Summary of the Board of Education Meeting on September 8, 2021
The September 8, 2021 meeting of the Board of Education began with the following announcements out of Closed Session:
- The Board recognized the election of new Student Board members: Maise Aguilar of Fresno High School, Ishan Singh of Sunnyside High School, and alternate Maria Herrera of DeWolf High School.
- The Board took action to promote Isacc Villanueva-Langdon from Vice Principal II at Ayer Elementary to Principal II at Pyle Elementary.
Next, Superintendent Nelson provided a brief report to the Board of Education, including:
- Superintendent recognized September as Suicide Prevention Month and his gratitude to our team as we prioritize mental health across our system. Suicide, much like other mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Every year thousands of individuals die by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. About 80% of teens who die by suicide show warning signs, 90% of teens who die by suicide have another mental health concern, and suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in people ages 10-34. In efforts to support our students and families we have a team of FUSD School Psychologists and School Social Workers who are providing prevention information and training to our students and staff about suicide this month as well as providing ongoing crisis support and interventions during and after a tragedy. Our district has an after-hours crisis team to respond to immediate needs of students, we’ve steadily increased our staffing and social emotional supports across the district, and we’ve expanded partnerships with CareSolace, TalkSpace, and more to support students, families and staff. If you or anyone you know may be struggling with mental health, please don’t hesitate to send a referral to our teams by clicking the “social emotional wellness” icon on our homepage at www.fresnounified.org, or by calling the Central Valley Suicide Hotline at 1-888-506-5991.
- We are actively hiring substitutes across the district. We need substitute teachers to help ensure our students have a high quality teacher each day, we need substitute bus drivers to get our students safely and efficiently to and from school, we need substitute nutrition services workers to keep our students fed whether they’re learning in-person or at home, we need substitute paraprofessionals to help us in the classroom and as we expand our after school programs, and we need substitute clerical staff to help us keep up with contact tracing across the district. Our teams have been working incredibly hard in this area, both through recruitment and through partnering with outside organizations. Just to give some context, we have almost 1,800 substitutes in our system right now, with 1,000 being certificated and the other almost 800 being classified subs. Of that list, less than 1/3 are taking regular sub days with us this year. We are making it work and have been deploying certificated and classified managers to school sites and classrooms, but the need is real. If you’ve ever wanted to serve our students, we need you now more than ever. We need our “coalition of the willing” with us side by side as we serve our students, in yet another difficult year due to this pandemic. If you’re interested in serving, or know someone who might be, please have them call or text us at (559) 289-4599 or head to our website to apply online.
- Administration of this year’s Confidential Family Survey will begin later this month. This annual survey collects important household and income data from identified Fresno Unified families. While this information remains confidential, the results are crucial to determining district and school funding through the Local Control Funding Formula. This year, the CFS will be distributed electronically, and will be sent through a pre-populated URL through student email. So please keep an eye out in your student’s email for that link and participate!
- Fresno Unified is currently surveying families, staff, and students in grades 3-12 on a handful of school climate and culture indicators. This survey is an opportunity for you and your student to tell us about your experiences with their school and how we can better support your student’s learning. Promoting a positive school climate is central to our district’s vision of success for each student. Students will complete their surveys during class during the weeks of late September and early October. Families and Staff will complete their surveys online between September 27th and October 15th. We look forward to receiving important input from you, your students, and our staff about the climate and culture of our schools. The data we collect will help our schools to take action toward improving student outcomes and ensuring that your child feels connected to their school. For more information, check your email or contact your child’s school directly. Additionally, you may visit our District and school websites for more information, including videos on “Family Voice Matters” and a “How-To” walkthrough of the survey experience.
- Also, we are currently gathering feedback from our Fresno Unified Family to help support our planning for ESSER III funds and additional LCFF funds – take a look at this quick video to find out how to make your voice heard. (Watch the video here). Thank you to our State and Federal office for conducting this outreach – and please teachers, staff, students, and parents, head over to the ThoughtExchange to share your ideas.
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
- Adopted Resolution 21-02 to Promote Local Participation in Procurement of Food Products for District Student Meal Programs
- Adopted Variable Term Waiver for Bilingual Cross-cultural, Language and Development Authorization
- Approved Independent Contractor Services Agreement with NRS Staffing, LLC
- Approved Agreement with Fresno Building Healthy Communities
- Approved Credentialed Teachers to Coach One Period of Competitive Sport for Physical Education Credit for the 2021/22 School Year
- Approved Hiring Noncredentialled Consultants for the 2021/22 School Year
- Approved College Board Service Agreement for PSAT/SAT
- Approved Independent Contractor Services Agreement with Intellias Inc
- Approved Award of Bid 22-06, Mobile Hotspots for Private LTE Citizens Broadband Radio Service Network
- Ratified Independent Contractor Services Agreement with Davis Education
- Ratified Independent Contractor Services Agreement with Nearpod, Inc.
- Ratified Change Order
Bid 21-16, Mayfair Elementary School Masonry Block Wall
- Ratified the Filing of a Notice of Completion
Bid 21-16, Mayfair Elementary School Masonry Block Wall
Next, the Board of Education discussed the below conference/discussion agenda items:
- Public Disclosure and Ratified of the 2021- 2024 Negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement between Fresno Unified School District and California School Employees Association, Chapter 143
- Presented and Discussed Renaming of Facilities
- Discussed and Approved the 2020/21 Unaudited Actual Financial Report, 2020/21 Year-End Budget Revision and 2021/22 Gann Limit
- Discussed and Provided Direction Regarding the Use of a Project Labor Agreement or Traditional Bid Approach for Construction of the Francine and Murray Farber Educational Campus
- Discussed Potential Censure of Trustee Major Slatic, referred to an Ad Hoc Committee for Recommendation, and elected to go with the standard process
Finally, the Board of Education received the following Information and Reports:
- Received the Fresno Unified School District Fourth Quarter Investment Report for Fiscal Year 2020/21
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education will be Wednesday, September 15, 2021. Complete minutes and agendas are available online at board.fresnounified.org.