STOP Northwood Elementary School Boundary Change

STOP Northwood Elementary School Boundary Change

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Northwood Elementary Neighborhood Community started this petition to Berryessa Union School District Board of trustees and

Northwood Elementary School Boundary Change: Injustice with Single Family Detached Homes

On behalf of the Berryessa Community, we strongly oppose the “Northwood School Boundary Change” proposed at the June 18th meeting. A school boundary change of removing 720 SFD is extremely disruptive to our families, our students, and most of all, divide our community.

1. The lack of transparency and hasty implementation of the proposal has caused dissatisfaction and mistrust of the BUSD among the residents. Residents impacted with the boundary change were not involved or even informed during decision-making process. None of the families who have kids going to Northwood Elementary School received any notification about the school boundary change neither have any family from the affected area.

2. Enrollment projection by the BUSD as presented at the informational meeting is highly questionable. It was based on incomplete demographic study and does not resolve the issue. For example, 2018-2019 & 2019-2020 academic session, there were a nominal number of students enrolled in kindergarten from the removed 720 SFD homes.

3. There are pertinent inconsistencies throughout the BUSD proposal. The major chunk of the current capacity in the Northwood Elementary is consumed up by the existing and new multi-dwelling residential properties, which are geographically closer to other under capacity elementary schools like BrookTree Elementary. (New Construction: SoMont - 140 units, Capitol 650 - 351 units and Parkside at Tarob court - 40 units). Around 530 new units were added due to new construction, however about 1080 units are getting displaced. All the new construction is in the Milpitas area, while the major boundary changes are happening in San Jose. According to data provided in BUSD meeting agenda for June 26th, there was a growth of 180 kids [462(2015)--> 640(2018)] in Northwood, while it is vague as to where it’s coming from.

4. To complete new apartment construction from permit, plan and construction process takes from 3-5 years, so while the city was aware of the consequences of the exploding demand years ago, no appropriate actions were taken. It is a serious problem for the future students and residents of these school areas as removing 720 SFD homes doesn’t quite help the problem as 90-95% of the capacity gets consumed by condominiums & apartments. BUSD needs to focus on the long-term solution to this problem, rather than short-sighted permanent changes that do not address root-cause while causing uncertainty in schools allocations that drives many families.

5. BUSD mentions safety as one of the main priorities while making the decision, although there was no known safety expert on the panel. Changing school boundaries, not only disrupts children’s education, but also negatively impacts people’s property value. Many families made significant sacrifices in their lives in order to invest in their children’s education and their future. Their choices deserve to be respected and honored. 

6. Changing the school boundaries will set a disturbing precedence for future decision-making. Rather than developing and executing a student centered, forward thinking strategic plan, future board(s) could over and over again resort to boundary change as an easy fix to resolve enrollment challenges.  There is a strong need for a long- term solution for this ever present problem of overflow in schools.

7.  It has severely eroded trust between the communities and the Board of Education, and further divides our communities. During information meeting held on June 26,2019, over one hundred worried parents expressed their concern and comment; compared to the hearing held by district on June 4, 2019, which our community wasn’t aware of, there was ZERO comments made.
 
We strongly urge the Board to reverse the decision on the current boundary change and rethink a new proposal based on a committee comprised of impacted community members The hundreds of concerned parents behind this response stand united in opposing area/boundary changes and urge the board to focus on long-term solutions that align growth with the resources. We hope BUSD will show its strong leadership to address our concerns for the benefit of entire Berryessa Community.

Most sincerely,

Fellow Parents and Community Members

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