School is scheduled to begin Tuesday at Bullis Charter School in Los Altos.
The return to classes follows a fierce fight over a Facilities Use Agreement that Los Altos School District is demanding and Bullis has refused to sign.
Each side accuses the other of a lack of cooperation.
Bullis has invited LASD officials to a meeting on Monday to discuss changes that Bullis wants to the FUA. Here is a copy of the letter:
August 14, 2013
Dear Members of the LASD Board of Trustees:
Now that the 11 day student and teacher lockout is over, our BCS staff can get to work implementing their innovative plan for the coming school year. Unfortunately, you continue to threaten another lockout or legal action should BCS allow all its students to attend its school and access all its facilities.
Locking out a public school should never be an accepted form of imposing terms. We hope you will finally work with us to provide BCS with the flexibility to run its designed program and serve all its admitted students, rather than continuing a campaign to undermine BCS’ success.
For 2013-2014, LASD has split BCS onto two sites. Despite the challenges this presents, we are committed to continuing our integrated K-8 program as described in our charter. Just as we did with first and fifth graders in the 2012-2013 school year, BCS students will rotate in specific multi-grade pairings for multiple week periods between the two sites. While an integrated K-8 curriculum might not be intuitive, this has been a successful educational model for BCS for the past nine years.
We expect this rotation to cause no material impact on transportation, as BCS staff has created a staggered schedule to purposefully avoid high-impact traffic times at both Blach and Egan sites.
We’d like to meet with you as soon as possible so we can bring resolution to the Facility Use Agreement. As part of that meeting, we would like to suggest the following:
Students per Site Proposal
BCS will commit for 2013-2014 not to exceed on either site a student count more than 20 percent above its in-district projections from last fall without prior District approval (not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed). That means a maximum number of 175 BCS students on the Blach campus and 563 students on the Egan Campus at one time. BCS will also commit to limit periodic gatherings of its entire student body to at most eight times per calendar month, to be held only on the Egan site.
We note that more K-8 students have shared both the Egan and Blach campuses in the recent past than we are suggesting, and that the District currently voluntarily leases a
portion of Blach to a private pre-school as well. As recently as July 2012, Superintendent Baier stated under penalty of perjury:
“During the period when I served as principal of Almond Elementary School, in 2002-03, Almond’s 579 students shared the Egan campus. In 2003-04 Santa Rita Elementary School’s 541 students did the same....During the periods when Almond and Santa Rita shared the campus with Egan, students from both schools continued to perform exceedingly well while on the shared Egan campus. The schools remained strong draws for their respective communities.”
We reiterate our commitment to work with the District in good faith to take reasonable actions to mitigate any demonstrated impact from students on either site and again ask the District to work with us in good faith to allow BCS maximum flexibility to operate on the facilities the District has allocated.
The District has not clearly specified its concerns regarding K-3 students, and BCS has offered a full indemnification for their safety. We ask the District to support BCS’ carefully designed plan to rotate both its younger and older students through the Blach campus, as we have successfully demonstrated during the 2012-2013 school year.
Let’s Share Community Burdens and Solve Community Problems Together
Our community is closely watching how LASD resolves this matter. As trustees over public facilities, you are the elected leaders with a duty to be impartial. Instead of fighting BCS, lay the groundwork for productive collaboration and sharing of best practices. I would like to invite you to join the BCS Board of Directors at our next Board Meeting on August 19 at 7 p.m. in the BCS multi-purpose room so that we may discuss these matters in an open and transparent manner.
BCS Board Chair