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New Faculty

I am delighted to welcome our new educators to our dynamic faculty. El Carmelo's rich tradition of high expectations for each and every student will be enhanced by our wonderful additions to the instructional team.

First Grade Teacher, Dina Kim, was born in Seoul, South Korea, and completed the majority of her schooling in Millbrae, California. "I am excited to share all of my knowledge and experiences with El Carmelo, all while learning from the students, families, and the community. I can never get enough of amazing children's books, flair pens, sparkling water, and coffee. I have a deep love for rigorous, responsive teaching, anti-bias exploration as well as all things K-2 literacy." Dina's free time is spent traveling, cooking, and doing a ton of yoga.

Third Grade Teacher, Nan Knoblauch, retired four years ago after teaching 4th & 5th grades for 19 years, 16 of them at El Carmelo. Some of her favorite activities include reading, gardening, knitting, and substitute teaching at El Carmelo (gr. 2-5) and the LPCH hospital school (gr. K-12). "There is something so special about connecting with kids while facilitating their learning, as they learn how to learn, that will always draw me back to the classroom. I am looking forward to a new chapter at El Carmelo." Nan will job share with Eileen Laughlin. We will see her on Fridays.

Fourth Grade Teacher, Anaia Gilliam, a San Francisco native, enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures, especially the food! She explored Australia and New Zealand this summer. Her interests include concerts, playing pool, food, chocolate, and wine. This fall begins her 4th year teaching and 16th year working with children. "I am looking forward to growing as a teacher and collaborating with families and students at El Carmelo this year. My biggest passion in teaching is making academic experience as fun and engaging as possible."

English Learner Specialist, Britt Brown, celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary this summer with her husband and two children. In addition to family, teaching, and tennis, she loves spending time in nature hiking, biking, and skiing. "I am passionate about being a life-long learner myself and helping students see themselves as the same by facilitating a growth-mindset. I firmly believe that students can achieve anything with the right support from and rapport with their teachers. I am looking forward to this next chapter of my career." Britt will be sharing the English Learner Specialist position with Shirley Jou.

Arts Integration Teacher, Piper LaGrelius, started the arts integration network in the PAUSD as a partnership with TheatreWorks and the Kennedy Center for the Arts in 2006. Before her work in the PAUSD, Piper taught 3rd grade in Michigan and 4th grade in East Palo Alto, served as the managing director to a children's theatre company, and researcher for the Boston Public Schools Arts Initiative. "I look forward to teaching students in every classroom at El Carmelo this year. I am delighted to work in collaboration with classroom teachers, to implement engaging units of study that combine performing arts with academics for students to explore." El Carmelo was one of two elementary sites selected by the District to have an Arts Integration Teacher this year.

Information for the Start of the 2019-2020 School Year

Class Placement

Room assignments will be posted on the office windows on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, at 4:00 PM.

First day of school

The first day of school is Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 8:25-1:30. School begins promptly at 8:25 AM. Supervision begins at 8:10 AM. Students should not arrive before 8:00 AM.

Getting to School

The best way to get to El Carmelo is by biking, walking or scooting to school. Whenever possible, please walk and bike to school. Fewer cars at El Carmelo means greater safety for everyone! On the rare occasion that you must drive, please consider parking a block away and walk to school. This short walk to school allows you to practice safe walking skills with your child while oxygenating the brain, so children are ready to learn. Research demonstrates that students who walk and bike have higher academic achievement.

Coffee with the Principal

The First Day Coffee will be held in the courtyard near the front office. Once you get your last hug, join me for coffee in the courtyard near the office and meet our new families. Kindergarten Parents, we will have coffee on the second day of school, Thursday, August 15 after drop off in front of Room 3.

Snacks and Lunch

Please pack a snack and a water bottle. All 1st-5th graders should either bring lunch from home or purchase lunch at school. Kindergarten students should pack a hearty snack each day. For information about how to buy lunch, please visit our district website:

Student Safety

Children supervised by an adult can play on school grounds after school. All unsupervised students will need to wait in the office. To support the teaching and learning of our upper-grade students during their final 25 minutes of school, those families waiting for a fourth or fifth-grade student, please do so quietly.

Nut-Free Tables

Each grade level has a nut-free table where children with known allergies may eat if they choose.


Over-the-counter and prescription medications cannot be brought to school until forms signed by a parent and the child's pediatrician are on file with the School Office. All necessary forms are accessible through Please make sure that all medical conditions and allergies have been updated on Infinite Campus.


Please report all absences to the School Office. Parents and guardians must call the office (650) 856-0960 or email before 8:30 AM on the day of the absence.

Personal Items from Home

To support teaching and learning, children should leave personal belongings at home. Do not bring electronics (cell phones, iPods, Kindles, etc.) or toys (LEGOS, trading cards, loveys/stuffies, tchotchkes, fidget spinners, Beyblades, etc.) to school unless requested by a teacher. Any such belongings needed after school must remain in the child's backpack and be powered off during the school day. Students may not bring their own athletic equipment to school. The school/district is not responsible for stolen, damaged, or vandalized personal property. We do have a phone in the office that students can use to call home should the need arise.

  • Kindergarten students are dismissed at noon. All kindergarten students must be picked up at this time.
  • Grades 1-3 are dismissed M, T, Th & F at 2:30PM. Wednesday's early release is 1:30PM.
  • To meet the instructional minute differential between primary and upper-grade students required by the California Department of Education, 4th and 5th graders are dismissed at 2:55PM. Wednesday's early release is 1:30PM.
  • All students must be picked up immediately at their respective dismissal times: noon, 1:30PM, 2:30PM, and 2:55PM. If you are late, please notify our school office at 856-0960.