Community Shows its Support for Fresno Unified with Approval of Measure X

We are finally on the other side of Nov. 8. The Fresno community spoke clearly, through their support of Measure X, that educating our youth is a priority for this community. It's a confirmation that this community is confident in Fresno Unified's ability to move forward with an additional $225 million in facilities improvements. Thank you to the Fresno community for believing that all of our students deserve a quality education that includes high quality facilities.

This month we will formally welcome two new board members to our governing body: Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas for Area 2 and Claudia Cazares for Area 6. We say goodbye to Board President Luis Chavez, who leaves to serve our greater community as a Fresno City Council member, and Trustee Janet Ryan, who retires from service after 12 years. On behalf of Fresno Unified, and from me personally, I want to thank both Trustee Chavez and Trustee Ryan, and welcome Trustees Jonasson and Cazares. The district looks forward to their leadership and guidance as we continue to invest in the youth of our city.

As many of us went to bed on Nov. 8, it was clear that we were witnessing a history lesson in the making -- no matter your political perspective. As students and staff processed the outcome of the presidential election, the district began to hear from some who were concerned for their family's wellbeing. Some of this concern might be misplaced but it is our role to ensure our schools and our classrooms continue to be a safe place to learn, engage in conversation, and share opposing views as students work to understand. As the fourth largest school district in California, Fresno Unified understands the importance of diversity. We pride ourselves on equity and access for all, and that focus moving forward continues to be unwavering.

I encourage everyone to keep the big picture in mind. Our democracy is still strong, even at this time of uncertainty and transition. As a community we need to continue to step up and respond to hatred with kindness; respond to exclusion with inclusion; respond to injustice with justice; and respond to hopelessness by providing hope and opportunity.

Together we can all move forward reinforcing the importance of respect, diversity, understanding and kindness as every voice is heard.

Sharing that voice goes well beyond the recent election. We invite you to provide your ongoing input in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process for 2017/18. Work at the district is already underway to outline next school year's priorities for LCAP, the district's plan and budget for investing the state's Local Control Funding Formula. The district is already beginning to gather community input on the LCAP by hosting Community Idea Exchange workshops. Workshops include a presentation about previous investments and programs, like paid field trips, career technical education and additional instructional time at 40 elementary schools. Workshop attendees and community members are invited to respond to the LCAP survey, which will be available in both print and online versions and in multiple languages. To see the schedule of regional workshops and provide your feedback, please visit our website at

Wishing you a peaceful holiday with friends and family as we look forward to an exciting new year.