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Welcome New Families

Girl Walking to School with Mom


Welcome to ACDS! We are so excited that you are joining the Cougar family! Our new family microsite is designed to help you prepare for school and put useful resources for our parents and students at your fingertips. This will be your first stop to get acquainted with ACDS. Of course, Parent Life and our Back to School page is full of useful resources as well so please explore! If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us (see Important Contacts below) or your grade level room parent. 

Welcome New Families


You're Accepted! What's Next?

Shortly after your child is accepted into our program, you will receive an email from the Admissions Office with detailed information which will include some of the information accessible below.

In addition, you will receive an email from our Registrar, Angela Henze, with a username and password to access additional information only for ACDS families. If you do not receive your login details by mid-August, please email . In the meantime, there is plenty of information that you can access on Parent Life as noted below. Again, welcome to ACDS!

Before You Start at ACDS

The first priority after being accepted is to complete all the steps of the enrollment process. Below please find additional information about how you can prepare your child for the first day of school.

Complete Enrollment

The forms below must be completed and uploaded to SchoolAdmin before the first day your child attends school:

In addition, the following additional records are required for students in the following grades:

Complete and return the forms below to the Front Office by or on the first day of school:

If you have any questions, please contact Angela Henze, Registrar.

Update your Profile

Please review the following in your Veracross Parent Portal before Tuesday, September 3

  • Family Information: Please make sure your cell phone is current and in the right format 000-000-0000. This will ensure you receive emergency texts or communications sent via SMS.
  • Household Contacts: Please ensure all family members that reside with you are added to your Household Contacts.
  • Pick-Up Authorization: You should have at least one other person besides yourself authorized to pick up your child.
  • Review Medical Profile: Please make certain your student's medical insurance, medicines taken, and medical conditions are all current.
  • Review Directory Preferences: You can choose how much information is shown in the directory.

Veracross Help Sessions

We host half-hour Zoom sessions to help you navigate updating your information in Veracross which is required to be completed before the start of school. Join the Zoom and update your record in real-time with human help! Dates and links to the Zoom sessions will be added here closer to the session dates.

Get Connected

Once you receive your login details from ACDS, click below to follow the steps to stay connected to important ACDS news and information throughout the year. 

Get Connected

School Supplies

While ACDS provides the majority of classroom supplies, each grade also has a list of supplies that need to be provided including medication and/or a comfort kit which will be kept on campus.

Pre-Kindergarten Fourth Grade
Kindergarten Fifth Grade
First Grade Sixth Grade
Second Grade Seventh Grade
Third Grade Eighth Grade
The Learning Center (TLC)


School Uniforms

The intent of our school uniform policy is to contribute to an environment that encourages learning without distractions, provides a structure that respects individualism, and promotes a sense of community and togetherness. 

Lands' End is our official provider for most school logo gear (Uniforms: 900164773). 

The ACDS Uniform Exchange on campus is full of donated, gently worn uniforms that are free for parents to take as needed as well

School Uniforms

PE Uniforms 

PE uniforms are required for students entering grades 5-8:

  1. The PE top and shorts can be purchased directly from the school. The PE shirt and shorts are in-stock on campus and orders can be picked up from the front office between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. PE sweats and sweatshirts are optional. PE uniforms can also be purchased directly from Lands End.
  2. If you ordered PE uniforms from Lands End but they do not arrive in time, PE uniforms can be purchased from the school. Lands End allows you to return your order even if it is branded for a refund.
  3. The PE uniform must be worn to all PE classes.

Order Cougar Spirit Shirt

  • Pre-K - 5th Grade: No need to order. Spirit tees will be handed out by homeroom teachers to students in Pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade.
  • 6th - 8th Grade students: Please complete your child's spirit shirt size order form by mid-August at the latest; these shirts are worn as a class to promote class unity and school spirit. If you do not select a t-shirt size for your child by September 1st, a size will be selected by the staff.

Hot Lunch Program

ACDS is pleased to offer a hot lunch program through The Pasta Market. Ordering opens at the end of August. To learn how to register for a new account or how to update your existing one, please visit our Hot Lunch page below. 

Hot Lunch Program

Summer Reading

Reading is one of the best ways to prevent the "summer slide." In the context of relaxation and summer adventures, a moderate amount of summer reading is important for children to maintain their literacy skills. For students entering Grades 5 - 8, there is required reading to be completed before the start of school. Below is a link to our required (Grades 5 - 8 only) and recommended reading lists compiled by our librarian and classroom teachers.

Summer Reading Lists

School Hours

Classrooms open at 7:50 am for all grades.
Complimentary before-school care is offered for Kindergarten to 8th Grade students.
Pre-K 1/2 Day: 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Pre-K Full Day: 8 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Kindergarten: 8 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (2 to 3:00 p.m. is optional supervised, child-directed play)
1st - 8th Grade: 8 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.
After-School Care is offered for Pre-K to 8th Grade students for a fee.

School Hours & Policies

Drop-off and Pick-up

For the safety of our students, staff and community, we ask all parents to follow our drop-off and pick-up procedures.

Drop-off and Pick-up

Extended Care

We offer complimentary before-school care for students in Kindergarten to 8th Grade, and after-school care for Pre-K to 8th Grade for a fee. Registration for before-school care is not required, but we ask all parents to follow the drop-off procedures using the Brightwheel app. Registration for after-school care will be sent out in early August.

Extended Care


We are proud to offer an after-school sports program for students in Grades 5 - 8 and Cougar Sports Clinics for students in Grades 1 - 6. For more information on how to sign-up for the sports teams in the fall, click below.


Order your ACDS Swag

Now that you're part of the Cougar family, show your school spirit with some ACDS swag! 

Order Swag

Allergy and Health & Wellness Guidelines

If your student has a food allergy, please use the "Medical Action Plan" form that is available under your child's profile in the SchoolAdmin Parent Portal (look under "Internal & Optional Items"). Also, learn more about our allergy guidelines and when to keep your child home from school.

Health & Safety


Back to School Events For New Families only

Pre-K - 5th Grade New Family Event

When: TBD
Who: New Pre-K to 5th Grade families
Where: Pre-Kindergarten play yard and Rainbow Playground

Middle School New Family Event

When: TBD
Who: New Middle School families
Where: Middle School Quad

New Family Orientation

When: TBD (directly after Welcome Back Parents Social)
Who: Parents of new students; All new parents are strongly urged to attend as we will cover a lot of vital information about our school, philosophy, programs and opportunities.
Where: Fisher Event Center Auditorium
What: After parents drop children off for their first day of school, ACDS 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.


Back to School Events For All New and Returning Families

TLC Pool Party

When: TBD
Who: All new and returning TLC families
Where: Pinehurst Cabana Club, 886 Lewiston, San Jose

Kindergarten Lemonade Party

When: September 5, 2023 at 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Who: All Kindergarten families
Where: Kindergarten Quad
What: 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.

Pre-K Lemonade Party

When: TBD (each family will receive their time slot from their teachers)
Who: All Pre-Kindergarten families
Where: Pre-Kindergarten Classrooms and Play Yard
What: 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.

Grade 1 - 5 Park Meet-n-Greet 

When: TBD
Who: All Grade 1-5 families; Parents must accompany their children. Please note there is no school on this day.
Where: Greystone Park
What: This informal gathering is 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 popsicles. Elementary teachers are on hand to greet parents and students, as well as answer any questions.

Middle School Ice Cream Social

When: TBD
Who: Grades 6-8 students only (parents can head to the Duvall Courtyard)
Where: Middle School Quad & Blacktop
Please note there is no school on this day.
What: The Middle School Welcome Event is a fun kickoff event to welcome students to the new school year. Students will meet their teachers, welcome our new students, and reconnect with old friends, all while enjoying a sweet treat. PLEASE NOTE: 1:1 laptops for middle school students will be distributed at the end of the first week of school. 

Middle School Parents Mingle

When: TBD
Who: Grades 6-8 parents & family members, including younger siblings (or feel free to attend the Grade 1-5 Meet-n-Greet if you have elementary-age children)
Where: Duvall Courtyard
Parents drop their children off. Please note there is no school on this day.
What: Meet other middle school parents and get a tour of our new Speech And Music (SAM) Building after dropping your child off at the Ice Cream Social.

Welcome Back Parents Social

When: TBD
Who: All returning and new parents 
Where: Ravel Courtyard (& Fisher Event Center Auditorium for New Family Orientation)
A time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones on the first morning of school.

After You Start at ACDS

Once your child has started school, please be sure to review the additional information below as you continue to become acquainted with everything ACDS has to offer your family.

School Calendar

Our school calendar is full of fun and exciting events throughout the year. Click below to also view and download our Major Calendar events throughout the year.

School Calendar

Birthday Book

Do you want a special book delivered to your child on their birthday or other occasion? Give the gift of a Birthday Book to you child. Birthday Books are delivered to students on their special day for the children to read and then donate their Birthday Books back to the library.

Birthday Book Club

New Family Connections

As part of our Family Connections Program, you will be hearing from a current family in the same grade as your child. This program was designed to help pave the way for a smooth transition to ACDS. Current families are a great resource for most questions you may have while serving as a connection to the school community.  If you haven't heard from your Grade Level Room Parent within the first couple weeks of joining, please email Admissions.

Parent Service Auxiliary (PSA)

Our amazing Parent Service Auxiliary (PSA), organized by parents, helps foster community life at ACDS. Get to know more about our PSA, the wonderful events and activities they organize throughout the year, and how you can volunteer and get involved.

Parent Service Auxiliary


As a member of the parent community, every parent is encouraged to attend events on campus and to volunteer to help support these events throughout the school year. Volunteer opportunities are available exclusively online on iVolunteer.

Per a new directive from our insurance company, and in order to maximize student, employee, and volunteer safety, as of January 1, 2024, ACDS will require LiveScan fingerprinting for all ACDS volunteers 18 years and older. Please click here for information and instructions on how to meet the fingerprinting requirement.

iVolunteer opens in early September. 


Clubs & Activities

Our campus is host to a variety of after-school activities that extend the interests and talents of our students. Click here to view our current offering of clubs and activities. Our Student Life Coordinator will also send out information to all families about the clubs and activities available throughout the year and how to sign-up.

Supporting ACDS

Families support ACDS not only through volunteering but also through participation in the Annual Giving Campaign (AGC) and the Annual Dinner Auction. Our fall AGC is the largest and most important fundraising effort that helps bridge the tuition gap - the variance between what families pay in tuition per child and the actual cost of educating each ACDS student. The AGC is the largest and most important fundraising effort for our school. The Annual Dinner Auction supports the ongoing needs of our non-profit school and funds essential programs that facilitate learning for both students and faculty.

Annual Giving Program

Field Trips

Throughout the year, classes will go on pre-planned field trips. At times, we need parent drivers to help take students to/from the field trip location. If you would like to volunteer to be a parent driver, please complete the MVR form and turn it into the front office.

Important Contacts