McKenzie Monitor

August 24, 2018

Principal's Note

Greetings McKenzie Families!

Just a reminder to be on the lookout for your McKenzie Monitor email every Friday; these are weekly informational newsletters sent to all McKenzie families. It is important you keep your contact information in PowerSchool current in order to receive these updates.

Additionally, to access the McKenzie School Website, please use this link:

McKenzie School Website.

And then to access a teacher's website, use this link: Staff Directory

Scroll to find the teachers name and "click" on the little globe next to the teacher's photo.

Much of the information in today's Monitor is being posted for a second time. We know that all of the beginning-of-the-year information can be very overwhelming, so much of it bears repeating. However, if you are new to McKenzie, please be sure to see the information below about New Family Orientation.

As you know, Rachel Filippi is on her maternity leave. Her family welcomed little "Jake" on August 10th. Congrats to the Filippi family! Your McKenzie Monitor will be coming from me as Rachel's Principal Interim during her maternity leave.

Please don't miss the information below about our new flexible furniture in classrooms. We are so excited about the big reveal on August 30th! Also, if you are new to the McKenzie community, please make note of the New Family Orientation event below. Also, please be sure to see our PTA News within your weekly McKenzie Monitor.

Looking forward to greeting your families for the 2018-19 school year...

Best regards,

Melanie Horowitz, Principal Interim

New Flexible Furniture at McKenzie

This summer we have been busy at McKenzie installing our new flexible classrooms. Our 1st - 4th grade classrooms look quite different now. Our classrooms look fresh, inspiring and accessible for all! Our official classroom student reveal will take place on Thursday, August 30th when our students enter their classrooms for the first time. We can't wait to see the look on their faces as they enter our future ready classrooms!

It is important to note that some of past furniture items were transferred to other elementary schools in our district. However, the bulk of our furniture was donated to (insert church name). Our fantastic head custodian, Mr. Oshana, reached out to his church and they had a great need for student furniture. Therefore, we were able to donate hundreds of desks, chairs and tables! We feel fortunate to have been able to partner with St. Andrews Assyrian Church to improve the learning spaces for their students.

So much time and dedication was put towards this project, and it would not have been possible without the following people:

  • Thank you to our past PTA President, Jen Tan, our current PTA President, MaryAnne O’Keefe, the executive PTA board, PTA members and all of our McKenzie parents for supporting our staff goals to develop more flexible classrooms for our students. Our students will now have the opportunity to learn in an environment that will cater even more to individual learning needs. The financial support provided was extraordinary!

  • Thank you to Denise Lam, PTA Webmaster and parent leader of this project. Denise not only was gracious enough to reach out to her professional partners, but Denise also spent an extensive amount of personal time making sure this project was a success.

  • Thank you to Arti Vaghasiya and Lakeshore Learning for their partnership and dedication to our school’s goal of transforming our classrooms for our students. The communication, planning and installation was incredible.

  • Thank you to our Flexible Classroom Committee, which included teachers and parents, for taking the time to design and develop a vision for our classrooms. Your expertise and knowledge of our students’ needs was the focal point of this project. Thank you also for taking time with your teams and neighbors to discuss flexible furniture options so that all voices could be heard.

  • Thank you to our teachers who experienced our flexible mock classroom last year with their students. This project is for and about our students, therefore the students' feedback was very helpful and provided us guidance when making final decisions.

  • Thank you to our custodial staff for preparing our classrooms for the installation of our new furniture. We would have not been ready for installation if it wasn’t for all of your hard work!

  • Last, but certainly not least, thank you to Mr. Oshana for finding a good home for ALL of our classroom furniture! The St. Andrews Assyrian Church had a great need for classroom furniture, and McKenzie was able to provide hundreds of desks, chairs, tables, etc. to serve their students!

McKenzie New Family Orientation

Please join us from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. on August 28th for an informational presentation in our school auditorium, followed by a tour of the building. Parents, along with their new-to-McKenzie students, are invited to attend.

While this event is geared primarily for parents and students in grades 1-4, parents who missed the kindergarten orientation in the spring are welcome to join us with their youngsters.

New People to Meet At McKenzie...a Second Look!

New Paraprofessionals Announcement: Coming Soon!

  • New paraprofessionals joining our staff will be announced in September!

Teacher Assignment

Teacher assignment were made available through PowerSchool on Tuesday, August 21st after 3 pm. The assignments were sent in batches, therefore everyone did not receive an email at the same time. If you have not received your email yet, please call McKenzie's office and we can assist you.

Thursday, August 30th Information (2nd posting)

Wow! August 30th is right around the corner! Teachers are already working on their rooms and are eagerly awaiting their new arrivals for the 2018-19 school year.

1st Grade - 4th Grade

Thursday, August 30th is an early release day of school:

  • 8:35 - 11:55 am
  • Parents of 1st grade - 4th grade students may walk their child(ren) to class and then proceed to the blacktop for coffee and PTA volunteer sign-up opportunities beginning at 8:45am.


Teacher Meet & Greet - Students attend with parent/adult:

  • 8:40 - 9:25 am Morning kindergarten students with the last names A-K
  • 10:25 - 11:10 am Morning kindergarten students with the last names L-Z
  • 1:00 - 1:45 pm Afternoon kindergarten students with the last names A-K
  • 2:15 - 3:00 pm Afternoon kindergarten students with the last names L-Z

New Safety Protocols from District 39 (2nd posting)

The District is always working to improve our school safety practices. Throughout the District, new school badges and lanyards will be worn by all adults in the building:

  • Blue lanyards indicate school staff
  • Lime green lanyards indicate substitute teachers
  • Orange lanyards will be given to all school visitors/volunteers

Please remember to bring your I.D. each time you visit the school. We appreciate that many of you are frequently volunteering in the building; you are so important to us and we recognize many of you. However, it is critical that all adults in the building wear an identifying lanyard at all times. Your I.D. will be kept in the school office while you are on the premises and you will be given a visitor's badge on a lanyard. You may retrieve it when you are ready to leave. Thanks for helping us with this added safety measure!

