CSI Connect

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

Updated Wed, Jan 12th

Our CUSD open enrollment window is January 18 through February 11th. If you are interested in attending CSI for the 22-23 school year, please join us for a tour! We offer the following in person tour dates:

Monday, January 31, 4:00-5:00 pm - Kindergarten focused (Register here)

Friday, February 4, - 4:00-5:00 pm - Uptown (grades 6-8) focused (Register here)

Tours will meet in our Town Square in the center of campus. We will start with a short presentation and then do small group walk arounds. You may attend either tour, but our kindergarten program will be showcased on our Jan. 31 tour and our middle school program will be highlighted on Feb. 4. We will have parent, teacher, district, and student representatives at both tours to help answer your questions. All participants must be masked to attend. While registration is not a requirement, we encourage families to register so that we can plan accordingly.

Find Your Place in the Wolfpack

Updated 22 min 36 sec ago

We are happy to welcome our students back to the 2022 part of our school year! We face a few challenges with the covid virus spiking this month but we continue to follow our current protocols and weekly testing. If your student is showing any symptoms, please keep them home and have them tested as soon as possible. A one time supply of rapid test kits have been made available to our district and will go home with students this Thursday (1/6) to help support families. Each student will receive one box with two test applications in it.  Here at CSI, we will continue to test students every Tuesday. If someone in your family has tested postive and your student has been exposed, please keep your student at home and let our office know. A member of our tracking and tracing team will contact you for more information and next steps. We hope this surge in cases will pass quickly and we will continue to support students as needed.

Updated 22 min 36 sec ago

One of my favorite quotes comes from Theodore Roosevelt:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

In our current times, it is easy to sit on the sidelines offering only comments and critiques of other people's work or contributions. Everyone has many opnions and social media has made it easy for us to share every thought. It makes the fear of pushing something new or different out into the world greater. 

For our students, they have those same fears. "What will people say? How will they react to this creative risk that I'm taking? What if they don't like it?" Here at CSI, we work to give students many opportunities to build, to make, to create, to design, and to share. We help them with feedback skills, both in how to give feedback and how to recieve feedback, so that the risk seems less scary. This is a critical piece as they learn to understand the difference between feedback and comments. 

Here is a great piece from A.J. Juliani, speaking to the idea that creating is greater than commenting. It is something we embrace here at CSI and we strive to help our students develop their creative confidence so they can enter the arena, rather than just sit on the sidelines.

Updated 22 min 36 sec ago

We had our first student assemblies this week! Our students gathered together in the Town Square in three different cohorts; Downtown, Midtown, and Uptown. Our student leadership team designed presentations about gratitude and students shared some of the things they are thankful for and gave appreciation to those around them who have been supportive.  We also introduced our new wolf mascot who is in need of a name! Our students will brainstorm suggestions and grade levels will submit their name proposals. After our Thanksgiving break, all of our students will receive a ballot to vote for their choice from the suggested list.

We will be holding our Wolfpack assemblies monthly, led by our student leadership team, to celebrate our CSI students.

Updated 22 min 36 sec ago

Our design thinking process is wrapped up into three sections: Seek, Learn, and Lead. Each section contains three different skills that we want to build. Lets start with Seek, which contains the words: Wonder, Empathize, and Understand.

  • Wonder - Wonder involves curiosity and questioning. Many of our classrooms have incorporated "wonder walls" where students can ask their many questions. We begin working with students in the early grades on identifying different types of questions and learning to categorize them and identify them as open-ended or closed. An open-ended question has many more answers than a closed question which is often answered with a "no" or "yes."  As students move through the grades, we build their capacity for asking deeper and more meaningful questions. Part of wondering is noticing. Helping students to stop and notice before diving into a project or a conversation can give them many more insights as they move forward.
  • Empathize - Empathy is where we spend a lot of our time. It is the skill that gives our students the ability to problem solve with each other, listen with their hearts, and find a deeper understanding of another's experience. We often use empathy maps as a tool for helping our students identify the different components. Each empathy map includes these four quadrants: What did someone say? What did someone do? What are they feeling? What are they thinking? Students can use their observation, inference, and noticing skills to think about each one of these questions as they work to better understand a book character or a classmate.
  • Understand - Developing a better understanding helps our students clearly define a problem. It is often difficult for students to stop here and just think about the problem they are trying to solve. They often want to make more than a few assumptions and jump straight to a solution.  Design thinking is about taking the time to truly understand the human piece of the probem so that you can focus on solving the right one. 

