In a special meeting on Tuesday, the Santa Clara Unified School Board voted to address middle school overcrowding at Don Callejon school with additional resources, rather than moving students. The anticipated 6th grade enrollment at Callejon is 178. Currently there is only space for 132 6th graders.
Another 6th grade classroom will be gained by refurbishing an obsolete computer lab–all classrooms are now equipped with laptops. Parents of entering Callejon 6th graders will have the choice of attending Callejon or enrolling in another district middle school.
If, after these two measures, there are still not enough places at Callejon, class sizes will be increased by one or two students. The district will also consider adding portables at Callejon for the 2018-2019 school year.
In addition, the Board will talk to the City of Santa Clara about using the public park next to the school for recess and sports.
Normally, if a school is overcrowded, new enrollments would be assigned to another school–”overloading.” However, because Callejon school is a K-8 school, standard procedure would disproportionately effectively give current Callejon students a preference and put 6th graders coming from other Northside schools–Mayne, Montague and Hughes–at a disadvantage.
The other options considered were a lottery for the 132 places at Callejon, or the standard overloading procedure. Whatever solution was chosen, it was only temporary until the Agnews K-12 campus opens, Trustee Canova reminded people. “It’s just a bridge to the new schools that are opening.”
“We’re trying to be fair to all the kids,” said SCUSD Board President Andy Ratermann. “Our first priority is to have no kids involuntarily displaced.
District staff will survey parents of incoming Callejon 6th graders later this month, and will come back to the board in August with a plan based on the results. For information, visit www.santaclarausd.org or call 408-423-2000.