NUSD Spotlight
Community Newsletter
 -- Oct. 30,  2017  

Hope you enjoy this edition of "NUSD Spotlight," the district's 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.
  Preparing students for college and career?
 NUSD issues first-ever District Progress Report
Natomas Unified is proud to release its first-ever  District Progress Report, a one-stop shop for information on where we are succeeding, where we are making progress, and where we need to improve.

The data provides valuable insight into our district's performance and student learning. Progress is tracked annually over three years, making it easier to spot trends district-wide and among specific student groups.

These aren't "final grades," they're works in progress as we strive to prepare all of our students to graduate as college and career ready, productive, responsible, and engaged global citizens. This data will be reviewed in principal meetings, staff meetings, and by the Board to identify future priorities.

Please take the time to look through this District Progress Report and talk to your school principal about what its charts, statistics and indicators mean for your student and community. 
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!
Paso Verde
Innovative learning at our newest school
 Where there's 'Only One You' in each class 
There's something fishy going on at Paso Verde School -- and Principal Tonja Jarrell couldn't be happier. 

NUSD's newest school has picked a fish-themed book, "Only One You," for all classes to read and integrate into art, essays, science, and other curriculum. 

At its simplest level, "Only One You" is about a Mama and Daddy fish giving advice to their young son, Adri. But their words of wisdom touch upon  inclusion, friendship, confidence, 
courtesy, perseverance, uniqueness and positive attitude.

The older the student, the more thought-provoking its themes. "Only One You" ends with Adri promising his Mama that he'll remember the advice. 

"There's only one you in this great big world," she responds. "Make it a better place." 

Clearly, lots of fun in store for Paso Verde's Pumas. Read more here.
Stick a fork in it! Outdoor learning you can eat 
Oranges, peas, broccoli, cauliflower -- and students will grow, too, in Paso Verde School's new garden.

Learning will blossom. 

Essays and science experiments will take root. 

Call it outdoor education you can eat.

That's the idea behind Paso Verde's huge planter boxes unveiled Oct.26 as a valuable addition to the K-5 school's STEAM focus -- Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

Principal Tonja Jarrell can envision cross-curricular assignments, such as having students track the height of plants, measure water intake, observe how light affects growth, and record their observations in essays or journals. Fifth-graders can work with Kindergarten "buddies."

 And when kids want to give their teacher an apple, they won't have far to go ...

 Read more here.
 Message from the Supt.
 Key actions  to benefit students & schools 
(Note: Supt. Chris Evans released the following information to the community last week about actions designed to attract diverse future teachers with long-term commitments to NUSD, create a larger pool of substitute teachers, and assist current teachers who want to pursue their administrative credential.)

If you or a college graduate you know is interested in substitute teaching, now is the perfect time to contact NUSD, because we raised substitute teacher pay from $120 to $150 a day beginning Oct. 30. Long term subs can make even more -- $185 a day. Please help us spread the word.

We're also implementing two new pr ograms. One will provide incentives to help recruit diverse, high-quality future teachers willing to make long-term commitments to NUSD. We will help defray costs of earning a teaching credential for a select number of applicants. Our initial focus is on NUSD graduates and current classified staff who plan to become teachers and can meet the diverse needs of our students. We also want to make sure we have enough high-quality teachers in Math, Science and other hard-to-fill positions. 

Our other program is for current teachers who want to pursue an administrative credential. We'll be implementing supports to help them do that, which will create a team of new leaders familiar with our community, schools, and students. We're proud to share these developments with you - and we thank you for your continued support of NUSD schools. More information is available here.
 (One in a series of stories looking at ways in which NUSD strives to prepare students to be   college and career ready, beginning in early grades.)
No matter where you go at Jefferson Elementary School, the message is clear: Attend college.

College pennants in classrooms.

College pennants in the play yard.

College pennants in the main office.

Getting elementary school students to plan their future around higher education can be a journey, years of learning, and the first step can be to persuade kids that attending college is within their grasp, it's possible, practical - not a pipedream.

If you root for Ducks, and dress like Ducks, and talk about Ducks - you might want to be a Duck too, someday, as a student at the University of Oregon. Or a Bruin at UCLA. Or a Hornet at Sacramento State. Or an Aggie at UC Davis.

Physical Education Coach Sandra Asimos painted the huge wallboard mural this year on Jefferson's playground to display logos of 125 different colleges and universities nationwide, from UC Berkeley to Ole Miss to Oregon State University.

"The more we expose (students) to college, it plants the seed," she said.

Principal Danisha Keeler said emphasis on college is consistent with Natomas Unified's push to continue developing college and career readiness and culture, beginning in early grades, which is a strategic direction in NUSD's "The Next 5" blueprint for the next five years.

Weekly "College Wednesdays" are a tradition at Jefferson. Each classroom has "adopted" a college for discussion - what the campus looks like, for example, and what degree programs are offered there. "College Wednesdays" started last year, Keeler said, but "we're really trying to hit it hard this year."

Jefferson's college-logo wallboard contains the quote, "Oh, the Places We Will Go," a reference to a book by Dr. Seuss containing a fitting quote to inspire young dreamers of big things to come for them in years ahead. Dr. Seuss wrote:

"You're off to great places.
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So ... get on your way!"
Student & Parent Opportunities   
Volunteers Sought to Provide School Bond Oversight 
WANTED: Volunteers for an important community service that does not require a substantial time commitment.

