5948 E Tulare St. Fresno, CA 93727  |  (559) 327-6700

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Fancher Creek Elementary

Established in 1990, Fancher Creek Elementary School is nestled in a diverse neighborhood in southeast Fresno.  Fancher Creek is a place where children can learn academic, behavioral, and life skills to help them reach their full potential. Every staff member serves as an educator who teaches and cares for our Falcons every school day. Over time, our campus has become a hub for community activities and serves as a place for families to play. This connection between our school and the community it serves has created a tight-knit, family atmosphere that supports Fancher Creek’s mission and goals. Fancher Creek is known as a family and we strive to maintain that reputation in everything we do. 

Fancher Creek is a Title I School with 83% of our 780 students classified as socioeconomically disadvantaged. Our diverse student demographic consists of 51% Hispanic, 30% Asian, 10% White, and 7% African American. Our English Learner population is currently 12% with eight languages, including English, spoken on campus. We allocate funds to provide primary language support for students and parents in Spanish and Punjabi.

Fancher Creek and Clovis Unified believe in the Sparthenian model where students develop in mind, body, and spirit. In addition to an academic focus, students are encouraged to participate in a variety of sports, dance clubs, drama, oral interpretation, robotics, science fair, history day, and many other activities. Our Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS), known as SOAR, teaches students how to regulate their behavior throughout the school day by reinforcing desired behaviors with positive reinforcement. Additionally, students are taught about character strengths and empathy through daily Positivity Project lessons. By developing well-rounded students who strive to be the best they can be in mind, body, and spirit, we encourage our Falcons to grow into productive citizens with servant hearts. 

The First Fancher School

On May 4, 1869, the Fancher District was organized in the foothills northeast of Fresno whose local residents primarily raised cattle and hogs, and whose children needed a place of education. 
Fancher Creek, which runs on the southeast side of Fresno, was named for cattleman John Fancher whose ranch was located near the intersections of McKinley and Del Rey avenues in southeast Fresno.  The creek runs through the ranch property.  Fancher Creek was the inspiration for the naming of the original Fancher District and Fancher School as well as Fancher Creek Elementary School that opened in 1989. 
The Fancher schoolhouse, once located at Watts Valley and Pittman Hill roads, is assumed to be the original Fancher School.  Several publications from the time described the school as being a comfortable building that was well-stocked with desks for up to 40 students, a terrestrial globe, a Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, a complete set of Cornell's Outline Maps mounted on the walls,  and McGuffey's Reading Charts. 
In a newspaper article dated 1877, Mr. A. H. Day was named as Fancher School's first teacher.  He reportedly kept the school in excellent condition and was well-respected by students and parents.  From 1900 to 1905, five teachers were in charge of the school each serving one school year.  Mattie Kelsey, Ruth Killiam, Georgie Johnson, Mary Haedin, and Helen Kirch taught and ran Fancher School.  In 1904, student attendance at Fancher School averaged nine students and by August 4, 1914, attendance had fallen so low that Fancher District closed.  Students attending Fancher School moved to either Round Mountain School District in Sanger or Dry Creek District in northeast Clovis.  Once Fancher School and District closed, the Fancher Community faded.

The New Fancher Creek School

A new Clovis Unified campus opened in 1990 at 5948 East Tulare Avenue in Fresno, on the southwest corner of Tulare and Fowler avenues to accommodate the growth in Fresno's southeast neighborhoods.  The enrollment at nearby Temperance-Kutner Elementary School had grown by leaps and bounds and a new school was needed to relieve crowded conditions.  
Just across the street from the new school Fancher Creek runs strong and snakes six miles through the southeast Fresno neighborhood.  As an homage to the original Fancher School, located 21 miles northeast of the new campus, and to the nearby waterway, the Clovis Unified School District Governing Board approved its newest school to be named Fancher Creek Elementary.  Sue Van Doren, Ed.D., the first principal of the new Fancher Creek Elementary School, recalled that a committee of parents and staff recommended to the Governing Board the colors of red, white, and blue as no other school in the district boasted these same school colors at the time.  The committee also suggested that the school's mascot be the falcon, a meaningful symbol to the community.  The falcon represented the wildlife in the rural part of Fresno where Fancher Creek was located and it was part of a vision that teachers, Gayle Peck and Charley Ford, had for creating a refuge and rehabilitation sanctuary for injured birds of prey, a vision that was ultimately realized at Red Bank Elementary School. 
Fancher Creek, built on land previously used a plum orchard owned by John Garabedian, was designed by Darden Architects and built by Palmo Construction Company for $9 million.  The 41,683-square foot facility included 24 classrooms, an administration office, a library media center, technology lab, and a multi-purpose room.  
One year prior to the 1990-91 school year opening of the new school, Fancher Creek's 650 students were housed at a temporary school of portable classrooms located on the east side of the Clovis High campus that served as home while their new school was being built.  Van Doren served as Fancher Creek Elementary School's first principal followed by Pete Reyes, Rosie Rivera-Borjas, Kevin Kerney, Corrine Folmer, Erin Paker and the current principal, Carisa Cordova.
Fancher Creek History Excerpted from 50 Unified Years by Susan Sawyer Wise 
Clovis Unified School District: Be the best you can be in mind, body, and spirit
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