A Message from the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District About Sandpiper Elementary School Expansion Plans

Dear Redwood Shores Community,

The Belmont-Redwood Shores School District is planning to expand Sandpiper Elementary School to provide 6th, 7th, and 8th grades and a total of 220 additional students in grades K-8. This project is intended to offer the families in Redwood Shores a local public school option for grades 6-8 and to help reduce the overall traffic into and out of the Shores. In compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, the City of Redwood City has commissioned an environmental study, known as an Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration. The document outlines what the impacts might be and how the District proposes to mitigate the potential impacts to a less than significant level. An analysis of potential traffic impacts is included. The study was published on November 4, and public comments will be accepted until December 6, 2016.

You can find the study on the District’s homepage, at www.brssd.org, and you can provide comments to Lisa Costa Sanders, Contract Principal Planner with the City of Redwood City, at 650-780-7363 or . Thank you!

Michael Milliken

Superintendent

Belmont-Redwood Shores School District

Superintendent’s Update to the Community

Thursday January 23, at 7pm
at Nesbit School in Belmont

Micheal Milliken the Belmont Redwood Shores School District Superintendent, wants to keep the community informed, to give them direct access to our district leadership, and to provide current and accurate information about district budget, curriculum, enrollment, and testing. Mr. Milliken will be holding a community meeting this Thusday to discuss these important matters with Redwood Shores and Belmont residents.

Please plan to attend for the latest with the district.

Video from the Belmont-Redwood Shores School Board Candidate Forum

Hosted on Monday, September 23, 2013, this public forum was held by RSCA and the Belmont-Redwood Shores PTA in order to allow the community to get to know the candidates running for BRS School Board positions this November.

RSCA has posted a video of the event for residents who were not able to attend as well as those who were in attendance and would like a second look at this year’s seven candidates. The forum video runs through the opening statements and all questions asked to the candidates; due to technical difficulties, certain candidates’ closing statements were not available for this video and so all closing statements have been omitted from this posting to be fair to all the participants.

All candidates on the ballot were able to participate in this event. Candidates were seated according to randomized numbers; the names of those candidates are listed in the same order below (from left to right) to help you identify who is speaking throughout the presentation.

* Naomi Nishimoto
* Kelly Redmon
* Rakesh Hegde
* Chuck Velschow
* Amy Koo
* Survarna Bhopale
* Herb Neuman M.D.

Our moderator for the evening was Jim Hartnett a former mayor and city council member of Redwood City.

Thank you to all of the candidates for attending, thank you Mr. Hartnett for moderating the panel, and thank you for your interest in this important Belmont & Redwood Shores event.

Meet the Elementary School District Superintendent

Dr. Michael Milliken, the new superintendent for the Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District, is eager to meet the community. His top priority is to improve the District’s communication, and as part of this effort is inviting residents to join him to talk about issues that affect our school system.

Thursday, August 29th
6:30 PM
Sandpiper Community Center
(797 Redwood Shores Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94065)

Everyone is invited to convene for this important meeting.There will be a similar event in Belmont on Sept. 4th – see the District’s website ( http://www.brssd.org ) for details.

 


About Dr. Michael P. Milliken
Dr. Milliken
Dr. Milliken joined the District formally beginning on July 1, 2013. He began his career in public education as an elementary school teacher in San Diego in 1996. He subsequently served as an elementary teacher and then middle school math teacher in Maryland and was appointed as an elementary principal in Newark, California, in 2005. Dr. Milliken joined the Palo Alto Unified School District as the principal at Jordan Middle School in 2008. He served as principal for three years and is credited with creating a collaborative environment and positive school culture.

In 2011, Dr. Milliken was elevated to Director of Secondary Education in the Palo Alto Unified School District and has been responsible for supervising Palo Alto’s two high schools, as well as three middle schools and adult school.

Dr. Milliken received a BA in Political Science, and an MA and Ph.D. in Educational Administration, all from Stanford University. For two years after college, he taught English in Indonesia to students preparing to become teachers. Dr. Milliken, who is married with two daughters, has coached youth softball and soccer, and has served on the board of the educational foundation for his daughters’ school district.

Superintendent Search in the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District

The Belmont-Redwood Shores School District is searching for a new Superintendent, and is inviting residents to participate in the process to identify the characteristics needed for our neighborhood schools. The Board of Trustees would greatly appreciate your input and assistance with this important task, and encourages you to participate in the process by:

  • Attending an Open Forum* on either:
  1. Wednesday, March 20 at 7:30PM — Nesbit, Multi-Use room
  2. Thursday, March 21 at 10:30AM — District Office, Board Room
  • Completing an online survey located at www.brssd.org by March 24, 2013

(*The Open Forums will be facilitated by a member of the Board’s consultant firm.)

