Frequently Asked Questions

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May 2024


School starts at 8:00 a.m. – The classroom doors open at 7:50 a.m. There is supervision in the Daycare Room from 7:30 to 7:50, should you need to drop your child off a little early. There is no cost for morning care.

What time does school end?

1st – 6th Grade dismisses at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
1st – 6th Grade dismisses at 1:30 pm. on Wednesdays
Kindergarten dismisses at 11:45 a.m. until the start of the 2nd trimester.

If you are going to park your car to drop off or pick up your child please park in a parking spot and use the crosswalks. Students should never cross the parking lot by themselves.

If you want to use the “drive-thru” to drop off or pick your child up, it is on the north side of the school, parallel to Roblar Road. Please pull up as far as possible along the yellow curb.  If your child is not waiting for you, please pull out and pass through this area again.  The front curb is not for parking.  Please do not drop your child off or pick them up in the side lot by the court yard.

We are working very hard at becoming paperless at Dunham and prefer to send home as few flyers and notes as possible. We have a user-friendly school website, The website is updated weekly and has a link to the school calendars, newsletters, staff contacts, homework, etc. We also utilize an automated telephone and email system called Blackboard Connect. With this program, we can quickly email you about upcoming events and happenings. In the case of an emergency, we have the ability to call everyone on your child’s emergency list at one time, to ensure prompt response and pick up of your child.

Currently, we do send home a “Friday Folder”, which is a large envelope containing your child’s class work, information from their teacher, the PTO, and any other information that you might find relevant. This envelope comes home every Friday and should be returned every Monday. This is also a safe way to return permission slips, lunch payments, notes to the teachers, etc. to the school. We are hopeful you will eventually be able to ‘opt out’ of receiving flyers and things in the Friday Folder as you may prefer to access the same information online.

We do have some long standing traditions with regard to holidays.  Here’s what we usually do:

  • Halloween:  We have school-wide costume parade after lunch. Costumes are brought to school and the kids change into them after lunch. Kindergarteners usually have a small party before they go home at 11:45, but are encouraged to come back to the school to participate in the parade around 12:45 p.m.  Class parties are usually scheduled for after the parade.
  • Winter/Christmas: The PTO traditionally allocates funding for each student to have a ‘dated’ ornament that is used to decorate the school tree.  Room parents help the kids make or decorate
  • the ornament themselves.  The last day of school before the Winter Break is a shortened day, “Santa” usually visits and most classes have some sort of celebration or party.  Whether or not a class has a celebration for the Christmas/Winter holidays is up to the teacher and their room parents.
  • Valentine’s Day:  Each class celebration is a decision made with the teacher and their room parents.  If a class has a Valentine’s Day party, Valentine’s cards are usually exchanged with every child in the class.

Dunham School and the Dunham PTO sponsor many events, both big and small, throughout the school year. There are free, social events as well as fundraising events.

Each fall the PTO organizes a Walk-a-thon that is held on the school campus. Students gather pledges for the number of laps they plan to walk and collect after the event. This is always a fun day and most of the school community participates.

The Pasta Feed is held in March and is the largest community event. The classes each perform on stage for the families, and a pasta dinner and auction complete the evening.

The biggest fundraiser of the year is the PTO Crab Feed. This is an adult-only event that includes an all you can eat crab dinner and a live and silent auction.

In addition to these large events, watch the school calendar and website for information on many smaller family events and mini-fundraisers. Some of the fun includes our Ice Cream Social, ‘Back to School Bingo’, Pumpkin Carving and movie night, Math and Science Night, Dine and Donate, and Cal Skate Night.

The last day of school is a shortened day, with all students being dismissed at 11:45 a.m. The PTO plans a school-wide carnival, complete with food, games, and activities for the whole family. Although, this is not an even that is open to the public, parents are welcome to come and join the fun!! This is a great way to end the school year and kick off the summer!

A packet is mailed out to every family at the beginning of August. The packets will have important forms that need to be filled out each year so that our records are current. To save on postage, some of the forms will be sent home with your child the first week of school in the Friday Folders. It is important to complete all of the forms and return to school as soon as possible.

