October 18th, 2021

Una nota de la Sra. Larson/ A note from Mrs. Larson

Dear McKinley Community,

Thank you for all my wonderful treats this past week. Having an AWESOME lunch sitting on my desk last week was beyond thoughtful. I felt very appreciated in the week of the administrator. I am so lucky to work in this beautiful community.

We are still working on getting through the last year and a half. My responsibilities as a principal are many. Taking care of families, students and staff are some of my most important work. One that I take very seriously is the support of our excellent staff. Twenty-four years in education, I see the toll that it takes on many educators. We are blessed to have a wonderful group of educators and support staff that cares deeply for our students.

For me to do this work, I need your help. When I started teaching 24 years ago, there wasn't access to teachers like there is today. With apps like parent square or emails, we have 24 hr. access to the staff. Many who work long hours. I am asking that you honor our teacher's time with their families. Please do not message them after 4:30 pm or on the weekend. I know it's simple; they could not look at it. But that's not who our staff are. They find themselves checking emails and parent square messages at all times. When a message is about a complaint or concern, they find themselves worrying and trying to solve the problem, distracting them from their family time. It's just in their nature to be problem solvers.

Two strategies that might be helpful if later on at night is the best time for you to write a message:

1. Send the message to me, and I will address it when we get to school.

2. Have a draft ready to send at the appropriate time.

I appreciate your help in keeping our staff healthy for our students. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any concerns.

Warm Regards,

Ani Larson


If you haven't heard the AMAZING news PACS is the #1 Middle school in California. First of all, to the teachers, staff, administration, families, and students past and present at the Petaluma Accelerated Charter School at McKinley (PACS). PACS was just recognized by US News and World Report as the “#1 Ranked Middle School” in the State of California. We are so proud to have this school and this dedicated group of educators in our District. Congratulations, PACS!

Salsa Festival Donations

We are Looking for donations this week! Can you bring in a Bag of Plain tortilla chips? Can you bring in Tomatoes? Each class will be making salsa and Spanish. We can't do this without your help. Donations can be brought to the office and Child's class.



Please note this is different than McKinley. If you have a McKinley student they have two weeks of Minimum days PACS only has 11/15 - 11/19.

  • Week of 11/8 - 11/12 NORMAL DISMISSAL TIME 3:05
  • Week of 11/15 - 11/19 Dismissal Time is 1:45

Fechas Importantes/Important dates

October 20th PTA General Meeting

October 25th Superintendent Chats @McKinley

October 26th Board of Education Meeting

October 28th Makeup Picture day

October 29th Intercultural Cafe

November 2nd Parent Ed night PCS

November 8th - 19th Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 11th Veterans Day

November 22nd - 28th Fall Break

ESSER lll Survey

We are working on developing programs and supports to address students' academic, social-emotional, and mental health needs. Additionally, we want to address the academic impact of lost instructional time and any gaps in students' learning. As such, we would like to gather more input from our community. Please take a few minutes to complete the very brief ESSER III Survey. There is more information about ESSER III in these Google Slides.


We need your help to ensure that schools receive important federal and/or state funding. All you need to do is complete one form and you can potentially provide our schools with an extra $1,700 per student! To complete the form online, go to Titan School Solutions and click “Apply For Meals Today,” find Petaluma City Schools, and complete the form. Once you finish, you're done! All information submitted as part of these forms is confidential and your social security number is not required. You can also find more information about completing the form, including printable versions, on the PCS Food Services Website.


Every Petaluma City Schools student now has a Student OneCard public library account! Students can use their PCS student ID number as a Sonoma County Library account. With this, students can:
  • Access 50+ electronic resources 24/7
  • Check out up to 10 books at a time from the public library without worrying about fines
  • Get free online tutoring in English and Spanish
  • And more
Find out more about Student OneCard on the Sonoma County Library website.

Plastic Recycling Challenge!

McKinley will be participating in the Trex plastic bag and film recycling challenge starting on Nov. 15th! We will be competing against other schools across the country to see if we can recycle the most plastic bags and film. The winning school will receive a new Trex bench! From Nov. 15th-April 15th (Earth Day) there will be bins at both entrances of the school for you to recycle your plastic bags and film.

Stay tuned for more information. Details of the program and what types of plastic are allowed can be found here.

Student Voice Forums

Recently, the Sonoma County Office of Education organized Student Voice Forums in an attempt to understand a variety of perspectives on our schools. In the same vein, PCS is organizing several secondary student voice forums to allow students to share their life experiences with our community of learners. Our first of several student forums will take place on November 16, 2021 at 6:00 PM and will highlight our Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) students. These forums are a great venue to hear directly from our BIPOC student community. If you are a student who is interested in sitting on the panel and sharing your thoughts, please contact our District Wellness Coordinator, Jimena Gomez, at

School Pictures and Make up picture day

Thank you all for your patience with Makeup pictures! We will have round two of make-up picture day on October 28th. More information to come. Please note if you took a make-up picture on September 28th you wil not be able to view it till after the October 28th make-up picture day due to the lab having to process these all together.

Online School Menu

PTA General Meeting this Wednesday at 6:30pm

Join us this Wednesday, October 20th via Zoom for our October PTA meeting!

We’ll be voting on the purchase of a school license for the online math facts tool, Reflex. If approved, this will make Reflex available to all 2nd-8th grade students. We’ll also be voting on whether to purchase an additional Gaga Ball Pit.

Please remember that the only requirement to vote is that you are a current member. Please sign up here to become a member if you haven’t already for the 21-22 school year. We also have sponsored memberships available for families who can't afford the cost of membership.

We’ll also be hearing from various committee members on progress of their work.

Zoom Meeting Link

Meeting ID: 825 2880 6004

Passcode: 462821

Attention TK-2nd Grade Families

The Staff Appreciation Committee is collecting monetary donations from the TK through 2nd grade families who are able to do so. The suggested donation is $10, but any amount is appreciated. They will be providing food and drinks in the staff room for teachers on Monday, October 25th. Our goal is to collect the donations by this Friday October 22nd.

For the monetary donations, we accept cash and checks made out to McKinley PTA or you can click on this link and select Staff Appreciation Fund

You may also drop off your donations to the office in an envelope labeled ‘Staff Appreciation”.

If you are unable to donate at this time, there are other ways you can help out. If you are able to provide some bounty from your gardens, that would also be much appreciated. Or if you feel inspired to create some beautiful pictures/posters to help beautify the staff room, that would be fantastic.

Please feel free to reach out to either one of us if you have any questions or ideas on how you would like to help out.

Lisa Baker:
Lauran Colvin:

Check out all the photos from the McKinley Jog-a-thon!

You can look at all the photos from our very successful Jog-a-thon here. Thank you so much to Chris Lum for capturing all the action!

Earn Donations for McKinley Without Spending Extra $$$

We have several ways for you to earn donations for McKinley/PACS without needing to spend beyond your budget.

  1. Amazon Smile: If you make purchases through Amazon, make sure to shop through and designate McKinley/PACS PTA Petaluma as your charity. Make sure to configure your Amazon App to give to McKinley as well! Full instructions are here.
  2. BoxTops: Scan your grocery receipts using the BoxTops app. No more clipping and collecting BoxTops! Simply download the BoxTops app on your phone and use it to scan your receipts after you shop. Full instructions are here.
  3. Dine and Donate: Planning on going out to dinner? Once a month the PTA partners with a local restaurant or business to receive a portion of their sales. See the Dine and Donate section of the PTA website for all upcoming events.