A Letter to the School Board

 (This message was sent by the Redwood Shores Community Association to the Belmont-Redwood Shores School Board of Trustees on February 2, 2012.)


February 2, 2012

Superintendent Dr. Emerita Orta-Camilleri and

Members of the Belmont-Redwood Shores Board of Trustees

2960 Hallmark Dr

Belmont, CA 94002

 

I am writing at the direction of RSCA’s Board of Directors to address the School District’s plans for the use of the more than $8.7 Million in matching State grant funds recently awarded to the District.

As long time supporters of the School District, the Redwood Shores Community Association has a strong interest in how the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District plans to use funds provided by the State of California as a match to the bond funds raised for use in the Redwood Shores SFID by Measure C.

Given that:

  1. When the School District was unable to come up with funds to build the much-needed second elementary school in the Shores, a separate funding district (‘the Redwood Shores SFID’) was created, and Shores residents voted to approve Bond Measure C to provide $25 Million to purchase land and cover building costs for the new Redwood Shores Elementary School.
  2. Funding for land and construction of the new school was paid entirely by the residents of the Shores.
  3. The grant of State funds was to match funding for construction for the new school, again those Measure C bond funds provided entirely by the residents of the Shores.

Therefore we believe strongly that the matching State grant funds should be used ONLY for new construction or improvements at Redwood Shores Elementary and Sandpiper Elementary, or to pay off Measure C bonds.

In the past we asked the School District to provide relief to Shores taxpayers by paying off a portion of the Measure C bonds with matching funds not used for school projects in the Shores. We still favor this plan.

However, should the School District decide to retain the Measure C bond funds for present and future school projects, we feel quite strongly that those funds should be maintained solely for use in the Redwood Shores SFID (i.e., at Sandpiper Elementary or Redwood Shores Elementary).

We were surprised to read yesterday that the School District is planning to spend potentially millions of the Measure C matching dollars at Ralston Middle School, arguing that this would be acceptable because Shores students also attend Ralston. While this may be true, it is also true that the School District recently passed a bond measure within the entire School District (including the Shores) for those Ralston improvements. Rather than spending Measure C matching funds at Ralston, it would be more appropriate for the School District to apply for additional matching funds for Ralston based on the District-wide Ralston bond measure.

We can only hope that the School District will exercise its fiduciary responsibility in the use all bond and SFID Measure C matching funds both prudently and appropriately. You should expect that the support of RSCA and the Shores community for any future School District bond measures and/or parcel taxes will be quite dependent upon the District’s decision in this matter.

Sincerely,

Harris Rogers, President

270 Redwood Shores Parkway, PMB 205, Redwood City, CA 94065-1173

RSCA is a proud member of the Redwood City Chamber of Commerce

BRSSD Measure C Citizens Bond Oversight Committee Update

After nearly five years of effort, the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District Measure C Bond Oversight Committee had its last meeting on January 17, 2012. The committee was established by the Board of Trustees in 2007 according to State law to ensure that the $25 million in bonds authorized by the Shores community in Measure C (2005) was used solely for the construction of the Shores Elementary School. While the new school opened in August, 2010, expenditures finally came to an end in June, 2011.

The bond oversight committee has reviewed final expenditure reports and the independent financial and performance audits. It will advise the Board of Trustees at its meeting on February 2, 2012, that “to the best of its knowledge, the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District is in compliance with the requirements of the CA Constitution [and] bond revenue has been expended only for the purposes so described in Measure ‘C’.”

Copies of the final Annual Report to the Board of Trustees may be found on the District’s website http://brssd.org/oversightcommittees.html

Thanks to all who have faithfully and diligently served on the committee over the years!

— Respectfully submitted by Carole Wong (Chair), Measure C Bond Oversight Committee

School Board Meeting

A regular meeting of the School board is on the 1st Thursday of each month, at 7:00 PM. For this first February meeting on February 2, the meeting will be held in Redwood Shores’ Sandpiper Elementary. The meeting is Open Session and residents are, as usual, invited to attend.

February 2, 2012
7PM at Sandpiper Elementary
801 Redwood Shores Parkway

 

This special Sandpiper Elementary meeting will cover a regular agenda, and is being held here in Redwood Shores on this occasion to help residents who have not been able to make it to a standard session attend. Several times per year, meetings are held at various school sites in the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District. The regular meeting of the School board is on the 1st Thursday of each month, at 7:00 pm and held at the District Office building: 2960 Hallmark Dr., Belmont, CA 94002 [map and directions]. If a second meeting is needed during the month, it is generally held on the 3rd Thursday at the same time and place.

For more information about School Board Meetings, view the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District website.

A Letter to the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District

These two messages were delivered to representatives of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District on behalf of the Redwood Shores Community Association.

