San Carlos Real Estate Agent, San Carlos Realtor Update: Decision on San Carlos School Boundary Change Delayed Until January. | The White Oaks Blog
San Carlos Schools December 4, 2009

Update: Decision on San Carlos School Boundary Change Delayed Until January.

by Chuck Gillooley

Delayed…

After holding a town hall meeting as well as several board-level discussions, the San Carlos School District decided in their meeting last night to postpone the final decision on their proposed boundary changes until the January 21, 2010 meeting.   There was enough concern communicated by parents, particularly in the Arundel district, that the Board decided to take extra time to further examine the proposed changes, and possibly make a few minor changes to address some of those concerns.    For more information and background, I highly recommend reading (and subscribing to) Seth Rosenblatt’s outstanding blog.

Kudos to Superintendent Dr. Craig Baker, and the rest of the School Board for how well they have handled this super-charged issue.  Changing the school boundaries turned out to be an inevitability, given the chronic over-enrollment problems in San Carlos schools.   With decisions like this, it’s almost impossible to come up with a solution that will make everyone happy.   Throughout this process, I have to say that they have done an outstanding job of keeping the public informed of what’s happening (perhaps they could update their own website more often, but hey…..)    They forewarned everyone months ago that this change was coming, and through their public meetings they have given everyone ample opportunity to express their concerns.  On top of that, Dr. Baker seems very open to working with the affected communities to mitigate the impact.     I know, it’s pretty straightforward, but not all decisions are made in San Carlos are done with this level of transparency 😉

Headcount Reduction.

It’s also worth noting from last night’s meeting that the board reluctantly approved interim budget cuts for this year, part of which call for the elimination of 5 positions at the District level, including a key position within Special Education.    This is the brutal reality of how the poor state of affairs at the state level impacts us here in San Carlos.    More than ever, our schools will be forced to do more with less…
__________________________________________________________________

Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
Don’t miss a single update!
_____________________________________________________________________________

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Update: Decision on San Carlos School Boundary Change Delayed Until January., 2.8 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
Comments 11
  • I am greatly relieved that the school board is delaying the boundary decision until January. I truly hope that they will take this time to consider the “natural” boundaries between neighborhoods, walk ability, traffic issues on San Carlos Ave and Phelps. Unfortunately I have to strongly disagree with your assessment of the school board’s handling of the issue. I live in the Arundel neighborhood. We feel blindsided by this plan. I have read on this blog for some time that “the change was coming..” due to over crowding at WO but at Arundel we never dreamed that the zoning for the whole town would be changed. The district should have communicated in advance directly to the schools and told us that our neighborhoods were being changed. Why not present the issues and several different plans for community feedback? Why announce the plan the Wed before Thanksgiving with a vote scheduled two weeks later, during the holidays? Horrible, damaging things were said about the east side neighborhood at the meeting last week and on the San Carlos Blog. In the northwest neighborhoods (Devonshire/Arundel) we shrug at the White Oaks / Howard Park “centric” aspect of San Carlos.
    We laugh about it, because we don’t really get it. We think our neighborhood has more character, in my neck of the woods we have a lovely canyon view and can walk downtown. This is a terrific tight-knit community.

    Now there is a general feeling that powerful interests from WOaks are pushing this through quickly before anyone notices. Most of my neighborhood is still unaware of the plan. This is a volatile and divisive situation, which would not have occurred if the district had opened up the process and requested community feedback throughout the process.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • I am too relieved that they have delayed the boundary change. I really hope they will get extrapolations of good solid numbers over several years and how these numbers affect traffic. It’s imperative that they get unbiased traffic studies over a period of several days to show the real impact on traffic that this will have. Not just the impact for next year but for several years out. I don’t believe they can ever predict how many kids will be enrolling from year to year, especially in these uncertain times. Right now we have uncertainty in the economy, the state of California, the District, and even the housing market. So, why even change the boundaries? There are many other ways to solve this problem.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • AP & AAP,

      Thanks for your comments. From what I understand from past discussions with the school board, the over-enrollment problem they have to address every year happens at both White Oaks and Arundel, not just White Oaks. It may seem that it’s just White Oaks because that school’s problems certainly got more attention on this site as well other publications, especially this past fall when we originally thought as many as 50 families were going to be turned away. It turned out to be 17, but that’s still 17 too many in my book.

      I can’t speak on behalf of the School Board, but I’m pretty sure their intent with this boundary change was to solve both problems at the same time, and to generally re-balance the enrollment at all of the elementary schools. Whether or not this particular proposal will accomplish that remains to be seen. I am pleased to see that Dr. Baker is not only listening to community feedback, but seems open to modifying the proposal based on what he heard. As I said before, that doesn’t always happen with other issues in San Carlos.

