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June 3, 2019

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Photo of the Week

Students dancing at prom
Students in the special education program at Roosevelt High School celebrate at their prom May 24.

Video of the Week

Watch video of the week
New information on immunizations for school.

Dates to Know

June 6
Last Day of School

June 12 (check website 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

Students Talk about the Importance of Mental Health during Mental Health Awareness Month

Why Care? At schools throughout the district in May, Mental Health Awareness Month prompted discussion and action:
Roosevelt High School (Karina Gomez) – “Students are ready to talk and engage in the importance of mental health. They took initiative to encourage one another to participate by taking a picture, writing a positive message, taking a mental health quiz or asking questions.”

McLane High School (Buffy Bowers-Woods) – “Live, laugh, love: staff and students are proudly spreading awareness on the importance of mental health and the positive benefits of laughter. Together we RISE above.”

Hoover High School (Noreida Perez) – "This year's mental health awareness activity really allowed the students and staff at Hoover to get involved and share their collective support. It was so great to see all of the different faces show up and be interested in learning more about how to be an ally."

Fresno High School (Jared Smith) – “The social/emotional team at Fresno High really came together to help set up this event.  We all agree that the activities were a success because they raised awareness with the students about mental health and how to support one another. Students were able to learn about where they can go on campus to get support for themselves and their friends. The students also commented how much they appreciated being able to make new connections with staff and other peers. Other feedback we received from students was that they found it helpful to learn different ideas about what to say to a friend who might be in need of mental health support and that "every student has a story." ​

Hidalgo Elementary School – Hidalgo students were eager to learn about being kind to our mind and bodies with the classroom presentations. There was a line of eager students patiently waiting to participate in the MH activities at recess. Teachers and staff posted their green ribbons on their doors and wore lime green shirts or ribbons throughout the entire month.

Tioga Middle School – Tioga students participated in fun and interactive activities to help raise awareness for mental health in May.  Activities included a door-decorating contest, art in the park, yoga class, and a talent show in an effort to improve general wellness.

Fresno Unified Employees Raise $11,000 for March of Dimes

March for Babies The March of Dimes is happy to announce that Fresno Unified raised more than $11,000 for the March for Babies event. The district’s efforts will help ensure that one day, every baby will be born healthy. A BIG shout-out to Burroughs Elementary School for being the top fundraising school this year and congratulations! 

Students Compete in Hands-On Challenges at Innovation Day

Two students working on science project After months of preparation, four-person teams of fifth- and sixth-graders from Fresno Unified schools squared off in hands-on science and engineering based challenges at Innovation Day on May 21 at the Save Mart Center. Competing in front of family and friends, Innovation Day was the culmination of students’ involvement in special instruction provided to all fifth and sixth grade classes throughout the school year. Teams completed challenges based on skills they had learned during the year using materials supplied on the spot.

Region winners:
Fifth Grade: Powers-Ginsburg Elementary School (Bullard region); Manchester GATE Elementary School (Edison region), Del Mar Elementary School (Fresno High region), Wolters Elementary School (Hoover region), Ericson Elementary School (McLane region), Winchell Elementary School (Roosevelt region) and Storey Elementary School (Sunnyside region)

Sixth Grade: Powers-Ginsburg Elementary School (Bullard region), Addams Elementary School (Edison region), Heaton Elementary School (Fresno High region), Thomas Elementary School (Hoover region), Rowell Elementary School (McLane region), Vang Pao Elementary School (Roosevelt region) and Burroughs Elementary School (Sunnyside region).

Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds

The latest edition of Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds features senior Grad Walks; prom for students in special education at Roosevelt High School, hosted by Women’s Alliance; and the announcement of the graduation season.
Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds Video 

District Newspaper for June Available

The latest edition of Building Futures, the district newspaper, is available online, featuring Steve’s Scholars, a message from the superintendent, Q and A’s with employees and a variety of other news.
Building Futures Newspaper Online 

Superintendent Board Remarks from May 29, 2019

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

• Highlighting that we have six more days of school. Fresno Adult will kick off the graduation season by being the first of 17 graduation ceremonies that will take place over a six-day window. Congratulations to the nearly 4,000 Fresno Unified seniors we will celebrate over the next weeks as they walk across the graduation stage and receive their diplomas. This is an exciting time for our students, their families and the countless adults throughout the district who helped them along their journey. We wish our graduates well.

• Nelson also shared that May is National Foster Care Month. Highlighting National Foster Care Month is an opportunity to recognize that we all can play an integral part in the lives of a young child – it can be life changing for all those involved. Fresno Unified has approximately 1,000 students who are in the foster care system. This year, Project ACCESS, in collaboration with Equity and Access, worked with four school sites, Hoover, Tioga, Bullard and Tenaya,to address suspension and expulsion rates of foster youth students and increase their sense of belonging at school allowing school and  district staff opportunities to build relationships with the foster youth students on their campus. In honor of National Foster Care Month, we are displaying artwork that our students created during their club meetings out in the foyer and on the second floor of the Ed Center for the month of May.

• Next, superintendent shared that another area in which schools communities are coming together to engage students in a deep and meaningful way is through United Sound. United Sound started this year with a small pilot program at four high schools. Through this new program, general education students are helping students learn how to play a musical instrument. The students in special education have been performing with the full ensembles from their high schools at many of the end of the year spring concerts. After a very successful pilot year with Fresno, Hoover, McLane and Sunnyside high schools, all seven of the district’s comprehensive high school will implement the program in 2019-20, making Fresno Unified the first in the country to have districtwide participation. Together we are building futures and providing even more learning opportunities for ALL students. Here is a video highlighting this great work.

