Chartwell School: The Bulldog Bark

Weekly News and Announcements

August 4, 2022

What's In This Newsletter

As we approach the start of school, there is a lot of information to share with families. Please take the time to read the Bark thoroughly each week to make your year start off smoothly. If you missed the July 14 or 28 issues of the Bulldog Bark, you can find the archives here.

What's New This Week:

  • Robotics 2022-2023 Overview of Programs
  • Directory Information Confirmation Request
  • Volunteers needed for August 11 picnic

Repeated from Last Week:

Robotics 2022-2023 Kick-Offs with Expanded Options

Sandra Varajic, Chartwell’s new Director of STEAM and EdTech, is teaming up with Ultra Robotics to expand robotics options for students this year. All ages will have an after-school robotics option!

There will be an on-campus Open House on Saturday, August 27 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm for Chartwell parents and interested students. Light refreshments will be served.

A very brief description of each program is listed below, along with registration links. To learn more about each program, click here to view a presentation with more information.

Robotics 2022-2023 Overview

FIRST Lego League (FLL) Explore

Ages 6-8

Meets every Saturday beginning September 10 from 1:30 pm -2:30 pm

September - November

Coached by Jenna Jackson, Ultra Robotics

Register here by September 2.

FIRST Lego League (FLL) Challenge (Weekend Practice Team)

Ages 9-13

Meets every Saturday beginning September 10 from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

September - November

Coached by Jenna Jackson, Ultra Robotics

Register here by September 2.

FIRST Lego League(FLL) Challenge (Weekday Practice Team)

Ages 9-13

Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning September 6 from 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

Coached by Sandra Varajic, Chartwell STEAM and Ed Tech Director

Register here by September 2.

First Tech Challenge (FTC)

Ages 12-18

Meets every Monday and Wednesday beginning September 7 from 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

September - April

Coached by Sandra Varajic, Chartwell STEAM and Ed Tech Director

Register here by September 2.

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)

Ages 14-18

Meets Thursdays starting 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm, Saturdays from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, and Sundays from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. Students are typically expected to attend either Saturday or Sunday to have one full work day per week when possible.

January - May

Coached by Matt Lussier and Patric Herring, Ultra Robotics

Register here by September 2.

Chartwell Ambassadors Needed for Welcome Back Picnic!

We are looking for a few returning parents and guardians to be Chartwell ambassadors at next Thursday's picnic (3:30 pm - 5:00 pm). This involves helping at check-in and wearing a badge that indicates you are a returning parent or guardian and are willing to answer any questions new families have.

Email if you are willing to help!

Thank you for considering helping our new families feel welcomed and part of the community.

2022-2023 Directory Information

This year we will be creating a directory for families with contact information of other families in our community.

The information that will be included:

  • Student Name
  • Parent/Guardian Name
  • Phone #
  • Email
  • City in which you live (not your physical address)

If you would prefer any of this information NOT be shared with others in the community, please email Families with two households will also be noted.

The directory will only be shared with Chartwell families and is for personal use only.

RSVP for High School New Student and Freshman Orientation 8/12

On Friday, August 12 from 9:00 am - 10:30 am there will be an opportunity for new high school and freshman families to meet the high school faculty, learn about the school year, and have a tour of the school. Please use the link to RSVP to this event.

Carpool Interest Form

If you are still looking to connect with other Chartwell families to create a carpool, please complete the form below and you will be connected to discuss options.

RSVP for Chartwell Family Picnic by August 5

On Thursday, August 11 we invite all students and families to join us for a Back to School Picnic from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm. Students and families will have the opportunity to meet teachers and advisors for the first hour, and then we will enjoy food, games, and music for the remainder of the event.

Please let us know if you plan to attend this celebration of the new school year.

Pre-Start of School Family Communications and Conferences

On Friday, August 5, LS/MS homeroom teachers and HS advisors will send a letter home to families introducing themselves and inviting parents/guardians to sign-up for a teacher conference. Included in this communication will be a Google Form to sign up for your first introductory parent or advisor conference

LS/MS families will find out their cohort t-shirt color in this communication as well. HS students will receive their academic schedules.

  • Lower and Middle School conferences will be held between 9:00 am - 3:30 pm on Friday, August 12th (in person & Zoom options)

  • High School conferences will be held between 11:15 am - 3:30 pm on Friday, August 12 (in person & Zoom options)

If you do not receive communication by the end of day Friday, August 5, please email your division director:

Katherine Kanaski, Assistant Director of the Lower School

Karla Bell, Assistant Director of the Middle School

Amanda Zonghi, Assistant Director of the High School

COVID-19 and the 2022-2023 School Year

In preparation for the 2022-2023 school year, we are sharing information about the return to school testing requirements, masking guidelines, and ongoing safety measures. As always, we welcome family feedback and are open to listening to our families' concerns and needs as we continue to move through the pandemic.

What You Need to Know

  • Testing will be required to return to school

  • New students will need to register for testing; returning students will need to have updated consent forms signed

  • Indoor masking will be required for the first week of school - August 15 -19

  • Indoor masking will be strongly recommend but not required beginning August 22

Read below for more details, links, and important registration information.

Return to School: August 15 & 16

Monterey County continues to see a spike in positive COVID cases and to ensure a healthy start to our year, we will require testing for all faculty, staff, and students prior to or on the first day of school.

Option 1- At Home Testing

Families have the option to administer an at-home test within 24 hours of their child’s return to school.

At-Home Testing Kits will be available for families at the August 11 Picnic. Parents/Guardians may also pickup a kit anytime on Thursday, August 11 or Friday, August 12 at the front desk in McMahan Hall.

Please send confirmation of a negative result to by 8:00 am on your student’s first day of school.

Option 2 - On Campus Testing

Previous consents for COVID testing in Primary Health have all expired. Families that were already registered last year have been sent an email with instructions and a link to renew your consent. New Chartwell families should register their new students and sign the testing consent form here:

New Student Testing Registration Link

Testing will begin at 8:00 am on Monday, August 15 for high school students and Tuesday, August 16 for lower and middle students. Parents/Guardians will be advised to leave campus after drop-off but should be prepared to return should their child test positive.


Indoor masking will be required for all students and faculty and staff for the first week of school (August 15-19) in an effort to help ensure a healthy start to the school year.

Beginning Monday, August 22, we will follow the California Department of Health guidelines regarding masking and safety measures for the remainder of the 2022-2023 year. The current guidance is that the CDPH "strongly recommends masking indoors in a K-12 school". You can find more information about the CDPH guidelines here and Monterey County metrics here.


We continue to highly encourage our families to get vaccinated against the COVID virus and stay up to date with booster shots. Here is a list of vaccination locations and clinics in our area.

If Your Child Tests Positive

Chartwell will follow the California Department of Health Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines for students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID.

Thank You

Our Chartwell community members have been steadfast partners in our efforts to keep our community safe. Thank you in advance for your support and flexibility as we enter a new school year.

Pick-up and Drop-Off Times for the 2022-2023 Year

Lower and Middle School: Monday-Thursday

8:00 am Students drop-off begins and play outside with division cohorts as instructed.

8:20 am First Bell: Homeroom teachers bring students from outside into the classroom.

8:30 am 2nd Bell: School begins with Morning Homeroom.

3:15 pm Last Bell: Students dismissed- Teachers walk students outside

3:15 pm Pick-up begins for LS/MS

Parents may begin arriving before 3:15 pm and wait in the car line that wraps around the circle in front of McMahan and down Numa Watson Road towards Normandy.

