Summary of the Board of Education Meeting on October 18th, 2023

The October 18th, 2023 meeting of the Board of Education began with the following announcements out of closed session:

  • The Board took action in closed session on a complaint appeal to accept the panel’s recommendation and decision by sustaining the findings and conclusion.
  • The Board took action in closed session to promote Vincent Rios to Director, Fiscal Services.
  • The Board took action in closed session to promote Armen Karamanian to Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Next, the Board of Education heard from the McLane Student Advisory Board Members.

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

  • Superintendent Nelson started his remarks with a strike update. He shared that we provided an updated package proposal to FTA on Friday, October 13th and are awaiting response from FTA to continue negotiating. The Superintendent then shared assurances to all families, students, and staff that we are well prepared and will ensure that our schools stay open, safe, and full of learning for our children. That being said, he shared that we are under no false pretenses that school will be the same without our teachers in their classrooms – it will be hard, but our families and students deserve a safe and positive learning environment no matter what. Superintendent also shared that FAQs have gone out to families and staff via ParentSquare. You can also find information at any time on our website at www.fresnounified.org/more-than-just-a-classroom/.
  • Superintendent Nelson then recognized October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month, not only to create awareness, but to meet the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act. He shared that digital citizenship and cyber safety are critical to preparing our students for college, career, and life. During the week of October 16-20, all students K-12 will participate in the district’s Cyber-Safety Week, receiving at least one cyber-safety or digital citizenship lesson during this week. 
  • Superintendent also shared that we have three LCAP meetings scheduled for next week and encouraged all to attend. You can find all dates at www.stafed.fresnounified.org/lcap/.
  • Superintendent Nelson also recognized Red Ribbon Week happening next week.
  • Superintendent Nelson then invited all to join Fresno State’s Black Student Success Initiative is holding their Super Saturday fair! On Saturday, October 28th from 11am-5:30pm in the Satellite Student Union families and students will be treated to important workshops and panels, a great keynote speaker, and connections to college for middle and high schoolers.
  • Superintendent then made the last call for Excellence in Education nominations! The deadline is October 27th and Superintendent encouraged all to take some time to nominate your amazing colleagues before then. You can find the link to nominate in your Employee Zone newsletter.
  • Superintendent then made some shoutouts including:
    • Congrats to the Baird Middle School Minecraft esports team! They not only are the champions of the Fresno Unified Minecraft esports league, but they have earned the right to battle the champs of CURRO South Africa in the third annual International Championship! Please join us this Friday, October 20, 2023, at 7 a.m. to watch the match live on Twitch!
    • Last week we held a groundbreaking ceremony at Del Mar Elementary School to celebrate a great new facilities project funded by Measure M. The project, eight years in the making, includes, a multipurpose room double in size from the original one built in 1947, a new early learning building and playground, moving the offices from the center of the school to the front and creating a safer, single point of entry, a new library where the offices were, expanding parking for visitors and staff, improving pick-up and drop-off areas, refurbishing modular buildings, and a larger area for the nurse. Thank you to all who are making these improvements a reality!
    • Shoutout to the Juan Felipe Herrera Leadership Club at Herrera Elementary School! They were moved to action when they heard of recent traffic and pedestrian tragedies around Fresno Unified schools. Students brainstormed ways they could raise awareness and educate their school and neighborhood about safety in school zones and created the SLOW for School Zones Campaign. On Friday mornings in October, which is also National Pedestrian Safety Month, Herrera and Terronez Middle School students and staff line the sidewalks of Church Avenue that run past their schools to promote safe driving and pedestrian safety in school zones. Drivers have shared their support by honking, waving and most importantly…by slowing down!
    • Exciting news from Fresno Adult School! It just received the Citizenship and Integration Grant worth $450K. It’s the only educational institute to have ever received this nationwide! This is especially impactful for our area because more than 23,000 people in Fresno County are eligible to be naturalized and this program gives them a pathway there. The funding will support in serving more than 200 constituents with free naturalization services and free citizenship/English language preparation, a process that otherwise would not be accessible to our community.
    • Congratulations are in order for Amanda Harvey, our Nutrition Services Director, who will be honored with the California Food for California Kids innovation award! Among many other accomplishments, the team held their first farmer’s market at Phoenix Secondary last week, it was fantastic! Amanda will be recognized at the California Farm to School Network Conference on Tuesday for her work in expanding the Farm to School program in the Central Valley. Way to go Amanda and our whole nutrition services team!
    • Shoutout to our College and Career Readiness team for their amazing Breast Cancer Awareness Month video! The team, lead by Tyesha Hendricks, produced a fun, entertaining video to the “Hey Barbie” song. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one – check out our social media to watch! Great work team!
    • Last but certainly not least, last week we held a joint press conference with Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula to celebrate the Governor’s signing of the Neng Thao Drowning Prevention Act. Let’s take a look at a video highlight of that event. Neng was taken far too soon, and sadly is not the only Fresno Unified student who has been lost to drowning. We’re proud to partner with Neng’s family and our state in expanding our water safety programs, including free swimming lessons.

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 Meeting Minutes
  • Approved Provisional Internship Permits
  • Approved Variable Term Waiver for Bilingual Cross-Cultural, Language and Development Authorization
  • Approved Variable Term Waivers for Career Technical Education Credential Holders
  • Approved Budget Revision No. 2 for Fiscal Year 2023/24
  • Approved Agreement with Cullinan Education Center
  • Approved Agreement with Every Neighborhood Partnership
  • Approved Agreement with Recruitment Alley
  • Approved Renewal Agreement with Halcyon Behavioral, LLC
  • Approved Renewal Agreement with Physmetrics, LLC
  • Approved Use of Individual Piggyback Contracts
  • Approved Vendor Designation Per Request for Qualifications 23-30S3, Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Learning Services
  • Denied Claim GL23-0501-9811
  • Ratified Amendment to Agreement with Shifting Perspectives, LLC
  • Ratified Amendment to Agreement with WorkEd
  • Ratified Change Orders
  • Ratified the Filing of Notices of Completion

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

  • Provided Opportunity for Public Disclosure and Ratified the 2022-2025 School Years Negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement between Fresno Unified School and Fresno Teachers Association – Social Workers

The Board of Education received the following Information or Reports at this meeting:

  • Received Proposed Revisions for Board Policy

The next meeting of the Board of Education will be on Wednesday, November 1st, 2023. Complete minutes and agendas are available online at board.fresnounified.org.

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