Summertime blues: Vacation ends for Fremont students
Appeal Staff Writer
Two tired-eyed children follow their mother to the front doors of Fremont Elementary School. It’s July, it’s early and it’s the first day of school at the only year-round school in the Carson City School District.
The children, a girl in fourth grade and boy in second, are “half and half” about going back after a short five-week summer break, said Jill Barrette, the children’s mother.
“She’s excited to go back, but he would rather have a normal summer,” she said.
As a parent, Barrette said she would prefer a traditional school schedule because “it’s really hard to pack a summer’s worth of camping and fun into five weeks.”
Many of the 550 students and their parents like the schedule, though.
Karrie Couste said her 8-year-old daughter has gotten used to the year-round school and likes it.
“When they start to get bored with summer, they go back to school. And when they’re starting to get bored with school, they go on a three-week break.”
With the exception of the summer break, students alternate between 45 days of school and 15 days of break.
Several parents Monday morning also pointed to one of the most popular arguments for year-round schools – students retain more information.
“They don’t forget as much between sessions,” said Maria Lisa Hernandez, who has a daughter in fourth grade. “A lot of my friends are envious. They wish their kids were in year-round.”
Some parents, however, have asked school officials to review the schedule, said Dr. Mary Pierczynski, superintendent of the school district. She said many parents like the schedule, but since the officials haven’t reviewed it since the 1999-2000 school year, it’s time to at least discuss it. The school board will discuss the issue at its meeting Tuesday.
Parents who oppose the school often have children in middle or high school and don’t like the year-round schedule because this puts the children on conflicting schedules and it makes it hard to plan family events, Pierczynski said.
Also, students who have problems with Fremont’s schedule don’t necessarily get to change to a different school. Schools have to be accountable for the students they already have before taking in new ones.
Hernandez said a shorter summer is better for her family because they can’t do things together on the weekdays anyway and her daughter doesn’t want to stay in the house all week.
Mark Van Voorst, a first-year principal at Fremont, said he’s excited about the school but hasn’t decided what he thinks of a year-round schedule yet. “I can tell you in three months,” he said.
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.
If you go
What: Carson City School Board meeting
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.
Why: Discuss Fremont Elementary School’s year-round schedule
With school back in session for Fremont, motorists traveling Saliman Road between Fifth Street and Fairview Drive are reminded that the 15 mph speed zones are back.