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August 14, 2017

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Picture of the Week


Students in the African American Leadership Cohort attend leadership camp at Fresno State over the summer.


Video of the Week

Link to video of the week
Hoover High School graduate Mychal Kendricks on the importance of education.

Dates to Know

August 14
First Day of School

August 23 at 5:30 p.m.
Board of Education

October 30
State of Education luncheon

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

Welcome Back from Interim Superintendent Bob Nelson


Staff Welcome Back Video

Board Names Nelson as Only Finalist

The Fresno Unified Board of Education has announced Interim Superintendent Robert G. Nelson as the only finalist for the position of superintendent. Following contract negotiations with Nelson, the board could make a final announcement on August 23.

Nelson has worked for the district for 23 years, serving as a teacher, vice principal, principal, administrator in Human Resources and chief of staff. He has also served as superintendent of the Chawanakee Unified School District. Nelson was named interim superintendent in February.

District Launches “60 Seconds with Fresno Unified”

Starting this week, Fresno Unified’s Communications Department is introducing “60 Seconds with Fresno Unified” -- a weekly update on current events in the district. We hope you’ll take a few seconds to watch this short video each week to make sure you’re in the know. The video will be released every Thursday afternoon.


60 Seconds with Fresno Unified Video

Golf Tournament Raises Nearly $5,000 for Scholarship Fund

The Goal 2 team would like to thank everyone who participated in the second annual Tee-It-Up for the Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament, held August 4 at Airways Golf Course. Thanks to all our participants and the more than 20 tournament sponsors, the event was a rousing success on and off the golf course. The tournament raffle was a high point as several sports memorabilia items that highlighted local athletes currently competing in the NFL drove bids up. Everyone’s hard work and enthusiasm paid off -- the tournament raised more than $7,000 with a net amount of $4,855 to be donated to the Fresno Unified Scholarship Fund. Outstanding!

The Goal 2 team is excited for next year and has begun the planning process for 2018. Date, time and place to be announced -- 2018 will be kicked up a notch!

District Launches School Meals App

A new app and interactive website to easily view information on school menus for breakfast and lunch each day is now available for parents and guardians. The app, Nutrislice, features an image and description of food items, as well as nutrition and allergen information. The innovative and interactive site and mobile app makes school menus more convenient and informative than ever before.

The app can be accessed by searching for “School Menus by Nutrislice” on Google Play or the App Store or visit fresnounified.nutrislice.com. This school year, the district is introducing several new menu items, including barbecue pulled pork sliders with coleslaw and Alaskan pollock fish sticks with curly fries and a whole grain Hawaiian roll.

Fresno Unified Wins First-Ever SAT Preparation Award

Fresno Unified has won an award that recognizes school districts for encouraging students to prepare for the SAT and college-level courses. Fresno Unified received the “Growth” prize for having the highest overall percent increase of students linking their College Board and Khan Academy accounts. When accounts are linked, students can receive free, personalized SAT practice from Khan Academy. Since the SAT Practice All In Challenge began in December 2016, Fresno Unified increased the percentage of its students linking their accounts by 36%.

The first-time award was announced by the Council of the Great City Schools in August for Fresno Unified and four other council districts. The increase is a result of a new initiative the district joined last school year. It launched a partnership with the College Board (which administers the SAT) to offer Khan Academy tutorials for free to students taking the PSAT -- the practice test for the SAT.

Immunization Clinics Offered

The district is offering a series of immunization clinics so that parents and guardians have opportunities to have their children properly vaccinated prior to the start of school on Aug. 14, 2017.  All students entering school must meet state immunization requirements.  Students entering kindergarten and seventh grade must provide proof of updated immunizations. 

For kindergarten entry, all students are required to be up to date on vaccines against polio, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (Dtap), mumps, measles and rubella (MMR), hepatitis B, and varicella. 
All students entering seventh grade must show proof of current vaccination against pertussis (whooping cough).

