Monday, July 25, 2011

Apple's New Campus could cover a part of Pruneridge Avenue

Apple's huge 12,000 employee new campus could erase part of Pruneridge Avenue, splitting the remaining portions in two.

Steve Jobs spoke in the Cupertino City Council chamber on June 7th to announce the plans for Apple's new state-of-the-art campus in Cupertino on the site of what is now Hewlett-Packard. Job's slideshow presentation showed the site before and after. Pruneridge Avenue disappears once the gigantic ringed campus moves in.

The current HP campus is bounded by N. Wolfe and Homestead Roads and Pruneridge and N. Tantau Avenues. Pruneridge cuts through the middle of an area surrounded by what is now almost all Apple property, except for the Hamptons Apt Homes.

The Hewlett-Packard site is on the corner of Pruneridge Ave and N. Wolfe Road. Last year, HP announced it would combine its Cupertino operations with its Palo Alto campus. Apple purchases the land in late 2010. HP expects to move out completely by 2012.

Apple wants to break ground in 2012 and move into the new campus in 2015. The Infinite Loop campus near De Anza and 280 will continue to house its 2,600 employees.

Apple now owns 180 acres in Cupertino in and around the proposed new campus, according to the city. Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong says the project could get its first public hearing during a planning commission meeting in fall 2012.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Program for Sunnyvale Kids Ages 6-12

The City of Sunnyvale offers a summer program for Sunnyvale kids ages 6-12. The program runs from Mondays-Thursdays from 2pm-5pm. This program is only suited for parents who can pick up their children before or by 5pm sharp. They have a strict “Late Parent Pick-Up Policy”. Summer 2011 started back on June 20th and ends August 12th. Let me know if you want me to remind you about this program next summer (408) 596-3188 .

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Many of the Santa Clara Unified schools showing strong API improvements

Many of the Santa Clara Unified schools are showing strong API improvements. Most notably, Don Callejon Elementary, Bowers Elementary, Sutter Elementary, Buscher Middle, Kathryn Hughes Elementary, Bracher Elementary, and Montague Elementary all increased by a strong 30 API points or more. For comparison, in Sunnyvale school district, only Cumberland Elementary and Vargas Elementary improved by that much. Fairwood Elementary was close though.


Elementary Schools
Bowers Elementary 830 789 5 41 Yes Yes Yes

Bracher Elementary 894 862 A 32 Yes Yes Yes

Braly Elementary 842 834 A 8 Yes No No

Briarwood Elementary 794 797 3 -3 No No No

C. W. Haman Elementary 798 797 3 1 No No No

Don Callejon 842 798 2 44 Yes Yes Yes

George Mayne Elementary 811 816 A -5 Yes No No

Kathryn Hughes Elementary 813 779 5 34 Yes Yes Yes

Laurelwood Elementary 921 902 A 19 Yes Yes Yes

Millikin Elementary 999 989 A 10 Yes Yes Yes

Montague Elementary 791 761 5 30 Yes Yes Yes

Pomeroy Elementary 781 797 3 -16 No No No

Ponderosa Elementary 855 849 A 6 Yes No No

Scott Lane Elementary 739 742 5 -3 No No No

Sutter Elementary 890 854 A 36 Yes Yes Yes

Washington Elementary 880 891 A -11 Yes Yes Yes

Westwood Elementary 785 790 5 -5 No No No

Middle Schools
Buchser Middle 785 750 5 35 Yes Yes Yes

Downtown College Prep Alviso 659 603* 10 56 Yes Yes Yes

Juan Cabrillo Middle 757 748 5 9 Yes Yes Yes

Marian A. Peterson Middle 853 850 A 3 Yes Yes Yes

High Schools
Adrian Wilcox High 770 731 5 39 Yes Yes Yes

Santa Clara High 760 734 5 26 Yes Yes Yes


Cumberland, Vargas, and Fairwood Elementary are the elementary schools in Sunnyvale school district with the fastest rate of improvement.

