Schools

LASD Egan and Blach Schools – Before and After Bullis Charter School

Blach campus from 2003-2005. The LASD temporary camp on the right hand side. Dotted line is a "soft" boundary.
Blach campus from 2003-2005. The LASD temporary camp on the right hand side. Dotted line is a "soft" boundary.
Written by lalahpolitico

The BCS board seems to be studying the Blach 2005 temporary camp as a guide for LASD on how to layout portables in the Prop 39 2013-14 offer. And also what territory should be allocated to BCS for student play space. As LASD and BCS go through their Prop 39 Facilities 2013-2014 request and offer dance, it is instructive to get a bird’s eye view of  the BCS real estate facilities allocation over time. Here are historical shots of LASD Egan and Blach schools before and after Bullis Charter School sharing. 

On Friday January 18, 2013,  the BCS Board held a Brown Act retreat at the Moore Foundation. Patch.com tweeted it live all morning.  The board explored how it might configure grades — given that the  LASD Prop 39 offer for next year 2013-2014 would again be a split campus on Egan and Blach.  There was some BCS board feeling that about 200 students was a minimum school size, but not for economic or pedagogical reasons. Smaller than 200 might be too isolating and be socially and emotionally harmful to students.

BCS Board member Ken Moore provided historical maps showing how a second small school could be sited at Blach

As part of the board meeting, Ken Moore provided maps showing how a second small school could be sited at Blach.  He showed the maps of the old LASD temporary camp that had been there in 2003-2005 during remodeling of several k-6 schools.

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Map 1 – 2005 Blach School with LASD temporary camp

Blach campus from 2003-2005. The LASD temporary camp on the right hand side. Dotted line is a "soft" boundary.

BCS Board member Ken Moore showed this map.  The Blach campus from 2003-2005. The LASD temporary camp is on the right hand side. The dotted line added by Lalahpolitico is a “soft” boundary between Blach on the left, and the 2005 camp on the right.

In Map 1 Google Earth shows the 2005 temporary camp site used by several of the k-6 schools as each school was remodeled.  The dotted line just denotes an approximate “soft” boundary. Here is a bigger photo

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Map 2 – 2005 Blach School after LASD camp removal

Blach Junior High School, Los Altos, California. in 2005 part of the camp was left standing for use as a preschool. Shown in red box.

Blach Junior High School, Los Altos, California. In 2005 part of the camp was left standing for use as a preschool. Shown in red box.

 

Map 2 shows that after the temporary camp was removed, a few portables were left standing for a new preschool tenant.  See the red square in the photo above. That’s the preschool territory.  A larger photo is here.

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Map 3 –  2012-2013 Blach School with BCS in one portable

BCS footprint on Blach this year. Purple areas are NOT for use of BCS. The yellow rectangle is the portable location.

BCS footprint on Blach this year. Purple areas are NOT for use of BCS. The yellow rectangle is the portable location.

Jump ahead 7 years to 2012, and Map 3 shows the allocation of facilities BCS received for it’s 7th and 8th graders on Blach. Purple areas are not used by BCS with a few exceptions.  Access to the track can occur in 14 minute slots. There is a 75 minute science lab slot. The students are allowed to use the restrooms in the more remote gym.  However any student must always be accompanied by an adult when using the restroom.  [Lalahpolitico: The last restriction is untenable.] BCS did not occupy these facilities this year.  For ground level photos of the BCS facility see this post.

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 Map 4 – 2005 Egan School with LASD temporary camp

Egan Junior High, Los Altos, California in 2005. LASD Temporary Camp is show on right hand side. Source: Google Earth.

Egan Junior High, Los Altos, California in 2005. LASD Temporary Camp is show on right hand side. Source: Google Earth.

Now jumping back in time to 2005, we can see in Map 4, just as with Blach, Egan was also a host to a temporary camp. Several  LASD K-6 schools camped here for a year each as they were remodeled.

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Map 5 – 2005 Egan with initial Bullis Charter enrollment of about 200

Egan Junior High, 2005, Los Altos California, Bullis Charter School in portables. Purple is not for use of BCS.

Egan Junior High, 2005, Los Altos California, Bullis Charter School in portables. Purple is not for use of BCS.

in 2003-4, LASD declined to sell Bullis Purissima. It also declined to have BCS as a tenant there, rejecting an offer from BCS of $350,000 rent.  This was almost as good as the $450,000 rent the administration lost when it remodeled and opened Covington. LALAHPOLITICO: Go figure.

