Board Watch: School Board 101
Tools You Need to Plug In & Speak Up
What is a school board and what does it do?
A school board is a local group of elected individuals that works with its community to improve its public schools. Our school board’s primary responsibilities are to ensure students get the best education possible; hire and evaluate the superintendent; and develop and adopt policy, curriculum, and the budget.
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How do I reach Fresno Unified school board members?
Fresno Unified’s seven board members, listed below, are elected by voters like you for a four-year term. Board elections take place in November, every other year. The board elects its president and clerk annually in December.
Brooke Ashjian, Board President, Trustee Area 7
Claudia Cazares, Board Clerk, Trustee Area 6
Lindsay Cal Johnson, Trustee Area 1
Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas, Trustee Area 2
Valerie F. Davis, Trustee Area 3
Christopher De La Cerda, Trustee Area 4
Carol Mills, J.D., Trustee Area 5
Board members may be reached by calling (559) 457-3727, or faxing (559) 486-3213. Items may be mailed to board members at Fresno Unified, Board of Education Office, 2309 Tulare Street, Fresno, CA, 93721.
How do I speak at a Fresno Unified school board meeting?
Fresno Unified’s school board meetings begin open (public) session at 5:30PM in the Board Room on the 2nd floor of the FUSD Education Center (2309 Tulare Street), on the dates specified in the district’s 2017-18 school board meeting schedule. Past and upcoming meeting agendas are posted online, the Friday before each regular meeting.
Half an hour (30 minutes) is set aside for public comment during each school board meeting. Prior to the time for public comment, fill out a speaker card — available in multiple languages — which you’ll find on the table next to the board room entryway. You’ll have 1-3 minutes to share your story with the board. Here are some tips for preparing and delivering your message:
- Share your stance on the issue with clear supporting reasons
- Recommend a solution
- Practice your speech beforehand, but don’t worry about memorizing it
- Print your speech in a large font for easy reading
- Deliver your speech in a strong and respectful voice