Learn ♦ Experience ♦ Thrive
End-of-Year 2020 | Eagles #28
Two of our Class of 2020 seniors participated in the Sound Off Ladies Graduation Celebration 2020, along with three other graduating seniors from around the country. Our students were Liliana Ortiz [8:16 and 28:20] and Miles Gonzalez [23:09]. This program had over 29,700 views on Facebook. It was quite an honor; our students did a terrific job at representing our school and their peers!

[Image description: We are watching Liliana give her presentation from inside a laptop, and Miles give his presentation from inside an iPad. Both photos have wood paneling for their background that look like a desktop, and both presenters are signing.]
Message from the Superintendent
Greetings from the land
Along with the exciting tidbits offered in this newsletter, I had hoped to be able to communicate that we would be ending the physical closure of our campus in the very near future. Unfortunately, we will continue to do Distance Learning this fall, until it is safe to reopen the school physically.

The pandemic did not stop us from offering our students high quality virtual instructional activities and ongoing support for their well-being. I want to take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate our team's effort—including students, families, teachers and staff—in providing a high quality Distance Learning Experience to all of our students.

We were delighted to share our expertise with the entire state, and around the world, by presenting a Distance Learning Resources webinar. As part of this effort, we developed a learning channel that makes resources available to anyone in our state (and beyond), whether it is on an individual basis or at a district level. We encourage all of the districts in the state to take advantage of our knowledge and expertise in educating Deaf children. Many Deaf students are in dire need of access to language and resources at their respective schools. CSD aims to partner with local education agencies to bring more support to those students.

As part of our learning channel, we have included information regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, by incorporating resources that families can use during the summer. We are looking into mechanisms that would bring more training opportunities to our team at CSD and the community when addressing implicit bias and racial inequities within our community. More information regarding this effort will continue to come your way as we enter the school year.

We acknowledge that the Class of 2020 did not get the opportunity to fully close out their senior year. Many of the traditional activities for seniors got cancelled as part of the school closure. Despite the closure, we were able to come up with creative and innovative alternatives to celebrate the graduating Class of 2020. Our team created a week filled with virtual events to honor our students. When we finally reopen, we will be sure to host a formal Class of 2020 celebration.

Toward the end of the school year, there were many virtual Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings coordinated by our Pupil Personnel Services division and our Division of Instruction. We are so thankful for the support that was provided by CONVO Interpreting Services and Civic Access. They provided us with in-kind Virtual Remote Interpreting (VRI) services that allowed us to facilitate communication between families and the IEP team. We found their services amazing! (Scroll down for more information about the interpreting services within this newsletter.)

In closing, the CSD team/family would like to wish our retirees the best of luck as they begin to write a new chapter in their lives. Those retirees have put forth a lot of sweat, tears, happiness, commitment and dedication towards our programs.

With Eagle Pride,

Clark Brooke, Ed.S.
California School for the Deaf, Fremont
39350 Gallaudet Drive
Fremont, CA 94538
510-344-6010 Videophone
510-823-6071 Spanish Callers

[Image description: Head shot of Clark Brooke. He is wearing a black shirt with an orange tie, which are our school colors.]
California Schools for the Deaf present webinar...
Distance Learning Resources
Keynote presenters from CSD Fremont faculty
Joey Baer, Ed.S.
Leala Holcomb, Ph.D.
Liann Osborne, Ph.D.
California School for the Deaf in Fremont partnered with our sister school in Riverside to present a webinar that covered three areas of Deaf Education:
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary School
  • Middle School and High School

We were honored to have introductory presentations by:
  • Julie Rems-Smario, M.A., M.S. Education Programs Assistant for CDE Deaf & Hard of Hearing Unit;
  • Robin Zane, Ed.D. Robin Zane, Director of State Special Schools & Services Division;
  • Clark Brooke, Ed.S. Superintendent of California School for the Deaf, Fremont;
  • Nancy Hlibok-Amann, Ph.D. Superintendent of California School for the Deaf, Riverside.

