Archive | San Carlos Schools

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The *Real* San Carlos Schools Test Scores

Posted on 10 February 2010 by vvandervort

San Carlos Test Scores

This morning the San Carlos Educational Foundation (of which I’m a proud Sponsor of) put on a presentation to the Realtor community and included this exceptionally informative slide of San Carlos schools test scores. You can click on the image to get a larger version of it.  The San Carlos Real Estate Blog may be the only place you can get this information because the San Carlos school district is uncomfortable posting this information, which I can certainly understand.  What they did in order to get this data was to only use the test scores of those students who live in San Carlos and those that are “typical” (meaning not special ed).  This takes out students who come into San Carlos for schooling from other cities anywhere in the Bay Area and also those that are in the special ed program.

Let’s look at what the API scores of Arundel, Brittan Acres, Heather, and White Oaks are that include the entire student body.

Arundel – 917

Brittan Acres – 907

Heather – 861

White Oaks – 913

Now when you look at the scores of just the “typical” San Carlos resident students, you get these numbers:

Arundel – 933

Brittan Acres – 929

Heather – 929

White Oaks – 930

Where you see the largest difference in scores between the entire student body and the “filtered” student body is at Heather Elementary and that is where English as a Second Language students go and most of that population is not residing here in San Carlos.

Here’s what Craig Baker, the superintendent of the San Carlos schools, pointed out about this data.  First, the difference between the numbers of the various schools when you look at just the San Carlos residents is insignificant.  The difference between the highest score (933) and the lowest (929) is only 4 and that does not make for a statistically different test score (remember the good old days of statistics class?).  Second, if people have a concern that by sending their child to Heather Elementary, that the child will not do as well, that fear is unfounded.

I have stated before on my blog and here’s a great opportunity to say it again… San Carlos is one lucky and desirable city because if there is not room for you in your nearest school and you do end up having to go to another school in the district, you are going to get another phenomenal school.  This cannot be said of our neighboring cities.

This information needs to get out around our community so that people stop spreading the myth that one school is better than another here in San Carlos and quite specifically, that Heather Elementary is a less desirable school.  Please forward this to others in our community to learn from.

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Sequoia Parents Nursery School Open House on February 6th, 2010

Posted on 04 February 2010 by vvandervort

SPNS logo - BWJust wanted to let the community know that Sequoia Parents Nursery School (SPNS) in San Carlos is hosting their open house on Saturday, February 6th, 2010 from 10am to 1pm.  This will be an opportunity for families interested in SPNS to meet Teacher Nancy and Teacher Catherine, see SPNS’ facilities, and meet some of the families that currently attend the school.

In my opinion, SPNS is the best located preschool in San Carlos as it is situated just across the street from Burton Park. This preschool is a cooperative preschool which means that parents work in the classroom on a weekly basis.

For the 2009-2010 school year, SPNS was filled to capacity for its Explorer (3 year olds) program and Pre-K (4 year olds) program.  If you are interested in a spot in this preschool for the 2010-2011 school year, it is probably best to attend the open house this upcoming Saturday and start the process for applying.

Carlmont Parents Nursery School in Belmont – also a cooperative preschool – is having their open house on February 6, 2010 too.  They will be open from 10am to 12pm.

Need more information about other local preschools? Contact me – I have a whole booklet that gives a synopsis of all of the local preschool options.

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What do Proposed School Boundary Changes do to San Carlos Property Values

Posted on 16 December 2009 by vvandervort

elementary_school_boundary_mapAbout a week ago, I wrote a post about the San Carlos School District getting serious about the idea of changing the boundary lines for the elementary schools.  Today I’m going to put out my opinion on what will happen to property values in San Carlos if the school district implements the changes.

For the streets/blocks that are being moved out of White Oaks Elementary and into Brittan Acres, it should have a negative impact on their property values.  White Oaks elementary (API score of 913) has had the repuation for several years of being the best school in San Carlos (up until this last year, they have had the highest API score, Academic Performance Index, but this last year, Arundel obtained a higher API score).   Now these streets will be going to Brittan Acres which has an API score of 907.  The difference in scores is nominal.  The problem though is that now the families on these streets have to cross Brittan Avenue to get over to Brittan Acres and many families are not pleased.   I think some buyers are going to shy away from these streets now so that they can get access to White Oaks and so they don’t have to worry about their children crossing Brittan.

All of the streets on the east side of San Carlos are being switched from Brittan Acres over to Arundel.  I don’t think this will have much of an impact on property values in this area.  People are buying in that area for affordability and access to any San Carlos school, not a specific school.  Let me digress for a moment.  One of the reasons I think San Carlos is a fantastic town is that those who live on the “east side” are slated for  the same schools that serve the west side.  The same cannot be said of our surrounding communities of Belmont, San Mateo, or Redwood City.

The last shift that is proposed by the San Carlos School District is to move an area that is slated for Arundel elementary over to Heather elementary.  This could be big.  Heather has an API score of 861 – the lowest in San Carlos.  So this move takes those streets and moves them from the best scoring school in San Carlos to the worst.  It is my understanding that Heather elementary has the special education program for the San Carlos elementary schools and that their test scores are included in the test scores for the whole school.  If this is the case, to judge Heather by its test score is not fair.  In speaking to families who attend there, they are very pleased with the school.  However, there are an unbelievable number of buyers out there who are looking at San Carlos specifically because the schools are so strong and they are just looking at API scores.  My guess is that when they see a street has access to Heather, they will shy away from it and look for a house on a street that is slated for one of the other 3 elementary schools.

It still remains to be seen how these border changes are going to be implemented.  Some reconfiguring has to be done, but the San Carlos School Board was going to be revisiting the topic after their town hall meeting where San Carlos citizens got to voice their opinion about the proposed changes.  The board is scheduled to vote on this on January 21, 2009.

To see a list of streets that are being moved, you can see them as a PDF at the San Carlos School Distrcit site.

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