McKinley Monthly

December 2018

Dear Families,

Welcome December--the holiday season is officially upon us! The tree lighting last Friday was delightful. The kids did great singing for the crowd in the Village from atop the hill at St. Bernard’s. The tree this year is pretty small, but Mayor Ehley explained that in a few years it will be as tall as the one it replaced. With the early Thanksgiving, it seems we have plenty of time before the winter break, but this year is going by fast, so I’m sure it will be here in a flash!

This is a busy month, but before I get into details, once again I want to remind parents about the importance of monitoring children’s screen time and viewing habits. While there are many wonderful and educational videos to watch on the Internet, one particular worry that some of our teachers have encountered involve students mimicking a highly inappropriate YouTube channel that children find funny. The video features a puppet, Jeffy, and his dad Mario. It is couched in silliness to start but then deteriorates into vulgar language, highly inappropriate actions, and even dangerous scenarios (in one episode a highly dysregulated Jeffy ties a noose around his neck because his dad will not give him a game that he wants). The puppet wears a diaper and helmet, smokes a cigarette, and is said to be making fun of people who have intellectual disabilities. The puppet is also a big holiday gift request, so be aware if your children are asking for this.

Be sure you are taking time for self-care during this busy season. We are all better for our children when we are well rested and taking care of our own needs. The district offers a Student and Family Assistance Program at no charge to students and families for those who would like assistance with a variety of concerns such as parenting issues and questions, dealing with anxiety and depression, stress management, financial and legal consultation and more. Please visit the informational page on the district’s website for information.

This is a busy week. Tuesday evening our Equity Team will host the first Family Listening Session on Equity in room 13 from 6-7 p.m. Then Thursday, December 6th, we look forward to the Secret Holiday Workshop after school from 3:20-6:30. Over 30 vendors will be in the gym selling their handmade items. Everything is priced below $10 so that students can do their holiday shopping. Green Team members sell recycled art, and orchestra students provide entertainment. The Brownies will be on hand to help younger students shop and even take them to the gift-wrap table, so that parents and siblings can be surprised. There will also be a bake sale, hot chocolate, and raffle table! 100% of the proceeds raised will support a family in need over the holidays. Parents, too, will find many gifts worth giving or even items for yourself! If you haven’t been to this event, this is the year to check it out!

Concerts: SK through 3rd grade students perform their Winter Sing Concert on December 13th; and on December 14th grades 4 and 5, as well as the Orchestra, Band, and Choir will perform. Both concerts begin at 2 p.m. Please note that because students are at recess and our lunch area is still being cleaned until 12:50 on concert day, we would ask that parents, grandparents, and other family members and friends arrive at or after 1 p.m. for seating. We have to have all visitors sign in, so please enter the main entrance on 89th Street and sign in at the door. Bake Sale items will be available for purchase!

Tuesday folders will not come home until Friday, December 7th this week. Report cards will be inside. Along with the report card, you will receive a letter from the district explaining the removal of letter grades in 4th and 5th grade to be more consistent with our proficiency scale.

This is a lot of information. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at any time.

I look forward to seeing you all at the wonderful December events and wish you happiness and peace throughout the holiday season!

Mrs. Hoffmann

Dates to Remember

Please mark these dates on your calendar:

Dec 4 - Parent/Principal Listening Session 6-7 room 13

Dec 6 - Secret Holiday Workshop from 3:15-6:30 p.m.

Dec 13 - Winter Sing Grades SK-3 at 2 p.m.

Dec 14 - Winter Concert Grades 4 & 5 at 2 p.m.

Dec 24-Jan 1 - Winter Break; No Classes JK-12

Jan 2 - Back to School!

*** McK Attendance Line 773-1502 ***


Tuesday folders will be going home on Friday this week because they will contain student report cards. Don't miss them!

Prepare for the Weather!

We go outside every day, unless the weather is extreme. Please remember to send hats, coats, and gloves to school every day. When it snows, children need snow pants, boots, scarves, and gloves or mittens for playground play. Students without proper snow gear stay on the blacktop only during recess, which can be disappointing when there is a fresh pile of snow outside.

Our district rarely closes, since few students in the district stand outside to wait for buses. District policy is that a “feels like” temperature of 5 below is the standard for indoor recess; however, we will be reasonable with the call. Negative five degrees and sun with no wind after a week of 20 below can feel like a welcome heat wave; whereas, negative five with biting wind feels terrible for kids having to be out for 20 minutes. Before school we will continue to use the blue dots on the doors to help inform you if we need to be inside.

PBIS Food Drive

December 3rd through the 14th we are collecting non-perishable food items to support the Hunger Task Force. We are incorporating a healthy dose of competition into the food drive by having students place their donated items into the bucket for their teacher of choice--the teacher with the most food items in their bucket by the end of the drive will be duct taped to the wall as part of our behavior incentive for the month of December!

The Hunger Task force also passed along the following information regarding what to donate:

"Last January, we became the first food bank in the nation to follow the USDA’s nutrition guidelines in our food distribution to emergency food pantries. We are distributing only healthy food items that focus on the 5 main food groups – vegetables, fruit, protein, whole grains, and dairy. As you may have noticed from the registration form, the three key items we are really focusing on this fall and asking people to donate include:

    • Low sodium canned vegetables (green beans, corn)
    • Low or no sugar added cereal
    • Canned chicken or tuna (in water)"
Vision Screenings

McKinley on Jan 28 for SK & 5th Graders

Chess Results from the Folk Fair tournament

In K-3, we had four participants - Ben L., Marissa B., Matthew R., and Anthony B.. This team took home the 1st place trophy, with Ben L. (in his FIRST TOURNAMENT) winning four of his five games, Marissa with her usual great outing, also with 4 points, and two more newcomers, Matthew and Anthony, adding 2 and 1.5 points to the team total. Ben took 2nd place in the division, and Marissa earned the 4th place trophy. Great job K-3 kids!

In K-6, we also took 1st place as a team. Jack S. led the way with 4/5 wins, taking 2nd place individual. Connor D. just missed a trophy, earning three wins and taking 6th. Derius L., Lukas M., and Elliot E. also had three wins. Charlie D., Brady M., Henry R. and Jamo B. added two wins to the team total.

In K-12, normally for high school kids, we decided to pull four of our kids from K-6 and "play up". Our four kids were up to the challenge, taking 1st place as a team to complete our "tournament sweep"! Ishaan P. led the way with 4 out of 5 wins, taking the 4th place trophy. Max K. and Zach B.won three games, and Henry Ro. added 2.5 points for the winning K-12 team.

Great job McKinley! Next tournament: Dec 1 - Muskego Melee and Dec 8 - Nicolet.

New Menu App

I am excited to bring to you our new food service menu app called SoHappy. The free app is available to download from the Apple store or Google Play. It just takes a few simple steps to get set up, and you will have access to daily menus, nutritional and allergen information, and so much more. I believe this interactive platform will be a great time saver for those families who are on the go and need access to this type of information.

Joe Maiorelle

Sodexo School Services

Wauwatosa School District

PBIS November Respect Video (below)

School Closings

We rarely close due to cold as most of our students do not stand out at a bus stop. We will allow students into the buildings early and remain in for recess if temperatures are dangerously low. According to the National Weather Service wind chill chart, it is safe to be outside for short periods of time with proper clothing at -17 temp/wind chill. We generally use -5 temp/wind chill as our cut off as to when we keep students in. As always, if parents feel it is too dangerous to send their children to school, that is their call.

Information about the closing of schools will be posted on the District website and broadcast on the following area TV stations and their radio affiliates:




Be in the know! Check out the McKinley and community flyers on our website!

A Reminder from VIP

It's not too late to order your school portraits!

Just follow these simple steps:

1. Go to

2. Type in the name of your school

3. Click on "School Portraits View & Order"

4. Enter either your students name and ID number OR if you received a reorder card, enter that gallery password.

Your image will appear and an order can be placed.

For further assistance, please contact Visual Image Photography at 262.375.4457

Parent/Principal Listening Session

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As you may know, the Wauwatosa School District has adopted its first District Equity Plan. In brief, this plan consists of five main pillars developed through extensive dialogues with the Wauwatosa School District’s Equity team. It also has its theory of action tied to the Culturally Proficient Schools and Administration Offices policy 5440. The team created the following five pillars:

  1. Empower all students to achieve their own academic vision/goals and encourage excellence in education for all;

  2. Increase and improve cultural awareness/competence of all teachers, administrators, and staff;

  3. Ensure a welcoming, safe, inclusive, and equitable school environment for all, where we value all students and respect their differences;

  4. Recruit, hire, and retain teachers, administrators, and staff of color; and,

  5. Strengthen parent and community partnerships.

In regard to Pillar 5, Strengthen Parent and Community Partnerships, I would like to invite you to a sharing opportunity in an open dialogue format. On December 4, 2018 from 6:00-7:00 pm I invite you to share your thoughts about your family’s overall experience at McKinley.

I hope that the results of this meeting will guide our future equity work at McKinley. I will share the results of the meeting in future newsletter. If you have any questions about the meeting, please contact me at 414-773-1500. I look forward to this opportunity.


Jean Hoffmann

Updates from your PBIS Tier 2 Team…..

Our Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Tier 2 Team consists of Jennifer Botelho (4th gr teacher), Jeremy Roloff (PE teacher), Rachel Kumferman (Social Worker), Jean Hoffmann (Principal), and Karen Lonski (Psychologist). We meet monthly and our focus is to look at student behavior data and implement various strategies to help all students be successful.

