CSI Connect

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

Updated Fri, May 19th

Written by Maria Gray

On Sunday, April 30th, six CSI 6th and 7th graders participated in the Tech Challenge put on by the Tech Interactive in San Jose. This event was the culmination of months of hard work and planning by these students, their advisors, Ms. Haughs & Ms. Toy, and their families. This year’s challenge was to build a structure to protect vulnerable objects from extreme winds, and the team took the challenge head on and really tapped into their understanding of Design Thinking. 

Early in January the team interviewed a staff member who had been hit hard by the New Year’s storms, and they used that information to help inform how they would approach the design process. Meeting at lunch, they would ideate, prototype, test, make changes, test again, over and over until they submitted their final design at the Tech Challenge. As the Challenge grew closer, the team felt they needed more time, so they started meeting after school two days a week to allow for more testing and time spent on the prototype. Their dedication was impressive!

One of the most important parts of the Challenge is keeping a journal where the team documents their process from beginning to end. Once at the Challenge, the team is interviewed by a pair of judges, and our CSI Hurricane Wolves really stood out. So much so that the judges sent feedback directly to Principal Thordarson letting her know just how impressive our students were. They earned the highest score of the day in their interview! One judge said, “We really loved to see how this eclectic and diverse group of kids was so engaged in their project, and how every one of them had a voice.” The other judge’s comment was, “Team Hurricane Wolves left Ed and I feeling enthusiastic about our next generation of leaders.”

Let’s give Team Hurricane Wolves a big Huzzah and job well done! They did fantastic, persevered through several obstacles, and came out of the Challenge feeling good about what they accomplished. We can’t wait to see what CSI students can do at next year’s Tech Challenge!

For more information about the Tech Challenge, click here


Updated Thu, Feb 16th

Our district is accepting kindergarten enrollment forms during our open enrollment window. Here is some information regarding our kinder program here at CSI.PDF iconcsi_kindergarten_orientation_22-23.pdf

Updated Mon, Feb 13th

We love Global Playday! It is celebrated each year, usually in early February. Here at CSI, we believe that play is an important component of learning. We know that children play to practice skills. Actually, adults often use play to practice and learn new skills as well. Think about team sports or learning a new hobby which is often done in social settings. During those times we try out possibilities, allow our creativity to emerge, and we build relationships. 

In the classroom, we often try to build in elements of play throughout our lessons. In our younger grades, it builds opportunities for students to practice their communication skills and grow their problem solving skills. This practice is extremely beneficial for collaboration, which is a key component of learning here at CSI. In our older grades, play happens during math and science exploration, through project work, and during our Innovation hours, giving students a chance to practice curiosity and discovery as they hone their questioning skills.

For the last five years, we have enjoyed participating in Global Playday which celebrates our kids! This is the day they can bring their favorite toy from home, share their favorite board game, or just use their imagination to create their own playworld. Play is woven in and out of the day and our teachers come ready to play alongside our students as they encourage them to solve their own differences and take ownership of their experience. We take reflective time at the end of the day to help students critically think through their struggles from the day and celebrate their successes.  These are sticky lessons that help students in their daily classroom interactions. This is why we play; so much fun and so much learning!


Updated Tue, Feb 7th

Our amazing computer science teacher, Amanda Haughs, has been leading our students on a robotics journey! They culminated their unit of study with a Robot Talent Show, sharing their robots and animatronics creations with students and parents. So much fun and learning! 

Updated Thu, Nov 10th

Over five years ago, CUSD set out to design a new TK-8 school program. Our design team explored many different directions for our school and we brainstormed many different names. We were drawn to design thinking and the idea that we wanted to empower our students to be creative problem solvers with strong empathy skills. While Innovation has at times been an overused buzz word, it does declare who we are and what our vision is for our students. So what exactly do we mean when we call ourselves "Campbell School of Innovation?"

If you look up the word innovation in the dictionary, it states, "Innovation can refer to something new, such as an invention, or the practice of developing and introducing new things."  Our world is chaotic and in a constant state of change at the moment and we know our students will need to be adaptable, empathetic, and strong critical thinkers.

Indeed.com has written a great piece around the importance of innovative thinking skills. 

"Innovative thinking is a creative thought process used to generate ideas and solutions. It is a complex task that involves finding new methods to approach problems or procedures. Innovative thinking produces results that change or challenge the status quo."

If you look at the many problems that our world and community are currently facing, this is the type of thinking that is needed. Combining innovative thinking with design thinking is a natural fit.  Part of innovating requires a human-centered approach to help develop a deep understanding of the challenge and the people that are needing a solution. 

The article offers some ideas for building an innovative mindset:

  • Nurture your creativity - Here at CSI, we work to build students' creative confidence by offering many opportunities to create, make, and build. Creativity takes practice. Brainstorming requires many ideas and a constant push to move beyond the obvious. As we grow older, we lose some of our creative confidence and are less likely to take risks in this area. The more we can help students build this muscle, the more likely they are to engage with creative pursuits throughout their lifetime.
  • Learn to use failure- We value the power of "yet." While learning is all about making mistakes, it is the reflection that follows that helps us move to mastering a skill or a concept. Understanding that failure offers an opportunity for practicing our creativity and resilience raises the comfort level of failing forward.
  • Consider every idea- We often see students take their first idea or the loudest idea and run with it. What happens if we take a moment and not only listen to everyone, but let our ideas flow without judgment?  Innovation is about getting beyond the first idea or maybe even the first 50 ideas.  
  • Widen your knowledge base - The more you know, the more you understand complexity. Many businesses look for people who are "T-shaped" thinkers and learners. These are people who know a little bit about a lot of things and a lot about one particular area. The purpose is having a deep understanding and mastered skill set in a certain area and also an awareness  and some knowledge of other things around you so you can make those innovative connections.
  • Recognize innovation - We often walk through the world without really paying attention to what's around us. Stopping to recognize the many iterations of something, think of long distance communication, helps you appreciate the small innovations that have occured throughout its development. Looking to see how those innovations happen can help us understand and create our own innovations. 

