Education

Fresno Unified parents, staff offer suggestions for bond spending

A Hmong translator helps community members at a break-out session of a meeting with Fresno Unified staff to brainstorm on spending of a proposed bond measure at Sunnyside High School on Aug. 29, 2016.
A Hmong translator helps community members at a break-out session of a meeting with Fresno Unified staff to brainstorm on spending of a proposed bond measure at Sunnyside High School on Aug. 29, 2016. cdelgado@fresnobee.com

About 20 Fresno Unified parents and children attended a workshop at Sunnyside High School in southeast Fresno on Monday to talk about what improvements they would like to see if voters approve a $225 million school bond in November.

The meeting was one of a series of gatherings the school district has arranged to solicit public input on updates to the district’s facilities master plan.

Fresno Unified trustees voted 6-1 on Aug. 10 to place the $225 million bond on the November ballot.

Francisca Damaso, 42, attended the meeting with friends and said she hopes the proposed measure can bring needed recreation areas to neighborhood schools as well as update aged buildings.

Damaso has children at the high school, Olmos Elementary and Kings Canyon Middle schools and attended the first of seven planned meetings at district high schools to express her desire for modifications.

Sunnyside High School Principal Tim Liles began the discussion by outlining a few projects he hopes could be taken up if the measure is successful on Nov. 8.

Liles said he hopes the bond can finance improvements to security, athletic facilities and career technology education at his campus.

Storey Elementary School Principal Gayle Frediani was at the meeting to help with small-group brainstorming sessions. She said she hopes the bond can help finance construction of a new school in southeast Fresno to alleviate overcrowding at her school as well as make improvements at Storey.

The school, at Church and Peach avenues, is heavily impacted due to growth in the community, Frediani said.

Frediani said one example of the school’s crowding is the school’s lunch program, where around 1,055 students are served in five separate lunch times. Around 200 students are allowed in the cafeteria at a time, she said.

Hmong and Spanish translators were available to help southeast Fresno residents fill out surveys that will be reviewed by the Fresno Unified board.

Another meeting is planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Fresno High School cafeteria.

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado: 559-441-6304, @cres_guez

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