Local Teen Centers For Youth

Posted on September 28, 2016 by  
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air-hockey-at-the-undergroundLos Altos and Mountain View city officials sought a way to keep teens off the streets and safe. They’ve achieved that by opening teen centers – The Underground in Los Altos and The View in Mountain View.

The centers offer adolescents a safe place for fun, fitness and study. Both provide a free space for teens to hang out after school and on weekends.

“I believe that if there is nothing for teens to do, they can be pretty reckless, and this is a good place to let that energy get released in a good, positive way,” said Raul Villaseñor, a Los Altos High School who frequents The View.

The View caters to students in grades 6-12, and as many as 50 use the facilities on any given day. The Underground, which serves ages 12-17, hosts approximately 10 visitors per day. Both centers are open to all students from Los Altos and Mountain View.

The two facilities provide a wide range of activities, from games to fitness competitions and classes.

“The Underground offers regular drop-in hours for teens to utilize air hockey, pool table, pingpong, video games and more,” said Zack Silva, Los Altos recreation coordinator. “We also have scheduled tabletop game tournaments, like pingpong and air hockey, as well as occasional cooking classes.”

The Underground serves as a venue for Los Altos Youth Center dances, open to students from Blach Intermediate School and Egan Junior High School. The space is available to rent for parties or other special occasions as well.

The Underground is located in Shoup Park at 400 University Ave., Los Altos. For more information, visit: losaltosca.gov/recreation/page/teen-programs


Build Your Belmont Dream House

Posted on September 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Sold Properties · Tagged:


O Monserat, Belmont CA
Listed at $535,000 / Sold at $500,000
Lot ~7,150 sqft +/-
Zoned single family residence
Country Club Neighborhood
Representing: Seller


Exceeding Standards On Assessment tests

Posted on September 1, 2016 by  
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California Department of EducationLocal schools continued to score above the state and county averages on the California Department of Education’s assessment test.

The test – California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress – was administered in the spring to gauge students’ progress in learning new, more rigorous academic Common Core standards designed to prepare them for college and careers in the 21st century.

Students in grades 3-8 and high school juniors took the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy. Smarter Balanced tests comprise two parts.

First, students take a computer adaptive assessment, which bases follow-up questions on a student’s answers in real time and gives a more accurate picture of a student’s progress than a paper-and-pencil test. If a student answers a question correctly, he or she will then get a more difficult question. If the student answers it incorrectly, he or she will get an easier question.

Second, students complete a performance task that challenges their ability to apply their knowledge and skills to problems in a real-world setting.

Combined, the two parts measure depth of understanding, writing, research and problem-solving skills more thoroughly than the multiple-choice, paper-based tests they replaced.

Scores on the assessments fall into one of four achievement levels: Standard Exceeded, Standard Met, Standard Nearly Met or Standard Not Met.

All local schools had higher percentages of students meeting or exceeding standards in English Language Arts than the county (62 percent) and state (49 percent) averages. They also scored higher in Mathematics than state (55 percent) and county (37 percent) students.


MVLA Superintendent Jeff Harding said he is proud of the fact that students still continue to outscore the county and state levels. “We will keep an eye on it and determine the cause (of the lower averages),” he said. “One test in one year does not determine a trend.”

At the elementary and junior high school level, Bullis Charter School continues to earn the highest marks – with 96 percent of students meeting or exceeding English Language Arts standards and 97 percent meeting or exceeding in Mathematics assessments.

Students in the Los Altos School District also earned high scores. “I think our scores continue to be strong, but we are really focused on getting all students at the met and/or exceeded level,” said Superintendent Jeff Baier.

Officials from both districts said they plan to further analyze the test results and will tweak instruction where needed.

“This is only one indicator – more important is the work going on at the school sites,” Baier said. “Each of our schools is really digging into and looking into the success of each student.”

Throughout the county and state, an achievement gap continues to exist between Hispanic/Latino students and white/Asian students – which local school district data also reflect.

In MVLA, there was a 40 percentage-point difference between the number of Latino and white/Asian students who met or exceeded English Language Arts standards. In Mathematics, there was a 55 percentage-point gap.

In the Los Altos School District, there was a 26 percentage-point difference between the performance of Latinos and white/Asian students in English Language Arts and a 38 percentage-point difference in Mathematics.

County averages revealed a 47 percentage-point difference in English Language Arts between Latino and white/Asian students. Math results showed a 57 percentage-point gap.

“The achievement gap is pernicious and persistent, and we all need to work together to find solutions that help all groups rise, while narrowing the gap,” said Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction.