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October 7, 2019

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Photo of the Week

Students stand in heart shape figure on field
Olmos Elementary School celebrates Fuel Your School donations for classrooms on September 30.

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Dates to Know

October 14  11:30 a.m.
State of Education

October 16  See 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

Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds

The latest edition of Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds highlights students participating in Manufacturing Day and Women in Manufacturing; Fuel Your School kickoff at Olmos Elementary School, and Successful Simon, the district’s new attendance owl mascot.
Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds Video

District Newspaper for October Available Online

The October edition of the district newspaper, Building Futures, is available online. The newest edition focuses on the district’s phenomenal school choices, providing options for students depending on their interests and career goals. The October edition features a variety of other news on district staff, students and programs.
October Building Futures Newspaper
Video about how Building Futures is Put Together

Student Art Reflects Women’s Right to Vote

Student stands next to artworkElementary and high school students from the Edison region held an art exhibit, “I am Resilient,” as part of ArtHop on October 3 at the M Street Arts Complex. Students used literacy and art to create original and thought-provoking work on women’s suffrage for the exhibit. The show is part of the districtwide Relevant Engagement through Art and Literacy (REAL) initiative, which this year focuses on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and celebrating phenomenal women of history. The exhibit includes art from King, Kirk and Manchester GATE elementary schools and Edison High School. Students involved in REAL from various regions will exhibit at ArtHop throughout the school year: November 7, Bullard region; December 5, Roosevelt region; February 6, Hoover region; March 5, McLane region; April 2, Sunnyside region; and May 7,  Fresno High region, along with a retrospective of all regions. REAL has expanded this school year to include more than 55 teachers from kindergarten through high school and the Adult Transition Program.

Personalized Student Videos to Showcase CAASPP Results

drawing of kid riding a bikeFresno Unified is one of four California districts participating in an exciting free pilot around the district’s annual state test results, California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).  Later this month, parents will receive a personalized CAASPP video that visually simplifies the report through a personalized explanation on how their child scored.  Beginning October 17, videos will be available through the ATLAS parent portal. In addition, parents who are registered for EduText grade and attendance updates will receive their child’s personalized video via a text message. Videos will be provided in each family’s home language -- English, Spanish or Hmong. As schools head into the end of the first grading period, this video tool will serve as another resource for teachers and parents as they engage in discussions around a student’s strengths and areas of improvements in math and English. Here is a sample of the video parents will receive about their specific student’s CAASPP results. 
Example of CAASPP Video for Parents

Students Tour Hospital

photo of two students at hospital tourIn partnership with the Hospital Council and Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno Unified students from medical career pathways and other Valley students interested in health care careers toured Community Regional Medical Center on September 27. Starting with a welcome message from the hospital, students learned from hospital staff and toured the emergency, radiology and surgery departments and the helipad. Students who attended the event also received disaster preparedness training and a certification in Stop the Bleed.

Students Participate in Manufacturing Day

group of peopleMore than 60 students from Fresno, Duncan Polytechnical, Edison, Hoover and Sunnyside high schools visited local businesses on October 1 as part of Manufacturing Day and Women in Manufacturing Day. During the tours, students learned about available jobs and skills and training needed. Male students visited United Western Industries, while female students visited McGauheys Suspension and Total Concept Enterprises. In partnership with San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance, College and Career Readiness Department wanted to change the perception that this industry is predominately for males. October is Manufacturing Month.
Video of Women in Manufacturing

Lori Ann Infant Program will Host Fall Festival

The Lori Ann Infant Program (LAIP) will hold its annual Fall Festival on Thursday, October 24 from 4-6 p.m. This festival is designed for the families of LAIP and will offer trick-or-treating, developmentally appropriate games and treats. ​

Transfer Request Available for the 2020-21 School Year

The Transfers Department is accepting transfer requests for the 2020-21 school year.  This request applies to many situations, including: 

• Magnet schools 
• Any school outside of the attendance boundary 
• Change of address 
• Continuation in feeder pattern (sixth and eighth grade) 
• Pre-school continuing at current school 

Please use the form below for interested parents.  A receipt will be given to parents who bring in the request to our office, 4120 N. First St., Fresno, CA 93726.  Requests that are received before December 2 are considered on-time and will have first access to available space.  Questions: Transfers Department, 248-7538. 
Transfer Forms

Superintendent Board Remarks from October 2, 2019

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

• Highlighting that this month is Socktober, when October turns into a month dedicated to collect socks for local homeless shelters, school sites and departments can join this cause by reaching out to DPI. I encourage you to donate socks if you can; all sizes, fashions are welcome. Besides providing needed warmth, socks can really breathe new life into a person in need.

