Could Covington Share Campus With BCS?

The Los Altos School Board is exploring sharing the Covington School campus and the Egan School campus with BCS.

The announced it was exploring the idea of sharing the Covington School campus with l grades K-6, and providing space at Egan Jr. High School for grades 7-8.

The new idea would require bringing in portable classrooms "to provide enough space for both Covington and BCS students and staff," according to the district press statement.

"Fundamentally it's equal, half and half," said Mark Goines, president of the LASD Board of Trustees, of the Covington campus plan. "Each group would have their portables, each group would have their classrooms and they would share all the other facilities. They would share everything else."

The district did so because it was "evaluating this option in light of the charter school’s March 1 response and objections to the February 1 preliminary offer from LASD, as well as the recent Court of Appeals decision," according to the statement from a press release sent out Friday morning and is attached in a pdf document to this article.

The statement refers to the annual state-mandated facilities request process by which charter schools request of its host school district classroom and other space to operate the charter schools.

The change represents a significant shift from , which BCS chairman Ken Moore had called "the worst facilities offer BCS ever received." That offer provided for Bullis' K-6 grade program to stay at its current site on the Egan campus, and the 7-8 grade program at the Blach campus. BCS has contended its entire program needs to be on one campus.  

"BCS would have its buildings and portables and Covington would have its buildings and portables," Goines said. Other facilities such as library and lunch room known as the "serviary" would be shared, "50:50."

"It still leaves students at Egan," Goines acknowledged. The LASD board does not want to close one of its high-performing schools in order to put BCS on such  campus, because of the risks of disruption to the program, he said. 

Ken Moore, chairman of the Bullis Charter School Board was not happy, characterizing such a solution as "unlawful," maintaining that Prop. 39 required the school site to be contiguous.

“While we welcome LASD’s consideration of alternative site solutions for BCS students, it is not lawful to force BCS to manage its single integrated school program over multiple school sites,” said Moore in a written statement released through Larsen Public Relations.

“Transporting children and staff between the Egan and Covington sites multiple times during the school day to maintain the innovative, high-performing, integrated BCS K-8 program would be inefficient, disruptive, and raise issues of student safety."

Moore tempered his remarks with his last statement, "BCS will continue to work diligently to encourage the District to meet its obligation to provide fair and equitable facilities to our students.”

Goines said the idea reflected a shift in direction for the LASD board, which historically presented its final offer to the public in a board meeting and voted on it the same night. This time it will discuss the pros and cons of the formal  preliminary offer versus that of a contemplated modification to house most of BCS students at Covington school. The board would not vote on it the same night.

"We are having a public, open board discussion about an alternative, he said. "It's a deliberation.

"Clearly the Covington community is going to have concerns that we'll want to hear. I'm sure the Bullis Charter School community will have their own imputs."

Trustees are expected to discuss the idea at its board meeting Monday night, along with other topics related to the charter school.

This includes a potential bond measure, for which trustees are considering public opinion polling. 

In a joint meeting between LASD and Los Altos City Council Thursday night, the council indicated its willingness to discuss use of the property that it owns, most notably that of Hillview Community Center, which is the site of a closed school.

March has been an active month for discussions on several levels, some of them taking place out of public view: 

  • The district and the BCS board have filed briefs in court addressing the how space for Bullis Charter School should be allocated in conformance with the Sixth District Court of Appeal decision.
  • Members of the BCS board and the school district met in a closed mediation session on March 6.
  • An ad-hoc group of BCS board members, LASD board members and the LASD schools community, began of meeting this month to discuss issues of mutual interest, including the short term and long-term needs of Bullis and those school communities.
  • The County Board of Education, BCS, LASD and LASD parents have been planning a public meeting in the near future to discuss the interests, roles and expectations of all the groups.

Covington is among several schools discussed on an active Facebook group called LASDVoices. Parents on both sides have created threads for discussion of possible configurations, asked questions about programming, and mixed it up in some freewheeling interchanges.

“It’s important to note that this is just one of many possible configurations the Board is considering and will be discussing in open session at Monday evening’s meeting,” said Goines in his written statement on the press release. 