Presenters from both Fremont and Riverside shared best practices for educational strategies to optimize distance learning. Highlights from CSD Fremont presentations are featured below...
Early Childhood Education
[Image description: Early childhood education distance learning: Weekly family ASL classes; weekly home visits; weekly library story time; weekly listening and speaking services; daily one-on-one sessions with language activities; guided and shared reading; daily independent learning with math, science, ASL and English; daily play-date, morning meeting, and snack time; and bi-weekly ECE car parade.]
Elementary School
[Image description: A sense of belonging through counseling & physical education; national spelling bee competition; boosting participation, self esteem and success.]
Middle School & High School
[Image description: The power of connection through distance learning. 1) Counseling services through Zoom and behavior support plan, provided by the counseling department and student support liaison; 2) Diversity clubs discussing racial disparities in health; 3) School community through Talon Media]
Empowering students with Pride

By BARBARA WHITE, Pupil Personnel Services Director
Pride Month, June 2020
June is Pride month. Before the COVID-19 outbreak happened, CSD had planned to fly the Pride and Trans flags during the last week of May, so the students would see the flags before they left for their summer break. We still flew the flags, even with no students on campus. The flags were up, all of June, to honor the 50th anniversary of the LGBTQ Pride celebration. Pride is the promotion of the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary and queer (LGBTQ) people as a social group. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBTQ rights movements.

A bit of history
In 1977, Harvey Milk, Mayor of San Francisco, challenged Gilbert Baker, a veteran who taught himself to sew, to come up with a symbol of pride for the gay community. His response? The original Pride flag. Inspired by Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow," these colors flew at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade celebration on June 25, 1978. Though there is some dispute as to whether Baker was the sole creator of the flag that started it all, its symbolism remains. Each color celebrates an aspect of Pride: In the original eight-color version, pink stood for sexuality; red for life; orange for healing; yellow for the sun; green for nature; turquoise for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit.

In 2017, noting that queer people of color are often not fully included in the LGBTQ community, the city of Philadelphia added two colors — black and brown — to the Pride flag in their honor and to promote racial oppression awareness.

The Transgender Pride Flag was created by American trans woman Monica Helms in 1999, and was first shown at a pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona, United States in 2000. The flag represents the transgender community and consists of five horizontal stripes: two light blue, two pinks, and one white in the center.
CSD was awarded the “Certificate of Awesomeness”, on March 13, 2020, by the Transformative Deaf Education Organization, for placing the first Trans flag on campus ever in Deaf Education. CSD flew the Trans flag November 13 to 19, 2019, during Trans Awareness week. Feedback from staff, parents and students was overwhelmingly positive. Some students expressed feeling safer at CSD when they saw the flag, as it indicates acceptance and embracing of all genders. CSD is humbled by receiving this award and the positive feedback. We strongly believe that our school must remain inclusive and supportive to all individual students, and recognize the challenges and oppression they may experience due to sexual orientation, gender, and race. We aim to continue removing systematic oppression and barriers so each of our students can be free to be themselves and thrive socially, emotionally, academically, and physically.

Thank you for being you. CSD values you, regardless of gender, orientation, race, and disability. Together, we learn and thrive to be the best we can be! 
CSD senior represents at
National Deaf Education Conference

By DANIEL GIRARD, Student Support Liaison
Liliana Ortiz Tapia, Class of 2020, from Salinas, California was selected to be one of three high school students on a panel hosted by the 2020 National Deaf Education Online Conference (under the National Association of the Deaf’s Education Section) on June 29th! We are proud of Liliana for thoughtfully representing Deaf high school students with her wonderful responses. For more information and to see the archived panel, visit www.deafeducation.us! Congrats, Liliana!
Student Panel: Tawny Holmes Hlibok (moderator),
Liliana Ortiz Tapia, Sabrina Firl, Natnail Tolossa
[Image Description: Poster for National Deaf Education Conference; Engage Virtual Conference; June 29 and 30, 2020; Virtual-Connect-Inspire; Signs Video Series starts Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays on July 7th; https://www.deafeducation.us/]
Celebrating the Class of 2020
Week of virtual 2020 celebrations