• Nelson also shared that October is LGBT History Month, celebrated for the first time in 1994 and was created by educators to help encourage openness and education about LGBT history and rights. Students can reflect in history and current public life through the unique contributions of positive LGBTQ role models, it increases their sense of value as a person and self-efficacy for sharing their own gifts with the world. Recognizing all children should be able to attend school in a safe, inclusive and affirming environment free from discrimination and fear, our board acted and began initiating change. In September 2017, a cross-departmental LGBTQ+ Work Team developed a comprehensive plan to create safe, supportive and inclusive schools that are culturally responsive to the needs of all LGBTQ+ students. In 2018, the board adopted the new Gender Identity and Inclusion Board Policy, which was developed with input from experts in the field, community members and the Student Advisory Board. This past summer, Fresno Unified was recognized for their work as students, staff, and board members served as grand marshals in Fresno’s Rainbow Pride Parade. Sunnyside High School, Gaston and Scandinavian Middle Schools are a few sites that have planned special events throughout the month to honor LGBT History Month. 

• Next, Superintendent shared that October is a busy month as it’s National Principal Appreciation Month, an opportunity to recognize and thank site leaders for their hard work and dedication. Our principals and vice principals are keenly focused on the challenges their students face both academically and on the social emotional front. At the same time, they recognized the potential in their students and with support of courageous and committed teachers and staff, are creating healthy, safe and loving environments where learning is not only possible but flourishing. Thank you to all our site leaders.

• Nelson also shared that next October 28 is buy back day providing professional learning for our adults and a day off from school for students. This year we are providing our first professional learning conference opportunity for classified staff at Fresno Adult School with a variety of sessions related to safety and other important topics that directly align to the roles our classified staff play in our system. We worked with out labor partners from CSEA 125 and 143, SEIU, and FTA Trades to plan this paid day of learning.

• Lastly, Nelson shared that Fresno Unified is one of four California districts participating in a free pilot around our annual CAASPP test results.  Each year, parents receive a printout explaining their student’s test scores and academic progress. Later this month, parents will receive a personalized CAASPP video that visually simplifies the report through a personalized explanation into how your child scored. Beginning October 17, videos will be available through your child’s ATLAS parent portal. In addition, parents who are registered for EduText grade and attendance updates will receive the video via text message. Videos will be provided in each family’s home language – English, Spanish or Hmong.

View Full Board Meeting Recap

School Buzz

Fresno and Sunnyside High Schools Honored for Completion of Student Aid Forms

Fresno and Sunnyside high schools have been named among the top 24 high schools in the state for their completion rates for student aid forms. The Race to Submit is sponsored by the California Student Aid Commission and aims to increase the number of high school seniors who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). Fresno High placed second in Tier 5, with the Student Aid Commission receiving 85.97% of FAFSAs/CADAAs and GPAs from Fresno High. Sunnyside placed third in Tier 6, with the commission receiving 87.9% of forms from Sunnyside.
Both schools are invited to an awards ceremony at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort on Thursday, November 14.

Edison Band Wins Fair Competition

Edison marching band in action

Congratulations to the Edison High School marching band for winning Grand Sweepstakes at the Big Fresno Fair Band Competition.  Edison competed against several schools from around the central valley and took the top prize at this annual event. Roosevelt High School is also to be congratulated for taking first place in the Drumline category.
Video of Edison High at Fair Band Competition

Successful Simon Greets Holland Students

Owl mascot with kidsFresno Unified’s new attendance mascot, Successful Simon, was at Holland Elementary School on September 13 to greet students and their families, one of a series of visits to campuses. The friendly owl thanked students for coming to school and served as an important reminder that attendance is a huge contributing factor to student success and academic achievement. Students in grades transitional kindergarten through sixth grade are encouraged and motivated to come to school every day at Holland Elementary through various attendance incentive programs and clubs organized by staff at the school.
Video of Successful Simon

Students Plant Trees in Honor of California Clean Air Day

Students with shovelsStudents from Roosevelt High School’s Ecology Club and leadership students from Sequoia Middle School joined with members of the board of education and Tree Fresno to plant a tree on their campuses October 4 as part of their pledge to take action this California Clean Air Day to improve air quality for all. Sequoia students replaced a failed tree in the west field of campus. Roosevelt students planted a tree in the interior of the campus. The trees were donated by Tree Fresno. 

Computech Theatre Company will Present Guys and Dolls Jr.

Group of Four peopleThe Computech Theatre Company will present “Guys and Dolls Jr.” November 15, 16, 22 and 23 at Computech Middle School. Doors open at 6 p.m. and curtain is at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door.

Rata High School Fall Carnival

Logo Rata high schoolThe first Rata High School Fall Carnival will be held on Friday, October 25 at Rata High School from 5-9 p.m. Come and enjoy the food, fun and games!

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