1 person likes this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2018 at 4:51 pm

@Choice schools next

First, what do you mean "next"?????

NOTHING has been done about any of our schools that has ever increased diversity.

Unless you count the short time when PACT was moved to the Castro campus. At Castro PACT had a high percentage of low-income families. When the district moved PACT moved to Stevenson, because the Castro campus was terribly over-crowded, most of the Castro families decided not to follow to a campus so far away.

What you really mean is:
"Well, we have no clue how to spread diversity among our 7 neighborhood schools and we don't really want to mess with the Dual-Immersion Spanish/English school by Castro, so to CLAIM that we have done "something" we are going to mess with Stevenson while we let Huff and Bubb slide."

"If the goal is make the district more equitable without busing, you're not going to accomplish that with the current situation with PACT, where low-income/EL students are virtually nonexistent."

Wrong, in fact, Stevenson has historically been within 2% of Huff or Bubb low-income diversity. And PACT has been highly diverse for low-income kids both when PACT was born at Slater and even higher when PACT was at Castro.

The issue is NOT that there is something about PACT that scares away low-income families, it's that the district has NOT provided any offer of transportation or other benefits for any low-income families who want to come to Stevenson.

If the Board or District Office was serious about attracting low-income families, they would help Stevenson provide information and incentives for low-income families to come to Stevenson.

With our new campus opening in the fall, Stevenson may well be able to offer many incentives for low-income families, but unless the District Office chooses to support the effort, nothing will happen.

Enrollment at PACT has always been at the mercy of the whims of the District Office and Board with no way of improving enrollment diversity on our own.


5 people like this
Posted by @EPTF member
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jun 13, 2018 at 5:07 pm

"Next" because the article states that the choice school enrollment will be considered next. I'm not suggesting you do it on your own. I'm suggesting the district change the priority for enrollment.

Take a look at PACT's percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced price lunch:
Web Link

6.9%

Now look at the school a few hundred yards away:
Web Link

65.8% F&RPL

Not sure why you think the historical data is relevant here. There are huge disparities between the two schools *now* and it should be within the district's power to do something about it. Transportation to choice schools are indeed an issue for lower income families, but the schools are feet away from one another.


4 people like this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2018 at 5:11 pm

@Choice schools next Part 2

"The level of resources/special programs/field trips and on and on that PACT has compared to the school next door is untenable and though I support the program, we have to acknowledge that it is really unfair."

It's NOT the District that pays for any of those "extras", it's the families of PACT that make all that happen. What is "unfair" about families donating time to their kids school?

PACT is just highly organized and motivated parents that make all the difference.

"-Offer a choice school enrollment preference to kids from the nearby neighborhoods."

This shows how little you know about Stevenson or PACT.
The biggest percentage of PACT families already do live in Theuerkauf and a close second is Landels area. PACT draws kids from every neighborhood in the district.

"This would have less of an impact on Mistral"

Since the parents who choose Mistral are looking for Dual-Immersion in Spanish/English, nothing done at or to PACT would make any difference to Mistral.

Or are you mixed up? Did you mean Castro area kids?

"but it might make PACT more diverse if they draw more heavily from the Theurakauf pool."

Once again, the biggest percentage of Stevenson kids come from Theuerkauf as it is. In the past, Landels was the highest percentage, but Theuerkauf was a close second.

I do wish people would do more research before posting.

"-Open more choice schools. There's huge demand."

This was always one of the core purposes of PACT for the last 20 years!
PACT wanted the district to take lessons learned from PACT and spread them around to the other schools.

You will have to ask the District and Board about why they NEVER allowed this to happen.

" Why can't every school in the district have both traditional and choice programs?"

They actually tried that at Monta Loma (not PACT style, but another choice style), but the District and Board failed to support that choice program and it died.

"Why not put a STEM school at Monta Loma and an arts school at Landels and a Mandarin immersion program at Bubb"

Something PACT families have been screaming about for years!
ASK the District Office and the Board as to why they wont allow this to happen.

The people of "Slater Now" told the Board repeatedly they wanted the new school to be a STEM or STEAM based alternative educational style school. As yet, I have seen zero support for that from the Board or District.

"Let's be creative and take what is working and wonderful about our choice programs,"

Again, the founders of PACT and the current families of PACT wanted to spread around our methods to the other schools, but we have never gotten any support for this effort.

"MVWSD could be a highly sought after district with creative and innovative offerings that build on the successes of PACT and Mistral."

YES, but instead, people just want to bash PACT and force bad changes onto Stevenson that will not improve the other schools, but will harm Stevenson.

Is that "fair"???


2 people like this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2018 at 5:41 pm

@Insider

Funny, your assertions mostly don't sound like someone who is well-informed.

I really do WISH people would do their research before they post declarative, but false assertions. I really do.

"@EPTF member You choose your words carefully,"

I do my best, but I still do make mistakes from time to time.

"The demographics at Castro could have been evened out by assigning the Shoreline West community to that school rather than Landels."

NOBODY claimed otherwise, but not the point!

