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District Receives "Bold Steps for Children" Award 

Recognition for role in county-wide School Wellness Centers effort

two middle school girls sit at a table and talk to a woman.

Campbell USD was one of 13 school districts to earn the Bold Steps for Children Award from Kids In Common, Santa Clara County’s only comprehensive child advocacy organization focused on children’s issues and policies. The award recognizes the district for its role in supporting School Wellness Centers. 

The Santa Clara County Office leveraged resources to fund School Wellness Centers throughout the county, and Monroe Middle School’s was among the first for middle school students. The program is one of many examples of how community partnerships support our students.

School Wellness Centers provide safe and supportive environments on school campuses where students can visit to de-stress. They provide holistic support addressing physician, mental, emotional, and social support, family support services, and support to school staff.

District Attendance Program Earns State Recognition

Attendance improvement program focuses on support, not punishment.

legs of students walking in a crosswa;l

The California Department of Education has selected Campbell Union School District (CUSD) for the 2024 Model SARB Recognition. This award celebrates the district's effective and compassionate strategy for improving student attendance, emphasizing support over punishment and focusing on comprehensive, community-based efforts to resolve attendance and truancy issues.

Under the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) program, this recognition places a spotlight on the district’s dedication to helping students maintain regular attendance and, ultimately, achieve graduation. It is a collective effort to pool community resources to help families in overcoming barriers to consistent school attendance. CUSD’s team includes more than administrators. Community Liaisons, school nurses, and counselors play an important role in addressing the complexities of absenteeism.

Studies demonstrate that students who are chronically absent—missing 10% or more of the school year for any reason—are at a greater risk of falling behind academically, dropping out of school, and facing severe long-term health, employment, and financial difficulties.

Positive Interventions Make a Difference

“While school attendance is a legal requirement, we strive to remove barriers to attendance through positive interventions rather than punitive measures,” said Pablo Viramontes, Director of Student Services at CUSD. “We work with families to identify the root causes and coordinate resources to address them. It not only improves the student’s attendance; it strengthens our partnership with families and caregivers.”

The district customizes interventions to meet the specific needs and challenges of each student. For some, it might be connecting them to medical care, while for others, it might involve referrals for counseling or other community services. Other cost-effective strategies that boost motivation and punctuality engage students in meaningful roles, such as office assistance and the Check-in Check-out system. These options strengthen student-adult relationships, communication between school and parents, and regular behavior and attendance monitoring. 

The District's supportive approach improves attendance and builds a caring community that addresses the complexities of absenteeism. These targeted strategies ensure that the support provided is both effective and meaningful.

“Exposure to grade level content from effective teachers is the most critical school-related factor in student success,” said Whitney Holton, Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. “If students are not in class, they cannot benefit from these learning opportunities.”

Students Cook Up a Winner for School Lunch Menus

Annual timed cooking competition teaches nutrition, safety, and stress management

4 middle school students (2 boys and 2 girls) standing together and smiling as one boy holds a winners trophy

The air in the CUSD Central Kitchen was filled with music, chatter and the smell of garlic warming in pans at the district’s 3rd annual Lunchroom Cook-Off competition. With a backdrop of industrial food preparation equipment, and dozens of audience members watching, the 10 student competitors had one hour to cook their favorite recipe and win a spot on the district’s school lunch menu.

The 6-8 grade students represented Expanded Learning programs at Monroe, Rolling HIlls, Sherman Oaks and Campbell School of Innovation. The timed cooking event is the culmination of an 8-week after school curriculum about nutrition, food safety, and the special requirements for school lunches. Sponsors included CalFresh, Santa Clara County Public Health, Sutter Health, 5-2-1-0, University of California Continuing Education (UCCE), and University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

Judge Tony Leoffler, chef at Flights Restaurant, was impressed. “It’s great to see the kids learning about nutrition and food safety, especially with the health issues happening these days,” he said.

Joining Loeffler at the judges panel were CUSD Board President Danielle Cohen, Child Nutrition Manager Benny Calderon, Child Nutrition Assistant Manager Vachan Boja, and student judges Angela Park (CSI), Janina Carrera (Monroe), Salim Islam (Rolling Hills) and Madison Rock (Sherman Oaks).

The Sherman Oaks team won the trophy and placement on the school lunch menu with their Enchiladas Verdes (green enchiladas).  

Click to view a short video of the event.

Multicultural Night a Huge Success

28 countries, music, dancing, and food on my!

A huge shout out to Ms. Astrid and the organizing committee for their work in putting together a fabulous Multicultural event on Tuesdy night.  Hundreds showed up to enjoy music and culture from around the world.  Students had passports that were stamped as they visited the various country booths.  Music, dancing, and demonstrations entertained guests.  Food venders provideddelicious Arepas, tacos, and burritos.  We look forward to hosting a bigger event next year. 

Thank you again Astrid and the organizing committee for a spectacular evening.

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.