Frequently Asked Questions


New Parents FAQs

Whether you are a returning family or new to our school, you will most likely find the answer to your question, right here or in our Central School Parent Handbook. If you do not find what you are looking for, do not hesitate to contact us directly.


1. What do I need to do before school starts?  Are there forms to fill out?

Enrollment is run by the school district, not Central School. The Belmont Redwood Shores School District will send an email with a link to the annual online registration form in early August.  If you have more than one child in the District, you will receive a separate email for each one. For more information and important dates, visit the BRSSD district website.  


2. When do I find out which class my child’s classroom assignment?

Class assignments will be emailed out on Saturday, August 21st.


3. What time does school start? End?

School starts at 8:25 am for all students. Dismissal times vary by grade level. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays kindergartners are dismissed at 1:30 pm, 1st through 3rd graders are dismissed at 2:35 pm, and then 4th and 5th graders are dismissed at 3:10 pm. All students are dismissed earlier on Wednesdays. To help alleviate traffic congestion kindergarteners are dismissed at 12:00 pm on Wednesdays, then 1st through 5th graders are dismissed at 12:20 pm. For more information you can view our online bell schedule


4. After the first day, where do I pick-up my child?

Again you have two options for pick up. You can either drive through the loop, by the flagpole in front of the school or meet the child at the top of the stairs on Middle Road. At dismissal time the teachers will bring the students to either the top of the stairs on Middle Road or to the front of the school and wait with them until everyone is picked up. Parking is very limited, so most parents choose not to walk in. Our parking lot is small so all cars must form a single file line and we load students one by one. This is a safe but slow process, so please be patient and drive slowly. Again, we will stay with every student until they’re picked up. However, if you know you’re going to be significantly late, please call the office and let us know. You should make a plan with a child where to meet after school.  For more information, view Central's Safe Routes to School Map. 


5. After the first day, how/where do I drop my child off?

The two options for pick up are the loop, by the flagpole in front of the school or at the top of the stairs in Middle Road. Drop-off is from 8:10-8:25 am. Drop-off can be very congested, so please allow ample time and be patient. Parking is very limited, so most parents will loop around the flagpole and stop (not park) at the white curb. From 8:10-8:25 the Kiddie Valet program provides 5th-grade students and parents that will open car doors and assist students. After drop-off students must go to the playground where there is supervision from 8:10-8:25. For more information, view Central's Safe Routes to School Map. 


6. What school supplies does my child need? Will they be needed on the first day?  What about a backpack?

It is helpful for your child to have a backpack (or tote bag for kindergarteners) on the first day of school.  All other supplies are ordered through the PTA or will be provided by the school.  More information about what children should bring will be provided at Back to School Night.


7. Do I need to attend Back to School Night? What is it? 

Yes!!! Please attend. This year's Back to School Night will be held on Friday, August 25th from 6-7pm. We will convene in the MUR (Mult-Use Room) for principal and PTA announcements and then split up and head into the classrooms to meet with the teachers afterwards. The connection between parents and teacher is vital to each student’s success; Back to School Night is an opportunity for parents to meet their child(ren)’s teacher(s) and find out how your child(ren) will be spending their time at school. You will learn about curriculum, supply lists, classroom and homework procedures, volunteer opportunities and more. Back to School Night is an adult-only event. 


8. How do I know what’s going on at school?

The Central Scoop Weekly Newsletter communicates important news and events related to Central School, and keeps you informed about what is happening on campus—right in your email. For more information about signing up visit the PTA Welcome page .


9. How do I join the PTA?

You can join during the District’s Registration process in August or via the Central Store after the 2nd week of school.  PTA Membership allows you to vote on issues impacting our students, school, and families. Our Association meetings are just five times per year, and we encourage all parents to attend to learn about what is happening at Central and around the district. For more information visit the PTA section of Central's website. 


10. How can I contribute financially?  What is the Education Commitment Campaign (ECC)?

All the BRSSD Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and SchoolForce have partnered together to make it easier than ever before to support our schools. Rather than being asked to contribute to multiple organizations, if you donate during the Education Commitment Campaign time period of July 15th-Oct 31st, a single, combined donation will cover virtually all of your child’s educational needs. One combined donation can be made to contribute to your PTA, school supplies, and SchoolForce, our education foundation.  

The suggested donation is $2,000 per student - the first $275 goes to your child’s PTA and the remainder to SchoolForce. Please donate what you can. If everyone gives what they can, every child benefits. Donate Here 


11. What if my child needs to take medicine at school?

If your child needs to take medication at school, EVEN IF IT IS NOT PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION, you will need to complete the District’s Medical Authorization Form.  There is a nurse and basic first aid available at school. 


12. What is the safest route to walk to school?

Central is committed to ensuring the safety of all its students as they travel to and from school.  All families are asked to review the Safe Routes to School information, and to follow the guidelines for walking to school and/or for vehicle drop-off and pick up. For more information visit Central's Safe Routes to School Map. 


13. How can I contact my child’s teacher?

Communication between parents and teachers is critical to student success.  Your child’s teacher will review the best times and methods to get in touch during Back to School Night.  Also, all Central teachers have an email address and voicemail which may be found in the Central Directory or on the Central Website. Each teacher also has a class website or class email for distributing information to families.  To contact teachers or other staff members view our online staff directory. 


14. Why do students get out early on Wednesdays?

This is a common practice in many districts. Years ago, we added instructional minutes to each Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and then shortened Wednesday to provide teachers with time to plan curriculum, collaborate and develop as professionals.  There are other minimum days throughout the year for parent-teacher conferences.  Central's calendar is available online, and is a handy resource to print and have. 


