Seniors at Fontana High School celebrate during the 2018 graduation ceremony this past May.  The FUSD’s new 2018-2019 school year will begin on Aug. 6.  (Herald News photo by Alejandro Cano)

It's time for students to head back to school in Fontana.

The first day of classes for the 2018-2019 year is Monday, Aug. 6 for all schools in the Fontana Unified School District.

There will be several changes at the district, including new principals at six locations, according to Superintendent Randal S. Bassett.

Dr. Dustin Saxton will be new principal at Fontana A.B. Miller High School, and Dr. Moises Merlos will be at Alder Middle School, Bassett said.

New principals at elementary schools will be Sandra Loudermilk at Date, Amanda Colon at Locust, Lauri Martin at Palmetto, and Dr. Annette Beasley at Randall Pepper.

"While there have been changes, our commitment to your child’s education remains resolute," Bassett said in a message to the community on the FUSD website. "Each day, we continue to prioritize the needs of students first in our decision-making process. The Fontana Unified School District is dedicated to delivering a quality education to our students so that our graduates will be prepared for success in college, career, and life."

FUSD is also expanding its early learning programs to offer full-day kindergarten at three additional schools in 2018-19.

Almond, Mango and Maple elementary schools will offer full-day kindergarten for the first time, joining Citrus, Juniper, Sierra Lakes and Tokay elementary schools to offer a combined 24 classes this year. Spaces remain available at all schools except Almond, which is currently full, for interested families.

FUSD will offer half-day programs at 23 schools as it continues to look to offer full-day kindergarten over the next few years.

The full-day kindergarten model allows more time for English language arts, math, social studies and science instruction than the traditional half-day schedule. The expanded day also allows for structured interactive play that addresses social skills.

Dr. Tonia Causey-Bush, director of teaching and learning at the district, said that recent Measures of Academic Performance (MAP) data show that FUSD students have benefitted academically, socio-emotionally and behaviorally from the full-day kindergarten model.

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