Forest Hill Elementary School

District News

Updated Tue, Jun 30th

Our District provides free pre-packaged meals to go at the four sites listed below, from 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday through Friday. (Adult meals are also available, thanks to support from the Second Harvest Food Bank.)

LOCATIONS

• Capri Elementary - 850 Chapman Dr. Campbell

• Castlemont Elementary - 3040 E. Payne Ave. Campbell

• Rosemary Elementary - 401 W. Hamilton Ave. Campbell

• Sherman Oaks - 1800 Fruitdale Ave. San Jose **

  ** Weekend adult meals also available every Friday at Sherman Oaks, thanks to the City of San José.

 

Questions? Please contact Child Nutrition Services at (408) 341-7210 or e-mail at food [at] campbellusd.org.

Also Feeding the Mind

Thanks to a state-level grant, the Campbell Public Library is giving out free books to students in grades K through 6, and desk supplies for older students, during the lunch distribution. Last week, they were at Rosemary and Castlemont. This week, they will be distributing books at Sherman Oaks on Wednesday 7/1,  and Capri on Thursday 7/2.

The library offers every Campbell Union School District student an online library account that they can use all year. Students/parents can order books, movies, music and more. This summer, the Campbell Library also offers curbside pick and drop off.  FInd out more about the library's curbside service and other information online.

Updated Sat, Jun 27th

At its June 25, 2020, meeting, the Governing Board reaffirmed Campbell Union School District’s commitment to equity and reducing institutionalized racism.

With a unanimous vote, the Board appointed members Richard Nguyen and Chris Miller to a new Diversity and Inclusion in Student Learning Subcommittee. The subcommittee will  provide support,  general guidance and oversight responsibility for the continued  efforts to integrate age-appropriate curriculum and resources to educate students about diversities and promote inclusion and respect in student learning.

“I’m pleased that we will be redoubling our commitment and effort to honor and celebrate the gifts that our students bring to our world,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “Campbell Union School District has a diverse student population and has long recognized the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion at our schools. Our students' diversity is a gift, and their heritage is an important part of our history that we will be more intentional about integrating into our educational system.”

In a separate, related action, the Board also unanimously passed Resolution 2019-20-54 about Black Lives Matter.

The resolution declares that:

  • Black Lives Matter and [the Board] condemns all discrimination and racism towards students, families and staff;
  • The Governing Board is committed to providing safe spaces for discussions on race and racial injustice;
  • The District is committed to fostering practices and providing professional development to address social injustice, bias and inequity in all aspects of the district’s work; and
  • The Campbell Union School District seeks to work tirelessly and collaboratively with staff, students, and families to reduce institutionalized racism in our society.

The full resolution is available online on the June 25, Board agenda.

Updated Fri, Jun 26th

“Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable”  ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

On June 24, the District Reopening Committee met to review what our Workgroups —Operations, Facilities, Instruction, Technology, Governance—have completed. The workgroups conducted the preliminary planning to safely open school in the fall, based on the information from the Santa Clara County Public Health Dept. at this point in time. 

The 31-member District Reopening Committee includes parents, elementary and middle school teachers, administrators, special education specialists, support staff, and the presidents of CETA (the teachers union) and CSEA (representing all support staff). The Committee’s objectives are: providing information, understanding and providing diverse perspectives to planning; understanding the limitations and expectations of the current reopening guidelines; and making recommendations for the fall school schedule.

First Focus is Safety

Workgroups intentionally focused on safety first, knowing that school-day schedules would be more accurate by waiting until mid-July when the Public Health Department guidelines for determining whether “in person” instruction will be possible in the fall. School teams submitted proposed schedules as part of a design challenge. Those will be part of the planning once we have the guidelines. 

Extensive Work Completed

Workgroup chairs presented to the Committee itemized lists of the tasks that are completed or in progress so far, addressing everything from how and when the students and staff arrive at school, to what they will need throughout the day as they safely learn and interact, to when and how they dismiss for the day. Facilities and work stations are being outfitted with plexiglass and markers for social distancing, handwashing/cleaning stations, and areas for isolating anyone exhibiting symptoms. For more details, please see the excerpts of the presentation on our COVID-19 web page.

The entire Reopening Committee participated in break-out discussions to examine the information from their various roles and perspectives to ensure all aspects of need were considered and to offer additional suggestions and insight. 

Several Committee members noted that hearing the concrete things being done was extremely helpful. Teachers expressed relief at seeing how much of the safety planning has been done so they can focus on teaching.

Parents and teachers said the meeting was incredibly helpful for them to see the enormous amount of planning and work that has gone into what needs to be done to open school safely and effectively for all students. Others expressed appreciation and relief that both common procedures and site-specific needs are being considered, that decision making is being based on numeric data and anecdotal/empathetic data, and that there are time markers for decisions to be made.

The next Reopening Committee meeting will be July 15th. The remaining challenges to be resolved before July 31 include:

  • Pending Public Health Department decision about whether students can return to campus
  • Adhering to any new Public Health Dept guidelines 
  • Delving into distance learning participation data
  • Creating recommendations for a fall schedule

Lastly, our district is incredibly fortunate to have so many community partners ready to pitch in and support our students. Local groups and agencies are working with us on how to support our staff and families in the fall with child care, equity-focused books and resources, student social groups, technology trouble-shooting, subject matter tutors/mentors, and more.

It remains our goal to safely bring as many students back to campus as possible. Our aim is to educate students to their highest potential, and being in school, interacting with teachers and classmates, is how our students learn best. Some recent State legislation and funding will present challenges to that effort, and I will have more information about that in a future update.

Until next time...Stay safe. Be well.

Updated Thu, Jun 18th

Dear Parents and Guardians:

During the school year, our online student safety management system, called Gaggle, reviews student-generated documents for words and phrases that trigger a concern for student safety. Please note that Gaggle will not be active from June 27th through August 19th, and documents will not be reviewed by Campbell Union School District staff for words and phrases that may be troubling.

For students retaining district-owned Chromebooks during the summer, please also note that the devices will still have CIPA-compliant web-filtering to protect students from browsing harmful or malicious sites.

Parental supervision is recommended, as always. 

A Word About Wellness

If a concern arises that causes you to seek mental health support for your child, please consider the following agency partners

  • Uplift School Linked Services - 408-332-6692-Andy Sweet, LCSW-BBS LIC #24603, Clinical Program Manager, Richardandrew.sweet [at] upliftfs.org.   School Linked Services through Uplift Family Services is a school based mental health program that provides individualized support for students who may be struggling with anger, depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns.  This summer, School Linked Services will also be offering social skills groups including Self-Care, Ecotherapy, Friendship Making, Story Time, Teen Groups. Additionally, we are offering a parenting group focused on managing Family Transitions.  All Services can be provided either in-person, phone, or videoconferencing (telehealth).  Eligibility for School Linked Services is dependent on the student having Medi-Cal.   
  • Uplift Prevention & Early Intervention – 408-425-4341 – Christopher Tsang, LMFT BBS Lic#111590, Clinical Program Manager, Christopher.tsang [at] upliftfs.org. PEI is a school-based mental health program that provides services including parent coaching workshops through our Triple P and Strengthening Families Program, skillstreaming presentations focused on social skills building in the classroom setting, resourcing supports, behavioral supports, and individual and family therapy. The PEI program offers the services of our Clinicians, Family Partners, and/or Family Specialists all of whom work in close collaboration with parents and teachers to support children and families in schools, in their homes, and in their community. PEI services can be provided either in-person, by phone, or via videoconferencing (telehealth). This summer we are offering several social skills building groups covering topics including Self-Care, Ecotherapy, Friendship Making, Story Time, Teen Groups. We are offering also a parenting group focused on managing Family Transitions.  
  • Santa Clara County Mental Health Urgent Care – Ph. 408-885-7855, located at 871 Enborg Court, SJ, Unit 100. Open daily 8 A.M.–10 P.M. offering out-patient psychiatric care for patients who are uninsured or have Medi-cal/Medicare. No appointment needed.
  • Santa Clara County Mobile Crisis Response Team - 1-800-704-0900, Press 2- (available 24/7)
  • Uplift Mobile Crisis: (877) 41-CRISIS: The Uplift Mobile Crisis Team provides 24-hour intervention to children and teens in the community who are in acute psychological crisis. Included is a 5150 assessment along with safety planning and referrals to community-based mental health services.
  • Santa Clara County Suicide & Crisis Hotline - 1-855-278-4204- (available 24/7)

For more mental health services and supports, please visit Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department

Updated Wed, Jun 17th

The school year has ended, but learning doesn't have to. Try these teacher-created summer learning "Choice Boards" to keep your child's mind active every week.

Find links and information every week on our COVID-19 Resources web page or via your school's Distance Learning website.

Updated Wed, Jun 17th

Much has been in the news regarding Governor Newsom’s proposed May revised budget and the significant funding reductions proposed for California’s schools. While the specifics of these cuts were just released, Campbell Union School District (CUSD) staff has been busy looking at the impacts it will have here.

“It’s going to be a very tough year,” said Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Nelly Yang. “We were informed of an overall 10% reduction to our Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), as well as cuts to preschool and afterschool funding, and that our June allocation will be deferred, which will impact our cash flow.”

Already faced with the challenges of declining enrollment, rising costs for special education services, and state-imposed increases to pension plan payments, the district had cut $4 million over the past two years, and had planned for additional adjustments for 2020-21. “Now we’ll have to carve much deeper,” Yang said. 

