Chartwell School: The Bulldog Bark

Weekly Newsletter for Chartwell Families

August 25, 2022

What's In This Newsletter

Thank you to all our families for your support and engagement in this first week of the 2022-23 school year! If you missed previous issues of the Bulldog Bark, you can find the archives here.


  • Tonight! Chartwell Workshop: Executive Functioning and the New School Year; Thursday, August 25 (5:30 pm - 7:00 pm, Zoom link here)
  • Robotics Open House - Saturday, August 27, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm All families welcome; coffee and refreshments will be available. Come learn about Robotics at Chartwell!
  • Monterey Bay FC Back to School Night - Saturday, August 27 - Tickets Still Available!

What's New This Week:

  • Updated: COVID Guidelines for Week of August 29
  • Monitoring Monkeypox in our Community
  • Enroll in FACTS Tuition Management Service by August 30
  • First High School Field Experience - September 20-23
  • Middle School Athletics Sign-Up
  • LS/MS Download New App for Weekly Class Newsletter

Upcoming Events (Details in articles below):
  • Monterey FC Back to School Night - Discounted Tickets (see flyer below)! (August 27)
  • Chartwell Community Coffee: Wednesday, August 31 (8:30 am - 10:00 am, On Campus)
  • Back to School Nights in September (LS -September 8; MS/HS - September 15)!
  • AIM for Mental Health Walk - Join the Chartwell Team! (September 11, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
  • Parents Night Out - Friday, September 30 - 6:00 pm (more details to come)

Repeated from Last Week
  • ACTION NEEDED: Robotics 2022-2023 Overview of Programs; September 2 Signup Deadline

Opportunities and Resources in Our Community

  • The Pearl Works Co-Working Space in Monterey
  • Gender Spectrum Conference
  • GoFundMe for Carmel Father

Week of August 29: COVID Updates

For the week of August 29, here are the current Chartwell guidelines:

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

  • Testing will be offered by request. Please send an email to Roz Harris if you would like your child tested for COVID.

You can find more information about the CDPH guidelines here and Monterey County metrics here.

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.

Monitoring Monkeypox Virus

Over the past few weeks, the monkeypox virus has been spreading quickly, prompting a recent wave of public health emergency declarations at the local, national and global level. Chartwell leadership is closely monitoring the news and is staying up to date on local guidance, including regular updates from the California Department of Public Health and the Monterey County Health Department.

On campus, we will continue to encourage safety and mitigation measures similar to those during COVID, including frequent handwashing and reduced personal touching. At home, we encourage families to continue monitoring your child for any unusual symptoms.

We have taken excerpts from a recent blog post by Joffe Emergency Services to help provide updated information for our community. You can read more about monkeypox in the attachment below.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your division head with any questions.

New Tuition Management Service: Enroll by August 30

Reminder: Earlier this week you received an email from FACTS tuition management service to enroll. The deadline to enroll is Tuesday, August 30. Contact Alex Kopelevich at or Katia Stornetta at in the Business Office if you have any questions or concerns.

High School Overnight Field Experience Details

We are excited to announce our first high school field experience of the year. Please review the details below and be sure to complete and return the Health Form to Roz Harris by email at or paper.

Who: All High Students (9th-12th)

When: Tuesday, September 20 through Friday, September 23

Where: College Tour & CIMI FoxLanding on Catalina Island

Tuesday, September 20 - Leave from Chartwell Campus; time TBD

Friday, September 23 - Returning to Chartwell Campus after 10:00 pm

We will be traveling by charter bus to Long Beach enjoying a College Tour along the way. We will stay in a hotel on September 20 to catch the ferry by 8:00 am on Wednesday, September 21 for Catalina Island.

Program activities:

Ocean Kayaking

Oceanography/Plankton/Tidepool Laboratories

High & Low Rope Initiatives

Hiking & Climbing Wall

Squid Dissection

Environmental Awareness

Please email Amanda Zonghi, Assistant Director of the High School if your child is unable to attend this field experience.



Return Health Forms by September 12, 2022

Health Form

Packing List

Middle School Sports Signup

Please take a moment to talk about sports with your child and complete the form below together to indicate which sports your child is interested in throughout the different seasons.

Fall sports include:


Communication to parents, guardians, and students will be shared the last week of August.

Coach Regan Albee

CROSS COUNTRY CO-ED (9/10-10/11)

Communication to parents, guardians, and students will be shared the first week of September.

Coach Jeff Morton & Coach Garrett Rowe

SOCCER BOYS/GIRLS (10/18-12/4)

ommunication to parents, guardians, and students will be shared the first week of October

Coach Lauren Christensen

BOWLING CO-ED (10/7-1/27/23)

Communication to parents, guardians and students will be shared the last week of September.

