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Updated Thu, Dec 7th
Updated Thu, Nov 30th
Updated Mon, Nov 27th
Updated Mon, Nov 27th
Updated Thu, Dec 14th

By Jennifer R., Village School Parent

 

Now in it’s 15th year, the Campbell Union School District (CUSD) Rising Young Author awards recognize a talented group of twelve young students whose short stories, essays, research papers and poems demonstrate excellent writing and go beyond the expected. Entries were chosen from hundreds entered in the District’s Annual Writing Faire, and judges chose one author per school from grades 3 through 7.

Superintendent Dr. Shelly Viramontez explains the Rising Young Author program “is a signature event for CUSD because it profiles the relevant and real world learning experiences our students are engaged in as part of their learning process. Students have the opportunity to be honored for their hard work, perseverance and talent. Writing and communication are lifelong skills.”

Last year, Taylor, a fourth-grader at Village School, penned “My Name Is Cumulus,” exploring facts about clouds. Taylor’s story follows the character Cumulus from birth throughout his lifetime and you even get to meet his family!

Read Taylor’s Book

The awards ceremony and book signing took place at Barnes & Noble on Steven’s Creek and it was standing room only, full of family and friends. In Oscar-like fashion, Dr. Viramontez introduced each author and presented the awards with a video highlighting their story.

Taylor shared her story with the audience about how she came up with the idea to write a story about clouds from science class. She also signed copies for fans. Taylor said it was exciting to have her work published.

 

An interview with Taylor:

What is your story about?
It is called My Name Is Cumulus. My story is about a cloud that tells the reader facts about clouds in personification.

WWhat types of stories do you like to write and why?
I like to write all different kinds of stories, but my favorite is to write fiction stories because I like making it up as I go along.

What are you working on now?
In class we are writing personal narratives.

How do you handle “writer’s block”? What advice would you give to someone who struggles with writing?
I would usually go talk to my friends, and I recommend if you’re struggling with writer’s block you should to go talk to your friends too.

Tell me about when you learned about receiving the Rising Young Author award.
I wasn’t really sure what was going on, like I didn’t even know what the program was, but when I figured out what the program was, I was really excited.

 

Village School teacher Aisling commented, “I’m really proud of Taylor. I try to encourage my students to write about what they know. That’s where they’re going to find their best stories. It helps them to discover what they’re really passionate about and then they can go deeper.”

Congratulations on your inspiring work, Taylor! You’re a rockstar!

Updated Thu, Dec 7th

By Brett, Village School Parent

As a faculty member in the Child Studies Program at Santa Clara University, I strive to make connections between practice and theory so that my students will be effective stewards of children. Similarly, as a parent, I want to be equipped with the appropriate responses to my children when we’re confronted with “a situation” near or far.

The devastation of North Bay fires, Hurricane(s) Harvey, Irma and Maria, combined with the images of children being pulled from the rubble of a collapsed elementary school after the earthquake in Mexico City, is unfathomable for most of us. Many within the Village community, however, have family, friends and co-workers who have been detrimentally impacted by these recent natural disasters.

Even when they are far away in distance, such calamities may provoke a sense of vulnerability, and we may want resources for coping, protection, preparation, and sharing. It’s important to filter these events through a child’s lens, and I wish to offer the following relevant information as it pertains to supporting children:
 

How do these events affect children?

What resources can we provide to families who are impacted by natural disasters?

  • The “Coping with Disasters” page of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) website offers a thorough compilation of resources for children, families, teachers, organizations, and other professionals who work with children.

  • The Centers for Disease Control provides a resource page for families called “Coping with Disasters or Traumatic Events

  • The Extension Disaster Education Network is dedicated to education, preparation and response to natural and premeditated disasters for families. Start with the “Children and Disasters” page.

  • The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry just updated their “Disaster Resource Center” page.

Wishing our local and extended Village community well as we support our children in navigating their way through life.

Updated Thu, Nov 30th
Asking for Help: My Newly Discovered Superpower 

By Matthew, Parent Education Trainer and Village School Parent

It was a typical morning, nothing out of the ordinary. Both my daughters were up and lazily moving through the morning regimen. I was droning on repeatedly with my typical interrogation techniques (very non-PD of me): “Did you eat your breakfast?” “Did you brush your teeth?” “Did you comb your hair?” Each question was met with an indifferent stare or a mumbled “No.”

Situation normal, all fairly uneventful.

