Board listens as administrators focus on student learning
FUSD School Board
FUSD School Board
From the left, Dean of Sierra High School, Cynthia Frutos, Fillmore Middle School Principal Todd Schieferle, and FMS Assistant Principal, Tricia Godfrey, address the Fillmore School District Board at Tuesday’s regular meeting.
From the left, Dean of Sierra High School, Cynthia Frutos, Fillmore Middle School Principal Todd Schieferle, and FMS Assistant Principal, Tricia Godfrey, address the Fillmore School District Board at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Fillmore Unified School District Superintendent Jeff Sweeney introduced administrators of Fillmore Middle School, Fillmore High School and Sierra High School to district trustees Tuesday, November 3, 2009.

The focus was on student learning for the 2009-2010 school year. Todd Schieferle, Principal of FMS said the focus of the middle school this year is Safety, Learning and Love. He said safety is the highest priority; a zero tolerance for violence and a firm discipline policy is in place.

Focus on learning, according to Schieferle, is based on what we want students to learn; how we know each student has learned; and how we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning. He went to to say we use assessments for the state guidelines. He said we use a support system to cover those concepts still needing to be learned. “A 25 minute period for refining skills is available four times a week.” Student-teacher pacing guides help students to master assigned state standards, also.

Tricia Godfrey, Assistant Principal said that the love and care element is helping to build trust in the school community. At a recent rally the students chanted, “Bulldogs let me rise above, let us feel all the love.” Because of the intervention program, FMS made their API goal this year. The board learned FMS is working towards becoming a distinguished school.

Cynthia Frutos, Dean of Sierra High School talked about student achievement, school safety, increased parent involvement and the 2009-2010 goals/plans/achievements. Discussing the Alternative Schools Accountability Model (ASAM), Frutos said there are three indicators for SHS. The first is behavior. The second is attendance and the third is credit competition. “Our goal is to have students return to their original school and be on track with their peers,” she said. Regarding school safety Frutos went on to say they've created a new staff handbook, student handbook, they're utilizing local resources, holding parent conferences, student study teams, teacher in-service and staff meetings.

She presented a detailed list of goals/plans/achievements, including changes to the bell schedule by adding CAHSEE prep courses and an Odyssey online computer courses, curriculum changes and continue to utilize resources to promote student success.

Frutos added that the ASB held a barbecue recently to honor eight students with perfect attendance. The ASB is also continuing fund raising activities that promote student participation.

Frutos also talked about the independent studies program. There are currently 35 students enrolled. They are collaborating with FHS and the district office on a new transfer process. She also said that semester reviews of student progress will be based on academics, attendance and the reason for being sent to independent studies.
FHS Principal John Wilbur told trustees that the 2009-2010 focus is to keep doing what they've been doing. He also discussed implementation of a curriculum audit and WASC (Western Association of School Certification) and implementation of the DATAWISE program to assist teachers in standards aligned assignments and use of data to drive next steps. He noted that they had a challenging year last year, however he feels it was very successful. They received a six year accreditation, their API jumped 33 points and they narrowly missed their AYP goals.

Following on the heels of last weeks football victory over Santa Paula, Wilbur said, “Athletic success helps the school.” He proudly showed the board the battered leather football helmet that is the symbol of the long rivalry between the two schools.

Sweeney complemented the administrators saying, “When you walk on the campuses there is a focus not seen four years ago.” Board Tony Prado said “I'm interested inn the kind of collaboration going on with the middle school and the high school.” Trustee Virginia De La Prieda told the group, “I appreciate all the time and effort you have been giving.”

Other items on the agenda included a report by the student representative Garrett Reilley of coming events. He stated career day will be Friday, November 6 at the Memorial Building. He said the ASB blood drive is coming up November 17 at the high school. Anyone over the age of 16 may participate, so he's inviting community members to take part. He brought a special guest to the meeting, Esparanza Ocegueda.

Mike Bush, Assistant Superintendent mentioned that $137,000 in redevelopment fees is owed to the state by the district.

There's a special board meeting in Piru November 9. A closed session will begin at 5:15 p.m. With the regular meeting getting underway at 6:00 p.m. In the Piru Auditorium. The next regular meeting is November 17 at the district office, 627 Sespe Avenue. The closed session is at 5:15 p.m., with the regular meeting at 6:00 p.m.