From the Principal: Welcome to Arroyo 2022-23

8/16/22 - Welcome to Arroyo 2022-23

(If you'd prefer to read this email as a GoogleDoc you may do so here. You may wish to bookmark this doc as it will contain a running record of all of my communications this year.)

Dear Arroyo Families, 

We are looking forward to our best year yet at Arroyo! We can’t wait to help our fourth graders make the transition to our campus, welcome back our returning fifth graders, and greet and welcome the families who are new to San Carlos School District, too!  

The fourth and fifth grade years are such a special time of transition and growing independence. At Arroyo we strive to meet the needs of the whole child by: 

  • 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

Our goal is to make every student and family at Arroyo feel valued and connected. Without that sense of belonging, we cannot accomplish any of our larger academic goals for our students. Because of this, you’ll notice events for families throughout the year to help you build connections with our campus, our staff, and with other students and families. In that spirit, I hope you’ll join us for our Arroyo & Central Day Welcome Event on campus on Monday, Aug. 22 from 4-6pm; families will have the opportunity to meet others from their class, take an outdoor tour of campus, and enjoy some games and activities set up by our PTA. You can bring your own picnic and eat at our lunch tables or on the field, and purchase shaved ice from the Kona Ice Truck. 

I also look forward to welcoming you and sharing more about the year ahead at Back to School Night on Wednesday, August 31st from 6:30-7:30pm. In the meantime, keep reading for some important information to help us kick off the school year. 


Mindy Shelton


[email protected]


The ​​​​​​Arroyo Website is a great resource for information. Updates are currently underway for the 2022-23 school year. Please bookmark the site and check back regularly. 


Calendars and Bell Schedule

Arroyo Bell Schedule for 2022-23

2022-23 SCSD Calendar

Subscribe to our Arroyo Calendar


COVID Protocols for Fall 2021

We continue to follow the guidance from California Department of Public Health and San Mateo County Health (SMCH) to respond to COVID-19. Rapid antigen tests (at-home test kits) are the preferred method for testing should a person experience symptoms of COVID-19. We know tests are widely available, but if you need extras to test your students, please contact our school office and we’re happy to provide one for your child. Masks continue to be strongly recommended indoors for staff and students, but not required. We will continue to update our Health and Safety Plan to follow the latest protocols from San Mateo County; an updated version will be available soon. 

We also plan to continue our safety protocols, including air filtration and ventilation in classrooms, as well as frequent hand-washing and hand sanitizing.

As a reminder, please continue to keep your children home and test 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!:

Volunteers are needed to help with drop-off and pick-up daily. We also need parent volunteers to help supervise our student-led clubs and other special activities during lunchtime. 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. Our PTA will also be offering additional ways to volunteer and be involved both in classrooms and at school wide events at Arroyo.


Welcome Week Events:

We want Arroyo to feel like a home away from home for you and your child. Whether your child is a fourth grader transitioning from Brittan Acres or White Oaks, a student who is new to SCSD, or a fifth grader returning after a long summer off, we want to make the start of the year as seamless as possible and build a strong sense of community at Arroyo. With this in mind, 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.  

PTA has arranged a family social at Devil’s Canyon this Friday, August 19 from 4:30-7:00 pm. Come enjoy food trucks and live music and get to know other Arroyo families.  

As mentioned above, please join us for our Arroyo & Central Day Welcome Event on Monday, August 22 from 4:00-6:00 pm. Come meet other families from your class, PTA leaders from our school, and others from the community. This is a great opportunity for students and their families to locate their classroom and walk through the logistics of arriving and departing each day. We’ll have the Kona Ice food truck, activities on the field and blacktop, and volunteer sign-ups. Bring a picnic dinner for your family 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. 

Our first day of school is Wednesday, August 24, 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. 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. PTA will have a table set up outside the school office where parents can meet, ask questions, and sign up for volunteer opportunities.  (See below for more information about our daily routines and what students will need to bring with them.)

Throughout the first weeks of school, classes will have an intentional focus on community building and helping students to get to know one another. We know the new school year can bring both excitement and some anxiety around friendships.  Students will have a lot of opportunities to create new friendships and strengthen existing ones. We’ll also spend time learning about expectations, routines, and procedures at Arroyo so that students can feel comfortable on campus and in their classrooms.  


