Your weekly recap of student success
Offer your input: 2017-18 school year calendar options
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article contained a typo. The article has been corrected, below. We sincerely apologize for the error. 

FCUSD values your input, and the District would like to invite you, as a parent, student, staff and community member, to participate in this 2017-18 Instructional Calendar start date survey.

These calendars address the need for high schools to end their semester prior to winter break, and ensure that trimesters and quarters/semesters are roughly equal in length. 

Secondary schools prefer to end before June, allowing our students the opportunity to work or attend college summer classes.
  • Option 1 - Start date Monday Aug 14, End date May 31
    • No School Oct 9
    • Winter break Thursday Dec 21 - Wednesday Jan 3
    • Travel Day at the end of Spring Break
  • Option 2 - Start date Monday Aug 14, End date May 31
    • No school Oct 9
    • Winter break Friday Dec 22 - Friday Jan 5
    • No Travel Day at end of Spring Break
  • Option 3 - Start date Thursday Aug 10, End date May 31
    • No school Oct 9
    • Winter break Thursday Dec 21 - Friday Jan 5
    • Travel Day at end of Spring Break
Click here to view all three calendars.

The FCUSD Board of Education will take public input before making a decision at a January Board meeting. Please respond to the on-line survey before Friday Dec. 16 to indicate your preference. 

Click here to take the survey!
Campus climate spotlight: Creating a safe school culture
In the years Randy Moya served as a school resource officer in Rancho Cordova schools, his patrol car always got a lot of attention when it was parked out in front of a school - but it usually wasn't there for the reason you may think.
Typically, Moya was just peeking in on classrooms, talking to staff about concerns or chatting with kids in the cafeteria during lunch.

"I'm just here to hang out with you guys," he would tell them.
School officers schools make it a point to know students for the good things they do. It's just one example of the district's approach to creating a positive environment for students, one in which students know they are safe and cared for. Other examples include counselors that address social-emotional issues, students who stand up for their peers, and parents who make great efforts to get involved.
Norma Trujillo has five children who have attended Rancho Cordova schools. Her oldest, Seth, is now a freshman at UC Santa Barbara.\

"When my kids were in elementary school, I volunteered for one hour a week in each of their classrooms," she says. "It helped the teachers, but it also let me see how they're doing, who they're hanging out with, how the teachers and staff interacted with the kids."
"I had no safety concerns - ever," she says.

In fact, she suggests that this is the best way for parents to evaluate where their children go to school. "We encourage [prospective and existing] parents to visit and stop by," says Trujillo, who is now the parent coordinator for Mills Middle School.
For Moya, the former school resource officer, creating safety on campus is all about relationships. The district's problem-oriented policing approach supports this by focusing on issues, as opposed to singling out a student for punishment. He knows the importance of this kind of positive interaction with authorities.

The Promise Program: An opportunity for free higher education at Folsom Lake College
Graduates from Cordova High School in 2016-17 have the opportunity to attend their first year of Folsom Lake College for free, starting with the 2017-18 academic year. The Promise Program launched by Folsom Lake College, Folsom Lake College Foundation and the City of Rancho Cordova, will benefit students who are current residents of Rancho Cordova and enrolled at the Folsom Lake College for the fall semester of 2017.   All students who meet this criteria will qualify regardless of household income or GPA to receive funding for the first semester.
Each eligible promise student is allocated the same amount of money, $579 per semester, which can be applied toward tuition and fees, textbooks, universal transit pass fee, or class materials. Students are also encouraged to apply for financial aid (complete the FAFSA and BOG fee waiver applications). Students must pass 6 of their 12 unit class load of the 2017 fall semester to receive funding for the 2018 spring semester.
The initial funding for the Promise Program was provided by the City of Rancho Cordova. The City Council allocated $100,000 from the Measure H Community Enhancement Fund, approved by voters in 2014, toward the Promise Program. There is also a growing corporate matching program with initial commitments from Safe Credit Union, VSP Global and Dignity Health.
For questions please reach out to Kristy Hart at
Beyond the GPA: What else influences college admissions?
On Nov. 16, Vista del Lago hosted a Case Studies Night during which college admission officers from around the country walked a group of about 130 students and parents through mock college application evaluations.

In small groups, participants read three mock applications and provided input on whether those students should be admitted, wait-listed or denied admission. The college admissions officers then gave their feedback and provided their outlook regarding who they would have likely admitted and why.

It was an eye opening experience for everyone as participants gained insight into the process and how considerations beyond GPA and test scores play an important role. Colleges look at myriad other factors,  including character, athletics/other  extracurricular activities,  application essays, high school curriculum rigor, and letters of recommendation.

"Students, families and staff reported increased understanding of the process of finding a good college fit and enhancing applications," said Julie Calderwood, Career Clerk at Vista del Lago High School. 

The Case Studies Night was a program offered through Vista del Lago's College/Career Center in collaboration with the Regional Admissions Counselors of California and Vista's PTSO.
In other news ...

Board Update Logo
Families Invited to IB Programme Info Nights

You're invited to plan ahead for your child's future success!

Folsom Cordova invites families of students of any grade level to attend the IB Program Info Nights. Join us to learn about IB educational, instructional and grading philosophy. 

FCUSD has two International Baccalaureate programmes:
The next Information Night will be held at W. E. Mitchell Middle on Feb. 6, 2017 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the Library. 
Discover myriad STEM opportunities throughout FCUSD

It's more important than ever for our students to gain skills necessary to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of the information that surrounds them. 

The subjects collectively known as STEM - science, technology, engineering and math - help prepare these young minds for success beyond school - whether they are future engineers, architects or artists! 

Learn about our special STEM opportunities in Rancho Cordova and Folsom at

Board of Education Update: Dec. 8, 2016  
The FCUSD Board of Education will hold its regular meeting on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. in the Education Services Center, 1965 Birkmont Drive in Rancho Cordova. 

Agenda items will include:
  • Oath of Office to new Board member Chris Clark and returning Board member JoAnne Reinking 
  • First Interim Financial Report
  • Discussion regarding immunization records on student transcripts
Agendas are posted the Fridays before each regular meeting and can be found here.
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FCUSD Communication and Community Engagement Office
(916) 294-9000 ext. 104530