Is this house in the preference area for Bullis Charter School?

Asked by Parent, Los Altos Hills, CA Thu Dec 15, 2011

It is the best public school in the Los Altos School District, so it would be helpful to know.

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Robert Lei, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Fri Apr 11, 2014
David is correct. Bullis Charter School is not the same as Gardner Bullis. When the Los Altos School District Board decided on February 10, 2003 to temporarily close down the original elementary school which served much of Los Altos Hills (Bullis-Purissima Elementary), a group of affected residents sprung to action and started Bullis Charter School (BCS) to fill the void. Even though BCS is physically located in the city of Los Altos (in the portable classrooms on a campus shared by Egan Junior High School), BCS is chartered by the County of Santa Clara. BCS operates independently of the Los Altos School District (LASD).

Although BCS is technically a public school, keep in mind BCS is not a typical public school. It is a charter school. You are strongly encouraged to donate $5,000 per year per student. For that, you get some aspects of school that you might typically get in a private school. You get "Focused Learning Goals", full-time teaching specialists in the arts and sciences, a Mandarin language program, and optional after-school activities. You need to enter a lottery to get in. Originally, the majority of the students for BCS came from the neighborhoods in the attendance area of the school that was temporarily closed. However, now only approximately 25% of the students at BCS are from that attendance area.

Anyone in the state of California can submit an application to attend BCS. Enrollment preference, authorized by the Santa Clara County Office of Education, are as follows:

If a random drawing is necessary, SCCOE authorized enrollment preferences are applied based on the following hierarchy within each grade level:

1.Siblings of current BCS students who reside within the Los Altos School District (LASD) have first preference.
2.50% of the available openings for students residing in the former Bullis-Purissima School attendance area as defined by LASD in 2003 have the next priority.
3.Other LASD students have the next priority.
4.Siblings of current BCS students who reside out-of-district are given priority after that.
5.Out-of-district students without BCS siblings receive the final priority.
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David Blockh…, Agent, Los Altos, CA
Fri Dec 16, 2011
Dear Parent,

Grace gave you an excellent answer about attendance issues within the Los Altos Elementary school district. However, the Bullis Charter school (BCS) is not governed by the Los Altos Elementary school district so her answer is incorrect. (sorry Grace).

In theory, if one lived within the state of California, one is within the attendance boundaries for BCS. That being said, you need to live within the attendance boundary of the former Bullis Elementary (los Altos school District) formally located at 25890 West Fremont Road, Los Altos Hills to get priority. 50% of those students picked via a random drawing come from the old Bullis School boundaries.
One should note that just because you live within the old Bullis school boundaries, you are not guaranteed a spot. It gives you a higher probability of getting in, but not a guaranteed spot. So it is possible that you could live in Los Altos, Mountain View or Palo Alto etc. and still get in. It depends, in part, on the luck of the draw.
I suggest that you go to the enrollment overview/FAQ page on the BCS web site ( and/or call the school for questions specific to your situation.

If you have any further questions about living in Los Altos or Los Altos Hills, please go to my real estate blog at or call me directly at 650 917-4250.

Thank you

David Blockhus
Coldwell Banker - Los Altos
650 917-4250
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Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Thu Dec 15, 2011
Hi Parent and thanks for your post.

Unfortunately, since you did not mention an address in your email, I cannot really tell you whether or not the home is located in the Gardner Bullis Elementary School area. However, if you'd like to confirm the school district for this home or any home in the Los Altos School District, you can contact the School District's main offices directly at (650) 947-1150 or can consult the district map at…

Gardner Bullis's school district runs along El Monte Road into the hills and up along San Antonio Road for a short distance into town. Gardner Bullis is mainly the "northern" section of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills and abuts the Palo Alto School District. Again, however, to confirm the school district for any home and, more importantly, to confirm that there is space available at Bullis for your school aged children, contact the District offices for more information.

As a parent of a child who attended the Los Altos School District, I am inclined to believe that most of the schools in Los Altos are excellent. While Bullis does have a great campus and good API scores, the honor for "top scores" actually goes to Oak Elementary School, which is located near the Los Altos/Sunnyvale border near Fremont Avenue and Grant Road. But whether your child is a Loyola Lion, a Covington Coyote or a Bullis Bear, know that Los Altos Elementary school provides some of the finest education to all of their students, with the schools consistently scoring some of the highest API scores in the State. One of the reasons for this achievement, I believe, is the active participation of the parents and of the LASD's fund raising arm, "LAEF."

So, in my opinion, you really cannot go wrong with any of the schools in the Los Altos School District. To ensure that you are getting the best information for the area, work with a qualified Realtor with local knowledge of Los Altos. If you are not currently working with a Realtor and need assistance, do give me a call! Good luck in your search!!

Grace Morioka
Area Pro Realty-People's Choice
Tel (408) 426-1616
Expert Service, Buyer Rebates &Low Cost Listings
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