Chartwell School: The Bulldog Bark

Weekly Newsletter for Chartwell Families

December 1, 2022

What's In This Newsletter

If you missed previous issues of the Bulldog Bark, you can find the archives here.


  • Book Fair Next Week - Monday - Thursday
  • Food Barrels on Campus
  • Count Me In: Private Showing of Elf! - Tickets Still Available!
  • Video Crew On Campus Next Week
  • NOON Pick-Up on Friday, December 16
  • Yearbook: Call for Photos


  • Lower School Field Trip to The Tech Interactive Museum, Tuesday, January 17 - Watch for more information next week
  • Middle School Intro to Chartwell High School Presentation: Monday, December 12, 3:30 pm - 5:00pm (watch for invitation)
  • Call for Contributions: Dorothy's Kitchen Service Day - Friday, December 16
  • Flag Football - See Team Snap
  • Rock Climbing Club Sign-Ups Still Open


  • Rock Climbing Club Sign-Ups Still Open
  • December Activities
  • Basketball - See Team Snap

  • Chartwell Hosts Robotics Qualifying Tournament



Book Fair - Next Week!

Chartwell's winter book fair will take place next week, Monday, December 5-Thursday, December 8.

It will be open for shopping:

Morning drop-off (8:00 am - 8:30 am)

Break (10:20 am - 10:40 am)

Lunch (12:15 pm - 12:50 pm)

The book fair is perfect for holiday shopping & stocking up on books for the Winter Break and daily Reading Logs!

There will also be Homeroom Wish Lists.

Safe, Cash-Free Shopping

Families can set up an eWallet (a safe, cash-free way for your child to shop) from Chartwell's Book Fair homepage. From there, an eWallet information page will display. Families will be asked to sign in to Scholastic registration or set up a new account. All on-screen instructions should be followed to complete the eWallet setup.

Video Crew On Campus Next Week

Next week, a video crew will be on campus Monday - Friday capturing interviews and footage for a new marketing video for Chartwell.

Daniel Vital, a Chartwell parent and film producer, will produce the short video. We are working closely with faculty to ensure a positive experience with minimal disruption.

The crew will be informed of students on the "no photos" list and will not use any footage including them. If you do not want your student to be photographed or videotaped, please email Elena Mueller, director of advancement and communications, at

The school has not created a video in more than five years and we are excited to be able to showcase our program for future families. Thank you in advance for your support.

Holiday Self-Care Reminders

Self-care is just that, taking care of YOURSELF by doing things that promote your physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritually health. Although we may have extra time off of work during the holidays, it tends to feel more challenging to make time for self-care with packed calendars, traveling, visitors, and extra rich, delicious foods on hand.

Lisa Benjamin, Chartwell occupational therapist, encourages our community to end 2022 and start 2023 with a healthier body and mind for you and your family. Taking care of yourself is the most powerful way to be your best for those you take care of (which as parents and educators we do often!). Please see attached self-care calendar.

Food Donations Being Accepted Through December 16

Chartwell School is once again collecting non-perishable food items for the Second Harvest Food Bank. The barrels are located in McMahan Hall. Thank you for any food you an donate to help those in need in our community.

Tickets Still Available! Support Chartwell and Enjoy a Private Showing of Elf!

We are excited to share the first "count-me-in" opportunity. Through the generosity of a parent donor, families can enjoy a private showing of Elf with other members of the Chartwell community and support the school's fundraising efforts!

Here's how it works:

  • Families "purchase" a spot at the event for $30 per person
  • The contribution goes to Chartwell's Annual Fund which supports all aspects of the school's programs.
  • You and your family get to enjoy a private showing of Elf with other members of the Chartwell community

Wednesday, December 7

4:00 pm

Century Marina and XD (100 10th Street, Marina; next to Best Buy)


$30 per person - includes popcorn and a drink

This is not a school-organized event; all lower and middle school students must be accompanied by an adult.

Siblings are welcome to attend.