      I hope the final solution works out well for both of you.

      CG

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  • Chuck,

    Thanks for your comments.

    However, I live this enrollment thing every year. Every year they say there is over enrollment at Arundel and every year when my kids actually start school the classrooms are NEVER to capacity. They cannot always go on first numbers that come in because, people apply to many schools, CLC or private so Arundel may not be their first pick. Not only that, people who may be looking to move, may find that perfect house and move. If the district and people could ever be patient then these numbers would work out by August. If they focused more on making all the schools equal they wouldn’t have this problem. SCSD has neglected Heather for too long and it’s no secret. All the other schools should had stepped in to support Heather a long time ago. I wish I had. Unjust is uncool.

    I think they could solve this problem by being fair across the board to ALL the schools. If they would stop giving every negative situation to Heather more people would realize what a great school it is and there is a reason why their API scores are low.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Can’t disagree with you there. I think the same thing happened this past fall at White Oaks — the original tally was about 50 families that weren’t going to get in. In the end, it turned out to be 17 (which is still a bummer for those 17 families.) But I have no doubt that families “dual-apply” to both public and private schools, which can indeed skew the numbers and makes the planning phase much more of a guessing game for the school board.

      In the end, I think the Board is looking out over a longer horizon and believes the problem needs proactive intervention. Looking at Burton Park and our downtown, it’s hard for me to believe that our enrollment is going anywhere but up!

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • Actually the statement about the schools never being at capacity is not true. For the 2008-2009 school year (last year), 16 families were “bumped” from Arundel to Heather, including a good friend of ours. They are now very happy at Heather, but to say that this enrollment issue doesn’t affect Arundel is just false. Any efforts to over the long-term alleviate the potential of this happening again at Arundel clearly makes sense.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • Arundel Parent — SCSD has neglected Heather? Where would you get that information? Everyone knows that the API scores (which are still excellent, by the way) have more to do with the population of kids (including the Tinsley kids brought out of the district) than how the education is delivered. What makes San Carlos unique in the Bay Area is the fact that it has made a concerted effort, and been sucessful, in making all 4 elementary schools equal…it is merely misinformation to state otherwise.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  • I disagree with the teacher.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • I am glad they have decided to delay the decision. There seems to be too much confusion as to how and when any changes would be implemented, why they are needed in certain areas, how the areas were determined, what the implications would be for traffic, neighborhood/school cohesiveness, and property values. It was quite a surprise to most of the school population that this boundary change would affect the entire town. I question whether these changes will really make much difference in the year over year # of kids in each school. Does that one section in moving from WO to BA really move enough families to prevent the issues in the past? Does the movement of the Laureola group into Arundel make up for the #s moving to Heather? Too many questions! Thank you to the Board for agreeing to delay this decision until more questions and rumors have been addressed!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Is there a summary transcript of the Board meeting posted somewhere? You mention there were a lot of concerns raised by Arundel parents but you didn’t say what those were, I am interested to read those.
    I agree with the first commenter’s comment – the boundary changes seem to be based more on politics than on walkability etc. To send the whole East Side of San Carlos to Arundel but keep the middle schools the same doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. I’m not as much concerned about walkability but I am concerned about a related issue which is the formation of a tight knit community, I would like my children to go to school with the children in our neighborhood, I get that San Carlos is not a huge town but to have kids spread out throughout the town going to the same school doesn’t seem to make sense. I don’t have a sense of the census numbers around each school but I would at least liked to have been able to vote on how these changes were proposed to happen vs. being told, which is the way it feels to have gone down. I also disagree that the Board has handled this in the right way, again, I don’t know all the concerns that were raised but from the sense I can gather from this blog and other publications there is a lot of concern over the proposed changes and yet the Board is just delaying their decision that doesn’t mean they will take into account any concerns and the comment from Seth’s blog made it seem like any change would be “minor”

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • The unapproved minutes of the Dec 3rd board meeting are posted here: https://sancarlos.csbaagendaonline.net/cgi-bin/WebObjects/sancarlos-eAgenda.woa/files/MTI2MDQ2MDQwNDExNS9zYW5jYXJsb3NlQWdlbmRhLzEzNS8xMTkzL0ZpbGVz/unapproved_minutes_12.03.09.pdf.

    I encourage you to attend tonight’s meeting for the continuing discussion of this proposed change. Dr. Baker will present a revised proposal. Community concerns have definitely been taken seriously and taken into account. If you’d like to chat about the proposal and why it does preserve the goal of neighborhood schools while better balancing enrollment, feel free to send me an e-mail at seth@rosenblatt.org and I’d be happy to chat with you.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
Leave a comment