The Hidden Gem

El Carmelo Elementary School September 23, 2020

Coffee with the Principal Friday, September 25, at 8:45 AM

Hello Families,

Join me for Coffee with the Principal on Friday, September 25, 2020, at 8:45 AM.

We have three specialist guests!

School Psychologist, Marci Hakeman, and CASSY Counselor, Emily Tahamont, will share important information for you about mental health, counseling, and parenting support during the pandemic.

Teacher Librarian, Yvette Ngo Vo, will show you how your child can access real library books and how to read books online!

Of course, I will share about reopening and your choice to remain in Distance Learning or select the Hybrid Learning option.

I am looking forward to seeing you on Zoom at 8:45 AM Friday, morning.

Here is the Zoom link:

Be well,


Hybrid Learning or Full Distance Learning

Santa Clara County has been in the red tier regarding the number of positive cases of the Coronavirus for over 14 days. As a result, public schools can reopen following specific requirements set forth by the State, County, and Centers for Disease Control. The PAUSD reopening plan was presented to the Board of Education last night. You can watch an archived video of the Board Meeting here when it is uploaded. The Board will vote on this plan at the next Board Meeting, September 29th.

Within the next few days, the District Office will be sending a survey to parents regarding your child's education for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. You will need to indicate your preference.

  1. Would you like for your child to continue with Distance Learning for the remainder of the school year?
  2. Would you like for your child to participate in Hybrid Learning for the remainder of the school year?

You should make this decision based upon your comfort level regarding distance learning and your child being on campus with other students and staff in person.

Please read: Return to Campus for more information about reopening.

Please read: Frequently Asked Questions as this will support you in making this educational decision for your child and your family.

Full Distance Learning

If you select Full Distance Learning, your child will continue to receive online instruction at home.

Depending upon how many families select Full Distance Learning at each grade level, your child's teacher will most likely change. Children from El Carmelo will be able to return to El Carmelo in person in fall 2021.

Hybrid Learning

In selecting Hybrid Learning, your child will attend school in-person two to three days per week and have asynchronous lessons at home two to three days per week. To reduce the number of people on campus, and to support social distancing, all schools will be split into two cohorts, A and B.

In Kindergarten

  • Cohort A will attend school Monday through Friday in the morning.
  • Cohort B will attend school Monday through Friday in the afternoon.

In grades 1-5

  • Cohort A will attend school on Monday, Tuesday, and every other Wednesday.
  • Cohort B will attend school on Thursday, Friday, and every other Wednesday.

Learning At Home Days

When your child is not attending school, he or she will complete asynchronous lessons independently using Schoology. Students learning at home will have a synchronous Zoom session with their teacher at the end of their at-home day with the exception of Wednesdays.

Will my child have to wear a mask?

Yes, unless there is a medical reason why a mask cannot be worn. Masks will be provided for each student.

Entering and Exiting Campus

To reducing crowding, children will enter and exit through grade-level specific gates close to their classrooms. We encourage walking and rolling to school, so please continue this practice. Parents will say, "Have a great day!" at the gate, and children will walk to their classroom independently. If you must drive, please park on Waverly St. or Emerson St. and walk with your child to their designated gate. This reduces vehicle traffic and creates a safer environment for our students to walk and roll to school.

Staff will meet students in grades K & 1 at their designated gate.

Recess and Lunch

For student and staff safety, each classroom cohort of students will remain together at recess and lunch. To ensure we have enough space for students to socially distance while they are eating and playing, we will have two sets of recesses and two sets of lunches. Students will sit three to a lunch table. Lunch tables will be six feet apart. For the safety of students and staff, children will only be allowed to play with their peers from their classroom cohort.


All staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment and all classrooms, bathrooms and high touch surfaces will be disinfected each day after school. Kindergarten classrooms will be disinfected daily between Cohort A and Cohort B. The lunch tables and will be disinfected in between each recess and lunch.

Start Dates

The PAUSD will stagger in-person start dates as follows:

Grades K & 1: October 12, 2020

Grades 2 & 3: October 26, 2020

Grades 4 & 5: November 9, 2020

Start Time

The school will begin at 8:25. See the sample schedules to get a sense of our school day.

Will my child's teacher change?

Depending upon how many families select Full Distance Learning across the District and within El Carmelo, we may have some teacher and classroom configuration changes.

El Carmelo Elementary School

An inclusive & rigorous school in the heart of Palo Alto. Thoughtful educators partner with involved parents. We are the Dragons! We learn, play & grow!