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Updated Wed, Aug 8th
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Updated Wed, Aug 8th
Updated Mon, Jul 30th
Updated Wed, Aug 8th

The same female peregrine falcon has been laying eggs in a man-made nest box on the roof of City Hall since 2007. She has had a total of 42 babies over those years.

The 4th and 5th grade Talented Toucans class have been watching the babies hatch and grow, and have now entered and won a competition as a class to name one of the babies. The Toucans decided to submit the name Aquila, and Aquila was selected for one of the babies!

On May 20th, some of the Talented Toucans, along with Teacher Michele and beloved, retired Village teacher and bird watcher extraordinaire Sherry, gathered to watch the babies take some of their first flights.

Aquila

(Written by two of our Talented Toucans)

Aquila is the eagle constellation. In Greek Mythology Aquila represents the Roman god Jupiter. Aquila is a good name for a peregrine falcon because they have made a comeback and that makes them stars in the bird world.

It is a good name because constellations last for a long time and we hope that  peregrines will last long too. Aquila is the 22nd biggest star in the sky and it relates to the peregrines because they have made one of the biggest comebacks in all of life. They were almost extinct because of the chemical DDT that made their egg shells soft. When the parents sat on the eggs they would break. Therefore, Aquila would be a great name for a Peregrine Falcon. We hope that this name gets chosen for a peregrine.

 




 
 

Updated Wed, Aug 8th

By Aline Cardia, 1st Grade Village School Teacher

“The most challenging moments in our lives can become opportunities to deepen our self understanding and our connections with others” ( Siegel 36). 

I could tell right away that my son,  a 5’ 10’’ freshman at the time, was in a dark mood. He sulked in the passenger seat next to me, and sighed. I immediately asked him, almost as a reflex, “What is wrong?” “Nothing. I just want to go home,” he replied in a defeated voice. In my head all sorts of scenarios started to play; my son has always been perceived as different and has always struggled with social interactions and friendships. Was he being bullied at school? Was he being cyber bullied? I tried again, “You know you can tell me anything, right? I am here for you.” Silence. His face showed signs of distress. I know this kid so well, I could tell he was in pain. After a few more stop lights and intersections, I tried again. “MOM, can you just leave me alone!?! I am fine, I just told you so!!” Well, you may know the rest of the story because, as moms, we can’t just shut-up. So, I insisted until he exploded in a fury of colorful words directed against me. My heart skipped a beat at first and then sped to my throat. I started sweating and I felt not only my anger rising but also my frustration. How did my joyful and upbeat kid become so aggressive, especially towards me?  

What happens next is always the most important. After your child falls, it is your reaction that sets the tone and duration of the cries. Focusing on solutions is the tool card I take when the situation seems dire. It is hard to resist the easy path of blaming. Equally difficult is to redirect that inner voice to focus on improvements, not perfection. Positive discipline offers four problem-solving steps. 

First, Cool Off: One must try to walk away or take a cooling-off period before attempting to talk it over. So, I took a deep breath and looked straight forward into the endless 101 bumper-to-bumper southbound traffic. I murmured something like, “There is no need to yell,” held back tears, but did not say anything else for the next 40 minutes of our commute back home.   

Second, Have an Open Discussion: The next step is perhaps the most difficult in any situation — at home, school, work or among friends. To conduct an honest conversation means to be vulnerable, and it takes courage. We must be open to and aware of this challenge, especially when attempting to facilitate it with children or teenagers. It takes courage to express our feelings in first person (it is much easier to say, “You make me sad!” than “I feel sad when…). However, this is where the power of this approach resides. My son and I had an honest talk when we got home. I validated his feelings by saying that he had the right to keep his feelings to himself and to choose not to talk to me if he did not feel like it. I said I was sorry for insisting. Then I stated how I felt when he refused to share his feelings, and how I felt when he then lashed out at me for trying to help him. To my surprise, he broke into tears, apologized and finally told me what was wrong. He was feeling extremely stressed with his school workload, and he “knew” he had to do it all himself, and no one could do anything to help. 

Third, Brainstorm Solutions: After I thanked him for acknowledging his mistake, I shared with him a couple of my embarrassing personal mishaps as a teenager “doing” school, and how I figured out a system that worked for me. He laughed at my awkwardness. I knew then we had bridged a gap. We sat down together and I helped him prioritize assignments using the rubrics so he could get the best grade possible given his time and energy restraints. Although I was not going to do his assignments for him, I was able to teach him how to prioritize. Most importantly, I modeled how to be vulnerable, and how to express frustrations without blame.

As social animals, we have been wired to mimic one another. “Based on sensory inputs, we can mirror not only the behavior intentions of others, but also their emotional states. In other words, this is the way we not only imitate others’ behaviors, but actually come to resonate with their feelings —  the internal mental flow of their minds” (Siegel 61). Our brain relies on mirror neurons to make sense of others’ experiences and have empathy. When we activate them to look for solutions, not punishment or blame, we support the healthy development of empathy in children, teens and adults alike. To be vulnerable means to state what you are feeling in first person and to listen to how the other party feels about you without immediately responding (often defensively). It takes courage to agree that you are willing to act differently from now on, taking responsibility, not blame. It is not easy; it requires some training of your mind not to react and trust in the process. And it doesn’t work smoothly all the time, but we need to keep in mind that we are role models, and our actions and behavior “speak” louder than any well-intended lecture. We must show up and talk over problems because it is the most effective and respectful way to act. 

