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Encinal FAQs

1. What are the hours of the school day?

2. How many children are in each class?

At this time, the Menlo Park City School District participates in the class size reduction program which aims for classes in the 20-24 range in the lower grades (K-2).

3. How many children attend Encinal School?

Encinal is a TK-5 school with an enrollment of approximately 630 students.

4. How do I learn more about the Spanish immersion option?

Parents interested in enrolling in Spanish immersion must attend a required parent information night.  Click here for more information.

5. How do I know if my child is ready for kindergarten?

Children who will turn five on or before September 1 are eligible to attend kindergarten in this school year. If you are uncertain about your child’s readiness for kindergarten, we encourage you to speak to your child’s preschool teacher and gather input. Some of the skills that we hope your child will acquire before the start of school include self help skills such as independent toileting, shoe tying and ability to load and unload a backpack. In the academic areas, we hope children will be able to attend to a task for 15-20 minutes, listen and respond to a story and identify his/her written name.

6. How will my child be challenged and supported to learn at his/her pace?

The TK-5 grade range naturally includes a great variance in developmental levels. Kindergarten teachers are experts at meeting this variety of needs by planning for differentiated instruction. Whole group instruction often occurs on the rug area, followed by small group or independent practice at centers designed to support students’ growth.

7. What do you provide in addition to the regular classroom instruction?

Encinal students attend library, music, art and PE classes.  In addition, students not in the Spanish Immersion classes have World Language class - in Spanish - once a week.

8. What is available for after school activities?

The Encinal PTO coordinates a wealth of after school activity options for students in all grades. Check the Afterschool Activities page.

9. Understanding the Lingo. What are all the acronyms?

  • Minimum day: Certain days on the school calendar when all grades are released at once before lunch time, at 11:20 am. 
  • MPAEF: Menlo Park Atherton Education Foundation. The non-profit foundation raises money to support the four public schools of the Menlo Park City School District: Laurel, Encinal, Oak Knoll and Hillview.  The Foundation bridges the gap between available public funding and what is necessary to provide the quality education we expect for our children. MPAEF Website.
  • PTO – Parent Teacher Organization. Parent volunteers assist in classrooms, run hot lunch, publish the weekly school newsletter, run the Garden curriculum, perform Web Master duties, organize the school Mentor Program, and more. The PTO also provides stipends to teachers for classroom setup, sponsors field trips and school assemblies, and pays for books in the Encinal Library. PTO Webpage.
  • SBAC  or CAASPP: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance. Students in grades 3-5 participate in the statewide assessment.
  • TERC: Teacher Education Resource Center. Located on the far side of the District Office Building next to Encinal and has rooms used as general meeting space.

10. How do I find out what's happening on campus?

  • Parents receive a weekly Encinal School Parent Square newsletter sent to their email