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Fifth-grade remanded to Zephyr Cove Elementary

Zephyr Cove Elementary School fourth-graders will be staying another year on the elementary campus. No, they weren’t disciplinary problems, nor are they being held back for academic reasons.

Starting with the 2001-02 school year, fifth-grade classes are moving back to Zephyr Cove Elementary School.

More than a decade ago, fifth grade was brought up to Kingsbury Middle School. Now, spacing issues at both schools make Zephyr Cove the more practical place to educate fifth-graders. The Douglas County Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of the change.



“At Kingsbury Middle School they were certainly overcrowded and given the fact we have almost brand new substantial space at Zephyr Cove Elementary that is underused, it makes sense,” said George Echan, the board’s Lake representative. “Nobody is being sent back to the elementary school, it just means this year’s fourth-grade class stays there one year longer. They now have some space to breathe in.”

Zephyr Cove Elementary School Principal William Robison said he welcomes fifth-grade classes back on his campus.



“It’s kind of like coming home,” he said. “They moved over to Kingsbury Middle School for a lack of space and now they’re coming back where they originated. As I said at last night’s board meeting, it was never a philosophical issue. It was a space issue and we’re glad to be accommodating to KMS.”

Kingsbury Principal Nancy Rollston said two of the three fifth-grade teachers will move down to the elementary school since there will be only two fifth-grade classes next year. The third teacher will remain at the middle school and be absorbed into another position there. It has not yet been determined which teachers will make the move, according to Rollston.

As for the kids, Rollston said they would receive a quality education at either school.

“The main reason for the district to do this was because they wanted to give us some more space,” Rollston said. “The board voted unanimously to move fifth grade back to Zephyr Cove. There’s sort of a sadness as far as people go, but I don’t think either place would have been a bad place for them to be. I can see the pros on both sides.”

Fourth-grader Jake Manoukian said he has mixed feelings about staying one more year at Zephyr Cove.

“I was interested in going to the middle school because since I was in kindergarten it’s been up to fourth grade here and now it’s going to be fifth grade,” he said. “Plus two of my next-door neighbors are in middle school so that would have been fun. But if we left here we’d miss Dr. Robbie (Robison). He’s pretty cool. He plays football with us and stuff sometimes. Also all my old teachers who are here are nice so that part is good and maybe we’ll get to be in the new classrooms.”

J.J. McLaughlin said he won’t mind being “the oldest” for one more year.

“I kind of wanted to move to the middle school for a new experience but it’s cool in a way because there will still be some little kids around to pick on – just kidding,” McLaughlin said giggling. “It will just be cool that we’ll still be the oldest here. And I would miss the four squares here.”

McLaughlin, a 10-year-old who takes the game of four square pretty seriously, expressed some concern about the effect an additional grade may have on playground space. “I worry that it might get quite crowded here on the playground because it’s already crowded.”

Fourth-graders Holly Hammond and Jen Prebezac said they would be happy at either school.

“My little brother is in first grade and he doesn’t know a lot of friends yet, so I want to stay here and hang out with him some more until he makes some more friends,” Hammond said. “I was excited to go to the middle school but I could’ve gone either way.”

Prebezac said she knows her way around the elementary school.

“I was excited to go to KMS but I know everything here so it won’t be so new,” she said. “And they give you quite a bit of free will at this school. I’ve heard at KMS they give you the same amount of free will but when there is trouble, they’re more strict at KMS.”


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