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November 25, 2019

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Photo of the Week

Roosevelt School of the Arts held an open house and mini showcase November 14.

Video of the Week

Video of the week
Faces of Fresno Unified: Jeff Cook

Dates to Know

November 25-29
Thanksgiving Break

December 11 (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 Introduces Locally Grown Sweet Thai Chili Sauce to Menus

students eating in a cafeteriaFresno Unified has partnered with the Asian Business Institute & Resource Center to work with local farmer Zia Xiong to incorporate farm to school items in school menus. The Food Services Department has completed the recipe design and student taste testing process for the new Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, which was unveiled on November 8 at Duncan Polytechnical High School.

The Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, made with Thai chilies grown in Fresno County, will be used as a dipping sauce with vegan chik’n nuggets, whole grain vegetarian egg rolls, orange chicken bowls, and Asian chicken pho.

Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds Video

The latest edition of Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds features the Bullard Region Elementary Leadership Conference, Cooper Academy’s Water Walk, and the Adult Transition Program’s open house.
Fresno Unified News in 60 Seconds Video

Transfer Requests 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 November 20, 2019

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

• Highlighting that with Thanksgiving break coming up next week it is important to take time to reflect on what we are grateful for -- your family, your education, your teams, your health, your opportunities. Superintendent mentioned that just spending time focusing on gratitude brings so many benefits to our lives, especially as leaders. Thanks to all who work hard on behalf of our kids each day.

• Nelson also shared that as we return from Thanksgiving break parents of our English learners will be receiving a personalized video summary of their child's scores on the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). This assessment is used to determine English learner redesignation or our EL students in Fresno Unified.  The videos will be available in the ATLAS Parent Portal and will be sent directly to parents if they are signed up for EduText.

• Next, Superintendent shared that the online LCAP Goals Survey is online and ready for feedback from students, parents, staff and community. This online survey takes just 5-10 minutes to complete and will help to inform our completion of the next Local Control and Accountability Plan. The LCAP is a plan that describes the district's overall vision for student success and includes investment action aimed to improve performance. Your input is vital to our district determining where we will invest our dollars directly to improve student outcomes. You can find a link to the survey here.

• Superintendent reminded parents that the deadline for School Choice Transfer Applications for the 20/21 school year is December 2. There is a great video to walk you through the School Choice Transfers Application process that you can find in our website. You can also complete many of the applications online or you can contact our Transfers Office for any assistance. 

• Superintendent Nelson shared that the deadline to nominate a colleague for the 2020 Excellence in Education Awards is close. Nominations close this Friday, November 22.

• Lastly, superintendent recognized the great job from students at Cooper Academy who are showing their gratitude in a unique and impactful way by doing a water walk to help a school in Uganda get clean drinking water. You can watch the video of their great job here.

View Full Board Meeting Recap

School Buzz

Wishon Celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Students at Wishon Elementary School had the opportunity to learn more about and experience Native American traditions on November 22 in honor of Native American Heritage Month. Students lined up to go into class to the sounds of traditional drumming with songs. The Indigenous Warriors Flag Group of Central California presented flags and led the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by remarks from Mono elder Ron Goode. Lipan Apache elder Richard Gonzalez and Chiricahua Apache/Yaqui speaker Richard Torres, a teacher at Wishon. Dancers performed a Yaqui Deer Dance and the celebration closed with drums and songs as students headed to class. Mr. Torres organized this wonderful event for Wishon.

Edison Students Distribute Food to those in Need

Edison High School students distributed canned food and warm clothing to the southwest community on November 23 at Edison High School. Throughout this month, students collected XX cans of food and xx clothing items. The event was sponsored by West Fresno Ministries. Several student groups contributed: Men’s and Women’s Alliance, canned food; Kindness Club, clothing drive; AP Spanish Language, interpreters; day-of distribution, multiple school clubs.

Yokomi Student Wins Attendance Poster Contest

Jewelyana in front of a poster Jewelyana Sanchez, a sixth grader at Yokomi Elementary School, recently won first place in a contest to produce a poster encouraging good attendance. This contest was sponsored by the Office of Prevention and Intervention.  The student earned a root beer float party for her class on November 20 and a visit by Simon The Owl!

Turner Kindergarten Classes Host Community Helpers Day

Elementary students with a police officer

Turner Elementary School hosted employees from the Fresno Police Department, Fresno Fire Department, and Healthy Smiles, as well as a nurse for Community Helpers Day on November 15. Kindergarten students met and heard stories from these community helpers and learned about their importance to the community. They also learned about the importance of dental care and how nurses help keep families healthy and safe. It was a very exciting day for Turner kindergarten classes!​​
Video of Community Helpers Day at Turner

Cooper Academy Students Raise Money for Clean Water in Uganda

Student walking while holding water containersAs part of the Water Warriors Project, a team of nearly 40 students from Cooper Academy is helping a school in Uganda raise funds for a rainwater collection device so students and teachers can have access to safe drinking water. Students participated in the Water Walk during physical education classes on November 20 to raise $1,980 to fully sponsor the school. Students walked a mile carrying water jugs – just like the students at their partner school do every day in Uganda.

