Sherman Oaks Dual Language Immersion School

Innovative Funding Enhances Educational and Emotional Support Programs at CUSD

Strategic use of one-time funds has bolstered support for long-term needs

The Campbell Union School District (CUSD) has significantly advanced its educational and support services for students, with funds from one-time sources like California’s Art and Music block grant. 

“We asked parents what would enhance their child’s education when students returned to in-person instruction,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez.  “They said, more hands-on learning, art and music. We have been able to leverage one-time funding aimed at addressing the impact of the pandemic to provide the enhancements that parents told us should be priorities." 

The district has invested heavily in the arts, employing additional teachers to extend art, innovation, and music (AIM) instruction to more elementary students through this initiative. This investment enriches the students' learning experiences and provides teachers with more professional learning and collaboration (PLC) time, enabling them to tailor lessons to strategically meet students’ needs, whether they are excelling, struggling, or anywhere in between.

The AIM program in elementary grades aligns with standards and lays a foundational framework for growth into middle school. Middle school AIM clubs cater to those students’ desires for more social interaction and a sense of belonging. District staff are monitoring the outcomes of these efforts to guide future resource and budget allocations once the one-time funding ends.

The district has also channeled funds into school libraries. Staff updated in library collections, including an increase in Spanish language books. This enhancement ensures that all students have access to a wide range of reading materials, supporting both their educational and personal growth.

Recognizing the increased need for emotional and behavioral support, the district increased its staff of counselors and behavior specialists. This expansion ensures that students who require additional support can receive timely and effective assistance as it is needed.

The Innovation Grant program also sprang from the grant funding. This year, students in grades 6 through 8 received funds for special projects that challenge them to apply their learning in practical, real-world contexts, fostering both innovation and problem-solving skills.

“We have taken a comprehensive approach to enhancing academic and support programs through one-time dollars for long-term benefit,” Viramontez said. “It’s an example of our strong commitment to providing today’s students with the resources they need to succeed academically and emotionally, both now and in the future.”