NUSD Community Newsletter -- October Edition 

Hope you enjoy this edition of "NUSD Spotlight," the district's monthly community newsletter. Contact Director of Communications Jim Sanders, 561-5267, if you have comments, concerns or story suggestions. Thank you for your support of Natomas schools.
Kudos to Kids who Represent NUSD 'Vision'
in Academics, Leadership or other Fields
The Board of Trustees honored more than 200 students who represent the District Vision, which is, "All students graduate as college and career ready, productive, responsible, and engaged global citizens."
Honorees could have demonstrated outstanding qualities in community service, leadership, grades, arts, personal responsibility, or any other way that exemplifies NUSD's Vision. Winners were selected by their schools and applauded in an Oct. 14 ceremony at Inderkum High School that was attended by hundreds of family members and friends. Read the full story here.
 Supt's Message:

They're a tribute to parents, teachers & community     

We want the Natomas community to know how proud we are of the 232 District 'Vision' students who were honored by our Board of Trustees this month.

These are kids of all ages who represent the NUSD Vision that, "All students graduate as college and career ready, productive, responsible, and engaged global citizens."

Teachers and principals selected winners who have demonstrated outstanding qualities in community service, leadership, arts, personal responsibility, or in other ways that exemplify NUSD's Vision.

Honorees included a volunteer who helps feed the hungry, a girl described as the "Mama Bear" of her school's leadership program, a student described as an academic "Rock Star," a boy known for thinking of ways to make the world a better place, and a student who is quick to share kind words to help students feel good about themselves.

These kids are a tribute to their parents, families, teachers, schools, and to the entire Natomas community. It's an honor and a privilege to serve them.  

Joshua Hoong urges compassion
and empathy for mentally ill 

For his senior project, Joshua Hoong wanted to make a difference at his school and in his community. So the 17-year-old Inderkum senior launched "Each Mind Matters," a campaign urging understanding of mental illness and those who suffer from it. "Each mind does matter -- and each person matters," he said. "They're people, too, and they shouldn't be looked down upon or separated from society." Read the full story here.

Natomas High Chosen to Offer 
AP Capstone Diploma Program  

Renowned diploma program 
coming to NHS next year 

Natomas High has been chosen to augment its strong Advanced Placement program into a nationally renowned diploma program, AP Capstone, that will enable students to earn college credits while acquiring key critical thinking and analytical skills valued by America's top colleges and universities. Read the full story here.

Students Applaud Announcement:

"It will definitely give our school some recognition... I feel like this program is really cool." -- Melissa, 17.

"We could recruit a lot more people (to Natomas High)," -- Ashley, 17.

"I was thinking about going to Inderkum. But now that I know there is this opportunity, I'll stay here." -- Stephanie, NHS freshman.
Nine Natomas High Students win AP Scholar Awards
Angel Hernandez 

Nine Natomas High School students won AP Scholar Awards recently for exceptional achievement on 2015 Advanced Placement Exams. Only one of every five students worldwide who took AP exams received similar honors. Natomas High's top winner was Angel Hernandez, who captured an "AP Scholar with Honor Award" for averaging 3.25 or higher while passing four or more AP exams. Other winners were Kanwalprit Bagri, Dylan Chima Sanchez, Emma Colombo, Trevor Gomez, Marilyn Gonzalez, Alexandro Guerrero, Roland Herbert, and Beili Huang. Read the full story here.

Soldier Makes Surprise 
Visit t o Heron School 

No wonder he got such a big hug. Army Pfc. Jonathan Lindo, who hadn't been home from Army training in about a year, surprised his younger siblings by visiting Heron School this month. Obviously thrilled to see him were his 6th grade sister, Moriah, and his brothers Tristan, 2nd grade, and Noah, 7th grade. Pfc. Lindo, an Inderkum High School graduate, had only a few days to revel in family joy before he deployed overseas. We wish him a safe deployment and another happy reunion upon his return. 

Harvest Time: Festival fun 
at many NUSD campuses 

Fall carnivals or festivals are a Natomas Unified tradition -- a fun way for PTAs to raise money and build campus community. 

Here's a photo collage of Natomas Park Elementary's "Coyote Carnival," which offered everything from cake walking to balloon popping to basketball tossing to face painting to Karate Kid board breaking.

College and Career

Record number of 10th graders take PSAT Test 

Ninety-two percent of Natomas Unified 10th graders took the Preliminary Scholastic  Aptitude Test free of charge this month at the campus they attend, an opportunity not available in most California school districts.

About 1,000 students took the test Oct. 14, comprising the largest percentage of test-takers since NUSD began offering the PSAT to 10th graders three years ago. The test was given during the school day to avoid any work, family or other scheduling conflicts for students.

"I'm taking the test because I want to get into a good college," said McKayla, 15. "It will help me prepare for the actual SAT."

