The October 4th, 2023 meeting of the Board of Education began with the following announcements out of closed session:

  • The Board took action in closed session to approve dismissal charges for a certificated employee.
  • The Board took action in closed session to approve dismissal charges for a classified employee.
  • The Board took action in closed session to approve dismissal charges for a classified employee.

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

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

  • Superintendent Nelson started his remarks acknowledging October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One in three teens will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship and having lost one of our dear students to domestic violence this spring, this month hits closer to home than ever for Fresno Unified. Superintendent shared his gratitude to our partners at Marjaree Mason Center for all they do in our community, and especially for their continued support in facilitating the kNOw More program in all our high schools. Just last board meeting our Board of Education approved this year’s contract for the kNOw More program, a program focused on building a culture of trust and support on campus, empowering youth to build healthy relationships. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please know there is help available to you through the Marjaree Mason Center. You can reach their 24-hour crisis hotline at 559-233-HELP. Superintendent shared his excitement to support Marjaree Mason Center’s work at their 40th Annual Top 10 Professional Women Awards, honoring our own Trustee Thomas.
  • Superintendent then shared we are currently recruiting qualified, credentialed substitute teachers to support our students in the event the Fresno Teachers Association decides to strike. Superintendent shared that ideally, we’ll be able to work out an agreement and avoid a strike altogether, which is still our number one goal. He shared our bargaining team will be meeting Thursday and Friday with FTA in hopes of reaching an agreement. However, Superintendent shared we must be prepared to ensure our schools stay open, safe, and full of learning even in the event of a teachers’ strike. We are offering $500 per day for qualified, credentialed substitute teachers to help us continue our students’ learning and growth during a strike. Superintendent shared we already have more than 2,000 active, qualified substitute teachers in our system and are confident our substitute recruitment coupled with credentialed employees across Fresno Unified deploying to classrooms will ensure our students’ continued growth and learning. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a certificated substitute teacher, please head to our website at www.fresnounified.org/substitute.
  • Superintendent shared that next week staff will have opportunities to review drafts of our literacy plans. Our Every Child Is A Reader Plan will have a district overview rooted in data, research, and our districtwide goal of closing achievement gaps at challenging levels through a variety of strategies, including making every child a reader by the end of first grade and using data early and often to course correct when we see challenges. When we share the entire plan, we will receive general feedback, send it off to be copyedited and translated in Hmong and Spanish, then present our plan to our school board and communities.
  • Superintendent also shared something that makes a big difference in our community. It’s called the local control and accountability plan, or LCAP. The LCAP is about our kids, our schools, and our future. It makes sure students get the help they need to promote achievement and equity, through investments in things like literacy and math support, mental health resources, safety improvements, and upgrades in technology. The best part of this process is that YOU help decide how the funds are used to improve our schools. Fresno Unified is going to be hosting regional meetings, where you can share your voice. We kick off our events at Edison on October 10th, with events in at every regional high school happening through November 7th. Staff, families, and community partners can attend any regional event which includes dinner, interpretation, childcare, and free Zoo tickets for participants! For all dates and more information, please visit our website at www.fresnounified.org.
  • Superintendent also shared his excitement at the moves we have been making as a district to ensure food and clothing pantries are available for our students across the district. We currently have 22 clothing closets at schools across the district with another 41 schools interested in starting their own clothing closets. For any of our schools interested in starting a clothing site, the district is offering up to $10,000 to the school site for start-up costs. Many of our schools also partner with the Central California Food Bank for food distributions and potential food pantries, and our district is working with the Food Bank on a district level to see how we can partner even further. If you’re a school site looking to learn more, please reach out to Anita Ruiz at Anita.Ruiz@fresnounified.org.
  • Superintendent Nelson then provided two last chance reminders. First, all staff and families, we need you to complete the fall Climate and Culture survey online by next Friday, October 13th. Second, our State of Education Gala is happening next Thursday evening, so get your tickets now! It’s going to be a beautiful event with some great surprises.
  • Superintendent ended his remarks sharing a few shout outs and recognitions:
    • Shout out to our special education department and all our school sites for working collaboratively on making sure students have IEPs that are updated. As you know, when students with special needs have an individualized education program outlining supports that target their unique student needs, our students are more likely to experience success in our school system. For all our educators, especially those supporting students with special needs, keep up the great work!
    • Just yesterday we got the great news that our Parent University is a Golden Bell Award winner through the California School Boards Association! We are thrilled that following their selection as a finalist and a successful validation visit by CSBA, they have officially been selected as a winner. We’re proud of you Parent University, thank you for your innovative work ensuring our family goal stays front and center. 
    • Shoutout to our McLane Army Junior ROTC Cadets who placed first in the boat races at the Bulldog Challenge! The Bulldog Challenge is where ROTC teams compete in a variety of events with this year being the first top finish for McLane cadets in three years of competing in the event. For the boat race, cadets engineer and assemble their boats on their own. Amazing work McLane, congratulations!
    • Congratulations to automotive instructor, Dale Dutcher, and his students at Duncan who completely built an award winning 1935 Ford Pickup kit car from Factory Five Racing over this year! They started the build in January of 2023 from 42 boxes of parts, a frame and a body. Students inventoried every part, then built and hand fit every part on the car. Bobby’s Auto Body took care of the paint and body work, and the students finished the car, including building a 347 stroker motor that makes 550 horsepower. Mr. Dutcher entered the car in the Fresno County Fair and was awarded Best Of Show! What an amazing experience – congratulations and thank you Mr. Dutcher for bringing this great opportunity to our students!

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 Resolution Recognizing the Month of October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month
  • Adopted Resolution 24-16, Approve the Use of Sole Source Vendor Authorization
  • Approved Revised Classified Management Competitive and Negotiable Daily Salary Schedule 260 Duty Days
  • Approved Agreement with Fresno State-Kremen School of Education
  • Approved Rejection of Bid 24-19, Education Center Human Resources Interior and Electrical Upgrades
  • Ratified Grant Application to the Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Programs 2023 Thriving Schools Grant Cycle
  • Ratified Change Orders
  • ITEM PULLED – Ratified the Filing of a Notice of Completion
  • Ratified Purchase Orders from July 01, 2023, through July 31, 2023 – Primary Report
  • Ratified Purchase Orders from July 01, 2023, through July 31, 2023 – Supplemental Report

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

  • Presented and Discussed Equity Based Facility Planning

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

The next meeting of the Board of Education will be on Wednesday, October 18th, 2023. Complete minutes and agendas are available online at board.fresnounified.org.

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