Message from the Principal
August 16, 2019
Dear Arroyo Families,
Among the reasons you have chosen Arroyo Elementary School as the right fit for your children in which to grow and learn is our rigor in education, high parent involvement, and welcoming school culture. Collectively, our stakeholders share the common interest of ensuring that Arroyo continues to thrive year after year. We truly value you, our Arroyo parents, and want you to feel welcomed when you come to participate in school activities or volunteer in your child’s classroom.
As your school principal, I have the responsibility of keeping students’ and staff safety at the forefront. Last school year, our PTA Safety Committee and I met with different law enforcement personnel from different agencies to discuss and evaluate some of our campus safety procedures. We explored the pros and cons of becoming a “Closed Campus” school, and decided to implement a new “lanyard” visitor/volunteer system. We quickly realized that the new system did not meet our safety needs as we had hoped. As such, and in light of recent tragedies in schools around the nation and due to increased worries within our community regarding school safety, we have decided to implement “Closed Campus” procedures at Arroyo.
- Maximize the safety and security of your child while at school.
- More easily identify adults on campus and their reasons for being here.
- Minimize the amount of adults on campus during times that students are outside of their classrooms - before and after school.
- Afford teachers and staff easy access to their morning and afternoon student supervision duty assignments.
- Empower students by providing an orderly, predictable and safe morning and afternoon school environment.
***Beginning Tuesday, August 20, 2020, our school campus will be closed BEFORE and AFTER school (It is already closed during school hours)***. Parents will no longer be able to enter the perimeter gates to drop-off or pick-up their student. Students will continue to enter campus through the two courtyard gates (upper lot), the side gate near the blacktop (lower lot) and the gate near the YMCA portable which is connected to the staircase pathway (off of Cornell Rd.). Kindergarten parents will continue to drop students off at the Kinder playground gate, where staff will be present to greet the children. Please note the following:
- To keep all children safe, only students are allowed beyond the gates before school, during school and after school. This means no one is allowed to stand in line or wait in front of the classrooms or to be on the playground area before, during, or after school.
- Anyone on campus during this time who has not properly checked in through the office will be asked to report back to the office to check in. A volunteer badge/lanyard must be visible at all times, while on campus.
The reason for this change is to ascertain that the people who are on campus are authorized to be here, and to reduce the possibility that a stranger could slip onto the Arroyo campus without notice. We encourage parents to volunteer in an official capacity before and after school. We would benefit from volunteer support at each entry gate. If you are available from 7:45-8:00; 8:00-8:15 or 2:38-3:00, we would love your support.
I appreciate your understanding and cooperation with this important modification of our school security plan, and I realize that it is a big change. We will continue to have conversations about keeping our children safe, and your ideas and suggestions are always appreciated.
**NEW Volunteer and Visitor Procedures**
- Parents are encouraged to volunteer and be actively involved in their child’s school.
- Parents are invited to attend Morning Flag Salute and enjoy Coffee in the Courtyard with Principal Sheyka on designated days. Reference the PTA Calendar on the back of your student’s Friday Folder for dates. (NO SIGN-IN required on these mornings - only)
- Parents are welcome to begin volunteering 15 minutes AFTER the opening of the school day (unless an earlier time has been established between parent and staff, specifically).
- All school volunteers must read and complete the Arroyo Volunteer Code of Conduct & Confidentiality Agreement prior to volunteering for the first time (each year).
- Parents and ALL Visitors MUST Sign-IN/Sign-OUT at the front office before entering/ exiting campus. Anyone on campus during this time who has not properly checked in through the office will be asked to report back to the office to check in. A volunteer badge must be visible.
- Sign-IN: Note student, teacher, time and reason for visit
- Receive a school “volunteer lanyard” or “visitor sticker” from front office staff
- Enter campus through designated area (avoiding health office as entry point when possible)
- Sign-OUT: Note time and return sticker or lanyard.
- Volunteer hours may begin at:
- 8:15 | kinder parents
- 8:30 | parents of students in grades 1 through 5
- IMPORTANT to note:
- Volunteer assignments must be pre-arranged with teachers or staff
- Enter and Exit through the front office ONLY.
- Office Workroom is OPEN to PTA needs 8:30-11:00 daily and 1:15-2:30 each day (BUT Wednesday).
- Visitors will NOT be given campus access to drop off forgotten items or gifts/treats. The office staff will gladly assist you with these needs.
Thank you for your support as we implement these important changes. We must always make decisions that prioritize student safety. Detailed information regarding Arroyo’s drop-off and pick-up procedures and policies can be found in the Arroyo Student/Family Handbook which will be provided to families on Thursday evening, 8/22, at Back to School Night.
August 8, 2019
Dear Arroyo Families,
On behalf of the entire Arroyo Elementary staff, I would like to extend an enthusiastic welcome to all of our new and returning families. It is my honor and privilege to serve as your school principal again this year. As a staff, we are looking forward to collaborating with you to ensure we are doing all that we can in support of your student’s healthy development. This year, we will continue to focus on social-emotional wellness, with an emphasis on cultivating a calm, safe school campus, in addition to providing students with rigorous, meaningful and engaging learning opportunities.
Last year I was fortunate to experience first-hand, the passion and commitment of our generous parent community and the unwavering dedication of our professional staff who work tirelessly to ensure student success. I am confident that 2019-20 will be an equally rewarding year for our 640 Mustangs; we remain committed to further strengthening our academic programs on our quest for innovative and inspiring ways to promote creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication in the hearts and minds of our students.
Each new school year brings change, and this year is no exception. Last June Arroyo said goodbye to two teachers – Mr. Reed and Mrs. Neese. We wish them the very best in their future endeavors. This year, we welcome three new teachers onto our team. Mrs. Ahlquist has joined our 5th grade team. Miss Cook and Miss Silvers have joined our 1st grade team. As standing TUSD teachers, these educators bring experience and passion into their new roles and are excited to have joined our Arroyo family – and we are grateful to have them here.
I am thankful for the opportunity to work with Kirsten Antonius, our new PTA President, as well as Amy Kassardjian, our Vice President, our entire PTA Board and all of our members again this year! As parents and family members, your help and support is paramount to your child’s overall success. We encourage you to become involved in the elementary school experience. Our PTA is regularly in need of parent volunteers, as are our Arroyo teachers. We hope you will plan to join our Arroyo PTA. Together we are better. Visit arroyopta.org for more information.
I look forward to seeing you throughout the year. Thank you for your partnership in your child’s education. Once again, welcome back!