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Schools Open Monday For New Year
All Riverbank's schools will reopen their doors on Monday, Aug. 10 for the 2009-2010 school year.

There won't be that many apparent changes at Riverbank High or Cardozo Middle schools but it will be a different story at the elementary schools.

Rio Altura Elementary will be changing from a year-round back to a traditional schedule and all the elementary schools will be accommodating students who will start attending Mesa Verde after Christmas when its construction is finished.

Rio Altura, for instance, will be sending its third graders in five classes for temporary accommodation at California Avenue School. That way they will get used to their teachers and fellow students before moving to Mesa Verde.

Former Rio Altura principal Kim Newton will become principal at Mesa Verde when the new school opens and Kevin Bizzini has been designated teacher in charge of Rio Altura.

Mesa Verde will open with approximately 425 students after Christmas, Riverbank Language Academy will swell in numbers to about 340 students in grades kindergarten through seven and largely take over the Rio Altura site while Rio Altura School retains about 150 students on its original site.

Riverbank Language Academy, which is seeking more and more space, has been holding two third grade classes at the Church of Christ the King, across the street from Rio Altura. For the start of this school year they will house sixth and seventh graders at Cardozo but return them to Rio Altura once Mesa Verde opens.

At California Avenue, the main change, apart from temporarily accommodating students bound for Mesa Verde, will be an earlier start to the school day. The tardy bell will sound at 8:04 a.m. and classes start at 8:07 a.m., 15 minutes earlier than last year, principal Laurie Sacknitz noted.

California Avenue also will be gathering those students headed for Mesa Verde in separate classrooms with their own teachers to make the transition after Christmas easier.

Rio Altura School currently has three school secretaries for three different schools sitting together at the front of the office. They are Margaret Ulloa for Rio Altura, Midory Cruz for Riverbank Language Academy and Jenny Banda for Mesa Verde.

Diana Gonzales is settling in as the school secretary for California Avenue School.

Teachers for all the district's schools are due to assemble at Riverbank High on Thursday morning for orientation but will take Friday off work as a mandatory and unpaid furlough day.