When the clock hit 8:00, the pace of things started to miraculously quicken — my children have natural instincts for knowing when the game of chicken must end. By 8:05 things were looking good. Teeth were being brushed, hair being combed, and my older one had even started looking for a pair of socks! This rocket ship had main engine’s “go” and would be leaving the launch pad into our daily orbit soon.

Then a glitch! My little one was in her room with no pants on!

“Houston, we have a problem…”

My first thought was, “Be cool, we’ve been here before, this is a simple wardrobe audible. We’ll have this sorted out in minutes.” If there’s one thing I have learned in the last seven years of parenting, it’s to choose your battles. A child wanting a change in clothes at the last minute is not something I want to go to the mat for. So I calmly told her it’s fine to find something else to wear. I then left her room to finalize the backpack/ lunchbox check.

Ever the optimist, I walked out to the vehicle thinking everything was still on track. This view was validated when I saw my older one sitting in the car, buckled up, smiling and ready to go. This was almost too easy— all that was left was to go in and collect the little one and head off to school.

But heading back into the house I heard whining and crying. My little one (still pantless) was fighting with my wife. The argument had changed from wanting to change her clothes to not wanting to go to school. Remember that part about picking your battles? Well, it looked like we needed to battle! On a parenting difficulty scale of 1–10, the morning had gone from level 1 to 3 in a matter of seconds.

I can’t offer a play by play of what happened over the next ten minutes. It was a heat of the moment situation. But here are the highlights:

  • Little one locked herself in her room not once, not twice, but three times
  • Wife decided to drive the older one to school
  • I took away TV privileges from little one for two weeks just to get her in her pants
  • Little one refused to put on shoes
  • Drove to Village with little one kicking the back of my seat the whole way
  • After parking, I carried her kicking and screaming to the street corner of Parr and Vale

By this point the difficulty level had risen from a 3 to an 11 (yes, the scale is 1 to 10, but this one goes to 11…) As I carried my child to school kicking, screaming, and trying to wiggle her way out of my arms, a few Village parents asked, “Do you need help?”

This is where things got a bit tricky…

Accepting help is not something that comes easy for me. I’m not sure why. Maybe the testosterone pulsing through me has short-circuited any thoughts that asking for or accepting help would be in my best interest. Perhaps it’s the upbringing I received, which has instilled a strong sense of “don’t be a bother.” I take whatever confusion or helplessness I may be feeling and stuff it deep down inside, never to be seen, never to be acknowledged. Or it could be the result of twenty years of working IT/Tech support roles. I’m used to people coming to me for help, not the other way around. By the way, am I correct in thinking children really should have been designed with a “power off” or “reboot” button?

Whatever the case may be, I’ve had a lifelong unconscious habit of saying, “No, I’m fine,” when offered a helping hand. However, on this day, rather than saying “No, I got this,” I decided to allow a “Yes, I could use a hand.” I was so shocked by the words coming out of my mouth, I actually felt like I should apologize for accepting help from Bev and Hillary.

I think the main reason I said yes was the internal sense that I did not have a handle on the situation. I was playing a game of logic, reason, and responsibility, while my five year old was playing a completely different game, a game that I did not understand. Not only was I playing a game on my child’s terms, I was also losing. Big time.

Eventually I did have to carry her into the main office and have Becky help her calm down (and dismiss me from the scene). As I came out of the office, I was met by Bev and Hillary. We had a quick catch up and shared our parenting war stories. It was a nice way to debrief/ decompress from the bruising morning.

As a new member to the Parent Ed. team, it struck me that I probably should have had a solution to the seemingly simple problem of getting an unwilling child to school. But I didn’t have the solution, and more importantly I don’t know that I will have a solution even after dozens of years of parenthood experiences. It’s because of this that I’m grateful I was offered help from other Village parents. I came to the realization that asking for (or accepting) help from fellow parents is the reason we are all here.

Follow up

Having discovered this new ability to ask for help, the following week I asked my little one if she could help me. I told her I have to be at work on time and that I needed her help. I needed her to be ready by 8:05. She was very receptive to my request and was so fast at her morning routine that she had an extra 10 minutes to play before we got into the car. Unbelievable. I’m going to get used to this newfound superpower.
 

Updated Mon, Nov 27th
Reflection on Our First Village Camping Trip

By Julie, Village School Parent 

I was hesitant to commit to going on the camping trip. In new environments I tend to like to hang back and observe for a while before jumping in. Being a parent has been a binge-watch mini series of pushing myself to go beyond my comfort zone. I knew it would be a good experience for my son, so I decided to “take one for the team.”

