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Attaining Full Potential Requires Meeting Basic Needs

Community outpouring of help strengthens District’s system of support for students during COVID-19 shut down.

volunteers stand outside school

“Safety and learning are our top priorities,” said Campbell Union School District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “Thanks to a long-established network of community partners—too many to list—we’ve been able to quickly connect students and their families to services and resources that are helping them stay safe and learn during the COVID-19 school closures.”

What started as a temporary, 3-week shut down on March 16th quickly evolved into a situation where more students and their families had greater needs than before. A multi-year grant from School Linked Services (SLS) supplements district funding of Community Liaisons. These school-based staffers were able to immediately start contacting families to determine their needs and connect them to district supports of computer devices and meals as well as local assistance, groceries, diaper kits, gas card donations, informing families of help with rent, cell phone service, internet connectivity, emergency dental services, and much more.

“It is not easy for large systems, like a school district, to make a rapid change because that change can affect so many people in the community,” Viramontez said. “We are fortunate to have a well-established system of support that has allowed us to reach out and respond quickly to our students’ basic needs so that our teachers could pivot and modify lessons that address students’ learning from a distance, both online and in printed packets.”

She added that the district has been able to do so much more than keep students learning and keep students fed, as the Governor specified. 

“An already long list of partners has grown in a few weeks,” she said. “Local businesses and individuals have said yes to our requests and are reaching out to ask how they can help. We are so grateful.”

 Pictured Above: Partners from the City of San Jose and Project HOPE helped more than 60 families sign up for 60 days of free internet service, and provided other information about community resources.

man waiting at table for chromebook checkoutPictured Left: The district has checked out nearly 3,000 computing devices for students to use, and is working with companies to secure more internet service in district “dead spots”.

two people holding full grocery bags

Pictured Right: A partnership with Home Church and a team of volunteers is providing 125 bags of groceries per week to district families.