Williams, Wishon Celebrate Kindness with Cardigans

Student in green cardigan Staff and students at Williams and Wishon elementary schools celebrated World Kindness Day on November 13 by wearing cardigans in honor of Mr. Rogers, decorating signs and other activities. Students at Williams read “What does it Mean to be Kind?”

Design Science student wins award

Fanni and Nicole huggingDesign Science Middle High School senior Fanni Herr was surprised November 13 with a kindness award and $2,500 scholarship for an essay she wrote about the bullying of a friend in middle school. Fanni wrote about how the friend’s subsequent suicide changed the school and spurred her want to stand up to bullying. She wants young people to know there is help available.

The Empowering Human Kindness award was given by orthodontist Nicole Nalchajian, who is also providing free orthodontia prior to Fanni going to college.
NBC Story about Award

Hoover Region holds Student Leadership Conference

Hoover region elementary students interacting with speakersStudents from all 10 elementary schools in the Hoover region came together for the Hoover Region Elementary Student Leadership Conference, with the theme, “The Leadership Marathon: Go the Distance!” on November 14 at Hoover High School. Students heard from Fresno Unified board president Claudia Cazares, Superintendent Bob Nelson and the keynote speaker, Alex Gutierrez, community outreach coordinator for Geekwise Academy at Bitwise Industries. Students learned about the fun and professional aspects of leadership and toured the campus. The conference was an opportunity to strengthen the student leadership pipeline in the Hoover region and give students a chance to meet other student leaders and make connections in their region.

Bullard Region holds Student Leadership Conference

Group photo of Bullard elementary students

Bullard region students gathered on November 19 for the eighth annual Bullard Region Elementary Student Leadership Conference at Bullard High School, with the theme this year of “Individually Unique, Together Complete!” Students heard from several speakers, including Instructional Superintendent Brian Wall. Students strengthened their leadership skills through fun activities, connected with other student leaders focused on the same goals, and toured their future high school campus.

Sunnyside Hosts Theater Performance, Resources for Mental Health

Students performing onstage Sunnyside High School’s health sciences career pathway invited Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Troupe to perform the play, "Ghosted," on November 18, 19, and 20. The first day was an assembly format, with the performance troupe helping students understand stress, anxiety, and depression. The troupe also provided community resources to help students with stressful situations. The following two days featured breakout workshops and discussion circles with freshmen students to allow for deeper reflection in addressing mental health issues in the community.

Edison Spanish Students Visit Univision

group photo of Edison students at Univision studioMore than 50 Edison High School students from AP Spanish Language and Culture were welcomed to Univision on November 9. Students heard from professionals about their positions, met DJs from their radio stations, appeared on the local community program and took a photo with a banda from Mexico. They then went behind the scenes to see the technical and engineering aspect of the station. The students learned and witnessed the value of being fully biliterate.

Yokomi Class Raises Money for UNICEF

Group photo of Yokomi Elementary students

Nearly 70 fifth graders at Yokomi Elementary School collected donations for UNICEF, raising $416.57. Students collected change while trick or treating, asked friends and relatives and brought in their own money. Fifth grade teacher Janice Kruse said she has assisted students with similar fundraisers, but this year’s group of students “seemed to be quite exceptional.” Students watched UNICEF videos to learn about the children they would be helping.

“They were VERY excited to be helping other children around the world who need help with getting school supplies, medicine, clean drinking water, and food,” Janice said.

Roosevelt Hosts Criminal Justice Career Panel

Student discussion with representatives on the career panelRepresentatives from the Fresno Police Department, Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, Fresno County Public Defender Office, Probation Department and Fresno Crime Scene Investigation Department participated in a criminal justice panel for Roosevelt High School Public Service Pathway students. Councilmember Nelson Esparza and his staff facilitated the panel, which provided great discussion and conversation about opportunities, careers, and the state of the public service sector in Fresno.

Fresno, Sunnyside Accept Race to Submit Awards

Teachers holding banners

Congratulations to Fresno and Sunnyside high schools for their top performances in the FAFSA 2019-20 Race to Submit. They were recognized November 14 in Indian Wells. The 2019-20 Race to Submit is a statewide campaign that aims to increase the number of California high school seniors who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application. Filling out these financial aid applications is the first step towards college success and helps students qualify for federal and state aid to help pay for college. The top three schools in their category are recognized. Fresno High won second and Sunnyside won third place in their categories. This is the second year both campuses have won. The College and Career Readiness team and counselors from various Fresno Unified high schools are making every effort to provide support to both students and parents in completing an accurate FAFSA.

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