LS/MS - Download Class Dojo App for Weekly Newsletters

Lower School, Upper Lower School and Middle School families, please download the Class Dojo app (see link below) in preparation for a weekly newsletter from your child’s teachers. You will be receiving invites after Back to School Night to join your child’s classes.


TONIGHT! Community Workshop: August 25, 5:30 - 7:00 pm (Zoom)

Join Billy Swift, director of student support, and Lisa Benjamin, occupational therapist, for an evening workshop on Thursday, August 25 from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm via Zoom.

The topic of this month's workshop is: Executive Functioning and the New School Year: Strategies and Techniques for Staying Organized and Managing Anxiety

Billy and Lisa will provide a brief overview of executive functioning and strategies to help with executive functioning challenges including staying organized, managing time, managing stress, and increasing focus.

This workshop is open to the public and there is no fee to join.

1st Chartwell Family Coffee of the Year: Wednesday, August 31

All parents and guardians are invited to gather as a community on Wednesday, August 31 from 8:30 am - 10:00 am on the Chartwell campus. The theme of this month's coffee is: Being a Chartwell Family: Values and Culture

Danielle Patterson, head of school, and Billy Swift, director of student support, will lead a discussion around key themes and sections of the Chartwell Family Handbook that best define our values and expectations as a community.

Coffee and breakfast treats will be provided and there will be time to mingle with other families.

Back to School Nights - Save the Dates!

All divisions will host Back to School Nights in September. Please save the dates below:

Thursday, September 8

3:15 pm - 6:00 pm

General pick-up and arrival at 3:15 pm. Program begins at 3:30 pm.

**Students can stay after school to enjoy a movie or outside activities. There will be child care and snacks for lower school students so parents and guardians can participate in the program.**


Thursday, September 15

3:15 pm - 6:00 pm

Middle school and high school students participate in the back to school program with their parents or guardians.

Child care will be available for lower school students with siblings in the middle or high schools.

Walk with Chartwell to Support Mental Health Awareness!

All members of our Chartwell community are invited to join our school walk team on Sunday, September 11 at 1:00 pm as we walk to support mental health awareness in our community.

AIM for Awareness Walk + Rally raises awareness of youth mental health by including resources and services offered by local community organizations. The aim is to help youth NOW with fun activities and critical mental health resources.

This event will feature exhibitors, speakers, food and beverage, games, activities, and more!

All adults and high school students who sign-up for the walk will receive a Chartwell t-shirt to wear for the walk. Our lower and middle school students are encouraged to wear their cohort-colored t-shirt.

There is a $25 registration fee for adults; $10 for children under 18. The event takes place at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove.

Register here.


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.


The Pearl Works Coworking Space in Monterey

Several members of our community have inquired about work space in the community as they drive from out of town.

The Pearl Works in Monterey offers a variety of packages -- and it is owned and managed by a Chartwell alumna, Alora Daunt!

If you are looking for beautiful and quiet space to work during the day, you can find more information about The Pearl Works here.

Alora is excited to support Chartwell families. If you are curious about the coworking space but not sure about the commitment or need something different than is offered, email Elena Mueller at and she can connect you with Alora directly.

Gender Spectrum Family Conference - October 1 -2, 2022

Gender Spectrum's 2022 Family Conference is an online event that’s committed to the education and support of parents and families with transgender youth. This event is specifically designed for parents, guardians, and other adult family members and caregivers. It is not open to youth.

The conference will feature workshops for those just beginning their journey as well as a number of in-depth sessions and advanced topics for even the most experienced parents, guardians and caregivers. Join us for two days of learning and connecting!

Click here for more information.

Go FundMe for Carmel Father

San Jose Fire Station 16 is raising funds for Carmel resident Captain Steve Biakanja following the recent deaths of his three children in an auto accident last week. The funds raised will be used to cover the childrens’ funeral costs, as well as counseling, meals, and various other forms of support for Captain Biakanja and his wife, Thuan.

Captain Biakanja recently shared they will allocate some of the money to support programs enjoyed by his children at Carmel Middle School and scholarships for students in need

You can read more and contribute here.

Calendar of Upcoming Events

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

Saturday, August 27 - Robotics Open House, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Saturday, August 27 - Monterey FC Back to School Night, 7:00 pm

Wednesday, August 31 - Chartwell Community Coffee, 8:30 am

Monday, September 5 - Labor Day - No Classes

Thursday, September 8 - Back to School Night - LS, 3:15 pm - 6:00 pm

Sunday, September 11 - AIM Walk for Mental Health, 1:00 p - 4:00 pm

Thursday, September 15 - Back to School Night - MS/HS, 3:15 pm - 6:00 pm

Tuesday, September 20 - Friday, September 23 - HS Field Experience

Friday, September 30 - Parents Night Out!


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: