CSD Elementary News
January 2021
Principal's Message

As we enter 2021, we continue to experience challenges with the continuous rise of COVID-19, voting suppression, the riots at our U.S. Capitol and continuous dialogue of the Black Lives Matter movement. In these unprecedented times, our sense of community has become stronger than ever.

Throughout the fall semester, our teachers have committed in learning more about the Black Lives Matter movement by participating with the Monroe Pedagogy with guidance of Ms. Victorica Monroe (see below). After each video viewing, we unpacked and learned how to become more ________ allies through group discussions.

Most recently, we witnessed the insurgency at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. The action, which was blatant attack on this countries democratic values, is something, we as a society, must agree cannot be tolerated. We firmly believe that as educators, it is our responsibility to educate our students. We are essentially the first responders in this situation for our students about protecting our democracy with peace and respect. Our teachers are committed in aligning lessons accordingly to ensure our students understand our rights in expressing our opinions peacefully.

In past 16 weeks, we watched teachers, families, counselors, and support staff give their best with one unifying goal in mind: driving us forward - the education and growth of our students. In addition, we were fortunate to be able to have Student Life and our Teacher Assistant staff members help and deliver learning materials to families. This was our way of showing our commitment in our students' learning.

We are appreciative of how families are communicating with our teachers to ensure your child can access to learning and materials through technology. We also want to thank those families who approached us with constructive feedback on how we can work through this Distance Learning experience. CSD has always been strong in its sense of community which makes navigating these challenging times much more effective.

Most importantly, during this continuous pandemic, it is crucial to emphasize that wearing a mask at all times is doing your part to protect others! We are truly living in a time where the actions and contributions of each individual makes a profound difference.

We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that, despite these unique circumstances, the students at CSD continue to learn, experience and thrive in first part of 2021 school year.


Joey & Ryan
Elementary Principals
Black Lives Matter
Clearly, the Black Lives Matter movement has an impact on us on almost every level in our country. CSD is very fortunate to obtain the services from Educational Consultant, Victorica Monroe, M.Ed. Victorica is founder of Monroe Pedagogy Educational Consulting. During our first staff development, Victorica shared her vision and plan for the next two years that she will work with CSD. 

Victorica started her process through learning more about our school through a variety of approaches including interviews, meetings and surveys. Her area of expertise as a consultant is to design a program that addresses the specific needs at CSD in order to identify our challenges as well as enhance our strengths. The ultimate goal is to eradicate systemic racism and support marginalized students.

The Elementary Department has been in ongoing discussions prior to the staff development, and look forward to continuing to work with Victorica. As educators and as a department, we are committed to learning more about the Black Lives Matter and how we can better support our BIPOC students.

The Elementary Department was fortunate to receive a generous donation. The decision was made to promote literacy and order updated reading books. The books were carefully selected to ensure that BIPOC students can see themselves in the books that they read. Literacy in education is the key and all students should see themselves represented!

We are currently in process of ordering about $1,500 worth of Black Lives Matter related books for our Elementary students. We look forward to their arrival and will share with you when we receive them.
News from Around
Elementary Department
1st/2nd Grade
Last semester Zoe, River, and Courtney's 1st/2nd grade classes enjoyed getting together on Zoom every Monday and sharing photos from the weekend. We each have our own little eagle so we show photos and discuss what we did with our eagles. During winter break River, Zoe, and Courtney's eagles flew to Hawaii without the teachers! Other than that, 1st grade has been working very hard on their reading. 2nd grade class has done a great job practicing taking turns on Zoom and signing in front of big groups. We are very proud of all our students!
2nd Grade
Our first semester of second grade went well! We enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones. We love our morning meetings- greetings are fun to do! We learned a lot during social studies and math. In science we experimented with solids and liquids. We enjoyed reading new books during BLA with Jennifer and watching storysigning during library time. We liked dressing up on spirit days. We learned a lot in the Friday assemblies with Firl. We had a blast during recess hanging out with the 1st and 2nd grade classes and our old teachers.  2020 was a tough year and we are happy it is now 2021. Bye 2020, hello 2021!
3rd Grade
The third grade class participated in daily morning meetings as a way to build community as it’s usually the only time during virtual learning when the whole class is together. During Morning Meeting we discuss important events and topics, for example: Social Emotional Learning, Black Lives Matter, social justice, pillars of character (for example: kindness, responsibility, respect) to name a few.

