Village School

Village News

Updated Wed, Nov 30th


The public can give input on CUSD's district-wide Local Control & Accountability Plan (LCAP) for providing quality education to more than 7,600 students in preschool through eighth grade. Two meeting opportunities in January 2017: Wed., Jan. 18, at 9 a.m., and Tue., Jan. 24, at 6:30 p.m.  (Each meeting will be held at the PLC building at Monroe Middle School.)

Updated Wed, Nov 9th

The Measure CC school bond will allow us to continue providing high-quality education and equal access to a 21st-century education.

A Message from Superintendent Eric Andrew

Yesterday, voters in our District overwhelmingly approved the Measure CC school bond and allow us to continue providing high-quality education and equal access to a 21st-century education.

The funds will help us do things like repair leaky roofs, upgrade fire alarms and security systems, upgrade science equipment and laboratories, provide access for students and teachers with disabilities, construct new classrooms and facilities and modernize old classrooms.

Campbell Union School District is truly fortunate to have a community that is so actively supportive of our students, teachers, and schools.

Thank you, again.

Updated Mon, Nov 7th

Information provided by Angel D., Enrichment Chair and Parent of Alum Ryan, Fearless Falcons Leah, and Cute Cupcake Lucy

Centers are a hallmark of the Village School program. With an emphasis on hands on, STEAM based learning, students’ curiosity is engaged through building, discovering, playing, thinking, and all around having fun. The curriculum for each Center is developed and taught by our incredible team of teachers and parent volunteers.

With 16 different Centers, there’s a lot of learning (and fun) to be had! While some of the topics are ‘tried and true’, others present exciting new opportunities. Have you ever wondered what your child is doing at Centers? Read on to find out!

Upper Grade Centers

Students in grades 3 through 5 have a longer, more in-depth, 6-week curriculum for each Center. They will participate in 5 of the 8 upper grade Centers over the course of the school year.

This year, students will be making three different projects, including a flip flop (sandal) and a vase, over the six week timeframe. They will glaze each one, fire the pieces, and then take them home!

Muscles & Bones
Have you ever wondered how your muscles and bones work? In this Center, students will learn how their bodies are like robots and how their movement is connected to bones and muscles.

Upcycling is another form of recycling. Students take something old and add their own personal flair. This Center is all about personal style!

Kitchen Science
Not all science requires expensive and hard-to-find chemicals or fancy laboratories! You can explore the fun of science in your own kitchen. In this Center, students will learn about the chemistry and make-up of different food items. This Center is really about how food meets science!

Ready, set, blast off! What makes a rocket fly? Have you ever noticed what happens if you let the air out of a balloon? The air goes one way and the balloon moves in the opposite direction. Rockets work in much the same way. Using physics, students will make their own rockets and blast them off into the sky!

3-D Printing
What is 3-D printing, you ask? 3-D printing takes digital files and transforms them into real world products. Students will learn to code and design images online and then turn them into solid creations.

In this very hands-on Center, students will learn how to use a saw, nails, hammer and other tools to build cool projects.

Gardening is a very interactive and engaging activity that motivates kids to learn more about healthy, fresh foods! What better way to show students how much fun fresh foods are than by letting them plant a garden?

Lower Grade Centers

Students in grades K through 2 rotate to a new lower grade Center every 4 weeks. Over the course of the year, they will get to attend 7 of the 8 Centers.

Champions for Change
Let’s save the world! In this Center, students will come up with ideas on how to help our society or environment and then implement their idea through research, raising awareness (making posters and buttons), and advocacy (learning to speak out about how we can make a difference).

Ancient Egypt
Students will go to go back in time along the Nile River to learn about pyramids, hieroglyphics, mummies, and more from ancient times.

Students will make yummy, tasty treats like spring rolls and soup! Not only will they make the food, they will also get to eat it!

Outdoor Games
Kids love to be outside! Students will play games, run around, and learn the rules to some great new games from around the world.

Flying Things
How do things fly? What is air pressure? Using different flying objects, such as paper airplanes, rockets and Frisbees, students will learn how objects lift and take off.

Geometry Fun
What’s more fun than working with different shapes? We’ll take an age-old math concept and make it fun with games and puzzles. Students will walk away with a whole new appreciation of geometry!

Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci — one of the masters of art! In this art history class, students will not only draw, but learn about the master and how he helped define the art world.

Millions of years ago, dinosaurs roamed the earth. Students will get to intimately know the different dinosaurs that once called this world their home.

Updated Mon, Nov 7th

By Erin V., Parent of Dancing Bird Nolan and Future Village 3rd Grader Miles

Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
Our family consists of Rex, Erin, Miles and Nolan. Rex works in the web development field and is definitely a tech geek. I work with at-risk, gang impacted and underprivileged youth in the San Jose area. The entire family loves the outdoors and camping. Rex is a trail runner, as well as a mountaineer. I am a former rock climber, who now enjoys hikes with her boys, Krav Maga, as well as the occasional trail run with dog Tashi. Miles and Nolan love all things Star Wars, legos, science experiments, board games and playing in the great outdoors.

