Dear McKinley Families,
We continue onward through this strange year, perhaps feeling as if we are headed toward some normality as we begin the journey of vaccination and spring is thawing the outer world. Students are learning and growing, catching up and soaring onward!
Trimester 3 is upon us. More students will be joining us at school in-person after almost a full year of virtual learning. This will be an adjustment, but we welcome them in with open arms--and air hugs! Senior Kindergarten, first, and second grade Tosa Connected students will find themselves in new groupings once again, meeting new friends and collaborators. Our third through fifth grade Tosa Connected students are becoming technology experts and are learning ancillary skills of patience and flexibility.
Since January when we returned to the 5-Day Phased in Learning model here at McKinley, our pandemic scorecard has been great. As such, we are looking forward to trying some intermingling of classes on the playground, as long as the children are able to maintain mask wearing during outdoor play. We will begin next week with Senior Kindergarten and 1st grade, since these are the least likely spreaders of the virus and most consistently compliant with mask-wearing protocol. We hope to expand to other grades as long as the metrics remain stable, contact tracing continues to show no recess transmission evidence, and students remain safe with proper masking. I have made it clear to staff that this is not to be presented as a “punishment/reward” deal for students, but rather this is an opportunity to care for each other and support safety while also working toward expanding peer contacts, important social-emotionally, where possible. Please see the communication about recess below.
I want to remind everyone that there is no school on Friday, March 12th. Forward Exam testing begins for our 3rd through 5th graders the week of March 22nd. Spring Break runs the week of March 29th through April 2nd. I urge everyone to practice safe mitigation efforts whether that means staying home or traveling with the family. Plans are underway for safe end-of-the-year celebrations as long as we continue in a positive direction with the pandemic.
The amount of uncertainty this year has definitely impacted all of us in various ways. I am grateful for a community that has remained supportive throughout all of the changes. I am grateful for the hope that is springing forth as we enter March.
Recess at McKinley
As a school district, we are always evaluating our internal and external COVID-19 metrics, COVID-19 research and data, our mitigation strategies, and the social-emotional well-being of our learners. As the result of a recent evaluation, we addressed whether we continue to keep our classrooms zoned on the playground or if we can explore allowing a grade level to intermingle at recess.
The district’s conclusion to this evaluation is to allow elementary school buildings to open our playgrounds and allow a grade level to interact with one another as we feel grade levels are ready, and as long as our metrics continue to stay in green or yellow. We continue to expect students to wear masks outside and utilize a designated ‘mask break’ space on the playground.
The supporting rationale for this decision came from strong evidence that shows COVID-19 transmission is not extremely likely outdoors. With the added layer of mask wearing and keeping grade level groupings separate, we are confident in the safety of all with this change in practice. Recess will continue to be a factor in contact tracing and quarantines.
We will begin Trimester 3 on Monday, March 8th allowing Senior Kindergarten and 1st grade classes to intermingle at recess. We will continue to evaluate readiness with grades 2 through 5. As a matter of safety, we will need to feel confident that children are willing and able to keep their masks on during outdoor play in order to allow the classes to utilize shared space. I have asked that staff approach this with encouragement and understanding, not as a punishment/reward situation. For the safety of all, we need compliance. Mask-wearing is our best mitigation strategy.
Please feel free to communicate any concerns or questions regarding this decision.
This year all yearbook orders will be placed online, and the deadline for ordering is April 1st - place your order before this time. Yearbooks will be delivered to school at the beginning of June. For questions email email@example.com.
Girls on the Run
Welcome to McKinley!
New buddy bench!
We have received a new Buddy Bench sponsored by Scherrer Construction and Two Men and a Truck. The beautiful bench will be placed once the new McKinley is ready. Check it out!
Welcome to McKinley!
The District’s four SROs (School Resource Officers) work closely with school administrators to integrate into the school community and foster positive relationships with students and staff. SRO’s are positive role models and safe adults for students at all schools in the Wauwatosa School District. The SRO assigned to Whitman Middle School also oversees the Westside Elementary schools, including McKinley. Please help me in welcoming Officer Jeremy Bronner, our newest SRO, who will be serving Whitman Middle School and Westside elementary schools.
Good afternoon WEST SIDE Schools!
I am your new School Resource Officer, Jeremy Bronner, and you may have seen me around the building over these past couple of weeks.
I am very excited to be your SRO and thought I’d share a little bit about myself. I have been a police officer for 15 years with the Wauwatosa Police Department. In addition, I proudly served with the Wisconsin Army National Guard for 10 years with one deployment to Iraq. During my short stint with the Wauwatosa Police Department, I have been fortunate to be a part of several specialized units within the department. I was a member of the Special Response Team (S.W.A.T.), Accident Investigative Team, Motor Officer Unit (Motorcycle), Crisis Negotiator, trained in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and a member of the Police Officer Support Team (P.O.S.T). On the educational side of things, I am an Adjunct Instructor at Waukesha County Technical College working with fellow officers across the state of Wisconsin in active assailant and firearms training.