CSI is and will be a continual work in progress That is a part of innovation. Education is a very large system that has become very path dependent.  Continually reflecting on our practice and adapting to students' needs will help us as educators look for ways to engage students in new ways and innovate our practices. Our goal is to model these practices for students and teach them skills and mindsets that will help them move through the "Age of Unpredictability" with empathy and success.



Updated Fri, Oct 14th

Read all about it! 

Here is the first edition of our Town Square News created by our 6th-8th grade Journalism class. 

Learn more about our sports teams, what's happening in Downtown, and try a few puzzles!

Town Square News, Vol. 1

Updated Thu, Aug 18th

The Pack is Back!

We welcome you to CSI’s year five and (an almost) full campus!  There will be more information coming to you in the next couple of weeks, but here are a few things to get us started.

CSI Handbook (updated each year) - Most CSI information can be found in our CSI Handbook. Current Schedules, Core Practices, School Policies and more can be found here.

Start/End Times

Grades TK-3 - 8:10am - 2:10pm

Grades 4-5 - 8:00am - 2:20pm

Grades 6-8 - 8:00am - 2:15pm

Wednesdays are early release days and school will end one hour earlier - 1:10pm, 1:15pm, 1:20pm.

Conference Week runs October 3 - 7 and will also have a special schedule for the week, ending two hours early. (Full schedule is located in the CSI Handbook.)

TK and Kindergarten Orientation

August 11, 9:00 am -10:00 am 

We invite our TK and Kinder families to join us for a CSI tour and orientation. Come and learn more about our early years Wolfpack experience!


6th-8th Grade Orientation and Chromebooks

August 17, 3:30-5:00 pm: Uptown Schedule Pick Up and Orientation

We would like to invite both our new and returning 6th-8th grade students and families to Uptown Orientation!

  • 3:30-4:00: 6th-8th grade student schedule pick up.  7th and 8th graders return their Chromebooks.

  • 4:00-5:00: Uptown Orientation - meet your learning designers and tour the campus!

  • Parents and students, please meet us in the Town Square (center of campus).  After picking up your schedule and meeting our learning designers, our students who are new to Uptown (and any returning students who would like to join in) will tour the campus while parents are invited to join us for some refreshments. Learn more about our Uptown program for 22-23 here.

Chromebook Info:

  • All students will be receiving new Chromebooks as part of our Web to One middle school program. Students will be doing some training regarding online expectations and care of their Chromebooks and new machines will be issued to all students on Monday, August 22.

  • Grade 7 and 8:  We will be collecting CSI assigned Chromebooks starting the week of August 15. You may drop it by our office or return it the first two days of school, Aug. 18 or 19. You must return your current Chromebook to receive a new one. 

Our front office is open between 7:30 am and 4:00 pm should you have questions.

We look forward to seeing all of our families on August 18th for our first day of school!



Updated Thu, Jun 30th

CSI Sports for 22-23*

*Fielding teams will be dependent on student interest and availability of coaches

Our first two sports for the 22-23 school year are Cross Country and Boys Basketball. Sports teams are open to students from 5th grade through 8th grade. (5th grade plays with 6th on grade leveled events and on Jr. Varsity teams). 

Information and our sign-up meeting for these two sports will be on August 23. (Time TBD) Students will need a completed permission packet for participation in any sport which includes a physical.  Participation applications will be sent out with our Back to School letter in early August or can be picked up from our Welcome Center starting August 1. 


Cross Country - Open to all students in grades 5th-8th

Meets: 4:00 pm start times - 9/7, 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 

Finals are Oct. 6th, 4:30 pm

Boys Basketball

5th/6th grade team, 7th grade team, 8th grade team

Games: Starting Sept. 7th, Tuesdays and Thursdays (specific grade level dates and practices along with start times will be available in August.)

Semi-finals on Oct. 4th, Finals on Oct. 5th

More information for these sports to follow in early September.

10/10-11/16: Girls Soccer and Boys Volleyball

11/28-1/26: Girls Basketball

2/13-3/30: Girls Volleyball and Boys Soccer

April - Track and Field 

Questions? Interested in coaching? Contact Nick Carmen - ncarmen [at] campbellusd.org 


Updated Wed, Jun 22nd

Wayfinding is the ability to navigate your way through the unknown. In days past, you had a stake in deciding where you were going, whether that was reading the stars, following a trail, or reading a map. Today we have become so used to pulling out our phones and finding our way using Google or Apple maps that we follow directions blindly and trust the AI that is pointing the way.

The last two years have taken us off course, offering a moment for us to stop and recalibrate our direction. We have come back to an unpredictable school year that had moments of uncertainty that often looked unrecognizable. Our students and families have had to navigate new rules, new relationships, and a new view of the world around them. There is no AI that can predict or give you accurate directions for these new times. We have had to learn from each other and from our wrong turns. 

Here at CSI, we have to refocus our attention and look to our north star, our vision for where we want to go. That requires some wayfinding and collaborating with our students and greater community to see and navigate the path ahead. While we know that hard work is involved, our community is ready to rally the Wolfpack and add to the foundation that we started building before being disrupted. We are ready to venture into the unknown, using our curiosity to uncover a world full of possibility as we grow together as Campbell School of Innovation, a place where everyone can find their way. 

Updated Wed, Jun 22nd

Uptown, CSI's sixth through eighth grades, will be doing some iteration next year and changing things up! Here is information regarding the 22-23 school year.