Back To School Information (2nd posting)

Don't forget you can access ALL of the important back to school information on McKenzie's website: Click Here

Lunchroom Updates (2nd posting)

After much discussion, all elementary schools in District 39 will no longer be offering juice or straws during lunch. Also, there will no longer be snacks offered such as ice cream, cookies, etc. The only food that will be served each day will be the school lunch listed on the lunch calendar.

Snack Policy (2nd posting)

Only fruits and vegetables will be allowed for snacks. This best practice truly protects many students with food allergies and promotes healthy eating.

Friday Early Release Information (2nd posting)

During the 2018-2019 school year, 2:15-3:15 supervision for our Friday Early Dismissal will be offered only to families who meet the one of following criteria:

  • Your child attends the Park District After School Recreation Program and takes the 3:15 pm bus from their elementary school to the Wilmette Park District Recreation Center.

  • You have a child in grades 1- 4 with a PM kindergarten sibling.

  • Your child participates in a Friday After School Park District 3:15 pm club at your home school.

This information was also shared in the following McKenzie Monitors: 1/26/18, 4/20/18 and 4/27/18. Please call the front office if you have any questions.

Safe Routes to School (2nd posting)

The D39 Village Wide PTA Safety & Civics committee produced a fun video to ask kids and their parents/caregivers to respect the safety rules and guidelines around the schools. Over the last three to four years Wilmette Police officers, cross-guards, bus drivers, and PTA representatives gathered stories of incidents that happened at their school. With input from parents and kids of all ages, this video was created to communicate the most important safety guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Safe routes to school

Early Birds Program (2nd posting)

Early Bird care is available beginning at 6:45 am on August 31st (the first full day of school). The cost is based on the number of days per week attending. You can register and pay online through the District’s web store. You may pay by credit card or eCheck; there is no transaction fee when paying by credit card.

You can choose “drop-in” or regular registration. Regular registration is for a set number of days per week and is paid by semester. Drop-in registration allows parents to use the service on an as-needed basis for a daily rate.

New this year, you have the option of using Auto-Pay. Choosing this option gives the District permission to charge your credit or eCheck for child care fees. This is especially convenient for drop-in users; fees are processed weekly with a statement and receipt provided.

Additional information is available online.

After School Clubs - Wilmette Park District (2nd posting)

Click here for registration information:

PTA News and Information

PTA Welcome Back Coffee:

BRING YOUR COFFEE MUG and join us on the McKenzie blacktop for the annual Welcome Back Coffee & Virtual Volunteer Fair! This is a great opportunity to connect with McKenzie parents and learn more about volunteer opportunities throughout the year. PTA programs will be represented and volunteers will be available to answer questions.

The event runs 8:35 - 10:00 am on Thursday, August 30th behind the school. Coffee and breakfast treats will be provided.

Ice Cream Social:

Join us in celebrating the new school year on Sunday, September 16th from 1-3 on the McKenzie blacktop. Ice cream is for sale for $2 and kids and parents can jam out to Epic DJ.

Want to help hand out ice cream? Volunteers sign up here:

Room Parent Signups:

Want to be a Room Parent? This is your chance to be involved in your child's classroom! Organize activities and serve as a liaison between the PTA, your child's teacher and other parents. Room Parent selection is made on a first come first served basis with priority given to those who haven't been a room parent before. Sign-up here:

Parent Party:

Save the date for the McKenzie Parent Party Saturday, October 6th from 7-11 pm at the Masonic Temple located right downtown Wilmette. After Party to follow at Napolita. Registration available soon!

Fall Frenzy:

Save the date for Fall Frenzy Friday, October 12. Join us from 5:30-8pm for games, arts and crafts, dancing, food and FUN! Volunteer signups available soon!

McKenzie's PTA Website

Community News

Upcoming Dates

Thursday, August 30th
  • Opening Day!
  • 1st - 4th Grade Half Day
  • Kindergarten Meet & Greet

Friday, August 31st

  • 1st Full Day of School
  • Bus service begins for kindergartners

Monday, September 3rd

  • No School - Labor Day

Monday, September 10th

  • No School - Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 12th Curriculum Night Grades K, 1, & 2

  • 6:15 - 7:15 pm Kindergarten AM & Grade 2 Classroom teacher presentations
  • 7:15 - 8:15 pm Kindergarten PM & Grade 1 Classroom teacher presentations
  • 6:15 - 8:15 pm Please stop by in the Learning Commons where Specialists/Specials Teachers will be hosting a “Meet & Greet”

Wednesday, September 19th

  • No School - Yom Kippur

Wednesday, September 26th Curriculum Night Grades 3 & 4

  • 6:15 - 7:15 pm Grade 3 Classroom teacher presentations
  • 7:15 - 8:15 pm Grade 4 Classroom teacher presentations
  • 6:15 - 8:15 pm Please stop by in the Learning Commons where Specialists/Specials Teachers will be hosting a “Meet & Greet”

Monday, October 8th

  • No Student Attendance - Columbus Day

Regular School Hours


Kindergarten AM: 8:35 - 11:10 am

Kindergarten PM: 12:40 - 3:15 pm

Grades 1 - 4

Monday - Thursday: 8:35 am - 3:15 pm

*Friday: 8:35 am - 2:15 pm

Before school supervision begins at 8:20 am, and the first bell rings at 8:30 am. Please refer to McKenzie's calendar for important dates/holidays.

*We provide supervision from 2:15 - 3:15 pm for those students who meet specific criteria.

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