By FRANK LESTER, Career Center/Transition Program Supervisor
This year, California School for the Deaf became creative in hosting events that honored the hard work and end of high school career for our 2020 seniors. Fifty seniors from the Class of 2020 were treated to a week of virtual celebrations, culminating in their virtual high school graduation ceremony. Here is a recap of all that happened... 
  • The Seal of Biliteracy was awarded to: Tiffany Kutsov, Jhada Meyer, and Emma Oshio.
  • The Golden State Seal Merit Diploma was awarded to: Alexis Bravo-Calvillo, Kenasia Brown, Jhada Meyer, Gursimranjit Singh, Emma Oshio, Mahlia Thornton, and Kara Wolfangle.
  • Our two valedictorians were: Emma Oshio and Kenasia Brown.

Video | Article
Liann Osborne opened the awards ceremony with an introduction. This year’s theme was Emmy Awards, with each student being recognized for their excellency. High School, Career Technical Education, Career Center, Physical Education, and Student Life each gave out awards for student accomplishments. Liann concluded the ceremony by recognizing everyone who was involved.

Every year, we recognize our seniors' hard work throughout their high school career through our distinguished Scholarship 
Ceremony. While our ceremony looked different this year because of the school's closure due to COVID-19, we were able to celebrate our seniors' accomplishments virtually. 

Regardless of Shelter-In-Place, the yearbook crew decided not to let the Distance Learning Experience stop them from completing their yearbook project. They felt it was a big accomplishment that not many other schools would be able to make happen. They believed they could do it, and they did!

The Senior Walk is a community project hosted by the Junior National Association of the Deaf (Jr. NAD). Last year, CSD hosted its first Senior Walk in which the graduates marched through all of the departments on campus, saying hello and farewell to staff and students. This year, the senior walk was transformed into a virtual event in which the graduates had the opportunity to “walk” through the departments on campus via their video messages. The tradition of passing on the baton that started with last year’s first senior walk continued this year.

Liann Osborne, principal of Career and Technical Education, opens with some introductory comments to recognize our seniors. Next, a virtual version of the Processional is shown, followed by Valedictorian awardees. A photograph of the high school team is then displayed. Silver, Gold and Orange Cord recipients are announced. Then Julie Bella, president of California School for the Deaf Alumni Association, encourages graduates to continue supporting CSDAA. After that, the Eagle Fight Song, a long-time tradition at CSD, is performed by Tiffany Valerie Kutsov, Alexis Bravo Calvillo, Mahlia Jarae Thornton, and Lauro Martinez. Liann concludes the video with some words of inspiration congratulating the Class of 2020.

What fun to see how each senior looked when they were younger; when they were in action at school; and now as they graduate. Random group pictures are shown in the middle of this video. Then towards the end, yard signs honoring each Class of 2020 senior are videoed, along with the seniors themselves, when they received a surprise visit from CSD staff. Prior to delivery, the signs were placed on the Eagles chair and videoed.

CSD staff ventured to all corners of Northern California, surprising seniors at their homes, and bestowing them with “Class of 2020” yard signs to recognize all of their hard work in high school. It truly was a treat being able to make this special surprise happen for our seniors and their families. Special thanks goes to Kandi Photography for designing the signs; the CSD team for their support with the logistics; and Parodi Charitable Trust for making this gift to seniors become a reality!

