Can't see the images? View the webpage


December 20, 2021

  Community Zone banner
 facebook logo twitter logo flickr logo vimeo logo Instagram logo

Photo of the Week

Photo of the week
Employee Appreciation Coffee Truck

Video of the Week

Video of the Week
Esports Tournament Video

Dates to Know

January 5
Board Workshop (see website for time)
Board of Education

December 20-January 9
Winter Break

January 10
Buy Back Day (no school for students)


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 December Available

The December edition of Building Futures, the district’s digital newspaper, is available. The new edition focuses on career technical education (CTE), highlighting career pathway programs at all high schools, CTE programs for younger students, outstanding CTE teachers and more.
December Building Futures

Eighth Annual Edison Region Black History Month Virtual Program

Black History MonthSave the date! Gaston Middle School and Edison High School Black Student Union (BSU), in partnership with the Fresno Unified Student Engagement Department, proudly present the eighth annual Edison Region Black History Month VIRTUAL Program on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. The evening virtual show will be livestreamed from the Fresno Unified live webcast ( at 6 p.m. for students, parents, district leaders and community partners. This year's collaboration includes King and Kirk elementary schools, Gaston and Computech middle schools and Edison High School students, community partners, and Purposed II Praise School of Dance. 
Edison Region Black History Program Flyer

Superintendent Board Remarks from December 15, 2021

Superintendent Bob Nelson
• Deputy Superintendent Her started her remarks by sending our love to Superintendent Nelson and his family. Superintendent Nelson’s father passed away very early this morning after some time in the hospital. Superintendent was able to be by his father’s side and support his family through this incredibly tough time, and for that we are grateful. Superintendent shares his gratitude to all who have reached out and sent their love to him and his family. He is focused on being present with his loved ones at this time.

• Deputy Superintendent announced to parents, students, and staff that up to date bus schedules and bell schedules will be available on your school’s website by the end of this weekend at the latest. Please check your school’s website before we return from winter break on Tuesday, January 11 to prepare for our second semester. You can find links to every school’s website at

• Deputy Superintendent reminded our staff that we are holding our third of four virtual Staff Town Halls tomorrow from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The presentation was developed based on the questions that staff have directly submitted and questions will be answered live as well. Deputy superintendent realizes not everyone is able to join at 4 p.m. tomorrow, so as always, Communications will send the full recording and presentation to all staff by the end of the week. Deputy superintendent will lead the town hall in place of Superintendent Nelson and will have Executive Cabinet members on the line to answer questions.

• Deputy superintendent shared the winter Professional Learning Summit is coming up on January 6 and 7. The PL Summit will feature 120 different courses from 11 different departments, all based on teacher feedback. Teachers will be compensated at the supplemental rate for as few as one course and as many as six courses. Sign up through iACHIEVE by January 3.

• Deputy superintendent shared that one session at the PL Summit will be all about how teachers can use ATLAS Connect, a tool shared at a press conference just last week. ATLAS Connect is designed with teachers in mind, with the long-term intent to eliminate the need to utilize other apps like Remind. Right now, teachers can send messages to their whole classrooms through ATLAS Connect Classroom Announcements and teachers can also message one-on-one with parents through ATLAS Connect Conversations. Deputy superintendent shared her favorite feature of ATLAS Connect -- that messages are automatically translated back and forth between the parent’s preferred language and English. Deputy superintendent encouraged teachers to sign up for this session.

• Deputy superintendent reminded all staff that our board of education approved the first interim financial report last Wednesday night which moved us forward on staff’s 4% ongoing pay raise. All staff will be receiving a check by December 17, if not already, that includes two things:

• First, staff will receive your 4% raise retroactive from July 1 through November, and

• Second, staff will see a one-time payment of one-half percent of your 2020-2021 base salary.

• Deputy superintendent shared that starting with staff’s regular December check, staff will see their 4% raise included and that will be ongoing.

• Deputy superintendent also shared gratitude from she and Superintendent Nelson to our Student Engagement team and Curriculum and Instruction team, specifically Michele Pacheco and Leslie Loewen, for bringing the Killer High documentary to all seventh through 10th graders. Deputy superintendent shared a video where she and district attorney Lisa Smittcamp visited a screening at Sunnyside earlier this week.

