Summary of the Board of Education Meeting on May 18th, 2022
The May 18th, 2022 meeting of the Board of Education began with the following announcements out of Closed Session:
- The Board took action to approve a worker’s compensation claim.
Next, Superintendent Nelson provided a brief report to the Board of Education, including:
- Superintendent Nelson started his remarks recognizing the racially motivated and hate-inspired mass shootings that took place in Buffalo, New York and in Laguna Woods, California. Superintendent shared our sadness and shared the District’s sincerest condolences to the families dealing with this unimaginable loss.
- Superintendent shared our District’s knowledge of how these incidents can resurface the trauma and pain of social injustice and adds to an already hurt spirit. Superintendent recognized these senseless acts of violence came shortly after a couple of very tense weeks here at Fresno Unified, with our district grappling with racist and culturally destructive behavior. Unfortunately, these actions reflect our long history and culture of racial injustice in our community and nationwide. It is evident that the pain, hurt, and hopelessness is both deeply engrained, and ours to resolve.
- Superintendent shared there have been several racist incidents since a racist post including our students sent pain and trauma through our community just a couple of weeks ago. Superintendent shared our District’s commitment to making changes which support more inclusive environments across our district including:
- Pursuing disciplinary action to the fullest extent possible in all reports of culturally destructive behavior with both students and staff moving forward. While the District cannot share specific details of disciplinary actions taken with students or staff, Superintendent assured all that the District is holding true to that commitment already.
- Superintendent also committed to expanding our Race and Social Justice student advisory board to include a student governing board at each of our comprehensive high schools, as asked for by our Bullard BSU students. The intent of this student governing board, as discussed by our students, will be to assess the enforcement of anti-racist policies and behaviors across our system. The District will be bringing back updates on those student advisory boards throughout the remainder of this school year, and regularly next year and in ongoing years.
- Lastly, Superintendent committed to developing short- and long-term action plans with students and staff at Bullard to actively improve a culture of inclusiveness on campus. The District committed to bringing those plans back to our Bullard BSU to be vetted and agreed upon. That work started last Monday with planning and administration conversations, conversations with our BSU leaders on Tuesday, and continuing with focus groups, drop-ins, and conversations with students and staff throughout the rest of last week.
- Superintendent shared that conversations and work are continuing this week and will be ongoing. Superintendent shared how critical it is that every single Fresno Unified staff stand strong with our Superintendent and our district leadership in denouncing this behavior and standing firm that cultural destructiveness, racism, and hate are NEVER a joke. Superintendent shared there is NO room for neutrality from the adults in our system. Our District cannot and should not minimize this behavior as “kids being kids”. Superintendent shared that he and district leadership expect each person employed by Fresno Unified to take any act of racism or cultural destructiveness seriously and to actively interrupt and report this behavior when seen or heard. No exceptions.
- Superintendent shared at our next board meeting, attendees will see several items on the agenda that represent ongoing, systemic investments aimed at improving a culture of inclusivity across the district. One item is an agreement with The Center for Black Educator Development focused on developing professional development series around exploring and readdressing biases. Another item includes an agreement with UC Merced to provide a 5-day overnight camp for our African American Student Leadership Cohort to support the students’ journey in pursuing UC eligibility upon graduation. These investments are not in response to these recent issues, rather they represent the ongoing commitment of the Board of Education and our district to constantly improving.
- Superintendent then shared several shout outs across the district. First, Superintendent thanked our Human Resources and Teacher Development teams for their great work in the hiring processes for next school year’s teachers! As of just a couple of weeks ago, there were just 73 classroom vacancies left to fill, with confidence that those positions will be filled, and possibly even overfilled, before the start of the school year in August. Part of the reason the District is in this positive spot, is due to the success of our teacher pipeline programs. Seven of the 18 programs are designed to support those interested in entering the teacher field. This current school year, about 64% of teacher hires were directly from participants of those teacher pipeline programs.
- Superintendent encouraged all to check out the Employee Zone and Community Zone newsletters for some great info and shoutouts such as;
- Applications opening for our next National Board Certification cohort for teachers,
- The Summer Professional Learning Summit registration opening next week,
- Edison students’ success at the National History Day competition,
- Fresno Unified alum Mai Der Vang being recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry,
- Roosevelt’s Mariachi group opening for the Ay Amor Mariachi Festival at the Save Mart Center,
- Gianni Danisi becoming the first Fresno Unified teacher to become a Nationally Certified STEM Teacher,
- and so much more!
- Superintendent also encouraged all of our staff and families to switch their benefitting organization on Amazon Smile to our Foundation for Fresno Unified Schools. Registering your account is simple; just go to smile.amazon.com, select your charity as the Foundation for Fresno Unified Schools and then for every eligible purchase, you’ll be donating 0.5% to the Foundation, at no extra cost to you.
- Last, Superintendent provided a shoutout for our amazing free Summer Camps available this summer thanks to our Extended Learning department. Registration opens next week through our website, and camp information catalogs should have gone home with students last week! Check out this quick PSA for more info.
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
- ITEM PULLED – Approve Minutes from Prior Meeting
- Adopted Resolution, Order of Election, and Specifications of the Election, and Specifications of the Election Order for the November 8, 2022, Election
- Adopted Declaration of Need for Fully Qualified Educators
- Approved Agreement with the University of Colorado-National P3 Center
- Approved an Agreement between Fresno Unified School District Early Learning Department and California Child Care Resource and Referral Network
- Approved an Agreement between Fresno Unified School District Early Learning Department and Central Valley Children’s Services Network
- Approved Agreement with California Office to Reform Education for Shared Principal II Services by Maria Lynn Rocha Salazar as a Fresno Unified Employee on Loan to California Office to Reform Education
- ITEM PULLED – Approve Agreement with Education and Leadership Foundation/Inter-Act Fellows
- Approved Agreement between Fresno Unified School District and FM3 Research
- Approved Appointment of Clint Horwitz as Chair of the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee
- Approved Award of Bid 22-30, Tenaya Middle School Office and Sitework Improvements
- Approved Award of Bid 22-34, Edison High School Multipurpose Room and Classroom Improvements
- Approved Award of Bid 22-37, Kirk Elementary School Sitework Improvements
- Approved Award of Bid 22-38, Yokomi Elementary School Portable Restroom Installation
- Approved Award of Request for Proposal 22-02, Financial System
- Approved Award of Request for Proposals 22-32, Musical Instruments
- Approved Rejection of Bid 22-31, Brawley Service Center HVAC Replacement
- ITEM PULLED – Approve Revised Job Descriptions for Service Employees International Union Local 521 (SEIU)
- Denied Claim GL21-1127-6281
- Ratified Change Orders for the Projects Listed Below
Next, the Board of Education discussed the below conference/discussion agenda items:
- Presented and Discussed the State’s May Revised Budget Proposal
The Board of Education received the following Information or Reports:
- Received Fresno Unified School District’s Third Quarterly Investment Report for Fiscal Year 2021/22
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education will be on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022. Complete minutes and agendas are available online at board.fresnounified.org.