Blossom Hill Chorus
Here at Blossom Hill we are fortunate to have an after-school chorus program directed by one of our own talented teachers, Lacy Maxwell. Third, fourth and fifth graders may participate in the Blossom Hill School Chorus. Students must apply to be in the productions and make a commitment to keep up with schoolwork and practice schedules held before or after school hours. No tryouts are required, but rehearsals are scheduled on a regular basis before and/or after school beginning from the start of the school year through the chorus performance in the fall (typically in November).
Our ever-popular after-school theater production is made possible in large part due to the commitment and talent of one of Blossom Hill’s own teachers, Brian Houg as well as the continued support of the numerous parent volunteers. Fourth and fifth graders may participate in the annual Blossom Hill School Play. The program offers a theater arts experience in a safe, supportive, and team-oriented atmosphere. Students must apply to be in the production and make a commitment to keep up with schoolwork and practice schedules held before or after school hours. Rehearsals are scheduled on a regular basis before and/or after school beginning in November. Performances are the first two weekends in February.
Instrumental and Vocal Music
The K-5 music program at Blossom Hill utilizes four music teachers who work with teachers to provide a core foundation of classroom music instruction. All K-5 students receive vocal music. Each week, students in Grades K-4 participate in 45 minutes of music instruction. In primary grades, students are introduced to music elements through rhythm, movement, and song. Students in Grade 4 are introduced to the violin and the flutephone. Grade 5 students participate in two, 45-minute periods of music instruction per week, and students are given the option of continuing violin, learning a different instrument (cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet, or trombone), or participating in vocal instruction. The music curriculum is aligned with the District adopted standards for Arts Education as well as State and National Standards for Music Education. Twice per year, students in all grades put on a performance for the entire school community to showcase what they have learned.
Computer and Technology
Technology is an important part of the educational program and environment at Blossom Hill. We have a fully equipped Intel iMac computer lab that can accommodate 30 students and is supported by our computer specialist who works collaboratively with teachers to provide weekly lessons and projects to classes. Each classroom is equipped with networked computers. Students work on specific projects and programs that enhance the classroom curriculum and align with our district technology standards, as well as learn how to access and utilize appropriate Internet resources for research and projects. To see more about the software, programs, and projects our students are working on, visit the technology web page on our school website at www.bh.lgusd.k12.ca.us
Blossom Hill library has books and resource materials available to students of all reading levels and in every subject area and is now fully automated. Each class has a period of library time each week when students are introduced to literature, storytelling, and research skills. The library is staffed with a librarian who uses parent volunteers to assist with checking out and re-shelving books.
The library is open from 8:45-2:45 Monday through Friday. Kindergarten students do not check out books from the library, since they have a special program that allows them to bring home library books that are presented in class on a daily basis. Students in Grades 1-5 may check out two books per week.
With a school of approximately 600 students, the library is in almost constant use by classes and students coming in during recess to read or do homework. Because of this, it is best if parents do not bring their younger children (preschool, kindergarten age) to the library unless they are working a volunteer shift and only if the child is able to engage in a quiet activity on their own while their parent is working.
Project Cornerstone (www.projectcornerstone.org) is a countywide initiative that began a few years ago. The principles of the program are based on research by the Search Institute (www.search-institute.org). The main goal of the program is to increase children’s developmental assets (41 in total) in an effort to create positive life outcomes. Developmental assets are experiences, values, relationships, opportunities, and competencies which all children and youth need. There are many different programs offered by Project Cornerstone. Blossom Hill participates in: Cornerstone Kids (which includes the Expect Respect Workshop), ABC Reader, and ABC Lunchtime Fun.
ABC Reader Program: Once a month an adult volunteer reads a specified book in their assigned classroom and facilitates activities and discussions based on the book. Each book is aimed at developing positive social skills and building one or more of the developmental assets. Students are given a common language and ideas about how to address real issues they have or will likely face. Parents can find out more about each book through the Cornerstone Corner in the Beehive and the ABC Reader parent letters that come home with your children.
Friday Fun: We are so excited to begin this program! Thanks to Natalia dal Porto for heading up this fun program! On Fridays, adult volunteers knowns as "Fun Visors" will provide a positive place where children can play board games and do crafts at lunch.
All students at Blossom Hill receive weekly P.E. instruction with a trained PE specialist to supplement their regular classroom PE program. The district employs a full-time PE teacher to provide weekly instruction to all fourth and fifth students. Home and School Club sponsors the primary Spark PE program, which provides instruction twice per week to our kindergarten through third grade students. During P.E., students participate in a variety of grade level appropriate activities and sports and are graded on effort rather than skill. Students in Grade 5 take the California Fitness Test, which measures students’ aerobic capacity, body composition, muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility using six different tests.
The Noon Sports Program is funded by the Home & School Club. This program offers students the opportunity to engage in supervised and organized sports during the noon recess. The activities rotate during the school year and include soccer, flag football, kickball/baseball, and volleyball (in the spring).
The Run Across America program is offered on an ongoing basis from January through May to promote fitness. It is an optional lunchtime program, operated by parent volunteers under the supervision of our Noon Sports Coordinator. Students participating run/walk laps around a marked path on the field, collecting tokens for benchmarked laps. Awards for highest mileage are presented each year at a school-wide assembly.
Our science curriculum is a hands-on discovery-based program providing students with hands-on explorations of the world around them. Students study physical, life, and earth sciences through lessons, investigation, and experimentation. In the primary grades, students study such topics as the elements, the senses, weather, life-cycles, and plants. In the upper grades, they continue to study these topics in addition to energy, geology, the solar system, and chemical reactions.
The Student Council functions as Blossom Hill student government. Representatives from each upper grade classroom meet two times a month. Members of the council are selected as representatives to the kindergarten through third grade classrooms to keep these students informed about school activities and to get their input on improvements for our campus. The council members discuss school problems, help find solutions, organize community service projects and promote Character Education.
Intervention and Special Education Programs
Child Assistance Team (CAT)
Our Child Assistance Team (CAT) meets to discuss student needs and develop intervention plans. Team members include the principal, special education teacher, school psychologist, counselor, teacher, and parents. The intevention plan begins with the classroom teacher and parent working together to try different classrom strategies to help the child succeed. Other strategies include reading intervention programs or counseling. When these are not successful, the team may recommend educational assessment to test for a learning disabilty.
Our counselor provides services to children through 1:1 counseling and Friendship Groups, which focus on building social skills and positive peer relationships.
Students needing assistance in learning English meet with the English Learners teacher twice during the week. The English Learners program supplements regular classroom work. We place second-language students with teachers who are Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD) certified. We assess English learners against English-language development standards until they attain English proficiency.
Our GATE program begins in the third grade. We identify students for our GATE program using the Raven Matrix by testing all third grade students in the fall. Additionally, the previous year’s Standardized Testing and Reporting Program (STAR) scores are used to identify students in grades 4-8. Provisions are made for students who don’t qualify through either STAR or the Raven’s Matrix. In grades 3-8 students may be referred by the classroom teacher, parent, or principal for identification/inclusion in the GATE program. GATE students have the opportunity to participate in an afterschool program provided by the Los Gatos Community Recreation Department during three six- to eight-week afterschool sessions. This program provides classes and workshops specific to the needs of GATE children. For example, classes include robotics, visual and performing arts, chess, and math enrichment classes. The program also extends to the classroom in the form of differentiated (customized) instructional practices when appropriate.
Our research-based reading intervention services provide critical support for our at-risk students. Students identified as being at-risk in reading, are referred to one of three programs. In grades K-1, students are giving support through the Early Literacy program focused on beginnning reading skills. Students in second and third grade struggling with reading fluency participate in the Read Naturally program and students in grades 4-5 struggling with reading comprehension are referred to our SOAR program which focuses on specific reading strategies that strengthen comprehension skills.
The education psychologist participates as an active member of our Child Assistance Team (CAT)and tests children for possible learning disabilities
Students with learning disabilities in any academic area and who meet state guidelines for eligibility may attend this program for additional instructional assistance. Resource students stay in the regular classroom as much as possible but come to the RSP classroom to work in small groups or one on one in their area of difficulty. In the regular classroom they receive accommodations according to their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
Speech and Language Specialist
Students experiencing difficulty in articulation or language development meet weekly with a specialist for specific instruction in their area of need.
Ten to twelve students needing more specialized instruction participate in a class taught by a specially trained teacher and an aide.