The August 23, 2017 meeting of the Board of Education began with the following announcements out of Closed Session. 

  • Promoted Kim Kelstrom, Director, Fiscal Services to Executive Officer, Fiscal Services.
  • Promoted David Jansen, Director, Technology Services to Executive Director (General) Data Science and Application Systems, Technology Services
  • Promoted Santino Danisi, Director, Fiscal Services to Executive Officer, State and Federal Programs
  • Lateral assignment of Heather Allen, Director, School Readiness to Director, College Readiness

Next, Leslie Loewen, Campus Culture Director for Fresno Unified, led the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Board of Education approved the minutes from the May 17, 2017 meeting.

Next, Interim Superintendent Nelson provided a brief report to the Board of Education including:

  • Expressed his joy and honor to be selected as the finalist for the Superintendent position and thanking the Board of Trustees for their continued support.
  • Reflected on a fantastic start of the school year and expressing gratitude to the teachers, staff and administrators who are setting the tone for a successful start to the school year.  Through our actions, our students will know we care about them and that will be a reason to keep them coming to class every day and ready to learn.  Nelson then highlighted the start of school with a video of various social media posts showing how excited and ready everyone was for the first day of the 2017-18 school year.
  • Updated the public on two projects: eLearn Academy and dual immersion. The district launched its first online school, eLearn Academy, which offers personalized, rigorous and accredited online courses for students in grades 7 to 12 who need flexible attendance options.  The students have personalized instruction with access to teachers through chat, email, phone and Skype or they can drop by the academy to get support as needed.  He encouraged families interested to visit to get brochures or any questions answered.  He thanked Tom Nixon and Yolanda Jimenez-Ruiz for their hard work in making eLearn happen. Dual immersion programs have expanded to Greenberg Elementary, Rowell Elementary, Wawona School and McLane High schools.  Greenberg Elementary is home to the district’s first Hmong dual immersion curriculum.  The district’s dual immersion program model is research-based and one of the most effective ways of meeting the needs of English Learner students as well as other students who want to become literate in another language.  Students who stay in the program from preschool to high school can attain a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.
  • Thanked Kaiser Permanente for the $90,000 grant that provided water hydration stations at all of the district’s middle schools, providing students access to cold, filtered water throughout the day.  Kaiser also donated free reusable water bottles to all of the district’s middle school students.
  • Shared that yesterday he had a positive and productive meeting with several members of our local LGBTQ community to work together in supporting all students on school campuses.  During the meeting, everyone discussed developing a framework to ensure all LGBTQ students feel safe at Fresno Unified Schools.  The plans include further supporting and expanding current Gay Straight Alliance clubs on school campuses, identifying staff members at secondary school sites who would receive unique training in order to support LGBTQ students, pursuing additional training for staff to serve transgender students separate from gay, lesbian and bisexual students and exploring a partnership with local community organizations to resurrect a 1-800 call line to provide additional support for LGBTQ students. 
  • Thanked the many community members who took the time to come to the meeting and share their opinions and urged everyone to show civility and mutual respect for each other.  Reminded everyone that we are all an example for children in our district and that providing a safe place for all starts right here in the board room.

Following Interim Superintendent Nelson’s remarks, the Board of Education took the following actions on the below consent agenda items:

  • Approved personnel list
  • Adopted findings of fact and recommendations of the District Administrative Board
  • Adopted Variable Term Waiver for Career Technical Education Credential Holders
  • Approved Service Agreement with ShotSpotter, Inc. to support expansion of ShotSpotter coverage area, in conjunction with Fresno Police Department
  • Approved agreement with Law Office of Rick Jensen for subrogation services
  • Approved 2017/18 Consolidated Application for Categorical Aid Programs Spring Release to the California Department of Education
  • Approved Comprehensive Safe School Plans for 2017/18
  • Approved second amendment to lease agreement for property locations at 850 N. Blackstone Avenue
  • Approved award of Bid 17-27R, A-B, Edison and Roosevelt High Schools Tennis Courts Improvements Rebid. President Ashjian abstained pursuant to Board Bylaw 9270.
  • Approved agreement with Shift3 Technologies for Public Facing School Websites
  • Approved provisional internship permits
  • Approved Fresno County Cradle to Career Partnership
  • Denied Claim #17-0725-0246
  • Denied Claim #17-0725-0247
  • Denied Claim #17-0725-0248
  • Ratified grant application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for the 2017 Citizenship Assimilation Grant Program
  • Ratified Independent Contractor Services Agreement with Reading and Beyond
  • Ratified Independent Contractor Services Agreement with Fresno County EOC/Street Saints. Trustee Jonasson Rosas abstained pursuant to Board Bylaw 9270.
  • Ratified purchase orders from May 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017. President Ashjian and Trustee Jonasson Rosas abstained pursuant to Board Bylaw 9270.

After the consent agenda, staff made presentations to the Board in the conference/discussion section of the agenda as follows:

  • Presented and discussed Opening of Schools – 2017/18 School Year
  • Presented and discussed Constituent Services Reporting

Next, the Board of Education received the following information and reports:

  • Fresno Unified School District’s Fourth Quarterly Investment Report for Fiscal Year 2016/17

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education is Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the Fresno Unified Education Center, located at 2309 Tulare St. in Fresno. Complete minutes and agendas are available online at

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