McKinley Monthly

November 2019

Dear McKinley Families,

Well we made it through conferences and the wonderful costume parade which means November is here--the year is moving fast! Thanks to the PTO for posting the full parade on their Facebook page! A special thanks to the Tosa West Band, which featured more than a few former McKinley students. We enjoy their participation each year and I know they look forward to coming back to play for this event.

This weekend, don’t forget to “fall back” an hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday as Daylight Saving Time ends. A special thanks to our families who have been contributing to the staff treats, and a special thank you to the PTO and Jane Parish and Carie Hertzberg who fed us before conferences. We enjoyed the catered Chipotle and Jimmy John’s sandwiches as well as all the extra tasty accoutrements from all the families who donated. We appreciate your kindness!

Today, November 1st, was a professional learning day for staff. Our staff spent half of the day in collaboration and professional development. Social Studies and Science teachers collaborated district-wide to enhance our current programs; specials teachers had subject-specific collaborative meetings; Special Education and Student Services staff checked in on new laws and requirements. The second half of the day was given to staff to work on their individual professional practice growth plans. The gift of time to work together is appreciated by all.

All of our staff members do so much more than what happens only in the classroom. I would like to highlight some of the teachers who are dedicating time outside of the classroom to help the district as a whole. You might not know that Katie Petitt and Tracy Carus have been essential in the recent district Social Studies review; Tracy Loechler and Sherri Brown are involved on the Science Curriculum Committee; Mary Pawasarat and Lenka Wendland are representing McKinley in the English Language Arts review; Jessica Danmeier, Julie Gunderson, Jeremy Roloff and Rachel Kumferman have been attending trainings to help lead the way in Collaborative Problem Solving; Jessica Danmeier, Tori Raddemann, Rachel Kumferman, and Tracy Carus have taken on the Trauma Sensitive Schools initiative.

Also, I want to give a shout out to four of our teachers who have been nominated for Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship Awards: Steve Sperl, Jenny Leigh, Lenka Wendland, and Michael Elrod. They are all now engaged in the rigorous personal professional development process that this honor requires. Please congratulate them on their nominations and wish them the best as they move through the process. We believe in each of you!

Five of our fifth grade Green Team members Mitchell, William, Luke, Matthew, & Henry have been working on a special proposal to create a special event in Wauwatosa this spring. I don't want to give away the secret, but I do want to share that they have been invited to present at the next Wauwatosa Sustainability Committee meeting. Very exciting! Good luck to the team! We know you will do great!

Join us next week Wednesday for Keepsake Plate night. This is an event where kids create original artwork to put on plates, cups, magnets and so many other choices. These make great holiday gifts and are often longtime family favorites. It is a sweet, special family event.

November 13th is our next parent and guardian equity listening session. Here is a video invite for you to learn a little more about it: I hope to see you there! We are still looking for a parent/guardian representative for our equity team. Please let me know if you are interested. Unfortunately most of our meetings happen either at 7:30 a.m. or 3:30 p.m. on school days, which limits participation for many of you, but let me know if we can find flexible options such as conference calls or Google Hangouts to help support participation.

November 27th we head into the long Thanksgiving weekend, a reminder that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving a no school day as is the Monday after (December 2nd) which is a staff development day. I wish all of you who are traveling safe journeys, and hope the family time you have is filled with joyful connections. As a school community we want to express our gratitude to everyone for all that you do!

Have a wonderful month!

Mrs. Hoffmann

***Dates to Remember***


Nov 6 - Keepsake Art Night from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Nov 8 - Fancy Friday

Nov 13 - Parent Listening Session from 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Nov 27-29 - No Classes


Be in the know! Check out the McKinley and community flyers on our website!

! * ! * ! * ! * ! * ! * McK Attendance Line 773-1502 * ! * ! * ! * ! * ! * !

Volunteer Application


Green Team News - Important Composting Changes!

Due to new regulations for composted soil at Blue Ribbon Organics, our composting and sort separation of trash has been kicked into high gear as of Thursday, October 31st. To help with the changes, we have had Compost Crusader’s Education Coordinator come in to each of the three lunch hours to refresh, remind, and reinforce why we are separating our trash and the importance of being environmentally friendly; as well as reinforce the new changes. We also made modifications to the garbage stations in the lunchroom.

All students and adults in the lunchroom, along with parent volunteers , will be responsible for preventing any and all contamination. This is a top priority for all of us because any contamination of plastic or other non compostable items will accrue a $50 fine from Compost Crusader each weekly pick up. This $50 will go directly to the driver of the truck who services our dumpster, you can bet on them checking for contamination! McKinley's budget does not contain any $ for these fines. We must be properly composting everywhere at McKinley!

Due to everyone's efforts, McKinley has led the way in our district, region, and the state in composting over the past 5 years. With the new composting changes, we are looking to have a few environmentally passionate parents to help our school with this transition by asking for lunchroom volunteers to assist with our sorting and composting. Please click on the link to sign up for a time slot!

