NUSD Spotlight
Community Newsletter
 -- Sept. 18,  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.
(The first 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.)  
Dozens of Inderkum students earn  IB honors 
For years, they worked for this moment.

Dozens of current or former Inderkum High School students received hard-earned International Baccalaurete diplomas or certificates Sept. 5 in a brief lunchtime awards ceremony while other students looked on.

Though many of the Tiger students graduated last May, IB scores had not yet been released, so presentation of the rigorous academic program's diplomas and certificates had to wait a few months. Fifteen Tigers earned full diplomas, while 76 other students earned IB certificates for taking one or more IB classes in their junior or senior year.

The IB Diploma Programme is a two-year course of study designed to create disciplined, responsible, and well-rounded graduates by requiring advanced study in English, Math, a world language, history, social science, natural science, and either art or a qualifying elective in science or social science.

IB Diploma recipients are required to do extensive writing covering every subject area, complete in-depth research designed to prepare them for college-level research, and participate in projects involving creativity, action and service. Read more here.
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!
NUSD 'Teachers of the Year' Honored 
They represent decades of valuable experience, dedication, passion, and service to kids. NUSD's district and campus "Teachers of the Year" were honored by the Board of Trustees Sept. 13 for their positive impact in classrooms every day.

Inderkum High math instructor Derek Dykstra is the district winner. Read more about him here.

School winners were

-- Jinder Chahal, Natomas Park Elementary
-- Leonard Finch, Natomas High  
-- Shawn Gour, Witter Ranch Elem.
-- Norma Hernandez, Jefferson School
-- Stephanie King, Leroy Greene Academy
-- Tiffanie Lau, American Lakes
-- Andrea Naten, Heron School
-- Nicole Swonger, Natomas Gateways Middle
-- Jennifer Tammar, Two Rivers Elementary
-- Maria Villagomez, Natomas Middle
-- Katelen Wammes, Bannon Creek Elem. 
-- Cody Worrall, H. Allen Hight Elementary
-- Marc Clark. Discovery High.

Student success is our driving force -- and teachers like these are the front lines. Thank you all! Read more here.
 Resolution passed by Board
 Act quickly, Congress, to protect 'Dreamers'
Our Board of Trustees passed a resolution Sept. 13 urging Congress to take quick action to protect students, staff and parents affected by the repeal of DACA, a federal program giving limited rights to live and work in America to undocumented residents who came here years ago as kids. By law and Board policy, all students have the right to attend public schools, regardless of their immigration status. Individuals and families affected by DACA's phase-out have expressed fear, anxiety and confusion, our resolution notes. Please, Congress, step in and help.  Click here  to read the resolution.
Witter Ranch 3rd-graders pinch pennies to help victims devastated by hurricane

We're just kids, we don't have that kind of money. Third-graders in Ellen Skinner's class at Witter Ranch Elementary were skeptical at first about donating coins for hurricane relief. But they gave it a shot -- dropping pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters into a big plastic jar, day after day. Mrs. Skinner encouraged the giving to come from kids, not parents, as a lesson in public service. The grand total has reached -- drum roll please -- more than $140 ... Along the way, the 3rd-graders have learned that they can make a difference -- and that every little bit helps, Mrs. Skinner said. "I'm very proud of them."
Secondary Schools Showcase Night
Entering middle or high school next year?
Natomas Unified wants students to attend a middle or high school that best fits their individual interest and  needs. The choice is theirs.

To showcase academic options and answer questions, NUSD will hold a Secondary Schools Showcase Night, for students and parents on Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Leroy Greene Academy, 2950 W. River Dr. The session is designed primarily for families with a current 6th or 8th grade student, but elementary kids and their parents are welcome to attend.

At Secondary Schools Showcase Night, parents and students can wander from table to table, each representing a middle or high school, to hear about options such as International Baccalaureate (IB), Advance Placement Capstone Diploma Program, engineering, robotics, automation, visual arts, culinary arts, business and entrepreneurship, tutoring sports, and after-school programs. The goal is to showcase what makes each campus special. Read more here.   Questions? Call 567-5430.
On your mark, get set ... Go!
Fitness, Fun, Friendly, Fantastic Fundraising  
Paso Verde Pumas 

Kids aren't the only ones who tackle problem-solving at schools. Paso Verde staff found a way to raise PTA funds while teaching kids a valuable academic lesson Sept. 14. The school held a "Fit-a-Thon" in which parents pledged money in return for their kids doing exercises - push-ups, jumping jacks, squats and lunges - and running four laps on the school field. Meanwhile, staff tied the fundraiser into lessons about health, wellness, movement and exercise. Principal Tonja Jarrell noted that one of Paso Verde's key themes is sustainability - not only taking care of the environment, but of the school, the community, and yourself, too. The "Fit-a-Thon" has raised more than $11,000 thus far. ... Nice!
Heron School Flyers 

Heron School hopes to raise $20,000 from its PTA Jog-a-Thon Sept. 15 to supplement student Chromebooks, science lab materials and other STEAM accessories -- short for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. 

