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November 2021 | Union School District's Monthly Newsletter

Message from Superintendent Dr. Andrews - November 2021

Dear USD Families and Staff,

As we head into the Thanksgiving Break, I want to express my sincere gratitude to our students, parents, staff and community. It continues to be a pleasure to work collaboratively with each of you in the USD community as we support over 5,400 students in our schools. This time of year provides an opportunity to slow down to reflect, give thanks and express gratitude for others in our lives. As a community we have worked collectively together to prioritize our students learning in school while integrating health protocols and COVID screening. We all have done our part to prioritize our students so I want to say thank you to you.

I can not say enough how it has been a sheer joy to be in our classrooms as our kids are full of glee and happiness. There is a sheer excitement and love of learning that is perceptible in every corner of our District. Thank you to the USD staff for all the work they do to bring learning to life for our students. You all work so hard and I do hope you enjoy the holiday break with your families.

As we move forward into the holiday season, there are still families or neighbors in our own community or someone you know in need of support. As a school district we always want to be a resource for our students, families and larger community whether hosting COVID no cost testing hubs or helping in other ways by sharing information or resources to help out those in need. This year, starting on November 29th anyone can pick up a food voucher at the USD District office. The food voucher can be turned in at Reaching Out Center for a special box valued at approximately $250.

Celebration of Love - Food Box Vouchers

Could you or someone you know use a helping hand this holiday season? Vouchers for food are available to any family or individual who needs one.

Assistance is available if you need help picking up your voucher or food box (approximate value of $250). Starting on November 29, 2021, stop by the USD District office at 5175 Union Ave, San Jose, CA 95124 (on the corner of Los Gatos Almaden Rd and Union Ave to pick up a voucher. These vouchers can be redeemed at the Reaching Out Center in San Jose on December 8th & 9th, 15th & 16th, and 20th between 9am and 12pm. The address for the Reaching Out Center is at 2315 Canoas Garden Ave, San Jose.

If you have any questions, you can give us a call at 408-377-8010.

Thank you again for your continued support as we work together and continue to showcase why USD is a wonderful place to grow and learn. Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving Holiday.

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Highlights from Across USD


Lietz students got to experience a unique virtual live assembly with the E/V Nautilus Team. Students got a deep dive into the world of the ocean floor, sonar mapping and life on the water.


Carlton students love Wednesdays because that’s the day they can participate in the Running Club during lunch recess. Every time they run or walk 4 four laps they get to add a charm to their Cougar necklace. This is a wonderful way to motivate students to exercise and work towards achieving their personal goals. We are very grateful to the parent/guardian and staff volunteers who make this program possible.

California League of Schools (CLS) Educators of the Year Awards

Annually, the California League of Schools Educator of the Year award is given to California elementary, middle, and high school educators who exemplify educational excellence.

This year, Crissy Campbell from Dartmouth and Deanne McLendon from Union Middle were chosen as middle school finalists in our region and were recently recognized at the annual CLMS Teacher of the Year event on November 10th. Congratulations for receiving the honor!

Crissy Campbell stands out as an amazing educator who makes a tremendous impact on the minds and hearts of her students. She sets the bar for science instruction each day by engaging her students with hands-on learning and critical thinking experiences which encourage collaboration and rich discourse. Dartmouth loves Mrs. Campbell for the positive energy and love she brings every day.

Deanne McLendon has spent 25 plus years in the classroom, most recently creating our next generation of artists in room 7 at UMS through her art classes. Her passion for the arts that she not only shares with her students, but inspires them to a deeper level and a lifelong passion in the arts. Mrs. McLendon can often be seen talking through a project with her students, never in judgment of their efforts, rather always comforting, encouraging, and teaching new techniques to deepen her students’ talents.

Kids Corner - USD Student Voices

Our students are our community’s present and future. For USD third graders Ashlynn, Bridget, and Laith, and fourth grader Oliver, service has many meanings. From keeping our streets and oceans clean, to donating items to families in need, our students have many ideas on how kids can help their communities.

  • When asked about what kinds of service they are passionate about, the students excitedly shared their ideas.

    Bridget has been researching the effects of sunscreens on the environment and how people can minimize the negative effect on animals and habitats.

    Ashlynn is looking to support families in need this holiday season. She will be donating items that she no longer needs to kids who may need them.

    Laith described how he would like to help clean the areas and streets around us. He wants to help clean up trash and educate people to stop littering.

    Oliver is looking to fundraise (and maybe use some of his birthday money) to support an organization that helps to remove 30 million pounds of trash from the ocean.

  • Why is it important for kids to be involved in service projects? Ashlynn and Laith both shared that starting early as a kid is important. The earlier you begin learning and participating in these fun projects, the bigger difference one can make throughout your life.

  • For people interested in helping their communities, the students suggested starting small; looking around you for a small area to clean up, for example. From there, “you can think big!” And get more ideas about how to make a difference in a bigger area.

Calling all USD Students!

If you have a special project or initiative you would like to share with the USD community, we would love to hear from you. Send an email to to be highlighted in a future USD newsletter.

COVID-19 Community Testing PODs - Holiday Schedule

The outdoor mobile testing facility at Dartmouth and Union Middle School are open 7 days a week.

Mondays through Fridays: 7:30 am–7:00 pm

Saturdays: 8:00 am–5:00 pm

Sundays: 8:00 am–3:00 pm

In November, the community PODs will be closed:

  • After 5pm on November 24, 2021

  • November 25, 2021 for the Thanksgiving Holiday and will reopen November 26, 2021

In December, the community PODs will be closed:

  • After 5pm on December 24, 2021

  • December 25th, 2021 for the Christmas Holiday and will reopen December 26, 2021

  • After 5pm on December 31, 2021

In January, the community PODs will be closed:

  • January 1, 2022 for New Year's Day and will reopen January 2, 2022

Important Dates to Remember

  • November 22-26, 2021 - Thanksgiving Break (No School)

  • December 13, 2021 (6pm) - School Board Meeting

  • December 20-31, 2021 - Winter Break (No School)

  • January 3, 2022 - School Resumes

  • January 10, 2022 (6pm) - School Board Meeting

  • January 14, 2022 - Staff Development Day (No School for Students)

  • January 17, 2022 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Holiday (No School)

For the Community, By the Community

All across USD, and throughout the year, our USD students, staff and families give back. During this season of giving, USD is proud of what this community can accomplish for each other and in service to our community and our world. Our schools have done numerous individual and classroom drives to support families in need and organizations

  • A special shout out to our Home and School Clubs and parent/guardians who mobilized very quickly to support two vaccination clinics at Union and Dartmouth Middle School last week. Your help was invaluable as hundreds of 5-11 year old students received their first COVID vaccine.

  • Alta Vista and UMS are partnering with the Cupertino De Anza Lions Club in its annual community-based, Thanksgiving food drive. They are aiming to provide 340 boxes filled with Thanksgiving food items for needy local families, and this year we will also be donating additional food items to migrant farm families in the Watsonville area.

    Here’s how you can help!

    Donate non-perishable food items. Please sign up to deliver your donations to the porch of 267 Blossom Valley Drive (across from Alta Vista): Through November 19

    Sponsor a Family. The popular Sponsor a Family program is back this year, where for $40 you can provide enough funds for us to create, assemble and deliver a large box of turkey, all the fixings and lots of pantry staples that will feed a family of 4 for Thanksgiving dinner and to fill their pantry for the coming weeks. Tax receipts will be provided.

    Volunteer. AV and UMS need volunteers for the weekend of the Food Drive, November 20-22. We will be outside Lunardi’s asking shoppers for donations and assembling and delivering boxes from our Cupertino headquarters. Supervised middle schoolers are welcome. Please contact for more details.

Join the USD Team

USD has several opportunities to join our amazing team. If you or anyone you know might be interested in any of our open positions, feel free to share this information and apply at

Extended Care Activity Leaders Needed

Join a team of fun, creative and energetic leaders in USD. Do you love or know someone who loves hands-on STEM, art or outdoor activities? Come share that love with students in our USD Extended Care Program. Apply today on Edjoin.

Crossing Guards Needed

SJPD and Noddin are looking for crossing guards to support busy intersections around schools. At Noddin Elementary, they are looking for someone to cover the Blossom Hill and Harwood intersection at the school start and end times. Hiring and training is done through the San Jose Police Department.

Interested? Fill out an application here.
USD Parent/Guardian Learning Page

View the current offerings for USD parents/guardians organized by the Learning & Innovation Department.

Board Meeting Highlights

View the latest highlights from the November 15th meeting of the USD Board of Trustees.

Community Events & Resources

The Santa Clara County Fire Department is looking forward to the holiday season and the opportunity to give back to those who are most vulnerable. They are excited to partner with the Campbell Community Toy Program in support of their annual toy drive.

*Reminder* Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, toys are not being accepted at our fire stations. For your safety and convenience, the 2021 Holiday Toy Drive will once again be a drive-through, contactless event. Please visit one of our drop-off events on December 4th and 5th from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. to donate new, unwrapped toys and gift cards. Locations will be in Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, and Campbell.

For more information, visit
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Union School District

Board of Trustees

Sheila Billings

Vickie Brown

Doug Evans

Jennifer Petroff

Thomas E. Rossmeissl


Dr. Carrie Andrews