Happy New Year to all, and welcome 2019! As promised, I would like to take the opportunity to lead January’s McKinley Monthly with a recap of our parent listening session.
As part of the District Equity Plan, all schools will have at least two Family Listening Sessions this year. The purpose of these sessions is to give families the opportunity to speak about the positive experiences and challenging experiences they have had in our district. It is our chance to hear the perspective of important stakeholders as to how they view our schools and their children’s experiences.
During the sessions, there is an open forum time, as well as a time to brainstorm strategies and ideas to begin to address some of the challenges. McKinley had its first equity listening session on December 4th. A group of about 20 parents attended. Tracy Carus, our school equity coach, headed up the meeting. She asked people to write down what they loved about McKinley and what they see as some of our challenges. After reflecting, people shared out in the large group. We had a very diverse group of parents, which opened up some good conversation, including topics of race and ability. Then, we split into three small groups to get suggestions for improvement.
The conversations were enlightening. One recurring theme was the exceptional and caring staff. We also heard much about what do we do, and can do, to make sure that all families feel welcome.
One point that came up was that the community is unaware of the work our staff has been engaged in around the topic of equity. During the past two years, all staff attended sessions/trainings focusing on understanding their own identities and implicit bias. Also, staff meetings have included topics about:
culturally relevant teaching,
honoring culture and tradition,
Universal Design for Learning,
and trauma sensitive schools.
Some staff members have participated in book studies; others have attended conferences to gain more insight and knowledge in these areas. In at least three classrooms teachers are piloting an anti-bias curriculum created by the Anti-Defamation League.
Another point of conversation focused on how we welcome new families. Positives include building tours and the PTO mentoring program; yet, there is still a sense of disconnect for some families. Mrs. Carus, the equity team members who attended, and I have shared the information with our equity team, with the full staff, and will share a few ideas with the PTO at the January 10th meeting.
This is work that we are very committed to, and we are excited to bring parents into the conversation. We will have our second listening session on April 23rd from 6-7:30 p.m.; however, if you would like to talk about this sooner, don’t feel you need to wait. I am open to having the conversation anytime! Look for reminders and childcare sign up in March.
Thank you for all of the time, effort, and love you give! This is one more step along our journey to becoming the best we can be for all students at McKinley!
*** McK Attendance Line 773-1502 ***
Dates to Remember
Please mark these dates on your calendar:
Jan 10 - PTO meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Jan 16 - Kindergarten registration 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Jan 17 - Kindergarten registration 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Jan 21 - No Classes JK-12; MLK Day
Jan 22 - Change to a Monday schedule
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.
New Visitor/Sign-in System
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.
Ms. Kumferman's Korner
News from your School Social Worker
As part of our comprehensive guidance program, all 5th grade students throughout our district create an Academic and Career Portfolio to assist them with the transition to middle school. My intern, Amanda Josephson, and I deliver weekly lessons in each of our 5th grade classrooms throughout the months of January, February and March. Each student creates a personal site where we explore things such as interests, strengths, challenges, organization, time management, possible careers, goal setting, and building friendships. This process culminates with each student presenting his/her Academic and Career Portfolio during a conference later this spring where parents/guardians are invited. This is the 9th year of this initiative and the feedback from both parents and students has been very positive.
Check out this link for Family-Friendly ideas to get you through another Wisconsin winter:
Find winter sports in Wauwatosa:
Free or low-cost things to do in Milwaukee and Waukesha during January:
2019 FAMILY FREE DAYS
Jan. 5, Feb. 2, March 2, Oct. 5, Nov. 2, Dec. 7, 2019
9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
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.
Sodexo School Services
Wauwatosa School District
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:
FOX TV6 NEWS WTMJ – TV
CBS 58 WDJT-TV WISN-TV 12
News about the North Playground
Buildings and Grounds attempted to repair the slide that was cracked; however, the repair failed. We have the slide boarded off so that it cannot be used. A new slide has been ordered. The monkey bar structure has also been ordered.
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
Follow this link for helpful information about how to help your kids with the new math.