The Palo Alto school district should open a new elementary school at the site of the old Peninsula Day Care Center at 525 San Antonio Road combined with the adjacent Greendell campus at 4120 Middlefield Road, a community advisory committee has recommended.
The 12-member committee said a "hybrid" school at the site -- combining neighborhood children with children in a choice program such as Spanish Immersion -- would be least disruptive to attendance boundaries of Palo Alto's 12 existing elementary campuses.
The new school -- contemplated for opening in fall 2017 -- would be accessible either from San Antonio or from the Middlefield entrance adjacent to Cubberley Community Center, said Ann Dunkin, the district's chief technology officer who co-chaired the advisory committee.
The Board of Education is set to discuss the proposal at its regular meeting Tuesday, April 9.
Under preliminary plans, the new elementary school would be constructed facing San Antonio Road but would share playground and field space with the existing Greendell campus, which currently houses the district's Young Fives, Pre-School Family, vocational education and other pre-kindergarten activities.
"We hope to be able to continue to accommodate" the pre-K programs at Greendell, Dunkin said.
The "hybrid" model proposed for the new school -- with the type of "choice program" as yet unspecified -- has precedent in the existing Escondido Elementary School, which combines neighborhood children with students who travel from across the district for the Spanish Immersion Program housed there.
The school district acquired the 2.6-acre Peninsula Day Care parcel in 2011, paying $8.5 million and disrupting a developer's plans to build housing there. The day care center closed its doors in June of that year when the owner retired after nearly 40 years in business.
The elementary-site advisory committee, which convened last fall, was asked to evaluate the pros and cons of opening a new school at the Greendell/525 San Antonio location or at the old Garland School at 870 N. California Ave.
Committee members were Young Fives parent Amy Darling; Gunn parent Asha Guha; Ohlone parent Laura Landolfi; Walter Hays parent David Liu; Jordan and Palo Verde parent Xiaoqin (Victoria) Liu; Paly parent Tony Putulin; Ohlone parent and Jordan step-parent Kirstin Sego; El Carmelo parent Chris Taylor; Escondido School Principal Danae Reynolds; Greendell Pre-K Principal Sharon Keplinger; Dunkin and the district's Director of Elementary Education Kathleen Meagher, who co-chaired the committee along with Dunkin.
Tuesday's school board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave.