Summary of the Board of Education Meeting on September 13th, 2023

The September 13th, 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 worker’s compensation claim.
  • The Board took action in closed session on a worker’s compensation claim.
  • The Board took action in closed session to promote Karen Streich-Rodgers to Principal II at Lane Elementary.
  • The Board took action in closed session to promote Rachael Maciel to Executive Officer in School Leadership.
  • The Board took action in closed session to promote Melissa Jones to Executive Officer in the Department of Prevention and Intervention.

Next, the Board of Education Acknowledged the 2023/24 Student Advisory Board Representatives.

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

  • Superintendent Nelson started his remarks on a somber tone, recognizing the two tragic accidents near Roosevelt High School and Birney Elementary School last week. While waiting for the FAX bus after school across the street from Roosevelt High School, 11 of our students were hit by an out-of-control vehicle. The following day as a Birney mother walked her four children to school that morning, she and one of her children, our 6th grade student, were hit by an elderly driver. In both accidents, Superintendent is grateful that all involved will recover, but the physical injuries were not minimal, and the emotional toll is immeasurable. The Superintendent urged our community to please drive safely and attentively around our schools. Accidents of this nature should NOT be the norm around campuses and Fresno Unified needs our full community’s support to ensure students are safe coming and going from school.
  • Superintendent then provided an update on our Every Child Is A Reader literacy initiative. After task force meetings last spring, school site leaders have been working within regions to create individualized regional literacy plans, designed to meet their unique students where they are. Plans have been co-created by school site leaders, community partners, families, and district staff with input from Fresno Unified Trustees as well. Each regional literacy plan is designed under the same districtwide parameters but is built by the leaders themselves ensuring autonomy and buy-in by the most important stakeholders on the front end – instead of a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach. Principals in the Fresno High region presented on Monday to district leaders and Trustee Levine, and all other regions will present to their regional trustee and district leaders next week. During these meetings, Superintendent along with the trustee and other leaders are able to provide feedback on the plans prior to finalizing and implementing this year.
  • Superintendent Nelson then gave an update on negotiations with the Fresno Teachers Association. Last week Fresno Unified completed the fact-finding process with the Fresno Teachers Association. The week started with two full days of mediation and the Fresno Unified team had hope to reach an agreement, but unfortunately that was unsuccessful. On the third day the traditional fact-finding hearing was held with presentations from both FTA and the district team. Superintendent shared that we now await the neutral fact-finding report which will then be made public. Fresno Unified continues to meet with FTA in the meantime and hopes that the release of the report will be another opportunity to reach an agreement. Nonetheless, Superintendent looks forward to the release of the report as he is confident the report will show staff and community how hard Fresno Unified has worked to come to a mutually-beneficial agreement with our Fresno Teachers Association. Superintendent also shared a few facts to clear any confusion as we continue negotiating:
    • First, Superintendent reassured all that Fresno Unified will continue to do everything we can to avoid a strike, and if a strike does become reality we are prepared to ensure our schools stay open, safe, and full of learning. No school days will be missed, and Fresno Unified will not be extending the school year to make up for any days that teachers choose to strike,
    • No one’s health benefits are being cut. In fact, Fresno Unified’s benefits continue to improve with the JHMB team negotiating to provide 100% district paid coverage starting January 1st, 2024,
    • Fresno Unified’s offer to FTA will take the average teacher salary to a little more than $100,000 per year,
    • Fresno Unified’s total compensation package for teachers is the highest in the Central Valley, and
    • Fresno Unified teachers reach the top of the salary schedule faster than other districts, meaning their lifetime earnings are greater.
  • Superintendent Nelson then closed his remarks with several shout-outs including:
    • Shoutout to Fresno Unified’s business services team who received the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International. The team received the prestigious award for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, specifically recognizing their excellence in budget presentation including their fantastic Budget Book.
    • Congratulations to Amanda Harvey, Nutrition Services Director, who has been shortlisted for the California Food for California Kids innovation award. Amanda will be recognized at the California Farm to School Network Conference in October for her work in expanding the Farm to School program in the Central Valley.
    • Congratulations to Parent University who is a finalist for the California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award this year. Just this morning the team had their validation visit, showing the CSBA representative our amazing Family Engagement Hours and Family Leadership Academies in action. With Parent University’s overhaul and revamp last school year, they were able to serve 4x more families than any other single year in their 15 years of existence. Superintendent shared this video showcasing the Bullard Regional Family Engagement Event Parent University put on just last week.
    • Congratulations to the five Roosevelt students who took top spots in the One Voice – The Spirit of 9/11 art and poetry contest. Junior Mary Vasquez and freshman Cindy Parra, taught by Josephine Allen, placed in the top three in the art category. The three top winners in the poetry category were juniors Ger Thao, Katherine Calloway and Meridian Yang, taught by Sophia Norman. All five students will receive $1,000 scholarships.
    • Congratulations to Yaslin Carrasco from Edison High School and Isabella Gallegos from Bullard High School who won $1,000 Latina Women’s Conference Scholarship Awards.
    • Congratulations to Enrica Torres, RSP teacher at Leavenworth Elementary School, who received a $1,000 grant from Lee’s Air, Plumbing and Heating.

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
  • Approved All 2023/24 Salary Schedules — Classified Hourly, Fresno Teachers Association  – Trades, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Crafts Hourly, Confidential Hourly, Supervisory Hourly, Certificated and Classified Management, Nurses, Speech Language Pathologists, Teachers and Librarians, Teachers on Special Assignment, Designated Teachers, Career Technical Ed/Vocational Ed Teachers, Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Instructors, Lori Ann Infant Center, Child Development Center and Pace Teachers, Adult Education, Pre-Kindergarten Teachers, and Classified Y-Rated Salary Schedule
  • Approved Certificated Retiree Contract for Frances Buelna-Szabo
  • Approved Employment Agreement for Patrick Jensen, Chief Financial Officer
  • Approved Provisional Internship Permits
  • Approved Variable Term Waiver for an Administrative Services Credential Holder
  • Approved Variable Term Waiver for Bilingual Cross-Cultural, Language and Development Authorization
  • Approved Variable Term Waiver for Career Technical Education Credential Holders
  • Approved Waiver Request for Ryien Zambrano to Serve as a Speech Language Pathologist
  • Approved Agreement with Bertz-Rosa Incorporated
  • Approved Agreement with JP Marketing
  • Approved Agreement with Lion and Fox LLC
  • Approved Agreement with The Fresno County Historical Society
  • Approved Agreement with Shifting Perspectives LLC
  • Approved Agreement with the Waterford Research Institute
  • Approved Partnership with Fresno County Cradle to Career
  • Approved Lease Agreement between Fresno Unified School District and the City of Fresno for Parking Garage 8, 1077 Van Ness Avenue, Fresno California, 93721
  • Approved Award of Bid 24-14, Birney and Centennial Elementary Schools Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Energy Management System Replacements
  • Approved Award of Request for Proposals 24-02, Family Support Services
  • Approved Award of Request for Qualifications 24-09, Event Planner Services Rebid
  • Denied Claim GL23-0616-9466
  • Ratified Certificated Retiree Contract for Patricia Atitya
  • Ratified Certificated Retiree Contract for Nancy Harris
  • Ratified Certificated Retiree Contract for Arlene Rowan
  • Ratified Agreement with Ampact for Early Literacy Tutoring
  • Ratified Agreement with Deborah McCoy
  • Ratified Addendum to Agreement with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center
  • Ratified Addendum to Agreement with Supplemental Health Care, Incorporated
  • Ratified Amendment to Agreement with Runyon Saltzman Incorporated
  • Ratified Grant Agreement with Fresno County Superintendent of Schools
  • Ratified Award of Bid 23-73R, Edison High School Exterior Painting
  • Ratified Change Orders
  • Ratified Purchase Orders from June 01, 2023, through June 30, 2023 – Primary Report
  • Ratified Purchase Orders from June 01, 2023, through June 30, 2023 – Supplemental Report

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

  • Presented and Discussed Master Plan for English Learner Success 2023-2028
  • Discussed and Approved the 2022/23 Unaudited Actual Financial Report, 2022/23 Year-End Budget Revision and 2023/24 Gann Limit
  • Publicly Disclosed and Ratified the 2022-2025 School Years Negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement between Fresno Unified School District and Service Employees International Union, Local 521 – Fresno Area Substitute Teachers Association
  • Presented and Adopted Emergency Resolution No. 24-15 in the Event of a Concerted Refusal to Work by Employees

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

The next meeting of the Board of Education will be on Wednesday, September 27th, 2023. Complete minutes and agendas are available online at

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