PSAT scores in reading, writing, language arts and math can help students pinpoint learning gaps they need to fill before taking the next step in testing as high school juniors, the SAT, which can qualify them for scholarships or college admission. Read the full story here.

Joey's Food Locker Serves First Families 
Food Closet Feeds 112 in Debut 

Clyde came to Joey's Food Locker because he's a retiree on fixed income and "every little bit helps."

Delicia came because she has six kids in her household and "especially around this time of month, it's good to have some extra food around."

Within 90 minutes after it opened its doors for the first time, Joey's Food Locker at Natomas High provided free canned or dried foods to about 20 families, representing 112 mouths to feed.

 Read the full story here.
Donations Needed 

Please help us help others.

Joey's Food Locker will rely on public donations for its survival. Canned or dried goods can be brought to any NUSD school or to the Ed Center at 1901 Arena Blvd.

Checks can be made out to Natomas Unified School District, with a notation that they are meant for Joey's Food Locker. They should be sent to Natomas Unified School District c/o Brent Johnson, 1901 Arena Blvd., Sacramento, Ca., 95834.

Questions? Contact Brent Johnson, 567-5314, or Joel Schwieger, 530-312-9799.
Lisa MacMillan


Heron Teacher Lisa MacMillan:
'So honored to be part of their lives'

Little did Lisa MacMillan know years ago that she would inspire one of her students at the time, Shantel Sandoval, to become a Natomas teacher herself.

Macmillan, Natomas Unified's Teacher of the Year, has been inspiring students, building relationships, and making a difference for two decades in Natomas. 

Read the full story here.

NHS Prepared Her for a Career:
with Natomas Unified District

It's a good thing that Natomas High School prepared La Sandra Elliott well for life  beyond high school: She now works for NUSD.  The former Nighthawk, Class of 2003, was hired this month as an Office Specialist III in NUSD's Financial Services Department, where she handles tasks ranging from drafting memos to planning meetings.

Read the full story here.
La Sandra Elliott 

Freeze that Frame -- NUSD Kodak Moments  
New STAR Academy Breaks Ground
NUSD Trustees, District leaders and Natomas Charter School officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 5 for a new STAR Academy, to open next year at Gloster Way and Prosper Road. The $24 million campus, to house students through 5th grade, will replace the existing STAR Academy, located in a commercial building. Story here.
Hundreds Join Walk-to-School Events 
Hundreds of NUSD students participated in International Walk to School Day, Oct. 7, or in other walk-to-school events by North Natomas Transportation Management Association this month. Such events promote exercise, fitness and friendship. They also produce environmental benefits from less driving. Story here. 
NUSD Job Fair a Big Success 
More than 180 candidates attended Natomas Unified's Classified Job Fair recently, where they had an opportunity to present their resumes in person, discuss job openings, and perhaps get an interview -- maybe even a job offer -- on the spot. NUSD was recruiting for more than two dozen positions, ranging from kindergarten aide to food service assistant. Read the full story here. 

Tigers of the Putting Green

Inderkum High's girls golf team recently won the Tri-County Conference title. Here's the kicker: It's a 3-Peat Feat. For three consecutive years, the squad has captured top conference honors. That's rare in any sport. Inderkum's talented girl golfers went undefeated in TCC play and won the league tournament. Two players, Monique Peterson and Amelia Hicks, qualified to play in the Masters Tournament. Go Tigers! 

Capturing Spirit of 'Energy Awareness Month' 
Month of Recognition is Ending -- But Keep Saving Energy 

Members of American Lakes Elementary School's "Green Team" exemplify the spirit of October, which is national Energy Awareness Month. Nearly 50 ALE students spend time after school every Friday gathering paper, cardboard, plastic and other items for recycling, thus learning about conservation and helping the environment. Lori Lewis, NUSD's environmental support manager, urges NUSD families to conserve electricity and water year-round. Read energy-saving tips here.
Reaching Parents the 'Old-Fashioned Way' 

In this digital age of emailing, texting, Tweeting and Facebooking, Jefferson Elementary School Principal D anisha Keeler has not abandoned an oldie-but-goodie method for communicating directly with parents: Face-to-face, open door, anybody-can-come.

For the past four years, the Jefferson Elementary School leader has held a monthly "Coffee and Conversation" session to keep parents and community members in touch with school developments and District news -- and to give them a chance to ask questions about whatever's on their mind.

Why? to build a connection with the families and to let them know what's going on," she said. "It's part of our school culture that parents feel involved, that they feel like they know what's going on, both at our campus and in our District." Read the full story here.
There's something very special about a high school Homecoming Game. Memories can last for years. Natomas and Inderkum high schools both held their homecoming football games on the same day this month, Oct. 9. Photos below capture some of the fun.