What did you enjoy the most about the Village camping trip?
We loved all of the fun activities planned by the camping committee, like making a family sign for our campsite. We also got a chance to enjoy the beach with new friends.

What are your favorite, most lasting memories?
My older son Miles turned 8 over the camping trip, and even though he doesn’t go to Village, so many of the parents and kids went out of their way to make him feel included and celebrated. In his opinion, it was one of his best birthdays, which is saying a lot because we took him to Disney for one of them!

What would you say to families who haven’t had a chance to experience the camping trip and might be nervous about it?
As a new family to Village, when we first arrived we were honestly overwhelmed by the sheer size of the camping trip, 540+ people! However, within no time we felt we got to know so many families who went out of their way to ensure we felt welcome and included. We enjoyed getting a chance to get to know so many new families and current Village families. Getting to bond over s’mores and campfire talk was a blast.

Updated Mon, Nov 7th

A Q&A with Talia S., 4th/5th Fearless Falcons Teacher and Parent of Generous Jaguar Aubrina and Courageous Cat Robby

Please tell us a little about yourself. For example, where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Bay Area?
I grew up in Felton, which is just in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I didn’t venture far for college – I went to Santa Clara University. While there I studied abroad in Ireland, and traveled a bit after college, but have always come back to the Campbell area. I’ve lived in Campbell since 2004. When my kids (Robby and Aubrina) were two and three years old, we moved to the D.C. area for a little over a year, which was a great experience for all of us. We ultimately knew that we’d come back to our roots in the Bay Area, and we couldn’t be happier. We love living in Campbell!

What are your interests outside of Village? What are some things you and your family like to do for fun?
My family and I recently bought a small trailer, so we’ve all been having fun going camping more often. I love beach vacations, reading (although I have a bad habit of picking up a book and not finishing it!), hiking, watching my kids play sports, and watching funny movies. I’m obsessed with NPR podcasts, like Freakonomics, Invisibilia, and Planet Money. My favorite of all time is This American Life. Last year I decided to listen to every episode starting with the first episode, from 1995. It took me about six months!

How many years have you been teaching? Who or what inspired you to choose education as a career?
This is only my third year teaching because I am a career-changer. Before teaching, I worked in online advertising at Google for seven years. While there I had the good fortune to send my kids to the Google Children’s Centers. I volunteered and spent a lot of time at the school, and learned about the Reggio Emilia inspired philosophy that the school followed. Reggio Emilia is a child-centered philosophy for early childhood education, which celebrates children’s creativity and independence in all areas. Volunteering reminded me that I had wanted to become a teacher when I was a child, and learning more about Reggio Emilia inspired me to try to bring these ideas into the K-5 classroom. During my credential program, I completed my student teaching in Washington, D.C., which was a rewarding experience. After that, my first two years teaching were in the Franklin-McKinley School District, which is a low-income district in East San Jose. Although it’s only my third full year teaching, I feel that I’m meant to be in the classroom!

What are some of your favorite and most rewarding moments as a teacher?
I am rewarded in the little moments each day, when I see students treating each other with genuine kindness and empathy. Seeing children help each other and take care of each other’s needs, offer friendship and kind words during challenging situations, and help others feel understood are some of the most rewarding parts of my job.

What books are your favorites to read to your class?
I love reading books and stories that allow children to make meaningful connections to their own lives. This year so far we have been reading The Giver and, although it has some very advanced messages, the kids seem to be enjoying it. We also read a book called Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms, which is a picture book geared toward younger children. The kids were open-minded and were able to connect it to the (sometimes heavy) discussions we’d had in the class about the events of 9/11. We had begun talking about the heroes of 9/11, and this book helped them to realize that firefighters and police officers are regular people too, and that even average citizens can be called heroes. It was really cool to see the connections they were able to make from a simple children’s story.

Do your students teach you things? If so, what do you learn from them?
My students are constantly teaching me things! I believe it’s important for teachers to continue to grow and learn, and whether they know it or not, the children give me daily inspiration to see my own areas for growth. One example is that we are all working on developing growth mindsets, and my students catch me using fixed mindset phrases all the time. They call me out when I say things like “good job,” or “that was perfect.” These are phrases I heard when growing up, and it can be hard to break habits, so I’m learning right alongside them.

Is there anything you’d like to add?
I’m just so happy to be a parent here and even happier to be a teacher here. This is just such a wonderful place to be, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with your fabulous children!

