Parents Accuse Santa Clara Unified School District of Purposely Overcrowding Middle School Campus

Parents of Don Callejon Middle School in Santa Clara are protesting the school’s construction of additional portables, arguing that Santa Clara Unified School District is deliberately crowding the campus in order to keep test scores higher at the district’s other middle schools.

By overcrowding the campus, parents say the district is failing to meet the needs of underperforming students. They believe that instead of putting more portables on their 7-acre campus, the district should open enrollment at other middle schools and pay for the bussing for students to get there.

"For some reason, they’re choosing to make the student population at this school, Don Callejon, their density almost 10 times the student population density at the highest performing school," said parent Hollie Chang.

Don Callejon has 134 students per acre, a significant difference from other schools in Santa Clara Unified. Peterson Middle School has 18 students per acre, Buchser Middle School has 32, while Cabrillo has 37.

"This was not an easy decision for the board to make, however, the sentiment expressed by the board was to avoid displacing students to middle school sites further away from their homes and felt this was the best and most fair interim solution," said a spokesperson for Santa Clara Unified on the construction of the portables.

The school district is planning additional campuses by 2020. Parents plan to rally outside of Don Callejon at 7:55 a.m. Friday.

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