I am married to my best friend, Shana, and we have two amazing children, Samuel (13) and Charli (7 months), we also have 3 big dogs ( Lillie, Rudie and Winifred) and a cat, Maverick. When I’m not working, I dedicate my time to being The Coolest Dad Ever!!!! While I wait for my trophy to be delivered, I spend my time supporting Sam with his train collection and his musical instruments (Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Piano and sometimes the oboe). I do get middle schoolers… And now with being a “Girl Dad” to a 7 month old beautiful daughter, Charli Rose, I’m just trying to keep my head above water with how fast she’s growing. As for my BFF, Shana, she's a nurse who loves to bake and we both live for our kids and our animals!
I still manage to find some spare time, and when I do I enjoy cooking for others and I perseverate over making my yard the envy of the neighborhood. Some say I’m obsessed with my perfectly landscaped yard, I call it: Tender Loving Care. If I wasn’t a police officer, I would be a farmer.
I am willing, I am able, and I am excited about my new role as an SRO; my goal is to build long lasting positive relationships and be a role model for our students, staff and parents. I can’t wait to join the adventurous ride of Elementary School with all of you! I’ll wear three seatbelts!
Welcome to McKinley!
Ms. Kumferman’s Korner- news from your School Social Worker
Mental Health! Mental Health is just as important as our physical health and kids are no exception! It’s really important to talk with them about their own mental health and ways it can be strengthened and supported. Being anxious, worried, sad or angry doesn’t mean something is “wrong” unless it interferes with daily life. Any feeling is okay to have! If we can model for children how to identify feelings and how to appropriately express feelings, that is helping to take care of their mental health….and our own!
If you recognize that you need additional supports, please reach out to someone, call 2-1-1 for resources, or contact the Student and Family Assistance Program at 1-800-236-3231 or aurora.org/eap for behavioral health referrals for students and families. It’s okay to ask for help for yourself, your child. It’s okay to lean on others.
Here are some additional ways to nurture your child’s mental health….and also your own.
Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month began in California as a week in March back in 1978. It spread across the country the following year. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter made an official National Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress passed a law declaring March Women’s History Month, which we continue to celebrate.
To learn a little more about Trailblazing women:
A few great books in our libraries:
She Persisted, by Chelsea Clinton: Profiles the lives of thirteen American women who have left their mark on U.S. history, including Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Margaret Chase Smith, and Oprah Winfrey.
Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly with Winifred Conkling: Presents a picture book profiling four African-American women mathematicians--Katherine, Dorothy, Mary, and Christine--who were hired by NASA to do the math work that would help the U.S. send the first astronauts into space.
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea, by Robert Burleigh: Highlights the life, career, struggles, and legacy of Marie Tharp who was a female pioneer geologist and oceanographic cartographer who helped create the first scientific map of the ocean floor.
Check out some other titles:
Women's History Month-A Book Every Day - Social Justice Books
Who is a woman that you admire?
** Current JK students DO NOT need to register for SK.
Updated Quarantine After Travel Guidelines
Please find revised COVID-19 Exclusion Guidelines here. Due to new strains of COVID-19 and President Biden’s travel restrictions released on January 20, 2021, the section titled Quarantine after travel has been updated. This section now reads: Students and staff who travel to countries that the federal government has restricted the entry of certain travelers into the United States (as listed here) will be required to quarantine after their return to the United States for 7-10 days. This post-travel quarantine information applies to both students and staff members. Prior to traveling to a location outlined here, please follow these instructions: Notify McKinley and the District Nursing Team (414-773-1990 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Families and staff must check the list of restricted locations on the date they return from travel to determine if their location is on the list. Information changes regularly as locations are added/removed, so it’s important to check the site on the day you return, as information may have changed during your trip.
McKinley Afternoon Release Times
PM JK, SK and 3rd: 3:15 p.m.
1st and 4th: 3:18
2nd and 5th: 3:21
(Beginning January 13th, Wednesdays will resume early release so 2:15, 2:18, and 2:21)
If student will be attending school five days in person, please make sure all medication and forms are up to date. Forms can be located with the link below.
Anytime a student needs medication at school, a parent or guardian must provide the medication in its original container along with a completed and signed Medication Request Form. For more information on medication, please see "Medication Information for Parents." We cannot use old forms, and must receive a new form at the start of every school year.
It's Not Too Late!
This is an unprecedented and challenging time for us all. But together, we will get through this. Taking care of your mental health is equally important as your physical health during this time.
Student and Family Assistance Program: District students and their families have access to six free counseling sessions through our Student and Family Assistance Program. They are teleservice at this time. Learn more.
DHS Counseling Hotline: Call 1-800-985-5990 to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7 provided through the Department of Health Services.
211 Info Hotline - Dial 211 for information about COVID-19 in Wisconsin
CDC Hotline - Get facts by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO
This is a rapidly changing situation and we will continue to keep you updated as information is shared.
For now, Stay Safer At Home and remember, we’re in this together.
* * Tosa Cares * *
Due to the spread of COVID-19, and social distancing, group distributions have been cancelled for the near future. If you need to schedule or change an appointment call, text or email Linda to leave a message for a drive-thru appointment.
Call: (414) 258-0456 x 410
Call or text: (414) 861-4725
Visit: https://www.tosacares.org/post/tosa-cares-and-covid-19 for more information.