McNear PTA Newsletter

stay connected


We had a terrific turnout at both the first PTA meeting of the year, and at Back to School night, where we were able to hear updates from two PTA-sponsored programs, MASC (McNear Art and Science Center) and the new districtwide TIDE (Team for Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity) initiative. Please read further for updates from both. Promoting the arts, science and a diverse and inclusive place of a study are things that we know the McNear community is very passionate about, so please make sure you stay informed and involved!

Speaking of staying involved, have you completed your PTA registration yet? We have 105 members so far, 20% of our parent population, 42% of our annual goal and 53% of last year's total. There isn't a limit per family, so families with two or more parents or guardians can sign up each person.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the BBQ this afternoon (see below for a couple of updates). Come say "HI!"




As you may have heard yesterday, a number of students fell ill on Wednesday from norovirus, a contagious gastrointestinal virus. After consulting with the District and with the health department, we're pleased to say we are able to go ahead with today's BBQ, with a few small changes, which involve taking additional precautions around how we serve food and beverages. See you there!


The McNear Art and Science Center (MASC) is a space imagined and created by McNear parents passionate about uniting the arts and sciences. The space is used for enrichment courses, camps, teacher training, and serves as a hub for teacher Art and Science resources and activities. Keeping this in mind, the MASC Committee would like to invite parents with expertise in the Arts and/or Sciences who are interested in sharing their passions with the McNear Community to complete this form. Our goal is to curate a list of passionate parents excited about sharing their work to better serve and enrich our student body! If you have questions please send an email to:

MASC plans to offer at least one art and one science ASE course every quarter at no cost to families. For this quarter, Ramsey Musallam’s 3D design/printing and robotics ASE classes are full, but will be offered in the future. There is still room in Catherine Sky’s Art in the Garden class.

Bi-weekly Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) courses will begin on 9/20 and are open to all grades, and teachers can sign up for 30 minute sessions. VTS is led by trained facilitators who lead small group discussions about works of art. These discussions support critical thinking, visual literacy, communication and collaboration skills.

The MASC committee meets monthly, all are welcome to attend - please email for more info.


TIDE, Team for Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity, is a community-led group exploring how to make our schools more safe, inclusive, and welcoming for all of Petaluma's diverse TK-12 students, families, teachers, and administrators. It is a goal that all schools in Petaluma -- from preschool to high school -- have a TIDE chapter of their own. We've been working with the School District and have been hoping to reach out to our city government to see how we can collaborate on a city level as well.

This fall TIDE is hosting a training series with Tarah Fleming from Start Dialog to address the recent events surrounding white supremacy in our schools and the reaction to those events. We are inviting the community to participate in these trainings and would appreciate your help in sharing this message.

Start Dialog, founded in 2007, is celebrating over a decade of organizing, facilitating and leading productive conversations about social equity and justice for educators, administrators, counselors, advocates, boards, families, activists and organizers.

Click here to access a list of the trainings and their descriptions. The first training is this Sunday, September 8th from 2-4 pm at the Petaluma Health Center, 1179 N. McDowell Blvd. Petaluma, CA 94954. Here is the link to the registration page:

TIDE is a grassroots organization, all funds from the ticket sales will go towards covering the expense of the trainings. The cost of each training is $50 for a single ticket, or $100 for a ticket plus an additional ticket for a community member. No one will be turned away for lack of funds and we will accept a sliding scale donation. We hope to sponsor a teacher or staff member from every school in Petaluma. If you have a recommendation of someone you would like to nominate, please let us know.

We look forward to diving deep into conversations around who we are and how we can be a stronger and more unified community, especially when our nation is so divided. We invite you to be part of the rising TIDE of change in our Petaluma.


We're really looking forward to the garden curriculum starting on September 9th. Students from TK up to 5th Grade will have lessons in the garden for seven weeks in the fall, and again in the spring, led by the terrific Ms. Julia Luna and Ms. Catherine Sky.


Anyone volunteering in the classroom must have a TB clearance on file with the district. The next TB testing sessions will be held on Wednesday Sept 25th and Oct 16th between 3pm and 4pm at the district office at 200 Douglas Street.


Back To School BBQ

Friday, September 6th, 5:30pm

McNear Blacktop

Fall Book Fair

September 16th-20th - More details to come

September 20th - Family dessert night outside the book fair


Friday, October 18th - look for info in the next couple of weeks!