The problem was that the Castro site will already be supporting 700-800 kids or more and the parking and traffic in the area is terrible as things are.

The Castro campus supports both the Castro school and the Mistral school.
With the addition of an area called "Castro City", the enrollment of kids on the Castro site will increase significantly. If you also add Shoreline West, the Castro campus would be terribly over crowded and the traffic mess will be an inexcusable burden on the locals.

"Just look at a map to see which school is closer!"

Distance is irrelevant, crossing of major streets is highly relevant as is population density.

"and assigned this area to Landels leading to overcrowding issues at that school. "

Again, PLEASE do your research!
Landels is LOSING hundreds of kids to the new Vargas school on North Whisman. Without the SWAN kids, Landels would be very under-enrolled.
Vargas is expected to open with 480 kids on a campus designed to fit 450.
Most of those kids come from Landels, then TH, then HF.

Right now, Huff, Bubb & Landels are badly over crowded and Theuerkauf, Castro and Monta Loma are badly under-enrolled. The District artificially limits Stevenson and Mistral to below 400 each for political reasons.

If the SAATF map is fully enforced in 2019-2020, then Vargas (new school on North Whisman) will be full to the rafters, Huff & Bubb will still be slightly over, Landels will be pretty close to correct, Castro, Theuerkauf & Monta Loma will still be under. I would expect the District to continue to set an artificial limit on Stevenson and Mistral, probably under 400 each.

Please either do your research, or ASK questions rather than making declarative statements.


Like this comment
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2018 at 6:05 pm

@@EPTF member

"I'm not suggesting you do it on your own."

In point of fact, Stevenson has zero control over the District or Board enrollment policies, nor om how the lottery is handled, nor on which families choose to apply, nor on which families "win" the lottery.

We have tried in the past to get the District help us reach out and find ways to provide incentives and support for lower-income families to apply to Stevenson, but we have gotten ZERO support.

"I'm suggesting the district change the priority for enrollment."

HOW EXACTLY????
Give me a practical idea that will work based on facts and knowledge rather than on speculation.

If you knew the facts, you would realize the issue is far more complex than just do "something" to make a show of an effort. To really get low-income families back into Stevenson, we have to provide incentives and support.
But, as usual, Stevenson can do NOTHING alone on these issue, the District and Board must support it!

"Take a look at PACT's percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced price lunch:
6.9%"

If you were in the many meetings held to discuss such things, or read the available documentation, you would know even the district cannot know BEFORE enrollment which kids are free/reduced lunch kids. The LAWS do NOT allow income or free-lunch status to be used in ANY enrollment decisions.

Funny how nobody bothers to mention the same stats for Huff/Bubb in the new boundary maps.

Now look at the school a few hundred yards away:
65.8% F&RPL

Stevenson already gets the biggest percentage of kids from the Theuerkauf boundary, with Landels a close second.
How about you ask the TH families who don't apply to ST to do so?

"Not sure why you think the historical data is relevant here."

Because it shows that the issue of CHOICE is indeed the CHOICE of the parents, NOT the enrollment policies. IF the district would support providing incentives to draw more lower-income families to apply to Stevenson, then things would change. Without the Board and District providing support, nothing will change.

"There are huge disparities between the two schools *now*"

If you honestly wanted to help Theuerkauf and Castro, go down and offer to provide your volunteer time and money donations to those schools.
But first, you might want to speak to the heads of the PTA at those schools and ask them why they have so little support from the families of those schools.

"and it should be within the district's power to do something about it."

As Stevenson has asked for for many years, but the District and Board have not provided any support.

"Transportation to choice schools are indeed an issue for lower income families,"

From the Castro or Monta Loma areas, yes!

" but the schools are feet away from one another. "

For Theuerkauf, the issue is mainly one of parental choice versus the District keeping the lid on maximum enrollment at Stevenson.

Theuerkauf is already under-enrolled, below 300, same for Castro.
Do you think the District will do anything artificial that will drop those numbers even lower?


3 people like this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2018 at 6:32 pm

@Doesn't have to be this way

It seems you have mixed 2 issues that belong to 2 different government branches and are placing both at the feet of the MVWSD.

"If MVWSD wants to offer district families a choice in their education then they should offer that option to everyone,"

The MVWSD DOES offer 2 options of choice schools to any family in the district now. The problem is that the numbers of people applying to Stevenson far exceeds the maximum physical capacity of the buildings.
This fall Stevenson will finally have a new campus that can support a lot more kids.
Or, perhaps additional after school care for lower-income families?

At Mistral, the problem is not enough native Spanish speakers will apply to Mistral to maintain a 50/50 ratio for the program.

"not just those who win a lottery."

Some basic choice school history might help you understand.

First, PACT was begun (by a group of motivated parents, not the District) as a tiny program within Slater over 20 years ago. The District and Board arbitrarily decided on a year by year basis how many kids they would allow in the program. After several years, the program was allowed to reach 1 classroom per grade level and the district kept it at that level.

