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Principal's Message


August 1, 2022

Dear Lafayette Families,

I am thrilled and honored to be the new principal of Lafayette Elementary School! I want to take this opportunity to share a bit about myself and my goals for the 2022-23 school year.

Professionally, I began my journey in the Lafayette School District in 2015. At LES I taught third grade for three years and then was the school Reading Specialist for two years. I had a unique role the past two years, serving as a part-time Assistant Principal at Springhill and the rest of my time I worked closely with the Assistant Superintendent to support teachers in Curriculum and Instruction. Before my time in Lafayette I worked as a Reading Specialist and Literacy Coach in San Francisco Unified. I started my career in the Boston area as a fifth and sixth grade teacher. I truly enjoy elementary school and I know the enormous responsibility that comes with supporting our young learners academically, socially and emotionally.

Personally, I have lived in the Bay Area for thirteen years, but I am a Connecticut native. I attended college at Boston University for my undergraduate studies and then Lesley University in Cambridge, MA for my Masters in Reading. I live in Lafayette with my husband and two kids who also attend Lafayette schools. I truly enjoy living out here in the Bay Area and appreciate all that it has to offer.

The start of a new school year brings excitement and opportunity. I aim to build relationships with teachers, students, and families. I am fortunate to have worked with many of our staff members in different capacities over the past seven years and I look forward to supporting the LES staff in the important work we are charged with. I am excited to get into classrooms as the year begins to see our students in action and to establish positive relationships with them. In addition, I am eager to get to know our families and to provide opportunities to listen, learn, and collaborate with one another. We all have an important role in making LES the wonderful community it is and to make sure that our school is a safe, nurturing environment where our students can thrive academically, socially and emotionally.

I am so excited for the 2022-23 school year! Please read through the rest of the information below to make sure you are prepared for the first day of school on Tuesday August 9, 2022. Enjoy the last days of summer break!


                        Melissa Barclay
                        LES Principal

Registration Reminder:
Reghub - You should have received a summer mailer with registration information. Visit prior to Friday August 5th to register. Class assignments will be released electronically on Monday, August 8th.

Staff/Teacher Updates:
I am thrilled to welcome several new staff members to LES. Heather Lindgren joins the fifth grade team. Katie Fischette is our new general education music teacher and she will also teach Band to 5th grade students district-wide. In addition, we welcome a new full time school counselor, Rachel DeChristofaro. There is a new, friendly face in the office: Christina Stearns will be our Office Aide. I know you will all give them a warm Leopard welcome!

We also have some grade level changes. Ms. Rittle will be moving up to first grade from Kindergarten. Ms. Nazemi will be moving from second grade to first grade. Ms. Castro is moving from 5th grade to join the 4th grade team.

School Schedules:

  • All Kindergarten students will attend class from 8:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m. for the first two weeks of school before beginning the Early/Late friend slip schedule on August 22nd.
  • All TK students will start with the Early/Late friend slip schedule on the first day of school.
  • ALL 1st - 5th grade students attend class 8:30 a.m.-2:42 p.m. each day EXCEPT Wednesdays when students are dismissed at 1:42 p.m.

Leopard Day:
Enjoy an afternoon of fun for all of our Leopard families on Sunday, Aug. 7th 1:00 - 4:00. Come to LES to enjoy music, games and food options available from Ofie's Kitchen and Fro Go. There will be a PTA table with friendly parents to answer questions, a representative from our new Food program to let you know about our yummy free meals this school year and LPIE reps to chat with. We are so excited about this upcoming school year and excited to have a fun social to kick off the school year. See you all there!

New Families:

  • TK/K Families - Please join us for Lemonade Day on Monday August 8 from 2:30 - 3:00. You will have a chance to meet your teacher and see your classroom.
  • If you are new to LES join us on Monday August 8 from 2:30 - 3:00 for a tour of the school and an overview of things like drop off and pick up.

Getting Ready for the School Year:

  • Please start labeling backpacks, water bottles, sweatshirts, jackets, and anything else that will be coming on to campus. 
  • Families do not need to purchase any school supplies to start the school year, they will all be provided by the school.
  • Breakfast/Lunch: All Lafayette schools are now participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. All students enrolled in the Lafayette School District will receive breakfast and lunch free of charge each day they are at school. All food and beverages served at LAFSD schools meet state and federal requirements. No sign up or registration is needed. See the information on the District’s Food & Nutrition page. 

Parents on Campus:

  • Stay tuned - in my communication next week I will provide you with more information about drop off/pick up and parents on campus and in the classroom.