Halloween is a favorite holiday in Novato for many families. It’s an opportunity to decorate homes in whimsical or haunting themes, dress in costumes and enjoy the mild weather we are so fortunate to have in Marin County before the rains begin. At Pleasant Valley, work begins early on our popular fundraiser, Halloween Happening & Spooky Swamp and our students and staff are already busy deciding what costumes to wear. As you celebrate Halloween this year, here are a few tips we have gathered to help make your festivities safe and fun for all.


  • Costumes may be worn to school but they are optional. (Please note, the school is not responsible for torn or otherwise damaged costumes)
  • Participation in the Costume Parade at school is optional.
  • Costumes must be in good taste and appropriate for school and must follow school dress code.
  • Costumes must not promote violence, including fake blood and gory costumes
  • Weapons (guns, swords, bombs, etc.) and blatant messages of violence must be left at home.
  • In consideration of our TK and Kindergartners, masks may not be worn at school.
  • Any items brought to school that are not permitted will be held safely in the office for a parent/guardian to pick up at the end of the day
  • Absolutely no clown or jester costumes.
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.


  • Children under 12 should be escorted by a parent or guardian.
  • Parents, stay alert, off phones and close enough to your crew to help them make good decisions.
  • Carry a flashlight (pointed down at the ground) and use reflective tape on costumes when you can.
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths, not in the street, even when it’s crowded.
  • If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.


  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Wether you choose to consume all your trick or treating loot all in the first week or donate it to the troops overseas is up to you. However, before you indulge, sort through the candy.
  • Be sure to throw away any candy that is not in its original wrapper, or looks as though it has been opened.
  • Keep treats off the ground, away from pets and sidewalks. Several popular candies, including chocolate and those with artificial sweeteners are toxic to all furry friends.


  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Make sure trick-or-treaters have a clear path to your door. Consider parking in the garage or on another street if yours is particularly busy on this night.
  • Consider that not all kids will be entertained by overly scary or gory decorations. Your goal should be fun, not fear. No neighbor will thank you for generating nightmares for their kids.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

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