COVID Compounds Impacts

“We reduced expenses, kept vacant positions unfilled, and managed our finances very conservatively,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “This was all before we were all hit with the unprecedented impact of COVID-19.”

Schools operate within a staff-to-student ratio, so fewer students means fewer teachers and program staff. 

“When program enrollment decreases, the number of staff members needs to adjust accordingly,” she said. “And attrition alone will not get us to the massive reductions we need, so we will have to make some very hard staffing decisions very soon.”

The reductions are coming at a time when districts are planning to need more resources to ensure schools have all of the safety and hygiene equipment needed to bring students and staff back to campuses in the fall. 

For almost 20 years, the district has been able to offer programs beyond what the State funds for TK-8th grade education because its preschool and before and after school programs were self-funded through grants and fees. They even helped to support extras like school plays and counselors. 

Striving to Keep Programs Alive

“We know how valuable these expanded learning and early childhood education programs are, and we are trying to find a way to keep them,” Viramontez said. “We are doing everything we can to see how we might be able to break even on the programs, which is particularly challenging under the current public health childcare limitations of only 10 students in a class.”

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “We are profoundly aware of the impacts these choices have on people’s lives. We also have to be able to run our core school-day operations. We will find a way to both hold tight to our core mission and make the many imposing budget decisions based on what is the overall best for student learning throughout our district.”

For more information about how Campbell Union School District is funded, please visit the  “Budget Primer” on the district’s budget web page.

Updated Wed, Jun 17th

Emotions around the senseless death of George Floyd are many. Among them: Sadness, Impatience, Anger, Resolve. And it is especially difficult as we also face a pandemic and economic crisis. This is a critical time to reflect on what it means to champion equity, to meet the needs of the whole child, every child. 

Our Governing Board set a vision for our district to be "a model for innovative programs and instruction that engages, empowers, and inspires all children to feel safe and thrive."

We take that vision seriously, and the circumstances around George Floyd’s death are the latest reminder that there is still much more work to be done. 

We must reexamine our systems and policies and make the changes needed to advance equity. We must look again at how we can do more cultural appreciation of all who are represented in our system and be more intentional about ensuring our students see themselves reflected in the stories of heroes who made a difference in history. We want them to see themselves as part of that difference as well. And we must continue to be part of changing the implicit biases that have existed for too long in society. 

Situations like the death of George Floyd create frustration as we once again realize we are not learning the lessons of history. 

In Campbell Union School District, we take the charge of educating the youngest members of our community to heart. Together with our Campus Collaboratives and community partners, we work to clear obstacles to student learning—from curriculum and technology, to health and wellness and everything in between. We will continue to give our students a voice in their education, and continue helping them attain important skills so that they may live in a world that engages, empowers, and inspires all children to feel safe and thrive.

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally than its opposite. ~Nelson Mandela

Updated Wed, Jun 10th

The question on every parent and school employee’s mind: “What’s the plan for reopening school?” 

Safety and learning remain our top priorities. On June 5, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (PHD) issued guidelines, allowing us to add more details to our plans. Plans will be modified as public health guidelines are updated. The PHD has also been very clear that the guidelines issued for summer camps are not necessarily indicative of what schools will need to do to reopen.

In light of this new guidance from health officials and state agencies, we know that things will look different when school resumes in August.  We are providing information to you based on some current assumptions.

Guardrails for the Journey

On-campus and distance learning:

  • Schools will likely reopen with a continuum of learning that include on-campus and distance learning. decision guide graphic
  • To  maintain social distancing, students will not be on campus every day. 
    • Groups of students—about half of the teacher’s class—will be on campus, while the remaining groups of students will be learning at home. These groups and their teachers will keep to themselves throughout the day and should not mix with other groups.
    • We are doing our best to plan for students who live in the same household to be on the same schedule.

    Before leaving home:

    • Families will be asked to check for symptoms and take temperatures daily before going to school. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 or higher should not go to a school site. 
    • Students and adults should also screen themselves for respiratory symptoms, such as cough and shortness of breath, before coming to school each day. Students and adults experiencing those symptoms should not attend school.
    • Fewer students will be on the bus (to allow for social distancing) and will only be available for students we are legally mandated to transport.

    Arriving at School

    • Arrival times will vary to allow for social distancing. (Dismissal times will vary also.)
    • There will be health checks before entering campus.
      • Students with virus symptoms will wait in a separate, supervised area until they are able to go home. 
      • Staff with symptoms will be sent home. 
    • Face coverings are recommended for anyone over the age of 6 and required for anyone 13 and older.
    • Parents and visitors will have limited access to the school campus.