Updated Mon, Nov 7th

By Tracey Kemp, Member of Village Voice Team, and Parent of Snowboarding Snow Leopard Catherine and Village Alum Julia

Can you call someone by their Nature Name? Will the sweet lyrics of Shooting Star make you teary? Can you still remember the Friday Slide Show? These are signs that you have already experienced the magic of Walden West with an older child. Now it is this year’s 5th graders’ turn to head out. And they are busy earning their way through fundraising and volunteer projects.

Village 5th graders make this milestone trek to the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains each year, and for many of them, it’s life-changing. Flip through a few past yearbooks and you’ll find that, when asked to tell their favorite memory of Village School, year after year, graduating kids will consistently pick Walden West Science Camp as the most memorable time of their elementary school years.

For many students, Walden West also marks the first time they’ve spent a week away from home, independent from their parents and siblings. In addition to the rich, immersive science curriculum, the social learning and independence gained from the experience is priceless. Living at camp, immersed 24-hours a day – with students from both their own school and from other schools – offers opportunities to cooperate with each other and make new friends. They might seek to win contests (with rewards such as jumping ahead to the first shower group!) or earn bragging rights in “cabin jeopardy.” All of these activities bring fun and camaraderie to the learning, and quickly ease any nervousness kids might feel by being away from home.

Walden West is owned and operated by the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Through hikes, games and other programs led by trained naturalists (including beloved alum teacher, Ms. Sherry), students learn about forest, meadow and stream communities and the animals that inhabit these areas. The night hike – a highlight of the week – and campfire songs, skits and stories round out the true camp experience.

Each student and counselor chooses a “Nature Name” used during the week, so they have the opportunity within the Science Camp experience to choose their own identity — each a unique reflection of themselves. The bonds of friendship the students form with each other during this shared first burst of independence and experiential learning can last a lifetime.

Their journey to Walden West begins with fundraising. Though the Annual Giving for 5th grade families is increased to partially fund each student’s fees for Walden West, the amount paid only covers about a third of the cost. However, the labor of filling this financial gap provides students with leadership and teamwork opportunities that tie right into the Village Values of respecting others, making good choices and solving problems.

The Gina and The Tonics concert, powered by lead singer Ms. Gina, usually kicks off the fundraising activities for science camp at the end of the 4th grade year, and provides a large portion of the funds needed. On the day of the concert, the event is run by the students, and it’s easy to feel their excitement for taking charge. Last year, the classes now known as the Fearless Falcons, Tropical Tree Frogs and Snowboarding Snow Leopards tirelessly sold concert tickets, yummy baked goods, burritos, souvenirs and raffle tickets, and kept the band comfy in their own “green room.” Student volunteers created not just a fun community event, but also launched the fundraising efforts and grew leadership skills needed to earn their way to camp.

This great Village tradition of fundraising for the 5th grade science camp outing is the culmination of years of collaborative exercises and a maturing appreciation for the volunteer process. Our Falcons, Frogs and Snow Leopards are banding together and have mapped out entrepreneurial opportunities for the coming months. They’ve already washed your camping dishes for tips. Watch for more opportunities to chip in through the winter, including a Pet Faire, after school movies and a Valentine’s dance.

Updated Mon, Nov 7th

By Tracey K., Member of Village Voice Team, and Parent of Snowboarding Snow Leopard Catherine and Village Alum Julia

Let’s face it — there are days when your next classroom shift feels more like a chore than a privilege. Completing that unfinished driver list for tomorrow’s field trip hangs over you like a heavy pile of unfolded laundry on the living room floor. Maybe your mommy-tastic snack plans for from-scratch muffins were nixed for a bag of chips and salsa on the way to school. Life got busy, but your commitment had to be met.

Cherish our children. Love our Village community. Do hard work. Repeat.

Yet, when I asked parents to share their perspective on volunteering at Village, not one person mentioned these work-a-day hassles. Yes, they were often elbow-deep in copies and laminating. Sure, they needed to prep the car for a field trip by decontaminating the nuclear family waste off the backseat. And those innumerable hours spent planning the intricate behind-the-scenes details of a kick-butt community event? Events go so smoothly that no one even notices. Parents own it.

What did our Village parents talk about? Laughing with kids. Making friendships with other parents. Service offered to, and respect gained for, our teachers. Basically, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from their time as a volunteer at Village.

Clearly, it’s the warm heart of the volunteer, not just time-on-task, that draws out the engagement and get-it-done energy buzzing in the courtyard and classrooms at Village School. This potential for action and growth extends to the playgrounds, field trips and events. The raw parent power of what we have accomplished together is undisputable.

This volunteer heart — as with all great loves — develops over time and grows stronger each year. The more that it is nurtured and invested in, paid attention to and acted upon, the more each individual gains from the experience.

