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Upcoming Events

Focus on Safer School Zones

State Assemblymember proposes law to slow speeds and improve safety

woman crossing guard holds a stop sign as a couple of children and adults crosse the street marked with wide yellow lines.

A news conference at Castlemont School last week spotlighted the continuing efforts to enhance pedestrian safety around school zones. State Assemblymember Marc Berman introduced Assembly Bill 2583, which would set a speed limit cap of 20 miles per hour in school zones and mandate placing signs indicating the times these lower speeds are in effect.

"Traffic violence is the number one cause of death for California's school-age children,” added Kirsten Bladh, associate director of state policy for Safe Streets for All, who spoke at the news conference.

CA Assemblymember Marc Berman
CA Assemblymember Marc Berman

In reflecting on the tragic traffic accident that took the life of Castlemont student Jacob Villanueva two years ago, Campbell Union School District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez underscored the continuous efforts to improve pedestrian safety around schools. 

“We are grateful to the legislators and government agencies who continue to work on solutions,” Viramontez said. “We are committed to working with them to ensure no family endures such a tragedy.”.

With the community rallying behind these vital safety measures, the State Assembly Transportation Committee will make a decision on the progress of Assembly Bill 2583 at its April meeting. Meanwhile, adults can help by exercising extra caution when driving near schools.

District and Schools to Share Results of Annual Survey

Message from the Superintendent

collage of students with parents at school activities

We want to thank everyone who participated in the annual school experience survey that ended in February. It had the highest participation in three years and provides us with valuable feedback about what is working well and what can be improved.

Please watch this video message for information about how district and school administrators will share the findings with employees, parents and students from late April through the end of May.

Innovative Funding Enhances Educational and Emotional Support Programs at CUSD

Strategic use of one-time funds has bolstered support for long-term needs

male teacher standing at whiteboard with musical notes displayed as a dozen elementary boys and girls use drumsticks

The Campbell Union School District (CUSD) has significantly advanced its educational and support services for students, with funds from one-time sources like California’s Art and Music block grant. 

“We asked parents what would enhance their child’s education when students returned to in-person instruction,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez.  “They said, more hands-on learning, art and music. We have been able to leverage one-time funding aimed at addressing the impact of the pandemic to provide the enhancements that parents told us should be priorities." 

The district has invested heavily in the arts, employing additional teachers to extend art, innovation, and music (AIM) instruction to more elementary students through this initiative. This investment enriches the students' learning experiences and provides teachers with more professional learning and collaboration (PLC) time, enabling them to tailor lessons to strategically meet students’ needs, whether they are excelling, struggling, or anywhere in between.

The AIM program in elementary grades aligns with standards and lays a foundational framework for growth into middle school. Middle school AIM clubs cater to those students’ desires for more social interaction and a sense of belonging. District staff are monitoring the outcomes of these efforts to guide future resource and budget allocations once the one-time funding ends.

The district has also channeled funds into school libraries. Staff updated in library collections, including an increase in Spanish language books. This enhancement ensures that all students have access to a wide range of reading materials, supporting both their educational and personal growth.

Recognizing the increased need for emotional and behavioral support, the district increased its staff of counselors and behavior specialists. This expansion ensures that students who require additional support can receive timely and effective assistance as it is needed.

The Innovation Grant program also sprang from the grant funding. This year, students in grades 6 through 8 received funds for special projects that challenge them to apply their learning in practical, real-world contexts, fostering both innovation and problem-solving skills.

“We have taken a comprehensive approach to enhancing academic and support programs through one-time dollars for long-term benefit,” Viramontez said. “It’s an example of our strong commitment to providing today’s students with the resources they need to succeed academically and emotionally, both now and in the future.”


What’s the Buzz About Spelling?

Fourth graders compete in local spelling bee competitions

5 boys and girls hold certificates and stand with 5 women behind them everyone smiling

Fourth graders from Campbell Union School District recently showcased their spelling prowess in local competitions. 

Rosemary, Castlemont, and Lynhaven schools organized spelling competitions and sent their top spellers to the District Spelling Bee in February. The final round between Rosemary's Samara V. and Tanner P. of Castlemont was intense, as both mastered over 15 words before Tanner clinched victory. 

Tanner's win earned him the District Spelling Bee medal, and he and Samara represented the district at the County Spelling Bee on March 9th. They faced stiff competition against 21 others vying to advance to the California State Spelling Bee in April. Samara made it to Round 5, which had 13 total students at the start, and Tanner made it to Round 6, with just six students remaining. 

“In these days of spell check, auto text and artificial intelligence, people might question the value of spelling bees,” said Tiffany Spaulding, who leads the district’s Every Child a Reader initiative. “Spelling Bees promote the power and love of language while also helping students increase their vocabulary through exposure to new words. They also need to think critically as they analyze word parts (morphology) and apply spelling patterns they’ve learned.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Tool in Education

A Message from Superintendent Viramontez

district logo with black background and title of video beneath it.

As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) expands, a new definition of the Digital Divide is emerging. It is not just about access to devices, but also about the knowledge for using digital tools effectively.

“When I walk into a TK or Kindergarten classroom, I wonder what in the world these young people will be walking into in the 2044 workforce,” said Superintendent Shelly Viremontez at a recent meeting of teachers, administrators, and support staff exploring how to leverage AI as a tool for teaching and learning.

Watch the Superintendent's Briefing video to hear comments from her and teachers about the pros and cons of AI in our schools.

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