Just Mom March 23, 2012 at 02:31 AM
You know Ron here you go again. Seriously enough with your insults. I am bringing up what many parents are feeling and here you are attacking me as a person. Is that the value of your education?
Ron Haley March 23, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Just Mom March 23, 2012 at 02:33 AM
And perhaps if you and the other poster did more to reach out to parents like myself and spent less time insulting them you might have a better image as a school.
Just Mom March 23, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Removing the insult Ron, really? Again you are earning the image BCS currently has with a great deal of parents.
comment1320 March 23, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Just Mom, If I am the other poster, exactly how did I insult you? Or were you referring to someone else as the other poster?
Just Mom March 23, 2012 at 03:25 AM
No 1320 you are not the other person.
K Justice-Moore March 23, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Joan, you are absolutely wrong on this point: the Appellate Court said in no uncertain terms that there was ample evidence of bad faith by LASD. The written opinion is laced with example after example of their deception, games, and bad behavior. Let me restate what has already been said: bad faith is not just bad judgment or "measuring wrong." Bad faith is intent to deceive -- it is so egregious that a court can award punitive damages to the wronged party even if they have not suffered any monetary damage. You are not going to find a more neutral third-party than that Appellate Court, which had no bias or agenda like you. Read the opinion. And to Just Mom, if you are so adamant about vitriol in this debate, you should also take a stand against "Joan" for hers. If you refuse to do that, then stop complaining about Ron. Like 1320 said, neither Ron nor "Joan" are official spokespersons, and each is entitled to their opinion. Neither is entitled to falsehoods, and so far I don't see that Ron has said anything factually incorrect. If you object to his "tone" (however you measure that in a post), then so be it.
Just Mom March 23, 2012 at 04:29 AM
And just out of curiousity which side of this issue are you on? Are you a BCS parent? I object with his insults which are not tone and are crystal clear.
Just Mom March 23, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Joan has not insulted me. As a parent with students in LASD I have been following this from the start.
Joan J. Strong March 23, 2012 at 05:25 AM
Where is the personal, nasty "vitriol" coming from me, wherein I could possibly be compared to Ron? Ron makes it clear he HATES public schools and HATES our Districts and has said he has "no sympathy for 'Little Johnny'" at LASD public schools and would gladly see them dragged away from their friends to exact revenge for the years of suffering he's endured at your school (which he then goes on to say is amazing and perfect). Ron Haley has lead the charge to take money from our schools and has vowed to bankrupt our District. Not that you, a BCS Board Member, have EVER EVER repudiated a single thing Ron Haley has said, including his promises that BCS *will* sue our District into bankruptcy ( please see: http://bullisCharterScam.org/bullis_charter_money.php ). No, what we see here is clear: you are DEFENDING Ron Haley as BCS always does. Ron Haley, then, is a defacto BCS spokesman. Also, like other BCS people, you repeatedly smear me and others who point out BCS falsehoods without bringing up a shred of evidence. It's all about getting out the lawyers and doing a background check and trying to find "dirt" on individuals--that's your automatic answer to reasoned arguments. (I am, and always have been, the most honest person in this broader discussion...)
Joan J. Strong March 23, 2012 at 05:27 AM
She's Kathleen Justice-Moore, BCS Board Member...
Just Mom March 23, 2012 at 05:35 AM
I wish I was suprised.
K Justice-Moore March 23, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Joan, don't ever answer for me. In fact, don't speak for others at all, especially when you know nothing about them. I am not a BCS Board Member (be surprised, Just Mom). I have no authority at the school and do not speak for them. I am a BCS parent, and an attorney that took no part in BCS' lawsuit. I did take great interest, however, in the unanimous 48-page published opinion by the 3-justice panel of the Appellate Court and cannot sit by while you and Just Mom try to minimize its significance by spouting off that that opinion can be "interpreted" several ways, or that the Court found that the district merely "measured wrong." YOU BOTH ARE WRONG. The Court clearly found evidence of the district's bad faith. It is my belief that LASD's bad faith is a huge reason for this mess. They misled a court of law and they've misled you. And just for the record, you have no basis for saying that I have personally smeared you. I post very rarely, and to my recollection, the last topic had to do with test scores and you were not involved in that discussion. So back off. Yes, you definitely ARE full of vitriol, Joan, and quite possibly self-delusion too.
Joan J. Strong March 23, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Okay, so why is your alias on Patch.com, "K Justice-Moore"? You have to admit that's a rather loaded alias. One very well might, in the context of this discussion, rationally surmise you are Kathleen Justice-Moore. If that is not the case, why would you try to mislead people into thinking you are this person by choosing that alias on patch? > "and quite possibly self-delusion too." Very nice. No, no vitriol or smears here, nope...
Just Mom March 23, 2012 at 06:59 AM
And again I am not at all surprised you area BCS parent hence why I asked. Misleading, how sbout telling folks the school was created for innovation and choice? I am sorry but being here from the start I know that to be false. As a parent it was sad to see folks who were perfectly content prior to Gardiner Bullis closing suddenly start smearing the same schools that they trusted to educate their own children just months before. For me personally the bottom line is the folks who started BCS did so for negative reasons. It is very difficult to feel positive towards someone who has done harm that is going to take many years to overcome. These are again to be clear my personal feelings.
Just Mom March 23, 2012 at 07:01 AM
I apologize for the spelling issues I am typing from a phone and the keyboard is acting a tad wonky. For a laugh Damn You Auto Correct is a fun site for such mishaps...
K Justice-Moore March 23, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I am impressed that you think my name is "loaded", but I not using an alias. I am using my real name. And, guess what, I am still not a Board Member of BCS, or of any of their parent organizations. I am just a mom at BCS, I volunteer in the classroom and here or there. Sorry to disappoint you. @ Just Mom: I was involved in the closure of B-P or the creation of BCS. My kids' school would not have even been B-P at that time. I have not criticized any LASD school: only the Board of Trustees who have mislead all of you. To all who believed "Joan" that I was a Board Member, or believed "Just Mom" that I was misleading you and that I have been smearing schools -- Look how easily these people throw around lies, without factual verification! This should have been an easy fact to know or verify, but they didn't. Look how quickly these people try to personally attack someone! Above all, question what they write.
K Justice-Moore March 23, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Correction: I was NOT involved in the closure of B-P, nor the creation of BCS. In fact, I didn't even have kids at that time, or any interest in the situation . . . KJM
Joan J. Strong March 23, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Wow. Okay. I have three rules: 1. Prime directive: I will NEVER make this discussion "personal" in the sense of naming names, family affiliations, jobs, etc. People's private lives (i.e. the part they do not willfully make public) are private and should stay that way. 2. I always back up claims with evidence. 3. Insofar as comments are directed at the poster's person, it's IN CONTEXT and relevant (viz. Ron's involvement in Measure E), not out of context and irrelevant (viz. questioning somebody's "mental health" or what have you). *** So I'm in a quandary here, because #1 is currently in conflict with #s 2 & 3. But I won't break my "prime directive". So I'll end this discussion by breaking my OTHER two rules here and leave it to the reader's imagination (or maybe a session with Google) as to whether I am right or not. So here goes: 1. No, KJM is not a board member of BCS--I was mistaken about that. It was an EASY mistake to make, given the facts which I won't discuss here. 2. Yes, it is EXTREMELY misleading for KJM to characterize herself as "just a BCS mom", or "not involved in BCS leadership". Baloney. KJM is a BCS "insider" and for her to endorse Ron supports the notion that Ron, too, is in the "inner circle" of BCS and is a defacto spokesman for them--which, recall, was the point I was making here. Now, if BCS would officially repudiate their intention to bankrupt our district as Ron promised, then I would mea culpa indeed...
K Justice-Moore March 23, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Joan, In vowing to not break your own rules, you broke many. My 3 rules of posting (which I do rarely) are: 1. Stay on message; 2. Call out dishonesty, bigotry, cruelty and hypocrisy, which have no place in this discussion; 3. Correct factual mistakes. My original post did all three things with respect to the Appellate Court's written opinion about LASD's bad faith. As a member of the California State Bar, I could not sit by and let your lies about that written opinion stay uncorrected. Calling me a BCS board member was NOT an easy "mistake." Checking the BCS website takes 10 seconds. Besides, you should know the board members' names by now. No matter what your assumptions about who I am or what I do, I can guarantee that I am an "insider." I am truly just a mom there. Due to other commitments, my involvement with the school is limited: occasional classroom volunteering and serving on a planning committee about curriculum. I don't believe I've ever met Ron Haley, but I think I know who he is. I have had one meeting with Mrs. Hersey in the past year, about curriculum. I rarely go to BBC (PTA) meetings (sorry guys -- you're the best!). I attended my first board meeting a few months ago, to listen. Sometimes other parents listen to my commentary on legal matters, but I have no official role at the school. My only consolation to you? If I WAS a board member, by all means I would deny your accusations of trying to bankrupt the district.
K Justice-Moore March 23, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Correction: ... I am NOT an insider there . . . something about caps lock ..
Joan J. Strong March 23, 2012 at 05:29 PM
No, you wouldn't. You couldn't. It would mess up the court case that the boys at MoFo are probably already preparing, and is key to BCS's viability. Ron can explain. It's a public dare, surely, but I suspect we would have heard from the BCS board if they "really" didn't want to do that. Operators are standing by. I don't recall denying the entire issue of "bad faith". I recall not seeing the relevance of that issue in the context of all of the other facts of this situation. You're missing the forest for the trees. This is a public forum and this is politics--not a lawyer convention. Although this might be an enormous issue to you and other lawyers--to the point that you believe that all LASD children should be punished for it--most of us non-lawyers don't care. What BCS is doing is wrong. It hurts our children. What you might win in court is irrelevant. Hiding behind the "law" as it is currently defined is hollow. What matters to us parents is, who is right and who is wrong. Winning a court case, counselor, does not make you "right" in the eyes of the population. Sometimes it actually hurts--it make us reconsider the law entirely. Our District is under threat of being bankrupted and our children--especially those who need help the most--will be hurt because of it. Saying, "but it's the law" is no consolation to anybody.
Just Mom March 23, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Happens to the best of us K :) As for why BCS was created spending some time researching it might give you a better grasp on why some folks are so fed up. What bothers me is that the founders of BCS basically did an end run around the district when Gardiner Bullis was closed. Nobody likes to see a school closed even with the condition that it will be opened again at some point. Most people might protest, they might be upset and hurt, but they adjust and move on. What these folks did was to start a charter, demand that campus, and then sued the district to get what they wanted. I know I personally would like for these founders to fess to this and apologize to those of us who are caught up in this mess. It would go a very long way to making me feel like they get it and want to work together to make this situation better for everyone.
Joan J. Strong March 23, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Again, hate to sound like a broken record, but I absolutely DO have a vision for a way out of this mess, but it will entail a completely different mentality within the BCS leadership (who, as we know, Mrs. Moore above has absolutely no connection to whatsoever). Right now BCS is, essentially, "run by lawyers" in terms of the make-up of their Board and their overall stance, which is to hide behind arcane laws rather than making a moral case to the community as non-lawyers would do. And no, I think it's unrealistic to expect "full confessions" and all that--and it's not necessary. The vision below is one of, "stipulate and move on". Yes, BCS was started for all of the wrong reasons and should have never been started--but now what? That's what I talk about here (scroll half way down): http://losaltos.patch.com/articles/bcs-recognizes-civil-atmosphere-at-meeting
Courtenay C. Corrigan March 23, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Just mom, Curious why you think the apology owed is from the folks who started BCS and not the BofTrustees that backed them into that corner? If I were one of them, I would gladly apologize if it meant this community might start to heal but the reality is, from where I sit, the fault was not the parents that took action and found a legally compliant alternative for their kids, it is the district that left them no other choice. In fact, it appears the district leadership owes the entire community an explanation for how and why this situation has been so poorly managed and seemingly without end. I explained it to someone like this: The district has been entrusted by the state to manage its land for the public trust. They have spent the last nine years denying access to it fairly for the children at BCS. BCS parents have complained but gritted their teeth for years as they drove past newly remodeled and even fallow schools. Now, the courts have had to be brought in to play parent and the message is clear. However, your world is being rocked and you are understandably upset. The problem is, your upset with the wrong people. Look to your own leadership for answers. We have been waiting and waiting. The time has come to make the situation right for ALL kids...not just yours.
K Justice-Moore March 23, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Joan, My last name is Justice-Moore. You may call me Mrs. Justice-Moore if you like. KJM
K Justice-Moore March 23, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Thanks Just Mom for understanding about the typos and such . . . :)
Joan J. Strong March 23, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Until the day comes that you can explain your case without using terms like "legally" and "owes", and "compliant" you will not be heard. Nobody cares about these things except a bunch of lawyers. If--and I don't concede this point--but IF it were actually true that the District operated completely illegally then... we would still PRAISE them for this as they did what they needed to do to stop an immoral attack on our schools. What we care about is WHAT IS RIGHT, and a bunch of rich kids at a pseudo-private school is NEVER NEVER going to gather "sympathy" from anybody (even us fellow rich people). Hiding behind the law, I should also point out, is a very, very dangerous strategy in the long run. What if the law changes? What if they Charter movement sees BCS as a threat to its existence and makes a "deal" to save itself and sells you down the river? I'm not saying this "will" happen--but it could. Governor Brown recently met with Diane Ravitch. The landscape could change. Who knows. It boggles my mind that you'd put your own kids at risk this way, and you'd stake your entire reputation on the interpretation of a few paragraphs within some statute.
Just Mom March 23, 2012 at 07:19 PM
My leadership made a difficult decision 9 years ago. Many districts have had to do the same thing. When they shuffled school boundaries a few years ago my children were at risk of being moved. I voiced my concern and had things not gone my way I would have dealt with it and moved forward. Two of my children are no longer at their neighborhood school for program reasons. Did I demand they be accomodated at their home school? No, I accepted that this was a necessary thing and we moved forward. Yes, we had to shuffle around and it is difficult, but we survived and will continue to do so. Finding a legally compliant alternative is much different than doing what is right for all children. They used the law to punish the district and by extension all the children who did nothing to deserve it. Quite frankly I find it entitlement in the highest form. Do you ever do more than the speed limit driving? If you do you are breaking the law.
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