We live in Silicon Valley, a place that fosters and respects competition. Our public school system should not be a monopoly and should focus on the best interests of children – not adults. The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees’ decisions show that it is not using the public funds wisely. Allowing portables to be used for decades to house students while the administrators enjoy new buildings is an outrage. We need to change the school boundaries to maximize the usage of each school site. Change is a part of life. It is inefficient to have one school at three locations, especially the biggest school in the district.
Bullis Charter School is a gift to the district. This charter school has successfully offered children an alternative educational choice for 16 years. Its track record is outstanding. I moved my son from our neighborhood school across the street from our home to Bullis Charter School after kindergarten because our home school wasn’t a good match for his learning style and needs. There are many children at Bullis that have different learning styles and the administration makes it easy for children to get the support they need. Bullis welcomes all children including those with an IEP or a 504 Plan.
The past five and a half years have been excellent and my son has thrived. I’m so grateful that I was able to choose which school and learning environment are right for my child, and I hope everyone has the same opportunity. That decision to choose a different public school should not come with the negativity and lack of resources that the district has pushed on Bullis Charter School.
I have lived in Los Altos for 54 years. Growing up, I shared one bathroom with my five siblings. We compromised and used the bathroom space wisely. It worked out well! My parents could have bought another property and built a new home with multiple bathrooms, but they were wise and didn’t want to waste money. Instead, they said we needed to share the space, and so we did. Each child had different needs, but we realized that we needed to share and make good use of the bathroom space by being courteous and more selfless. This experience has made each of my siblings and me a better human being. We understand that resources need to be used wisely.
Parents deserve a marketplace of school choices – public, private, parochial, charter, virtual, blended and home education. They should be able to choose the model that best equips their children for success.
It is time for a shift in boundaries and to finally house Bullis Charter School on one school site. District trustees are the only ones who can make this happen. Please be wise with our community’s resources.
Sharisse Kokernak is a Bullis Charter School parent.