If your family would like to participate and is in need of financial support to attend, please email Katia Stornetta at

Donors should consult with their tax advisers or the IRS to determine what portion of a contribution is deductible.

Change to Calendar: NOON Pick-Up On Friday, December 16

Please note: Friday, December 16 will be a NOON PICK-UP DAY. Thank you for making this adjustment to your calendars


Contributions Welcomed - Dorothy's Kitchen Service Day - Friday, December 16

The tradition continues! On Friday, December 16 (the last day before winter break) the entire Lower and Middle School will engage in a service project preparing lasagna, salad, garlic bread, cookies, and holiday notes for Dorothy's Kitchen in Salinas, a non-profit serving the marginalized in Monterey County.

In the spirit of this being a community service project, we invite families who can to make a small financial contribution to the project which is coordinated through the CFN. If you are interested in contributing, please Venmo or email

Rock Climbing Club for Middle and High School

All MS/HS students are invited to sign up for the rock climbing club.

Please contact Elizabeth Darovic at or Coach P at for additional details and the signup form.



Chartwell Hosts First Lego League Qualifier

On Saturday, November 19, Chartwell in partnership with Apple, Inc and Plus Ultra Robotics hosted an inaugural First Lego League qualifier with our regional partner Playing At Learning. We had 12 First Lego League teams on campus from Northern California for competition with First Tech Challenge and First Robotics Competition teams on campus for robot demonstrations and as volunteers. We also had 53 Apple and community volunteers, including Chartwell parents Kristen Rhoads, Naomi Shisaike, Karla Bell, and Jennifer Ridless to help support this event and our Chartwell teams.

This season, Chartwell kicked-off the FIRST robotics season offering four FIRST programs, including Explore, Challenge, First Tech Challenge and First Robotics Competition in partnership with Plus Ultra Robotics! As a result, all Chartwell students had a robotics option either after school or on Saturdays hosted on the Chartwell campus. In October, Chartwell hosted a Spooktacular Robotics Scrimmage for FLL students to help prepare students for November's FLL Tournament.

For the First Lego League season, we had four Chartwell teams and two Plus Ultra teams preparing since August and meeting weekly with their teams. On Saturday, these teams competed with other teams from Northern California. All of our students and teams showed great sportsmanship, kindness, determination, dedication, and perseverance. The students gained not only robotics and coding skills, but more importantly life skills like collaboration, problem-solving and grit in challenging situations. We are so proud of all of our Chartwell teams and students!

On Saturday, the Blazing Bulldogs won the Core Values Award, the Blue Bulldogs won the Robot Design Award award, and the Teslas team from Plus Ultra, which has Chartwell students Ellie E. and Finn R., advanced to the next round of competition because of Robot Game points.

Congratulations to these and all First Lego League students!!!


Make Your End of Year Gift to Chartwell

There is still time to make your end-of-year gift to Chartwell School! A portion of your gift can be matched when you give to Chartwell through Monterey County Gives, a year-end campaign that inspires local philanthropy and benefits a wide array of Monterey County nonprofits.

The Chartwell Board of Trustees has made a $50,000 Challenge Gift to inspire others to support our important mission. Please help us fulfill this challenge opportunity.

Our goal is for 100% of Chartwell families to support the Annual Fund at any level. We are currently at 38% - that is 60 Chartwell families. Thank you to everyone who is able to and has made their gift to Chartwell - every gift makes a difference.

*** Everyone who contributed $40 or more (including anyone who purchased two or more tickets to see Elf) will receive a Chartwell canvas tote bag. ***

Children's Health Council: Resource for Families

The Children's Health Council provides life-changing services for learning differences and mental health for children, teens, and young adults. We encourage all families to take a moment to visit their website to learn more about podcasts, events, support groups, coaching and more.

Children's Health Council

Faculty & Staff December Birthdays

December 1 Crissy Maras & Miriam Romero

December 23 Garrett Rowe

December 28 Melissa Kelly


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 Human Development and Wellness, Batya Fields:

Director of Athletics: Rory Patterson

Technical Support: