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Los Altos School District Locks Out Its Charter Students

Original post made by Concerned Parent, Los Altos, on Aug 8, 2013

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August 08, 2013 07:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Parents of Bullis Charter School Stage Protest at School District Offices in Response to Its Teachers Being Locked Out

District Changes Locks Preventing Teachers from Accessing Classrooms

LOS ALTOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than 20 parents from Bullis Charter School (BCS) representing each grade level (K-8) staged a peaceful protest outside the District offices Thursday morning to express their outrage and frustration over the Los Altos School District's (LASD) decision to lock teachers out of their classrooms just days away from the start of the school year.

[Portion removed due to possible copyright infringement.]

Comments (10)

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 9, 2013 at 12:08 am

Very sad this is happening. Wish LASD offered choices in education. Sad to see kids suffer. Really poor form by Doug Smith and the rest of the Los Altos School Board.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 9:34 am

Well, you have to be careful with public education to not create a two-tier system: I thought Bullis parents were making enormous financial contributions such to the extent Bullis students were receiving a different, select educational experience. I gather that doesn't extend to the facilities, where the argument lies; but in terms of the education, they are in the elite of the elite!


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 9, 2013 at 10:47 am

Bullis Charter was locked out of Blach because they refused to sign the occupancy agreement with LASD (even though they knew since April that it needed to be signed). This demonstration is yet another PR stunt from BCS- they even had their PR representative tweeting from the "protest". Which other public school in the area has a budget to pay for PR and full blown print ads/mailer marketing campaigns? Lawsuits and marketing shenanigans are all this school is contributing to our community.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm

What a burn. Good job, LASD. Bullis parents have gotten out of control.


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Posted by parent #3
a resident of Mayfield
on Aug 9, 2013 at 6:14 pm

I agree 100% with the post above. Bullis parents are out of control. I support LASD!


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Posted by Tanya
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Another day, and the lock out continues. While it is great to see a lot of dialog regarding agreements, deadlines, and signatures, these topics are the realm of the policy makers and school board members. By focusing on process details, it is easy to lose the big picture.

Why is the lock out a big deal? Put yourself in the BCS teachers' shoes - imagine this was _your_ school, _your_ child's classroom, _your_ favorite teacher. Imagine 6-8 classrooms selected at random at your school. Empty them completely - no desks, no chairs, no shelves or cabinets. Take out the phone, the maps and colorful displays off of the walls. Remove the American flag. You've got nothing, 4 walls, a floor and a door. You can't even look in to see the state of the space.

Now imagine you are the teacher and that's YOUR room. Right now, you should be decorating the walls, organizing your materials, arranging the desks. Working at your desk as you create lesson plans and develop your strategy for the coming year. But, you are locked out. How much can you prepare without access to and control of your space? How is the extra stress and forcibly crushed schedule affecting your plans?

This is the state of the lockout today. Teachers and staff ARE LOCKED OUT. Needless damage has already been done to the staff.

Now, let's consider one possible scenario. The students and teacher are allowed to occupy those rooms, on the first day of school. Your kid arrives that day, with all of the eagerness and excitement and wonder of that first day. You hold your child's hand, and look for his/her classroom. What do you see? No hook to hang a backpack, no desk with your child's name on it, no learning materials on the walls. How will your child sit down and begin to learn? How long will it take for their classroom to settle and the learning begin? You can't get this lost time back.

How about another scenario. Sorry, but those 6-8 classrooms are still inaccessible. Your school now has ~150 children with no available classrooms. What do your teacher and principal do? Do you have overcrowded classrooms? Do they teach outside? How do they handle the chaos? At this point, the entire school is disrupted, and no teachers can teach and no kids can learn.

As a community, we are deeply committed to excellent education, and are graced with fantastic public schools. How can any of us stand by and allow this to happen to kids in OUR community? How can elected School Board Trustees CREATE such a situation by changing the locks?

How do you explain to your kid, on the first day of school, why they are locked out? Look into their eyes and tell them about facilities process details. I'm sure that will work.


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Posted by Fred
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 9, 2013 at 8:52 pm

@Tanya - maybe you explain to your kid that the parents got out of control and so are getting a time out!


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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2013 at 8:59 pm

@Fred - So you punish a bunch of kids for your own or others' shortcomings? .....Nice.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Oh, please. I'm not buying this "innocent children and teachers" B.S. Bullis administration should have signed the agreement and they are the ones who should be blamed, not LASD. Misguided blame game. The children should simply be told the truth, that administration did not follow the rules and there are consequences.


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Posted by MayerCt
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Maybe instead of paying over $100k in focus groups, another $50k-$100k in newspaper marketing and $300k in makerbot & 3d graphics displays for their new FabLab, they could have used some of that money to invest in upgrading Blach facilities to be suitable for the lower grades to desire to have there. As it is now LASD provided facilities in a configuration that is "reasonably equivalent" to their own, which is Jr Highs not on the same campus as elementary. As such, the Blach facilities are not designed for young students, with their safety not gaurunteed. Nothing stopping BCS from being an active financial partner in the facilities allocation. They are so willing to invest half a million $ in marketing and high tech equipment but won't contribute anything remotely comparable to their facilities!

Btw, I don't like the fact that teachers are locked out in the most crucial month of the summer for them to class prep. Not the best move, but both sides have some blame here.


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