That's why runners wore "Full STEAM Ahead" T-shirts, purchased by community businesses, Councilwoman Angelique Ashby and other local sponsors. 

Perhaps kids were even more inspired, however, by the prize they'll all receive if Heron reaches its $20,000 goal: No homework for a week! ...
Student & Parent Opportunities   
Hanker to be a Hornet?
Check out Sacramento State

"Future Hornet Day" on Oct. 14 is a good opportunity for students and families to tour the CSU Sacramento campus, visit its new residence hall, meet with academic departments, and obtain enrollment information. A Homecoming Festival will begin at 3 p.m. that day, followed by a football game in which the Hornets will take on Idaho State at 6 p.m. Details here.
Parent Training Sessions 
Planned Throughout Year 

Parents are partners with us in educating their student. So NUSD is offering workshop sessions throughout the year on NUSD programs and practices. The next session, titled "Inclusion," focuses on the simple idea that all students, including those with disabilities, deserve equal educational opportunities. It will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, in the NUSD Board Room, 1901 Arena Blvd. Future sessions will address Inclusion, Restorative Justice, Crisis Prevention Intervention, and transitions from elementary and high school. For dates, times and other information, click here.
Don't miss out on any of the action!

With the push of a button or two, you can stay up-to-date on what's happening in Natomas Unified from the convenience of your smartphone or personal computer.

Download our free App, like our Facebook page, or follow our Twitter feed (@NatomasUSD) now.

The free NUSD App provides access to your child's attendance, assignments and grades through Infinite Campus. It also places district news, school news, job opportunities, lunch menus, event calendars, sports scores, and much more at your fingertips. For emergency or important developments, text notifications can be sent through the App. It's a way to keep tabs on your child's education at any time, from any place. To download from the Apple App store, click here.

For more information, contact Director of Communications Jim Sanders, 561-5267.
Reminder / Time Sensitive
Roadmap to Higher Education'
offers college readiness tips 

NUSD's Parent University is offering a free workshop series, titled "A Roadmap to Higher Education," covering topics ranging from college readiness to admission requirements, costs, and financial aid.

Let's work together to secure a bright future for your child. The first session, titled, "College Readiness: Understanding Higher Education," will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 21), in the Natomas Staff Development Center, 1931 Arena Blvd.

At all three sessions -- the others are Oct. 18 and Nov. 7 -- free child care will be available for children 2 to 10 years old, free language translation will be provided, and free transportation will be offered to families that preregister. Click here for more information. 
Football season off to a great at Inderkum & Natomas High

A single touchdown is all that separates Natomas Unified from a perfect record this year in prep football.

Both Inderkum and Natomas High won last week, 70-20 and 40-39, respectively. The Tigers are 4-0 on the year, the Nighthawks, 3-1, their only loss a 40-34 nailbiter to Mira Loma in a game decided in the very last quarter.

P lease know that we're proud of you, teams, and we'll be cheering you on in the weeks to come. Both teams play home games Friday: Inderkum battles Pioneer High of Woodland at 7 p.m., while Natomas squares off against Dixon High at 7:30 p.m.
New NUSD school bond success story 
Add another to the list of school construction and renovation projects completed since voters approved the Measure J school bond: Westlake Charter School has a brand-new campus, which held its grand opening and ribbon cutting this month.

Completion allows Westlake's K-8 students, assigned to two campuses last year, to come together as one family. Speakers at the Sept. 6 grand opening stressed that the 21st century learning environment created at Westlake is an example of what can happen when a community steps up to benefit all its kids, charter and non-charter, as Natomas did in 2014 by passing Measure J. For an overview of other NUSD facility improvement projects, click here.
September is Attendance Awareness Month

Attendance Awareness Month is an opportune time to reflect on how absences can harm a child's education and what parents can do to support perfect attendance.


We don't want your child to fall behind in class and get discouraged. Click here for some practical tips to help get your student to school, on time, every day.

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