15. What if my child is sick?  What if I need to pick him/her up early?

Attendance: Please call the school attendance line, (650) 620-2810 before 9:00 am to let us know that your child will be absent. We want and need to know that all children who left home arrive at school safely.  If you were unable to call, please send a written excuse when your child returns telling us the dates absent and the specific causes. If we do not receive a note, the absence is considered “unexcused.” If you need to pick up your child early, try to send a note or email the teacher so they can prepare anything that needs to go home.  Please come to the office, and we will call the classroom. Do not go directly to the classroom.


16. Should I send my child a snack?

Yes, each classroom has a snack break mid-morning. Please send a healthy snack to help your child stay focused and able to learn.


17. What about lunch, can my child microwave food? Or have it done for him/her? Can my child purchase lunch?

Students do not have access to a refrigerator or microwave. You can pre-order hot or cold lunches through the District provider.  All lunches for the 2021-22 academic school year are free but you need to register and pre-order your child's lunch.  For more information about the lunch program visit the district's website. 


18. Are there any food restrictions?

Although there are no specific restrictions, parents are encouraged to be aware of any food allergies in their child’s classroom.  Parents of children with food allergies should complete District forms and inform the child’s teacher on the first day of school. We also recommend following the Healthy Celebrations guidelines for special events. For more information please review the Central Elementary Parent Handbook.


19. Where can I find out about the curriculum?

Central Elementary School follows California State and Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary District guidelines. For more information go to—Our School—Curriculum or Departments → Educational Services


20. How much homework will my child have?

The Belmont‐Redwood Shores School District Homework Policy serves as the framework for the Central policy. This policy sets the frequency and time frames for homework. Homework is generally assigned Monday through Thursday, depending on the grade level. It is not assigned during designated religious holidays or when an important class or school activities are planned. Long‐term projects may also exist, in addition to daily assignment expectations.

The following are suggested time frames for homework by grade level:

Grades 1 and 2: 15‐20 minutes per night

Grade 3: 20‐45 minutes per night

Grades 4 and 5: 30‐60 minutes per night

PLEASE NOTE: These time frames do not include the 15-20 minutes per night that each child throughout all grade levels is expected to commit to reading, either independently or from read-alouds 

More information can be found at – Helpful Links- Homework Policy


21. Are there field trips?

Yes, all grades take one or more field trips during the year that support concepts learned in the classroom.  Parents are welcome, and essential, to help chaperone.  Your child’s teacher will talk about specific field trips during Back to School Night.


22. Where can I find about behavior expectations and other school policies?

All students are expected to behave respectfully and follow the instructions of teachers, administrators and classroom volunteers at all times.  For more information on specific behavior, expectations go to —Helpful Links—School Rules. You can also review the Central Parent Handbook. 


23. Can I volunteer in the classroom?  Or if I can’t volunteer during the day, are there other ways to contribute my time?

To volunteer in the classroom contact your child’s room parent or teacher.  Be sure you have completed the Volunteer Clearance Process. If volunteering during the school day isn’t possible, the PTA has many volunteer opportunities that fit any schedule.


24. Is there anything I need to do if I am visiting the campus to volunteer or participate in an event?

Yes, all visitors and volunteers are required to check in at the front office on each visit to sign the visitor log and obtain a pass or badge.


25. What if there is an emergency on campus (ex. fire, earthquake, etc.)? How would I be notified?

At Central School, the safety of students is our primary objective. That is why we have a comprehensive Disaster Plan for responding to emergencies that were co-created with the Belmont Police and Fire Departments.  For more information go to Central website- Helpful Links - Elementary School Parent Handbook, page 14 and 24.

In an emergency, we have many ways to contact parents and guardians. Depending on the severity and type of emergency we may use email, phone or text. It is vitally important that you share all changes in contact information with the office, throughout the year. It is also important to update the list of adults who are allowed to pick up your child.


26. What if my child forgets something (e.g., lunch, jacket, homework, etc.)

Bring the forgotten item to the office; do NOT go directly to the classroom. The office will contact the teacher to reunite the student with the forgotten item.


27. Is there afterschool care?  How does my child get from the classroom to the afterschool site?

The on-campus afterschool provider is San Carlos- Belmont AfterSchool. Several other organizations will pick up children and take them to other sites.  These include Footsteps Childcare and Stepping Stones both located at Barrett Community Center plus Challenge School and Hanlin Academy. Kindergartners are met by the Afterschool program representatives at the classroom door and escorted to San Carlos- Belmont AfterSchool or the appropriate program van.  All other students will walk to San Carlos- Belmont AfterSchool or the program van.  For more information please see the Parent Resources page.


28. When are the school vacations and activities?

All the schools in the BRSSD district,  have scheduled vacations at the same time.  Dates for specific activities and events are found on the Home Page of the Central Elementary School website. Central maintains a calendar that includes all district and school vacations and events, and is a great resource to print and review. 


29. How can I contact someone at the District Office?

The Belmont-Redwood Shores School District Office is located at 2960 Hallmark Drive, Belmont, CA 94002.  The phone number is 650-637-4800.  For more information go to



If you are new to Central School and you have not been receiving any emails from the Belmont Redwood Shores School District or Central School, please email me, Charles Donovan with your name and your child’s name. The I.T. department is aware of and has been trying to fix this issue. Once I have your email address, I will forward any relevant information to you, until the problem is resolved. I apologize for the inconvenience.



Charles Donovan

Central Principal