School Hours and Policies
- Pre-Kindergarten: 8am - noon
- Kindergarten: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
- Optional Kindergarten play hour: 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Grades 1 through 8: 8:00 a.m. – 3:05 p.m.
- Before-School Morning Care (K-8): 7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.
- Apple Tree (PreK, JK, K): 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Apple Orchard (1 through 4): 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- MASH (5 through 8): 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Note for Early Childhood Education Parents (Pre-Kindergarten Kindergarten)
Early Childhood Education students should be accompanied to the classroom by a parent of caregiver. ECE students should not be left alone outside the classroom.
Children should be picked up promptly at 12 p.m. for the morning session and at 3:00 p.m. for Kindergarten. Parents are to call the office in case of delay.
Absence and Tardy Policies
Forming habits of regular school attendance and punctuality is important in these formative years.
Examples of Excused Absences or Tardiness
- Medical appointment, verified with doctor’s note
- Death in the family
- Religious observance
- Family emergency
Examples of Unexcused Absences or Tardiness
• Personal business
Please take the following steps if your child is going to be absent: Notify the office staff by 9:00 a.m. to report the absence and email teachers to request homework. Collect homework at the office after 3:05 p.m.
Homework cannot be prepared for early collection because teachers are busy teaching during regular school hours.
Homework requested after 9:00 a.m. will not be available until the following day.
Students are expected to make up homework missed because of absence. For each day of absence, the student is allowed one extra day to make up the homework assignment. In the case of extended illness, the teachers will work with the student to prioritize critical assignments to be completed.
We urge parents not to take vacations during school time. Students being taken out of school for reasons other than illness or family emergencies will not be given assignments of homework prior to departure. All class work and homework will be required to be made up on the student’s return to school. This is a tremendous stress on a student. Please do not schedule family vacations for parent-teacher conference days or during SAT testing dates.
Please inform the office if your child contracts any infectious or communicable disease. Please keep sick children at home. Students considered too sick to remain in class will be sent home at the discretion of the teacher or office personnel. Parents will be notified by telephone to collect sick students from the office as soon as possible. As a courtesy to teachers and students, we cannot allow sick students to remain in the classroom. Please keep children at home until they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours.
Tardy and Leaving School Early
Children are expected to be in their classroom by 8:00 a.m. If your child is going to be late, for whatever reason, please send your child directly to the office for a late slip. Children arriving to class after 8:10 a.m. without a late slip will be asked to go to the office to obtain one before returning to class. If the problem persists parents will be requested to meet with the Assistant Head.
When a student needs to leave school early:
- Come to the office to sign your student out.
- Obtain a “permit to leave the building” for the student. Teachers are not allowed to dismiss students without this notification from the office. This safety precaution applies to students in all classes and grades. Please do not ask your child to meet you in the parking lot.
- Before returning to class, collect an admit slip for your student from the office.
Children can purchase a hot lunch at school. Contact the office or look on our website at for information regarding the procedure for ordering lunches.
Our Pre-Kindergarten program serves children 3.8 to 5 years of age, Monday through Friday from 8:00 – 12:00 p.m. Children must be 3.8 years of age on September 1 to enroll.
Our goal when accepting new children to our program is to make sure Almaden Country Day School can serve the needs of its students. To determine compatibility, parents of prospective students will participate in an interview with the Director of Admissions. Prospective students may also be invited to participate in an in-class observation or in a teacher-student interview.
Students participate in occasional field trips. Parents must give written permission in advance for their children to attend school field trips. Parents who wish to drive must provide the school with proof of automobile insurance with $100,000/$300,000 of minimum coverage per incident. Field trip permission and proof of insurance forms are included with the original enrollment confirmation form. Any extra charge for field trips, if any, will be communicated to parents prior to the field trip. Children must comply with car seat safety laws while traveling during school field trips.
Parents serving as chaperones on ACDS field trips may not use, sell, provide, possess or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at any time during the duration of the field trip experience.
Required Forms for Pre-Kindergarten and Extended Care
All Pre-Kindergarten and Extended Care Students must return the following forms prior to the first day of attendance.
• Signed Enrollment Confirmation & Tuition/Fee Schedule
• Pre-Admission Health History
• Consent for Medical Treatment
• Signed Notification of Parent’s Rights
• Signed Notification of Personal Rights
• Physician’s Report
• Copy of Yellow California immunization card
• TB test results
It is a stated objective of the Almaden Country Day School to give its families, faculty, and facilities a day free from school-planned or school-sponsored activities. The school recognizes that by doing so, the school community is strengthened and renewed. Therefore, the school does not plan or sponsor events on Sunday. However, the school recognizes that unplanned events and urgencies might arise where engaging the school’s resources and families would result in greater good for the school or the community. The school administration will review participating in these events on a case-by-case basis.
Gifts for Teachers
Parents and students often wish to express their appreciation by giving gifts to teachers, and since gratitude is an important core value at ACDS, we welcome this practice. In the spirit of simplicity espoused by ACDS founder Nan Hunter as one of the school’s core values, parents are encouraged to have their children prepare handmade cards and artwork or a home-made treat, and parents sometimes choose to give monetary gifts like movie tickets or gift cards.
Families are welcome to give gifts to ACDS teachers, coaches, and other staff members. However, we ask that you not engage in organizing “group” or “class” gifts, i.e. please do not ask any other family to participate in a collective gift for a teacher, coach, or other individual associated with the school. There are several reasons for this gift policy. For some families, the “ask” amount poses a financial hardship, especially for parents with children in multiple grade levels. Also, parents may feel pressured or even coerced to participate in group gifts; even when such pressure is unintentional, it is uncomfortable and counter to the welcoming sense of community that is an ACDS hallmark.
Please be clear that the purpose of this policy is not to discourage families from thanking or acknowledging our special teachers or coaches, and parents are welcome to express their appreciation by giving gifts that do not involve collecting contributions from other families.
State law prohibits the presence of alcoholic beverages on the school campus at any time. Almaden Country Day School does not serve alcoholic beverages at school events where children are present.
The Assistant Heads or Assistant Heads’ designee may search a student’s attire, personal or school property including books, desks, and lockers for any reason, including, but not limited to suspecting that a student possesses illegal or illegally obtained items, or items otherwise prohibited by school policy.