After lengthy debate and discussion, the School Board recently decided to keep the San Carlos Charter Learning Center (SCCLC) at the Tierra Linda Campus.  We further agreed to place the school on the upper portion of the campus.  The proposed 4-5 school (currently known as Dartmouth) will roughly occupy the current (SCCLC) campus.  The SCCLC is tentatively set to open on the upper TL campus for the 2016-17 school year with the 4-5 school to open the following year.   Improvement will also be made to TL during this time period. 

Earlier this year the Board had proposed a land swap with the City as an alternate solution for locating SCCLC.  Under this proposal the City would gain the upper portion of TL in exchange for a 4 plus acre parcel on Crestview Drive. Since this unused parcel had been designated as park land by the City, it required a super majority for the swap to be approved followed by a referendum by the community.  While a majority of the City Council were supportive, the effort failed.  I certainly appreciate the support and leadership of Mark Olbert, Ron Collins and Cameron Johnson of this proposal.  The land on North Crestview was a much better alternative and meant not having to build further on existing campuses. 

We were left with choosing between moving SCCLC to the Heather campus or leaving the school on the Tierra Linda campus. Neither was an optimal choice.  It would mean increased traffic and nearly 400 more students on either campus.  Unlike the Central campus where we are adding more students, both TL and Heather only have one entrance, and thus traffic will get worse.   After thoroughly weighing both options I voted to keep SCCLC on the TL campus.  The costs to build on either campus are roughly the same and placing SCCLC on the upper TL campus provides a better fit and ultimately a better learning environment for them, with the least amount of impact to other students in the District.  This was agreed to by a 4-1 vote of the Board. 

I am glad that a decision has finally been made. SCCLC now has certainty about their future and we can move forward with building a 4-5 grade school at the TL campus to mirror our efforts at Central. 

Challenges do remain on how best to house three schools and nearly 1400 students on the TL campus.   As part of the effort to address traffic along the Alameda, the District participates in the Four Corners Working Group which also includes the City of San Carlos, the Sequoia High School District and the City of Belmont. The Board has also separately discussed the idea of purchasing a house on Dartmouth to add an entrance into campus to ease traffic flow.  I believe this is an idea worth exploring further.  Regardless of the efforts of the District and the four corners group, we need to find real solutions to the traffic challenges, and I am hopeful that we will.