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March 10, 2017

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Picture of the Week


Special Olympians learn basketball skills at Gaston Middle School March 6.


Video of the Week

Link to video of the week
The Fresno Unified Board of Education unveiled a Safe Place School District Resolution March 1 and approved the resolution March 8.

Dates to Know

March 22 and April 5 5:30 p.m.
Board of Education

April 5
Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) document ready for review at www.fresnounified.org

April 10-17
Spring Break


Greetings!

Welcome to Community Zone, an e-newsletter from the Fresno Unified School District featuring news of the district and schools. Sign up to receive this newsletter every two weeks. Questions? Contact Communications@fresnounified.org.


Community News

Board of Education Approves Safe Place School District Resolution

The Fresno Unified Board of Education is committed to serving all students, no matter their immigration status.  After receiving input from the community, stakeholders, students and parents, Fresno Unified trustees unanimously approved a resolution March 8 designating the district a “Safe Place School District.” The resolution reaffirms:
-- Fresno Unified’s current student confidentiality policies;
-- The role of public safety officers not to participate in immigration enforcement;
-- That the district honors existing Immigration Customs Enforcement policies identifying school campuses as exempt from immigration enforcement.
View Entire Safe Place School District Resolution

Preschool Enrollment Underway

Fresno Unified is enrolling students for pre-kindergarten/preschool for the 2017-18 school year.  All families with children who are 4 years old by December 2 and live within the Fresno Unified School District boundary are encouraged to apply.  Families with children who are 3 years old by September 1 can also apply to the preschool programs located at Wolters, Vinland and Calwa elementary schools and Duncan Polytechnical High School.

Enrollment packets for pre-kindergarten/preschool programs are available at all elementary school sites and on the district website. The district will begin accepting completed enrollment packets Monday, March 20. Interested families are encouraged to complete the enrollment process:
Step 1 -- Complete the enrollment packet
• The enrollment packet is available at all elementary school sites.
• Please review all program requirements and complete the packet in advance as much as possible.

Step 2 -- Schedule an appointment to turn in the enrollment packet
• Call (559) 457-3416 to schedule an appointment with an enrollment specialist.
• Gather all the required documentation.  Please see the checklist on the enrollment form.
• Enrollment packets with missing documents will be not be accepted.

Step 3 -- Meet with an enrollment specialist
• Bring the completed enrollment packet and the required documentation to the scheduled meeting. 
• The Early Learning Enrollment Center is located in the Parent University Office at 850 N. Blackstone Ave. Fresno, CA 93701
Completing the enrollment packet with the specialist is not a guarantee of enrollment at the school or class of your choice.

Step 4 --Placement at a school site
• The district will begin calling families for school site placement in July. Please make sure the district has your current phone number.
• Enrollment is prioritized based on income guidelines determined by the California Department of Education. The most needy children in Fresno Unified will have priority for enrollment.
• Questions about placement or general questions: (559) 457-3682.

Week Honors School Social Workers

School social workers were honored this past week during School Social Work Week, with this year's national theme of “Be the Change."  School social workers play a critical role in helping students meet the academic and social emotional challenges on their journey to become successful and emotionally healthy.  School social workers’ services include individual/group counseling, crisis intervention, case management, collaboration and linkage to community resources, and support for parents.  The Department of Prevention & Intervention is fortunate to have social emotional support specialists providing social work at the middle schools, a high school social worker, and school social workers with Project ACCESS working with foster/homeless students.  

Calling all Golfers

Golfers from the community are invited to participate in a golf tournament Saturday, April 22 at Riverside Golf Course to benefit the Fresno Unified Scholarship Fund. The tournament is put on by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Fresno Consolidated charter.
View ACSA Poster on Golf Tournament


Superintendent Board Remarks from March 8, 2017

Interim Superintendent Bob Nelson provided a brief report to the Fresno Unified Board of Education including:

• Congratulating the Bullard girls soccer team on their recent Central Section Division I Valley Championship. With a last minute goal from freshman Jordyne Puentes, the Knights went on to a thrilling 1-0 victory over athletic powerhouse Clovis North.  The girls hosted their first CIF Southern California Regional game yesterday, beating Santa Clarita’s Hart High School 2-0.  They face Huntington Beach tomorrow at 5 p.m.

• Nelson also recognized Bullard sophomore Dawson Sihavong, who placed sixth in the state wrestling tournament last weekend, as well as Christopher Casillas and Hudson Dorian from Edison High School who are moving on to the VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Ky. next month. Interim superintendent congratulated all the district teams and individuals who competed over the last few weeks in playoffs, championships and academic competitions around the valley.

• Next Wednesday, another champion will be making her appearance on the big stage -- the Fresno County Spell-Off stage.  Fifth grader Sharleen Her from Storey Elementary and second-place finisher Sonya Hughes from Fremont Elementary will be representing Fresno Unified in the county’s annual spelling bee at Fresno State’s Satellite Student Union.  Best of luck to Sharleen and Sonya.

• Reminder that next Friday, March 17, is the last day of the quarter. Nelson encouraged students to stay focused and make every day count.  Make sure that if you are struggling or falling behind—connect with an adult, a teacher or a peer mentor and let us help you get back on track.

• Nelson closed highlighting this month’s edition of Building Futures calling out stories about the district’s new school based health centers, Excellence in Education winners and a story on the newest school to implement a food recovery program. Building Futures can be found on the district website or on the education page at ABC30.com.

Full Board Meeting Recap


Employer of Choice

Aspiring Teacher Expo is March 21

Want to be a teacher? Fresno Unified will host the Spring Aspiring Teacher Expo on Tuesday, March 21 from 4-7 p.m. at McLane High School. Register now at: https://aspiringexpo2017.eventbrite.com
More Information on Aspiring Teacher Expo

Edison High Baseball Coach Honored

Cliff Rold, varsity baseball coach at Edison High School, was honored with the Al Radka Award February 2 at the Fresno Hot Stove Gala. The award is given to an individual who brings the community together through the game of baseball.

Educators of the Weeks Selected from Manchester GATE, Fresno High

Jill Nakamura, a teacher at Manchester GATE Elementary School, and Karen Yelton-Curtis, an English teacher at Fresno High School, were honored in February by KSEE24 as Educators of the Week.
Watch Nakamura as Educator of the Week
Watch Yelton-Curtis as Educator of the Week


School Buzz

Edison Robotics Students Head to World Championship

Edison High School robotics students are headed to the VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Ky. April 19-22 after one of the school’s teams won the “Build” award at the state competition in Bakersfield March 3-4. The Louisville event brings together the world’s best robotics teams, including the top 540 high school teams. Edison’s VEX Robotics Team 3495F -- Christopher Casillas and Hudson Dorian -- earned a spot at the VEX Worlds for their detailed design notebook and efficient and reliable robotic design. The team impressed the judges during their interview and validated Edison High School’s engineering program, said teacher adviser Yashpaul Sangha. In addition, the robotics team of Jesus Nieblas and Jordan Wong finished in the top 10 at the state championships. All four students will work together to research and assemble a brand new robot in the coming weeks to improve their chances of winning at the World Championship.

Student-Athletes Finish Winter Season Strong

After winning the Division I Valley title, the fourth-seeded Bullard High School girls soccer team beat No. 5 Hart High School (Santa Clarita) 2-0 March 7 in the opening round of the Southern California Division I Regional before being eliminated March 9 by Huntington Beach High School. In other strong season finishes, Bullard High School’s Dawson Sihavong (126 pounds) placed sixth on March 4 at the CIF State Wrestling Tournament in Bakersfield. And in Division II boys soccer, the Edison High School boys team, league champions, lost a very close, physical match in the Valley finals to Golden West High School, 3-2, on February 28.

McLane, Edison, Kings Canyon Students Exhibit Project on Incarceration

Students from McLane and Edison high schools and Kings Canyon Middle School will exhibit art work throughout March at the M Street Arts Complex focused on their reflections on the writings of Jimmy Baca, either his poetry or memoir, “Finding a Place to Stand.” The show launched March 2 as part of ArtHop. Baca is an award-winning poet and writer who learned to read and write and turned his life around while serving a five-year prison sentence. The students’ work is part of a Fresno Unified art pilot launched this school year centered on the overarching theme of "Rise Above: Finding a Place to Stand." Students are exploring common themes related to literature and expressing their reflections through writing and art.

While the ArtHop exhibit was the work of high school and middle school students, the art pilot involves students of all ages from 14 classes at seven schools. 

Edison, Sunnyside Seniors Win Prestigious CSF Award

Edison High School senior Hollie Osburn and Sunnyside High School senior Navleen Brar are among only 50 students in California selected as a Seymour Award recipients for the California Scholarship Federation. The award is one of the highest scholastic honors given to graduating seniors in the state, and is an adviser-nominated award for academic achievement and service.

