Blackford Elementary School

District News

Updated Wed, Aug 5th

Is your little one curled up on your lap while you work from home?  Do you want to go back to work but don’t have a safe place for preschool-aged child care? Our preschool program could be the solution.

Our early education program is operating with small groups of students, within public health guidelines and the limitations set by Community Care Licensing. To register for one of our six locations, please click the Registration link or call the preschool office at 408-364-4200 ext. 4180. 

We will contact you within 2 business days after we receive your registration form to confirm or place you on a waitlist.

Updated Wed, Aug 5th

To provide more time for ensuring a good start to the school year, we made some minor modifications to our 2020-21 calendar.
Students' first day of school is now Monday, August 24th. 

The calendar is available online as a google calendar or to download as a PDF.

We moved some teacher professional development days—originally scheduled during the school year— to the beginning of the school year. All other scheduled dates, such as holidays and the last day of school, remain the same. We appreciate the collaborative effort with our labor groups to make these adjustments possible.

Schools Will Send More Details

Your child's school will send schedules and information for picking up equipment or instructional materials, and other information to help your child prepare for the school year. Please check the school’s home page and watch your email for updates.

Updated Wed, Jul 29th

At the July 29 virtual meeting, Campbell Union School District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez addressed questions sent in advance from families about the School Reopening Plan. It was simulcast in Spanish and a recording of the session is posted online.

Due to an error by Zoom.com, the attendance capacity was limited and about 150 people were unable to log in.

“We had planned for 1000 person capacity, so the limit was frustrating to us and to our families,” Viramontez said. “Fortunately, we did record it and will make it available right away.” 

More than 900 people were able to listen in—500 in English and more than 400 in Spanish—to hear responses to questions centered around the topics of Distance Learning, the Hybrid phases and scheduling, safety measures, special education, child care, meals, and transportation. 

The recording in English is on the district’s YouTube channel (). Spanish subtitles will be added before the end of the week.

Updated Wed, Jul 29th

Today, Campbell Union School District released its detailed 2020-21 School Reopening Plan, with descriptions of how schools will phase in from remote learning to the traditional all on-campus model over time. It also provides sample schedules for distance and in-person learning, safety measures for students and staff, and an overview of the planning process.

“Throughout the process, our top priority is the health and well-being of our students, staff, and families as we continue our work of educating students to their highest potential,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. 

Review the Plan

The detailed report is available now, in English, on the district’s COVID-19 web page. A Spanish version will be added on Mon., July 27th

Attend one of the virtual community meetings about the plan. (Links available on the District’s public meetings calendar.)

  • 6 - 7 pm on Wed., July 29th (English, with Spanish interpretation)
  • 6 - 7:30 pm on Thu. July 30th (Spanish interpretation provided)  (Updated 7/29)

To submit questions after you review the plan, please use this online form

Distance Learning

The plan calls for beginning the school year with all students in Distance Learning and gradually moving to in-person learning as conditions allow. There also is an option for families who prefer to enroll their students in Distance Learning for the entire school year. 

Starting Monday afternoon, July 27th, families who wish to opt in to the full-year Distance Learning program, will receive an access code by email which they may use with the "Distance Learning" link our Enrollment web page. (Available the afternoon of July 27.) The deadline to enroll in the full-year Distance Learning option is 4 p.m. August 3rd.

Afternoon Campbell Care

While current restrictions prevent opening classrooms for daily instruction, they do allow for childcare with physical distancing. The district child care program will follow all Public Health Department requirements.

Campbell Care will be available, beginning Mon., Aug. 24th, from 2:30 p.m. until 6:00 pm, for 5 days per week. The cost is $614 per student per month. The rate will be adjusted to $399 for the “short months” of August and December, and there is a 10% discount for siblings and district staff. 

The number of sites offering this program will be determined by enrollment numbers. Families who have already paid a registration deposit for childcare will receive a separate communication from the Expanded Learning Department about their priority placement.

Registration is open to all CUSD-enrolled families. Click to register.     

Special Thanks

“We owe a special thanks to the parents, employees and students who worked with us, answered our surveys and helped us define a plan even as public health guidelines frequently changed,” Viramontez said. “I’m pleased that we have created a plan that allows us to be safe, nimble and responsive to local conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Updated Thu, Jul 23rd

Parents and guardians, please watch for important information about our district's reopening plan, distance learning and childcare for the 2020-21 school year.

Where to Get Reopening Plan Details

On Friday, July 24th, we will publish the detailed reopening plan and email it to the parents and guardians of students enrolled in our schools. We hope it will answer questions that families and staff may have.

On July 29th and 30th, we will host a virtual community meeting to present the plan and take questions from attendees. We will email information about how to join the online community meeting.

