Your weekly recap of student success
VIDEO: California Family Fitness teams up with Rancho Cordova Elementary
Video by Sydney Northcutt, FCUSD Communication Internship Program

Fourth and fifth-graders at Rancho Cordova Elementary School recently benefitted from a unique partnership between California Family Fitness and the Folsom Cordova Unified School District, in which students received personal training on active living and healthy habits.
The program was born out of CFF's commitment to building a healthier community and is designed to mirror CFF's group training program, "Body Fit," which offers a dynamic fusion of cardio and strength training in a small group format. CFF's certified personal trainers coached students weekly training sessions throughout the fall, culminating in an awards ceremony earlier in November.
The program also incorporated "homework" designed to engage the entire family in building and sustaining healthy lifestyle habits. Outside-of-school activities included taking a family trip to a local farmer's market, a walk around the neighborhood and planting a vegetable in their garden. Awards categories for participating students included greatest improvement, most inspirational and many others.
The Body Fit Kids program is one of several initiatives kicking off this fall in collaboration with Folsom Cordova. Select CFF management are participating in Folsom Cordova Unified School District's six-week Community Readers Program that teams up volunteers in the community to meet one-on-one twice weekly with a student struggling to read at grade level. The company also held a book drive, donating hundreds of books to students in need.

Click here to see Good Day Sacramento's recent highlight of the program! 
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 other questions please contact Kristy Hart at
TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: Giving credit where due
Cordova High School teacher amazed by her hard-working IB students

When Rachel Nguyen came to Cordova High School three years ago, it was because her new teaching job met both her criteria: a culturally diverse school and a newly-forming International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
At her interview, she told the assistant principal, "I'm hoping to build a program I can bring my own children to."
And in fact, her kindergartner and first grader are on track for their mother's high school: They attend a nearby elementary school. "I want my kids to grow up with students like I teach," she says.

It's safe to say that Nguyen is crazy about her students.
"This is the most diverse school I've ever walked into," says Nguyen, who is the school's IB Diploma Programme Coordinator. "There are these rich heritages and this super community of learners. Every one of my classes is so interesting."
She also tells stories of the challenges her students face, which can easily bring her to tears, but in the end, leave her even more impressed. One young woman in her class travels 40 minutes on public transportation to get to school every day. A young man works in a restaurant to help support his family - but snagged extra hours this summer so he could buy himself a laptop.
"They are brilliant, hard-working individuals ... and this is a beautiful, amazing group of people," Nguyen says. "There is strength and creativity and a sense of community here."
VIDEO: Outgoing Board member Stanley honored for 20 years of service
Board of Education member Teresa Stanley was recognized by educators, colleagues, and community members at the Board's Nov. 17 meeting, Stanley's final after 20 years of service to schools in Folsom Cordova.
In her elected role, Stanley has served as Board president seven times, vice president three times, and has also served as a delegate to the California School Boards Association. A Folsom resident for 23 years, she is the parent of four graduates from FCUSD schools.
During her tenure, FCUSD saw many changes: a 51 percent increase in enrollment; the passage of nine school modernization bond measures; the construction or re-opening of 11 schools; and the implementation and expansion of several educational programs including International Baccalaureate, Project Lead the Way, STEM, foreign language magnet programs, and more.

Vista del Lago and Cordova High win big in  El Dorado Forestry Challenge
Students from Cordova and Vista del Lago High Schools  recently  participated  in the 2016 El Dorado Forestry Challenge , along with a total of 84 high school students from 13 schools from Northern California.  The event was October 26-29 at Leoni Meadows Camp. 

The teams from Vista won first place and fifth place out of the 20 teams in the competition.  Cordova won second place in the Pacing Contest and received two Four-Year Participation Awards for seniors Joi Jacobs and Jonae Curry.

"Our students continue to have an amazing experience while job-shadowing foresters at this event, and even the rain this year did not dampen their enthusiasm," said Cordova High School teacher Bret Harnden.

Joi Jacobs, a senior at Cordova High School, summed it up: "This experience has improved my teamwork skills, my confidence, and presentation skills. It was very fun and a great four-year experience."

One of the highlights for the students this year was learning how to conduct a "Brown's Transect", a method to quantify woody debris on the forest floor.  The study area was the site of a fuels reduction project in 2008.  Students entered the data into a fire behavior computer modeling program to determine optimum conditions under which to conduct a prescribed burn in the project area.  During the Challenge, teams of students also completed field training, followed by a field test, to assess their technical forestry knowledge and data collecting skills.

"Students get the opportunity to collect real data and apply their findings.  This is real learning," said Vista Del Lago High School teacher Kim Moore.

"The Forestry Challenge is the perfect event for any student who is a hands-on learner, such as myself," said Alec Morris, a senior at Vista Del Lago High School. "It is a great opportunity for students to learn and apply their knowledge in a practical setting."

Find out more from the Grapevine Independent here!
IN THE NEWS: Substitutes needed in FCUSD schools

The Folsom Telegraph recently published an article about the need for substitutes, particularly in our Rancho Cordova schools. The District recently increased the pay for substitute teachers: if they work day-to-day in Rancho Cordova schools, subs can make $140 for a full day.
"As we continue to experience a shortage of certificated teachers, it is not surprising that our substitute pool is also impacted," Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Karen Knight told The Telegraph. "We are definitely in a 'buyer's market,' as we must compete with neighboring districts for quality subs."
Interested in becoming a substitute teacher? Check this site often for openings
In other news ...

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In the News: Students helping Folsom Zoo rescued/disabled animals

I nnovate for Impact is a program that pairs student volunteers with Professional Engineers in California Government. Their mission: to improve the lives of rescued/disabled animals at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary by creating better living spaces for them.

"A lot of special animals here and one special thing that students and engineers are helping with is not only building safety sheds and planter boxes, but also making enrichment items for the animals" said 
zookeep er Jill Faust.

Free after school Dance Club at Navigator Elementary

Over 80 K-5 students participated and had fun at the first free After School Dance Club at Navigator Elementary earlier this month.  

Navigator PE teacher Jolane McCarthy, along with Bailey Carson, a member of Cordova High School cheer team, were leading the crowd as instructors, while 10 other staff volunteers spent time helping out. 

The program is not only designed for enjoyment but it's also intended to improve students' physical health, socialization skills, self expression and self-esteem. 

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Board of Education Update: Nov. 17, 2016  
The FCUSD Board of Education held its regular meeting on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. in the Education Services Center, 1965 Birkmont Drive in Rancho Cordova. 

Agenda items included:
  • Reception for outgoing Board Member Teresa Stanley 
  • Approval of the 2016-17 Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) for all district schools
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