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Rio Rancho middle, high schools start Friday

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Elementary schools will open Aug. 20

The last weekend of summer is here for Rio Rancho’s older students as they say goodbye to lazy days and hello to the alarm clock.

The school bell will ring for Rio Rancho Public Schools’ sixth through 12th-grade students Friday morning, but the district’s elementary students won’t head back until Aug. 20.

Different this school year is the timing of spring break. Traditionally, the district scheduled the break sometime in March. However, spring break has been shifted to April, after state testing.

It will still coincide with Albuquerque Public Schools’ break.

The last day of school, if there are no weather make-up days, is May 22.

Parents of returning and pre-registered students eligible for transportation should have received a card in the mail with their student’s bus number and bus stop. If not, or for further information, call the transportation department at 338-0078.

Class for high school students will start at 7:20 a.m. and release at 2:29 p.m. every day, except Wednesdays, when school will end at 1:40 p.m. Middle school students will report to school from 8:10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. They will be dismissed Wednesdays at 2:35 p.m.

Elementary students will go to school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but will be dismissed at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesdays. The exception is Colinas del Norte, where students will be at school from 7:30 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. every day.

RRPS spokeswoman Kim Vesely said district officials have predicted flat enrollment numbers this year. The district ended the 2012-13 school year with 16,884 students.

In addition, the district made some administrative changes over the summer. Cathy Gaarden, longtime principal of Maggie Cordova Elementary, is now principal of Sandia Vista Elementary. Skip Mackay, Gaarden’s assistant principal, has taken over leadership of the school. Gloria Rich is the new principal of Rio Rancho Elementary, replacing Barbara Bruce who retired. Rich was the assistant principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary.

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