Boletín de McKinley/ McKinley News

April 11th - 15th 2022

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

Dear McKinley Families,

Welcome Back from Spring break. I hope you all had a restful time off. I was able to get away to see my family in Los Angeles and went to see wicked in Sacramento. Loved having that time to rest before we are headed into a quick nine weeks till summer break.

Over the break, a good friend of my family passed away. I tell you this because of the story behind Mr. Juarez. Last year at 8th-grade promotion, I told the story of how I started using the phrase, "It's Nice To be NIce." Mr. Juarez first introduced it to my husband over 40 years ago.

Here is the speech I gave...

There are many things that I can say tonight about resilience. I could say things like “what a year!” “We made it!” But tonight I want to leave you with a simple concept that I have used since I started teaching 24 years ago. “It’s Nice to be Nice.” a simple set of words, a simple phrase. But where did it come from?

To start, a little background, when my husband and I met 27 years ago in college we both were athletes he was a football player, and I was a volleyball player. When a child grows up playing athletics, participating in clubs, music performances, or Theatre. You have the privilege of meeting mentors that touch your life. My husband had an amazing little league coach, Mr. Juarez, a man large in stature and a heart to match. He always had a calm demeanor; win or lose he was even keel. He talked to the team about working hard, different strategies for winning, and what they could do differently next time. But he always ended his pep talks with “and remember, team, It’s nice to be nice.” This message is ingrained in my husband’s memory woven together with the memories of baseball the smell of the freshly cut grass and a new leather glove.

Fast forward to now, a message that was woven into my memory. I had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Juarez; he attended our wedding and other special family occasions. Early on in my teaching career, I, too, began using the phrase “It’s Nice to be Nice." daily, I shared anecdotes with my sixth graders about experiences I had when others were not very nice. I encouraged them to be upstanders. Like putting your shopping cart away, opening a door, or giving a stranger a smile. "Nice to be Nice" has been passed on. It lives like a beating heart because we keep it alive.

Just the other day, I was at Starbucks, where I often run into former students, my first group of sixth graders who are now 31 many with families of their own. All of a sudden, I heard from the corner, “Mrs. Larson, is that you…” I see a young man standing there. “It’s me, Nick!” I quickly flip through my card catalog (yes, I said card catalog) of former students. Oh yes, I remember Nick. With a quick check-in about life, catching up on the details of what he has done since he left sixth grade and how his family was doing. Our conversation ended just as quickly as it began. We parted ways, and I turned for the door... In the distance, I hear “Mrs. Larson “It’s Nice to be Nice.”

Knowing that we don’t have control over many things in our life but knowing that we can do something to bring kindness to the world is important. I give you this gift today, McKinley Mustangs, to take with you to share and embody. It most definitely is "NICE to be NICE."

Warm Regards,

Mrs. Larson

TK - 3 SOM March
4th - 6th SOM March

Fechas Importantes/Important dates

April 11th Return to school From Spring Break

April 11th Sonoma County Film Festival (5:00)

April 14th Try It Truck

April 15th Mugsy Clicks Class Photo Day

April 18th Afterschool Enrichment Begins

April 19th Safari Class Event

April 19th Student of The Semester PACS (at Board Meeting)

April 20th Safari Class Event

April 20th PTA meeting

April 21st Bike Rodeo

April 21st Safari Class Event

April 22nd Guest Speaker PACS

April 22nd Lion King Performance ROAR cast (6:30)

April 23rd Lion King Performance STAR cast (1:30 and 6:30)

April 24th Lion King Performance ROAR cast (1:30)

April 25th and April 26th PACS Day Camp

April 27th Vaccine Clinic at McKinley (4:00 - 6:00)
April 27th and 28th Shop and Donate at Rusty Hinges

April 29th SOM assembly

May 2nd - May 13th CAASPP Testing (3rd - 8th)

May 4th Bike to School Day

May 12th Open House

May 14th Spring Fundraiser

May 18th PTA Meeting

May 19th Westside Relays (5th and 6th grade)

May 20th McKinley Film Festival Submissions due

May 27th McKinley Film Festival

May 27th SOM assembly

June 1st Volunteer Tea (7:45 am)

June 2nd K- 3 Talent Show

June 3rd, 4th - 8th Talent Show

June 8th 8th Grade Promotion (5:00)

June 9th 6th-grade Promotion (TBD)

June 9th 6th grade Field Trip to Beach

June 10th, Last Day of School/ Field Day

Congrats SCOE Film Festival Finalists!

