Dear McKinley Families,
I hope everyone continues to stay safe and healthy during this unusual time. One thing I have been extremely grateful for has been to have the chance to watch the unfolding of spring very closely this year. The greening of our community, the budding of the lilac bushes, the dances of the geese on the lagoon. I am also grateful for having more time with my husband and mother-in-law. Our pre-COVID-19 days saw Rob and I so immersed in our work lives that we were not having much time for connection. Now we eat together, take walks together, bike together, do puzzles together, hang out and read together. Below I’ve included a photo from The Family History Project by a local photographer who made it through our neighborhood on a mission to raise money for Feeding America.
While we are all working to make the best of a highly irregular situation, I’ve noticed that many of us are experiencing what has been dubbed “quarantine fatigue”--both in kids and adults. Quarantine fatigue might look like big feelings and meltdowns, withdrawal and tears, refusal or sassiness, the desire to sleep or escape, or sometimes even over-productivity, an obsessive drive to complete something big. When these set in, how do we find ways to be grounded and sane? The struggle is real and any feeling--no matter how big or small--is okay.
It helps to remember that everyone is adapting to a 'new normal'; everyone has had to make changes; everyone is trying to find their place in this new situation. We are all navigating through this together.
Two articles that I have read recently that I find helpful from a work/school perspective remind me that how we frame the task before us in our minds will influence our experience. First,
How to Reduce the Stress of Homeschooling on Everyone brings to light that it is not homeschooling that we are doing, it is helping kids do school at home during a crisis. If you are someone who is working at home, remember that you are working from home during a crisis and productivity will suffer. We have to remember to offer ourselves and our kids grace. ‘It Was Just Too Much’: How Remote Learning Is Breaking Parents reminds us of the fact that this is just hard, even for students who started out strong and okay with it, the longer it goes on the harder it is on all of us. The novelty wears off and it is just not fun.
As we continue to offer digital content throughout the remaining weeks of the school year, we will look for ways to authentically engage kids and try to keep them connected to school. Connections and emotional well-being are the most important pieces right now. Please do not worry about falling behind. We will be there to adjust and catch students up once we are back together. In the meantime, if learning becomes a struggle, continue to do what is reasonable and engaging. Try not to fight the meltdowns; try to respond with compassion for yourself and for each other.
We are all in this together and remain here for one another. We are in many different spots right now, having many different experiences, and facing many different needs. Please let me know: How are you? What do you need from me?
Here are several additional resources for parents and caregivers if you are looking for someone to talk with or get ideas.
The Parenting Network
Safe Families for Children
Parent/caregiver chat line
414-345-8715, extension 1 to speak to a volunteer.
Anyone in Milwaukee County can call 2-1-1 to get information about any resources in the community (respite care, child care, mental health providers, info on COVID-19, housing, shelters, food resources)
I am happy for the sunshine promised us this weekend and look forward to the day that we can be together again--Let there be Springtime in our hearts! Take care everyone--I miss you.
McKinley Talent Show
This year our talent show is going virtual!! So excited to provide some McKinley entertainment to all via Flipgrid!! Please see the Flipgrid link below, click on picture, for all rules of the Virtual Talent Show following social distancing guidelines. Begin planning and practicing your act. You have until May 13th to submit your video for review. After hosts review, show to be released May 21st to all of McKinley. Any questions, please email Tracy Loechler. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
McKinley's Play Structure
Some neighbors have asked about the dismantling of the play structure on the north playground. Initially this was scheduled to come down in May. I had requested a special consideration to keep it until the end of the school year so that we could use it for recesses. The request was granted. When it became apparent that we would not be returning to school, the decision was made to go ahead with the original plan. Some of the parts that are still usable will be repurposed to replace parts that are in need of repair on similar play structures in the district. Also, Wauwatosa School District is teaming up with "Kids around the World" to donate some pieces and structures in other areas. This organization then reinstalls the pieces/structures in areas of need around the world.Here is the link to their website https://kidsaroundtheworld.com/
It is hard to say good-bye to this much loved play equipment! I do not have an update yet on if the gym tear-down will be moved up from the scheduled June date, but I do know that talks about that are happening at the district level. I will let you know when I have details.
McKinley Safe Routes to School
Bike to School Day 2020: From a Distance
The first ever National Bike to School Day was celebrated in 2012 across the USA and McKinley Elementary was one of almost 1,000 schools to participate that year. We are continuing our streak of participating in this important event along with help from our Bike to School Day partners, the City of Wauwatosa and Double-Boldt Real Estate.
Grab your helmets and lace up your shoes! The week of ideas to celebrate Bike to School Day 2020 from a distance kicks off on Monday, May 4. We will be offering an idea each day to support safety, fun and community connection.
Be sure to look for information in daily emails and follow us on the McKinley PTO Facebook page, as we’ll be posting the “idea of the day” each morning. And remember to post photos on social media using the tag #McKinleySRTS #BiketoSchoolDay to continue the strong sense of community that makes Bike to School Day so powerful.
