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Too many students, too few seats

Original post made on May 22, 2013

Sequoia Union High School District officials have begun a conversation on the possible effects of enrollment growth on facility use, school choice and neighborhood-school boundaries -- a matter of great concern to parents in the Las Lomitas and Ravenswood school districts.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 11:16 AM

Comments (14)

Posted by Las Lomitas parent
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 22, 2013 at 11:37 am

If the Las Lomitas District students are all reassigned to Woodside High, there will be more than enough parents to file a charter school petition, which the Sequoia board will vote down and the State Board of Education will likely approve. The High School district is required to provided comparable facilities to approved charter schools. With approximately 500 Las Lomitas students matriculating to a charter over a 4 year period, that would significantly help with the overcrowding in the existing high schools.

Posted by Another Las Lomitas Parent
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on May 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Why do you assume that all Las Lomitas District students would rather go to a charter school than attend Woodside High School? What is so terribly wrong with Woodside High School other than the fact that a large number of kids are English language learners whose parents did not attend college? Does that mean that there aren't dedicated teachers there? Does that mean that kids who seek challenging courses can't take them? I have two good friends whose children currently attend Woodside High School (they both attended Catholic schools in elementary and middle school) and their kids are doing very well. I have a student at M-A High School now, but I would not be opposed to sending my 2nd child to Woodside High. It's actually closer to us too. And, if the entire cohort was going there, it would automatically raise the API scores and the % of kids whose parents attended college and graduate school.

Posted by Curious
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm

The SUHSD spent a fair amount of money at some point building a school on Myrtle in East Palo Alto. I know, because I've attended meetings there. It's a gorgeous facility and no one seems to be using it.

I realize that it's not PC to advocate for a school in EPA because the attendees would most likely reflect the socioeconomic/racial composition of the local population. But I'll bet most families would rather have their teens attend a neighborhood school than get sent to school in San Carlos.

The school exists already and seems ready for kids! Why isn't the board considering opening it? It would relieve pressure from the SUHSD and perhaps even eliminate the need to redraw boundaries for the near future.

Posted by Old timer
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on May 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Do you suppose anyone regrets closing San Carlos?

Posted by no worries
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on May 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Just make sure that when the switch is made for Las Lomitas kids, they all go to the same place (except those who already opt for private schools of course)

This is the district's best bet to fill Woodside. The Las Lomitas Foundation part of the Menlo-Atherton's Foundation can happily move its influence to Woodside. Keep the KIDS together!!

If the NORTHERN schools are the ones really overflowing, why can't they come DOWN 280 to attend Woodside??

Focus on really helping the other feeder schools stay intact as they move into high school. PAY for busing to Menlo-Atherton for those areas! Getting on a bus to Carlmont early in the morning is bad, having to spend an equal amount of time WALKING... is worse. Kids should be able to stay at school for sports and help in the afternoons without worrying about walking home in the dark!! This should happen REGARDLESS of what the district does with changing boundaries. Expecting SOME families, that are least able to afford the added cost, to pay for public buses is a crime.

Foundations should also try to focus on helping their sister-feeder schools with help and money! Right now, there is no easy way to do that.

Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm

The community is growing. Time to build a new school.

Posted by Member
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Maybe the highly reliable demographer is the same one used last time when they predicted a drop in enrollment in the districts affected.

Posted by Bee
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on May 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Lets stop & think about our children first. Its all about how the Real Estate Market reflects Menlo Atherton High School as having the highest scoring Students.

Think about the Kids from EPA/ They should be able to attend MA.
What if you couldn't afford to have a home in Atherton, or a nice location in MP. What if you, yes YOU, lived in EPA. Would you want your child to attend one of the best schools, of course you would. Its time to think about our Children, not the ratings on our homes!
Lets come up with a plan that makes sense to ALL the children .

Posted by palo alto parent
a resident of another community
on May 26, 2013 at 11:27 am

I'm wondering why there is so much concern with keeping students from Portola Valley, Menlo Park and Atherton together as they transition from middle to high school, yet the most vulnerable students when " they reach high school, students from Ravenswood are bused to various campuses in the Sequoia Union High School District including Menlo Atherton High School, Woodside High School and Carlmont High School" (from another thread).

Yes, I'm from out of your District, but my kids have had many friends from EPA over the years thanks to the Tinsley agreement.

Keeping the Ravenswood students together should be a GREATER priority the other students, not to mention the huge amount of time them spend traveling to far away schools. Unfortunately, the Ravenswood parents have much less $$ and political clout.

Posted by Las Lomitas parent
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 27, 2013 at 6:53 am

My understanding is that the EPA students WOULD attend MA under new boundaries. The whole point is to rebalance the schools, and to eliminate breaking up feeder schools or neighborhoods. Putting students on a bus for 80 minutes a day was a solution ordered by a court, and the district should have readjusted the boundaries a dozen years ago when the court order expired.

Posted by palo alto parent
a resident of another community
on May 27, 2013 at 11:58 am

Las Lomitas parent - thanks! It would be great to keep the EPA kids together and so much closer to their homes!

Posted by Scott
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 28, 2013 at 8:12 am

Does anyone else think it is strange to have two tiny school districts - las lomitas and mpcsd with duplicate administration and have no high school?

Why did Hillview add French instead of Mandarin? I was told by a parent it was b/c MA had French and kids could not continue once they hit high school.

Merge las Lomitas, portola valley, mpcsd and open our own high school.

Posted by Educator
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Heights
on May 28, 2013 at 11:08 am

Educator is a registered user.

To Scott,

Your suggestion that the two districts merge and build a high school, is a valid suggestion. There are two more districts that could be merged into your proposal, Portola Valley and Woodside Elementary. Unfortunately, nothing is as easy as it seems.

First, merging the districts together would require a tremendous amount of work, and,I believe, approval from the County Commission of School District Organization, as well as a potential appeal to the State Board of Education from either side. Second, the district would have to organize into a 'Unified" school district, meaning it serves K-12 versus the current K-8. It is almost certain that Sequoia High School District would fight this proposal tooth and nail, because funds they currently receive from the four merging districts, would be diverted to the new Unified district. Third, there would be charges of segregation and 'white flight'. I still think it is an interesting and valid option.

If the existing High School District does redraw their boundaries, would the Tinsley program even be needed anymore?

As for French and Mandarin, Las Lomitas added Mandarin a couple of years ago, and MA said they would try to support their students. Woodside and Carlmont already offer Mandarin, although I am not sure about Sequoia.

Posted by Old MP
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Back when I attended Las Lomitas Schools (Las Lomitas, La Loma, La Entrada), all of the Las Lomitas kids had to attend Woodside. Deja vu all over again.

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