Forest Hill Elementary School

District News

Updated Wed, Mar 29th

The news of yet another school shooting, this time in Nashville, Tenn., is shocking and sad. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the community affected by this senseless and tragic act of violence.

As parents, teachers, and family members, we know that our students look to us for reassurance that they are safe and that we are doing everything we can to keep them that way. To help you with questions you may encounter, I want to share with you the proactive measures we take at school to ensure staff and student safety. 

In addition to emergency drills, security cameras, locked gates, interior locking doors, and notification systems, we work with law enforcement and community partners to assess and improve our safety protocols. In collaboration with safety consultant ICS4Schools, we train employees in the incident command system (ICS) used by first responders to provide effective and organized ways to manage crises, and communicate and synchronize our response efforts. 

Our QuickTip information line allows individuals to email or phone in confidential reports of suspicious activity, vandalism and threats. quicktip [at] () or 408-341-7171.

To support students’ emotional well being, we also employ professional counselors and have district Crisis Response Teams for each school. To help families at home, these professionals encourage parents to listen to their children’s questions, validate their feelings, and provide age-appropriate information about what happened. They also suggest being mindful of the media coverage and to limit exposure to graphic or disturbing images.

Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of students and staff has taken on a heightened reality in today’s world. We will continue to make educating students safely our top priority. 


Updated Wed, Mar 29th

“We believe in empowering students to take ownership of their education and school experience,” said Campbell Union School District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. 

Through the district’s Innovation Grant program, 10 student teams are using the design-thinking process to generate, test and implement ideas for two areas identified in our student survey data as needs: campus cleanliness and building a sense of belonging at their schools. 

“When we provide them with real-world challenges, our students see the connections to what they learn in school and recognize they have the ability to make a difference in their everyday lives,” Viramontez added.

Here are stories of progress at two schools.

Sherman Oaks Dual Immersion School

Two teams at this dual immersion, TK-8 school are working on ways to improve outdoor spaces for students to gather on campus. “We talked to a lot of students and staff and had a lot of ideas to start with,” said Yatzil, one of the 6th graders on the Innovation Grant team. More seating and shade—especially in the courtyard—topped the list, she added.

As they work with teachers Efrain Hernandez and Jamie Strand, and District Construction Manager Doug Williams (photo, center), the students are finding that state and local school safety requirements, maintenance, and costs mean reevaluating and generating different ideas to test. The solutions are becoming more clear. “We’re going to look at how to add seating to areas that already have shade, and what priority to give the other ideas,” said team member Alitzel.

Campbell School of Innovation

CSI’s student team has been working with Library Technician Sunny Huong to enhance the library experience for all students and making the “Think Tank” a welcoming space for students in the upper grades. The grant is making it possible to keep the library open during lunch for the upper grade students, holding book club meetings and community events, and eventually offering it as a study hall space after school on Wednesdays. 

At a recent meeting of the book club, pictured here, student leaders, Lyla B. (gr 6) and Miles V. (gr 8), explained why they chose to pursue the Innovation Grant. “I wanted CSI to offer more clubs and more books,” Lyla said. “I just want more people using the library, and more Uptown students using it,” Miles added. All of the students at the club meeting agreed that they enjoy reading, in general, and like having a physical book to read.

Library Tech Sunny Hong noticed that many students were not familiar with how to use the library When students returned to learning on campus. “They were good at computer searches and scrolling, but didn’t know how to select books in the library,” she said. She created book showcases and shared book recommendations by students’ peers, and sought ways to give students more experiences in the library. “It has made a difference,” she added.  “A lot more upper grade students are coming into the library.”

Next Week: Rosemary and Castlemont schools

Updated Wed, Mar 22nd

By design, students throughout Campbell Union School District are stepping up to make a difference at school. Through the Innovation Grant program, 10 student teams are using the design-thinking process to generate and implement their innovative ideas. This year, the teams’  ideas are responding to feedback from the district’s survey data: how to build a sense of belonging within their schools and instill more pride in keeping the campus clean.  

“We believe in empowering students to take ownership of their education and school experience,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “When we provide them with real-world challenges, our students see the connections to what they learn in school and that they have the ability to make a difference in their everyday lives.”

Today, we drop in on the progress at two schools.

Blackford’s Student Voice & Choice Lunch Clubs: The group’s challenge was to find ways for students to have more fun at recess with opportunities to practice and spread kindness. With support from teacher Megan Delaye, they polled their classmates and created two clubs: a craft club for making friendship bracelets, and a soccer club for those who wanted to learn and enjoy the game. The clubs meet weekly and the grant pays for supplies and equipment.

group of boys and girls shake hands before a soccer gameOn the first day of soccer club, fourth grade club leader Gabriel D. said clubs are making a difference. “I see people being more kind to each other,” he said. Co-leaders Ava C. and Fabian D. agreed, adding that they like helping kids learn soccer skills, sportsmanship, and seeing both girls and boys playing the game together.

two boys, one girl one female teacher all holding soccer ballsTo know if their efforts are successful, students will gather data through observations and future survey data to see if there are better results in the area of kindness.

Photos: (1) Students shake hands before beginning a scrimmage on the first day of soccer club.  (2) Soccer club leaders stand with teacher Megan Delaye.

elementary children standing with female teacherLynhaven’s “Kindness Rocks”: Spreading kindness is a schoolwide endeavor for this student team. To reinforce the idea that each student has the power to create a positive school climate, classes of students are painting “kindness rocks” with messages and images about friendship, caring, empathy, and sharing. Later this spring, the rocks will be hidden around campus as part of a scavenger hunt activity that will engage students in collaborative problem-solving.

close up of girl using paintbrush to pain a rock“When students feel connected and proud of their school, they gain a sense of ownership that leads to a range of positive behaviors and improved academics,” said Teacher Erin Lewis.

Photos: (1) Teacher Erin Lewis (center) stands amid groups of students during a rock painting activity. (2) A student paints a rock with a caring message and images

Next week, we will check in on the teams from Sherman Oaks, CSI, and Rosemary.

Cover photo: Lynhaven students Noor A., Leovanni R., and Toby H. presented their idea and research at the second annual Innovation Grant Pitchfest in November.

Updated 1 hour 30 min ago

School will be open today, Thursday,  March 16th, with or without power. We are encouraged that power has been restored to much of the surrounding area.  We ask all students and staff to dress warmly. We look forward to seeing all students and staff later this morning.

Our Preschool will not be open today.  

Our campus is safe for instruction as our teams make arrangements to support students and staff. Our Technology staff is preparing for limited internet access; our Child Nutrition staff will be able to provide warm food; Expanded Learning is providing lanterns to light darker areas; and we are arranging for additional staff to support students with special needs. 

I want to thank you all for your patience, flexibility and support. 

Updated Wed, Mar 29th

Under the most recent changes to the state’s COVID-19 guidelines, students and staff will be able to return to school sooner, as long as their symptoms are improving. That is one of several changes announced by the California Department of Public Health this month. 

In response, Campbell Union School District has made the appropriate updates to the COVID-19 response plan. Following is a summary of the updates.

Effective March 13, 2023:

  • A COVID-19 positive person may end isolation after five days and return on day six if they feel well, have improving symptoms, and are fever-free for 24 hours, with less emphasis on testing negative. They must continue to wear a mask until after Day 10. This change aligns with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.
  • After ending isolation, individuals may remove their mask sooner than Day 10 with two sequential negative tests one day apart.​
  • Updates to the definition of infectious period.

Effective effective April 3, 2023:

  • Masks will no longer be required in indoor high-risk and health care settings. They are optional.
  • Schools will no longer send exposure notices home when a positive COVID-19 case is reported

The full CUSD plan is available online in English and Spanish here.

Updated Wed, Mar 22nd

How should we teach mathematics with  a “growth mindset” to help students and teachers understand that struggle leads to effective brain development? How do different teaching approaches impact students' learning? And how can all learners be engaged in mathematics? These are topics that Stanford Professor Dr. Jo Boaler, author and world renowned leader in mathematics teaching and learning, will share with Campbell Union School District’s teachers at the March 10th Professional Development day.

The challenges of distance learning during the pandemic had a significant impact on students' math scores, according to a 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report. CUSD’s leaders saw the challenge in their own students. As a result they sought out experts to support the district’s commitment to high quality first instruction to ensure students are learning to their highest potential.

“We’re excited to have our educators hear from an internationally recognized expert in mathematics,” said Whitney Holton, Associate Superintendent of Teaching & Learning. “Dr. Boaler’s visit is an outstanding example of how we live our value of ‘We are Learners’. By connecting with experts in the field and forming partnerships to engage in research, we learn together how to improve the outcomes for students in math.” 

Updated Wed, Mar 15th

“Learning to read, for some students, is much more complex than it may seem,” said District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “And it is a fundamental skill for success in life.”

Campbell Union School District intensified literacy training and resources for teachers under its “Every Child a Reader by Third Grade” initiative. The efforts are making a difference!

Through classwork, i-Ready and DIEBELS assessments, teachers are seeing positive results from their training and focus on strengthening literacy skills for every student, especially in the early primary grades. 

A long-term study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that students who were not proficient in reading by the end of third grade were four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers. Reaching literacy by third grade is a goal of California schools and a key benchmark in measuring and predicting student success. 

Ideas on how to help your child become a proficient—even an enthusiastic—reader are available from your child’s teacher, school and community libraries, and online.

Online Resources for Parents and Students

  • The Campbell Library has given all CUSD students access to online library accounts. If your student has not used it yet, please ask your child’s teacher or the school library staff for information. 
  • Million Book March, is part of the Reading is Fundamental celebration of National Reading Month, a campaign to encourage kids nationwide to collectively read one million books in the month of March.
  • National PTA’s “Raising Ready Readers” offers tips for parents to start early and practice often.
Updated Wed, Feb 15th

This week, students and staff at our schools commemorated the 100th day of school. It was a day to note how far they have come in their learning journey and to dedicate themselves to making great strides in the remaining 80 days.

office with balloons and signsRosemary School office made sure this was a day to celebrate.

3 teachers dressed as old ladies
How much is 100? Sherman Oaks teachers and students
dressed up as very senior citizens to show appreciation
for those who make it to 100 years of age.

Updated Wed, Feb 15th

“Educating students to their highest potential is a big job, and our partners in the community help to remove some of the obstacles for our students,” said District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. 

Toothaches, earaches, food insecurity, vision problems, and other non-academic issues make it difficult for students to focus on lessons and tasks. Thanks to our many community partnerships and grants, our students have access to professionals who can address these barriers to learning.

For example, neighboring dentists conduct oral screenings for kindergarten and TK students to determine those who need follow up care. A grant from El Camino Hospital supports funds for two additional school nurse positions. Local counseling agencies supplement our counseling services for students. And the Healthier Kids Foundation is providing fifth graders with Wellness Check screeners to identify those students who may be struggling and in need of additional support.

These are just some examples of our partners working with us to benefit all of our students. To learn more about our multi-tiered system of support (MTSS), please visit our Supporting Learning web page.

Updated Wed, Feb 15th

School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs) are state-mandated annual reports showing key data for each school in our district. The latest SARCs* include 2021-22 school year information about student achievement, demographics, class sizes, fiscal data and more.

The reports for our schools are available online at Printed copies are available in the school office.

* The Spanish translations of the 2021-22 SARCs will be available later in February. Additional data from the California Department of Education is expected this spring.