Community Newsletter -- Summer Edition           
We hope you enjoy "NUSD Spotlight," a community newsletter designed to keep you informed about District goals, actions, programs, and student achievement. We launched it in spring as a seasonal publication, but we plan to expand distribution to monthly next year. Thank you for your support of Natomas schools. 
                      NUSD SPOTLIGHT       Summer 2015   

Spring 2015 - In This Issue:
NUSD News Bites, Gains or Kudos 
Here are a few NUSD accomplishments since the spring edition of "Spotlight":
  • Inderkum High School's Friday Night Live club won top honors from the Sacramento County Office of Education for its advocacy against alcohol, drugs, drunken driving and distracted driving, and for its community service, outreach and fundraising efforts. 
  • Sacramento soccer star Tommy Stewart, of Sacramento Republic FC, visited a Two Rivers Elementary School transitional kindergarten class. He answered questions, posed for photos, and read the kids a book, "Froggy Plays Soccer." 
  • Inderkum High School's Winter Color Guard captured its third consecutive Northern California championship.
NUSD Graduation Ceremonies Set
Congratulations to all our graduating seniors and to 8th graders who are moving on to high school. Graduation, promotion and commitment ceremonies will be held at campuses under the following schedule:
  • Discovery High School, Tuesday, May 26, 6 p.m.
  • Natomas High School, Wednesday, May 27, 6 p.m.
  • Inderkum High School, Thursday, May 28, 6 p.m.
  • Heron School, Friday, May 29, 9 a.m.
  • Leroy Greene Academy, Friday, May 29, 11 a.m.
  • Natomas Middle School, Friday, May 29, 3 p.m. 
Questions? Call the campuses directly and, if more information is needed, call Constituent and Customer Services at 561-5253.

Two New School Leaders Hired
Yuri Penermon - Natomas High School
Yuri Penermon says he's "eager and anxious to get started and hit the ground running" at Natomas High School.

He was honored as 2014 Certificated Administrator of the Year in his current district and once made headlines by spending 24 hours on a middle school roof to keep his promise after the student body improved its test scores.

Hired as an NUSD executive director and principal, Mr. Penermon has served for 13 years as a secondary school principal and vice principal.

 Read his story here.
Stephanie Carlstrom -- H. Allen Hight 
Stephanie Carlstrom's resume includes lengthy stints in the private sector and as an elementary, middle and high school educator.

She currently serves at an International Baccalaureate school in Elk Grove.

 "I'm excited about the IB program and I'm excited to be part of the Natomas district as a whole," she said. "I have an open-door policy to everyone. I'm transparent and I really do want to do what's best for kids." 
NUSD has scheduled "meet and greet" sessions on Thursday, May 21, so the public can get acquainted with Ms. Carlstrom. Sessions are planned at 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Hight.

Read her story here.
Trustee Lisa Kaplan Awards Computers to 2 Special Kids
Seniors Jaskaran Singh and Nicole Osorio were awarded Chromebooks this month by Trustee Lisa Kaplan, who personally buys the computers and presents them to students who overcome obstacles to succeed academically. She also gives them a card with her cellphone number and email address, so they can contact her if they ever want advice or mentoring.
Kaplan's message was simple to Singh, of Natomas High, and to Osorio, Inderkum: I beli eve in you.
"We know there are challenges, and I think young adults who are able to overcome challenges show their strength and ability to succeed because they don't give up," Kaplan said. "Those are the kids I want to reward."

Read the full story here.
Campus Water Use Cut -- and More Measures Planned
Committed to saving water at all its campuses, Natomas Unified already has instituted conservation measures in response to California's drought and will expand those efforts in coming weeks, then tighten the spigot even further this summer to minimize use and maximize waste prevention.

"Like families throughout the state, we recognize that every drop of water saved is vital as reservoir levels drop statewide," Superintendent Chris Evans said. "NUSD will continue to cut its water usage, react quickly to any report of a water leak, and deploy water-saving technology and landscaping whenevr possible during California's drought.

To report water waste or to express a concern, question, comment or suggestion about the District's conservation efforts, please call NUSD's Constituent and Cus tomer Services, 916-561-5253.

Click here for a list of what NUSD is doing to cut water use and what it plans to implement in coming months.
Great News for Natomas Unified's Bilingual Students  
EL Reclassifications Double 

Learning to speak, read and write English can be a hard struggle for students who speak an additional language at home, so the joy was evident recently at a ceremony honoring 303 students who have been reclassified this year as Fluent English Proficient, meaning they can read, write and speak English as well as their grade-level peers.  NUSD more than doubled last year's reclassification number -- 303 vs. 146 -- foll owing passage of an English Learner Master Plan and commitments in the District's Local Control and Accountability Plan. Read the full story here.
50 Earn 'Seal of Biliteracy' 

Fifty Natomas Unified students will receive the California Seal of Biliteracy next month, an increase of 68 percent over last year, with results pending for two additional students. At graduation, honorees will receive a medal and a gold seal on their diploma.  NUSD students earned the state seal for proficiency in one or more of eight languages -- Spanish, French, German, Punjabi, Tagalog, Hmong, Russian and Arabic. Read more and see the list of Seal of Biliteracy winners here.
Extraordinary 'Field Day' for Students Who Face Challenges
Nobody finished last and everybody took home a ribbon at an "Invitational Field Day" held recently at Natomas High School for special needs students from Natomas Unified, Twin Rivers, Washington Unified and San Juan school districts this month. Between 100 and 200 students competed in running or other events, ranging from long jump to softball toss to Frisbee throw or wheelchair races. First and second place ribbons were awarded to the top two finishers in each category -- but everybody else scored a ribbon, too, a white one designating them as third-place finishers in three age divisions. Put simply, everybody won in this feel-good competition offering friendship, fun and exercise. Read the story here.

