Blackford Elementary School

District News

Updated Wed, May 13th

The month of May is filled with special days of recognition: teacher appreciation week, principal day, nurses day, school cafeteria worker day, and others. In Campbell Union School District, we believe every employee is important and deserves recognition, so we celebrate ALL of our employees during one special week. This year, that week is May 25-29.

We so appreciate the work that each of our employees do to educate students to their highest potential—especially through the challenges of these past two months.

Teachers can do marvelous things to spark a love of learning in a child. They don’t do it alone. Behind every aspect of student learning, there is someone providing a service to keep them safe, fed, healthy, equipped, supervised, supported and connected.

We hope you will join us May 25-29 in acknowledging the important work that all of our school and district employees do for the more than 7,000 students in Campbell Union School District.

Updated Wed, May 13th

Thank you to the more than 1,300 families who participated in the Distance Learning Thoughtexchange survey in early May. We asked about your priorities for your student during distance learning, and you told us.

With more than 5,000 families in our district, the needs and circumstances vary greatly, but two priorities came through loud and clear:

  1. more real-time instruction and explanation from teachers (online); and
  2. more opportunity for students to interact with the teacher and each other as they learn.

We share that desire, and our teachers are working hard to become proficient in providing that kind of instruction in this new format. We will continue to review the results of your feedback and use it to inform our distance learning process through the end of this school year and into the coming months.

Updated Fri, May 1st

Click to view this week's video message from Superintendent Viramontez.

Topics include:
• summer and new school year planning;
• request for input from parents through Thoughtexchange; and
• access to community services on our COVID-19 resources page.

Updated Fri, May 1st

The pressures of daily life are challenging even under the best circumstances. Under the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, some children and adults may be feeling still greater anxiety and stress, and that can have long-lasting effects. To help, our Student Services team has created an extensive list of local resources—in English and Spanish—for families to find support for a wide range of needs: 

  • Mental Health Resources
  • Financial Resources 
  • Household Resources (utilities and more)
  • Food Resources

Find these resources and more on our COVID-19 resources web page.

Updated Wed, Apr 29th

“Safety and learning are our top priorities,” said Campbell Union School District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “Thanks to a long-established network of community partners—too many to list—we’ve been able to quickly connect students and their families to services and resources that are helping them stay safe and learn during the COVID-19 school closures.”

What started as a temporary, 3-week shut down on March 16th quickly evolved into a situation where more students and their families had greater needs than before. A multi-year grant from School Linked Services (SLS) supplements district funding of Community Liaisons. These school-based staffers were able to immediately start contacting families to determine their needs and connect them to district supports of computer devices and meals as well as local assistance, groceries, diaper kits, gas card donations, informing families of help with rent, cell phone service, internet connectivity, emergency dental services, and much more.

“It is not easy for large systems, like a school district, to make a rapid change because that change can affect so many people in the community,” Viramontez said. “We are fortunate to have a well-established system of support that has allowed us to reach out and respond quickly to our students’ basic needs so that our teachers could pivot and modify lessons that address students’ learning from a distance, both online and in printed packets.”

She added that the district has been able to do so much more than keep students learning and keep students fed, as the Governor specified. 

“An already long list of partners has grown in a few weeks,” she said. “Local businesses and individuals have said yes to our requests and are reaching out to ask how they can help. We are so grateful.”

 Pictured Above: Partners from the City of San Jose and Project HOPE helped more than 60 families sign up for 60 days of free internet service, and provided other information about community resources.

man waiting at table for chromebook checkoutPictured Left: The district has checked out nearly 3,000 computing devices for students to use, and is working with companies to secure more internet service in district “dead spots”.

two people holding full grocery bags

Pictured Right: A partnership with Home Church and a team of volunteers is providing 125 bags of groceries per week to district families. 

Updated Fri, Apr 24th

Please watch this weekly video update from Dr. Viramontez, in which she talks about:

  • End of week two of formal distance learning
  • Watch for a Thoughtexchange next week to help us get feedback and continue to improve 
  • Meals expanding to weekends through partnership with Santa Clara County and San Jose
  • Other resources, such as diaper kits, dental services and more.
  • Various scenarios for what school may be like in the new school year.

Please visit our COVID-19 web page for links to resources, ways to support wellness, and other information updates.

Updated Fri, Apr 24th

In addition to our district’s Monday-through-Friday meal distribution, the Santa Clara County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be providing weekend meals, free of charge, at three of our district locations. 

Starting May 1st,  Capri, Sherman Oaks and Rosemary elementary also will offer weekend meals to go on Fridays, from 11 am-12 pm. Parents and Guardians can pick up two-days-worth of student breakfast, lunch and dinner provisions.

Information about our meal distribution locations, and other resources for learning and wellness, is available on our COVID-19 resources web page.

Updated Fri, Apr 17th

Click to view the April 17 "Backyard Briefing" video message from Superintendent Viramontez on our Campbellusd Youtube channel.

Now that we have completed our first week of formalized distance learning, the Superintendent discusses:

  • Security for zoom and other video conferencing.
  • Communicating with teachers and schools.
  • Guidance about which lessons are expected and which are encouraged as enrichment.

We'll all get better at this as we go on.

Please visit our COVID-19 resources page for information about meal distribution, wellness activities, and community support resources. 

Stay strong, stay safe, be well.

Updated Wed, Apr 15th

During the school closure, most of our students are participating in some online activities as part of their distance learning. We continue to stay apprised of how to protect them from “zoombomers” — mischief makers who try to break into online meetings and share inappropriate content.

Safety and learning have always been our top priorities, whether online or not. We want to let our families know the steps we have taken to assure a safe learning environment for students, staff and families.

For lessons that involve online learning, our teachers are using Google classroom, SeeSaw, and Zoom. We are continuing with Zoom.com because of the recent updates to its software: adding a password requirement, providing an automatic “waiting room” feature for teachers to allow students entry to the virtual classroom, and numerous other upgrades.

We have provided teachers with updated best practices to maximize student safety while using district-vetted programs and platforms, and our district-issued devices have extra security tools that alert us to inappropriate or unsafe content being used on them.

Our staff has investigated options and worked hard to provide all students with the opportunity to participate safely in online activities as part of their distance learning. We will continue to diligently monitor and update these precautions as necessary to maintain online safety, and are poised to respond and adjust if needed.

Updated Wed, Apr 15th

Parents often feel anxious about discussing their child’s learning needs with the teacher. Imagine if they don’t speak the same language?

To ensure communication between teacher and parent, our teachers have access to a telephone translation system that provides interpretation for hundreds of languages, helping them bridge that communication gap. It is especially vital as students are distance learning.

Our district values parents as partners as we educate students to their highest potential, and this interpretation tool is another way we can work together for the benefit of our students.