When the Board closed Slater in 2006, they moved PACT over to Castro. This turned out to cause a huge over-crowding problem at the Castro site, so in 2009 they re-opened the old Stevenson school and put PACT there. Stevenson was built in a rush at a mere 2million price and so there was never enough room, but the district did eventually allow 2 classrooms per grade and then in the last few years allowed an alternating 2 or 3 classrooms per grade or less than 400 kids total. Stevenson hit the wall on space by that point.

"The school district near Seattle does this. Any time a choice program is full, they simply open a new one..."

OK, fine by Stevenson, PACT has always wanted the District and Board to provide more choice schools and even another PACT school would be great!

Ask the District and Board why they wont do that.

"It's not rocket science."

NO, it's "political science" (an oxymoron if I ever heard one).

"The way MVWSD handles choice programs is horribly divisive to the community and they deserve to be called out on it."

You don't think we have? Repeatedly? For years? Decades?
Go read up in the archives of this newspaper to see this.

I gave a speech exactly on that point last year to the Board and got polite patience and nothing more in return.

"If we want to diversify our community, then build more affordable housing (apartments) south of El Camino."

NOT the fault of the MVWSD, nor could they do anything to change this.
I can blame the MVWSD for many things, but not that.

"Unfortunately, land is scarce...usually get shot down by the people living in single family homes there who don't want their neighborhoods "ruined" by other types of housing."

AND, the price of that land is too much for rental housing to buy the land and the home owners offer more for it. Take a look around Rex Manor today to see what I mean.

"Maybe less fighting in this regard would help to even out our school a tad more."

Housing costs or more high-density housing cannot be controlled by the MVWSD. You want to talk to the city.

"Generous donations to MVEF are also a great way to help."

And Stevenson not only has many parents giving their time to that org, including at the top levels, but the parents of Stevenson donate far more than their fair share as well.


3 people like this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2018 at 6:47 pm

@ Weird

"EPTF member, how is it that you clearly understand the problem ("except for the low-income Hispanic group which is highly concentrated in very specific areas where housing is affordable")"

Correct, because I have been actively studying the issues and data for over 4 years and have given countless hours of my time to the district to work on these issues.

"yet seem completely unconcerned with finding a solution?"

You really have not properly read what I have written many times.

Almost NOBODY who says they want "diversity" actually suggests ANY ideas at all. Not even Board members!

As I have said countless times, NONE of the people who claim they want "diversity" in our schools EVER come up with ANY ideas that are LEGAL and PRACTICAL and would in fact WORK to accomplish the stated goal!

As I have said many times, the only idea ANYONE has EVER suggested that has a good chance to work, is mass busing of the lower-income kids out to the other schools.
I have not heard the families effected would support this one little bit.
I am not suggesting this method, but I do accept it would work.
I have never heard the Board or District showing any support either.

All anyone does is complain about the "lack of diversity" and they give Huff & Bubb a total pass on their low numbers and then people exclusively focus on Stevenson as the whipping-post for the issue.

I think we can attract far more low-income families to Stevenson, but to do that we will need the willing and even eager support of the District Office, which has been totally non-supportive in the past.

Do you get my concerns yet?
Stevenson would be fine with ATTRACTING more low-income families to apply, but we NEED District Office support to do this. Get it?


9 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2018 at 9:51 pm

at least the district office is no longer telling low-income families to NOT apply to stevenson, I hope?


16 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 13, 2018 at 11:05 pm

@EPTF Member, I've explicitly mentioned Huff and Bubb in many posts here and never Stevenson. I take it you're a Stevenson parent? Honestly, take a step back from the keyboard and reread your posts; you and Cleave are possibly the worst spokespeople for these task forces because the two of you are completely incapable of listening to and processing criticism.

What's wrong with using school buses to take kids to school? Just open up enrollment at all schools and provide school buses to take kids to school if it's outside walking distance. Since you've studied this issue for 4 years, why won't that work?


8 people like this
Posted by Insider
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 14, 2018 at 1:54 pm

Insider is a registered user.

@EPTF member

It is frightening to see you make such strident misstatements while accusing others of not not doing their research. You say:

"Again, PLEASE do your research!
Landels is LOSING hundreds of kids to the new Vargas school on North Whisman. Without the SWAN kids, Landels would be very under-enrolled. ... If you also add Shoreline West, the Castro campus would be terribly over crowded"

The latest district projections for 2019 show Landels to be the MOST OVERSUBSCRIBED school. On the other hand, Castro is the most UNDERSUBSCRIBED.

It's also clear that Shoreline is a greater barrier to a safe school commute to get to Landels from Shoreline West than the route from Shoreline West to Castro.

Web Link

2019 Boundary v K Students

Bubb 92
Castro 79
Huff 82
Landels 111
Monta Loma 80
Slater 110
Theuerkauf 84


8 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 14, 2018 at 3:35 pm

@EPTF Member:

"Right now, Huff, Bubb & Landels are badly over crowded and Theuerkauf, Castro and Monta Loma are badly under-enrolled." Given that you're a Stevenson parent from Rex Manor, don't you see that you're directly responsible for the underenrollment at Theuerkauf?

Your advice to Theuerkauf parents:
"If you honestly wanted to help Theuerkauf and Castro, go down and offer to provide your volunteer time and money donations to those schools." Given that Theuerkauf is your neighborhood school, why didn't you take your own advice? Why aren't you volunteering your time and donating money to your neighborhood school? Because you won the Stevenson lottery.

Cue a wall of text from you or Cleave about how the rest of us just don't have all the facts, and everything here is just fine, you've studied the issue for decades, etc.


3 people like this
Posted by Doesn't have to be this way
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 14, 2018 at 4:06 pm

This is great.

@EPTF Member a.k.a. ST Parent

Of course I was not thinking the MVWSD has anything to do with City of Mountain View zoning for housing. I didn't state that in my post because I thought it was pretty obvious. I was just responding to others posts. But thanks for the laugh.


1 person likes this
Posted by Lottery Winner
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jun 14, 2018 at 8:34 pm

@ Weird "Because you won the Stevenson lottery"

Seriously? You meant to say, "your child won the stevenson lottery" right? Because this isn't about the parents, its about the kids. We decided to place our son in the PACT lottery because of what the school stands for and for what it has accomplished in the past years. In addition to the VERY high parent participation. And yes, our son was granted a spot at Stevenson in the Fall - we should feel bad for that? Nope. We were informed, we sought out the program, and we tried our luck even with our other child attending our neighborhood school (which she will stay at). I agree with EPTF member, take it up with the board and district; but don't hate on a program that has essentially been built up by parents who VOLUNTEER many hours a week to make sure that the program stays alive.

@ EPTF member - I don't know you, but thank you for the information. And thank you for continuing to be an advocate for us "low-income" families.


11 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 14, 2018 at 8:39 pm

Weird is a registered user.

Getting into Stevenson is a lottery, no? I'm doubtful that your child entered themselves into the lottery, so I think it's safe to attribute it to the parents, right?

EPTF Member is the only one making this all about Stevenson, precisely because that's where his kids go. I'm pointing out the hypocrisy of his telling other parents of his neighborhood school to get involved, while he abandoned it for Stevenson.

But let's get back to my critique earlier:
What's wrong with using school buses to take kids to school? Just open up enrollment at all schools and provide school buses to take kids to school if it's outside walking distance. Why won't that work?


4 people like this
Posted by @Insider
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 15, 2018 at 12:16 am

@Insider, it is also odd to me that Shoreline West kids are going to Landels instead of Castro but, knowing some of the parents' choices, it makes sense. A lot of the parents would choose Mistral/Stevenson/Private over going to Castro. Some are even choosing that instead of going to Landels.


4 people like this
Posted by Cleave Frink
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 15, 2018 at 8:16 am

Cleave Frink is a registered user.

@ Weird,

I don’t have anything to do with this discussion. I love how you cower behind a fake name though as you drag me in to this. As I always say, put down the keyboard, show up to the meetings, make your points in person. Then, you’d find out why the district chooses not to engage in more bussing. It’s that simple. In lieu of devoting a litt of your time, you can just make an appt with the district and ask this question yourself. It’s not that hard. The fact that you ask the question shows me you’re not paying attention though. It’s been thoroughly discussed.


11 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 15, 2018 at 8:27 am

Cleave, you could just post it here. Since you know the answer to the question, why not educate the rest of us?


9 people like this
Posted by Doesn't have to be this way
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 15, 2018 at 11:58 am

@Lottery Winner

I really don't think there is the need for you to take it so personal. Reading through the comments I don't feel like anyone has said anything to suggest you should feel bad for your child getting a spot at Stevenson. I'm not quite sure why you feel personally attacked.

But it is a valid question as to why there has to be a lottery at a public school anyway. It seems to me if the district is going to offer families a choice in which style of education they feel would fit their child best, then everyone who chooses Stevenson (or the project-based learning style) should be accommodated somehow, and actually given that choice. The current system in it's implementation only gives real choice to lottery winners. We shouldn't all have to be fighting against each other for a few precious spots. The system is set up to create division among the community and it's been very frustrating to watch.


1 person likes this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 15, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Weird As a recent former Board member - let me give you my perspective on why the community 'generally' does not support your Particular Suggestion of FREE Bussing for All.

This would, based on examples like Stevenson (and Romero Act transfers out of TH), transfers out of Landels, and transfers out of Monta Loma, result in INCREASED ECONOMIC SEGREGATION in the elementary schools. Many progressives like myself think this is not a good outcome. And Mountain View tends to 'vote leftward' as the Voice recently noted! The Economically more Disadvantaged schools have enough problems with the Fleeing Wealthy.
(God bless their souls, for surely there is a ring in Dante's Inferno for them)

FREE TRANSPORTATION for "TARGET" students and their parents who choose, so parents also can participate at their kid's schools. [ one legal possible use of LCFF 20% extra for each TARGET student ] This might work after the neighborhood attendance/enrollment is stabilized under the new system. HOWEVER, there would have to be room at Bubb, & Huff, and the ELLs/ DELAC parents would have to approve (their vote in official session) of this use of the LCFF Grant money (School Site Plans) that is suppose to be spent on their children. In the past (Castro split process, my reading of TH PTA and parents, listening to Lambert and others on Monta Loma) there is NO LARGE TARGET family interest in solving their kids academic GAP issue 'by bussing'.

