The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

Board discusses options with newly allocated funds, puts WASC action plans in motion

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Graphic by Will Kriner
The answers from SMUHSD staff to the survey question: “How should the Board allocate the proceeds from the sale of Crestmoor?”

For 40 years, Peninsula High School was located at the Crestmoor property in San Bruno. That changed in 2020 when the school relocated to a site in Burlingame. Ever since, the district has been in the process of selling the property, as outlined in a presentation at the San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD) Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, Feb. 22.

The sale of the 40-acre property, while not complete, is in the final stages, with a negotiated sale price of $85 million. Proceeds from the sale are legally obligated to be used only for facility-related investments by the district. As a result, administrators sent out a survey to staff across the district to find a consensus on how to allocate the proceeds. The majority of the 506 respondents favored using the proceeds for both staff housing and district-wide facility projects. However, a considerable proportion of staff wished to prioritize only one of the two — 24% solely wanted to allocate money toward facility projects, while 30% hoped to devote all funds to housing.

“Employee housing is a recruitment tool,” Superintendent Randall Booker said. “It’s a way to try to attract employees to your district, to provide them a financial break in housing.”

Although he recognized the general value of housing, Booker emphasized that SMUHSD, specifically, has not struggled with staff recruitment and that the proceeds could be better spent in other areas.

“I’m not convinced, yet, that all of the money we’re going to receive from the sale of Crestmoor should be spent on staff housing because it doesn’t solve the problem that we have,” Booker said. “There might be some opportunities here to address some additional facility needs across the district.”

Booker recommended that the district move forward with a facilities “master planning” project to address the district’s needs.

“This is a project where the district partners with an architectural firm to interview students, educators and families around what the instructional needs are today and what they will be in the future,” Booker said. “That feedback drives what kind of facilities we might want to have moving into the future.”

Some of the ideas surrounding the plan include the expansion of Peninsula High School and the district’s Bridge program.

The Board also outlined the new plans for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which takes place every six years, a plan made by every California high school to receive accreditation. Principals from all of the schools in the district spoke at the meeting to outline the plans for their schools.

Burlingame’s plan emphasized inclusion and amplifying diverse voices.

“Our first action plan is to develop safe spaces that center the voices of marginalized students and groups,” Principal Jennifer Fong said. “This is a very rigorous process that we engage in with our community, we have a lot of focus groups with students, with our staff, with our parents, to find out what is going on at the school and what we need to do moving forward.”

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Will Kriner, Senior Reporter
Will Kriner is a junior at BHS, and this is his second year in Journalism. He is eager to further improve his writing skills this year by writing articles for the Burlingame B and working with his peers. Outside of school, he enjoys listening to music, playing basketball, watching TV shows, and hanging out with his friends.
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