Village School

Village News

Updated: Jul 25 2015 - 9:00pm

On Tuesday, June 9, children will arrive at school for attendance, and then the classrooms will depart for the picnic. Parents will be either driving their own children, or be acting as Field Trip drivers and will serve in an official capacity at the picnic (Field Trip Coordinator to send more information). Field Trip drivers will need to return to school after the picnic is over. Tuesday work shift parents will be serving their shifts at the picnic (and an email will go out separately to them). Parking is $6, cash at entrance. There will be a 5th grade recognition ceremony, then classrooms will rotate through games and activities prior to lunch. It is an early dismissal day.

We will need lots of volunteers to support this event, please click here to see the opportunities and to sign up! http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4caead2ea7f58­20158

FAQs about the picnic are posted to the Village Hub. Please see those at the following link: http://www.villagehub.org/activities/eoy­picnic/

This is a fabulous event and a lot of fun! Let us know if you have any questions! Contact Rebecca at eventschair [at] villagehub.org or Lisa at lisa [at] aa2r.com

Updated: Jul 25 2015 - 9:02pm

Kie ­Kie, our loved first grade veteran turtle, is looking for a vacation spot this coming summer. Please consider hosting her. She is very quiet, easy going and no trouble at all. You will be able to bring her tank and all the necessary gadgets home for the summer.

Shannon Nerli will be happy to teach you all the nuts and bolts of keeping her happy and well. She needs a home from 6/20 to 08/01.

Please spread the word. I would love to have her back in the classroom for 2015/2016 school year, but we need to find her a temporary home until then. 

Updated: Jul 25 2015 - 9:02pm

For those of you who like some data, check this out! This data represents the 22 families that are graduating out of Village this year and accounts for older siblings that went through Village. Please note that the data is estimated and, in most cases, the estimate is much lower than the actual! Our graduating families have completed, at least:

  • A combined 148 years of effort

  • 148 maintenance days

  • 592 hours of event support

  • 594 field trips and thousands of miles

  • 740 community meetings

  • 411 Parent Ed classes

  • 1,628 class snacks

  • 7,920 workshifts ­> 23,760 hours in the classroom

  • 148 school jobs ­> thousands and thousands of hours of volunteering! 

Updated: Jul 25 2015 - 9:02pm

If you’ve picked up papers from your family folder, please take a couple of minutes this weekend and fill out the Parent Survey About Walking and Biking to School and drop it off in the Martinez family folder by Monday, June 1st.

If not, please fill it out on Monday morning after dropping off your child and file it in the Martinez family folder.

The Safe Routes to School program as run by Santa Clara County, and adopted by Village School, have sponsored Family Fun Bike Night, the Bike Rodeo, and the continuing Walk & Roll Wednesdays. This program provides the opportunity to make walking & biking to school fun, healthy, and safe to all who chose to walk/bike to school. SRTS can benefit communities by enhancing children's health and well­being, easing traffic congestion, improving air quality near schools, and increasing the overall health of the community and the environment. 

Updated: Jul 25 2015 - 9:02pm

Yearbooks have arrived! We're so excited to share them with the Village Community. Teachers distribute yearbooks to all of their students during the last week of school. PTA funds pay for yearbooks, so there will be no payment required when yearbooks are distributed. Thanks to everyone who uploaded photos! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Updated: Jul 25 2015 - 9:02pm

Our Community Vision

We all belong. We are all significant. As we work, learn and play, we come together with compassion and respect.

Six years ago, when my oldest son, Ronan, was in 2nd grade at another school, I began a long and tedious search for a school that would provide him with a richer learning experience. As I sat in my car on West Parr Avenue and watched the Village kids through the railing (a stalker of sorts!), I knew I had found a special place. I could feel the happiness that emanated from the entire community. Kids of all ages played together. Older kids held the hands of little kids. Parents mingled. There was laughter and joy everywhere. And at those times when there was some sadness, there was support and problem-solving. More than anything, it seemed that everyone felt like they belonged. I wanted my son and our family to be a part of that. We didn’t get placed at Village when I applied for 3rd grade but we were lucky enough to get a slot in 4th grade, and so began two of the best years of Ronan’s education thus far. My younger son, Sean, has been fortunate enough to be at Village since Kinder and I am feeling sad that we only have two years left here.

