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Many other changes are also impacting the Belle Haven neighborhood, including new land uses (the Facebook campuses and Menlo Gateway), changing demographics, and rising housing costs. With all of these changes, the City wants to have an up-to-date understanding of neighborhood needs, issues and priorities so it can consider this information in its decision-making.
The Visioning Process is unique in that it will identify a set of priorities with City decision-makers, identify specific actions and roles, and help build neighborhood capacity so that residents can work effectively with the City to realize the vision.
In Belle Haven, the Community Services Department oversees Kelly Park, the pool, senior center, library, Onetta Harris Community Center, and the Child Development Center and is a partner at the Community School. Many programs and services at these facilities are supported by the Community Services Department.
City services like Police and Public Works are all funded by Menlo Park’s share of tax dollars, including sales and property taxes and other revenue sources. Community Services, like recreation programs, the Menlo Children’s Center (including the after-school program), the pool and other activities on the Burgess Campus are largely funded by the fees participants in these programs pay. Community Services in Belle Haven, like the Onetta Harris Community Center, the senior center, the after-school program and the Child Development Center are more reliant on tax funds since user fees are typically lower in Belle Haven.
Several schools draw students from the Belle Haven neighborhood, such as Belle Haven and Willow Oaks Elementary Schools. These schools are part of the Ravenswood School District, while other Menlo Park neighborhoods are part of the Menlo Park City School District. Students from the whole city come together to attend high school at Menlo-Atherton High School beginning in 9th grade.
The Tinsley court-ordered desegregation program allows students of color living in the Ravenswood City School District attendance area who will be entering kindergarten, first or second grade in the following school year to apply for transfers to the following seven districts: Belmont-Redwood Shores, Las Lomitas, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, San Carlos and Woodside. Non-minority students in those seven districts and Redwood City may apply for transfers to Ravenswood.
Coordination of the “full service” school approach is led by the City through the Community School Director, who works side-by-side with the school principal. The Community School Director is tasked with addressing the barriers to learning, providing access to vital services and forging strategic partnerships so that the principal can focus on student achievement, teacher performance, increasing test scores and improving the school climate.