NUSD Spotlight
Community Newsletter
-- March 26, 2018
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 suggestions. Thank you for your support of Natomas schools
Student Spotlight
Don't be surprised if she's a senator someday...
Sen. Sophie Getahoun has a nice ring to it.

Don't be surprised if the Inderkum High School senior owns that title someday, because it's a distant dream of hers -- and she has a history of achieving what she sets out to do.

The 17-year-old already has a resume that includes:
  • Grade point average above 4.0 and a two-year member of the National Honor Society
  • Participant in Inderkum's International Baccalaureate certificate program
  • Member and historian of the City of Sacramento Youth Commission, representing Councilwoman Angelique Ashby's council district
  • Leadership student and captain of the Tigers' varsity cheerleading team
  • Leader and co-founder of Neighborhoods 2 Nations (N2N), an independent nonprofit group that raised $2,000 for an Ethiopian school
  • Active participant in the Black Child Legacy Campaign, which is committed to reducing the number of deaths involving African American children in Sacramento County
Asked to describe herself, Sophie smiled.

"Ambitious and a leader - and very empathetic," she said.

Looking ahead, how does she define a successful life? "I'll consider myself successful in life if I'm happy and I make the people around me happy, truly happy," she said. Read more about Sophie here.
Sophie's Second Place in Countywide Poetry Competition 
Sophie captured second place last month in Sacramento County's Poetry Out Loud competition. Thirteen students squared off in the county finals at Rosemont High School in Sacramento.

  The annual poetic showdown hopes to inspire students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Check out this short video, which shows Sophie performing "Youth," by James Wright, during the competition.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Length of a newsletter can cause stories at the bottom to be clipped from display. If that happens, click "View Entire Message" prompt at the bottom of this page. Thanks!
Let's spread the word to everyone --
Natomas now has a health-care clinic!

Please help us spread the word that Natomas now has a community clinic, the B. Teri Burns Health Clinic, offering low-income residents a wide range of medical services.
Healthy students make better learners, so we encourage families to check it out at Natomas High School. Patients can receive checkups, physical exams, or be treated for cough, flu, aches, pains, urinary tract infections, diabetes, or high blood pressure. They can obtain immunizations, stitches, TB tests, vision/hearing tests, electrocardiograms, and non-narcotic prescriptions.

The clinic, run by Health and Life Organization (HALO), accepts Medi-Cal, Medicare, and some private insurance. Services also can be provided on a sliding fee scale. For an appointment, call (916) 642-1867, ext. 4351. Read more here.
Natomas Park Elementary 
In this "Building Our Future" video, you'll see how how Natomas Park Elementary has benefited from a new two-story building with 10 classrooms and two collaborative spaces for students to study together or staff to gather for shared discussion and problem-solving.  The project is part of an NUSD facilities master plan to create 21st century learning opportunities district-wide. Each edition of Spotlight will feature examples.
Discovery High School
At Discovery High, Career Technical Education facilities have been upgraded to provide bigger and better opportunities for students. The Culinary Arts kitchen has been expanded, benefiting students who are learning skills that can land them jobs as cooks in restaurants. We've also added indoor and outdoor dining areas, where students can take meal orders, serve tables, and practice other restaurant jobs through NUSD's Hospitality Pathway.
Natomas High Transportation Pathway
Pedal-to-the metal toward a bright future  
Running on all cylinders at Natomas High.

Shifting education into high gear.

Tuning up for college and career. 

No matter how you say it, one thing is clear: Natomas High's Transportation Pathway is piston-powered and pedal to the metal, it's hands-on learning emphasizing critical thinking and problem-solving with power tools, not just books.

The goal is to prepare students for college and career by getting their hands dirty while teaching them the basics of engine maintenance and repair. Teens gain foundational skills to secure an entry-level job as an auto mechanic or to continue mastering those skills at a college or trade school.

Topics covered include engine operation, electrical systems, fuel injection, computer systems, and brake and engine repair. 

Binay, 18, said he loves cars and the class is fun, its students get along, and the skills learned can lead directly to jobs. "They're looking for a lot of people (in the automotive field) and you can make good money off it," he said.

Natomas High's Transportation Pathway is one of NUSD's Career Technical Education options, which include Engineering, Health, and Digital Media at Natomas High, Hospitality at Discovery High, Broadcast Media at Inderkum High, and Business/Entrepreneurship and Visual Arts/Technology at Leroy Greene Academy. Read more about the auto tech pathway here
What to do with your prom dress?
Here's a great idea from NHS grad
Natomas High graduate La Sandra Hart remembers how hard it was for her mom to buy her a prom dress about 15 years ago.  So Hart is creating a clothes closet of gently used prom dresses for current Lady Nighthawks in need.

New prom dresses can easily cost more than $100, so wearing a beautiful donated dress can be a bigtime money saver for teens. The timing is perfect, too, with the Nighthawk prom set for April 21.

Hart already has received several dozen prom dresses and hopes for many more to store at NHS for years of future use.

To donate a dress, now or throughout the year, please bring it to Natomas High or to the NUSD Ed Center, 1901 Arena Blvd., during school hours. Questions? Hart can be reached at

People helping teens have good, safe, fun. ... Awesome!
NUSD honors its pinch-hitters in all jobs 
Thank you for your service to schools and students 
The message was crystal clear: Thank you for your service to NUSD schools, staff and students.

NUSD celebrated substitute employees -- from teachers to custodians -- at a festive event featuring food and prizes Thursday, March 22, in the Staff Development Center.

