Notes From Your Principal

September 16, 2022 ~ Volume 3, 2022-23

So Much to be Thankful For...

Just the other day, I was speaking to a parent about how different the beginning of this year has been compared to last year. While school was in full swing inside the buildings, it was very quiet outside. No events, no parents. And Zoom was our best friend. In comparison, in the last ten days we've had at least a half dozen different events on campus, and in person (or hybrid). From Back to School Night, to Picture Day, to our Back to School BBQ & Movie Night, to the last of our Kindergarten Play Dates, our first General PTA meeting of the year, and now Parent~Teacher conferences for our 4th and 5th grade students...Is anyone else tired? All of these events could not have taken place without YOU, our amazing parent community. We are so grateful to be supported by you. Thank you to all the parents who either coordinated, volunteered, or attended any (and for some, ALL) of these events.

But...we're not done! This coming week continues as Parent~Teacher Conferences for all students kindergarten through 5th grade. All of our students dismiss at 1:30pm. Please make arrangements for your child to be picked up. Our two main gates along Paloma will be open for you to enter. These conferences are a wonderful opportunity for you and our teachers to discuss goals for your child/-ren, share concerns, and partner with us in a successful educational year.

ELAC & School Site Council

As mentioned in my last newsletter, the McKinley School Site Council (SSC) is a group of teachers, parents, and classified school employees that works with the McKinley principal to develop, review, and evaluate school improvement programs and school budgets. The McKinley SSC welcomes input and ideas from the entire McKinley School community.

We are currently looking for parent members to join for the 2022-23 school year. We have had a few parents show interest. (Thank you!) We have three parent positions open. However, one position we do need to fill on the Council is a parent who has children for whom their primary language is something other than English. If you have a child/children who speak another language at home (even if their English is good now), we would love to have you. Please reach out to me <> or our Site Council President, Joanna Storey <> if you have questions or are interested. We will need to hold an election in the near future, so please reach out soon. Each position is a three-year term.

Also, part of every school is an English Learner Advisory Council ("ELAC"). We meet every other month via Zoom. The Committee is responsible for:

  • Advising the principal and staff in the development of a site plan for our English Learners and submitting our plan to our School Site Council for consideration of inclusion in our SPSA (School Plan for Student Achievement).
  • Assisting in the development of the school-wide needs assessment
  • Ways to make parents aware of the important of regular school attendance (for our students)
  • We will then have the opportunity to elect/appoint at least one member to the District's ELAC ("DELAC")

We MUST have an I am looking to you to join us. Our first meeting will be on Zoom on September 28th. I hope to have as many parents of our English Learners in attendance, and I hope that at least one of you will come forward to represent the committee on our School Site Council.

. . . . . . . Monday Morning Meetings . . . . . . .

September 6 - Passcode: $P4^S6XN

September 12 - Passcode: NsfvY1@3

Attendance is Essential

September is Attendance Awareness Month. Consistent attendance helps your child increase their academic achievement, develop healthy life habits, avoid dangerous behaviors and have a better chance of graduating from high school.

Positive attendance isn't just attending, it's arriving to school on time. We have had just 16 days of school, yet have a collective total of 340 tardies, and 183 non-illness absences. In 16 days of school!!! We must do better by our students.

School starts at 8:30. Students must be in line then. While we know that Paloma can get backed up, we also open our gates at 8:15. Please plan on arriving earlier, and planning non-illness absences outside of our school days whenever possible.

Library Volunteers Needed

Our community has shared how important our library is to them. (We agree!) One way to support our library is to become a library volunteer. Helping our library team re-shelve books and other tasks, would allow them to spend more time directly with students. Library volunteers would need to be cleared volunteers (see below for "how" if you aren't yet cleared). Please fill out this form if you are interested, and someone will reach out to you. (Volunteers will not begin for a couple weeks.)

PTA Reflections Contest

Does your child enjoy art, music and dance or have an interest in writing, producing films and taking photos? Please encourage your children to have fun unleashing their inner artist with the PTA Reflections competition! This year’s theme, “Show your voice!,” calls for their own unique interpretation through the arts. Judging is based primarily on students' interpretation of the theme. In other words, it is more about self-expression than artistic prowess.

Parents, you can help your student submit their creations via the online form linked here. Please note that you must do this from a non-Burlingame School account, since it will be going outside of our closed email network. Using a parent's gmail account is perfect! Our deadline is November 18th at 5:00 pm.