When we arrived on Saturday morning we were welcomed by my son's teacher, Gretchen, and the friendly faces at the registration table. Seeing the love that my child holds for his teacher and his excitement connecting with friends set the tone for the rest of our camping trip. We had such a relaxing time hanging at the pool with new friends, ambling around the KOA site, jumping on the giant pillow, and enjoying the playground. It turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to get to know some of the other kindergarten families better. We had the very good fortune of being offered a cabin by some new friends who decided to only stay for the day on Saturday.

As I’m trying to help my kindergartener acclimate to a new school and a new environment, I realize we are learning together about taking calculated risks. Going beyond my comfort zone can have really big payoffs. Wanting to feel a sense of belonging and connection to a new community means challenging myself to jump in.

I’m so grateful to be part of a school that goes to such great lengths to create a sense of community. Thank you to the amazing team that put so much care into creating the camping weekend. We are looking forward to next year’s camping trip and to more opportunities to jump in.


A Graduating Family Reflects on Their Village Camping Trips

By Mike and Lisa, Village School Parents 

The camping trip this year was our 9th and final Village School Camping Trip. Our first trip was to Thousand Trails in Morgan Hill, when our oldest son (now an 8th grader) was a kinder in Ms. Elizabeth’s class, and our youngest daughter (now a 5th grader) was a feisty 2-year-old toddler. It was so… HOT and dusty… a real challenge to wrangle our over-excited, sleep-deprived, sweaty kids. But we also made some of our best family friends during those early camping trips. We still laugh about how an outgoing little kinder girl ran right up to our quiet son  on the play structure and asked him to play. The two were best friends for the rest of kindergarten, and though their family graduated last year, our families are still great friends.

Subsequent camping trips were spent hanging out with friends, missing families who had graduated, making new friends, and marveling at how much “smaller” the kinders got each year. We spent time at campfires swapping stories, cuddling kids, roasting marshmallows, tending scraped knees, cutting loose at dance parties, and most recently, joining wandering Adventure Guide dads with growlers in hands!

We look back and laugh about our times at Thousand Trails Campground, especially the first few years. It always seemed to be 100F (115F in the tent), dusty (were any of the roads paved?), and the only thing to do during the day was go to the very crowded pool. Over the years, our family upgraded from our “cozy” tent to an RV trailer (with air conditioning!), and the camping trip moved to the KOA on the beach. As our kids aged (and somewhat matured?), our family migrated from parents chasing after kids to keep them in sight, to kids checking in via walkie talkies as they roamed on bikes, to parents hoping kids returned in time for bedtime. We knew they were with some pack of kids, snacking on delights at other campfires, and we also knew that a caring adult was always closeby if they ever needed help.

So after nine wonderful camping trips, and many fond memories, we say thanks to the Village Community (and the various camping committees), for bringing us together, allowing us to share time with other families during these precious years of our children’s youth. Thank You Village School!
 

Updated Mon, Nov 27th

 

Principal David Wilce

Universal Design for Learning

Welcome back to a new school year! I have great expectations that this will be another fabulous year at Village, thanks to our incredible staff, our dedicated parents and, not least, your enquiring and inquisitive children.

Village School has a rich history of progressive and innovative education. Our mission statement encourages students “to discover their fullest potential on the road to life-long learning,” and our Village values remind us that, “We all belong. We are all significant. As we work, learn and play, we come together with compassion and respect.” These statements speak to our belief that a child’s social development is as important as their academic development and it is this focus – on ‘the whole child’ – that is the cornerstone of our Village curriculum.

This core philosophy also aligns naturally to a relatively new (2002) concept in education called “Universal Design for Learning.” UDL is “a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.” In essence, it recognizes that individuals are unique and that they both learn and demonstrate learning in fundamentally different ways. And it calls on educators to, in recognition of these individual differences, design their lessons to accommodate various levels of difficulty, allowing the learner to determine which level is appropriate and how best to show his or her work.

It’s heartening to see that this is a strategy our Village School teachers have already been employing for years, with outstanding results. You need only walk into one of our classrooms to see teachers experimenting with various learning tools (like ‘Pic Collage,’ Google Classroom, or Seesaw) that encourage students to collaborate and create in new and different ways. Or flexible seating, which empowers students to understand their learning needs and choose the work environment best suited to them. Or Genius Hour, in which students are encouraged to delve deeper into the unique subjects that fascinate them, driving their own learning on the topic.

These strategies and tools empower and engage students, piquing their curiosity and encouraging them to pursue learning. Indeed, the entire premise of UDL is to foster a growth mindset and create a culture of “expert learners” – students who understand that learning is not something to be done to them, but something in which they must actively participate, something which they own.

Once this transition in thinking occurs, the teacher’s role changes from presenting to facilitating. No longer seeking to be entertained, students embrace their new role in the driver’s seat, understanding that their education isn’t about mastery, but about active participation in a learning community that is continually growing.

Updated Thu, Dec 14th

Dashboard is part of California’s new school accountability system

California has launched a new website designed to help communities across the state access important information about K-12 districts and schools. The California School Dashboard features easy-to- read reports on multiple measures of school success, including test scores, graduation rates, English learner progress and suspension rates. 

An important note: The fact that 11 of our District’s 12 schools are Dependent Charter Schools caused an error in the Local Indicators section of the Dashboard reports. Each of our 12 schools has a rating of MET for Local Indicators. To see detailed information about the Local Indicators, select the Campbell Union School District dashboard. 

The Dashboard is part of California’s new school accountability system based on 2013’s Local Control Funding Formula. It is the next step in a series of major shifts in public education that have raised the bar for student learning, transformed testing and placed the focus on equity for all students. 

To learn more about California’s accountability and continuous improvement efforts, visit http://www.cde.ca.gov/dashboard/. 

Updated Fri, Dec 1st

Campbell School of Innovation has a multi-year, campus-wide facility improvement plan.

Phase One of the three-phase plan includes replacing the current A-Wing Classrooms, relocating Tennis Courts**, New Playground Equipment, Garden, Extended Parking Lot.  (These are estimated timelines. Actual dates are dependent upon progress in each phase.)

December 2017................. Start demolition of current A-Wing, Tennis Courts**, Playground Area

February 2018................... Start construction of new A-Wing and Playground Area

Spring/Summer 2018....... Construction of new Tennis Courts**

August 2018....................... School Opens

Summer 2019.................... Expand Parking and Garden

** The City and School District are working on the final placement of the tennis courts.

The diagram below shows plans for Phases 2 and 3  See the full three-phase plan online or at the Campbell Union School District administration office, 155 N. 3rd Street, Campbell.

CSI Construction Plan Phases

Updated Wed, Nov 15th

Campbell School of Innovation Will Have a Design Thinking Focus.
Opening for Grades TK-4 and Growing to TK-8 by 2022.

A new school is coming to Campbell in 2018. The Campbell School of Innovation, a public school for transitional kindergarten through eighth grade is being hailed as a catalyst for changing the landscape of learning in Campbell Union School District.

“Our society is changing rapidly,” said Dr. Shelly Viramontez, Superintendent of the Campbell Union Elementary School District. “It’s critical that all of our students gain the kind of enduring skills and knowledge they’ll need for successful careers: creative problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. Campbell School of Innovation will lead that effort for all of our schools.”

Please see the full story on the Campbell Union School District home page for details about the program, construction and enrollment.

Updated Mon, Nov 6th

Del Mar High School is hosting a free seminar for all students and their families to explore IB and how it offers academic options for everyone.

What: Can it be that IB is for me?!

When: Tue., 11/28/2017, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Where: Del Mar Staff Lounge, 1224 Del Mar Ave., San Jose, CA 95128

RSVP: www.bit.ly/2i0nSCD  (Light refreshments will be served. Kindly RSVP.)

“Can it be that IB is for me?!” is the first in a series of parent education and student support seminars presented by the IB Parent Organization. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme offers a rigorous and high quality education to all of its students. The types of research, writing, thinking and communication of ideas that IB courses require reflect college level expectations. IB not only helps students get into college, but more importantly, prepares students to be successful in college once they are there.  (On facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ibatdelmar)

Updated Wed, Nov 15th

A community meeting will be held at 295 Cherry Lane, Campbell (Campbell Middle School) at 6:00 p.m. on December 5th.  Information about the school’s focus, facilities and enrollment will be discussed.

The input provided at the November 14th meeting will be shared with the Board at the November 16th Board meeting, in which we will present proposed boundary and enrollment recommendations.

Another informational meeting is planned for December 5th, December 8th and January 16th.

More details are on the District's website.

Bell Schedule

  • In Session8:25–10:40
  • Snack Recess10:40–11:00
  • In Session11:00–12:40
  • Lunch & Recess12:40–1:20
  • In Session1:20–2:30 *

* Wednesdays end at 1:30

  • In Session8:05–10:40
  • Snack Recess10:40–11:00
  • In Session11:00–12:40
  • Lunch & Recess12:40–1:20
  • In Session1:20–2:30 *

* Wednesdays end at 1:30

 

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