Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have a question not listed here? Please send it our way: pta@duveneck.org.

Important Contact Info:

Leslie Crane, Principal – lcrane@pausd.org

Beth Hedge, Secretary – ehedge@pausd.org

Cecilia Perez, School Clerk – ceperez@pausd.org

Chris Colohan, Co-PTA President – chris@colohan.com

Yvette Mangalindan, Co-PTA President – yvette.mangalindan@gmail.com

Please find the Duveneck Staff Directory here and the PTA Executive Board members here.

General School FAQs:

Q: What is the first day of school for 2021? A: The first day of school is Thursday, August 12th: 8:05 am for K-5 and 8:15 am for TK.

Q: What time does school start and end? What is the 2021-22 school day/bell schedule? A: 

Grades 1-3:

8:05 am – 2:35 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays

8:05 am – 1:05 pm Wednesdays

Recesses: 9:50 – 10:10 am & 1:40 – 2:05 pm

Lunch: 11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Grades 4-5:

8:05 am – 2:35 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays

8:05 am – 1:05 pm Wednesdays

Recess: 9:50 – 10:10 am

Lunch: 11:40 am – 12:25 pm

Kindergarten:

August 12 – October 8, 2021:

8:05 – 11:45 am Monday – Friday

Recess/Snack: 10:00 – 10:30 am

October 11 – June 2, 2022:

8:05 am – 2:30 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays

Recess/Snack: 10:00 – 10:30 am & 1:30 – 1:55 pm

Lunch: 11:45 am – 12:30 pm

8:05 am – 1:05 pm Wednesdays

Recess/Snack: 9:50 – 10:20 am

Lunch: 11:45 am – 12:30 pm

Transitional Kindergarten:

8:15 – 11:15 am (all year long)

Recess/Snack: 9:30 – 10:00 am

Q: Where should I drop off and pick up my child? A: At this time, parents and family members are not allowed on campus during drop-off and pick-up, and students will be required to enter and exit through specific areas on campus.

Entry and exit locations by grade:

TK Students: Gate at the back of Room 4 that faces Alester Ave.

K-1 Students: Kindergarten Gate by the Kindergarten playground that faces Alester Ave.

2-3 Students: The main hallway by the school office

4-5 Students: Gate facing the 2-story building on Channing Ave.

Q: Can siblings in other grades go in through the same entrance? A: At this time, siblings can all use the same entrance if needed. Please be sure to notify teachers if older siblings are meeting younger siblings and will be exiting through a different gate than the one that’s assigned.

Q: Do parents need to fill in a sign-in sheet at drop-off? A: No, there is no daily check-in.

Q: Can I bring my dog to drop-off or pick-up? A: Please note that dogs are not permitted on campus from 7:30am-4:00pm. So if you do bring your dog along, please keep it away from any gatherings of people outside the gates as you drop off or pick up your child.

Q: Can you elaborate on how the youngest students will get to their classrooms, since parents aren’t allowed on campus? A: Children will be greeted at the gate and escorted to their classrooms by a teacher or staff member. In addition, we’ve created special video tours for TK and Kindergarten students. TK tour: https://youtu.be/avzWa4mqgt0. Kindergarten tour: https://youtu.be/2TRz44jUq0E.

Q: Will there be a campus tour of some sort for students (bathrooms, office, etc.)? A: Yes, the teacher will show the class the facilities and everything they need to know.

Q: The Tinsley TK children that are bussed to school arrive at 7:50 am. What will they do from that time until class starts at 8:15 am? A: They will play on the playground under teacher supervision.

Q: Where can I park my car during pick-up and drop-off? A: There are a limited number of parking spots near the main entrance of the school on Alester. Street parking is also available in the area around school. PLEASE do not park or stop in the no-parking zones, red zones, or driveways.

Q: Can we walk / bike / scooter to school? A: Yes! We encourage parents to walk, bike, or roll to school with their children, especially while the weather is so pleasant. When on campus, always “walk your wheels:” This means both parents and students should dismount from bicycles or scooters and walk with them instead of riding on the school campus. The red-top surfaces are “walking only” zones. Escorted crosswalks (with crossing guards during school start and end hours) are located at the intersections of Dana and Newell and at the corner of Alester and Channing. Pedestrian Flags are available at the crosswalks of Alester and Dana, and Heather and Channing. Please use them to improve your visibility and safety. Bicycle racks are located near all four entrances to campus.

Q: How long does it usually take to park bikes and get to class by 8:05? A: Because parents and guardians are not allowed on campus, we’ve found that allotting 5-10 minutes is best, depending on the child’s age, experience, etc.

Q: Will each child have name tags to help learn classmates’ names? A: Yes, this will be done according to the teacher’s preference.

Q: How do I find out which teacher my child will have? A: Because many families move in and out of the district during the summer months, Duveneck does not announce classroom placement until just before school starts so that all families can be included. Currently, due to Covid restrictions, physical class lists will not be posted outside school classrooms as in the past. Instead, teacher and class assignments were sent directly via email to families on Wednesday, August 11th.

Q: What school supplies do I need to send with my child? Pencil cases? Pens? Notebooks? A: Actually, none of the above! Duveneck Elementary School does not have a recommended School Supply purchase list. Instead, the Duveneck PTA asks each family to make an Annual Donation per student. The PTA passes on your donation to the Duveneck staff and teachers so they can buy all of the supplies and equipment students need when they need it. With your donations, the Duveneck PTA is also able to fund books, computers/tablets, A/V equipment, playground equipment, and all other supplies needed to educate our children. Please consider donating here! Thank you for participating in the Annual Donation drive. Please note: Students should bring their own backpack, lunch box (if bringing lunch), and a water bottle.

Q: What food do I need to pack for my child? A: All students will need to pack a snack and a water bottle; they are welcome to bring lunch as well, but it is not required. Due to a recent USDA program waiver extension, PAUSD will offer free lunch meals to all enrolled students for 2021-2022 school year; no sign-up or registration is required. Students who request school lunch for the day will be given a lanyard to indicate their choice. At lunch time, students will walk to pick up lunch and then return to class picnic tables to eat. For Kinder (before Oct 11th) and TK, grab-and-go lunches are available. Please find more info on school lunches here.

Q: Can we send our own lunch for our child? A: Yes, children can bring their own lunch.

Q: Do you have enough staff to distribute lunches? Do kids have enough time to eat if the line is long? A: Yes, we do have enough staff, and kids will have time to eat their lunches.

Q: Do students take their lunch lanyards home? What would happen if a student lost the lanyard? A: Lanyards will be kept at school in a pocket chart. Please return the lanyard to school if your student does accidentally take it home.

Q: Are there plans for Duveneck to have a breakfast program? A: There is currently no timeline for breakfast to be offered at Duveneck.

Q: What restrictions are there on food at school (eg. nut-free)? A: Since many of our children suffer from a variety of allergies, our school’s policy is as follows:

  • TK, Kinder and 1st Grade are “Nut-Free” zones, meaning that nuts and nut spreads of any kind, including peanut butter and Nutella, are not allowed at all.
  • 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students have specific nut-free tables where children with known allergies may eat, if they choose.

Q: Can my child bring a favorite toy from home? A: Students may not bring electronics (iphones, ipods, kindles etc.) or toys (LEGOS, trading cards, loveys/stuffies, tchotchkes, fidget spinners, bey blades, etc.) to school unless requested to do so by their teacher. Some Kindergarten classrooms do allow loveys/stuffies for children who would like them; please discuss with your teacher. Any such belongings needed after school must remain in the child’s backpack during the school day. Students may not bring their own athletic equipment to school. The school/district is not responsible for stolen, damaged, or vandalized personal property. We do have a phone in the office that students can use to call home if need be.

Q: What should my child wear to school? A: Students should be dressed to move about comfortably and safely throughout their day. Layers may be worn as it can be cool at drop-off and warm up during the day. Please label your students’ jackets and belongings so they can more easily find them in our Lost & Found should they be misplaced. Students are not required to wear closed-toe shoes, but should wear shoes that stay securely on their feet when they move about. Students must wear closed-toes shoes on the days they have PE class.

Q: What if my child has special medical needs? A: Over-the-counter and prescription medications cannot be distributed or brought to school until forms signed by a parent and the child’s pediatrician are on file with the School Office. All necessary forms are accessible through https://www.pausd.org/student-services/health-services.

Q: What should I do if my child is going to be late or absent from school? A: Please see this page for more information.

Q: What about after-school care? A: Currently, there are two programs offered: Duveneck Kids Club and Right At School. You can also check this page for more information as we update it. In addition to the after-school care programs themselves, Duveneck also hosts several on-campus after-school classes and programs offered by outside organizations. The School Office and the PTA will send out information and registration instructions in the first few weeks of school, once details are finalized. Many after-school camps and classes post to the Duveneck Google group, so feel free to join that to receive additional information.

Q: Can I get into DKC (Duveneck Kids Club after-school care)? A: Duveneck Kids Club is a daily after-school care program. DKC also provides care on school holidays, staff development days, and minimum days. DKC is located on Duveneck campus in the portable trailers on the Channing side of the campus. DKC is part of the larger non-profit called PACCC that runs day cares and after-school programs throughout Palo Alto. The sooner you complete your application, the more likely you are to receive a spot for your child or children. You can fill out an application here.

Q: Can you please share more information about the after-school (on-campus) classes and camps? A: Duveneck is happy to once again host after-school classes this year! These classes are offered by third-party providers on campus. Students can walk directly to them by themselves after school, and parents may enter campus through the main office entrance to pick their children up after the class. See the full list and schedule, which includes links to vendor websites to sign up, by clicking here!

Q: How many assistants will there be in the TK and Kinder classrooms? A: TK has instructional aide support for the entire time students are in the classroom. Kinder has 15 hours of instructional aide support per week.

Q: Are Music, P.E. (Physical Education), and Art going to be in-person this year? A: Yes, these classes will be in-person. Older students playing wind instruments will practice outside.

Q: Will there be the traditional 4th grade trip to Coloma or Science Camp for 5th grade? A: We hope so, but currently field trips are all virtual. Your teachers will keep you posted as (hopefully) conditions change.

Q: Can we get a list of parents’ names from a specific classroom? A: Yes, Parentsquare.com has a directory for parents who are sharing information with the school and other parents.

Q: Are we still also using UptoUs this year? A: No. UptoUs has gone out of business, so Parentsquare.com will replace UptoUs as our directory and communication platform.

Q: How do I get involved in the Duveneck community? A: We have a whole section of pages on that, check it out! You can also email us at pta@duveneck.org.

Q: What does PTA stand for? A: Parent-Teacher Association

Q: I’ve got great ideas for the PTA. How do I make sure they happen? A: You can talk to us (we do pick-up and drop-off just like you — here’s how to recognize us: https://duveneck.paloaltopta.org/executive-board/), email us, or show up to a PTA Association meeting (those tend to be more formal by necessity, so you may get more out of it if you talk to folks before or after the formal proceedings). Depending on how involved your idea is (how many students, how many volunteers, how much money is required) you may talk us into doing it for you, or have to volunteer yourself (and we’ll help you secure the space/funding/publicity/etc.). We have lots of experience and love new ideas: talk to us!

Q: How does the PTA differ from PiE? The Site Council? Why are there so many different organizations? A: There are three organizations with different functions:

  1. The PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) is local to Duveneck, and focuses on: (a) building a community amongst Duveneck families; (b) communicating between parents and the school staff/faculty; and (c) raising money for classroom supplies and equipment. This year the PTA is also paying for science enrichment classes with Arad.
  2. PiE (Partners in Education) is a Palo Alto school district-wide organization that raises money specifically for additional school staff — music teachers, art teachers, support teachers, classroom aides, etc.
  3. The Duveneck Site Council is a group of elected parents who meet with Principal Crane and focus on the classroom experience of our children. They bring up concerns about the curriculum and/or physical facilities.

Why separate organizations? The roles performed by PiE and PTA used to be merged — but a PAUSD (Palo Alto Unified School District) ruling in 2002 (intended to create more funding equality between PAUSD schools) mandated this division of responsibilities (see the PiE FAQ for more details). The Site Council is required by the California Education Code.

Q: How can I donate to the PTA? Is there a set amount that we’re asked to contribute? A: Check out the Duveneck PTA BTS packet. You can fill it out (and donate) as many times as you like!

Q: Where do my PTA membership fees go? A: It costs $10 to become an active, voting member of the Duveneck PTA Association. The majority of the fee goes to the California State PTA, which provides the insurance which allows the Duveneck PTA to operate.

Q: If I donate money to the PTA or buy Just Parties tickets, where does it go? A: Parent annual donations enable the PTA to directly fund important areas that directly support our kids and enrich their experience:

  • Classroom materials: Back-to-School supplies, art supplies, math supplies, books, classroom technology
  • Recess supplies: balls, hula hoops, jump ropes, and more
  • Books and repairs for the library
  • Science enrichment: Ask your child about science class with Arad, our celebrity science teacher from Palo Alto’s Junior Museum and Zoo. Given the shortage in PiE’s budget, this year the PTA will be funding 5 to 7 hands-on enrichment science classes that are a valuable addition to their core curriculum. Definitely a highlight of the year!
  • Community building programs: International Potluck, Grade Level Socials, Parent Education series, Math Nights

More than 80% of the PTA budget is spent on materials and programs which directly enhance your child’s classroom experience. For a detailed budget, see it posted at school outside the custodian’s office, or contact pta@duveneck.org.

Q: How do Just Parties work? Am I welcome to attend, or are they only for friends of the host? A: Yes, you are welcome! In the description of the party we try to make it clear if the party is for Duveneck students and/or their parents, whether younger/older siblings would enjoy it, and what to expect. Since Just Parties are a major Duveneck social experience, we want to include everyone in the community. Hosts of a Just Party donate the party to the PTA (and cover all the costs involved), in the hopes that others will enjoy the party and that it will raise money to support the PTA.

Q: Will there be an information packet to answer all my questions? A: To help kick off the new school year and make it easier for families to get the information they need, PTA Back-to-School packets are now in an online format: https://fs29.formsite.com/duveneck_pta/41f45v1zb8/index.html. The link was emailed via Parent Square on 8/11/21. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email us at pta@duveneck.org.

Q: Can I book a room for my event/party/club? How? A: Under the current circumstances, no, but you should be able to book space at Duveneck in the future when health conditions allow.

Q: Are Duveneck’s CASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) test results out? How do we receive the results? A: The results are currently embargoed (only certain PAUSD staff can see them). They will be released later this fall and will be available for discussion once published.

Q: When is the last day of school? A: Thursday, June 2nd, 2022.

COVID-19 & Health FAQs:

Official information regarding COVID-19 safety for the Palo Alto Unified School District is available at https://www.pausd.org/return-to-campus/covid-19-safety-plan. Note that the information below is merely what the PTA knows at this time (as of 9/08/2021), and everything is changing all the time.

Q: Is it mandatory for teachers to be vaccinated? A: Teachers and staff either have to be vaccinated, or will be subject to daily Covid testing requirements.

Q: Will we be able to know the vaccination status of our teacher? A: No, unless your teacher willingly volunteers that information. It’s private medical information.

Q: Is the school encouraging vaccinated volunteers to help this year? A: Yes, but we only have a limited capacity for volunteers at this time. Note that all volunteers will need to be vaccinated to come onto campus. Please check the eNews for upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Q: Will you monitor students’ temperature every day? A: No, we are not doing temperature monitoring.

Q: Are face shields encouraged for TK and K children? A: Masks are required indoors, but children may wear face shields in addition to masks if they wish.

Q: Will there be Plexiglass on the desks/tables? A: No, desks and tables do not have Plexiglass this year.

Q: Is a health screening check-in required this year? A: No, daily health screeners are not required.

Q: Is there any hand sanitizer requirement for indoors? A: There is no requirement, but teachers will follow recommended protocols for students’ frequent hand washing and sanitizing (before eating, returning from recess, etc).

Q: Is there any cleanup/wipe-down each day/week? A: The PTA does not know the precise cleaning protocols in use, but note that the custodians and staff are working hard to keep our school clean.

Q: If students test positive for Covid-19, what is the protocol for their return? For notification and testing of classmates and teachers? A: Please refer to the COVID-19 Prepared slide deck here and PAUSD website for this information.

Q: We came back from another country yesterday. We got PCR tested last Sunday and have negative results. How soon can the kids return to school? Anything we need to do? A: There is a quarantine period required for unvaccinated children traveling internationally. It is based on the CDC’s recommendations, but please consult Duveneck’s main office for details, and refer to the PAUSD website for Covid-19 safety information.

Q: What about quarantine for domestic trips? A: Please consult Duveneck’s main office and the PAUSD website for this information.

Q: What if my child gets sick or hurt during the day? A: If a teacher feels that the child needs assistance, they will send the child to the school office to see the nurse. If the nurse or front office staff deem the child too sick to return to class, the school office will call you to come and pick up your child.

Q: If students are sick and/or quarantined, how will they make up school work? A: Please speak to your teacher about making up work for home. Distance learning and live streaming is not available for quarantining or sick students.

Technical FAQs:

For instructions on how to log into a new Chromebook, check this out!

Having trouble with a district provided computer? Email the Tech Support Hotline.

Want to know how to log into the PAUSD portal id.pausd.org? Click here!

We are parents and teachers who support Duveneck Elementary School in Palo Alto, CA. As a community, we help create the school we want our children to have by providing funding for school equipment and materials, hosting community events, and providing enrichment programs for parents, teachers and students.