McDonald Elementary School



At McDonald Elementary School, we have a safe, trusting, and caring environment.

  • Students are inspired to
  • Persevere,
  • Innovate, and demonstrate
  • Kindness, in the pursuit of
  • Excellence


Thank you to everyone who participated in our great events last month. Our first annual Cardboard Challenge was a success, demonstrating the creativity and problem-solving abilities of our students. Secondly thank you for everyone who helped out and/or donated money for our Walk-a-Thon. McDonald Elementary School is fortunate to have such an active Home & School raising funds and supporting the many community activities at our school.

We are hopeful that you will be able to join us for American Education Week, to see first-hand all the fantastic learning going on in the school. We also look forward to meeting with you at parent-teacher conferences, so we can continue the conversation about your child’s growth here at McDonald Elementary School.


Students in AM Kindergarten and grades 1-5 will be dismissed at 11:45 AM. There will be no PM Kindergarten on Wednesday, October 26th.


Schools across the United States are joining together in celebrating Red Ribbon Week from October 25-28. Red Ribbon Week was inspired by the life and work of a Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent named Enrique Camarena. Red Ribbon Week is designed to encourage students to be healthy, drug-free, and violence-free.

Several activities have been planned to get the students of McDonald Elementary School involved in the campaign for healthy lifestyles. Each student will have the opportunity to sign a banner with a drug free message that will be displayed in the school for the entire week.

Tuesday, October 25th – Red-y to be Drug Free Day. We are asking everyone to wear an article of red clothing to show unity in supporting a drug-free life.

Wednesday, October 26th – My Future is Bright. No Drugs in Sight. Students and staff wear bright clothing.

Thursday, October 27th – Drugs and I Don’t Mix Day. Students and staff are encouraged to wear mismatched clothes.

Friday, October 28th – Run Your Own Life-Be Drug Free. Students and staff can wear running clothes.

Hand in hand, McDonald Elementary School will take a stand against drugs and violence.


On Monday, October 31, our Halloween Parade for AM Kindergarten will begin at 10:30 AM. The parade for grades 1-5 and PM KG Kindergarten will begin at 1:45 PM. We will parade around the bus loop area on the side of the building. If there is inclement weather, we will parade through the cafeteria and gym. Parents are invited to watch the parades. If there is inclement weather, there will be a shuttle bus set up on October 31. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early so you can board the shuttle that will be departing from William Tennent High School.

Homeroom parents are asked to arrive 20 minutes in advance to set up for the parties. Please enter through the red doors (main entrance.) We are asking that only the homeroom parents assist the students with getting dressed in their costumes.

Parties will be held in the classrooms following the parade. The parties are for the children. Parents, who have been working with the teacher in their role as homeroom parents, are invited to stay and help with the games and activities. The preferred food items are fruit, pretzels and water.

Students are NOT ALLOWED TO WEAR THEIR COSTUMES OR MAKE-UP TO SCHOOL. Time will be provided for changing into costumes before the parade.

We are requesting that you use your best judgment about your child's choice of costume. NO GUNS OR OTHER WEAPONS may be carried. We're also asking students to be sensitive to other groups of people by NOT dressing as villains in our lives today. We request that your child save the 'blood and gore' parts of some costumes for trick or treating in your neighborhood on Halloween night. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated in this matter.

If you do not wish for your child to participate in the Halloween parade and parties, there will be a supervised activity available in the library. Please send in a note with your child to let the teacher know if he/she will not be participating.

Please monitor how much candy your child brings to school during the days after Halloween. We have found that lunch on November 2nd can consist of five candy bars for some students!



On October 6, 2016 Mr. Pisacano’s Class, C-21 became Brain Surgeons for a Day! Their patient was our own Superintendent, Dr. Baugh. First the students asked him questions about his job. “What do you do? ; ”How much money do you make?” ; “What’s the funniest part of your job?” After he answered the questions the surgeons had to assemble “HIS BRAIN”. Wearing white lab coats and BRAINS of their own, the team of surgeons prepared the 12 main lobes of the brain (cardstock colored cut out lobes). As Dr. Baugh called out the different things he did as superintendent, the surgeons had to bring up the correct lobe he would use and fasten it to his Blank Brain Cap. As this was done the computer assisted “Surgical Verification Team” announced the job of each part of the brain. Another team of students armed with ipads photographed and videoed the entire surgery. When all three teams were done their assignments were tested of Dr. Baugh’s “BRAINS” to make sure they worked. They then had a group photo taken with Dr. Baugh. When he left he took “HIS BRAINS” with him. It was really fun.

By: Giana C., Keyri P., Giselle R., Nina C., and Brenda A.

Brain Surgery by room C 21


The BARK award is presented to students who have demonstrated outstanding BEHAVIOR, ACHIEVEMENT, RESPONSIBILITY, AND/OR KINDNESS during the month. The October BARK award winners are:

Kindergarten - Emma P., Giovanny J., James K., Evan M., Peyton J., Vincent R., Kayla R., Gerardo R., Grace B., Joshua F.

Grade 1 - Kyra J., Bobby J., Megan P., Jake M., Ella J., Justin R., Nicole D., Andre P., Cayden S., Weston M., Miriah M., Noah G., Daniel R.

Grade 2 - Alyssa V., Thomas K., Cassey A., Christian V., Helena S., Leo B., Emily A., Gavin L., Megan S., Aiden Q., Honor B., Thomas K., Natali K.

Grade 3 - Alyssa P., John C., Sarah D., James P., Scott S., Ardyn K., Stephanie M., Andrew R., Marlene R., Veer P., Rylee S., Samuel C., Bobby C., Makenna M.

Grade 4 - Julia C., David S., Mianna Y., Colin M., Leah S., Ryan C., Brianna R., Gabriel M., Leah B., Aidan S.

Grade 5 - Keyri P., Sanjeev P., Julianna A., Connor H., Jessica V., Xdrian I., Katie L., Quinten M., Cori F., Ricky C., Lily G., Daniel P.


The GRIT award is awarded each month to students who "G" Give 100%; "R" Really shows a great effort; "I" Is hard working and "T" Tries their best during the month. The October GRIT aware winners are:

Grade 1 - Lucas G., Gretchen M., Benjamin S., Emma C., Brayden G., Janelle P., Charles V., Piper H., Chase F., Devyn C., Santiago C., Aaliyah G.

Grade 2 - Joseph G., Natalie N., Lucas M., Madeline M., Nickolas K., Winnie C., Gavin M., Veronica K., Kyle M., Veronica W., Emma V.

Grade 3 - Giuliana G., Hailey L., Shane R., Colin G., Nolan S., Madison M., Trevor C., Shreya P., Daniel P., Brianna S., Jose S., Madisyn R.

Grade 4 - Nicholas R., Danielle Z., Lucas M., Evie K., Alex P., Nicole I., Landon M., Sophia R., Nicholas G., Jaedee M.

Grade 5 - Miguel G., Rebecca R., Dominic R., Lydia P., Maria F., Omarion D., Robyn F., Jack M., Felisha T., Viktor P., Kimberly R.


Character Counts Program

The pillar of the month in our Character Counts Program is “Respect.” Some characteristics of this pillar are:

  • Treat others with respect
  • Be tolerant of differences
  • Use good manners
  • Be considerate of the feelings of others
  • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone
  • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements

Please have a discussion with your family about how each family member demonstrates respect. List ways to show respect with words, such as please and excuse me. Then list respectful actions, such as holding a door for someone, letting someone go in front of you in line, or listening without interrupting. (The Parent Institute,2012)

Bullying Prevention Program

What is Bullying?

· Exclusion: Purposefully leaving someone out.

· Gossip and rumors: Spreading stories or information behind someone’s back.

· Silent treatment: Not speaking to someone on purpose. Signaling that a friendship might be over or that someone is not worth talking to.

· Body language: Eye rolling, noises, mean looks and staring-that signals “I don’t like you”.

· Verbal put-downs: Using sarcasm to be mean, teasing, or calling someone a name.


Promoting Good Character

How to Teach Character (TEAM)

Teach children that their character counts:

The Six Pillars of Character provide the vocabulary words to teach your children about character.

Enforce the Six Pillars of Character:

Reward good behavior (usually praise is enough) and discourage bad behavior by imposing fair, consistent consequences.

Advocate Character:

Continually encourage children to live up to the Six Pillars of Character.

Model Good Behavior:

Everything you say and do (or neglect to do) sends a message about your values. Be sure that these messages reinforce your lessons about doing the right thing, even when it is difficult. When you slip, be accountable; apologize sincerely and do better!

