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June 15, 2010 > FUSD Board Meeting Highlights

FUSD Board Meeting Highlights

By Miriam G. Mazliach

The following is a partial summary of the Fremont Unified School District Board meeting held on June 9.

Save Fremont Students:
As a follow up to the Special meeting held by the Board on June 1, Save Fremont Students (SFS) comprised of a dedicated group of concerned parents, the Fremont Education Foundation (FEF) and Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) are working in partnership in support of a collaborative fundraising effort on behalf of the district's students. However, the district still needs to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding between the groups.

The hope is to raise funds to bring back some of the programs that have been affected or eliminated by the proposed budget cuts. A donation of $475 per family is being suggested.

In just the first five days of this campaign, Virginia Hom, a parent who began the fundraising endeavor, reported that to date almost $40,000 has been collected. Matching grant funds from donors' companies are also anticipated. The goal of SFS is to raise $4.5 million by July 15, the district's deadline for planning the upcoming school year.

Another parent volunteer, Subir Nathan added, "We came up with the right objective, to help every student at every school. That is what we are working towards."

Letters, fliers, notices and newsletters have already been distributed and meetings are being held at various school sites to get the word out as quickly as possible. In addition, a community shopping fundraising day is planned for July 8.

Website to donate online:
By check: Make check payable to FEF with Elementary or Secondary on the memo line and mail to: FEF - SFS Campaign, P.O. Box 3526, Fremont, CA 94539

Nutrition Services:
The cost of student lunches is expected to rise by twenty-five cents, to cover costs as the district moves away from Styrofoam trays to more environmentally acceptable products.

Presentation to Dr. Werner:
Representatives from the Native American community presented retiring Superintendent Milt Werner with a Chief Joseph Pendleton blanket in gratitude for his support with the upcoming relocation of the Native American Museum to the Fremont Adult School.

PRAA (Parent Representative Advisory Assembly):
Dianne Jones reported that the Emergency Preparedness committee had been awarded a $9,000 grant from the Candle Lighters.

Jennifer Siew and SURF Board:
Outgoing Student Member on the Board of Education, Jennifer Siew, was honored for her dedication and contribution to the work of this year's School Board and as head of the SURF (Student School Representatives) Board.

"This experience has let me grow in a lot of ways," Siew commented. "All of you on the Board serve as the best role models in our community. I feel truly blessed to have had this opportunity."

Outgoing and incoming SURF student representatives were also introduced and recognized with certificates.

Chinese Dual Immersion Program:
Director of Federal and State Projects, Juan Espinosa, gave an update on progress toward the Chinese (Mandarin) Immersion Program. The plan is to start with one class of 30 students at the kindergarten level this fall at Azevada Elementary. The hope is for the program to grow each year and develop fully as a K-6 program. Parents and community efforts have managed to raise start up costs, and no money is coming out of the District's General Fund.

For future years, additional funding sources are potentially anticipated through Title III (Immigrant Students) and EIA (English Language Learners).

FUSD website: www.fremont.k12,
Chinese Immersion Parents' Council of Fremont:

The Board approved the motion to proceed with the Chinese Dual Immersion Program.

Business and Finance Report:
Assistant Superintendent of Business, Bill Stephens, reported on news from Sacramento that a Senate committee on Finance is recommending Class Size Reduction (CSR) be moved to Tier III programs, unrestricted funds. "We'll see if it passes," said Stephens. "That places a completely different dynamic on all budgets, should that occur. It's too early to tell yet."

The District is putting its budget in order by June 30, as required by law. FUSD is still expecting a budget deficit in the amount of $25-$27 million for 2010-11.

The next FUSD Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m.

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