NUSD Spotlight
 Community Newsletter
  -- March 11,  2019  

Hope you enjoy this edition of "NUSD Spotlight," the district's community newsletter. Contact Director of Communications Jim Sanders, (916) 561-5267, if you have comments, concerns or story ideas. Thank you!
UC President Janet Napolitano urges Tigers 
to attend 'best public university on the planet'
I nderkum High attracted the president of the entire UC system, Janet Napolitano, and UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May to encourage, inform and inspire Tigers recently to enroll at a UC campus.

The message was simple at the "Achieve UC" event for 10th- and 11th-graders: Never believe that a UC education is unaffordable or unattainable. Get good grades, do your part, then we'll do ours. We want you. We'll help you attend. 

Substantial financial aid is available, Napolitano said, and more than half of UC's California students graduate with a degree and no college debt after attending "the best public university on the planet."

Tiger graduate New Latthivongskorn also urged students to chase their dreams -- like he did. After leaving Inderkum, he earned a BA in molecular and cellular biology at UC Berkeley, a master's degree in Public Health at Harvard, and he'll graduate from UC San Francisco as a medical doctor this year.

Tiger students said they left the March 1 assembly feeling hopeful and encouraged.

Sydney, 16, said the message she got was, "If you don't think you're good enough, you are good enough. You can be in higher education."

"Hearing what they said today really (encourages) me to apply and look more into the UC system," said Summer, 15.

"I feel not only was it very informational, it was heartwarming and inspirational," added Tanayja, 15.

 For more on this event, click here
EDITOR'S NOTE:  Length of a newsletter can cause stories at the bottom to be clipped from display. If that happens to this newsletter, click " View Entire Message " prompt at the bottom of the page. Thank you very much.
Jonathan De La O
Yes that's former President Obama hugging an NUSD student -- here's how it happened ... 
Here's the story of how Natomas Unified student Jonathan De La O got a handshake and hug recently from a former president of the United States. His path leads directly from Discovery High to Barack Obama.

Jonathan enrolled in Discovery High this year with deficient credits and lousy grades, but with determination to turn his life around. He came to Natomas about four years ago, unable to speak English, fleeing violent and horrific memories from a Mexican community. Initially, he struggled in NUSD, but this year he's gotten honor roll grades, made up lost credits, and joined two groups dedicated to helping young men of color reach their potential.
One of those groups is My Brother's Keeper, an effort launched by Obama in 2014, while he was president. The Obama Foundation remains tied to MBK. So Obama was the headliner at an MBK-led conference in Oakland several weeks ago. And Jonathan was there to learn what he could about bettering himself and serving his community. The two crossed paths at a workshop and - voila - what happened next was a Kodak moment.

Here's the punchline: With only enough time to say one thing to Obama, very quickly, Jonathan gave a shout-out to NUSD: "You should come visit Natomas and Discovery High if you get a chance," he said. ... (Can you hear our standing ovation? Bravo! Bravo!)  
Central Valley Spelling Bee
3 NUSD kids among region's best of the best 
From a 13-county region encompassing more than 500,000 students, the Central Valley Spelling Bee whittled the field down to the best of the best -- 51 third- through eighth-grade standouts, from Sacramento to the Oregon border, who competed head-to-head in a showdown at the Rocklin Event Center. Three of those finalists were Natomas Unified students: Inaya Rasool of Two Rivers Elementary, who is pictured below; Nida Aziz, H. Allen Hight Elementary; and Theodore Graalfs, Heron School. ... Magnificent! ... I mean, M-A-G-N-I-F-I-C-E-N-T!
NUSD's Nutrition Services spearheads local million-meals summer feeding drive for kids 
Farm to EVERY fork?

NUSD's Nutrition Services Department will lead a countywide coalition committed to serving a million free meals this summer -- with increased emphasis on farm-fresh food -- to students whose school cafeterias are closed pending the start of a new school year.

Every kid should have somewhere to turn for a nutritious meal.

To assist in this effort, NUSD has been selected for a $70,000 grant by a national group, No Kid Hungry, to buy its first food truck. This will enable the summer hot-food program to expand beyond schools to community centers or swimming pools.
Sen. Richard Pan is spearheading this year's million-meals campaign, which is supported by Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, and a broad array of area schools, organizations, and leaders.

Here's the bottom line: Healthy students make better learners. And we're proud to help.
NUSD to offer Health, Wellness, Resource Fair
Natomas Unified's Health, Wellness, and Resource Fair will be held from 3-6 p.m. Friday, March 22, at Natomas High School, 3301 Fong Ranch Road.

