School year will start on Aug. 3 for FUSD as questions about Bassett’s exit linger | News

The 2022-2023 school year will be starting very soon in the Fontana Unified School District, but when it does, Randal Bassett will not be in the superintendent’s office.

Without explanation, Bassett abruptly left the position he had held for five and one-half years following a School Board meeting on July 20.

“Superintendent Bassett voluntarily resigned from his position for the purpose of retirement,” School Board President Jennifer Quezada said in a statement following the meeting. “The Board appreciates his many years of service with the Fontana Unified School District and wishes him well in his future endeavors.”

Bassett’s mysterious departure will be finalized on Aug. 1, two days before the beginning of the school year on Aug. 3.

The news came as a big surprise to some people in the district, considering that Bassett had appeared to be enthusiastic about continuing his employment there.

In the Fontana Unified Forward Newsletter that was posted on the district’s website during the summer, Bassett provided a “superintendent’s update” in which he said in part: “I hope all of you are enjoying a restful summer break, and feel invigorated and ready for the first day of school on Wednesday, Aug. 3 … I look forward to seeing you all in August!”

When asked for a comment, School Board Member Mars Serna said in a statement: “At the moment, I don’t have a comment related to his retirement. I will say that the timing of all of this is disheartening to me not only as a trustee, but a parent of scholars in this district. Especially as we begin the new school year, but our staff, teachers, and administrators are very resilient and will do what’s best for our scholars and their families.”

The public circumstances of Bassett’s exit were somewhat similar to the situation involving Fontana City Manager Ken Hunt, who suddenly retired in 2019, almost exactly three years ago. At that time, the City Council announced Hunt’s retirement without providing any background information and immediately brought in an interim city manager.

At the FUSD, Dr. Monica Makiewicz, associate superintendent of teaching and learning, will serve as acting superintendent, the district said in a news release.

The district is continuing to follow all current COVID-19 guidelines as classes get under way. After steadily falling earlier this year, coronavirus case rates have increased in the local area during the past month.

“We are looking forward to returning to school in a close to normal setting,” said Clarissa Trejo, the district’s executive director of marketing, communications, and engagement. “As of now, San Bernardino County and California Department of Public Health have not issued mask requirements for K-12 school settings, so masks are optional.”

For more information about the FUSD’s COVID-19 policies, including testing availability, visit:

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