For inspiration, visit the Reflections virtual art gallery and learn more about prizes and scholarships at

For parents looking for more information about the program, they can email our school PTA Reflections representative Iglika Boyanova at

This is the perfect year for this competition, and a wonderful chance at artistic expression for our kids. Please encourage your student to join!

RethinkWaste Poster Contest Now Open

Participants must be 3rd through 5th grade students in the RethinkWaste service area*. See the site for more information.


We currently have 119 cleared volunteers!!!! Thank you! McKinley Elementary loves our volunteers! If you are a new parent or did not get your volunteer clearance, I recommend you doing so. In order to get cleared you'll need three things:

  1. Either a negative TB test result of a Risk Assessment form signed off by a physician.
  2. Cleared fingerprints (Here is the form) We suggest going to the UPS store between Trousdale and Murchison, let them know you are coming from BSD.

Change: Proof of Covid-19 vaccinations IS NO LONGER NECESSARY.

You can either submit both to me to send to Alison Bell, or you can send them to her directly at <>.

Another Tik Tok Challenge

It has come to our attention that there is a new viral challenge going around called the "One Chip Challenge." The super spicy chip comes in a package with multiple health warnings and is sold at many convenience stores. Some reports include students getting violently ill after eating a chip causing hyperventilation, racing heart rates and collapsing.

Please speak to your child/-ren about not participating in this challenge.

Important Upcoming Dates/Events

We certainly are hitting the ground running at McKinley. Besides all the amazing things happening in our classrooms, we have a whole lot going on to put on your calendars:

  • Monday - Friday, Sept. 19 - 23 - Parent~Teacher Conferences (K-5), 1:30pm Dismissal
  • Monday, Sept. 26 - Kindergarten begins 3pm dismissals (2pm on Tuesdays)
  • Wednesday, Sept. 28 - ELAC Meeting (Zoom link)
  • Monday, Oct. 3 - First All-School Recognition Assembly (more information coming)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 4 - BSD Special Board Meeting, 5pm
  • Thursday, Oct. 6 - Make-up Picture Day
  • Monday, Oct. 10 - Non-student Day, Professional Development for Staff
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11 - BSD Monthly Board Meeting
  • Wednesday, Oct. 12 - School Site Council (Zoom)
  • Thursday, Oct. 13 - PTA Executive Board Meeting
  • Friday, Oct. 14 - Principal Cafecito (Zoom) + Harvest Festival Auction Begins

For other important dates, please see our school calendar.

From the San Mateo County Office of Education

Are you an immigrant? You need to hear this!

Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 5:30pm–6:30pm; Hosted in Spanish.

Did you recently immigrate and are you Latino? Don't miss this talk with Michelle Remond, Community Liaison, Redwood City School District, to talk about the grief that immigrants experience when they are in another country. Because being an immigrant is hard and everything is so different! Learn more.

The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It

September 22, 5:30pm–6:30pm

While most of us do everything we can to reduce or avoid stress, Stanford health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD, delivers a startling message: Stress isn’t all bad. New research shows that stress can make us stronger, smarter, and happier—if we learn how to embrace it. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available. Learn more English | Spanish.

Learning by Heart: Creating “Innovation-Ready” Students for the Future

October 6, 5:30pm6:30pm

In a world where knowledge has become a free commodity, students need the capacity to solve problems creatively—in a word, to innovate. Tony Wagner, PhD, global expert in education and bestselling author, will discuss how we can prepare our students to bring the skills of innovation to whatever they do. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available. Learn more English | Spanish.

Thank you for all your support. ~Joy Shmueli

BCE Needs Our Support

BCE Fall Drive in Underway!

Please join fellow parents and give during the BCE Fall Drive to support our school! Your investment helps fund teacher salaries and critical programs to ensure your student has every opportunity for a bright future.

Families that contribute any amount receive a Fall Drive lawn sign (while supplies last) to join the community in a show of support for our schools.

Save the Date for BCE's Annual Fundraising Gala and Live Auction - November 5

We're excited to announce that the BCE Annual Fundraising Gala has moved to the fall and will take place on Saturday, November 5, 2022, at the exquisite Domenico Winery in San Carlos. We are currently seeking Live Auction items and volunteers. More details about the event will be provided soon, but for now, save the date!