General Announcements

No Newsletter Next Week… See you on Sunday, Dec 6!

Dec 1 Giving Tuesday
Please consider showing your support to LPIE as they work hard toward making their 2020-2021 goal! Click here to make a donation.

Hybrid School Schedule
Acalanes School Board approved the second semester hybrid schedule last Wednesday. Click here to review the plan in preparation for the District parent forum on November 30. Parents are asked to commit to either the Hybrid or 100% Distance Learning model by December 2.

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Acalanes Community Always (ACA)

Give Thanks by Shopping Local
Help local Lafayette business owners during this challenging economic time by shopping local for the holidays! A bonus is that sales tax from your purchases will be funneled back into our local economy. Now is a great time to express gratitude with gifts purchased locally. Visit here for more ways to support Lafayette businesses.  

Get Your Spirit Card Here!

Questions, comments or feedback, email

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It’s official: the Holidays are here! Need a Christmas tree or wreath? Shop Honey Bear Trees across from Acalanes for your Christmas tree and holiday decor! Choose a Noble Fir, Grand Fir, Fraser Fir, or Douglas Fir. Phone orders and a drive-through or delivery option are available this year. Bring this flyer, and Honey Bear will donate 20% of your purchase price back to LPIE.

LPIE recognizes the sacrifices families are facing, and knows that the ask to donate is a big one. Therefore, we are excited to launch our Matching Gift Opportunity on December 1!  Thanks to the generosity of two anonymous families, there is a dollar-for-dollar $60,000 match for all donations made between December 1-31. 

Please join LPIE in helping us preserve an excellent education for our students, even during the most difficult times. Donate in any amount here. 

LauraKate Rurka & Jennifer Palmer
Acalanes LPIE School Chairs

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Week FOURTEEN in the Challenge to Build Habits Supporting Racial Equity: 

November is Native American Heritage Month
As we give thanks for our many blessings this Thanksgiving, let’s remember to reflect on historic events from the vantage point of the Native population. We have added a number of different articles/videos covering various issues for you. Pick and choose, or watch them all over the next week! 

Nov 29 Ordering Deadline for Acalanes DEI Yard Signs
Available at

More information or questions?
Email us! Stay current and follow us on our webpage, Facebook and Instagram.

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From the Activities Director

Nov 29 Deadline To Order Spirit Wear
There is just one more week to order spirit wear! We have added some new items to the webstore. This is a perfect opportunity for holiday gifts or winter gear. Items will be available for pick-up on December 17. 

Acalanes Community Outreach in partnership with Concord-based Families First, encourages you to participate in this year’s program. Sign up to adopt an individual, shop for them based on their wishlist items and then drop the wrapped presents off at Acalanes on December 11. This is an amazing opportunity for the Acalanes community and an exciting philanthropic partnership. Sign up here.

Mental Health Newsletter
Take a minute & read some narratives, reminders about gratitude & resources to support our mental health.

The week we return from break has multiple opportunities for students to engage. Here is an overview:


  • Lunch with Alumni Raea Gragg – Talk with her about her journey writing a graphic novel, producing a film, resiliency, identity and how to talk about hard things. Event not to miss!
  • Frosh Finals Prep During Lunch – Encourage your frosh student to attend this finals prep dialogue with a teacher from each content area. Teachers will share wisdom about how to prep specifically for their class as we enter the end of Semester 1. 
  • Women in Leadership #2 at 7pm – Hear from Contra Costa County Deputy Attorney Colleen Gleason


  • Lunchtime Roundtable – Dialogue with Colleen Gleason on consent and more.
  • Class of 2023 Bonding at 5pm – Join us for Quiplash 


  • Equity Council at Lunch
  • Also at Lunch: Environmental dialogue

2020-2021 Clubs
Club meetings continue. Check out our 45 clubs!

If I can ever do anything to help you or your student, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Katherine Walton
, Student Activities Director

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Wellness Center

We hear about gratitude every Thanksgiving because that’s what the holiday is all about. But we don’t always deliver on our intentions. With the holiday occurring at a particularly challenging point in the pandemic, it’s a good time to think about gratitude in a new way. Or better yet, we can think of it in three ways! Gratitude is a skill, a strength, and a medicine.

Gratitude is a skill in that you get better at it with practice. In fact, it can become a habit. As we begin to look for reasons to be grateful, they become more apparent. Being appreciative is also a strength. Did you know that people who are grateful are more resilient, sleep better, feel better, and are kinder to other people and themselves? 

Finally, gratitude can be thought of as natural medicine in that it has a beneficial, healing effect on the body. When we feel grateful, it’s accompanied by sensations in the body. It might feel like warmth or a pleasant swelling in the heart area. Wherever we feel it, the sensation is caused by the release of serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. When we cultivate gratitude (deeply versus as a passing thought) the parts of our brains involved with language and recall are activated and we drop into presence. You can cultivate a grateful mood by listing things you’re grateful for– people, things, places, experiences. Ask your family or friends to join you. As with most things, gratitude is even more effective when you’re doing it while connecting with others.

Allen Choi, Wellness Coordinator
Casey Sasner, Intake Specialist

For updates, tips and advice, follow Wellness on Social Media: Instagram @acalaneswellness

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College & Career

AAUW Scholarship Application Opportunity
$2000 awarded to a Senior woman who demonstrates a sustained commitment to community service as well as a grade point average of at least 3.0. Apply now!

One-on-one Appointments
Students can book an individual meeting with Ms. Reicher here. Please encourage your student to take advantage regardless of where they are in the process.

Helpful Links:

Freshman College Planning
Sophomore College Planning
Junior College Planning
Senior Checklist

Keep up the good work! 
Wendy Reicher/College and Career Advisor:

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Many seniors have still not ordered official transcripts for college apps or updated their Naviance accounts. Students pay the $5 fee for official transcripts on the webstore. Mrs. Finn, the registrar, will process requests. Documents will be sent electronically through Naviance whenever possible. Please contact Mrs. Finn with questions. Students can review unofficial transcripts in Aeries.

Counselor Appointments
We love talking to our students! Email is the best way to reach us. Counselors have appointment slots for students and will email them a link for signing up. We are trying to reserve the limited slots outside of class time for students. Parents can schedule a time when students are in class.

A- Ed  
Anne Schonauer
Ee-Kr  Christine Todd
Ku-Ros  Marissa Meadows
Rot-Z  Susan Martin

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Legislative News

In an unexpected development, it appears there may be good news in the school finance arena – for the short term at least. The California Legislative Analyst’s Office has released its projections for next year’s budget based on tax revenues and predicts a large surplus. Keep in mind, however, that the first use for any additional funds would likely be to pay off the deferrals which the state imposed on school districts this year – i.e. paying back the money the state owes to the schools. In ‘remarkable’ turnaround, California schools can expect huge one-time windfall next year, LAO says

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School Nurse

Staying Safe During The Holidays

Be Covid Proactive!
See update on my google site. Stay healthy by keeping this symptom checklist in mind.

Improve Mental Health
Cook meals together as a family! It doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be as easy as arranging a fruit platter or putting a salad together.

This is a perfect opportunity with the upcoming holidays and our plans to STAY HOME. There are so many benefits – more to come!

Dvora Citron, RN, MS
Acalanes School Nurse Google Site
IG:  acalanesschoolnurse

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