Dear McKinley Families,
Can it be October already? We are off to a great start! Thanks to Dave Farwell and all of the volunteers who helped with the McKinley Mile last week. It is such a wonderful tradition. The excitement of the kids, the connections families make, and the healthy competition are amazing! I also love seeing the alumni who come back for it to help out. This year many high school and middle school alumni helped out. I love that they keep the McKinley connection.
I want to highlight just a few things this month:
Fall Costume Parade: The tradition of the costume parade continues, this year on October 30th at 1:15 p.m. The Wauwatosa West Band will send a small group to lead us again this year. Many children love to dress up and mimic their favorite characters and heroes. It is not necessary to spend money on costumes--some of the most creative tend to be home-made and child directed/inspired. A costume is not an expectation--every year there are students who like to walk but do not like to dress up. Remember when helping children choose costumes that no weapons are allowed, nothing that inhibits walking for the five block route (this means sensible shoes and the ability to see) and nothing TOO scary (we have 4 year olds through 11 year olds participating). Choosing favorite book characters are usually appropriate choices. We realize that some students do not appreciate the excitement (and chaos?) of the parade. We will have Mrs. Duchac in the library during the parade for students who would like to opt out. Let’s hope for a beautiful fall day!
Coming Up: Picture Re-Take Day on October 22. See below for an order form link. Conferences, October 24th and 29th in the evening and 25th during the day. Expect your SignUpGenius Link on October 9th at about 2:45 p.m. Junior Kindergarten students do not have school on October 21st. On October 25th, JK-5th do not have school. On October 9th, teachers will send out a link with instructions to sign up for your conference. We hope to have all parents participate in fall conferences. As is tradition, the Scholastic Book Fair will begin the first week of conferences on Tuesday, October 22nd and will run through Friday, October 25th. Check the PTO newsletter if you are able and willing to help out.
Volunteers: We appreciate all of the time our families put in at McKinley. Many hands make light work! A reminder that all who would like to volunteer must fill out the district Volunteer Form every three years in order to be cleared to volunteer in the classroom, on field trips, or during events. This includes parents, guardians, grandparents, It is an easy, online form which can be found HERE.
I hope you all have a wonderful October!
! * ! * ! * ! * ! * ! * McK Attendance Line 773-1502 * ! * ! * ! * ! * ! * !
ANYONE VOLUNTEERING AT MCKINLEY NEEDS TO HAVE THIS DONE TWO WEEKS BEFORE THEY PLAN TO BE HERE.
PBIS - Explained
PBIS is Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. We have a PBIS team that works together using behavioral data and general building climate to make thoughtful decisions about rules and expectations in our school. All staff members are involved in implementing and teaching and reteaching our students. The team also decides what systems, reinforcements, and celebrations we will use as a school to promote positive behavior. You may have seen our McKinley Message posted throughout the school: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Caring.
One area we are working hard on is our lunchroom expectations. Our hope was to open up seating for all grades this week, but we are finding that we still have some unfinished learning in this area and our teachers are reteaching and tweaking some procedures to try to make lunchtime a better experience for everyone.
Also, at McKinley, we have a red ticket system in SK-5th grade for students who are caught doing good things in the halls, cafeteria, and other public spaces (each class has its own separate goal system). In the past we would draw names out of buckets at monthly assemblies for items such as a McKinley Message t-shirt, lunch with the principal, mystery class party, and other fun things. In light of our equity work at McKinley, we realized that some students disengaged from the system, noting that there were so many tickets and so few opportunities to win something. We would allow students to save up their tickets and cash in for larger school experiences such as a dance party or games day that helped more students feel included, but those experiences were only offered a few times a year, many students were not interested in the options, and the events were hard to fit into our busy school year schedule.
This year, the team decided to try something new so more students could participate on a monthly basis. Following the lead of other schools who found success with this, we decided to try a school store--a place for students to “spend” their earned tickets.
The first school store was opened at lunch on Monday, September 30th. We had McKinley Messengers--the 5th grade leadership group--Mrs. Raddemann and Mrs. Lovelace supervising and running the store. Classroom teachers looked over the store "menu" with their classes so students knew what items were available for purchase. Students were told they could bring the red tickets with them to lunch Monday. The Messengers made a reminder announcement Monday morning as well.