(A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Good Character ,


Congratulations to the following students for showing good character in school. We appreciate your efforts and would like to encourage you to keep making good choices. Thank you!

September 9 - Cayden D., Bryan F, Mark, J., Leah G., Connor M., Riley O., Giovanni P., Nahomi P., Jillian T, Andy Z.

September 16 - Adam B., Judah B., Luke B., Tyler D., Sienna K., Logan M., Peyton M., Diego R., Katelyn S., David S., Aiden S., Savannah Z.

September 23 - Jayden B., Chase B., Elijah C., Suany E., Kendra G., Heidi M., Ayanna M., Isabella P., Amber P., Francis R., Payton, S., Danielle Z.

September 30 - Saniyah B., Colin C., Chloe D., Braydon G., Gavin L., Bishop L., Ana M., Gavin M., Benjamin P., Shane R., Miranda S., Jacob S.

October 7 - Jayden B., Joanna C., Sofia K., Paige L., Madeline M., Logan M., Moises M., Ayanna M., Megan P., Olivia P., Kaitlyn S., Mianna Y.

October 14 - Abrielle A., Leah B., Leo B., Quinn C., Cayden D., Katrine G., Paige L., Gretchen M., Daniel P., Justin R., Luis S., John S. Makayla T.


Research shows that independent reading outside of school significantly increases a student’s level of reading performance. We want our McDonald Elementary School students to be successful learners in every area! Is your child a Bulldog Book Buddy? He or she can be!

Encouraging your child to read at home helps in many ways. Your child can grow stronger academically, and work to acquire a love of reading. Also, at the end of every month, McDonald students now have a chance to be a Bulldog Book Buddy!

Each time your child reads a complete book outside of school, he/she will complete a Bulldog Book Bone. The bone should be placed in a grade-level dog bowl, so that one student from each homeroom can be chosen at the end of every month to be a Book Buddy!

Book Buddies will receive a certificate of participation and a small reward. Help our students blossom by supporting independent reading at home. Encourage your child to be a Bulldog Book Buddy! Program begins October 4th.


In an effort to decrease the number of destroyed library books, the students at McDonald School started their year by reviewing how we take care of library books. The children agreed that we want to have “Book Buddies” not “Book Bashers” at McDonald Elementary School. We talked about how water and juice are the number one book bashers of our library books. Students made lists of how we can keep our books safe.

  • Keep books away from little siblings, dogs, cats, and bunnies.
  • Keep books in plastic bags or keep water bottles away from books.
  • Do not eat while reading your library book.
  • Only draw on paper or coloring books, not in library books.

The cost of books unfortunately has skyrocketed. The average cost last year for a heavy duty library book that is made to last was approximately $19.00. Like the cost of everything else, it will probably go up this year. To date, we have had five library books destroyed, and we barely saved another twenty.

We need to ask for your help. Please make sure your child is keeping his or her library books safe and returning them in a timely fashion. Water bottles are book bashers and should be kept away from library books. Food is for eating not reading. Crayons, scissors, and pencils are great to use with paper but not library books. If a book is destroyed, we will be sending a bill for that book home. It is the only way we will be able to replace the book. We understand that accidents do happen, but would appreciate your efforts in helping your child to continue to be a “Book Buddy”.


This program enables you to purchase a book for our library. The cost is $12.00, and the book will have a bookplate affixed inside the front cover with a dedication. Also, your child will have the opportunity to present this book in front of the entire school during a Student Recognition Assembly.

Please consider adding a book to our library collection through this wonderful program. Call Mrs. Wolf or Mrs. Brown at 215-441-6157 or email at or


Congratulations to all of our sizzling readers. Each child who completed and turned in the reading log will receive a certificate and a coupon to use at the school store. Thank you to our Home and School for making this reward possible.


Lexia Reading Core5® is back!! Lexia Reading Core5®, a dynamic, fun computer program that has helped millions of students develop reading skills through personalized learning. The activities and instruction in Core5 are aligned to rigorous English Language Arts standards, including the Common Core State Standards.

Our school is using Core5 in reading and language arts – and we want you to share in our excitement!

Here’s how this award-winning, computer-based reading program works:

· Students complete placement activities in Core5 to determine their appropriate, individualized starting level.

· Students work independently and at their own pace on activities in Core5 several days a week.

· Students develop fundamental literacy skills in six areas of reading instruction that have been identified by national reading experts: phonological awareness, phonics, structural analysis, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

· Students receive scaffolding, corrective feedback, and direct instruction in Core5 when needed.

