A few weeks ago, Fresno Unified kicked off the new school year with the fourth annual employee Convocation. The high energy event brought students, staff, parents and the community together, showcasing how each one of us plays a role in moving academic achievement forward. The district was especially honored to have Mayor Ashley Swearengin join us along with other key community partners -- partners who came in full support of the district and the work of our staff in the name of 74,000 students. As I stood on stage looking out to the packed crowd at the Save Mart Center, it was humbling to see so many district partners come together to welcome back employees. Their shear presence spoke volumes, letting us know that the work of educating our youth is not done alone or in isolation in Fresno.
The deep support of the Fresno community is seen daily around the district: a uniformed police officer on every middle school and high school campus, weekend green space recreation opportunities, improved attendance initiatives, mentoring, additional supports for English learners and district-wide modernization and expansion projects. Thanks to the Fresno voters who overwhelmingly supported Measure K in 2001 and Measure Q in 2010, Fresno Unified built five new elementary schools, a state-of-the-art middle school and Phillip J. Patiño School for Entrepreneurship, as well as renovated deteriorating classrooms district-wide. Over the last 15 years, school sites and neighborhoods have been transformed, improving the infrastructure for student learning in and outside the classroom. You can learn more about the transformation in our district through Measure K and Measure Q in stories throughout this edition of Building Futures.
Approved in April 2009, the district's Facilities Master Plan outlined a concrete vision for modernizing schools and facilities well into the future. With the support of Fresno residents, much of that vision has become a reality -- the most recent being renovations at Duncan Polytechnical High School, Addicott Elementary School and the new academic building at Bullard High School.
Community support comes in many shapes and sizes and the district is grateful for every ounce of it. Whether you volunteer in a classroom, mentor young people, or donate to the district's scholarship fund, you are supporting student learning and helping develop college and career ready graduates. Collectively these are tools that will help students achieve academic success and have a positive impact on our city for years to come. If you are looking for additional ways to get involved and serve as a district partner, visit the new Fresno Unified district website at www.fresnounified.org to learn more about our I Am Ready initiative.