Fresno Christian High School
79° Fresno, CA
The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Latest
  • 43rd Annual Commencement Ceremony - May 23, 7 pm, People's Auditorium
  • The Feather honored with Silver CSPA digital news Crown Award
  • Download the new Feather app - search Student News Source in App store
The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Recent Comments
Letter to the Editor
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

FCS Town Hall offers school updates

Community members are welcomed to an open conversation with Superintendent Brown

On May 5, Fresno Christian’s Superintendent, Jeremy Brown, opened up the biannual Town Hall with big hopes for the coming ‘24-25 school year. Town Hall meetings allow Brown to share new announcements and progress updates while also granting Fresno Christian parents the opportunity to communicate concerns and questions. 

Momentum Campaign Update

In the past years, meetings have been centered around the Momentum Campaign. The campaign began on Sept. 28, 2021, to raise $3.9 million in two years; the fundraiser amplifies the finances Fresno Christian has worked to increase and stabilize. A large part of the funds were put towards paying off the school’s remaining debt, but money has also gone toward school improvements and growth. 

When we left off last year, the solar panel phase was complete; this helps to eliminate high power bills so that money can go toward other renovations. Brown has an end goal of 75 students per grade level; as our school expands, the main issue to look out for is space for incoming students. Fresno Christian leases a majority of their land from Peoples Church and must find creative ways to expand and organize sports.

Growing Pains

Currently, two modules serve as the math classrooms; with approximately 760 students and the determination to continue growing, the school was set to purchase four more modules. They would have been ready by August for the ‘23-24 school year, but this failed in December ‘23 when the modular company raised their prices and the timeline for which they would be ready. 

Fresno Christian accepted more students into the school for the ‘23-24 school year, but the collapse of prior plans caused “growing pains” to become more prominent in the school. 

“We were supposed to have the buildings for this year last year, and so we have already committed to certain people thinking it was going to happen,” Brown said. “So part of that is we told people to come in thinking growth was going to happen and it didn’t, meaning we don’t have the facilities to accommodate them.”

Brown plans to move Fresno Christian Early Education (preschool) to New Covenant Church Early Education to compensate for these unfortunate occurrences. 

“Our plan was within three years, we’ve been to two or three different places already before, four modules going out here to replace the math portables,” Brown said. “Then phase two was to eventually move them [preschool] out in a 2-3 year plan.”

While the preschool, library and Brown’s old office suite open up five new classrooms, Brown’s priority is jobs for the teachers working in the Early Education building and serving the families at Fresno Christian. These classrooms will start as elementary classes, but the goal is to move kindergarten into the Early Education classrooms. This will allow the sixth-grade students to move back from middle school into the primary building.

With the conversation of growth comes the question of supporting the students who are already here. Many parents were concerned about staff stability and the classes offered.

Staffing Concerns

The beauty of Fresno Christian is the community the parents and students form with the staff. The parents wanted to know how the school can ensure that their students have a strong, long-term teaching staff. Brown acknowledged these concerns and told the parents that it was something he was working on.

“For the most part we have a very stable staff,” Brown said. “We tend to have young people that have families; when they have children they decide ‘I want to stay home’ and that’s something we are always addressing [the teacher turnover].”

Brown aims to improve teaching perks without adding to Fresno Christian student tuition. It is difficult to compete with the pay teachers are given in public schools, however, the school does its best to keep up with inflation. In the last two years, teachers have received 12% raises; they were given 5% raises per year plus a 2% raise in retirement. 

High School Class Offerings

Another concern was the lack of dual enrollment. As high school students, many are looking to prepare for college by taking their general education now. Introducing dual enrollment would bring opportunities for students to try college classes that Fresno Christian doesn’t offer.

Brown explains that not having dual enrollment is a decision that he is prepared to reevaluate.

“It’s an A-G thing and it’s a board policy; the board made a policy a long time ago where you could supplement, but you can’t supplant,” Brown said. “So if we give Spanish 2, you can’t take Spanish 2 somewhere else to do that. It is something that we are revisiting and looking into; I’m not saying for next year, but next year we are in the process of reviewing. I think the original reason why the board did that was because if they could go and be a half-time student here and halftime elsewhere then it could hurt enrollment.”

One question arose as to whether or not our school could implement STEM-related electives, such as robotics. As a small school, Fresno Christian is not able to offer as vast a selection of electives as schools with over 2,000 kids. The school simply does not have the space or staff to offer an elective that would interest maybe ten kids; this does not mean it is less of a regrettable situation. When enrollment increases, there will be more openings for expanding the elective classes.

Improvements and Additions

The coming school year brings many inquiries about what has been improved since the year before. 

Security has been enhanced with lockdown buttons accessible to the staff in the front offices, hallway cameras, and a security guard roaming the parking lot. 

Brown has looked into hiring a school nurse to help keep track of medications students are supposed to take daily. This will also be beneficial to those with allergies who require EpiPens. Having a nurse on staff will ensure that students will have an adult looking out for their health so that parents can rest assured that their children are being taken care of.

Multiple parents questioned whether there would be a sixth-grade after-school program this year for the parents who work or are unable to make the 3 p.m. release time. Brown reassured them that if enough parents were interested when an email was sent out, this would become an option again.

Athletics

At this year’s town hall, sports were a big topic of discussion. Being a small private school, the FC sports teams work hard to maintain their divisional positions with what participants they have. There are multiple concerns around coaching situations, especially as the school grows; one parent expressed that while sports have grown, the infrastructure has not. 

In elementary sports, there have been situations where if a parent does not step up to coach, there will be no season for their child. Similarly, many high school sports are taught by teachers instead of by a professional coach. In light of this topic, Brown voiced the process of improving coaching staff and staff-parent communication; the staff is working on bringing in better coaches. He promised that no sport would get canceled for lack of coaching again. 

The high school football team is currently in the 8-man division. For years there have been debates on whether they should transition into an 11-man football team. According to Brown, we have one more year that we have to play 8-man before we have the opportunity to switch. Part of the problem is not truly having separation between varsity and junior varsity; with a small school, it is difficult to have enough kids to have both and play 11-man football. 

When beginning to think about what league the Fresno Christian Varsity Football team will play in, the school has also taken the passing of the Title IX revisions into consideration. Being a private Christian school with specific values, there may be political reasons that the administration decides to only play football against other private Christian schools. The school is determining this issue in preparation for the new school year but is not yet ready to make the final decision.

Superintendent Brown has worked hard to ensure that these so-called “growing pains” have minimal negative impacts on the school. He continues to remedy the effects of past decisions and puts his best foot forward to bring Fresno Christian quality staff, services, education and sports programs.

“As we grow, we are not growing to fill more seats, we’re growing in how we do things,” Brown said. 

The Momentum Campaign continues to raise money for the enhancements of Fresno Christian services. If you would like to contribute, visit the Momentum Campaign website. Make sure to put next year’s Town Hall on your calendar,  your voice matters!

For more from The Feather, visit Lunch under $15 or Alton Brown celebrates ‘Good Eats’.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Delaney Meyers
Delaney Meyers, Journalist
First year journalist Delaney Meyers, 26', is excited to join The Feather Online and begin her writing journey. Delaney strives to learn the inner workings of journalism and online media. She is an ardent reader, movie enthusiast, and loves music. When she is not playing tennis, she cheers on the Fresno Christian cheer team. Delaney hopes that with dedication and hard work that she can grow as a writer and as a person.
More to Discover
Donate to The Feather

Comments (0)

All The Feather Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *