1. File a Complaint with the Department of Education.

After reviewing the California Education Code it has become clear that the SUHSD has not complied with state law.  Please contact the Department of Education to submit a complaint.  Use the guide below to submit your complaint:

1.  Go to the Department of Education Website here and select "complaint".

2.  Begin your letter with the following:

The Sequoia Union High School District has purchased the property at 535 Old County Rd. San Carlos, CA 94070 and intends to use this site as a high school.  I believe that this purchase and use its intended use are in violation of education codes 17221, 17251 and do not of comply with the CDE’s Site Selection Guide.

3.  Follow with one or more of the following arguments:

A.  The SUHSD did not include the proper mix of community members for its Site Selection Team. There were no members on the team from the community where they intended to purchase property.

B.  There were no public hearings held to examine ANY alternate sites even though the district looked at several. The presentation from the district does not even include the discussion of those alternate sites so the public had no input on those. One of the school board members went so far as to say: “The site selection process does not lend itself to public conversation”. 

C.  The district never held a formal meeting with San Carlos City Council and or staff regarding the purchase or development of this site.  We have talked to the majority of council and staff members and none of them were “officially” informed.

D.  Since this property is has been purchased without the proper site selection and public hearing process in accordance with the CDE and California law, we are also concerned this property is being purchased with voter approved bond money that it is a misuse of public funds.

E.  The Application for the School Site Evaluation is at the least very misleading and inaccurate. The section in question is the “Current Land Use or Zoning Adjacent to Site.”  The attached document shows the correct land uses marked in red.

F.  Regarding California Code, Section 21151.2: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/PRC/1/d13/4/s21151.2  Part of the code reads: To promote the safety of pupils and comprehensive community planning the governing board of each school district before acquiring title to property for a new school site or for an addition to a present school site, shall give the planning commission having jurisdiction notice in writing of the proposed acquisition. 

G.  Our Planning Commission members never received any notice whatsoever from the district regarding this and only received notice from city staff. Due to the late notice from the school district the only study session and public hearing the planning commission had, was after the escrow closed on this property which seems completely out of compliance with what this particular code describes and is intended to do. This forced the planning commission to adopt a “Resolution Confirming Findings of Nonconformity with the San Carlos General Plan” in regard to the SUHSD development of the proposed site at 535 Old County Rd

H.  Statutory Law requires school districts to follow the CDE’s Site Selection Guidelines requiring districts to have public hearings to receive “information and public support from the broader community”. This did not happen and there are major concerns regarding traffic impact, access to the one and only local park, a high school built next to a pre school, zoning issues and other concerns, so subsequently the local community has made it clear that it does not want the district to develop the selected site. Had the district followed the law and held public hearings prior to commencing with the purchase, it would have known from the start that the community did not want a school developed in this location. Please see link below including petitions from the community to stop the development of this school as it raises many public concerns:

http://www.savelaureolapark.org/press/

4.  Let them know how this proposed development will directly impact you and your family (traffic, parking, use of community park, inadequate site selection...).  Submit your complaint.

 

Additional Resources:

The specific codes and CDE selection guide can be found below.

http://law.onecle.com/california/education/17211.html

http://law.onecle.com/california/education/17251.html

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/fa/sf/schoolsiteguide.asp

2.  Sign the Petition.  See what the community is saying.

3.  Make your voice heard.

The school board has done too much backroom dealing on this project already without involving our community in the process.  Please call or write (a template can be found here) to the following people and let them know there is still time to find a new location for a school:

From left to right:

Allen Weiner, President of the SUHSD  - (650) 724-5892   E-mail at aweiner@seq.org

                - Dec 10th 2014 SUHSD meeting - Allen admitted that he is voting for putting a school at this location because doesn't live nearby.

Olivia Martinez,  Board Member SUHSD - (650) 323-7311  Email at omartinez@seq.org

Chris Thomsen, Board member SUHSD (650) 736-7569  Email at cthomsen@seq.org

Carie Du Bois Board Member SUHSD - (650) 766-9069 Email at cdubios@cbnorcal.com

Alan Sarver, Board Member SUHSD - (650) 592-6129 Email at  asarver@seq.org

Jim Leonidas, Superintendents SUHSD - (650) 369-1411 Email at jlianides@seq.org

4.  During the next election let's vote the current school board and superintendent out of office.  They have not been listening to the needs of the San Carlos current residents so let's do something about it.

5.  Make it clear to the San Carlos city government that this park is for community use and is not intended to be a football field or to be used as school property.  If this new school needs an outdoor space they need to build outdoor space instead of taking over space meant for the community.  Make sure the local government saves Laureola Park.

Here is a list of people to contact that are part of the San Carlos city government.  Tell them how you use the park, why it is important to the community and that they need to listen to the requests of the people who will be directly impacted (a template can be found here).

This is your city council.  Please contact each member and tell them what is happening to Laureola park.

This is your city council.  Please contact each member and tell them what is happening to Laureola park.

From left to right:

Bob Grassilli - Council Member (650) 802-4160 bgrassilli@cityofsancarlos.org

Cameron Johnson - Council Member (650) 802-4162 cjohnson@cityofsancarlos.org

Mark Olbert - Mayor (650) 868-3367 molbert@cityofsancarlos.org

Roy Collins -  Vice Mayor (650) 802-4161 rcollins@cityofsancarlos.org

Matt Grocott - Council Member (650) 802-4163 mgrocott@cityofsancarlos.org

 

Jeff Maltbie - San Carlos City Manager (650) 802-4288 jmaltbie@cityofsancarlos.org

Christine Boland - San Carlos Parks and Rec Director (650) 802-4382

Greg Rubens - San Carlos City Attorney (650) 593-3117

Al Savay - San Carlos Community Development Director (650) 802-4209