This fun-for-all-ages event will include  a free BBQ, free farmers market and educational activities, as well as immunizations, health screenings, and information about NUSD enrollment and free or low-cost local resources. 

Additional information can be found here .
American Lakes 'Green Team' honored by city
for voluntarily recycling tons of trash per year 
The American Lakes School "Green Team" was honored last week by the Sacramento Recreation and Parks Commission for volunteer efforts by its dozens of students that have included:

1) Recycling about 8 tons of paper and cardboard from classrooms each year
2) Helping the school launch a cafeteria food waste diversion program several years ago
3) Participating in tree planting, park cleanup, and developing a school garden.

Former Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo, a Natomas resident, came to the commission meeting to thank and praise the Green Team's participating 1st- through 7th-graders with comments that were simple, touching, and profound:

"I'm just really proud of all of you," Fargo said. "I'm so pleased and comforted by the fact that you care about your community, your neighbors, your friends, your family, and Mother Earth herself. Not only do you care, but you're willing to take action. It's one thing to care, it's another thing to actually step up and do something about it. So I just wanted to be here tonight to tell you how proud I am, on behalf of Natomas and everyone in the city."

Pretty much says it all, no? You make us proud, American Lakes Green Team!

Career Technical Education video series 
Are you an NUSD student attracted to careers in  the  health-care or broadcasting industries?
Health Pathway -- Natomas High
Whether you want a career in the
health field or not,  the Health Pathway  at Natomas  High will teach you vital skills useful throughout your life - lifesaving techniques, for example, that could rescue a loved one if tragedy strikes. Students also learn about the health industry, human body, first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), health, wellness, and medical terminology. If you're a future health-care professional, the pathway is designed to lay the foundation  for college and career success. 
Here's what students are saying about it ...
Broadcast Media Pathway - Inderkum High
Start by hiring a longtime TV journalist, with extensive experience in video production. Then provide professional equipment, in a studio classroom, and offer students hands-on experiences in writing, camera work, lighting, sound, and editing. That's the story behind our Broadcast Media Pathway at Inderkum High, led by former ABC 10 newscaster Melissa (Crowley) May.

Students learn video storytelling, media arts, news broadcasting, and interviewing skills as they prepare for both college and career. Here's what teens say they're gaining from this opportunity ...
Student & parent opportunities and info 
You're invited! NUSD Open House Dates for 2019
Thursday, March 21 Leroy Greene Academy
(Multicultural NIght)
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 28 Discovery High 
Inderkum High  
6-7:30 p.m.
School sites/Classrooms
Tuesday, April 2 Natomas Gateways Middle 
Natomas High
Natomas Middle 
6-7:30 p.m.
School sites/Classrooms
Wednesday, April 3 Bannon Creek School
Jefferson School
Natomas Park Elementary
Heron School 
6-7:30 p,m.
School sites/Classrooms
Thursday, April 11 American Lakes School
H. Allen Hight Elementary
Paso Verde School
Two Rivers Elementary
Witter Ranch Elementary
6-7:30 p.m.
School sites/Classrooms
Thursday, May 9
Leroy Greene Academy
(Spring Exhibition Night) 
5-7:30 p.m.
Class begins TODAY! Learn to be Instructional Aide 
Want to become a classroom Instructional Aide (AI)? This free class will help you become one ...
NUSD's FREE nine-week Instructional Aide (IA) Training Class starts TODAY (Monday, March 11) from 5-7 p.m. at Discovery High School, 3401 Fong Ranch Road. 
If you haven't already, register now and learn what it takes to become employed by the Natomas Unified School District.
Don't miss this terrific opportunity to work hands-on with students and make a big difference as an Instructional Assistant.  For more information, please check out this flyer, or call the Adult Education Office at (916) 928-5220. 
Tomorrow! Job Fair for teachers & certificated staff 
NUSD will hold a Job Fair Tuesday to recruit staff for numerous certificated positions, ranging from teacher to psychologist to speech language pathologist.

The event is scheduled from 2:30-5 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, in NUSD's Staff Development Center at 1931 Arena Blvd. Applicants should bring their resumes and be ready to interview on the spot.

Teaching positions that NUSD is seeking candidates for include Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten, Elementary, Single Subject, Special Education, World Language, and Career Technical Education. Substitute teachers also are sought. For more information,  click here.
"Screenagers'"- Growing Up In The Digital Age
NUSD Parent University is hosting a workshop and viewing of the film "Screenagers" from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, at Heron School, 5151 Banfield Dr.