More than 30 substitute employees turned out for a pizza and salad meal, brief expressions of appreciation by Directors Laura Dean and Amreek Singh, and raffle prizes that included gift certificates from Starbucks and Poke Fix restaurant, a San Francisco Giants goody bag, and a photo of the Tower Bridge donated by Suha Musallam.

Substitute employees help keep schools and classrooms running smoothly when permanent employees are unavailable for reasons that can range from illness to bereavement to professional development. 

The event, organized by NUSD's Human Resources Department, was a small token of NUSD's appreciation for these unsung heroes of education. 
Health, Wellness & Resource Fair 
Food, fun and health screenings -- free!
NUSD's Health, Wellness and Resource Fair will feature a free barbecue meal, farmers market, music, Zumba, vision screenings, hearing screenings, immunizations, and information about community resources, NUSD enrollment and more from 2-5:30 p.m. Friday, March 30, at Jefferson School, 2001 Pebblewood Dr.

The event is designed to be an engaging and interactive opportunity for families to become more informed about health, nutrition, Natomas Unified services, and free or low-cost resources in the Natomas area. It is organized by Natomas School Readiness and the district's Health and Wellness Committee.

In exchange for their hamburger, hot dog or sausage meal --  paid for by NUSD Nutrition Services -- adults are asked to bring a non-perishable protein item for Joey's Food Locker to the health and wellness fair, such as peanut butter, beans, tuna, etc. For more information, check out this flyer or call (916) 567-5472.
Student & Parent Opportunities and Info 
Spring Recess: April 2-6

NUSD's schools and administrative offices will be closed to the public during Spring Recess, April 2-6. An after-hours line will be available for emergencies only at (916) 561-5253. Classes will resume Monday, April 9. NUSD's student calendars for this year and next year are available here.  
Tour Sacramento State College

To help prepare for college, why not visit one?

NUSD's Parent University invites middle and high school students, and their parents or guardians, to visit Sacramento State College from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 14. In addition to meeting counselors and touring the campus, located at 6000 J St., interactive workshops are planned on paying for college, admission, and parental involvement.

Online registration for the free event is available at Transportation is available upon request for those who register by April 9. More information is available here.
Apply now for NSF scholarships or Chromebooks 
The Natomas Schools Foundation, a nonprofit group that supports NUSD students, is offering separate programs this year to award scholarships for college and Chromebooks to students in grades 5-12. Information on both programs is provided below:

Scholarships - A total of $6,000 in scholarships -- in denominations of $1,000 and $500 - will be awarded to deserving high school seniors or former NUSD students who plan to further their education in college or trade school. Entries are due April 13 and winners will be announced in May. For contest criteria and an application, click here.

Chromebooks - Laptops are a vital part of 21st century learning -- and not all students can afford to have one of their own. The Natomas Schools Foundation can help. It's giving away 18 Chromebooks to deserving youth in grades 5-12. Entry deadline is April 30. Apply now! Info and application are available here.
Easier than Ever to Access NUSD Info

Get Connected!

Check out our new link atop our home page, where parents/guardians can CONNECT to information about our district, schools, and your own children using either the Infinite Campus Portal or NUSD App.

 We're making it easier than ever to get connected with these tools.  Parents can also reset their password online, without visiting a school office, by using our new help tool. Now is also a great time to make sure that we have your correct phone number and email address so we can send you important information or contact you in case of an emergency at your child's school.  So use the new green CONNECT button and get connected with NUSD. 
'Pennies for Patients' makes each coin count 
Pennies turn into nickels, which turn into dimes, which turn into quarters -- ka-ching!

Heron School 7th- and 8th-grade leadership students turned that principle into big bucks recently in its "Pennies for Patients" campaign for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Coins and dollars came pouring in, day after day, for deposit into cardboard buckets in classrooms throughout the K-8 school.  In all, Heron students raised -- drumroll, please -- a grand total of $901.11 for blood cancer research and patient support.

Nice job, Flyers! 
L GA applauds its many campus cultures 
Leroy Greene Academy held a campus party last week to celebrate one of NUSD's Board-approved Core Beliefs: "Diversity is our Strength."

Multicultural food, dress, music and dance were featured, providing both a festive atmosphere and a learning opportunity.

This year marked LGA's fourth annual Multicultural Night. Performances included African drumming, ballet folklorico, and Korean dance.

Students at LGA, like all NUSD schools, comprise numerous cultures and speak numerous languages. LGA's Multicultural Night is an annual celebration of those differences and how they collectively benefit the campus community.

Featured Parent University video
Why is it vital to read at grade level by 3rd grade? 
Reading at grade level by 3rd grade is an important educational marker and milestone. But  why is it so important? Every parent of a young child should watch this video, which touches upon research linking early learning to longtime achievement.
NUSD's Parent University has created and posted brief videos on its website to help answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on a wide range of other subjects too, including:
  • Why should my student attend Prekindergarten (Pre-K) or Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?
  • Why does attendance matter?
  • What kind of technology is used in the classroom?
  • How do I select the best middle school for my student?
  • How do I support my English language learner at home?
  • Is your student on track to complete all college entrance requirements?
  • How can I support my student when applying for financial aid?
To view any of these videos, or select from many more, click here. Each "Spotlight" community newsletter will feature one Parent University video through the end of this school year.

 NUSD Spotlight 
Brought to you by:
Jim Sanders
   Director of Communications
 (916) 561-5267