View on Instagram:

Web version:
Elementary Cottage News
See Sydney Seri get the news that she won Most Outstanding Student for Grades 45

Presented by Rebecca Eyrond, Counselor for Cottage #16

CSD athletic teams find new ways to train together using Zoom

By WARREN KELLER, Athletic Director
This summer, our CSD student-athletes continued to be very busy, getting themselves ready on Zoom for the upcoming season, preparing for whenever we will be able to play again. Every Monday, they worked out with Jason Coleman of JC's Sports Performance. Then on Wednesdays and Fridays, they met with our Athletic Trainer Chloe Bell and Equipment Manager Mario Arellano for sport-specific workouts. On Tuesdays, they met with their head coaches for a team meeting. On Thursdays, they met with their assistant coaches to run through various drills.
Summer workout with
JC Sports Performance
We regularly had around 20 students participating each day, for half an hour. Thank you to our athletes for remaining committed and positive!
Football Team Zoom Meeting
[Image description: Zoom meeting showing all participants with their individual photographs that display their name. Each participant is signing "Go Eagles!" with both hands.]
Softball Wrap-up Zoom Meeting
[Image description: Zoom meeting showing all participants with their individual photographs that display their name. Participants look like they are on an island vacation.]
Baseball Wrap-up Zoom Meeting
[Image description: Zoom meeting showing all participants with their individual photographs from their home or vacation spot. Participants look athletic and are wearing casual attire.]
Storysigning from our school library
“Good News Bad News”
Storysigning by
Jalena & Janika Dingel
“Bats at the Beach”
Storysigning by Joann Ikeda
“The Best Place to Read”
Storysigning by Pat Bernstein
“The 3 little fish and the big bad shark”
Storysigning by Joann Ikeda
Scholarship, Leadership, Citizenship
LOOKING BACK at our 2019-2020 accomplishments with
CSD's Junior National Association of the Deaf chapter
(These events happened before the COVID-19 Distance Learning Experience)

By DANIEL GIRARD, Student Support Liaison
2019 Youth Leadership Camp
Stayton, Oregon
July - August 2019
Deaf Parade @ ASL Celebration
Sacramento, California
September 12, 2019
5K Run & Walk Event
Quarry Lakes, in Fremont, California
September 18, 2019
CSD Jr. NAD Team with
Alex Abenchuchan from The Daily Moth
Field trip to Niagara Falls
CSD Jr. NAD group picture
in front of the
Rochester School for the Deaf campus
Student Panel @ Open House
Moderator: Courtney Bronson
(not pictured)
Panelists: Miles Gonzalez,
Justine Locatelli, Liliana Ortiz,
Kia Thao
CSD Jr. NAD Ambassadors with SEIU President, Yvonne Walker & Governor’s Chief of Staff,
Ann O’Leary
Alexis Bravo; Miles Gonzalez;
Reza Mosher; Liliana Ortiz;
George Quirie
CSD Jr. NAD Ambassadors with CDE State Superintendent of Public Instruction,
Tony Thurmond
Alexis Bravo; Courtney Bronson;
Samuel Brown; George Quirie
National Deaf Youth Day:
Mock Interview &
Resume Development
March 5, 2020
  • Ann Lynn Parker, DCARA Interviewer
  • Levi Biser, Interviewee
  • Justine Locatelli, Observer
CSD seniors honor Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Martin's Big Words”
Storysigning by Samuel Brown
CSD Senior
“I Have a Dream”
Storysigning by Jayvon Harmon
CSD Senior
Check out our new Black Lives Matter
online resources

By KATE KOVACS, Literacy Coach Teacher Specialist
Last spring, the CORE Department developed an online learning tool, created entirely for California Deaf students of all ages, their families, and teachers. The CORE Learning Channel provides accessible resources and information while our students are learning at home. With the movement happening recently across the country, we recognize that this is a pivotal time in our society with Black Lives Matter. We want to ensure that our Deaf children, families and educators have access to materials that will help us understand all of the information that is out there. The goal is to have space for honest conversations on the issue of racial justice, and to recognize that all Black lives matter. There are three sections on our CORE Learning Channel where we can explore Black Lives Matter in School & Community, for Families and Students. Please visit Black Lives Matter Resources to check out all of the resources that are available on these pages.
Navigating Distance Learning
with the Student Support Liaison team
Our Student Support Liaison (SSL) team continues to stay connected with the students, families & staff from their departments. Supporting each and every one of our student's overall well-being during this Distance Learning Experience, along with any other challenges they may face, has been paramount.
1ST ROW...
Terri Dietz, Calton Fair & Leslie Firl

