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November 8, 2021

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Photo of the Week

Photo of the week
Peer Mentoring Students go the Wonder Valley Ranch

Video of the Week

Video of the Week
Highlight on Mentoring Office Video

Correction: The fox at Holland Elementary School included in the November 1 Employee Zone was a gray fox.

Dates to Know

November 17
Board Meeting workshop (see website for time)
Board of Education

December 1
Transfer Deadline


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

District’s Digital Newspaper for November Available

The November edition of Building Futures, the district’s digital newspaper, is available, featuring the State of Education, features on students and staff, sports photos and a message from Superintendent Bob Nelson.
November Building Futures

Choose Your Future Virtual Week Coming in November

Fresno Unified is excited to be move forward with its annual School Choice Expo, but with a twist. The district will host Choose your Future Virtual Week November 8-12 online. Families can attend any time during the week at their convenience. The deadline for school transfers is December 1.

With nearly 30 magnet and specialized schools in virtual attendance, families can select what sites and unique programs they want to explore. Programs range from visual and performing arts, International Baccalaureate, science/technology/engineering/and mathematics, dual language programs, world languages, early college to career technical education and many more.

Follow the link for quick registration.

New and Revised Board Policies

The Board of Education has recently approved the following board policy revisions:

• BP 5000 Concepts and Roles
• BP5021 Noncustodial Parents
• BP 5111.2 Nonresident Foreign Students (DELETE)
• BP 5112.1 Exemptions from Attendance
• BP 5112.3 Student Leave of Absence (NEW)
• BP 6158 Independent Study

These updated/revised policies can be found online at: For any additional information, contact the Constituent Services Office at (559) 457-3736.

Leaders Featured in Podcast

FUSD podcast

Hear what Fresno Unified leaders have to say in the Fresno Unified School District Family Leads podcast.
Listen to FUSD Podcasts on Apple Podcasts
Listen to FUSD Podcasts on Spotify

Superintendent Board Remarks from November 3, 2021

Superintendent Bob Nelson

• Superintendent shared his gratitude to the board of trustees for another positive evaluation this year. He shared his feelings of incredible honor to have the opportunity to continue to serve our community and its kids. A lot is said about Fresno and our kids from the narrative that our kids are subject to low expectations and the lack of success. The reality for our kids, however, is that in the last three years that the SBAC was administered prior to the pandemic, Fresno Unified increased the percentage of students Meeting/Exceeding Standards in Literacy by about 7% and by nearly 8% in mathematics. Respectively, this accounts for progress which was 3.5 times greater and 2.7 times greater than the state of California’s change over the same period.

• Superintendent also shared that we are simultaneously aware of and addressing the urgent needs of the pandemic’s effects on our students’ achievement and progress, as well as the impacts on our staff and teachers. It’s a complex time in education; here in Fresno Unified, across the Valley, and across the nation. Our work here is incredibly important and the impact on the future of our city is immeasurable. I’m incredibly grateful to continue to have the opportunity to serve our community and our kids moving forward.

• Superintendent reiterated that the district continues to drive toward solutions to protect teacher prep time while not reducing instructional minutes for students, disrupting schedules for families, or shifting additional burdens to site leaders or classified staff. In doing so, we are continuing to increase our substitute pool and their activity. Just yesterday, in collaboration with our labor partners at FASTA, we agreed to provide an additional $200 stipend for substitute teachers when they work 20 full, consecutive school days as assigned by the district. That is an opportunity for our subs to make an additional $1,260 dollars this school year. We also agreed to offer an additional $100 shortage stipend for all substitutes who take a full-day, district assignment on Friday, November 12, which falls after the Veterans Day holiday. The district is anticipating a large number of vacancies and wants to be as prepared as possible to support our schools. Thank you to our HR team and our partners at FASTA for making this happen.

• Next week, the week of November 8-12, is National School Psychology Week. As a district we’ve consistently increased our social emotional supports over the last five years, and we couldn’t do it without our school psychologists. Superintendent would like to publicly celebrate, recognize, and honor our Fresno Unified school psychologists and their contribution to students and to our entire Fresno Unified family.

• Fresno Unified is also proud to celebrate November as National Native American Heritage Month. Our curriculum and instruction team always spends time creating potential lessons and celebrations for teachers to utilize in their classrooms this month and Superintendent encouraged all of us to take some time to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of our Native American community as the first inhabitants of this land.

• Parents and students – next week is our Virtual Choose Your Future week! This week includes our School Choice Expo, CTE Ticket to the Future, and Student Showcase – all virtually! We will offer five days of virtual exploration from November 8-12 to help students of all ages and their families learn about our district’s magnet and specialized programs. This is an important time for students and families as they prepare for the December 1 deadline for school transfer applications. Our eighth graders will spend time with their teachers virtually exploring the options available to them as they prepare to move on to high school. Students will learn about specialty high schools and career technical education pathways, and explore campus culture, activities and sports options with students from their regional high school.

• Choose your Future Week also includes the virtual version of the district’s annual School Choice Expo. Using the online format, the district will host nightly live presentations and families can visit virtual exhibitor booths any time during the week from among nearly 30 magnet and specialized schools. Head to to register and make sure you get your transfer applications in by December 1.

• Superintendent then shared this week’s highlight of Yosemite Middle School’s Dual Immersion Program. This is one of the many choices available to students and families as you determine what opportunities are best suited for your individual child. Great job to our whole Yosemite team and all our staff who make our school choice options so expansive and accessible for our students and families.

View Full Board Meeting Recap

School Buzz

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Stops at Addams

Students looking at Christmas tree A Christmas tree headed for the U.S. Capitol made a stop at Addams Elementary School on November 5 on its way from northern California to Washington, D.C. Ornaments that Addams students had made were already on the tree. The 84-foot white fir was harvested on the Six Rivers National Forest near Eureka on October 25 and then began a 3,300-mile journey. It will be delivered on November 19 to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol and lit in early December, showing off hand-made ornaments and tree skirts made by Californians. Addams was part of the U.S. Capitol Tree Tour.

Ahwahnee Students Train with Police on Bikes

Ahwahnee police riding bikes Tioga and Ahwahnee middle schools teamed with the Fresno Police Department’s Northeast Station to train together for a big bike ride up Highway 41. The police department provided the bikes and riding gear.

Robinson Collects Socks

Bags of socks Robinson Elementary School held a sock drive to support Fresno Mission's sock drive goal to collect 70,000 pairs in Fresno. Robinson collected 575 pairs.

CTE Hightlights

Patiño Students Participate in CTE Activities

Patino students at construction site • Patiño School of Entrepreneurship students in Future Business Leaders of America participated in a Leadership Development Institute on October 16.
• Junior Linked Learning students took a field trip to California Tiny House as an entry event for their Fall Linked Learning Project. Students are examining how renewable energy technologies can replace or refine current energy sources that transfer carbon into the atmosphere, and how understanding human impact on the environment can influence how to design more responsible living spaces.
• Juniors and seniors visited Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to tour and collaborate with its accelerator students who pitched at their Demo Days event that evening.

Edison High Students Learn Solar Career Skills

Students carrying solar panel Edison High School juniors in the Green Energy and Technology Academy are learning how to construct and install solar panels and about electrical circuits and basic job safety through a partnership with local solar company GRID Alternatives. Students are mastering skills that will help them immediately join the booming solar industry and prepare them for post-secondary study of renewable energy and energy-related fields.

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