Fremont Unified School District

Fremont Unified School District

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. [ [ FUSD Directory of Schools] ]

chool 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 [ FUSD Attendance Areas] ] . 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.

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.

Elementary schools

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.

Alternative schools

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 Course 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. [ FUSD Board of Education] ]

Current Board Members

As of 2007, the President of the Board of Education is Ivy Wu, whose term ends in 2008. The Vice President is Peggy Herndon, whose term ends in 2008. The Clerk is Lara York, whose first term ends in 2010. Other members are Nina Moore, whose term ends in 2008, and Larry Sweeney. Sweeney is in his second term and will leave the board at the end of his term in 2010.

The Student Board Memeber is Eric Chen.accessed December 17, 2007]

Board meetings

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 4020 Technology Drive, in Fremont. Generally there is 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.

election 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.

Current Superintendent

The current 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. [ [ FUSD Superintendent] ]

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.cite web | title=Student Teacher Ratio Fred E. Weibel Elementary School | publisher= | work= | url= | accessdate=2007-01-08]

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. [cite web | title=Learning Limits | publisher= | work= | url= | accessdate=2007-01-08]

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.cite radio| lastname=Sanchez | firstname=Claudio | title=Immigrants Weigh Splitting from Calif. School System | publisher= | work= |]

The lawsuit was later dropped, as a compromise between the parents and school district was made. cite web | title=School Boundaries Suit Dropped | publisher= | work= | url= | accessdate=2007-01-08]


The Boundary Line Controversy was revived when, in June 2007, Fremont Board of Education proposed as an option to route students from Gomes Elementary School to Kennedy High School, once again citing overcrowding at Mission San Jose High School. However, the proposal itself is problematic, as Kennedy High School is located on the other side of Fremont from Gomes Elementary School; if the boundary change were implemented, transportation problems would emerge. Even though the option was not recommended by the Board in the June meeting, the mere mention of the school name arose strong concern and reaction from the local communities. A town hall meeting was held on June 12, 2007 between two of the board members, Nina Moore and Larry Sweeney, three assistant superintendents, and the parents of Gomes school students. More than 1500 people attended the meeting. To ease the concern from local communities, the president of the board, Nina Moore, agreed to drop the Gomes name from their option list. Yet as long as the root causes of the school over-crowding are not addressed, the school re-boundary controversy will linger and looms large on the mind of entire Mission San Jose communities.

Some of community members have been discussing the reasons for the overcrowding that has occurred in the MSJHS attendance area even after the large Weibel Elementary area was moved to Irvington area in 2000. The top ones that have emerged are the large number of new housing developments that have been completed in the post 2000 MSJHS attendance area, residents moving into existing homes in the hope of sending their kids to the area schools. Lastly there is consensus and evidence that a large number of student enrollments especially in the Jr. High and High Schools are based on fraudulent residency documents.


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