Volume 3 Issue 9 | April 2020
Home & School Club
Next Home & School Club meeting: May 18 at 7pm via Zoom.
All are welcome. The link and password will be provided closer to the time.
Minutes from past meetings are available  here
Dear Leigh Families,

We hope you are all staying safe and healthy. These are uncertain times for all of us for sure. Please know that our Home & School Club is here to provide support and connection for our Leigh community. Reach out to us at any time if you need anything or have any questions. We will help directly if we can or help you figure out who best to talk to. Contact us any time at president@leighhsc.org .

We held our monthly meeting on Zoom last week and were delighted to welcome 16 parents to their first LHSC meeting! Our next meeting will be on Monday, May 18th, at 7pm. We will send out a reminder and Zoom link closer to the time. We hope to see you there!

We want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all of the parents who helped us pivot during these past few weeks and figure out how best to support our staff and our students in this new situation. With the help of a lot of parents, we have focused on a few key areas to date:

  • Creating online Adulting 101 modules by leveraging the work already done for the Senior Workshops. 
  • Providing online mental health support opportunities for our students. 
  • Developing a tutoring program to match parent volunteers with students (most likely to be in place for next school year).
  • Showing appreciation for our Admin, Staff, and Teachers.
  • Working with Ms. Butler and our Board to provide financial support as needed.
  • Staying connected with our families.

We want to continue supporting our community in any way we can, and we invite you to share any ideas or suggestions you may have to help our students, our staff, and our families through this current situation. We would love to hear from you.

Given the uncertainty at this time, it feels strange to talk about next year’s Board. In an effort to provide continuity and stability as we move forward, almost all of our current team has very graciously agreed to stay on for another year. We also welcome and appreciate new members and would like to invite you to join our team. 

All skills and interests are needed. We typically have a variety of projects such as community building, financial management, communications, fundraising, project planning, gardening, writing, technology support, volunteer coordination, College & Career Center support, etc. We also need parents for once-off projects such as Student Registration Support in August 2020, the Stampede 5K Run/Walk tentatively scheduled for Sept 2020, and Senior Grad Night in June 2021. Next year there may also be new tasks as the school navigates the new learning environment. 

Being on the board is a great way to support Leigh, to learn more about our school, and to get to know other parents in the community. However, we understand that many of you may want to help but just don't have the time or energy right now to think about exactly how. That is totally ok. We can add you to the team and figure out the details when we are all in a better place :-)

Please do get in touch if you would like to join us next year, have any suggestions for projects you would like to see happen, need support with anything, or have any questions at all. Email us at president@leighhsc.org.

With gratitude,
Aine & Tamara
LHSC Co-Presidents
Highlights from the April 2020 HSC Meeting
Principal Kara Butler shared the following updates:

  • Please encourage your students to check their emails on a regular basis. This is not a habit for many of our students and, if they do not check email, they may miss some important information.

  • The Admin Team is in the process of writing each student a postcard of support.

  • Read the Principal's Weekly Bulletins here »

  • Read the Daily Bulletins created by our Activities Director, Anthoney Roe, here »


  • An enormous "thank you" to our staff members who are pushing themselves to learn new technology to communicate and engage with our students.

  • Have you seen the excellent video our student leadership team made for Relay for Life, where they share what it means to be a Longhorn? It's pretty great.

  • If you pass by our campus, take a moment to notice our Longhorn Strong banner (pictured below). Thank you to our Home & School Club, and in particular to Carol Hofheimer, for making this happen!
CUHSD Board Trustee Stacey Brown shared the following updates:
  • Dr. Sarah Cody, Santa Clara County’s public health officer, does a weekly call with elected officials and school superintendents where she updates them on what’s happening, and takes questions. The Board also receives a daily email from the public health team with additional updates. You can see more data about COVID-19 here.
  • There is concern that the financial impact of COVID-19 on our District will be significant. We are a Basic Aid District and the majority of our funding comes from local property tax revenues, which will likely decline. In addition, if the State of California has a funding shortfall, they sometimes decide to take money away from these revenues and give it to less prosperous districts. After the 2008 recession, the State of California enacted a "Fair Share" law that took 5% of CUHSD property tax revenue, about $5 million, and redistributed it to other districts around the state. In 2012 with the rollout of the LCFF, the Fair Share contribution became permanent. There is some discussion now that the State of California may enact another "Fair Share" law in response to COVID-19, this time for 10% which would be another $10 million of CUHSD property tax revenue. CUHSD needs to take this and the expected decline in property tax revenue into account when planning next year’s budget.
  • The Board Trustees asked Superintendent Bravo to provide a restructuring plan that would reduce costs by as much as 7-10 million dollars, while still providing students with the essential services they need to graduate. Specifically, Trustees asked that cuts stay as far away from the classroom as possible. The cuts would compensate for the likely decline in property prices and the revenue lost to the State due to the Fair Share law.
  • The Board will be discussing Budget development at the May 7th and May 21st regular board meetings and will hold a budget workshop on May 28th. Public comments are welcome at these meetings as well, please click here to see the revised public comment procedure during the shelter in place. There will also be a public hearing on the budget prior to the Board adopting the 2020-21 budget by its June 30 deadline. This year more than any in the past 10 has been a difficult budget process due to the unknown impact of COVID on the economy. There has been discussion that the State may make a revision to the State's budget in August when they have a better idea of COVID-19’s economic impact, and this will give the school district a better idea of what the economic reality will be.
  • Please assume good intentions by everyone. It is very difficult to make cuts. 
  • There are plans to have question and answer sessions with Dr. Bravo and staff at each site, and additional question and answer sessions with parents like the Facebook Live session on 4/24. The District invites you to share your budget priorities through this budget input survey. Please complete by May 8. The Board welcomes feedback directly as well. If you want to send an email to the Board, please send one email addressed to all board members and Dr. Bravo so that we all receive the same information at the same time.  
  • Robert Bravo: rbravo@cuhsd.org 
  • Stacey Brown: staceybrown@cuhsd.org
  • Kalen Gallagher: kgallagher@cuhsd.org
  • Robert Varich: rvarich@cuhsd.org
  • Kristiina Arrasmith: karrasmith@cuhsd.org
  • Linda Goytia: lgoytia@cuhsd.org

Please refer to Dr. Bravo's email sent on April 24th for more information on the Financial Impact of COVID-19 on CUHSD Budget.

The district has also created a webpage with the latest information and resources including a budget development timeline and archived board meetings.
Additional Resources from Your CUHSD School District

View a recording of the April 24th Facebook Live Q&A with Superintendent Dr. Bravo and Board President Kalen Gallagher. Dr. Bravo and President Gallagher answer questions on our new model for distance learning .

We are fortunate to live in a school district that can support our community in multiple ways. Please visit the Campbell Union High School District website if you have questions or requests for:

  • Food distribution (the district has served 50,000 meals to the community so far. Bus drivers are delivering food to people who aren’t able to come pick it up.)

  • Technology, including Chromebooks and wi-fi access to successfully participate in classes (CUHSD has distributed 500 Chromebooks and 150 hotspots to students who needed them.)

  • Additional information on grading and class participation expectations.
Mental Health Support during Distance Learning
Thank you to Leigh parent, Dr. Kristin Welter, for researching the following programs for our students, and for working with the Home & School Club and Ms. Butler to help implement. We are very grateful for her expertise and her support.

Opportunity 1: Learn skills and strategies to manage stress - HAERT ™️ Program

The HAERT program consists of short videos (5-15mins) and accompanying handouts focused on helping students develop skills and strategies to manage stress. The program fosters a strong foundation of self awareness and emotional regulation, and builds on this base with social awareness and relationship skills, as well as responsible decision making and effective life skills. This is an easy to use and very effective tool for teens. Our Home & School Club has secured free access to the program (typically $20/student) so a login or password is not required. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE VIDEOS .  

Opportunity 2: Online stress reduction group for teens
Gina Biegl, a local therapist and owner of Stressed Teens , will host sessions for our students focused on mental health and well being. This online interactive course will help "Improve focus, manage stress and chill out in 4 weeks". The course is held on Thursdays, 4:30-6pm, from May 7th to June 4th . Our Home & School Club has secured a reduced cost of $125 for this course (cost is typically $300). For more info and to register, CLICK HERE . Use code BAYAREATEEN for reduced rate.

Opportunity 3: COVID-19 Teen TOOLBOX Free Resources

Additional free resources from Gina Biegl can be found at https://www.stressedteens.com/covid-19-tool-kit and include:

  • Blogs 
  • Podcasts
  • Self-Care Coloring Pages
  • Take in the Good Downloads
  • Free Audio Mindfulness Practices
  • Videos
  • Trainings
  • New Daily Take 5 Positive Coping Skills

Thank you to our Adulting 101 Contributors!

Prior to our current situation, Ms. Butler had been working with parent volunteers and Leigh Staff to develop a curriculum for a workshop for Seniors focused on Personal Finance, Home Based Skills, and Professional Skills. To support Distance Learning, Ms. Butler asked us to create an online version of this program for all students. A huge thank you to the parents and staff who made this happen! The following modules have been created and Ms. Butler is releasing weekly. Please check her Weekly Bulletin for links.

  • Job Skills/Resume Writing 101
  • Sandra McGonagle, Sylvia Branca, Michelle Fisher (Leigh Parents), Nathalie Goricanec (Leigh Staff)

  • Mindfulness/Stress Management 101
  • Tammi Hall, Nina Hokeness, Stacey Strachman (Leigh Parents)

  • Housekeeping 101
  • Ashleigh Coffeng (Leigh Parent); Kristine Grim (Leigh Parent/Staff)

  • Cooking 101
  • Tammi Hall (Leigh Parent), Kristi Blumstein (Leigh Parent Alumni)

  • Finances 101
  • Andrew Hogg (Leigh Parent); Seana McKean-Saul (Leigh Staff)
A few requests...

  • IMMEDIATE NEED: Ms. Butler has asked if a parent volunteer could put together some material to help students learn how to organize their email. During this distance learning period, students are receiving significantly more email than normal and many are struggling to keep their inboxes organized. If you can help, please contact LHSC president at president@leighhsc.org.

  • LESS URGENT/LONGER TERM NEED: Our wonderful front office staff, Liza and Judy, are in need of a folding machine (similar to this one on Amazon). However, this is an expensive item so we are reaching out to see if anyone in our community has access to one they could give to us for free or at a discount. If you can help, please contact our vice-president, Ann Auld, at vice_president@leighhsc.org.

College and Career Center

Leigh CCC Specialist, Nathalie Goricanec (a.k.a. Mrs. G. -- ngoricanec@cuhsd.org ), has been actively monitoring college admissions chat rooms and forums to provide the most up-to-date information to our community. Visit the CCC webpage for a collection of COVID-19 Resources from National Educational Organizations

Additionally, Mrs. G is still holding hold open office hours through Google Hangouts:

  • FOR STUDENTS: Wednesdays 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Join here.
  • FOR PARENTS: Fridays 12:45 - 2:15 p.m. Join here.
For information on next steps, Career Planning , and the impact of the current pandemic on the College Application process, please check the grade-specific pages on the CCC page of the Leigh website frequently, we update them almost daily with new information:

Where Your Home and School Club Donations Went This Month:
Thank you for making a difference at Leigh with your ongoing donations. Your generosity is humbling and inspiring. The HSC is being especially mindful of spending at this time in preparation for unforeseen needs that may be in place in the 2020/21 school year.

Thank you to our Treasurer, Amy Hogg, for bringing our process online. Thank you also to Liza and Seana in the front office for forwarding HSC mail to Amy during what is already a very busy time for them.

The following checks were issued in April:

  • $432 for Leigh Reads, a campaign to print posters of some of our teachers presenting their favorite books. The campaign has been effective in getting students talking about books and reading!
  • $100 for Tech Challenge registration fees
  • $1,120 on subsidies for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 2-Week group for Teens during Distance Learning

The following staff grants were approved in the April HSC meeting:

  • $135 for team building games in Social Sciences
  • $51 for a digital timer in Math to help students clearly see the amount of time left to complete the task and motivate them to stay focused
  • $216 for graphic novels of The Odyssey for English Language Learners in ELD3.
  • $168 for demonstration materials for electo-magnetic induction and projectile motion for Physics
  • $828 for Vernier pH meters and colorimeters for Chemistry

A few of the posters from the Leigh Reads campaign.
An additional update:

In September 2019, Mr. Castillo was granted $840 for scholarships for Camp Everytown , an intensive youth leadership development program based on core values – respect, acceptance, and responsibility – that promote non-violent campus communities.