At this busy time of so much needed collaboration and cooperation, I challenge you to capitalize on these mirror neurons by teaching our children by example. Anytime you feel that those around you have not quite fulfilled your expectation, there is your opportunity to model a “focus on solutions” approach, by having a face-to-face, honest conversation. A face-to-face conversation is what defines and structures a community, “is an occasion to practice empathic skills. If you are the penitent, you are called upon to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. And if you are the person receiving the apology, you, too, are asked to see things from the other side so that you can move toward empathy … on face-to-face conversations, you get to see that you have hurt the other person. The other person gets to see that you are upset. It is this realization that triggers the beginning of forgiveness,” and the beginning of long lasting solutions.  (Turkle 32) 

Fourth, Evaluate: The last step in this process is to ask for help if you can’t solve it amongst yourselves. So, remember, it takes a Village. With that in mind, keep reaching out and  talking it over, not only with the children, but also with your fellow friends, focusing on solutions so we can together build a vibrant and mindful community.

Work Cited

Siegel, Daniel J. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation.Bantam Books Trade Paperbacks, 2011.

Turkle, Sherry. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. Penguin Press, 2015.

 
 
For more about the “Focus on Solutions” tool card, visit the Positive Discipline web blog. For more Positive Discipline Parenting tool cards, visit the Positive Discipline website.
 

Updated Wed, Aug 8th
By Susan, Village School Parent and Parent Education Lead

I just recently finished facilitating a Positive Discipline at Home class, and the concept of Family Meetings came up often and seemed to really resonate with the class. They are one of the most effective strategies we’ve used for problem solving in my household. So, as a refresher for those who have taken the class and a preview for those who haven’t, I wanted to write about the whys and hows of family meetings.

Why have family meetings? There are many reasons, but for us they are a way for us to check in and work together to solve issues that arise. They are similar to the class meetings at Village, so it’s a familiar concept to our kids. Everyone gets their say, as opposed to solving problems via decree from us, the parents. It’s also a time we set aside for family bonding, which is so easily neglected when we’re all so busy.

How does a family meeting work? There isn’t just one method, but what is suggested in the Positive Discipline books and curriculum is that you begin with compliments, from each member of the family to each member of the family. This requires everyone, particularly siblings who don’t get along easily, to come up with something they can appreciate about each other, and it creates a positive atmosphere. Another idea is to alternate compliments one week with stating something each person is grateful for the next week.

Next, move on to solving problems that have arisen during the week. Keeping a running list on paper or a dry erase board is a good way for everyone to add his or her concerns to the agenda. Define the problem and brainstorm solutions. Every suggestion gets considered and written down, regardless of how impractical it might seem. Then go through all the suggested solutions and cross out any that anyone can’t live with. Discuss the remaining solutions and choose one (or more) by consensus. If consensus can’t be reached, try again at the next meeting after everyone’s had a chance to think about it.

Follow problem solving with going over the calendar for the week and planning a fun outing to do as a family. We do family meetings as part of Family Night, so we follow them with a game, show or movie we all watch together. Keep in mind that the meeting should be short, maybe 15-30 minutes.

Sometimes it’s tempting for my husband and me to just come up with solutions on our own and inform the kids. However, my experience has shown how much more willing our children are to comply if they’ve helped solve the problem. Sometimes they come up with really great ideas I never would have thought of. If the solutions we come up with don’t work, then we can try again, and we get a wonderful reminder that mistakes are opportunities for learning.

I see family meetings and family nights as an investment in the present and the future. It can be hard to make the time when there is so much going on. We are working to create a tradition of regular family time now that we plan to carry on when our kids are teenagers with their own competing priorities.

There is much more to say about family meetings. If you are interested in learning more, please see Chapter 9 in Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen, which is devoted to family meetings.

Updated Mon, Jun 18th

Campbell Union School District’s children need not go hungry when school is out this summer, thanks to the Seamless Summer food program. From June 19th to August 14th, lunch will be served at the following times and locations to children aged 2–18 years:

11-11:30 a.m. -- Rosemary Elementary, 401 W Hamilton Ave. (near Winchester Blvd.), in Campbell

12:30-1 p.m.  -- Castlemont Elementary, 3040 E. Payne Ave (near Winchester Blvd.), in Campbell  

The Seamless Summer food program combines features of the National School Lunch Program and the Summer Food Service Program to provide meals to children when school is not in session for extended periods of time. The U.S. Food and Nutrition Services Department also offers an online map to help families locate summer meal programs near their homes.

https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

Updated Wed, Aug 8th

From David Wilce, Village School Principal

In our fall edition of the Village Voice I wrote about Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This educational framework is based on research in the science of learning and guides the development of flexible learning environments and opportunities that accommodate individual learning differences. 