NUSD is seeking district residents to serve on a Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee that reviews and reports on spending tied to voter-approved school bonds. This direct oversight by taxpayers is vital because it ensures that bond funds are spent properly, for purposes intended by voters on projects approved by the Board of Trustees.

Vacancies exist on both NUSD's Measure J and Measure D oversight panels. Applicants of all kinds are welcome, but certain seats are designated, so a senior citizen member, a member of the business community, and a parent who is active in PTA/PTSA or a school site council are particularly sought.

Committee meetings are held quarterly at NUSD's Ed Center, 1901 Arena Blvd. Members serve two-year terms. District vendors, contractors and consultants are ineligible. Applicants must be adults living within NUSD boundaries who do not work for the district and are not related to someone who does. To apply or for more information, call 473-0040.
Deadline approaching: North Natomas  
50 Bikes for 50 Kids' giveaway    

Here's your chance to reward North Natomas kids who make that community better just by being themselves ... The "50 Bikes for 50 Kids" contest provides bicycles to North Natomas youth in the 5th through 12th grades who demonstrate outstanding character traits - respect, caring, fairness, trustworthiness, citizenship or responsibility. The North Natomas Transportation Management Association pairs winners with volunteers to assemble the bikes in a heartwarming community event. Please click here by Nov. 15 to sponsor a bike or nominate a deserving student who lives, works, or attends school in North Natomas. Nominators may suggest more than one child, however, separate applications must be filled out for each. Questions? Call Leah Barrett at NNTMA, (916) 419-9955.
Natomas High cheerleaders
Don't try this at home, kids ...

Timing, agility, balance, strength, coordination, teamwork ...  Not all the athletes performing at this Natomas High School football game recently wore helmets and shoulder pads. Cheerleading routines take countless hours of practice, but as you can see, results can be impressive.    
Harvest Festival
Time for game-playing, costume-wearing fun! 
October is time for some game-playing, costume-wearing, whipped-cream-throwing, scrarecrow-displaying, prize-winning family fun. Schools throughout NUSD are holding Harvest Festivals, Barn Dances, or similar celebrations as Halloween approaches. The get-togethers are a great way to build school spirit, enhance campus community, play together, laugh together, and raise some money for campus activities. These photos were taken last Friday at Jefferson School. Now days later, Principal Danisha Keeler, right, is probably still cleaning whipped cream from her hair ... 
Can you hear our standing ovation, Inderkum?
Football coach Terry Stark hits 200-win milestone

Congratulations to Inderkum High football coach Terry Stark for making the record books this season by winning the 200th game of his career. 

Only eight other Sacramento-area high school coaches in history have hit that milestone. 

Stark and his Inderkum squad are stronger than ever this year, undefeated, with a record of 9-0. Cumulatively, the Tigers have outscored their opponents, 490-90, including four shutouts. The Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson applauded Stark and other 200 Club members in this recent story.
New honors for Tigers
Marching Band & Color Guard

Make some more room in that Inderkum trophy case! ... The Tigers' Marching Band and Color Guard won two first-place trophies, including best overall marching unit, and one second-place award Oct. 14 at the Franklin High School Invitational Band Review.

 Twenty-three Northern California bands competed in the Elk Grove event. Check out this video of their performance.
Broadcast Media wins  awards for 2 'Superstitution' videos

Only in its second year, Melissa May's Broadcast Media program at Inderkum High already is winning awards. 

Teams of her students took 1st and 2nd place recently in the Novice division of the "Five-Minute Film Challenge," a local competition attracting 24 entries from 10 schools. The theme was "Superstition" and videos couldn't be more than 5 minutes long nor take more than 10 days to complete. Entries were judged on creativity, story structure, cinematography, sound design, editing and acting.

Members of Inderkum's 1st place team were Jasmine Rubio, Jennalyn Dollesin, Nicolas Her, Emma Borrelli, and Jordan Agnello. Their video, "Welcomed Over," is posted above. The school's 2nd place winner was "Jacob the 13th" by Dylan Greiner-Poore, Kobi Cha, Jacob Webb and Vincent Lam. 
Why so many red ribbons?
 (Red Ribbon Week was held Oct. 23-27 to educate students about the importance of healthy   lifestyles and the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. NUSD schools celebrated with   posters, skits, assemblies, banners, and a variety of other activities. Two of NUSD's many   events are featured below.)
State Senator at Natomas Park 

Thank you state senator, Dr. Richard Pan, and  leadership students from Discovery High  School for coming to Natomas Park Elementary  and urging 4th- and 5th-graders to honor Red Ribbon Week and National Bullying Prevention Month by making wise, healthy decisions. Dr. Pan spoke about drug dangers and how addiction can ruin lives. The Discovery High team presented a skit about social media bullying, then talked to the kids about bullying of all kinds. Words of wisdom can change attitudes and save lives. Thanks for caring enough to reach out, Dr. Pan and Discovery High.

Officers speak at Two Rivers

Want to read about police officers doing good things for their community? You've come to the right place. As part of NUSD's Red Ribbon Week activities, Sacramento Police Department Officers Keith Hoversten and Stephen Colombo spoke to Two Rivers Elementary School students about making wise, healthy decisions and saying no to drugs. The officers brought along police dog Hobbes and a PD mascot, Red. E. Fox. The school assembly enabled students to see law enforcement officers "up close and personal." It also reinforced a behavioral standard that Two Rivers is emphasizing this month: "Practice Safety."

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