Ronan is now in 8th Grade at our local public middle school. I can say for sure that those two years he spent at Village gave him the best preparation possible for middle school. He has thrived both academically and socially-emotionally, and is now more than ready for his transition into high school. If you would like to read more about our family, you can take a peek at my interview with the Village Voice team last year (click here). But in this article I want to focus on that feeling of happiness I felt permeate Village when I looked through the railing six years ago, and which today would be described by a new term: “Positive School Climate.”

Village School was founded in 1995 on the premise that a positive school environment provides the best learning experience for our children. Twenty years later, this concept still holds true. As Principal David has said: “This community of learners works tirelessly to create a learning environment that engages children, placing an emphasis on more than just academic achievement. Village School is a learning community that values the whole child, developing life-long habits of mind, both academically and socially-emotionally.“
In 2014, the California School Boards Association defined eight state priorities, one of which was “School Climate.” As a result, School Climate has very recently become a focus item for all of our public state schools. Santa Clara County of Education hosted it’s 2nd annual School Climate Symposium in April this year (click here to view the workshops and some of the presentations). Campbell Union School District includes as one of it’s Strategic Goals for 2015-2018: “address the academic, social and emotional needs of all students” (click here for more info).

At Village, the term “Positive School Climate” was introduced last year and it embraces all of the tools we have used since our founding and some new tools that we have added in recent years to create a positive environment for our students, staff and families. All of these tools have a specific purpose but their use is intertwined and each tool builds on facets of another tool. In addition, Village is a Positive Discipline school and therefore we look at all of our Positive School Climate tools through this Positive Discipline lens.
Last year, Village submitted a 4 page essay on our Positive School Climate as part of our application for a California Distinguished School Award (click here to read the essay). Our success in achieving this award is a testament to the importance of having a Positive School Climate.

A graphic depicting Village’s Positive School Climate tools is shown below.

Role of the Positive School Climate Chair

The Position of Positive School Climate Chair was created this school year to provide support for those teams that did not have a representative on the Board, in particular, Positive Discipline, No Bully, Project Cornerstone and PBIS. We expanded the role to also include growing our Community Outreach program so that it becomes an integral part of our school, and supporting our parent, staff and student relationships.

Positive School Climate Tools at Village

Positive Discipline

What does Positive Discipline mean exactly? The Positive Discipline approach, authored by Dr. Jane Nelsen, and based on the research of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs, teaches the importance of belonging and significance, respect for all people, encouragement, strategies for addressing behavior challenges, and the development of problem solving and communication skills. This is done experientially and in a manner that is respectful to both adults and children.

Positive Discipline…

  • Helps children feel a sense of connection. (Belonging and significance.)
  • Is mutually respectful and encouraging. (Kind and firm at the same time.)
  • Is effective long-term. (Considers what the child is thinking, feeling, learning, and deciding about himself and his world – and what to do in the future to survive or to thrive.)
  • Teaches important social and life skills. (Respect, concern for others, problem solving, and cooperation as well as the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community.)
  • Invites children to discover how capable they are. (Encourages the constructive use of personal power and autonomy.)

At Village School, you will find…

  • Children engaged in problem-solving discussions during class meetings and on the playground.
  • Children referring to our Wheel Of Choice when needed.
  • Children taking responsibility for their actions, helping one another, and working things out together.
  • Adults speaking firmly but kindly when kids make mistakes and need redirection.
  • Happy children who know they are loved, they are capable, and they matter.

Our administration and our PTA fully support the training of our staff and our parents in Positive Discipline. This way, we will all speak the same language. Our teachers have each taken a 2-day Positive Discipline workshop during their time at Village. Teachers Michele and Aline just completed their workshop in late April! All of our staff will take a 1-day Positive Discipline refresher workshop during their first in-service day at the start of the next school year. Positive Discipline classes are offered for free to all of our parents several times during the school year and all of our parents commit to taking these classes during their first 3 years at Village. At the beginning of each school year, all new parents take a Positive Discipline class and all returning parents take a refresher class. The trainers for all of these parent classes are themselves Village parents who have invested many hours learning to be a trainer and then sharing their knowledge with our community. We are extremely grateful for their commitment!

Project Cornerstone

Project Cornerstone was founded in 1999 after a survey showed that most youth in Santa Clara County are missing the positive relationships, opportunities, values, and skills— known collectively as “developmental assets”—that provide the foundation for a healthy, successful future. In general, the more developmental assets that young people possess, the more likely they are to avoid risky behaviors and engage in positive, healthy activities. The Project Cornerstone School Partnerships program empowers all members of the school community to reduce bullying, promote achievement and help all students feel valued and respected. Adults have been actively building assets in Village students since its inception through the following programs:

Cornerstone Workshop
How do we ensure our kids will thrive? How can you show your support for your child’s efforts & dreams? How can you know what’s most important in helping your child succeed academically and in life? Are there enough positive adults in your child’s life? This highly impactful “Take It Personally” six-session class gives parents tips and tools to keep up with the fast changing growth of our children, tweens and teens. Each week, the class explores new ways to build stronger kids, stronger families and stronger neighborhoods. This is a wonderful class that is facilitated by our Parent Ed team and is offered for free to all of our parents (who make a commitment to take this class some time during 3rd-5th grade).

Asset Building Champions (ABC) Program
Our ABC Reading Program delivers specific asset building and anti-bullying curriculum to our children. Once a month, parent volunteers read specific books geared to each age group and follow up the reading with a discussion and activity that engages the kids and reinforces the points made in the book.. Click here to read about our ABC readers this year and click here to learn more about this wonderful program.

Cornerstone Kids
Cornerstone Kids offers our 4th and 5th grade students extra leadership opportunities by modeling positive behavior and helping the younger ones in problem-solving on the playground during recess times. All 4th and 5th graders participate in Expect Respect bullying prevention workshops. This year’s activities are being led by parents Rob Rothrock and Jill Reynolds (who is also one of our teachers!).
Click here to read more about Project Cornerstone at Village.

No Bully

The No Bully System® is a step-by-step process and set of interventions to prevent and stop bullying in schools. It guides school leaders and staff through a series of interventions for responding to bullying and harassment, depending on the severity of the incident. When severe or persistent bullying occurs, teachers facilitate Solution Teams®, where the target’s peer group and the bully come together to stop the bullying. In line with our Positive Discipline philosophy, this system provides a way of responding to bullying at school in a caring and compassionate way. “This evidence-based approach leverages the empathy and kindness inherent in all of us.” (No Bully). To learn more about No Bully, visit their website at http://www.nobully.com/. The No Bully organization has created a video highlighting the success and impact the No Bully program has had on our Village Community. Click here to view this fantastic video.

To learn more about No Bully at Village, click here, here and here.

Our Community Vision Statement also came about because of the No Bully Program:

We all belong. We are all significant.
As we work, learn and play, we come together with compassion and respect.

PBIS

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based approach for establishing a positive social culture in schools. It is a data driven program that focuses on improving a school’s ability to teach and support positive behavior for all students. PBIS has been adopted by Santa Clara County of Education (click here to learn more) and, subsequently, by all schools in Campbell Union School District. Our Positive School Climate Team, made up of parents, teachers, staff and administrators, has been trained in PBIS and many components of this tool have been integrated into our Positive Discipline model. There are three groups within this team and they meet regularly as appropriate for the different needs (Tier 1: School-Wide Prevention Practices; Tier 2: Targeted Group Interventions; Tier 3: Individual, Intensive Intervention).

PBIS has three core values – Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe. In alignment with these we created our “Village Values” (our M&MS):

  • Model Respect
  • Make Good Choices
  • Solve Problems

These values permeate all of our children’s learning and are reinforced every month with a school-wide rally (hosted by a different grade each month). This year, the theme of each rally is tied in to the ABC Reader book for that month. As you walk though our campus, you will see PBIS Expectations posters in our courtyard and in the classrooms. These posters define expected behaviors and voice levels. Our Fuzzy Grams, which have been in place at Village for many years, are used by adults and children to acknowledge each other and show our appreciation.