The clinics will be held at Tioga and Sequoia middle schools. Guidelines: 

• Must bring current immunization record
• Parent or legal guardian must accompany student
• Must bring current insurance card

Location

Date

Time

Tioga Middle School – Room 36
3232 E. Fairmont Ave. 

Aug. 7, 8*, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 

8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.               *Tuesday, Aug. 8 noon-6 p.m.

Sequoia Middle School
4050 E. Hamilton Ave. 

Aug. 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31 and Sept. 1

8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.


Superintendent Board Remarks from August 9, 2017

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

• Thanking community members for attending the meeting, hoping everyone had a nice summer break and marking this first school board meeting of August 2017 as the unofficial start of the new school year.
• Reminding the community to be safe and wary of students as they make their way around school campuses next week.
• More than 12,700 students attended summer school culminating in 118 more students receiving their high school diplomas on July 14.  In addition, free and healthy lunches were offered at 45 campuses, serving more than 181,000 meals to students this summer.  Fresno Unified has a successful partnership with the City of Fresno to create more “green” and “blue” spaces this summer by opening up pools at all seven comprehensive high schools.  Initial number show more than 17,000 people used the pools from June 12 to August 6.
• Students and staff will be coming back to new facility improvements, including a refinished floor at Sunnyside High’s practice gym, new gym lockers at Ahwahnee Middle School and Duncan Polytechnical High School, new multi-purpose room roofs at Heaton and Roeding elementary schools and for the locker rooms of Scandinavian and Tenaya middle schools, as well as new air conditioning improvements, water conservation projects and exterior painting at 16 schools and security lighting at all elementary schools.
• Highlighting the Board of Education’s $930 million dollar investments that will be seen this school year including expanded library tutoring, replacing computers for ELA and math classes, expansion of dual immersion programs in Spanish and Hmong, expanded health services, new teachers, additional social workers and child welfare specialists.
• Last weekend more than 350 new teachers attended training at McLane High School.
• Reminding families of the importance of completing their child’s immunizations in accordance with state law before a student can enter kindergarten or seventh grade.  Immunization clinics are being offered at Tioga Middle School until August 18 and at Sequoia Middle School until September 1.
• Recognizing and congratulating Jacquie Canfield, director of Fiscal Services, on her retirement.
• Wishing everyone a terrific first day of school on Monday.

Full Board Meeting Recap


Employer of Choice

Bullard TALENT Teacher Wins Award

Stacey Williams, a teacher at Bullard TALENT K-8 School, has won an Exemplary Program Award and will be honored at the California Art Education Association State Conference in San Francisco November 10-12.
Stacey Williams art program video


School Buzz

Sunnyside will hold Summer Sizzle Fundraiser

A Summer Sizzle fundraiser for Sunnyside High School, featuring beer, wine and food-tasting, will be held Friday, August 18 at the Sunnyside Country Club. The event is presented by the Sunnyside High School Alumni Association and the Sunnyside Parent Club. The fundraiser will feature 14 restaurants, four brewers and five wineries, along with music and live and silent auctions. The master of ceremonies is radio personality Miggy from 99.3.
Ticket Info on Sunnyside Summer Sizzle Fundraiser

Williams Elementary Celebrates with a Back to School Block Party

Williams Elementary School welcomed students and families back to school with a “Rock the Block” party August 9-11. The special events included a chance to meet new principal Bonifacio Sanchez and vice principal Guadalupe Ponce, hot dogs donated by Every Neighborhood Organization, backpacks collected by Figarden Elementary School student Zackeria Lovick and a mini carnival hosted by staff. Back to School Night on August 11 includes a raffle for bikes and prizes, with three bikes donated by Campus Bible Church and Living Free Missionary Baptist Church.


I Am Ready

I Am Ready Poster

View All Posters

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 85.6%. 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 80.6%. We are very proud of our overall 85% 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?


Donate to the
Scholarship Fund
Volunteer Work for Fresno Unified


Fresno Unified School District
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