CSI Connect

Featured news and information by and for the Campbell School of Innovation community.

Updated Thu, Sep 17th

I was recently listening to a short video about school and the changes that we are all experiencing. One of the questions that was asked was, "What is this moment telling us about the future?"  That was a sticky question that caused me to pause. Here are some thoughts that ran through my head.

  • We must learn to live in ambiguity - For many, this is probably the most difficult challenge. We like to see ahead and unfortunately, everything that seemed stable now seems to be shifting. Even the things that have been unchangeable for generations, such as school, have become something new. So while difficult, it can also be freeing. We are no longer stuck in habits or routines that might not have been serving us well. Ambiguity allows possiblity. What can we create? What might our road look like? We get to influence the design of how we move forward. 
  • Transformation is uncomfortable - When I think of transformation, I think of butterflies. I'm guessing that when a caterpillar sews itself up into a cocoon, the changes that occur are probably a little uncomfortable, maybe even painful. So the challenge here is to learn how to sit in discomfort until transformation happens. I feel that there are many areas of transformation currently happening in our world at the moment. It's not a small puddle of discomfort but an entire lake. So now is a perfect time to practice mindfulness. How might we be kind to those around us? How might we improve our listening skills? How might we be kind to ourselves and allow our empathy and humility to take lead? Transformation requires support, that cocoon is a hard shell for a reason, however it is still soft enough to break open when required. Remember this time as it is our story of "during." These are the moments that will define what we transform into.
  • We have some decisions to make about what we carry forward - Another education leader, Will Richardson, has called this time a "portal," and he poses the question,  "What do we want to take through the portal to the other side?" I love this question! As we look at school, this is a defining moment. Our educational institutions are so entrenched in their habits and mindsets that it takes a large event to cause disruption. Guess what just happened!  Now is our time to be very intentional in what we bring to the other side. It is our moment of transformation. What stories will we tell and celebrate of our time of "during?" 

So while we sit in discomfort, let's be mindful of who we want to be when we emerge. Yes, the road is not clear and timelines are fuzzy, but when the skies clear and we see the next stop on the road, I hope we are butterflies.

Updated Thu, Sep 10th

One of the most common questions we are hearing at the moment is "How can we support our student(s) at home?" Many parents are currently juggling many challenges and the addition of now supporting their child or children with learning is an added anxiety. Students are also feeling that anxiety and are hearing and seeing many world events that may be adding to that worried feeling, not to mention the new routines and learning habits that they are trying to master through a constrained digital format. It's a lot. 

So one of the most important places to start is finding some ways of reducing that anxiety as much as possible. Focus on creating a learning space that is consistent, offers some degree of quiet, and has all of their learning tools near at hand. We also want to slowly grow a student's independence, so while it's great for you to be nearby (think fly on the wall), allow your student to learn through their mistakes and also learn to listen to their teacher's instruction.  We are slowly increasing our learning times as we build stamina for longer sessions, especially with our youngest learners. 

When students transistion to independent learning, practice letting them take lead on what work they should be starting with. Continue to guide them through questions. "What was your teachers instruction?" "What are you supposed to start with?" "What work needs finishing first?" "Where can you find out the answer to that question?"  The more we let students solve their problems, the more self-directed they become. If you are having trouble getting your student to take ownership of their learning, it may be time to connect with their teacher to arrange for a conference with you, the student, and the teacher and create a plan that outlines some consistent practices and expectations.  Taking on "the teacher" role for your own child is hard and sometimes your support may need to look different. 

Finally, while we want to lower anxiety, it's OK to ask our kids to step up. The expectation is that they attend school and this is currently what school looks like. Kids wouldn't show up for school in their pajamas with a blanket over their head. (I'm guessing most of you don't go to work that way either, even on Zoom.) Sometimes the world hands us things that are hard. This is one of them. But we don't give up, we don't turn away from the challenge, we walk forward and give it our best. We build resilience for things to come and we look for opportunities to find joy and improve our current circumstance. 

We look forward to the day we can bring students back on campus and discover new things together. That day is sometime is in our future and we will forge ahead, most times with a smile, until we get there.

Updated Mon, Aug 24th

We are up and running, and while we had somewhat of a rocky start due to some technology issues, all of our learning designers were smiling and excited to start meeting their students. Your most important back-to-school supplies? Patience, Flexibility, and Kindness! 2020 continues to offer the most interesting challenges and we will continue to design around and within them. 

Please bookmark our CSI distance learning site for the most current announcements as well as links to grade level pages. 

https://sites.google.com/campbellusd.org/csi-distance-learning/home

Updated Tue, Jan 7th

Congratulations to our awesome basketball medalists.  They showed both their athletic ability and their great sportsmanship!  Way to go Wolves!

Updated Sun, Nov 3rd

Thank you to our partners at Stanford d.School Laura, Maureen, and Milan for an amazing day of learning!

Updated Sun, Sep 29th
The CSI Bistro was buzzing as parents attending the Principal's coffee experiened a design thinking activity led by Kami Thordarson, Director of Innovation and Digital Learning.  About 50 parents worked together on redesigning someone's morning routine. "It inspired my creative senses" said CSI parent Angelina.
boy at table working with tape  man at table working with tape  
The parents worked on prototypes, just as our students do!
Updated Thu, Sep 26th

"Writing will help me be more creative in whatever job I have," says Yehyun. She earned CSI's First Place Accomplished Writer award last spring for her story From a Dog Punching Bag to a Star. That award qualified her for the District's Rising Young Author recognition program.

In addition to earning accolades for her book, she won a drawing at the event for a Nook e-reader device. She's pictured here with event co-sponsor Jill Douglas of School Innovations & Achievement.

Yehyun's parents say that she loves reading and writing. "Sometimes she struggles," they say. "But she never gives up."

Updated Wed, Sep 25th

As kindergarteners soon discovered, our Planet Earth could use some help with ensuring that we have clean water, provide healthy environments for our animal population, and maintain clean air.  

Updated Wed, Sep 2nd

Hello CSI!

We welcome our returning wolves and those that are new to the wolfpack.  This year will stretch our thinking and our adaptability skills to new levels. It will require patience, humility, and a large dose of positivity, but we know that students will have a great school year! Learning will happen, students will grow, and we will emerge into something new. 

I know that it is currently frustrating to not have all of the answers that you might be seeking, but we are working with intention and taking time to start the year with the right framework and with the right tools to help set us all up for success.  Our teachers are returning to work on August 17th and will spend most of that week deep in planning, collaborating, designing, and learning so our students receive a cohesive CSI experience. We appreciate your patience as we prepare in an always changing landscape. Please check in with our CSI Distance Learning website for the most current information. Other items of note:

Our Back to School letters are attached below.

Welcome Back Video

Our office is staffed from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please call with any questions or concerns. 

This entire school year is a great design challenge! It's what we do and we are excited to see where it takes us.

Kami Thordarson, Principal

Stephanie Day, Assistant Principal

Updated Wed, Sep 2nd

https://www.campbellusd.org/covid19#resources
Our CUSD team is keeping students learning throughout the summer. Weekly lessons are available for grade level spans.