Co-Presidents’ Message

Co-Presidents’ Message

We hope all Acalanes families enjoyed the 4-day weekend! February is shaping up to be a busy month for Dons’ parents. We hope you will mark your calendar for the following upcoming events:

  • Dons Dialogue: February 21
  • APC Sponsored Just Mercy Screening for Black History Month: February 24
  • APC Parent Education Event with Parent Expert Dr. Dan Peters: February 27

We are in the early stages of filling APC Exec Board and volunteer positions for the 2020-2021 school year. There are numerous ways to get involved and put your talents to good use! Take a look at all of the possibilities on the APC Job Descriptions page. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact APC Parliamentarian Meg Fellner who is heading up the Nominating Committee.
 
Dawn Brightbill and Sarah Cusumano

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Co-Associate Principals’ Message

The month of January was a busy one at the home of the Dons with the second semester kicking off with a flurry of activity. One of the highlights was our annual Open House Course Preview night last week. The Dons community showed up in droves for an excellent event with a kick off address by Principal Bell and followed by three breakout sessions, where students and parents could self-select into offerings of individual interest. Teachers and staff organized and facilitated sessions about course pathways, class curriculum overviews and expectations, and assorted other informational offerings.

Continuing the class selection theme, counselors have spent this week, and will continue next, meeting with all 9th, 10th and 11th graders for individual sessions based around students selecting their classes for next year. With graduation requirements, a huge array of exciting electives and an intriguing peppering of new classes, there are choices aplenty at every level. Our counselors’ expertise, and recommendations from current teachers, is of great value and these individual 5-10 minute meetings have been a great way to clarify those challenging decisions.

Our final mention for this month is to reference the current #QuitLying campaign, orchestrated by our Leadership class in partnership with a nation-wide campaign. The purpose of this initiative is to spark curiosity amongst our youngsters to unearth some of the unethical and morally corrupt lies that big vape and tobacco companies are using to market vaping as a low-risk endeavor. Placards around campus exposing some of the myths, misconceptions and falsehoods, along with a slogan-adorned T-shirt and factual videos distributed by Ms Walton and the Leadership class are all parts of the campaign. This educational, factual approach, along with recent campus-wide policy changes designed to limit opportunities for our students to make bad choices, is all part of our school community;s response to combat the plague of vaping that is an issue on high-school campuses nation-wide.

As always, we want to state what a pleasure it is to work at Acalanes on a daily basis. Our exceptional staff and faculty, our engaging and kind students and our wonderful, supportive community all serve to make us proud and happy Dons.

All the best,
Andrea Powers and Mike Plant

 

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Co-Presidents’ Message

 It was wonderful to see so many students and parents at the 2020-21 Course Preview & Open House last week. Special thanks to our APC Hospitality Team led by Marlene Peacock and Kim Siegal for their creative “Love Lafayette” themed reception and our APC board members who were on hand to welcome incoming freshman families. 

All freshmen, sophomores and juniors will have a brief meeting with the counselors this week to confirm their fall schedules. It’s a great chance for your student ask any final questions they may have about which classes to take before finalizing their schedule. 

Finally, we’d like to call your attention to the Wellness section of the website. If you haven’t yet stumbled upon it, the Wellness staff shares insightful information each week regarding how to support your student as they deal with the pressures of high school. This week, they highlight the value of sleep. While we all know how important sleep is for our kids, the message is a good reminder of how much they actually need to succeed.

Dawn Brightbill and Sarah Cusumano

 

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Co-Presidents Message

If you have a Sophomore or Junior, we hope that they came home and told you all about the exciting Breaking Down the Walls Program they participated in last week. It is consistently one of the most talked about programs on campus by students, teachers, counselors and AHS administrators. Here’s just one takeaway from a student:

“Breaking Down the Walls makes our school more of a community and I was able to connect with people I normally couldn’t of otherwise and today, I realized that I am never alone.”

Ask your sophomore or junior for input if they have yet to share their thoughts about the day. Thanks to your contributions, APC funds this valuable program.

We look forward to seeing lots of students and parents at the Acalanes Course Preview & Open House this Thursday! This is a worthwhile event for any current 8th graders, freshmen, sophomores and juniors to help guide students with their 2020-21 course selections. You can find more information in our General Announcements below. If you’re able to make it, please stop by the APC Reception in front of the Main Gym starting at 5:30 to grab a hot cocoa on your way to learn more about the various course pathways and course offerings. We hope to see you on Thursday evening!

Dawn Brightbill and Sarah Cusumano

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Co-Presidents’ Message

APC is kicking off the second semester with a number of exciting programs thanks to your donations and support. Some of the highlights APC is funding include:

Breaking Down the Walls will be on campus next week working with all sophomores and juniors to help students break down barriers between them to build stronger relationships with one another creating a more inclusive climate on campus. Refer to the Student Activities section to learn more. 