So @Weird, no interest from administration to spend money 'that way', no Board-majority interest in spending money (a hundred thousand/yr?) 'that way', and darn little parent interest in spending operational money 'that way'.

SUMMARY: little or no interest


2 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 15, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Doesn't have to be this way - You are right as rain. However, the past administrator of the K enrollment process noted to me that "many" parents, who applied to ST also tried to apply to the DI program as their second choice, and did not want, in particular, to be assigned to their neighborhood school. "Anything but the Hood"!

The Elephant in The Room! Someone else has stated it as this administrator and I interpreted those parental actions/comments. Any school but one with 'too many poor kids.'

After more than 150 years of statehood - I think the children of The First People are still getting a poor deal. Seventeen thousand years in the New World! You'll think that us More Recent Immigrants would have learned how to deal fairly. "Lies" the mothers of Castro School say? They are darn right.

[ i maybe understand why Lambert chose to serve as President of the Day Worker Center, and not again as a school board member ]


4 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 15, 2018 at 6:07 pm

Steve Nelson, please explain how opening up enrollment at all schools and running bus services would increase economic segregation? The wealthy wouldn't be able to flee because everyone would be able to go to the schools of their choice. Sorry, that just doesn't add up, unless I'm missing something.


3 people like this
Posted by Doesn't have to be this way
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm

@ Steve

"However, the past administrator of the K enrollment process noted to me that "many" parents, who applied to ST also tried to apply to the DI program as their second choice, and did not want, in particular, to be assigned to their neighborhood school. "Anything but the Hood"!"

This is my opinion only, but I think this is a direct result of the way the system is managed. The effective result is that some families get a choice and others don't. Those who are not given a choice feel upset, and I can see why. When two families live right next to each other, one is allowed to choose between the neighborhood school or Stevenson, but the other is effectively just assigned to their neighborhood school (given no choice) it just feels wrong.

The situation is made worse in the neighborhood immediately surrounding Stevenson because these families cannot get away from Stevenson. Everyday they have to walk or drive past the school. In some cases quite literally they have to look out a window from their house at the school. People in other neighborhoods in Mountain View, in most cases, if they don't get a spot at Stevenson, they might be upset but they don't have to spend every day looking out on what they've been told they aren't allowed to be a part of. Out of sight, out of mind and they are able to move on.

The Board and District like to dump on our neighborhood, but honestly it's a problem that they themselves have created. This was not a problem before Stevenson moved in to our "hood". They talk about the value of neighborhood schools, but then make policy decisions that hurt Theuerkauf and our neighborhood.

If the district would stop artificially restricting the supply of spaces at a progressive learning school, the neighborhood dynamic would change completely, here and in Mountain View all together.


1 person likes this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 18, 2018 at 4:33 pm

@Doesn't have to be this way

You mean "life"???
Sounds like highly selective outrage you got going there.

And please figure out who/what you're really angry at. Either you hate the existence of Stevenson, or you want the district to find a place to build another of the same and you hate the district for not building a new PACT school before YOU wanted to get YOUR kids into PACT?

What about all the parents sour grapes over the PRIVATE SCHOOLS across the street from their homes? Private schools who have taken over what were public schools those people used to send their kids to?????
Look at the old Slater and Whisman schools that have been given to private schools, for example.

Why are you not complaining about that?

"The effective result is that some families get a choice and others don't."

ALL families get the same choice, to apply for a seat in ONE of the 2 choice schools or not to apply. ALL families get the same chance of getting what they want. Not everyone who wants something is assured they will always get what they want.
That's how life works.

My child wants siblings and grandparents, but has none. She only knew one great grand mother for a few years before she died and she can barely remember her. She wants a swimming pool too, but we cannot afford one.
Who exactly do I complain to about those "inequities"?

FYI, I have been told many times that for any given student, their parents can only apply to ONE of the 2 choice schools. I have not looked up the rule on this point, but I have no reason to doubt it.

"Those who are not given a choice feel upset, and I can see why."

There is a name for this "feeling", "sour grapes"!

Just like the people who play the state lottery and don't "win" millions of dollars. Or the nerdy kid in high school (like me) who wanted the cheerleader, but couldn't even get a date. You tend to hate those who get something you wanted, but most people grow out of that once they start working for a living.

A lot of small-minded people "feel" upset and hate those who obeyed the rules and got something that the small-minded people wanted. If people broke the laws or found a cheat around the rules to get what they wanted, then indeed you have a perfectly good reason to be upset at them and they should not be rewarded for cheating.

"When two families live right next to each other,"

One may have a swimming pool, siblings, 2 parents, 4 grand parents, some great grand parents, a pony, a dog, a fancy car, etc... So what? That's life!

