McKinley Monthly

February 2019

Dear McKinley Families,

Well, what weather we’ve been having! After such a mild start to winter, getting socked with snow and then cold that closed us down in January, I write this with a current temperature of 46 degrees Fahrenheit--melting the snow--but cold weather coming back as the week progresses. Please keep an eye on the temperatures and weather conditions and continue to send kids with appropriate gear. The old adage “there is no bad weather, just bad clothing choices” seems to be getting somewhat of a challenge these days! What will the district decide about make-up days? Our snow make-up day, May 24, will be a school day for everyone. The rest of the days are yet to be determined. I will keep you posted if I find out anything soon.

In January more of our staff members attended Equity Training, and we continue to learn and grow as a staff with book studies geared toward learning more about working with students who have experienced trauma, honing our mathematics teaching skills, providing stronger writing instruction, and more. I am proud of the work that our staff has been engaged in: continuous learners striving to make McKinley the best possible place for all students to experience exceptional academic and social growth.

February will prove to be full of wonderful opportunities for learning and play. As in the past, conferences this spring, February 14th and 19th are by request and available to any parents who would like to meet with classroom teachers. If you have not received a Signup Genius link from your child’s teacher, please contact them to receive it. Also, please see the specials teachers conference hours listed in this newsletter. They appreciate seeing parents too!

Remember, no school February 18th.

Wednesday, February 22nd is Winter Walk to School Day and February 28th is our Art Night/Open House/Empty Bowls event. The Open House is 5-6:30, where students can give their parents a tour of the building and show off their learning spaces. Student art created this year will be displayed throughout the building. The Empty Bowls event also begins at 5 and goes until 7 p.m.; it will offer soup and bread to eat and ceramic bowls made by staff and students for purchasing. Mrs. Leigh and the parent committee have been working hard to make this fundraiser for the Hunger Task Force a successful event!

With Valentine's Day February 14th and Random Acts of Kindness Day February 17th, I wish you all a month of love and laughter, heartfelt connections, and an abundance of warm friendships. I see these everyday in this building - students supporting students, teachers and staff supporting students, teachers and staff supporting each other, parents supporting kids, teachers, staff. The connectedness of the McKinley community is something to be proud of and to continue to foster. I continue to explode with gratitude for all we have to celebrate in this caring community.

Happy February, everyone!

Mrs. Hoffmann

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

Dates to Remember

Please mark these dates on your calendar:

Feb 6 - Wacky Wednesday - dress wacky!

Feb 6 - Whitman Orientation & Registration

Feb 14 & 19 - Elementary Conferences 4:30-8 p.m.

Feb 18 - No Classes

Feb 22 - Winter Walk to School day

Feb 28 - Art Night/Empty Bowls/Open House

Whitman Registration!

Calling all fifth graders!

Elementary Music Electives Registration for the 2019-2020 School Year

Attention Families of 3rd and 4th Grade Students:

Registration for Music Electives for the 2019-20 school year is open now until February 15th. An informational brochure and registration form will be sent home with your child soon. Please fill out and return the registration form indicating their choice of participation by February 15th.

Options for music electives for next school year are:

Choir- 4th and 5th grade

Orchestra- 4th and 5th grade

Band- 5th grade only

If you have any questions please contact the school office or the music teachers at your child’s school.

Specialists Conference Schedule

Art, Phy Ed, Music, Language, and Speech

Art Night, Empty Bowls, and Open House

We are looking for parents who are interested in helping at our Art Night/Empty Bowls/Open House which will be at McKinley on February 28. Please help out by clicking here.

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. Please click here to volunteer.

Spring Concert Front Row Ticket Raffle

Enjoy Front Row Seats on May 21st, 7:00 p.m. for the 4th & 5th Grade (Band, Orchestra, Choir) Spring Concert! Two seats will be awarded to Two Lucky Winners.

This year the Raffle Ticket sales will be a fundraiser benefiting the 5th Grade Completion Ceremony & Celebration held on June 13th.

Raffle Tickets will be sold on February 19th, 4:30-8:00 p.m. during evening Conferences, as well as the evening of February 28th, 5:00-7:00 p.m. during the Empty Bowls/Open House event.

