RIP Raymond Robinson

The Redwood Shores Community Association joins students and residents of Redwood Shores in mourning the passing of our smiling crossing guard, Raymond Robinson. We will always keep with us memories of your cheerful wave!

A wall of remembrances has been posted at the corner of Bowsprit and Bridge, where Robinson served. Those who have had their days brightened by Robinson’s joyful time here in the Shores have been invited to share their thoughts, memories, and prayers.

Services will be held on August 1st at True Hope Church of God in Christ, 950 Gilman Avenue, San Francisco, CA. A viewing will be available from 9-10AM, and services will be held at 11AM. The Robinson family (through his daughter Dianita) can be reached for further information about the service; information can be found through a sign at the wall of remembrances (with respect to the family, contact information is not posted here online.)

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 ( ) 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.

Redwood Shores Elementary Dedication Ceremony

On November 4, 2010, the Board of Trustees for the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District met at Redwood Shores Elementary to hold a dedication ceremony for the many people involved with building the new school.

This all started with the citizens of Redwood Shores voting for Measure C in November, 2005 to issue the bonds to acquire the land and build a new elementary school in Redwood Shores. The School District along with Jeff Gee, then President of RSCA, selected members of the Redwood Shores community to serve on the New Shores School Advisory Committee. They were instrumental in advising the school board on site selection, and choosing the construction firm and architects.

The new school was named Redwood Shores Elementary in consideration for the community’s involvement in making this school a reality. This fall the school opened to 265 students with a capacity of 450 students.

A Hearty Thanks From Redwood Shores School

At this time of year when we give thanks, Redwood Shores Elementary School is sending a heartfelt THANK YOU to the entire Redwood Shores Community for their outstanding support of our Build Our Library campaign.

Through your generous donations that came from so many Redwood Shores residents, we were able to meet our $10,000 goal! We placed our book order in October! We are equally delighted and thankful that now the Redwood Shores Community Association will match that book order, book for book, for a second $10,000 donation. Your community support is invaluable as we build a collection that will be used by our youth for many years to come. Thank you!

— Cheri Ho, Principal, Redwood Shores Elementary School

Redwood Shores Elementary Spotlight: November 2010

Are you reading your food labels lately? Have your children been exercising the required 60 minutes daily? Are you eating enough “green light” foods? All these questions and more will be answered during the Whole Child Wellness Week, sponsored by Redwood Shores Elementary School PTA. As part of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District Wellness Policy and recent grant for Wellness Coordination, Thea Runyan, consultant and Mindy Shelton, Health Educator, will be teaching classes for staff, students and parents in making healthy choices for a lifetime of good health habits. The school will learn the necessary qualities of good nutrition and how it affects student achievement at school, recommendations for physical fitness and how to cooperate with others in resolving conflict. As students are more inclined to partake of fast foods and plenty of sugar in sodas, the increase of Type 2 diabetes has increased among youngsters. Consequently, the Sequoia Healthcare District has granted resources over three years to support school districts in prevention and intervention work with nutrition, physical and emotional health. The healthy choices each student makes prolongs good health when they become adults and reduces the risk of health issues later.

As students are given more information on the kinds of choices and habits to incorporate into their lifestyles, parents need to be aware of the same kinds of habits that might be helpful in their own lives.

We also want to celebrate our reaching the goal of raising the $10,000 in donations for our library. Thank you, community, for your spirit and generosity in helping us with the foundation of our book collection. Thank you, Carol Castro, for your organization and dedication in helping our school raise these funds.

Build the Redwood Shores Elementary School Library

 For a limited time, every book purchased for the new Redwood Shores Elementary School Library by an individual will be matched by a second book purchase by the Redwood Shores Community Association (RSCA) up to $10,000! 

The library is working now to assemble a collection based on district requirements. Under the RSCA matching campaign, a donation of $20 means the library will gain TWO books, and a $100 contribution will mean TEN new books! Your donation will be noted in each book with a decorative label as a founding library contributor. 

Complete the form below to donate today! 

Questions? Carol Castro at (650) 654-9611 or  



Redwood Shores Elementary School 



Full Address:___________________________________________________________________________

_______ $20 one book TWO BOOKS! 

_______ $100 five books TEN BOOKS! 

______ Other (specify $ amt) 

Donate by September 30th to take advantage of this generous RSCA grant from our community.

  Checks payable to:     Mail form (with check) to: 
  Belmont-Redwood Shores School District    Principal Cherie Ho c/o BRSSD
  2960 Hallmark Drive 
  Belmont, CA 94002 

If you would like a student’s name to appear on the book plate label on a book please indicate below. If left blank, name above will appear on book plate. 

Student’s Name to appear on book plate(s):_____________________________________ 

Student Grade Level__________________

Gender (circle): M / F

Thank you!