APC Spring Grants are now open for students, teachers, and parents with a focus on ideas that will enhance the educational and campus experience of AHS students in new and innovative ways. Refer to grant guidelines here, and submit your creative solutions using the application form. Email completed applications to Laura White or deliver to the APC box in the office. Grant applications are due by noon on Friday, Feb 21. 

Acalanes Testing Center (ATC), located in the Peer Tutoring Office, is a new program that strives to support students in need of making up tests from excused absences. Students may ask their teacher whether or not the ATC is an option for their testing since teachers must pre-approve utilization of the resource. The center provides a valuable alternative to using the Academy period for test taking.

We hope you have added the upcoming Course Preview & Open House to your calendar for Thursday, January 30th (see below). Students and parents of incoming 8th Grade, Freshman, Sophomore, and Juniors are encouraged to attend.

Dawn Brightbill and Sarah Cusumano

 

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Co-Associate Principals’ Message

Happy New Year and welcome back Dons!

We hope you had a wonderful and relaxing winter break with friends and families, especially with a true break from school this year.  Reflecting on 1st semester successes and challenges has been a priority for us when we closed out the year. We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our students and staff, as well as the support we have received from our parent community.  We will continue to support and show up for our Dons as we are back refreshed and ready to dive into second semester.  

The Dons look forward to cheering on our winter sports, our upcoming Breaking Down the Walls program for Sophomores and Juniors, and finishing off the month with Open House.  We wish you all the best in 2020 and look forward to a great semester.  

Associate Principals,
Andrea Powers & Mike Plant

 

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Co-Presidents’ Message

Welcome to the last week of the first semester! We know your kids have spent the past several days preparing for final exams and we want to thank our APC Finals Fuel team, Carey Starn and Nicole Carberry, along with lots of parent help, for providing healthy snacks for students throughout the week. Don’t forget to remind your students to take advantage of our Wellness Center and Peer Tutoring resources as needed.

We want to express our gratitude to our entire APC Board, sub-committees and Class Liaisons for all their dedication to the many Dons programs and events on campus this first semester. We wish everyone a restful holiday break and hope that you all enjoy the festivities and traditions of the season. A reminder that the first day of second semester is Tuesday, January 7.  

Dawn Brightbill & Sarah Cusumano

 

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Co-Associate Principals’ Message

It’s hard to believe we started school on August 13th and the Fall Semester is now coming to a close. As you know, finals are around the corner and then our students are off for what we hope is an enjoyable and relaxing Winter Break. We hope you’ll encourage your students to take advantage of all the finals resources at Acalanes including the upcoming Exam Jam on Wednesday, December 11, from 3-5pm, in the Cafeteria. It provides a terrific way for students to get extra academic support in preparation for finals. We will have teacher representation from each of our departments. 

We would like to extend a special thanks to APC’s Teacher Appreciation Chair Emma Bishopp and her team who once again went above and beyond to provide a delicious staff lunch last week. Our teachers and staff feel well taken care of by our wonderful Dons parent community and we look forward to the APC Cookie Exchange next week. 

We are proud of all our fall sports teams. Check out an overview of their collective success in the Sports section below. We wish all our students good luck in closing out the semester and look forward to connecting with all of you after break in 2020!

Andrea Powers and Mike Plant

 

 

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Co-Presidents’ Message

Acalanes fall sports teams have been dominating this season. Be sure to check out the schedule for upcoming games for Girls and Boys Water Polo, Girls Tennis and Varsity Football. A special shout out to Girls Water Polo with a current 50-0 record. Let’s go Dons!

Thanks to all the parents who showed up to help out in the AHS Football game concessions last Friday. Football concession profits are divided throughout the season among the various classes so your support by volunteering or buying food is greatly appreciated!


The Make Vaping History Parent Education Event has been rescheduled for Wednesday, December 4, at 7pm, in the Performing Arts Center (PAC). This informative evening is put on by Acalanes Parents Club, Acalanes Union High School District and the Contra Costa Office of Education. Students and parents are invited. Learn up-to-date information on e-cigarette/vape pen products, adolescent use rates, impact on young people, prevention strategies, and how to support current users and more. You may want to also check out the APC Parent Ed Workshop with Matt Crevin on November 18 from 7-8:30pm in the Library. Learn how to help your kids with the invaluable skill of face-to-face communication. Refer to the Parent Ed section below to learn more and to sign up for these events.

Dawn Brightbill & Sarah Cusumano

 

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Co-Presidents’ Message

Our message this week is short and sweet. We hope your family has a chance to enjoy the long Veterans Day weekend. Our final APC Dons Dialogue of 2019 will be held this Friday. The forum lead by Principal Bell will focus on Finals Week Prep & Student Support (see details in APC in Action below). We are thrilled with how many parents are joining these informative exchanges and hope to see you on Friday. 

Dawn Brightbill & Sarah Cusumano

 

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