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Big Changes for Fresno Unified's Middle Schools

Thousands of students will take advantage of a new design model for middle schools that was launched in the district. The new model is designed to improve student success.

Eighth grader at Tenaya Middle School, Ifeanyi Nwonye, along with nearly 3,000 other middle school students in the Fresno Unified School District now have the option to take electives.  Starting this week, mind enriching classes in fields like music, art and journalism are being offered.

"I would not want to come to school at all if I did not have electives," said Nwonye.

The reason the district didn't have electives before was because of the "No Child Left Behind Act," along with rigorous testing.  The district says it drove the district to narrow its curriculum.
The new design is expected to create a pipeline for students to graduate on time.  The district says it goes hand in hand with a new curriculum called "Common Core" being implemented by the state and now the district.

"Common Core as a curriculum expects and demands a very different student over a K-12 experience than what our current, or our old curriculum in California would have produced," said Fresno Unified Superintendent, Michael Hanson.

As teachers shift to implementing Common Core, they'll have the opportunity to meet daily to discuss planning.
As for Nwonye, she appreciates being able to do something at school, besides math, that keeps her intrigued.

"Gives it flavor, gives school flavor," said Nwonye.
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