Congratulations to the following filmmakers for having their work selected for the Sonoma County Office of Education's Five-Minute Film Festival.

SCOE Selected Films:

Noah's Legacy - Willow M, Zach P, Walter W, Chloe Y, Duncan F

Hank the Hero - Willow M

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Petaluma City Schools Film Festival Winners

Our McKinley and PACS students have been busy creating films for two local film festivals. Awesome work to everyone who submitted films! We are proud of you!

Congratulations to the following filmmakers for having their work selected for the Petaluma City Schools Five-Minute Film Festival.

PCS Selected Films:

Violet's Legacy - Fallon M

DJ Ocean Fight - Hudson M, Lachlan P

Mom the Hero - Tatum M

The Three Western Heroes - Owen W, Michael M, Garrett G, Connor G

Almost a Zombie Apocalypse - Roger R, Avery U

Parts of a Hero - Catherine H

Hank the Hero - Willow M

Vigilante - Griffin M, Max P, Haidyn G

After: Zach P. and Walter W.

Young Writers' Award Recipents

  • Primary Grade Honoree: 2nd grader Frankie Danger Joyce ("Lightning's Adventure")
  • Intermediate Grade Honoree: 4th grader Chiara Harris ("How the Animals Got Their Colors")

Honorable Mention:

  • 1st grader Elliott Harrison for her poem "Cheese."
  • 5th grader Kaison Marlow Eaves for their chapter book "War of the Wings: Library of Scientia"

Walk and Roll Calendar Competition

Congratulations! One of your student’s submissions to our “Walk and Roll for our HeARTS” Art contest was selected for inclusion in our “I *Heart* Walk & Roll” 2022-23 wall calendar! We received ~200 submissions to our contest, and a panel of community judges helped us narrow them down to the 15 that will be included in our June 2022-August 2023 calendar.

The winning artist is Luke Patrick Lieser, a 4th Grader in Rachel Cantor’s class.

TREX Plastic Bag Recyclying ends Friday!!!

Thank you for your support of the NexTrex Plastic collection and challenge. The challenge ends on Friday, 4/15/22. Please drop off any plastic bag donations before that time. The collection bins at McKinley will be taken away, but if you want to continue collecting and donating plastic, you can drop off your collections at Safeway on McDowell Blvd. In the front of the store, you will see green collection bins used for collecting plastic bags.

Thank you so much for doing your part to ensure plastic is recycled, so it does not end up in the landfill.

MUGSY CLICKS will be here Friday!

On Friday, April 15th Mugsy Clicks will be here to take Class photos. You do not need to do anything.
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Sonoma County Libray Read Alouds!

Spanish Read Aloud Book Club will be taking place again at the library next Wednesday, April 13 at 2:30 pm. Please spread the word! The first 10 kids to sign up will be getting their very own copy of Los Tipos Malos #2 (Bad Guys #2). Recommended for kids who are ready to start reading Spanish with a little more text on each page, but still want some illustrations and short chapters.

Here is the link for signing up:

These meetings will be happening monthly:

Wednesdays at 2:30 pm

April 13

May 18

June 15

July 20

September 14

October 19

(no meetings in August, November, or December)

Please note registration opens after each meeting ends.

Thanks so much for supporting library programs! Our first meeting was a lot of fun!

Lion King Rehearsal Information

We will be rehearsing in the multi this week on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday! Full rehearsal details are here.

Crew members should plan on being at this Wednesday's rehearsal (4/13) if they are working backstage for the show dates. On 4/16, It would be fantastic to have a couple of parent helpers who can help hang the scene panels with the kids.

Got questions? Email Cate Bruce-Low at

Spots Still Open for After-School Enrichment! New Chess Class for Grades 1-6 Open!

Our spring session is 6 weeks and it runs from April 18th – May 27th. Space is still available in:

  • Chess (Mondays, grades 1-6 offered by Novato Chess Room)
  • Martial Arts (Thursdays, grades 1-3)
  • Origami (Thursdays, grades 4-6)
  • Soccer (Mondays, grades 1-3)

Register and Learn More

Save the Date: Our Annual Spring Fundraiser Returns in Person on May 14th!

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Spring Fundraiser Community Engagement Volunteers Wanted

Are you an extrovert who loves meeting new people? Are you looking for a rewarding way to get involved at McKinley? Would you like to help promote a really fun event to our entire school community? ¿Hablas español? If so, you’d be the perfect fit as our Spring Fundraiser Community Engagement chair.

Our Spring Fundraiser is taking place on Saturday, May 14th at Herzog Hall on the Petaluma Fairgrounds. Herzog Hall is a larger venue than we’ve used in the past and it’s just down the road from McKinley. Our goal is to have a sold out event with attendance from a wide representation of all our families!

As the Spring Fundraiser Community Engagement Chair(s) you will:

  • Help us spread the word about the event to all our families in creative ways including at drop off/pick up, Intercultural Café, Lion King performances, and ELAC meetings
  • Brainstorm and help secure 1-2 low-cost Buy-in Parties that will appeal to a wide range of families
  • Help plan and execute the raffle portion of our fundraiser

Would you like to learn more? Please reach out to Renee McArdle (VP Fundraising) or (707) 338-7757

Host A Buy-In Party or Donate Items for Our Spring Fundraiser!

A Buy-In Party is a fun event one or multiple families host at a future date to help us raise funds. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis to McKinley families. The host families cover all expenses. Here are some ideas for kinds of parties a family could host to get you thinking:

Tasting party (Wine, bourbon, cheese, coffee, etc.)

Game board night

Karaoke night

Cooking class (prepare your favorite recipes!)

Guided hike and picnic

Farm-to-table meal

Dodgeball/soccer/basketball game

We are also looking for silent auction donations like gift baskets, tickets to professional sports games, vacation rentals, summer camps etc. Contact Erin Schlueter with your donations!

Shop and Donate at Rusty Hinges – Order by Monday, April 25th – Pick up on April 27th and 28th

Order a Provisions Bundle box which includes fresh produce, eggs, milk & dairy products, pastured protein and bread selections for a week. 20% of the proceeds will go to McKinley.

Pick up at Rusty Hinges Ranch on April 27th and 28th.

212 Chileno Valley Road, Petaluma CA 94952

Order Now and Learn More!

Join Us for a FREE Dinner at the McKinley Block Party - Thursday, April 28th

Mark your calendars to join your fellow McKinley families at school for a FREE Dinner on Thursday April 28th from 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the PTA Sponsored "McKinley Block Party"

Come for dinner, stay for community, leave enlightened!

Click here for more details on this fun, engaging evening!

Recess Playground Volunteers Wanted!

Do you want to help your teacher in a fun and rewarding way?

In a recent survey of McKinley staff, the #1 ask was for more parent support. One of the ways staff identified we could help is by volunteering out on the blacktop during recess and lunch, allowing staff more time to focus on meeting the complex needs of their students.

Just one recess (10:05 – 10:45 am) or lunchtime (11:45 am – 1:00pm) per week (more or less if you’d like), one-month commitment to start. We welcome a longer commitment.

Click here to sign up – grab a friend to join you, or plan to make new friends!

We need people like you on the PTA board next year!

Our McKinley PTA is run entirely by parent volunteers who are passionate about serving all of our children in the McKinley community. With a budget of over $100,000, we need dedicated volunteers to help us promote, support, advocate, and adopt new programs and maintain our existing programs for our incredible McKinley school!

We need YOU to step up and help us fill our board positions! We are looking for energetic and dedicated individuals to help fill positions for:

  • President
  • Financial Secretary
  • Communications
  • Parliamentarian
  • Fundraising

“I joined the PTA board because I wanted to feel like a part of my child’s school community. Over this year I have had a fast track to getting to know the amazing school staff, parents, and have had a front row seat on how we can allocate our PTA funds. It has been incredibly rewarding.” -Emily Oh

Want to learn more? Email Emily Oh at

Earn donations for McKinley when you shop at no additional cost to you!

  1. Shop at Petaluma Market or Oliver’s Markets: these grocers will donate 2.5% of your purchase amount to the McKinley PTA if you have the Store’s Community Card. Learn how to get started

  2. Shop on Amazon: Shop through and the charity of your choice will receive a portion of your purchase.

    Follow these instructions
    to add McKinley as your chosen non-profit. You may also configure your Amazon mobile app to ensure all your purchases are credited to our school.

  3. Scan your grocery receipts with the BoxTops app: Did you know you can now easily collect BoxTops on your phone? Simply scan your receipts with eligible items using the BoxTops app and you are done. No more clipping!

    Follow the full instructions here
    to get started!

Details About the Petaluma Council of PTAs

Hello McKinley Community,

Please find the following Frequently Asked Questions regarding PTA Council.

The McKinley PTA will be voting to participate in the PTA Council in our April meeting.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Emily Oh at