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February 08, 2006

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Publication Date: Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Community meeting planned on enrollment growth Community meeting planned on enrollment growth (February 08, 2006)

By Marjorie Mader

Almanac Staff Writer

After a four-hour study session last week on dealing with a projected enrollment growth of 20 percent by 2015, trustees of the Menlo Park City School District are scheduling meetings with teachers and the community over the next two weeks.

The community meeting is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 15, in the Encinal School library at 195 Encinal Ave. in Atherton.

The meeting will address facility development at each of the four district campuses, and a proposed bond measure election to be conducted in June.

Trustees plan to present information and options for accommodating the growth, and listen to comments from the community.

The study session February 1 was "a working opportunity for the board to review all the data and hear from our consultants," said board president Laura Rich. "The next step is to go to the community."

Trustees have agreed on major goals for the continuing study of the district's facilities needs and operations as they address the enrollment growth projected by two consultants, Tom Williams of San Carlos and Marian Hill, a district parent.

These goals include providing appropriate facilities for students by reducing the number of portable classrooms, now numbering 40, and completing modernization of the four schools that was begun with funds from the district's 1995 bond measure.

Trustees are looking at changing the grade configuration at Laurel School from K-2 to a K-3 and expanding Encinal, now a grade 3-5 school, to a K-5 school. Encinal has the largest site in the district and the smallest student body.

This proposal would "shrink Laurel, grow Encinal to a K-5, and cap enrollment at Oak Knoll, a K-5 school," said Ms. Rich.

Hillview would continue to be the district-wide middle school for grades 6-8.

"The district is well aware of the impact the schools are having on their neighborhoods and is looking at ways to alleviate the more negative impact," she said.

She said the district is "seriously looking" at busing students to and from the schools.


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