Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) is a primary and secondary education school district located in Fremont, California.
The District has 28 elementary school campuses, 5 junior high campuses, and 5 high school campuses, as well as one alternative school campus.
School campuses and attendance areas
The District determines attendance at schools based on where an individual lives as its first priority. There are five main attendance areas: American Attendance Area, Irvington Attendance Area, Kennedy Attendance Area, Mission Attendance Area and Washington Attendance Area. All attendance areas include one high school and one junior high school, in addition to either 4 or 6 elementary schools. The attendance areas are further split up into smaller areas for the elementary schools. Often, overcrowding in elementary schools is addressed by moving students to another elementary school in the same attendance area.
In the fall of 2002, the Fremont Unified School District redrew some of its attendance area boundary lines, effectively changing the performance of many of the schools, and facilitating some students, who were originally forced to travel across the city to a high school much farther away from them. The overall plan has worked, but some areas have actually been forced to travel to different high schools further away due to the limited capacity in many high schools.
The district has five comprehensive high schools for 9th through 12th grade students. The attendance areas take their names from the five high schools. American High School serves the northern part of Fremont. Irvington High School serves the southern portion of Fremont, away from the Mission Hills area. John F. Kennedy High School serves the area between Irvington and Washington. Mission San Jose High School serves the area of the Mission Hills. Washington High School serves the central area of Fremont, just below American's attendance area, and extends to the Niles area, just north of the Mission Hills area.
Junior high schools
There are five junior high schools for 7th and 8th grade students, one for every attendance area. Thornton Junior High School is part of the American Attendance area. Horner Junior High School is part of the Irvington Attendance area. Walters Junior High School is part of the Kennedy Attendance area. Hopkins Junior High School is part of the Mission Attendance area. Centerville Junior High School is part of the Washington Attendance area. All of the junior high schools accept graduates of the elementary schools of their attendance area.
The 29 kindergarten through grade 6 elementary schools are split among 5 different attendance areas based on a local high school and junior high school. Although these are generally localized attendance areas, the high school or junior high school that an elementary school funnels into may not necessarily be the school that is closest to the elementary school.
The elementary schools of the American Attendance area are Ardenwood Elementary School, Brookvale Elementary School, Forest Park Elementary School, Oliveira Elementary School, Patterson Elementary School and Warwick Elementary School.
The elementary schools of the Irvington Attendance area are Green Elementary School, Grimmer Elementary School, Hirsch Elementary School, Leitch Elementary School, Warm Springs Elementary School and Weibel Elementary School.
The elementary schools of the Kennedy Attendance area are Azevada Elementary School, Blacow Elementary School, Brier Elementary School, Durham Elementary School, Mattos Elementary School and Millard Elementary School.
The elementary schools of the Mission Attendance area are Chadbourne Elementary School, Gomes Elementary School, Mission San Jose Elementary School and Mission Valley Elementary School.
The elementary schools of the Washington Attendance area are Cabrillo Elementary School, Glenmoor Elementary School, Maloney Elementary School, Niles Elementary School, Parkmont Elementary School and Vallejo Mill Elementary School. Fremont Adult School located on Calaveras Avenue is a popular educational institution offering a variety of adult education programs including ESL, Adult Basic Education, Community Education, Distance Learning, and ELCivics.
There are three alternative schools operated by the Fremont Unified School District. All three are at the same location. The junior high school alternative is Opportunity Program. The alternative for high school is Robertson High School. A third alternative school is called Vista Alternative.
Board of education
The Board of Education consists of five individuals elected at large by the voters of the District. A board member's term is for four years and is limited to a total of two terms. The positions of President, Vice-President, and Clerk are rotated among the members. The Board also includes one appointed student member. The student is generally the Associated Student Body President of one of the five high schools.
Current Board Members
, the President of the Board of Education is Bryan Gebhardt. The Vice President is Lily Mei. The Clerk is Ivy Wu. Other members are Lara York and Larry Sweeney.
The Student Board Member is Allison Tong, a member of the Class of 2012 from Mission San Jose High School.
The Board has public meetings every two weeks, in addition to other closed-door meetings. The Board usually meets every other Wednesday at the Fremont City Hall. Other venues include the Fremont Unified School District building at 4210 Technology Drive, in Fremont. Generally there are not a significant number of attendees, but some controversies have resulted in several meetings that have been packed with students, parents and teachers. Some of these include the reassignment of American High School (Fremont, California) Principal Connie White in March 2005, which resulted in packed meetings as the fight lasted for three months. Similar controversial issues that have resulted in such passion are the Boundary Line controversy, and the Graduation controversy.
The Office of the Superintendent
The Superintendent of the Fremont Unified School District is appointed by the Board of Education. The Superintendent acts as the supervisor of all schools and makes many administrative decisions at schools.
Selection of the Superintendent
The Superintendent is selected by a vote of the Board of Education. Usually the public leaders around the attendance areas have a lot of input before a candidate is selected by the Board. The candidate generally goes through an extensive interview process before being considered for the position.
The former Superintendent is Douglas Gephart. He was appointed on October 11, 2005, soon after the firing of the previous Superintendent, John Rieckewald, after Rieckewald came under heavy fire from frustrated parents. The new Superintendent is Dr. Jim Morris who started in July 2010.
Line Redrawing Controversy
In 2000, the Fremont Unified School District announced plans to redraw the school boundary lines, prompting concerned parents to file a number of lawsuits against the school, as well as threaten to break off and form its own school district. The plan would route students from high-scoring elementary schools (such as Weibel Elementary School) to a lower-scoring high school (Irvington High School). At the center of the controversy were claims by the parents that the plan was racially driven, as the student body of both Weibel and other schools in the attendant area were over 80% Asian.
The school district claimed that although they were trying to balance the schools in the city more, the underlying reason was because Mission San Jose High School was becoming extremely overcrowded, and students would have to be moved to a different high school.
In the fall of 2000, a lawsuit was filed against the school district, as well as the five school district board members and superintendent Sharon Jones. Filed in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, the parents claimed that their children's education was at stake because they would be enrolled at a less competitive, lower scoring school. They felt that the boundary line changes were made based on the racial stereotype that Asian students have higher academic performance, and that the school district is trying to improve low test scores at Irvington High School by routing these Asian students over. At the time, Weibel held the third highest API score for all California elementary schools. Lawyer Erika Yew stated that, "We believe the district attempts to artificially and quickly inflate the performance of the district by moving the Weibel students to Irvington High School." She insisted that the district was trying to maintain a racial and socio-economical balance within the district, which is a violation of the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment.
Allegations of racial discrimination was also made due to heated debates at public school board meetings. The parents claimed that white parents would make disparaging remarks toward the Asian families by mimicking and mocking Oriental accents and implying that they abuse their children by forcing them to study. More importantly, it claimed that some white parents refer to people in the Weibel community as immigrants, excessively wealthy and elitists, not assimilating, and that the district and board members had similar sentiments.
The lawsuit was later dropped, as a compromise between the parents and school district was made.
↑ FUSD Directory of Schools
- ↑ a b c d e f g FUSD Attendance Areas
↑ FUSD Board of Education
↑ FUSD Superintendent
- ↑ a b c