Students head back to school

Roseville Joint Union High School District and Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District start the 2010-11 school year Tuesday
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Where did the summer go? That’s most likely the question on the minds of students throughout Roseville, Antelope and Granite Bay. Students in the Eureka Union School District and Roseville City School District still have a week or two left to hang out at the mall, ride the water slides or catch up on some last-minute summer reading assignments. But it’s back to the grind for students in the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District and Roseville Joint Union High School District who started school Tuesday. Teenagers milled around Roseville High School Tuesday morning, comparing class schedules and complaining about how much they dreaded the long day ahead. “I want it to still be summer,” said freshman Dean Sedaris. He stood in the courtyard with three of his friends, all 14 years old and nervous about their first day of high school. In the library, about 30 students congregated, talking loudly. A loud bell rang and teenagers grudgingly piled out of the library in search of their classrooms. “That’s the first bell,” said librarian Lauren Zdybel, smiling. “They just stream out in excitement.” Over at Coyote Ridge Elementary School, which is part of the Dry Creek district, children wearing colorful backpacks bustled around with their parents. Most of the kids carried flowers, which they gave to their teachers at the start of class. The Dry Creek district expects about 7,200 students to attend its 10 elementary and middle schools this year, although the actual number won’t be finalized for a few weeks. That’s about 300 more students than the district projected. The Dry Creek district has 1.5 counselors at each middle school, three full-time nurses district wide and a part-time librarian at every school, said Superintendent of Administrative Services Gordon Medd. The district employs 250 classroom teachers and about 100 support teachers for physical education, special education, speech and language and other specialties. Administrators with Roseville Joint Union High School District projected 9,975 students this year — up from 9,853 pupils last year — but won’t know the final count until students start showing up for classes. Ron Severson, assistant superintendent of personnel services, said three of the district’s five comprehensive high schools — Roseville High School, Antelope High School and Granite Bay High School — had more students than anticipated sign up for classes. But, Severson said, in this economy, some families enroll in classes in the spring but then have to move over the summer. Also, because the district starts in early August, families new to the community will continue to trickle in during the first part of the school year. Last March, the local high school district issued layoff or reassignment notices to more than 40 teachers, counselors and administrators. This included 30 teachers who received notices. “With retirements, growth — increased students — and some normal attrition, we have been able to rehire all but two teachers,” Severson said. “We are thankful for that.” To save jobs, teachers and classified employees agreed to two furlough days. Administrators, counselors and support staff will take five furlough days this year. The Eureka Union School District starts school Wednesday, Aug. 18, and projects 3,341 students total. The Roseville City School District begins Tuesday, Aug. 24, and expects 9,815 students for the 2010-11 school year, which is a 2.5 percent increase from last year. Sena Christian can be reached at