NUSD Spotlight
     Community Newsletter
      -- September 17, 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 story suggestions. Thank you for your support of Natomas schools.
Textbook Tigers
Inderkum awards IB diplomas, certificates
Light at the end of the tunnel? ... Absolutely!

And they reached it Sept. 7 -- finally.

After years of sweat, struggle, homework, dreams and sacrifice, Inderkum High's latest International Baccalaureate (IB) graduates received their IB diplomas or certificates in a brief campus ceremony.

Seven students earned full diplomas, while another 102 earned certificates for successfully completing up to six IB courses. Though they graduated in Inderkum's "Class of 2018," IB scores had not yet been released, so they had to wait a few months to receive their IB diploma or certificate.

Diploma in hand, Lindsey Jackson said the rigorous IB program helped to make her a more well-rounded and better-informed person. "It taught me good time management and research skills. I think that will definitely help me going forward into college." Read more 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.
Celebrating Our Students 
If one picture is worth a thousand words --
these posters tell stories of community success
Five banners displayed on street poles and in our schools spotlight key ways we serve students in partnership with parents and stakeholders. The banners are titled "Academics," "Technology," "Careers," "Athletics," and "The Arts."
We know this community cares deeply about education, so we want families to know about the NUSD successes those banners represent.
Over the next few weeks, we'll Celebrate Our Students by spotlighting those five attributes. For "Academic" highlights, please click here. Thank you very much for taking a look.
"The Arts" reflects a wide range of student instruction, including painting, drawing, band, theater, chorus, ceramics, video, broadcasting, digital art, photography and more.

Such classes enhance creative skills useful in careers or throughout private lives.

Opportunities in "The Arts" also are consistent with our Board-approved goal to, "Create safe and welcoming learning environments where students attend and are connected to their schools."

We're proud of the progress we've made by working together - NUSD staff, parents and stakeholders. Take a look by clicking here. Thank you very much.
Tiger terrific
Unbeaten streak grows -- total points now 224-26!
They're still on a roll, Inderkum's Tigers, who kept their undefeated football streak alive with a 76-7 rout of Bella Vista last Friday.

The victory raises the Tigers' record to 4-0 and they've cumulatively outscored opponents 224-26. ... That's nearly 10-to-1!

Inderkum has not yet been tested in crunch time, having won all its games by large margins, defeating Elk Grove, 37-13; American Canyon, 69-0; and Sacramento, 42-6, before last week's Bella Vista battle.

Inderkum is ranked among the region's top five teams by The Sacramento Bee. Its next game is Friday in Stockton, against Lincoln High, which will be seeking its first win after an 0-4 start on the year.
Board honors Teachers of the Year
Their gift to kids keeps giving - impacting lives
Here are some of the superlatives used in honoring our school-by-school Teachers of the Year at a Board meeting last week: innovative, understanding, very supportive, motivated, committed, student-centered, positive attitude, tremendous initiative, ever-optimistic, goes above and beyond, and never gives up on a student.

Honorees were:
  • Paul Baker, Natomas Middle School
  • Amanda Garcia, Bannon Creek School
  • Selene Jacobs, H. Allen Hight Elementary School
  • Nicholas Juri, Natomas High School
  • Katie Kim, Heron School
  • Lorrie Lewis, Two Rivers Elementary School
  • Kristen Martin, Paso Verde School
  • Laurelle Mathison, Discovery High School
  • Melissa Mathews, Inderkum High School
  • Vanessa Mercado, American Lakes School
  • Ramandeep Bains, Natomas Park Elementary
  • Jennifer Jones, Witter Ranch Elementary
  • Erin Juneau, Leroy Greene Academy
  • Fernando Cruz, Natomas Gateways Middle School
  • Stephanie Schulzkump, Jefferson Elementary School and district Teacher of the Year recipient
(Note: School-by-school Teachers of the Year were chosen last spring and not all of them currently serve at the campus listed above.) 

We're fortunate to have such talented, inspiring and impactful classroom leaders. To read what makes each stand out, click here.
Family engagement
Here's what we're doing to reach out & enhance
the connection between schools, students & parents
High-quality schools don't just teach, they listen, care, reach out and support, which is why Natomas Unified is making additional investment this year in student and family engagement to enhance learning at all grade levels.

We've surveyed students at every grade span about how welcome, safe and appreciated they feel at school, we're listening closely to their views, and we've expanded efforts to engage parents and connect students to our schools. 

Last week,  staff presented to Trustees an update on feedback from students and families and NUSD actions that are under way. We're written a summary and posted a link  to the full staff presentation. Please take a look. Thanks! 
Attendance Awareness Month
Miss a day, miss a lot

Classes competing against each other, with the winner getting a party. Schoolwide messaging. Bicycle raffle. Video contest. Popcorn party. Poster competition. Vigilant contacting of families as necessary. 

