Your weekly recap of student success
VIDEO: "Breaking Down the Walls" program unites Folsom High School campus
Video and story by Reijer den Dulk and Sydney Northcutt, FCUSD Communication Internship Program
Imagine sharing the most personal experiences, the most vulnerable stories, to a room of hundreds of friends, peers, and strangers. Through the program "Breaking Down the Walls," more than 600 Folsom High School students had the opportunity to do so by participating in workshops spanning three days.

The purpose of "Breaking Down the Walls is to cultivate a positive campus culture and to encourage interaction between all students to create a unified student body. The program features topics such as anti-bullying, self-reflection, and community-building.

Junior Hafsa Khan said, "[Breaking Down the Walls] allows kids, high schoolers, to come in and just open up and feel like they're in a safe place to talk about their problems."

Assistant Principal Elizabeth Sisson helped bring the program to campus and was a participant herself.

"The whole premise behind it is that you can't really truly bully a student if you know their true story, what they're going through. It's an opportunity for kids to walk in somebody else's shoes for the afternoon," she said.

Both the reaction from staff and students who participated exceeded positivity. Activities Director Clif Castro said, "Many said it was a life-changing experience."

Counselor Mike Adorjan enjoyed the opportunity to participate alongside his students and learn more about them. "I enjoy just seeing the kids be on their level and not having to be the grownup necessarily, but have fun," he said.

Students learned of their peers' stories and connected with others they might not have interacted with on campus before. "I also learned a lot about specific people, especially who I thought were different, but they have so many problems going on. I can't even fathom why I thought what I thought of them before this program," Khan said.

"It was something I've never seen or imagined could be done at a school event before," said junior Sean Kniznik, "It changed it from a group of students to a group of close friends really."

Meet Scott Meyer: FCUSD's Child Welfare Coordinator
Veteran educator Scott Meyer was appointed by the superintendent in 2015 to oversee the District's Child Welfare Office, which provides support to schools in the areas of character education, bullying prevention, mental health, and school climate. He recently took a moment to provide an overview of ongoing work in our schools - keep reading for information on how our schools and families can work together to maintain safe learning environments for students.
There has been a lot of renewed attention and good conversation around the issue of bullying in public schools, and as Folsom Cordova's Child Welfare Coordinator, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and provide an overview of the ongoing work in our schools to keep kids safe.

A little about myself: I spent 9 years as a teacher and 3 years as a school administrator before the superintendent appointed me as the District's Child Welfare Coordinator in early 2015. My first assignment was to lead and facilitate the work of a community taskforce to examine our schools' character education and bullying prevention efforts, then make sure its recommendations were implemented.

More than 100 families, staff members, students, and community members joined the effort. What they created was an action plan, a comprehensive set of recommendations that has created a roadmap for our work that continues today.

I encourage you to visit my office's website at to see this group's plan, meeting minutes, and other helpful resources. In the meantime, here are a few examples of our ongoing efforts to support positive school climate:
­ Click here to read the full message from our District's Child Welfare Coordinator.
INFOGRAPHIC: See our spending plan for student success
The state of California directs a greater share of public education funding to high-need schools, and requires districts to plan for and show how these funds are spent in a document called a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).
Our new infographic is intended to provide an easy-to-use guide and quick reference for how Folsom Cordova Unified is using public money to improve student achievement. 
Download a copy: Visit to see English and Spanish versions of our spending plan and student achievement goals. Or, click the links below:
California's landmark reform of public school financing, called the Local Control Funding Formula, greatly simplifies how public schools are funded and provides school districts greater control and flexibility in the budgeting process.
Every school district in the state receives a base amount of funding, then additional funding based on their percentages of English learner, low-income and foster youth students.
PHOTOS: Mills Middle Campout builds campus connections, outdoors experience
Three Mills Middle School teachers - Stephanie Bird, Mark Arnez, and Justin Smith - have always enjoyed sharing their love of the outdoors with their students. And they have always felt that enjoying time with students in the great outdoors has done tremendous things for their relationships with students on campus. So to kick of the 2016-17 school year, these teachers invited all Mills students and staff members to participate in an overnight Mills Campout Under the Stars.

