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April 18, 2013

Comments

EP Carberry

Maintain that cherished academic institution of 34 years ago, you ask? How is this possible? The era of the neighborhood school, where children walked, biked or took a school bus, is long gone. Walking and biking is too dangerous, especially in the Hoover area because there are no sidewalks and the streets are narrow and windy; school buses are too expensive and cut into the District's general fund used for, among other things, teacher and administrator's salaries and benefit packages, 401k's, etc. Come on, this is the era of the SUV, where modern day mom's are constantly driving kids to extra-curricular activities outside of school because they can no longer support after-school sports programs, or music or art programs; mom's don't let their young kids walk to school (I certainly wouldn't allow my 7 year old to walk to Hoover - way too dangerous) In our fast-paced lifestyle these days, everyone drives, works, owns multiple cars, and is constantly on the move. Add into the mix mandated car seats and other safety regulations and strict environmental regulations that impact school facilities design as well as school operations, increased awareness for the safety and security of children, the threat of litigation, etc., all point to the inevitable conclusion that Hoover will never be the small neighborhood school like it used to be. They can't even use the former entrance to the school because that area is now owned by adjacent Burlingame property owner who won't permit the District to use that part of the front of the school - it's a shame. I was one of the old Hoover school families and attended Hoover school. It was like going to a private school back in those days. I would love to get the old Hoover back but that's impossible - the world has changed; unfortunately, the topography of the Hoover neighborhood has not. It's like fitting a square peg into a round hole. A modern day school just doesn’t belong in this area. Moreover, the approximate 23 million dollar ($5 million to purchase the site; $18 million to design and rebuild) pricetag for the school is an outrageous expenditure of school district funds, especially when the original estimate back in 2010 was half that amount and, especially since the school will accomodate only 250 kids out a total student population of over 3000. I heard that the District has at least 300 inter-district kids that don't even live in Burlingame. Tell me, please, how all this makes sense? I'm sorry, but I'm with the residents who brought the lawsuit - seems like they are the only ones who get this.

alitttlebird

Bring your concerns to the district personnel, EP. If they are not made aware, there is no possibility for change. There is power in numbers and parents are a very powerful group, who can make or break a district. Go and tell it like it is. This site will not do anything to change what is going on in the school district. It is merely a great place to vent.

Holyroller

If the school district has the funds available for the purchase of this property;an obscure/isolated campus, the School District should let us know why they chose this spot.
To any casual observer, this entire project should be subject to "extream scrutiny."
In fact an Grand Jury should be assembled to see how this project came into being.
Does anyone even know how, and why the previous tenants left?
There is nothing about this "project" that makes since.

Susan

I don't think the re-purchase of Hoover School by the BSD represents any sinister action. It is a beautiful historic property and unfortunate that it was ever closed--but those things happen when neighborhood populations shift.

Where there's a will, there's a way. It is true that the school is no longer suited to 'walkers,' but honestly most children are driven to school nowadays anyway. I can't see where the safety of children is at risk. I'm afraid a lot of the Hillsborough neighbors are disgruntled because they just don't want a school right across the street from them. Plus the school is not in their district so their kids can't even go there.

Let's be positive here folks. The district has just completed a beautiful renovation of McKinley School. Hoover School will be beautiful as well. These schools only make Burlingame more and more attractive to home buyers. Putting money into the educational infrastructure is money well spent for so many reasons.

This is not an obscure neighborhood, but in fact a beautiful wooded site that offers a fantastic learning environment for children. Taking the children up into the woods for science/writing/art classes/lessons.

This school is a resource that has been lost to the BSD for several decades. And it's about to recouped. How absolutely exciting.

I live very near to Hoover School and will be impacted by increased traffic--but traffic is a necessary evil. Re-opening this school is a really good thing.

Lorne

The link below is a flyer the District mailed to the community while it was evaluating the purchase of Hoover. Despite the focus/discussion about accomodating increased enrollment, it is interesting to note the "four possible scenarios" towards the bottom of the flyer. Only one of the four scenarios include a new public school, while three of four scenarios involve a new district office.

http://www.burlingame.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=5673

Indeed, it appears Hoover had been on the BESD's radar screen as a potential new district office for some time, per this article from 2006:

http://smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?type=lnews&title=Burlingame%20school%20district%20searching%20for%20a%20home&id=65149&eddate=10/05/2006

Christian

Hi- I'm looking for Hoover class pics from 1971-72, and 1972-73, 5th & 6th grade respectively. Lost mine in a house fire years ago, would love to find again.

Can anyone help, or know anyone that can???

Lorne

Re: Hoover lawsuit, the court has now released the following detailed, proposed statement of decision (36 pages):

http://www.scribd.com/doc/186403835/Burlingame-Hoover-School-Statement-of-Decision

Locavore

Lorne, thanks for finding that document. It appears that San Mateo County doesn't deal with a lot of CEQA cases, given the very comprehensive ruling and clear explanation of the application of the law. At first I thought that Hoover would be approved after the EIR was completed, but based on what was cited and the interpretation of CEQA I'm not so sure anymore. I think this demonstrates that the San Mateo County judicial system is our friend and what better way to ensure that we preserve the environmental qualities of Burlingame when our city fails us (reference Timberjack Terry post).