· Your student’s teacher will monitor his or her progress and performance in the online activities through data reports. These reports help teachers to determine if a student is struggling with a specific skill and requires targeted, teacher-led instruction.

· Students may also receive paper-and-pencil activities that provide offline practice to further improve and expand their skills. They may work on these activities in school, or they bring them home to complete as out-of-class work.

As an added benefit, students can use Core5 at home. Getting started is easy!

1. Launch a web browser and go to

· Create a bookmark or favorite for this web address.

· iPad and iPad Mini users can download the Core5 app from the App store. Search for “Lexia Reading Core5.”

· Android tablet users can download the Core5 app from the Google Play store. Search for “Lexia Reading Core5.” Note that the app is not available for Kindle.

2. The first time you access Core5, you must set up:

· Click the Student/Parent button.

· Type in your teacher’s email and click the arrow button to continue.

3. Allow or help your child to login. The student username is the same login they use at school (graduation year, first 4 of last name, first 2 of first name – ex. 22smitjo) the password is the word read.

We hope you enjoy participating in your child’s reading acquisition and success!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact one of our Reading Specialists at 215-441-6157 or email them directly.

Dawn Kremer

Rose Miele

Sue Stackhouse


In our Digital Literacy classes, students are learning touch-typing in Grades 2 through 5. It is important that your child practice outside of their class time to keep and advance this skill. Keyboarding is one of the most valuable skills your child can learn for their future in our technology rich world.

They can logon to the secure site we use here in school: - a typing program for students to learn their keyboarding skills. If your child does use this program with a laptop, it is suggested that they have a USB keyboard attached. We do not suggest using this program with a touch screen tablet/iPad. Learning touch-typing with these devices is very difficult. You must enter the full URL to reach our domain.

If you do not have a keyboard or internet connection, your child can practice using the color coded finger keyboard they created in class. Happy typing



"Do you know what your kids are drinking?" Beverages, in general, are a big part of our lives. They are important to a healthy diet as sources of hydration. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calories in drinks are not hidden (they’re listed right on the Nutrition Facts label), but many people don’t realize just how many calories beverages can contribute to their daily intake. Sweeteners that add calories to a beverage go by many different names and are not always obvious to anyone looking at the list of ingredients. These sugary ingredients include : fruit juice concentrates, sucrose, dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, honey sugar, syrup, and corn syrup.

Scientific evidence consistently supports the association between sugar sweetened beverage consumption, and an increased risk of obesity. Excess sugar can contribute to the development of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2014). But there is good news: you have plenty of options for reducing the number of calories in what you drink. Ask yourself, what size is your drink? You should be drinking one cup, or eight ounces, in every drink. Always know your serving size; one container is not always one serving. When your body is telling you “I am thirsty,” choose water to stay hydrated not a flavored drink. Teach your child to drink and enjoy water, skim milk, and/or sugar-free beverages. These drink choices are one critical step in the fight against childhood obesity, and beyond.

Grade 3 Dental Health Forms:

All students in Grade 3 should have an updated report of a Dental Health Exam on file.

Kindergarten Physical and Dental Health Forms:

All Kindergarten and new students to McDonald Elementary School should have a Physical and Dental form also on file in the nurse’s office.

Notices will be going out to students who are in need of Physical and Dental forms.

REMEMBER: It is very important that we have current phone numbers for all our students in case of an emergency. Please call the school if you have recently changed your home, work, or cell phone number so we can add that information to your child's Emergency Card.

Please call or email for any concerns regarding your child during the school day. Elizabeth Fleming ( or Jill Matz ( at 215-441-6157 ext. 16025


The SCHOOL HANDBOOK is available both electronically and in paper form.

Please visit the McDonald website via the below listed link for an electronic copy or stop in the school office for a paper form.

The Handbook includes policies and procedures, and other important information.


Joining our active Home and School Association is another way that communication between teachers and parents is enhanced. The school folders and assignment books which are given to each student are examples of the ways in which our Home and School provides “extra” things for the children in our school. Also, the Home and School provides funds to reduce the cost of class trips, playground equipment, assemblies and other special treats.

All members of the McDonald Elementary School Home and School Association are invited to attend Home and School meetings at 7:00 PM in the Library. During these meetings, you can help plan future events, and to hear school and District news.

