Part of what gives ACDS its warm, inclusive feel is our community events, geared toward our families and students, neighbors, and friends.
Our events are lovingly coordinated by parent volunteers and are a tradition well-remembered by all who participate, including alumni. These events bring our families together, on campus, to create life-long cherished memories. Join the fun!
To explore our community life and our traditions, please expand the menus below.
Preschool, Junior Kindergarten, Kindergarten
This is an opportunity for new and returning families to meet their children’s teachers, see their new classrooms, and enjoy lemonade and cookies. Children and parents are encouraged to explore the classrooms and chat briefly with the teachers. The Lemonade Party interactions help children overcome their "jitters" before classes begin, making the first day of school more relaxed, fun and productive.
Elementary (1st-5th grade)
This informal gathering is a BYOL (Bring your Own Lunch) activity. It’s held at Greystone Park adjacent to the school and offers students and parents a chance to reconnect with familiar friends and meet new ones while enjoying lunch and treats.
Middle School Swim Party
Middle School (6th-8th grade)
The swim party is held at a local neighborhood association pool and welcomes our sixth graders into Middle School. Students get a chance to catch up on their summer happenings, swap stories and discuss classes for the coming year.
New Family Orientation
After parents drop children off for their first day of school, ACS hosts the New Family Orientation. There is a brief presentation where administrators and Parent Service Auxiliary (PSA) board members address FAQs and parents enjoy refreshments, meet and mingle with other parents, and sign-up for a variety of volunteer opportunities.
Welcome (Back) to ACDS Event: Family Food Truck Friday!
This informal event held in the early evening during the second week of school acquaints new parents and students with their host families, current families, and ACS administrators and PSA board members.
Cougar Pride Week
Cougar Pride Week takes place in September, and events are organized to promote school spirit. This week immediately precedes the Fun Run event. Each day carries a theme — you might find students with crazy hair one day and dressed in the uniforms of their favorite sports teams another day! Cougar Pride Week is a festive and lively tradition at Almaden Country School.
|Go Bananas!||Go Crazy!
Crazy Hair/ Shirt Day!
Wacky Socks with School Uniform
Class color T-shirt with uniform bottom for Pep Rally!
Fun Run Day! Class color T-shirt with uniform-length shorts and running shoes
Children from all of our classes, Preschool-8th grade, participate in the Fun Run, which, in the past, was a major fundraiser for the PSA supporting the whole-school activities we enjoy each year. Children now focus on the camaraderie and personal bests while running or walking laps on our playing fields, of a distance appropriate to their grade level. You’ll see our Preschool, Junior Kindergarten, Kindergarten and first grade students partnering with their older Big Buddies as they loop around the track to the cheers of teachers and parents!
Class Color T-Shirt Key
|Red||Red||Coral||Royal Blue||Sapphire Blue (teal)||Purple||Electric Green|
|Heliconia (hot pink)||Orange||Charcoal Gray||Black||Light Blue||Forest Green||Orange (optional)|
Back to School Nights
Parents are given the opportunity to experience their child’s day by touring teachers’ classrooms. Separate nights are dedicated for parents of ECE, Elementary and Middle School. Teachers discuss classroom procedures and expectations, instructional plans for the year, curricula and homework.
It just wouldn’t be Halloween without a school-wide Halloween parade! In this popular ACDS tradition, the central blacktop area on campus is filled with ghosts, goblins, famous athletes, cartoon characters and princesses as students from every grade level get to participate — you’ll also witness decked out teachers and administrators who get into the spirit!
This school-wide event is a festive evening of pumpkin carving that includes creativity, costumes and camaraderie. The campus is transformed with pumpkins scattered across the garden, a spooky Halloween tunnel, and costumes of every sort. After dark, families enjoy refreshments and entertainment in the candlelight of hundreds of freshly carved pumpkins.
The Thanksgiving Feast is a hallmark event at ACDS with more than 300 students gathered together around tables to share a meal. This feast isn’t a catered event or a parent-cooked extravaganza — it’s the product of every student at ACDS. As part of the school’s “Character and Competence” curriculum, students roll up their sleeves to join parent volunteers and participate in chopping, stirring, seasoning and spicing, creating a multiple-course feast that helps bring the meaning of Thanksgiving to life.
ACDS understands and values the role volunteers make in creating a campus that’s teeming with energy, education and passion. The school hosts dozens of parent volunteers every day who are helping in classrooms, preparing for an event, and supporting our close-knit community. To thank our tireless volunteers, each spring ACDS hosts Volunteer Celebrations where parents and guardians share a slice of gratitude together with the students, administration and teachers.
Each spring, we invite all the students and families from ACDS to play a variety of games and activities after school. In the past, activities included a water balloon toss, egg spoon races, wheelbarrow races, obstacle courses, and tug-of-war. This day brings our community together for fun and games. Snacks and drinks are also provided.
Teacher Hospitality Luncheons
Several times each school year, the faculty room is transformed from a workspace filled with paper, glue and scissors, into a lovely dining room with a buffet luncheon provided by parents from a specific grade level. Teachers and staff are highly valued at ACDS, and the Hospitality Luncheon program is just one way that parents give thanks for the faculty’s dedication. A parent volunteer coordinates the luncheons, and parents cook and provide the meal for our teachers and staff.
Teacher Appreciation Holiday Luncheon
This is the largest and most formal luncheon of the year — an annual tradition complete with a sit-down meal at a carefully selected site off campus, honoring the faculty with a touch of holiday elegance.
Teacher Appreciation Week
For a week each year, the entire ACDS community celebrates our faculty with handmade cards and gifts from the children, favorite treats and other personalized expressions of gratitude. Check the school calendar for this year's dates, typically toward the beginning of May.
All School Student Exhibition and Talent Showcase
ASSETS is our All School Student Exhibition and Talent Showcase — a popular ACDS tradition for more than a decade and a lively celebration of student success and skills. ASSETS exhibits highlight some of the students’ best classroom artwork, enrichment projects and live talent performances by individual students and groups across the grade levels.
End of the Year Carnival
On the last day of school, the expansive outdoor play space is transformed into a festive carnival by a team of dedicated parents. Hundreds of students run between carnival games, face painting stations, a teacher dunk tank, and a jump house. Laughter fills the air while students enjoy their friends and anticipate a carefree summer ahead.
End of the Year 6-7 Grade Party
The 6-7 grade year-end party is held at a nearby site at the same time as the carnival, giving the Middle School students an opportunity to sign yearbooks, hang out together, and say goodbye to friends.
Great America for 8th Grade
As Elementary students play at the carnival and the 6-7 grade students enjoy time together, our graduating class heads to Great America for a day full of fun in the sun.