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April 15, 2019

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Photo of the Week

two students singing and playing guitars
Fresno Adult School hosted the annual Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning April 11.

Video of the Week

Watch video of the week
Faces of Fresno Unified: Young Thao

Dates to Know

May 1 (check website for time)
Board of Education
April 15-22
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

“Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds” Video

The latest edition of “Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds” features Tournament of Technology, musicians Patrick Contreras and Omar Naré performing at Rowell and Heaton elementary schools, celebrations at Baird Middle School and Design Science Middle College High School for their recent designations as California Distinguished Schools and Cesar E. Chavez Day of Service and Learning.
“Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds” Video 

District will Host Asian Family Education Conference

The district is excited to announce the second annual Asian Family Education Conference and third annual Hmong Language Student Showcase on Saturday, April 27 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Fresno Pacific University. Translations will be available in English, Hmong, Lao, Khmer, and Punjabi. Breakfast, lunch, and childcare are also provided.

The purpose of this collaborative community event is to provide parents and families with educational tools and resources to support their children at home, expose students to higher educational opportunities, engage and empower youth through leadership development, and highlight student learning. Questions:  Xee Xiong, The Fresno Center/Parent University, (559) 917-3132 or Thae Xiong, English Learner Services, (559) 457-3621.

The morning session will start with workshops for students and parents followed by a campus tour of Fresno Pacific University and luncheon speakers, including Steve Ly, Mayor of Elk Grove, and Valerie F. Davis, Fresno Unified Board of Trustee Area 3.  The afternoon will feature student performances and exhibits of student work from the Hmong Dual Language Program.
Flyer on Asian Family Education Conference 

Schools Compete in District Wrestling Championships

Wrestling team

Elementary wrestling teams from throughout the district gathered at Fresno City College April 6 for the district tournament, with Manchester GATE Elementary School placing first.
Elementary Wrestling Tournament Team Results
Elementary Wrestling Place Winners

Superintendent Board Remarks from April 10, 2019

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

• Congratulating the teams who competed in the district’s 12th Annual Middle School Tournament of Technology. Division I champion was Sequoia Middle School, Kings Canyon took second and Computech third. In Division II, Tioga Middle School got the top spot, while Baird took second and Hamilton followed in third. More than 500 students participated with over 70 volunteers. IT team produced a video highlighting memorable moments from the tournament.

• Nelson also shared that this past weekend, the California Department of Education held a special ceremony to recognized its 2019 Distinguished Schools. Among those celebrated were Baird Middle School and Design Science Middle College High School. The California Distinguished Schools program recognized secondary schools for their exceptional student performance for two consecutive year of closing the achievement gap between two school years. Only 162 middle and high schools earned this distinction this year.

• Superintendent shared that this Tuesday a national case study was published by Education Resource Strategies highlighting the board’s investments in more instructional time for students. The Fresno Unified Designated Schools model is one of eight national educational success stories featured.  The study goes to highlight the many academic shifts that have occurred over the last five years, including improving academic achievement gaps. To date, more than half of Designated Schools have improved their math performance ranking compared to other schools sites in the state. Additionally, every year our Designated School have seen student growth in both math and ELA.  The case study is available on the district’s website.

• Superintendent acknowledged that tomorrow, Fresno Unified will join the community in celebrating the Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning. The event will kick off at William Saroyan Theatre with student performances and videos displaying students service-learning projects related to the ten core values of Cesar Chavez before hundreds march in celebration back to the Cesar Chavez Education Center.

• Last, Nelson took time to acknowledge that our Central Valley is home to many survivors and their descendent of the Armenian Genocide. Each April, staff brings forward a proclamation in remembrance of the existence of the Armenian Genocide and we failed to include that proclamation. We will be doing that at our next meeting in May.

View Full Board Meeting Recap

School Buzz

Musicians Perform at Rowell and Heaton

Patrick ContrerasViolinist Patrick Contreras and guitarist and pianist Omar Naré, who both attended Fresno Unified schools, performed on April 9 and 10 at Rowell and Heaton elementary schools. The interactive concerts were part of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools (FCSS) Spark! initiative. The Spark! program strives to build a prosperous Fresno economy from within by developing career-ready graduates skilled in creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication through a more creative education. Patrick attended Rowell and graduated from Hoover High School. Omar attended Roosevelt High School.
Video of Musicians at Rowell Elementary School

Norseman Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Present Annual Play

Norseman Elementary School presented “The Day the Crayons Came Home” as its annual play, featuring the campus’ deaf and hard of hearing students, on April 10 and 11. The play tells the story of how runaway, rejected, or weary coloring crayons finds their way home to their owner, a little boy named Duncan who comes up with a great idea on how they can live together in harmony.  The deaf and hard of hearing team writes, produces, and directs the play each year. This much-anticipated event gives parents the opportunity to see their child perform on stage and students the chance to shine. This is the 42nd annual performance by the deaf and hard of hearing students at Norseman.  

Norseman, with approximately 35 deaf and hard of hearing students from throughout Fresno Unified, offers instruction in American Sign Language in specialized classes or in general education classes with a sign language interpreter.Fresno High 10th-Graders Showcase Personal Projects

Fresno High 10th-Graders Showcase Personal Projects

As part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme, all 10th-grade students at Fresno High completed a personal project, with the top 100 projects featured in a showcase April 8. The projects consolidated classroom learning with personal experiences and interests. Student projects on display this year included a paper dress, a paper crane project on peace, a custom coffee table, a documentary on beauty, a trebuchet, a 6-foot homemade telescope, a cultural cookbook, community fundraisers, several carpentry pieces, art, and research projects.
Video on Fresno High Personal Projects

Aynesworth Student Wins Boxing Title

Boxing referee holds up hand of winner Tatiano DelgadoAynesworth Elementary School sixth-grader Tatiana Delgado competed in March in a national Police Activities League boxing competition in Reno and won the title in the 11-year-old category, making her one of the best amateur boxers in the nation in her age and weight class (106 pounds). 

Fresno High holds Regional Band Carnival

Banner announcing carnivalFresno High School hosted the second annual Warrior Regional Band Carnival April 12. The event featured band performances from Fresno High region schools, food booths to raise money for clubs and free games sponsored by Fresno High leadership students.

Wawona School Hosts Second Annual College & Career Day

Wawona School featured representatives from 20 businesses and public agencies and three colleges in its second annual College & Career Day on April 11. The event provided an opportunity for seventh- and eighth-graders to think about opportunities for their futures. Career fields included law enforcement, accounting, financial, real estate, journalism, fashion, sports and others.

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