Saturday, March 17, 2012

Los Altos PTA and Foundation Unite Against Local Boutique Charter

The following letter was written and released to show that the parent leadership of the Los Altos School District is united in its passion against the forced closure of a high performing school to suit the needs of a boutique charter school.

March 17, 2012

Los Altos School District Families and Community Members,

As Los Altos School District PTA Presidents, we are charged with determining the best methods for serving our schools. Much of the time we focus on the needs of our individual campuses, supporting academic activities and programs, maintaining and improving site facilities, and upgrading and advancing technology. But there is also the need to look at the bigger picture and act together to support the community as a whole.

In light of the continuing situation with Bullis Charter School (BCS) and the Los Altos School District (LASD), we feel compelled to write to our memberships and school communities to assure you that we stand in solidarity as a district. We do not believe that a charter school should cause any of our high performing district schools to be relocated or closed. We are united in our commitment to support equal access to quality education for all of our students.

The Los Altos School District enjoys a truly exceptional community that values and supports public school education. A hallmark of the district is the equal treatment of all students. Each district school receives the same per-pupil funding from state, city, and local sources.  Our educational foundation—Los Altos Educational Foundation (LAEF)—distributes its funds equally throughout the district in the best interest of all K-8 students. Even school PTAs contribute significant funds to the district on a per-pupil basis in lockstep with one another, such that all students attending schools throughout the district have equal access to the same high quality education.

Our schools continue to be successful because of the top-rated programs and curriculum, experienced and talented teachers, and active parent communities.  The PTAs and LAEF are committed to working together to preserve and protect these qualities that define LASD, and we are committed to working together to preserve and protect all of our district schools.  We ask that you work with your PTA leaders to stand together as a district to prevent the closure of any LASD school.

Our entire district will be impacted by any long-term site solution for Bullis Charter School.  As such, the PTAs and LAEF are committed to working together to assist with any changes associated with the outcome of negotiations, mediation, or court rulings. It is imperative to work together for the good of the entire district and the Los Altos community as a whole.

As the events unfold, the PTAs will update the community on action items relevant to this situation.  Thank you all for your continued support of the Los Altos School District PTAs and LAEF.


Kristan Erickson and Tanya Maluf, Co-Presidents, Almond PTA
Elizabeth Maciag and Cheryl Bystrom, Co-Presidents, Blach PTA
Chad Starkey and Sumaira Nabeel, Co-Presidents, Covington PTA
Kimberly Gavenman and Linda Baxley, Co-Presidents, Egan PTA
Wendy Grant and Nikki Selden, Co-Presidents, Gardner Bullis PTA
Sheila McGovern, President, and Isabel Damian, EVP, Individualized Education PTA
Audrey Crowley, President, and Jacqueline Jeffries, EVP, Loyola PTA
Robert Dinneen, President, and Tara Williamson, EVP, Oak PTA
Michelle Sturiale and Molly Black, Co-Presidents, Santa Rita PTA
Kelly Toshach and Brooke Schiller, Co-Presidents, Springer PTA
Kristine Bardman and Joe Seither, Co-Presidents, Los Altos Educational Foundation