School board seeks new school, more campus housing in Stanford growth plan | Town Square | Palo Alto Online |

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School board seeks new school, more campus housing in Stanford growth plan

Original post made on Jan 29, 2018

The Palo Alto school board will vote Tuesday on a set of requests for Stanford University to consider in its updated general use permit, including the need to open a new elementary school and add more on-campus housing to accommodate planned growth.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, January 29, 2018, 1:28 PM

Comments (14)

27 people like this
Posted by A PAUSD parent
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Stanford's growth is at the cost of Palo Alto residents. However, unless you are a Stanford faculty family, our kids are almost not possible to attend Stanford. They only admit Stanford families and kids from other states and other cities, NOT Palo Alto kids. Gunn and Paly probably are the two schools whose non-faculty kids are the most difficult to attend Stanford in the whole world. We should ask Stanford, why should we take all the consequences if they don't want our kids in?

23 people like this
Posted by Juan
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 29, 2018 at 6:37 pm

Don't forget that Stanford refused to allow Jeremy Lin to attend. If a 4.0 student with NBA skills isn't allowed in, what hope do local kids have? Stanford actively discriminates against local kids, instead they let in out-of-state students like Brock Turner.

9 people like this
Posted by nomo
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 29, 2018 at 7:03 pm

More housing means more traffic. Quit trying to solve our over congestion problems by bringing in more people.

9 people like this
Posted by Stephen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2018 at 8:04 pm

How about noting that 4 schools are currently on Stanford land - Nixon, Escondido, Paly and Gunn. One thing that might help relieve school pressures in the area near Stanford would be to take back Fremont Hilsl School, which PAUSD currently rents to a private school. This rental apparently started when Nixon was opened. It would be good if someone (hint, hint PAW) would do some careful research into the history of Stanford and PAUSD, e.g. into the suggestion made on a different thread that the land Paly is sited on was only made available after a lawsuit by PAUSD. I would bet Nixon was built as part of the major development of houses that was built in the '60s, houses that are now mostly filled with retirees. One research task for both PAUSD and Stanford would be to find data on the number of students living on the Stanford campus that have attend Palo Alto schools down through the years. If the new housing results in an increase in number of students over the maximum in the past, then there would be a good case for a new site. Otherwise,.... How about this compromise? As an alternative to building another school of Stanford lands, one solution might be to get Stanford to agree to to cover the rent paid for Fremont Hills, and have kids from Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto Hills and some other parts of Palo Alto attend Fremont Hills instead of Nixon.

11 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 29, 2018 at 8:14 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"The letter argues that more on-campus housing will be necessary to avoid Stanford purchasing residential properties in Palo Alto to lease to faculty and staff — properties that would be tax exempt. This would have a "negative impact" on the school district, which relies heavily on property tax revenue, the letter states."

The key phase here is "tax exempt" -- and they're not even senior citizens eligible for the parcel tax exemption!

Just say no. We're already subsidizing commuters (govt @ private), the $20,000.000 PA Utilities slush fund funneled into the general fund, the growing unfunded pension liabilities while the staff buys road furniture.....


25 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2018 at 9:37 pm

Thank you, Palo Alto Unified School District Board and staff! You are doing your due diligence against a behemoth. We taxpayers thank you!! PAUSD sees the situation clearly and is acting accurately. Please keep us updated on this situation, Palo Alto Weekly.

For the record: I oppose renting out public school facilities to such entities as Challenger School and to whoever is operating their business out of Fremont Hills elementary school. And please, re-build Cubberley as a fabulous central campus for PAUSD. That is an outstanding location with real value that must be kept by PAUSD.

5 people like this
Posted by private school
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 29, 2018 at 10:30 pm


I would be interested in a PAUSD survey of where Stanford faculty families attend school. There has been a huge turnover on campus from retirees to school aged children, but I would venture to guess about 50% or more attend private school. Certainly in my part of the neighborhood I count closer to 60% but that's more middle school and high school. My kids are in private 6-12. Perhaps the numbers are higher for elementary - but there sure are a reasonable number of cars with stickers from St. Raymonds, ISTP, Phillips Brooks, etc. zipping around

6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2018 at 9:32 am

Posted by Juan, a resident of Mountain View

>> Don't forget that Stanford refused to allow Jeremy Lin to attend. If a 4.0 student with NBA skills isn't allowed in, what hope do local kids have?

LOL. The Harvard Fallacy is now extended to include Stanford. Even funnier in this case because the person in question -did- go to Harvard. If they hadn't discriminated in favor of/against __whatever__ , then I/my child/my friend/my cousin Vinnie/ would have gone to Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford/ etc.

Which has nothing whatsoever to do with what strategy PAUSD needs to use to approach this problem. For the record, I have no problem with expanding PAUSD capacity to include the additional population, given the right funding model. The funding model should allow PAUSD to reopen Cubberly since Gunn and Paly are already -too big-.

6 people like this
Posted by LAHscot
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jan 30, 2018 at 1:03 pm

To Stephen: Taking back Fremont Hills (more commonly called Pinewood after more than 30 years being leased to them as a private school site) is a good idea. Too bad Bob Golton encumbered the lease a few years ago with a bunch of poison pills in favor of Pinewood - and for zero improvement in the lease rate - only increasing the term a no extra charge, requiring 4 years (not the former 2 years) notice to take it back AND the requirement that the take-back be for a PAUSD school (not the former any public school or other public use). Go for it but I can hear the PAUSD windmill turning even now. Onward and upward, Don Quixote....


5 people like this
Posted by Tellerundride
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 30, 2018 at 2:13 pm

How many school campuses does PAUSD have out for lease to private concerns? Fremont Hills, Cubberley, Stratford, Challenger and ??? Why build another new school when you already have more than you can use? Great planning!

3 people like this
Posted by If You Build It
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 30, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Please do a real RFP and don’t just hand the project over to Gelfand Architects.

Like this comment
Posted by Quick fact check.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 30, 2018 at 2:45 pm

Quick fact check. is a registered user.

Challenger School campus is owned by the County, not PAUSD. They have a very long-term lease. The Ventura site is being used by PACCC--a good use for the site, I think. PAUSD also owns and leases 525 San Antonio.

6 people like this
Posted by PAUSD Parent
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jan 30, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Of note in the "Behind the Scenes" video discussion (Web Link around time mark 13:00 minutes) are these points:

1) Stanford claims Nixon and Escondido have enough capacity now given the projected Stanford family student growth and projected PAUSD growth.

2) When Stanford builds new housing on their campus, no tax revenues (property tax, bond revenues, and parcel tax) are generated for the PAUSD schools. This one funding factor will affect all PAUSD students as funding per student decreases.

3) These growth issues will not stop. Stanford expects to continue to grow their enrollments by 1% or more each year going forward.

At what point in time will Stanford housing generate more students enrolled than the city of Palo Alto? How will PAUSD have enough funds to educate all these kids or is the plan for PAUSD to become a state funded school district?

4 people like this
Posted by District Land Usage
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jan 30, 2018 at 10:40 pm

District Land Usage is a registered user.

The Board does not seem to have a good grasp what land is being used for. Board Members seemed unaware of the use of Briones in $1 a year lease to the County, proposed to go up to $1,000 a year. It is valuable land, and the Board accepted a blanket statement the District had no space needs for it. The Board also doesn't seem to know how where and how much land is given to day cares for rent free. This is a form of a subsidy that only benefits some families who can get care at on campus centers. This might be great for everyone, but it is hard to say without more transparency about District land use. I hope the Board knows how ALL District land is encumbered, and what the real costs are.

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