Below is the store menu of items students were able to choose for September. We asked students to be patient the first time, since we were not sure how it would go. Overall, it went fairly well. We realized that teacher experiences (which will change each month) should “cost” less, and trinkets will vary and will need to “cost” more (because they are expensive for us, yet highly desired by students). School supplies, t-shirts, and lunch with Mrs. Hoffmann will remain on the menu throughout the year, and many students decided to hang onto the tickets they had to save up for something desirable. We are hoping will be this a successful incentive and get kids motivated to follow the McKinley Message!
September School Store Menu
Lunch w/Mrs. Hoffmann………………… 20 Tickets
Lunch w/ Ms. Pawasarat……………….18 Tickets
Lunch w/ Mrs. Lovelace………………….18 Tickets
Breakfast w/Ms. Mottet………………….18 Tickets
Pencils…………………………………………... 1 Ticket
Notebooks/Folders…….………………... 5 Tickets
Markers/Crayons, etc…………………… 8 Tickets
Trinkets…………………………………………… 5 Tickets
Family Listening Session - November 13 - Child Care Available
Ms. Kumferman’s Korner –News from your School Social Worker
Hello! September was filled with connecting with some students and parents, talking with teachers, and organizing current resources. It is also the busiest time for my additional responsibilities as Homeless Coordinator for the Wauwatosa School District. I communicate with all schools, help to identify eligible students, and secure necessary resources to help break down barriers so all students can be successful at school. Mr. Kasten (social work intern) and I have also started scheduling bullying prevention lessons in some of the classrooms to begin in October. We always enjoy sharing these lessons and students seem to remember a lot from year to year while enjoying the new videos and activities.
Brain Food Snack Drive
McKinley does not currently have a breakfast program and not all students are able to bring a daily snack to school, so we like to have emergency snacks on hand. These are also available if a student forgets his/her snack on a particular day. We were able to raise funds for emergency snacks last spring during the cake walk at Family Fun Night. However, we are almost out of items and could use some additional foods to replenish the supply until spring. If you would like to donate some snacks, please put my name on them and send them with your child to school. Individual snack bags are best but larger bags are accepted:
-Pretzels -fruit snacks -Goldfish crackers -Cheez-Its -vanilla wafers
-Animal crackers -graham crackers -squeezable applesauce
Do you have any gently-used winter boots, snowpants and waterproof gloves/mittens that your children have outgrown? If yes, please consider donating them to me at McKinley! The items are used for students without them, as well as shared between other schools in our district for students in need. *Please note, we will typically not provide your child with boots or snowpants ‘for the day’ in the event s(he) forgets them. These items are used for students who do not have the items for the season. Please contact your child’s teacher if there is a need once the snow starts to fly! *Any gently-used McKinley spirit wear will also be accepted. Thank you!
Energy Assistance Benefit Season Is Here!
If you’re worried about paying your utilities bills this winter, the Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Team has you covered. The benefit season begins October 1, when eligible We Energies customers can get a once-a-year break on their bills. The amount of the benefit varies and depends on a number of factors, including household income and size, as well as heating bills. But, even better, if you qualify for this benefit, you also qualify for other services and benefits, such as the weatherization program, emergency furnace repairs, payment plan options, and more. Some landlords are eligible for weatherization upgrades, too.
Applying is easy. Go to keepwarmMKE.org or call 414-270-4MKE (270-4653) to see if you qualify and set up an appointment. The Call Center Advocates are happy to answer your questions. If you live outside of Milwaukee County, click here for information on applying.
During the month of October, all six application sites throughout Milwaukee County will offer extended hours, which are:
· Monday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
· Tuesday: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
· Wednesday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
· Thursday: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
· Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
· Saturday: 8 a.m.-12 noon
Green Team Tips
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 / www.wastenotcompost.org 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.
Office Max / Office Depot Gives Back
* * 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@gmail.com or phone 414-861-4725, or you can just show up on one of these dates.
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: tosacares.org
Here is a list of the most needed items:
- 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