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Montclaire Elementary School is a public elementary school in the portion of Los Altos served by Cupertino Union School District.  CUSD serves about 20% of all Los Altos homes.  Located in Woodland Acres, Montclaire serves grades K-5 with students graduating to  grades 6 - 8 attending Cupertino Middle School and high school students attending Homestead High School.  It so happens that this campus nicely fits more than 150% of the typical LASD school into 20% less ground space.  This is one way to use less land without building costly multistory buildings.

The Layout of Montclaire Elementary School

The layout of Montclaire is a more modern design than found in LASD.  It consists of four main buildings which are connected by arcades.  Within each of the buildings are multiple classrooms plus the offices, small group instruction rooms, specialized areas, multi-purpose room and other facilities.  The stick-built floorplan covers about 53,000 square feet in the four buildings.  Adding in 3 areas of portable buildings bring the total footprint up to 66,000 square feet.  Compare this to the average across LASD elementary schools which is 29,000 sq ft and about 15,000 square feet in portable buildings or a total of 44,000 square feet for a similar student population.

Although Montclaire has adequate outdoor space of over 4 acres, its site is only about 8.3 acres.  This means that on the remaining 4.3 acres it provides parking, drop off, and 50% more indoor space than the LASD equivalent.

Montclaire Elementary

Above  is an aerial view of Montclaire Elementary School, Los Altos 
The Cupertino Union School District owns the site, which is 9.43
acres, with 1.1 acres are leased to the city of Los Altos for a public park not used by the school.  The remaining 8.3 acres of grounds are home to a highly rated Elementary School with 50% more space than provided at LASD sites.

Key Features
  • Additionally, on the 8.3 acres, a private preschool operates during the school day.
  • With LASD having 118 acres of land, applying the Montclaire style of school layout would yield significant increased capacity at the 78 acres of elementary sites.
  • LASD could fit 2 independent schools with these same layouts at Covington (16 acres) without any sharing of outdoor space or any use of Rosita Park during the school day. Each school could include a separate daytime preschool.
  • LASD could do something similar at Santa Rita, which has 11.5 acres, by sharing some of the outdoor space. Perhaps you would dispense with the preschool during the day to allow more outdoor space, since Santa Rita currently has none. Both schools could have 40% more space than Santa Rita does currently.
  • It's not a question of needing to go multistory in order to get more building space in a modern school design. A 50% increase in classroom space results from this more modern building design. For at least two of the elementary school sites, it is possible see a 200% increase in classroom space, because the sites are larger than 8 acres by 3.5 acres at Santa Rita and by a full 8 acres at Covington.