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Timeline set for decision on new elementary school

Original post made on Nov 17, 2012

Facing the politically fraught prospect of redrawing school attendance boundaries, Palo Alto school officials this week laid the groundwork for community participation in choosing a site for a new elementary school, likely to open by the fall of 2017.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, November 17, 2012, 11:17 AM

Comments (6)

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Just tear down most of the buildings in a span of 5 years, build a new middle school and high school. Design like how older schools are built, not saying build ugly and cheap. Nice, modern, roomy, and safe.

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Posted by Schoolmom
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Open a new middle school at the Cubberly Site, but open it as an alternative campus - CONNECTIONS!!!!!! There is a LONG waiting list for families who would like to enroll in this program (currently only offered at JLS) and it would pull families from all three other middle schools, and requires no need to redraw middle school boundaries.

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Posted by Ducatigirl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Ducatigirl is a registered user.

That is a brilliant idea, one that would probably never occur to the school board because it is so practical. You should bring it up at one of their meetings, because it really solves a lot of problems.

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Posted by former AAAG member
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Nov 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm

There was a group several years ago that tried hard to redraw boundaries known as the AAAG. It was a very large group that had lots of meetings and in the end the only thing the group could agree on was a recommendation for the board to call the lease on Garland but not even able to agree what Garland should be used for. The lease was not called at this time but was a couple of years later. At this stage plans for a huge elementary school were drawn up but in the end, nothing happened because there was a slight downward turn in enrollment.

Now the discussion is more urgent. I suggest that if possible former members of this group be contacted to see if they are willing to continue on with the previous discussion. We had so many hours spent learning all that was necessary to look at that it would be pointless getting new people up to code when there are still many of us who remember the necessary criteria we had in the past.

But the biggest issue is to look at where the students of the new school will live. The obvious site will then be near where they live without having to cross extremely busy streets. Ideally, we do not need elementary age students crossing Oregon Expressway and even crossing Middlefield is not idea. However, if the new residential building is being done in the south of Palo Alto, and the schools with the biggest enrollment overflows are Fairmeadow and Palo Verde, then the obvious place is Greendell.

For that reason, as a previous AAAG member who has spent many, many hours over many months at meetings looking into this, then I think Greendell is the site to reopen as an elementary school first.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm

The idea of opening Cubberly as a choice campus is an old idea, and a worthy one. Skelly came into the district not understanding the choice programs and already with the plan of expanding Gunn and Paly campuses to avoid redrawing high school boundaries. We needed to improve them, but the expansion has been very expensive and the administration never really communicated with the community the consequences and costs of going to larger and larger high schools to justify spending the money that way rather than just rebuilding Cubberly.

What happens to preschool family if Greendell is opened as an elementary school?

I agree with you. I'm upset to see that we are spending so much money to shoehorn in some bells and whistles around old buildings that really aren't that healthy or safe anymore. We had a $400 million bond. If you look at what the state of California says per square foot of construction should cost -- if we pay attention to the kinds of things that increase costs without added benefit -- we could have put up 10-12 brand new SCHOOLS for that, including a high school. That's frankly what I was voting for.

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Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Nov 17, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Reasons to choose Greendell:

- South Palo Alto is where all the new residences are
- A large parking lot, and the preschool can be relocated anywhere since parents drive preschoolers anyway (perhaps at Garland, and start later than Jordan).

Reasons not to choose Garland:

- Traffic will back up on Louis Rd. (it already does now, up to 8 cars)
- Traffic will back up on North CA (those on Middlefield turn down N. CA to drive back to South PA; it already backs up now)
- The chaotic traffic will be dangerous for Jordan students who bike and walk to school
- No South PA students will be biking or walking to Garland due to OrEx so everyone will be driving.
- 3/4 of the students will be from South PA but Garland is located in North PA.
- There is only one circle to drop off at Garland in the front and not much street parking.

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