Dear LASD Trustees,
I'm [Sheila McGovern,] a Santa Rita parent and current President of the Los Altos Individualized Education PTA (formerly Special Ed PTA). I have a few suggestions concerning the Tentative Agreement with Bullis Charter School.
First, any new campus funded by a Bond Measure should be given to BCS, not a displaced existing school. BCS is the school without a campus. BCS is the school with students from all around many neighborhoods, so it makes no sense to give them a campus in one particular neighborhood. Removing a school sign and permanently replacing it with "Bullis Charter School" will leave the community bitterly divided forever. I cannot imagine driving up and down Los Altos Avenue and seeing "Bullis Charter School" at Santa Rita's campus. The Santa Rita community is already furious with BCS over its neglect of Special Needs students and socio-economically disadvantaged children, two particular groups who are served well at Santa Rita and barely at all at BCS, making BCS look convincingly like a private school in our eyes.
Second, the Santa Rita community is also one that bands together very well. If we had to share a campus with Egan, for example, I'm sure we would do it as well as it could possibly be done. When the Santa Rita campus is being discussed, would you please consider letting Santa Rita share the Egan campus (as soon as possible), while letting BCS borrow Santa Rita's campus as a new campus is being built. We can all walk to Egan fairly easily. Then, when the new campus is finished, move BCS into it, and let the Santa Rita families return to their home campus.
Third, any agreement I would make with BCS would require them to take specific actions reaching out to the socio-economically disadvantaged population and not simply perform an annual census comparison, as described in the current MOU between BCS and the SCCBOE. If BCS were going to borrow Santa Rita's campus, I would like to see them required to host LASD's summer school from mid-June to mid-July, providing at least half the staff, thereby introducing their school to underperforming students who are invited to attend, assuming many of them are also in the socio-economically disadvantaged category as well. I would also invite all LASD students who qualify for free lunch, currently 180.
Fourth, in exchange for a new campus, I would require BCS to move their Chartering Agency from SCCBOE back to LASD, so that Special Ed resources could be shared, improving the level of Special Ed services provided at BCS, which are obviously inferior to LASD's (since such services come from the County), making the possibility of BCS as a viable school choice completely ridiculous to all parents of Special Needs children in Los Altos.