Board members back school boundary change

'Change offers predictability for families,' even if girl across the street can't go to Addison

Jim Lukash's preschool daughter has looked forward to starting kindergarten this fall at Addison Elementary School, directly across the street from the family home on Middlefield Road.

But such are the exigencies of school enrollment demands that the Lukash home, despite its proximity to Addison, will be assigned to Walter Hays Elementary School in new boundaries expected to be finalized Jan. 29.

"Under this proposal our daughter is banned from attending the school that's directly across the street," Lukash told the Board of Education Tuesday night.

Board members said they sympathized with Lukash, but maintained the boundary is being changed to prevent worse problems for a greater number of families. All five indicated they intend to support the change when it comes up for vote Jan. 29.

With an explosion of young families in the current Addison attendance area, dozens of students in recent years have been "overflowed" to schools across town. At the same time, Walter Hays has room to spare, officials said.

The boundary change -- to take effect this fall -- will mean greater certainty that neighborhood families will in fact be able to attend their assigned schools, they said. Current Addison students and their younger siblings will be able to stay at Addison.

The new boundaries will shift about 20 blocks of households, both north and south of Embarcadero Road and east and west of Middlefield, from the Addison to the Walter Hays attendance area.

The shift will mean more children trying to cross Middlefield at Kellogg Avenue and Melville Avenue, and officials said safety protocols are still being worked out.

But Lukash was the only parent to publicly oppose the boundary change before the board.

"I know the staff has a difficult job ... and I greatly respect them for their efforts," Lukash said.

"I also recognize that no matter what they recommend, someone will be standing at this podium complaining. But any boundary plan that prevents a student who lives directly across the street from attending is unfair."

Chris Kenrick


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 16, 2013 at 11:30 am

Well that's STUPID.
The school board is actually endangering Lukash's Daughter safety.
If she lives across the street from the school. If she can walk 100 feet from her front door to the school then sending he elsewhere is ridiculous and endangering the child as she now must walk many blocks.
OR I guess it's just one more car on the road..

I say if you can throw a rock or ball at the school you should be able to go to that school.
Or schools boundary should have a one block radius..

Like this comment
Posted by Not Stupid
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

It's not stupid. It's practical. But if you don't take the time to study the background for a decision, then any fool can call a well-thought out decision stupid.

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Posted by Mom
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jan 16, 2013 at 11:51 am

Goes to show that our Ivy League School Board members can lack common sense.

Why didn't they mess with Duveneck's and Hays' boudaries to help Addison? We keep getting Palo Verde overflows at Duveneck.

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Posted by another mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Which ones of our school board supposedly went to Ivy league schools? Other than Caswell who went to Dartmouth, the frat Ivy, none of the rest of them did. Not there's anything wrong with that, to quote Seinfeld. It's just a fact.

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Posted by So Negative
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 16, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Gentle, gentle.

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Posted by Jane
a resident of Addison School
on Jan 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Surely there's enough flexibility in the world that a 1 block radius can be instituted - it's ridiculous for that child to go to Walter Hays.

Like this comment
Posted by It's not just distance
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 17, 2013 at 1:49 am

@John — As far as safety goes, it may be safer for a child to walk several blocks on neighborhood streets to one school than to have to cross Middlefield to get to another, closer school. Seeing the lines that were drawn, it looks like crossing busy streets was in fact taken into consideration as well as just distances.

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Posted by obvious
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 17, 2013 at 9:36 am

There's a crossing guard on the corner and lights. Getting to Addison is safer than walking through non-managed intersections to Walter Hays.
Also, look at all the other kids in Crescent Park going to Addison from much further away crossing at Middlefield/Addison.
So, no, crossing Middlefield was not a consideration in this change. Try again.

Like this comment
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm

@obvious If crossing middlefield wasn't a consideration, Why do you think they put the border there?

Like this comment
Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 18, 2013 at 6:03 am

The Board is still hamstrung by the decision to sell off elementary school sites 30 years ago, which was done because some expert, presumably any Ivy League graduate, predicted the school-age population would continuously shrink, and to raise money. Lytton School, which was at Middlefield & Lytton, and Crescent Park School, which was on Center Dr., would have relieved this pressure now making things difficult at Addison and Walter Hays.

Like this comment
Posted by Palo alto mom
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 18, 2013 at 8:42 am

The additional housing, including the dense developments that replaced the old MEdical Foundation have more to do with the overcrowding problem than closing CRescent Park school.

Like this comment
Posted by obvious
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 19, 2013 at 9:49 am

@Mr.Recycle, if crossing Middlefield was a consideration, why do you think they they tripled the number of houses that now need to cross Middlefield?
I would really like to know why they stopped the people directly across from Addison attending Addison. No one's been able to provide a sensible explanation that couldn't have been dealt with but moving more from around Alma.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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