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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APC Spring Grant Program Applications Now Open!

Acalanes is pleased to continue its Acalanes Parents Club (APC) Grant Program this semester with a focus on ideas that will enhance the educational and campus experience of AHS students in new and innovative ways. Teachers, students and parents are welcome to submit a grant proposal, utilizing the application form. Guidelines for grant submissions are also available. 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. 



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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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Membership & Fundraising

Give a gift that will leave a forever legacy at AHS! Pay tribute to your upcoming graduate, past graduates, your favorite teacher, or anyone who has contributed to your time at Acalanes.  You can even dedicate a brick to your AHS sports team, performance group or favorite club. Bricks make a wonderful graduation gift. Be creative, be unique and leave a lasting impression on AHS!  

Inscriptions can be a maximum of three lines, with up to 17 characters per line.  To order your brick before the May 1 deadline, make your $250 tax deductible donation to Acalanes Parents Club on the AHS Web Store.

Questions? please contact Melissa Arends. 


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Parent Ed: Let’s Go to the Movies! An Oscar After-party

Tuesday, Feb 11 Let’s Go to the Movies! An Oscar After-party from 7-8:30pm in the Small Theatre As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Everything I learned, I learned from the movies.” Join us for an enthralling conversation with NYU professor Harry Chotiner as he takes us on a deep dive into 2019 films such as Irishman, Marriage Story, Little Women, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Parasite. Mr. Chotiner will also touch on how the Academy works, the winners and losers, diversity, movie theatre attendance in the U.S. and more! See you after the Oscars! The Small Theatre/Drama room is located on the Quad at Acalanes. Reserve your spot here.


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Parent Ed: Fostering Resilience in Complex Times

Thursday February 27 from 6:30-8pm in the Acalanes Library. Fostering Resilience in Complex Times with Dr. Dan Peters, Ph.D, Psychologist, Author and Executive Director of Summit Center, will share his wisdom at a presentation you don’t want to miss! The pressure to be successful, get good grades, be a good athlete and develop talents is growing for our children. With it comes the growing parenting pressure to raise children who can compete in the increasingly competitive world.  Dr. Dan has devoted his career to the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families in overcoming worry and fear, and learning differences. Reserve your spot here.


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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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APC in Action

Make sure your interested student marks their calendar to join College & Career Advisor Wendy Reicher and Leadership Teacher Katherine Walton for a lunch-time discussion about how students can get involved in their community. Students learn how to apply for the President’s and Acalanes Volunteer Service Awards in the spring. More information can be found here, or email community service. Open to all grades, students bring lunch. 

At lunch in the College and Career Office

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Friday, Jan 17: Dons Dialogue

Join us as we kick off 2020 with our first Dons Dialogue of the year. Topics include 2020-2021 course selection process, department updates from English, Social Science and World Language, and results from the English Language Arts Smarter Balance Assessment. As always, parking will be reserved and refreshments will be served. See you there.

From 8:45-10am in the Collaboration Center.


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