These are among many strategies being used in September by various NUSD schools to promote Attendance Awareness Month. 

Students who miss even one day of school, miss out on a lot of learning. Please reinforce that message at home. Click here for some practical tips.
Student & parent opportunities and info 
No emergency: Police, fire units to visit Inderkum High Thursday

Please help us spread the word: Multiple Sacramento police and fire units will come to Inderkum High School between roughly 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. next Thursday, Sept. 20. Don't be alarmed or concerned.

Inderkum is giving students a chance to speak with first responders before they consider signing up for a Public Safety Pathway scheduled to launch next year at the school. We ask that residents and drivers stay away from Inderkum during the event, if possible. If you have questions, please call Constituent and Customer Services at (916) 561-5267.

The Public Safety pathway will combine academics and career training for teens interested in law enforcement or firefighting. For more information about the pathway, click here.
Reminder -- this week!
Final two Parent Portal nights for tracking
your child's grades,  attendance, homework 

With the push of a button, you can track your student's grades, attendance, homework and other classroom information through a cellphone, laptop, or personal computer.

We'll show you how this week -- simply attend one of our two remaining Parent Portal information nights: Tuesday (Sept. 18) at Natomas High School, 3301 Fong Ranch Dr.; or Wednesday (Sept. 19) at Leroy Greene Academy, 2950 W. River Dr. Both will be held from 6-8 p.m.

A few simple tips should have you using Natomas Unified's Parent Portal and Mobile App right away. The process is easy, the meetings are free, and we're happy to help. To register, go to or call (916)  473-0053. This two-hour meeting could benefit you and your student for years to come. We hope to see you there. Check out this flyer for more information.
College Fair 2018 -- one-stop shopping for college 
This annual event is a perfect opportunity for students to check out colleges they plan to attend next fall or in years to come.
Students and parents, mark your calendars now: Tuesday, Sept. 25, from 6-8 p.m. at Natomas High School, 3301 Fong Ranch Road.

Officials will be available to answer questions from more than 50 educational institutions, including UCs, CSUs, private colleges, art institutes and military personnel.

 Workshops also are planned about college funding and what to consider in choosing a college. Click here for a flier about the event. 
Bedtime Math
Counting the seconds in fire-pole sliding ...
If families did Bedtime Math questions each night, as they often read stories, would kids get better in Math? Researchers say so.

A recent segment of Bedtime Math told the story of why firehouses have fire poles. It then challenged different age groups with a math problem:

Wee ones: If it takes 3 seconds to slide down the pole, what numbers do you say to count them off?

Little kids: If it takes 2 seconds for a firefighter to slide down the pole but 6 seconds longer to take the stairs, how long do the stairs take?

Big kids: If the firefighters run down on every 4th stair (starting with the 4th), but the horses jump to every 6th stair staring with the 6th, what' the first step they both step on?

NUSD encourages all elementary school families to download and use the "Bedtime Math" app, available in the Apple App Store or Google Play. After downloading it, click on "Community Edition," enter the code "CA," then select your school district and school name. Daily math questions are geared to your child's age.
Back to School Nights - Secondary 
Virtual tour of our middle and high schools ...
Back to School Night Inderkum, LGA, Natomas Middle schools

Inderkum High, Natomas Middle
and Leroy Greene Academy 

No quiz, no grade, no homework -- but a whole lot of learning by parents yesterday at Back to School Night for Inderkum High, Leroy Greene Academy and Natomas Middle School. Parents got to meet their student's teachers, discuss progress, and learn about classwork and activities planned. Plenty to see Sept. 5 at all three campuses. Please take a look.
College and Career @ Back to School Night NHS, DHS, NGMS

Natomas High, Discovery High
and Natomas Gateways Middle 

Preparing students for college and career is a driving force at NUSD, so during Back to School Night on Sept. 4 at Natomas High, Discovery High and Natomas Gateways Middle schools we photographed posters, banners, fliers, and other communications that inform, encourage and inspire students toward a bright future. Here are some of them...
Grateful for a little help from our friends
Dozens of deserving NUSD students got a big surprise this month, thanks to the generosity of the Rotary Club of Natomas and Keller Williams Realty, which teamed up to donate $800 in backpacks and school supplies.  Notebooks, folders, binders and glue were included, along with scissors, calculators, pencils and numerous other items.
We're grateful to be part of such a caring community.
Please 'Like' us on Facebook
and follow us on Twitter 

Let's work together to educate your child. We urge parents to get to know our district. 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 serve you.
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.