2ND ROW...
Reyes Ribera, Tom Corcoran & Daniel Girard

3RD ROW...
Tiffany Wilson
Connecting students to the “virtual classroom”
We worked to promote equity among CSD’s diverse student body, by ensuring that all students have access to technology and the Internet, so that they can be ready for what is now considered the new norm with Distance Learning. Our team has also been involved with using technology, such as Zoom, Google Classroom, and Class Tag.

Providing guidance and resources
We collaborated with Local Education Agencies, as well as our departments on campusCareer Center, Pupil Personnel Service, and COREto provide students and families with services and resources that support them at home.

Supporting students, families and staff
We scheduled virtual meetings via Zoom, videophones, and FaceTime/Duo with students and staff to:
  • Provide support with academic, behavior, and social/emotional areas
  • Tackle logistics with scheduling and online meetings
  • And most importantly... Check in to say hello to our students.

There are opportunities for social skills, on a daily basis, from using MarcoPolo, Zoom and FaceTime, as well as connecting more and more with families. For our ECE students, there are Snack Time Zooms, which are so much fun! We also schedule 1:1 time with students, whenever needed, to provide the necessary support and tools they need to thrive academically, and as an individual. We are also joining virtual Zoom IEP meetings. Our SSL team remains available to provide resources to individuals, classrooms and families.

Promoting self care
We shared ideas about how we take care of ourselves, including tips on coping with the new norm of being quarantined, and transitioning to social distancing. Our SSL team can also be seen joining classroom Zoom meetings, and meeting with students afterwards to provide support as needed. The SSL team would like to share some advice and some tips with you:
  • Daniel’s advice is to: (1) Blend delicious smoothies in the morning (2) “Travel” the world by having a thematic day in which you cook and play games that are theme-related.
  • Reyes recommends taking a 20-minute brisk walk daily and working out.
  • Tom suggests finding two new hobbies that allow you to relax and think.
  • Calton recommends puzzles or coloring pages to let go of the stress as needed.
  • Terri’s advice includes setting aside some self care time and reconnecting with past and current friends and family whenever possible. 
  • Tiffany recommends spending time with people who fill your cup, and remember that breaks from technology are okay!
  • Leslie recommends exploring hiking some trails. This may be hard to start, but it will feel good to have your heart beating. You can also set up a small space for workouts, play some board games, and make model cars!

Creating new ideas and projects
We boosted our creativity by developing different ideas and projects that enable us to connect with students, families and communities through the use of technology. Be on the lookout for our final work on CSD’s social media!

Terri Dietz, Daniel Girard, Reyes Ribera, Tom Corcoran, Calton Fair,
Leslie Firl & Tiffany Wilson
Virtual IEP Meetings

By BARBARA WHITE, Pupil Personnel Services Director
[Image Description: Drawing of 10 people sitting around a round table having a meeting. There is a puzzle in the center of the table with several pieces of that puzzle missing. Each person has a piece of the puzzle in front of them. Each puzzle piece matches the color of the person who has it. For example: purple person has purple puzzle piece; turquoise person has turquoise puzzle piece; green person has green puzzle piece. The same for brown, red, yellow, orange, blue, lime green and lavender.]
Thank you Convo & Civic Access for providing interpreting services for our IEP meetings

By BARBARA WHITE, Pupil Personnel Director
As a community service, Convo Interpreting Services offered to provide California School for the Deaf with interpreters from Civic Access for our annual IEP week meetings that were done on Zoom. CSD’s interpreting team worked with Convo and Civic Access to ensure that all of the IEP meetings were covered with the right interpreters, and that interpreters were prepared to deal with the legal language and complex cases that might come up. Furthermore, they provided Spanish/ASL interpreters, making access all the more efficient for everyone involved. CSD's partnership with Convo and Civic Access saved us from many additional challenges. We are appreciative of their offered pro-bono services, and found the interpreting services to be of upmost quality.
CSD staff expresses their gratitude for Civic Access interpreters, made possible by Convo

By JACELIA WASHINGTON, Staff Interpreter
We were fortunate to receive interpreting services from Civic Access during IEP week this year. Working with them was flawless! They provided 'the best of the best', and we truly appreciate it. Here are some testimonies that were sent in by staff who worked with the interpreters from Civic Access. 
“Chanel Whalen and Tony Barraza were CHAMP!!! They worked so well together and with all the meeting participants. They were patient through the tech issues, and did an outstanding job facilitating communication in ASL, English and Spanish. Their services were appreciated.”
Amy Eshelman
“The interpreter I worked with twice was marvelous and professional. He was able to follow the conversations. It was nice being able to facilitate two IEP meetings so effortlessly. Good Job!” [Interpreter was Rene DeVito]
Liann Osborne
“Our [IEP] coordinators loved the interpreters and highly recommend using them again in the future.”
Alan Davary
“I worked with a variety of interpreters during IEP week and was very grateful for the smooth and professional access they provided. These times and these meetings had some unexpected challenges and these interpreters rose to the challenge. I’d specifically like to thank Sarah [Wheeler] who did a simply phenomenal job in a couple of serious meetings.”
Tiffany Wilson
“I had a very positive experience! The interpreter was accurate, timely, and handled the meeting very well.”  
Katelyn Kleinhans
“For future reference the interpreter for the IEP this morning, Apollonia Moriarty, was excellent, very intuitive and clear.” 
Don Couch
“Awesome interpreters - all of them! [IEP] coordinators mentioned that it was extremely smooth with those terps!! Thank you for the hard work!! We appreciate all interpreters!”
Joey Baer
“Had no issues with the interpreter...she was awesome!! Great receptive skills and was able to keep up.” [Interpreter was Jen Diggans] 
Sarah Novotny 
“I had an IEP meeting on May 29th and it went well with trilingual interpreter Monica Gallego. She was fantastic and the meeting went smoothly, without any interruptions or misunderstandings. It went very well. I was very impressed with Monica’s professionalism.”
Ron Bye
“The interpreting service I had received was done well. No complaints here! Smile.” 
[Interpreter was Monica Gallego]
Lilly Benedict
2020 Retirees
Art donation to CSD

By LISA NUNEZ, Superintendent's Secretary
Rayna Zurkic created ASL handshape art that she donated to California School for the Deaf. Rayna and her sister Arianna are pictured here with their art donation.
Arianna Duran contacted CSD on behalf of her sister, Rayna Zurkic, a Sacramento-based artist and ASL enthusiast, to offer a donation of handmade art. Here is a little information about the artist and the donations:

Rayna hand-sculpted ceramic hands of diverse ethnicities, that spelled out the word “Sacramento” in American Sign Language, and entered them in the California State Fair in 2016. She won first prize in her category, and went on to win her division! The following year she sewed hand towels together and embroidered them with the American Sign Language alphabet to make a quilt. She opted to donate both of these items to California School for the Deaf.

Artist's Background
Rayna is an Education Specialist (special education teacher) at Foulks Ranch Elementary School, in Elk Grove, and a supporter of the Deaf community. Rayna said, “I was introduced to American Sign Language at Los Medanos Community College in Pittsburgh, CA. I had two exceptional Deaf teachers, Matt Jamison and Joan Germany. I was honored and grateful to be their student. When I started my family, my daughter could not speak. I taught her American Sign Language. ASL was a beautiful connection between my daughter and I. We continue to sign to each other to this day. We continue to learn and attend Deaf events to support the community.”

California School for the Deaf is grateful to have received these beautiful works of art.
California School for the Deaf
39350 Gallaudet Drive, 
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 794-3666
Meta Metal, Editor
Clark Brooke, School Superintendent