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Welcome to the Fontana J8 School District!

I am Dr. Sara Norton, Principal / Administrator here at Fontana, and I'm excited to be a part of the Fontana J8 School District! This is a special place with special people who want to do the very best by their students.

My basic philosophy of education is one of connections. I believe that we must have a curriculum that makes sense to students and teachers, that is seamless in its transitions from grade to grade here at Fontana, and that follows the Common Core State Standards so that our students are prepared and ready for success in high school and beyond. I believe we must connect students to the curriculum, to each other, and to the faculty and staff. We must learn about our students, their experiences, and their interests so that we can make the curriculum relevant to them. Increasing rigor—a strong focus for state and national educators—can only work if we know our students and the curriculum well enough to help connect the two. The best environment in which those connections can be nurtured is one that is safe and that promotes respect and responsibility for all who enter the doors.

I also believe that we—faculty, staff, and families—need to act as partners in the education of your children. One of the most important aspects of a partnership is communication. In order to do our part, the faculty and staff at Fontana are utilizing technology to help keep you connected to us and to your student’s progress this year. To increase teacher-parent communication, we have voicemail, email, and Family Access which allows you to check not only your student’s academic progress but also your family’s lunch account, your children’s attendance, and more. Please call, make an appointment, or email me if you have a question, need clarification regarding something you’ve heard, have a suggestion, or want to give kudos! I will try to return a call or email within 24-36 hours after I’ve received it. If you haven’t heard from me within a reasonable period of time, please call and leave a message with Mrs. Ziganto. Your questions, comments, suggestions and kudos are important to me.

We have several special offerings for our families. We host the Bridging Brighter Smiles program, which brings affordable dental services right here to our door. This year, we are also entering into a partnership with Lutheran Social Services to provide increased support to our students who are struggling with emotional or social concerns. This non-profit organization can support us by conducting small group discussions and some one-on-one counseling services if need be and parental permission is granted. We are also offering quality care for 4 year olds each afternoon and for all of our students after school. We welcome families with children 4 years old and above from our school, our community, and the surrounding communities to take advantage of quality daycare provided in an educational setting. Information and registration materials for both Bridging Brighter Smiles and our day care program are available at registration and throughout the school year.

In the academic realm, the district offers our students support based on data. Grade level planning time is built into our schedule so that teachers are able to look at the information on hand, identify out-of-sync learners on both ends of the spectrum, and plan for their specific needs. At the middle school level, we have an established intervention period each day for our teachers to work with struggling students. Teachers who aren’t running small group interventions during this period create curriculum-based enrichment opportunities that run on the 6 to 9 week intervention schedule and offer our students choices during their school day. Your child may receive an intervention for an academic hurdle or alternate programming through the gifted and talented program or be able to take a “mad scientist” or “fitness for life” class during that time. Using this progressive schedule, we create systems by which we can respond more quickly and effectively to the needs of our students.

Whether it is through using the Family Access program to keep abreast of your student’s progress in her/his classes, being active in the Parent-Teacher Organization, checking in with the teachers via email, voicemail, or in person, or volunteering to help out with educational activities, I encourage you to take an active role in your student’s education. Together, we can help students form the connections that enable learning to take place. I look forward to another year of leading, learning, and laughing with you.

Sincerely,
Dr. Sara Norton

Principal / Administrator
Fontana J8 School District


Be Safe;

Be Respectful;

Be Responsible…Every moment, Everyone, Everywhere.