Mr Castillo sent the following update:
Camp Everytown

We sent a group of students to Camp Everytown and, upon their return to campus, they have been the most active camp group yet. We have held a "free hug day" and twice set up a "2-ups Hot Cocoa Lunch". The general idea behind the hot chocolate was that we gave it to students for the price of saying two positive, non-physical things about themselves. It's what we learned at camp as a way to battle negative self-talk. 

We also trained for and scheduled "A Day at Camp Everytown" -- a camper-led one-day program at Leigh for 30-40 students. Unfortunately, that event was cancelled due to school closure. 

Thank you again, HSC! As always, your support is a significant help in allowing us to continue this program.

Learn more about the Camp Everytown program at Leigh here .
We Love our Teachers and Staff!

During these extraordinary times, our teachers continue to meet the challenges and changing requirements to provide both an education and a community to our students. The Staff Appreciation team of the HSC sent notes to each of our teachers to let them know how much we appreciate their efforts.

Grad Night 2020

The Grad Night Team is hoping to have Grad Night on June 3rd. If this date does not work out, we will look at holding the event later in the summer. If Grad Night is canceled, we will issue refunds to all students. If you would like a refund now, please complete   this form .

Lawn Signs to Celebrate Your 2020 Graduate

Purchase a Leigh Grad lawn sign for your Senior! Our team will deliver to your door or you can collect. Cost is $15. Purchase here: https://leighhsc.org/gradnight/
Longhorn Stampede - Postponed to September 27, 2020

Stampede planning is on hold for now. We have a tentative new date of Sept 27th and will continue to review this date with Ms. Butler and with the City of San Jose over the next few weeks.

We would like to take this opportunity to THANK EVERYONE who supported our Stampede during the past months of planning.

Thank you to all those who registered to run, jog or walk (or knit their way to the finish line!). Almost everyone has decided to carry their registration forward to the new date. Thank you!

Thank you to all of our sponsors who already committed or planned to commit. We are so grateful for their support. Many of our sponsors have let us know they will continue to sponsor the event even through all of this uncertainty. We are so very grateful. Thank you especially to Compass who will be our Presenting Sponsor, and to Realtor Wendy Marioni for making this happen!

Finally, thank you to all of our parent volunteers who helped get us to this point... creating graphics, organizing permits, sourcing sponsorship, managing registration, maintaining our website, advertising through social media etc, reserving timing company & race course needs, managing t-shirts, medals & awards for participants, and more! Thank you everyone.

Thank you again to our wonderful sponsors for donating their time and goods to support our community and help make the Stampede a success. Please visit them online and support them in any way you can.
Relay For Life Cambrian Recap

Congratulations to the Cambrian Community for putting on an amazing first ever Virtual Relay For Life!

One of the leads of this event (and the person who makes the magic happen!) is Leigh parent, Carol Hofheimer, who shared "This was truly a wonderful experience. The Leigh team “Famleigh” was so supportive, and made me so proud to be a part of this amazing community." Carol provided a recap of the event and we encourage you to check out the beautiful videos linked below.

The 12th annual event was to be held at Leigh High School this year, but due to COVID-19, we had to switch to a virtual Relay on Facebook. We still had our amazing ceremonies and speakers, along with videos from many teams and participants. The opening ceremony had over 1,100 views alone.

Over the 24 hour period, we raised $18k of $62k, which we didn't expect. So many generous donations came flooding in during our event, and we are still fundraising!

Our Opening speakers were Karin and Kelli Mirassou and Michele Kennedy. They shared their moving story of Karin's diagnosis of Leukemia. Karin, Michele and Kelli are all teacher's at Leigh. Karin is also the Leigh Field Hockey coach, and her team were the number one youth team raising $4,300!

Our principal, Kara Butler added opening remarks , and we showed LHS's Drum line lead off the survivor lap from a past event. Senior, Rachel Lovelady sang the National Anthem remotely. Anthoney Roe, our Activities Director helped to create a wonderful video from Team Famleigh that highlighted "Why We Relay". The energy and excitement this created was so much fun to watch. Chanel 11 even highlighted Cambrian Relay For Life and LHS on their evening news !

Overall it was a great event, enjoyed by our entire community. Please visit the Relay For Life of Cambrian website if you would like to support our event with a donation.
Double Your Donation

If you have donated to the Home & School Club, don't forget to check if your employer will double your donation - it's quick and easy!
Leigh High School Home and School Club is an all volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Tax ID # is 77-0199809. All donations are tax-deductible.