Boletín de McKinley/ McKinley News

September 6th, 2021

Una nota de la Sra. Larson/ A note from Mrs. Larson

Happy Labor day weekend. Remember no school on Monday! This weekend a letter about COVID was sent out by our Superintendent Matthew Harris. I want to highlight important parts of this letter that might answer some questions that I have received lately.

"Meanwhile, many questions have come up about our Petaluma City Schools’ COVID protocols, and I want to take a moment to highlight some important information with you.

To start, I think it is helpful to frame the conversation with the California Department of Public Health's (CDPH’s) foundational principle: “All students must have access to safe and full in-person instruction and to as much instructional time as possible.” In other words, our goal is to keep students in full-time, in-person instruction and keep schools physically open as much as possible, so long as it is safe to do so.

Even with these safety and prevention measures in place, COVID is in our community. We need to react quickly when a student or staff member has COVID-related symptoms or tests positive for COVID.

To safely keep schools physically open, we all have a responsibility to each other, and we need your help. You know your child better than anyone, and you know their normal health baseline. Each morning, you should be checking in with your child to see if they have any COVID-related symptoms outside their normal health baseline. If they do, they should stay home from school and get a PCR COVID test. The last thing any of us want to see is for this virus to spread in our schools.

Large-scale medical testing is not something school districts are designed for or, frankly, equipped to do. With that said, I am aware that local testing centers are impacted, and it is taking days to schedule a test, meaning students are out of school for far too long and missing critical instructional time. Therefore, as a service to our students and families and to minimize the amount of lost instructional time, Brian Dufour, our COVID Coordinator, is setting up a testing facility at the District Office for PCS students and families. Once a student receives a test, the typical turnaround time is 24-48 hours. In the event, a PCS student or family member requires a test or if there is close contact at your child’s school, being pre-registered will help streamline the process. I encourage you to please register now to be ready if, at some point, your child needs to be tested.

As a District in a community with an 89% vaccination rate among those 12+ and strong safety and prevention measures in place, we have fortunately had a relatively small number of COVID cases in the District. In August, Petaluma City Schools had 33 positive COVID cases out of 8,300 students and staff members (0.004% positivity rate). We now have a COVID-19 Dashboard on our website in the COVID-19 Hub, so our families have updated information about the number of confirmed positive cases in our District.

From what we can tell, the vast majority of those 33 positive cases came from outside our schools, and there has been minimal student-to-student transmission. In other words, thus far, our safety and prevention measures and our Modified Quarantine (page 12) protocols are working.

Modified Quarantine is essentially an alternative to a Full Quarantine. Full Quarantine would require close contacts of a confirmed positive COVID student to stay home for 10 days. Modified Quarantine allows the close contacts of a confirmed positive COVID student to continue to come to school as long as they follow the steps on the linked Student Quarantine Flowchart."

We are working together to keep our students in school, and we need your help. We are so happy that our students are in school. Thank you for doing your part in checking for symptoms and reporting close contact.

Warm Regards,

Mrs. Larson

Fechas Importantes/Important dates

August 31st Back To School Night for grades 1- 8 (Check times above)

September 6th Labor Day NO School

September 15th PTA Meeting

September 17th BINGO

September 24th Intercultural Cafe

September 30th Dine and Donate

September Salsa Festival (DATE TBD)

School Menus : Click the picture for more information

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PTA Meeting Preference Survey

We want to make sure that as many families as possible participate in our monthly PTA meetings, so we want to know how you'd prefer to meet this school year (in-person or via Zoom).

Please fill out this survey to let us know your preference. It takes less than 30 seconds.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 15th at 6:30pm.

Don't Forget to Sign Up for After-School Enrichment!

Registration will be open until Wednesday, September 15th. Classes will begin on Monday, September 20th and run for 8 weeks. This session we will be offering Martial Arts on Monday, Jewelry Making, and Chess on Wednesdays.

To read the class descriptions and register, click here. Paper forms are also available in the office.

Classes will fill up quickly, so register early. Any questions or concerns please contact ASE coordinator, Jessica Servin at

Jog-A-Thon is Coming!

Get your running shoes ready because our biggest fundraiser of the year is almost here!

Be sure to check your red folders on Wednesday for information about our Jog-a-thon event and save the date for our fun event taking place on Friday, October 1st.

And as always, watch these weekly newsletters as we will be updating you with the latest details and fantastic incentives!

Connect with Other McKinley/PACS Families and Get Involved

From joining your grade's Facebook group, to volunteering for initiatives, or signing up for the PTA, there are many ways to get involved.

We've gathered all the ways to stay connected and help the PTA in one spot. Check it out!

Earn Donations for McKinley Without Spending Extra $$$

We have several ways for you to earn donations for McKinley/PACS without needing to spend beyond your budget.

  1. Amazon Smile: If you make purchases through Amazon, make sure to shop through and designate McKinley/PACS PTA Petaluma as your charity. Make sure to configure your Amazon App to give to McKinley as well! Full instructions are here.
  2. BoxTops: Scan your grocery receipts using the BoxTops app. No more clipping and collecting BoxTops! Simply download the BoxTops app on your phone and use it to scan your receipts after you shop. Full instructions are here.
  3. Dine and Donate: Planning on going out to dinner? Once a month the PTA partners with a local restaurant or business to receive a portion of their sales. See the Dine and Donate section of the PTA website for all upcoming events.