Rolling Hills Middle School

District News

Updated Wed, Apr 17th

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.”

Updated Mon, Apr 15th

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.

Updated 8 min 26 sec ago

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.

Updated 8 min 26 sec ago

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.

Updated 8 min 26 sec ago

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.”

 

Updated 8 min 26 sec ago

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.”

Updated 8 min 26 sec ago

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.

(Follow us on Youtube.com: ">CampbellUSD)

Updated 8 min 26 sec ago

Our schools have published their latest School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs), State-mandated reports that provide a detailed snapshot of school performance and conditions for learning.

Available online or upon request, SARCs cover demographics, safety, academics, class sizes, staff, curriculum, facilities, and finances. The reports include the school’s mission, opportunities for parent involvement, and planned facility improvements. Spanish translations of the reports are forthcoming.

View SARCs online at www.campbellusd.org/sarc or contact the school office for a printed copy.

Updated 8 min 26 sec ago

Schools in Campbell Union School District recognize the importance of celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion. 

“We want to foster a sense of belonging among our students and prepare them to be compassionate global citizens,” said Whitney Holton, Associate Superintendent of Teaching & Learning.

Through multicultural events, assemblies, social studies, and culture-themed activities, students gain a deeper appreciation of each other’s culture, traditions, and historic contributions. 

While we do not relegate the contributions of a group of people to only one month, we do incorporate school activities tied to special observances to reinforce classroom learning. For example, during Black History Month, a time when our nation celebrates the contributions of Black Americans to our country, our students will learn about the significance of black leaders and the impact they have made on our society. 

For Lunar New Year, a vibrant celebration observed by many Asian communities, students learn about the traditions associated with this celebration, and appreciate the importance of learning about and celebrating the rich backgrounds of our students and families. 

Lessons tied to Presidents Day and Susan B. Anthony Day provide opportunities for students to delve into the history of the United States, the women's suffrage movement, and progress made towards achieving equal rights for all.

The efforts to create a nurturing and respectful environment for all students and staff go beyond one-time events. In 2021, the district published its Anti Bias/Anti Racism Statement delineating its resolve “to become an anti-racist and inclusive organization” and to “challenge and improve current practice at all levels in order to provide more equitable opportunities for all.”

Updated 8 min 26 sec ago

January is School Board Recognition Month, and Campbell Union School District (CUSD) wants to acknowledge its five locally elected public officials. 

“Our Board has a pivotal role in supporting student success by shaping the district's mission, vision, policy priorities, budget, and benchmarks,” said District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “They direct resources strategically and ensure accountability to the community by monitoring our progress toward goals.”

CUSD’s Governing Board members work with the superintendent to make decisions that will best serve all students in our district. The district’s boundaries include parts of six cities: Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Santa Clara and Saratoga. Each board member is assigned to a trustee area, although they represent the interests of the entire district.

There are more than 5,000 school district and county office of education board members, making school boards the largest group of elected officials in the state.

To learn more about CUSD’s Governing Board, including policies and meeting schedules, visit www.campbellusd.org/board.