*** If there are any 5th grade students and parents who would like to sell tickets on the 19th or 28th, please contact Suzana Gossett: 414-759-3959 or email:

Ms. Kumferman’s Korner

News from your School Social Worker

Happy February! This month’s focus is on nurturing your child’s mental health! My intern, Amanda, and I continue to talk with students about the importance of growing our brains in all sorts of ways, not just academically. Social and emotional growth is important, too! We might help students talk through their feelings about a particular situation, help them with problem solving, practice tools for calming, or even facilitate a conflict resolution process. These are all important skills to help nurture a child’s mental health and advocate for specific needs. Here are some examples of how you can help to support your child. Helping a child to feel good about himself/herself is a lifelong skill!

Big picture
Girls on the Run!

New season starting in March!

PTO Help Needed

Kids Trivia Night needs a chair! Almost all the work is taken care of.

Family Fun Fest needing help with volunteer coordination and carnival game coordination!

Please contact Lindsay Stadler if you can help at or (414) 345-7028.

McKinley Chess Team

On January 26, McKinley chess kids participated in Golda Meir's annual tournament. They did great!

In the K-4 division, all three kids were playing in their first tournament. Usually we tell kids: your goal is one win! They sure surpassed that goal! As a team, with only 3 players (the top 4 scores count, so you want to have 4 on a team if you can...), they took 2nd place!

  • Third grader Sawyer H went 3.5 out of 5 and took home the 5th place trophy.
  • First grader Carl B finished close behind, with 3 out of 5, earning 7th place.
  • Second grader Will D also had 3 out of 5, earning 9th place out of the 27 kids in the division.

In the K-8 division. we had a team of exactly 4 who also took 2nd place, against several other bigger teams. These kids also did really well. Note that these kids had to "play up" against kids as old as 8th grade.

  • Charlie D won 4 out of 5 games to take the 5th place trophy!
  • Marissa B won 3 games taking 17th out of the 50 kids in the division!
  • Miles J and Connor D added 2 wins apiece to the team- nice work!

In the OPEN division, which means our kids had to face kids all the way up to Senior in High School, we did really well also with TWO individual trophies (Max and Ishaan) and 3rd place (ONE POINT OUT OF FIRST) as a team.

  • Max K finished 3rd with 4 out of 5 wins!
  • Ishaan P finished 4th, also with 4 out of 5 wins.
  • Zach B, Jack S, and Kate F added 5 points to help the team

Great job, McKinley Chess Kids!

The next tournament we are targeting is DISCOVERY WORLD on the lakefront on Feb 17. After that, our OWN tournament on March 2 at McKinley!

Spring Break Camp

Right at School's Spring Break Camp!

Plastic Cap Collection

In another effort to positively impact our world and prevent plastics contamination in the world, we are partnering with Green Tree Plastics, collecting plastic caps in exchange for a recycled outdoor table and bench. Acceptable cap examples are plastic drink bottle caps (paper liners are ok) lids from food containers like coffee cans, peanut butter jars, butter tubs, tops from spray cans, and caps from liquid laundry detergent. Please rinse them before sending to school. There is a receptacle outside the office near the other collection bins. Unacceptable items include ANY metal, pumps, or fast food cup lids. Thank you for your Green Efforts!
Waste Not Composting Service

For those of you interested in composting at home.

Hunger Task Force

The McKinley Messengers received a thank you letter from the Hunger Task Force. The McKinley food drive collected and donated 1200 pounds of food! Here is a little snippet from the letter:

Through this gift, your organization has demonstrated profound caring and concern for those in need - those in your own community. As your partner in the fight against hunger, we continue to promise that your gift will help families, seniors and children get the healthy food they need during the toughest of times.

Good job, McKinley!


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

New Visitor/Sign-in System

All Wauwatosa Schools have updated their Raptor systems to sign in visitors and volunteers. Please be aware that all visitors and volunteers will need to have their drivers' licenses scanned in again with this new software. Thank you for your help with this transition.

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.

Volunteer Application

ANYONE volunteering at McKinley needs to have this done two weeks before they plan to be here.

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

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:



Big picture

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:

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.

Big picture