NFL Drafts Former Tiger            Student Testing Continues
Former Inderkum Tiger Vince Mayle was tapped by the NFL's Cleveland Browns this month in the fourth round of the annual college football draft. Mayle. a 2009 Inderkum graduate, was a semifinalist this year for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation's top receiver. 

As a senior, Mayle set a Washington State University single-season record of 106 receptions this year, scoring nine touchdowns. His 1,483 receiving yards were third most in the country. Sports Illustrated named him an honorable mention All America.

Read more about Mayle here.  To see highlights of Mayle's senior season at WSU, click here. 
To see Mayle in action at Inderkum High, click here.  

Testing dates vary by school, but NUSD continues to assess students in 3rd through 8th and 11th grades using  California's new "Smarter Balanced Assessments."
We want to remind parents that the Sacramento County Office of Education has cautioned that this year's tests are likely to be more challenging to students initially than those in years past. Don't compare results past and present, it says: "This year's results will set a new starting point for student achievement."

Unlike past years, students will answer questions via computer, not pencil and paper, and multiple-choice questions will not be the focus of the test. In a math question, for example, students may be asked to drag and drop things from one place on the screen to another.

The new assessments are meant to provide information about what students know and are able to do, and whether they are on track to succeed in college and career.

Click here for the county's guide to the new test system. For more information, see NUSD's testing  webpage.

'Bite of Reality' for Natomas High Juniors and Seniors 
Exercise in financial juggling   

Dozens of Natomas High School juniors and seniors were rolling in dough, with thousands of dollars to spend -- then reality hit.

They'd need a house, car, furniture, appliances, food, clothing, health insurance, not to mention a few bucks to snatch a bite at a restaurant or attend a Giants baseball game. What to do? 

The exercise in financial literacy, "Bite of Reality, gave about 100 NHS students a taste of the financial juggling, economic uncertainties and difficult choices they will face as si ngle adults or married spouses in years ahead.

Yesenia Liscano, 17, said she gained an understanding of why parents can get stressed out trying to make ends meet. "Now we know what they have to go through," she said.

Read the full story here.
10 Seniors Receive $7,500 in NSF Scholarships 
Congratulations to 10 NUSD seniors who have won $7,500 in scholars hips from the Natomas Schools Foundation. Winners of $1,000 apiece are Martin Rubalcava, Jasleen Raj, Nicole Osorio, Amanda Lytle and Irina Pavlushkin. Scholarships of $500 were given to Miles Lee Anthony Miller, Sadaf Arshad, Amanda Elliott, Whitney Erby and Rachel Wagner. Applicants must meet a minimum grade point average and have 50 or more hours of community service, school service or formal employment in the past two years. Five honorees attended a Duck Pluck Festival ceremony at which they were recognized and applauded for their achievement. "Thank you so much," Irina told an NSF representative as she walked off the stage. "You're changing lives here."
'Infinite Campus' Marks Major Change for NUSD

Parents and guardians routinely will be able to call up their student's grades, attendance and other personal information on a smartphone, tablet or computer once "Infinite Campus" replaces PowerSchool next year in NUSD.


Work is progressing on implementation of the new system. We are readying the District for the change by training a few teachers and office staff members at each school to be IC experts.  We also are working on training and support systems to help everyone with this transition.


After we go live, we will begin giving students and their families access to the new Infinite Campus Portal to see their student's classroom information via multiple technology devices.


The transition for elementary students and families will be phased in, since this will be the first time our elementary schools use the web-based information system for student grading.

We will send out more information and details about trainings to all stakeholders later this summer.  Thank you for your continued support and patience as we make this big change in Natomas Unified.

Farm-to-School-to-Fork Promised by New NUSD Program 

Why not buy from local farmers to produce school lunches?

That's the simple idea behind "California Thursdays," a new statewide program in which Natomas Unified is committing itself, initially once a month, to serve cafeteria lunches made from fresh produce or foods produced in California, with an eye toward buying from Sacramento-area farms.

"It's a win-win-win-win situation," said Karen Brown of the Center for Ecoliteracy, a Berkeley nonprofit group that is spearheading "California Thursdays" in 42 school districts statewide. Kids get fresher foods, farmers get new sales, California's economy gains, and environmental benefits accrue from less packaging and transport of school cafeteria foods," she said.

Read the full story here: 

Questions about NUSD Spotlight?
Call Jim Sanders  
Director of Communications
NUSD Vision: "All NUSD students graduate as college and   career  ready, productive, responsible, and engaged global citizens."