Community Service at Village

One of my goals as Positive School Climate Chair is to highlight the Community Service efforts we already have in place at Village and also to grow our program further so that it becomes an integral part of our school. Here are some of the Community Service projects that have taken place this year…

In the Classroom

  • Sea Otter Conservation Project (1st grade) – click here to read more
  • 100 Acts of Kindness (4th Grade)
  • Loaves & Fishes Field Trip and Food Drive (2nd Grade)

School-wide

  • Toy Drive & Holiday Cards for foster children – click here to read more
  • Food Drive
  • Pennies For Patients
  • Jump Rope For Heart
  • Color Our Week With Kindness

Our Resources page on the Village Hub (click here) and also repeated in this issue of the Village Voice (click here) contains a list of Community Service opportunities available locally that are suitable for Elementary School age children. We hope you find this page useful when looking for opportunities both at home and at school. We want to continue to expand this list. Please contact me at pscchair [at] villagehub.org to share Community Service opportunities and we will add them to our current list. Thank you!

Exciting News

We have applied to the eBay Foundation for a grant to support a school-wide Community Service program at Village. We would like to host a meal packaging event through the organization Stop Hunger Now (more info here). We need $2,900 which would allow us to package 1000 meals. A huge thank you to Galia Tchvikhovskaia, Mom to 3rd Grader Tanya and an eBay employee, for initiating this!

We are in the process of purchasing a license for the movie “The Mask You live In” and its associated curriculum (more info here). This movie explores the impact that our narrow definition of masculinity is having on boys, men and society in general. This is a very powerful movie and I recommend it to every parent, educator, coach… pretty much every adult. We will have a showing of the movie at Village in September (date TBD).

In Conclusion
Listed above are just some of the ways that we build a Positive School Climate at Village. Every day we all strive to create a positive environment for our students, teachers and parents. Thank you to each and every one of you for being a part of this!

By Aine O’Donovan, Positive School Climate Chair and Parent of Go Go Banana Sean

Updated: Jul 25 2015 - 9:02pm

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” –Mark Twain

If you’ve stepped into the Village School library lately you may have noticed a few changes.
The members of the library committee have rearranged some of the furniture, created a quiet reading corner, put books on display all over the place, and started the process of refreshing our collection.

Thus far the feedback from students, teachers, and parents has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re so glad about that. The whole idea was to get everyone more excited about and engaged in our library. To make it more accessible, more dynamic, and more integral to the process of helping our kids become enthusiastic, lifelong readers.
Now you might say, how can moving a bit of furniture around really make a difference in how our library benefits our kids? And besides, there’s a library in every classroom. Plus, I also take my child to the public library and we’ve got books at home. Isn’t that enough? Well you’re right about the furniture, on its own it can’t do much. But as part of a larger campaign to invest (literally and figuratively) in our school library, it can have a tremendous impact. Even with all the other library resources available inside and outside of school, it turns out that the actual school library is uniquely positioned to enhance students’ success.
For example, a US Department of Education study in Colorado found that “among school and community predictors of academic achievement, the size of the library media center staff and collection is second only to the absence of at-risk conditions, particularly poverty and low educational attainment among adults.” And that is only one of 21 state studies that have found the exact same thing: school librarians and school libraries play a special role in supporting students in academic achievement, lifelong learning, 21st century skills, and reading.

And there’s even more interesting research about how “deep reading”–where you get lost in a book for lengthy amounts of time and go through emotional and moral dilemmas within a story–is actually vigorous exercise for the brain and potentially increases our real-life capacity for empathy. It is this kind of reading that can only be developed through exposure to and interest in stories, books, and literature.

The bottom line? A vibrant, current school library is fundamental to the success of our kids. It not only helps support and encourage their basic literacy skills but, perhaps more importantly, it can ignite their passion for reading. It can get them excited about adventuring, exploring, escaping, and understanding the world through the written words in the pages of a book.