The administration said Bullis Purissima was in unfit condition in 2004-5 for a public school like BCS, but it was fit enough to rent to a preschool and as offices … for a lot less money.  So the new charter school was sited at Egan in the temporary camp site.  BCS had somewhat less than 200 students when it opened, so most of the temporary camp portables were removed. LASD decided to leave the most distant portables and remove the closer ones. This layout maximized the privacy of Egan students and parents. See larger photo here.

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BCS Facilities Expansion On Egan

For 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 Google Earth has maps that show a gradual BCS expansion at Egan along San Antonio Road.

In 2008, LASD added four or so portables along San Antonio Road. The new portables on the left next to the grass appear to the the multipurpose room which was added about then by BCS and paid for by BCS. In the following 2009 Prop 39 offer cycle, BCS was really annoyed by LASD’s counting the MPR room as if provided by LASD.  And it did so twice. Here’s the double counting.  LASD counted the building floor area as ” Interior room space” AND then land it was on as “playground.” [Lalahpolitico: I’m not using the Prop 39 measurement mumbo jumbo terminology.] [hr]

Map 6 – 2011-2012 Egan with BCS maxed out portables

Egan Junior High School, Los Altos California 2011. Bullis Charter School expanded again and was allocated some land along the back fence.

Egan Junior High School, Los Altos California 2011. Bullis Charter School grew again and was allocated some land along the back fence.

Because of the favorable to BCS appellate court ruling in 2011,  the LASD administration stuck to the appellate court’s “math formulas” and allocated BCS some oddly shaped patches of Egan land along the back fence in order to”make their numbers.”  It’s only the square feet of land that matter –  not their usability.  My drawing is probably too generous about the extent  of the land. (Along the bottom of the photo, you can see the reduction of the purple area).

Lalahpolitico: Recent lower court rulings from the Judge Lucas court have been unfavorable to BCS. Most of them have been about procedural issues though.   The substance is not being argued yet. And don’t we wish that the two sides would talk together?.  Like for example, staff or Prop 39 parent committees from both sides could get together about the next Prop 39 offer.  The devil is in the details.  Like where is the key to Blach gym?  Are 14 minute time slots on the Blach track useable to anyone?  I don’t think we need to have the details of the next 2013-2014 Prop 39 offer worked out in a Brown Act, 200 people in the room environment.  Do you want to speak on the process for making the gym key available? Do you want to comment about whether  a BCS 7th and 8th grader needs to be accompanied by an adult to use the Blach restrooms?

staff or Prop 39 parent committees from both sides could get together about the next Prop 39 offer.  The devil is in the details.

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Map 7 – 2005 Egan with LASD temporary camp … same as Map 3

Blach in 2005. LASD Temporary Camp is show on right hand side. Source: Google Earth.

Egan in 2005. LASD Temporary Camp is show on right hand side. Source: Google Earth.

 

Finally, comparing  Map 7 2005 to  Map 6 2011-2012  just above, we can see that about the same square footage of portables is on the Egan site now and then. The two are configured a little differently.  I don’t know if LASD and BCS cooperated on the locations or not.  I hope they did and that BCS prefers its portables configuration to this old one from 2005.

BOTTOM LINE: What does it mean? The BCS board is studying the Blach 2005 temporary camp as a guide for LASD on how to layout portables in the 2013-14 Prop 39 offer. And also what territory should be allocated to BCS. There are probably lessons about how to configure restrooms too. The BCS board has not decided what grades to put there or how many if would prefer.  But it may feel that about 200 students is the necessary minimum to avoid social and emotional repercussions of isolation.  County school board candidate 2012, Dave Cortright, has been a champion of promoting student social and emotional learning. During his campaign he said it was a key issue he wanted to address if elected.

The BCS board feels about 200 students is the necessary minimum to avoid social and emotional repercussions of isolation. That is likely one of the reasons it did not put its 50? or so 7th and 8th graders at Blach this school year

LALAHPOLTICO:  I guess for next year 2013-2014 BCS is trying to make decent lemonade out of the lemons of a split school?

Dave Cortright, county school board candidate, has been a champion of promoting student social and emotional health. During his campaign he said it was a key educational concern.

 

About the author

lalahpolitico

Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she only became fascinated with business of local politics only in the past couple of years.

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