Home and School Meeting Schedule: October 12, November 14, January 9, February 13, March 13, April 3, May 1 and June 5.


Every child will receive a large white envelope. The envelope will be distributed each Wednesday and will contain informational materials from the district, school office and classroom teacher that cannot be placed in the eFolder.

Parents are requested to sign the outside of the envelope as an indication that they have received and read the contents. It is due back to the classroom teacher the following day. Where possible, flyers will be distributed to the youngest child in each family to save paper. The replacement cost of the envelope is $1.


For those arriving or leaving with a vehicle, the drop-off location is at the front of the building at the main entrance (red doors.) Please see the arrival and dismissal maps on the school website for more information.

In the AM, please utilize the valet system – with 5 vehicles at a time pulling up to the curb. If you need to escort your child into the building in the morning, please park and carefully enter the building.

In the PM, please utilize the valet system – with 5 vehicles at a time pulling up to the curb. We ask that parents are respectful to each other.

Thank you for your patience at the beginning of the year with this process.


Most of our school information will be communicated to parents using the eFolder on our school website. Forms that must be signed and returned can be printed out at any time.

We will begin the year with sending home paper copies with the youngest child in each family and posting information on the eFolder. Starting Wednesday, October 5th we will go paperless for the rest of the school year. We will send home a survey in September to determine which families do not have access to a computer and need to continue to receive paper copies.

All information, with the exception of classroom assignments and tests, is available on our school website at Click on the school link for McDonald Elementary School.


Last year the staff and students were encouraged to take the Diversity Pledge. We are encouraging everyone to take the pledge again this year. The Diversity Pledge is listed below:

Diversity Pledge

“I pledge to treat everyone as I would like to be treated.

I will be accepting of people from all backgrounds and show them respect.

I pledge to learn about other cultures and develop an appreciation for everyone’s uniqueness.”


During recess, we have noticed that the students wearing crocs have been slipping and falling on the playground equipment. For safety reasons, students wearing crocs will not be allowed on the equipment. Also, children wearing flip flops or shoes without backs will not be allowed on the equipment or be able to play an organized game of kickball, soccer, etc. For those students who are not able to play on the equipment, there are plenty of other activities to participate in on the black top area. These activities include 4-square, chalk, bubbles, jump ropes, etc. We appreciate your support with these safety issues.


The computerized meal system allows you to pay online. For more information, please check out the website at Please take advantage of prepayments as a way to help your child participate in this system. The debit system is used for all purchases—breakfast, lunch, or just snacks. Money may be deposited to each child’s account whether the child is a free, reduced or full paying student. Deposits may be done online or by cash, check, or money order sent in with the student. If you send money in with your child, we kindly ask that it be in a sealed envelope with the child’s first and last name, room number and pin number.

Keeping money deposited on account simplifies the purchasing process. Students do not have to worry about bringing money to school each day, slowing the lunch lines trying to find their money or losing their change on the way home. Money left on deposit in June is available for use on the first day of school in September. Funds are only returned if you move away from Centennial School District.

If you are eligible, free or reduced price lunches are available by filing an application through the Business Office of the Centennial School District. If you need assistance with placing money on your child’s account, or applying for free or reduced lunch programs, please contact the Business Office at 215-441-6000 ext. 11023. Thank you for your cooperation.

The food service polices have been updated. Please visit the District Website Nutritional Service tab for the updates.

Please contact Mrs. Becker, McDonald’s Cafeteria Manager, if you have any further questions. (215) 441-6157 Ext.16045.


Do you like to be involved in your child’s school? Volunteer!

Contact Mrs. Wolf or Mrs. Brown if interested in serving as a library volunteer.

Contact Mrs. Stackhouse stacsu@centennialsd.oorg if you are interested in volunteering as a tutor.

Contact Mrs. McCandless if you are interested in becoming a room parent.


Please have a “BAD WEATHER” plan. Children become anxious if they think they are going home to an empty house. Prepare your children in the event you cannot be reached or are not at home when bad weather strikes and school is dismissed. They should know what to do, and where to go, in order to be safe until you arrive.

The phone numbers on file in the office (the gold Student Information Sheets) become very important on these days. Please be sure to update your phone numbers (home, work, and cell), so that we can make this difficult time a little less stressful for your children. This information should also be updated in Skyward.

Centennial School District's emergency closing number is 753. Closings are broadcast on local TV and radio stations, e-Alerts, and our website.