Education Early March

School District Notes

by Jan Youngman
Fullerton School District Board meets at 6 pm, 2nd & 4th Tues of each month
at district headquarters, 1401 W Valencia Dr, Fullerton For agenda go to: or call (714) 447-7400

February 15 Meeting:

• The District renewed the Affiliation agreement with Concordia University from Feb 22, 2023, through Feb 22, 2026. Concordia has been a long, strong partner with FSD. The existing practicum/fieldwork will be automatically renewed near its end date if both organizations wish to renew their agreement. Both FSD & Concordia wish to extend the School Counseling Practicum agreement.

• FSD approved a new agreement with Pepperdine University for an unpaid Dietetic Student Internship effective Feb 21, 2023, through Jun 30, 2025. The agreement will be automatically renewed annually unless otherwise indicated in writing by one of the parties at least 30 days before the end of the term. Additionally, any Dietetic internship will be renewed annually unless otherwise indicated in writing by one of the parties at least 30 days prior to the end of the term. A Dietetic intern must have at least a Bachelor’s Degree to be a credential to be accepted into the credential internship and complete at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice to be eligible to be a registered dietician. In addition, they must notify the District at least 30 days prior to completion of the program if they wish to leave the program.

• Approved “Out of State” conference for Michael Burns to attend the SNA’s National Conference in Washington D. C. March 4-8, 2023. And The School Nutritional Ass. (SNA) March 4-8, 2023. The SNA Conference is a non-profit professional organization that has the vision to provide high-quality, nutritious, low-cost meals to students at schools across the country. This conference will provide advanced skills and knowledge to support and ensure better solutions for the Nutrition Service Department.

• A new agreement with Colbi Technologies Inc with Quality Bids to provide a web-based service for checking pre-qualifications and California Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act applications submitted from contractors was approved.

• FSD recognized the impact of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Fullerton/Orange County for their ten years of service to FSD and its students. They operate mentoring programs at 5 FSD schools that meet weekly on campus. Currently, 200 students are involved with mentors in 5 programs. As a result, school Staff and volunteers have observed improved social/emotional behavior in 87% of the students in the program, and 67% are on a pathway to college. Other programs highlighted were Commonwealth’s Culinary, the Food Service Taco Masters Competition; after school Partnership with Flame Broiler Restaurant; the Junior Chef program at Commonwealth; Nicolas’ Block Party; Park’s Junior High & Nicolas Block Parties;

• FSD profiled new programs in development: A Middle College program for interested students to pursue areas/fields they are interested in.

• FESTO has been selected to partner with Nicolas Junior High School and is in the process of building an innovative Lab at the school that will have “industry-level machinery.” This will allow students to learn through “project-based partnership” in a real lab. Industry-level machinery and experience will be provided to the students. They will be trained in “project-based” learning by using cutting-edge technology related to manufacturing & production.

Board approved the continuation of Dr. Pletka’s contract! Hurrah!

Next meeting Tuesday, March 15.


Vivien High School Board

HIGHLIGHTS & Commentary by Vivien Moreno

The Fullerton Joint Union High School District Board

For more information: (714) 870-2800 or

Back to Normal with the School Plans for Student Achievement

Every year I love reading what I argue is a school’s most important report, the School Plans for Student Achievement (SPSA).

Federally mandated, the SPSA is a tough document because it exposes areas for school improvement to achieve greater student success if done faithfully and honestly. The plan combines stakeholder input and metrics, including test scores, graduation, and suspension rates, separating student information by socio-economic and racial designations.

A school site council of parents, administrators, staff, and students determines how the school addresses these challenges through programs, training, or additional personnel in the coming school year. It includes an ongoing analysis reviewing current solutions.

It determines whether to retain programs and services or install new services to achieve the best possible outcomes. A publicly accessible document that all schools which accept federal funds must generate yearly makes the SPSA a brutally honest narrative available to compare across districts and states, which can vary widely in their academic priorities.

While the SPSA reveals individual school issues, a district’s goals set the tone for each school year’s educational priorities. Reading the information-rich SPSA annually provides a school’s history of long-term issues.

Data informs readers about academic focus, support intervention programs, and social and emotional care showing educational trends and priorities.

The report allows current and potential parents, employees, and school board trustees to understand a school district’s priorities and challenges; it reveals if the district’s mission statements are being honored and allow stakeholders to form personal perspectives on district trends.

Board members annually read the SPSAs to analyze data year to year, ask for new program clarification, and approve how schools use funds to achieve student success. FJUHSD Director of Education Steve Zamora presented the first post-pandemic SPSA reports at the February 14 board meeting.

The 2022/23 SPSAs reflect a district realigning with its pre-pandemic goals and progress. The pre-pandemic 2019/20 SPSAs identified mental health, academic, and restorative justice challenges. The 2022/23 SPSAs acknowledge these complex issues and additional innovative and multifaceted solutions.

Various school programs support teachers, students, and families with academic, social, and emotional training and expanded mental health trauma care. Whole child academic focus allows the district to support and address issues that keep students from accessing the opportunities offered by the district to the fullest. All stakeholders can monitor the journey through the SPSA reports. The trustees stated they read and made email requests for clarification. Still, during the meeting, the main concern was whether the federal government ever reads the reports. After reading the plans, I am listing my main observations, though the trustees may already be aware of these points.

• Buena Park High School introduced the “Unplug” program in 2019/20 SPSA to address cell phone use in the classroom. With everyone back in the classroom, it would be interesting to hear if the program was reinstated and how effective the program that required students and teachers to turn off cell phones during class time turned out.

• How does BPHS’s mastery of a subject grading system affect the “D” and “F” rates? La Habra High School used mastery language in their plan, but it was unclear how teachers are implementing it. • Why does LHHS expend almost $100,000 every year on additional athletic support? What percentage of the student population is enrolled in team sports? What are the athletic “D” and “F” rates? This is a long-term, ongoing expense and may be worthwhile. Still, it has never accompanied any data showing how it accentuates the student success rate at LHHS.

• Students with disabilities and English language learner suspension rates were rated high or very high at each comprehensive school site. What are the students getting suspended for? Are schools utilizing the SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) de-escalation training for teachers and parents? A few schools mention higher suspension rates due to enforcement against marijuana and nicotine use. However, FJUHSD’s drug-identifying practices pinpoint users on campuses with drug prevention education available through restorative practices. Is expanded drug education needed considering the two safety programs recently hosted by FJUHSD that focused on the increasing presence of Fentanyl found lacing other drugs? Various restorative practice programs to lower suspension rates are back from 2019/20 SPSAs. Are schools sharing best practices districtwide? Are there plans to expand restorative programs, like peer judicial reviews, double focus groups, or in-person student-to-teacher class reviews?

• All schools are committed to expanding a-g accredited CTE (Career Technical Education) course offerings, increasing students’ career and college opportunities. • Mental wellness centers expand to Sunny Hills and Buena Park campuses. What are the most effective parts of the existing wellness centers at Troy and La Vista/La Sierra High Schools, and how many students are taking advantage of the program? Will Troy’s wellness center try to have expanded hours during AP, IB, A-level, and state testing weeks? According to the plan, they are only open three days a week.

• How easy is it for a student to enter the iSierra program to recover units? Are attendance requirements or placement situations making it difficult for students to access the program? Is the legally shortened time to transfer back to a homeschool increasing stress on the program or the teachers? • It is good to see the emphasis on family engagement and improved customer service throughout the sites. How will the actions to welcome families back to in-person activities be measured? Are there instant surveys? • Who served on Sonora High School Site Council? Unfortunately, that was not filled out.

The next meeting is on March 14 at 6 pm.