Oversight Committee Update on the New Redwood Shores Elementary School

On Tuesday, April 20, 2010, the Measure C Bond Oversight Committee held its regular quarterly meeting to review expenditures of the bond fund for the period ending March 31, 2010. Approximately $24 million (out of the revised budget of $25.5 million) has been expended or accrued to date. As previously reported in December, 2009, there is a funding deficit (projected to be $182K) which is a planned overrun related to the school board’s decision last October to construct two additional day care rooms for a not-to-exceed amount of $798K (using $615K of unallocated bond funds plus monies from the district’s Capital Facilities Fund 25). No issues were identified and the expenditures were accepted as presented.

The Bond Oversight Committee also met on Tuesday, May 18th, to prepare its Annual Report to the Board (as required by CA law) and delivered it on Thursday, June 3rd. The Committee found that, to the best of its knowledge, the District is in compliance with the requirements of the CA Constitution. In particular, bond revenue has been expended only for the purposes so described in Measure C (for construction of the new school). The full report is available on the District’s website ( ).

Construction on the new school has been completed. Having passed all required inspections, the District officially “took possession”! However, the floor of the multi-purpose room will be replaced (at SKW Architects’ expense) as the wrong color was installed. Bullene Landscapes was selected as landscaper with a one-year contract. New sod has been laid with heavy watering until the lawns are well established. Furniture and technology equipment will be delivered in mid-July to early August!

So far, 250 K-4 students have been registered. The staffing list has been completed but is pending the Board’s decision about class size. The Redwood Shores Elementary School PTA met for the first time on May 5th with 80-100 charter members!

SAVE THE DATE: The Grand Opening will be on Sunday, August 15, 2010, from 11 am to 2 pm!

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

The Redwood Shores Elementary Open House

The Redwood Shores Community Association and Redwood Shores PTA invite everyone in the community to a Open House at the new school The Redwood Shores Elementary on August 15 from 11AM to 2PM.

This is a day for the Shores community to come visit the school. The principal Cherie Ho and the teachers are excited to be able to show off the new school. All the classrooms will be open to view. Take a minute and come and check out the new school we believe you’ll be proud to see the latest addition to the Shores.

President’s Message: July 2010

Architectural Design Board (ADB)

You most likely know RSCA for the family events we sponsor, such as our Halloween Walk, Eggstravaganza, and summer concerts in Marlin Park. Or, you might be aware of our advocacy for the Shores on issues like levee improvements, or the community meetings and forums we sponsor. We also serve a purpose that is not visible to most of you — we are the umbrella organization for the Redwood Shores Architectural Design Review Board (ADB), which is responsible for overseeing compliance with Codes Covenants and Restrictions (CC&Rs) in a number of Redwood Shores neighborhoods west of Shell Parkway, including the Marlin and Dolphin Park neighborhoods.

If you live in one of these neighborhoods (please ask an ADB member if you’re not sure — see the Pilot for members’ contact information), these CC&Rs run with your property and are binding on you and all future property owners. The CC&Rs are spelled out in a publication that you can purchase from the ADB. If you need a copy, please contact Carol Ford at her email listed inside the Pilot. Among other things, the CC&Rs specify setbacks for structures, the permitted height and position of fences, and landscaping and ground maintenance guidelines. The CC&R’s also require that no building or alterations of dwellings (e.g., one or two-story additions or exterior remodeling) be commenced without ADB approval. ADB procedures, an application for review, and fee information are available at RSCA’s web site (RSCA.ORG). CC&R’s may seem like a bother, but the appealing nature and high property values of Redwood Shores are due in large part to their existence. If your property is subject to the Redwood Shores CC&Rs, please do your part to keep your property values and those of your neighbors high by complying with them. Stay tuned for more information on CC&Rs and the ADB later in the summer, and be sure to submit for ADB review any plans for improvements to your property.

Summer Events

Now that our long, cool, wet spring has given way to real summer weather, you can look forward to attending one of the many outdoor events that will be held in the Shores over the next few months. If music out of doors is your cup of tea, RSCA is co-sponsoring with Redwood City three summer concerts held at Marlin Park. Plan on bringing a picnic to the two remaining concerts on July 22 and August 12, both at 6:00 pm. Other August events include an Open House on August 15 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at our new school (Redwood Shores Elementary) and RSCA’s annual Levee Cleanup, which kicks-off with bagels and coffee at Mariner Park on August 28 at 8:30 am. Moving indoors, our Library is a great place for kids in the summer — and while you’re there you can take in the view from the deck and enjoy a snack or drink from the onsite cafe.

RSCA wishes you and your family a happy, safe and healthy summer.

