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Mariposa Upper Elementary School opening delayed

Cars+turn+onto+Dartmouth+Avenue%2C+the+street+where+the+campus+of+Mariposa+will+be.+Many+are+concerned+about+traffic%2C+but+schedules+will+be+staggered+to+avoid+this+issue.
Cars turn onto Dartmouth Avenue, the street where the campus of Mariposa will be. Many are concerned about traffic, but schedules will be staggered to avoid this issue.

Cars turn onto Dartmouth Avenue, the street where the campus of Mariposa will be. Many are concerned about traffic, but schedules will be staggered to avoid this issue.

Nina Heller

Nina Heller

Cars turn onto Dartmouth Avenue, the street where the campus of Mariposa will be. Many are concerned about traffic, but schedules will be staggered to avoid this issue.

Nina Heller, Staff Writer

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New school year, new school.

This was what half of the fourth and fifth-graders from San Carlos were thinking for this new school year. However, this became untrue just as it was on the cusp of being a reality.

The San Carlos School District has been in the process of creating upper elementary schools, designed to address the need of fourth and fifth-graders. Mariposa Upper Elementary School is the second of these schools to be built in San Carlos, following Arroyo School.

Mariposa has been in construction and was supposed to be ready for students to start there this fall. 

However, the construction was not completely finished yet, causing the delay of its opening.

For now, students in fourth grade are staying at their current schools, Arundel and Heather Elementary Schools, while fifth-graders have been moved to Tierra Linda Middle School, but in a separate environment from the rest of the middle schoolers.

It didn’t just happen in a day. It was starting to become evident that certain parts of the school would not be open in time,”

— Haley Sanchez

“My daughter is somewhat disappointed because they were all excited about it, and it got taken away. When people found out [the school] was not going to be fully open, they started to evaluate what the other options were. It didn’t just happen in a day. It was starting to become evident that certain parts of the school would not be open in time,” said Haley Sanchez, whose fourth-and-fifth-grade children were supposed to be attending Mariposa this year.

While the fifth-graders are currently in separate classrooms at Tierra Linda, it does not feel like they are getting what was supposed to be the true Mariposa experience, according to Sanchez.

An FAQ sheet sent out by the school district said that the schools were opened due to the fact that fourth-and-fifth-graders are a unique set of learners, separate from students in the K-3 and 6-8 schools, and their distinct skills, abilities, and interests warrant environments and teaching styles suited to their nature.

“Being in fifth grade at middle school is kind of rare, so I think [Mariposa] makes sense,” said Jordan Cheney, a junior.

The delay of the opening of the school was decided by the school board in April, and announced by Mariposa Principal John Triska.  A statement put out by Triska said, “I want to clarify that the fundamental thinking behind the re-design of our fourth and fifth-grade programs will remain intact.”

A statement put out by Triska said, “I want to clarify that the fundamental thinking behind the re-design of our fourth-and-fifth-grade programs will remain intact.”

A Change.org petition was also made by district parents who felt that the education of their children should not be left in limbo. Classrooms would have been finished, but common areas would not have been. The parents called for an emergency board meeting for the school board to decide that the students should not start at Mariposa until 2018 when the construction is fully finished.


The letter put out by the San Carlos School District in April explains the situation to the community.

Despite setbacks and disappointment, people are still staying positive and open minded about the whole situation.

“I think Mr. Triska is doing an amazing job of trying to stay positive and making the best out of not a great situation,” said Sanchez.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Mariposa Upper Elementary School opening delayed