Fontana Unified School District

Fontana Unified Elementary Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Follow-up Story: More than 200 students, parents, teachers and District staff members attended Canyon Crest Elementary School’s 25th anniversary open house on Sept. 14, celebrating the school’s impact on the community and the lasting friendships formed over the decades. Among the guests were Canyon Crest alumni, some of whom now have children of their own attending their alma mater.

Fontana Unified Welcomes New Administrators, Principals

Follow-up Story: Fontana Unified School District kicked off the 2017-18 year with ten new administrators and principals at the helm. Former Sequoia Middle School Principal Gorge Santiago was named executive director of secondary schools, and former FUSD administrator Miki McCabe Inbody was chosen as the new associate superintendent of teaching and learning. Ryan DiGiulio was named associate superintendent of business services after serving in a similar role for El Monte Union High School District, Rowland Unified School District, and Marysville Joint Unified School District. Newly appointed principals include Edmund Barker at Locust Elementary School; Gerald Mullins at Oak Park Elementary School; Sheri Cole at North Tamarind Elementary School; Jawad Pearson at Porter Elementary School; Antonio Viramontes at Sequoia Middle School; Roy Rogers at Southridge Middle School and Renee Castanon at Summit High School.

Nearly 700 Fontana Students to Participate in Full-Day STEAM Activities

Fontana Unified School District’s Dorothy Grant Elementary will launch the first session of its 2017-18 weekly STEAM Academy on Wednesday, Sept. 5, when the school will immerse nearly 700 students in a day of activities related to science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). Students will rotate through classes to work on projects that connect with curricula that meet the rigorous California Standards. The weekly STEAM Academy has been a hit with students for the last couple of years and will continue Wednesdays throughout 2017-18.

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.

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.

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.

‘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.

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.

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.

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.