Dear McKinley Families,
I hope everyone was able to get a little rest and relaxation over the break! As we move into April with some lovely weather and some showers, we find spring is springing forth in all her glory!
Now that we are past the one year mark on our pandemic, it is interesting to look back and recognize all of that we have been through. We are still not in the clear, pandemically-speaking, but these past few weeks have felt a little more normal in regard to teaching and learning than much of the first two trimesters. We have almost completed Forward Exam testing for all 3rd-5th graders, and PALS assessments will begin later this month for our JK-2nd grade students. People often ask me what I am seeing. I am seeing wonderfully engaged students who are learning at high levels and teachers who are working harder than ever before to be sure all kids are getting what they need. Given all of the changes that students and staff have been through this year, I would say that resilience abounds! The assessments that students are taking will give us some academic information to look at this summer. I want to offer praise to our whole staff. It has been one heck of a year so far, but they are hanging in there and making sure that they are doing all they can for the children of McKinley.
We are excited for our second Zoom assembly coming up next week Thursday: Matt Wilhelm, BMX Guinness World Record Holder and National Champion. Matt talks about how he uses a growth mindset to improve a little bit every day to become the best that he can be. Thursday, April 15th is also Severe Weather Day in Wisconsin. We will not be moving students into tornado shelter spaces as we have in years past, but teachers will be talking about tornado safety. Be sure to have a plan at home as well!
April 30th is a spirit day--celebrating our favorite sports--and we will have our modified High Interest Day. Thanks to parents Erin Kell and Jacki Rynish-Knapp for coordinating the event which will include the following activities:
JK & SK - Beekeeping, Yoga
1st Grade - Beekeeping, Yoga, Origami
2nd & 3rd Grade - Origami, Kindness Rocks, Karate
4th Grade - Origami, Karate, Mathnasium Activity
5th Grade - No Sew Pillows, Candy Bouquets, Mathnasium Activity
Several fully-vaccinated building volunteers have asked to start volunteering again; however, our restrictions are not yet lifted. We will keep you updated if/as things change. Meanwhile, a reminder to everyone to continue to follow guidelines and protocol: continue to emphasize proper mask wearing, social distancing (now 3 feet for elementary students), and frequent hand washing. I hope we can make it to the end of the year with no further COVID-related disruptions!
Happy Spring to you all!
Wondering about Concerts?
For the health and safety of our students, families, and community, there will be no elementary concerts for the remainder of the school year. Music teachers are continuing to provide innovative and engaging lessons and virtual opportunities to our students so that their learning can flourish in new ways. It is our hope that opportunities such as in-person concerts and early morning rehearsals will be able to resume in the 2021-2022 school year.
USDA Summer Food Service Program
The Wauwatosa School District is pleased to announce the sponsorship of the Summer Food Service Program. As part of this program, free meals will be made available to children 18 years of age and under. Individuals 18+ years old who are determined by a state or local public educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who also participate in a public or private non-profit school program during the regular school year may receive free meals as well. This summer, meals can be picked up at Whitman and Longfellow Middle Schools on Wednesdays from 9 - 11 am. Click here to place meal orders or see the Virtual Learners Lunch Request Form in the Quick Links section of the district website (www.wauwatosaschools.org). Meals are provided to eligible children regardless of race, color, national origin, age, gender or disability and there will be no discrimination in the course of meal service. The district will continue serving the free meals for the remainder of the school year. More information about the Summer Food Service Program can be found here.
Celebrating all abilities!
Did you know that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) did not become law until 1990? The fight began decades earlier and gained steam in 1977 with the passing of the Rehabilitation Act, which was modeled after other laws around discrimination. If you want to know more, here is a fact sheet.
This month we want to recognize that we all have many abilities. Here are just 2 among many that remind us of what people can do, not what they cannot do.
World Down Syndrome Day was March 21st.
World Autism Awareness Day is April 2nd.
Please take a look at this slide show with many great ideas, created by the parent equity committee from the Wilson/WSTEM PTSA.
Some book suggestions from Meegan Archambo:
PIcture book suggestions
All the Way to the Top : How One Girl's Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything, by Annette Bay Pimentel
My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay, by Cari Best
Rescue & Jessica : a Life-Changing Friendship, by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes
Chapter Book suggestions
The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree by Paola Peretti. When ten-year-old Mafalda learns she will go blind in six months from a disease, she keeps a list of all the activities she likes to do and hides the progression of her disease from everyone. She plans to go live in a cherry tree like her favorite book character when her sight disappears for good. But as her sight worsens, her family and friends help her find a way to retain what is essential to her
How to Speak Dolphin, by Ginny Rorby. Since her mother died, twelve-year-old Lily has struggled to care for her severely autistic half-brother, Adam, in their Miami home, but she is frustrated and angry because her oncologist step-father, Don, expects her to devote her time to Adam, and is unwilling to admit that Adam needs professional help--but when Adam bonds with a young dolphin with cancer Lily is confronted with another dilemma: her family or the dolphin's freedom.
Ms. Kumferman’s Korner-News from your School Social Worker
Greetings from Ms. Kumferman and Mrs. Mals! Can you believe it’s April already? Our year is going quickly and we can’t wait for warmer weather! A topic we continue to talk to students about is empathy. Empathy is being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand why they may be thinking or feeling a certain way. This skill can be very important for someone to have in their toolbox. Empathy is a continuous topic during our Zones of Regulation and Second Step lessons. A great way adults can help children learn empathy is by modeling it. By doing this children will see the skills and mirror them, thus learning by example. In the picture below you can see some additional ways to help your child learn why empathy is important and how to implement empathy into their daily lives. As always, please feel free to contact either of us if you have any questions or need additional resources. Rachel firstname.lastname@example.org , MaryBeth email@example.com
Whitman Dance Team Tryout forms below
See Below for Programs at the Tosa Library
** 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)
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.