Campus Updates

November 13, 2020

In this update:

  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • Masks
  • Diwali Celebration
  • December Lunch Orders
  • Attendance Policy for Online Students
  • Winter Break Childcare
  • Karate Classes
  • Specialists’ Newsletter
  • Reminders 

Important upcoming dates: 

  • November 17 – Fifth Grade Virtual Coffee Chat
  • November 17 – All Grade Level Teacher Meet & Greet
  • November 18 – ParentWiser Parenting Class
  • November 18-20 – Parent/Teacher Conferences, Childcare Provided – Free Dress
  • November 23-25 – No School, Childcare Provided – Free Dress
  • November 26-27 – Thanksgiving/No School, No Childcare
  • December 4 – Material Pickup
  • December 11 – Material Pickup
  • December 17 – Virtual Multicultural Fair
  • December 18 – Drive Through Festival of Peace and Light
  • December 21-23 – Winter Intersession, Childcare Provided
  • December 24-25 – Winter Intersession, No Childcare
  • December 28-31 – Winter Intersession, Childcare Provided

Dear Parents, 
Imagine a day in the life of a student in a traditional school setting. First-grade students greet their teachers with special handshakes as they enter the classroom. Administrators hand out high-fives and greetings in the morning. Fifth graders huddle together during homeroom to discuss their favorite music as they wait to hear the morning announcements over the intercom. Third graders sit in a circle as their teacher leads them in a mindfulness exercise to start the day present and focused.

In the wake of coronavirus school closures, educators, parents, and students across the globe are coping with a new reality. How can we continue to foster a sense of belonging with students while schools are providing learning 6 feet apart or online? What are the ways to maintain strong teacher-student-parent relationships and keep students engaged? As humans, we have the natural need for a bonding connection because we are an innately social species.  Social connections are a powerful component in our lives as they play a vital role in our survival in our sense of belonging. Building belonging is difficult in optimal situations.  How do we make it happen now in a time when people are being asked to remove themselves from social interactions? You get creative.

CHA is working towards providing opportunities for these connections to occur within the health and safety parameters that have been set forth. The first opportunity for our virtual students will be on Tuesday, November 17th for a drive-thru Teacher Meet & Greet.  We ask that everyone remain in their car and drive through. Teachers have a small token of appreciation for students to enjoy and look forward to connecting with them momentarily face to face.  All persons within the car should have a mask on if their windows will be down. If you have a chance, please join your grade level teachers at the following times:

  • Kindergarten:               2:00-3:00        Upper Parking Lot
  • First Grade:                  2:30-3:30        Upper Parking Lot
  • Second Grade:            12:00 -1:00      Lower Parking Lot
  • Third Grade:                1:00-2:00         Lower Parking Lot
  • Fourth Grade:              1:00-2:00         Upper Parking Lot
  • Fifth Grade:                  2:30-3:30         Lower Parking Lot

Grade levels going through the upper parking lot should enter at the main entrance to drive through.  Grade levels going through the lower parking lot should enter at the furthest drive by the five tall evergreens then drive down past the other business, around the playground, and stop where we usually have early out pick up. We look forward to connecting with you on Tuesday. If you’re unable to join, we’ll place our gift to you in the mail. We will have another opportunity to connect with you on December 18th.  Additional details will be shared at a later date.

Mask Policy – Masks are required to be worn for material pick up by all parties.  Materials will not be handed out unless you have a mask on.  We appreciate your partnership in keeping our staff and our community safe. 

Diwali Celebration - Holding true to who we are at CHA means finding ways to celebrate the traditions that we’ve created and look forward to year after year.  “Reimagine” has been the coined phrase for this year as we look to still do our events and celebrations, but in a different way.  With this in mind, we celebrated Diwali today. Three of our awesome alumni, Anvika, Anhat, and Nehmat made videos to show how to make a paper diya, and how to learn bhangra dancing (featuring first grader Angad!). I can recommend dancing as a fun way for the family to keep fit. We have also created a Diwali channel on our CHA Parents Team here where we invite you to share photographs of your children’s Diwali activities. Happy Diwali!

December Lunch Order for In-Person Students – The December lunch order form is now available for In-Person students. You can find the form and the menu here. Lunches cost $4.50 if you place your order before the deadline of 4:00 pm, Friday, November 27th. Milk is provided free of charge. For those parents who place their order after the deadline of 4:00 pm, Friday, November 27th, or send their child to school without a packed lunch, the price of the meal we provide will be $9. Monthly payment will be drafted by ACH on the first of the following month. You will receive an email confirming the meals you have ordered which you can print off for your records. If you have any questions about the menu, the ordering process or the billing, please email [email protected]

Attendance Policy for Online Students - Beginning November 16th we will be reporting attendance using the same codes as in the past, which are “excused” and “unexcused”. It is important for us to accurately record student attendance so that we can support student success. We have explained below “present”, “excused” and “unexcused” would look like in the remote environment and how you can communicate your student’s attendance. 

  • Students will be marked as “Present” if they attend the first lesson of the day. If they miss the first class but join later in the next they will be marked “Tardy. If your student does not engage in the morning classes, you can still attest to them completing work asynchronously by emailing [email protected], or calling the office at (425) 372-2800. The key is that students engage with coursework for their classes on the corresponding day. For example, if a student does not attend LIVE on Monday, they should engage with work from the missing classes in some form on that specific day. Communication must happen for each day that students engage asynchronously.
  • Students will be marked as “Absent Excused” if they do not attend the live classes or engage with classwork for that given day, but their parent/guardian communicates the appropriate reason for the student’s absence for it to be marked as excused. Excused absences can include absences due to COVID-related circumstances. This includes absences due to the student’s parent’s work schedule or other obligations during regularly scheduled school hours. This means that if the student cannot engage during the day, but can complete work over the weekend or on a different day then the absence can be excused as long as the parent/guardian informs the teacher.
  • Students will be marked as “Absent Unexcused” if they do not attend live classes or engage with classwork for that given day and the parent/guardian does not report to the attendance office of the reason for the absence.

Tackling Topics Together – Please join us on January 8, 2020, for a continuation of our Virtual Book Club series!  While our first session involved reading the book “So You Want To Talk About Race”, additional meetings have evolved into a forum for open discussion and dialogue regarding topics such as race, diversity and inclusion, and current events.  In advance of the January 8th session, we invite you to read a children’s book related to the topic of race or antiracism over winter break with your child(ren) and to support conversations with your child about race and antiracism.  Looking for some book ideas to get started?  You can find some here, or by perusing other resource lists on our Diversity and Inclusion page on the CHA website.  We’d love to have you then join us on January 8th to share what books you enjoyed, what those conversations were like, and what resources we can continue to share with each other. You can register for the conversation here.

Drive-Through Peace and Light – Instead of our traditional Festival of Peace and Light on December 18th, we’d like to invite you to a drive-through event to send students off to winter break with peace, light, and connection.  Please mark your calendar for Friday, December 18th, with the option to drive through the parking lot between 9 and 11 AM to see faculty and receive some tokens of our appreciation.  We look forward to sharing more details soon.

Winter Break Childcare - During the month of December we have winter intersession and there will be no school on December 21st-25th and December 28th-January 1st. On these days we do have childcare (winter camp) available, excluding Dec. 24th and 25th and Jan. 1st. Sign-ups will be on a “weekly” basis, as a daily option is not available at this time. This year’s camp theme is Around the World. Operational hours for camp are from 8:00am-5:00pm, with snack and activities beginning around 9:00 am. Extended day packages (monthly and annual) do not include camp dates. If your employer has the back-up care benefit, we do accept BUCA and Microsoft SchoolsOut reservations. If you utilize either of these back-up care options, you do not need to sign-up here (only through the back-up care portal which you will receive an email confirmation for). Lunch is available for purchase like a normal school day on the December lunch order form. If you pack a lunch or snack from home, please remember we are a nut-free facility. Please note CHA is completely closed on December 24-25th and January 1st. We will not offer childcare on these dates. You can find the sign-up link here. This sign-up site closes Monday, December 14th at 4:00 pm. Any sign-ups after this time will be considered late and a $50 late fee will be charged to your account. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at [email protected].

Karate Classes – A message from Sensei Brad Handelman:  We are still around and keeping in touch! Doing our best to survive during the school closures - and want to let you know we are available for live, online, and video classes for Winter, Spring, and Summer! We realize live classes are a long shot before Spring 2021 (even then a big maybe) and are looking forward to resuming (somewhat) normal live classes in September 2021 (more likely)!  Please note that we can follow all social distancing requirements whenever classes resume. Also, we are now actively scheduling for Summer Camps 2021. We prefer to schedule summer knowing we will have to be flexible with the details.  Please contact us for more information as soon as possible! Karate-X hopes that you are all safe and healthy!  We will email periodically just to keep in touch. Please contact us for more information on our programs and to schedule summer opportunities! Thank you, Brad Handelman | C: 1-425-305-9704 |E: [email protected]

CHA Specialists’ Newsletter – You can view this week’s newsletter here. If you have any questions about the content, please contact your child’s teacher directly. You can find all our teachers here, and you can find information about the individual programs here.


  • Material Pick Up – Pickup yesterday included materials for the 16th and 17th of November, along with materials for the week of November 30th through December 4th. Your child’s teachers will specify what is included and needed for each week in their grade level newsletters.
  • Fall Food Drive - If you’d like to donate, please bring non-perishable items to school when you drop off or pick up your child or supplies anytime from Nov. 9 - Nov. 17.  Most requested items: canned meat (tuna and chicken), soups, boxed pasta meals, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, toilet paper, toiletry items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap. Thank you for supporting CHA Lighthouse and Renewal Food Bank.
  • Snow Days - Please take a minute to review our Emergency Closures web page to make sure you understand the plan and are set up to receive notifications.
  • ParentWiser - How to Raise Successful Kids Without Overparenting (11.18.20) -Register at  or directly on Eventbrite
  • Yearbook Photo Submissions - Please submit the photos with a brief description here and use the access code: chestnut.  
  • Previous issues of Campus Updates can be viewed here.

Thank you,
Holly Senaga, Head of School

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