SUNNYVALE 796 785 D 11

Elementary Schools
Bishop Elementary 737 736 5 1 No No No

Cherry Chase Elementary 942 943 A -1 Yes Yes Yes

Cumberland Elementary 928 879 A 49 Yes Yes Yes

Ellis Elementary 811 823 A -12 Yes No No

Fairwood Elementary 787 766 5 21 Yes Yes Yes

Lakewood Elementary 802 797 3 5 Yes No No

San Miguel Elementary 762 763 5 -1 No Yes No

Vargas Elementary 769 729 5 40 Yes Yes Yes

Middle Schools
Columbia Middle 712 687 6 25 Yes Yes Yes

Sunnyvale Middle 805 822 A -17 Yes No No

Robert Lei
Century 21 M&M and Associates
761 E. El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
Direct: (408) 350-4726
Cell: (408) 893-2410
I'm never too busy for your Silicon Valley real estate referrals
DRE # 01716389

How API Growth Targets are Set

The State Board of Education set the statewide API target at 800 out of a possible 1,000. The Public Schools Accountability Act calls for most schools to improve their performance each year by 5% of the difference between their API and the statewide target of 800, with a minimum target of five points’ growth.

For example, a school with an API of 340 would have a growth target of 23.
A school with an API between 691 and 795 would need to gain five points.
A school with an API between 796 and 799 would have a growth target of the difference between its API and 800.
A school that is at or above 800 is expected to stay above that threshold.
ASAM schools, special education centers, and schools without valid Base API scores have no growth targets.

A school's Base API score plus its growth target becomes that school's goal for its next Growth API. The process repeats each year.

In 1998–99, the first year of the API program, 13% of elementary schools, 11% of middle schools, and 5% of high schools reached or exceeded 800 on the Growth API. In most years since then, the percentages have edged upwards. In 2010, 51% of elementary schools, 40% of middle schools, and 25% of high schools scored at least 800 points on the Growth API.

When the Growth API is calculated, a school gets more credit for improvements at the bottom of the performance range than the top, creating an incentive for schools to focus on their lowest-performing students.

School districts do not receive API scores under the Public Schools Accountability Act. However, to comply with the state's No Child Left Behind (NCLB) plan, API has been added as an additional criterion for school districts. The district Growth API, for 2010–11, must be at least 710 or one point above the Base API. For each subsequent year the required Growth API score for NCLB will increase by 30 points until it reaches 800 in 2013–14. Under NCLB, API scores are also given to county offices of education when they operate schools directly.

Academic Performance Index (API) Reports for California Public Schools

The Academic Performance Index (API) is a measurement of academic performance and progress of individual schools in California. The API is calculated using results of the STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) program and the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). In 2009–10, STAR consisted of four types of tests, but not all of them were used in the API. The four tests included the California Standards Tests (CSTs) which examine students' proficiency on academic content standards in a variety of subjects. STAR also included the California Alternative Performance Assessment (CAPA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities, the California Modified Assessment (CMA) for students for whom the CAPA and CSTs are not appropriate, and one test (Standards-based Tests in Spanish) taken by certain Spanish-speaking English learner students. The Spanish tests are not part of the API calculation, but the rest are. The weight of each of these tests in a school's API score varies depending on several factors, but the CSTs generally play the lead role.

The test scores for students not continuously enrolled in a school since October of the school year are not counted in the school's API. Special Education students who are exempted and students whose parents requested that they not be tested are also not counted.

API scores ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 1000. The first step in calculating the API is to divide a school's individual student scores in each subject into five performance bands. The performance bands for California Standards Test (CST) results are labeled advanced, proficient, basic, below basic, and far below basic.

The next step is to apply weights to the percent of students with scores in each performance band (least weight for the lowest bands). These are summed to give a value for the subject.

Then each subject area and test is given a weight within the index. The weights depend on which tests are given to each grade in each school. For example, a high school’s Base API includes CAHSEE results.

The Base API scores vary school by school, depending on students’ grade levels and the number of students tested. The calculation also depends on the number of valid test scores at the school.

Finally, the resulting scores are added to become one number for each school—its API. A school district's API is the sum total of all the student (not school) scores.

A caveat: Although the API is meant as a measure of academic growth, it is not intended to track the school’s growth over several years. The meaningful comparison is within each annual API cycle, between the Base API and the Growth API, because the computation of the API is kept as similar as possible within each cycle.

The incorporation of new elements into the index at the beginning of an API base/growth cycle can lead to unintentional or confusing fluctuations in API scores compared with scores from the previous cycle. The state adjusts API scores to compensate for the effect of those new elements. The mechanism for that technical adjustment is called the scale calibration factor. Even so, the CDE warns against tracking the scores year to year. A better comparison is to look at whether a school or district consistently meets its growth targets or to consider the amount of growth year to year. Even within a cycle, the students represented in each year are different. For example, in a K–6 school, you have a group of 2nd–6th graders present in year one, but in year two the 2nd graders are new and the 6th graders from year one are gone.

API County List of Schools
Select County using the Drop-down box.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Prop 90 survives battle in Santa Clara County

Prop 90 was in danger of being rescinded. However, on June 14, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to keep Prop 90 in place. Under Prop 60 and 110, if a seller or spouse is over age 55 or if a seller of any age is disabled where their original residence is sold, the seller may transfer the base year value of their home to a replacement residence of equal or lesser value within the same county. Prop 90 extended this benefit to seniors and disabled who move to counties that adopted Prop 90 rules. County Assessor Larry Stone wanted to eliminate Prop 90 to increase revenue. The eight counties that currently participate in Prop 90 tax base transfers are Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, El Dorado, and Ventura. (El Dorado adopted Prop 90 in 2010. Santa Clara opted in 20 yrs ago.)

Apple Computer's Steve Jobs announced new campus to house 12,000 employees

Last month, Apple Computer's Steve Jobs announced to the Cupertino City Council his plan to build a new campus to house 12,000 employees. The new campus is proposed to be located between I-280, Wolfe Road, Homstead, and the Cupertino city boundary with Santa Clara. Apple Computer is in the process of submitting permits and plans to break ground before 2015.

Santa Clara Cupertino School District Eisenhower Elementary Single Family Home Price Trend

One of the more economical ways to get your child into the Cupertino Union School District is to buy in Santa Clara south of Pruneridge Avenue where residents are able to send their children to Cupertino Union School District's Eisenhower Elementary (API=916 and rising). The hyperlink takes you to the Eisenhower Elementary Single Family Home Price Trend. Since price/sqft tends to be lower for larger homes, I separated the homes into three size ranges:

Small: SqFt < 1400
Medium: 1400 < SqFt < 1700
Large: SqFt > 1700

San Jose Rio Vista Avenue Home Price Trend (Price / SqFt vs. Sale Date)

I've put together a Table and Chart showing the San Jose Rio Vista Avenue Home Price Trend (Price/SqFt vs. Sale Date). At first glance you see the price plunged on the last sale, but if you look closely you see a couple things:
1. That sale was back on 11/14/09 when prices were lower.
2. That sale was one of the larger homes (1630 sq ft). Larger homes tend to sell at lower price per square feet because when you add square footage to a home, you don't increase value at a linear rate.

Robert Lei
Century 21 M&M and Associates
761 E. El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
Direct: (408) 350-4726
Cell: (408) 893-2410
I'm never too busy for your Silicon Valley real estate referrals
DRE # 01716389

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunnyvale School District Boundary Map

Sunnyvale School District Boundary Map :
Shows (1) the outline of the Sunnyvale School District as a whole and
(2) the location of each school, AND (3) the colored regions showing which homes go to which school.

Santa Clara Unified School District Street Directory 2010 - 2011 :
Double-checks the information from (3) above, except you specifically enter the address of the property whose schools you want to look up.

Santa Clara Unified School District Map Boundary

Santa Clara Unified School District Map Boundary :
Shows (1) the outline of the Santa Clara Unified School District as a whole and
(2) the location of each school, but not (3) the boundary of showing which homes go to which school.

Santa Clara Unified School District Street Directory 2010 - 2011 :
Lists the information from (3) above, except in table format not map format.