High School - Monday - Thursday

8:00 am Student drop-off begins

8:20 am First Bell: Students begin walking to Advisory

8:30 am Second Bell: School begins with Morning Meeting in Advisory

3:05 pm Last Bell - Students dismissed; HS Pick-up begins in faculty parking area

Important: High School pick-up takes place in the faculty parking lot. Enter through the first entry and drive all the way up towards the field where students will be waiting. See diagram attached.

Parents may begin arriving before 3:05 pm and wait in carline that may extend down Numa Watson Road towards Normandy. Staff will direct you.

Fridays: LS/MS/HS

Dismissal for all students is at 12:50 pm. The same locations apply.

Carline Rules and Etiquette

Morning and afternoon carlines are a part of every school’s challenges. Our staff works diligently to manage the traffic as quickly and efficiently as possible, with safety always being the top priority.

Depending on when you arrive for afternoon pick-up, there will be a wait of 5-15 minutes most days. Please plan ahead for this wait, be patient, and adhere to all the safety rules.

Lower and Middle School Pick-up: Please DO this:

  • As you enter Bulldog Way (the circle in front of the school), pull up as far forward as possible. If the car in front of you leaves, you should continue pulling forward until your child or carpool has been secured in the vehicle.

  • All children must enter and exit from the vehicle’s passenger side. If this is not possible, inform a staff member so they can stop traffic to allow students to enter/exit from the driver’s side.

  • All LS/MS students must remain within the circle area and may not walk to meet you at your car. We are required to see each child picked up by an authorized adult.

  • Drive slowly and stay alert.

High School Pick-up: Please DO this:

  • As you enter the lower parking area, please pull up as far as possible. If the car in front of you leaves, you should continue pulling forward until your child or carpool has been secured in the vehicle.

  • When you are ready to exit the carline, you may pull into the right lane to prepare to exit the parking lot as directed by a staff member.

  • Watch for directions from the carline staff members who will direct you out of the lot safely, and always stay alert for students, faculty members and other cars in the area.

  • Drive slowly and stay alert.

Please do NOT do this:

  • Do not use your cell phone.

  • Do not use your horn.

  • Do not pass a car waiting in line unless directed to do so by a member of Chartwell’s staff.

  • Do not park in the spaces on the right side of the field to avoid the carline. Exiting is dangerous and creates a delay for those in the carline. If you park in these spaces, you will be expected to stay until the carline has dissipated.

  • If you require access to a handicapped parking spot, notify a staff member and they will guide you safely to the spot.

Student School Supplies Provided by Chartwell

Chartwell provides all necessary academic school supplies for students in all divisions!

Students will only need to bring to school:

  • A lunch*

  • A reusable water bottle

  • Backpack

Please clearly label all three items with your child’s name.

* There will not be pizza lunch on Fridays for high school students this year.

Calendar of Upcoming Events

Thursday, August 11 - Chartwell Family Picnic, 4-6 pm

Friday, August 12 - New Student Orientation (HS)

Monday, August 15 - First Day of School - HIGH SCHOOL

Tuesday, August 16 - First Day of School - LOWER and MIDDLE

Thursday, August 25 - Community Workshop: Executive Functioning Tips for A New School Year, 5:30 pm (Zoom)

Tuesday, August 30 - Chartwell Community Coffee, 8:30 am

Monday, September 5 - Labor Day - No Classes

Thursday, September 8 - Back to School Night - LS

Thursday, September 22 - Back to School Night - MS/HS


If you have questions for us, please contact one of the following Chartwell Team Members:

Head of School, Danielle Patterson:

Director of Teaching and Learning, Jodi Amaditz:

Assistant Director of Lower School, Katherine Kanaski:

Assistant Director of Middle School, Karla Bell:

Assistant Director of the High School, Amanda Zonghi:

Director of STEAM and EdTech, Sandra Varajic:

Director of Student Support: Billy Swift

Director of Campus Management and Safety, John Langrill:

Director of Advancement and Communications, Elena Mueller:

Director of Athletics: Rory Patterson

Technical Support: