Summary of the Board of Education Meeting on January 11th, 2023

The January 11th, 2023 meeting of the Board of Education began with the following announcements out of closed session:

  • The Board took action in closed session to appoint Kim Kelstrom to Chief Executive in Fiscal Services.
  • The Board took action in closed session to appoint Steve Shubin to Deputy Executive in the Payroll Department.
  • The Board took action in closed session to file an appeal on case Don A. Arax vs. Fresno Unified School District and Keshia Thomas.

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

  • Superintendent Nelson started his remarks officially welcoming Board President Islas and Board Clerk Wittrup to their leadership roles on the board.
  • Superintendent Nelson sent our thoughts and prayers to Abigail Zwerner, a first-grade teacher in Virginia who was tragically shot by one of her 6-year old students. He shared how difficult this tragedy is for all educators, and reaffirmed our district’s commitment to safety for our staff and students. Superintendent thanked the board for their continuing investments in physical safety improvements for our schools and increasing investments in social emotional supports. Superintendent pleaded with parents and the community to join us as one team in ensuring safety on our campuses. He asked parents to have important conversations with their children about gun safety, that if parents do have guns in the home that they are secured at all times and not accessible to children, and to please let our schools know if your child is going through any social emotional struggles. We can help! Superintendent highlighted our ongoing strong partnership with the City of Fresno Police Department. This partnership will soon bring a program called Handle with Care to our district, ensuring our schools are provided a warm handoff should any of our students or their families have contact with police or fire in dealing with trauma at home.
  • Superintendent Nelson then took time to honor the legacy of Vurdell Newsome and condolences to his family. Mr. Newsome was a long-time teacher, counselor, and principal here at Fresno Unified, serving our district for more than 33 years.
  • Superintendent then announced that free monthly FAX bus passes are now available to all Fresno Unified high school and adult school students! Students can request a bus pass directly from their school office. If any parents do NOT want their child to have access to this resource, they may call the school office and opt-out of this resource. The school will track those who have opted-out and ensure those students do not receive a FAX bus pass, even if requested. Superintendent thanked the Purchasing Department and the City of Fresno for partnering to make this resource a reality, allowing the district to purchase bus passes at a discounted rate.
  • Superintendent urged all Fresno Unified seniors to apply to our Fresno Unified Scholarship program as the application window opened this week. With the amazing fundraising of our Foundation, we are able to triple the number of scholarships and the dollars we’re able to give in scholarships this year. An additional scholarship opportunity is also available through the newly formed Jim Newton Scholarship, developed in honor of a highly regarded long-time principal of Fresno Unified. Superintendent encouraged all high school seniors to get their applications in well before the deadline on March 1st. Students can work with their academic counselors to complete the application or can apply online through our district website at
  • Superintendent Nelson then invited folks to join us tomorrow for the grand opening of the new Duncan Medical Academy of Science and Health (MASH) building tomorrow. The new 16,000 sq. ft. building brings cutting-edge facilities and equipment for our MASH students to learn and prepare for their future studies and careers. Superintendent thanked our operations and facilities team, our CTE team, and our voters for their support in funding important facility projects such as this.
  • Superintendent shared that our district was awarded the 2022 Friends of Safe Kids Education Award by Safe Kids Central California, led by Valley Children’s Hospital. This award recognizes organizations that help students learn how to prevent injuries and about the wide range of opportunities in health care fields. Superintendent specifically thanked career technical education managers Michelle Mar and Krishnna Reyes who were called out in the award.
  • Superintendent Nelson closed his remarks with a focus on traffic safety. He shared a growing partnership between our district, the City of Fresno, the County of Fresno, and our neighboring school districts to work together in increasing safety for our students as they walk to and from our schools. Superintendent Nelson shared this traffic safety PSA created from our Safety and Communications teams, as the first of several.

Next, the Board of Education took the following action on the below consent agenda items:

  • Approved Personnel List
  • Adopted Findings of Fact and Recommendations of District Administrative Board
  • Approved Minutes from Prior Meeting
  • Adopted Resolutions Delineating Authorized District Agents to Sign on Behalf of Fresno Unified School District
  • Approved Agreement with The Center for Black Educator Development
  • Approved Agreement with The Foundation FCOE, Inc. and the Fresno Unified Early Learning Department
  • Approved Agreement with StudentNest, Inc.
  • Approved Agreement with Cenergistic, LLC
  • Approved Award of Bid 23-06, Plumbing Supplies
  • Approved Award of Bid 23-07, Digital Monitoring Products Parts for Intrusion Upgrades
  • Approved the 2023 List of Board Member Committees and Organizations
  • Ratified Change Orders
  • Ratified the Filing of Notices of Completion
  • Ratified Purchase Orders from October 01, 2022 through October 31, 2022 – Primary Report
  • Ratified Purchase Orders from October 01, 2022 through October 31, 2022 –Supplemental Report

Next, the Board of Education discussed the below conference/discussion agenda items:

  • Presented and Discussed Overview of Parent University’s Family Leadership Academies
  • Presented and Discussed the 2023/24 Local Control and Accountability Plan Educational Partner Input
  • Presented and Discussed the 2021/22 Bond Annual Report

The Board of Education received no Information or Reports at this meeting.

The Board of Education will hold a board workshop on Wednesday, January 18th, 2023. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education will be on Wednesday, January 25th, 2023. Complete minutes and agendas are available online at

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