Here's a letter I sent to Dr. Cynthia Simms, the San Mateo/Foster City school district superintendent.
I'm a big fan of the remodeled school buildings and grounds at Fiesta Gardens (where my son attends 2nd grade) and College Park (in our neighborhood).
But this past weekend, my son and I discovered that there was no longer any access to the play area at College Park. Fiesta Gardens is also locked up after school hours.
That's a shame. School playgrounds have been a major community asset for as long as I can remember. They are a place for families to play, children to meet, and -- with all the open concrete -- they are safe places to learn how to ride a bike.
By locking up the school grounds after school and on weekends, we're depriving our communities of a valuable resource. Worse, we are creating a division between the schools and their communities.
Schools should be part of the fabric of the neighborhood, not walled-off institutions. Please don't keep this community good apart from the community that loves, uses, and cares for it. Open up the playgrounds again, please.