Here is a preview of next week’s activities:
Monday, May 4
INSPIRE: Decorate your sidewalk, windows or bike with signs of encouragement for your neighbors to bike and walk.
Tuesday, May 5
PREPARE: Conduct a bike safety and helmet fit check. Do you have a bicycle? If so, have you done a basic safety check? Do you have a new bicyclist ready to ride? Look for information on how you can receive a new bike helmet.
Wednesday, May 6
GET OUT THERE: Get out for a walk or ride with your family! Can you take a test ride to your school or around your neighborhood?
Thursday, May 7
SHARE: Do you have some favorite walking or biking routes? Do you have safety concerns with walking or biking around your neighborhood?
Friday, May 8
TALK: Join a Zoom meeting to ask questions with local bike experts and community leaders or hold a five-minute interview with family members about their experience walking or biking.
SEVERAL SURPRISES are in store next week! Stay Tuned!
And Let’s Ride Together, apart!
Pop-Up Food Pantries
Dear Wauwatosa Families,
As seen in a recent JSonline article there are several pop-up food pantries located at Wauwatosa schools to assist families during this unprecedented time.
Pop up food pantries can be accessed at any time and are monitored regularly for continued needs.
Please share what you can and take only what you need.
Pop up food pantries are available at the following locations:
- Jefferson Elementary School - 6927 Maple Terrace
- Lincoln Elementary School - 1741 N. Wauwatosa Avenue
- Roosevelt Elementary School - 2535 N. 73rd Street
- McKinley Elementary School- 2435 N. 89th Street (bin on the corner of 90th and Meineke)
- Montessori School - 12121 W. North Avenue
In addition to the pop-up food pantries, the district continues to provide free breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday. For details, see link below.
In addition, three Wauwatosa West students have organized a food drive. Please see the flyer below for details.
Lastly, you can also call 211 or visit https://www.impactinc.org/impact-2-1-1 for a complete list of food pantries in your area.
Wauwatosa School District
McKinley Chess Team
Congratulations to the McKinley Chess Team! Tuesday was their weekly tournament. Taking first place was Ben L, who has gotten his rating to 1245! Second place was Anthony B. Third place for McKinley was Charlie D. In third place overall was Zach B from Whitman.
Great job by Anthony in this one, moving up quickly in the club, earning draws from both Ben and Zach!
This Saturday morning is a big State-wide tournament from the WSCF! Good Luck!
*Coronavirus: A Book for Children From Nosy Crow publishers, written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson & Nia Roberts
*My Hero is You This book was a project developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings
*I Have a Question About Coronavirus written by two social workers, Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky from Maryland.
2. Pebble Go Questions of the Day If you are looking for a daily inquiry extension and activity, these might suit your grade level needs.
3. Database reference guide
District & Temporary Databases #SaferAtHome-direct link to document
This is an unprecedented and challenging time for us all. But together, we will get through this.
Taking care of your mental health is equally important as your physical health during this time.
Student and Family Assistance Program: District students and their families have access to six free counseling sessions through our Student and Family Assistance Program. They are teleservice at this time. Learn more.
DHS Counseling Hotline: Call 1-800-985-5990 to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7 provided through the Department of Health Services.
211 Info Hotline - Dial 211 for information about COVID-19 in Wisconsin
CDC Hotline - Get facts by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO
This is a rapidly changing situation and we will continue to keep you updated as information is shared.
For now, Stay Safer At Home and remember, we’re in this together.
Here is our school log in information for families who want to make use of these library resources from home.
Kindergarten Registration is underway! Children who are currently enrolled in our Junior Kindergarten (4K) do not need to register for SK as they are already enrolled in the district.
We are also offering an online registration option for NEW students via our student information system, Infinite Campus.
Registering online can be done here.
A step by step guide on how to register online can be found here.
Information about documents required to register can be found here.
You will need to upload the required documents when prompted or you can complete all the registration information online and bring in the documents to your child’s school for verification.
Registration is not complete until all required documents are submitted.
*** Please share this info with your friends, family, and neighbors. ***
* * Tosa Cares * *
Mt. Zion Lutheran Church is closed. Food will be distributed by drive-thru only. Due to the logistics of organizing such an event, appointments will be required.
Please call, text, or email to leave a message to schedule a food pick up. Appointments will be scheduled over several weeks. We will be happy to provide your household with a food box.
Call: (414) 258-0456 x 410
Call or text: (414) 861-4725
Visit: https://www.tosacares.org/post/tosa-cares-and-covid-19 for more information.
Let’s kick READING into...
OverDrive is a free library collection for all elementary students to check out ebooks and digital audio books on personal devices.
It’s as easy as 1,2,3
1. Visit https://wsdlcwi.libraryreserve.com/ or open the app
Sora on any smartphone, tablet, mp3 player, e-reader, or computer. Choose Wauwatosa School District from the dropdown.
2. Login: Library card number is your school username
(same as logging onto your chromebook)
Pin is your password (same as logging onto your chromebook)
3. Read in your browser or download the epub/kindle book!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:
Meegan Archambo, Elementary Library Media Services Coordinator