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.   



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. Please ensure that your child wears a well-fitting helmet and remind them to walk their wheels once on campus.  


Morning Routine

Every morning, yard supervision will begin at 8:20 am. Students are not permitted on campus until that time. 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 playground area. Breakfast will be served at 8:20 (see below). At 8:30, a warning bell will ring and students may line up outside their classrooms and place their backpacks on the hooks outside so they are ready to start the day at 8:35.  


Breakfast, Snack & Lunch

During the 2022-23 school year, the district is providing free breakfast and lunch daily to all students (mandated by the state for all public schools in California). We have contracted with a NEW vendor, The LunchMaster, to provide the service this year. Please follow the steps below to create an account and get lunch ordered:

  1. Register - Create an account by visiting the website: Use our school's code to register for an account: Arroyo Upper Elementary use code: arroyoschool
  2. Meal Application: We ask that each family, regardless of income level, fill out the EZ Meal Application. Completing this form helps your school receive more funding to support your child’s learning environment. The application is used to calculate school funding levels from the state and federal level. Please visit our Free & Reduced-Price Meal Application webpage for more information.
  3. Place Orders: Meals can be ordered daily, weekly, or monthly, either online at or through the phone app, The LunchMaster. Breakfast meals must be placed three days before meal service. Lunch meals can be placed by 10:00am two days before meal service
  4. Distribution: Meals will be distributed daily at Arroyo

Students will have a 40 minute lunch break including dedicated time for both eating and playing. 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.

In addition to breakfast and lunch, students will have a 20 minute morning snack/recess break 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.


School Supplies

Please send a backpack and a water bottle 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. Since face masks are still strongly recommended by the county for indoor spaces, we also recommend sending your child to school with a face mask and including an extra face mask in your child’s backpack.  

There is no need to fill backpacks with new school supplies. The San Carlos School District, SCEF, 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. As always, parents can also help provide classroom supplies and field trip funds by supporting SCEF and our Arroyo/CMS PTA.  



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 or has been or has been exposed to someone with Covid, 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.  



We have one PTA that serves both CMS and Arroyo and we welcome your partnership. This year, PTA and SCEF will be joining forces to combine their fundraising efforts. More information will be coming soon. Your PTA membership, volunteer hours, and SCEF 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 and support SCEF.


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. In addition, if your student wears a smartwatch, it needs to be in airplane mode during the day. If students are receiving texts during the school day or using their smartwatch in other ways than timekeeping, they will be asked to store the watch in their backpack during school hours. 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 smartphone.


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 most 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 happy that several of them found a home at other schools in the district.  This year our 4th grade team includes Talia Lamb, Nicole Murray, Michelle Sales (moving down from 5th grade), Sheila Sevilla, and Jamie Skinner. Our fifth grade team is Jennifer Crettol, Marianne Cheatham, Michelle Robinson, Angela Naughton, and Shelli Murphy.  Our Education Specialist Jenny Brady provides additional support to students through both push-in and pull-out support programs. Our School Counselor Julie Jobak is available to support students and families at both Arroyo and Central.  Additional support services are provided by our Special Education staff and mental health associate.  ​​​​​​​

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

ACE (Afterschool Care Enrichment) provides before and after school care at Arroyo. 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. Please visit the ACE website for detailed program information and to register your child.


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. 


Dates to Remember



Event Details

Friday, Aug 19

4:30-7:00 pm

Arroyo Family Social at Devil’s Canyon

Monday, Aug 22

4:00-6:00 pm

Arroyo & Central Day Welcome Event on the Arroyo blacktop (class assignments, Kona Ice truck & fun!)

Wednesday, Aug 24

8:35 am-12:50 pm

First Day of School  

Wednesday, Aug 31


Back to School Night (Parents Only)

Friday, Sept 2

8:35 am-12:50 pm

Minimum Day

Monday, Sept 5

All Day

No School - Labor Day

Friday, Sept 23

All Day

Picture Day at Arroyo

October 3-7

8:35 am-12:50 pm

Minimum Days for Parent-Teacher Conferences