Principal's Message

Hello. I am Sarah Opatkiewicz, Principal, welcoming you to Shelyn Elementary. We are a small school with about 470 students which enables us to form a close-knit community with a boutique or private school feel.

Here at Shelyn we believe that part of our commitment to our children is to educate the whole child. Empathy and understanding of others are as important as traditional academics. 

Our teaching is student centered using a balanced literacy approach incorporating readers’ and writers’ workshop in language arts and a hands-on collaborative approach in math, science and social studies merging experiential, real life learning with direct instruction.

We are lucky to host RUSD’s Mandarin Dual Immersion program. The coming year marks our fourth year of the program in which students in Kindergarten through third grade learn in Mandarin 50% of the time and English 50% of the time. Our goal is to have bilingual & biliterate students when they move on to the middle school program, and they are currently exceeding expectations!

Alongside our dual program we have our traditional monolingual program in English. These students in TK-6th grade participate in a Mandarin language and culture enrichment lesson once a week in addition to their regular curriculum.

At Shelyn we have a strong commitment to our students’ safety. We realize you, as parents, are entrusting us with your most precious gift and take this responsibility seriously. Our PBIS program helps the Shelyn community establish a common language and expectations about how we treat one another which enables us to take those huge risks to make learning leaps in a safe space. 

So, come be a part of our close-knit community and swim with the Sharks!


Sarah Opatkiewicz, Principal