Decisions Remain for Families

Distance Learning: All students will start the year in distance learning. Our Distance Learning program will differ from what we provided in spring: more engaging, academically rigorous, and in line with new legislative requirements.

The improvements include daily live interaction with teachers and peers for instruction, and content that aligns with standards and of the same quality as what students receive from in-person instruction.

We will email information about our distance learning program and how to select the full-year option no later than July 25th.

School-Day Childcare: The need for childcare was high before the pandemic, and it has grown, especially for essential workers. While current public health restrictions prevent opening classrooms for daily instruction, they do provide guidance for childcare.

  • We are making plans to offer school-day childcare with the following understanding:
  • It must operate within the requirements set by legislation and public health orders.
  • We will need to charge a fee.
    Our grants from ASES apply only to after school care at Rosemary, Blackford, Lynhaven, Sherman Oaks and Monroe. We are seeking a waiver to cover school-day care.

We will email a survey to staff and families to gauge interest and help us plan the program.

 

Updated Thu, Jul 16th

At its July 15 Special Session, the Governing Board approved Campbell Union School District's 2020-21 Phase-In Plan for reopening its elementary and middle schools. Members acknowledged the plan's focus on the ability to be safe, nimble and responsive to local COVID-19 conditions.

The Board presentation is available on the COVID-19 web page.

Additional communication will include:

  • Sending the presentation to employees and families with the Friday Briefing
  • Posting Frequently Asked Questions on the COVID-19 web page
  • Publishing a detailed reopening plan report next week and sending to staff and families
  • Conducting Virtual Community Meeting(s)

○July 29 at 5:30 6:00p in English*

○July 30 at at 5:30 6:00p in Spanish*

NOTE: We are investigating providing a simulcast so there can be one meeting in both English and Spanish on July 30th.

image showing phase 1-4

Updated Wed, Jul 8th

As promised, I am providing the update on the work of our District Reopening Committee.

At the July 8 meeting, our 32 members: 

  • Reviewed Public Health Requirements for reopening schools
  • Reviewed new Legislation for Distance Learning
  • Formed Break Out Sessions to review and discuss pros/cons of 4 potential school schedules
  • Determine if more information is needed before sending a recommendation to the Governing Board for July 23rd

Requirements for Reopening

I shared the basic requirements that must be met before our students will be allowed to attend in-person instruction on campus. The information included requirements from the County Public Health Department’s Reopening K-12 Schools document, and key points from California Senate Bill 98, which adds detailed requirements to California Education Code around distance education for the 2020-2021 school year. 

You will find excerpts from my presentation on our COVID 19 web page.

Clarifications for Distance Learning

  1. New information we received late yesterday is that schools will not need to require a doctor’s note for parents to request distance learning for their children.
  2. Our instructional team has been developing resources and curricula to support a robust and interactive distance learning program. We anticipate receiving a Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan template from the California Department of Education in early August and submitting a final, Board-approved plan by September 30th.
  3. In previous parent surveys, there were many parents who said they could not tell us a preference on either all distance learning, hybrid or other options until they had more information about the schedules and facilities arrangements. Once our plan is approved by the Governing Board, and we look again at our staffing needs, we will be asking parents to indicate whether they would like their child to participate in full-time distance learning for the 2020-21 school year or not. We will then work to staff a distance learning model for these students. Due to the staffing required, this will be a year-long commitment for those who select distance learning only.  

Drafting School Schedules

Four elementary and middle school concept schedules were presented, founded on meeting the safety requirements and guidelines. The team discussed each plan’s pros and cons, and offered ideas for modifying them. These schedules provide for staggered arrivals by grade level, stable cohorts in elementary schools, a hybrid in-person for middle school students, and resources for ensuring our ability to meet the required health and safety measures. We started with ensuring the requirements, and we will also be implementing additional measures that may not be required. All plans will allow for flexibility should we be required to resume distance learning.

With the committee feedback at hand, a subcommittee will be taking a closer look at the schedules and will bring one elementary and one middle school schedule back to the July 15 meeting of the full committee. We have also formed a subcommittee of special education staff  to look closely at ways to provide services to students who have exceptional needs during this extraordinary time. While we are planning for some in-person instruction, we also need to prepare for the need for distance learning should the need to reimplement that occur.

Our aim is to have recommended schedules ready for the July 23 Governing Board meeting. We will share the schedule(s) with our community by the end of the month. 

Creating the Plan

It is important to recognize that plans will go through changes as we receive new information—which happens frequently. We understand the desire to have a concrete plan that families and staff can use for their own planning needs. We also continue to ask for patience as we do our best to provide you with a thoughtful and thorough plan that addresses all aspects of the school day, requirements and schedules. 

Please remain flexible through this iterative process, and continue to monitor your email for updates on this important topic.

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.