In the fall semester students did some projects. For social studies, students researched a California Native American tribe, finding out the type of food, clothing, shelter used, and ceremonies they carried out, and presented their findings to the class. Students also shared an aspect of the winter holiday that they celebrate. 

Students participated in different hands-on activities during Science, the students worked on the life cycle of an animal, developed their own animal by using specific characteristics, made their own fingerprints, and worked on collecting data on temperature from their home area. 
Our class discussed and learned about COVID-19, Rights to Vote/Election 2020, and Black Lives Matter throughout the semester. 
3rd/4th Grade AC
Our 3rd/4th grade team would like to share some highlights from our last semester working with our amazing students. Our class has come together and built a great community during our daily Morning Meetings. The students do an awesome job being creative and imaginative while we do the greeting portion of our meeting. During Math, students have worked hard to learn new concepts and master previous ones. Throughout the semester, students learned a lot about current events such as Black Lives Matter, the election, and Covid-19; which has made them more knowledgeable about the world they live in and how actions can impact others. Library has further expanded their knowledge on current events, and topics taught in class. In addition, during BLA, students have read various books and learned new vocabulary words. Students explored some new science concepts such as erosion during our landforms unit in 4th grade, and winter hibernation in 3rd grade. During Social Studies, students got the opportunity to learn about winter holidays celebrated around the world in 4th grade, and students learned about Native Americans in 3rd grade. We are very proud of how much our students have accomplished even with the challenges of distance learning, and are excited to see their continued progress during the rest of the year!!!
4th Grade
This year in Grade 4 we learned about the history of the land before California became a state - Native Americans, Mission System and Spanish/Mexican influence on modern-day California. We also became experts with magnets and electricity in science! We also had the opportunity to partake in real-time learning with the U.S. election, electoral college system and the voting process with a mock election hosted by Kendall School in Washington D.C.
5th Grade
Our 5th graders have been broadening their mind by being in our newly Project Based Learning classes. In those classes, there are two projects that our students have chosen to do for the semester: 1) becoming an entrepreneur and 2) becoming an architect. In the entrepreneur group, our students have been researching and figuring how to start a business from scratch. Another group, being an architect, our students have been studying of how to design a blueprint to build a tiny house! During the process, our students met several Deaf business owners to learn more how they operate. Guest Speakers include: Travis Zornoza, Brittany Castle, and who else?
In addition, we also set up a book club at the beginning of the school year. Our students have enjoyed it immensely as it has been the safe place for them to share and examine their biases and different perspectives with their classmates. Our students have been reading books that share core issues from BLM: "Clean Getaway" by Nic Stone and "A Good Kind of Trouble" by Lisa Moore Ramee. 
The 5th Grade AC class, along with everyone else, have been extraordinarily challenged by COVID-19 and experiencing historical events as well. To capture that, my students are learning and finding out more about the current events that are shaping our country and lives such as:
  • BLM, Social Justice, Human Rights
  • Presidential Elections
  • COVID-19, Distance Learning, and Safety Measures
  • Holidays such as: Día de los Muertos, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, to name a few.
My students have been questioning, learning, and broadening their minds based on their experiences, what they observed, materials read in class, and what they have learned from others as well.
American Sign Language Literature (AC)
ASL class has been a lot of fun, even through distance learning! All AC ASL classes have challenged their spelling skills by doing sign/fingerspelling association flash cards...do we have future spelling-beer's in our midst, perhaps? 3rd - 5th grade have also started doing Kahoot together for fun weekly ASL reviews... we have some talented Kahooters among us and they really enjoy these weekly games. 5th grade has participated in making videos for Eagle News and they're rocking their newscaster roles, learning how to sign clearly for a variety of audiences and present information in a clear format. All classes have gone on a few virtual field trips, including to a pumpkin patch in Colorado, art museums in Latin America, and a virtual corn maze they had to find their way out of! We are looking forward to another fun semester together!
American Sign Language Literature
Our students have faced many challenges since day one of distance learning and used many different technological programs such as CSDEagles email account, Google Drive, Google Classroom, Flipgrid, Zoom, and more! 

