Principal's Message: Welcome to Arroyo 2021-22

Dear Arroyo Families, 

(If you'd prefer to read this email as a GoogleDoc with better formatting you may do so here.)

The first day of school is almost here!  I hope that you all had a fun and relaxing summer and you’re ready for the new school year to begin.  I know I am!  I couldn’t be more excited to be welcoming our fourth and fifth graders back on campus full time for the 2021-22 school year!  I am also looking forward to getting to know all of you throughout the year.  Our Arroyo mascot is the Eagle and our theme for the year will be Together We Soar,  as we come together as a school community to follow the protocols that will keep students and staff safe, keep schools open, and support our students in reconnecting and growing socially and academically with their peers. 

This year, as we recover from the disruptions of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we continue to implement our Strategic Plan. In particular, we’ll be focusing on: 

  • Meeting each child’s individual needs both social-emotionally and academically
  • Using Habits of Mind, the 5C’s, and innovative practices to engage students so that we can accelerate learning 
  • Helping students develop a sense of ownership for their learning and encouraging independence, goal setting, and a growth mindset.
  • Supporting parents as partners in their child’s educational journey


I look forward to welcoming you and sharing more about the year ahead at our virtual Principal’s Welcome Back on Monday, August 16th at 7:30 pm and Back to School Night on Thursday, September 2nd.  In the meantime, here is some important information to help us kick off the school year. 




Mindy Shelton

[email protected]

Arroyo Website


Calendars and Bell Schedule

Arroyo Bell Schedule for 2021-22

2021-22 SCSD Calendar


COVID Protocols for Fall 2021

Arroyo, along with all of SCSD, follows all San Mateo County Health Guidelines, which are directed by CDPH.  Students will be encouraged to wear a mask when entering school grounds so we can ensure they are ready to enter their classrooms.  If students come without a mask, we will be able to provide one for them.  Students will be required to wear masks when indoors.  Masks are optional outdoors and lunches have been staggered to allow for more room for students to eat and play safely.  


You will notice a sign at the school gates with a "students only" reminder.  The CDPH Guidance directs schools to limit nonessential visitors. By asking parents, caregivers, and siblings to stay off the yard, we are able to provide a safe space for all of our students. Our "students only" routine also allows supervisors and teachers to see all children and encourages the independence we foster in our upper elementary program.


Hand washing will continue to be a focus of our daily routine. In addition, we will have hand sanitizer available for students entering the blacktop area and their classroom but also encourage families to get into the routine of washing their hands prior to entering the school campus. 


Continue to keep your children home if they show any signs of illness.  More information will be coming soon about the district’s procedures this year for health monitoring, contract tracing, and quarantines.


We Need YOU!:

A big part of our ability to reopen last year was due to all of the parent support we had with our volunteers and campus supervisors.  Those roles will be even more important this year as we fully reopen.  Volunteers are needed to help with drop-off and pick-up daily.  Campus Supervisors (paid positions hired through the district) are critically needed to help with lunch and recess supervision.  If you’re able to help with either of these, please complete this form and we’ll be in touch with you soon.  Ideally this would be a year-long commitment at least one day a week with a regular schedule but we understand that things come up and will be as flexible as possible.


Arroyo/Central is also in desperate need of a Food Service Assistant to coordinate our hot lunch program.  You can apply through the link or reach out to [email protected] if you’re interested.  This is a paid position through the district.


Welcome Week Events:

We want Arroyo to feel like a home away from home for you and your child.  In an effort to build community and make sure everyone feels welcomed, the PTA and I have been hard at work this summer coordinating some special activities for the first week of school.  Please take a moment to read all the details below and plan to join us for as much as possible.  


Please join us for Arroyo Day on Monday, August 16 from 4:00-6:00 pm. Come meet other families from your class, PTA leaders from our school, and others from the community.  We’ll have the Kona Ice food truck, activities on the field and blacktop, and volunteer sign-ups.  Bring a picnic and stay from 6:00-7:00 to continue the fun and get to know other Arroyo families.  Classroom assignments will be emailed in advance of the event.  Please note, no changes will be made to class placements in the first 10 days of school. 


Following the Welcome Back event, please join me on Zoom from 7:30-8:30pm to learn about our program and plans for the 2021-2022 school year.  Zoom info will be emailed to all families on Monday, August 16.


Our first day of school is Wednesday, August 18, a minimum day (8:35-12:50).  

On the first day of school, students will be invited to join their teachers on the blacktop where they will find their class lines and have a chance to meet their new classmates. Please note that at this time, the campus is open only to staff and students.  Whether students arrive by bus, car, or on foot/bike, they’ll say goodbye at one of the school entrances and proceed across the campus to the play yard.  Masks will be optional, however, when the bell rings at 8:35 am, children will line up to meet their teacher and put their masks on so they are ready to enter their classroom.  The teacher will lead the line to class and help the children put their items away.  PTA will have a table set up outside the school office where parents can meet, ask questions, and sign up for volunteer opportunities.  