The organized structure for all our work is what gets us to participate on campus in our class time and jobs. But what makes Village special is that the ‘whole person’ and positive lessons imparted during the kids’ day in school extends out to the parents as well. Wisdom for individual students about the ‘unique and lovely you’ helps entire families grow and appreciate what works for unique and lovely us.

Ok, so while these sweet sentiments may warm the heart, they don’t necessarily quicken the hands. As our Silicon Valley cubicle neighbors would say — How do we operationalize this?

Time to get to work. Here’s a sampling of the advice I’ve gained through the years.

Meet new people — join the excitement
The Village community is warm and welcoming. Wear your Village name tag and meet someone new! In the same way Centers allows students to mix upper and lower grades in learning communities, your time on campus offers the same opportunity. Driving on field trips, or working on committees or teams is another way to establish relationships within the community. As a Kinder parent, I was assigned my first school job — planning the Open House. My partner in crime was another Kinder parent, and together we blindly fumbled through this task — learning that it was okay to not know how to do something (plenty of people stepped up to help), and that working together can form friendships that will last through the years.

Develop new talents — and share your talents with others
Some people find a school job that they enjoy, and stick with it for the next 5 years. Others prefer to try something new every term. Sometimes Centers are designed around the expertise a parent brings to the school, but many have taught a Center that allowed them to expand their own knowledge of a topic. For example, my husband was assigned to run the Spanish Center, even though he doesn’t ‘habla’ a word of ‘Espanol’. One parent recently told me that she took a parent math class one morning, and then was able to walk into her son’s 5th grade work shift and immediately apply what she had learned. When Principal David speaks of lifelong learning, it’s not just kid stuff. There are many jobs to do, and lots of flexibility to find what works, while still trying something new.

Be a positive influence
My children have adults in their lives whom they have known since Kindergarten — adults who have seen their transformation and taken the journey with them. These parents have texted me pictures from field trips, sent emails to the class retelling memorable events for those of us who couldn’t be there, and offered to check in with kids feeling low. Kids understand that people have jobs, other relationships and chores to tend to. Yet, everyone carves out time for Village, and our kids are watching. They see the priority placed on our work here, and they will model this kindness and appreciate the commitment forever. As a parent who isn’t able to be at school as often as I wish I could be, these small gestures by volunteers in that moment touch my heart in ways I could never fully describe.

Grow from experience — discover the personal satisfaction of serving
A smile of recognition, a high five on the playground or a sweet conversation with a child is all it takes to win most of us over. But when a parent spoke with me about the turnaround she witnessed in a shy, reserved child who grew into his confidence during his years in her Centers, the pride in her voice in telling their story was as though she were speaking of her own child. And in a way, she was.

As our children grow and mature, our classroom experience changes
As our kids gain confidence, they prefer to approach their work independently and only want to be helped when they specifically ask for help. From Kinder book browse to everything in between, we rely on the teachers to guide us through the best way to assist in the classroom, and marvel at the changes in our kids from year to year.

Trust your training — see something, say something
New parents are often shy about approaching kids to “help solve problems.” But we have the great benefit of Positive Discipline training under our belt. If you see something that you can help with, jump in or reach out to another parent, teacher or administrator to guide you.

Make it work
Remember my husband’s Spanish Center dilemma? The dilemma being his complete lack of Spanish? As it happened, the parent in the Photo Journalism center was fluent in Spanish. And my husband holds a Master’s degree in Journalism. A swap was made. Presto!

Fashion Design educator Tim Gunn, one of my favorite TV celebrities, is famous for saying “make it work.” If you are flexible and willing to look for solutions, it’s usually not hard to make it work at Village. My family’s work commitments changed over the years, yet we were able to find many ways to contribute to our school community outside of the prescribed schedule. I often hear people say “It’s Village” when what we really mean is “Somehow it will all come together.” With many hands, and a common goal, it always does.

Pass along wisdom
We all have something to share, and something to learn from each other. For some practical tips to help, this classic archive article still rings true. Definitely worth a read: A Day in the Life of a Village Volunteer.

Updated Wed, Nov 2nd

In October, the Governing Board received updates about the District's Strategic Plan and the Campbell Middle School K-8 Transformation. For a copy of the latest Board Meeting News, click the e-flyer link or ask in the school office.

Updated Wed, Nov 2nd

Don't miss this empowering presentation on parenting internet savvy children, sponsored by Campbell Union School Disrict's new Parent University. It takes place Wed., Nov. 16th, from 6–7:30 p.m., in the PLC building at Monroe Middle School, 1055 S. Monroe St., San Jose, CA.

Updated Wed, Oct 19th

Bell Schedule

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

Tweets by the District @CampbellUSD

News Digest Sign-up

View past issues.

Sign up for multiple school newsletters.

Sign-up for our News Digest

School & District News


View Flyers for Village

To submit flyers, Learn More

Provided by: Peachjar Logo