    Throughout the Day:

    • Schools will follow disinfection guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for school campuses, including classrooms, workspaces, outdoor spaces, and playgrounds.
    • Physical barriers, such as plexiglass may be installed where social distancing is not possible.
    • All students and staff will be encouraged to wash/clean their hands regularly.
      • Handwashing stations with soap and/or hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms.
    • Schools will limit sharing of supplies between students and disinfect between uses if sharing is unavoidable.
    • To maintain social distancing and smaller groups of students in shared spaces, we will be:
      • Serving meals in small group settings
      • Arranging work spaces so there is a minimum of 6 feet between students/staff
      • Serving individually plated or boxed meals
      • Preventing student cohorts from mixing
      • Staggering lunches, recesses, and other transition times
      • Prohibiting large gatherings, such as assemblies and dances
      • Designating a sick room for students who are not feeling well after arrival to minimize contact with others until they are able to go home.

    Other Considerations

    • Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school. They are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.
    • Gloves are not recommended for use by students or staff, with the exception of those conducting duties such as cleaning, first aid, or food service.
    • The economic impact of COVID-19 will result in a reduction of school funding at the same time increased expenses for school operations and limitations on the services that can be provided. 

    Focusing on the Destination

    Our district’s mission is to educate every student to his or her highest potential, and that is our destination. There is more than one route to take for reopening schools.

    Just as leaders from all 32 Santa Clara County school districts have been working together with county officials from public health and the office of education to develop a common approach to reopening, we have district work groups that are organizing efforts for our own schools.

    The work groups have secured the safety requirements needed to reopen school, and now we can focus more fully on preparing the educational components of planning. Our district planning team—which consists of parents and staff members from different roles in different schools across the district—will be delving into many proposed plans for the school schedule, narrowing them down, and designing the learning program that best meets the needs of our district’s students and staff.

    Stay tuned for more! During the summer, our updates will be coming out every couple of weeks, and we anticipate providing our reopening plan to you by the end of July.

    Updated Wed, Jun 10th

    See this week's video message for families and students on this last day of the academic year.

    Topics:

    • Best wishes to 8th graders going on to high school!
    • New health department guidelines help us fill in plans for reopening.
      • "Go or No Go" statement for on-campus learning expected mid-July
    • Weekly updates will change to twice per month this summer.

    Wishing you a healthy and happy summer!

    P.S. — Remember! CUSD students have online library accounts with the Campbell Public Library. Access books, music, magazines and more to keep young minds engaged while school is out.

    Updated Wed, Jun 10th

    Safety and more in-person connections for students and teachers were the top priorities for parents and students as they thought about having distance learning or not in the new school year.

    More than 1300 parents/guardians and nearly half of the students in grades 3-8 participated in the May 29-June 4 survey. The results will help district leaders understand concerns for reopening school in the fall; understand the desire for some to continue distance learning even when we can bring students back; and plan for needs and communication to various groups.


    Staff also participated in a thoughtexchange. We are reviewing the results to see how we can address concerns about safety, stress, time for preparation, and professional development.

    Parents' Priorities

    Seventy-seven percent of parents who participated in the survey (English and Spanish) said they prefer to send their children back to school when it is safe to do so. Their top priorities:

    1. Actual teaching session online (small groups for 30 mins a day), not just daily check in video chats. (Allow students to actually learn from their teachers directly then assignments/independent learning is additional practice.)

    2. Children need to see their teachers explaining exercises as if they were in class, and it is important that teachers make videos explaining lessons.
 
    3. I want my child to be in touch with her classmates.

    4. Instruction by teachers because parents aren’t educators and elementary kids are not self directed.

    5. Interactive learning. Interactive learning gives children the social plus learning goals together.
 

    Students told us about their distance learning experience.

    What worked:

    1. It is important that we maintain a personal contact between teacher and student.

    2. When teachers keep everything organized and when they show us how we are to do the assignment.
 
    3. I can eat lunch and take breaks whenever I want to.
 
    4. Google classroom I know what to do and easy to turn in.


    What didn’t work:

    1. Procrastinating. It’s hard because I’m not motivated.

    2. Not being able to get clarification in the moment when you aren’t sure what to do.

    3. Confusing. It sometimes gets confusing when all of the teachers post many things at once. It would be easier if they had an agenda so we can be more organized.

    4. I think the biggest challenge for me is getting distracted.

    5. My greatest challenge with distance learning is trying to do my work on time and making sure I get all the answers right especially on a test.


    What's Next?

    “We appreciate hearing from so many participants,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “The feedback will inform decisions as we continue our planning for the new school year.” 

    Regarding those plans, the district will be sending a sstudent-pecific questionnaire to families to obtain more definitive answers about which students—student-by-student—would prefer to continue distance learning full time. “We have about 5,000 families in the district, and we need to hear from all of them. We need more concrete numbers in order to determine how—and if—we can allocate staff to provide for full-time distance learning while also having staff for in-person instruction,” she said.