Some 80 students, 17 teachers and counselors, and several volunteers participated in this campout on Sept 16-17 at Lake Natoma. Nearly three dozen  students rode their bikes for the 22 miles round trip, while the rest took a bus. The group shared meals, sang songs, had a glowstick dance party, and participated in several STEM activities.
There were many firsts to be had by the eclectic group of Mills students, such as first time sleeping outside (under a bright full moon, no less), first time riding such a long distance, and first time eating instant oatmeal. Students enjoyed time with friends both new and old, and bravely and joyously navigated the team-building challenges they faced.
PHOTOS: Visit our Facebook page for snapshots from the Mills Campout! 

Actor & consultant from London's Globe Theatre visits CHS
On Tuesday, Oct. 18, Tas Emiabata, an actor and Learning Consultant from the Globe Theatre in London, visited Cordova High School. He collaborated in Kelly Boske's Shakespeare Seminar class to work with the students on scenes from  The Tempest.  

Part of the Globe ethos  (Globe Education) is to get kids exploring Shakespeare in an active way, and to have them up on their feet doing exercises to help them explore the text for deeper understanding and appreciation. 

"Tas was an incredibly enthusiastic instructor, and the students were engaged for the entire 2-hour session", Kelly Boske said. 

Teachers from across the District were invited to observe the session with the students in the afternoon, and then after school, Tas worked with the teachers on ways they could utilize these same techniques and exercises in their own classes. 

Students were up to a hands-on experience in literature during the time shared with Emiabata.
IN THE NEWS:  Halloween decor by an eerie educator at FHS
Folsom High School's staff room was decked out in ultimate spookiness on Halloween! 

Each year, Debbie Greene, a teacher at Folsom High, works hard along with some helpers for a few months prior to Halloween, using spare time preparing a spooky, ghostly and frightening environment for a staff Halloween breakfast. 

"I've been designing and creating this Halloween environment in the staff room for the teachers. I do it mainly because teachers work so hard ... we really want to have something just for teachers, so they can feel like kids again, feel spooky and have a good time" Debbie said.

Ms. Greene creates this spooky environment with items she finds everywhere, at home, at school - which she recycles and transforms into Halloween art work. "I love to work on this. I do sculptures anyways, (so) I find stuff and I use it," she said. 
Cordova High grad plays key role in tonight's World Series 
The nation will be on the edge of its seat during tonight's historic Game 7 of the World Series, as Chicago Cubs fans anxiously await what they hope will be their team's first championship in more than 100 years.

In Rancho Cordova, the tension will be even greater: 1981 Cordova High grad Chris Bosio is the Cubs's major league pitching coach. He played for the Brewers and Mariners from 1986-96, including a no-hitter in 1993 for the Mariners against the Boston Red Sox.

At Cordova High, he played basketball and football in addition to baseball.
Bosio is in his fifth year with the Cubs after holding coaching positions in Seattle Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee.

Bosio was inducted into the Rancho Cordova Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

The game will be broadcast at 5 p.m . on the FOX network.
In other news ...

Board Update Logo
FHS Presents: Fall Musical Guys & Dolls
Folsom High School proudly presents their fall musical Guys and Dolls. This is a classic theatre piece based on Damon Runyon's stories of New York. It's a timeless classic and includes standards like "Luck Be a Lady Tonight" and "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat".

Performances will be held Nov. 3-5 & Nov. 9-11 at 7 p.m. at Folsom High School
Adult admission tickets are $12 and  $ 10 for students and seniors 55 and over.

Tickets can be reserved by completing this  Ticket Reservation Form .

Folsom Cordova employees receive a complimentary ticket! Show your ID at the ticket booth OR identify yourself as a district employee on the reservation form.

Folsom High students can purchase tickets at lunch beginning Oct. 31.

Vista invites you to new production: Radium Girls  

Vista Drama presents Radium Girls!! In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage-until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. 

Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. 

Don't miss this thought-provoking and powerful drama coming to Vista del Lago High School in late October. 

For tickets, click here

Shows run Nov. 3-5, and all performances are at 7 p.m. This show is appropriate for all ages.    se click here

Board of Education Update: Nov. 3, 2016  
The FCUSD Board of Education will hold its next regular meeting on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Education Services Center, 1965 Birkmont Drive in Rancho Cordova. 

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