While UDL does ask that we consider the physical space, the classroom configuration, it also requires that teachers provide a choice of tools, materials and resources. Then they must work with students to help them reflect on how the use of these resources impacts their learning. 

Another key feature of UDL is the integration of digital resources and materials. Digital resources offer greater flexibility than traditional print media, which in turn provides greater access for a variety of learners. Learners are provided with frequent, formative feedback and encouraged to share their learning process at stages. Celebrating that the process of learning is valuable, not simply the outcome, builds stamina and encourages persistence while stressing that learning is a continuous process. UDL actively involves the student in their learning by ensuring that the learning goal is clear and accessible. Learners are taught to frequently reference the goal and work purposefully toward it. 

I am excited to tell you that this summer most of our teachers will be attending a course presented by the CAST Institute on implementing UDL. Learn more about UDL.

 

Time Well Spent

On a separate note, it is time to say goodbye to our soon-to-be-sixth-graders, who have risen through the ranks of Village far too fast.

Whenever I meet new Kindergarten parents, I often talk about how quickly time passes and remind them how fortunate they are to have the opportunity to spend time with their child at Village School, time that they can never get back.

It really is ‘in just in the blink of an eye’ that children grow and leave. In my mind, it was just last month that my wife and I took our son, Cooper, to his first day of Kindergarten. It was only last week that we moved him into the dorms at Chico State. It was just yesterday, ‘in the blink of an eye,’ that he graduated.

The same rings true of our fifth grade students. Only six short years ago, they were in Kindergarten. Only three years from now they will be preparing to enter high school. How quickly these years have passed, and how fast those to come will fly!

Departing parents, you chose to be part of the Village School community. And, in doing so, you created time to spend with your children inside and outside of the classroom, not simply content to see them before and after school. You were purposeful in ensuring that ‘the time you can’t get back’ was time well spent and, in the process, you nurtured both your own children and those around them. In turn, these children and their families have shaped, formed and influenced you and your child. Everyone learned and grew together. You made an investment into your children’s future, while also banking memories of shared experiences that are unique to a parent participation school.

By spending your time invested in your children’s ‘everyday,’ you were able to slow time down, stretch it out. The memories of your shared experiences will last a lifetime. As we move into the summer months, I encourage you to cherish time with family and friends. Remember to celebrate, not to dwell on the details. Relish the big experiences that create lasting memories. You can’t get the time back, so make the most of it. Everyday.

Updated Wed, Jun 13th

A Message from Superintendent

Dear CUSD Families:
As another school year closes, I want to thank you for being our partner in providing the highest quality educational programs possible for all of our students. 
We made great strides in 2017-18, refining our focus on preparing students for the rigors, challenges and opportunities of their future. I look forward to working together on that important job in the coming school year.
For now, I thank you, and I hope you and your family will take the time to enjoy some well-deserved summer fun.  

Sincerely,
Shelly Viramontez, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Updated Tue, Jul 17th

A Message from Superintendent Shelly Viramontez, Ed.D.

We want students to begin to own their own learning, be empowered, and actively engage in their education. For that reason, we must give students a voice and hear directly from them about what they like, want and feel they need in their school experience.

chart of participation data

To gather that input, we chose a Student Voice ThoughtExchange, an easy-to-use and interpret method with questions for our students in grades 3-8.Nearly all of them participated in the April 2018 online forum, sharing their thoughts and ideas with us and each other. The district- and school-level results are available online and from your child's school. They offer valuable information for school and district plans aimed at providing students with an education beyond the expected.

Updated Tue, Jun 12th

Our annual parent education and engagement event returns with more sessions and resources to support students and families.

Join us on Saturday, October 13, 2018.

Stress management. Positive peer relationships.
Promoting student potential. Technology at school and at home.
Social media use. Connecting with your adolescent student.
And much more!

Save the Date! Details to come.

Updated Tue, Jun 12th

Loads of Books, Music, Movies and More Available to Campbell Union School District Students

The Santa Clara County Library District provides free library accounts to all students enrolled Campbell Union School District schools, regardless of their address. Many of our students already have their login information through their school’s library.

Log in or Drop in
There are over 100,000 eBooks available to read, 22,000 Audiobooks, countless songs to listen to and thousands of streaming videos to watch. Since all content is online, there are no fines, late fees, due dates to remember or trips to the library involved. The accounts also can be merged with existing library cards, if a child already has one. The library also serves as a community-gathering place for activities.

  • Visit the library’s calendar for information on summer activities.
  • For information about student’s digital accounts, contact the Campbell Public Library’s Nicole King, at nking [at] sccl.org or (408) 866-1991 x3224 .

Also…
Remember to sign up for the summer reading club at Campbell Library. Every child gets a FREE book just for signing up. The library also has over 20 free programs during the summer for all ages.

Updated Thu, May 31st

On March 6th, our Village community came together to Rise Against Hunger, packaging approximately 14,000 meals in the course of 3 hours. Meals will be sent to needy communities in Vietnam. Thank you to everybody who participated in fundraising or packing for this worthy cause!
 

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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