Lorne

FYI, the following excerpt is from the General Update provided in conjunction with the latest bond oversight committee meeting on September 4:

"A halt to the legal action may be pending however, because the Petitioners and the District have agreed to enter non-binding mediation in order to try and settle the legal issues"

Also noting the District recently redesigned their website. You now have to do a bit of digging to find the bond oversight committee reports. On the home page, go to the "District" tab, and then "Business Services"; you'll then see a link to "Measure D and Measure A Bond Oversight Committee" on the right side of the page (which is still ultimately a link to a page on Dreiling Terrones Architecture's URL).

Finally, only a General Update report for the September 4th meeting is available. I was informed by the District that updated Expenditure reports associated with that meeting have been deferred for approval, for some reason, until the next bond oversight committee meeting on November 6th.

MTsai

The Burlingame School District is in deep financial trouble. They have been keeping it hush hush. They are close to Bankruptcy or what is often referred to as Receivership. If this happens the State will take over the Burlingame School District. Since enrollment is low maybe they should sell Hoover. How much is Hoover worth now?

Crack Pot

"If this happens the State will take over the Burlingame School District."

What could go wrong?

HMB

“Receivership” is a status California school districts can move into when they request, and are granted, an emergency loan from the state to stay solvent.

A school district can be certified as positive, qualified or negative. Positive means they're able to meet their obligations for the current and two subsequent years. Qualified is they may not meet their obligations for the current or two subsequent years. Negative is they won't without some action be able to meet their obligations for the current or the immediate subsequent fiscal year. Districts are negative sometimes -- San Bruno recently was (still is? not sure, haven't been keeping up with the latest news). It doesn't necessarily foretell bankruptcy but it's an early warning system.

Districts don't want to go into receivership because they lose control and it's expensive. The administrator works with the locals but has control with the goal to get them out of receivership.

Why it's expensive: The state loan -- with interest -- can take up to 20 years to repay. Paying for the administrator. Paying for additional studies that might have to be done. Paying for an audit.

Guido

Would love to see one shred of evidence that the Burlingame School District is in financial trouble. Thanks.

Mom

Me too. It is a vastly more important topic than whether 3 kids said bad things or spray painted bad things in school. I hope Kaufman will keep an eye on the high school district finances even though he didn't get elected. Is there a watchdog on BSD money?

hollyroller@gmail.com

If the School District is going to sell that property, it is losing value every minute. Why did the School District purchase such a "Disconnected Education Campus?"
Please review my BV comment 05/18/2013.

HMB

Go to school board meetings or ask for a copy of the budget-- it's public information and you as a taxpayer have every right to it.

Guido

Unsubstantiated claims by MTsai. No evidence that the district is in financial trouble. Care to put up some evidence, MTsai? Enrollment is good and there is no way they are selling Hoover. Evidence, please.

MTsai

I'm writing to you today because I am really concerned about the painful budget cuts that we are facing in our district.


Superintendent Mount-Benites stated at the school board meeting this week that “expenses are going up and revenues are going down and if we don’t address it now we will be in big trouble.” He went on to explain that unless expenses are cut, the state will deem BSD as ‘insolvent’ and will be put into state-control (receivership) thus taking all decisions and control out of the hands of our district leaders. The majority of BSD’s budget (85%) is spent on people - teachers and staff so any cuts are sure to be painful.


It’s shocking, I know and while we can’t raise enough to fully solve this issue (the gap is $4.3M!) we can help provide more funding to ensure the programs and teachers that our community prioritizes remain in place. We CANNOT do this without everyone’s financial support including yours.


We have an exciting challenge grant that will stretch your investment even further:


$20,000 Challenge Grant - Donate at ANY level:

If 100 families contribute any amount OR sign up for Monthly Giving at any giving level by 11/16, then current and former BCE Board Members will donate $20,000 to BCE!


Every dollar counts so please give as generously as you can or sign up for monthly giving if that works better for your family. Our Burlingame schools need your support now more than ever! Almost 600 of your fellow Burlingame parents have given and joined our 1,000 Family Challenge - make this the year that YOU join this amazing community of donors!


Thank You!

Guido

Thank you for the info MTsai. I would take that message from the supe with an enormous grain of salt. Every bond measure and parcel tax in the last 10 years has passed in this town. There is construction at almost every campus right now and attendance is stable. I give to BCE as I have a student in the district, but the idea that we will "be in trouble" soon is nonsense. Tell him to open the books and show the numbers. Fat chance.

HMB

Numbers are available to the public -- call district office if you can't find in the board materials online.

MTsai

Supe said enrollment is down due to COVID and people moving out of the area. Enrollment will take years (5+) to recover and there is a chance that attendance will not recover to pre-Covid numbers.

Supe said biggest expense is the teachers and staff and that is where the cuts will be made to make the biggest impact.

Principals are making lists of teachers and staff to evaluate.

Wunderkind

And moving to private or charter schools.

HMB

Actually, some private schools have had a drop in enrollment -- parents didn't want to pay expensive tuition for online classes. Or some parents have lost income and can't afford it.

hollyroller@gmail.comh

WHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

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