During the semester they engaged in conversation and expressed their thoughts/feelings about social justice, Black Lives Matter, and as a Deaf individual. At the same time, they connected language to acquire information and recognize our Deaf community through videos. In addition, they created their ASL handshape poetry focusing on oppression and discrimination and ASL story signing about struggle and triumph. They were being published and sent to Gallaudet University Youth Program. 
ASL Literature does not necessarily mean the American Sign Language only but we introduced De'VIA to all our students. What is De'VIA? It's known as Deaf View/Image Art in which we examine and express their Deaf experience from a cultural, linguistic, and intersectional perspective. The artworks that we have done was on "Sunset" (Chuck Baird) and "Butterfly" (David Call and Nancy Rourke),
We also covered some topics such as: Visual Vernacular (COVID-19),
Narrative of Personal Experience (Black Lives Matter), Creating. BLM Protest Posters; Particpating in the National Literary Competition: ASL Handshapes, ASL Storytelling, and ASL Presentation, and few more.
Eagle News Media Team
We are excited to share that the Elementary has their own Media Production now similar with High School's Talon News program. It will be operated by 5th graders with guidance of our ASL teachers. Our 5th graders to learn how to assemble news program such as planning, producing and editing (below). Our students were nervous what to expect but after meeting with a Deaf anchorwoman, Candance Jones (on right), the confidence among 5th graders boosted. Candance shared her knowledge and experience on what needs to be done to produce a news program.

Please know that 1st - 4th grade students are more than welcome to contribute to the news segments as well. When we return to school, the Eagle News production will definitely be more exciting! We are proud to have our first elementary Eagle News media team! 
Please know that 1st - 4th grade students are more than welcome to contribute to the news segments as well. When we return to school, the Eagle News production will definitely be more exciting! We are proud to have our first elementary Eagle News media team! 
Trivia Cup Club
We were inspired by Gallaudet University’s Trivia Cup competition last month. Therefore, the Elementary Department has decided to establish a new Trivia Cup Club that will occur twice a month on Wednesdays at 2:30pm. Elementary students are welcome to join the club. Along with an annual Spelling Bee contest, this will be another excellent opportunity for your child to build their confidence in such competition and in preparation for Battle of the Books (Middle School) and Academic Bowl (High School).

It is always good for our students to refresh what they learned and, at the same time, learn new things. An emphasis on spelling and knowing facts will be part of this learning experience. The Trivia Cup Club will use Kahoot app and the topics will vary each time we meet.

If your child is interested in joining the club, please contact Les Firl at (lfirl@csdf-cde.ca.gov) so he can keep track of the participants and communicate with them and their families on regular basis. On the next page, you will find some more information about Trivia Cup Club.

We look forward to creating more opportunities for your child in our Elementary department.
Mindfulness During COVID-19
As we continue the Distance Learning, our teachers continue to use Mindfulness exercises with our students when appropriate. There are some tips for calming anxiety during a difficult time.
  • Squeeze Muscles: Starting at your toes, pick one muscle and squeeze it tight. Count to five. Release, and notice how your body changes. Repeat exercise moving up your body.
  • Belly Breathing: Put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. Slowly breathe in from your stomach (expand like a balloon) and slowly breathe out (deflate).
  • Mindful Meal: Pay attention to the smell, taste and look of your food. No multitasking.
  • Meditation: Sit in a relaxed, comfortable position. Pick something to focus on, like your breath. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath.
  • Blowing Bubbles: Notice their shapes, textures and colors.
  • Coloring: Color something. Focus on the colors and designs.
  • Listening to Music: Focus on the whole song, or listen specifically to the voice or an instrument.
All translations done electronically I Este Boletín fue traducido electrónicamente
California School for the Deaf
39350 Gallaudet Drive, 
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 794-3666
Follow us at @csdeagles
Joey Baer & Ryan Souza, Co-Editors
Len Gonzales, Jr., Director of Instruction
Clark Brooke, School Superintendent