School Information, Procedures & Reminders:


Daily Bell Schedule

School starts at 8:35 every day with dismissal at 3:10 every day but Wednesday which has an early release at 12:50.  Our daily bell schedule can be found here.  There may still be a few tweaks during the day so that we align our times with Central Middle School but I do not expect start and end times to change.   



Safety is especially important at the beginning and end of the school day.  Please take a moment to review our Getting to School and Drop Off/Pick Up Procedures and follow all of the guidelines laid out.  These are busy times of day for all of us so please practice extra patience and caution, especially when driving on or near our campus.  

As you plan your route to school, please consider encouraging your student to walk or bike to school as often as possible.  Not only does it reduce traffic congestion around the campus (thereby increasing safety), but it’s also a great opportunity for students to start and end their day with some physical activity, as well as allowing for some great social interaction.  We encourage students to use the buddy system and pair up with other students who live nearby.  

Bike and scooter parking is located near the portables on the Woodland/Chestnut side of the campus.  Scooters and skateboards may be stored in our transportation shed.  For bikes we recommend investing in an inexpensive lock that can be used to attach their bike to the bike rack. 


Morning Routine

Every morning, yard supervision will begin at 8:25 am.  Students arriving early should wait outside the school gates.  Please note that at this time, the campus is open only to staff and students.  Whether students arrive by bus, car, or on foot/bike, they’ll say goodbye at one of the school entrances and proceed across the campus to the play yard entrance. Masks will be optional, however, when the bell rings at 8:35 am, children will line up to meet the teacher and put their masks on so they are ready to enter their classroom. The teacher will lead the line to class and help the children put their items away. 


Snack & Lunch

Students will have a 20 minute morning recess each day.  This is an important time for students to socialize, move their bodies, and refuel.  Students should bring a healthy snack to school each day to eat at that time.


Later in the day, students will have a 40 minute lunch break including dedicated time for both eating and playing.  This year we will stagger by grade level to allow more space for students to spread out while eating.  If you send a lunch from home, please consider reusable containers (labeled with your child’s name), and take a moment to review with your students what parts of their lunch waste will go to landfill, recycle, or compost when they are finished eating at school. To register with our Lunch Vendor and begin selecting lunches for your student, please visit our School Lunch Program webpage.


School Supplies

The San Carlos School District and the Arroyo/CMS PTA continue to be committed to providing the necessary school supplies for each student in order to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities. There is no need to fill backpacks with new school supplies. As always, parents can also help provide classroom supplies and field trip funds by supporting SCEF and our Arroyo/CMS PTA.  


Please send a backpack, a water bottle and a nutritious snack and lunch labeled with your child's first and last name. Please also remember that sneakers or sturdy, closed-toe shoes are important for active play each day.  Including an extra face mask in your child’s backpack is a good idea as well in case the one they are wearing gets dirty throughout the day.  We will have extra masks available but students may prefer a specific type.  



If your child is going to be out for any reason, it is critical that you contact our school secretary, Tracey Olazar, and not just your child’s teacher.  You can email Tracey at [email protected] or call the school office at 650-632-8300 and press one for the attendance line to leave a message.  We need to know the exact reason that your child is out and honesty is critically important for the sake of our entire community.  If your child is exhibiting any symptoms at all, has been in contact with someone with Covid, or has travelled, Tracey can walk you through the protocols needed for quarantine and/or a safe return to school. 



There are many ways to stay connected here at Arroyo.  Please review the Guide to Communications to learn more. Watch your email every Sunday morning for the Arroyo Eagle Eye newsletter.  All of my principal messages are compiled on a running document.  You may want to bookmark it so you can look back at past information.  Please also bookmark our Arroyo School Website to stay up to date.  If you cannot find something you are looking for, please contact our front office.



As I mentioned earlier, we rely heavily on our parent volunteers to run many of the programs that make our community special.  Please consider signing up to be a Class Room Parent, Art in Action Docent, garden volunteer, committee chair/member, or student-led club supervisor.  More information will be available at our Welcome Week events or you are welcome to reach out to me, your child’s teacher, or our PTA leaders any time to find out how you can get involved.  


Speaking of volunteering,  Each Green Corner is hosting a work day in the Arroyo/Central Garden on 8/14 from 9:00AM to 1:00PM.  Sign up here if you’re able to come help.


PTA Membership

We have one PTA that serves both CMS and Arroyo and we welcome your partnership. Your PTA membership, volunteer hours, and donations support teacher grants, library, Art-in-Action, Garden and other programs and events. We couldn’t do it without our parent partners. Thank you!  Watch the Eagle Eye newsletter for information about how to join our PTA.


New Families Buddy Program

If you are a new family to SCSD and would like to be connected with a buddy family, please fill out this short Google Form. Veteran parents can answer questions large and small, from favorite activities to best extracurriculars to First Day of School prep.


Cell Phone Policy: Supporting our culture of social development

As part of our culture, we expect students to be fully present in the moment, be aware of their environment and each other, even to happily cross the playground to speak with one another. To promote these behaviors, cell phones must be turned off and be out of sight in backpacks once students arrive on campus. If a student needs to reach you or you need to reach them, we will use the school phones: (650) 632-8300. Please create a contact for Arroyo on your own cell phones, so you recognize us if we call you, thank you!


Arroyo supports the Wait Until 8th Campaign.  We encourage you to hold off in getting your child a cell phone.  If your child must have one for safety reasons we encourage you to consider a basic phone or two-way calling watch instead of a smart phone.


Reinforcing Expected Behaviors Home and School

Our culture promotes behaviors that are Responsible (aware that our choices affect others), Respectful (considerate of others’ perspectives), and Safe (aware of our surroundings, making safe choices). Please consider using this language when you work with your students at home this year, thank you!


Arroyo Staff Updates

We are thrilled to welcome back many of our Arroyo staff members.  You can learn more about them on our website (updates are in progress).  While we had to say goodbye to a few beloved staff members at the end of last year, we are thrilled to welcome our new staff to the team.  Our 4th grade team of Talia Lamb, Nicole Murray, Sheila Sevilla and Jamie Skinner will be joined by Hannah Mata and Jacey Phipps.  Our fifth grade team of Jennifer Crettol, Marianne Cheatham, Michelle Robinson, Angela Naughton, and Shelli Murphy will be joined by Michelle Sales.  Our Education Specialists Annabelle Ortiz and Jenny Brady provide additional support to students through both push-in and pull-out support programs.  


One of the most unique advantages of our upper elementary schools is being able to draw upon the expertise of our middle school staff.  In an upcoming newsletter I will introduce the PE and elective teachers that will be working with Arroyo this year.  


ACE Aftercare

Afterschool Care Enrichment was selected by the San Carlos School District as the Upper Elementary School care provider at Arroyo and Mariposa. ACE was founded by Eve Daskalakis who has served families in the San Carlos Childcare community since 2008. ACE is an innovative California State licensed childcare program that focuses on enrichment and youth development to challenge our upper elementary students each day. ACE will offer both Morning and Afternoon Programming.

  • Morning Programming Including Breakfast: Monday-Friday from 7:30am-the start of the school day 
  • Afternoon Programming: Monday-Friday from End of school day-6:00pm
  • Each day includes a Healthy afternoon snack, our Homework Lab with staff assisted support, STEAM activities and Active Outdoor Enrichment Programming


Please visit the ACE website for detailed program information and to register your child, or feel free to reach out to Eve Daskalakis directly via email or phone (650) 931-4007.


Independent Study Program

As you may have read in Superintendent Frentress’ email on July 30th, California Assembly Bill 130 authorizes districts to provide Independent Study for a student whose health would be put at risk by in-person instruction, as determined by the parent or guardian. 


The program will differ significantly from the Connections program we offered last year in that synchronous instruction will be limited, as the legislation requires just 40 minutes twice a week for grades 4-8.  If you are interested in this program or would like to inquire more about it, please contact me via email at [email protected] 


Plans Changing?

If your child will not be attending Arroyo, please email Tracey Olazar in our school office as soon as possible ([email protected]).  We're preparing each and every seat!  Thank you for your help. 


I hope you enjoy a few more weeks of much-deserved rest, relaxation, and fun with family and friends.  I know my own family will be squeezing in a Giant’s game and more outdoor fun.


Dates to Remember





Event Details

Monday, Aug 16

4:00-6:00 pm

Arroyo Day on the Arroyo blacktop (class assignments, food truck & fun!)

Stay for an optional picnic from 6-7 pm.

Monday, Aug 16

7:30 pm

Arroyo Principal’s Welcome Back Orientation over Zoom -

Wednesday, Aug. 18

8:35 am-12:50 pm

First Day of School

Thursday, Sept. 2


Back to School Night (Virtual, Parents Only)

Friday, September 3

8:35 am-12:50 pm

Minimum Day

Monday, September 6

All Day

No School - Labor Day

Friday, September 24

All Day

Picture Day at Arroyo

October 4-8

8:35 am-12:50 pm

Minimum Days for Parent-Teacher Conferences