Now, we know that here at Village our library also still needs to serve as a game room, center room, training room, tutoring room, spooky room, and whatever-else-comes-up-all-purpose room. Those things are also all important to the Village experience. We’re hoping, however, that as we continue putting effort into transforming our library into far more than just a room full of books, we can count on everyone’s support. We need to keep the momentum going through things like: continuing to refresh our collection, expanding student’s access to browsing and borrowing books, and investing in technology/electronic resources specifically for the library. Let’s keep our library alive and vibrant for all of our kids!

Village Library Fun Facts

How many books are there in the Village Library?

Approximately 6,343

What are the top 10 most checked out books so far this year?
The LEGO Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination, Daniel Lipkowitz
The LEGO Book: Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Life, Daniel Lipkowitz
Minecraft: Redstone Handbook, Egmont UK Limited
Frozen: The Essential Guide, Barbara Bazaldua
2013 Book of World Records, Jennifer Morse
Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Princess, Rachel Renee Russell
LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles Trilogy, Ace Landers
LEGO Minifigures Character Encyclopedia, Daniel Lipkowitz
Forever After, Disney Press
Goldilicious, Victoria Kann

Where does the library get its books?

Library books are added to our collection from several different sources. We have an ongoing subscription to the Junior Library Guild and receive a few new books on a monthly basis across all grade levels. We also add to our collection on an ad hoc basis using resources such as the Association for Library Service for Children, which awards both the Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal among others. Books are also donated by students and families as part of our Birthday Book program, 5th Grade Legacy program, and on an on-going basis in support of our library.

What is one the newest books in the collection?

Our latest shipment from the Junior Library Guild included an updated version of Hansel and Gretel written by Neil Gaiman and hauntingly illustrated in black and white by Lorenzo Mattotti.

How often do students visit the library?

Currently, each class comes once per week. We’re hoping to expand this next year with some additional library hours so students can browse and exchange books as needed based on their reading activity.

By Bev Flichman-Lenihan, Parent of Fancy Flamingo Eli

Updated: Jul 25 2015 - 9:02pm

An arts integration project across the curriculum with Montalvo Arts Center at Village Elementary, 2nd grade

This project was implemented for the first time at Village Elementary and was created in conjunction with the 2nd grade teachers Elizabeth Shepherd and Chris Woods.
In the context of the severe drought that California is going through, this 10 session project proposed to study different aspects of water and to sensitize students to the importance of water in many aspects of their lives.
During the ten weeks, students learned about water through Science, Social Science and Language Arts with their teachers. They learned about the water cycle, the weather, especially clouds, made inquiry charts, read poems, engaged in reading (for example, The Important Book about Water) and had class discussions about drought and water conservation. The students are now able to define groundwater and surface water and recognize examples of each, understand where their water comes from, and make their own water wells.
In the arts integration program, the students used different techniques like drawing, watercolor, digital exploration, video, writing, and construction. They used an array of tools and materials, like oil pastels, iPads, watercolor inks, soil, pebbles, sand, and recycled plastic containers. The students worked individually on some of the exercises, such as the watercolors, and collaborated on others, like when they built the “Plastic Monster.”
During the first session, Anthony Ortega (West Valley Clean Water Program) presented the concept of a watershed and how our actions/ choices can impact our environment, both positively and negatively. Then I introduced the ten-session projects with a short presentation, without revealing the different exercises along the journey on which we were about to embark.

MAKING A POSTER-FLYER WITH AN IPAD: UNDERSTANDING THE WATERSHED
Where does our water come from? and where does it go? The students used the information they learned about preventing water pollution and conserving water to make their own poster using a poster app on their iPads.
The other topics in this curriculum are:

WATERCOLORS FROM THE BAY AREA: UNDERSTANDING THE VARIETY OF OUR WATERSCAPES
Each student studies/observes a different photograph of a waterscape: Pacific coast, creeks, delta, bay, wetlands. In the end, the class had a discussion about the diversity of the waterscapes and their features. For this exercise we used a traditional technique.

DATA VISUALIZATION: UNDERSTANDING OUR WATER CONSUMPTION
The majority of the water we use is hidden in what we eat. How much water do we really use daily? When do we use water the most? The students worked in groups to create data visualization to understand the different amounts of water needed to grow/produce different food. In this exercise, the students use graphic design basics to represent data.

