School Spotlight: Fresno Unified School District (CA)

Welcome to Fresno, California! This inland city, nestled between San Francisco and Los Angeles,  is renowned for its rich and thriving agriculture. It also happens to be the home to one of the largest and most progressive school districts in the state.

The Fresno Unified District (USD) & the Speech Department provide an environment for SLPs to feel empowered to make decisions based on the best interest of the student & the students’ forward progress! Comprised of 73,000+ students operating 66 elementary schools, 14 middle schools, 10 high schools, 6 alternative schools, 3 special education schools, and 9 charter schools, Fresno USD is the third largest school district in California

Get to Know the Fresno Unified School District

With more than 98 languages spoken and varying degrees of demographics and economic inequality, Fresno is the perfect location to expand the SLP knowledge and skillset. The amount of growth, and knowledge one can get within this district, whether a CF or seasoned therapist, is unlike anywhere else!

Completing Your Clinical Fellowship

Fresno is the 3rd largest district in the state; however, you won’t be considered just a number even within this large school district. Fresno USD has a small town/small district feel, for each CF to truly receive the hands-on support they need, as they earn their CCCs. The internal support system is team-oriented, while student-focused, to ensure each team member feels empowered and each student meets the individualized IEP goals.

In addition, having the opportunity to work with such a diverse student population provides a unique opportunity for professional growth during your CF year. These skills will translate to any large or small district within the United States, allowing you the chance to be successful at any school district of your choice.


A Community of Support

Fresno USD sets the standards for creating a positive environment among the staff by encouraging strong partnerships between the lead SLPs, staff SLPs, contracted SLPs, classroom teachers, school psych, social workers, etc. with the goal being the student(s) outcome and success.

The speech department will be implementing a policy next year for new Fresno employees, requiring them to submit their first five reports to the lead SLP for review. The goal behind this is for the new district employees to feel supported, to get coaching/guidance, and to create a successful environment long term.

Office hour meetings are scheduled at a bi-weekly cadence, led by the lead SLPs, to assist with the growth of team members on a professional level. Additionally, the office hours create an added space where teamwork and camaraderie are developed amongst the speech staff.

Get to Know Fresno, California

Now that you’ve gotten to know the Fresno USD a little better, we want to share some of the details regarding housing, activities, and attractions you’ll be surrounded by when working in beautiful Fresno, California.

Finding Housing in Fresno

One of the best aspects of working and living in Fresno (compared to much of California) is the very reasonable cost of living around the city. When looking at housing in the area, rent can range from $700/month to $2,000/month depending on the location and amenities you choose. Not too shabby!

Below are some of the recommended neighborhoods in and around Fresno:

  • Woodward Park - Named one of the best places to live in Fresno due to the highly rated school districts, restaurants, and shops. Named the best neighborhood for families who want space, this area includes 300 acres of green space with ponds, picnic areas, and miles of trails weaving throughout the park.  In addition, you will find a disc golf course, dog parks, BMX and mountain bike courses, and beautiful Japanese gardens. 
  • Fig Garden – named after the many fig trees. One of the most sought-after neighborhoods, it has a relaxed feel with trails for walking and biking and is a very walkable location. 
  • Tower District – Home to some of the most popular nightclubs in Fresno, the Tower District has a bar scene worth talking about! Jazz bars, comedy clubs, dancing clubs, concert halls with live performances, and film festivals.  Popular among the younger crowds, the neighborhood is always buzzing with energy.
  • Sunnyside – found on the southeast side of town, this area offers its residents a sparse suburban feel. Close to nearby highways, Sunnyside is easily accessible and makes for a stress-free commute downtown.  The area has a small 5,000 population making it a small peaceful area.
  • Clovis – just a few minutes outside of the Fresno city limits, its quaint and bustling downtown features antique shops, restaurants, boutiques, and cafés.

Things to Do in Fresno

Once you’ve secured your housing arrangements in Fresno, it’s time to start exploring your new home! This agricultural hub boasts a rich landscape of vibrant produce (easy on the eyes and palate), but there is so much more than farmland here—you’ll also find historical sites, natural attractions, museums, and art spread throughout the city and surrounding areas. Below are just a small collection of amazing sites and activities to keep you exploring to your heart’s content:

Farmers Market & Street Markets

Fresno County takes over the sidewalks every week with music, food trucks, uniquely made gifts, and art. Also, enjoy the harvest of the number 1 agriculture county in the nation. 

Food Trucks

The food truck is part of our culinary culture, with breweries and wineries teaming up with local trucks to offer a full dining experience. Fresno County’s food truck scene is unlike any other in California. You’ll find trucks parked on several street corners, offering everything from tacos to Philly cheesesteaks and even teppanyaki.


Save Mart Center is a massive 43,000-square-foot venue with 40 luxury suites, there also is the Rotary Amphitheater at Woodward Park, which hosts the widely popular $5 Summer Concert Series each year, crowd-pleasing concerts can be found in the area for fans of every genre. 

Bike Paths

Cyclists can enjoy the beautiful natural setting along well-maintained roads and trails in Woodward Park. The Lewis S. Eaton Trail is a popular 6-mile paved trail beginning at Woodward Park, offering views of the beautiful river bottom. Fresno Cycling Club posts morning and evening ride group meet-ups on its website, as well as other resources and events. 

Fresno County Blossom Trail

Fun fact: California's central valley is the state's most productive agricultural region. It yields an abundance of citrus, tree fruits, nuts, table grapes, and other crops each year. The Fresno County’s Blossom Trail passes through some of the area’s most colorful orchards on a nearly 70-mile scenic route.

Woodward Regional Park

Woodward Regional Park is a sprawling green space with a classic city park vibe. There are walking and biking paths, plenty of park benches for resting, manicured lawns, tables for picnicking, and playgrounds for little ones.

African American Historical and Cultural Museum

Fresno African American Historical and Cultural Museum is an excellent place to learn about the history and culture of African Americans in the region.

Forestiere Underground Gardens

The Forestiere Underground Gardens is one of the most unique attractions in Fresno, CA. The underground gardens weave through a series of structures, including rooms, courtyards, and passageways.

Fresno Art Museum

The Fresno Art Museum is a top-notch accredited museum that truly represents the San Joaquin Valley cultural identity and art scene. It offers a variety of educational programs, including art classes and workshops.

Start Your Next School SLP Chapter at Fresno USD

With so much to learn and even more to explore, Fresno USD is a dream destination for any SLP school assignment. If you’re looking to book your next assignment with this amazing school district, our expert team at AMN Healthcare is here to help you make it happen. Just click the link below and a member of our recruitment team will reach out to get you started!


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