• Lastly, superintendent shared that the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) will hold a public hearing on the subject as part of the agenda. This year, the outreach provided by State and Federal and Parent University exceed last year’s meetings holding 245 meetings. Last year, 91 community members engaged in the LCAP outreach process, whereas this year it was 236. Last year 416 Fresno adults gave voice to LCAP, this year 683 did. The largest area of growth occurred with the general student population exceeding last year’s engagement numbers by nearly 10,000 individuals. Thank you all those who attended LCAP stakeholders meetings, ensuring we captures your voice when developing the district’s plan for supporting the academic outcomes and needs of our 74,000 students.

View Full Board Meeting Recap

School Buzz

Roosevelt Celebrates New Athletic Facilities

Staff jumping into poolRoosevelt High School celebrated new athletic facilities on May 17 and raised money for the school with various staff and city leaders taking the plunge into the new pool. Along with the pool, the district celebrated new tennis courts, varsity baseball field and renovations to the varsity softball field.
Video of Celebration for New Roosevelt Athletic Facilities 

Seal of Biliteracy Opens Up Opportunities for Edison Graduates

Group of students holding biliteracy certificates

Edison High School honored 148 graduating seniors who earned a Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish, Hmong or French on May 20. Earning a Seal of Biliteracy can benefit students immediately on a college or job application, and in the years to come if they decide to pursue a minor or major in their second language, or a career that requires skills in more than one language. The Seal of Biliteracy program recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. The seal is affixed to diplomas. Fresno Unified awarded more than 600 Seals of Biliteracy this year to graduates at nine of its high schools.

Senator Melissa Hurtado’s office, the Mexican Consulate and the Fresno Unified Board of Education acknowledged these students, who have committed four or more years to a second language. Some seniors began their language journey through the district’s dual immersion program.

Sunnyside Students Graduate from Doctors Academy

Students throw items into colorful baskets

The University of California at San Francisco Fresno celebrated 32 students graduating from the Doctors Academy at Sunnyside High School in a special ceremony May 22. All of the students will be continuing their education at colleges and universities in the fall. The program is open to students from throughout Fresno Unified. 

Hoover KidWind Team Competes at Nationals

The three-person Windustrial Revolution team from Hoover High School competed May 21-23 at the KidWind National Challenge in Houston. The students qualified with their winning wind turbine design at the local competition at CSU Maritime in February. The team’s coach is Michael Zapata.

Addicott Hosts Annual Sports Day for Special Education Students

Students throw items into colorful baskets Addicott Elementary School hosted its 41st Sports Day on May 17, an opportunity for special education students from around the Valley to enjoy the fun and thrill of sporting events in a carnival atmosphere. In the morning, students participated in mobility sports and adaptive devices events, followed by a carnival with games, prizes, cotton candy, snow cones and more. The school starts collecting donations at the beginning of the academic year to be able to offer the event free to participants. Addicott serves medically fragile students and students with severe disabilities.  Superintendent Bob Nelson opened the event singing the national anthem.
Video of Addicott Sports Day 

Phoenix Secondary Academy Hosts Career Fair

Phoenix Secondary Academy hosted its first career fair on May 24, featuring 14 employers and colleges. The event helped Phoenix students and their families make valuable connections as they strive to be college and career ready.

Steve's Scholars at Roosevelt Gather to Hear Advice from Seniors

Students tossing balls into baskets

On May 17, Roosevelt High School vice principal Anne Batard and Steve's Scholars counselor Anita Hernandez gathered all Steve’s Scholars during advisory period (thanks to the Steve's Scholars advisory teachers) for healthy snacks and to hear words of advice from Roosevelt’s 16 Steve's Scholars seniors. The seniors met the challenge and gave some great advice to their fellow Steve's Scholars.  

Fresno High holds Color Run to Raise Money for Valley Children’s Hospital

Students in color run

Students from Fresno High School and its feeder schools ran for a cause during a color run organized by student Jose Gutierrez May 25. Jose, a senior, wanted to honor his mother, who passed away in March. Students sought pledges for the laps they ran, with proceeds going to Valley Children’s Hospital.

Edison Student Attends Latina Action Day in Sacramento

Edison High School student Sara Dubón participated in the 25th annual Latina Action Day in Sacramento on May 22, as well as Leadership Empowerment Training and meetings with state and Assembly representatives on May 23. Sara was awarded scholarships from Youth Leadership Institute and Hispanas Organized for Political Equality to attend. The purpose of Latina Action Day is to prepare Latinas for a self-sufficient future that will allow for economic and political parity through a good college education.

Parent University Hosts Art Activities at Storey Elementary

Parent University helped organize a kindergarten ocean watercolors art project at Storey Elementary School on May 30. Parents, teachers and students participated in art activities at different stations in and outside classrooms. ​

Employee Spotlight

Manchester GATE Teacher is KSEE Educator of the Week

Susan Milos with students Manchester GATE Elementary School teacher Susan Milos was recognized recently as KSEE24’s Educator of the Week.
Feature on KSEE Educator of the Week Susan Milos

Roosevelt Campus Culture Director Wins State Award

Nestor Cerda with students Nestor Cerda, Roosevelt High School’s campus culture director, has been recognized by the California Association of Directors of Activities (CADA) with an award for his leadership in improving the quality of activities in schools and increasing student commitment. CADA announced the honor during its state convention in San Diego February 27-March 2.

Communications Specialist Wins Video Award

Jeff Cook Jeff Cook, a media production specialist in the district’s Communications Department, has won a Telly award for his Faces of Fresno Unified video of former student neighborhood resource officer Conrado Martin. The video is an emotional depiction of Cooper Academy’s farewell to Officer Martin after he was promoted to sergeant in December. The video won in the category of General Documentary: Individual for Non Broadcast.

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