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November 17, 2017

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Photo of the Week

McLane High School art students prepare for December 7 show.

Video of the Week

Link to video of the week
Color Run at Burroughs Elementary School Video

Dates to Know

December 13 at 5:30 p.m.
Board of Education

December 18-January 5
Winter 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

Watch "60 Seconds with Fresno Unified"

Every week, the Fresno Unified's Communications Department produces "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 is released every Thursday. This week's "60 Seconds" news update features students studying the legal aspects of Japanese-American internment during World War II on the 75th anniversary of internment, Thanksgiving baskets donated to Tehipite Middle School and a financial tool kit now available for teachers to see proposed salary increases.
60 Seconds with Fresno Unified

Fresno High Student Receives Diploma – 50 Years Late

Manuel Blunt, who left Fresno High School 50 years ago at age 17 to join the Army and serve in the Vietnam War, has finally received his high school diploma. Blunt, who lives in Riverside, was part of a group of veterans receiving high school diplomas from the Riverside County Office of Education as part of Operation Recognition. He was honored in a ceremony in Moreno Valley with four other Vietnam veterans and two veterans of the Korean War.

Students Study Legal Ramifications of Japanese-American Internment

Students at Roosevelt, McLane and CART high schools are learning more about the legal challenges related to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II 75 years ago by reviewing special curriculum and then discussing the issues face-to-face with federal judges and attorneys November 14-17. The Operation Protect and Defend program is part of a collaboration between the Civic Learning Partnership, the District Attorney's Office and district staff. Students will also learn about post 9-11 incidents that weigh national security and safety against individual rights. The project involves 33 11th and 12th grade history/government classrooms.

Adult Transition Program will hold Fundraiser

The Adult Transition Program (ATP) will be hosting its first Chipotle fundraiser on November 30 from 4-8 p.m. at the Shaw and Cedar avenues location across from Fresno State. Come and grab some dinner, dine in or take out, mention that you are with the Adult Transition Program! ATP will receive 50% of the sales to support student needs on campus. Come out and support Fresno Unified ATP!

Grow2Teach Program Accepting Applications

For classified employees, the time is now to launch a teaching career!   Fresno Unified's Grow2Teach program is now accepting applications.   This program is for district classified employees who have a passion to teach.  Whether the employee is working towards a bachelor's degree, or pursuing a teaching credential, this program provides the support needed to become a successful teacherProspective teachers interested in hard-to-fill areas (special education, math, science and bilingual education) are strongly encouraged to apply.  The deadline for applications is Thursday, November 30.
Grow2Teach Fact Sheet

School Transfers Deadline is Dec. 1

Fresno Unified offers a wide variety of school choice options, including popular magnet schools and specialized programs.  For the 2018-19 school year, applications received before December 1, 2017 will have priority in the selection process.  Families may apply for the transfer to any district school by completing an application.  Learn more and print an application at , call (559) 248-7538, or drop in at the Transfers Office, 4120 N. First St. for more information.

Superintendent Board Remarks from November 15, 2017

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

• Recognizing School Psychologist Week and expressing gratitude for the exceptional work psychologists do on behalf of our students and staff. Every year, the California Association of School Psychologists awards the Nadine N. Lambert Outstanding School Psychologist award to a recipient in each region recognizing service to students, teachers, administrators, parents, community agencies and the profession.  For the past four years a Fresno Unified psychologist has been voted on to represent the region with all four then selected as the award recipient.

• Applauding last week's CTE: Ticket to the Future event put on by the College and Career Readiness department.  More than 5,500 eighth graders every middle school at Fresno Unified attended at Valdez Hall at the Convention Center to check out high school pathway demonstrations and programs.  He shared a video recapping the event.

• The launching of Saturday Academy, open to all students with full day absences to make up school work and recover credits.  The program has had a successful start with 13 initial launch sites and several hundred students from transitional kindergarten through high school participating.  The students attend a variety of offerings focusing on reading, math, science art and more.  It was exciting to see so many students and teachers participating in creative activities together.

• New opportunities for classified staff who may want to move up the career ladder and are interested in teaching.  Recently, the district launched the Grow2Teach program geared to help classified employees become credentialed teachers in hard-to-fill positions, such as special education, math, science and bilingual education.  The program provides counseling, training and an annual stipend.