"one is allowed to choose between the neighborhood school or Stevenson,"

NO BOTH families have the SAME CHOICE, to apply or not and the district random lottery picks the winners.

"but the other is effectively just assigned to their neighborhood school (given no choice)"

Again, they have exactly the SAME CHOICE and SAME CHANCE as any other child.

"it just feels wrong."

WHY exactly? Other than sour grapes.

"The situation is made worse in the neighborhood immediately surrounding Stevenson because these families cannot get away from Stevenson."

That may be a mental problem for the parents, but the kids don't care or even notice. Unless their sour grapes parents TELL their kids to hate the Stevenson kids, then of course, that's teaching hate to your own kids.

FYI, Dual-Immersion has been inside the SAME SCHOOL buildings as the neighborhood Castro school all these years.

"Everyday they have to walk or drive past the school."

Again, the kids don't care unless the parents teach their kids to hate.
The issue is in the minds of the parents who choose to live with a mouth full of sour grapes.

"The Board and District like to dump on our neighborhood,"

What are you talking about there?
The entire Board has stated loud and clear that their focus is on the neighborhood schools and making them the very best they can be.

"This was not a problem before Stevenson moved in to our "hood"."

Stevenson was BUILT there, next to Theuerkauf, in 1965.

What you mean was that until YOU wanted YOUR kids in Stevenson and did not win the lottery, YOU didn't notice any problem, you had not tasted those sour grapes until then.

"They talk about the value of neighborhood schools, but then make policy decisions that hurt Theuerkauf and our neighborhood."

So, in your sour grapes-filled opinion, you want to either destroy what you could not have, or you want to deny access to ST by any TH kids, or you just want ST put behind a wall so you don't need to see it?

"If the district would stop artificially restricting the supply of spaces at a progressive learning school,"

Until 2019-2020 Stevenson did not even have enough physical space for 400 kids. We had no MUR, no kitchen, out library was just a small classroom, pretty much everything about ST was cramped from the moment it was remodeled and re-opened in 2009 (for a mere 2mil FYI). It took until 2016 until we got a bunch of storage sheds and moved enough of our materials into these sheds so we could open up a couple new rooms to allow ST to support 390 kids.

"the neighborhood dynamic would change completely, here and in Mountain View all together. "

Yeah, people who have not outgrown the sour grapes problem will just have sour grapes over something else.


Like this comment
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 18, 2018 at 4:48 pm

@ Steven Nelson

"@Weird As a recent former Board member - let me give you my perspective on why the community 'generally' does not support your Particular Suggestion of FREE Bussing for All."

"This would, based on examples like Stevenson (and Romero Act transfers out of TH), transfers out of Landels, and transfers out of Monta Loma, result in INCREASED ECONOMIC SEGREGATION in the elementary schools. "

I think you're both missing the point of busing.
It would be used to create a mix of near uniform diversity across all the neighborhood schools.

What you would do is ask parents to use the "rank choice" method to see what schools parents want their kids in and use a computer program to give as many parents their highest choices possible which will result on evenly spread out diversity.

Of course, the Board/D.O. would have to figure out what legal/practical method they would be able to use to know enough about each family to put into the program.

Then, mass busing would achieve any level and any type of diversity the Board, at it's whim, chooses.

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting any form of busing, I do however, recognize busing as the only way of making all or most of our schools diverse, for political purposes.


6 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 18, 2018 at 4:51 pm

Rich, what does it say about you when you claim there's only one way to reduce segregation in our schools, and you don't support it?


1 person likes this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 18, 2018 at 5:05 pm

@ Doesn't have to be this way

Hey, big shock for you, "lotteries" to get into public schools is nothing new and not all that uncommon. In past years, Huff, Bubb, Landels, Slater, Whisman, and believe it or not, Castro at one time, had lotteries to see who would be able to get into their neighborhood school!

It's called "over-subscribed" and it happens because kids don't get born in nice neat little batches of evenly spread out ages in evenly spread out locations. Demographics are lumpy and often schools have to do extreme things to find a seat for every kid.

"@Lottery Winner

I really don't think there is the need for you to take it so personal."

How odd, because your words certainly sound personal.

"Reading through the comments I don't feel like anyone has said anything to suggest you should feel bad for your child getting a spot at Stevenson."

I have not read all of this thread yet, but I assure you that a great many people in prior threads have tried to shame the parents of Stevenson and flat out stating that we should be ashamed of ourselves because we got into Stevenson and their kids didn't.
So, you'll have to pardon us for seeing certain types of complaints as personal attacks.

"I'm not quite sure why you feel personally attacked."

We are and have been for 20 years.

"But it is a valid question as to why there has to be a lottery at a public school anyway."

It happens and not just in Stevenson, but most of our MVWSD schools at one time or another. Many school districts need to use a lottery from time to time.

" It seems to me if the district is going to offer families a choice in which style of education they feel would fit their child best, then everyone who chooses Stevenson (or the project-based learning style) should be accommodated somehow, and actually given that choice."

