Summary of the Board of Education Meeting on November 3rd, 2021
The November 3rd, 2021 meeting of the Board of Education began with the following announcements out of Closed Session:
- The Board took action to provide Superintendent Nelson a positive evaluation.
Next, Superintendent Nelson provided a brief report to the Board of Education, including:
- 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 3 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 12th, which falls after the Veteran’s Day holiday. The District is anticipating a large number of vacancies and want 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 1st 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 www.fresnounified.org/schoolchoice2021/ to register and make sure you get your transfer applications in by December 1st.
- 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.
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
- Adopted Emergency Resolution Delegating Authority to Take Necessary Action to Protect Students and Staff from Substitute Shortages during the 2021/22 School Year
- Adopted Resolution Proclaiming November 08 – 12, 2021, as National School Psychology Week
- Approved Minutes from Prior Meeting
- Approved Agreement with Green Meadows Outdoor School, Merced County Office of Education
- Ratified Change Orders
- Ratified Purchase Orders from August 01, 2021 through August 31, 2021 – Primary Report
- Ratified Purchase Orders from August 01, 2021 through August 31, 2021 –Supplemental Report (Trustee Jonasson-Rosas abstained pursuant Board Bylaw 9270)
Next, the Board of Education discussed the below conference/discussion agenda items:
- Discussed and Adopted Resolution 21-10 Authorizing the Issuance and Sale of 2021 Refunding General Obligation Bonds to Refund Outstanding General Obligation
- Discussed and Approved Nomination of Additional Committee Members that will Develop a Draft Policy on Renaming School Facilities
Finally, the Board of Education had no Information or Reports to receive.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education will be Wednesday, November 17th, 2021. Complete minutes and agendas are available online at board.fresnounified.org.