• Recognizing Teresa Morales-Young who is a finalist for Fresno County Administrator of the Year.  Teresa is the administrator of Teacher Development and has worked hard to support teacher support programs and has demonstrated a commitment to high quality instruction.  We'll be rooting for you at the award ceremony tomorrow night at the Saroyan Theater.

• Thanking the Young Professionals Network and the Fresno Association of Realtors for donating Thanksgiving food baskets for 50 Tehipite Middle School families. We're truly grateful for those in our community who step forward to help our families in need, especially during this time of year.

• Encouraging everyone to take time during the Thanksgiving holiday to spend quality time with family, friends and loved ones.  Please take the time to create great memories with those closest to you.  I wish everyone a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

View Full Board Meeting Recap

Employer of Choice

District Administrator is County Educator of the Year Finalist

Teresa Morales Young, administrator for teacher development, was honored November 16 as a finalist for the Fresno County Administrator of the Year award. The celebration was at the Saroyan Theatre. Teresa moved on to the county awards after winning the district Excellence in Education administrator award in February.

Baird Teacher Librarian Awarded Grant

Baird Middle School's teacher librarian Judy Johnson has been awarded a DEMCO/Betty Barkema Library Improvement Grant. The $5,000 grant in DEMCO products will be used to purchase additional soft seating for Baird's main library media center -- four quarter round benches and four stools to accommodate more students during the busiest times. Because of the grant, the school was also able to purchase new tables that are more mobile and can be reconfigured, making the space more flexible for a variety of purposes. The grant is given through the California School Library Association.

FAQs on Potential Teacher Strike

The district has updated frequently asked questions about a potential teacher strike.
Updated Frequently Asking Questions about a Potential Teacher Strike

School Buzz

J.E. Young Provides 25 Thanksgiving Feasts to Families

Students and staff at J.E. Young Academic Center worked together to donate Thanksgiving meal boxes for their own students' families who are in need this holiday season.  The school will be distributing to 25 families on November 17.  The Thanksgiving meal boxes include a frozen turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn, mixed vegetables, cranberry sauce and dinner rolls.  Families were selected by staff nominations and those who called to request a Thanksgiving meal box.

Scandinavian Staff Provides Thanksgiving Meals for Families

Scandinavian Middle School staff came together to donate either canned goods, money, or turkeys to provide complete Thanksgiving dinners for 21 families in the Scandinavian community on November 16.  All student names were entered and 21 were drawn for a free Thanksgiving feast. 

Thanksgiving Food Baskets Donated to Tehipite

The Young Professionals Network and the Fresno Association of Realtors donated Thanksgiving food baskets for 50 Tehipite Middle School families on November 15. The baskets included a turkey, corn, green beans, cranberry, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes and rolls. The school had identified families in need to receive the baskets.

McLane Students will Exhibit Japanese Internment Project

McLane High School's ArtVenture will open an exhibit about the internment of Japanese-Americans 75 years ago at ArtHop on Thursday, December 7 at the M Street Arts Complex. The exhibit will be up during December and January.
More Information about the ArtVenture Exhibit on Japanese Internment

Edison Students Help Distribute Canned Food to Those in Need

Led by the Community Leadership class, students at Edison High School collected about two cans per student to distribute to those in need in southwest Fresno, just in time for Thanksgiving. Students are working with West Fresno Ministries to distribute the food on November 18 at Edison High. The food drive began November 1, with a goal of collecting one can per student. The school doubled that amount. In Edison's Community Leadership, students learn skills to help them support their school and the community at large.  

Burroughs Color Run Raises Money for Earthquake Victims

Burroughs Elementary School held a color run on November 17 to raise money for the victims of the Mexico earthquake as part of learning about kindness and empathy. The school decided to raise money for the earthquake victims because many students have family members in Mexico affected by the disaster. Parents, staff and students got splashed with color during the color run. Students wore custom T-shirts that said "Broncos Have Human Kindness" and runners dedicated their run to a special loved one. 

Roosevelt Students Create a Succulent Planter on Campus

Members of Roosevelt High's Ecology Club teamed up to turn a forgotten, lifeless planter in the middle of campus into a thriving succulent garden in just hours on October 27. Click the link below for step-by-step instructions and pictures on how students can create their very own water-wise garden to enjoy on their own campus.
Step-by-Step for Creating a Succulent Garden

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