CA School News Report

Fontana Unified School District

  • 9680 Citrus Avenue, Fontana, CA 92335 • (909) 357-7600
  • The Fontana Unified School District is the second-largest district in San Bernardino County, operating 45 schools that serve students from preschool through adult education in a diverse urban/suburban environment. Fontana’s schools are recognized nationwide for their fast growth in student achievement.

  • Superintendent: Randal S. Bassett
  • Board of Trustees: Mary B. Sandoval, president; Peter Garcia, vice president/clerk; Jason O\'Brien, member; Matt Slowik, MURP, MPA, member
  • 2015-16 Enrollment: 39,470

4 Fontana Schools Achieve Distinction for Positive Behavior Programs

Four Fontana Unified schools have been recognized by the state for their successful efforts in boosting student excellence, shrinking behavioral issues and fostering positive and supportive campus environments. Earning a 2016-17 Silver Medal from the California PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) Coalition are Sequoia Middle, Truman Middle, Citrus Elementary and Oleander Elementary schools. Date Elementary earned a bronze certification. They are among 869 schools across to the state to be touted for working to effectively implement the PBIS program, which incorporates strategies for defining, teaching and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create a positive school setting. The schools will be acknowledged at the California PBIS Coalition Conference, taking place Oct. 11-12 in Sacramento. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Fontana Unified Dance Teacher Wins $20,000 Grant for Inspiring Students

Throughout her 22 years as a dance teacher at A.B. Miller High School, Nicole Robinson has inspired her students to develop a passion for dance while providing them with guidance, encouragement and individual confidence. While at A.B. Miller, Robinson introduced the Conservatory of Dance for students with little training in the performing arts. Its popularity prompted Robinson to develop a District dance and arts education curriculum, called the Dance Collaborative, that promotes life skills, collaboration, and positive self-expression. It is because of her students – past and present – who say she helped transform their lives and inspire educational excellence, that Robinson has recently been named a Carlston Family Foundation 2017 Teacher of the Year, a recognition that comes with a $20,000 grant. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Fontana’s Kaiser High Wins National Award for Music Education Program

Kaiser High School has been selected by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) as one of the best schools for music education in the nation and is a recipient of the SupportMusic Merit Award. The designation is awarded to schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Only 92 schools across the nation were selected. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)

‘Every 15 Minutes’ Highlights Drunk Driving Dangers to Whittier Students

Follow-up Story: Santa Fe High School will host a two-day “Every 15 Minutes” program using a trio of techniques to bring home the dangers of drinking and driving: a graphic staging of a deadly drunk-driving crash, students randomly pulled from classes to represent lives lost to drunk driving and a mock funeral service. The drunk-driving scenario involves firefighters, police and a coroner, as well as students pre-selected from the school – including one who “dies” and another who is arrested for driving under the influence and booked into jail. The crash scene will take place at 11:10 a.m. Wednesday, April 5 at Santa Fe High School, 10400 S. Orr & Day Road, Santa Fe Springs. A mock funeral will be held the following day at 11 a.m. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Fontana Unified School Attendance Program Recognized as Model by State

Fontana Unified School District’s school attendance program is one of 27 across the state recognized for its innovative and effective approach to reducing suspensions, expulsions and chronic absenteeism. Recognized as a Model School Attendance Review Board (SARB), Fontana Unified has dropped its chronic absentee rate ¬– defined as missing 10 percent or more of the total days enrolled for any reason – from 10.5 percent in 2015-16 to 9.2 percent in 2016-17. As a Model SARB, Fontana Unified and its SARB chairperson, Craig Baker, who serves as the District’s director of Child Welfare and Attendance, can act as mentors for other SARBs in the state. The Model SARB awards will be presented at the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance State Conference on April 19 in Tahoe City. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Fontana Unified to Kick Off Sobriety Campaign ahead of Prom Season

Follow-up Story: Fontana Unified high school students recently brought home the dangers of intoxicated driving through public service announcements (PSA) created for the District’s “Be Smart Party Safe and Sober” campaign to promote prom-season safety. Fontana Unified leaders, along with Fontana city and district police departments, kicked off the month-long campaign at a March 28 press conference at which Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren, Fontana Police Chief Robert Ramsey and Fontana Unified School Police Chief Martin Sissac described to students the impacts drunk driving can have on their futures. The top four student PSA videos were also presented, with A.B. Miller students Omar Cachu, Victor Gutierrez and Lizeth Puente winning first place for their 30-second PSA, “Was It Worth It?” During April, deemed Alcohol Awareness Month, FUSD students will collect “Safe and Sober” prom pledges and host activities that promote safe and sober celebrations. Fontana businesses will display posters promoting the slogan. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Fontana Unified Students Pitch Innovations during Inaugural ‘Sparta Tank’

Follow-up Story: Seventeen groups of Jurupa Hills High School sophomores on March 14 pitched innovative products – from a Bluetooth-equipped backpack to jewelry that can detect if a drink has been spiked – during the school’s inaugural Sparta Tank competition, a classroom project modeled after the popular television program “Shark Tank.” Facing a panel of Jurupa Hills English teachers posing as venture capitalists, students made formal presentations and answered questions, incorporating weeks of research and design that simulated the process real-life inventors go through when they are marketing a new product. The winning project, chosen March 15, was KC’s Closets, an app that helps arrange outfits for the day using the clothes already in a person’s closet. The fashion assistant app was created by students Cheyenne Vargas and Kaitlyn Douglas. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More

Fontana High School Re-designated as AVID National Demonstration School

Fontana High School has been re-designated as an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) National Demonstration School, retaining the status it has held since 2006 as a high-achieving academic organization and exemplary learning center. Fontana High is one of about 5,600 AVID schools in 44 states, the District of Columbia and 16 countries and U.S. territories to achieve the elite status, demonstrating its proven ability to employ AVID tools school-wide to boost the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More

Fontana Unified Seeks Community Input on Selection of Superintendent

The Fontana Unified School District will gather input and comments from a wide range of sources and stakeholders within the school district community to help inform the Board of Education’s decision in selecting a new executive leader. Members of the school community and District personnel are invited to participate in meetings in October and November, with dates posted at Online surveys will be available in English and Spanish to community members who cannot attend the meetings. The Board is expected to hear a presentation and review a report on the feedback in December. It will review applications and interview candidates in January, and choose a new superintendent as early as February. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More

Fontana Unified Teacher Named a Finalist for $20,000 Escalante-Gradillas Prize

Sequoia Middle School teacher Tammy DeVries is one of 10 educators across the nation selected as a finalist for the Escalante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education, an award that shines a spotlight on educational leaders who exemplify the values, high expectations and characteristics of renowned Garfield High School teacher Jaime Escalante and its former principal, Henry Gradillas. The award is bestowed by and comes with a $20,000 prize for the winning teacher and school. The winner and runners-up will be announced Wednesday, Oct. 26. DeVries has taught science at the school – where she and her parents attended – for her entire 18-year career. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More Photos