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Original post made
on Sep 4, 2007
A couple of notes with respect to this letter - Hillview has been the Menlo Park City School District's (MPCSD) only middle school for at least 15 years. This means that children who live within the MPCSD boundaries on the east side of El Camino have been crossing that town divide for that whole time - so this crossing is not a new development.
Secondly, Willow Oaks School (on Willow Road) and East Palo Alto Charter High School (it's neighboring campus on Pope St.) are Ravenswood City School District schools and have never been a part of MPCSD (ref: Web Link).
The campus east of Middlefield that owned by MPCSD and rented to the German-American School is on Elliot Dr. and is the district's smallest campus.
Nancy, I apologize for the fact that our grubby middle schoolers are frolicking on the pristine west side. If it's any consolation, we would much rather keep them on our side of the tracks. There is simply no space. Encinal School, which will soon house grades K-5, is going to double in size and does not have room for older kids.
A couple of points:
* The school board has been an inbred, self-selected group of volunteers who are generally trying to do their job the best way they can, without a lot of praise or kudos. Everyone in town ignores them until something happens that gets people riled up. You don't have to have kids in the schools to care about what's happening with our district. If you take an active role in the process, the outcome might prove more palatable.
* You think the growth is bad? It's going to get worse. And part of the reason is that west siders have been ignoring a lot of the developments on the east side of the tracks. "100 new housing units in Linfield Oaks? And another hundred+ on Derry Lane? Not my neighborhood! Why should I care?" Well, maybe now you understand why you should care.
Anything that happens in Menlo Park affects all of us who live in this city and many of our neighbors too. Pay attention and don't wait until it's too late to speak up.
some hillview neighbors got the city council to recognize the urgency of the school district getting O'Connor school back for the Willows.
The lease with German American school expires in 2011, and sooner would be better. Measure U school bond construction of $91M that passed last JUne provided for a 5th campus (O'Connor) if enrollment increases dictated that. The school board is clueless about the severity of the situation and has the overbuild attitude on the existing 4 campuses, instead of looking at the big picture. The east of ECR area desperately needs O'Connor school back. Go to the school board mtg. on Sept. 11 and let them know that their present course is unacceptable.
I think the point the first author was trying to make was the traffic problem due to school starting again...not the students themselves.
I think a school bus system would help solve this problem in the short run.
the school district should be required to pay for 2 new signals, one at Elder/Santa Cruz, the other at Olive/Santa Cruz, with turn restrictions/timing to give a break to kids on bike/foot crossing Santa Cruz, and a break for residents trying to get out onto Santa Cruz during peak hours. It's just an endless caravan of cars, some signalization is long overdue. Side streets could be protected with signal timing management to minimize cut through traffic. Just go look at Sand Hill and see how the cross traffic is managed with signals.
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