Hollie has applied to a number of UC campuses -- her top choice is UC Davis -- with the goal of becoming a doctor. Navleen has been accepted to the Smittcamp Honors Program at Fresno State University and is waiting to hear from her other top choices, UCLA and UC Davis.

Fresno Unified Celebrates Read Across America

A number of elementary schools honored Dr. Seuss’ birthday with reading events, joining thousands of students across the country participating in Read Across America activities February 27 through March 3. Schools hosted numerous volunteer guest readers from the community during the week. At Kirk, readers donned red and white hats in honor of “The Cat in the Hat.”  In addition, The Bella Vista Senior Singers from Bella Vista Memory Care Center performed karaoke for students. At Forkner, each day of the week students enjoyed a different theme in honor of Dr. Seuss.  For example, students wore their favorite college shirt to celebrate "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" Day. At Bullard TALENT K-8 School, the Cat in the Hat prowled around.

Middle School Academic Pentathlon is March 25

Students and coaches have been hard at work preparing for Fresno Unified’s inaugural Middle School Academic Pentathlon. The pentathlon will be held Tuesday, March 21 and Saturday, March 25 at Tioga Middle School, featuring 13 schools in all seven regions of the district.  The district expects 133 students to compete. Tuesday’s competition will feature tests in Literature and Essay, with Science, Fine Arts and Social Science tests on March 25. The culminating Pentathlon Super Quiz is at 1:30 p.m. in Tioga’s cafeteria. Awards will go to the top five students in each test category and the top three teams overall. Each coach will present a Coaches Award as well.

Students Graduate from Officer’s Club at Cooper Academy

Cooper Academy celebrated 22 students on March 9 who have completed the seven-week Officer’s Club training. The club was launched this school year by Conrado Martin of the Fresno Police Department, assigned to Cooper as a student neighborhood resource officer (SNRO). Martin teaches the students Officer’s Club principles -- including honesty, respect, responsibility and forgiveness -- with assistance from campus safety assistant Bobbie Mixon and officer Natalie Montoya. At the end of the course, the students take an oath to follow the principles they were taught.

Martin is among the SNROs assigned to all 15 middle schools as part of the district’s expanded safety efforts. The SNROs are based at schools but spend time in the surrounding neighborhoods as well.

Teen Summit to be held at Edison High

Edison High School will host a Fresno teen summit, Youtopia Unity Starts with You, on Saturday, March 25, put on by the Youth Leadership Institute. The event is free for grades 7-12, with breakfast and lunch provided. Topics include multicultural awareness, diversity, underage drinking and leadership development.

Bullard Junior Leads Cancer Fundraising

Two non-stop weeks of fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society paid off this week for Bullard High School junior Peyton Langlo.  On March 7, Peyton unveiled to a packed quad that $6,308 has been raised. “It’s been amazing and a really good experience. It’s opened my eyes to what I can do,” Peyton said. Peyton has been nominated for Student of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for her fundraising efforts. She enlisted friends, athletes and staff to help fundraise. She hopes students will continue to raise money for years to come.

 

I Am Ready

I Am Ready Poster

Download Large Poster

The “I Am Ready” (social media hashtag: #FresnoReady) citywide movement encourages the entire community to work together to elevate the district towards a 100% graduation rate. This initiative motivates every citizen in Fresno to be a part of the academic success of our nearly 74,000 students. The effort comes on the heels of Fresno Unified’s strongest graduation rates in more than a decade.

In recent years, Fresno Unified graduated more than 80% of students on time, enrolled more than 5,000 of our high school students in Advanced Placement courses, and over 5,000 high school students in career technical education courses. Additionally, more than 85% of graduating seniors applied to an institution of higher learning. 

Nationally, the graduation rate for Hispanics was 76.3% during the 2014-2015 school year, but here in Fresno Unified, the graduation rate for our Hispanic students reached 82.3%. The district is also demonstrating stronger gains for African-American students. Nationally, the graduation rate for African-American students is 72.5%, but here in Fresno, it stands at 82.1%. We are very proud of our overall 84% graduation rate, but we anticipate that percentage to climb with the release of the new numbers.

Great things are indeed happening here, but we will only be able to reach a 100% graduation rate with the support of the entire community. There are a number of ways you can say “I Am Ready” to get involved to support our youth. No deed is too small when it comes to helping our youth and only with everyone’s effort will we reach our goal. Are you ready?


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Fresno Unified School District
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