Back to School - Upper School

Get ready for the 2020-2021 school year!

As previously announced by Head of School Than Healy in this August 5 email , the school year will begin with distance learning. 

Here’s what you need to know and do.

Important Dates



Thursday, Aug. 13

  • Instructions for accessing Upper School schedules on Veracross were sent in this email , along with online change request instructions.

Week of Aug. 24-28

  • Drive-Through Supply Pickup for students enrolled in certain hands-on science, engineering, and visual art classes. Find your pickup window and additional instructions here
  • Freshman Welcome Week. Learn more about Welcome Week events in this email

Monday, Aug. 24

  • Freshman Parent Virtual Welcome Event, 6:00 pm. Hosted by John Schafer and Eve Kulbeida to inform parents about the upcoming year. Details to follow.

Tuesday, Aug. 25

  • Freshman Virtual Orientation, 10:00 am-12:30 pm. This event will share important information for students and is required for all 9th graders. 
  • Freshman Virtual Tech Training, 1:00-3:30 pm. Freshmen will be placed into groups for sessions to go over the basics of campus technology. 

Wednesday, Aug. 26

  • NOTE (8/25): Due to unhealthy air quality, the enrichment portions of this event have been postponed; we will only be able to have drive-through supply pickup for freshmen on Wednesday, Aug. 26. The enrichment activities will be rescheduled. 
  • Freshman Mentor Group Enrichment (on-campus, optional), 9:00 am-2:30 pm. An event for freshmen to bond with their peer groups, pick up supplies, and take their Knightbook* photos. 
  • Transfer Student Optional Knightbook* Photos, 2:30 pm. Transfer students in grades 10, 11, and 12 will be contacted by their Class Advisors with an invitation to come to campus to take a Knightbook photo. 
  • 9th Grade Drive-Through Supply Pickup (Alternative), 9:30 am-2:30 pm, for those not participating in today’s optional Enrichment activities. Find your pickup window and additional instructions here

    *Note: This coming school year, due to the circumstances of COVID-19, we will only be taking Knightbook photos for incoming 9th grade students and transfer students. All returning Upper School students will have last year’s photo in the Knightbook Directory. 

Friday, Aug. 28

  • Senior Drive-Through on the Loop 12:00-4:00 pm. Seniors will make two stops to pick up supplies and briefly exit the car to take a socially-distanced photo—masks on! Parent drivers are encouraged to move forward on the Loop and seniors should walk to meet the car from the photo.

Saturday, Aug. 29

  • Rescheduled 11th Grade Drive-Through Supply Pickup, 8:30 am-12:15 pm, by Advocacy group. These supply kits are for students enrolled in certain hands-on science, engineering, and visual art classes. Find your pickup window and additional instructions here
  • Rescheduled 10th Grade Drive-Through Supply Pickup, 12:15-4:00 pm, by Advocacy group. These supply kits are for students enrolled in certain hands-on science, engineering, and visual art classes. Find your pickup window and additional instructions here

Monday, Aug. 31

Wednesday, Sept. 2

  • First Virtual MSPA meeting, 8:45-10:00 am. Details to come. 
  • Virtual Ninth Grade Parent Information Evening, 6:00-7:30 pm.

Thursday, Sept. 17

  • Virtual US Back-to-School Night, details to follow.

Wednesday, Sept. 23

  • 9th Grade Parent Coffee (Virtual), 8:30-10:30 am.


  • Virtual Parent Evenings and Parent Socials. Check your Grade Level News pages for details.
  • 2020-2021 Athletic Seasons will follow a revised schedule due to Covid-19, in accordance with CIF guidelines. Learn more about this year’s athletics schedule in this email

You can also view the full school calendar.

Before School Starts, Do This:

1. Turn in your Health and Athletic Forms

  • If you haven’t already, please submit your forms through Magnus Health Student Medical Record (SMR), our partner in collecting and managing student medical information. Athletic forms and all health forms were due Aug. 1. Questions? Contact Joan Barada , RN.
  • Upper School student-athletes will need to complete baseline concussion testing; you can find the details in this email from Aubrey Fennell, Menlo’s Head Athletic Trainer. 
  • Read this important information for all athletes regarding ImPact testing and BioSway Balance testing here .

