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October 21, 2019

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Photo of the Week

Student climbing wall
Cooper Academy sixth graders spent three days at outdoor school at Wonder Valley Ranch.

Video of the Week

Watch video of the week
Faces of Fresno Unified: George Jamison

Dates to Know

October 28
Buy Back Day – No School for Students

November 6 (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

State of Education Raises more than $46,000 for Scholarships

Group of people holding check

Fresno Unified held its annual State of Education luncheon on October 14 at the DoubleTree Hotel, raising $46,424 for the Fresno Unified Scholarship Fund. Superintendent Bob Nelson was the keynote speaker. Entertainment was provided by the Sunnyside High School Chamber Orchestra. Art from students in general and special education and handmade pieces by career technology education students were bid on in a silent auction, raising $1,545.
Since 2009, the Fresno Unified Scholarship Fund has awarded 333 scholarships totaling $500,500.
Video on State of Education

Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds Video

The latest edition of Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds features the State of Education luncheon, a new video that explains state test score results to parents and Beautification Day at Hidalgo Elementary School.
Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds Video

Helsinki Delegation Tours Fresno Schools Focused on Digital Learning

Photo inside a classroomFresno Unified teams had the opportunity to share what the district has learned about creating high quality digital learning for students and learn from a Helsinki delegation of educators and representatives from Microsoft on October 9. The Helsinki team toured Scandinavian Middle School, Easterby Elementary School and Duncan Polytechnical High School to see firsthand how digital learning is being implemented. Fresno Unified and the Helsinki group discussed sharing ongoing work on learning analytics, teaching, assessing skills and other aspects of digital learning.

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. Instead of a printed report on a student’s test results, parents receive a personalized video with the results. The videos were available beginning October 17 through the ATLAS parent portal. In addition, parents who are registered for EduText grade and attendance updates received their child’s personalized video via a text message. Videos are provided in a 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 on CAASPP results.
Example of CAASPP Video for Parents

Fresno Unified Launches 2020 Census Webpage

As part of the district's support in promoting and encouraging students, parents/guardians, and employees to participate in the 2020 Census, the district is pleased to announce a new dedicated webpage:  2020 Census Resources
The site aims to provide helpful information as well as highlight district efforts and activities in preparation for the April 2020 Census. For more information regarding the district's efforts, contact Constituent Services at (559) 457-3736.

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 16, 2019

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

• Highlighting that this past Monday, the district held its annual State of Education luncheon, with 400 district and community partners in attendance. Attendees had the opportunity to hear the wonderful Sunnyside Chamber Orchestra, bid on auction items designed and created by district students and hear about the important district work being done on behalf of our kids.

• Nelson also shared that during the event he shared details around our SBAC progress, grad rates and A-G completion, facility improvements and our employee retention efforts. His larger message focused around the "why" that fuels the work we do each day. For those who couldn't join us on Monday at State of Education, here is a short video. Thanks to the support of our sponsors and those who attended, I am happy to report we raise just over $46,000 for the Fresno Unified Scholarship Fund, which is approximately $15, 000 more than the prior year. On behalf of our students -- thank you.

• Next, Superintendent shared that the board recognized the month of October as Cyber Safety Security Awareness Month. From the onset of the school year, we have made a concentrated effort to drive home the importance of responsible social media through parent flyers, public service announcements and on our social media. The week of October 21-25, teachers and students around the district will participate in cyber safety curriculum that will help students avoid pitfalls on their way to becoming strong digital citizens.

View Full Board Meeting Recap

School Buzz

Civil Rights Activist Speaks with Students

photo James Lawson talking to studentsThe Rev. James Lawson held an interactive dialogue, “Non Violence and Peacemaking: The Journey and Promise for Youth,” with students from Edison, Fresno, McLane and Sunnyside high schools on October 10 at Sunnyside. The students learned about Lawson in Restorative Justice elective courses on their campuses. Students presented Lawson with a gift to acknowledge his inspiring work as an advocate for non-violent conflict resolution. Lawson’s visit was presented by Fresno Unified’s Restorative Practices Office in partnership with Fresno State University. James Morris Lawson, Jr. is an American activist and leading theoretician and tactician of nonviolence within the Civil Rights Movement.

Volunteers Work on Beautification Projects at Hidalgo Elementary

Volunteers painted murals, picked up trash, and planted flowers at Hidalgo Elementary School on October 12. The beautification efforts included activities for students, parents, staff and the community. The goal was to strengthen school-community relationships and partnerships, promote a culture of learning and celebrate education together. One of the beautification projects included starting three school murals that will portray the school mascot, inspiring quotes and an example of diversity.
Video of Hidalgo Beautification Day

Edison AP Spanish Students Volunteer

two students with a newly planted treeStudents in AP Spanish at Edison High School, taught by Carol Padilla, volunteered in their community in a variety of ways recently. Community service included supporting an educational fair at Fresno State, learning about community at the new Bitwise Hive building, and working in a community garden near Edison.

Edison Region Students Exhibit Art at ArtHop

A student standing next to drawingsElementary and high school students from the Edison region exhibited art pieces in an “I am Resilient” show as part of ArtHop on October 3 at the M Street Arts Complex. The show was the first in a series of exhibits from various regions of the district. The students are part of the districtwide arts initiative, Relevant Engagement through Art and Literacy (REAL), which has grown to 55 teachers in all grades this year. Future topics will include Agents of Change and the centennial of women's suffrage. For the “I am Resilient” show, students used writing and art to create original and thought-provoking work on personal resiliency. The exhibit included art from King, Kirk and Manchester GATE elementary schools and Edison High School.

Roosevelt Grad Featured in Film that will Premiere at Tower Theater

Emily Salazar, a June summa cum laude graduate of Roosevelt High School now attending Stanford University, is featured in a short documentary film about the centennial of women's right to vote. The film was produced with a $5,000 Big Tell grant from the Central Valley Community Foundation to the League of Women Voters of Fresno. The film features information about women from Fresno who were active in the movement in the early 20th Century. Emily speaks about the importance of voting to women of her generation. The film will premiere on Friday, October 25 at the Tower Theatre along with nine other short documentaries.

Roosevelt Steve’s Scholars Gather

Roosevelt High School Steve's Scholars gathered for a homeroom meet-up where they had a chance to team-build with other Steve's Scholars, led by Steve's Scholars seniors. The seniors spent several of their lunch periods developing and creating the activity. The students enjoyed the event and met several new Steve's Scholars. Roosevelt is building a strong Steve's Scholars community. Thank you to the Steve's Scholars seniors who took charge with the help of VP Batard, May Siong, and homeroom teachers.

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!

Employer of Choice

Sunset Teachers Win Dual Language Team Teachers of the Year Award

Susana and MariaSunset Elementary School’s Susana R. Jimenez and Maria E. Ledesma were named this year’s Association of Two-Way & Dual Language Education (ATDLE) Team Teachers of the Year at the ATDLE National Conference October 4 in Reno, NV.  Susana and Maria, second grade teachers, have worked together since 2012, developing a top-quality dual language program.

Susana, a 40-year veteran as both a bilingual and dual language teacher, was awarded the Dual Language Immersion Teacher of the Year Award for Fresno Unified in 2019. She shares that over the years, she was encouraged to pursue administrative and other positions outside of the classroom but decided early on that her inspiration and motivation comes directly from her students and their families.

Maria is an 18-year veteran teacher whose training and teaching experience started in a small town in rural Mexico before she moved to the United States to start her formal training as a bilingual and dual language teacher. She worked in the Porterville School District before moving to Sunset.​

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