THE PLASTIC MONSTER: UNDERSTANDING THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR PLASTIC CONSUMPTION/MAKING A COLLECTIVE SCULPTURE AS AN ART STATEMENT
The plastic pollution in the oceans is extremely important and is a growing problem for many marine species. We need to reduce our plastic consumption and to recycle better. The students gathered the plastic containers they used at home. With all the containers, they created a Plastic Monster. The students worked in groups, they had to engineer the monster, and think about ways to attach the containers together. In the end, the groups attached the different parts together.

By Michele Guieu, Montalvo Artist in Residence 
As originally published at http://www.micheleguieu.com/wordpress/

Updated: Jul 25 2015 - 9:02pm

What an EGG-cellent EGG-stravaganza!

On a brisk morning in late March, Principal David ascended into the sky to begin his official duties as chief egg dropper at our annual Village School Egg Drop. With the kinder classes still chanting, “higher! higher!”, the cherry picker halted and eggs began to fall.

Students across all grades showed a tremendous amount of imagination and ingenuity in creating protective housings for their eggs. Paper mache, stuffed animals, balloons, toilet paper, marshmallows, parachutes, shipping boxes, packing peanuts, yarn, duct tape, jello, water–you name it and someone probably used it in their design. And with all that creativity it’s no wonder that many of the eggs survived the fall, to the great delight and pride of their creators.

Can’t wait for next year! It’s sure to be EGG-citing!

Updated: Jul 25 2015 - 8:56pm

Did you grow up in the San Francisco Bay Area? I did, and I had never heard of the Black Diamond Mines in Antioch, California until the Village 4th graders went on a field trip there. The Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve is a 6,000-acre park located north of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County, under the administration of the East Bay Regional Park District. The park is a former coal and sand mining site with expansive green space, tours of the mines and hiking trails that go by a small pond and an old cemetery. One of the Park Rangers described it as “The East Bay’s best kept secret,” and I have to agree – it’s beautiful.

Our field trip started off with the kids hiking up a large hill to where the mines are located. They were greeted by the Park Rangers who provided a little history of the area and went over safety rules. The kids put on their hard hats and headed off into the Somerville mine, which supplied the sand used in glass marking by the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company in Oakland.

The first part of the tour was spent going over safety and how important it was for the miners. The miners flipped over silver tags to indicate they were working in the mine that day. That way, if there was an accident, the site Supervisor knew who and how many were stuck in the mine. The Ranger pointed out a “safe” place the miners could hide in case there was an accident preventing them from escaping. The Ranger showed the kids the tools the miners used to mine the sand. He pointed out the railroad tracks and carts that moved the sand out of the mine, the picks and axes used to break down the sand and, most importantly, a replica of dynamite used to blow up sections of the mine to get to the sand. He also showed the kids sections of the mine that were blown away leaving large cavern-type areas.

One of coolest things the Park Ranger pointed out is tiny fossils lining the mine wall. The fossils are tiny sea creatures, bugs and even fossilized rain drops. The Park Ranger explained the park was under the sea thousands of years ago and that is why you see the fossils. He also said the rain runoff from the mountains filled the sea with minerals which were broken down and compressed to create the sand.

The kids finished up their field trip by hiking to the old cemetery sitting on top of the hill. The kids were very interested in reading the dates on the tombstones to see how long ago the folks passed away. They were surprised to see tombstones for young kids and babies. After that, the kids hiked backed down to the picnic benches to have their lunch and then back in the car to do the 1 ½ hour drive back to school.

By Natalie Sheppard, Parent of California Wave Tyler

 

Bell Schedule

  • In Session 8:25–10:40
  • Snack Recess 10:40–11:00
  • In Session 11:00–12:40
  • Lunch 12:40–12:50
  • Lunch Recess 12:50–1:20
  • In Session 1:20–2:30*
  • * Wednesdays end at 1:30
  • In Session 8:05–10:40
  • Snack Recess 10:40–11:00
  • In Session 11:00–12:40
  • Lunch 12:40–12:50
  • Lunch Recess 12:50–1:20
  • In Session 1:20–2:30*
  • * Wednesdays end at 1:30
 

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