2. Review Health and Safety Details and Sign Up for OneMedical

  • If your student has traveled outside of Northern California, they should not come to campus until 14 days after their return, including for optional Orientation and Athletics events. Anyone who is not feeling well on a given day should stay home.
  • If you haven’t already, register for OneMedical using Menlo’s sponsorship code, and download the app! You can find instructions and the code here . Inside the One Medical app is a feature entitled “COVID-19 Daily Check-In”. We are asking all individuals coming to campus to complete this daily. Each day, once you answer the questions provided, you will be assigned a badge based on your answers. This badge—green, blue, or red in color—will be necessary to access the campus and its buildings. Learn more in this note from Health Coordinator Joan Barada, RN

3. Sign the Student and Parent Handbook

  • Menlo’s 2020-2021 Student and Parent Handbook  conveys important information about a wide variety of school policies, including academic requirements, expectations for student behavior, and a statement of the School’s commitment to equity and inclusion. All families must review the Handbook and acknowledge agreement with its policies by entering an electronic signature here.

4. Read Important Communications

5. Course Schedules and Course Changes

  • Instructions on accessing your course schedules were shared in this August 13 email
  • If you want to make a change to your schedule, submit your course change requests to using the subject line: “Course Change Request”. We ask that you submit one email with your organized course change requests. A randomized lottery will determine who gets placed into courses. Please take the time to make sure your request is accurate. The weekly lottery will continue until the last day to add a class, which is in early September. 

6. Finish Your Summer Assignments

  • Review and complete your summer reading and assignments. Many classes have multiple summer readings or detailed teacher instructions; please double-check your assignments. 

7. Get Your Books, Laptop, and Supplies

  • Get the books you’ll need for your classes! To see what books are needed for your courses, please visit the Menlo Booklist generator. Using this site, you can generate your own unique URL that allows you to come back to your personalized booklist without having to worry about a login; just bookmark your booklist page to visit it again later or to share it with members of your family. Your booklist will specify the correct ISBN # of the edition you’ll need for class, and you can keep track of your shopping list and what you’ve already purchased by marking “Need it” or “Have it.” Books can be purchased from any retailer that stocks the correct ISBN (such as Amazon , Powell’s , , Kepler’s , etc.)
  • You’ll also need to ensure you have a laptop for the start of school. Get some gadget advice and learn about technology at Menlo (including our top picks for noise-canceling headphones!) 
  • And, in case you’re wondering what Upper School students will need for the first day of distance learning, in addition to their fully-charged laptop, students should be ready with a binder or notebook, assigned summer work, and a pencil or pen. There isn’t a master list of required supplies for Upper School students as each student’s needs will depend on their courses. Teachers will let students know what supplies will be needed for each class.
  • Additional supply kits will be provided for students enrolled in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Visual Art classes, Environmental Science, Experimental Archeology, Mechanical/Electrical Engineering, Neuroscience, Sustainable Earth Engineering, and Applied Science Research. Because these hands-on courses require specialized materials, your teachers have prepared specific and thorough supply kits for each of these courses so that you can be ready for your first day of classes. Find your pickup window and additional instructions here .
    • Students in Science/Applied Science and Engineering courses must sign our At-Home Safety Contract (English | Español ) before picking up their supply kits. 
    • If you are unable to pick up your child’s supplies for any reason, please complete this form to let us know so that we can make other arrangements. For any additional questions related to your student’s supply pick-up, please reach out to and we will follow up with you directly. 

8. We’ll see you on the first day! 


New families: A temporary website login was included in a recent email. Your permanent login information was sent on August 10. If you have trouble logging in, please contact with your child’s full name and grade level. We will respond to you in a timely manner.

You may also want to check out the Menlo Dictionary to help understand the programs and terminology at Menlo.