— Doug Crisman , RSCA President

The Origin and Funding of Sandpiper Elementary School

As community discussion has intensified over the last several months about the size, shape, and equity of the proposed school bond tax, certain “urban myths” have taken on a new life. The purpose of this article is to shed light on the facts about how Sandpiper Elementary School came to be and de-bunk the myth that “Belmont paid for most of Sandpiper.” This myth, if left uncorrected, could distract the community at a critical time in funding the public school system. The factual basis for this article comes from extensive interviews of those who were directly involved in the development of the Shores, examination of public records, and information provided by staff at San Mateo County (Office of the Treasurer, Controller, Assessor, Education, Elections, and Records), Belmont-Redwood Shores School District (the ‘District’), and Redwood City.

Fact: Sandpiper Elementary School would not exist today had it not been for the continued generosity of the master developer, personal intervention by Redwood City Council, and significant financial support of Redwood City.

Fact: Shores and Belmont taxpayers have shared in the funding for construction of Sandpiper Elementary.

Fact: The District could have significantly reduced the financed amount for Sandpiper had it not already depleted more than $3,500,000 from the 1987 sale of the original school site in the Shores (given to the District in 1969 by the original Shores master developer for $175K) and hundreds of thousands more in School Impact Fees (a/k/a “developer fees”) collected from 1987 onwards as the Shores was built out.

The Origin of the First School in the Shores:

In 1968, the first General Plan for development of Redwood Shores was approved. In 1969, Leslie Properties, Inc. (the original master developer) sold a 6.75 acre parcel (known as the “Dory Lane parcel”) to the District at a deeply discounted price of $175K to encourage the District to build a school in Redwood Shores at a date as early as possible. Instead, in 1987, the District declared the property as “surplus” and offered it for sale to Redwood City who agreed to purchase 2 acres for the price of $362K in 1988 (now Marlin Park). The District sold the remaining portion to PenCal Properties for $3.32M which brought the District’s total profit to over $3.5M. (PenCal Properties developed the homes along what is now Harbor Colony Court and Dory Lane.)

During the period from 1987 to 1995, there was neither in-ground construction that benefited Shores students (who attended Nesbit Elementary in Belmont) nor a neighborhood school as originally planned by the master developer.

By 1995, the Shores student population had reached a critical number and the District finally acknowledged that the Shores required a local school. However, the District had no funds and attempted unsuccessfully to get Redwood City to require the master developer (now Redwood Shores Properties) to donate a second school site to the District as a condition for approval to develop Area G (seven neighborhoods). The master developer refused believing that it too would be declared “surplus” and sold.

At this point in 1995, Redwood City’s City Council became actively involved in shaping a deal that would make the first school in the Shores a reality. First, the master developer gave Redwood City “free and clear” title to 11 acres (then known as Sandpiper Park) for use as a school and related facilities.

Redwood City sold 3.89 acres of Sandpiper Park parcel to the District for a school site for $2.95M. The City used the rest of the site (7.17 acres) for a community center and sports fields and reserved the $2.95M (from the sale of the school site) in a sinking fund to support future maintenance and operations costs of the sports field and community center. The City also invested $2.98 million on construction of Sandpiper Community Center including half of the cost of the multi-purpose room that would be used by the District as part of normal school operation. In addition, the City used $1.25 million of General Improvement District 1-64 funds to construct the portions of the sports fields that would be used as part of a public park (with the District sharing the cost of joint playfields). Lastly, the City entered into a Joint Use Agreement with the District that allowed the District to use the community center, sports fields, and parking lot as part of school operations.

The District, having no ready funds, took out a loan for $6 million, using 89% of it ($5.34M) to: purchase the Sandpiper school site; construct K-3 school for 250 students, day care center, joint use sports fields, and up to $1M of the cost of a multi-purpose room in the community center; and, obtain a license to use the City’s facilities as part of school operations. The District paid the annual debt expense using developer fees and funds that it received from Belmont Redevelopment Agency. [NOTE: This is the basis for the urban myth that “Belmont paid for most of Sandpiper.” However, today’s outstanding principal is $5.6M — which is $300K more than the cost to build the first phase of Sandpiper (K-3). So, it is more accurate to say that the loan to finance the entire first phase of Sandpiper is still outstanding. This District-wide debt could have been largely avoided if the District had reserved the proceeds from the sale of the first school site as well as School Impact Fees paid over the many years by developers in the Shores for the original intended use — the construction of the first school in the Shores.]

In 1997, the voters approved a District-wide bond ($12M) and less than half used for expanding Sandpiper to K-5. Since this bond was District-wide, Shores and Belmont taxpayers have shared these bond payments.

In summary, Sandpiper Elementary School became a reality due in large measure to the continued generosity of the master developer and substantial intervention of Redwood City and its Council. Both Belmont and Shores taxpayers have shared the funding for construction of Sandpiper Elementary. The new Redwood Shores Elementary School, in contrast, is funded 100% by Shores taxpayers for the next 30 years.

–Submitted by Carole Wong, President of RSOA