Thank you in advance and know that we appreciate your dedication and continued efforts to ensure our students understand the importance of sustainable practices. Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or ways to help improve any of this. Thank you for helping McKinley retain our National Sprout School status and grow us further as a Green and Healthy School!

Your Humble Green Team Leaders,

Jenny Leigh, Liz Daily, Stephanie Jaramillo

*** Library Resources ***

Here is our school log in information for families who want to make use of these library resources from home.

Family Equity Discussion session - November 13 - Child Care Available

We invite you to McKinley’s first of two family equity discussion sessions, held November 13th from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. in room 13. Please enter the 89th street doors.

The goal of the evening will be to:

  • Share our definition of equity

    • Equity is working towards all children having access to what they need in order to be successful, and where the entire McKinley community feels respected, connected, and heard.

  • Provide a brief summary of listening session feedback from last school year.

  • Share district and school goals.

  • Collaborate with families in attendance to problem solve.

Right at School will be providing childcare at no cost for school-age children during the family discussion session. Please go to this link if you would like your child to attend childcare during that time:

We look forward to continuing our partnership with you to ensure our school provides the highest quality educational experience to all students and families.

Please contact us with any questions,

Jean Hoffmann, Principal

Tracy Carus, Equity Coach
Community Flyers

From the district website.


The Secret Holiday Workshop is coming!

DATE: Thursday, December 5th

TIME: 3:20 pm - 6:30 pm

LOCATION: Large Gym at McKinley

The Secret Holiday Workshop is a great way to purchase one of a kind gifts for family, friends, teachers, etc. for the holidays, or just because. All items sold by our over 30 creative vendors are handmade and sell for $10 or less.

We are very excited to have some new vendors join us this year as well. There will be something for everyone!

Students can shop by themselves or shop secretly with a "5th grade Secret Shopper" to help them manage their list and money so it remains a surprise for those they buy for. They can even wrap their gifts and bring everything home all ready to go.

The Brownies, Girl Scouts & McKinley Messengers will be participating with hosting a bake sale, selling raffle tickets, and assisting with wrapping gifts... all the money donated will be going to support a family in need in Tosa during the Holidays through Tosa Cares. This is really the reason we host the Workshop! Giving back to the Community is so important to teach our children. There is nothing better than providing joy and hope to others!

Mrs. Daily and her very talented musicians will also be playing Holiday tunes while you shop. The Orchestra students have a "tip jar" that they graciously donate to our family in need as well. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and plate of cookies from the bake sale and enjoy the beautiful music as you take a break from all that shopping.

Lastly, every year, many of the vendors donate one item from their table for our raffle. Tickets are $1.00 a piece or 6 for $5.00. We hope you come and try your luck, as all the raffle sales are also donated to our family in need.

If you have any questions or are interested in joining us as a "vendor" please reach out to Amanda Mast or Elise Hetzel -

Bring your neighbors, family and friends...everyone is welcome to attend! Many thanks to all involved and see you on December 5th!


Amanda Mast and Elise Hetzel

Tosa Rec Day Trips

No School? No Problem!

Child Development Screening

Do you or someone you know have a three-year-old? The Wauwatosa School District's annual fall Child Development Screening for any Wauwatosa resident is coming up on Thursday, November 7th from 9 AM to 3:30 PM.

To schedule your appointment, call the Student Services Department at 414-773-1085 Monday-Friday. Another opportunity will be held on March 12th from 9 AM to 3:30 PM.

Click here for a flyer.

Open House/Family STEM Night

Save the date!

Wednesday, April 15, 4:30-6 p.m. STEM activities will be in the library and in the gym.
Annual Lice Letter

Let's Talk About Lice

Ms. Kumferman’s Korner –News from your School Social Worker

Mr. Kasten (social work intern) and I are continuing to teach our bullying prevention curriculum in all classrooms SK-5th grades. We should finish lessons in all grades by early December and then we will take a look at scheduling some Zones of Regulation lessons in many of the classrooms. I will also be organizing some grade level, lunchtime focus groups called ‘Table Talk’ where students can share their perceptions, input and ideas related to topics on school belonging and school climate. This is an informal gathering during one lunch period and attendance will be optional. I will get more information to teachers as their grade level is scheduled. I will also use it as an opportunity to connect with more students and build relationships.

This month, I thought it might also be good to highlight some organizations that not only provide resources to individuals/families within our Milwaukee County community, but those that also have opportunities for you to give back. Check out the following links and websites to see how you can participate!

Tosa Cares:
local organization in Wauwatosa that does monthly food packings. See Tosa Cares section in the newsletter for items that are needed and how to donate or volunteer your time.

Independence First Rox Sox drive: donate new socks for men, women, and children December 11th from 3-5pm at Independence First located at 540 S. 1st St., Milwaukee

St. Vincent de Paul meal site: contact LaDonna Quarles at 414-374-4095 or to volunteer to prep and serve dinner

Milwaukee Rescue Mission: list of items needed, donations accepted at Kilbourn and 19th street Monday through Saturday 8am-8pm, True Value Hardware 8010 N 76th St, or Exxon exit 57 West 141/45

Ronald McDonald House- Families can donate to their wish list on their website or by contacting them at 414-475-5333, or you can make and serve dinner or weekend brunch to families staying at the House. If you’d like to plan/serve a meal, please contact Maggie Flint at 414-935-6520.

