CSI Connect

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

Updated Wed, Oct 20th

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 Wed, Oct 13th

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 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 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. 


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 23 min 15 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.