Dunham School does not cook meals for our students; however, we do contract with another school district in the area and are able to offer hot lunches. Lunch may be ordered each day when attendance is taken. At this time the cost is $4.00 per meal. Lunch accounts are established for each student, where meal charges and payments are accounted for. You may add money to your child’s account at any time during the year and you will be billed monthly if you owe for any lunches. We do participate in the National School Lunch Program and will send application forms home in the packet at the beginning of the school year. Please don’t hesitate to apply if you think you may qualify for free or reduced priced lunches.

Milk is included with the purchase of a school lunch or you may purchase it alone, either monthly or for the whole school year. Milk is not sold on a daily basis. TK and Kindergarteners are served their milk at snack time since they don’t usually stay for lunch. Kindergarteners begin staying for lunch after Thanksgiving break with their dismissal time changing to 1:30pm.

We love having parents help at Dunham!! What you can do in the classrooms varies by grade, so the best way to find out what is needed in your child’s class is to ask their teacher. You may be asked to drive on a fieldtrip, fill the Friday Folders or read with a small group of kids.

Dunham School PTO is a very active group and they always have something going on that you can volunteer your time for. They are dedicated to helping fund programs that keep our school a fun and exciting place to learn. Right now PTO meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 2:45 p.m. and there is free child care provided. Watch for information from your child’s teacher and the PTO on the school website, on the outdoor bulletin boards, or in the Friday Folder.

The Dunham PTO helps pay for many of the extra activities and free events that we hold at school. Currently they help pay for our Wednesday music program, as well as classroom enrichment in Gardening, Music, and Drama. Fundraising activities also pay for social gatherings such as the Back to School Bingo night, and the Oktoberfest Pumpkin Carving night. The PTO allocates funds each year to each class to be spent on supplies and offset some fieldtrip expenses. Currently, every other year our 5th and 6th grade students are fortunate to attend a week-long outdoor education camp at Yosemite and our PTO pays a significant amount of money toward the cost of this program.

The amount of field trips that each class goes on depends on their teacher and what the class is studying. Since Dunham doesn’t have a bus, we rely on parent drivers to transport students on field trips. Drivers must meet certain requirements, which include adequate car insurance and a reliable vehicle.

If your child uses a car seat or booster it must be left for your child to install in the car. We must adhere to the current safety seat laws and rely on parents to assist with this. It is important to remember that if you are a chaperone on the trip you are there to help keep a watchful eye on the students, so no siblings are allowed on the trip.

Our 5th grade class goes to Angel Island for an overnight that teaches them what life might have been like as a soldier during the Civil War. The 6th grade goes on a weeklong Outdoor Education field trip to Walker Creek Outdoor School in Marin County. The class will do some fundraising for this trip, and we also ask for parent donations.

Every two years, the 5th and 6th grade classes go together to Yosemite National Park for a week of hiking and outdoor learning. A portion of this trip is funded by the PTO, and we also rely on parent donations.

We have Dunham Daycare that runs the afterschool care. There is a staff of Dunham employees that run this program. They are always planning games and activities for the students. The daycare runs 11:45am to 4:00 pm. Snack is not provided, so parents need to send additional food with their kids if they’re staying late. Homework time is provided, as well as playing games and activities both indoors and outside. There are 2 or more staff members there at all times. Dunham Daycare hourly rates are at an affordable $5 an hour.

We know how important birthdays are for children and we want to be able to celebrate them in a way that is fun but not too distracting to the school day. Before you celebrate your child’s birthday at school please check in with their teacher. Each classroom has their own unique way of celebrating your child’s birthday! If you are passing out invitations to your child’s party at school, we ask that this only be done if you are inviting the whole class or at least, all the girls or all the boys, so that kids don’t feel left out and feelings don’t get hurt.

If you have questions that need clarification or that we didn’t answer here, please don’t hesitate to call or stop by the school office. Dunham School Office: 707-795-5050