Green Team Tips

Looking to go green this school year? Check out our tips below!

Pack a “green” lunch
➢ Send reusable bags/containers. We’ve already collected hundreds of ziploc/sandwich bags in less than a month of school. Invest in a few adorable, reusable bags to reduce single use plastic and increase the cute factor of your child’s lunch and snacks!
Cute cloth bags are good for crackers, popcorn, and dry snacks
Silicone bags are good for juicy things like apple slices & cheese curds
➢ Try a Bento-box style container. There are fancy ones out there but also some simple, cheap ones on the market that function really well. They can be found in the sandwich bag aisle at Target. Bring your child’s lunchbox with so you can see what fits well inside.
➢ Buy in bulk instead of snack-pack sizes. Put food in your own reusable bags/containers to reduce waste from all those wrappers which end up in the landfill. (We can even do this for applesauce and yogurt instead of the individual cups!)
➢ Send a spoon/fork in your child’s lunch bag so they don’t need to use the disposable plastic cutlery in the cafeteria. If you’re worried about losing your good silverware, use the old stuff you don’t have a full set of or grab a handful of mismatched silverware from Goodwill to use especially for lunches in case they accidentally get lost.
➢ Encourage your child to drink their milk without a straw! Or send a reusable one!
➢ Try putting juice in a small reusable water bottle. Juice pouches & straws can’t be recycled. If buying a disposable juice, boxes are a better than pouches because they can be recycled.
➢ Throw a cloth napkin in there! They’ll bring it home, they promise.

Compost at home!
Has your child gotten into the habit of composting his food in the cafeteria? Keep those great habits going at home, too!
➢ There are two residential composting services that are in our area now! It’s seriously the easiest thing ever
- they pick it up right from your house and take it to a composting facility. They are both relatively inexpensive and you will feel really good about it.
Waste Not Compost / A five gallon bucket gets picked up from your doorstep and replaced with a clean one each week. You get a bag of compost back once/month in season. Cost is $4/week. A number of families in our school community use this service - ask around if you want more info!
Compost Crusader is doing a pilot program in some areas of Wauwatosa. They’re using larger, 35 gallon carts and pick them up each week. If you missed the sign-up but have seen the carts in your area - talk to your neighbor about sharing as it is definitely seems big enough for more than one household to use.
➢ Compost in your backyard! There are LOTS of tutorials online!

Collect dried-up markers! Instead of tossing, send old markers to school with your child. Mrs. Muellenbach sends them in to be recycled through the Crayola Colorcycle program. They turn that non-recyclable plastic into diesel fuel. Who knew??

Recycle old clothes - There is a fabric drive each May at Tosa East High School. Instead of putting those holey socks or worn-out leggings in the garbage, stash them in the basement and recycle them in the spring! We’ll make sure to remind you about it :)

Buy back our compost from Blue Ribbon Organics in the spring to naturally fertilize your pots, gardens, bushes and lawns! You’ll be helping sustain and ensure the great work they do at Compost Crusader will continue. Plus reduce reliance on synthetic fertilizers.

Crossing Guard Hours

On Swan & Meinecke

M, T, Th & F

7:50 to 8:50 & 2:50 to 3:50


1:50 to 2:50

Visitor/Sign-in System

All Wauwatosa Schools have updated their Raptor systems to sign in visitors and volunteers. Please be aware that all visitors and volunteers will need to have their drivers' licenses scanned in again with this new software. Thank you for your help with this transition.

Office Max / Office Depot Gives Back

This year Office Max and Office Depot stores are offering local schools the opportunity to partner in a fundraising activity. For McKinley, 5% of all purchases made by parents or teachers for the entire year will be donated to the school in the form of a merchandise credit. Our master ID # is 70113794.

* * Tosa Cares * *

Tosa Cares is a local, non-profit organization located in Mount Zion Lutheran Church that helps families with food donations and so much more. Here are the dates for the monthly food distributions. You are encouraged to contact Linda Ertel before you come either by email Tosacares​ or phone 414-861-4725, or you can just show up on one of these dates.

2019 dates:

November 23

2020 dates:

January 11

March 7

April 25

June 13

August 8

October 3

November 21

Tosa Cares is also always looking for donations of food, or cash. There are three permanent donation sites/times which you can find on their website:

Here is a list of the most needed items:

  • ​Cereal
  • Nonperishable fruits, vegetables and juices
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Spaghetti sauces and noodles
  • Pastas and rice
  • Canned protein, such as chicken, tuna and beef stew
  • Snacks such as granola bars, crackers, popcorn and cookies
  • Packaged dinners, especially those with meat
  • Hearty soups
  • Toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes, paper towels and tissues
  • Personal care items such as shampoo, hand soap, lotion and toothbrushes and tooth paste
  • Dish soap and laundry soap
PTO Newsletter

Click here to read our PTO's newsletter.

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