This month, we attended our final PBIS Tier 2 training at the district level. We looked at our student behavior data, function of behavior and focused on identifying one specific, targeted behavior at a time. We also discussed continuation of our McKinley Mentoring Program. This is our 8th year and this program is designed to pair a student with a McKinley staff member who has chosen to serve as a mentor. Students who might need an extra positive adult relationship are suggested by staff members and then paired up based on who volunteers. Mentors meet with students about once a week.

Gym Shorts - Your Monthly Guide to McKinley Physical Education

Hello families! We hope you and your kids had a great Thanksgiving break. We are very thankful for all of our McKinley students and families. Students at all levels worked very hard on improving their throwing skills throughout the month of November. Along with those skills comes a number of fun throwing game activities. This also ends up being a great time to reinforce good sportsmanship during this time as well. We will begin floor hockey skills and activities with all grade levels after the break.

With the recent cold spell we would once again like to remind you to make sure your kids have their proper footwear on gym days. It is important to have proper footwear for the safety of them and the other students in class. The proper footwear is any shoe that has a rubber sole, covers the toes, and stays fastened on the child’s foot when they are actively moving.

Lastly, we would love for all of you to consider following our twitter account for daily updates on things happening inside the gym. We are McKinley PE. Twitter handle: @McKinley_PE

Mr. Roloff and Mr. Zank

Ms. Kumferman's Korner

News from your School Social Worker

This month, I thought it might be good to highlight some organizations that not only provide resources to individuals/families within our Milwaukee County community, but also have opportunities for you to give back. Check out the following links and websites to see how you can participate!

Tosa Cares:
local organization in Wauwatosa that does monthly food packings. See Tosa Cares section in the newsletter for items that are needed and how to donate or volunteer your time.

Independence First Rox Sox drive: donate new socks for men, women, and children December 11th from 3-5pm at Independence First located at 540 S. 1st St., Milwaukee

St. Vincent de Paul meal site: contact LaDonna Quarles at 414-374-4095 or to volunteer to prep and serve dinner (Sundays through Fridays from 5:30-6:15)

Milwaukee Rescue Mission: list of items needed, donations accepted at Kilbourn and 19th street Monday through Saturday 8am-8pm, True Value Hardware 8010 N 76th St, or Exxon exit 57 West 141/45

Ronald McDonald House- Families can donate to their wish list on their website or by contacting them at 414-475-5333, or you can make and serve dinner or weekend brunch to families staying at the House. If you’d like to plan/serve a meal, please contact Maggie Flint at 414-935-6520.

Cards For Children's Hospital

We would like to thank everyone who joined Right at School in creating cards for the patients at Children's Hospital. We had set a goal of creating 200 cards and I'm very proud to announce that on November 21st I was able to deliver 297 cards to Children's Hospital. Again thank you for taking some time out of your day to help brighten a child's day.

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Art Night, Empty Bowls, and Open House

We are looking for parents who are interested in helping Ms. Leigh, the art teacher, with making bowls which will be sold at our Art Night/Empty Bowls/Open House which will be at McKinley on February 28. She will need extra parent help in the art room starting in November. Some of the tasks will include prepping clay, assisting students while working, loading/unloading kilns, mounting and hanging art work throughout the school. Please considering helping out!

Empty Bowls is a national event, held locally every year with the purpose of remembering there are people in our communities who's bowls are empty. This year Milwaukee Empty Bowls is celebrating its 20th year. At our Empty Bowl night, the bowls will be wrapped in paper so the bowl you purchase will be a surprise. Students bring home various projects throughout the year from art class - this is a time to promote service to others.

This night will combine our Open House which is usually in November with our Art Night and reviving a previous event - Empty Bowls. You will be able to see your child's classroom and specialists rooms. Art work will be hung in the hallways around school. The bowls made by McKinley's 3rd-5th grade students will be available for purchase to raise money for Tosa Cares. The dinner portion of the night needs volunteers to plan and coordinate. Please contact Ms. Leigh or Mrs. Garder to volunteer.

Safe Routes to School video

Office Max / Office Depot Gives Back

This year Office Max and Office Depot stores are offering local schools the opportunity to partner in a fundraising activity. For McKinley, 5% of all purchases made by parents or teachers for the entire year will be donated to the school in the form of a merchandise credit. Our master ID # is 70113794.

* * 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​ or phone 414-861-4725, or you can just show up on one of these dates.

2019 dates:

Jan 12th

March 9th

April 27th

June 15th

August 10th

October 5th

November 23rd

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:

Here is a list of the most needed items:

  • ​Cereal
  • 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
PTO Newsletter

Click here to read our PTO's newsletter.

A Cool Math Video for Parents

Follow this link for helpful information about how to help your kids with the new math.

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