Then Stevenson would have needed to be built to fit 600 kids or more.
No physical room on the site to do that.
When ST was reopened for PACT in 2009, the Board underestimated the demand and only spent 2million to hastily build a crappy little campus and it's taken us from 2009 until 2016 to even be able to support 390 kids.

The new ST to open in 2019-2020 will be able to support 450 or so.

"The current system in it's implementation only gives real choice to lottery winners."

Applying for the lottery IS the choice.

"We shouldn't all have to be fighting against each other for a few precious spots."

Talk to the VOTERS who refused to give the MVWSD enough MONEY in 2012 so that the MVWSD could have built up ALL of our schools to fit 600-650 kids.
We have no space to build another "choice" school.
Well, unless you want to build one at the Cooper site near Huff & Bubb of course. What about a new PACT down there?

"The system is set up to create division among the community and it's been very frustrating to watch."

It's called POLITICS and there will always be a shortage of something, especially when you rely on public taxes to pay for it.


1 person likes this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 18, 2018 at 5:10 pm

@@Insider

"@Insider, it is also odd to me that Shoreline West kids are going to Landels instead of Castro "

Simple, there are too many kids now to be able to fit them into Castro.
Remember, Castro is getting the group from Castro City an d they are also getting a brand newly built school to fit 450 kids. There is no physical way to fit the entire SWAN area into Castro. And if you moved the line to take a percentage of SWAN, then the percentage would end up being the Hispanics portion of SWAN being sent to Castro instead of Landels.

And if we did put SWAN into Castro, then Landels, one of our biggest schools, would be well under-enrolled.


1 person likes this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 18, 2018 at 5:19 pm

@Weird

"What's wrong with using school buses to take kids to school?"

Lets assume that was done at zero cost because I have no idea how expensive that would be.

Then, using buses is not a problem in itself, but the lower-income families find it much easier to manage their lives if their kids go to school close to home.

But, as always, the devils or angels are in the details of HOW you use the buses.

"Just open up enrollment at all schools"

And when 2400 families want their kids in either Huff or Bubb?
600 would probably still prefer Stevenson or Mistral.
Some others may choose to remain local, mostly the lower-income families.

What are you going to do to make Huff/Bubb fit all those kids?

You can't, so you end up with a lottery every year.

"and provide school buses to take kids to school if it's outside walking distance. Why won't that work?"

Because of the web-site "Greatschools". People don't bother to get to know their local schools, they just look at the web-site and choose based on their meaningless ratings.


15 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 18, 2018 at 5:38 pm

Rich, you're talking out of both sides of your mouth. Giving 2400 families of various income levels a lottery chance at Huff/Bubb gives them far better odds than purchasing a house in those neighborhoods.

Let's go back to you, though. You fled Theuerkauf for Stevenson. Why? Why did you choose not to support your local school? Everyone else is brainwashed by Greatschools, but you wisely saw the correctness of their assessment of Stevenson vs Theuerkauf?


3 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 19, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

EPTF member is 'basically' correct on most his recitations of past history. He should be given credit for that hard work (he does his homework)

The application process for K requires just one Choice, (and one only if you chose at all) and your local neighborhood (assigned). You cannot choose Stevenson & Mistral. Or Stevenson and Huff (if you live in Monta Loma zone).

Stevenson/PACT was designed (according to Goldman as CFO in 2009) to be a "350 student" school facility.

It has been the choice of MVWSD Board (majority VOTEs), over the last 6 years, to make all elementary facilities 450 students - with PERMANENT classrooms and auxiliary facilities to support 450 students. There are no plans to make 650 or "as large as parents choose" elementary schools. Changing Huff to a Choice school? [no plan, no way, just as Whisman/Slater neighborhood wants not the New school as district-wide Choice]

School assignment can be based purely on a 'nearest distance to nearest open classroom' algorithm. No transfers permitted. No prior attendance preference. No sibling special privilege. MVWSD now has 'close' to this, with 2 glaring exceptions.

MAGNET schools may be able to encourage diversity by poor student free bussing. If it is done poorly (20 poor students were originally bussed from Castro to new Stevenson) the bussed students and their families will stop participating! Poor families near Castro have made it "very clear" and said it "very loud"( in the past), do not want to be bussed across town, at their dis-convenience, for 'a numbers' policy. That is why the Board rejected an administration suggestion to move DI (Mistral) into the Whisman neighborhood (as a 'New school').


3 people like this
Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2018 at 4:19 am

@Steven Nelson

"MAGNET schools may be able to encourage diversity by poor student free bussing."

I have said many times that buses could be used to achieve the utopian goal of "diversity" in our elementary schools. I have also said that though it would work, I do not myself support this method of attaining "diversity" regardless of how the politicians decide to define it in this district this month.

The term "diversity" is a perfect political term which is an empty place-holder with no actual inherent meaning of it's own. Only when a set of politicians make a set of totally arbitrary and specific statements does the word "diversity" take on any meaning.

So, once the Board makes a final decision on the actual definition of "diversity" and ONLY when they have officially defined diversity, THEN we could move on to how to achieve this goal.

