Chartwell School: The Bulldog Bark

Weekly Newsletter for Chartwell Families

October 13, 2022

What's In This Newsletter

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


  • NOON DISMISSAL - ALL DIVISIONS: Family Teacher Conferences - October 19-21
  • Halloween Costume Guidelines
  • Halloween Costume Closet
  • Photo Days! October 25-27 - REVISED DATES FOR DIVISIONS (SEE BELOW)
  • Community Workshop: The Hidden Senses - October 27, 5:30 pm
  • Research Partnership Overview with UCSF - Thursday, November 3, 8:30 am
  • Chartwell Annual Fund Kick-Off! Get Your Chartwell Tote Bag!


  • Middle School Movie Night - Wednesday, October 26, 3:15 - 5:30 pm
  • Volleyball and Cross Country Schedule - Soccer Starts Next Week


  • Athletic shoes and clothes needed on Friday, October 14
  • HS Athletics: Basketball Season is Near!
  • HS Seeking Connections with Non-Profits
  • CHS Fall Frenzy - Friday, October 28, 6-10 pm


  • Specialized School Fair - October 20
  • COVID Update for Week of 10/17/22


Family Conferences - Next Week!

Reminder: NOON Dismissal for All Divisions Wednesday, October 19 - Friday, October 21 for Family Conferences

If you have not signed up for conferences, please do so using the links below:

High school advisors and lower and middle school homeroom teachers will be sharing schedules by end of the day tomorrow, Friday. CEP and reports will be emailed home on Monday. Please let us know if we need to update your student’s name or gender noted in CEP’s and reports.

High school students are expected to attend the first 20 minutes of their family conferences.

Child care is available for families during their family conferences.

We look forward to seeing our families next week!

Collect Lost and Found Items During Conferences

Please check the Lost and Found tables that will be set up during conferences. All items will be donated after conferences. Thank you for labeling clothing and personal items so they do not end up in the Lost and Found.
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Halloween Costume Guidelines - All Divisions

On Monday, October 31, students are encouraged to dress up for Halloween. We wanted to provide some costume guidelines for a school and work environment that ensures students are able to participate in their academic program despite being in costumes and follow our general rules and expectations, and are inclusive.

Guidelines include:

  • Be sensitive knowing we have young students on our campus who might scare easily.

  • Masks should not be worn during instructional time; masks can be worn in the halls and outside of class.

  • Costumes should not impact the ability to move freely around campus or in a classroom setting

  • Refrain from any items that depict or could be used as a weapon or violence

  • Refrain from any costumes that have blood or gore

Please consider costumes from a DEIJ lens and be mindful that costumes represent characters and not people or cultures. For example, if you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, we ask that you reconsider the costume or reach out to Billy Swift for support in determining if your costume meets Chartwell guidelines

  • Is your costume a historical figure that is controversial or problematic?

  • Does your costume represent violence or trauma that happened?

  • Does your costume represent a culture you don’t belong to?

  • Does your costume represent gender and/or sexual identity?

  • Does your costume represent a person with a disability or learning difference?

  • Does your costume represent any other identity aspect you don't belong to?

Halloween Costume Closet

Chartwell will collect donated costumes and accessories to create a Halloween Costume Closet on campus for students. Any student who would like to choose or create a costume from the "closet" can visit McMahan Hall beginning Thursday, October 20.

Please consider donating any costumes and accessories (in line with the guidelines above) by Wednesday, October 19. You can drop them off during carline or bring them to the business office in Building 100.

Middle and lower school families interested in visiting the closet should email their homeroom teacher. We hope this opportunity inspires creativity and a spirit of recycling and reducing waste!

Community Workshop: The Hidden Senses - Thursday, October 27 - 5:30 pm

We all know about our five senses, but what about our three hidden senses that shape how our minds and bodies experience the world around us? Join Chartwell occupational therapists, Lisa Benjamin and Katlyn Bach, to learn more about our vestibular, proprioceptive, and interoceptive sensory systems. We will discuss what to look for when these systems are not communicating well and provide some tips on how to support our kids to better access their occupations of socialization, academics, and play.

This event is free and open to the public. Spread the word!

Chartwell Community Coffee: Learn More About Our Partnership with UCSF

Join the research team from UCSF for an overview of the unique partnership with Chartwell School and our families. Christa Pereira, PsyD, UCSF assistant professor of neurology and advisor to the Multitudes project, will be present and share details about how Chartwell families can get involved in the phenotyping study and benefit from this tremendous opportunity to learn more about your child's unique learning profile. Information about a second research partnership, the Outcomes study, will also be shared.

Thursday, November 3

8:30 am

McMahan Hall

Coffee and refreshments provided

* The Community Coffee scheduled for October 26 is being rescheduled to accommodate this event.

Chartwell Annual Fund Kick-Off

Chartwell is a unique place in the world – and because you have found your way here, you know the difference our school makes in the lives of children. To help us maintain the Chartwell experience - small class sizes, an extraordinary student support team, engaging field trips and experiences, and faculty who understand each child’s distinct learning profile - every year we need to ask our parent and caregiver community to support the Chartwell Annual Fund.

Tuition and fees do not cover the full cost of education at most independent schools, and Chartwell is no different. Annual giving exists to close that gap. The Annual Fund supports all aspects of Chartwell's program including academics, athletics, arts, field trips, music, STEAM, technology, financial aid, and more.

Our goal for our parent and caregiver giving effort is 100% participation. Each of our Chartwell families’ financial situation is unique and we deeply respect the sacrifices all of you have made to have your child or children here.

Letters were mailed to Chartwell families last week and we hope you will consider making a contribution at any level.

** All donors who make a contribution of $40 or more will receive a Chartwell canvas tote bag in honor of the school's upcoming 40th anniversary!**

Please reach out to Elena Mueller, director of communications and advancement, at with any questions about the annual fund or making a gift to Chartwell.


Middle School Movie Night - October 26

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Halloween Activities for Lower and Middle School

On Monday, October 31, all students are invited to dress up in costumes to celebrate the spirit of Halloween (see guidelines above.)

Class parties will take place in the afternoon and there will be a parade before pickup. Parents and caregivers are welcome to come for the parade. More details and specific times will be shared next week.

MS Athletics: Upcoming Games and Meets


Middle School Volleyball vs MB Christian @ MB Christian

Thursday, October 13 - 4:00 pm

Middle School Volleyball - End of Season Jamboree

Saturday, October 15

9:00 am - Santa Catalina School


Friday, October 21, 4:00 pm @ Carmel Middle School


Practices begin next week and will be communicated via TeamSnap and coaches.


Reminder: Bring Athletic Shoes & Clothes That Can Get Dirty

Tomorrow, Friday, October 14, students will partake in a variety of activities that require close-toed shoes and clothing that can get dirty. Some students will be engaging in a cooking project that connects to themes in a novel they are reading in literature. Other students may be biking or participating in a basketball clinic.

Please help them remember to dress appropriately that day. Thank you!

High School Athletics

Basketball season is almost here! There is a meeting for the boys (Silver) basketball team on Monday, October 17 from 3:30-4:15 pm. The location is not yet determined. Coach P will follow up with additional details on where to meet. The Zoom link for this meeting is here.

Parents and caregivers can watch for an invitation to an athletics information meeting via Zoom soon.

Chartwell basketball practices will begins Tuesday, November 1.

HS Seeking Connections with Non-Profits for Volunteering

We are seeking connections to non-profits that would accept a small group of teenage volunteers this spring (April & May). During our fourth quarter, the high school students spend Fridays engaging in community service activities off campus. If you work at or have a personal connection with a non-profit that might take volunteers, please email Alyse LeValley at with contact information. We would love to find a wide range of options in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara counties for our students. Thank you for your help!
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Specialized School Fair - October 20, 2022

Specialized School Fair - October 20, 2022

Location: The Palo Alto Art Center

Thursday, October 20

11:00 am -12:30 pm

FREE Specialized Schools Fair! For parents and others to learn more about school options for your neurodiverse children or students.

Register to attend today here.

Includes 17 schools that offer:

  • Specialized programs for K-12 students with diagnosed and undiagnosed learning differences as well as the twice exceptional
  • Small class sizes and support for learning & social emotional growth

Sponsored by the Children's Health Council

Faculty & Staff October Birthdays

October 5 - Ashton Plette

October 7 - Lizanne Garcia

October 11 - Katherine Kanaski

October 21 - Cris Ford

October 23 - Carlye Kuxhausen

October 30 - Cheryl Milton

October 31 - Katia Stornetta

Week of October 17: COVID Update

For the week of October 17, here are the current Chartwell guidelines:

  • Indoor masking is recommended but not required.

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

  • 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.


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: