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March 24, 2017

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Picture of the Week

The Sunnyside High School lacrosse team battles Christian Brothers High School March 17.

Video of the Week

Link to video of the week
Linked Learning

Dates to Know

April 5
5:30 p.m. Board of Education

April 5
Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) document ready for review at

April 10-17
Spring Break


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

Community News

Cesar Chavez’s Memory Honored at Day of Service and Learning

Fresno Adult School hosted the 17th annual Cesar E. Chavez Day of Service and Learning honoring Cesar Chavez’s legacy on March 23. Students and community members gathered at the Saroyan Theatre for drama, folklorico, mariachi and other performances by district middle and high school students. The group then marched to the Cesar E. Chavez Adult Education Center for a garlanding ceremony at the Chavez bust in the foyer.

Roosevelt to Host Family Fun ArtHop Night

Save the date for the next upcoming ArtHop event at Roose​velt High School's East Hall patio on Thursday, April 6 from 5-8 p.m. With the purchase of a ticket to a delicious homemade spaghetti dinner by Roosevelt’s culinary arts students, guests get to create art, including paper weaving, upcycled projects and sticky-note art. Guests can create their own clay bowl for $5 or tie-dye their own shirt for $5 ($8 with the purchase of a T-shirt).  All ages are welcome! Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for RHS students and $5 for children 10 and under. Reserve tickets by contacting the Roosevelt School of the Arts office, 253-5323. ​

Musical Groups Districtwide Gather for Festivals

As schools head into the final months of the 2016-17 academic year, student musicians from throughout the district will gather at two festivals to be rated by experts and learn more about technique, skills, expression, artistic growth and development. The day-long festivals also give musicians an opportunity to listen to the work of their peers at other schools and strive to do their best.




Middle and High School Orchestra Festival

Sunnyside High School

Monday, March 27 and Tuesday, March 28 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Middle School Band Festival

Sunnyside High School

Wednesday, March 29 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

District’s Constituent Services wins Magna Award

The district’s Constituent Services Office won one of five Magna Awards Honorable Mentions for school districts with over 20,000 students. The award will be presented Saturday, March 25 in Denver. Magna Awards, sponsored by the National School Boards Association’s American School Board Journal, recognize innovation and excellence in public schools. Winners were selected by an independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators from more than 200 submissions in three enrollment categories.

Armenian Genocide Essay and Arts Contest Offered

Students are encouraged to enter an essay and visual arts contest to increase awareness of the Armenian Genocide. State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson is encouraging participating on behalf of Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian and Senator Scott Wilk. For more information, visit Assembly Member Nazarian’s press releases web page.

Nominations Open for Academic All-Stars

The Fresno Bee is accepting nominations for its annual Academic All-Stars to honor outstanding students in the central San Joaquin Valley. Students in grades 1-12 are eligible. The deadline is April 7. To nominate for Academic All-Stars go to

CART Offers Summer Program for Grades 4-7

CART's Summer Academy, June 12-16 from 8-11:30 a.m., offers incoming fourth-seventh grade students the opportunity to participate in a hands-on learning experience. The labs offered are Builders' Workshop, Drama & Performance Art, Game Design, Lemonade Stand Micro-business, Mini-Med School, Movie Magic, Optical Illusions, and Robotics. Registration is underway. Visit for more information or call 248-7400.​​​
CART Summer Academy Flyer
CART Summer Academy Registration Form

Interested in Donating to the Fresno Unified Scholarship Fund?

Back in 2009, Fresno Unified employees wanted a way to help students realize their dreams of getting a college education and the district started the Fresno Unified Scholarship Fund. Thanks to community members and the Fresno Unified family, the district has raised over $300,000 and awarded 181 college-bound seniors a scholarship to aid with college expenses.

Employees interested in making a meaningful donation to the Fresno Unified Scholarship Fund or a voluntary district payroll deduction may visit the district website to learn more.

Join the district in this worthwhile effort -- show that you are ready to help send Fresno Unified students to college and beyond. 

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.
ACSA Poster on Golf Tournament

Superintendent Board Remarks from March 22, 2017

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

• Late last week Fresno County Office of Education let us know that once again, Fresno Unified has a finalist for the county’s Educator of the Year awards.  Moving on to the next step in the county’s process is Administrator for Teacher Development Teresa Morales-Young. Winners will be announced at the Educator of the Year Awards in November. Congratulations to Teresa and her entire team for the work they have been doing to support and develop our teachers, including those who are just beginning their journey as part of our many pipeline programs.