• Lastly, deputy superintendent congratulated Anne Hendrickson, band director at Manchester GATE and Del Mar elementary schools, for being named Music Educator of the Year by the California Music Educators Association – Central Section! Anne will be honored on Friday, February 18 at the California All-State Music Educators Conference in Fresno as one of California’s finest music educators. Great job!

View Full Board Meeting Recap

School Buzz

Santa Letter Writing Contest at Webster

This year, Webster Elementary School students wrote letters to Santa and many will have their Christmas wishes granted, thanks to the generosity of The Word Church and giving community members. Students received their gifts on December 16.

Toys for Tots Drive Thru Event at Webster

Thanks to the generosity of Teens that Care in collaboration with Toys for Tots, Webster Elementary School students will have a brighter Christmas. Students in preschool through sixth grade received a gift from Santa, along with food, blankets, warm socks and more on December 17 in a drive thru event.

Hoover Student Raises $100,000 for Charity

Paxton Vanornam holding Thankmas signHoover High School student Paxton Vanornam hosted a livestream event to raise money for homeless housing, and got recognized by a famous YouTuber, who donated $100,000. Every year, Paxton holds a livestream "Thankmas Charity Event" to raise money for NewStory, which builds homes for homeless people, all the while staying up for 26 hours straight and playing video games with people all over the world. Here is a fun little promo video Paxton made:

Local Elected Officials Meet with Roosevelt Students

Roosevelt speakers Students in Breanna Johnson and Emma Nalchajian's English II classes at Roosevelt High School wrote letters to government officials advocating for local policy change as the culmination of the argumentative writing unit. Students advocated for things like surveillance cameras in classrooms, changes in dress code and dress code enforcement,
universal healthcare, and increased resources for unhoused individuals. After receiving some of these student letters, board trustee Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas
and Fresno City Council vice president Nelson Esparza visited Roosevelt on December 7 to talk about their experiences in local government and the impact that
students have (who aren't yet old enough to vote), and answer questions from students not addressed in their original letters. Over 70 students and several
staff members were able to attend this special after-school learning opportunity.

Middle School Winter Sports Champions
Boys Basketball 
Division 1 – Fort Miller
Division 2 – Scandinavian
Division 3 – Tehipite

Boys Soccer
Division 1 – Terronez
Division 2 – Sequoia
Division 3 – Fort Miller

Girls Soccer
Division 1 – Tenaya
Division 2 – Cooper
Division 3 – Fresno Christian

Division 1 – Tenaya
Division 2 – Sequoia

Assistance League Buys Sweatshirts for Gaston Students

Assistance League® of Fresno bought 800 Gaston Middle School sweatshirts and presented them to all Gaston students on December 16.

Bullard Students Sign Letters of Intent

Bullard High School student athletes signed letters of intent on December 15:

• Jayden Davis – Fresno State football
• Hayden Zinkin – CSU Bakersfield wrestling

Employee Spotlight

New Football Coach hired for Roosevelt

Dwayne Wright speakingDwayne Wright, an assistant in the Roosevelt High School football program, has been hired as the new head coach, bringing 10 years of coaching experience. He was a running back at Fresno State and was drafted in 2007 by Buffalo, playing for the Bills, Giants, Eagles and Steelers during his NFL career. Wright is on staff at Roosevelt High as a paraeducator, supporting some of the highest-needs students, and is also a minister at Amazing Grace Ministries and often speaks to youth groups to motivate and inspire.

CTE Spotlight

Duncan Students Build Shed for Creek Fire Survivor

Duncan students in front of shed Teacher Ash Jones and junior and senior students from the Construction Pathway at Duncan Polytechnical High School are partnering with organizations to build pumphouses and sheds for families who lost their homes in the 2020 Creek Fire. The students erected their first shed on December 11 in Shaver Lake. The Rebuild Our Sierra and the Mennonite Disaster Relief Service organizations have been instrumental in supporting the students throughout the project, providing materials and volunteers, as well as identifying the families in need.

All of the lumber was milled using salvaged trees from the fire, and all other materials were also donated. The property owners who received this first shed were very thankful to everyone involved and are looking forward to rebuilding. Dozens of other families are in line to receive pumphouses and sheds so they can safely store their tools and materials as they rebuild their homes. This shed is the first of many the students plan to build, and they hope to encourage other high schools to get involved as well. 

Donate to the
Scholarship Fund
Volunteer Work for Fresno Unified

Fresno Unified School District
| Subscribe | Unsubscribe | Download PDF Reader