"Screenagers" is an award-winning film that probes into vulnerable corners of family life, including messy struggles over social media, video games and academics. It offers solutions on how to help kids navigate the digital world. 

Don't miss this opportunity to debrief and get questions anwered by school psychologist Kallicye Holloway and Heron Principal Amy Whitten.

For more information, check out this flyer. Registration is required at the  Parent University  website here .
Sidharth Gopisetty: Devoted to public service 
Fifteen-year-old Sidharth Gopisetty was asked to complete this sentence: 
"My life will be a success if I ..."

He didn't hesitate: "My life will be a success if I'm able to help others more."

The Inderkum High School sophomore is so committed to public service that he won a statewide International Baccalaureate award recently for Outstanding Community Service by a student in IB's Middle Years Programme, covering 6th through 10th grades.

He didn't expect to be honored for doing what's right, he said. "I think it's a moral duty to help other people."

Sidharth's public service includes creating a UNICEF Cub at Inderkum, spearheading a drive to help Butte County fire victims, raising more than $1,000 for Polycystic Kidney Disease Research, assisting Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, serving as a homework coach at the North Natomas library, and participating on the local library's Teen Advisory Board. He's also a superb student who wants to be a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon someday.  Read more about this extraordinary teenager here
Read Across America
Trustee Lisa Kaplan uses green eggs and ham
to inspire Bannon Creek School 1st-graders 
Trustee Lisa Kaplan read "Green Eggs and Ham" to a 1st-grade class at Bannon Creek School recently to honor "Read Across America," an annual celebration of reading that honors the birthday of Dr. Seuss. In the spirit of that beloved children's author, here's a lighthearted account of Kaplan's visit ...

She likes to read books, Sam I am.
She read them Tuesday in a chair.
She didn't even mind my stare. 
She read while visiting our  class.
She read the pages very fast.
I bet she'd read them in a boat!
Or maybe to a billy goat!
Soaking wet, in pouring rain.
Or in the dark - or on a train.
Over and over, "Green Eggs and Ham." 
Again, then again -- as much as she can.
Surely a Dr. Seuss rhyming-words fan --
She makes me LOVE books, Sam I am!
Freshman Carter Slay leads All Academic Team for Inderkum High School's wrestling league
Inderkum High School wrestler Carter Slay led the league in the most important statistic of all this year - grade point average. Slay's 4.67 gpa ranked first on the Capital Valley Conference's All Academic Wrestling Team. (Slay is far left in the photo below.)

The All Academic squad consists of the best scholar-wrestler on each of the league's teams: Bella Vista, River Valley, Antelope, Yuba City, Woodcreek, Roseville, and Inderkum. Honors are based on current-year gpa.

Inderkum Coach August Wesley was instrumental in forming a league-wide All Academic Team last year, so it is becoming a tradition. This year its members were recognized during the Capital Valley Conference wrestling championship at Inderkum recently.

Cumulatively, the Tigers' varsity team had a grade point average of 3.12 this year, Wesley said, representing the sixth time in seven years that the squad exceeded 3.0 in gpa. Well done, Tigers!

NUSD college-going school assemblies
featured on video for local cable TV 
You'll soon be seeing this on local cable TV...

Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium (SECC) partnered with NUSD to create this video of elementary and K-8 schools holding assemblies to applaud data showing that 540 graduates from NUSD's Class of 2018 enrolled in a college or university. That's 68 percent of all graduates last year!

We wrote about the college-going data in our last edition of "Spotlight" community newsletter, Feb. 26, but the video had not yet been completed. It shows schools displaying pennants to spotlight the colleges or universities that former students now attend. Principals also discussed  Career Technical Education options at their school's assembly.

At campus after campus, the message to kids was much the same: Think big, work hard, and never waver in chasing your dreams. SECC's video is expected to air soon on Comcast channels 15 or 16. No need to wait another minute to check it out, however. Simply click on it now. 
Please 'Like' us on Facebook
and follow us on Twitter 

Let's work together. We urge parents and staff to stay up-to-date on district developments. We provide multiple opportunities to learn about NUSD successes, plans and events throughout the school year. 

Two key sources are Facebook -- we're listed as "Natomas Unified School District" -- and Twitter, under @NatomasUSD.  District and school websites also are a good source of information ranging from lunch menus to parent opportunities. Thanks for taking a look. We're honored to be your partner. 
NUSD Spotlight 
Brought to you by NUSD communications team of Jim Sanders, Lauren Schnitzler and Jeff McPhee. If you have questions, comments or story tips, please call (916) 561-5267.