Forced mass busing, works, but is a political non-starter.

So, anyone got any ideas that would be legal and would accomplish the definition of diversity on a district-wide basis?
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller, Bueller,....?

OK, here is the plan I have tried to push for the past 5 years.

It's generally referred to as the "magnet school plan".
It works like this, each school is carefully examined, all the staff, all the kids, all the families. Lots of data gathered and studied. Then, within all that data we find some probable strengths that the totality of the school community has in abundance focused on either an educational style, or a focus of study.

Then each school is informed about what the data input from everyone is suggesting might be one or two or even three possible educational focus personalities that each school could focus on to play to their strengths.

The new Vargas school families have strongly said they are interested in having Vargas be a S.T.E.M. based school.

Hypothetically, Landels might find it's got serious strengths in the arts, from drawing to performing to music to sculpting to modern and abstract and photography, videography... So, Landels becomes the "Arts Focus" school.

Imagine if a careful study of Theuerkauf, they showed strength in personalizing the lesson plans to provide all kid with highly challenging work in the specific area that each kid is best at while keeping the other subjects going well. What if TH became the GIFTED kids school that takes every child as unique and gifted at something and will work with each kid until they find that thing they are gifted at and provides support to excel at that. TH = GIFTED kids school.

Hypothetically, Castro might become an international school deliberately seeking kids and parents to come expose all the kids of Castro to as many different languages and cultures as possible focusing not only on languages, but culture, history, laws, politics and other major issues from other countries today. CASTRO = world education and leadership school

Monta Loma, hypothetically, the job skills focus, used to be called "shop classes", but today, real job skills, including interpersonal, hands on construction, project planning, tool use, job safety, and traditional shop classes in wood, metal, engines, electronics, plumbing, etc....
Monta Loma = a job worthy skill set by 5th grade. To your strengths.

Bubb, business, venture, company politics, leadership, corporate ethics, high standards for efforts, ,etc... Bubb = Hey mom, let me do your taxes this year!

Huff, well, can be known for being the top school historically.

Anyway, once the schools develop their attractive individual personalities, then you offer a limited set of seats to kids from other boundaries to apply. First priority to SED/ELO kids, next staff kids, then any MVWSD kids.

Each year the District reevaluates the cost of the busing and the waiting lists for each program and decides how many seats will be opened for each school to attract kids from other boundaries.

Schools like Castro, TH and ML can be given special perks that will be attractive to higher income kids and extra support for SED kids.

By simply making minor adjustments in an ongoing manner, you can tweak the attractiveness of each school to the kids you want to go there to achieve the utopian "diversity" you seek.

As long as each school maintains a good quality focus on the developed personality of that school, then things will naturally move around in a controlled manner towards the goal.

And NOBODY will need to be FORCED to move from a school they live in the boundary for and a growing number of kids will calculatedly move to create diversity weather they know it or not.

One problem, it takes a good manager and lots of cooperation from the district and school staff and parents. Normal for Stevenson PACT, a new concept for most of our schools.

I would happily support an attractive method and would oppose a punitive method like quotas and special mini-boundaries and zones and percentages and etc.... All would fail and would harm the district and the schools.


6 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 26, 2018 at 7:24 am

Rich, glad you're back to posting here. Care to answer my questions?

You fled Theuerkauf for Stevenson. Why? Why did you choose not to support your local school? Everyone else is brainwashed by Greatschools, but you wisely saw the correctness of their assessment of Stevenson vs Theuerkauf?


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Posted by EPTF member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 27, 2018 at 3:20 pm

OK, here is another method to create "diversity" in our schools, funny how people who scream about the lack of diversity never seem to come up with any actual plans to achieve it, but I have mentioned 3 plans now.

I have found that some schools districts around the nation have chosen to spread kids around the district by grade level depending on how many schools they have.

In our district, we divide our 2 middle schools so we'll use that idea to divide the elementary schools, just to show an example of this plan.
Our district facilities don't perfectly fit this idea, but I'm just demonstrating the idea with our school names.

Hypothetically, Theuerkauf could get all the Kinders, Monta Loma all the 1st graders, Vargas the 2nd graders, Castro 3rd graders, Landels all the 4th graders, Huff all the 5th graders.

Maybe use Stevenson, Mistral and Bubb as district-wide "choice schools"?

Anyway, you get the general point, by sending every child of each grade to the same school together and move them all to the next school each year, then every school will have the same education equity and all the kids will have all the same friends year to year and every family will have an incentive to provide maximum support to every school.

Now of course, busing would be required to provide transportation for many kids.

I don't actually expect much political support for this idea any more than for the mass busing plan to force all our schools to meet equal diversity.

At least I'm coming up with ideas, unlike the people who claim they want diversity, but never offer a method to achieve it.


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Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 27, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Rich, you seem to be dodging my questions? Why are you afraid to answer?

You fled Theuerkauf for Stevenson. Why? Why did you choose not to support your local school? Everyone else is brainwashed by Greatschools, but you wisely saw the correctness of their assessment of Stevenson vs Theuerkauf?


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