• The California Department of Education unveiled its new school accountability data dashboard last Wednesday.  The dashboard replaces the Academic Performance Index (API) that based a school’s academic success solely on a single state test score.  This new dashboard, that in some ways resembles our own SQII, brings together test scores, graduation rates, suspension data and other significant measures to tell the story of academic success. District staff will make a more detailed presentation during our next board meeting.  Nelson shared a short video from our friends at Alameda County Office of Education that really outlines the dashboard in a way parents and the community can understand.

Full Board Meeting Recap

Employer of Choice

Expo Attracts Aspiring Teachers

This year’s Aspiring Teacher Expo was held March 21 as part of Fresno Unified’s recruiting efforts to actively seek future teacher candidates to come join the district for the 2017-18 school year.  The expo highlighted teacher pipeline programs and college and credential programs to support candidates in becoming future teachers. Fresno Unified is seeking to fill a variety of positions including multi-subject, special education, science and career technical education teachers.

Williams Preschool Teacher is Educator of the Week

Sheryl Smith, a preschool teacher at Williams Elementary School, was recognized March 13 as KSEE24’s Educator of the Week.

View Educator of the Week segment on Sheryl Smith.

School Buzz

District Students among Top Spellers in County

Storey Elementary School fifth-grader Sharleen Her placed fourth and Fremont Elementary School sixth-grader Sonya Hughes placed 11th out of 48 elementary contestants at the Fresno County Spell-Off. The Spell-Off was March 15 at Fresno State University’s Satellite Student Union. Sharleen placed first and Sonya second at the district spelling bee February 7, qualifying them for the county competition

Bullard 10th-Graders Tour Colleges

Groups of Bullard High School 10th graders have made college visits this month to Stanford, UC Davis, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UC Santa Cruz, with a trip to San Jose State and CSU Monterey Bay planned for March 29. The trips include a campus tour and lunch in the student dining hall.

District Athletes Stand Out at Soccer Showcase

Several high school soccer players from Fresno Unified were part of a California Premier college showcase tournament in Orange County on March 5, winning the tournament. Student-athletes were Carlos Reynoso and Edgar Arce, Roosevelt High School; Luis Mendoza and Ryan Acosta, McLane High School; Andres Garcia and Andreas Solis, Edison High School; and Erik Garcia, Sunnyside High School.

Sunnyside Theater Students Sweep Awards

The Sunnyside High School Theatre Arts Department came home with the top awards from the Fresno City College Theatre Festival on March 8.  Awards: Superior Contemporary Scene, Best Actor for Cruz Garcia and Best Actress for Gisella Luna; Superior Classical Scene, Best Actor for Alex Serrano; and Best Actress for Alyssa Schneider.  Also, Cruz and Gisella each won a $400 scholarship. Way to go Wildcats!

Hidalgo Celebrates New Partnership with Kiwanis

Hidalgo Elementary School held a Kiwanis charter ceremony on March 10 to celebrate its new partnership with the East Fresno Kiwanis club. Kiwanis has voted to sponsor a K-Kids service club at Hidalgo.

McLane Soccer Players to Sign with UC Merced

McLane High School held a signing event for student-athletes Juan Flores and Emerson Hernandez March 17, recognizing their commitment to play men’s soccer for UC Merced. UC Merced soccer coach Albert Martins and some of his players attended. Juan is a three-year varsity starter with 70 goals and 41 assists. He was part of the 2016 team that won the CIF Central Section Division IV title and has won numerous accolades, including The Fresno Bee Player of the Year in 2016. Juan has an augmented GPA of 4.1 and will graduate as a valedictorian. Emerson is a three-year varsity starter with 26 goals and 15 assists. He was part of the 2016 team that won the 2016 section championship and has won numerous accolades, included all-league honors. Emerson has earned an augmented GPA of 3.7.

Fresno Unified Middle School Athletic Champions – Third Quarter







Basketball Girls


D1 Champions


Jason Paul


Basketball Girls


D2 Champions


Walter Bell




D1 Champions

St. Anthony

David Jones




D2 Champions

Kings Canyon

Tom Grigsby




D3 Champions


Carter Chavez

Bullard TALENT

Tenaya Marches for Babies

Fundraising to help babies is underway at Fresno Unified as part of the annual March for Babies effort, with Tenaya Middle School students raising $682 with a march for March for Babies on March 17. More than 100 Tenaya students were part of the fundraising. The March for Babies effort raises money to fight birth defects and premature births. The Fresno effort culminates in a March for Babies at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 29.

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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