Dear Acalanes High School Community,

Yesterday, February 2, 2021, we welcomed all staff back on campus for the first time since March 13th. It has been almost 11 months since all staff have been together at the same location. While there is some expected anxiety from this shift in the temporary work practice, it is coupled with anticipation and excitement of being back together - even if it is at a distance and masked! Having all staff return to work from campus is the first step in preparing for our Hybrid return once we have demonstrated Red Tier Covid data as per the county dashboard. More information about our Hybrid return, including detailed schedules and timelines, can be found on the district website linked for your convenience.

Small Cohorts & Athletics Update
In addition to having all staff back on campus and continuing with our student small group support cohorts on campus, we have officially launched our first “season” of sports, for teams that meet the Covid compliance requirements under purple tier. Yesterday, I was encouraged to see that our campus is beginning to return to a semblance of normalcy when I walked outside to our track and field team holding an official practice!  You can learn more about Athletic updates and the tiered approach to play, by reading this release from Diablo Athletic League. As a reminder, at this time, there are no spectators allowed for any sports practices or events in order to adhere to health and safety guidelines. You can email Randy Takahashi, our Athletic Director, should you have any questions. We are thrilled to continue welcoming students back on our campus in smaller cohorts; just last week we hosted over ten different 9th grade study sessions for students wanting additional academic support in specific subject areas. We will keep you updated as we increase the number of small cohorts that are added on campus. 

Mandatory Academy Session for 2021-22 Course Selection
While it may feel like we just started second semester, and are trying to focus on gearing up for a hybrid return this year, it is time to start planning for the 2021-2022 school year. This week during Academy, the Acalanes counselors are holding webinars to meet with all 9th, 10th, and 11th graders to review the course selection process and provide information about available elective offerings. This is an important and required Academy session for all students. Students can find the Webinar link in Teachmore for their Academy session. 
  • Wednesday: 9th Grade Academy Webinar
  • Friday: 10th & 11th Grade Academy Webinar
These Academy sessions are designed for students; however, parents are welcome to watch along with their child. Due to the max capacity of our webinar sessions, we are asking parents to not sign in on a separate device. Alternatively, you can view the webinars after they are posted on the AHS website.

Virtual Course Preview & Open House
We have an opportunity for parents to learn more about electives and the course selection process on Thursday, February 11, through our virtual Course Preview and Open House event. Our Course Preview night is a great way to learn about academic pathways (e.g. Math, Science, etc.), see examples of course work, and, most importantly, learn about Acalanes elective offerings. As with all things this year, our Course Preview presentations will be a series of pre-recorded videos that you can select based on your interest. You will notice that our elective course and some optional choice offerings have their own designated video, whereas some required courses are referenced in department videos highlighting content specific information. Information and links to course videos can be found on our website beginning February 11.

If you or your student have any questions regarding the course selection process, please contact your child’s counselor.
  • Anne Schonauer (Last Names A - Ed)
  • Christine Todd (Last Names El - Kr)
  • Marissa Meadows (Last Names Ku - Rog)
  • Susan Martin (Last Names Roh - Z)

Holiday Weekend Schedule Reminder
As a reminder, the calendar has been adjusted to accommodate needs for our planned Hybrid return. Therefore, next Friday, February 12th, is a regular scheduled school day following the normal Friday Distance Learning bell schedule. Monday, February 15th is still a non-school day for the Presidents Day holiday.  Students will return to school for a regular Tuesday schedule on February 13th. I hope you enjoy your long weekend.

I encourage you to check the Acalanes website regularly to stay up to date on the ever-changing landscape related to the return of students safely back to campus. As always, please reach out should you have any questions or need any assistance. 

Finally, if you missed it last weekend, make sure to drive by campus Thursday - Sunday for our ACASTRONG light display! It’s a wonderful reminder of the positive community spirit that endures on our campus!

Acalanes Community Always,

Travis Bell