Some ways you can support Seek at home? Encourage your child to ask more than one question.  Ask them an array of questions so they learn how to create different kinds of questions. Take some time to discuss what they notice about a situation or about what might be happening to someone. Ask them empathy questions and help them build some different perspectives around what they are seeing. This will help them build a deeper understanding as they get ready to move into the next part of the process, Learn.

Updated 22 min 36 sec ago

Our students leadership team has designed a Creativity Literacy Pumpkin Challenge for our students. This is our first student leadership led event this year and we are excited to see them in action.Each class has a number of pumpkins, generously donated through our amazing parent community, that they will be transforming into their favorite book characters! Pumpkins will be on display Thursday and Friday this week and students will do a gallery walk through the pumpkin character maze. Thank you to everyone who helped with this event and a huge thank you to our teachers for getting messy with our students as they created their masterpieces! 

Updated 22 min 36 sec ago

Our district has been able to offer some Innovation Grants for this school year. Teams were asked to dream big and prepare a pitch to recieve a grant. Our Uptown team came together to brainstorm ways to expand the Innovation Hour experience for our sixth and seventh grade students. They did some interest surveys with our students and used that data to present a well thought out plan for designing and iterating our Innovation Hour experience. We are so proud of their excellent work and we appreciate all of the extra hours that went into preparing for their pitch. We look forward to seeing how their ideas roll into practice. A huge wolfpack congratulations to the team!

Updated 22 min 36 sec ago

Campbell School of Innovation has had the pleasure of working closely with the Stanford d.School over the last several years. We've learned about the design process, design mindsets, and how to integrate these skills and practices into our daily work. This October, we have had the priviledge of working with some amazing people from the d.School. Last Monday we spent time with Louie Montoya and Seamus Hart who led us through some interesting work around storytelling and bias. We are learning to analyze our own identity and the different lenses we bring to all aspects of our lives and the impact that has on the stories we tell. In a couple of weeks, we will continue that work with Laura McBain as we look at our Seek, Learn, and Lead wheel and go deeper with understanding how those concepts frame our academic and innovation work. We are also doing some work with Gender Spectrum, discovering more about the dimensions of gender and how we can ensure that we are being gender inclusive educators. We value these "PD" days and appreciate the time for learning as we continue to grow as a school, as educators, and as people. 

Updated 22 min 36 sec ago

We have talked a bit about Growing Pains here at CSI and some of our challenges of returning after Covid. We have also had parents wanting to know more about how we are helping our students adjust to life at school. Join us as we discuss our current school culture and climate. 

Join Zoom Meeting - 6:30 pm - 7:15 pm


Meeting ID: 825 9767 5255

Passcode: csi


Updated 22 min 36 sec ago

Growing Pains are part of growing. They are uncomfortable and sometimes painful but they are part of the process of becoming; becoming bigger, becoming stronger, becoming more of who you are.  CSI is now in its fourth year. We have had a somewhat disrupted journey along the way. Before the pandemic we were learning with about 450 students on campus. We returned to campus this fall with 650 students and for the first time, we are getting a true sense of a TK-8 community and some of its challenges. 

The pandemic has had an impact on things we previously may have taken for granted. Our students are all trying to figure out how to integrate themselves back into school playgrounds and classrooms and in-person friendships. Our teachers are navigating Covid protocols while also increasing our social emotional work with students and staying focused on academic learning. Many of our parents have had a direct look into digital classrooms and getting to see all of the students in their child’s classroom and are now asked to be outside of the campus with much less information about what is happening inside our gates. Our middle school students are working to discover who they are as they adjust to new friends and social circles and puberty. It’s a lot. And the biggest impact of the pandemic is that CSI was not able to slowly move through some of these growing pains in building our community, but were abruptly dropped into the center of many of these changes. 

Fortunately, we are a school that is built on an innovation and design model that values adaptability and creative problem solving. What makes this work however is a focus on respect. When we are experiencing a rapid change cycle, we need to remember that perspective taking and taking time to understand each other is a key piece to solving the right problem and moving us forward. We are continuing to work with our students in building this base of respect and we encourage our entire community to come into our conversations with that same respect. We love how our social emotional curriculum, Character Strong, defines respect.

From Character Strong:

Respect: seeing good in people and things (and treating them with care).

Respect is both a perspective and a practice. What does it mean to “see good” in people? Oftentimes this requires us to learn more about who they are, where they come from, and why they believe and act the way they do. Respect is about understanding people! Respect is also about action; how we speak to and treat one another (and ourselves) respectfully is a constant practice.

Respect is about resolving conflicts peacefully, without violence. It requires listening to each other. How do you make sure that you’re really listening when you’re talking to someone? How do you listen to people when you are in conflict?”

Growing pains are a part of our journey, but we know we can move through them with courage and respect.