Fillmore Schools are in "limbo"
FUSD Superintendent Adrian E. Palazuelos
FUSD Superintendent Adrian E. Palazuelos

At Tuesday night’s Board meeting, Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) new Assistant Superintendent Martha Hernandez described the District as being in "limbo" when asked where FUSD stands today regarding Program Improvement. This lack of a more defined definition is due to the recent change in adopting Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and eliminating the old tests used to document student progress.

Program Improvement (PI) is what the California Department of Education designates a school or district that does not make Adequate Yearly Progress. Individual schools throughout the FUSD have been in PI for several years, but last year was the first year the whole District fell into the category.

According to Hernandez, "FUSD is required to provide an end of year summary (to the State) to highlight strategies and actions implemented during the 2013-14 school year including a description of local evidence used to determine effective implementation." She went on to explain the testing normally given at the end of the spring semester was not conducted due to the tryout testing for CCSS, leaving no testing data to present the State on the 2013-14 school year status. When asked what exactly that meant Hernandez responded, "Right now we're in limbo....we're in the status we were last year."

Board Member Tony Prado asked if there was data on the different grades. Hernandez answered, "It's the District that's in IP...this is due to many years of declining scores" and explained there is no data on specific grade levels. When asked what plans they have going forward she informed the Board, "We want to target our weaknesses."
Newly hired Superintendent Adrian E. Palazuelos interjected, stating the English Language Learners (ELL) need a great deal of improvement in learning English.

"We need to have designated ELL time...It took some time to get into this (PI), it will take time to get out.
Regarding the time frame the District is looking at to present the data on progress that the State requires, Hernandez said, "We need to do it in the next three months."

Just after the meeting began Superintendent Palazuelos described some goals and improvements he hopes to implement going forward. But those goals come with a big price tag; improving FUSD's internet technology infrastructure and upgrading software. "We want all students to have full access to the new software.....bridge together all our data systems and give access to every student" he told those in attendance. The main goal Palazuelos described was full wifi access throughout FUSD. Whether the funds will be available to achieve those goals is a big question.

Associated Student Body Representative Irma Torres announced Food Day is Thursday, September 18th to help raise money for school clubs; Thursday, September 4th, Fillmore Gym will be Girls' Volleyball team vs. Louisville; Saturday Cross-Country will race at Mount San Antonio College; the Santa Paula vs. Fillmore football game will be in town on September 19th; Homecoming Week begins September 29th thru Homecoming Parade and game time on October 3rd.