 


 

March 18, 2011

Mr. Andrew Stulbarg, President, &

Members of the Belmont-Redwood Shores Board of Trustees

2960 Hallmark Dr, Belmont, CA 94002

 

Dear Mr. Stulberg & Trustees:

With regard to the resignation of Michael Parker and the resulting Board of Trustees vacancy, I am writing at the direction of the RSCA Board of Directors to strongly urge that your Board fill this vacancy with a resident of Redwood Shores.

The student population from Redwood Shores is about one third of the total enrollment of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District, and Shores property owners provide nearly half of the tax revenue. Based on these statistics alone, we believe that the Shores community deserves representation of at least two seats on the Board of Trustees. With basic aid districts about to lose funding from the State, it seems likely that the District will inevitably seek increased taxes in upcoming ballot measures. Having another School Board member who is a Shores resident will go a long way in garnering neighborhood support for these measures.

In addition, we intend to publish this vacancy in the April issue of The PILOT. We are also strongly suggesting that you allow sufficient time for interested candidates from this community to apply before rushing to fill this open position.

As always we look forward to working with you on this and other issues that affect our local schools, which are a highly valued part of our community.

Sincerely, Harris Rogers.

 


 

March 19, 2011

 

Dr. Emerita Orta-Camilleri, Superintendent, &

Members of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School Board of Trustees

2960 Hallmark Dr, Belmont, CA 94002

 

Dear Superintendent Orta-Camilleri & Board Members:

As a longtime supporter of our local schools, Redwood Shores Community Association (RSCA) was happy to learn that the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District has been awarded $8.75 million in matching funds for use at Redwood Shores Elementary School.

We understand that that are legitimate needs at Redwood Shores Elementary to which these funds can be applied. For example, we think it would be reasonable to use a portion of these funds to build additional classroom space to accommodate future growth and to install an artificial turf field to save water and lessen the students’ exposure to goose feces.

However, we cannot imagine that Redwood Shores Elementary has $8.75 million of such needs.

Accordingly, we urge the District to use a substantial portion of these matching funds to pay off a significant amount (e.g., millions) of the $25M in outstanding Measure C Bonds. By using a portion of this windfall to repay bond principal, you would show Shores residents that you are prudent managers of our property taxes. This is an especially important message right now given that the School District is likely to ask voters to pass additional parcel tax measures in the near future.

Further, if for some legal reason the matching funds can’t be used to pay off Measure C bonds, we feel strongly that any matching funds – other than those needed for essential capital projects – should be spent on facilities that will benefit the community as a whole in addition to the school. Should this situation arise, we ask that you work with RSCA to engage the community in discussing and prioritizing various projects at Redwood Shores Elementary that would provide benefits to the entire community.

In the interest of keeping our community informed, we are happy to provide space in our monthly publication, The PILOT, and on our web site (RSCA.org) for District communications related to use of the bond funds and, of course, other District news of interest.

 

We look forward to working with you on this and other issues that affect our local schools, which are a valued contributor to our high quality of life.

Best regards,

Harris Rogers, President Doug Crisman, Past President

Redwood Shores Community Association Redwood Shores Community Association

News from Belmont-Redwood Shores School District

Dear Community,

Measures I and N have passed! On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am writing to express our gratitude for the support given to pass these critical bond measures that will mean so much for the needed repairs of our schools and facilities to house our growing student population. Currently, there are 3,207 students enrolled. This is an increase of 241 students over last year!

Measure I is the Ralston Middle School repair measure and passed with 65.21% “yes” votes approving the issuance of $25 million in bonds. Measure N (only in Belmont, west of Hwy 101) is the elementary school repair measure. It was passed by a 63.20% “yes” vote approving the issuance of $35 million in bonds.

The passage of both Measures I and N will enable the District to continue quality education and proactively prevent classroom overcrowding. Much needed repairs and replacement of leaking roofs will be taken care of as well as repairs to classrooms including constructing and/or acquisition of additional classrooms to house projected increases in student enrollment of about 150 students per year for the next three years. Funds are also needed to meet current fire/safety codes, improve disabled access, upgrade technology, to replace outdated electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and safety/security systems.

Both Measures I and N will have citizens’ oversight and no funds are to be used for administrator salaries.

If you are interested in getting involved in citizens’ bond oversight, are at least 18 years of age and not an employee, vendor, contractor, or consultant of the District, an application packet may be obtained from Nellie Hungerford (Assistant Superintendent Business Services and Operations) at district offices, 2960 Hallmark Drive, Belmont 94002 or by calling (650) 637-4800 ext. 1010 or emailing Nellie at .

Even in these challenging years of reduced funding, your work to provide for the housing and safety of our children is deeply appreciated. Together, we are “Creating the Future” — a better tomorrow — for the children in Belmont-Redwood Shores School District!

— Dr. Emerita Orta-Camilleri
— Superintendent, Belmont-Redwood Shores School District