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October 22, 2018

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Photo of the Week

Firefighter showing student how to use hose
Lowell Elementary School students learn about fire safety.

Video of the Week

video of the week
Faces of Fresno Unified: Cha Vang

Dates to Know

October 25
School Choice Expo

November 14 check agenda for time
Board of Education


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”

Watch the latest edition of “60 Seconds with Fresno Unified,” featuring the eLearning Companion Device initiative, hands-on safety day at Lowell Elementary School and the district’s purchase of the old juvenile hall for an alternative education campus.
60 Seconds with Fresno Unified

Luncheon Raises Money for Scholarships

Group photo at State of Ed luncheon

More than 400 guests attended the State of Education luncheon on October 8 at the DoubleTree Hotel, the district’s single largest fundraiser for the Fresno Unified Scholarship Fund. The keynote speaker was Superintendent Bob Nelson. Lunch entertainment was provided by students from Kratt, Leavenworth and Starr elementary schools playing Orff instruments under the direction of Melody Drumm and Harmony Mendez. District music teachers Allison Preece, Grace Wamhoff, Chris Hubble and Matthew Moorehead sang the national anthem. Students from Cambridge, Duncan, Fresno and Sunnyside high schools provided demonstrations of their work: photography print screening, welding and construction.
Video of State of Education Luncheon

Aspiring Teacher Expo Coming

Plan your destiny in teaching!  Fresno Unified is hosting an Aspiring Teacher Expo on Thursday, November 1 at McLane High School (2727 N.Cedar Ave. Fresno, CA. 93703) from 4-7 p.m.   Representatives from colleges and credential programs from throughout the Central Valley will be available to provide information about the various pathways to becoming a credentialed teacher.  Participants will have the opportunity to start networking early and talk to Fresno Unified representatives about the district’s Teacher Pipeline Programs.  Please feel free to share. Don’t wait!
More Information about Aspiring Teacher Expo
Flyer about Aspiring Teacher Expo

District will Rebuild Old Juvenile Hall for Alternative Education Center

Rendering of new Alternative Education Center

The district is moving forward on purchasing the old juvenile hall campus from the County of Fresno and will rebuild it as an alternative education center. Superintendent Bob Nelson, board trustees and Fresno County Supervisor Sal Quintero shared plans for the campus and its positive impact on the region at a press event October 17 at the vacant juvenile hall. Video of Juvenile Hall Project

School Choice Expo Coming in October

2017 School Choice Expo

Fresno Unified will coordinate and host a district-wide School Choice Expo to showcase all school options and highlight career technical education (CTE) pathways at each high school.  The special event will take place at Duncan Polytechnical High School on Thursday, October 25 from 5-7 p.m

Helm Play and Learn Center to Host Open House

Children playing at Helm Home The Early Learning Department will host an open house for the Helm Home Play and Learn Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 1 at the center at 1749 L St.. The center, a partnership with Fresno Housing Authority, supports children 0-3 who live in the Fresno Unified School District. 
Play and Learn Center Open House Flyer

Fresno Unified Receives $4.6 Million Grant

Fresno Unified has been awarded an additional $4.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Partnership. The grant will go towards supporting the Fresno Teacher Residency program in partnership with Fresno Pacific University. The residency program began in 2014 to recruit, select, and train highly effective teachers to address the specific needs of Fresno Unified. The program emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. The new grant is for five years. Fresno Unified is one of 17 recipients nationwide and scored the fifth highest in its application. The Fresno Teacher Residency program serves 150 teachers, with 65% coming from underrepresented groups. Residents are assigned mentors and benefit from a variety of supports. Fresno Unified’s original Teacher Quality Partnership grant in 2014 was for $7.8 million in partnership with California State University, Fresno.

CTE: Ticket to the Future is November 5-6

Last year's event Approximately 5,000 Fresno Unified eighth-graders will travel to Valdez Hall for CTE: Ticket to the Future, an exhibition-style event on November 5-6. At the concert-themed event, students will meet with high school career technical education teachers and students who are ready to engage the students in interactive activities and share career pathway program information.  
​This year, the district is adding a parent evening from 5-7 p.m. on November 5.  Transportation will be available to parents, with a 4:15 p.m. bus pick up at Edison, Fresno and Roosevelt high schools.  Parents may also drive themselves.  Valdez Hall has metered spaces adjacent to it, and a parking fee of $5 for the open lot behind it.
Video from Last Year's Ticket to the Future

Middle School Golf Champions Named

student golf players with trophy The middle school golf champions for this year are:

• D1 Champions – Baird Middle School (Coach Jason Paul)
• D2 Champions – Cooper Academy (Coach Ben Andrada)
• D3 Champions- Tehipite Middle School (Coach Josh Salven)

Congrats to all teams that participated!

Free Museum Day

Fresno area museums join together each year to host a Free Museum Day.  Admission is free to all on Saturday, November​ 3​ at the participating museums listed in link below. This is a terrific opportunity to see the many cultural and artistic​ treasures in the community.
Museum Day Map

Superintendent Board Remarks from October 17, 2018

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

• The launch of eLearning Companion Device Initiative, LCD program. Over the next three years, Fresno Unified will provide all interested students with tablets to use at home to make sure they have the educational resources and tools they need outside of the classroom.  This new initiative puts a tablet in the hands of students who want and need it, providing them academic support beyond the school site.  This is the district’s largest investment and distribution of tablets for home use ever with the plan to provide 24,000 tablets per year for the next three years. In the first phase, students in pre-K, TK, kinder and grades 9 through 11 will have the option of receiving one of these new tablets. 

• Nelson also shared the annual School Choice Expo is October 25 at Duncan Polytechnical High School, where nearly 30 magnet and specialized schools will be there to share their unique programs. The expo provides an opportunity for students and families to come to one location and learn about the various school choice options our district has from visual and performing arts, International Baccalaureate (IB), science/technology/engineering/ mathematics (STEM), dual language programs, world languages, early college to career technical education and many more.

• Superintendent noted that the high school eFuel sports league had begun. Competition play opened up with 10 high school teams represented. Students from both comprehensive and alternative education sites are participating in this inaugural season.  Teams are competing in the Rocket League, which is a car-meets-soccer-meets-Indy-car-like sport. This innovative new eSports is building skill sets for those interested in going into the coding and gaming development field.  Currently there are more than 200 colleges and universities around the country that are providing scholarships for eSports athletes, giving them opportunities to engage in gaming career pathways. He shared a video highlighting the new program.

• Superintendent highlighted that the board will vote tonight on a purchase agreement that will allow the district to buy the old juvenile hall campus at Ventura and Tenth Street.  The County of Fresno has owned that property since the 1800s and for 62 years, that building served as a jail to the youth of the city.  With the board’s approval, Fresno Unified will demolish the building and replace it with a new state-of-the-art facility.  Nelson shared pictures from a walk-through he took with board leadership the day prior.

View Full Board Meeting Recap

School Buzz

Ewing Students Interview for Campus Jobs

Ewing Elementary School launched its Meaningful Work Program October 18 with students interviewing for campus jobs. Students will learn about the variety of work needed behind the scenes for a school to function successfully while gaining an understanding that their contributions are needed and valued. Since mid-October, the school has encouraged students to participate in the work program by viewing a jobs preview video.  The video stars the staff demonstrating highlights of each job and the skills required. Students interviewed face-to-face with staff members and had an opportunity to showcase their strengths and explain why they would be a good fit for the position.

The Meaningful Work Program exemplifies all three elements of Restorative Practices: caring relationships, growth mindsets for teaching and learning, and meaningful opportunities to contribute by all members of the school community. Ewing is in its fifth year of implementing Restorative Practices.

Rata Students Visit the Fair

students with firefighters Rata High School and the Adult Transition Program at Rata visited The Big Fresno Fair on October 11. Students interacted with Fresno firefighters, walked through the ag exhibits and livestock pavilion and watched live performances.

Granville Donates to Storey Elementary

group photo in classroom

During a presentation October 10, Granville Homes donated gift cards to the two classrooms at Storey Elementary School that were damaged recently by fires and vandalism. Granville employees and homeowners donated books to replace those that were damaged and a generous gift card to Stacy Xiong’s kindergarten classroom. Granville also donated a gift card to teacher Tabatha Krebsbach’s second grade classroom to replace a pet container damaged by vandals. In addition, Granville brought lunch for both classrooms.

Edison Student Wins Best of Show for Art

Winning artwork with ribbon A big congratulations to Edison High School senior Oliver Tanjoco for winning Best of Show in the 2 Dimensional Art Category for the High School Art Division at The Big Fresno Fair. His art mosaic was a self-portrait he did using magazine color collage.  His art teacher is Michele Mazzei.

Kings Canyon Student Wins Best of Show in Floriculture

Winning Floral arrangement Kings Canyon Middle School student Natalie Blanco won Best of Show in floriculture against all other designs and competing against all ages of people young and old. Kings Canyon’s Kimberly Lopano won several blue ribbons.

Roosevelt Students Help at Race

Students helping at race Roosevelt High School Pathways in Medicine students volunteered, beginning at 5:30 a.m., at the Race for the Cure Susan G. Komen Run October 7 at Chukchansi Park. The 25 volunteers were eyes on the course, helping in hydration, monitoring for first aid needs and motivating participants. Students received praise and thanks from the organizers for their help. The students put their fifth student learning outcome, community participant, into action. 

Roosevelt Ecology Club Volunteers at Discovery Center

Students in gloves cleaning up The Roosevelt High Ecology Club continued its volunteering partnership with the Fresno Discovery Center after school on September 27.  This hands-on exploration and science museum offered the opportunity for six Rough Riders to give back to their community through a service project.  Students enjoyed working for 2 1/2 hours on a warm fall afternoon to clean up the center's desert tortoise habitat and multi-tiered koi fishpond.  All participants left with smiles and a strong sense of accomplishment in continually working to fulfill their mission of making their campus, community and country a more beautiful and sustainable place.​

Support the Sunnyside Band by Buying Fresno State Football Tickets

Sunnyside logo Please consider supporting the Sunnyside Wildcat Band and Fresno State football.  Tickets are $25 each, and a portion of each ticket sale benefits the Sunnyside band program. Tickets are available for October 27 vs. Hawaii, November 17 vs. San Diego State and November 24 vs. San Jose State.
Flyer about Supporting Sunnyside Band through Fresno State Football

Employer of Choice

Arts Manager Wins Award

Catherine Aujero Catherine Aujero, the district’s visual and performing arts manager, has won a Fresno Arts Council Horizon Award in the educator category. The 33rd annual Horizon Awards are at 4 p.m. Sunday, October 14 at The Tower Theatre.
More information about the awards

Fresno High Names Field for Ken Papi

Ken Papi with family at board meeting

The Fresno High School baseball field will be named for longtime coach Ken Papi following a unanimous vote at the Fresno Unified board meeting October 3. Ken has been an educator and varsity baseball coach at Fresno High for the past 50 years, making a difference daily. Congratulations to Ken Papi and his family for all his dedication, pride, hard work, and loyalty to Fresno Unified, Fresno High, the baseball community, his players, coaches, and the Fresno High community.

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