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June 22, 2020

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Photo of the Week

Duncan student in graduation cap holding diploma
Duncan Polytechnical High School senior check-out on June 1.

Video of the Week

Video of the week
Students demonstrate safety practices for returning to sports and activities

Dates to Know

Board Meeting June 17 (see website for time) Via Live Streaming
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

Lessons will be Aired on Valley PBS

PBS LogoFresno Unified is partnering with Valley PBS to present "Local Learning" to build literacy skills for kindergarten through third grade students. The program, airing June 22 through August 14, will support distance learning efforts during school closures and help prepare students for the new school year. The week of June 22, the program will air from 8-9 a.m. and will likely expand to two time slots in the weeks to follow.

Fresno Unified teachers Joe Dawson, Isabel Mayoral, Lisa Nix and Carlanda Williams will be featured in the programs, providing entertaining lessons.

Free Summer Meals Underway

Staff handing meal to person in car ​The district began its free summer meals program on June 8. The hours for summer meal pickup have changed, as did some locations, from the district's free meals program it provided during school closures. Summer meals are served 8-9:30 a.m. Breakfast and lunch is provided at the same time. The district will distribute summer meals through August 14.

List of Summer Meal Distribution Sites

Superintendent Board Remarks from June 17, 2020

Superintendent Bob Nelson Superintendent Bob Nelson provided a brief report to the Fresno Unified Board of Education including:
• Superintendent thanked the entire Fiscal and Budget teams for guiding us though a very tough budget process this year. The work that they had to be done behind the scenes to bring us to our budget adoption las week should not be overlooked or understated. He daily work of our budget analysts along with the rest of the teams are of the highest quality. Your dedication and perseverance do not go unnoticed – thank you for all you do!

• Next, the superintendent shared that last week our A4 Summer Literacy program got started with 735 students – a large enrollment jump from the previous two years! This year offers five-week distance learning model for kindergarten through fourth grade students via Google Classrooms and other virtual platforms. The goal is to accelerate reading for African American and all Fresno Unified students who are below reading level to proficiency and beyond. I want to congratulate the team on the continued success of this program. In its first year our students experienced an average of 4.9 months of reading growth in just 5 weeks. Thank you, Wendy, and the whole A4 team for your great work!

• Superintendent Nelson stated that Summer Academies started on June 9 and Summer Camps started on June 15. I am thrilled to note that we have over 18,000 students participating in our Summer Academies.  This enrollment is on par with what we normally have enrolled in summer school and in a time when many school districts within our state reduced or eliminated summer programs, it is great to see what we have been able to maintain and even expand our offerings for our students to help them get ready for the  upcoming school year. Our Summer Camps don't require registration, but we know our summers camps webpage had over 500 unique visitors on its first day alone! Head over to and click the main slide that says Virtual Summer Camps for more info.

• Superintendent announce that our teams have partnered with Valley PBS to provide even more learning opportunities this summer! June 22 through August 14, Valley PBS in partnership with Fresno Unified will present "Local Learning." This program is designed to build literacy skills in students K-3 and support getting our children ready to begin the new school year. The week of June 22 the program "Local Learning" will run from 8 to 9 a.m. with hopes to expand in the following weeks. Four Fresno Unified teachers, Joe Dawson, Isabel Mayoral, Lisa Nix and Carlanda Williams, will be reaching out to students throughout Fresno County to bring the lesson to them. Thank you to the  instructional teams for making this happen!

• Superintendent Nelson shared that we are grateful to hear from some of our colleagues and community members tonight about the interest and need to have robust ethnic studies courses in all our schools. We are eager to bring them alongside us in the work we have started with supporting sites who are expanding course offering in the upcoming school year. We have had schools add ethnic studies over the past couple of years and have more schools adding for the 2020-2021 school year. There has been much work started on our journey to getting all schools to offer ethnic studies and eventually make it a graduation requirement.

• Next, the superintendent reminded parents that our COVID-19 Call Center is now available to take your calls regarding your feedback on our district's new vision, mission and goals to be adopted this fall. As you may recall, we had plans to do deep community outreach to ensure student, parent and staff voice in the development of the new vision, mission and goals and we have had to pivot as many of those in-person activities were cancelled due to COVID-19. We've been able to hold virtual staff focus groups, and we are currently holding virtual student focus groups through our summer learning programs and have opened our call center to conduct live one-on-one phone survey with parents to gain your feedback as well. The survey takes about 5-15 minutes and you can call us (559) 457-3395 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays to share your feedback. We have live operators available to facilitate your survey in English, Spanish or Hmong.

• Last, Superintendent Nelson announced that we had to switch providers to provide translation for our website as Microsoft recently retired their translation buttons for websites. The buttons to translate are now at the bottom of each webpage on our website - one button says Spanish and one button says Hmong. These translations are hosted by Google Translate and while that is usually quite accurate for Spanish, we know it can be less accurate for Hmong. Our teams are working diligently for a better solution and we will keep you updated as we find even better solutions.

Full Board Meeting Recap

School Buzz

Edison Students will Take Part in Virtual Town Hall

HOPE LogoFour Edison High School students will represent the Central Valley on June 30 at 3 p.m. in a state-wide virtual townhall. The students, Sharon Valadez, Valentina Lopez Meza, Heidi Hernandez and Gladys Baltazar, will participate in State of Latina Teens: Virtual Youth Townhall, part of the HOPE Youth Leadership Program. The town hall will explore solutions to the pressing issues affecting California Latina adolescents, with a special focus on the impact that COVID-19 is having on young people.

Kopi Surprises Figarden Fifth Graders

For their final virtual meeting of the school year on June 3, fifth grade students from Figarden Elementary School were greeted with surprise guest Kopi Sotiropulos from Fox 26's Great Day news program.  Kopi popped into the end-of-year virtual celebration to read to students "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs." After the story, students were able to ask Kopi questions about his career and the steps he took to become who he is today.  

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